Happy Holidays, or where I come from, Merry Christmas!

This year I was off the hook for entertaining. My sister in law offered to do Christmas and I said yes! It’s my mom’s year for Christmas Eve celebration too! SCORE! But I have a sickness. Seriously, viagra sale store I just can’t help myself. Ask my husband. I simply must make a fuss. I simply must be surrounded by friends and family. Especially around Christmas. Especially this Christmas. The 1st Christmas in 30 years that I won’t wish my Grandma a Merry Christmas. Well, that’s not exactly true. I will sent her warm hugs and kisses to wherever she may be in the universe. I will send her light and love in my thoughts and tell her that everyday I think about her. I won’t, however be able to celebrate with her, so I will celebrate her memory along with my family.

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These are my grandparents.

I was lucky enough to receive some of her belongings and I’ve used them to ease the ache in my heart this year. My table is strewn with her memory. From the antique champagne coupes to the ancient Hull crockery her touch is everywhere and it soothes me.

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My grandma loved to entertain. She didn’t much like the stress Christmas can bring with all the preparation and everything, but she loved having her family around her. And I’m happy to say I’m just like her that way!

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So I thought I would share my table with you. It’s so easy to mix new and old and come up with a classic and beautiful table. I cannot take full credit for the table though. My husband came up the stairs from his “man cave” as I dressed it and called my hexagon candle holders from Target “Andy Warhol-ish!” He knows how to get my goat… yes, goat. So here it is. Merry Christmas to you and yours this Holiday season. I wish you as much love, laughter and light as you can stand.

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Table Dressings:

Silver Chargers: $8.99 at Aldi for 6

Hippopotamus Salt+Pepper Shakers: a “white elephant” gift from my hilarious friend, Emily. Think you can get them at Target though…

Wine glasses: $.99 per glass at IKEA

Hull Crockery: Grandma’s kitchen. But you can find some on Ebay.

Candle Holders: $3.79 each at Target. Nate Berkus section

Eucalyptus: $2.99 a bunch at Trader Joe’s

China: Noritake Platinum Wave pattern

Silverware: Lennox

Merry Christmas!

A Quick & Easy Holiday Indulgence

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Chocolate Bark is one of those overlooked Holiday treats that in my opinion really needs to be brought front and center. I mean, discount viagra ailment who doesn’t like a puddle of melted chocolate with delicious fruits and nuts pressed into it and then chilled? If you don’t like that then maybe you need to take a look in the mirror to check that you haven’t transformed into Scrooge or, dare I say it, the Grinch. Seriously, this sweet treat is doubly sweet because it is so easy to make.

Anyways, this post is already longer than it takes to make this delicious treat. So quit reading and get busy melting… chocolate that is. :)

Dark Chocolate Bark with Pistachios + White Chocolate

 14 oz. of semi sweet chocolate; chopped

1/2 14 oz. bag of white chocolate chips

1/4-1/2 cup whole lightly salted pistachios

Place the chopped dark chocolate into a heat safe bowl, over a pot of simmering water. Place the white chocolate in a separate heat safe bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir until chocolate is just melted. Remove the chocolate from the heat promptly to prevent it from burning.Line a sheet pan with wax paper.

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Once the chocolate has melted, pour the dark chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rough rectangle. Take a spatula or palette knife and drizzle the white chocolate over the top of the dark chocolate. Run the palette knife vertically up and down the length of the bark in opposite directions to make the marbled swirl. Repeat this process across the width of the rectangle. Sprinkle the pistachios over the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. You can place it in the freezer to cool quicker. Break the bark by hand for a rustic feel.
Happy Tasting!

