Friday, August 29, 2008

I've moved

Come find me over at !!!!!

Egg Frittata Muffins

Last night PB decided to drive here so he could miss today's Labor Day traffic. Even though he wasn't going to arrive until 1 AM, I was so excited I couldn't sleep, so what did I do? Cook, of course! (Well, after vacuuming and polishing my floors and rearranging furniture).

My inspiration was the "savory turkey bacon egg white mini quiches" I saw on a few weeks ago. Caitlin has a great concept here.. throw a hodge podge of your favorite egg ingredients into muffin tins and end up with a delicious, healthy, and BEAUTIFUL meal. ohh and it was SO easy! I picture myself making these for my next brunch for sure!

Here's my version:

Egg Frittata Muffins
Serves 2
Calories/serving: 269


4 Eggs
2 Egg Whites
1 ugly garden tomato, diced
4 big basil leaves, chopped
2 oz goat cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Beat your eggs + egg whites in a medium size bowl (add a little water or milk to make them fluffier)
3. Add the tomatoes and basil leaves and mix together.
4. Fill each muffin tin 2/3 of the way up.
5. Sprinkle goat cheese over the top of each muffin.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, and then broil for 2-5 minutes until the cheese is nice and golden brown.

My version made 8 muffins. I wanted a big protein punch since this is our lunch for today and I know we aren't having any protein at dinner (it's homemade pizza Friday!). If I were to do it for a normal lunch I would probably have used a little milk instead of the extra 2 egg whites.

I just heated this up for 1 minute in the microwave and they were to die for. Also, like Caitlin mentioned in her post here, the possible combinations are endless!

Next time I would use a little shredded mozzarella on top, but I didn't have any on hand.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

My banana bread is sad.

This is what happens when you get too excited over banana bread and don't let it cool in the pan first:

And this is the solution to lots of smooshy banana bread chunks... just add fresh peaches + vanilla ice cream:

And if you're wondering why this picture is blurry, it's because I only use my iphone now for blogarific pics, sorryyy.

Feeling penguiny

I miss PB SO. MUCH. right now. I can't even stand it. Last time we saw each other was our engagement party TWO stinkin' weeks ago! And that weekend was filled with family, friends, and the celebration of US so obviously I am feeling so very loving after all that. I can't wait for tonight or tomorrow when he gets here!!!!!!!!!!!

Things I am loving about PB today:

1. that the Buena Vista Social Club album reminds me of him even though we've never listened to it together. He always tells me about this one job during his DJ Trig days where he played the whole album from start to finish during a dinner.

2. that he doesn't get mad when I use my funny voices the entire time we are on the phone!

3. that he is working super hard today so that maybe, just maybe, he can come here tonight and work from my office tomorrow. That would be so super fantastic.

4. That he makes kick @ss pizza dough, and is experimenting with adding whole wheat flour to make it more Rhodeygirl friendly.

5. that he often sends me pics of his meals, just to show me a. how good they are and b. how good he is taking care of himself (no fried foods on his plate!).

6. that he loves me so much!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I am so obsessed


mr. and mrs. luggage tags (hello HONEYMOON)

mr. and mrs. beach towels. (so CUTE- it is a towel for two, no joke)

just got married bathing suit (where can i find a classy one?!?!)

I saw Mindy Weiss' new store products in the $10 wedding magazine I bought for no reason last night... well the pictures were just so pretty!


I am total getting sucked down the dark hole of the wedding industry.. SAVVVVEEE MEEEE!

The Week of Parties

Party 1: V's baby shower. made cupcakes
Party 2: Girls' night (with my high school friends)
Party 3: Tonight, 2 of my best friends coming over for dinner.

Parties 1 & 2: Completed.

Having my high school friends over for dinner was loads of fun, and not too much work either.

