Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cold Weather Dinner

I feel like Winter is right around the corner. I'm not ready!!!!! We haven't even taken out our fall/winter clothes from the basement yet(mental note: Do that today.) There's a couple more things to do for the car to be "winterized" and um, I'd like my two new kitchen windows Window World! What's the hold up? These things should have been rush ordered seeing as how they messed up. I don't want the first snowfall to come with these drafty/leaky windows still here! Oh, and I need to waterproof my boots.

Here's hoping we have a mild Winter this year.

Anyway, here's a great meal to make on these chilly days.

Braised Chicken, Tomatoes & Bacon

You will need:

  • Thick sliced bacon, 4 slices, chopped
  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, 6
  • Salt and freshly ground Pepper
  • Yellow onion, 1, chopped
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • Dry white wine, 1/4 cup
  • Fresh oregano 1 tbsp
  • Red pepper flakes 1/4 tsp
  • Diced tomatoes, 1 can, 14 oz, with juice
Cook the bacon in a large frying pan or Dutch Oven over medium heat, turning often, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a small plate. Drain off all but 2 tbsp drippings from the pan. Yes, that's more then 4 slices of bacon. What can I say? We love bacon!

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the chicken, and cook, turning once or twice, until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a plate.

I only made 2 chicken thighs but kept all the other ingredients the same except for the onion. I used 1/2 of an onion, chopped.

Add the onion and garlic to the pan and saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir to scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Here is when you pour yourself a glass of wine as well. Never cook with wine you wouldn't drink:).

Stir in the oregano, pepper flakes and tomatoes and their juices. Return the chicken and any juices from the plate to the pan, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low, and braise until the chicken in cooked through, 25-30 minutes.

Uncover, raise heat to medium-high, brig to a simmer, and stir in the crumbled bacon. Transfer the chicken to dinner plates, top with sauce and serve.

So good:). You're house will smell so good too, while this simmers on the stove. Serves great with mashed or roasted potatoes- yum!

Source: Williams-Sonoma: Simple Suppers

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

There's Just Something About Bundt Pans

That something being, they are awesome. Don't believe me? Check it out!

See, I told you:). If I had kids I would be in so much trouble, I would buy so many bundt pans haha (that would actually be the least of my problems I'm sure). You can find all those and more here.

I used the Pro Cast Original Bundt Pan.

Fresh Apple Bundt Cake

You will need:
  • 1 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (I omitted these)
  • 4 cups chopped apples
Peel, core and chop 2-3 medium sized apples. Combine oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and mix well.

Sift flour, salt, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg on to parchment paper or into a bowl. Gradually add into egg mixture. The batter will be pretty thick, don't be alarmed :).

Add nuts and apples and mix well. Pour into a greased 10 cup bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The cake will be very moist so be careful trying to flip it onto a cooling rack. Mine may, or may not have broke in two because the pan slipped out of my all goes to the same place though, right?! (Don't worry, it landed on the counter, not the floor!)

 Because of the minor mishap with the cake I didn't get a picture of the whole thing, but it still looks good by the slice :).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Drink Of the Future!

Matt made up this drink the other day and I promised I would share it. It was very fun and futuristic looking, it belonged at our Star Wars party!

We call it....

Future Glo

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 oz. cirtus vodka (any will do, we used Belvedere Orange for this drink) 
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1 oz Midori
  • 1 oz Sours mix
  • 1/2 oz sweetened lime juice
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Build ingredients over ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and serve!

Green maraschino cherries kind of scare me, but they look so cool. They can't possibly have any nutritional value to them. They probably take away any nutrients you already have-ha.

Drink up, my friends:).

***Side note

Look at this tiny little baby! It feels like forever ago. I can't believe how much she's changed. Love you Evie!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Have You Ever Wondered?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to drink an apple pie? Well let me tell you, it's pretty stinkin' good.

We have had some Navan Natural Vanilla Liqueur sitting around for a long time and haven't really used it at all. Sometimes I will open it and just smell it, it smells soooo good:). It doesn't do me any good just sitting there, smelling good though. So I googled it to find some good recipes to try out and here's what I got.

Natural Apple Pie Martini

You will need:

  • 1 part(s) Navan Natural Vanilla Liqueur
  • 1 part(s) Vodka
  • 3 part(s) Apple Cider
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 squirt lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar, fine or sugar in the raw
Run a lime wedge around the rim and coat rim in sugar. Combine first 5 ingredients over ice in a shaker and shakeshakeshake. Strain into your martini glass.

It also suggested warming the cider and serving it in a mug.

Adapted from:

I apologize for my extremely messy kitchen table (I feel like I could apologize for that in every picture..oh well:)). This drink is amazing. It really truly tastes and smells like apple pie. Maybe next time I'll add a little nutmeg. Go make one, or come over and I'll make you one. Apple Pie Martinis for everyone!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not Everything Is A Winner

Not everything I make at home is a success. Some things I totally screw up and some things come out just the way they are supposed to, but Matt thinks it's gross and I'm ...well...not too fond of it myself. I'm not quick to jump on the gross train, I find most things at least tolerable. I've only made two things since we got married that I said "this is disgusting!!!!" and immediately threw out the whole thing. One being some weirdo Chinese thing that made me want to puke and another being a pesto turkey meatloaf that also made me want to puke *shivers*.

