Archive | eating RSS feed for this section

how to make world class scrambled eggs

22 Nov

scrambled eggs?  am i off my rocker?  what about turkey, cranberry sauce or harvest rolls?  nah, you’ve got that covered...it’s too late for that.  but what you really need to know is how to make world class eggs.  guys, listen up.  and by that i truly mean guys.  you have an opportunity here to master this art and win over your kids hearts every saturday morning.

at least that was the case with me.  my dad cooked a few things real well.  steak and eggs.  not together.  he was the world class scrambled egg maker.  in his slippers, saturday mornings, MTV blaring in the family room next to the kitchen.  TURN THAT CRAP DOWN!  sorry, i digress.  now, these may not have been the best eggs i ever had but i would never know it.  my dad talked everything he did up.  so when he served the eggs and bacon he’d say “have you ever seen anything more beautiful than that?”  and “you’re in for a real treat today, kids” – always matched with an eye roll from my mom.

now, i’m married to ROF and he really does make the best scrambled eggs.  i would have loved to have a scrambled egg challenge with him and my dad.  that would have been fun.  but ROF cooks me eggs a lot – even during the week! and i have to say, they are the best.  (shout out to my sis who makes the best over-easy eggs and egg sammies in the world!)

watch ROF at work here and how to make scrambled eggs.  oh, and of course, you girls can master this too! 🙂

3 fabulous + easy chicken meals

2 Aug

wanted to share with you a delicious + easy way to stretch out a chicken dinner.  this is great for:

it’s too easy to get into a habit of ordering take out or running through whole foods to get something quick and somewhat healthy to eat. but why?  i’ve got something more delicious and quick and easy for you.

so… meal #1.  go to a specialty grocery store on a sat or sun morning and get a couple of marinated chicken breasts. you’re going to get 2-3 meals out of this so buy accordingly.

you could marinate it yourself and if you do there are some good marinades here and here.  but if you’re busy – why?   if you live in texas, go to central market where they have a lovely choice of millions of kinds of marinated chicken breasts.  maybe not millions.  In Detroit area go to papa joe’s or here in Madison, go to metcalfs.  you know what i’m saying…

IMG_2795

meal #1 -DINNER –  grill or bake those chicken breasts, add rice and simple roasted vegetable.  done.  easy.

(SIDENOTE: to roast your vegetables just heat oven to 400 degrees, wrap a cookie sheet with tinfoil, throw some cut up brussel sprouts or broc or cauliflower (um yum!)  a drizzle of olive oil, some kosher salt and sprinkle of pepper, toss, throw in oven. watch them after about 15 minutes and take out when crispy with blackened edges.  if you want to get fancy, throw some of this on the veg before roasting.  i’m always fancy and i love this spice!)

brussells

ok that wasn’t the fun part.  big whip, you’re thinking.

so now, you should have some extra cooked chicken breast.  cut them up into tiny bite size pieces.    put them in a airtight container.  i start my year with tons of these.

meal #2 – LUNCH THE NEXT DAY – Chicken and cheese quesadillas!  oh, these are so good and actually kind of fun to make.  buy flour tortillas and keep them for exactly this purpose.  these can be as healthy or fat-laden as you want them to be.  the technique is the same.  the tortilla has to be big enough to fold in half.

here is the step by step:

IMG_3335

  • get a big fry pan  – i use a cast iron skillet
  • spray it with PAM and also drop a pat of butter in there. get it nice and hot!
  • take your tortilla, and put a thin layer of cheddar cheese on half
  • top with your leftover chicken
  • cut up some green onion and sprinkle on top of that
  • finish with a little more cheese.  this is key – there must be cheese on the top and bottom – that’s the glue that holds everything together.
  • Fold it in half and put in the pan.
  • VARIATION: you can also use two tortillas like i show above.  as your butter melts, swirl one tortilla around in the butter and pull it out and place butter side up on a plate.  put another tortilla down and fill cheese- chicken-onion-cheese and place the other tortilla butter side up on top.
  • let the tortilla cook for quite a while.  i wait until i smell slight burning… but you don’t have to do that.  then flip!  take a big spatula and flip quickly using your hand as a guide.

meal #3 breakfast

use that small amount of chicken breast you cut up to throw in scrambled eggs.  chicken and scrambled eggs?  yes, you heard me correctly.  lots of protein in the morning is super good for you and keeps you less hungry throughout the day, says this.

let me know if you try the quesadillas!  i adapted my technique from the one and only pioneer woman here.  she rocks.  i’m making shrimp ones later today!

5 ways to get ready for guests

29 Jul

are you a planner?  if not, hosting out-of-town guests would be daunting.  even though they may be low maintenance, it never changes how special i want the time to be.

so i thought i’d write out how i plan since i’ve had several friends ask me for advice.

first, start a pinterest board for your event.  even if it is just a dinner.  make it private if you don’t want people to see.  or not.  pinterest is hands down one of the best places to get recipes, decoration ideas and thoughts on entertaining – everything!

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 2.41.34 PM

second, having a game plan is key.  it’s funny how this spilled into my work as well.  i’ve seemed to become a stickler on timing and i’m like that at home too.  it’s not enough to have a couple recipes printed out and the ingredients.  ROF and i found that out the hard way when we made boeuf bourguignon with my sister.  we found out that the mushrooms had to marinate for like 8 hours and the beef had to cook for 4.  we ate at 2am in the morning (and after 3+ bottles of wine) – so timing is everything.

be crazy about it.  i keep my game plan in an app called evernote.  that way i can replicate it.

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 2.24.38 PM

I have a notebook called visitors itineraries, then inside it is the event like “christmas 2017” and then inside that i have folders for grocery list, menu/recipes and game plan.  the plan tells me exactly when to do something and that way i can plan ahead and make sure food gets hot to the table on time.  i am very literal – kind of like an idiot talking to herself…-

“take meat out of fridge at 3pm”

“put meat in marinade at 3:30pm, preheat oven 400”

“meat in oven at 4pm”

“cook at …..”  you get the picture.

third, do as much as humanly possible in advance.  make the salad dressing, trim the veggies, bake the cake – anything at all that can be done in advance – do it.  this is something my mentor (from a distance), the barefoot contessa, has said many times.  make it in advance.  in fact, her new cookbook is all about doing just that.  unless the cooking can be a fun group activity and you’ve got some casual, hang-around-the-house-time, limit what you’re doing while your guests are there.  of course, this depends on the guests you’re having.  if it’s family or close friends – have them join in and help – no biggie.  if it’s more formal, don’t be chopping the veggies while your guests feel helpless staring at you!

51hcOrWFjQL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_fourth, set up a bar away from the kitchen.  it’s where everyone congregates and if you’re trying to get food prepared, it can be challenging to work around everyone.  don’t feel as if you have to have a fancy bar.  anything can become a bar.    the more quirky, the more fun it is.

54c14536afca2_-_hbx-bar-console-table 54c1453702b1c_-_hbx-console-table-bar

12-original-ideas-for-diy-set-up-your-own-little-house-bar-8-230

get a big basket and fill it with basic booze, couple bottles of wine, already open, glasses an ice bucket and some lemon/lime wedges – there you go!

fifth –just work your plan.  when i have guests for a couple of days, just extend the itinerary and the plan.  i typically have a lot of fun with our guests…ha… and can forget that i’m supposed to make the breakfast casserole for tomorrow!

hope this helps!  please add any tips you have.

best flank steak recipe

27 Jul

just in time for the weekend and back by popular demand…

need a “go to” steak recipe?  this is it.

i call

 it the “girlfriend steak dinner” because it’s what ROF served his girlfriends if they made it to date #4.  i know this because one saturday while we were visiting in his kitchen (let’s call this date #5), his friend came over and asked if ROF had fixed me “the famous flank steak yet.”

IMG_5121

huh?

ROF’s face turned a shade of red i hadn’t seen before as he tried to shrug the comment off and grab his friend in a head lock to shut him up.

the previous weekend ROF had indeed fixed me this famous flank steak recipe along with his butter noodles and some nice red wine.  evidently this is what lover boy did to pull out all the stops for his lady friends!  i’m glad that those lady friends now are my mom, sister and his wife!

well, here it is.  transcribed from a handmade and passed down cookbook.  you can’t go wrong.

IMG_5120

ROF’s GIRLFRIEND FLANK STEAK

2 tsp unseasoned meat tenderizer

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp dry sherry

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp salt

1 tsp accent seasoning (see photo below, in case you don’t know what i’m talking about)

896ba98d70fb6c90de9ec78d0887a6e3

honey (to drizzle on steak)

  • pierce surface of flank steak at 1 inch intervals with sharp fork.
  • combine ingredients except honey
  • put steak in pan flat and drizzle with honey on both sides
  • put steak in large baggie and pour ingredients over steak and let stand at least 1 hour at room temperature
  • grill meat over high heat for about 5-7 minutes on each side (use a timer, flank steak is bad when well done!)
  • slice with sharp knife into thin slices carving at an angle against the grain

fe72875b6bd34cb0b64478c89d258d9b

IMG_5122518b32b3aeeca5f0762bea7edb0fee8ffor more steak ideas from ROF, click here!

the only grilled shrimp recipe you’ll need

29 Jun

run, don’t walk to the store, buy what you need to make this today.  i found this awesome recipe here .

exps36648_SD1115369D54H

HONEY GARLIC GRILLED SHRIMP

1 bottle (8 oz) Italian salad dressing (get the good stuff) 

1 cup honey

1/2 tsp minced garlic

2 lbs uncooked medium shrimp peeled and deveined (we didn’t use frozen) 

that’s all the ingredients folks!

combine the salad dressing, honey and garlic and set aside 1/2 cup for later.  pour the marinade into a large baggie and dump the shrimp in.  put the baggie in a casserole dish so you don’t dribble in the fridge.

**see my note below on how long i marinated the shrimp in the fridge.  directions say for 30 minutes, but i did overnight + a day.  no biggie here.  reserve the 1/2 cup marinade reserve and put that in fridge too.

drain and discard the marinade.  throw the shrimp on the barbie and throw the reserved marinade on top of it.  this is what ROF did although the recipe called for much more delicate maneuvers.  worked for us.  grill on each side only about 1 – 1.5 minutes per side.  when they start to turn white but get that nice honey char on the outside – they’re done.

we had couscous and grilled corn on the cob on the side.  plenty left over for lunches the next day.  i also picture this to be a fantastic appetizer.

easy, flavorful + scrumptious grilled shrimp!  my new shrimp go-to recipe.  i can’t believe i just used the word go-to.  i hate that phrase. #saveit #loveit

if you try this, snap some pictures so i can fancy this blog up with some step by step pics.

25 things to do with blueberries

24 Jun

if you’re like me, you walk into whole foods or your local grocery store of choice and walk right into the fresh produce section.  there sits beautiful mounds of blueberries all nicely packaged and wrapped with care.  i tend to daydream as step closer to them – thinking of all the hard work that went into getting those blueberries to us.  you know… how they have to  be picked, sorted, packaged, shipped and then they have just a few days (if that) of shelf life.  yes, i know, that goes for all produce.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 12.17.01 PM

 

but i never end up grabbing a pint because i  just can never finish a whole one and they end up going bad.  and then i feel guilty.  so i walk past the blueberries and think …next time…

NOT ANY MORE!

i’ve specially curated a batch of 25+ blueberry recipes for you from some of my favorite bloggers and pinners.  don’t miss the one here – a hysterical v-logger that i love!  those little blue nuggets of goodness will never get wasted now!  i’ve only collected recipes that look good to me and that i would make.  or i liked the name of the recipe like cloufouti.

here are 5 blueberry recipes and for the rest, go to my dedicated pinterest page here.

be sure to click on the “by” for the recipe.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 12.58.48 PM

baked blueberry oatmeal

from cupofjo blog

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.08.12 PM

blueberry chopped chicken salad

from us highbrush blueberry council

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.10.18 PM

blueberry sauce crepes with honey whipped cream

by diethood.com

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.13.22 PM

summer corn + blueberry salad

by food.com

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.15.47 PM

blueberry lemon cake

by food52.com

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.18.39 PMand if you’re looking for 25 things to do with peaches…. click here!  or check out this awesome recipe for a tried and true delicious peach cobbler recipe.

making martinis

20 Aug

and you thought you knew how to make a martini…🍸

throw around words like “dirty”, and “up” with confidence.

by popular demand, here’s ROF’s martini making magic for your drinking pleasure!

75 things to do with peaches

25 Jul

i have written over 350 blog posts in the past 5 years and the blog post i did on 25 things to do with peaches is still my biggest hit.  i think it comes up organically in searches.  so of course, i’m no dummy, i’ve upped my game.

this is a post on 75 things you can do with peaches.  ha.  this is going to sky rocket.

it is summer after all, and really nothing beats a perfectly ripe, juicy peach.  except maybe crisp michigan roadside corn.  yes, that’s a type of corn.

 

peaches

i’ve curated 75 things you can drink, eat and make with peaches.  you can grill them, mix them with savory items like pork chops or wrap bacon around them. you can make smoothies, salsa and jam.  you can drink them up in lemonades, tea, slushes or make a peach collins.  pair peaches with bourbon, bacon, vanilla, crab and ham.  it’s really quite versatile.  you can even make it into a sugar scrub and smear it on your face.

i’d rather each peaches though.  remember this recipe?

you can write about peaches, like this:

imgres

or change your name to “peaches”

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 5.49.46 PM

or you can learn about peaches.  here are some cool facts you’ll feel smarter for knowing:

  • the top four peach-producing states are california, south carolina, georgia and new jersey
  • this fruit is a member of the Rosaceae family and is a close relative of almonds
  • a large peach has fewer than 70 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber. It’s also a good source of vitamins a and c
  • it is a good stress-reliever, helps to reduce anxiety – it is often referred to as the ‘Fruit of Calmness’ in hungary
  • in the world, china is the biggest producer of peaches and italy is the second

who knew?  now you do.  so go make some of these delicious peach recipes right now – before peach season runs out!

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 5.39.00 PM

XXOO

wine to buy for casual get-togethers

28 Dec

ever want to grab some wine for a casual get-together, but aren’t sure what you should buy?  do you grab a bottle of expensive wine thinking that the more you pay, it must be good?  then you wonder if that will be enough and you grab another bottle and before you know it, you’re spending double what you planned?

don’t you hate that?

a colleague asked ROF for his recommendation on what wine he should buy over the holidays for some out-of-town guests.  i thought it was pretty solid advice, especially if you frequent costco as much as we do.

plus i thought it was kind of funny.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Hey-

Sorry this has taken me several weeks. Just did a big shop at Costco on Saturday, so this is still top of mind.