Here was the menu:

Sea salt pita chips + store bought hummus

Grilled chicken
Grilled eggplant
Steamed zucchini
Baked fries
Pasta with fresh mozzarella and garden tomatoes

Little dollops of ice cream with peaches soaked in wine and a bit of sugar

It was really simple to put together because I did almost everything the day before. Pick up the ingredients from the market, marinate the chicken and veggies, clean the house, cut up the peaches to marinate, and set the table. Then when I got home from work the day of all I had to do was cut up the potatoes, fire up my amaaazing panino maker (read: indoor grill! thanks PB!!!), bake the fries and zucchini, cut up the mozzarella and tomatoes, and cook the pasta.

The tricks to a successful party are simple:
1. Plan ahead. Start thinking about your menu a couple of days ahead.
2. Prepare as much as possible the day before. That means going to the market, making sure your house is in tip top shape, setting up the table, and prepping the foods that can be prepped.
3. Clean up as you go along. This makes the cleanup at the end of a party so easy and fast. And with an open kitchen like mine, I NEED that area to stay clean!
4. Marinate your veggies and meats from the day before. I swear that food just tastes SO MUCH BETTER when it has had the proper amount of time to marinate.

My simple dinner table:

The eggplant on my panino maker. I cooked the pasta and cut up the mozzarella and tomatoes while this grilled.

The main meal all set up on my platter:

Close up of the zucchini:

Close up of the pasta:

The peaches (the vanilla ice cream is hiding at the bottom):

PB- jealous?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Market Shopping Week #3

I imposed a weekly budget for myself at the supermarket. I really could spend more, but I really want to try and not be wasteful. So the goal is to reduce my spending as much as possible while keeping my cabinets more empty (instead of say, 3 open boxes of kashi crackers) and using up everything I buy.

I only could Monday breakfast through Friday lunch as my weekly budget, since I can never anticipate what my weekend will be like... dinner out, going to Philly to see my boy, wedding meetings in prov which = weekend lunches out, you get the idea.

Week #1 I spent $20, and used a lot of the stuff in my cabinets
Week #2 I spent $30, which included nothing too expensive, I guess I just bought more.
Week #3 I spent, er, $70!!!!! I couldn't believe it. And, I went back last night for a couple of forgotten items and a new mop which I never should have bought from the market, and spent another $30. Ew.

Here's why I think I spent more:
1. I made those cupcakes on Sunday which required a few $$ items that I don't normally stock in my kitchen
2. I had 5 girls over for dinner last night, and I really wanted to cook a nice, fresh, healthy meal.
3. I bought a bunch of Smartwaters, which is my beverage of choice at work, along with hot tea and seltzer water. I tried using a reusable water bottle but the water just tastes funny to me, even in one of those Sigg ones. At home I drink out of my Brita.
4. The blackberries were $4.99 a pint, but they just looked so amazing so I bought 2.
5. I bought a stupid mop from the market since Target and the other good stores are like 20 minutes away and I was really excited to polish my floors.
6. I went to the market hungry. 'nuff said.
7. My PhillyBoy is coming this weekend and I must have yummy goodies for him! Wraps and lettuce and cheese and veggies.. all of his favs

Is anyone else as inconsistent in how much they spend/week?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The cupcakes were a total success!

It doesn't take a lot to make a simple recipe looks gorgeous and fun (and like it took forever to do...). I took one of Giada's strawberry mascarpone filled cupcakes and tweaked it for my own needs, since my pregnant friend is allergic to strawberries.

I subbed blackberries + raspberries for the strawberries, made the cupcakes from scratch instead of from a box, and used store bought frosting instead of the lemony icing since I wanted to decorate the cupcakes! V is having a boy so making little oceans with a rubber ducky on each one was so perfect.. But, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

The cupcakes going into the oven:

The filling ingredients, which I made while the cupcakes cooled:

The cupcakes filled (some of them overflowed. The trick is to be VERY GENTLE when filling the cupcakes through the bottom with a pastry tip):

The decorated cupcakes in my new cupcake caddy! Just have fun with a pastry tip + ziplock bag acting as a pastry bag:

The finished product, all set up at V's house before her shower:

My friend's half eaten cupcake. See the yummy creamy center?

