Sunday, February 27, 2011

POW #3

 A few weeks ago I snapped this photo out my front door. The sun was coming through a small break in the clouds behind the trees and the sky was such a deep blue/grey it made me think of summer storms. I did a little brightening just to make it look a little more artistic and practice some Photoshop skills. So, here is picture of the week #3.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookie Bar S'Mores

The days are getting longer and the sun is starting to shine a little more every day! That means my thoughts have already turned to Summer and S'mores season. So, my first recipe post is Peanut Butter Cookie Bar S'mores. I came up with this version of a S'mores bar all by myself. There are a lot of similar recipes out there, but I wanted to be able to use real marshmallows and my favorite super easy PB cookie recipe that takes only 8 minutes to bake! The bars will obviously take a little longer to bake, since they are thicker, but still not as long as some others. So without further ado, here is my first recipe of the month. It's beyond easy, super rich, and delicious!

Peanut Butter Cookie Bar S'mores
by Angela Atkins

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup crushed graham crackers
2 cups mini marshmallows

Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease 8x8 baking dish.

Cream together PB, sugar, and egg. Press into bottom of pan to form a crust. Sprinkle crushed grahams and chocolate chips evenly over PB cookie crust. Bake uncovered for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle marshmallows evenly over melted chocolate. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until marshmallows are toasted and cookie crust is done. If your cookie crust isn't baking or the marshmallows are over toasting, you can cover the dish with tin foil and continue baking for longer. Let cool and enjoy :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Carmine's Review
Since the hubby was out of town for Valentine's Day, we celebrated this past weekend with Dinner at Carmine's. I had been wanting to try this place for quite some time, but just hadn't gotten around to it. I was sure we would need a reservation and usually when we eat out we pick where to go right before we go. Well, since Valentine's Day is a special occasion, I knew it was the right time to make the reservation and go. Carmine's is located on the corner of 1st & Fruitland in Kennewick in an old historic home and is the best thing that ever became of that place. They serve 1 -2 dishes per night, so check out the menu online before going. The parking lot is small, but there is plenty of on-street parking and we were able to park right across the street. It is a smaller restaurant, so be sure to make a reservation, as almost everyone who walked in to get a table was given an hour to an hour and a half  wait time or turned away. 

Upon walking in, we were greeted by Carmine himself, who thanked us for coming and told us to thank anyone who may have recommend the restaurant. Our table was set with glasses and a plate of olive oil for dipping bread and a reserved sign on the table held our spot. I very much appreciated this, as most restaurants still make you wait about 10-15 minutes while they finishing wiping and setting your table. At Carmine's we sat down right away. Soon after, our waiter showed up with delish Italian bread and the cutest authentic Italian accent. We sat in an enclosed porch area by the window where the walls were decorated in old pictures and Italian memorabilia.  It really felt like we were away at some authentic Italian eatery (even though I've never been to Italy). The atmosphere was fantastic!

We were then brought salad with homemade dressing, which was also delightful! It took a little while after our salad for the main course to show up, but the server was the ONLY one in the restaurant, so we cut him a break. The meal of the night was rigatoni with meat sauce and we ordered the 2 serving size. Boy, was that plenty! It could have fed up to 4 people.

Then the dining experience got rather unimpressive. The Rigatoni was not the best I ever had and the sauce was not super flavorful. It wasn't gross, I was just not impressed. After we were done eating, we sat for about 10 minute before our server took our plates and we told tell him we were too full for dessert. We then sat another 5 minutes before having to ask for the check. Who knows what happened, but our waiter then disappeared. After about 20 more minutes of waiting, Carmine came over and asked if were waiting for something and we told him the check. Well, then he left and never came back. Finally, we waived down a young girl, who appeared to be the bread delivery girl, and asked if she could find out what happened to our check. It had now been at least 30 minutes! As soon as she went through the kitchen doors, here came our waiter with the check. Our waiter told us thanks for waiting and we told him we understood he was busy. No one acknowledged or apologized for how long we waited and we didn't complain because we saw how busy this poor guy was. It seems they need to allow the hostess or Carmine himself  to bring the check or take money, at least on nights like this.

