November 13th, 2012 · food
I had such a great weekend and not only because we won a vacation! (I still can’t believe it!) Ryan’s sister and her hubby went away for the weekend to celebrate their 10 year anniversary so our nephews stayed with us for the weekend. On Saturday we took them to Union Beach to volunteer and they were such good sports! I felt like it was a really great opportunity to teach them a lesson and to give back to the community. I wasn’t sure how they’d react, but my oldest nephew came up to me at the end and said how good it felt to help others. How sweet is that?!
I’ve been meaning to try making french onion soup for a long time now and figured this was the perfect Autumn lunch since our family would be over! This recipe is based off of several different recipes I pulled from books or magazines and was delicious and filling!
French Onion Soup Recipe
6 Servings, 15 minutes prep and 30 minutes cooking time
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1.5 pounds onions
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1.5-2 large boxes of low sodium beef broth
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 6 slices french bread
- 6 ounces sliced Gruyere cheese
- 6 ounces shredded Parmesan
- 6 beef bullion cubes
1. Melt butter in a very large, deep pot over medium heat. Add onions and stir to coat. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are very soft and begin to turn a golden brown color. (Yum!)
2. Uncover and increase heat to medium/high heat. Add sugar and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle onions with flour and cook for another minute. Stir in broth, wine, 1 cup water, and beef bullion cubes. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.
3. Toast slices of bread in the broiler until lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Place six ovenproof bowls (I love these) on a baking sheet and divide soup equally.
4. Place a piece of toast on the top of each serving of soup and top with Gruyere slices, followed by a generous sprinkling of shredded Parmesan. (The cheesier the better!) Heat under broiler for about 3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and deliciously melted. Carefully remove from oven and enjoy while warm!
Tags:comfort food·food·french onion·recipe·soup
July 17th, 2012 · food
This weekend we had some friends over for a casual little garden party. I kept the food simple and made my go to shrimp scampi, a garden salad, and my sangria that always gets people silly. I set the table with a simple white linen table cloth, and made a runner out of burlap from the local craft store. I didn’t even sew it, I just got 3 yards of fabric and folded it length wise! (I asked the cashier if they had any coupons and got it for only $8!) I love the way the candles and flowers dress up a typically utilitarian fabric.
May 25th, 2012 · food
Ryan and I both had busy work weeks, so on Wednesday I decided to make a “fancy” dinner to make the middle of the week feel a bit more special. Trying new recipes and cooking is relaxing to me and was exactly what I needed to pause this hectic week. I found this recipe in Cooking Light (my new favorite magazine) and paired it with a Chardonnay we got on our recent wine tasting tour. It was so simple to make, and gave me an excuse to start using fresh herbs from the garden!
I’ve been a busy bee working on a few different projects, so this weekend I’m going to do some gardening, celebrate Ryan’s birthday(!) , and catch up on some reading. Take a look at my facebook page to sneak a peak at some project updates!
April 25th, 2012 · food
I have become obsessed with gardening. And that might be an understatement. Since living on my own after college, I’ve slowly taught myself how to cook by following recipes and watching the Food Network. This newish obsession somehow seems natural to me that I would now grow the ingredients to use in my recipes.
I absolutely love my new book “Grow Cook Eat” that I recently picked up. It gives you tips on how to grow each veggie (including when to plant the seeds and how much to water them), how to store it, and how to cook it by using the books fresh recipes. I started dogearing the recipes that looked interesting, but now the entire book is dogeared! This is definitely helpful for beginner gardeners, or people who are just learning how to cook!
January 22nd, 2012 · food
This weekend we had the second snow storm of the season on the east coast. After a trying week, it was nice to be lazy and enjoy a quiet Saturday morning of coffee and catching up on work. I’ve always wanted the kind of house where guests just stop by and feel comfortable to put their feet up on the sofa or help themselves in the fridge. On Saturday our nephew needed help with a school paper, so Ryan’s sister and her family came over for a little comfort food. I love how my dining table went from being my desk, to being filled with family brainstorming ideas, to eating this family style meal together, to a serious Jenga competition. This house is now starting to feel like home.
