Easter brunch

Easter Brunch 2016

We enjoyed a delicious Easter brunch at home, complete with what has become our traditional Easter menu of frittata (we made this one with cilantro, roasted poblano pepper, bell pepper, and onion) and savory swirls (we made this batch with store-bought biscuit dough and used this to flavor the Upton’s Chorizo Seitan), as well as roasted asparagus with lemon zest, breakfast potatoes, and the cutest little petit fours we picked up at a local market here in town. The Lenten Rose/Hellebore in my yard is doing very well and I was delighted to be able to cut and bring in several blooms to enjoy in vases in our house. It was sunny and not too cold out, so we enjoyed a bit of time outside in our patio chairs listening to the birds sing. Wishing you all a very happy Easter Sunday!

Easter Brunch 2016b

Easter Brunch 2016a

Hellebores

by Valerie | 03.27.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze, Recipes | No Comments »

Pi/pie, green, & spring

💗

Last Monday, 3/14, was Pi Day and we celebrated by ordering a pizza pie for dinner and enjoying an apple pie for dessert. We remembered to wear our green for St. Patrick’s Day last Thursday too; even Melody had some green in her collar, so we all avoided getting pinched. We made these Blue Apron meals at home (you can view photos here) over the last week: Crispy Brown Butter Gnocchi with Meyer Lemon & Brussels Sprouts, Baked Jerk Tofu & Smashed Plantains with Garlic-Ginger Collard Greens, Roasted Broccoli & Fregola Sarda Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Tahini Dressing (we did fried eggs in place of the hard-boiled eggs), and Mushroom & Poblano Pepper Quesadillas with Monterey Jack Cheese & Avocado-Radish Salsa (we substituted zucchini for the mushrooms, due to allergy). And, as of yesterday, it is officially spring; I really enjoyed our walks with Melody over the weekend, seeing daffodil and crocus blooms, little green shoots coming up from the ground for tulips and lilies, etc., buds on the trees, the sky was such a beautiful shade of blue, and coming across this sweet little sidewalk chalk message pictured above. We picked up some cheery yellow daffodils and white tulips for the house, along with a beautiful purple arrangement I took home from a work event filled with stock, waxflower, and lovely, pale purple roses.

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes... Happy first day of spring!

event flowers

by Valerie | 03.21.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants, Recipes | No Comments »

spring forward

tulips

We’ve had unseasonably warm weather here recently and even pulled out the grill for the first time this year for dinner last night, but as we set our clocks ahead an hour for the time change today, we woke up to cooler temperatures and rain outside – which made it a perfect day to make this for lunch. Now seems like a good time for a rainy Sunday nap on the couch, or for watching a good movie under a warm blanket, or both! With St. Patrick’s Day coming up this Thursday, I couldn’t resist picking up this sweet little Oxalis plant, some Bells of Ireland, and a big bunch of tulips. The crocus and snowdrops are blooming in our neighborhood and the buds on my lilac bushes in the backyard are getting bigger every day – there are signs of spring everywhere.

bells of Ireland

oxalis

by Valerie | 03.13.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

weekend haps

There was a big game on yesterday, which I did watch portions of; but my favorite part of Super Bowl Sunday has always been the commercials and the Puppy Bowl. Here’s one of my personal favorite commercials from this year’s big game (see above or follow this link). What were your favorites?

And in our kitchen last week, we made Tuscan Ribollita Soup with Soft-Boiled Eggs & Lacinato Kale, Creamy Lemon Linguine with Caramelized Onion, Chard & Walnuts (one of our favorites so far!), Shrimp & Pineapple Fried Rice with Toasted Cashews & Sambal Oelek, and Goat Cheese & Kale Quiches with Butter Lettuce & Chive Salad. For Super Bowl Sunday, it was guacamole and chips, oven-baked fries, and chili dogs!

Wednesday night dinner at home - cooking & listening to Italian hip hop. Tuscan Ribollita Soup #blueapron

Creamy Lemon Linguine with Caramelized Onion, Chard & Walnuts http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/KmkHUqUxEq #blueapron

Shrimp & Pineapple Fried Rice with Toasted Cashews & Sambal Oelek http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/W3lLVhQ5Aq #blueapron

Goat Cheese & Kale Quiches with Butter Lettuce & Chive Salad #blueapron

by Valerie | 02.08.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

home cooked

Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/Xffipdiupq #blueapron

Tomorrow we’ll receive our third Blue Apron shipment in the mail and we’re still really enjoying it – I still feel a bit like a kid opening presents on Christmas morning every time we get a box; as I mentioned here, it’s been fun to try new recipes at home, new ingredients (like watermelon radish), and we’ve enjoyed having all the groceries needed for the meals shipped right to our door too. Another thing I have personally loved about it is that we are spending the time it takes to make the meals together in the kitchen, listening to music (sometimes there’s dancing!), talking, laughing, and enjoying a beer or a glass of wine. Week one brought us: Butternut Squash & Poblano Chili with Toasted Pepitas & Charred Lime, Apple & Parmesan Cheese Panzanella Salad with Smashed Purple Potatoes (we altered the recipe and used Parmesan in place of blue cheese), and Cacciatore-Style Baked Eggs with Lacinato Kale & Parmesan-Garlic Toasts. Week two brought us: White Pizza with Baked Eggs & Arugula-Brussels Sprout SaladCod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts (pictured above and below), and Chicken Meatballs & Creamy Polenta with Tomato Sugo & Lacinato Kale. I’m looking forward to more culinary adventures and fun in the kitchen! Want to see more photos of our food? Take a peek here!

Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/Xffipdiupq #blueapron

Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts #blueapron

by Valerie | 01.29.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

weekend haps

garden rose & ranunculus

We spent a productive weekend doing lots of cooking at home (2 more Blue Apron meals – Chicken Meatballs & Creamy Polenta with Tomato Sugo & Lacinato Kale and Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts – as well as an original tomato, roasted vegetable, and noodle soup that Ryan put together…“mmm noodle soup”), running errands, and cleaning house. And I picked up these gorgeous roses and ranunculus for myself…just because.

Pow!

Melody is looking extra cute in her Valentine’s Day collar, by the way!

my buddy and me

my buddy and me

by Valerie | 01.25.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants, Recipes | No Comments »

home cooked

Excited to try Blue Apron!

We received a free week (3 meals) of meals from Blue Apron as a Christmas gift from my brother and sister-in-law and I was excited to receive our first delivery to our doorstep yesterday. It’s pretty simple, you start by signing up for an account in which you specify your plan type (2-person, family), dietary profile (i.e. vegetarian, pescetarian, omnivore), you pick the day of the week that works best for you to receive deliveries, and you select the 3 recipes/meals you’d prefer for that week. They ship everything you need to make the meals and the printed recipes to follow. Last night, we cooked our first Blue Apron meal and it was a success! We made this salad, with a few alterations of our own to suit our tastes; we substituted Parmesan cheese for the blue cheese and used a French vinaigrette dressing in place of the creamy one it came with the ingredients for. At first, I was worried it wouldn’t be filling enough for dinner, but the portion size was more than enough and with the bread and potatoes it came with it was just right. I’m really excited to try some new things – we often eat out or order in and when we do cook it is often the same things, so it’s nice to not only cook more at home, but also get out of our cooking rut and try something new. I’m looking forward to another new recipe and a home cooked meal tonight!

Apple & Parmesan Cheese Panzanella Salad with Smashed Purple Potatoes - our first Blue Apron meal

Apple & Parmesan Cheese Panzanella Salad with Smashed Purple Potatoes - our first Blue Apron meal

by Valerie | 01.17.16 | For Funsies, Recipes | 1 Comment »

garden goodies

garden onions

We pulled all the onions from our garden, cleaned them up, and put them in a basket to use in cooking; I really love the color of these onion skins too – aren’t they lovely? And we found this pretty, gold-rimmed glass at an estate sale last week and I thought it looked quite nice filled with these dark red alstroemeria.

Speaking of cooking, Ryan used up most all of our garden tomatoes making a green zebra gazpacho (he used a version of this recipe, with a combination of green zebra and granny smith tomatoes we grew) and our garden peppers making hot sauce – yum, I’m looking forward to enjoying all of this!

by Valerie | 09.13.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Recipes | No Comments »

Super Bowl snacks

Turkey avocado guacamole sandwich

Not only do we have some yummy chili to look forward to for dinner tonight, we also made some fresh guacamole, turkey avocado guacamole sandwiches for lunch, and a skillet cookie cake which we followed this recipe for. It’s been a good day to stay busy cooking up delicious eats in the kitchen; Ryan is outside right now shoveling our sidewalks and driveway again and the snow is still piling up.

Super Bowl Sunday guacamole

Cookie cake!!!

by Valerie | 02.01.15 | For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

sweet and spicy stupor bowl chili

Homemade veggie chili

It’s a very snowy Super Bowl Sunday and nothing goes better with being “snowed-in” and watching people talk about deflated ballsKaty Perry, and occasionally puppies than a nice comforting bowl of chili.

Ingredients:

  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted then diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted then diced
  • 1 small white onion, roasted then diced
  • 1 large jalapeño, roasted then minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil (we used a chipotle infused oil)
  • 2 tbsp dark chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp smoked chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp molé spice
  • 1 heaping tbsp (about 1-2 tbsp) of good chocolate shaved
  • salt to taste

Heat an oven to 350. Slice the onion into large slices. Put the onions and peppers in a large roasting pan/dish, then coat with some olive oil. Place into the oven to roast. Roast them until the peppers start to brown/blacken. Flip them occasionally to make sure they roast evenly. Set aside to cool. Once cooled peel the skins of the peppers, deseed, and dice. Dice the onion as well.

Heat a large pot to medium heat. Add the oil into the pot, let heat up then add the garlic. Cook until it starts to brown. Add the onion and peppers. Cook for about another minute. Add the chili powders and chocolate. Cook until everything is well incorporated. Add the the tomatoes. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes (or more). Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes. Salt to taste. Serve to your liking. We’ve got a bag of Fritos ready to go for some Frito pie.

Super Bowl chili

by Ryan | 02.01.15 | Recipes | 1 Comment »

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