Monday, December 31, 2012

I Know Were Supposed to Eat Black-Eyed Peas...

BUT I don't wanna! I've never like black-eyed peas, I would eat one and only one on New Years Day night to appease my Mom. So in place of black-eyed peas I'll be serving these (My Mama made them on Christmas night and they were amaze!) brussel sprouts tonight. I realize that black-eyed peas and brussel sprouts are not alike in way, shape or form, but just roll with it.


Ingredients
Brussel Sprouts (I get the bagged verison from Trader Joe's)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Start by slicing the ends off of each sprout and cutting them in half. Drizzle on about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Just enough to coat each sprout. Toss in a good-sized pinch of kosher salt and ground pepper. Gently stir the sprouts to coat them in oil, but be careful not to stir too vigorously as to break them apart. Turn the sprout out on to a cookie sheet to roast.
Run them into a preheated oven at 400′ for about 20 to 30 minutes, using a spatula to turn them half way through cooking.
While they’re cooking, add 1 tablespoon of butter to a small saucepan, followed by 1 tablespoon honey. Warm the honey butter on low heat until combined.
Add 1/4 cup of chopped pecans to a small cookie sheet and run them in the 400′ oven for about 4 to 5 minutes.
Once the sprouts are roasted add the honey butter and toasted pecans and enjoy!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gingerbread for Christmas

One of my SILs had the smart question of if you make Gingerbread bread do you call it that or just Gingerbread? Thoughts everyone?

This recipe is for a Gingerbread cake which was my suggested item to bring to our "Charles Dickens" themed Christmas dinner that my god-mother hosted this past Christmas. It was a wonderful evening and this cake was delicious. I think the vanilla sauce was definitely needed and I wouldn't make this without it as it makes it more dessert like.

Ummm also is it really NEW YEARS EVE? 

Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cake from Kitchen Trials


Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cake from Kitchen Trials

Ingredients

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup applesauce
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350℉ with a rack in the middle position. Grease and flour a 9" square baking pan.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then beat in the molasses and apple sauce.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Mix into the molasses mixture. Stir in the hot water.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.




Vanilla Sauce from Tastebook.com


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • Mix dry ingredients in sauce pan. Stir in:
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Cook on low heat, stirring with whisk constantly for 5-10 minutes. Serve HOT over Gingerbread Cake.

***I made my gingerbread cake in a bundt pan which I thought worked out great. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dalton's Christmas Wish

Have you all heard about Dalton? I heard about this sweet boy here and here. Dalton has stage 4 cystic fibrosis and is fighting for his life. His Christmas wish this year is to receive enough Christmas cards to break the Guinness world record. What a touching wish, right? SO let's all take the five minutes out of our day and send Dalton a card. If you have run out of Christmas cards don't fret, any simple card will do or even make your own!

I put my card in the mail yesterday and as I was writing a message to Dalton I was sweetly reminded that this is what the Christmas season is all about. It's so amazing how this world connects people and how we truly can all help one another.

via Pursuit of Style



You can read more about Dalton's story here.

Merry Christmas to you all!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

FOOD Week Continues with a Cookie

If you aren't a York Peppermint Pattie fan then you might not love these cookies, but if you ARE like me (And my Mama!) than you will die over these cookies. The rich chocolate flavor mixed with the minty flavor of the York Peppermint Pieces is just divine, not too mention the cookies look pretty cute too.

I found my York Peppermint Pieces at my local Tom Thumb, but drugstores and stores like Target have them too. The "pieces" are basically York Peppermint Patties in M&M form that come in resealable bags. I'm sure you all have seen these before.

York Peppermint Pieces Cookies from Lovin' From the Oven


York Peppermint Pieces Cookies slightly adapted from Lovin' From the Oven


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 stick (½ cup) butter, cut into pieces
  • ¾ cup York Pieces 
  • 1½ cups sugar 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat your oven to 325˚F. 
  2. Melt the semisweet chocolate and butter in the microwave, stirring until smooth. Set aside and let cool for 2-3 minutes.
  3. In a mixer, combine the melted chocolate, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. 
  4. Slowly mix in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the candy pieces.
  5. Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 13-14 minutes. Let them cool on pan for 2-3 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, December 17, 2012

FOOD Week Continues with a DIP

Now I know I said meatballs are the key to any great party spread, but I also think dips play a important role too. Who doesn't love to dip a cracker (my favorites are whole wheat versions from TJs right now) into a hot cheesy gooey dip? Man, I'm wishing I still had some of this dip leftover to enjoy.