All of that being said, this dish came out perfectly well, and I found it tolerable, while Matt took one bite and said "Nope". There's no fault in the recipe, it's just not a good match for our taste buds. There are certain foods I wish I loved. Such as cottage cheese. Once a year I try cottage cheese, hoping I'll love it, and I have yet to. Anyway, I know there are people out there that will like this, so I'm posting it.

Israeli Couscous with Apples, Cranberries and Herbs

For the couscous you will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (or barley or orzo)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 medium green apple, diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
For the vinaigrette you will need:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
For the couscous: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, apple, dried cranberries, and almonds.
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Pour the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.

It gets a 10 for looks:).

We "had" it with braised pork chops and sauteed mushrooms. I thought it would be a good combo between the pork chops and the apples and cranberries. I looove pork chops and applesauce:). If you ever get a chance to go to Olivers Restaurant I highly recommend the pork chops with apple sauce and potato pancakes. To.die.for. Then top it off with their berry cobbler, or better yet, the creme brulee. *sigh*:).

I won't knock this, because for the right person this is a really good recipe. So I hope someone can try it and love it! 

p.s. I omitted the almonds when I made this.

Friday, October 14, 2011


That is something I am seriously lacking lately. I either can't even get up the energy to do something, or I do, and then get half way through it and fizzle out. So I apologize. I've been more uninteresting then usual lately- ha!

I thought I'd do a post on wreaths since I transitioned into Autumn...a month ago now (really I wanted to do this post earlier but the motivation thing..yea).

Here is my Autumn wreath. I made this one last year. I picked up the flowers and berries at A.C. Moore, along with a branch wreath all for about $20 (with a coupon, hello!?). The pine cones I just picked up off the ground for no $'s at all.

I had this wreath up for most of the summer. I assembled it in early spring but it got set aside and it didn't get hot glue gun'd(?) until July. I picked the flowers up from JoAnns, along with the branch wreath. I spent about $80 on that trip to JoAnns but I bought enough bases and flowers for 4 wreaths. So it works out to about $20 per wreath again.

Here are some links to other blogs with wreaths that are pretty adorable/awesome and include tutorials.

Moving on...

I know there are a lot of Trader Joe's fans out there. Have you heard the news!? That's right folks- Pittsford, NY is getting a Trader Joe's. It's a little south of Rochester, a mere hour and a half away. I'll confess, I'll probably make the trip out there every once in awhile. With the nearest one currently about 3 hours away I could not get on board. This seems much more doable/worth it though.

Estimates are late summer/early fall of 2012. Start saving your pennies now ladies for some major hauls at Trader Joe's! Okay, that was a bit much, sorry:).

Anyway, in honor of the up and coming T.J.'s here's a little taste. My mom brought this back for me when she went last month while they were at unassigned territory.

They were pretty awesome. I added chocolate chips to half of them and it added a little somethin' somethin'. I'm curious if this is a seasonal thing or they have them all year round because they would definitely be on my 'to buy" list.

This is making me want to take out the bunch I put in the freezer and eat one sitting:).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some Food For Thought

This recipe is great, so I'm going to share it with you:). I adapted it a little to feed Matt and and I.

Salmon Fillets over Couscous

You will need:

  • 2- 5 oz. fillets of salmon
  • lime
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tbsp. butter
Bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling add 2 tbsp. of butter and couscous. Stir, remove from heat and cover. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then fluff it with a fork.

Meanwhile, chop up tomato and green onions (1 1/2 stalks).

Mix tomatoes, onions and feta cheese into couscous.

To cook the salmon, drizzle some olive oil in a glass pan and place salmon in pan. Squeeze the juice of half of a lime over the fillets.

Mix together 1 tbsp. salt, 2 tsp. pepper and 2 tsp. garlic powder and sprinkle with seasoning mixture. Top each fillet with a pat of butter. Wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Serve on a bed of couscous...or next to a pile of it:).

Matt and I liked this A Lot. I was surprised at how reasonably priced this was too. I really wanted to make it but was nervous about going to the seafood counter and gasping at the price. But at $10.99/lb it only came to $7.00- totally worth it!

In other slightly food related news...I have been buying Wegmans brand decaf tea for a long time now. This week I splurged and bought Red Rose (I had a coupon). I can't drink a cup of Red Rose tea without thinking about my grandma (tea always tasted best at grandmas...who am I kidding? Everything always tasted better at grandmas house!). I was all excited about what figurine I would get....So I searched and searched and searched and then I checked out the box and it said Figurines are no longer included in boxes!!!!!!! What the heck Red Rose? Good thing I love you anyway.