Tags:comfort food·food·stuffed peppers
October 31st, 2011 · food
On Friday we had our first Halloween party, so of course I went crazy with cooking Halloween themed goodies. I’ve been collecting ideas from magazines and these are just some of the treats from the party.
Severed finger cookies. (…which are a lot harder to make look real than the magazine leads you to believe.)
Fake snakes as wine charms.
“Mud” with gummie worms. (It’s just chocolate pudding and crushed up oreos.)
Oh, and that’s us. The newlyweds. :)
September 7th, 2011 · food
With the seasons slowly changing, this recipe is perfect for transitioning from light summer suppers to autumn comfort food. It is so incredibly easy to make, and I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand. I love that it’s rustic and hearty for a casual Tuesday dinner, but elegant enough for dinner parties!
It may be the only Barefoot Contessa recipe that doesn’t require a pound of butter!
July 13th, 2011 · food
Since my current living room is filled with boxes and our new place is being worked on, I’ve been feeling a little bit stressed because everything isn’t completely organized. With that said, I’ve been happily stress eating cookies and ice pops and this deep dish cookie is making my mouth water. Doesn’t it look amazing?!
June 14th, 2011 · food
Last night I made a new recipe with leftover items I had in my fridge. This past weekend Ryan and I went to a friends house for a BBQ and my tomato bruschetta was requested to snack on. (Coming from an Italian woman, I take this as a huge compliment.) I saved some leftovers because I’ve been wanting to try making Bruschetta Chicken – Grilled chicken topped with bruschetta and fresh mozzarella and baked until the cheese melts. So simple, and delicious!
- 3 1/4 large tomatoes
- 1 small-medium sized onion
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (fresh makes a huge difference)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
I made bruschetta for the first time when I was 18 for my first “grown-up dinner party” and have been making it ever since. Can be used as an appetizer on toasted Italian bread or as a topping on chicken. Delicious either way!
February 23rd, 2011 · food
How did I forget to post this recipe?! It’s quickly become my favorite healthy chicken dishes. I’m typically a “meat and potatoes” type of girl, but how can I resist this smooth and sweet salsa?! I can’t wait to make it again!
What you’ll need for the chicken:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 4 oz chicken breast
- 1/5 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano
What you’ll need for the salsa:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 cloves garlic clove
- 2 cups grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 150 g avocado
1. Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh rosemary and minced garlic in large Ziplock bag. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and add to bag, seal. Marinate in fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Remove chicken from marinade, discard marinade. Place chicken on grill pan coated with cooking spray. Grill 3 minutes each side or until done. Serve with tomato-avocado salsa.
For the salsa:
1. Combine fresh oregano, olive oil, red wine vinegar and garlic whisk together. Add tomatoes halved, cheese and avocado. Toss gently.
February 23rd, 2011 · food
Yesterday I met a friend for lunch at the b & b wine pub in NYC. It’s a cute little wine bar located in SoHo with the most amazing lunch menu. (Seriously, they have the best lasagna I’ve ever had in my life.) I was in love with it’s dark Ralph Lauren-esque decor and couldn’t help but snap a few photos with my iPhone. I apologize for the quality, I tried taking them quickly so I didn’t look like a creeper. Definitely check this place out if you’re in the area!
January 31st, 2011 · food
This weekend was a casual one. I started a new freelance design job last week so I was excited to start the weekend with Ryan. We had his nephews over Friday night so my future in-laws could have a date night. Instead of ordering take out, I thought it’d be fun to make personal pizzas and the boys were beyond excited. (They even stirred and tasted the homemade sauce like a little old Italian grandmother.) Instead of making our own dough, I took a shortcut and picked up some dough at our local favorite pizza place and topped it with the usual toppings. #1 dangerous thing to do a week before a dress fitting.
