Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Organizing Checklists

Thank you Martha Stewart for this very random list of organizing checklists!  Organizing your linen closet to greening your home to your grill.  The topics are a little all over the place, but the individual checklists are good.  Enjoy!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Barefoot Contessa: Make it Ahead

I am spoiled.  Two Jean George restaurants in a week!  First ABC Kitchen for lunch with my team.  The ambiance was gorgeous and food was great.  Friday night we went to the Inn at Pound Ridge.  Again, beautiful ambiance - farmhouse, high vaulted ceilings, candlelight. It was gorgeous.  Food was good too.

Saturday we had friends over and we decided to make everything from apps to dessert using Barefoot Contessa's new cookbook Make it Ahead.

I gotta tell you it was slim pickings.  I made for an app roasted kale parmesean chips. They were good, but not exciting.  Neither were the other apps that I could have selected.

For dinner I made the strip steak recipe -- dry rub, charcoal grilled.  They were good.

Kept two plain for the kids -- although all 5 of them devoured those plus more.

I also made her baked potatoes topped with whipped feta and the Spanish tapas red peppers -- the adults loved both of these.

My friend made the banana chocolate chip crumb cake and the chocolate cluster cookies - both were delish.

Our friends came/left early so the boys had time for a movie before bed. When I brought in the popcorn I found them having a tea party and saying "let's have a toast to the team".  They crack me up!

Sunday was insane.  We had baseball parade through town for my two big boys so I knew I wouldn't have time to go food shopping so had fresh direct deliver.

They love to play food delivery....too cute. :)

The parade/barbecue/bounce castles were super fun, but impossible to tear the kids away from everything


I got home with the little two around 2:30 to clean and start a ton of cooking including a recipe for these Sesame Snaps which were a pain in the a## to make, but good.  I also made for dinner Pioneer Woman's Apple Pork Roast which was AWESOME.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Banana Blueberry Muffins

What a gorgeous weekend!

Kicked off Friday night with my oldest's baseball practice and then we picked up his friend to come over for a bit to play/have ice cream.

Saturday we had a communion for our good friend's twins.

Sunday was a bunch of running around and cooking, including these banana blueberry muffins.  I also threw in some blackberries since I had them leftover from last week.

Let's get this week movin!

Monday, April 13, 2015


What are Paul McCartney and Rihanna doing hanging out with Kanye?

Makin' magic apparently.

Heard this on Pandora a hundred times (and skipped over it 99) before it finally clicked -- wow, great tune.  Sorta like that thinking out loud song by Ed Sheerhan.  If you listen to it 543 times it grows on you. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Easter Chocolate

The annual melting of the chocolate Easter bunnies is in full effect over here.

These babies are going into the fridge to set.  We'll enjoy them later when we have our friends and their kids over later for a dessert/drinks playdate.

Someone else told me a great idea today too.  My friend chops up her easter chocolate and freezes it. She uses it then throughout the next few months whenever she is baking in place of chocolate chips.  LOVE that idea!

Need to clean this place up quick and get ready for our guests.  Hopefully I get 5 minutes to sit down to regroup before they come over!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Weekend

What a weekend!  Busy and fun.

Friday night I ran out to get some odds and ends for the weekend.

Saturday was packed.  Starting off with 9:15 lacrosse, 11:00 easter egg hunt in town, 1:00 my personal trainer kicked my #ss and I was sore the rest of the weekend, 3:30 baseball practice and 5:00 my husband's family came over for dinner and easter egg coloring.

One highlight- the town easter egg hunt started at 11:00 prompt.  It's over by 11:02 because mobs of kids get all the eggs.  As we were walking back to the car I see all these parents rushing to the park looking worried that they missed it and their little kids looking all excited with empty easter egg baskets. It broke my heart.   I mentioned how sad it made me to my big boy and suggested maybe he give these kids one or two of the eggs he collected.  Well, he gave out every last one he collected.  I could not have been more proud! Love him to pieces.

Our evening was nice. We colored eggs using tablecloths that have been in the family for decades -- splashed with the egg colors throughout the years and signed be whomever was around coloring eggs with the family that year.  Such a nice tradition.

