Friday, November 30, 2012


Benji is here so it's time for some meaty man food. I decided on our homemade burgers. They are filling and boys love playing with the meat grinder (*snerk*). Mr. Lawyer did his usual no measuring throw in some breadcrumbs, seasoning and an egg thing....drives me nutty. I served with up with a wonderful toppings bar and some baked beans. There is nothing left except some lettuce so I guess I made the right choice.
Yum! Toppings. There were also some sauteed onions.
 Boys and their toys.
 Burgers and Beans!
The burgers went pretty quick!
Thank you Dork! Mr. Lawyer never let's me take pictures of him ;)
 Watching the 'Cuse game. You have to stand until they score the first basket.
 So when I moved to Philly two years ago my brother and dad had brewed some beer. I still had a bottle hiding in the back of the fridge. The time had made it a little better but it was still weird. It tasted like a Belgium sour to me.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holy Cheese!

My life.
Did you know that it was National Mac and Cheese month?! I didn't know until the other day which was tragic. Luckily there was a one pot mac and cheese recipe making the rounds on pinterest. I was intrigued and reviews were split but I decided to give it a go. But first I had to set my table!
Yessssss, finally a two dish meal so I could mix and match. Just incase the mac and cheese was a bust a grabbed a ham hoagie from Wawa. Plus I knew the manly lawyer would not be okay with just mac and cheese for dinner, weird right? Well the recipe was not a bust! In fact it was creamily delicious in a "I'm going to explode your heart" kind of way. It reminded me of Stouffers mac and cheese, very thick and creamy. It seemed easier than a oven baked recipe but was very different from a boxed mac and cheese. You did have to keep an eye on it to make sure it didn't soak up all the milk or boil so I stirred every few minutes. After looking at the reviews I doubled the cheese which was a smart decision. Some reviews also said it did not reheat well and I'd believe it. It began to cool and clump up very quickly (so serve immediately) and I could see where the cheese would get grainy or separated upon reheating. Do not skip the dijon mustard, I actually added a little more and it resulted in a nice flavor/depth. It is SUPER RICH. After all it's basically just melted cheese. I would recommend using this as a side dish.
Stovetop Mac and Cheese
(Pinterest find! Adapted from
2 cups dried pasta
2 1/2 cups skim milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used two because I'm a cheese rebel!)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dijon mustard (do not skip, it was marvelous)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1.  In a small saucepan, add pasta and milk. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook until pasta is soft, 15 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently and ensuring milk does not boil.
2. Turn heat off, add cheese & salt & and stir to combine. Stir in the mustard & cayenne a little at a time, to taste. Cover and let stand for a couple of minutes, then stir again and serve.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Irish Steaks

The cold weather has Mr. Lawyer going all manly on me. I asked him to pick a recipe and he picked one with steak AND whiskey. It was a delicious steak and onion combo but I must admit I did not taste the whiskey at all. He claims he could, perhaps it's a boy thing. We opened a NY State red wine (they are not known for their reds) and while it was acceptable it was so one dimensional and boring after all our fancy Italian red wine (thank you parental units!). We decided that we'll have to look at our finances and create a fancy wine budget. I was half joking but I think Mr. Lawyer was serious. I think I'm in trouble!
Irish Steaks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
4 (4 ounce) beef top sirloin steaks
1 clove garlic, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup Irish whiskey
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Heat vegetable oil and butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until butter has melted. Cook and stir onions in butter and oil until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Push onions aside with a spatula.
2. Rub steaks with cut sides of garlic clove.
3. Place steaks in the skillet, leaving the onions to the side, and cook over medium-high heat until meat is browned but still lightly pink inside, 2 to 4 minutes per side.
4. Remove the skillet from heat. Slowly pour Irish whiskey into the hot skillet (be careful, whiskey fumes are flammable). Mix browned onions into whiskey and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
Sprinkle steaks with salt, black pepper, and parsley; turn steaks over in whiskey pan sauce to coat both sides, and serve drizzled with sauce.

We had such pretty plate colors to choose from!
Love it!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Meatless Monday: Crunchy Tacos

Someone came home with flowers tonight 
So I stuffed him full of beans and told him it was okay if he tooted. Romance.