On Saturday we took along my parents to our cake tasting. Since I’m the baby and my dad has become (very) emotional about me getting married, I thought it’d be nice to ask them along. We pretty much new what we filling we wanted, but I wanted to taste most of them anyway just to be sure. #2 dangeous thing to do a week before a dress fitting.
With the weather being so cold lately, I’ve been ravenous. Maybe it’s stress eating, maybe it’s not. On Saturday night, I was craving french onion soup from the restaurant where we’re hosting our rehearsal dinner. It is the very best soup I’ve ever had. (We even took one home for lunch the next day!) #3 dangerous thing to do a week before a dress fitting.
Now it’s crunch time. Literally.
January 26th, 2011 · food
Being that the wedding is less than 3 months away, Ryan and I have just realized that we need to eat healthier for our beach bodies. The “big day” felt like it was so far away that we kept thinking, “I’ll work out tomorrow” or “I’ll start eating healthy on Monday”. Tonight I decided to tackle my new years cooking resolution with this recipe and it left us feeling full and satisfied. The fish is full of subtle spicy flavor that speaks to the sweetness of the crunchy veggies. Did I mention that it takes less than 10 minutes to make?
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tilapia filets
2 teaspoons olive oil
Sauteed Corn and Cherry Tomato Salsa
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups corn (either canned or fresh off the cob)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quarted (about 15)
about 1/3 cup chopped green pepper
about 1/3 cup chopped red onion
salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix tilapia spice mixture in a bowl, and sprinkle over both sides of filets. In a 12″ frying pan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil and fry for 3 minutes on each side.
2. While the tilapia is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon butter in a seperate frying pan. Add garlic, onions, and pepper and sauté until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the corn and sauté until heated through. Add the tomatoes and cook about 1 minute until they are softened.
3. Enjoy by adding salsa on top of tilapia filets!
November 29th, 2010 · food
I still can’t believe that Thanksgiving is over and the holiday season has officially started. On Thursday I made these appetizing stuffed mushrooms in between stuffing the Turkey and sips of red wine. They are absolutely delicious and they are definitely being added to my recipe book. (I’d recommend doubling the salt and adding some shredded parmesan cheese on the top.)
(image via real simple, since Ryan devoured them before I had a chance to take a photo.)
November 18th, 2010 · food
Now that it’s getting cooler, I’ve been cooking heartier homey suppers. (I’m going to try and use this word more often.) I saw this recipe last week and had to try it. The pork roast is filled with flavor and wrapped with the crispiest, most delicious bacon. (I need to add more next time!) I served it with a side of fresh green beans and roasted potatoes. (We were too hungry to take any better photos.)
June 8th, 2010 · food
Martha has done it again. Care of Sunday Suppers, they’ve created meals that have successfully made my mouth water at 9am. Aside from their delicious looking meals, I am in love with their beautiful styled tablescapes!
June 7th, 2010 · food
Last August, my friends and I went to a great seafood restaurant with a casual menu on the New Jersey seaside (no, not Seaside as in the Jersey Shore) . I ordered blackened tilapia and have been looking for a similar recipe since. This month, I put a few recipes together to recreate the light and tasty dish I had almost a year ago and it was delicious! It has the perfect mixture of spicy with a sweet crunch and the best part is, it is extremely simple!
For the tilapia marinade:
3 tablespoons paprika powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 pinch garlic powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the mango salsa:
1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine ingredients for the marinade in ziploc bag and add tilapia filets to coat. Let filets marinade for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, combine ingredients for salsa in a bowl and set aside.
2. Fry filets on a grill pan for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they flake with a fork.
3. Add tilapia to serving plate and cover with mango salsa. Enjoy!
May 4th, 2010 · food
I usually don’t get home from work until way past dinner time, so Ryan’s been spoiling me by having dinner ready when I walk in the door. Last night, he used items we already had on hand to make the most amazing fajitas I’ve ever eaten! (The picture doesn’t do it justice!)
