Monday, February 27, 2012

sunday hash

Hash has become of our favorite breakfast foods. I love being able to throw leftover veggies, meats and some spices together to create a lovely and tasty bed for eggs. During Vance's golden weekend, highlights included this hash, drinks and dessert with my hubs at Stoney River and watching the Oscars last night.
The run down:
1 zucchini, slightly peeled and cubed
1/2 eggplant, slightly peeled and cubed
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons butter
Fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup loosely packed parsley finely chopped
Sautee the sweet potato in butter until starting to become tender, about 12 minutes. Add eggplant, zucchini and spices and continue to sautee over medium heat for about another 10 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and toss with parsley. Top with Parmesan and eggs (any style you like).
Vance loves hash 'n eggs - a great weekend breakfast or a quick dinner.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

pie crust filled with love

A few weeks ago I made a turkey dinner for our friends, Liz and Brian. Our turkey leftovers have been in the freezer until this week when I made some delicious turkey pot pie. My recipe is a spin on Ina's Chicken Pot Pie.
  • Diced/pulled turkey (leftovers from a roast work great)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • It the mix needs to be thickened, add a little more flour or some cornstarch in water.
  • In a saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the turkey, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.
Pour the chicken mixture into ramekins and top with pie dough. I used store-bought pie dough. Brush with egg mixture (egg scrambled with a little water) top with a little S&P. Place in a preheated 375 oven for about 45 minutes to an hour.

I had a fair amount of leftover chicken filling that I served over noodles. The potpies are delicious - serve with a salad or vegetable.

Friday, February 24, 2012

the happiest of hours

Thursday - 5:00 p.m. - this is quite possibly one of my favorite hours of the week. Last night I had two of my friends, Jill & Courtney over for a ladies happy hour. I served some (store-bought) chicken potstickers, salt & pepper calamari, and I made two super easy dips. And Tender White popcorn - because I love it - thank you Sarah for introducing me this popcorn years ago!

Giada's White Bean Dip
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.
This is garlicky & lemony & delicious with veggies or pita!
A spin on Ambitious Kitchen's Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Bruschetta

1 medium eggplant, (peel about half) and diced
1 small zucchini (peel about half), diced
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp of olive oil
1 tsp of salt
black pepper
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated 
1 loaf of whole wheat french baguette
Mix diced vegetables, EVOO, balsamic and S&P in a bowl until well-coated, spread on a cookie sheet.
Roast for about 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Allow to cool for a few minutes and combine all ingredients in food processor. Pulse a few times to slightly puree - you don't want a full puree as the vegetables are still supposed to keep their texture.
Serve at room temp and top with a little fresh grated Pamesan cheese.
I sliced a whole wheat baguette and lightly toasted, but you could also assemble on crostini. Oh happy hour -- I love you so. Good food, great company and a few bottles of red and white were just what we needed to relax after a long week (and a 4 hour long afternoon meeting). Instead of going out for HH next time, try cooking in. Happy Friday all!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

sunday chicken.

This weekend was super busy as it was Owen's Discover Weekend for prospective students. We had our wrap up event at Bound'ry in Nashville and then Vance and I met up with some friends for drinks. Today I gathered my coupons and did our weekly shopping. I don't want to brag or anything (smile!) but I saved about $45.00 in coupons and specials! Getting my receipt from the cashier is now my favorite part of shopping because I love hearing how much I saved! I also hit up Ann Taylor's winter sale today and found this lovely red silk shirt (also around $45 on final sale - it's like I broke even)!
Rolled Sleeve Camp Shirt via Ann Taylor
For dinner tonight I wanted to use some leftover herbs in a chicken dish. I made a Food & Wine recipe for an herb chicken dish. I switched up the herbs a bit and used fresh Italian parsley and Rosemary. It was flavorful and delicious. 
Chicken with parsley and rosemary.
I also made some brussel sprouts (via Ina Garten), which Vancer loves! They are easy and are a beautiful green hue.
Toss with some EVOO and S&P, roast at 400 degrees for roughly 30-35 minutes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Valentine's Dinner

