WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Why my blog has sucked lately… December 2, 2010

Filed under: Life — WannaBe Chef @ 9:42 pm

Not being able to cook or eat is kind of a problem when you have a food blog…

Baby WannaBe will be arriving in June 2011 ūüôā


The charger has arrived! October 25, 2010

Filed under: Holiday,Life — WannaBe Chef @ 6:50 pm

Hi kids!¬† I got my camera battery charger!¬† Thanks mommmmy.¬† However, all I have to share with you today is our pumpkins.¬† Wayne and I carved these last night.¬† I will say… carving pumpkins is a lot more work than I ever remember.¬† Of course, as kids, you’re just carving the standard triangle eyes and three-toothed grin.¬† We got a little more advanced with ours.¬† My pumpkin-carving tips:¬† 1.)¬† Buy more than one set of carving tools – so you don’t have to share, AND in case the knives break… which they did in our case¬† 2.) Scrape those walls down from the inside.. it’s difficult to carve and¬†stay accurate with the details on such a thick-walled¬†pumpkin.¬†



And together now

Not too shabby!¬† Do you carve pumpkins?¬† Any plans for Halloween?¬† I’m kinda sad I will be missing the big annual Halloween party at my mom’s this year.¬† Check out this post from last year… we had a ton of fun Halloween food ūüôā


A quick Hey from MI September 22, 2010

Filed under: Life — WannaBe Chef @ 9:54 am

Hi bloggies!¬† I’m currently chilling in a hotel room in the town we used to live in.¬† It’s been a crazy few days back here in MI.¬† My sister’s wedding went fantastically.¬† I haven’t been a very good food blogger, but I do have a couple pics for you!¬†


Bride and Groom cutting their beautiful cake:

Dozens of Italian cookies, homemade by the groom’s family (clearly a hit, since most of them were gone by the time I took a pic!):

Largest cobb salad known to man, at the rehearsal dinner:

Largest dessert known to man, at the rehearsal dinner:

My baby sis and I on the party bus:

My favorite little girl that we got to see last night for the first time since we moved 6 months ago:

I’m off to visit with my former co-workers today.¬† Ta-ta for now!


WannaBe Chef: Craft version August 11, 2010

Filed under: Life — WannaBe Chef @ 2:43 pm

I’m still alive, I swear!¬† I’m having a nice time at home.¬† So far, I’ve been to my sister and future bro-in-law’s¬†bachelor/bachelorette party and also had a nice visit with my former coworkers.¬† It was really weird going back to “work,” and kinda sad, but nice to see everyone.¬† Unfortunately, I don’t think I can upload any pics from my camera to my mom’s computer, so that probably means no blogging till I get back.¬† But then I remembered I had these pics saved in my drafts to post after my sister had seen everything.¬† So today, I bring you a totally un-foodie post, but fun nonetheless.¬†


Awhile ago, I made my sister’s card box.¬† These are plain, square nesting boxes I ordered from¬†www.sunshinecrafts.com.¬† First I cut out the center of the lid of the bottom box, and the bottom of the middle box, so the cards would fall through.¬† Next I cut the slot in the middle box.¬† Then I covered the top and bottom box with a shimmery gold fabric, then¬†covered that with lace.¬† Her dress is mostly lace and has gold tones, so I was trying to imitate that a little.¬† The picture doesn’t do it justice, as the gold comes through much more.¬† I used a hot glue gun and double-sided¬†tape to attach everything, so it looks a hot mess on the inside.¬† The middle box is¬†covered with a shimmery ivory fabric and accented with a purple ribbon and blingy buckle.¬† We’re still planning on putting something on the top box, but not sure what yet.¬† I think it turned out pretty well!¬†¬†¬†

For the bach party, Erin told me she wanted to wear a veil and hinted in a not-so-subtle way that she wanted a purple veil…¬† ¬†

So I picked up about 2 yards (I think?)¬†of shimmery purple tulle and a little black comb from JoAnn Fabrics.¬† I also decided it needed a little something sparkly and came across the purple sequins.¬† The veil is 2 layers and I just sewed each layer tightly around the comb and sewed¬†the string of sequins along the edge of both layers.¬† I’ll try to post a pic of her wearing it in another post!¬†

I couldn’t leave Erin’s fiance, Jeff, out of the crafty fun, so I made him a shirt to wear.¬† After much googling, I decided on this saying….

I got the black t-shirt for about $5 at Target and I got the paint at JoAnn’s.¬† For the beer mug and engagement pic, I bought some iron-on transfers and just printed them right from my computer.¬† I free-handed the letters with bright green paint, and I think it turned out pretty well!¬† Everyone seemed to get a good laugh out of it, and I’ll try to post a pic of the groom wearing it too.¬†

This pic was taken before I outlined all the letters/numbers in darker green like on the front.

