Wednesday, August 31, 2011

day 28 = nothing like homemade tacos

charley really outdid himself. these are amazing!

i had dinner with sarah's brother and his girlfriend the other day and i was going to cook.  i asked sarah what i should make and she said tacos, but then changed her mind and asked me to wait until i got back home.  i would admit it was tough because they sounded so great.  i was able to wait and i guess it made it that much better because they were amazing.  i don't know what it is about tacos made at home, but just writing about them makes me want more!

if you want to recreate this, here's what he did:

 - chop up: lettuce, tomato, and onion
 - mix: 2 lbs beef and lawry's taco seasoning package (i like mccormick better)
 - cook: follow the directions on lawry's package
 - sprinkle with: shredded cheese, taco bell hot sauce, and la victoria green taco sauce
 - serve inside: taco shells


Monday, August 29, 2011

day 27 = i'm all set to watch Hell's Kitchen!

i sat down to watch Hell's Kitchen (i love gordon ramsay!), but something didn't quite feel right. it's the kind of show you need to sit back and have some popcorn with to enjoy all the action. the thing is though, gordon has a bit of a bite (in a good way) so you need to kick-it-up a notch. here's my concoction:

- put popcorn kernels in the microwave and cook on high until there are a few seconds
  between the pops (start with 3 mins on your cook time and stop when necessary)

- melt 2 tbsp butter and drizzle over top

- sprinkle with: cayenne pepper, chinese five spice, salt and pepper

it seems odd, i know, but trust me --- it's fantastic!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

day 26 = why not combine pasta ponza and pasta primavera?

since we've been back from italy, i have been craving pasta. we have a lot of vegetables in the house today, but not really much else. i wanted to make something with an olive oil sauce, but it's surprisingly been hard to find a recipe among my collection. instead, i am combining two recipes from Giada de Laurentiis: pasta ponza (in the "giada at home" cookbook) and pasta primavera and giving it my little flare :)

enjoy watching the progress...

start by chopping a good amount of garlic

sprinkle salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic, and breadcrumbs on halved cherry tomatoes.
bake in 375 degree oven for 30 mins, set aside. 


chop vegetables into thin slices. add some italian seasoning, hot pepper flakes, salt, pepper, olive oil (a good amount), bread crumbs, and remaining garlic.
bake in 450 degree oven for 20 mins, turning.

start making your pasta (i used spaghetti). pull vegetables out of oven when finished.
mine looked like this:

plate pasta with vegetables and tomatoes. add a sprinkle of parsley and feta cheese.
mix it all together and you are all set to eat!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

day 25 = sleepy salmon part II

costco salmon is our go-to favorite. charley made this the other day --- soooo simple and so delicious. here's what he did:

- preheat oven to 400 degrees
- put foil on a cookie sheet
- place salmon in the center
- sprinkle with: garlic powder, chipotle powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
- place mini red, yellow, and orange peppers (from costco) around salmon
- cook for 15 mins

we buy all our spices now from penzy's. i highly recommend!

i begin to wonder who is the better cook between the two of us because this came out awesome! (all kidding aside, sarah is the better cook), but this was excellent.  the heat and texture of the fish was wonderful.  the peppers just add to the flavor and are a must have for this dish!

if you want to check out sleepy salmon part I, see day 3...


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

day 24 (part II) = nothing like matzo ball soup to kick a cold!

on our way back from barcelona, i came down with a killer cold. i had no energy to leave the house or eat much of anything (which is shocking because we both put on a ton of weight on the cruise). all i wanted was matzo ball soup. so, sweet charley picked it up from a restaurant for me the night we returned and then went to the grocery store the following morning to buy me the ingredients so i could make some for us at home. it came out fantastic, i knew i married him for a reason :)

since i was exhausted, i took the easy way out on this. here's what i did:

to start:
- boil water in a large soup pot
- slice 1/2 a large onion and throw it in
- dump in a 16oz bag mini carrots
- cut and dump in 2 celery stalks
- add a few sprigs of chopped parsley
- toss in 6 chicken legs
- add 3 bay leaves
- dump a bunch of salt, pepper, basil, and oregano
- add the soup mix from a package of "manischewitz matzo ball and soup mix"
- set to boil and then simmer

after 1-2 hrs:
- mix the matzo ball mix package with: oil, water, and eggs as directed on the box
- put in refrigerator for at least 30 mins
- bring the water back up to a boil
- drop into BOILING water (essential for fluffy matzo balls)
- season further if needed
- reduce to simmer for 1/2 hour or more

that's it!

it has been two days of eating this and i am not tired of it.  in fact, i am looking forward to having it again for lunch tomorrow.  i don't feel guilty about eating it as it is lite and filled with healthy things that taste great.  sarah wanted it as she was not feeling well and it must have made a difference as she is feeling better now!


day 24 = THANK YOU and we're back in business!

thanks to everyone who stayed with our blog while we were on "holiday" the last month :)

we had an amazing honeymoon trip to the Mediterranean on the Ruby Princess cruise ship and highly recommend it as your next vacation. here are a few juicy pics for you....

the itinerary (from venice to barcelona with the following stops):

charley ordered the "princess loveboat":

muscles they made just for me (our waiter took pity on my nut allergy):

homemade cheese from a farm in sorrento:

can you believe these sculptures are bread?:

enjoy, we did!