White – Huge fan of the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc – it’s over in the cheap section in the cardboard boxes – not the wood crates. It’s $10.99 or $11.99 a bottle. Great wine – we drink a lot of this @ mi casa.

kc-sb

Other White – Le Crema Chardonnay – Good stuff at around $12 a bottle. This is the house white @ The Mansion on Turtle Creek (no joke).

LC-NonVint-CH-SonomaCoast1

bottle_merlot

Red – My favorite red that Costco sells is Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola – how bad ass is that?) Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. It’s great wine and both are a great bargain at Costco for between $11-$15 a bottle. And anyone that bad mouths Merlot is a dumb-shit and doesn’t know wine, they only remember the movie Sideways which sent Merlot sales sliding for years.

Another red to try – Dynamite – either the Cab or Merlot – a little cheaper than Coppola but real good. It also has a cool label.

Dynamite Vineyards 2012 Merlot 750ml

Hope this helps.

Happy Holidays and bottoms up!

ROF

101 ways to get your house ready for guests – friends weigh in!

15 Nov

i love having house guests.  because it is just ROF and me (and ruby!) having our house abuzz with family and friends really gives me the feeling of home.  i love making our company comfortable whether it’s a home cooked meal, special conveniences or little surprises.

so i reached out to my friends to find out what they do to make the visit special.  i love these ideas!

have some of the guest’s favorite things on-hand; e.g., snack, coffee, liquor/beer. Female: fresh flowers, magazines, candle, comfy bedding, beautiful glass for bottled water, something silver in room Male: good breakfast food, James Patterson-type books, late night snacks, bottled water – marinell roe

i had my sister and her boyfriends initials monogrammed on hand towels. – megen decker

Image-1 2

 

get a collapsible suitcase holder at bed bath and beyond to get their suitcase to a place they can easily use it. put a small surprise on the bed. if kids are visiting get a little something about the city or candy treat.  if they are coming to see your city print an agenda like u and britt did when we came to chicago.aunt sally nilsen

for me, the thing that makes having house guests easy is organization in advance.  whether it is room prep, meals or activities, if you plan ahead, make an itinerary, buy and prep in advance, you can enjoy your guests and feel less stressed.  – susan prendeville

i like to put a goodie bath basket on their bed or in the bathroom. something luxurious, soap/body wash, loofa, plush washcloth and candle maybe to help them feel at home and little gifts they can take home with them.- katie ballard

hotel toiletries.0

since the guest room also doubles as storage when there are no guests, i typically organize the guest room closet and find extra non-wire hangers to put in there.  – meredith conte

i frame my wireless network and wifi password and put it on the bedside table.  Like what they would see in a boutique hotel.

wifipasswordsample

i always buy fruit, juice, banana bread or croissants and set up coffee and tea so they have a little continental breakfast waiting for them in the kitchen. people wake up at different times so even if I go back to bed, it’s there waiting for them and they don’t have to feel weird searching through the pantry.  I like doing this even if we have brunch plans because like I said…sometimes people wake up really early and i’m always hungry as soon as I wake up.

i always buy chocolate and set it out in candy dishes.  People like to munch and snack and it’s nice being able to grab a few pretzel M&M’s on your way to bed!

i let them sleep with riley, if they are really good friends… he’s a snuggle bug. – jackie grubb

11887880_10153587136040742_4150457094407124668_n

i love to cook for guests and a few special items I will pull out like chicken enchiladas or a lasagna that’s made with pepperoni (yum!) we also love to make a brunch for the first morning complete with mimosas. my go-to brunch casserole is pioneer woman’s sleepin’ in breakfast casserole.

2513976390_fd076fac1a_o

when we go out, we try to look for unique spots that the guests might not have at home. i love to try new restaurants and want to share that experience with others. – jennifer anderson

i love to leave a small vase of fresh flowers, nothing fancy (I can usually run outside and find something pretty in bloom) by the bedside.  ordering out from a local pizza place that first night makes things casual and easy and gives people time to relax. – lindy stagnaro

have a box of matches or a nice room spray in the bathroom and other accoutrements like nice simple soap in the shower and q-tips on the counter. set up a power outlet by the bed for phones and ipads to charge – sarah beth prendeville

i also asked my friends what games they like to play with guests and i heard about these several times:

imgres pic1104600

dani crowder’s friends and guests have a blast playing this game and we have had great success learning from jamie hare’s family playing this game

IMG_4398

but the most creative, interesting and fun suggestion came from christine warren.  her husband likes to whip up molecular gastronomy creations (invitation, please!) and she suggested purchasing this fun thing to do with guests!

aroma-r-evolution

i have also gone to the local unique chocolatier and bought a sample box of chocolate and had guests guess what is in the chocolate (whiskey, bacon etc…)

lastly, here are some of my tips:

  • give people “jobs” to do.  everyone asks what they can do to help and typically they really do want to help – so delegate roles such as setting the table, writing out place cards, helping keep people’s drinks filled and clearing the table make people feel helpful and play a part
  • have the coffee pot ready to go – just press a button and hot coffee is on the way so your guests don’t have to wait if they wake up early
  •  plan for some down time.  time for people to do their own thing – take a walk (have an extra house key made), read or just hang out and not feel like they have to be “on” the whole time
  • plunger in the bathroom.  no one wants to ask for one and if you have a finicky toilet like we do – just keep one under the sink
  • give guests permission to help themselves to snacks at any time.  drinks in the garage fridge and chips and nuts in the pantry  – help yourself!  i love trader joes salt and pepper pistachios

51799-salt-pepper-pistachios-di2

  • in the winter, keep comfy socks in guest room drawer and extra blankets by the bed.  sleep in your guest room so you can experience what they will

thank you to all my fun friends who contributed to this!  i can’t wait to have a house full of family this thanksgiving and they are sure to be the recipients of your great ideas.

dallas restaurant review: stock and barrel

23 Aug

IMG_9253

you’ve got to check out the bishop arts district of dallas.  i can’t wait to go back and explore more.  there have been so many changes since we moved away and back.

i was there recently and just popped in to stock and barrel to have dinner  with friends last weekend and catch a concert at the historic kessler theatre down the street.

977c83e7-919f-445a-a1f9-41537f9f7430_h

i loved my first impression of stock and barrel.  it was busy but not obnoxiously packed, had a great crisp and nice/casual aesthetic  and it had this delicious and faint smell like barbecue bacon inside.    we were seated right away at the time of our reservation and our waiter was attentive but not too much so and had spot-on recommendations.

as you can probably tell from my instagram posts – we eat out a lot.  i find myself ordering similar items no matter where we go.  i’m pretty predictable.  salmon or scallops and sometimes a steak.  big whip.  but here i tried something new.  the wagyu meatloaf with smoked bacon and melted onion hash.  it was outstanding! wait- rewind – we started with the crushed avocado toasts with spanish chorizo and balsamic gastrique and the goat cheese dumplings….oh my.  i think i could have just had that and been done.  everyone was very happy with their dinner and when we looked at our watches and realized our show was about to start, the waiter was awesome at getting us out quickly.

stockbarrel

photo creds: top left and bottom: A. Fulford and top right and bottom: Kye R. Lee, staff photographer at dallas morning news.

i would highly recommend stock and barrel in the fun bishop arts district in dallas.

if you’re not running to a show, stay in the neighborhood and go here for a drink afterwards or here for some specialty chocolate

then we got to see some great live music.  for starters it was matt stansberry & the romance.  i loved this band from OKC!

