Friday, April 27, 2012

Sweet Baby P, 10 days old....

I've known sweet Baby P's mama since I was 9. That's a LOOOOOOOONG time! When she asked me to take her newborn pics, I jumped at the chance. Add in Baby P's 3 year old twin brother and sister, and I was in heaven! I love this family...

She is just PERFECT!! Congratulations!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tunic Love (and three really crappy iphone pics)

A couple of months ago my sister told me about a yoga clothing brand that she had just discovered, Alo Sport, and asked if I had tried any of the clothes. I hadn't, but was totally intrigued. The designs were fab, the prices better than others (ahem) and they had a really great selection of styles. My sis got a few pieces, I saw pics, LOVED them, but then never did anything about it for myself. 

Right around the same time I was checking into a yoga class and spotted some really cool looking tunics out of the corner of my eye...didn't look any further, went into class. For the next few weeks I did the same thing, spotted them out of the corner of my eye, went into class. Last week I couldn't take it anymore, I went over to see them. Lo and behold, they were Alo Sport. Duh. Today I finally succumbed, and I'm so freaking happy that I did. OH EM G. You guys, this is the Tunic-T to end all Tunic-T's.  It's so soft and so long. BUT it has a drawstring. So for those of you who aren't giants, you can make it shorter to your liking. AND it has a hood. Extra bonus points for a sexy back! It's perfection in a t-shirt/tunic/tank top. I'm smitten. I suppose I'm supposed to wear this as a cover-up for yoga, but this chick totally plans on wearing it out. A lot. Check out the (awful) iphone pics below.

Dear Tunic, 
I pink, puffy heart you...with stripper glitter. 

p.s. Happy Thursday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tomato Soup for days...

Is it cold and grody where you are? It is here. Damp and dreary and totally April. Yuck. I've gotten so used to the gorgeous weather we've had the past two months that I just can't shake the chill. I want tomato soup for days. Warm and cozy tomato soup. I've rounded up my favorites for you and threw in a couple grilled cheese recipes for good measure. Yum.

Sherried Tomato Soup from The Pioneer Woman

Michael Symon's Spicy Tomato and Blue Cheese Soup from The Amateur Gourmet

The Best Tomato Soup from I Am Baker

Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Panini from Panini Happy

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Pear from Simply Recipes

Make yourself some tomato soup and grilled cheese and feel 6 all over again.

Happy (rainy) Monday!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Grilled Portobello Burgers w/ Three Greens Pesto {a recipe} And why I will never be a famous food blogger

Last weekend I had this amazing Portobello sandwich at one of our favorite restaurants, Bissell House in Ridgefield, CT. It was so yummy that everyone else at the table (one who was eating a burger, and one who was eating a spicy fried chicken sandwich) wished they had ordered it instead. HA! I knew I had to recreate this beauty at home. 

The sandwich at the restaurant had an Arugula Pesto. I decided to make a Three Greens Pesto. Mostly because I had Basil I wanted to use and when I went to grab the Arugula, I realized I actually bought a mixture of Baby Arugula and Baby Spinach. Whoops! Whateves..Three Greens it was! 

The pesto recipe I used was adapted from the Arugula Pesto from Simply Recipes. Instead of using 2 cups of Arugula, I used one cup of the Spinach/Arugula blend and one cup of basil. And I didn't use all 6 cloves of garlic. Just four. I think 6 would've been way too kickin' for me. Note my lovely dirty dishes. Why yes, those are princess plates. 

The sandwich had some sort of roasted/marinated tomatoes on it. I didn't feel like roasting. LAZY. So I went with just marinating them. I adapted a recipe for Marinated Tomatoes from the butter queen herself, Miss Paula Deen. Mmmm, Grrrrll!! Instead of using parsley, I went with Basil since I used it in the pesto. My husband hates thyme. Ever since the thyme (ha! ugh) when we were super young, like 23, and I made a ginormous lasagna and dumped a ton o' thyme into the sauce instead of basil. Whoops! Tasted like dirt. But man did he eat the hell of out that lasagna just to make me feel better. What a guy. So I used some dried Italian seasoning instead. It has a wee bit of thyme but not enough to induce gagging. 

Instead of using all veg oil, I subbed in some of this amazing Lemon Olive Oil we got when we were in Napa from The St. Helena Olive Oil Co. Don't be a dumb dumb. If you're ever in the area (LUCKY!) go there! And then make the people around you (strangers) taste things that you just tasted because they were so awesome that you had to share the love. Or don't. I think it weirded people out. 

Here's the deal. I make food to actually eat. Which means, that for the most part, I take pictures of food at night. Which is a horrible idea. The lighting is junk. Unfortunately (fortunately?!) we're a real family. And my real husband works in NYC. NYC is an hour from our house. So during the week, for the most part, this guy gets home anywhere between 6:15 and 7:30. Or later. GASP! Yes, it's true. We rarely eat as a family during the week. I know, I should be put in jail. It's just the way it is! And that my friends is why I can never be a famous food blogger. That and I don't really blog about food all the time. And I forget to take pictures of the food we do eat. And I watch far too much HBO. I'm not sure if that's a reason, but it's just a fact. Oh wait, the burgers! So about 15 minutes before grilling the burgers, I marinated them in a combo of balsamic, olive oil, minced garlic and more Italian seasoning. We grilled the mushrooms on a well oiled grill for about 5-8 minutes a side. Topped with some fresh mozzarella at the end, and DONE! 

