Thursday, March 31, 2011

Barefoot Contessa: Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Good Morning! I hope everyone is having a good week so far. We got a new computer last night so it was a late night for us. It's always fun to have a new toy in the house and since our old computer was more than 6 years old it was definitely time for an update.
While my hubby was hooking it up, I made cookies. These cookies were made as a thank you to a friend for giving me a dress to wear for a last minute event. Plus, she's going to the snow for the weekend and I wanted her to have a treats for the trip. The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa. I must say that I have never had a recipe from her fail. Everything is always delicious as are these cookies. Here is the link
Please pardon the blurry photos. It was late, the lighting was bad and I rushed taking photos before bed.
It's almost the weekend. What are your plans?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Good Morning, Coffee

I never wanted to be a coffee drinker. For years I was the one at Starbucks ordering the chai latte or the hot chocolate. But, after getting married and the chaos of life started to take over I slowly began to start my mornings with a small cup; lots of sugar, lots of cream. Like any addiction it became progressively worse and now I don't care how it's made, I MUST HAVE my coffee in the morning. I alternate between coffee with a little milk or a espresso with lots of milk depending on how much time I have in the morning. Sometimes I wake up whining about being tired and my beloved husband will venture downstairs and return with mug full of steaming liquid gold. I love those mornings.
This is the newest addition to our habit. A 9-shot espresso maker. It makes the yummiest lattes but 4 1/2 shots of espresso for each of us in the morning is a lot so we save this for desperate to wake up mornings (such as this morning). Some days our kitties think it's fun to torture us at 5am and because they know how to open the bedroom door we can't escape their cries and need for attention. Anybody looking for a pet? I've got 3 to choose from...just kidding...kind of.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has the best coffee. Less bitter than other brands. This one in particular was a birthday gift and is delicious.

So, are you a coffee addict like me? How do you drink it? Do you have a complicated order and does the barista a Starbucks have your order waiting for you when you walk in the door?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Apple Date Crisp

Does anyone else feel this weekend went by way too fast? It was a great combination of laziness and productivity but I need another day. Another day of sleeping in, eating yummy food, reading blogs, running errands, watching TV and cleaning. But, it's not going to happen since I have to be up bright and early for work tomorrow so instead of complaining some more I'll share a delicious dish with you that was part of my late night snacking. We didn't have dinner Saturday night until 9:00pm and then dessert a couple hours after that since we had slept in until noon. Yes, noon, and I loved every minute of it. I really do love to sleep and since I don't have kids, I indulge every chance I get.
Apple Date Crisp was eaten hot from the oven with vanilla ice cream while watching Season 1 of Glee From Netflix. Does anyone else watch it? I can't wait to see what happens with the baby situations.
This is another recipe from my Sono Baking Company Cookbook.
How was your weekend? I hope it was great.

Monday, March 21, 2011

How I Spent the Stormy Sunday.

Yesterday, it stormed all day. Rain, wind and lots of nasty weather. My hubby and I agreed not to leave the house. So this is how I spent my day......

Comforting my kitties (and myself) that no the house was not going to blow away and yes if the weather gets any scarier it's ok if we hide in the closet.

Blow-drying my sheets because the dryer vent was underwater from the rain and I had already put the sheets in the washing machine. Yes, I could have gone to my sister's or the laundry mat but I was too lazy and didn't want to change out of my jammies. This may or may not mean I didn't shower until it was time to go back to bed.

My house is empty of "real" food since we had a party the night before.
What did I eat?
Frozen waffles.
5 oreos in a mug, covered with milk and eaten with a spoon. Yay- no crumbs.
Mixed nuts.
Crackers and french onion dip.
Half a cupcake.
A few more oreos.

Surprisingly, I didn't watch much TV but I did hog the computer all day. How many hours spent reading blogs? at least 5, there was some time spent napping. How many hours spent spying on Facebook and Twitter? a least 5 with snacking in between.