I still have leftover cranberries in the freezer, so for dessert made this Cranberry Layer Cake.  I put white chocolate chips on top instead of walnuts. It was good.

Easter Sunday there were trails of jelly beans all over the house leading to these goodies which I had fun hiding for the kids.

We went to church where my middle guy was a little nutty from a sugar high.  He kept loudly whispering "shadow". No idea why he did this. Random people around us started looking around wondering where the heck the sound was coming from.  He then had the people around us cracking up because when it was time for the host he yelled out "are they giving out bubble gum or chips?". :)

Went up to my brother's house for dinner. I was in charge of a salad so made this version of a caprese salad using oranges.  It was good!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Birthday Lunch - Stuffed Crust Pizza

Yesterday I took off from work for my big boy's actual birthday.  While the big two were at school I raced with my little guy to buy balloons, decorate the house, bake cupcakes.

The big boys had a half day at school so I picked them up at noon along with one of my oldest's bff for a playdate.  I also invited another one of his friends who got dropped off a bit later at our house.
Walking out of the school I saw two moms I am friendly with who happened to have off too, so I told them if they wanted to stop by with their kids they could.  They happily agreed, so when all was said and done we had 2 adults and 6 kids over -- it was mayhem with my 3 in the mix.  :)

For lunch I ordered two pizzas and made a homemade one that was recommended to me by a friend.  My friend said the recipe makes "mind blowing pizza".  To be honest I wasn't overly impressed by the recommendation since the recipe didn't sound that exciting and it's just pizza.  However, I figured I would try it and make it for the kids for lunch. 

Well, let me tell you -- the kids didn't have a bite because me and the other two mothers ate the whole thing.  It was to die for.  It was easy to make.  It was a perfect recipe. :)

In fact, I rarely make the same recipe twice, but I would absolutely make this for my family over ordering any day.  Taste is incomparable and I love that I can use organic ingredients.   Recipe at the bottom.

After lunch, it was so gorgeous out the other moms and I sat out back and the kids played.

birthday cupcakes!
After the playdate we went out for dinner. 

Eating me out of house and home and sending me to the poor house at restaurants!  Birthday boy enjoying salmon balsamico at one of his favorite restaurants.
When we got home some family stopped by and we had cake, opened presents. 

My house was trashed so lots of cleaning up had to be done, so I am pretty beat today.  At least it's Friday!

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Stuffed Crust Pizza
Crust Ingredients
1 package active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water (105° to 115°, no more)
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little for coating
10 mozzarella string cheese sticks
Sauce Ingredients
6 oz tomato paste
1 can of spaghetti sauce
1 pinch of oregano
1 pinch of garlic powder
In a mixer: Using a dough hook, combine 2 ½ cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the liquid ingredients and mix on low until the dough begins to clump around the dough hook. Your pizza dough should be smooth so continue adding flour until smooth. Remove and knead rolling the dough into a ball.
Lightly oil the ball and the inside of a large glass bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. For better crust, punch down the dough, reshape into a ball and let it rise again.
Place 6 oz of tomato paste in bowl, stir in all of the Oregano and Garlic Powder. Slowly add in Spaghetti Sauce (approx. 1/3rd jar) stirring till sauce runs slow down glass bowl sides.
Roll dough out about 1” larger than the pan. Around the edges of the pan add mozzarella sticks end-to-end. Wrap excess dough around mozzarella sticks. Add your sauce, and toppings (choice cheese’, vegies, and meats).
Transfer to a pizza pan or pizza stone. Bake in a 500° pre-heated oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 15 to 18 minutes. Longer on non-convection ovens.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Seven Things Every Kid Should Master

I read this interesting article recently about seven things every kid should master.  My children have the art of conversation down pat.  A huge accomplishment for boys if you ask me since most moms I know say their boys don't express their feelings very well. 

Had a fun evening last night baking cupcakes with my big boys.  My oldest is celebrating his birthday in school today since tomorrow they have a 1/2 day and an Easter party after mass.  Sprinkles were all over my kitchen.  And when I mean all over I mean ALL OVER.  But they had fun and that's all that matters. :)

Happy Wednesday!