This little project was totally last minute.¬† I came across the sparkly purple iron-on letters while I was getting the transfers for Jeff’s shirt.¬† I was obsessed with them and had to think of something I could make to use them.¬† So I decided to make a simple tank top for Erin to wear on the wedding day while she’s getting her hair done.¬† I gave this to her as part of her bachelorette gift, and she seemed to like it!¬†

Well I hope you enjoyed seeing the crafty side of WannaBe Chef!¬† I have more things to show you, but can’t until later.¬† Not sure when I’ll be back with another post, but until then, toodles!


22 hours August 2, 2010

Filed under: Life — WannaBe Chef @ 6:48 pm

I’m back!¬† We survived our whirlwind, exhausting weekend that included 22 hours of driving, a rehearsal, a wedding, and “quality” time with my in-laws (insert sarcasm here).¬† Our kitty survived¬†being alone for 3 days, and now he won’t leave our side.¬† Poor boy.¬† Anywho, I took lots of pics…. here’s the extremely shortened version…


As you know, we left MN at 2 AM.  It was awesome.  After a lifetime of driving across creepy, extremely desolate Wisconsin, we finally crossed into MI!  Even though we were many hours from home, it felt great being back in MI, even if just for the weekend.   

We were SO glad to have finally made it to the Mackinac bridge after about 9 hours of driving!

Since we didn’t have much time to stop, I packed lots of food… sandwiches, veggies and hummus, strawberries, yogurt, string cheese, water, chips, Z-bars, combos, etc etc!¬† The hotel had a fridge, so our food¬†stash definitely came in handy!

Fast forward over the rehearsal, us going to bed at 9PM and sleeping for 10 hours, and we end up at the wedding on Saturday.¬† Here’s the beautiful bride and her blurry hubby (Wayne’s cousin) in the background.

Waynie and I after all his Best Man duties were done.

We had a great time at the wedding, and Sunday morning came really fast.¬† We were on the road by 8:45am, and FINALLY back in MN by about 8pm (MI time).¬† If you’ve ever been to the U.P. of MI, you know about pasties.¬† Wayne has never had one, so we stopped at one of the many mom-and-pop stores on the way home and had one.¬† For the other pasty virgins out there, the traditional pasty has ground beef, potatoes, rutabagas, carrots and seasonings all wrapped in a flaky crust.¬† Wayne got the spicy sausage, and I had the veggie version hot in the store.¬† Then we ended up getting a¬†traditional pasty (frozen) to take home.¬† ¬†

PURE MICHIGAN!¬†¬† Love.¬† I hope you all enjoyed a little peek into our crazy weekend.¬† I will actually be going back (flying!)¬†to MI this Friday for TEN GLORIOUS DAYS for my baby sister’s bach party and wedding shower.¬† I have so much to do before I go, but I can’t wait!¬† Toodles for now!


Sassy Saturday July 10, 2010

Filed under: Beverage,Life,Products — WannaBe Chef @ 8:30 pm

Hello, lovepies!¬† I’m feeling a little more in the bloggy spirit today, so I thought I’d share my Saturday with you.¬† We started out this lovely Saturday at the Farmer’s Market and came home with these green and¬†yellow¬†goodies.

  • Cucumbers (No, I’m not making pickles out of them, although I’d like to!)
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Yellow beans
  • Potatoes

Then we went to the mall to return some things.¬† I also had to talk to a jeweler about my wedding rings.¬† I’ve developed some sort of allergy (likely to the nickel), and I’ve been unable to wear my rings for a couple¬†weeks months¬†now.¬† Hopefully having the rhodium plating re-done will help, at least for awhile ūüė¶¬† I won’t have my rings back till Wednesday!¬† Booo.¬† Our day continued with lunch at where else but B-Dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings).¬†¬†Since it’s Wayne’s birthday weekend, that’s where he wanted to¬†go!¬† Sorry, no pictures, but I had the blackened chicken salad, yuh-um.¬† After that,¬†Wayne decided he wanted to go golfing.¬† I don’t golf, but somehow he convinced me to come ride along in the golf cart.¬†

Tall man, short club

I had to break into my purse stash of almonds around hole 4 or so, hehe. 

