a couple of awards!

i am a total slacker and haven’t posted about a couple awards i received.  but i am super excited to finally get a chance to write about them and highlight some of my favorite blogs.

the first award was from  joanna from things after the rings.  a few months ago she awarded me with the liebster blog award.  according to joanna, “the liebster award takes its name from the german word, meaning beloved, dearest or favourite.”  it’s given to fairly new or up and coming blog with a relatively small following, less than 200 followers.  also part of accepting this award, is spreading the love and recognizing other amazing blogs.

the rules are:

  1. thank the blog presenter on your blog.
  2. link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
  3. copy and paste the award onto your blog (you deserve it!).
  4. present the award to 3-5 blogs with less than 200 followers who you feel deserve to be noticed. (though i’m not sure of the exact readership of the blogs i nominated – maybe they have more.  oops!)
  5. let the blog owners know via a comment on their blog (and an email if possible!).

my awards for my favorite blogs go to:

thanks so much joanna!

the second award is the kreativ blogger award that i received from micha from zim on a whim.

with this nomination, i am supposed to write 7 things about myself that readers might find interesting.  i’m not sure how interesting these fun facts are but here goes nothing…

  1. i love reality tv – everything from competition shows like top chef and project runway to just watching celebrities live their lives like giuliana and bill and keeping up with the kardashians.
  2. i also watch too many abc family shows.  my favorites right now are secret life of an american teenager and jane by design (can you tell i watch wayyy too much tv?  eeek!).
  3. i just got an ice cream machine and i am so excited to make lots and lots of ice cream this summer.
  4. my favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla (and maybe strawberry too).
  5. i can’t wait to see jason mraz in concert this summer!!!  his new album is amazeballs!
  6. a couple of my favorite movies are legally blonde and 10 things i hate about you.
  7. i love doing arts and crafts.

i would like to nominate these 7 blogs for the kreativ blogger award:

  1. Cupcakes for Breakfast
  2. And They Cooked Happily Ever After
  3. Cozycakes Cottage
  4. Veronica’s Cornucopia 
  5. So Pupuka
  6. Things After the Rings
  7. The Capital Barbie

so here are the rules if you get nominated:

  • thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to their blog.
  • copy the kreativ blogger award logo and place it in your post.
  • list 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
  • nominate 7 other kreativ bloggers.
  • leave a comment on the blogs you listed to let them know you nominated them.

a big thank you micha!  also thank you to all of the nominated blogs for writing such wonderful blogs!  i love reading them and highly suggest checking all of them out!


french onion soup 2.0

a couple weeks ago, something really exciting happened…  i met ree drummond, the pioneer woman!!!  how amazing is that?!?!?

okay well i guess there is a possibility that you may not actually know who she is.  well she’s an amazing food blogger who recently got her own tv show on the food network.  she has lots of wonderful recipes and i’ve tried a few of them before, macaroni and cheese, onion strings, etc.

well she was in town and actually at my local costco last friday.  so on my way home from work, i stopped by costco and got to meet ree.  can i tell you she is the nicest person ever!

it was great having the opportunity to meet her, only i was a complete mess – totally starstruck and unable to speak.  i gave one word answers and had an incredibly awkward conversation about dc and virginia with the sweetest, kindest person ever.  so there was no need to be nervous – but i was.  fail.

oh well. i was still able to get her newest cookbook signed so that was good.

still hyped up on the excitement of meeting ree, last weekend i made a pot of her french onion soup.

although i had made french onion soup before, i wanted to try out this recipe because it a. looked every different from the one i made last time, and b. we had a bunch of onions and even some gruyere cheese that i wanted to use up.  this recipe is a million times better than the one i used before.  the use of red wine instead of beer is fantastic and decreasing the amount of herbs allows the onion flavor to shine through.  plus the fact that you roast the onions just takes it over the edge.  even though it’s the summer – whip up a batch of this french onion soup.  you will not be disappointed.

start off with a large dutch oven and melt 1 stick of butter.

add the sliced onions…

and cook for about 20 minutes.


now to roast the onions, put the lid on but leave it a little ajar.  then put the pot in a preheated 400 degree oven for about an hour – stirring every 20 minutes.

once the onions are done roasting, you’ll see all kinds of brown bits around the pot.  this is the good stuff that will make your french onion soup taste really really good.

then add a cup of red wine… well actually the recipe said to add white wine but we happened to have red wine on hand so i just used that.

now add a whole carton of chicken stock and a whole carton of beef stock.


time for some seasoning – the recipe just called for some garlic and worcestershire sauce but i also added a little bit of dried thyme and a bay leaf to kick it up a notch.


finally, let the soup simmer for about 45 minutes…

of course french onion soup isn’t complete without a crouton and melted gruyere cheese.  so typically you use a slice of toasted baguette, but i didn’t have any so i just used half an english muffin.  also we didn’t have big enough oven proof bowls so i just melted the cheese onto the toast and the placed it on the soup.


it worked out fine and was perfectly ooey gooey, but  it was missing the crusty cheese that you usually get on the side of the bowl when you melt the cheese in the bowl.  so i made some in a small ramekin – but i ended up spilling soup all over the place since it overflowed a bit.   oh well it was worth it!