Thursday, January 31, 2013

Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

 My mom bought me The Barefoot Contessa’s (Ina Garten) latest cookbook, Foolproof.  During last week’s super chilly weather the recipe for creamy tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons was calling my name.  It was so simple to make and the flavors were just ridiculously good.  I made sure my first taste was the perfect bite of creamy tomato soup topped with a crisp, buttery grilled cheese crouton.  It was like getting hugged by your mama.  So comforting, eyes-rolling-to-the-back-of-your-head-delicious.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Macaron of The Month: Tiramisu

I decided to finally give macaron making a try.  I have been kind of intimidated by all the stories of how hard and time consuming they are to make.  This weekend I bit the bullet and went for it. 
For those of you that are not familiar with the macaron they are a meringue based cookie (not really a cookie, but I have no other way to describe them) made with ground almonds and filled usually with buttercream, ganache, or even jam. 
Um, so yeah, these where kind of temperamental and time consuming.  They most certainly did not resemble the perfect macarons found at LadurĂ©e.  Those are just out of this world delicious and beautiful (and cost a small fortune, BTW).  Mine came out looking more like tiny whoopie pies with cracks in some of them.  These tiramisu macarons were delicious, though.  Delicate outside shell with a tender inside infused with espresso flavor and filled with a mascarpone cream.  My husband and I may or may not have eaten the whole batch for dinner.  Maybe.  Don't judge us.
I definitely learned not to try and be cute by grounding my own almonds.  Next batch I will be buying almond flour.  Anyway, I decided that I will not claim defeat!  Instead I will make one new flavor each month for the next 12 months.  My hope is that I will get better with time and they will start to resemble those fancy, shmancy macarons at LadurĂ©e (at least a little, a girl can dream can't she?).  Let's see how this goes...


Monday, January 28, 2013

Life Lately...

{the kale salad from Trader Joe's is delicious!}
Hey, ya'll!  I've been testing a lot of different recipes lately and trying to get out of my comfort zone in the culinary sense.  My mom and I are even taking a cooking class in the city in the next month or two.  I'm pretty excited about it.  Got to love Groupon!  Here's a look into what's been going on lately...

{our niece and nephew are seriously the BEST.  They've got to be two of the funniest little people we know}
{watching a lot of old Barefoot Contessa episodes- Hence roasting this delicious chicken using her recipe}
{good times with my sister-in-law. I have one drink and my eyes immediately start to shrink}
Make this week a great one!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Video: Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese

Dates are super sweet.  If you have never tried one before this recipe is where you should start.  It's the perfect bite of salty, sweet, and savory. This is appetizer super simple to prepare and is a definite crowd pleaser. 

Medjool Dates
1lb of bacon cut in half
goat cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Slit open dates and remove pits.
Stuff with 1/2 tablespoon -  1 tablespoon of goat cheese.
Wrap tightly in bacon.
Arange on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 15 -20 minutes turning once in between to ensure all sides evenly brown.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY: Glittery Triangle Manicure

 My mother bought me these beautiful silver cap toe pumps in the perfect shade of mint for Christmas.  They were the inspiration for this glittery triangle manicure...
Base color: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in Mint Sorbet and Art Club Nail Art Lacquer in Silver Glitter

Paint your base coat

Cut painter's tape into small strips and create "X"s on the center of your nail.  This is what's going to form the triangle shape.
Paint the silver glitter into the triangle and let dry.  Gently pull off and...

...Ta Daaa!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

  I know your first reaction when you read the title of thisrecipe was more than likely, “EWW!”, but trust me you wouldn’t know these brownies had black beans in them.  The beans cut the fat of a regular brownie in half and add fiber.  Believe me you can’t even taste them.  These are perfect for the days when you want something sweet, but don’t want to do too much damage calorie wise.
Just an FYI I added a 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup of toffee bits to the mix.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Make Today Better Than Yesterday...

{photo from under the curtain at The Event of a Thread}
Sometimes the best moments in life are left unplanned.  That’s my motto for this coming weekend.  Having no official plans, I hope to bake, cook, and spend time with my family.  On a rather random note I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.  What do I want to do, what do I want to be, how the hell am I going to get there?  I don’t have all the answers, YET, but I can feel it in my bones things are going to change.  Things have to change.  I never like to get too personal on here, but I just felt like I had to get that out.  That being said I hope you have an awesome weekend and you make today better than yesterday, every day.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Green Monster Smoothie

Like most people one of my New Year's resolutions is to eat healthier.  This is a tough one for me because I LOVE food; cooking it, watching it get made on tv, photographing it, serving it, and of course eating it.  Everything in moderation, right?  I started my day with this healthy and delicious smoothie.  I hope it will even things out on the days I decide to not to make the healthiest of choices.  Here's what you need for 2 servings:
2 cups of spinach
1/2 cup 0% Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 cups of almond coconut milk
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon peanut butter
touch of honey for sweetness (optional)
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  You can add in some ice cubes to make it extra cold.
On a side note my non-veggie eating husband loves these!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Event of a Thread

Last Sunday Chris and I attended Ann Hamilton's installation at the Park Avenue Armory, The Event of a Thread.  We had never been to the armory before.  The atmosphere was straight out of Gangs of New York.  The exhibit itself pretty amazing. If I could only use one word to describe it, it would be whimsical. Ladies in cloaks read from these super long scrolls. You couldn't hear a word they said until you found these random paper bags scattered across the floor of the armory. Inside the bags were speakers to hear the readings. My favorite part of the installation was the swings, duh! All the swings were connected to strings which were connected to this huge piece of fabric in the center of the exhibit. As everyone swung the fabric would move and create these beautiful shapes. We also laid underneath the swaying fabric while listening to the ladies read. It was awesome to say the least. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013


  I made these polvorones (also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies) for Christmas.  The feedback was extremely positive so I knew I had to make them for New Year’s Eve as well.  Tender, buttery mounds of walnut freckled cookie goodness are tossed in confectioner’s sugar while they are still warm.  This creates a delicately iced yet powdery cookie with the perfect sweetness.  So good, so very good.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Well Hello There, 2013!

{Chris and I freezing our butts off while waiting in line for The Event of a Thread}
Happy New Year, guys!  Here’s to positive changes, prosperity, health, wealth, and all the best during 2013. 
 {had delicious Mofongo con Bistec at the Coconut Latin Caribbean Grill}
 {made Momofuku's AMAZING Compost Cookies for New Year's Eve}
 {we passed along mini bottles of Verdi right before the ball dropped}
 {Jada had a little power nap before midnight}
{Happy 2013!}