Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Delicious Class Project

We are currently working on a group project in class where we have to make three variations of a dish...and write and do a presentation about the differences in each one. We also have to include things like what it smells and looks like during the different stages of preparation...what is going on (scientifically) to the food during each phase, etc etc.

Our group chose chicken parmigiana and our three variations are:
  • A super healthy variety with grilled chicken, whole wheat pasta and lower fat cheeses.
  • A version using ground chicken almost like chicken parmigiana meatballs
  • And a 100% traditional version.
I got assigned the traditional and was excited to search various recipes to find something that was totally traditional, but also maybe a little more interesting... I decided on a Tyler Florence recipe, invited Wall and Suzi over and started cookin.
Since we were having people over...I decided to also use this as an opportunity to try a recipe for tomato and goat cheese tarts that my director at work had given me from the Back to Basics Ina book. Puff Pastry is such a fun and delicious thing to play around with. You can really put almost anything on them and they will turn out delicious.They included carmelized onions and garlic, goat cheese, tomatoes and basil.....I mean with those ingredients..could anything really be bad?? The onions cook for so long that they are almost sweet and completely carmelized... I could have probably just snacked on those right out of the pan...but I digress...

Next came the star of the show, the chicken parmigiana... I loved the olives in the chunky homemade tomato sauce....although next time I make this recipe I will probably not drain the whole tomatoes as the recipe calls for, to try and give the sauce more of a sauce consistency....rather than almost a salsa consistency...but I thought the flavors were great and the chicken was cooked perfectly....topped with fresh mozzarella and served with a simple caesar salad....yum!

For an impromptu dessert we had chocolate marshmallow bananas. Unfortunately everyone (including me) scarfed theirs down before I remembered to take a picture of it...but they are so yummy and fun to make. I cut a slit off the side of the banana and gave everyone theirs along with chocolate chips, marshmallows and cinnamon and they stuffed in whatever they wanted, then covered it back up with the peel I cut off. Then I popped it in the oven until the banana was soft and the chocolate and marshmallows were melty....( I usually do this on the grill, but we were inside, so it went in the oven instead)...its so yummy. The banana is warm and soft...and who doesnt love melty chocolate and marshmallow...yum!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OU Oh Yeah!

I am so excited! This Saturday we are braving the 3 hour drive to one of the happiest places on Earth... Athens, OH.

We are gearing up to leave around 8am and plan to spend the day eating delicious Athens food, complaining about all the things that are different since we left, and re-living our glory days at our favorite pubs.
(CI- have you missed me as much as I have missed you??)

I am already making a mental list of all the food I want to eat and trying to figure out if it's actually possible to consume this much food in a one day stay....(thank goodness for "fourth meal")

DP Dough, Goodfellas, pita pit, burrito buggy, the diner, gyro buggy with the secret public access camera inside, CI, Pigskin, Junction, Tony's, Courtside, etc.....have your beer cold and your food delicious...we're coming for you!!
Can't Wait!!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Face of the Cincy BeerFest?

This week a couple of my friends have sent me this weblink:

Hahaha click on that and look at the top banner.
My life is so random. I love it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Heart Rate Monitor

I'm in the market for a Heart Rate Monitor. Does anyone have any recommendations?
It needs to be waterproof, inexpensive, but not so inexpensive that it doesn't work accurately....and thats about it. I got a recommendation for the Polar f6.....has anyone used this one?
Thanks! (I promise a more interesting blog later!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Impromptu Engagement Party!

My good friends Bernadette and Ben (as mentioned in an earlier post) got engaged the weekend we were on vacation....and last weekend they came to visit us! We only got confirmation that they were definitely coming a couple of days beforehand, but of course I had to do what I could to whip up a fun little impromptu engagement party!!! This party involved some awesome (and slightly tacky) dollar store wedding decorations, the most delicious champagne punch I've ever had, a yummy dinner, some outdoor drinking game fun and of course a delicious dessert!

First off, my sister found this recipe for champagne punch which specifically listed in the description that it was "not too sweet" which she knew I would appreciate...some of these punches have all these juices in them and then a half a cup of sugar on top of that. ok gross. This one was the perfect combination of bubbly, sweet and tart...and was just plain delicious.

Rob set this pretty table while I whipped up some coq au vin, parmesan asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes in the kitchen....
After eating and multiple cheers to the happy couple, we invited some more people over and moved the party outside for some more fun.....and towards the end of the night moved it back in to cheers again and have some more champagne and these fun (and delicious) cupcakes topped with ganache and chocolate covered strawberries!!! SO yummmmmy! Next time I will try to find strawberries that haven't been taking steroids as these monsters took up the entire surface space of the cupcake...but they were still seriously delicious. Also, after using ganache to top cupcakes... I will never go back to icing ever again. mmmmm

Bernadette and Ben, I was excited to be a part of the first of many celebrations of your engagement, wedding and marriage! I love you guys!!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vacation Recap

This vacation recap is going to be super easy to write.....and that is because we did pretty much the same amazing things every day. Laid by the pool, laid in the pool, laid on the beach, swam in the ocean, drank tropical drinks, ate too much food, repeat.

We just returned from a fabulous week in the beautiful Riviera Maya in Mexico...and stayed at the Dreams Puerto Aventuras. We got a ridiculous deal on our trip due to the little swine flu situation...and took advantage of it, by going to a place that was out of our original price range. The week was great, the food was good, the staff was amazing...drinks/food brought to you wherever you happened to be sitting, and of course, the scenery was breathtaking...not sure what else to even say!

Our trip in pictures:
We lounged in the pool

I read two books

We watched some (pretty random) shows

We hung out at the bar on the beach...and met some new friends!

We ate (a lot)

We enjoyed the scenery (and eachother)

We obsessed over the cuteness of the various towel animals

and just had an all around great time with our friends!

100th post!

Wow....apparantly this post is my 100th post. Thats a lot of talking about nothing if you ask me!

This has been a big couple of weeks for my OU "family"! In the last two weeks there have been two engagements and the first Baby!!

Engagement Congratulations to:

Bernadette and Ben &
Nick and Haylie!!!!

Maybe we'll have to bully you into some guest blogger proposal stories in the near future :) So excited for you!!

And Baby congrats to Alison, Ralphie and the new Baby Maura, who was born yesterday!!
Big, fun changes happening everywhere!