11902481_791650460953696_4529783276296834159_n

IMG_9121 IMG_9127

 

the headliner was the relatives of dallas and they were awesome!  we had so much fun.  they had us rolling around on the floor and jumping up and down.  we couldn’t help but laugh.  check them out here:


IMG_9159

 

what i made this weekend. beans, popsicles + shrimp scampi.

15 Jun

IMG_7867

i was feeling very domestic this weekend.  there is something i love about making and building – and just doing – things.  i guess it stems from staring at a computer screen all week.  i was very pleased with myself this past weekend with everything i got done.

first I bought and planted this lilac bush by the pool.  i love it.  i hope it doesn’t die.

IMG_7837 IMG_7843

then i made the pioneer woman’s black bean recipe.  just a sidenote on that… probably didn’t need to make the whole recipe.  she cooks for a family of 6 and i cook for 2.  these took 2.5 hours to make and I have, like MILLIONS, of beans.  if you’re reading this and live in dallas and want some good beans, call me.

IMG_7858 (1) IMG_7862

for dinner, Sunday night, we had grilled shrimp scampi, a bobby flay recipe.

shrimp-scampi

lastly, i made one of my favorite blogger’s recipes for blueberry popsicles.  they were SO GOOD.  Blueberries, milk, basil, honey – YUM.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 9.52.48 PM

i hate to say that i remembered to take a picture of mine too late – already ate half of it so check out her blog.  i guess i have some work to do before i’m a professional blogger!

 

 

 

4 hard-boiled egg recipes. you may have some left over tomorrow.

4 Apr

after Easter, you will undoubtedly have a couple dozen hard boiled eggs left over.  and you’re feeling guilty about throwing away eggs that the chickens worked so hard to give you.

i’m just kidding, i have no idea if it was hard or not…

so here are four recipes that are somewhat unique that you can do with leftover eggs.

but read this today so you can work these ideas into your Easter lunch or dinner ideas!

egg

roasted asparagus with garlic-lemon sauce

SD6800

from: eating well, March/April 2009

Roasted asparagus is delicious drizzled with a sauce inspired by Caesar salad dressing.

Low-fat mayonnaise makes the sauce creamy without a lot of extra calories or fat.

4 servings | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes

ingredients

  • 2 bunches asparagus, (about 2 pounds), trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Toss asparagus with oil and salt in a large bowl. Spread on a baking sheet and roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Combine mayonnaise, Parmesan, water, anchovies, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl. To serve, drizzle the asparagus with the sauce and top with hard-boiled egg (if using).

curried egg salad

egg_salad_sandwich_300

from: real simple

i know that egg salad isn’t a real unique way to use hard-boiled eggs.  there i said it because i know you were thinking it!  but curry isn’t something most people use everyday.  so there.

ingredients

8 large eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
 kosher salt and black pepper
4 slices pumpernickel bread
4 large leaves Bibb lettuce
potato chips, for serving

directions

  1. Place the eggs in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 12 minutes. Rinse the eggs under cold water, peel, and coarsely chop.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise and curry powder. Fold in the eggs and chives; season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Dividing evenly, top each slice of bread with lettuce, then the egg salad. Serve with the chip

egg, nut + mushroom pate’

eggnutmushroompate_getty2400

from: food.com and patty trowbridge filippone

ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 pound mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup unblanched almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

directions

In a heavy skillet over medium heat, saute onion, garlic, and mushrooms until soft, but not browned, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, place hard-cooked eggs, walnuts, and almonds.

Pulse about 5 times until minced. Add cooled onion mushroom mixture, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.

Process about 5 seconds to combine.  Pour into serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the top of the pate, and refrigerate a least two hours to let flavors meld.

Before serving, let pate sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Serve with your choice of crackers, melba toast, or toasted bread rounds.

egg, garlic + cheese baguette

0136726_Sandwich-03_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

from: foodnetwork.com

to me, there really can’t be a better combo.  well, maybe.

ingredients

1 baguette
4 ounces soft garlic and herb cheese (recommended: Boursin)
4 hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced, recipe follows
4 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
1 green onion, green part only, finely chopped

directions

Preheat the broiler on high. Make 4 sandwiches, but cutting the baguette in half lengthwise, and into 4 crosswise. Spread cheese on both sides of the bread. On 1 side of each sandwich arrange the egg slices. On the other side, spread out the tomato slices. Put on a baking sheet and broil until the edges begin to turn golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle each sandwich with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with green onions. Arrange on serving plates and serve.

Perfect hard-boiled eggs:

Lay the eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water by at least 1-inch. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, turn off the heat, and allow the eggs to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water.
let me know if you use any of these!  happy Easter!

digging this

5 Feb

happy thursday!

i’m happy because it’s ROF’s birthday weekend (starting today and running right up to the big day on monday) and we’re taking off for the great white north – upper michigan.  yes, it’s going to be close to 80 degrees here in dallas and we’re headed up to a tangy 7 degrees but we don’t care – we’re snowmobiling again!  we’re going with some of our favorite people in the whole world and staying at one of the most beautiful houses i’ve been to lately.  can’t wait!

IMG_6925

IMG_6887

here are some way random things i’m digging lately.  check them out!

1. trader joe’s frozen french onion soup.  

i know, it doesn’t sound that appealing, but trust me, it is so very delicious! they come like you see below, pop them in a small crock soup bowl, microwave for 3 minutes then pop into the over for 20 minutes.  the onions are caramelized, the broth has depth of flavor and there is only 210 calories to boot! run, don’t walk today!

frenchonion_soup_sealed imgres2. glenn harrold sleep app

i think i’ve talked about this one before.  but i use it so much i’m going to throw it in here again.  you can look at this and think it is a little weird, and i’d understand, but it works.  if you have trouble sleeping or your husband snores – pop in your head phones and let your mind take a little ride while listening to this.  i guarantee i’ve never heard the end of it because i’m out!

screen568x568

 

3.  misterwives

love them!  jamming out now…

4. cup of jo

this blog by joanna goddard is so much fun to read.  i look forward to every post!  rss it now.

8804227_orig

 

hope you have a great thursday.

what to eat for breakfast

6 Apr

what to make for breakfast?

there ain’t nothing like a good egg.  my family loves eggs and we make them many different ways.  katie makes a mean fried egg.  she can even flip the egg in the pan without a spatula.   she’s cool.  ROF scrambles those eggs like no other.  it’s so simple yet so good.  he sautes peppers until they are just the right consistency before adding the eggs and cheese.  my specialty?  poachies.  yum-o.

breakfast

 

breakfast

 

but sometimes i like to venture past eggs and here are some great recipes!

first is oh joy’s rainbow pancakes. aren’t these the best idea ever?  especially if you have kids.  pop over there to get the recipe that is in video format.

6a00d8341c6a0853ef017ee9947fc8970d-800wi 9fb947895aac596f4ae386e618dc47d9

 

next is something that just made my mouth water a little bit.  baked baguette french toast by dash and bella blog.  i haven’t made this yet but think i will when i have my next overnight guests.

baguettefrenchtoast

ok, i’m back to eggs.  check out these awesome egg cupcakes.  another great company breakfast.  thanks dine & dish for this recipe!

0b8a1e2d9145dfb6299e5879530fcb85lastly, how bout these amaretto french toast bites by the awesome sweet paul?  delish!

afd8bda220bfadc300a7f06a5af8ff8c

 

4 perfect cocktails: the gin + tonic

27 Mar

from the desk of ROF:

straight gin “smells like pine needles and tastes like hair spray”.

