Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mitten Munchies

This past weekend I realized why so many people believe it's pure insanity for the Superbowl to be held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.


Anthony and I went to the Giants Cowboys game on Sunday and - although my weather app said that it was 32 degrees outside - it felt like 15. We packed up a bunch of food to tailgate and, instead of standing around the grill making friends, ended up sitting our freezing-cold butts in my jeep with the heaters on drinking beers and contemplating just how many of our toes would actually make it through to the fourth quarter.

We also ate these terrible cupcakes that I made. While they look pretty, they were super dry and uneventful. I found the recipe on the site of a very well-known female food and lifestyle celebrity who shall not be named (hint: she posted some pretty hysterical food pics on Twitter recently). Perhaps I didn't follow the directions right... Regardless, they were down-right disappointing.

At least they looked pretty

Although the cupcakes were a fail, the pasta salad I brought was a success! I used Ina Garten's recipe which I believe is THE best pasta salad of all time. You can find it here on the Food Network website.

And, last but surely not least, I thought I'd share the picture of Paisley post-visit to my sister's college campus this weekend. The fact that she's never seen open fields of grass before combined with the handfuls of college kids that gave her endless attention ensured that she slept for a good hour-and-a-half after we left.

You're getting sleeeeeepy... very sleeeeeepy... 

It's as if she was trying to stay awake for more activities and just couldn't do it.

Happy Thanksgiving week, everyone! Hope you're enjoying some wonderful time with family and friends!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin 'Dirt' Pudding

Hard to believe that the weekend is over and that it's Monday already, but what a great weekend it was!

On Saturday my parents came by Hoboken to meet the new puppy, do a little shopping and have dinner with Anthony and me. Now, my mother is quite the exceptional cook and baker. Every time I visit her at home there is - without fail - at least 3 homemade desserts on the counter for us to pick at. So, when she said that she and my dad were coming to dinner, I had to make something reallllllly good!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Paisley Latino's Day Off

Hopefully by this point in your life you've been fortunate enough to have seen the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. If you haven't, I feel sorry for you and suggest you immediately find it and watch it (I was about to say 'go to Blockbuster and rent it,' but then remembered that those days are long gone. Sigh).

As you could probably tell from the title, the movie chronicles the adventures of a high school student named Ferris Bueller as he has an out-of-this-world ridiculous day playing hooky from class. He and his friends drive a Ferrari into downtown Chicago, go to a baseball game, takeover a float while crashing a huge holiday parade... And that's just the start of it!

So, I'd like to think that when our dog, Paisley, MacGyvered her way out of her crate yesterday afternoon she was having the same thought as Ferris Bueller the moment the school secretary bought his impersonation of his own father calling him out sick: FREEDOM!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Weekend Bites!

Weddings are just so fun.

I know, here I am stating the obvious (per usual), but let me explain. I'm not just talking about the fact that they involve a bunch of elated family and friends coming together to celebrate people that they love.

They're also so fun because each one is incredibly unique! Every wedding I've attended over the past year (we're now approaching the sixth wedding of six) is such a perfect expression of the couple being celebrated. Think about it: you spend a year (sometimes more) planning each and every detail of that day down to the fork on the table. The bride and groom put so much effort into making their special day THEIRS... A day that will leave an imprint on their memory for ever and ever.

That being said - and maybe it's because I just had my own wedding - I've really grown to appreciate and take note of all the small details. In my opinion, a wedding is a true success when, as a guest, you look at the day overall and your reaction is, "wow, that celebration was the perfect epitome of (insert name of couple here)."

Anyway, I'm stop blabbing... I'm assuming you've figured out by now that Anthony and I were at a wedding this weekend (ha)! Two of our friends from college had a beautiful ceremony in Philadelphia which we couldn't have been more thrilled to be a part of! We even got a chance to snap the obnoxious (post-cocktail hour) photo booth shots above...

When we woke up on Sunday morning in Philly, the only thing we wanted to do was get home, head straight to the couch and watch football (is it me, or do the rides home from weddings seem like an ETERNITY?). Clearly a post-wedding football Sunday deserves some killer comfort food!

We whipped up a huge batch of Pat Neelys 'Famous Beef & Pork Chili.' It totally hit the spot.

Photo Credit: My dysfunctional iPhone
Chili isn't chili without a side of cornbread, so we also made this recipe for 'Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread.' If there was something higher than an A+ this cornbread would have earned it. It was amazing!

Anyway, hope everyone has a great week and I'll check back in soon with a new recipe!

UPDATE: The photo of the chili above was retweeted by Pat Neely! I jumped up and down. Literally.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Roasted Eggplant Sandwiches with Basil Garlic Aioli

Anthony and I try to bring our lunch to work everyday. Obviously this doesn't work 100% of the time, but we like to aim to BYO at least four outta the five days in the week. It saves money, plus the eateries around my office can get prettttttty boring after a while (you can only eat that same salad so many times in a week).

The easiest way to successfully commit to packing lunch for work is by making a bit extra for dinner the night before so that you have leftovers for the next day. Just make your dinner and set some aside in a Tupperware container before you eat (key word here being BEFORE you eat... otherwise you end up eating all the extras!).

These eggplant sandwiches are one of my favorite 'make ahead' BYO lunches. You can either assemble them the night before when you're making the rest (tip: wrap them in a paper towel before you wrap them in plastic wrap so they doing get soggy), or put the pieces in separate baggies / tupperware for assembly at the office. Either way, they're delicious!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Couple Quick Bites from the Weekend

This weekend I was able to witness quiteeeeee the NY Jets victory...
Here's a fun pic of us Jets fans happily walking into the sunset after a fantabulous win! 

And in other news Paisley had her first vet appointment. Didn't take her long to find the good 'old doc's
jar of treats! What a little monster.

Hope everyone's Tuesday is treating them well!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Honey Dijon Chicken Cutlets

From first through eighth grade, I attended a teeny tiny parochial school in Bedford, NY, where my class-size was 26 and birthday parties consisted of inviting your entire grade.

Claire and me in our super-cool St. Pat's uniforms circa 1994

On the first Friday of every month, we had a half day and were dismissed at lunch time. For many years, these 'First Fridays' as we called them meant one thing: a trip to McDonalds after school for lunch with our friends. My parents were pretty good about limiting our fast food consumption, so this was a HUGE deal. I'd basically start strategically planning which Happy Meal I was going to get on Monday of that week. In fact, I'm pretty sure there's still a red, plastic briefcase with my name on it lying around my parents house somewhere filled with my Happy Meal toys of childhood past (ha).

So, to make an unnecessarily long story short, I absolutely loved ordering McDonald's chicken nuggets. What made these little nuggets even BETTER was smothering them in the honey dipping sauce (do they even make that anymore?). This recipe took me back to those days, but its ten times better since there's a little dijon mixed in there!