Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Garden {It grows!}

It grows!!! Kind of. We had a crazy amount of the rain the past few weeks. I've been worried about rot and bugs and slime and all kinds of stuff. So far we seem to be hanging in there. 

We have beans! These little buddies are growing on a plant that the Big One planted as a seed at school. We harvested a few the other night and the girls ate them with their dinner. 

Kohlarabi! I'm so excited about these plants. We've never planted them before and they're really cool to watch grow. Unfortunately...

our biggest one split in half. I'm guessing it's an uneven watering/moisture situation. Unfortunately nothing I could really do. But, do I pick it? Can we still eat it? I'm a Kohlrabi newbie. Any guidance?

Jerusalem Artichoke. Huge!


Sweet Pickle Peppers. Aren't these gorgeous?

Early Girls

I'm a little worried about this guy. It's my Mortgage Lifter tomato. It has a slight blight look about it. Very reminiscent of 2009. I'm not pulling it yet. Hoping it'll turn around. 

Hello, Cucumbers! What nice pickles you'll make. 

Crookneck Squash

A sea of wild mint. And I really mean a sea. It's crazy!

And...we have Hydrangea! We planted these two plants three years ago and have yet to have them bloom, until this year. Hurray!

What's coming up in your garden? Any big hits or misses? I'd love to hear!

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A BBQ in Pictures

I'm actually amazed I got this many decent pictures at all! Mama didn't sit for hours. It was a wonderful time. Full of food and drinks and friends and temporary tattoos. Until next year, friends!

Love Erin 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Meal Planning - oldies but goodies.

ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz....need more caffeine. STAT! What a weekend. Hurray for awesome weather, great food, friends and fun! I'll be recovering all week. Here are some of my favorite recipes that I've blogged about recently. I'm hungry already.

Monday: Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Panini

Tuesday: Asian Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday: MM Sandwich - Adorned

Thursday: Jaden's Beef with Broccoli

Friday: Braised Chicken with White Wine, Tomatoes and Peas

Saturday: Braised BBQ Beef Sandwiches

Sunday: Thai Chicken Curry

4th of July! 
7 Layer Greek Dip
Blue Cheese Burgers
Pesto Pasta Salad
Crash Hot Potatoes
Pineapple Zucchini Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Monday! Where's my ice coffee???!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Meal Planning {quick and easy}

It's Monday again! How does that happen so quickly?? This week we're gearing up for our big BBQ on Saturday. Food prep starts on Wednesday! I'll be cooking up a storm and dinners will have to be quick and easy. So let's get started. We have things to do!

Monday: Beef Noodle Salad Bowls 

Tuesday: Mexican Lasagna - We'll eat this for dinner on Tuesday and for lunch all week.

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken Calzone - This uses a grocery store rotisserie chicken. Love it!

Thursday: Spicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Tomatoes, and Basil 

Friday: Grilled Pizza - three ways

Saturday: Pioneer Woman's Beef Brisket

Sunday: Leftover Brisket Tostadas

Happy Monday!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Food for Dudes {Father's Day}

EEK! It's Father's Day on Sunday. What to cook the fabulous Fathers in your life? Any of these recipes. All of them are totally guy approved. Be it my husband, my brother or brother in law, and of course, my own dad. I promise they'll love you even more for it.

Blue Cheese Burgers 
Taco Burgers
Marlboro Man Sandwich - Adorned 
Drip Beef Sandwiches
Broccoli Beef
Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce
Shrimp Tacos
Chicken Enchiladas

Happy (almost) Father's Day Dads!


Vodka Slush - or how to instantly make and keep friends.

Run to the store and get the ingredients for this, RIGHT NOW! It takes 24 hours to freeze and you'll want it for tomorrow. Trust me! This is an old family recipe that is so outrageously good. It packs a serious punch, so be warned, you won't know what hit you.

Vodka Slush
1 - 6 oz can of frozen orange juice
2 - 6 oz cans of frozen limeade
2 - 6 oz cans of frozen lemonade
1/4 to 1/3 cup of sugar - (the original recipe calls for 2/3 cup of sugar but my sis and I agree, too much)
3 1/2 cups of water
2 cups of vodka (feel free to use a flavor. Grapefruit or Citron would be great in this!)
Sprite (citrus flavored seltzer or lemon/orange Pelligrino is great too if you want to cut down on the sugar)

Make the orange juice according to directions on can. Mix orange juice w/ the undiluted frozen limeade and lemonade. Add sugar, water and vodka. Cover and freeze for 24 to 48 hours. (24 is really plenty) Scoop spoonfuls of slush into glasses and top off with Sprite or flavored seltzer/sparkling water. Sit back, relax, and chill. Is it 5 o'clock yet??!