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 9.47.25 PM

that being said, i think i was hooked after my first one.  when i fix a gin + tonic in a heavy, cut glass, i feel as if i’m transported to a swank party in london.  it’s just such an english drink.

<side note: while dictating this blog to me, we just got in a riff about gin brands.  ROF said that hendricks was not a proper gin brand but if i wanted to listen to miley cyrus or katy perry and drink it, that was my prerogative.”  just thought i’d note that>

when i think of gin, i think of my grandfather, HB,  telling stories of buying good bathtub gin from chicago to take to the indy 500 during prohibition.  he said the last two years of prohibition – 1931 and 1932 were wilder than any of the 98 indy races in history.  i would have liked to have seen that.  i have continued to attend the indy 500 – this year will be my 30th.

i’m a fan of the original, old-school gin brands like tanqueray or bombay.  when it comes to making gin + tonics, you may wonder why a recipe is even needed.  the ingredients are pretty easy.  but it’s all about the perfect g+t.  the right amount of gin, the right tonic and cutting the limes just the way you like it.  my dear friend emma, bar manager at the original bob’s chophouse in dallas, showed me a technique 10+ years ago that i still use today.

get:

premium gin/bombay sapphire

fresh, unopened canada dry tonic

plenty of ice

fresh cut lime wedges

short, heavy cocktail glass

martini shaker

do:

fill your glass to the top with ice.  add 4-6 cubes in the bottom of the martini shaker. pour 2 oz of gin into the martini base.  add 3 splashes of tonic.  with the lid off, take a bartender spoon/stirrer and briskly stir the drink in the martini shaker base.

do not put top on martini shaker and shake it.  you will have a disaster on your hands!

squeeze a wedge of lime over the glass filled with ice.  place wedge on rim of glass.  pour contents in martini shaker into glass.

this, like the margarita we talked about here and the martini we talked about here is also a sipping drink.  enjoy!

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 9.59.17 PM

 

4 perfect cocktails: #2 the martini

8 Mar

like the margarita, the martini has many great memories for me.

at an early age, i always thought the martini glass was chic, hip + intimidating, all at the same time.  as a teenager and in my 20’s, i used to watch clips of the rat pack and james bond – always with a martini in hand and thought there was something cool about it.

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 8.30.19 PM

i can remember a boss i had when i was 30 telling me:  “even if you don’t drink martinis, you need to know how to make one.  if you’re entertaining clients, you won’t look like an uncivilized buffoon. right at that time, i decided that if i was going to make one, i had to actually drink one first.  i went into st. pete’s dancing marlin one evening (one of my regular spots) and pete asked: “RO, what can i get cha?” i said: “a martini”.   with a smirk on his face, he asked: “what kind?”  i replied (painfully honest here) “i have no idea” and then added: “make one that the cool guys drink”.

i watched him chill the glass, mix the concoction, slide it over to me on a bev nap where i took a sip, winced and choked back to him “pete, this is nothing but a cold shot in a big fancy glass.”  he laughed, walking away and said “yep, it sure is!”.

this recipe is for my perfect martini.

gather:

stemmed martini glass//shaker with strainer//extra dry white vermouth//olives with their juice//stoli vodka//ice

IMG_7411

do:

take the martini glass, put 6-8 ice cubes + a splash of water and let sit and chill for 10 minutes.

while chilling, fill the shaker with ice + pour 3 ozs of stoli vodka, the smallest dash you can pour of vermouth and a splash (1/2 oz) of olive juice (this is called dirt and i like mine just a little dirty).  put the lid on the shaker and shake for 2 minutes.  kind of like this:

finish:

take off top of shaker, dump out ice from the martini glass + strain the martini into the glass (no ice in glass) + garnish with two olives.

much like the margarita, this is a sipping drink.   do not operate heavy machinery if you’ve had more than 2 of these!  but, as they say:

“One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.”
James Thurber

by ROF

this is #2 in a 4 part series.  you can read about the margarita here

4 perfect cocktails: #1 margarita

23 Feb

every man, once he passes the beer only or the tumbler of rum (or jack) + coke phase of drinking, needs to learn how to make a good cocktail.  it needs to be one that he likes, impresses his friends + becomes a signature drink his lady friends brag about.

the first drink, that could be your drink, is the margarita.

probably the most bastardized cocktail on the planet.  i have to admit, i started drinking margaritas, probably underage, using chi-chi’s “authentic” original or strawberry margarita right out of the 2 litre bottle.  i remember a phase in college that i very much took part of drinking the infamous upside down margarita that is mixed directly in your mouth.   i remember doing this with a group of guys at our apartment and at the frat house in college.  all that was needed was a bottle of montezuma tequila + mr. boston’s margarita/sour mix.  together they cost less than $8. the bottles needed to be cold + almost frozen.  the person partaking had to sit in a chair with his head back, mouth open with a dish towel around his neck.  the “mixer” would then pour equal parts of the cold concoction directly in his mouth until his fist rose, which meant enough.

the kind of margarita i like to make now is nothing like these two i just described. 

i gained an appreciation for the REAL margarita after moving to dallas, texas in 1994.  anyone who lives in dallas knows all of the awesome mexican and tex-mex restaurants it has to offer. these are all places i love.  and their margaritas are all so different.  you gotta get the steak nachos at mi cocina and the frozen margarita in a frozen fishbowl schooner loaded with salt.  or go right now to javier’s, where i get the rojo fish and their top shelf margarita served in a stemmed blown glass goblet.  lastly, there is our beloved blue goose on lower greenville.  always get the fajita combo (god, are those good!) with their signature on- the-rocks sour margarita  in a large tumble.  it goes down way too easy.  two nights before my (+ the appreciators) wedding, we went there with my sister, Susan, and my brother in law and group of folks.   we were way over served pitchers of these margaritas but matched it with a platter of fajitas.

IMG_5463

after 15 + years of working on my perfect margarita that i like to serve to guests at home with a mexican meal or just on the back patio with friends and family is this:

ROF’s epic margarita

serves: 2

3 oz herradura silver tequila

2 oz cointreau liqueur

2 oz simple syrup (any brand or homemade)

juice of 4 whole limes

cup of ice

place all ingredients into a martini shaker and shake briskly for 2 minutes.   put additional ice cubes in a short waterford cocktail glass and pour in your mixture.

and as i often have to tell my sister-in-law, katie:

this is a sipping drink!

IMG_7261 IMG_7262

enjoy!

ROF

killer company chili recipe

5 Feb

everyone is looking for that killer chili recipe and i may have found it.

this is fancy chili.

this ain’t no throw it in a pot and watch it boil type of chili.  it’s stay-in-on-a-cold-saturday-afternoon-light-a-fire-in-the-fireplace kind of chili.  in our case, we made it before the super bowl while it was a balmy 7 degrees outside.

i got this recipe from one of my favorite cooks, but it actually isn’t her recipe but an award winning chili from one of her friends.  i googled this name and found a lot of bloggers have already covered this chili recipe, so if you don’t believe me how good it is – company good- just click here, or here or even here.  i don’t mind, but they don’t have cute ROF in their photos!

PLEASE NOTE:

1. we cut this recipe in 1/2 and it gave us 6 servings.  note that or you’ll be eating it for a week. for lunch and dinner.

2. it has coffee in it.  fancy…!

3. there is a ton (i mean ton) of hot spices in here.  may want to cut it back just a little if you’re not adventurous like us.   the sour cream is a mandatory topping to cut in on the heat.

i’m not going to do a step by step post on this because, come on…. you can figure it out.  but both ROF and i highly recommend!  let me know if you make it.

