February 10, 2009

oh vegas!

celebrating chinese new year still

This past weekend we went to Las Vegas for a wedding. It was our first time away from Cooper AND our first time to Las Vegas. (thank you mom!)

Such a wonderful trip. Still tired as a result!

People watching was FANTASTIC and the food we ate was killer. Because Casey and I love eating our way through a city, I made sure book some reservations the second our flights were booked.

Here are some of the places we ate:

*Nobhill (took pictures, but the lack of flash made everything so blah! I am NOT going to be that person who is firing a flash in a dark restaurant all night long. It’s like being on your cellphone…but worse!)

*Bouchon (Thomas Keller held the key to our hangover cure at Brunch on Sunday)

which included…..


February 3, 2009

Super Fudgy Brownies

want one?

For you chocolate lovers out there who don’t have TONS of time- make this recipe!

I’m not a huge fan of chocolate- isn’t that sad? But every now and then I like to indulge. I had some friends over on friday and let Casey decide what we all should have for dessert since he is the sweet tooth of the family.

BROWNIES! with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce!

I totally thought that I had a box of Brownie mix from Trader Joes in my cupboard. A mom neeeeeeeds to make shortcuts! To my dismay, our overstuffed pantry had no such item! Schnitzle!

I dug up one of my old Everyday Food issue that had brownies on the cover. Fortunately their recipe called for everything I DID have.

Talk about serendipity!!!

They were really good! I caught myself *sampling* pieces for a few days after I had my friends over and I FINALLY had to put those brownies to rest! This is why I try not to bake often! I really cannot be trusted with baked goods on my kitchen island.

chocolate & butter

time to put three eggs in

mixing dry with wet

nuts for nuts

who would like some?

Fudgy Brownies

Recipe: Everyday Food


-½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for parchment
-8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
-1/4 cup cocoa powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1 ¼ cups sugar
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3 large eggs
-1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
-1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil; butter foil. Set aside.

2. Mix flour, salt, cocoa powder & baking powder together in a bowl. Set aside.

3. Place butter and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water; stir frequently, until almost melted. Remove from heat; stir until completely melted.

4. Whisk in sugar until smooth; whisk in eggs. Gently whisk in flour mixture until smooth (do not overmix). Fold in nuts, if using.

5. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (they should form a ball when rolled between your fingers), 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

6. Use parchment paper to lift from pan; peel off and discard. Cut into squares.

January 31, 2009

as seen in sunset magazine!

Be sure to pick up this month’s Sunset Magazine because you will find a quote from my blog of this FANTASTIC recipe:

after a few helpings...

Italian Sausage & Chard Stuffing

And while you are at it, check out the Cinnamon Oatmeal Waffles I made from last month’s issue.

a good morning

Oatmeal Cinnamon Waffles

They are delish!

I look forward to trying some of their new coffee recipes this month!

Thank you Sunset!

January 25, 2009

Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

come to momma!

diggggggg in bebe

I was at my sister-in-law’s house the other weekend perusing her latest issue of Real Simple.
Holy mother!! The Mac & Cheese on the front cover seduced me hardcore.
I was on a mission to make this- and boy was I happy I did.

choppin cauliflower

Finding a way to make Mac & Cheese APPEAR healthy is all right with me!
The cauliflower added a nice dimension to the macaroni and I loved the topping.
Husband approved too!

Now tell me, who doesn’t enjoy a golden crust? I think next time I might add more cauliflower and less macaroni. Momma’s gotta be healthy after all!

mac & cheese with cauliflower

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower
(recipe adapted from Real Simple Magazine)

-12 oz multigrain elbow macaroni
-1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
-4 slices multigrain bread, torn
-1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
-3 tablespoons olive oil
-kosher salt & black pepper
-1 onion, finely chopped
-1 1/2 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
– 1 1/2 cup reduced fat sour-cream
-1/2 cup 1 % milk
-1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
-splash of cayenne pepper (my addition)
-splash of garlic powder (another addition)

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding the cauliflower during the last 3 minutes of cooking time, drain.

2. Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor until course crumbs form. Add the parsley, 2 tablespoons of oil, splash of garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt & pepper. Pulse to combine, set aside.

3. Return pasta pot to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in the pasta, cauliflower, cheese, sour cream, milk and mustard.

4. Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

January 21, 2009

Oatmeal Cinnamon Waffles


On Saturday morning I sooo wanted to go out to breakfast. Then I realized the amount of work that would go into that, and it just wasn’t going to happen! By the time we sat down, I would be soooo hungry!

I am the biggest grump without food!

the lab

We stayed at home and Casey made coffee, while I made waffles. I had picked out a recipe from this month’s Sunset Magazine to try and was really happy with the result! The waffles are SUPER hearty (You only really need 1) and are somewhat healthy for you. They are by no means light, which is why I recommend only eating 1 per person. Anymore might put you in a waffle coma…and believe me I know. I suffered from one 😉

sloppy waffle

The oatmeal gives the waffles a really nice bite. I prefer a crunchier waffle, so the oatmeal helps with that.

a good morning

I played around and added blueberries to one waffle…and of course Casey wanted a chocolate chip one. They both were tasty.

one is enough!

Oatmeal Cinnamon Waffles
(Sunset Magazine)
-makes 5

-1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1 tbsp. baking powder
-2 large eggs
-1 3/4 cup low fat milk
-1/2 cup butter, melted
-2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
-2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
-2 tbsp. light brown sugar
-2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1. Preheat the waffle iron to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder & salt. In a medium bowl mix eggs, milk & butter together, then add to flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

2. Using a pastry brush, coat grids of the waffle iron with oil. Pour 1 cup batter onto the center of the grids and close iron. Bake until golden brown. Use a ford to lift waffle off the grids when done.

January 14, 2009

Make your own Trail Mix!

making my own trailmix

To help with the morning and afternoon munchies, Casey and I have been enjoying individually packaged trail mix from Trader Joe’s.

But today—we RAN OUT!

The thought of going back to the grocery store made my heart race! Wasn’t I just complaining about how hard it is to go?

On my large list of THINGS TO DO is:


So this activity helped knock that off my list (well, almost).

I dug into my pantry and made my own trail mix. I didn’t even have to leave the house and I got EXACTLY what I love in a trail mix.

Today was a good day!

I measured 1/4 cup of the mix and put it into each of the snack- sized Ziploc bags.

1/4 cup in each bag

This mix included:

-salted peanuts
-pistachios (never had it in a mix before, but it’s good)
-golden raisins
-walnut pieces
-semi-sweet chocolate chips (for Casey’s sake)

bring on the snacking!

Look! We have a HUGE bowl full of snacks that on our kitchen island.

Should be a snap grab a few bags on our way to the car in the mornings.

How easy is that? (did I just quote Ina Garten? yikes!)

I should mention that I did have some help with this….

Thanks Coop! You are a good helper!

January 14, 2009

Desperately trying to figure out a schedule!

hello you!

I’m on my second week back to work. Things have been a bit hectic…our eating habits have definitely changed. I don’t have the luxury to make fancy meals as much as I used to. We are actually just eating to maintain! We are also watching our weight…so I can’t go hog wild on puff pastry based meals….sigh…

So eating isn’t as much of a hobby/treat anymore! I hope to change that soon, as I am reorganizing my life and de-cluttering my house so I can streamline things a bit. You won’t believe how much I have to bring with me in order to go to work! It’s insane. Oh! and the amount of time I spent cleaning bottles! Jeez….

I do enjoy a nice healthy breakfast every morning though.
My current fave is nonfat yogurt with honey, blueberries & ground flax seeds:


Speaking of streamlining- check this out: