Food Network Magazine Dinner

28 Aug

My mom recently gave me a subscription to Food Network Magazine. It has quickly become my favorite magazine to get in the mail and I look forward to it all the time.

In any case, I got the most recent issue – seen above – and the picture on the front looked SO good. I found the recipe in the pages and the ingredients were all things I enjoy 🙂 So, I decided to include the ingredients in my biweekly shopping list and make the dish.

It went well, a very user-friendly recipe, so I recommend it to everyone! I would say to use cherry tomatoes instead of grape tomatoes – I don’t think they were as manageable. Nonetheless, it was delicious and makes a ton of leftovers 🙂 You can see the recipe here.

Then, I made brownies! 🙂


Cooking for Friends

2 Jul

My two very best friends from growing up came into town last weekend for one last hoorah before one of them gets married. Needless to say, it was a great weekend! I loved having them stay at my apartment, especially because I love to play hostess 🙂 I love cooking and baking, so I spoiled them silly with all sorts of yummy treats. Plus, we went out to eat several times, too, which didn’t disappoint, either.

The night they arrived, I cooked enchiladas, quesadillas and spanish rice. Of course, guacamole and tequila were also present! I can’t get enough of that enchilada recipe, and it has really become a g0-to for when people come over. (I wish I’d taken more pictures of our feasts, but you’ll have to make do with my words and imagery :))

We woke up the following day to begin our “Tour of Inner Harbor,” with a restaurant of their choice. All I had to say was sushi, and we’d landed on Kona Grill. No complaints here – I’d eat their sushi any day of the week! We all ordered various rolls and the following appetizers: miso soup, edamame and seaweed salad. Everything was delicious. No meal is complete without a final note, so when we stopped to look around Barnes & Noble, I bought a blondie while they opted for coffee and tea.

We took a break from eating while we toured the National Aquarium. While we worked off lunch, we apparently worked up an appetite for froyo, so we stopped at Rita’s (I know – more custard than froyo) on our way home.

We didn’t realize it until we got back, but all the walking really wore us out, so we opted for naps before the evening festivities began. First up, J. Paul’s for dinner. They both insisted on having some crab while in town, so Alexa ordered a crab cake sandwich and Guy ordered the wedge salad with crab. I ordered barbecue pulled pork because you can take the girl out of the south, but you can’t take the south out of the girl. 🙂

We made a brief pitstop at a friend’s apartment for a jam session they were having that night. She did not disappoint with her spread, including cupcakes, meatball subs and a delicious dip, but we were so full from dinner, we had to pass. We made our way back to the apartment for a quiet night in, watching a favorite show with a bottle of wine. Unfortunately, we fell asleep. Oh well!

I woke up early the next morning to make brunch before they had to leave. I tried SO hard to be quiet, but it’s a small apartment with no door to the kitchen, so they heard everything. But, once they got up, we were able to chat away the morning while the monkey bread was baking and while I finished preparing the rest of breakfast.

It was great to share so many meals with my friends, since I rarely see them both anymore. It’s an intimate part in any relationship, and I’m glad we can still get together and share those memories.

Happy Easter!

24 Apr

Well, Lent is over and I’m happy to say that I was pretty good with what I gave up (cursing and taking God’s name in vain).

My fun Easter-ly activities began yesterday when Boyfriend and I went over to a friend’s apartment to dye eggs. We got super creative with some of the designs and used surfboard wax when the PAAS kit didn’t include a wax crayon. Check it out!

This morning, we attended the Easter Sunday mass at the Basilica. It was very crowded and we didn’t leave in enough time (apparently), so we had to stand in the 2nd story balcony. After mass, we had a substitute for the ham lunch my mom normally serves on this holiday: Ham Flatbreads at Subway. I thought it was a witty way to celebrate, but no one else really thought so. 🙂

Next was the fun part – we had an Easter egg and basket hunt in the apartment! We may not have that much space, but we each hid a basket and six eggs for the other to find. It was definitely some of the most creative hiding I’ve ever done.

