Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Hello, hello!  The holiday cheer continues!  S2H and I had a great visit with my family in SC and a lot of fun with family friends in Charlotte.  I am still riding the holiday high as S2H and I are going to see Michael Buble tonight!!  I am so excited!  S2H surprised me with tickets on Thanksgiving, and I could not be happier!  I have been dreaming of Buble since and am crossing my fingers for a couple Christmas tunes.  I leave you with the dreamboat himself!  Eeeekk!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day!  S2H and I are in SC with my family; enjoying good company, yummy eats, and 75 degree weather!  Have a wonderful long weekend!

{nothing better than beach walks with my two favorite people!}

{so thankful for giselle! xoxo}

Monday, November 22, 2010

Autumn in New Hampshire

Earlier this month S2H and I spent a long weekend visiting my grandparents in coastal New Hampshire. We had perfect Fall weather and spent the three days exploring local apple orchards (I was dying for a New England apple cider donut), a winery, and the beautiful seaside towns.  S2H and I made a point to cross the road in front of my grandparents' house and walk on the beach every day.  There is something so special about the beach during the cold months.  I have millions of pictures from the weekend, but here are some of my favorites.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Game Day Food Blitz

Many a Fall Sunday is spent watching football in my small abode. Well, I'm not the hugest football fan so to keep myself entertained I have tried to mix up our game day food menu this year.  Below are the top recipes S2H and I have tried this year.  I can't say our waistlines were always thankful but our taste buds were definitely doing the touchdown dance!

Ham & Cheese Sliders
courtesy of Annie's Eats, recipe here

These little guys are packed with flavor between the mustard, onion, and poppy seeds.  We tried the sandwiches on both potato rolls and mini wheat slider rolls,  I preferred the potato rolls and I am sure Hawaiian sweet rolls would be even better.

Beef Chili
courtesy of Smitten Kitchen, recipe here

This chili is a hearty treat for the weekend.  It is full of veggies like carrots, bell pepper and beans (I added more than the recipe said for all of them).  The chili is more on the thick side and doesn't have too much soupy-ness.  We served it with biscuits one day and then orzo the next day.  I'm sure it would be wonderful on nachos too!

Crockpot Pulled Pork
recipe adapted from Beantown Baker
(spice rub)
2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 (6 pound) pork tenderloin

1/4 cup of water
1 bottle of lager (we used Yuengling)
2 cups barbecue sauce

Mix all spice rub ingredients in small bowl.

Massage spice rub into meat (I recommend doing this on a jelly roll pan or large cookie sheet with sides). Wrap tightly in double layer of plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 3 hours. For stronger flavor, the roast can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. (I refrigerated ours for 1 day).

Unwrap roast and place it in slow cooker liner. Add 1/4 cup water and bottle of lager. Turn slow cooker to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until meat is fork-tender.

Transfer roast to cutting board (again, I used a large cookie sheet with sides. This helped to contain the mess); discard liquid in liner. Pull by tearing meat into thin shreds with two forks or your fingers. Discard fat.

Place shredded meat back in slow cooker liner; toss with 1 cup barbecue sauce (or more depending on your taste), and heat on low for 30-60 minutes, until hot. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.

I think this was S2H's favorite meal of the season so far, it was such a treat!  I made the coleslaw using this recipe.

Texas Caviar
courtesy of In No Simple Language
This recipe is my favorite of the bunch.  It is a super simple dip and the fresh avocado is really tasty.  It is the best thing to ever land on a frito! This dip travels well and only gets better as it marinates, I have brought it to two different tailgating events and it is always a huge hit!  So good that I have yet to take a picture of it, I get all consumed in eating it! 

2 Cans of black eyed peas with jalapenos (my store didn't carry this type so I just added my own jalapenos)
1 Can original Rotel
2 Medium sized avocados
1 Large green bell pepper
1/2 Large purple onion
1 Lime
3/4 Cup Zesty Italian

Directions :
Dice avocados, bell pepper & onion and put in large bowl. Cut lime in half and squeeze juice over avocados, bell pepper & onion. The lime is to give flavor and preserve the avocado. Place black eyed peas in strainer and rinse then, add to add to bowl. Poor can of Rotel in the bowl with it's juice. Finally, add the Zesty Italian. Mix with a large spoon. Don't stir too hard or much as the avocados could get smushy depending on the ripeness you buy.

If you try to eat the dip right away, the bell pepper and onion will be quite crunch. It is best if the bowl sits in the fridge and everything marinates for a while.  Delicious with fritos, tortilla chips, sun chips, anything to deliver it to your mouth!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Help Make Dreams Come True

And vote for sweet Nina!  Nina is competing for a blogger spot with Nature Made.  Our Nina would be the perfect "good mood" blogger so vote every day here!

In honor of Mrs. Nina I am sharing one of the recipes straight from her family's kitchen.  Like I always say, magic comes from the Nido Kitchen, and this recipe does not disappoint!  Once you have a bite you will be voting for Nina every day!

Italian Mac & Cheese

1 lb. of Hot Italian Turkey Sausage
1 lb. of Gemelli pasta (or small elbows)
1 Large can of diced seasoned tomatoes (or 2 of the standard size cans)
1 & 1/2 Bags of Four Cheese Italian Shredded Cheese
1 Egg, beaten
Garlic powder (or minced garlic)
Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
Olive Oil

*Preheat over to 400

-Cook pasta according to the box instructions, drain, set aside
-Remove casings from sausage, cook in skillet, breaking apart with a wooden spoon.  Once fully cooked drain any excess oil and set aside.