Devon’s Award Winning Chili (Serves 6 to 8 )

Copyright 2010, Devon Fredericks, All Rights Reserved 

5 pounds beef brisket, cut in 1-inch cubes
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups yellow onions, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, crushed
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons cumin
2 green peppers, diced
1 bay leaf
6 cups tomatoes, chopped with their liquid
Salt and pepper
½ cup strong coffee
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans
2 tablespoons basil

Serve with
Sour cream
Grated Cheddar
Diced tomato
Tortilla chips
Guacamole

Pat the brisket cubes dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in a very large heavy casserole and quickly brown the meat in batches on all sides. Transfer the brisket to a separate bowl and set aside. Sauté the onion and garlic in the same oil over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes until limp, but not brown. Add the chili powder, pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and cumin and sauté for 1 minute. Add the green peppers, bay leaf, tomatoes with their juice, the reserved meat, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 2½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Add 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste, and the coffee, cover the pot and simmer for one more hour.

Add the kidney beans and basil, and warm through. Serve with bowls of sour cream, grated Cheddar, diced tomato, tortilla chips and Guacamole.

IMG_6811 IMG_6797 IMG_6820 IMG_6822 IMG_6831

way to be, louie.

13 Nov

i guess everyone has their idea of someone they’d like to emulate.  maybe a mother or father.  a mentor.  a rich tycoon.  maybe it’s a well-curated mish mosh of personalities.

the past week i haven’t been able to get ROF’s and my friend louie out of our mind.  he passed away this week – way too early.

we met louie through some very close friends of ours.  his restaurant soon became our meeting place.  after long days, before big parties, when wives were traveling or husbands worked late.  the meeting place.  unassuming – in fact almost obscure – louie’s didn’t have any windows but the minute you walked in, you felt at ease.   the best pizza, best salmon and ceasar salad like no other – Louie’s in east dallas was the place to be.  louie,  the co-owner and bartender was always there to greet us, shake our hand and stop and talk to us for a while. he kept the place open late for us and always made us laugh.  his trademark voice was scratchy, multi-toned and riddled with midwestern sarcasm.  he wasn’t the overly friendly, cheesy type that grinned from ear to ear 24/7 kind of person (thank God!)  he worked hard and had hard core conversations with all the folks at the bar that had an opinion.

when i moved to michigan, i came back to dallas and of course, went to louie’s.  louie was asking me about michigan and he left a voice message for ROF who was not there.  so i have the friendly “heyyyy robert…” message in my phone.

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 10.07.24 PM

after reading all the wonderful articles on louie, i started to really think about what it was about him i liked.  i realized that those attributes he has are ones i really want.  when i think about my career and where i want to go and do in the future, i think about louie and louie’s, the restaurant.  making people feel welcome and happy, serving good food and good drinks, working with family and making the people you work with family. what more in the world would you want?

my heart and prayers go out to louie’s wife, three kids, mom and brother.  also to our good friends who loved louie so much and to casey, john, beth and all the folks at louie’s who i know are still working but without hearing that trademark scratchy riff of a voice we all came to know and love so much.  the world has become a better place because of you, louie!

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 10.07.50 PM

10 tidbits about throwing a dinner party.

13 Aug

i love giving dinner parties.

it’s not as trite a love as you might think …loving throwing dinner parties.  after all, author hermann hesse wrote in his novel klingsor’s last summer:

“this day will never come again and anyone who fails to eat and drink and taste and smell it will never have it offered to him again in all eternity.  the sun will never shine as it does today…but you must play your part and sing a song, one of your best.”

that’s kinda how i feel about having good friends over, cooking for them, clinking glasses, laughing, sharing and making memories.

here are 10 tidbits that have stuck in my head from the experts (or just mom) when entertaining.

#1  don’t wait until everything is perfect to have people over.  things will never be perfect.  your guests aren’t looking for perfect, they’re looking to hang out with you.  don’t wait until you have a perfect matching set of dishes or replace that chandelier that is lopsided. don’t wait until you have enough money to serve fancy wine or cook a julia child french dinner.  just do it.  the most important part is the togetherness.

#2. linens don’t have to be perfectly ironed and matchy matchy.  i learned that from ina.  she said it’s much more casual to have unironed cloth napkins folded simply than perfectly starched ones.  if she said so, then that works for me.

#3. have a dinner box.

#4.  arrange small but multiple centerpieces of flowers all the same color – or a mix of 2.  and design it so your guests and see each other over the flowers.  best to always do an odd number.  don’t ask me why.  everyone knows that. i just use water glasses.  big whip.  

#5.  people always end up in the kitchen so fix a small bar there so people can help themselves. we have a tiny back porch that we dress up as a bar:

#6 consider music.  you can find my playlists on spotify.  i have playlists for specific dinner parties and for general dinner parties.  you can pandora it as well.  good pandora mixes for dinner: john mayer, ella fitzgerald, frank sinatra and some dinner parties:  beastie boys.  i’m just sayin’. 

#7.  think about having a signature party.  you know, one you throw every year at the same time.  ROF and i started a post-thanksgiving chili party in honor of my aunt’s traditions in so-cal.  

#8 ponder having a theme.  i’d love to take credit for this, but we threw a birthday party for suzanne last year and she suggested making it a wig party and that was quite the fun time:

 

#9 use the whole house and be creative!  we love entertaining outside during those 2 days in dallas when it is under 80 degrees.  we have also used our garage.  we’ve put a band in the back yard and “the burger man” in the driveway.  he flipped the best burgers for my mom’s 70th birthday party which we had at the house:

 

 

 

#10.  i can’t think of anything else.  oh yeah i can- mix up the guests.  we haven’t done this as much as we’ve wanted to but would love to have a “random friend” party.  i actually attended one once and it was a blast.  lots to learn about from new people!

what are your favorite parties to throw?  and are you due for throwing one?  over and out.  hope you enjoyed!

chef dat underground dinner in dallas

10 Jun

last night we finally did an underground chef dat dinner in deep ellum.

i say finally because i had heard about it from several people including suzanne and some friends of the glasses and always wanted to check it out but didn’t have the chance.

until last night.

what an underground dinner is – at least the chef dat way – is you get on an email list and every week there is a dinner – or a couple of dinners – that you can attend by giving your cc number and reserving your space.  space is extremely limited.  you do this without knowing what is going to be on the menu or knowing the location of the dinner.  you kind of know the area, but not exact location.  so if you’re one of of these types that can’t go with the flow -in terms of being a picky eater-  this is not for you.

chef dat is david anthony temple a 28 year old chef who has been doing this for 3 years and has built quite a following.  he has chef dat dinners now in new orleans (where he’s from), hawaii and ft. worth (new).

we went with the st. peter’s – two of the nicest people we know – and a lot of fun!  they own hypnotic donuts in east dallas (dangerously close to our house!)

 

will we do it again?  heck yes!  great music, drinks, food and company – we had a blast.  chef dat came out before every course and told us what is in it, how and where he got it and how he created it.  local ingredients, unique and creative ideas and delicious.  what a fun night.

how to pack a cooler.