How did you spend the rainy day? Or if the weather was beautiful where you live, please share.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Italian Bar Food- Birthday Party

We celebrated my husband's birthday last night with friends and family. The boys played poker and the girls did what we do Originally, I was going to make tons of greasy bar food but as the day came closer I really didn't want to spend all day frying things. So, I opted for one fried dish- fried ravioli. Giada's version of fried ravioli. Delicious. I also made red velvet cupcakes and cake balls which I failed to take photos of. I also, don't have photos of anyone who attended, except for my cousin's baby who is just adorable. As soon as I have a new camera, I'm going to be more diligent about taking better photos. Until then, below are the quick pics I took while everyone was arriving and getting drinks.
Giada's Fried Ravioli and Marinara dipping sauce.
Giada's tomato tartlets (you're supposed to add basil but I used green onion instead)
Trader Joes has these new crackers, Rosemary Raisin Crisps-super yummy.
Olives marinated in lemon, garlic, olive oil and rosemary.
Toasted and spiced walnuts & cashews.
French onion dip and chips.
Cutest baby ever- Joshua making his first blog appearance.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Corned Beef & Cabbage

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Even though I have no idea what the holiday actually means. I'll be googling it as soon as I'm done with this post.
I know I won't be the only person to post a corned beef and cabbage recipe, but I decided to join in on the fun as it seems to be all over the blog world this week.
I cook my corned beef in the slow cooker while I'm at work and then add the cabbage in for about 20 minutes once I get home.
I don't measure out any ingredients so everything I'm listing below is an estimate and you'll need to adjust depending on how many pounds your corned beef is.
1 package of corned beef
5-6 Red or Yukon Gold Potatoes
3-4 Carrots
2-4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 head of cabbage
Quarter or Half your potatoes (depending on how big they are) no need to peel them.
Cut your carrots to the same size as the potato chunks. Place the potatoes and carrots in the slow cooker and place the corned beef on top. * I rinse my corned beef to take off all the juices from the packaging and reduce some of the salt before I put it in the slow cooker. If your corned beef doesn't include a flavor packet, you'll need to add a couple bay leaves and peppercorns to your slow cooker. Add enough water to the pot to cover the potatoes and carrots. Then add the red wine vinegar. Cook for 8-10 hours depending on the size of your corned beef. Add the cabbage the last 20 minutes of cooking time until it is tender.
I like to serve the corned beef with mustard and horseradish on the side. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ladyface Blogger Meet-up

Last night was the first time I've ever been to a blogger meet-up. Thank you to Amanda for organizing. She arranged for us to meet at Ladyface in Agoura. Can I just start by saying, many people I'm meeting for the first time = NERVOUS me. Almost like the first day of school nervous, but everyone was super sweet and I really enjoyed getting to know everyone.
So this morning I'm tired and trying to revive myself from a late night with copious amounts of coffee. I think I'm the first one from the group to post about our night. Believe me, the first thing I did this morning was check all the blogs for photos.
First the drinks and food- Delicious. I'll definitely be back. My husband will love this place.

Kelley shared her pretzel (thanks Kelley)
I had sweet potato french fries with bleu cheese fondue (seriously good) I really wish I hadn't had dinner before I went, but coming home from a long day at work I'm always starving as soon as I walk in the door.
Ok, I'm going to try really hard to link the correct blogs to the names here: Monica Katherine and Amanda
Becki and Andy
There were a few others that I failed to get photos of. Sorry guys, but I'm sure there will be lots of great photos on other blogs. I'm happy I stepped out of my comfort zone and went last night. Thank you to everyone for including me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Affogato - Espresso Lover's Dream Dessert

This is the kind of dessert that I have to eat mid-afternoon otherwise I'll be up all night with a caffeine high. So, if you're having people over for lunch or you plan on staying up really late, it's the perfect ending to a meal. Plus, it's really simple: Scoop your favorite vanilla ice cream, pour 3-6 oz of hot espresso over it and crumble some amaretti cookies (you can get these at Cost Plus) on top. DELICIOUS.
We drink a lot of coffee and espresso in my house so I'm always looking for ways to incorporate it in my dishes. Do you having favorite coffee recipes?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Strawberry Thumbprint Corn Muffins

It's Sunday night and the weekend is over, boo. But, lots to look forward to next week including my first blogger meet-up at Ladyface. Can't wait.
Congratulations to Kim At The Ungourmet she won my favorite goodies giveaway.
Saturday morning I tried another new recipe from my Sono Baking Company Cookbook.
These are Strawberry Thumbprint Corn Muffins. Delicious and perfect when paired with bacon, eggs and hashbrowns. We love a big weekend breakfast.
On another note, I've decided I need a new camera. Any suggestions? I see a lot of Nikon cameras. Is that the best?