Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy 1 Year Anniversary!

One year ago today, I started my blog... The Girly Girl Cooks!

I can't believe how time has flown by this past year and all the wonderful recipes I have made and enjoyed eating. The best part has been all the great people I've met in the blogging community and the wonderful support they have shared towards me! It's fantastic!

This weekend my mom, sister and I went over to Spokane to see the musical, Wicked, and it was truly a treat! I was so disappointed when it was done because you want the show to never end. Besides The Lion King, I have never enjoyed a musical as much as I have enjoyed Wicked. If you get the chance, you must go see it!

While we were in Spokane, we had to stop in Williams-Sonoma and load up on goodies because we don't have one in Montana. I thought of you guys and picked something for a giveaway to celebrate my blog's 1 year anniversary....
This really adorable and nifty Toaster Pastry Press!

I don't know about you, but I think this is really fun!

And if you have kids, I think they are going to love it too!

To Enter the Giveaway: Just leave a comment in this blog post telling me how you found my blog, The Girly Girl Cooks.
Was it from Tasty Kitchen? A friend? Random internet searching?
Let me know!

Winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 31st!

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!!!

*Pictures from Williams-Sonoma website and the giveaway is sponsored by me. Williams-Sonoma has no idea who I am...I just love their stuff!*

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Broccoli Soup

How about this horrible weather we are all having across the country??? All the rivers in Montana are flooding and the horrific tornadoes in the Midwest, it's absolutely crazy. I've been avoiding the news today because it's just too heart breaking to watch. I cried so hard yesterday when I heard a story of a young woman who lost her husband in the tornado because he threw his body over her to protect her. He is an amazing man and a true hero. I cried even harder because Dusty said he would have done the same. In better news though, I heard another story about two girls who were picked up in their car and thrown 50 yards and survived...what a miracle. All these stories have been so incredible and inspiring, and I've been praying hard for the people of the Midwest, especially Joplin.

To lighten up the subject, I have a great recipe that is perfect for this nasty cold weather that will warm you right up....Broccoli Soup!
This recipe is one of Dusty and my favorites!

Here is what you are going to need:
-1 package of frozen Broccoli
-1 medium Yellow Onion-chopped
-32 oz Low Sodium Chicken Broth
-1/2 tsp Salt
-1/2 tsp Thyme
-1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
-1/4 cup Butter
-1/4 cup Flour
-1 pint Half & Half
-8 oz Velveeta

In a large pot, combine the broccoli, onion, chicken broth, salt, thyme and garlic powder.

Allow it to boil and simmer until tender, about half an hour.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and then sprinkle in the 1/4 cup of flour into the saucepan. Whisk until it bubbles and becomes pasty. 

Next, pour while stirring a pint of Half & Half (dangerous I know!) and add the 8 ounces of Velveeta, cut up into cubes.

Allow the cheesy roux to simmer for a bit, while stirring, until the cheese melts.

Then pour the cheesy sauce into the tender broccoli mixture and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

Seriously. This is delicious and will warm you right up!

You know what makes this dish even better?
Serving it with dinner rolls, breadsticks or any bad-for-you carb!

Oh, guess what!
The Carroll women are at it again on another one of their road trips this weekend! My mom, sister and I are heading over to Spokane to see the musical Wicked and to go shopping at Williams-Sonama, Brighton and Kohl's! It's going to be a great time!
 Do you have any fun plans for the holiday weekend?

p.s. If you like watching the first Hangover movie, you will love the 2nd one! Dusty and I went to the midnight showing of it last night and laughed so hard! Same story line, but way more raunchy and gritty!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

Today is absolutely beautiful here in Missoula and I wanted to make some refreshing lemonade to fit the mood of the day. Dusty and I have already started the moving process. We spent the morning cleaning out our outdoor storage unit and found a lot of stuff we forgot we had (oops!). So this lemonade has definitely hit the spot along with a large bowl of cut up watermelon I'm enjoying right now!

