Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chandelier- Thoughts?

How pretty would this funky 3-D cut out chandelier:
look in this sassy dining room?

I want it! thoughts?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Birthday Dinner Party

My lil sis came in town on Friday for spring break and for her belated birthday we celebrated by hosting a dinner party for 9 of her friends.. A great group, a delicious menu and some champagne = a pretty good night :)

Appetizer: Smashed Potatoes with Sour Cream & Chives-
These are becoming an app staple around my house. They are crispy, delicious and EASY!

Now time for the four course dinner- we set one of these menus on each place setting:

Course 1: Butternut Squash Soup.

I've mentioned this yummy soup before. Simple and warm, it was the perfect starter for this dinner party...

Course 2: Spring Mix with dried cranberries, goat cheese, pine nuts and balsamic vinaigrette.

Any Deweys lovers out there will recognize this delicious salad. Can't get much better than this.

Course 3: Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin over Creamy Orzo
Marinated for hours and roasted until just pink, this pork was packed with flavor and went perfect over the creamy orzo.

A few guests having a good time!

and someone just wishing someone would drop something...

Ended with a delicious double chocolate torte, brought by one of the guests and it rounded out the dinner (and the night) perfectly....yumyumyum.. happy birthday emily!!

Followed by a 90s music dance party that lasted until 3:30am, this is what the next morning looked like in our living room after a little lunch..... can you spot a little black doggie...even she was totally zonked from all the fun..

Thanks everyone for a great night!

Half Marathon Training

What half marathon training can do to even the craziest of crazies :)

ps. rob & maggie are half marathon training (not me)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tofu, Welcome to the Lineup

Everyone has those dishes that are part of their regular repertoire. While I like to try new recipes constantly...there are some old favorites I come back to pretty often. Taco Salad, a couple of delicious chicken dishes, etc etc.... but tofu has been officially welcomed into the lineup after last night.

I have always like tofu but have never attempted to make it myself. Until last night.... and now I can't stop thinking about it and can't wait to make it again.

This tofu is topped with soy sauce, lemon, fresh ginger and garlic and is mixed with brown rice, green peas and delicious lima beans.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

More Food Pics

Some pics of some recent deliciousness....

Spicy Panko Breaded Baked Chicken Fingers with Sweet Potato Fries and Broccoli:

Cookie Dough Truffles - these little bites of heaven taste just like eating real cookie dough...but without the pesky raw egg and all of that... I made these for a friend at work's birthday and brought the rest for dessert at a dinner party to get them OUT of our house...
(recipe found here from Annie's Eats)-
Her food (and pictures) are so much prettier than mine!!- but I'm workin on it!

Delicious Malaysian Chicken in a Claypot leftovers for work lunch. yummmm

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spaghetti Squash is Delicious

Last night while we waited for some digital photos to be printed at Meijer, we decided to venture over to the produce section at the store to pick out something yummy for dinner. I've been dying to make a spaghetti squash, so we decided on that.

I won't bother giving you all the instructions because there is a photo tutorial right here on The Front Burner Blog (thanks Emily!) The results were garlicy and delicious..

I also made a spicy and chunky tomato sauce from scratch that gave this dish the perfect kick... topped with a few fresh mushrooms (yumm) and a little mozzarella cheese... this dish is tasty, warm, healthy and 100% worth the 1.5 hour cook/wait time.

Prepped Squash ready to go in the oven:

Garlicky Roasted Squash. yumyumyum

Chunky & Spicy Homemade Tomato Sauce
Scraped straight from the squash.... seriously, how much does this look like spaghetti noodles???

Top & Enjoy!

ps. sorry for the sideways pics... Blogger was being impossible and once I finally got them to load I refused to go back in and fix them....maybe some other day..

Monday, March 15, 2010

Simple Deliciousness

Last week I had a butternut Squash just waiting to be eaten and last minute I decided to make soup out of it rather than roast it...

Last time I made butternut squash soup it had apples and cream and all kinds of other stuff in it...this time I kept it as simple as humanly possible (mostly bc I didnt plan to make soup so I had to use what I had on hand)- but the outcome was perfect. I can't wait to make this soup again.

Only FOUR Ingredients:
1 Butternut squash
1tbsp butter
1 onion
4 cups of chicken broth (or veggie broth if you prefer!)
seasonings (we used salt, pepper & cayenne pepper for some kick- but you could also use nutmeg if you are not much of a spice person)

The result- a smooth, creamy, healthy & delicious soup that fed us for days...

Sautee the onion in the tbsp of butter for about 5 minutes or until transluscent.
Add the squash and chicken stock and simmer for about 20 minutes until the squash is tender..
take a slotted spoon and put the chunks in the food processor and pulse until you get a nice consistency.. (you could probably also use an immersion blender if you wanted)

Pour back in with liquid, season and enjoy!

Perfect Winter Dinner:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

French Onion Soup with Beef and Barley

One of my favorite things to do on a cold Sunday afternoon in the winter is make a dish that takes a long time, involves a lot of chopping and fills the house with warm delicious smells.

This sunday was no after a long walk Rob & Maggie... I made a cup of hot tea and got to work.

After lots of chopping, sauteeing,and simmering... I ended up with a big pot of this:

Then ladled them into these adorable french onion soup crocks and topped them with a few hunks of bread and some freshly shredded swiss cheese
A few minutes in the broiler and dinner was served... yum yum..crusty cheese and bread soaked in delicious broth.... who doesnt love that?

This soup is a whole meal... between the beef, the barley, the mushrooms and the cheese and bread...this soup is a warm hearty meal. make it!