And, just for fun... my matching gifts! I wrapped the high chair in a ducky bag, and then put lots of little gifts in her baby tub and wrapped them in cellophane!

You don't need to be a trained pastry chef to make an impact. Just have fun, and think creatively, and your baking project will be a success!! I only wish I had saved a cupcake for myself....

Friday, August 22, 2008

Babies R Us

Babies R Us is a scary place if you don't have kids. The people working there seemingly disappear right when you need them, there are 35 different kinds of each thing, and so many items off of your friend's baby registry is sure to be discontinued by the time you get there, even if she just registered a few weeks ago.

I was in there yesterday trying to buy my friend's gift. The idea was to buy one big ticket item (her high chair) plus her baby tub filled with lots of the small stuff that no one had bought yet. Boy was it frustrating! I figured out their numbered/color coded system pretty quickly, but you would think the aisles are in order of number right? Wrong. The infant care aisle 2 was next to 15, and it just got worse from there. At one point I was looking for a 3 pack of burping towels (happy I don't have kids jsut yet) and my friend had registered for some by koala baby with little bears on them. Of course they were not in the section with all the other burp cloths. Nope, they were with all the bibs. What gives? When I was frantically searching for the aforementioned burp cloths I got so frustrated that I just stood there and seriously almost started crying.

Anyway, I got it done in less than 1 hour... only about 58 minutes haha. I decided that since she is having a boy and she LOVES cupcakes I am going to make vanilla cupcakes with a raspberry blackberry mascarpone filling, in cute ducky cupcake liners with more of the filling on top and a little ducky icing decoration on that. Really cute I think, but with adult flavors. I will post pics when I make them! The plan is to make the cupcakes tomorrow, and while they bake I will wrap up the presents (I will post that too) and then on Sunday morning before the party I will fill and ice the adorable little cuppy cakesss.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Help! Dessert idea?

I need to make a fun dessert for my friend's baby shower this weekend! Something not too too difficult, but nothing plain like brownies. I want to impress! Maybe something in a mini form since it's a BABY shower?

Ideas please!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Grocery store shopping

I have been trying to spend less money at the store each week, especially since I end up throwing away a lot of fresh produce, or not having room for boxes of snacks etc. I started a few weeks ago and now spend less than half of what I used to spend ($75/week). I guess my eyes were always bigger than my stomach!

Now I spend between $20-30 buying mostly organic stuff, but even the regular fruits and veggies are more expensive than in other places.. for example our bananas last night were $1.19/lb, and I read on a blog that someone just bought some from WHOLE FOODS for $0.39/lb. where is this magical place? I will add that my goal is to spend <$30 for Monday-Friday because it is simply too hard for me to buy food for the weekends with my love PB in my life.. although I HAVE been known to stick a half used package of english muffins in my travel bag hahaha

Anyway, here are my tips:

1. Think out your meals in advance and try to use the same few items to make a few different meals for the week.
For example, last night I had pasta with ground turkey, artichoke hearts (from pantry) and sundried tomatoes (pantry) with a teeny sprinkle of feta cheese. Today for dinner I am making mini turkey, spinach (from freezer) and feta burgers on mini bagels with a sliced tomato. In only 2 days I already have found uses for the ground turkey I bought and the feta as well. Tomorrow for dinner I will probably make a turkey version of KEFTA, baked ground meat with onions + parsley, topped with sliced tomatoes. Then I will be done with the package of ground turkey without wasting it all or having to eat the same meal a few days in a row.

2. Don't be afraid to freeze food!
I made a batch of brownies last week as my cousin had her boyfriend over for dinner, but two girls can't eat a whole batch themselves (well, usually) so I just froze the rest in single serving portions that I will take out when the craving strikes. This leads me to my next point...

3. If a food you eat OFTEN is on sale, buy a few!
When the english muffins are buy 1 get 1 free I obviously take my free package, but there is no way I can eat 2 packages before they go bad so I simply freeze the second package! Works like a charm.