What you’ll need-
- 4 large boneless chicken breasts
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- Tortillas (We used whole wheat)
- Sour Cream (Low fat)
- Guacamole (We used Wholly Guacamole! I’ve been taking it to work for a snack, and I was surprised how good it is!)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Spice Mixture (See below)
Spice Mixture – even parts
- Chili powder
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
1. Coat grill pan with a tablespoon olive oil. While chicken is grilling, sprinkle spice mixture to cover each side of chicken breast. Grill chicken until almost done. Remove from pan and slice into about 1/4″ thick slices. Add chicken slices back to grill pan and grill until cooked through. (Ryan said it was easier to do it this way, rather than flipping each individual slice of chicken.(Hey! Whatever works!)
2. Saute vegetables in seperate frying pan in about two tablespoons olive oil until soft
3. Add chicken, vegetables, guacamole, and sour cream to your tortilla and enjoy!
April 14th, 2010 · food
I feel like I haven’t had much time to do anything lately, but I’ve suddenly gotten an urge to make cupcakes. But, only in these beauties! I need to make this happen soon!
(image via elephantine.)
April 9th, 2010 · food
I saw this post and couldn’t understand why I didn’t think of this!! It’s such a genius idea to grow spices in a window box right outside your kitchen window. Another reason why I can’t wait to buy a house… For now, I’ll keep it in my “to-make” folder!
February 25th, 2010 · food
It’s been snowing/raining all day and it’s making me more anxious for the spring to get here! Today was the perfect day for a spicy tomato soup lunch!
I’ve had this recipe stored in my recipe book for about a year now, and have been waiting for the perfect day to make this savory cold day treat. All of the ingredients were items I always have stocked in my pantry, so it was super easy to make, and was really filling for even a quick after work dinner. I didn’t add the beans into the soup because we’re not really ‘bean’ people. The recipe doesn’t say, but I cooked the pasta directly in the soup. The starch from the pasta adds a nice consistency to the broth.
Before I made the soup Ryan kept saying if he wanted tomato soup, he would just have Campbell’s we have in the pantry (brat). Even though he originally said he didn’t want any, he devoured a spicy bowl in record time, and even gave me the sly smile when I asked how it was. Why couldn’t he just give me the satisfaction…? The soup is amazing!
I love making soups, sauce and stuffed peppers to freeze. There’s something about a stocked freezer that makes me feel so damn good.
February 21st, 2010 · food
This weekend, I made one of the ultimate comfort foods perfect for breakfast or a midnight snack (both of which I enjoyed). This sweet recipe is so moist you’ll need to lick the warm bread off your fingers!
• 2 cups unbleached flower
• ¾ tsp baking soda
• ¾ cups sugar
• ½ tsp salt
• 4 ripe bananas (Best to use really ripe, brown bananas. Can freeze and use when needed)
• ¼ plain or vanilla yogurt
• 2 large eggs beaten lightly
• ¾ stick unsalted butter (at room temperature)
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Adjust oven rack to middle. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease sides of loaf pan with unsalted butter.
- Whisk flower, sugar, baking soda, salt in large bowl and set aside.
- Mixed mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with wooden spoon in medium size bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into the dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick. Scrape batter into pan.
- Bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean (about 55 minutes). Cool on wire cooling rack.
February 14th, 2010 · food
Instead of going out to dinner tonight, I opted to make filet mignon and it turned out to be the best steak I’ve ever had (if I may say so…!). Click here for the amazing recipe.
I am beyond blessed. I am so lucky to be in love with my best friend, and I appreciate what we’ve had the past nine and a half years. Ryan – you are the most kind, and selfless person I’ve ever met. No one can make me laugh the way you do and I’m beyond excited to spend the rest of my life with you!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 12th, 2010 · food
I was uploading pictures from my camera, and completely forgot to post my photos from this dinner. I’m all about easy dinners that are healthy and that leave you feeling satisfied. This eggplant is filled with savory flavors that’ll make you and your honey fight over the leftovers!