Butternut Alfredo+Porterhouse Steak

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Butternut Squash Alfredo + Porterhouse Steak

For the Alfredo:

3 Cups Roasted Butternut squash; smashed

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 cup Half & Half

1 stick Butter

1 lb homemade Fettuccini

2 Garlic cloves; smashed

Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon Parsley

For the Porterhouse Steak:

1 2-3 inch thick Porterhouse Steak

Salt+Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut open your squash and seed it. Rub with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet, viagra sale healing skin side up. Roast for 30-40 minutes, cialis sales or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. In a large saute pan, melt one stick of butter over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic cloves until they are just browned, 2-3 minutes. Remove garlic and discard. Peel the skin off of the semi cooled butternut squash. Mash it by hand and place the squash in the butter. stir until mostly smooth. Add the half and half and parsley and  salt + pepper to taste. Lower the heat to low and continue to simmer. Do not allow sauce to boil.

Turn your broiler to high and place broiler pan in the oven to preheat. Generously salt and pepper your steak on both sides. Open oven and place steak onto  heated pan using caution as it will sizzle. Broil it for 5-6 minutes for medium rare, 6-7 minutes for medium. Remove from oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil.

Add your pasta to your boiling salted and oiled pasta water, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Fresh pasta cooks very quickly, so keep an eye on it. Drain and toss with the butternut squash sauce. Cut up your steak and arrange on top. Garnish with Parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Happy Tasting!

Eat Your Heart Out Bobby Flay

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At our house Saturday Morning Breakfast are a thing of the past. I suppose that’s what happens after you start having kids. Breakfast in our house usually consists of fruit, cialis buy troche microwave eggs and powdered cocoa. Our almost two year old just doesn’t have the patience for eggs cooked in a pan. We can’t all do it like Bobby Flay does at his house during Brunch at Bobby’s.

So it was to my delight and surprise that our son slept in this morning, viagra there ate his breakfast like a champ and then proceeded to quietly play with his own kitchen, which allowed Mama her own time to play in her’s!

My husband will tell you when I get the chance to play in my kitchen with the radio turned up, crazy things can happen. I’ve never professed to be a clean cook but I am working on it. It’s just that I get so excited to master a new skill, or attempt something new and different. Dishes are never new and different. Unless you just bought them, haha! Today was a good day, I mastered a new skill and cleaned the kitchen as I went along!

Anyways, today’s recipe falls under the category of: winner, winner eggs Benny dinner, er, breakfast… Even if my husband took one look at the Avocado on the Benny and said: “I’m not sure that Guacamole is gonna work with this…” He ate it, and his words and didn’t come up for air until his plate was clean. I barely had the heart to tell him Guacamole is what it becomes after you mash it with garlic and onion and jalapeño!

So here’s my recipe for a southwest twist on Eggs Benedict. Enjoy!

P.S.- I know Sriracha comes from Asia but in the Hollandaise it tastes like the flavors of the American Southwest.

Southwest Eggs Benedict

Hollandaise sauce

3 egg yolks

1 stick melted butter; milk solids separated

1-2 tsp Sriracha sauce

juice of half of a lemon

salt + pepper

Eggs Benedict

2 eggs

1 avocado

1 English muffin, toasted

2 pieces of crispy bacon

white vinegar

Melt one stick of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Skim off the milk solids and discard. Slowly, while whisking constantly add 1 egg yolk at a time, alternating adding the lemon juice until the sauce thickens. Add the Sriracha sauce and whisk.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.

Simmer 1 quart of water in sauce pan and add 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp white vinegar.

In a pan set over medium low fry bacon  until bacon is crispy and browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Split and toast English muffin.

Create a whirlpool in the simmering water and place one egg at a time into the simmering water. Cook each egg for 1-3 minutes or until the white is set. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Repeat with the 2nd egg.

Place two pieces of bacon onto each half of the toasted English muffin. Slice up the avocado and add 2-3 slices on top of bacon. Top each half with a poached egg. Top each poached egg with the hollandaise sauce. Serve immediately.

Happy Tasting!

Getting Figgy with it…

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Yes. That did just happen. ;) Come on, viagra generic advice if you read my blog, or know me personally, you know that puns are my thing. I love them. They are just so, so… punderful. :D And I digress. It only too me one sentence that time, haha.

