Friday, November 30, 2007

Smartbargains Shopping and Calphalon One Cookware

Smartbargains is one of our favorite places to shop for all kinds of items for the kitchen and home adn even for some extra personal goodies. :-) From now until December 10th you can Checkout with PayPal and earn 20% Cash Back on your order! This is an awesome deal as their prices are already quite low and the shipping charges are very reasonable.

For example, check out this fabulous Calphalon One Nonstick 8pc Cookware Set.

It consists of:

  • 8-quart stockpot with lid

  • 4.5-quart saucepan with lid

  • 3-quart chef's pan with lid

  • 10" and 12" omelette pans

It is a wonderful set to cook with and would make an awesome gift for that special cook in your life (even if that happens to be you!)

Keep checking back for more great finds and special reader discounts and deals!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pumpkin Cake Recipe

If you are looking for a little twist on the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, here is a delicious recipe for a pumpkin layer cake. Even those who don't like pumpkin pie usually enjoy this moist and flavorful cake. Let us know what you think!

Pumpkin Cake
1 pkg yellow cake mix with pudding
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3 large eggs
Cinnamon Whipped Cream Frosting:
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. In large bowl, combine all cake ingredients. Beat at low speed with mixer until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at high speed. Pour batter into pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pans. Cool completed on cooling rack.
In medium bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and cinnamon; beat until stiff. Place 1 cake layer top side down on cake plate. Dust off loose crumbs. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top frosted cake with remaining cake layer; top side up. Spread sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator.
Enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Karen and Rick

Friday, November 16, 2007

Interior Designers - A Great Asset for Your Home Improvement Project

Sponsored Review

While we are on the subject of remodeling and redecorating, we wanted to discuss the point that using an interior designer for your home remodeling project is a great idea. Interior designers often have access to resources that the ordinary consumer does not. Additionally, interior home design is not always an easy proposition for some people and a bit of professional advice can go a long way.

Interior designers can be hired to do an entire project or you may be able to hire one for just an hour or two to get some advice and direction for your interior home design project. Look for a designer with American Society of Interior Designer credentials (ASID). You'll be sure you are getting a well qualified professional.

Bathroom Remodeling - Choosing Floor Tile and Wall Tile

Thinking of starting a bathroom remodeling project or just looking for some new ideas. We are going to discuss various products available for freshening up one of the most used spaces in the house.

Rick and I have started looking at products to redo our master bath. We decided to start with the floor and wall tile and found that there are a myriad of choices now available. You can find marble tile, granite tile, porcelain tile, clay tile, ceramic tile, metal tile, and glass tile. The choices are almost as endless as your imagination. In our upcoming posts we will talk about some of the pros and cons of the different types of tiles and show you some great examples of each.

Stay tuned and have fun!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Beef Burgundy Recipe - Boeuf Bourguinon

Here is a tasty beef burgundy recipe, perfect for a fall dinner. Serve with some warm, crusty bread, a tossed green salad and the remainder of the wine. Delicious!


3 slices bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
16 white mushrooms, medium in size, wiped with damp cloth to clean, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1 cup frozen pearl onions, defrosted and drained
2 pounds lean sirloin, 1-inch thick, trimmed and cubed into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup burgundy wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock
Bouquet of 3 or 4 sprigs each sage and fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string

Herbed Egg Noodles

12 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked to package directions
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, 2 handfuls
12 blades fresh chives, snipped or finely chopped


Heat a large deep skillet with a heavy bottom and a lid over medium high heat. Add bacon to the pan and brown. Remove crisp bacon bits with slotted spoon. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons butter to the pan and melt into bacon drippings. Add mushrooms to the pan and turn to coat evenly with butter and bacon drippings. Season the mushroom slices with salt and pepper. Sauté mushrooms 2 to 3 minutes and add onions to the pan. Continue cooking onions and mushrooms 2 to 3 minutes longer, then transfer to a plate and return pan to the heat.

Add remaining butter to the pan and melt it. Add meat to the very hot pan and brown evenly on all sides, keeping the meat moving. Add flour to browned meat in the pan and cook the flour 2 minutes. Add wine to the pan slowly while stirring. When the wine comes up to a bubble and you have scraped up the pan drippings, add the stock and bouquet of fresh sage and thyme sprigs to the pot. Cover the pan. When the liquid boils, reduce heat to medium. Cook covered 5 minutes, remove lid and add mushrooms, onions and bacon back to the pot. Simmer with the cover off until sauce thickens a bit. Adjust seasoning and remove herb bouquet.

Toss hot egg noodles with butter and herbs. Place a bed of noodles in a shallow bowl and pour beef burgundy over the noodles and serve.