A girlfriend of mine (Hi Lu!) and one of my SILs both professed their love of this dip to me earlier this year so it made its way onto the Christmas party menu. Let me tell you friends, it was the first item to be gobbled up, clearly it was a crowd pleaser.

I made this the night before and then baked right before the party and that worked out great. Thank you Jessica for ALWAYS giving us amazing recipes!

Toasted Almond Parmesan Dip from How Sweet It Is



makes about 1 1/2 cups of dip
6 ounces cream cheese (I use a low-fat version)
2 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup sliced toasted almonds
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, mascarpone, salt, pepper, nutmeg, parmesan and 1/2 cup almonds. Mix with a spoon to combine, then press into a baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining almonds. Serve with crackers and pita chips!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

FOOD Week!

Hiiii friends! This week is going to be called food week due to the many recipes I want to tell you all about. We had our annual Christmas party this past weekend which means a yummy menu was planned and now I want to share all my recipes with you all.

By far one of the favorites every year is meatballs. Isn't the saying that it isn't a party unless you have meatballs? Or did I make that up? ANYWAY, these meatballs couldnt' be easier, you buy cooked frozen ones and dump them in your crock pot/slow cooker with some simple ingredients and like magic they come out awesome.

Pineapple Meatballs from Debbi Does Dinner


Pineapple Meatballs Recipe from Debbie Does Dinner
40 frozen meatballs
1/2 of a 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice or water

Put the frozen meatballs in the slow cooker.  In a food processor or blender, process the rest of the items and pour over meatballs.  Cook 4 - 6 hours on low until meatballs are warm and done. 
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sale at Calypso

Are you all aware that Calypso St. Barth is having 25% (GIFT25 is the promo code) site wide? This happens RARELY my friends so I think you should take advantage.

I'm debating on their latest silk dupioni dress style. I LOVE these dresses. I have a few and wear them constantly in the summer. They also pack amazingly, so they would be great for any ocean side holiday vacations you might have coming up...lucky duck if you do by the way.

Shula Silk Dupioni Dress from Calypso St. Barth


Happy Shopping!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Favorite Chili

Happy COLD morning to you all! Winter has finally arrived here in Texas and with winter comes chili.

I know everyone is so particular about their chili, only beans, beans and meat, just meat...the options are endless. Jenna's chili happens to be my favorite because of the lean ground turkey and black beans, hearty and healthy. I've made a few adjustments to Jenna's recipe to better suit my taste though. Stay warm and enjoy!

Turkey and Bean Chili via Eat, Live, Run



Turkey and Black Bean Chili slightly adapted from Eat, Live, Run
Serves 8
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 pound ground turkey meat
2 tablespoons chili powder (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2-3 pinches cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
1 28-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
½ cup chicken stock
2 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
kosher salt and black pepper
Directions:
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Cook the  bell pepper until softened—about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno pepper and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the turkey and cook while using a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Continue cooking until the meat is no longer pink—about another 5 minutes.
Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder,  and cayenne—stir and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the tomato paste and chipotle peppers (if using) and then add in the diced tomatoes with its juices. Gently stir in the chicken stock and beans and bring the mixture up to a slow boil. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer the chili partially covered, for about 30 minutes. Stir the chili every 10 minutes or so as it slowly thickens. Once it reaches your desired consistency, taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as needed.
Serve the chili with shredded cheese on top, pepperjack is excellent in this! Fritos or tortilla chips are welcome additions too.
***If following my recipe above your chili will slightly different than the picture of Jenna's above!



Monday, December 10, 2012

Coffe Cake Goes Personal Size

OMGGG these coffee cake like muffins were SO good. The streusel topping was my favorite part and I may or may not have been eating it by the spoonful, whoops. These are a bit time intensive, but SO worth it. These were

These would be an excellent thing to make to have on hand for breakfasts for the many house guests I know a lot of us will be having over the next few weeks. And hey it IS the holiday season so splurge a little and enjoy these.

And just a little FYI, these cupcakes were the other menu item I mentioned in yesterday's post.

Coffee Cake Cupcakes from The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Coffee cake cupcakes

STREUSEL INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract

GLAZE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp milk


  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp melted butter










Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the chopped pecans and melted butter. Continue mixing with a fork until the sugar and pecans are fully mixed and evenly moistened by the butter. Reserve; this is your streusel topping.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Cut the butter into cubes and place them in a mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer on low speed, then medium. to cream the butter for a minute till it becomes light and airy.