Needless to say, I’m so full of ham sandwich, chocolate and candy that I could go into a food coma. It was a wonderful Easter and I hope everyone had a wonderful time with friends and family!

Singapore Noodles

13 Mar

When I would order Chinese food at home, my go-to dish was typically General Tso’s or wonton soup. Then, I was turned on to a new dish by a friend: Singapore Noodles or Singapore Mei Fun, depending on the restaurant. It’s a spicy noodle dish with vegetables and meats. It quickly became my new favorite go-to dish and I haven’t had General Tso’s since.

Last week, I was craving some Singapore Noodles like it was my job. The problem with that is that I couldn’t order it because my restaurant doesn’t charge a ton for it (which is AWESOME), but it doesn’t meet the minimum delivery order requirement. So, since Boyfriend is out of town, I can’t order in.

I decided to make my own! Ambitious, yes. But, worth the time and creativity. You can see the recipe here. Here is a picture to entice you. Enjoy!

Mardi Gras

9 Mar

Today is Ash Wednesday. That means yesterday was Fat Tuesday – Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras means a ton of food and King Cake. I was a lucky one and got to have both. And even better: I BAKED my own King Cake! But, I’m getting ahead of myself. First off was the Beth’s Bake.

Beth’s Bake is a creation from Boyfriend’s childhood friend’s mother. I know, it’s a long way out, but thank goodness for that friend’s mother! This dish is like lasagna with crescents instead of noodles. It’s so hearty and perfectly delicious. So, while we started cooking this for dinner, I got started prepping the King Cake.

I was really hesitant about how it was going to turn out since I don’t have the best luck with cakes in the first place. Second of all, I didn’t really have the proper tools. I fudged my way around the recipe and managed to produce a somewhat decent cake.

So, with a belly full of King Cake, I began seriously thinking about what I was going to give up/do for the better. I always try to think about it ahead of time so I don’t fall back on the usual “giving up dessert.” (I dislike giving up dessert because that really signifies the end of my meals!) So, here’s what I came up with: I’m going to give up swearing all together. For the better, I’m going to work on not saying God’s name in vain. I’ll let you know how it goes in 40 days. 🙂 Happy Ash Wednesday.

In Love With Spuds

13 Feb

So here’s the thing about me: I love potatoes. It started out as a comfort food in the form of mashed potatoes. It grew to include potatoes au gratin with a TON of cheese. It then grew to include hashbrowns, shredded first and then cubed with my breakfast. Most recently, it’s grown to include sweet potatoes in any form. I especially love them with cinnamon and sugar. Mmmm. 🙂

This love affair of mine has been going on for quite some time now, so it only seemed appropriate that my mom give me a potato cookbook for Christmas. I spent part of the day going through the entire book, flagging recipes that I wanted to try. You should just know that I flagged at least 50% of the recipes.

I finally got around to trying a recipe today and based on my experience, hope not to wait so long to try another one. The recipe I tried today is called, “Car Breakdown on aGreek Island, Mechanic’s Flat Potato and Feta Omelet,” and you can find the recipe here.

Pop & Win?

22 Jan

I came across something interesting that I hadn’t seen before. I decided to have a small afternoon snack and opted for popcorn. It’s a healthier option than chips and I was craving something salty, rather than fruit.

I take the plastic off the Orville Redenbacher bag and see a game piece fixed on the front. There was a black bar that had a message hidden beneath. It said, “Do not remove. Pop as directed.” So I’m thinking, “Ok, cool. The heat is going to seep into the black bar and reveal a message.” I was a little skeptical that it was going to come out clearly. I was put in my place. The black bar completely melted away revealing those sweet words, “Not a winner. Please play again.”

Since I’ve got 2 more bags left, I will inevitably play again, but my hopes are not high for this game. Which brings me to my big question: Since when are there sweepstakes on popcorn bags? No peel-off stickers or scratch off blocks anymore. Nope, now we’ve got melt away bars. No more effort being put into winning or losing free goodies for life. All you have to do now is microwave a tasty treat…which you would have done anyway if you were hungry. Are we really getting lazier or are companies just so eager to promote their brands that they’ll put a sweepstakes on anything?