Here is what you are going to need (5-6 servings):
-1 cup Sugar
-1/2 cup Boiling water
-1 cup of fresh squeezed Lemon Juice (~4 lemons)
-8 cups Cold Water
-1 Lemon for garnish

In your large pitcher, add the 1 cup of sugar with the 1/2 cup of boiling water. All I did was microwave the water for about 1 minute and it was good to go. Stir the sugar/water until the sugar dissolves.

Freshly squeeze approximately 4 lemons to get 1 cup of lemon juice.
*Handy Tip: Roll and press the lemon on your counter/cutting board before cutting the lemon in half and juicing. This causes the juice to loosen up and be released from the lemon flesh easier when you squeeze it!

Combine the lemon juice and 8 cups of cold water into the pitcher and stir to combine. Pour into a tall glass with some ice and add a lemon slice to garnish!
Enjoy this refreshing drink!

Friday, May 20, 2011

House Hunters: Billings

Dusty and I left on Wednesday for Billings with a mission: FIND AN APARTMENT!

I have been spending the past two months every night looking up apartments, pricing and investigating neighborhoods in Billings so that we could be prepared for the big apartment hunt. I even typed up tables of different property management companies, what they offered, utilities paid, cost of rent and most importantly, how close the apartment would be to the school and hospital. OCD much???

So with my tables in hand and the car packed, Dusty and I set off for Billings on Wednesday. We arrived in town at 12:30pm and had an appointment for our first viewing at 3:00. There was no time for relaxing, we were here for business!

At 3:00 we pulled up to the first apartment for a viewing. On paper it had potential: duplex, private backyard, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and a single car garage.

Not bad. Nice yard...

Garage is okay (not great, but just okay)...

Bathroom is kinda funky, but I've shared a bathroom with 40 women in the dorms. I can handle anything.

Then I saw the kitchen....
I'm a food blogger and my kitchen is my workspace. How am I suppose to function in a nasty kitchen with tiny counter space, an oven older than my dad and no dishwasher?!?!?
(I could deal with no dishwasher if I had more counter space)

I've seen enough of this place...moving on!

Then Dusty and I were taken over to the next place which had some good potential on paper too, but who knows what it could be like actually, especially after the last nightmare we had viewed.

From the outside this place looks really nice. We get a single car garage, nice neighborhood and pretty lilac trees!

Nice living area, dining room and air conditioning!

More modern bathroom (larger than what we have now)
(That bent bar in the mirror is going to be fixed)

And what is this???
A linen closet!

Nice bedroom...there are 2 total.

And now the determining factor...the kitchen.
Very nice!
New oven, dishwasher, fridge and more counter space than I have right now!

I'll take it!

After looking at only 2 places and then a couple of apartment complexes, Dusty and I decided that this is where we want to live. Lots of space, centrally located, 5 minute drive to school and all the amenities we had on our list. Plus we are saving money from where we live now!

If that weren't great enough, I also had a job interview at The Copper Colander and got the job!
I start the second week of June and I am so excited!

This was definitely a successful house hunting trip to we have to start packing!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Class of 2011

I did it! I graduated!
Saturday was such a fun and special day. My family drove up that morning and we all car-pooled over to the University for the ceremony at noon. After about 7 months of winter, Montana finally allowed my graduation day to be absolutely beautiful and gorgeous.

When we got to campus we started taking pictures and when I looked down, I realized....
Ummm...where is my tassel???

Yep, I lost my tassel.
My mom, sister and I raced over to the school bookstore to buy a new one before the ceremony and the men in my family back tracked where we had last walked. When we got the bookstore the salesman from Jostens told us he had just sold the last one. NOOOOOOO!

Thank God my mom found an old tassel on a display in the store. Even though it had the numbers "2009" on them, she just snipped them off and we were good to go.

So after that little fiasco, we got the Adam's Center Gymnasium and started the ceremony. The guest speaker gave a entertaining speech and told us that we were lucky to be biologist because now we have a full understanding for the "Far Side" comic strips and now we can really appreciate nature when we are amongst it. If that's not a reason to get a biology degree, then I don't know what is!

After his speech, we got recognized for research and volunteer experience accomplished.

