Saturday, March 30, 2013

March Roundup!

Square ice cubes!
 Our annual shore basketball weekend with the Prep Crew. This was full at the start of the journey.
It's a little blurry which is probably an accurate way to depict the weekend.
 Pierogies from Czerws! Served up with some sauteed onions and applesauce.
 I splurged and bought some sushi from WF for dinner. I made us each a cute little plate.
 Grandpa Norm! 86 years old and still owning the kitchen with a mighty fist.
 We had one too many bottles of wine in Virginia wine country. Strange things started to happen...
 My sweet new Ommegang bar accessory. 

Spring Cocktail

Lillet is a French aperitif wine. I couldn't find the rose but the blanc was just fine. You cannot underestimate the gin in this recipe. I would recommend a very neutral tasting gin which obviously I don't have. I actually liked this cocktail better without the gin. The two different gins (Aviation and Barr Hill) I tried it with make it too floral. I also didn't invest in the edible flowers. Overall not bad but more of an acquired taste, at least when the gin is added.
Lillet Rose Spring Cocktail
(from Martha Stewart)
2 ounces Lillet Rose (I used Lillet Blanc)
2 ounces grapefruit juice
1 ounce gin
edible flowers for garnish
1. Combine the Lillet, grapefruit juice, and gin in a shaker with ice.
2. Shake, shake, shake!
3. Strain into glasses and garnish with edible flowers.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Gin Review!

Barr Hill Gin can stay on my bar! It's very drinkable and delicious. When you taste it straight you get a hint of sweetness from the honey.
I love the bottle. I love the beeswax seal. I love the handwritten batch number. I love the gin.
Thanks for the bottle Mother Unit!

Spicy Jalapeno Baked Beans

Tonight's menu: Grandmom's Chicken served up with spicy jalapeno baked beans and doctored up green beans. For the green beans I just sauteed up some garlic and red onion in a tablespoon of butter and then plunked in the canned green beans (drained of course). Not too bad considering it's a canned veggie. My wonderful jalapeno baked beans were a masterpiece that came out amazing considering I winged it and didn't really measure anything. Oops.
Spicy Jalapeno Baked Beans
(from Guinea Pig Kitchen!)
1 can baked beans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
6 pickled jalapeno slices, diced
A big splash of pickled jalapeno liquid
1 tablespoon spicy seasoning, I used Dinosaur BBQ's dry rub
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a baking dish, combine the beans, brown sugar, onion, ketchup, mustard, jalapenos, jalapeno juice, and spicy seasoning. Mix well.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until sauce is thickened.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Candied Jalapenos

I have a jar of pickled jalapenos leftover from my Chili Bar Party. They are super spicy so I decided to sweeten them up a bit...time for some candied jalapenos! I didn't do any measuring, everything is a guess. I started with 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup sugar. I heated it up and add some of the jalapenos. I let it simmer for 10 minutes. I would taste the syrup and if it was still super spicy I would add in a little more sugar.
They were AMAZING on a burger.
The spiciness with the hint of sweetness was to die for.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Adventure Time!

Mr. Lawyer and I are making a Philly Bucket List of things to do before we move out of the city. Czerw's Polish Deli has been featured on two Travel Channel shows (Bourdain's Layover and Zimmerman's Bizarre Foods) so it went on the list. It's in Port Richmond, a quick drive from us. The area had a very old school neighborhood feel to it and was a popular location for Polish and Lithuanian immigrants. We'll be going back for more goodies because we saw some more speciality stores on our drive out. We could smell a bakery somewhere but didn't see it! The service was great and we received a free sample of some "Polish Slim Jim" while waiting in line. It was basically a skinny smoked kielbasa. Yum!
We ended up with one pound of smoked kielbasa and a dozen cheese/potato pierogies. 
Yum yum!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Home Run Salmon!

Winner winner salmon dinner! This dish was excellent and might even beat out my Sweet & Salty Salmon! The Sweet & Salty recipe is a marinade so there was more flavor throughout the fillet but this Lime Drizzle is a glaze so each bite had a more concentrated flavor. And boy what a flavor it was! I think this will be making a regular appearance on my dinner menu. This gets four thumbs up from us!
Asian Salmon with Lime Drizzle
(Pinterest find! From Epicurious)
1 cup jasmine rice (I used brown rice)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 package baby spinach
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (I used white sesame seeds)
1. Heat oven to 400°F. 
2. Cook rice as directed on package. 
3. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté garlic and pepper flakes until garlic is lightly golden, 1 minute. Add syrup, juice and soy sauce; cook until bubbling, 3 minutes. In a bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 teaspoon water; stir into garlic glaze. Cook until slightly thick, 1 minute. 
4. Arrange fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spread 1-2 teaspoon glaze over each fillet. Roast until just cooked through, 12 minutes. 
5. In a medium skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add spinach; sauté until just wilted. Remove from pan; set aside. 
6. Divide rice and spinach evenly, top with salmon fillet. Drizzle with remaining sauce; sprinkle each with sesame seeds.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Turkey Tuesday!

I made my meatball recipe with turkey tonight and it wasn't half bad. A little on the dry side and they sucked up a TON of sauce. I have to pick up another jar so we can finish them tomorrow. I did add a bunch of red pepper flakes to the mix so it had a nice zip to it.....but it didn't beat the original beef meatballs.
Turkey Meatballs!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Paddy's Pudding

We headed down to the shore this weekend for our 3rd Annual Prep Basketball Getaway. Of course the street flooded, typical. Our first year down there a hurricane hit and it was insane (and amazing)! We have the meal planning down to a science now. I was in charge of dinner Friday night. I made my yummy Portobello and Pancetta Lasagna served with some garlic bread. I whipped up some super easy dessert that was a big hit. It's basically dirt cake dyed green for St. Patrick's day. It has four ingredients, takes no time, it is incredibly easy, and is can't go wrong! I don't own a trifle bowl and wanted a container that was not breakable and easy to transport so forgive the presentation.
Paddy's Pudding
(Pinterest find!)
3.5 cups cold milk
1 teaspoon green food coloring
2 packages french vanilla instant pudding
1 tub frozen Cool Whip, thawed
1 package Oreos, coarsely crushed
1. Pour milk into large bowl. Stir in food color. 
2. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir in whipped topping.
3. Layer crushed cookies and pudding mixture in trifle or 3-quart bowl, beginning and ending with crushed cookies.
4. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve. Garnish as desired with shamrock candies.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jalapeno Cheese Sauce!

You should never chase your dayquil with a cup of coffee. You might do something insane like bake a whole batch of delicious pretzels and attempt to eat them all with no warning. By then you've used up all your reserve energy in this spurt of feeling better and find yourself dying back on the couch. It was certainly delicious. My pretzel recipe is still amazing, you can find it HERE! The jalapeno cheese sauce was a new amazing addition. I highly recommend it.
Jalapeno Cheese Sauce
(Pinterest find! adapted from smells like home)
Jarred jalapenos (the equivalent of 1 jalapeno)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the chopped jalapeños to coat with the butter. Whisk in the flour, coating the peppers, and cook for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
2. Slowly whisk in the milk. Stirring constantly, bring the milk to a simmer over medium-low heat until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the shredded cheese until all of the cheese has melted. Serve warm.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Siiiiick Day

My view from the couch.
Girl Scout Cookies make sick days much more enjoyable.
Now if we can only get a snow day tomorrow....

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Crazy Confessions

I don't really have any pictures for a February Roundup so you get some crazy confessions that are mostly food/kitchen related.
Movie and a trip to Wegman's for pizza? Best date ever!

1. I once drove to Wegmans during a blizzard to get their frozen pizza and a six pack. I make super safe decisions like that.

2. I like to clean when I'm intoxicated and often take dirty dishes out of the dishwasher to hand wash them.

3. Before I received my Fiesta mugs I had four very specific mugs for each beverage: coffee, tea, hot chocolate, medicine (like theraflu). The beverage MUST go in it's specific mug. Mr. Lawyer thinks I'm crazy but he knows which is which and makes it appropriately.

4. This wedding registry stuff is making me feel like a kitchen snob. I have all the little stuff and really want the fancy knives, ridiculous pots, and heavenly comforter but I feel guiltyyyyyy.

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's Friiiiday!!

I had an amazing week. Mr. Lawyer not so much. Which means Friday is time to celebrate/feel better! One bottle of red wine, some steaks, and a salad later it has been accomplished! The steak marinade was advertised as the "best ever" and it was pretty good. It started off with a mellow worcestershire flavor and ended on a mellow soy note. Mr. Lawyer liked it more than I did. I prefer more bold in your face flavors. I did the prep work and he grilled the steaks to perfection, special shout out to Mrs. T for sending us the yummy steaks!
My best buddy from school, Ms. J, gave me some fancy flavored (raspberry?) balsamic vinegar which was amazing on the provolone and pecan topped salad.
Steak Marinade 
(adapted from
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1. Mix all the ingredients together!
2. Pour marinade over desired type of meat. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired.

P.S. The new Fiesta color will be announced this weekend. Eeeeeeee!!