Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Birthday Prep. Sneak Peak..




I have to go force some more forsythia. Before we get the 5-10 more inches of snow that "they" have predicted for Friday. 

(p.s. last year, it was 72 at her party. oh.)

Happy-ish Wednesday.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Birthday Party Menu!

This is the one of easiest menus ever. You make a good deal of it ahead of time, which is always the way to go. Plus, it's super delicious! Add some yummy cheese and crackers, some cupcakes, drinks and you're all set!


PW's Braised Beef Brisket
Quick Southern-Style Baked Beans
Dad's Potato Salad
Mixed Greens with Pecans, Goat Cheese and Dried Cranberries


If only I could decide which cupcakes to make?? These adorable Mini Cupcake Poppers
Or these sweet and simple Daisy Cupcakes? Decisions, decisions...

Early Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Earl Grey Buttercream


Monday Meal Planning - Birthday Week Edition

I will start off by saying, I'm about 90% sure we wont be eating all of these recipes this week. A certain Little One's birthday is Saturday (sob sob) and I'm going to be spending much of the week planning for some surprise visitors and a little birthday fun this weekend. But I still wanted to meal plan for all y'all. Besides, a girls gotta eat something, right? And I'm pretty sure the girls and the husband will be hungry for food, soo....



Monday:

Chicken Souvlaki Pitas with Tahini Sauce - Cooking Light Magazine, March 2011


Ingredients

  • 6  tablespoons  plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 2  tablespoons  shredded cucumber
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
  • 5  teaspoons  fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 5  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Cooking spray
  • 4  (6-inch) pitas, cut in half
  • 1  cup  shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2  cup  thinly sliced red onion
  • 16  (1/4-inch-thick) slices cucumber
  • 16  (1/4-inch-thick) slices plum tomato

Preparation

1. Combine yogurt, shredded cucumber, tahini, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl; set aside.
2. Combine remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, olive oil, and next 4 ingredients (through chicken) in a small bowl. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Thread chicken pieces evenly onto 4 (8-inch) skewers. Coat grill pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 10 minutes or until done, turning every 2 minutes. Remove chicken from skewers.
3. Divide chicken evenly among pita halves. Fill each pita half with 2 tablespoons lettuce, 1 tablespoon onion, 2 cucumber slices, 2 tomato slices, and 1 tablespoon sauce.

Tuesday:

French Dip Sandwiches - Food Network Magazine, April 2011


Ingredients

For the Onion Spread:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches scallions, chopped (white and greens parts separated)
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

For the Sandwiches:

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3-to-4-pound beef eye round roast
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons dry sherry
  • 6 6-inch Italian rolls, split and lightly toasted

Directions

Make the onion spread: Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; cover and cook, stirring, until golden, about 35 minutes. Add the shallots and scallion whites; cover and cook, stirring, until browned, about 25 more minutes. Stir in the scallion greens, then remove from the heat and let cool.
Chop the onion mixture and transfer to a bowl. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Make the beef for the sandwiches: Mince the garlic, then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and mash into a paste with the flat side of a large knife. Transfer to a bowl; add the olive oil, celery salt, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cut small slits all over the beef with a knife, then use your fingers to push the garlic paste into the slits. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring the beef to room temperature. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place on a rack in a roasting pan; add 1 cup broth, 3/4 cup water, the celery, onion and parsley to the pan. Roast 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the beef registers 115 degrees F, about 45 more minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest 20 minutes. Strain the pan juices; reserve.
Meanwhile, make the jus: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in the reserved pan juices and the remaining 3 cups broth and bring to a boil, whisking. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sherry.

Brush the rolls with some of the onion spread. Thinly slice the beef against the grain. Dunk the slices in the jus, then layer on the rolls. Serve the remaining jus in small bowls for dipping.
Friday: Take out for us! But you should have: Barbecued Shrimp (no BBQ required)
Saturday: Birthday Girl Day!!! (menu coming later today)
Sunday: Leftovers, baby. But you should have: 

Happy Monday! I'm off to go buy a 10 lb brisket. Wish me luck. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Friday Family Day

The big man's been working his butt off lately. So the girls and I packed it up and drove into the City to meet him for lunch and some fun. And it was good..










 Man I love this city...

Happy Weekend! Go and do something good for yourself. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now.

1. Trader Joe's Chevre with Honey on Raisin Rosemary Crisps. I will be forever grateful and forever hate my bf for telling me about this combination. It is the perfect snack. Unfortunately the girls think so too. And I say unfortunately because that means I have to share. Selfish mama.