Then we got down to business and lined up to receive our diplomas.
Apparently I was the only one who graduated with just a Microbiology degree! Everyone else received degrees in Human Biology, Medical Technology, etc.
I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack.
(name that movie!)

Me with my diploma!
Look at the guys on either side of me in the picture.
The looks on their faces are priceless!

Once the ceremony was done, they told us we could move our tassels from right to left, and that we could throw our caps. I threw my cap up in the air barely, hoping to just catch it, but it went sideways (because it's me and I'm not coordinated) and landed in the isle. Then someone picked up my cap/tassel and walked off.
(This is my typical luck)

But then I found a new cap on the ground that someone left behind and grabbed that one. Plus this one had a tassel with "2011" on it! So the person who picked up my cap got one without the year on it.
Hehehe! Take that cap snatcher! You get what you deserve!

After that second fiasco of the day, my mom put my cap/tassel in her purse (because I can't be trusted) and we walked to the Oval and took a picture in front of the prettiest area on campus.
Afterwards we went back to my place until dinner, where we had snacks. Then my parents took us all to my favorite restaurant of all time for a fantastic dinner!
It was a really great day!

*Thank you for all of your support and love over the past couple of weeks with finishing up my degree and graduating. It has meant so much to me!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Best Graduation Present EVER!

Notice anything different in my kitchen???

How about this....

It's so beautiful, so shiny, so new.
 I am so excited and in love!
My parents got my Green Apple KitchenAid as my graduation present and now I don't have to religiously enter the PW KitchenAid Giveaways :)

Where this KitchenAid and I are going....we don't need roads!

Thanks Mom and Dad for the best present EVER!

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Big Fat Greek Dinner {Part 2}

Happy Friday Everyone!

It's been one heck of a week here in Missoula trying to prep for finals week next week, online apartment hunting and getting my ducks in a row for summer school and moving. It's been hectic!

To conclude my Big Fat Greek Dinner, lets put that Tzatziki Sauce to use with some Chicken Souvlaki!

Here is what you are going to need (2 servings):
-1/2 lb Chicken Breasts
-2 tsp Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning
-2 tbsp Olive Oil
-2 Pita/Flat Bread
-Condiments such as: Shredded Lettuce, Tomatoes and Onions
-Tzatziki Sauce

A couple of hours before dinner, marinate the Chicken Breasts in the olive oil and seasoning in the fridge.

This All-Purpose Greek Seasoning is the best! It will change your life and make your chicken taste fantastic!

Once you are ready to eat, grill up your chicken on your BBQ or if you are me...your George Foreman. I hate a love-hate relationship with my George Foreman, it's great for indoor grilling in my apartment, but a total pain to clean! I can't wait for the day when Dusty and I have a place where we can get a real BBQ grill. My parents cook pizza and saute veggies on their grill and it is to die for! I can't wait for those days.
Slice up the grilled chicken into strips.

Now we are ready to assemble the Chicken Souvlaki!

Layer on the Tzatziki sauce with the chicken...

Then add on the veggies...

And smear some more Tzatziki Sauce!
It's Greek Yogurt and Cucumbers, so I don't feel guilty!

Wrap it up and enjoy!
I can't even describe the amazing flavors of this dish.

I LOVE GREEK FOOD and I love Tzatziki Sauce!
The sauce was pretty much gone the next day because I was eating it with anything and everything, especially tomatoes.

Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cinco de Mayo Recipes!

I can't believe Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow! I am definitely not prepared for this foodie holiday. This morning I had my last Anatomy Lab Practical and I've focused all my time and energy into cramming as much information into my brain as possible.

I'm actually a little bitter toward my lab practical because last night was a Cinco de Mayo cooking class at the Good Food Store taught by my favorite chef/instructor and I couldn't go because the exam was the next morning. Grrr.

But I didn't really need to attend that class because I have some awesome recipes that I would love to share with you that would be fantastic for tomorrow's fiesta!

Lots of options and tons of great tasting food!

Enjoy yourself a delicious Margarita while you're at it too!
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...