Thank-Full Thanksgiving

kitchen table 11/19/16

With Thanksgiving just three days away, Ryan and I are getting ready for a quiet, cozy, Thanksgiving at home this year, and we are looking forward to cooking some delicious food together; I always enjoy all the yummy eats, followed by decorating our home for Christmas over Thanksgiving weekend! Below are some things that will be on our Thanksgiving table this year. What’s cooking in your home for the holiday?

Deviled Eggs with Bacon & Capers
Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Liquor
Blackened Turkey Breast (prepared with a dry rub and grilled)
Gravy
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Root Vegetables with Fresh Herbs
Rolls
Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream

For some Turkey Day fun, you might enjoy taking a look at these:

Now that the weather has turned here in Ann Arbor, and we had our first snowfall last weekend, it’s extra nice to curl up by our fireplace too. I wish you a warm Thanksgiving, full of love, friends and family, happy memories, and delicious treats!

by Valerie | 11.21.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Recipes | No Comments »

summer fun & on the road again

NY state of mind

It’s been a whirlwind of a week for me – at the office, we packed up everything to move into our new space while at the same time packing for Ross on the Road events we’re traveling for in seven cities from Tuesday, July 19th (in Boston) through Thursday, July 28th (in Chicago); in the process, I’ve been lucky enough to see some really beautiful event spaces, like the Ascent Lounge in New York and the First Amendment Lounge at The National Press Club in Washington, DC. In NY, I made a point to stop by Junior’s and pick up some black and white cookies to take home (I can’t resist, they’re so good!) and in DC I was sure to take a stroll by The White House of course. Next week, I’m headed to Los Angeles and Chicago and looking forward to it.

In Ann Arbor, we had Art Fair this week…which always brings our hottest summer temperatures and thunderstorms; Ryan and I enjoyed strolling around downtown and seeing the sights yesterday. It’s always so good to come home! Speaking of home, I’m lucky enough to have a husband who is an amazing cook – I’ve been craving some delicious pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil so Ryan was kind enough to cook that up for me when I returned home from DC on Friday, yum! Our garden is doing great; we pulled a whole bowl full of fresh tomatoes from our garden box just yesterday and our peppers, onions, and herbs seem to be enjoying the summer weather too.

pasta with garden tomatoes, garden basil, & farmers market pesto

garden tomatoes & sun tea #grewitmyself

by Valerie | 07.24.16 | Around town, For Funsies, Garden, Travel, Work | 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 »

good luck

Happy New Year's Eve

We enjoyed a lovely New Year’s Eve with friends and followed it with a full day of house cleaning and a delicious dinner of pan-fried yellow lake perch, rosemary cornbread, roasted potatoes, and black-eyed peas (we used this recipe as a guide, but Ryan gave it his own spin). Here’s hoping that the new year brings us all plenty of good luck!

Black-eyed peas

Rosemary cornbread

by Valerie | 01.05.15 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Recipes | No Comments »

giving thanks, part II

Thanksgiving 2014

I know this is a bit belated (I caught a bug and was feeling under the weather last week and I’m finally feeling myself again), but we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Low, warm dinner lighting doesn’t make for the best photos of food, but it was all so delicious! I am so thankful to have such an amazing husband, who is not only the best partner I could possibly dream up but also an amazing cook. It was so nice to have our dear friends Michael and Jennifer join us for Thanksgiving dinner (and bring along that delicious apple crisp to share – yum!) with Ryan’s Mom at our house. I hope you had a wonderful, delicious Thanksgiving filled with good memories as well as good eats!

Brussels Sprouts

by Valerie | 12.07.14 | Around our home, Holidaze | No Comments »

Giving thanks…

…for family and friends, for our dog Melody (she’s so cute it hurts), for good food, for our beautiful home, and for my amazing husband – who is a great cook, is always easy on the eyes, who lets me put my cold feet on him when I first get into bed to help warm them up, has a wonderful sense of humor, and who happily makes me lattes whenever I ask him to.

We enjoyed Thanksgiving brunch with friends and a quiet, relaxing Thanksgiving dinner at home with just Ryan, Melody, and me. Deviled eggs was the first thing we made, followed by pumpkin pie (which is a long, sad story – but it’s ok because we bought one from the store today to make up for it), bourbon whipped cream, fresh cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, gravy, and turkey. On the floor, under a blanket, by the fire is where I found myself falling asleep early in the evening, with Ryan and Melody by my side.