After that, we stopped at the liquor store, and I saw the new¬†Skinny Girl Margarita and couldn’t resist.¬† I have a very good friend who I know is laughing at me right now if she’s reading… *Kelsey, where you at?!*¬†

This stuff is made¬†with tequila and agave nectar, so it’s ready to drink straight out of the bottle.¬† I poured it over ice, took a sip, and holy crap it’s strong!¬† I added a little more agave to it, and that helped a lot.¬† It’s actually pretty good, and I would buy it again.¬† So,¬†remember that Papa Murphy’s pizza from last weekend?¬† Well, the coupon we had was for TWO pizzas, and guess what Wayney-pie wanted¬†for dinner?

Overall, we’ve had a very nice and relaxing Saturday.¬† Tomorrow shall consist of more sassy, laid back¬†activities, and Monday (Wayne’s actual birthday) may even contain a visit to an amusement park, weeeee!¬† Hope you all are having a nice weekend ūüôā¬† Toodles for now.


Freezer fun July 9, 2010

Filed under: Life — WannaBe Chef @ 10:24 am

Well, I’ve done it again.¬† I’ve left you postless for two days.¬† First, I will give you the excuses… Wayne was gone on business and I’ve been eating boring leftovers and salads, therefore providing no decent blog material.¬† Now I will give you the real reason… I’ve been feeling less than inspired about blogging lately.¬† I guess you could call it a rut.¬† I don’t really want to post meal-by-meal, but I don’t really have any good dinner recipes for “stand alone” posts either.¬† Meal planning has just been painfully excrutiating lately.¬† Coming up with dinners every week just seems like an impossible task.¬† I need a change or some food inspiration or a new cookbook or something!¬† Anyway, while I sulk, I decided to jazz up a post I’ve had saved in my drafts for like two months.¬† This is Wayne’s birthday weekend, so posting will probably¬†continue to be irregular.¬† For now, I will leave you with a fun freezer tour!


A lot of time, I find¬†that I have¬†a lot of extra sauces and ingredients in the fridge.¬† Instead of letting them sit there forever, then¬†eventually having to throw them away, freezing is always a good option.¬† I mean, what do you do with that half jar of leftover pizza sauce or 2/3 of a can of tomato paste?¬† I’ve used lots of different methods to freeze stuff… here are a few…

1.¬† Here, I lined small containers with plastic wrap and poured 1/4 cup of leftover pizza sauce into each one.¬† Then I froze them, pulled the sauce out of the container, and put the “cubes” into a freezer bag.¬† These would be perfect for individual pita pizzas.¬†

2.¬† Here, I poured extra enchilada sauce into an ice cube tray, froze it, and popped them into a freezer bag.¬† Now I don’t have to open a new can next time I want a random burrito!¬†

3.¬† With the tomato paste, I placed individual¬†tablespoons onto a small, lined baking sheet.¬† Then I froze them until they were solid, wrapped¬†each one¬†in plastic wrap, and put them in a freezer bag.¬† Next time a recipe calls for “1 Tbsp of tomato paste,”¬†all I have to do is pull one out!¬† ¬†

4.¬† I did pretty much the same thing here with leftover chipotle in adobo.¬† First, I chopped up the actual peppers and then put teaspoonfulls onto a lined baking sheet.¬† I froze them, then put them into the freezer bag.¬† The little container is just the leftover adobo sauce without any chunks of peppers.¬† I’ve dipped into this bag many times since a teaspoon of this stuff goes a long way.¬† I love how one can of chipotle in adobo can last forever this way.¬†

I also like to freeze leftover food when I make large amounts of it.¬† This is individually wrapped portions of Southwest Shepherd’s Pie.¬† These pieces reheat very well and are perfect for those days when the grocery supply is low.¬† I always label the bags with the contents, date, and calories if possible. ¬†

Frozen fruit is something I always try to keep on hand.¬† Whenever I have leftover bananas or bananas that are ripening too fast, I slice them up and add them to the banana bag.¬† These are great for smoothies, banana soft serve, or just on their own dipped in a little PB.¬† I don’t bother labelling these because I’m constantly eating them or adding more to the bag. ¬†

More frozen fruit and my favorite Yoplait Smoothie mixes…

And of course you must have some frozen veggies.¬† I always have at least one bag of frozen broccoli on hand.¬† Throw it on a baking sheet (frozen) with some seasonings, roast at 400 until browned, and you have the world’s easiest veggie side dish.

Burger collection… perfect for quick lunches or dinners.

And finally, you see Wayne’s small collection of frozen treats.¬† (The Vita-Tops were mine though!).¬† Right now, our freezer may or¬† may not have TWO containers of ice cream in it, and a giant pizza… moderation, right?!

So there you have it, a tour of my freezer.  I hope you enjoyed it! 


  • What’s the best thing you’ve made and/or eaten in the past week?
  • Anything you would like to see more or less of on the blog?
  • What’s the best thing in your freezer right now?