2. Matt Duke's soon to be released album, "One Day Die".  It is so, so good. I can't stop listening to track #2, "Kangaroo Court".  Or track #3, "Love You Anymore".  Which is languid and lovely and a little heartbreaking. All good things.  Oh yeah, and track #6, "The Hour"? Also awesome. Track #7, "The Bench On The Hill and Tom Ramblewood", is by far my favorite. I listened to it three times in a row this afternoon. It's broody and a little more than sexy. The album drops (I've always wanted to say that, ha!) on Tuesday, March, 29th. But you can pre-order it on itunes now! And you really, really should.

3. My Hoover LINX Cordless Stick Vac. This is another bf recommendation. Actually her mom recommend it to her a year ago but she of course didn't listen! It's a cordless upright stick vac that vacuums hardwood, tiles AND carpet. And granted my house is tiny, but I can vacuum almost the entire house with one battery charge!! Love it. I use it at least twice a day. 

4. My replacement charger for my camera came!!!! WOOOHOOO!!! {really this should be number 1}


5. Twinings Ultra Spice Chai tea with a little Light Agave Nectar and some Silk French Vanilla Soy Creamer.


Those are my top 5 things I'm loving right now. In fact, I'm gonna go love on some Chai right now..
What are you loving right now?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"She Said What?" The good and the uh-oh.

Big One: "You know, I like myself, just the way I am!"

Woohooo!!! Hurray!!! Little pat on the back. I'm doing something right!

Five minutes later...

Big One: "Mama, can Thomas come over for a sleepover?"
Me: "Umm, I'm not sure that's a great idea."
Big One: "Why not? He's really handsome!"

Oh.

The end.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

All About City Mouse (aka me)

When I started this blog I did just that, just started. I wanted to get past the fear of words on a blank page and decided to "Just Do It (tm Nike - ha). I realized this week that I never really introduced myself. I thought about writing it all in haiku but realized a list might be best. Also, because a list is easier and I tend to write them all day anyway.


  • I met my husband the third day of college.
  • He was speaking in a fake (horrible) British accent.
  • He was sitting with the guy who would be our Best Man at our wedding. They had met the first day of college. You would never have known this. 
  • We started dating a few weeks later. My husband, not our Best Man.
  • We've been together for a million years..actually I guess it'll be 16 years this fall. Holy crap. And married for 6 years this June. Yes, we dated for 10 years before marriage. 
  • We went to art school. It's a pretty famous art school.
  • I have my degree in photography but I'm not a professional. 
  • Until this past December I hadn't picked up a SLR since 2000.
  • I worked in Interior Design before leaving to have the Big One.
  • Before that Graphic Design and Web Design.
  • Before that I was a photographer's assistant and made like $3 an hour. Ok maybe a little more but not much. I ate a lot of ramen and tofu scrambles.
  • Our girls are 4 and almost 2.
  • They both have light colored eyes and we both have brown.
  • I love cheese.
  • I love eating it and cooking it and shopping for it.
  • I love Booze. There. I said it.
  • We moved from the city to the "country" three years ago.
  • I miss the take out the most of all. Oh the FOOOD!!!!
  • I'm one of three kids. All of us love to cook. Like, really love it. 
  • I'm the youngest by 9 years. I'm a "Bahama baby." I'm not sure I love knowing that. Thanks, Parents!
  • I hate that our families lives so far away from us. It's the pits.
  • I'm seriously loving blogging. Should've done it sooner but I probably wouldn't have stuck with it, so it's probably good that I waited this long!
That'll do for now. I'll leave you with this Haiku.

The sun is shining
Tomorrow six inches. what?
Holy crap hold me

Isn't that lovely? 


awwwww..sniff sniff. I need a zyrtec.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Meal Planning - snow edition (yuck)

Monday: Something with Skirt Steak or Chicken. HA! I haven't decided yet ;)

Tuesday: Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Panini and Spicy Tomato and Blue Cheese Soup

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Carnitas

Thursday: Orecchiette with Carmelized Onions and Blue Cheese

Friday: Take out baby!

Saturday: Braised BBQ Beef Sandwiches and coleslaw

Sunday: Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

I'm starving!! These are all new recipes except for the Carnitas. I'm especially excited about the Panini and Tomato Soup, and the BBQ Sandwiches look like a serious Husband pleaser!

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Camera - FAIL

The Big One and I spent hours outside yesterday, playing, and jumping, and blowing bubbles, and me taking tons of pictures. And then my battery died. And then I went to charge the battery, and the charger was toast. And so my week 11 assignment for Paint the Moon - Let's do 52 is stuck on my camera until I can get a new charger or a new card reader. And Nikon is being shitty. Thank's Nikon! AHH. Until then I have my point and shoot and my iphone. The iphone won out today. Now to decide which one to use for the week. The theme is Power or Up. 