We may have gone on a super busy short staffed night, but we will give this place another try, and do recommend others try it too! The best part of Carmine's really is the atmosphere. If you're looking to eat somewhere that makes you feel like you're out of the Tri-Cities, try Carmine's and let me know what you think!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

POW# 2

My nephew Eli turned 4 last Saturday, February 12th. I took a few pictures before all the party-goers got to his birthday party (and while I still had his attention). Therefore, this handsome boy is my "Picture Of The Week" this week. I still cannot believe how much little kids change in 4 years! I remember the night he was born and how exciting it was to welcome my first nephew into this crazy big world. It was so fun hanging out at the hospital waiting for my sister to progress. I left the hospital a little before 3am and about 30 minutes later got the call that Holly was pushing. My mom and I rushed back to the hospital and waited in the hall until Holly was decent and the nurse said we could come in. When walked in Eli was laying on a little table where nurses were checking him over and making sure he was healthy. He was about a month early, but was in excellent health. He was wide awake and had the bluest eyes and his tiny little mouth kept hanging open as he stared out at his new home. I never knew love at first sight existed until I laid eyes on this tiny 5lb 6oz, blue eyed, and shiny faced baby boy! I could have never predicted how cute and little he would be and was blown away at how much I immediately loved him. There are so many things I could say about that night and about how awesome Eli has grown to be. He is super smart and ahead of the game developmentally, has the best sense of humor a kid could have, and is always melting our hearts with how sweet he is! His mommy and daddy have done a great job with the blessing of raising him bestowed upon them and I am in awe of how amazing and wonderful this little guy is! Happy 4th Birthday to my sweet, smart,  first born nephew, who will always hold that special place in my heart of being my 1st nephew! I love you Eli Leroy!
Me and my baby E

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"POW" # 1

My first picture of the week is... Books! I ordered some books from and when they came in the mail I knew they would be my POW! My order was quite an eclectic mix and none of the books are the same. I am so excited to read them all and may give reviews when done. As far as my first picture goes, I wanted to start with something simple that required little to no editing. So, here it is. Come on back next week for a new heart melter of a POW!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This Is How Imma Do

Lately, my biggest stumbling block to doing the things I love has been motivation. This dreary cold makes me want to do nothing after work and house chores but hibernate. However, I realize I feel much happier and more confident when I am creating and meeting goals I set for myself. Seeing progress and growth in the things I enjoy doing is motivating in and of itself and is the only way to get better at doing the things I love. Therefore, I am going to start working on 2 projects and blog about them.

The first is to benefit my photography. I am going to start taking a picture of the week or "POW" to improve my skills and get more creative. I have a friend (check out who started taking a picture of the day when she lived in China and now that she is back in the states is still going strong! I have seen what it has done for her photography and am going to do my own take on this idea. Although, I am doing a much less ambitious version and plan on taking only 1 picture a week, I hope to grow into a better photographer and find my "style". Thanks for the great idea Bess!

The next project I am taking on is a recipe of the month! I think I will call it "NOM". As in "nummy of the month" and a play on "nom nom". Okay, okay... I'll keep thinking. If you know me well, you know I L-O-V-E baking! I follow recipe bloggers, buy cooking magazines, and have more cookbooks than I can keep up with. I always read posts from recipe bloggers and think, "I could totally do that and make it better!" So, here is my attempt! I am going to try and create some original recipes and also share some classics and family favorites - maybe with some slight tweaks! But don't worry, I wont be selfish. I will post pics and recipes - and maybe some of you will even get to taste test my recipes :-)

While, I do post pictures and recipes from time to time on my blog, I think setting a public goal to do this more often will give me some much needed motivation to do the things I love more and miss doing.  It will also help turn these things into something more than just a personal hobby. I hope people will enjoy looking at my images and want to try out my recipes! If you have advice to give me, please feel free to leave me a comment! I can't wait to get started and am actually a little nervous... Here I go!