On Saturday night Vance and I had our friends Liz and Brian over for dinner. I wanted to have some elements of love and Valentine's Day, but I was also planning on serving turkey - not exactly the most romantic dinner but delicious. Vanderbilt had given us a free turkey around the holidays and it had been in the freezer since - this was the perfect opportunity to roast it up! 
I served Fig-Glazed Roast Turkey (by Tyler Florence), cinnamon & honey whipped sweet potatoes, garlicky spinach greens and Port wine cranberry sauce.
The meal was delicious (if I don't say so myself), but with all the cocktails and wine we had flowing, I could have eaten cardboard and thought it was amazing. I didn't stuff the turkey, but instead made the fig glaze for basting and made a smoky-herb gravy (also a Florence recipe). I put sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, onion and lemon in the cavity of bird. The gravy was delicious and really needs some time to thicken up!
·     5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
·     1 large, smoked turkey wing or 2 small ones
·     1 medium onion, quartered
·     2 carrots, chopped
·     1 ribs celery, chopped
·     1 head garlic, split through the equator
·     4 stems fresh sage
·     4 sprigs fresh thyme
·     6 parsley stems
·     1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
·     6 cups chicken stock
·     Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the wing, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and herbs, and cook for 5 minutes. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place over medium heat. Remove the wing and set aside. Add the flour and let cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer until it has reduced by about 1/4, about 15 minutes. Strain the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Freesia and tulips.

 Happy Monday all! Don't you just love Valentine's Day?!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

pretty things

As I think I've mentioned (via blog) before, Vance and I are making a more concerted effort to save money. I have been couponing (that is a whole other blog issue) and searching for sales for the past few months. Quite a frugal start to 2012! That being said I am still me and I still get the shopping bug rather frequently. A few pretty (and inexpensive/silly) things I am into right now...

via Bloomingdale's - I have been looking an owl ring for months! Random, I know.

Totally faux rose gold watch from NY & Co. - haven't gone here in years but I love this 
chunky watch for an amazingly low price no less!

Gwen Boot by Diane Von Furstenberg from Neiman Marcus. I found these online this week and got them for OVER 50% off!

Back to Breakfast in Bed on the Soapnet - I love weekend mornings!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

home is where the heart is

I had a few recruiting events in DC and NYC last week and was able to hit some great restaurants and see family and friends. Trips always go to fast, but highlights include...
Afternoon beers with my friend and mentor Jen M., dinner at Quinto Quatro with my parents, and Sunday brunch at Pastis, where I saw Rose Byrn from Bridesmaides!
We had a bang connection - it was amazing.
I wrapped up the weekend in Hershey with an overnight at my parent's house. We watched E.T. and ate takeout from Houlihan's perfect. I definitely missed Vance over the long weekend - as my dad says, home really is where the heart is. On Monday I was able to take one of my best out for her birthday breakfast! Happy Birthday Mersy! Another wonderful part of the weekend was seeing two of my favorite puppies.
Mer's puppy, Bear.
My love - Cleo.
The saddest parts were leaving my parents at the airport (always a bummer) and coming home to an empty apartment as Vance is working nights this week. I decided to make him a spinach and feta quiche for his lunch.
4 eggs

1/2 cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream

1/4 C. Skim Milk

1pkg Spinach (10oz), thawed and drained

4 oz Feta cheese, finely crumbled

1 Prepared 9" pie crust
small onion sliced
2 tablespoons butter
small tomato
Preheat oven to 350
Thaw spinach and pie crust.
Sauteed onion in butter for about 15 minutes, add in spinach and saute with salt and pepper.
Whisk sour cream, milk, and eggs until smooth (works best if sour cream and milk are mixed first and then eggs are added).
Add spinach, onions and feta cheese to the egg mixture and stir briefly.
Pour into pie crust and top with sliced tomato.
Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes -
quiche is done when knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Apizza for dinna!

As mentioned before on this blog, Vance and I love homemade pizza. It is a healthy and quick dinner that never disappoints.
Before baking...looks good already!
Here is the scoop on our smoked salmon and veg pizza:
1 ball of store bought pizza dough (Teeter had whole wheat dough on sale for $1 a few weeks ago!)
1 plain greek yogurt cup (around 5-6 oz), fat free
3 or so oz soft goat cheese
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 oz package smoked salmon
small tomato, sliced
handcup of fresh spinach
sliced roasted red peppers
2-3 tablespoons drained capers
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
flour for rolling pizza dough
cornmeal (to prevent pizza dough sticking to pizza stone)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix the yogurt, goat cheese and tomato paste until pink and smooth. Roll out the pizza dough (dust your counter and rolling pin with flour) until it is about 1/3 inch thick. After heating the pizza stone in the oven for about 10 minutes, arrange a bit of cornmeal on the stone and the pizza dough. Spread the yogurt mixture on the pizza, top with sliced salmon, capers, tomato, peppers, spinach and lastly, Parm cheese.
Bake for about 15 minutes until crispy.
Pizza with an Iceburg and apple crisp salad.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Every girl wants to be spoiled

...on Valentine's Day! I keep an on-going list of things that I like and here are a few highlights that I hope to acquire one of these days.  I have been on the search for a new leather and metal (preferably) gold bracelet over the past few months. Top runners include:
Via Etsy.
Etsy again.
and a staple that I want - gold ball earrings.