Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

A Sweet Inspiration

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

I am not the best cook- I actually leave a lot of the fancier, savory cooking to Andrew who seems to have developed a keen interest and knack for whipping up dinners for us (lucky girl, right?) I however am a pretty darn good baker. I have always loved baking, perhaps because I find it to be a bit more joyful and therapeutic (I cannot stand handling raw meat, like, it’s bordering on a phobia…but buttercream? SURE THING!) Baking also can also be incrediblly aesthetic, colorful and pretty- so really it’s more up my alley. The decorating of the food world (perhaps cooking is more the architecture? Am I going too far in my analogies here?) So when I saw this speckled egg cake I just about keeled over. I really want to try to make this, alas, my cake decorating skills are still a bit on the juvenile side. My delicate splatters would probably end up looking more Jackson Pollack than this. But how darling is this for an Easter table???
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I would have a hard time cutting it. If I could, I imagine the inside would be something lemon-y and maybe coconut-y? Can you tell I have a major sweet tooth?

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A cake like this deserves to be the showpiece and so I thought I’d create a whole table setting based on this very cake.  Classic robin’s egg blue mixed with natural accents and white is the perfect holiday table color scheme. I adore it.

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Charger // Turquoise Plate // Wine Glass // Straws // Water Glass // Lily of the Valley // Candleholders // Gold Flatware // Serving Boards // Cake Plate // Napkins // Place Cards // Chocolate Eggs

Gadget Get: Genius Thing for Small Kitchens

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

When we were renovating our kitchen my mom kept saying that having double ovens in kind of crucial.  Me being the furthest thing from a “cook” I didn’t think this applied to me, and since out kitchen is super small with little wall space we simply could not fit two ovens.

Cut to a year later and whenever I cook (and by “me”  I mean “Andrew”) I have cursed the lack of a second oven.  It’s hard to prepare baked chicken,  broiled asparagus and potato gratin simultaneously which means you have to time things down to the minute and end up spazzing out in the kitchen like your trying to dismantle a nuclear weapon.

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And then my parent’s introduced me tot he best thing a small kitchen owner could ever have- the Breville Smart Convection Oven.  I was all “it’s a toaster oven, so what”.  But it’s NOT.  It’s a legitimate second oven! We had the perfect amount of space on our counter for the compact version and let me tell you, it’s amazing! You can broil veggies or meat, bake a pie or rolls, cook a small pizza, warm up food for kids without using a microwave (which as of late has been skeeving me out).  It’s seriously genius!  I thought I would hate it on my counter top, but it cuts a good profile. I have mine tucked into a corner and it somehow doesn’t visually clutter up my kitchen at all.

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This would also be a fantastic gift for a college kid (it shuts itself off when time is up so no forgetful “dorm-burning-down” situations!) I love finding helpful gadgets for the home and this one shot to the top of my list!

 

Fall Cooking: Butternut Squash

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

With fall comes yummy things like warm soup, pumpkin spice lattes and…. SQUASH.  I admittedly eat like a toddler, nothing beats a good PB&J for me, but I do LOVE anything made with butternut squash.  Last weekend I spent some of Sunday making a yummy, meat free butternut squash lasagna and thought I’d share some recipes I LOVE along with some I’m dying to try using this delicious fall favorite.

Butternut Squash Lasagna: (made this and it’s SO good)

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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese: DYING to try this one!

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Butternut Squash Soup: I need a Vitamix somethin’ fierce.

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Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter: I order this any time I go to Todd English’s Olives, it’s my favorite thing evahhhhh. Like dessert for dinner.

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And basically every single recipe on Martha: risotto, penne and potato squash mash in particular.

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Link to your favorite fall recipes and give me some more ideas for using my new kitchen!

 

A Modern Farmhouse

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

I have long enjoyed perusing a little southern magazine called Garden & Gun after seeing it years ago in a trip down south of the Mason Dixon line.  While the title may cause guffaws from visitors to your home who see it on your coffee table, it’s not only for those entrenched in forsythia and firepower.  They have done many home stories that have knocked my socks off, as well as some of the best photography I’ve seen to date.  For example, this feature on a modern farmhouse in South Carolina.

I spent my weekend weeding, mulching and doing all sorts of sweaty outdoor yard activities as we prep our small patch of land for a fun re-do in August!  I can’t help but feel after a long day outside with my hands in the dirt that I could, someday, move to a place like this.  Nothing feels better than kicking back after some serious manual labor and the satisfaction that comes with doing something physical and beneficial with your time.  Now, let’s not get CRAZY, I live far from the actual country- and I love being able to still walk to dinner and coffee from my house- but I have to say, leaving the city was the best decision I ever made. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in a home.

So back to this house (I must be delirious from all the mulch and weed killer).  The country vibe can be polarizing but so happy and calming, is it not? And this modern take on it I find really lovely.

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I think we need to pause a moment to discuss the coolness of these stairs. I mean, really.

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Love the kitchen colors (looks like my color scheme!) and the super rustic old wood doors!

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There are those stairs again!!

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DONKEYS!

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Chickens and a relaxing little spot to sit.  Looks lovely, doesn’t it?

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After our big day of yard work, we cooked an awesome summer dinner and I wanted to share the recipes with you! It was THAT good. :) No styling here- just our actual meal seconds before Andrew ate every last bite.

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Mojo Chicken Marinade (via Weber Grilling Cookbook)

1/2 c. orange juice

2 tbs fresh lime juice

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs minced garlic

1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Whisk together in a bowl and place 2-4 chicken breasts in a large plastic resealable bag and pour marinade in. Place in fridge for 6-8 hours turning the bag once or twice. Grill. Yummers.

Deconstructed Street Corn (via Wall Street Journal Weekend)

6 ears fresh corn (or 4- we used 4 for the 2 of us)

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

2 tbs olive oil

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesean

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

if desired, finely chopped mint or cilantro

Pinch of salt

Boil corn and cut off the cob.  In a saute pan heat up the oil and cook the jalapeno for 2 minutes, add the corn and saute for another 5 minutes.  Pour into a large bowl and add the vinegar, salt, Parmesan and herbs and stir. Serve warm or cold!

** Note- I sent Andrew to the grocery store which means I got a JAR of sliced jalepenos and grated Kraft parmesan, not fresh. Also, our herb plants died int he heat. This ain’t no food blog, but it was still great! :)

 

Old School Summer

Monday, July 8th, 2013

It’s been SO friggin’ hot in Boston this past week we are all wilting a bit.  While sitting inside by the A/C (and cursing the fact that we have yet to install central air) I read an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal about how summer has changed.  I have to agree- as a kid I spent so much time outside in the summer months- at the beach, camp, in the pool, riding bikes or building forts with my brother.  No one was glued to a cell phone, iPad, TV or computer- it was so much more pure and easy then (ok, maybe not “easy” but simpler!)   The nostalgia for those times hit me this weekend and I want to spend my free time more like that- taking hikes, going to the ocean, going out for ice cream cones…. let’s bring back old school summertime!

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Here are some things that would help re-create an old school summer:
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shorts (on sale!)// jars // bike // wine tote (got this for my parent’s new beach house) // bathing suit // rope bracelet // pie recipe // towel // Bonne Bell Lipsmacker // pajama top & bottom // espadrilles // hammock