a99kitten's Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

It was supposed to be cold, rainy and (hopefully) snowy over the weekend so I thought a good time to make some meat sauce and try over zucchini noodles using my new toy!


2 pounds ground beef – I used organic, grass fed 85/15%
1 shallot, finely diced (I used my food processor)
1/4 cup minced garlic
4 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (14 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in ground beef, shallot, and garlic. Cook and stir until the meat is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink, about 15 minutes.

2. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, chicken broth, red wine, Italian seasoning, basil, salt, and black pepper.

3. cook on low for 8 hours.


Obviously you can use real pasta (mmmmmm) but I wanted to try zucchini noodles! SUPER EASY! First step – bought the Paderno Spiralizer 3-Blade from Williams Sonoma. Sure, sure…you can slice them manually but I know that I won’t do that and like kitchen tools :)

Once you have spiralized the zucchinis (2) heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and cook/stir in the noodles so they are all coated in the oil. Then add in about 1/4 cup of water and cook until the zucchini is softened, about 8-10 mins or so. Season with a bit of salt and pepper as you stir occasionally.  You want the water soaked up by the noodles.

Then pour some sauce over your noodles and sprinkle some parmesan over it and YUM!

Brown Butter Blondies with Cherries, Chocolate, Cashews & Pecans

Found this recipe on Williams Sonoma. First time trying it so who knows but let’s face it…how can it possibly taste bad??


16 Tbs. (8 oz.) unsalted butter
3 cups (21 oz.) firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
2 Tbs. bourbon
2 tsp. salt
2 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup (4 oz.) coarsely chopped cashews
1 cup (4 oz.) coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup (2 oz.) dried tart cherries
2 cups (12 oz.) chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil and grease well. I melted a bit of butter and spread it in there.

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the butter, stirring constantly, until it turn golden and the butter has a nutty fragrance. Be careful not to let the butter burn. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar. Set aside and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, bourbon and salt. Whisk in the cooled butter mixture, then fold in the flour and baking powder.

Making sure that the mixture is almost at room temperature (to prevent the chocolate from melting), stir in the nuts, cherries and chocolate chips. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the top is shiny, set and slightly cracked around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.



We just “tested” these. WOW!!!! SO GOOD!!!!!


Merry Christmas!!

Just unboxed and washed my 4 new champagne flutes!! They were a housewarming gift from one of my best friends in the whole world. She says housewarming gift – I think she just loves to buy presents and make people happy :)

Rather funny that I, she who loves bubbly sooooo much, doesn’t already have some nice flutes. But I bought 60 simple glass flutes for our wedding reception years (and years and years) ago and have just used those since I had them to use. We have tons of nice wine glasses in both houses but just my cheapo flutes. Plenty of them…but still…a girl should have a nice set of flutes for her bubbly :)

These are the Riedel Platinum Band flute made specifically for Williams Sonoma. Most of our wine glasses are Riedel so everything is nice and matchy :) And they are made in Germany (another notch in my “don’t buy or own Chinese made crap” belt!) I love them because they are pretty. The thin platinum band around the rim makes them different from the rest. It’s not super-duper noticeable or gaudy – just a nice, delicate touch of different.

Hopefully she will make the trip up to Tahoe one of these days and get to drink out of them with me!!!


So pretty….I think they deserve a nice bubbly to be opened tonight while I decorate my Christmas tree!!!!

Some early Christmas presents for me included:



I don’t even really eat pancakes, but you know I have to try these out this week :) Hysterically, I didn’t ask for these things but 2 different people bought me some form of Williams Sonoma Star Wars cookery. Either they know I love Star Wars or think I should bake more? :) And stupidly I left my Darth Vader apron back at home (that I received from a different friend for a different holiday!)

And I will give the old college try to decorating some Star Wars cookies. I could not find the same colors in frosting anywhere so I was thinking baby pink Star Wars all around – yes? That works right? ;)

OH! I just remembered I also left my Star Wars cookbook back at home. I wanted to make the Chewbacca cookies!!! The internetz must be able to help me that with me here on Hoth without the recipe book…

But why did no one think to buy me the Williams Sonoma CUPCAKE SET???? Holy hell cupcake paper cups with Chewbacca on them!!!!!! Looks like I will play Santa to me for that :)