We served our deviled eggs on a lovely Russel Wright piece. I really love Russel Wright serving dishes; they are so simple with beautiful, muted colors – we’ve picked up a few in recent years at garage sales and resale shops.  I think it made my deviled eggs look extra sexy – well, as sexy as deviled eggs can look, I suppose.

Today, Ryan made me waffles with fresh apple compote for breakfast and we took a walk to a nearby park with Melody. Later, we’ll enjoy some Thanksgiving leftovers and I’m sure to find myself by the fire,  under a blanket again, likely watching some holiday movies.

by Valerie | 11.29.13 | Around our home, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

2012: Week 52

2012: Week 52
Now is a good time for you to explore.

by Valerie | 01.05.13 | Photography | No Comments »

Weekend fun

5/1/11

We enjoyed a fun weekend & some lovely spring weather! There’s a reason they say “April showers bring May flowers” – the world around us is finally, really turning green again; the trees, shrubs, & flowers are blooming &, most importantly for us, our garden is coming to life! The onions we planted several weeks ago have little green shoots popping out of the soil & our other plants are already noticeably bigger – we planted two types of tomatoes (New Girl & Brandywine Heirloom) & more strawberries (Ozark Everbearing) over the weekend as well.

We enjoyed a friendly game of Texas hold’em with friends on Friday. Ryan was able to go on his first mountain bike ride this year on Saturday. And we made some really delicious curry potatoes, with onion & garlic & spices, in the slow cooker for dinner, with samosas & naan from Shalimar on the side of course! On Sunday we made a stop at our favorite flower shop, Pot & Box, saw a movie at the theater (Source Code), planted the strawberries & tomatoes I mentioned above, & had brinner – breakfast for dinner – which was delicious. And now here we are again, back at Monday – it happens so fast, doesn’t it?!?

by Valerie | 05.02.11 | For Funsies, Garden | No Comments »

Mmmmm beer-battered tempeh

Beer Battered Tempeh

So I had a craving for some fried food, and thought I would try something new…beer-battered tempeh. Its kind of like chicken tenders without the chicken. They were pretty tasty morsels and packets of fried nutty goodness, but then again most fried food is delicious, so try them out for yourself.

beer battered tempeh ingredients:

  • 1 package tempeh (we used Light Life Garden Veggie)
  • 3/4 cup beer of your choice (sorry vegans I used Guinness, but I am certain any good stout would work)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup flour for batter + additional flour (1/2-1 cups) for dredging
  • 1 tsp course ground black pepper
  • 1/2 -1 tsp mace
  • 1/4 tsp (give or take) onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp (give or take) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • canola oil for frying (or other oil of your choice)
  • salt and pepper

Combine the beer, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp of mace, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the pepper, the remaining paprika, any additional mace you want, onion powder, garlic powder, and additional dredging flour. Cut the tempeh into thin strips, about 1/4″ thick.

Fill a large frying pan with canola oil, about 1/2″-3/4″ deep. Heat over medium heat. You can take a bit of the wet batter and drop it in, if it sizzles and rises to the top you’re ready to cook. Once the oil is ready to rock, dip a tempeh strip into the wet ingredient batter, shake it off some, then dredge it in the dry mix, toss into the oil and watch it sizzle. You can do this in small batches of 6-8 strips at a time. Cook until golden brown, flipping once during cooking. They cook pretty quickly about 3-4 minutes. Once cooked, place them on a plate with paper towels on it (helps soak up the oil), add additional salt, pepper, and any additional seasoning.

You can eat these bad boys any way you want. If you want to eat them like nuggets, pour some bbq-sauce or ranch in a cup and dip away, If you are the vinegar type, try sprinkling on some malt vinegar. I had mine in sandwich form. For the sammich, use any bun or bread of your choice, top with  some sautéed onions (make sure they are nice and caramelized), add some fresh lettuce, and a couple slices of tomato (or ditch the lettuce and tomato for some Brussels sprout slaw!!!). A good side dish is also recommended. Fried food loves to be paired with more fried food so some chips (aka French Fries) would be appropriate. I had mine with some mac ‘n’ cheese.

Oh, and why mace you ask? Apparently mace is often found in another fried delicious thing called the doughnut. I use it typically as a spice rub for barbecue. It has a sort of sweetness and spiciness to it, like nutmeg, only lighter. I figured if it is good enough for doughnuts it would make a pleasing addition to tempeh batter.

Beer Battered Tempeh

by Ryan | 04.23.11 | Recipes | No Comments »

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