If you have any other tips, please feel free to share them with me!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our Engagement Party! Part III

The blessing of the rings ceremony (at the beginning of the night. It makes our engagement official in the church)

PB dancing with the group

My Rhodey girls!!

PB and I... loveeee

Our Engagement Party! Part II:: The Fun!

The boys singing "my my myyyyyyy Sabrinaaaaaa"

Men's dance

PB + Best man singing (or pretending to sing actually)

PB and I dancing

The best man and I dancing during the vodka dance

Our Engagement Party! Part I: The Decor

Appetizer table

The bars

Table decor

Homemade love cocktail napkins

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Farro with Zucchini, beans and tomato

Tonight I made a nice farro dish. Farro is a grain that is similar in texture to barley, but looks more like spelt. It is used primarily in Italy (I think), but it is now easy to find in most health food or international markets.

It is super easy to cook with, and while it is as versatile as rice, it is also much nicer in texture.. chewy, nutty, and just amazing.

Here's what I made with it tonight:

Farro with zucchini, beans and tomato

serves 4 (~300 calories/serving)

200 g farro
1 medium zucchini, chopped and lightly sauteed
1/2 large tomato, diced
100 g cannellini beans
100 g red kidney beans
a bit of fresh basil
2 tbs olive oil
s + p

Cook the farro as per the instructions (about 40 minutes total between the soaking time and the simmering time). In the meantime, prep your veggies and beans.

When the farro is done, toss it with all of the other ingredients. THAT'S IT. It is really that simple. I enjoy it both warm, at room temp, and out of the fridge. The way I cooked it tonight it is really light, but if you want to make it even better, add some feta cheese, grated parmigiano, or fresh mozzarella.

It is a great recipe to make in the summertime when you want to load up on all of summer's best vegetables but don't feel like staying in the kitchen too long.


Friday, August 8, 2008

My love for Nutella will never end.

For our one year anniversary/backwards anniversary PB gave me some gorgeous flowers and a jar of Nutella. He sure does know how to win me over!

Anyway, I am kind of stressed out/tired/feel like I am getting a cold so I decided to cheer myself up with this:

P.S. Yes, that's my desk, and yes, I do have a huge ipod player taking up half the space haha

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My ring!

Just used my iphone to take a pic of my ring (which has been resting on my finger for a good three months now!!!)!!




I am really excited, can you tell? It is probably the coolest little gadgety thing I've ever had (I'm usually not into such things)... and I am in lovvvvveee.

And without further ado, the wedding song so far...


When I get really excited about the wedding I start singing this song... and there is a little jumpy dance to go along with it too, but I won't make you suffer through a video of that, it's a little crazy I'll admit.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The last of being a wing-girl, drinking like there's no tomorrow, and meeting weird guys.

Today I gave away the last of my independent, pre-PhillyBoy life. After college I started going out on a schedule... Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays. Like clockwork. My girl "LetUsLove" aka Looly and I had our scene, and we loved it.. Sometimes our petite friend would come down from Mass and join us, and sometimes she opted to hang with her bf (ironically, also known as PB). Those were some great times, some scary times, but mostly, fun and carefree!

While I still hang with my girls and have a blast, things have changed. I am getting married and therefore there is no more flirting, giving away my number, or partying until the wee morning hours. I am really happy about this.

I am not, however, happy about giving away my V.I.P. card.

A really interesting place downtown charges a $10 entrance fee, and being the punks we are we, never usually stay more than one hour and therefore HATE paying to get in. Since I knew the owners they gave me a VIP card that gets me and a friend in for free, and into the VIP area as well. I loved this card. It is the one thing besides my license that always made it into any purse, and I loved the cute zebra motif on it (srsly).

Anyway... back to the point. Today, I relinquished that card to my friend Hubbs. She isn't single either, but since I am moving to Philadelphia soon (< than a year.. eep!) I really have no need for it anymore.

Au revoire VIP card!