Slowly add sugar to the bowl and beat for 2-3 minutes more, increasing the speed gradually and scarping the sides of the bowl with a spatula periodically, until the color becomes lighter and the sugar is fully integrated into the butter.

Beat in the eggs, then the sour cream, then the almond or vanilla extract.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and stir till evenly moistened. Don't over-mix.

Line a cupcake tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Fill each tin halfway with batter. A helpful to do this would be a small ice cream scoop!

Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp of streusal onto the top of the batter in each tin.

Fill the tins the rest of the way with batter and sprinkle again with 1 1/2 tsp of streusal on each cupcake.

Bake the cupcakes for 30-35 minutes until they test clean with a toothpick or skewer. Remove from oven and let cool completely for icing with glaze.

To make glaze sift the powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl and then add the rest of the glaze ingredients. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients till a creamy frosting forms. Then place frosting with help from a spatula into a bag (Ziploc for example) and snip off one end of the bag and drizzle the glaze over the cupcakes. Let dry at least 30 minutes and then enjoy!







Sunday, December 9, 2012

Perfect Egg Casserole

Hi friends, did everyone have a good weekend? We had a jam packed, but very fun one.

Saturday morning was my sweet friend Lauren's (Check out her fun blog here!) baby shower and boy did we have a great menu. Two particular dishes were stand outs, one being the Mushroom and Egg Casserole.  OMG guys, it was delicious...even people who didn't like eggs liked it!

I hope to do a full recap of the shower later in the week!

Mushroom and Egg Casserole from Midwest Living

Mushroom and Egg Casserole from Midwest Living
  • Ingredients
  • slices prosciutto (about 1-1/2 ounces) 
  • scallions or green onions, thinly sliced (about 2/3 cup) 
  • tablespoon butter or margarine
  • pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used white button mushrooms)
  • eggs
  • cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (10 ounces)
Directions
  1. In a large skillet, cook prosciutto until crisp; drain off drippings and crumble prosciutto or bacon. Set aside.
  2. Wipe pan clean. Cook scallions in same skillet in butter or margarine over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove skillet from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and pepper. Stir in cheese and the mushroom mixture. Pour into a greased 2-quart rectangular (12x7-1/2x2-inch) baking dish.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed and a knife inserted off-center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sleeping Beauty

Don't get too excited all you Disney fanatics out there, this post isn't about the Disney classic. Instead it's about chic sleepwear. Doesn't everyone wish they look as chic at bedtime as they do during the day? I'm usually a over sized t-shirt kind of gal, but lately have been wanting to step up my game.

SO in honor of that want I'm showcasing some of my favorite PJ's today and while these are all great Christmas ideas, they also could double as bachelorette gift ideas and new mommy presents.


I love to give these Claridge + King shirts as bachelorette gifts (Obvi with the bride's new monogram), but really it's a great gift in general. These are extremely well made and I'm told they last for a long time. Maybe I'll gift myself one of these this year!

The Original His is Hers Shirt via Claridge + King


This set is on my Christmas list this year, LOVING that lilac color.

Three J NYC Jamie Pajama Set via Shopbop


And if you haven't become familiar with the Marigot Collection become familiar quick. Their fun prints, but classic styles are perfect for the chic sleepwear category.

Lorient Nightshirt in Mocha Sand Dollar via Marigot Collection




Last but not least, a very budget friendly set from Target. My best gal pal, Little Miss Wade showcased another print of these on her blog yesterday, looks like we might be twinkies!

Exhilaration Juniors Pajama Set via Target


Do tell friends, what am I missing from this list?


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Look for Less

So by now we all are familiar with the Oscar de la Renta Beaded Tassel earring right? They are truly stunning and a show stopper of an earring. I've been lusting after a pair for a loooong time, but can never pull the trigger on them because of their hefty price tag.

Long Beaded Tassel Earrings, Blue via Neiman Marcus


Enter ETSY seller, Odette Negulescu. I can't even remember how I came across her shop, but she sells amazing look alike pairs of these amaze tassel earrings. I've ordered two pairs through Odette and am very happy with them.

Beaded Tassel ClipOn Earrings Navy via ETSY


One piece of info you need to know though is that Odette is out of of Russia SO shipping will take a bit longer, but it's worth the wait! These would make a perfect Christmas present for your bestie, just order ASAP!