Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I've been writing in this thing for a few weeks now, but I haven't made a lot of effort to make it public yet. I plan to do so soon, but I've been hoping to make it more interesting and get some more stuff up here. It's just been so busy between preparations and then family coming for Christmas, so I haven't written in awhile. Shaun and I both got out of work early today (yay, snow) so we're going to take the afternoon to relax and watch a movie, then decide later if we're venturing back out into it to celebrate with some friends or having a cozy night in.

But there's a 4-day weekend coming up, so I hope to catch up with posts of some more yummy holiday recipes (if you like the look of them, maybe you can save them for next year :-P) and a "year-in-review" type post (although I don't remember a whole lot before June, lol). So I'm off to do some more slacking, but I shall return, hopefully to be a better blogger. Maybe that'll be my resolution.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pie Crust Cookies

I'm not sure where this recipe originated...I just know that my mom has always made these every year at Christmas, and since I've been living on my own in (2004), these cookies have been a "must-bake" every year. It's just not Christmas until I have a pie crust cookie!

Pie Crust Cookies

1 cup butter
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 cups flour
Sugar (separate, roughly ½ cup)

¼ cup softened butter
About 3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Red and green coloring

For cookies: Mix butter, cream, and flour. Chill. Divide into thirds. Roll 1/3 to 1/8 inch thickness on floured board. Cut with 1½ inch round cutter. Place cookies on waxed paper heavily covered with sugar and flip. Place on ungreased sheet. Prick each 4 times with fork. Bake at 350-375 for 7-9 minutes, depending on how crisp you want the cookies. Cool for 1 minute and then remove from sheet (too soon and they will fall apart, too late and they will stick to sheet). Fill 2 cookies with filling.
For filling: Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla; add milk until desired consistency. (You can use less powdered sugar if you want a thinner filling, but we’ve always made them with a generous amount of frosting.) Divide and add coloring. Makes approximately 4 dozen.

They're so incredibly sugary, buttery, and GOOD. I'm normally a chocolate fiend, but these are definitely one of my favorites. Give 'em a try!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cheddar Ham Chowder

With a busy weekend of shopping, baking, gathering and eating, I've already gotten behind on some recipe posts. Tonight (before and after the mandatory Chuck and Heroes viewing, of course!) I'm going to make my best attempt to start catching up, starting with Thursday's dinner. I've had the recipe saved for a long time, but I think I got it at Allrecipes, here. It was pretty easy, and Shaun made it even easier by having all the veggies chopped and ready to go when I got home from work. They say it serves 6-8, but I think we got around 5 servings as we didn't think to have any sides with it.

Cheddar Ham Chowder

2 ½ c water
2 c potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 c sliced carrots
½ c sliced celery
¼ c chopped onion
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ c butter
¼ c flour
2 c milk
2 c cheddar cheese
16 oz frozen corn
1 ½ c cubed ham

Bring water, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt, and pepper to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes or until veggies are tender. Set aside; do not drain. In second pan, melt butter; blend in flour. Add milk; cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in other veggies (including broth); add corn and ham. Heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally.

Anything with that much cheese and potato has got to be good, right? Next: desserts...mmm...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Velveeta Nacho Bake

I didn't imagine that I'd be writing my first cooking-related blog post with the word "Velveeta" in the title, 'cause I generally try to avoid that stuff whenever possible. But most nights when I get home from work, I want to make something relatively quick and easy. We both like this meal - the ultimate comfort food mix of mac and cheese plus Mexican (sorta). Plus I had some extra sour cream from another recipe and some tortilla chip crumbs in the bottom of the bag just begging to be used! Here it is, straight from the Kraft website:

Velveeta Nacho Bake
Prep Time: 15 min Total Time: 35 min Makes: 6 servings
1 pkg. (12 oz.) VELVEETA Shells & Cheese Dinner
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. (1-1/4 oz.) TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Taco Seasoning Mix (I used one of the many homemade recipes out there)
3/4 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
3/4 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
3/4 cup TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1/2 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips

Heat oven to 400°F. Prepare Dinner as directed on package. While Macaroni is cooking, cook meat with taco seasoning as directed on package.

Stir sour cream into prepared Dinner. Spoon 1/2 of Dinner mixture into 8-inch square baking dish; top with layers of meat mixture, 1/2 of Cheddar and remaining Dinner mixture. Cover.

Bake 15 min.; top with salsa, remaining Cheddar and crushed chips. Bake, uncovered, 5 min.

I ended up using an 11x7 pan since my square one was otherwise occupied. And obviously it doesn't really matter what brand of all that stuff you use. I also baked up a simple recipe for Cumin Cheddar Corn bread (basically you add 3/4 tsp cumin and 1/2 c shredded cheddar to a regular cornbread recipe or mix before baking), but I personally didn't think it was anything special or worth posting pics. Shaun didn't even know it was different than regular cornbread until I told him during dinner, lol.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Here We Go

Well, I've done it...I've entered the blogosphere. (How many people actually use that word?) Anyway, part of me feels like I'm doing this because it's what "everyone else" is doing - I read all these other blogs and want to be more than just an anonymous observer. The other part of me has always had an appreciation for writing and journaling and I thought it might be fun to try. I have no illusion that my life is so interesting people will want to constantly read about it, but if I can connect and find things in common with people, well, why not? That's why right off the bat I want to say that whether you are a regular blogger or an anonymous reader, please speak up and comment if you feel the urge! I've landed on so many blogs randomly that I promise I won't think you're weird and crazy. I want to know who's reading - if anyone!

I first would like to explain the name I went with for the blog. I had it narrowed down to a few of my favorite funny TV and movie quotes, but I couldn't make a final decision, so I talked it over with my hubby, Shaun. He pointed out that "You're Talking Gibberish", said by Lenny in my all-time favorite (and generally under-appreciated) movie That Thing You Do!, and thus repeated over and over again by my sister and me, seems to fit for this blog, because I will likely be talking about a lot of random stuff. Hopefully it'll make more sense than gibberish, but either way, the title might make you smile. Especially if you hear it in your head the way Lenny says it.

Any Notre Dame fan will appreciate this side note on the blog name: I tried to get my web address without dashes (youretalkinggibberish rather than youre-talking-gibberish), but it was taken. Out of curiosity I went to the dash-less blog and discovered the owner had made one post last year and nothing since. What a waste! And to add insult to injury, this person had pictures of USC football all over the page. As Hiro of Heroes would say..."Nemesis." Oh well.

So, as you can see I might be referencing TV shows and movies a lot - what can I say, I'm a boring old married person now and that's what we do. I'll try to write regularly, keep things interesting, and post recipes that I think are worth sharing. I'm a huge dessert fan, so there will be plenty of those, especially with Christmas coming up! I promise that, if I decide this blogging thing is not for me, I will give an explanation. One pet peeve of mine as a reader is when a blogger seems to have suddenly dropped off the face of the earth!

I suppose this post is getting long, and it's getting late, so I should wrap it up for tonight. I've got to end though by being mushy and reflecting on the date - December 8, 2008. Seven years ago today, my now-husband and I officially started dating. Six months and two days ago, we got married back at Notre Dame where it all started. Our wedding day was amazing and we're happy we celebrated it in the June warmth (despite the tornado warning during our reception...ha). But I still have a certain nostalgia for this time of year - the excitement and buildup to Christmas - that was enhanced when Shaun and I, already best friends, decided to become a couple. Simply sitting here now, writing and listening to Christmas music with my husband is good.

Thanks for bearing with me as I get started and figure out how to do all this...hope you'll stick around.