Happy Friday! Do something good for yourself this weekend. Vodka slush included!!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Party Planning - BBQ Menu

I learned something last year. When having people over for a BBQ, a LOT of people, it's better when you don't actually have to BBQ anything. Last year I made The Pioneer Woman's Beef Brisket. I plan on making it again this year. Everything is done in advance and all you have to do the day of the party is heat up the brisket. Easy. Anything that can be made a day or two ahead is brilliant. Saves time the morning of the party for other things. Like running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Which is what I do. And inevitably keeping two little girls from killing each other or destroying your freshly cleaned house. My husband usually starts doing totally random things that aren't in any way helpful but he for some reason thinks they need to be done two hours before 50 people descend upon our house. I've yet to figure that one out, is it a dude thing? Who knows. I do know it's time to figure out our menu. It'll go something like this...

BBQ Menu:

Pioneer Woman's Beef Brisket  - Last year I made 18lbs of Brisket. Woah.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork - This is my girl Cheeky's recipe. It's so yummy. You can check out her blog here. Thanks, Cheeks!

1 Tablespoon(s) black pepper
1 Teaspoon(s) - 2 teaspoons ground red (cayenne) pepper
2 Tablespoon(s) chili powder
2 Tablespoon(s) cumin
2 Tablespoon(s) dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon(s) dried oregano
4 Tablespoon(s) paprika
2 Tablespoon(s) salt
1 Tablespoon(s) sugar
1 Tablespoon(s) white pepper
6 Pound(s) - 8 pounds pork shoulder
2 Cup(s) divided barbecue sauce

Mix all spice rub ingredients in small bowl.

Massage spice rub into meat. Wrap tightly in double layer of plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 3 hours. For stronger flavor, the roast can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Unwrap roast and place it in slow cooker liner. Add liquid smoke, if using, and 1/4 cup water. Turn slow cooker to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until meat is fork-tender.

Transfer roast to cutting board; discard liquid in liner. “Pull” by tearing meat into thin shreds with two forks or your fingers. Discard fat.

Place shredded meat back in slow cooker liner; toss with 1 cup barbecue sauce, and heat on low for 30-60 minutes, until hot. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.

These two recipes work great because I can serve them w/ rolls and BBQ sauce on the side. Done.

The Sides:
One-Minute Salsa 
Rachel's Guacamole 
7-Layer Greek Dip
Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls
The Best Baked Beans Ever
Salt and Vinegar Potato Salad
Pesto Pasta Salad
BLT Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Cheesy Tex-Mex Rice

I'm getting hungry....

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Meal Planning {eek!}

AH! We got a little caught up in projects this morning and my meal planning post got put on the back burner. Here's what we've been doing this morning...

Tie Dye!

Tie Dyed Hands - gruesome

Paintings, second layer drying. Little One, Me, Me, Big One

Now for the food! Have you checked out Pinterest yet??! I'm slightly addicted. It's an amazing online pin or cork board of sorts. Anything that you find interesting you "pin" to a board of your choice. Then, it saves the pin for you. You can organize the pins anyway you like. I have a board for personal style, food (of course), photography, kitchen inspiration, ect. ect. So, this week lets do a weekly menu based on some of the yummy food I've pinned. Let me know if you need an invite to join Pinterest!! I'll send one along...

Happy Monday! 


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Quick Thai Chicken and Rice Noodles (or how to keep cool on a blazing hot day)

If you haven't heard, not sure how that's possible, it's pretty steamy on the East Coast. Yesterday I refused to turn on my stove or oven. I was in luck! I had anticipated this happening and had made rice noodles and had grilled chicken tenderloin the night before! Sometimes I actually do get it right, amazing.  I had an easy, delicious, and healthy meal on the table in minutes. Even if you haven't planned ahead this is really quick and won't turn your kitchen into an inferno. Rice noodles cook up really fast. About 3 minutes. And if you have a grill you can make the chicken in minutes as well. All I did was season the tenderloin with seasoned salt and pepper and grilled it quickly on both sides. I prefer to eat this cold but it's equally as good warm. 

Here's what I had on hand. Rice Noodles, Chicken, Thai Basil (regular would be fine too), Cucumbers, Cilantro, and Limes. I didn't have carrots or I would've shredded some of those up too. 

For a dressing or sauce I just used a simple store bought Thai Peanut sauce. This is from Stop & Shop. The best part is people can pick and choose what they want to add. The Little One likes noodles, chicken and cucumbers with just a little rice vinegar and sesame oil. The Big One likes noodles, chicken, cucumbers, lime juice and peanut sauce on the side. I mix mine all together and top with the peanut sauce. It's delicious and quick. Now go soak your feet in a blue, plastic kiddy pool. You'll feel better. 

Happy Sweaty Thursday!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday {just the two of us}

My girlfriend picked the Big One up after school today for a play date. Which meant the little one and I had our own...

(all pics SOOC. I felt like giving myself an editing break)

{oh watermelon...}

{what's that?? airplane!}

{she was sitting here...}

{see ya, mama!}