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:


January 5, 2009

Mushroom & Spinach Tart with Goat Cheese

you've been calling my name

Today is a sad day. It is my last day on maternity leave. booo!
To help me through this “rough” time, I decided to treat myself to a special “going away lunch”-if you will.

I had my eye on this recipe for AGES. So I figured I should get my special lunch fix in while I can. Casey isn’t too keen on mushrooms so this is all mine baby!

Or maybe I’ll share some with the neighbors. That would be the neighborly thing to do.

I have to say that this was pretty easy to complete…Very flaky, hearty and tasty. Totally satisfying on an overcast day like today. I paired a slice with an arugula salad dressed in a honey mustard vinaigrette.

Come on! ANYTHING on top of puff pastry HAS to be good.

Cooper cried a little bit through the endeavor, but I think it’s because he REALLY wanted the corner of that puff pastry crust. Someday son!!! I guess that’s what momma gets for attempting this sooo close to nap time. The nerve…

rolling pin aftermath

oh! i'll just have to eat you, little speck of goat cheese.

special lunch...

Mushroom & Spinach Tart
(recipe via EVERYDAY FOOD)


Serves 4

-Flour, for rolling out puff pastry
-1 (from a 17.3-ounce package) sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions
-1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-Coarse salt and ground pepper
-2 packages (10 ounces each) white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
-1 packages (10 ounces) fresh baby spinach
-2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place the pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score dough to form a 1-inch border. Using a fork, prick dough inside the border every 1/2 inch. Bake until golden, rotating pan once, about 15 minutes or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, toss onion with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt. Cover and cook over medium heat until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir. Continue cooking with cover on for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat remaining oil. Add mushrooms; cover and cook until tender and all liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Fold in spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes more. Drain any liquid.

4. Top dough with mushroom-spinach mixture. Scatter onion and goat cheese on top. Bake until cheese is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

January 3, 2009

Mango, Coconut & Lime Mousse

new years dessert!


So now that Cooper is 3 months old I think it’s time to start being AGGRESSIVE with this watching my weight situation….and it’s 2009 so I might as well start my resolution to get rid of the extra baby weight.

I was waiting until the holiday gluttony was over….boy did I indulge this year.

To start the new year off, I made a very light dessert from the Williams-Sonoma Fresh & Light cookbook.
It was a very good palette cleanser after a night of over-doing-it. The perfect amount of sweet that had NO guilt attached to it. It felt like a little taste of a Hawaiian vacation!
But a little more light & fluffy 😉

Needless to say, this is something that was NECESSARY as we gorged ourselves on:

Linguini & Clams

i made linguini with clams

Garlic Bread (my biggest weakness)

i'm the garlic bread maker of the family

and TO-DIE-FOR Fresh Steamed Crab!

crabby crab putting up a fight

pretty fancy huh? my sister-in-law is the other “martha” of the family

my plate

A good way to end 2008 huh?

So let me show you more of this mousse—-

cubing mango juicing lime
puree of mango, lime, coconut extract & gelatin whisking the shit out of the evaporated milk
pouring the mousse into the martini glasses toasting coconut

Mango, Coconut & Lime Mousse
(Williams-Sonoma Fresh & Light Recipe)

Serves 4

(serves 4)

-1 1/2 lbs ripe mangoes
-1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
-3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
-1/2 cup Fat Free Evaporated Milk
-2 tablespoons sugar (i added a little extra because 1 mango wasn’t super ripe)
-1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
-2 tablespoons flaked coconut
-fresh mint for garnish

1. Place a bowl in the freezer to chill. Peel the mangoes and cut the flesh from the pits.

2. In a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the lime juice and let stand for 5 minutes. Place over low heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

3. In a food processor (or blender) combine the mangoes, gelatin mixture, sugar and coconut extract and process until smooth. Pour the mango puree into a large bowl.

4. Remove the chilled bowl from the freezer and pour the evaporated milk into it. Using a whisk, beat until thick and foamy, about 5 minutes. Fold the evaporated milk into the mango puree just until no white streaks remain.

5. Divide the mousse among 4- 3/4 cup bowls. Cover and refridgerate until set, about 6 hours.

6. While the mousse is chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden. Should take about 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

7. Just before serving, remove the molds from the fridge and sprinkle each one with the toasted coconut. Garnish with mint and serve.

December 29, 2008

before i take it all down

here’s a brief glimpse of our Christmas decorations this year….

I am going to be sad when I take it all down!

the green one is mine.  boys get blue.


December 24, 2008

season’s greetings!

December 23, 2008

Rose’s Baked Artichokes

sooo good.

into my tummy you go

nuff said.

come to momma

if you like baked/stuffed artichokes but hate the hassle- try this recipe.

drain, rinse, shake out

you will crave it

layer it on the casserole dish

day and night

breadcrumbs and the lemon dressing

like me!

cleaning up my mess while it bakes

Rose’s Baked Artichoke Hearts
(recipe via Martha Stewart.com)
serves 8ish


-1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
-1/4 cup finely chopped fresh curly leaf parsley
-2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
-2 ounces Pecorino Romano, grated (1/4 cup)
-1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, and savory, or Italian seasoning blend
– 1 teaspoon coarse salt
– Freshly ground pepper
– 3 packages (9 ounces each) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained
– 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dishes
– 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
– 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
-2 garlic cloves, minced (2 teaspoons)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine breadcrumbs, parsley, cheeses, herbs, and salt in a medium bowl, and season with pepper.

2. Brush oil inside one 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spread artichokes into a single layer. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over artichokes, pushing it into cracks between hearts. Tap bottom of dishes on counter to settle breadcrumb mixture.

3. Whisk oil, lemon juice and zest, and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle dressing evenly over breadcrumb topping. Cover dishes with parchment, then foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Increase temperature to 375 degrees. Uncover, and bake until breadcrumbs are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

December 20, 2008

Chewy Molasses Cookies

someone with ocd would be proud

i love this cookie. if i wasn’t already married, i could possibly marry it. (sorry honey!)
But i don’t think one of these cookies would look as good in a suit…so fantasy ABANDONED.

chewy ginger molasses parade

sugar bubbles

so please make these…and then send me some….cuz I fear I might run out soon!

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
(recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookie Book)
Makes about 36


-2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
-1 large egg
-1/4 cup molasses


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a shallow bowl, place 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.

2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining cup of sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then molasses until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a dough forms. Put dough in the fridge and chill it for at least an hour.

3. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 tablespoon. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat.

4. Arrange balls on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges of cookies are just firm, 10 to 15 minutes (cookies can be baked two sheets at a time, but they will not crackle uniformly). Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 4 days.