Anyways, back to the Fig portion of today’s blog post. It is well and truly Fall here and I am loving it. The leaves are starting to change and its getting nippy at night. You can smell Fall on the air too. It’s that heady scent of over ripeness mingled with wood smoke and a touch of crisp air. It’s lovely and perfect and just heavenly. Figs are in season right now. I know this, mostly, because my friend Kimber has a Fig tree in her back yard and she’s told me that she is overwhelmed with figs from her tree. That and Trader Joe’s has a TON of them right now. So when I saw the HUGE box of figs sitting in the fruit aisle at TJ’s I said to myself, let’s get figgy with it! Despite the fact that I’ve only ever eaten one Fig in my life previous to this little adventure, but I’m a good sailor and I like to be adventuresome.

So what do I make now that I’ve got two pounds of Figs? That’s right… FIG NEWTONS.

Here is an interesting little bit of trivia about the Fig Newton. Enjoy while making these delectable little morsels of goodness.

Fig Newton cookies are old, way old. They were first produced in 1891.

Contrary to popular belief, they are NOT named for the famouse physicist Sir Isaac Newton, but they are named for the town where they were originally produced. Newton Massachusetts.

Fig Newton sales top a billion dollars annually.

So let’s get Figgy Newton with it…

Figgy Newtons

1 pint fresh Figs

1 1/2 + 1/4 cups flour divided

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter+ 3 tablespoons

1 cup + 1/3 cup sugar

2 eggs; divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons orange juice

Remove stems and cut figs in half. Boil figs with 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 cups of sugar in 1/4  cup of water until the figs soften and start losing their seeds, about 10-15 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan along with 1/4 cup flour, stir in then turn off the heat. Mixture will be lumpy. Add fig mixture to a food processor attached with a steel blade and whirl for 2-3 minutes until thick and smooth. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime, in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together 1 stick of butter and 1/3 cup sugar. Add the egg and orange juice and continue to beat until incorporated. The orange juice might make the mixture look curdled, but keep whipping it and it will be okay. With the mixer on low, add the salt, baking powder and flour. Mix until just combined. Dump dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Once your dough has had a chance to rest, roll it out on a floured surface to 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. Cut out strips of roughly two inch thickness and spoon fig filling onto one half of the strips, leaving a small line along the edge. Fold the pastry over the top of the fig filling and gently pinch edge together. Brush with egg wash and place in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool before slicing in 1 1/2 inch squares.
Happy Tasting!

It’s Cold Out? Whatever I’m eating Ice Cream Anyways

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This one is for my California friends. Even though it’s cold here in MN, viagra sales pharmacy its the hottest time of year over on my favorite coast. Every time I chat with my friends in LA they are pretty much melting due to the heat.

So in solidarity to them, discount viagra viagra I’ve made some Peach Ice Cream. Too bad they live 2, doctor 000 miles away and can’t eat it. Guess I’ll have to finish it… ;)

Peach Ice Cream

1 pint Half+Half

1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 3/4 cup Sugar

4 Peaches; peeled and pureed

Pinch of Salt

Food Coloring; optional

In a medium sauce pot over medium flame, warm the cream and half and half for 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the sugar and the vanilla and salt and continue to cook until sugar is completely dissolved, about another 2 minutes. In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a steel blade, add the peeled peaches and puree until smooth. Combine the cream mixture with the peach puree. At this point you can leave the ice cream base the color it is, or you can add food coloring to make it look like a peach. I used regular old food dye, well it wasn’t old… haha. I used about 10 drops of yellow to 5-6 drops of red.

Chill the ice cream in the fridge until it’s very cold. About an hour or two. Place the ice cream into an Ice Cream Maker, and turn on your machine. Churn the ice cream for a minimum of 30 minutes and a max of 45 minutes. Remove from machine and store in freezer proof container. Don’t forget to spill some into a coffee mug and enjoy. ;)

Happy Tasting!

Rain, Rain, Go Away… No, not really

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It’s raining here. And I’ve been craving pasta. Every once in a while this happens to me. I wait all terrible winter long to eat the foods I crave most of the year. Fresh, tadalafil malady vibrant summery foods. Foods that don’t weigh you down. So it’s weird that I’m craving pasta. We usually don’t even turn on the stove in the summer months because we grill.

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But like I said, viagra it’s raining and I have a craving!! So I’m making pasta. Bacon pasta with creme fraiche and radishes. Yes, radishes. The radish is a sad very under utilized veggie. If only people knew you could cook it and not just eat it raw! It’s the perfect peppery balance to the richness of the bacon and crème fraîche. I tossed some green beans in there to as a sweet rounding out of all the flavors and of course to give it some green. This is sorta my take on a pasta primavera, except it’s just random stuff I found it my fridge. Cooking like this is always a little dangerous but what’s the fun of always playing it safe?

So here’s my recipe for Pasta with Bacon, crème fraiche, radish and green beans.

1/2 box De Cecco Angel Hair pasta

1 container Crème fraîche (I use Trader Joe’s)

6 Slices bacon

6-8 Fresh Radishes

1 cup Fresh Green Beans (I use Haricot Verts From Trader Joe’s)

2 garlic cloves

1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

Parmesan Cheese

Bring a large sauté pan up to medium on your stove. Chop bacon up in lardons. Sprinkle bacon into pan and cook until crisp, about 10-15 minutes, stirring it every few minutes. In the meantime, bring water to a boil for the pasta. Dice up the radishes and blanche in the water for 1-2 minutes. Scoop radishes out of the water and add them to the frying bacon. Add the minced garlic and stir for another minute or two.

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In a microwave, place the bag of green beans and cook according to the package instructions. Remove package from microwave and chop green beans into thirds. Add the green beans to the sauté pan. Add 1/2 box of noodles into the boiling water and cook about 3-5 minutes. Drain but be sure to reserve some cooking liquid. Add pasta to sauté pan and top with red pepper flakes and crème fraîche. Stir together, using a few ladles of pasta water to thin the crème fraîche. Add salt and pepper to taste and top with a little Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

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Happy Tasting!

Cocoa-nut Chip Cookies

It’s hot here. Most people don’t really get how hot and sticky it gets here in Minnesnowta, viagra sale discount I mean Minnesota. Probably because we usually get a bad wrap for being the coldest place in the country during the winter. Well, site occasionally, there and quite frequently in the past few years we have been both the coldest place in the USA and the hottest place.

We are a land of extremes. Maybe that is why Minnesotans are such a temperate people. At least that’s what I like to think! ;) Anyways, yes, we say anyways instead of anywho, it must be a Midwest thing. But again, anyways, back to it being hot here.

It’s HOT and when it’s hot and the humidity is above 75% I start to crave cold, sweet treats. So I decided that I needed to make my hubby’s favorite. Ice cream sandwiches. Even though he’s not here to enjoy them at the moment. Too bad for you, Hubs!

So anyways, here is my take on an American summer classic treat.

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Cocoa-Nut Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup butter; room temperature

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift the flour, salt, coconut and baking soda in a medium bowl. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale yellow and fluffy, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the egg and vanilla extract and lower the the speed, slowly add the flour mixture so you don’t end up wearing the flour. Do NOT over mix. Add the chocolate chips and fold to combine.

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Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto un-greased cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes until cookies are just golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Once completely cool, take a medium ice cream scoop and scoop vanilla bean ice cream onto half of the cookies. Smush the remaining cookies on the ice cream and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer and enjoy at your leisure.

Happy Tasting!