Here they are. Grilled Portobello Burgers with Three Greens Pesto and Marinated Tomatoes.  And a dirty martini. Obviously. 

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Three Greens Pesto and Marinated Tomatoes
(adapted from Simply Recipes and Paula Deen) 

Three Greens Pesto:
1 cup packed Basil Leaves
1 cup packed Arugula/Spinach Leaves
1/2 cup Walnuts
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Olive Oil
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled. 
1 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp of salt

1. Brown 4 cloves of garlic with their skins on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is browned in spots. About 10 minutes. Let cool and peel. 

2. Toast the walnuts in the same skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. 

3. Combine greens, roasted and raw garlic, walnuts, and salt in a food processor. Pulse while drizzling olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture and add to a bowl. Stir in the parm. Set aside. Take a few bites because it's so yummy.

Marinated Tomatoes:
3 tbl. chopped fresh basil
1 tbl sugar
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt 
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup of Lemon olive oil
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
4 to 6 large tomatoes cut into wedges. 

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. 

Marinated Portobello Mushrooms:
4 portobello mushroom caps
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 tbl of olive oil
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tbl minced garlic
salt and pepper
Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

1. Place mushroom caps in a shallow dish. Top with marinade. Let sit at room temperature for around 15 minutes. Turning a few times. 

2. Pre-heat grill for medium high heat. Brush or spray grill with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for around 5-8 minutes per sides basting frequently with marinade. Top with slices of fresh mozzarella during the last two minutes of cooking. 

Grill buns, top with pesto, tomatoes and the portobello slices. EAT! 
Yum. I'm jealous. I want one, right now. I'm kind of mad at you all for eating one when I'm not having one. I know, I'm crazy. 

Happy Friday! Have a fabulous weekend, lovies!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday, Baby B!!!

And thank you Julie and Stuart for letting my take these pictures of your sweet boy! Enjoy every minute, they change in an instant! 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Break (is now over)

But man was it gooooooood! This little bit turned 3 years old. WHA??!! How is that even possible! And she turned into Minnie Mouse. Ears and all. 

She requested Spaghetti for lunch. CHECK! 

And ice cream cake after dinner....

Double CHECK! I have no idea what those balloons are made of. Some sort of sticky substance that children loose their minds over. Not pretty, and kind of nasty. It was a great day. Full of all that good 3 year old stuff. 

The next day my parents arrived!! I love having family visit. We get to do all sort of fun things and eat all sort of good food and just hang out. Our first full day we went into the city for lunch and shopping and all that jazz. And I have zero pictures. We had lunch at Birreria, the outdoor beer garden at the top of Eataly. Um yes. So good. Those crazy OC Housewives were sitting at the next table. Their hair is a color of blonde not normally seen in New York. And my dad is pretty sure that Gretchen's lipstick was a tattoo. No one can drink that much wine and still have such red lips! And yes, Slade was there, and yes he gave me a once over while I brought my girls to the bathroom. Chills, and not good ones. We ate custard at the Shake Shack and my father may have taken my little one's shoes off and dipped her into a fountain. Or so I've been told..I was busy waiting in line for 100,000 minutes for a Fair Shake (a vanilla shake blended w/ insanely yummy coffee, worth it) 

My mom made my grandma's famous Fondant Eggs with the girls. 

Someone loved the fluff.

Mixing peanut butter into fondant is sticky business

And yet...See, Mama??! CLEAN-ish. 

And we went bowling!!! Ever go bowling with a 3 year old and a 5 year old??? 

The 5 year old, this chick LOVED it. She loved everything about it. The balls, the screen, the food, the EVERYTHING. 

I mean, really! She has got the stance DOWN. Look at that hip pop! 

My husband really does stick out his tongue when he's concentrating. That is hilarious. EVER.TIME. 

My dad is all bizness. And looking so dapper, right?

She liked it OK, but there was a bounce castle in the front room. Don't stand in the way of my girl and a bounce castle, she will take you out. My brother met us at the bowling alley. He was up here from Atlanta for work. Score! 

The dudes smoked cigars and drank bourbon

The grown-up ladies (is that me? I guess so) drank bourbon and dipped fondant eggs in chocolate. Vanilla Butter cream and Peanut Butter. 

My friend Alison made amazing cupcakes! I mean HELLOOO!! How awesome are these?

Pretty freaking awesome. 

And my brother taught my little ones to punch? I'm not sure exactly...

But it was good, it was all so very good. The next day the Easter Bunny came. So wicked early. 6am early. 

And brought little bikes for little people

and bigger bikes for bigger people...

And we wore fancy dresses and white shoes. 

And ate really yummy food with friends and family. 

It was so good, so very, very good. ZZZZZZZ...when is our next vacation? Mama's tired.