Friday, July 30, 2010

I just love organization

So I use a lot of spices when I cook--and I have about 19 million bottles of spices and whatnot in my cupboard and it was really unorganized--and I really don't like messy things.
This is what it looked like:

My handsome and handy hubby (I like alliterations) offered to build me a shelf/rack for all the spices so I could see all the labels!  We live in an apartment right now so this is the first "project" he's gotten to do.

This is what it looks like now:

Look at all that organization!  Labels where I can read them, all bottles visible.  I am a happy camper!

Thanks Mike!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Back in November I joined a site called Swagbucks--basically you just do your searches and earn points for it--I've earned enough for $65 in Amazon giftcards--not getting rich, but it has helped me to buy some fun stuff like a cast iron Dutch oven, a couple of books and helped to pay for my Kitchen-aid mixer!  And it doesn't take a lot of work or time either. 
I've put a "swidget" on the right side of this page, and if you are interested in finding out more click through! 
While I've been in school after we got married I have been looking for ways to make a little bit of money at home for the "extra" things we don't have budgeted. This is one of the ways I've done it!  I will post about some more of them later.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hot Pepper Jelly

Mike and I have a little container garden by the window in the spare room--I grow thyme, rosemary and cilantro and Mike has been growing cayenne peppers!  Mike decided he wanted to try making jelly with the peppers--we've never made jelly before, so we decided not to foray into canning--maybe for a later adventure.

We made a small batch to start with.
3 red cayenne peppers
1 1/2 red bell peppers
1 1/2 cup sugar
almost 1/2 cup white vinegar
1.5 ounces liquid fruit pectin

Chop all the peppers up finely (wear gloves or put baggies over your hands while chopping cayennes). Put them in a heavy saucepan with the sugar and vinegar.  Put in 3 drops red food coloring, if you want to.  Over medium heat bring to a boil and cook for 6 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the pectin, boil 3 more minutes.  let it cool and put it in containers.  Refrigerate or freeze.

I have to say THIS IS AMAZING!!  I have been eating it on saltines with cream cheese, or just plain on bread. 

Friday, July 16, 2010


I graduated from nursing school in May and passed my boards in late June, so I've been applying for a LOT of jobs in the past two months--but the nursing market is not good right now :-(  I was getting really discouraged by the lack of interviews and being without work for so long--I have been pretty bored--there's only so much you can clean in an apartment!! :-)
My first interviews at Mary Greeley were about two weeks ago and this week I had peer interviews for both the medical/surgical and cardiac/medical floors.  My second peer interview was at 3:30 on Wednesday and they called me at 4:30 the same day to offer me FT days/evenings on either floor--they just said I could pick!  I'm so thankful I don't have to work nights, because I don't do well on not a whole lot of sleep and now I will still be able to see Mike and be social!
I took the job on the cardiac/medical floor and I start on the 26th pending a physical next week!

Amy Bravo, RN (I just like writing that)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Since we got married I have made a hobby out of finding deals--I'm not super good at using coupons, since we buy most of our food at ALDI and it's super cheap already, but sometimes I find good coupon deals!
HyVee is having a really good sale this week, and look at what I got for $10!  I don't usually buy chips or frozen pizza, but I got awesome deals!

 Blueberries for $.88, pizza for $.88, brownies and hot dogs for $.49!
The HyVee coupons are in their ad I picked up in the store, and I had a manufacturer coupon for the pizza from their Facebook page.

I also tried making a curry for the first time last night, but it wasn't very good so I won't share the recipe. :-)

Monday, July 12, 2010


Mike and I went to a barbeque with friends from our small group from church today--super fun, even though we were attacked by mosquitos.  We girls had fun watching our hubbies play bocce ball (they weren't actually playing, we found out later, just throwing the balls in random places like down the slides on the playgrounds).  We decided they do a lot more crazy/competitive stuff when the wives aren't around.  
Anyway, I made s'mores bars for tonight.  They are really rich!  Once of our friends put a bar on the grill to see if he could toast it like a real s'more.  It didn't work, but it was a good idea!

Here's the recipe for marshmallowy deliciousness.  It came from here, with a few small changes
S'mores Bars
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (or a few regular ones if you don't want the chocolate so thick)
1 large egg
A jar of marshmallow fluff
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (~7 full-sized graham cracker sheets, squished up.  I don't have a food processor, so I just used a potato masher and some of my massive muscle :-)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Set aside. Add dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.
Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side.
Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Be sure to cool completely before cutting into bars. Makes 16 squares.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

First Post

I decided to write a blog...I had one in college, and haven't blogged for a few years, but thought I'd start again.
So, a little background...I have an awesome husband named Mike and we've been married for almost a year.  I graduated from nursing school in May and passed my RN boards.  I'm currently looking for a full time nursing job--I work part time as an RN in a local nursing home.

I love to cook and bake.  Well, I love to make desserts and bread Mike's coworkers get a lot of treats!  I have to get them out of the house somehow!
Anyway, I'm planning to post some of the recipes that I make, and any other random stuff that might be interesting, so we'll see how it goes!