Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up - Basketball and Bed

So this weekend was a little bit of this and a lot of nothing. LOL On Friday night, we had plans for dinner and D League basketball with our friend Frank. Since he moved to south Jersey, we don't see him as much as we used to. Dylan and I were supposed to meet them for diner at 5:30 and then head over to the game which started at 7. Well, I get to the restaurant exit on the highway, 30 minutes away, when I realize that I forgot the tickets to the game on the kitchen counter! ARGH!!! So, we had to go all the way back home and just ended up meeting the guys at the game.

But, I got to wear my new dress/top from Riff Raff. I love that it is a little funky and a little boho yet feminine and pretty.


We also got to see Jimmer Fredette right before he was called up the play for the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. That was AMAZING! That boy can shoot a basketball.

Tip Off ..


Getting ready to throw a couple of free throws ...


And Jimmer shooting a technical shot ...


The Kicks won by 20 points and scored over 100 points!

Here is a shot of the boy and me in our seats in between quarters. :)


The next day Frank had to leave early, Stew had a dentist appointment and the kids had plans with friends. I pretty much hung around the house and was a lazy bum. LOL! We even ordered in sushi for dinner and ate on paper plates.

So, Sunday meant getting down to business. But first things first was church. My friend Christine's daughter, Madison, just returned home from a church mission and on Sunday was her homecoming. She spoke in church about it. It was wonderful. I felt so honored to be there.

Here is a shot of Christine, Trina and me. I have known and loved these two ladies for over 15 years. They are truly the best people!


After church, we ran errands at BJ's and the grocery store and for lunch, the family ate the quesalupa. Ever since they saw the commercial a few weeks ago, they have been dying to try it. The verdict was it was good but the quesarito is better. I stuck to my bean burrito and potato soft taco. ;)


On Sunday nights, Stew always grills something. Tonight was a pork loin rubbed up with one of the various rubs from his stash. The names of them or the descriptions always crack me up. He has one for chicken that says it is guaranteed to enhance your breasts. Chicken breasts of course. LOL!!! This one is Rub Some Butt. I mean. Realy?! Ha!


I prepped snacks and lunches for the week and went to bed nice and early. Mondays after a week off are hard. But only a few more weeks until spring break. Yeehaw!!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Slow Cooker Lentils

With Ash Wednesday fast approaching, this year it is on February, 10th, I decided I better start gathering some meatless recipes. There is just so much tuna noodle casserole and eggplant parmesan a girl can eat. ;)

If you are unfamiliar with Ash Wednesday and Lent, let me give you a little background. As a Roman Catholic, you must abstain from eating meat and all foods made with meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent which lead up to Easter Sunday.

Since I am Italian, my go to is pasta. I love anything served over pasta...peas, beans, etc. I also have a thing for lentils especially as an alternative to meat. I have always used my mom's recipe, but being a mom of busy teens, I went in search for a slow cooker recipe. I found one that I doctored up to my liking and thought I would share it with you. Trust me you will love this meatless meal even if you are not a bean lover. :)



Ingredients:

1 (1 lb) bag of dried brown lentils, rinsed (I only use Goya)


2 medium carrots, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced


2 (32oz) cartons of chicken broth
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste


1/2 cup dry sherry
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

-Spray slow cooker with cooking spray or insert a liner

-Mix all ingredients in slow cooker


-Cover and cook on low for 10 hours

-Serve over ditalini pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

I also found this Lentil Soup with Rice & Spinach Recipe on italianfood.about.com that I thought sounded fabulous if you have a bit more time to for meal prep.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup short-grained rice
1 cup lentils, soaked for 4 hours
1 bunch spinach, washed and cut into strips
2 cloves garlic
An onion
1 rib celery
1 cup plain tomato sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper


Rinse the lentils and cook them for 45 minutes in 2 quarts of water with the onion, celery, and salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the lentils with a slotted spoon, and strain the broth, discarding the celery.

Slice the onion and sauté it in a pot with the oil and the garlic for 3 minutes, then add the tomato sauce and cook 2 minutes more. Add the lentils and the spinach, and then the lentil broth.

When the soup comes to a boil add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is done, about 15 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings

I plan on sharing my family's favorite Lenten meatless meals with you every week. :)

Friday, September 04, 2015

Friday Faves & Weekend Recap All In One

I know. I know. I am horrible at keeping up with my posts. I decided to give myself some grace and combine two posts in one. It just so happens that my weekend recap photos are some of my favorites right now. ;)

But first up is the first day of school. Both of my kiddos are in high school. Dylan is a senior and Natalie is a sophomore. Trying to get them to take a decent photo was quite comical. They were giving me all kinds of grumpy faces. I begged them to at least pretend they were happy about going back to school and this is what I got. Serves me right I guess. LOL! It just might be my favorite 1st day of school photo to date.


Next is my sweet girl, Tilly. I must confess that I was not on board with adding a dog into the family. I knew I would be the one handling all the responsibility. We go away a lot. And, I am a sentimental fool that gets attached to lint on the bottom of my shoe. LOL! That being said. I am totally in love. The kids joke that she is my favorite child. :)


I am addicted to cookbooks, cooking magazines, recipe websites, blogs about food. I have thousands of recipes pinned. If it's about food, I'm all over it. Right now, this magazine is my favorite. It is gorgeous and the recipes looks scrumptious. I cannot wait to make something from it.


In keeping with the food theme, this is my new favorite meatless meal. I am () close to being a vegetarian. I probably would be if I wasn't married to a huge meat eater who loves to grill all the things. So, when I saw @snoopnattynat post this recipe on Instagram, I immediately ran out to get the ingredients. It was quick, easy and delicious. You can find the recipe on her blog. I did a few things differently. I used frozen broccoli, a little bit more garlic, regular breadcrumbs instead of panko and I drizzled olive oil on top of mine before baking. They were a hit with everyone even Natalie who avoids mushrooms like the plague.




