Saturday, April 26, 2014

Home Sweet Home

We finally bought a house!!!  After much searching, we have found the perfect house to start our family story in.  We are so excited and have been busy at work painting, cleaning and slowly moving our things in. 

I hope to document some of our projects as they happen.  For now, can't wait to make it Home Sweet Home!!!



Friday, February 14, 2014

love is in the air

In the past I have had a negative feeling about Valentine's Day.  Why should we only celebrate love once a year???  Let's look at it as though we will celebrate love today just a little more than the other days...that way I can feel better about partaking in something I don't really agree with :)

This morning, I made heart shaped pancakes and heart shaped bacon for my "big Valentine"!  My "little Valentine" had a special bottle made with love, no pancakes for him just yet.


 
 

Old Fashioned Pancakes (from Allrecipes.com)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tblspn. sugar
1 1/4 cups milk**
1 egg
3 Tblspn. butter, melted

Whisk ingredients together until smooth.  Add more milk to thin if necessary.  Heat a griddle or frying pan over med-high heat.  Butter pan and scoop pancakes into center of heart shaped cookie cutter.  Once they are set, golden brown and ready to flip over, remove cookie cutter and flip.  Once lightly golden on the other side remove from pan and serve with butter and syrup!

I only had one big heart cookie cutter, so made regular round pancakes and just put the heart pancake on top.

**I ended up adding extra milk to the batter as I made the pancakes because it kept thickening up. 
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Heart Shaped Bacon (As seen on Pinterest)

1 pkg. bacon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut bacon slices in half and fold to create hearts.  Place on baking sheet and cook until browned - approximately 15 minutes.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Carbonara

For some reason I have been craving spaghetti carbonara.  Thankfully, my sister-in-law's boyfriend is an amazing chef and made it for me a few weeks ago when we saw him at Christmas.  It totally satisfied my craving...for a few days.  It came back with a vengeance this week and I was at a loss.  It felt like the walk of shame when I texted him to teach me how to make it.  He was very gracious and sent me step by step instructions.  It was delish and so easy to make, which is probably a very bad thing because I have a feeling this is a craving that's here to stay!!

 
 
Pasta Carbonara
 
Ingredients:
6 oz. pancetta, diced
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
1 lb. spaghetti or bucatini

In a large sauté pan,  cook the pancetta over medium heat until golden brown.  Add the shallot and garlic and sauté until soft.  Add white wine to deglaze pan.  Lower heat and cook until wine has reduced by about 80%.  In the meantime, boil water and cook pasta until al dente.  Once wine has reduced and pasta is cooked add it to the pancetta mixture.  Be sure to save some of the pasta cooking water as you may need it to thin out the sauce a bit.  Remove pan from heat and add the cheese.  Stir to begin melting the cheese.  Add the egg yolks and toss to blend into pasta.  Cheese and yolks should form a creamy sauce - I added a little pasta cooking water at a time to get it to the desired consistency.  Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.  So easy and delicious - buon appetito!

A Fresh Start

I am not a big fan of new year's resolutions - mostly because I am the type of person that believes if you want to make a change then you should start right away.  That being said, it's time for a change, just so happens to also be the start of a new year.  I created this blog a few years ago with big ambitions.  I wanted it to be as great as the handful of blogs I read on a daily basis.  I wanted people to connect with me on another level, to laugh at my witty jokes, cry when I am being emotional and overall wait with baited breath until I posted another excerpt of amazingness.

Somehow though, life got in the way and that hasn't happened yet.  Since I first began this blog I have gotten married, had my first child, started a new job and moved to a new state. We have been busy to say the least. Now that the dust is finally settling, it's time to dust off this old blog and start again.

I am nervous, excited and most of all hopeful that I can get this thing to the place I have always dreamed it could be.  Here it goes!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rainbow Cookies!!!

Ok, so my favorite bakery treat of all time is Rainbow Cookies.  I finally decided that it was time I learned how to make them and if they turned out ok they would become a new Christmas tradition in our house.  I found a great recipe in Saveur magazine and tried it - the result...AMAZING!!!


1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
2 cups flour, plus more for pans
1 cup sugar
1 (12.5 oz) can almond pastry filling (I used Solo brand)
4 eggs
12 drops green food coloring
12 drops red food coloring
1 (12oz) seedless raspberry jam
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted


Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease and flour three 9" x 13" baking pans and line with parchment paper; set aside.  Using a mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add pastry filling; beat until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add flour; beat until just combined.  Evenly divide batter into 3 bowls.  Add green food coloring to one bowl, red food coloring to another and leave the third plain.  Using an offset spatula, spread each batter into a prepared baking pan.  Bake each pan until just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Invert cakes onto wire racks to cool.


Heat jam in saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring, until smooth; cool slightly.  Place green cake on a butting board or foil lined baking sheet.  Using an offset spatula, spread half of the jam over the green cake; top with plain cake.  Spread remaining jam over plain cake and top with red cake.  Chill to set jam about 1 hour.


Using a slicing knife, trim cake edges to form an even block.  Slice block crosswise into 1 1/2" wide logs; separate on cutting board.  Using an offset spatula, spread chocolate over top, sides and ends of each log until completely covered; chill to set chocolate.  Slice each log crosswise into 1/2"-thick squares to serve.


Old Timey Stuff

Last night after dinner, we decided to tap into our Italian heritage and break out and old Espresso maker that PR's grandmother gave him.  After a few tries we had the most delicious espresso - and we got to use our new demitasse cups!!!  This will definitely be the way we finish our meals from now on.



Friday, December 9, 2011

PIZZA

We finally found a recipe for pizza dough that we LOVE!  It was really easy to make and the pizza came out delicious - here's how simple it is:


1 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 Tblspn. honey
2 tsp. salt
2 Tblspn. olive oil
3 cups bread flour


In bowl of a mixer, stir yeast and honey into warm water.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture begins to foam.  Pour in salt and half of the flour mixture.  Once flour is incorporated, add remaining flour a little at a time until the dough is at your desired consistency; slightly tacky but doesn't stick to your hands.  At this stage, turn mixture to high and knead for 6 minutes.  Lightly grease a bowl and put dough ball in, cover with plastic wrap.  Let dough rise 1-2 hours.  You're done!


Here are our before and after pictures - mangia.