-Put pasta and sausage in baking pan, I use a Corningware rectangular pan.
-Add tomatoes, 1-1/12 bags of cheese, then I usually add some additional Parmesan.  
- Add salt and freshly ground pepper.  
-Add one egg beaten, then add, Italian seasoning and also minced garlic or garlic powder (to taste).  
-Pour enough milk just below the top of the pasta.   Now, mix it all up with a large spoon!  All the spices, milk, tomatoes, egg, etc.  
-The last thing to do is to sprinkle (generously) some Progresso/or other Italian bread crumbs over the top of the pasta.  Over that....drizzle some olive oil to taste.  Not too much, but just drizzle all around the top.  
- Cover with aluminum foil, put in 400 oven for 30 min or so to cook together and heat up.  
-Once cheese is melted and bread crumbs browned, remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes and serve!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tortellini Soup

I love soup, and my soup craving always gets stronger as I pull out sweaters and boots.  I like my soup to have lots of things in it and just the right amount of broth...not too slurpy.  I saw this soup from the Culinary Couple a few months ago and instantly book marked it.  The weather this past weekend was just screaming for soup so S2H and I got to work! This meal far exceeded my expectations and will definitely be a repeat this winter!

Tortellini Soup
·         1/2 lb. sweet Italian turkey sausage 
·         1 cup onion, chopped
·         2 cloves garlic, minced
·         5 cups beef broth (I recommend low sodium, just so you can control the salt level)
·         1/3 cup water
·         1/2 cup red wine
·         1 can whole tomatoes
·         1 cup carrots
·         1/2 teaspoon basil
·         1/2 teaspoon dried oregano flakes
·         1 cup tomato sauce
·         2 zucchini, chopped
·         8 oz. cheese tortellini (I used the Bertolli three cheese and garlic tortellini)
·         1 package or 1 bag fresh spinach
·         Parmesan cheese
    1. In large pot, cook sausage ~5 minutes. Remove meat and set aside.
    2. Add onion and garlic. Saute.
    3. Add broth, herbs,  wine, tomato sauce, vegetables (except zucchini and spinach), and sausage. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered ~30 minutes.
    4. Add zucchini, spinach, and tortellini. Simmer ~25 minutes.
    5. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve with your favorite  bread.
    P.S.  S2H and I have a house guest this week...Louie is back!! Pretty sure a Fall photo shoot is in order! :)

    {how cute is this face! makes me smile!}

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Just What the Doctor Ordered

    This weekend was blissfully low key.  Just what I was craving after a week on the road for work and a month of busy weekends and lots of "to dos."  S2H and I kicked off the weekend with a double date at Sweetwater Tavern.  We were accompanied by the lovely Bree and Tommy.  We love Sweetwater this time of year because they brew the most a-m-a-z-i-n-g pumpkin beer.  We wait all year for this beer to hit the tap list...it is so perfect and the brown sugar glass garnish is too good for words.  It was so fun catching up with Bree and Tommy, in fact after sitting at the table longer than the busy staff wished we headed to B&T's to finish off some take away pumpkin beer.  I wish I had taken a pic of B&T's sweet pup, Sadie and Sydney the cat - they were both such sweetie pies.  S2H spent the car ride home talking about how we must get a dog!
    Saturday I woke up to pumpkin muffins and french pressed coffee...way to go S2H!  I spent the morning bumming around the house munching on muffins and watching DVR.  I was very disappointed to see that Mondo didn't win Project Runway...I'm just not a Gretchen fan.  But the Halloween episode of Modern Family made me laugh at loud!  I finally forced myself out of my fuzzy slippers and headed out to get a mani/pedi.  I went for essie's downtown brown and love it...minus the fact that my flats smudged my big toe!  How that happened I have no idea, I sat under the dryer for 30 minutes!  S2H and some friends joined the masses in DC for the Rally for Sanity and/or Fear.  I met them for a late lunch after it was all over.  I had planned to go but decided I would find more sanity with a little pampering!

    I completely bailed on Halloween this year...I didn't even get a pumpkin!  So costumes were completely off the table.  Instead of dressing up we spent the evening cheering on Penn State!  I lit a pumpkin candle and called it a success (thanks for the candle Erin & Jen!).  It also helped that I made an awesome tortollini soup with rosemary bread for dinner!  (soup recipe to come later this week)
    {this soup is perfect for a crisp fall weekend.  i ate it all weekend!}
    S2H and I woke up bright and early on Sunday to support our friend, Erin, as she ran her first marathon. Erin had a lofty goal of finishing the Marine Corps Marathon in under 3 hours (crazy!!)!  And guess what?!  She totally rocked it!  Her final time was 2.59.56!  Holy moly this girl can move. We followed her all across Arlington and DC, I got a high just from watching her, so determined and strong!

    You can see Erin's take on the race here.  Congrats Erin, you're amazing!  We spent the rest of Sunday with the MCM support crew celebrating Erin's success.  I'm back on the road again for work today.  Hopefully I will get a few posts out from the hotel!  Happy Wednesday!