Fact: I love quesadillas. I use to go for straight cheese quesadillas with the occasional mushroom/onion mix but now I have to be a healthy, responsible adult. Beans are now the bulk of the dish and cheese just a topping. Normally I bake them (see: healthy!) but I liked the sound of this crunchy recipe. They did come out crunchy but they sat (covered) for about 15 to 20 minutes because Mr. Lawyer was running a bit late (see: flowers) and they lost their crunchiness. I loved the black bean insides, good flavor, slightly mashed means it's easier to keep everything in the tortilla....slathered with avocado and spicy apple salsa from Fly Creek. Delicious. 

Crunchy Black Bean Tacos
(Pinterest find! Cornerstone Cooking)
2  cups black beans, cooked
½  cup red onion, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
4-6 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
8 tortillas
1. In a medium bowl, add beans along with red onion, cilantro, and spices. Add a pinch of salt and lightly mash all of the ingredients together. Grate your cheese and have it ready as well.
2. In a large, non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet, add a few tablespoons of oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add one tortilla at a time and let each get hot in the oil for a few seconds. Then add the desired amount of bean filling to one half of the tortilla. Top with a sprinkle of grated cheese.
3. Using a spatula, carefully fold the tortilla over so it forms a shell. Press down lightly on the tortilla so it holds its shape. Cook each taco for about 3 minutes per side until they are nicely browned and crispy.
4. Serve tacos with toppings like hot sauce, salsa, avocados, and sour cream.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey and Rice Soup

I think I'm getting the hang of this leftover refrigerator soup thing. Grandpa Norm would be proud. I actually wanted to try this fancy looking turkey and squash soup recipe but Mr. Lawyer wanted something more traditional. Enter the leftover turkey, leftover brown rice I had frozen, some random baby carrots, and an onion that I didn't use from last week. The only thing I had to run out and purchase was celery. The leftover celery was put to use on our hummus platter and a couple of sticks found the peanut butter. I managed to create a delicious (and basic) turkey and rice soup.
Turkey and Rice Soup
(from my kitchen!)
2 cups leftover turkey, cut into small pieces
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced (or in my case, baby carrots)
4 cups chicken broth (low sodium!)
1 cup cooked rice (I used brown rice)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Heat up olive oil in a large pot. Add celery, onion, and carrot. Saute for 5 minutes or until the veggies start to soften.
2. Add broth, rice, and turkey. Mix together and simmer until hot (and your house smells delicious!). Season to taste involved a good squirt of Sriracha sauce!

Spa Water

If you want to believe in all the wishy washy health nut stuff then this spa water is suppose to help jump start your metabolism. I am a skeptic but thought that it might be a nice change from regular water. It does have an interesting taste, heavier on the cinnamon than the apple and it hits you more at the end. The verdict: a different way to consume your water and a great way to use up that apple that was a tad on the soft side!
Apple Cinnamon Spa Water
(Pinterest Find!)
1 cinnamon stick (I snapped mine in two)
1 apple, sliced thinly
1. Add apple and cinnamon stick to pitcher. Add some ice and fill with water. Chill at least 10 minutes before serving.

We continue our detox day with a hummus platter! Mr. Lawyer had to put in a couple of hours of work this afternoon so I figured this hummus platter was in order. It was perfect and allowed us to graze at our leisure. I used my fool proof pita chip recipe and cleaned out the fridge of random veggies (which is why there isn't a ton of each item). Good deal.

Baked Avocado Egg

This recipe was a bit of a let down. It took forever for the egg to set and by then the yolk wasn't runny. It took more time than the recipe stated. I did like the baked avocado part but not the egg. The avocado was warm and creamy. This makes me excited to try the recipe for avocado fries that I have.
Baked Avocado Egg
1 avocado
2 eggs
salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
1. Cut the avocado in half and scoop some out to make room for the egg. You can also reduce the amount of egg white you put in.
2. Put the egg in the hole and season with salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes.
3. Bake at 425 until set...10-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chinese Leftovers

I'm back with a recipe! Well, sort of. It's more like reinvented leftovers. When you order chinese food do you always have leftover rice or sauce? We do. We don't have any real food in the apartment either but I did have some leftover chinese and frozen veggies. I sauteed up the peppers and onions, threw in the rice, and added the leftover dumpling sauce. It was a fine dish to start some holiday detoxing.
I think I should start a guess the fiesta color competition!
On the docket for tomorrow: turkey soup!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I didn't think I was going to love Chocolate as much as I do.
As I mentioned in the last post, it's difficult to capture the true color on can see how the Chocolate changes depending on the camera angle, lighting, etc.
Chocolate and Cinnabar
 Chocolate and Rose
 Chocolate and Blue
 Chocolate and Periwinkle
 Chocolate and Marigold

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Party in my Kitchen!