23 May

because ROF is getting ready for his 30th pilgrimage to the indy 500 this weekend, i thought i’d repost an oldie but goodie.  below are pictures of previous trips to indy and i know this one won’t disappoint.

from the desk of ROF:

there are a few things i do well.

one of them is packing for a trip.  i don’t mean clothes – i’m talking the important stuff  – drinks and snacks. 

i enjoy traveling and did a lot of it growing up.  i always had this fascination with coolers.  i can still remember my grandfather’s cooler.  it was an unpolished, aluminum Coleman – the kind that can keep drinks cold for 2 to 3 days.  

i’ve always been into hospitality.  i was 9 years old in 1979 during the gas crisis.  i sold cold drinks and snacks to the hundreds of people lined up outside gas stations to get gas.  used the first generation, igloo playmate cooler (red base, white swivel top with push button on the side) this was my first job and i had that cooler all through college.

for the past 20 years,

i’ve embarked on a guys pilgrimage to indianapolis the last weekend in may for the grand daddy of all motor sports – the indy 500.  now, i’m using this as an example trip because it is the mack daddy trip for packing drinks and snacks.  obviously, if you’re going on a road trip with just you and your wife, dial this back a little bit.  typically between 4 and 8 guys go on this trip and everyone is appointed a task for the trip.  this trip is a well-oiled machine.  here are the tasks:

1. ground transportation

2. non-race activities (such as concerts, parties, parades)

3. music – both sound system and playlist for the weekend

4. dinner reservations

5. drinks and snacks

i’m in charge of #5.  this is no small task.  it’s obviously a huge responsibility and i take it very seriously.

first the beer.

however much we’re bringing we split half in bottles and half in cans (no bottles at the speedway, folks).  our beer of choice: heinken (glass) and coors light and bud light (cans)

now the booze and mixers.

this takes a little bit more research or you have to just know the group you’re with.  the last few years, when my friend tod eason is with us, we go through an unbelievable amount of petron orange label tequila.  however, a staple of the weekend is vodka.  usually we bring two brands: one top shelf for martinis and tonics and a mid-level brand that goes into gallons of bloody marys and screwdrivers.  i always toss in a handle or two of single malt scotch as well as a handle of boubon.

condiments, garnish and snacks.

essential garnish are: limes, olives, pepperoncini peppers, black pepper, tobasco sauce, worchester sauce, zing zang brand bloody mary mix, tonic, soda, coke, diet coke, orange juice and red bull.  then of course you need styrofoam cups, bev naps, stirrers and a martini shaker.

as far as snacks are concerned, an indy staple has been the sunshine brand of cheez-its (the non reduced fat variety), extra large jar of mixed nuts, double stuff oreos and  pre-made rice krispy treats.

how to pack a cooler – some tips and suggestions

just like getting ready for a road trip – you think about what you’re going to pack, what route are you going to take, all that jazz- to me, what is just as important is what refreshments are going to be brought and how they’re brought.

first, the list.  it’s very important to write down everything that is needed so nothing gets left behind. don’t make assumptions.  use this list to call your friends, ask questions and cross things off.

next, do the math.  take how many people you are traveling with x how many days and then divide by .5 and round up and that is how many beers to bring.  or about a case a person a day.  let me put it this way, we don’t run out.

packing for the road:  put a thin layer of ice at the bottom of the cooler.  then a couple layers of bottles or cans.  more ice.  repeat the layer of cans.  when you get to the top, put a thin layer of ice then lay the cut up fruit, garnish and other snacks that need refrigeration.

pre-cut your limes and garnish: don’t mess with packing knifes and worrying about getting one.  do all the work in advance

pack a small cooler on road trips to keep close with ice tea and diet coke and snacks.  don’t try and go digging in your professionally packed cooler in the trunk while on the road.

now, you don’t have to be going to indy with a bunch of your friends to apply these tips and suggestions.  it is the same if you’re giving parties at your house.  planning is key.

thanks,

ROF

dreaming of friday, on a tuesday.

15 May

one of my favorite things to do, ever

is stay home on a friday night with ROF.  it’s my blog and i can go on and on about my awesome husband if i want.

you see, i didn’t get married until i was 40 years old.  and i don’t regret it one bit at all.

in fact, it was well worth the waiting.  in my 20’s and 30’s, i saw a lot of my friends get married and i’m not going to lie, it was hard.  but i reminded myself to never settle.  i would rather have the mindset to not settle than to “follow the safe and typical road”.  there is nothing like finding the love of your life and your best friend.  sigh.  now, i have the best of both worlds – a fantastic career and an even more fantastic husband.

so back to friday nights…

i read somewhere smart to have an indoor couples activity and an outdoor couples activity.  something that you and your SPOUSE (isn’t that the worst word? ) can do together.  our indoor activity is GIN.  no, not the kind you drink, the kind you play.  we’ve been playing since almost the day we met.  we have a notebook where we keep the score (YES, YOU ARE WINNING, ROF) and we also write down little tidbits of info so we remember what we were doing that day.  we play all the time.  we played with our nephews michael and bill when they were in town.  my mom and dad were gin players big time.  they played right up until my mom gave birth to me – she was winning, she always adds.

when ROF and i were dating, he invited my mom over for a classic ROF steak dinner.  we decided to play gin.  mom was helping ROF by standing behind him because he was very new at the game.  at that point we weren’t even keeping score.  so i asked my mom “how do you keep score?”  and she said “i don’t know”.  which i knew at the time to be a bold face lie.  my mom plays cards (bridge) semi-professionally and was the reining gin queen.  but she’s also not prone to lying.  when i asked her about it, she said “honey, he didn’t even know how to hold the cards in his hands correctly, i wasn’t going to go into how to score.” we laugh about that now because ROF is kicking my butt in our on-going gin game we’ve been playing for over a year.

so … friday nights  – my favorite ones – are filled with ROF, gin rummy, a special dinner and good music.  this past friday, ROF made a special grilled shrimp with a dry rub and then BBQ sauce – which was out of this world!  add to that some grilled sweet potatoes with a honey lime glaze. scrumps!   we enjoyed skinny margaritas, good talks and of course some tunes.

breakfasts of creative people

7 Apr

i love breakfast.

i love the pageantry – the cracking of eggs, waft of bacon, the coffee brewing.  the smells and sounds that get sleepyheads all over the house stirring.  i love morning music (listening to it now, which would be my “downright good music” playlist on spotify.)

i thought i’d curate some different breakfasts for you.  all links are below on on my board here on pinterest.

amaretto french toast bites with pecans.

  click here for recipe from sweet paul magazine

french toast kebabs

click here for recipe and an awesome shower idea from the city of dionne blog.

overnight oats – 2 ways

see pepper lynn’s blog here for the very cool recipe. 

NOLA shrimp & grits

although i’m a firm believer in breakfast food for breakfast – this cheddary mix looks so good to me.  prolly cuz i’ve been eating so well and couldn’t ever eat this right now.  but if you can, get the recipe here.

like i could eat this either.  WHAT AM I DOING TORTURING MYSELF!  (calm down)

i appreciate cinnamon roll waffles.  find them here from recipe girl.

ever since mom told me

that she attended a wedding in DC that had a fantastic brunch and they served mini pancakes on a toothpick – i’ve loved that idea!  how cute are these little buggers?

coffee with nametag sleeves and a donut hole stirrer.  some people are just TOO clever (such a thing? not)

i’ve had some pretty good posts, if i do say myself, already on breakfast:

1. katherine glass’ post on breakfast for dinner was yummy beyond belief.

2. sarah voet’s post on healthy, healthy waffles has been requested several times!