Now, here's where the Weekend Recap clashes with the Friday Favorites. LOL.

My son loves old fighter planes. He has been wanting to go to the Intrepid all summer but trying to coordinate it with his friend's schedule has been tricky. So, on the spur of the moment we took a trip to the New England Air Museum in Windsor Lockes, CT. This was definitely a favorite for him and for me. Getting to spend time with him and watching him enjoy himself is definitely a favorite. His favorite thing was sitting in his favorite plane ... the Thunderbird. Here are a few pictures from that day. I cannot wait to make a scrapbook for him with all the photos I took.






And now back to food. ;)

There is this place is Monroe, CT. called Mac Daddy's. They make gourmet mac n' cheese. OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS! Yes, I am screaming! The first time we went, I had french onion. It was incredible. This time, Natalie and I ordered two different kinds of snack sizes and shared them. That way we could try more than one kind. We had buffalo mac n' cheese and mac a la vodka. The boys ordered the Cuban. It had ham and pickles. YUM! This place is a favorite for sure!




If you're still with me, you're in luck. This is the last favorite thing/recap this week. Even though we live in New York, we spend a ton of time in CT as you can probably tell from this post alone. Before my husband had Lyme Disease, we used to go to wine tastings all the time. But alcohol was strictly off limits while he was fighting it. He has been given a clean bill of health and has eased himself back into eating a regular diet and adding alcohol as well. So, we celebrated by going to Jones in, you guessed it, CT. It's not too far from the mac n' cheese place. It was a gorgeous day. I had a chardonnay and Stew had a Merlot. The kids had iced tea. They give you grapes from the farm. We sat ouside. It was crowded and oh so cute. A favorite little afternoon weekend activity.





And there you have my favorite/recap post. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Peach Galette

I love to bake even though I am not a big sweets eater. I would much rather eat real food than a piece of cake. I often bake to give it away to friends and neighbors. I mean my family can eat just so much. LOL!

So, when my Dad gave me a dozen giant peaches, I needed to figure out what to do with them. I searched the web and decided I would make a galette ... nice and easy and not too sweet.

Ingredients:

-1 sheet of thawed frozen puff pastry
-2 peaches, sliced thin
-1-1/2 tablespoons of cold butter, cut up into small cubes
-3 TBSP of granulated sugar
-1 tsp of ground cinnamon


Directions:

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-Make sure the oven rack is in the lowest row.
-Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
-Place thawed puff pastry sheet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
-Line up the peach slices in (3) three rows, making sure to leave about a 1-1/2 to 2 inch border around all four sides.


-Sprinkle 2 TBSP of the cinnamon sugar over the peaches.
-Top with chopped up butter.
-Fold over the sides of the puff pastry making a border around the peaches.
-brush with water and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on the edges.


-Bake about 30-35 minutes until the crust is golden and the juices are bubbling.

Voila! You have an easy and delicious dessert.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Faves - Family, Food & Fashion Edition

Happy Friday!

Welcome to the Family, Food & Fashion Edition of Friday Faves. :)

I'm linking up with the uber fabulous Andrea at momfessionals.com.

First up is my favorite dress from my favorite online shop ... Shop Cissie.



I discovered Shop Cissie on Instagram last year and I am so glad that I did. They have fabulous dresses for really affordable prices. Plus, the girls that own it are super sweet!

My second favorite dress from their shop is the Spanglish dress. I missed out on it last year so I was super excited to see them bring it back again this year. I scooped it up as soon as it went live on their site.


If you don't follow them on Instagram, you're missing out. Be sure to check out @shopcissie. You wont be disappointed. Promise. :)

Next up is this slow cooker meal I made this week. I tell ya I think I use my slow cooker more in the summer than I do in the cooler months. With my son's baseball practices and games usually starting right in the middle of dinner time, I have no choice but to make something in the crockpot if we want to eat. LOL

This Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken is INCREDIBLE!!!


Recipe is courtesy of Mix and Match Mama

Shopping List
3-4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 pound chicken breasts (frozen or thawed)
1 onion, sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28 oz) can Fire Roasted Tomatoes (not Rotel! The can actually says Fire Roasted Tomatoes.)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
lots of salt and pepper
2 heaping tablespoons sugar

In your slow cooker, layer all ingredients in order above except the sugar (you'll add that at the end). If the chicken is frozen, cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours. If your chicken is thawed, cook on low 6 hours or high 3 hours.

About 30 minutes before you're ready to eat, remove lid and shred the chicken with two forks right inside the slow cooker. Stir in sugar and cover again to finish cooking another 20-30 minutes.

*I also added a can of drained green olives in the last 30 minutes. I think next time, I'll add a can of mushrooms as well.

Here are some step-by-step photos for y'all:





One of my most favorite things to do is celebrate family. My niece turned 5 this week and my mom hosted a Frozen themed birthday party for her. Here are some shots from the festivities ...

Singing Happy Birthday:


Ripping into the presents we got her:



Thanking Natalie for the presents:


After cake and presents, we hit up the park across the street to slide and climb with a crown on of course. ;)



And lastly, I leave you with my favorite little book that puts me in the right frame of mind as I start my day. I read one or two blessings every morning when I wake up. I try and start each day on a positive note and this little book does the trick. I got it at Target a few months ago. *Sigh* I love Target. ;)


This is my favorite blessing. I read it everyday along with another one that pertains to a specific thing on my mind.


And there you have my favorites this week. Thanks for stopping by!