Some bridal shower gifts came early and now there's a party in my kitchen! The lovely Mother Unit got ambitious and hopped on ebay for a thrilling fiesta time (there might have been some alcohol involved?). I now own my first pieces of vintage fiesta! Woo! To recap: my darling Mr. Lawyer said I was not allowed to buy any until after our wedding (many of the contemporary pieces are on our registry), sighs. I did however purchase some marigold pieces as the color is to be retired this year and some retired periwinkle and cinnabar sets....because if it's retired it doesn't count! To tell if the piece if vintage you look at the back stamp, if all the letters in fiesta are lower case it's pre-1986 (technically 1973 when they stopped producing until 1986). Then you can narrow the dates down a little more based on the color runs. Mom bought me a set of yellow plates, some blue and rose small plates, my first teacup (!) and a variety of salt and pepper shakers (which are to die for, the shape just makes me irrationally giddy.). I do find it very hard to capture the true colors in a photograph, it constantly changes depending on the light.
Rose 1951-1959
Blue (cobalt) 1936-1951
Yellow - 1936-1969
 My colors so far: Rose, Periwinkle, Yellow, Blue (Cobalt), Cinnabar, Marigold
The colors mom sent me (minus the shaker colors)
I am loving this tea cup. I feel very sophisticated.
 Rose on Blue is very striking.
 Rose on Periwinkle for a more mellow choice.
 For the more bold: Yellow, Cinnabar, and Blue.
 Decorating with fiesta shakers! 
Thanks for the early shower gifts mom!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Salsa Chicken

And we have a winner! This slow cooker salsa chicken was simple but amazing, especially once I added some shredded pepper jack cheese to my tortilla. In a healthy move Mr. Lawyer added some lettuce to his. It is also suggested to eat it with tortilla chips as a dip which we might do tomorrow night.
Why yes, that is one of my new vintage blue fiesta plates.
Thanks Mother Unit!
Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
(Pinterest Find! From
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup sour cream
6 tortillas
1. Place chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning on chicken. In a bowl, combine soup and salsa. Pour over chicken. Cook on high 4 hours. 
2. Shred chicken with two forks and stir in sour cream. Serve on tortillas or as desired.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mushroom and Kale Lasagna

I'm loving this recipe even though I made it a tad unhealthy with the addition of more cheese. Mr. Lawyer's only complaint was the texture, evidently I was a bit overzealous with the "chopped fine" bit. He also likes his veggies to be on the crunchy side whether they are steamed, baked, or stir-fried. So next time I won't mince them so well.
Veggies! I loved the hidden veggies in this dish, you couldn't even taste the kale (actually I used red chard but very similar) it was all about the mushrooms. 
Technique! My rolling technique could use a little help. Looking at the other pictures it appears that the filling was spread evenly over the noodle and then rolled. I put a dollop in the center and wrapped it around so I found that the rolls expanded a little when they cooked and became more oval in shape.
I had some extra ricotta mixture so I stuffed it in between the rolls.
Cheese! This recipe was from a yummy healthy website that I love but I refuse to compromise on cheese (also what else was I going to do with all that leftover mozzarella?!). So I added a little bit to the ricotta mixture and then smothered the top in a more traditional lasagna type way. It was amazing.

