Monday, March 24, 2014

Bust out the T-shirts - it's in the 40s!

This is exactly what happens if you're a New Englander and you haven't seen above freezing temps in ages and it's FINALLY 44 degrees. It's like springtime! I went without a coat all weekend :)

I have some really fun and exciting pictures to share, so I'll get straight to it :)

Craft day with the Kid's Team for church - prepping 3 months of lessons takes basically an entire Michael's store's worth of supplies

I got reeeeeeeeeeeally good at making stars :-D 

So I've been living under a rock lately and had no idea that the Meyer's handsoap fragrance I love comes in a candle form too!!! #winning

Radish chips - new favorite snack. I broke down and finally got a mandolin slicer so I just cut up a few radishes, toss with olive oil, sugar, cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg, and bake at 350 until crisp. They have such a sweet/spicy flavor - it's awesome!

I've always been terrified of attempting risotto (watching too many episodes of Gordon Ramsey yelling at poor chefs on Hell's Kitchen for screwing it up scarred me) but I saw Hope make some and it actually looked pretty simple! I threw together a mushroom spinach risotto and here's my 'recipe':

Fry up finely diced shallots and minced garlic in butter in a large saucepan
As they become tender, pour in some white wine
Add in sliced mushrooms (whatever kinds you prefer) and cook until done-ish
In a separate pot, warm about 24 oz of vegetable broth and keep to the side
Add roughly 3 cups of Arborio rice to mushroom mixture and stir
Add in salt to taste
Gradually ladle in veggie broth, about a cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting rice absorb it
Keep stirring/pouring until rice is tender (may not use all liquid)
Add in finely shredded parmesan cheese when rice is done and stir in
Add in heaping handfuls of baby spinach and stir in until wilted


One of Gloria's favorite things that we've done is roller skating, so we decided to try out a new rink in Saugus

She's such a pro!


Found this AMAZING app - it lets you listen to 20+ French radio stations! Great to put on in the background while I get ready or cook

Finally went to try out the BBQ joint everyone has been telling me about since I moved up here...

It actually did feel a bit like 'home' when I walked in

Seemed to be a favorite with the guys


I opted for the brisket - not half bad! I mean, it's no Q Shack, but for being this far from home, it'll do :)

Giving 'the look' / Shameless Selfie

I went to a new friend's birthday brunch a few weeks ago - omg the food was so tasty!!!

Met lots of fun new peeps :-D

Babysitting for one of my favorite little ladies is always a blast

Gotta love open-mouthed slobbery baby 'kisses'

I've been getting back to my favorite hobby (cooking) and I made Coq au Vin for the first time. I'll walk you through how to make it and by golly if it's not one of the best dishes I've EVER cooked!!!

Start off by frying up diced pancetta in a bit of olive oil and set it aside once the pancetta is browned

Take a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces and brown in the pancetta drippings and then set aside with the cooked pancetta

Slice up onions and carrots and fry in the pancetta/chicken drippings 

I *love* this minced garlic - you can find it in the frozen foods section. Add in a few cubes to the onions/carrots

Add back in pieces of chicken/pancetta and then poor in half a bottle of a dry red wine, 8 oz of chicken stock, and finish with fresh thyme sprigs

Soften a tablespoon of butter and mix with a bit of flour until it becomes a paste, then mix in to the pot to thicken the sauce

Next add in a bag of frozen pearl onions

Finally, saute cremini mushrooms in butter and add to the chicken. Then cover with a lid and bake in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes

Finished product = AMAZING. MAKE IT.

Next up, a little treat at Zinnekin's to satisfy my sweet tooth with.... 


Mmmmmm cappuccino 

Liege waffle with Nutella, strawberries, and fresh whipped cream.

Madeline actually flew in on her birthday, so I had a surprise waiting for her when she got in :)


Hahahaha - going through her box of goodies



She's just so excited!!! I put together a little box of pampering stuff for her and had champagne :)

~slight tangent~ I - like most of America - have become obsessed with taking Buzzfeed quizzes. They are strangely accurate 99.9% of the time, and this one proves it...I took the 'what should you give up for Lent' quiz after Lent had started and I had already decided to give up Facebook and wouldn't ya know, I got Facebook. *creepy*

Teatime with Madeline

The faces she makes....*rolls eyes*

That's better!

We went to First Friday at the MFA - they have a DJ/bar/food in the museum so you can party it up while you look at art! So excited that Christie and Shameyka got to come too

I love impressionist pieces you can tell..

Ah Venice...

3 of the 4 ladies (minus Christie who had to leave a bit early)


Saturday we woke up to go to Aquitaine for brunch. 

Such a cute restaurant! Felt very French

I got the Duck confit hash -noms

This is yet another reason I love my sister. We had both just finished our delightful brunch entrees and then saw the table next to us get their food. I know this happens to everybody - you see someone else's food and you're like 'man I wish I had ordered that!' Mad and I looked at each other and we were both like....yes, we want to try what that guy got. So we ordered the Reuben Burger to share.

One of the best decisions of her trip, in my honest opinion. OMG IT WAS SO GOOD. 

Bathroom wallpaper - I think I'll do this in my future apartment


Silly silly - getting ready for our last night out

All dolled up!

Isn't she stunning????

T-Rex hands :-P

<3 <3 <3 <3

We went to Tangierino's for dinner - I loved the decor! Each table was draped with sheer curtains so everyone had their own little 'space'

Cocktail time


I got the lamb...

Madeline got duck

And we both got an uncomfortable dose of bellydancing right at our table. Supes awks (super awkward)

Next day Madeline flew out so I consoled myself with an Animal Burger (beef patty, pork skin, foie gras - NOMS) and truffle rosemary fries at The Cellar.

I wanted to teach Gloria some knife skills so we made a 'fruit salsa' - she did so great!

Just look at that mmmmmmmm

So proud of her work! She's amazing! 

Last week I got dinner with the boys - hadn't seen them in awhile, so we went to Tupelo

And then to Christina's afterwards for ice cream. These guys are great :)

Last year I had this awesome pork dish at Central Kitchen, so I tried to recreate it

And I added Yorkshire pudding - they're so fun to make! And easy too....

This was the original dish...

..and this was my attempt! Not 100%, but pretty darn close for an amateur. Green Goddess Aioli with red bliss potatoes and pork chop topped with sauteed mushroom and spring onions...

...with Yorkshire Pudd on the side ;-)

You know me...all about that food :)

Hair cut!!!! I chopped it all off 

Finally - my latest culinary endeavor: Butternut Squash Carbonara with caramelized onions, roasted garlic, pancetta, and fried sage leaves. Food is so good....

So folks, there you have it! As always, mostly food but I have some other fun activities thrown in between meals ;-) Life has been crazy busy but I'm going to try to get back to my more frequent posting schedule, so check back soon!
[ Share on Pinterest ]

1 comment:

  1. Wowza, such good eats! And yes, you BOTH are stunning whether you're all dolled up or not. Beauties!