(This has nothing to do with Power or Up.
 I just love that there's a horse farm across from my daughter's nursery school.)

FRIDAY people!!!! HURRAY!



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Make this meal today! - Corned Beef, Colcannon, Roasted Cabbage with Lemon

I made our St. Patrick's Day feast yesterday. It was awesome. Take the guess work out of the meal and make these three things. Trust me!

Honey Marmalade Mustard Glazed Corned Beef 
Roasted Cabbage with Lemon
Colcannon

Lovely Honey Marmalade Mustard Glazed Corned Beef, ready to go into the oven.

I drank a Guinness while I cooked. And yes, it's in a Heineken glass. 


Halfway there.

Side note: Have you ever used Maldon salt flakes? They're awesome. Get some and make something. 

The end result was delicious. And I can't wait to make Reubens with the leftovers!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

(A note on the Corned Beef. I used a bottle of New Castle and 2 cups of water, instead of the 4 cups of water. And I made two corned beefs, instead of one.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Post Fail

I had a few different post ideas running around in my head for today. Then I threw my neck out picking up a baby sock this morning (seriously) and that all went out the window. Instead, I'm laying on the sofa  with a bag of frozen edamame, (frozen artichoke hearts sounded really painful) while my children destroy the house around me. Good times.

(wow, that's hot)

(banana in the candy land box - check!)

(Barbie crime scene - check!)

I might have to throw them a box of cereal and a couple of juice boxes and call it a day. phew. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Forcing Forsythia

I look forward to this every year. Forcing our Forsythia to bloom. It means spring is right around the corner...



p.s. Her top is the "Holland Days" top by Lil Blue Boo from the Spring "What the Folk" collection. 

Monday Meal Planning - St. Patty's Day week

This weeks meal planning is brought to you by lots and lots of coffee and Zaditor! Holy hell, my eyes are itchy.
Tonight's meal was actually made yesterday and so it's leftover for tonight. I switched up the recipe based on what we got at Tarry Market yesterday. (See my notes) We're having our St. Patty's day meal on Wednesday instead of on Thursday and having the leftovers the next night. Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday's recipes are new for us! I'm excited to try them out. And on Friday I'll make some sort of pizza. This week we had, mozzarella, goat cheese, fig jam and prosciutto, topped with arugula dressed w/ balsamic vinaigrette. So good! 


Monday: Pizza Pasta
Ingredients:
1 Pound(s) penne pasta (used fresh spaghetti)
1/4 Cup(s) butter
2 Tablespoon(s) olive oil
1 Package(s) hot, casings removed Italian sausage (used cheese and parsley sausage)
6 Clove(s) garlic
2 chopped onion
28 Ounce(s) crushed tomatoes
1 Cup(s) light cream (used half and half)
2 1/2 Tablespoon(s) dried oregano
2 Tablespoon(s) sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon(s) tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 Dash(s) to taste black pepper
1 Dash(s) to taste salt
1 Package(s) fresh mozzarella
Bunch of fresh Basil

Directions: 
Saute sausage, onions and garlic in butter and oil for ten minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for cream, mozzarella and basil. Simmer on low for 25 minutes. Add cream. Simmer 5 more minutes. Toss sauce with pasta. Serve with mozzarella and basil.


Tuesday: Grilled Buffalo Chicken Salad
Wednesday: Honey Marmalade Mustard Glazed Corned Beef and Colcannon
Thursday: Reuben Sandwiches and Coleslaw
Friday: Homemade Pizza (tbd)
Saturday: Chicken Tikka Masala
Sunday: Thai Beef Salad










Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tarry Market: Port Chester, NY

Oh my. Heaven in a store. We made a trip to Port Chester today to check out Tarry Market. Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's fabulous market which opened in November of 2010. The place is packed with amazing, fresh pastas made on site, breads, cheese, cured meats, you name it. There's a lovely cafe in the front of the store with perfectly made espresso and giant crunchy cookies. We sampled both. Plus a delicious Almond Brioche "French Toast". 


We came home with fresh Agnolotti with goat cheese and herbs, fresh spaghetti, paper thin speck and prosciutto, a ball of fresh mozzarella, a ring of Hampshire sausage with parsley and cheese, and a Tartufo salami. Ahhh!!! 


Next door is Tarry Wine Merchants, where we bought two bottles of Prosecco to celebrate a wonderful weekend. 















Happy Sunday! I need to go eat some speck.