Mushroom and Kale Lasagna Rolls
(adapted from
10 (9 oz dry) lasagna noodles, cooked
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
5 cups kale, stems removed, chopped fine
8 oz mushrooms, chopped fine
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, whisked
salt and fresh pepper
3 oz (10 tbsp) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded....or a lot more.
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.
2. Place kale in a food processor and pulse a few times until chopped.
3. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden, about a minute. Add kale, salt and pepper and sauté about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms to the pan, cook until soft, an additional 5-6 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper.
4. Combine cooked kale, mushrooms, ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out cooked lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of mushroom kale mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
5. Ladle 1 cup of sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, until cheese melts.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hot Dog Sauce

I found this hot dog sauce on pinterest, it seemed to be very popular. It's a copycat recipe from a popular hot dog place in Utah. I loved it but I love all things sweet. It was like a nice bbq sauce. Mr. Lawyer does not love sweet things as much (except for me!) so we experimented with it. It is still delicious with a line of sriracha sauce (or your preferred hot sauce), that way you get a whole sweet and spicy thing going on. The recommended toppings were onions and banana peppers which makes sense to me, again with the sweet and spicy. One of my favorite Wawa hoagies is the honey roasted turkey with creamy horseradish and spicy peppers. I did halve the recipe and it was more that enough for 4 hot dogs. It's definitely a keeper, a nice change up from the standard ketchup and mustard.
J Dawgs Secret Sauce
(Pinterest find!)
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1. Combine all ingredients in saucepan & heat to boiling on medium heat. Pour over hot dog.
Notes: it is suggested that you slice the hot dogs in a crisscross pattern to hold more sauce and serve with onions, hot peppers, and pickles.

Friday, November 9, 2012

It's Got Some Kick!

Deliciously spicy is how I would describe this drink. The first time I had one was at a cousin's wedding and man oh man did that one have some kick. We recently had one down in Disney which reaffirmed the fact that we needed to make these! Plus I just happened to have some extra ginger beer in the fridge leftover from our Dark & Stormies. There are a bunch of different recipes for the Moscow Mule and the quality really depends on the spiciness of the ginger beer.
The Moscow Mule
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce fresh lime juice
.5 ounces simple syrup
3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
3 ounces ginger beer
1. Pour into your shaker all ingredients except the ginger beer
2. Add ice
3. Shake, shake, shake!
4. Strain into an ice filled glass
5. Top with ginger beer
6. Garnish with a lime wedge or mint sprigs

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Last week we went out to Plaza Azteca with the 'Rents. Man oh man, I love mexican food and I love guacamole. So this week I made some homemade guacamole and have been cooking up quesadillas...two nights in a row!
A giant bowl of spicy guacamole?! Heaven!
The recipe is HERE!
 mmmm quesadillas! Bean and cheese this time around.

Gin & Pineapple!

I needed to use up the leftover pineapple juice from our Lapu Lapu adventures so I found this quick and simple (and delicious!) recipe. I won't use a good gin as the pineapple juice over powers any delicate gin flavors (especially in something like Hendricks).
Gin & Pineapple
(from the Beefeater Gin website)
2 parts gin
3 parts pineapple juice
1. Mix it up!

Roasted Chickpeas

I'm still on my quest for a cheap healthy snack. The baked edamame was okay....I think I needed to bake it a little longer and the parmesan cheese coating didn't stick very well. These chickpeas were the bomb dot com! They were crispy and the spicy coating stayed on well. They did not keep well, a bit gummy the next day, so only make as many as you need. The spice was perfect, I couldn't stop munching on them!
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
(pinterest find!)
1 can chickpeas
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, depending on tastes
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well coated.
3. Spread chickpeas on a baking pan and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes. Stir and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes, or until chickpeas are crispy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

October Roundup!

FIESTA! I found some good deals on retired colors on ebay, cinnabar and periwinkle. Plus a chain store was having a good deal (50% off!) so I picked up some marigold, a color that is suppose to be retired this year.
 Not food but I was super excited that my new sweaters came in old school fiesta colors! Also, I am in love with these shoes.
 We had our wedding tasting! Man oh man are we in for a treat! Everything was amazing and I felt like a princess.
 Halloween party! Jackie made a cheese ball that looked like a pumpkin.
 Woody was in town so we went to a brewery. Obviously.
 Victory Brewery Sampler.
 We picked up this delicious dip the last time we were in the Finger Lakes at a winery It's amazing. It got us through that pesky hurricane.
 Well played Ommegang...well played. 
 The first super cold day of the year needs some comfort food: mac & cheese, those delicious sticky chicken tenders, and some applesauce. Sounds like my childhood to me!
And that's a wrap!