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Beat the Heat

A few days ago I was perusing one of my favorite Instagram accounts, viagra generic medicine Food52, doctor and I stumbled across this recipe for a spicy fried chicken sandwich with pickles on it. Those of you who know me, see know I am obsessed with spicy chicken sandwiches.IMG_5548

Last year, a friend, who will remain anonymous, turned me on to the Chik-Fil-A sandwich and they are SO amazing. I could eat one everyday! So of course I though I need to try to make this spicy chicken sandwich. Then I looked at the recipe and of course, changed the whole thing because, well that’s just the way I roll.

It’s not that I can’t follow a recipe… ok, maybe I can’t. It’s just that I am so incredibly lazy when I comes to all the right tools. Who has the time to batter chicken and then fry it? Let alone the time it takes to clean up the mess afterwards. Not me. Mother of a 17 month old. No thanks.

So I decided to BBQ the chicken I had and make it up as I go. Even my hubby ate the entire sandwich and said it was super flavorful, despite the heat, and that all the strong flavors surprisingly blended well together. He’s a born and raised Minnesotan and he doesn’t like anything spicier than Ketchup. No joke. But he still ate the whole thing and love it. That’s saying something as he usually gets this dubious look on his face when I tell him I tried something new (Honest, it was only the ONE time that I cooked something so awful as to be inedible!)

So here is my recipe for my Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich. And remember, if its gets too hot for you, just slather some more slaw on! ;)

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Beat the Heat Chicken Sandwich

Ingredients

1 package chicken breast tenderloins (I buy mine at Aldi)

1/2 bottle of Carolina Gold BBQ sauce (Found at Trader Joe’s)

1 pint good quality Cole Slaw

1/2 cup Mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s/Best’s with Olive Oil)

1 Tablespoon Sriracha Sauce

1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon juice

4-8 Refrigerator Pickles

Brioche Buns

Method

Transfer chicken tenders to air tight container and pour 1/2 bottle of Carolina Gold BBQ sauce over. Place in fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours- up to 24 hours.

Preheat your grill. Place chicken tenders on grill and grill 2-4 minutes a side depending on how hot your grill is. Cook until chicken is done. Remove chicken to a bowl and using a hand mixer shred the chicken. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the mayo and the Sriracha. Squeeze in about 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice. Stir and slather onto both sides of a Brioche bun.

Top the buns with about 1/2 cup of chicken and 1/4-1/2 cup cole slaw. Add your desired amount of refrigerator pickles. Press the sandwich together and enjoy!

Happy Tasting!

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Mommy’s Little Helpers

I’ve been so busy these past weeks that I can barely take a full breath in and out without also using it to form a sentence, discount cialis hospital lift a moving box or rip a piece of tape with my teeth. Such is life with a toddler while you are trying to pack up and get ready to move, sovaldi sale I guess.

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So I thought I would take a few semi private moments to make a quick post about the things that get me by on a day to day basis. Don’t let the title deceive you, I don’t get any fun help from pharmaceuticals, although for all the mom’s reading this, I’m sure we all have days when we feel like that would help!

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Today my “helpers” are just a few minutes to sit down and eat a sandwich and drink a full sugar coke. You heard me right. Full. SUGAR. Coke. Judge away, but I can’t stand the fake crap. Anyways, back to the other two “helpers.” While my charming little boy spent his lunch time throwing his food on the floor, I spent a blessed 15 minutes, boiling water for eggs, throwing everything I could jam into the dishwasher and wiping down the counters while I waited the requisite 10 minutes for them to cool. I made my sandwich snapped a few pretty pics of it and sat down and ate that sucker in 2 bites…. okay maybe 3. While I was eating my sandwich I looked around my table and realized that the photos I snapped were just not a great representation of the chaos my life is in. So, deep breath here is a pic of what it really looks like to sit down at my crowded table and take just a few minutes to eat.

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Sometimes all you need is some protein slapped between some carbs and a nice sugary pep to wash it all down with. Anyways better fly, these boxes won’t pack themselves!