3. and yours truly posted on some eggs in a basket i made off a pinterest pin that turned out awesome.

now, go eat some breakfast!

most unbelievable week in review

23 Dec

boy, i’m a very loved person! 

what an incredible week i’ve had to say the least.  if it seems like i’m bragging a little bit, i am.  full force bragging. 

the week started on monday, like most weeks do, but this was not an ordinary monday.  first off, it was raining like the dickens.  not a gentle pour, mind you – the kind of rain where every last leaf fell off the trees and there was a river flowing down our street.  typically, my birthday week includes some sort of girls get together with friends and family from everywhere.  but i didn’t have that going on this year.  why?  maybe i’d grown out of organizing big parties for myself?  nah.  i knew ROF had a lot of tricks up his sleeves so i just didn’t do it.

have no fear – suzanne is here

thanks to suzanne, she put together a small get-together with friends megen, jamie, katie and the 5 of us dashed through the storm to jamie’s new house.  which is an unbelievably beautiful house – and oh so close to mine!  we had crock pot meatballs, cheese, crackers and vino galore.  got some good loot too – a great wine glass, book i’ve been eyeing and an awesome necklace that i had pinned on pinterest.  lucky girl!

 

and that was only monday

flash to wednesday and this was my first day off of work until jan 3rd.  what complete bliss.  but of course i worked, but it just doesn’t seem like work when you’re laying on your stomach on your bed peddling away on the laptop.  that night…ROF surprised me by taking me out for a pre-birthday dinner at the petroleum club in downtown dallas.  just so you know where this place is… it is on the 40th floor of the building with the big hole in it – chase tower.  this is a private club – you don’t even pay, dahling…you just sign for it.  it’s been around since 1934 primarily for oil men (cue the music from the dallas tv show)  ROF’s friend is a member and this was the second time we went there – the first being the night we got engaged.  here are some pics I snapped.

our table was snug right up against the window and the view amazing.  ROF started with a salad, me with my favorite – escargot !  then i had boston scrod in a lobster sauce and goat cheese polenta, side of lobster mac & cheese and mushrooms.  ROF had lamb and side of sauteed spinach and asparagus.  truly, we were spoiled!  and an excellent bottle of vino as well.  after that we went from high atop dallas to our favorite local dive – louie’s on henderson.  just for a nightcap cuz that’s how we roll.

thursday was the actual birthday of me and the festivities started while i was still in the pjs.  ROF gave me a beautiful new purse  and the new cartier perfume.  spoiled.  rotten.  and loving it.

and i got some fabulous cards (thank you prendevilles & karen!!)  and facebook messages (isn’t that fun?) but then ROF took us both to get deluxe manicures and pedicures at my fave salon down the street.  it was PACKED solid in there.  these little twerps, i mean, adorable kids kept saying:  “MOM WHAT IS A BOY DOING IN HERE?!” which made us giggle.  some people need to realize that not everyone thinks their kids are as cute as they think they are.  geez.  i did snap a pic of ROF with his hands all wrapped up in towels but thought i’d have to run for cover if i posted it.

then we headed over to henderson to go to the porch for lunch.  we love that place.  it is like someone opened up their house to a whole bunch of people for lunch.  we sat at the bar and had a lot of fun together.  we love to laugh and talk.  he’s the best.

then i took a nap.

but the real fun was just going to be underway.  mom and katie came over and we did our christmas with them since we wouldn’t see them on the 25th.  as a surprise, ROF ordered steak and all the fixings from a very awesome steak place in dayton, ohio.  it was a place mom & dad went to a lot in 1967 and 1968 before they had any kids.  imagine the look on mom’s face!  plus the steak was absolutely outstanding.  but wait…back up… first katie’s job was to bring an hor d’oerve.  and she made this from barefoot contessa.

this would be puff pastry with guyere cheese and pepper salami.  seems too heavy but it is not.  it was heavenly.  we had that with an apple martini to start the evening.

and we had steak, noodles with green onion, salad with pine club dressing.

and then as a special surprise to me…  german chocolate cake with amaretto frosting… best cake i’ve ever had….

lastly, was fooling around with a new app and took some pics of the house:

thanks for letting me brag on my most fabulous week this year!!  thank you ROF !  and mom, katie, suzanne, jamie – everyone.

Happy Holiday!!  XXOO

starting forever now

29 Nov

this past weekend,

ROF and i threw our first annual chili party.  thanks to my aunt sally and her family’s age-old tradition in california – we copy-catted the concept.  i love the thought of first & annual together.  it means we’re going to do it every year.  setting our own traditions so that we look forward with anticipation to the holiday season because we are ensuring that it is kicked off with family and friends.  how blessed are we?! 

we had some great learnings from our first one.  don’t invite kids.  HA!!  that made me laugh because i’m only kidding…for real.  the kids were the best darn part because they were so darn cute!

with every little joke there is a little bit of truth and really i said that because my house is not very child proof.  it is bulldog proof, but not child-proof…but i will learn for next time.

“dude, i’m worn out!”

these are the things we learned:

1. kids – yes, dogs – no.  max was a wreck with all the people.

2. use alternative means of music.  couldn’t take quality or quantity of pictures because my phone was pushing out the jams in the back house.

3. have your mom make all the chili for your party and take credit for it when she is not in listening range.  man, was that chili good & popular too.

4. people take small amounts of cole slaw not huge scoops like we thought.  we’re swimming in cole slaw.

5. rof showed me how to take left over cornbread muffins, break them in two and fry them in butter on the stove for breakfast the next day.  exactly what my butt needed because it isn’t quite to the size i’d like it yet.

all in all – 35 people, 11 kiddos, 2 dogs and 2 vats of chili.  success!  can’t wait for next year.

ps.  rof knows how to pack a cooler but he also knows how to set up a bar for a party.  that will be his next post.

live from austin  – over and out!

eggs, morning music and the joule

28 Jul

hello thursday, right?   couldn’t get here any faster for me.  today is our day we talk food and drinks.  a favorite subject of mine.

if you read my profile (you can read it here) you know that i have a pretty strong point of view on things.  not saying that is good or bad or that mine is correct.  it is what it is.  one of those views is pretty dumb, admittedly, but it’s mine.  i believe in keeping things in their proper time slot.  to me, there are morning things to do, eat, listen to, watch and there are afternoon things and there are night- time things.  still not understanding this, let me explain.  don’t like listening to “getting ready to go out” music in the morning, don’t watch movies in the morning, eating things like steak for breakfast.  dumb, i know.  the only exception to that is breakfast for dinner.  love that.  I’ve put together a little morning music for you.  Click here and take a listen, but it only makes sense if it is before 10am.  it’s that climbing out of grogginess to happiness music.  listen while you make this egg dish.

this is fun to make.  i did not invent this recipe and i’ve seen it everywhere.  i’m sure you have your own version of it and i’d love to hear about it.  all i know is that mine turned out like this!

as you can tell, i’m not a professional photographer

so i didn’t wipe down the tray and stylize this shot.  but who cares – yummy.  these pop right out and it is like a piece of toast, cheese, an egg, crispy bacon and some chive goodness rolled up in one.  the funny thing about this morning is that i woke up super early on a saturday.  like 5am.  found this recipe and waited until 7am to make it, thinking that ROF and Bill would soon to rouse from their slumber.  This was done by about 7:30am (it’s easy) and i sat staring at it for a good 15 minutes, drank coffee, cleaned the kitchen.  they were not coming out.  they were getting cold! so i called my best sis katie and told her “hurry up and come over.  wait to you see these little buckets of love”  so she came over and she ate two and i ate two.  now whoever woke up first got the last two.  bill came out first saw these and ate them up.  unfortunately, ROF wasn’t too happy he missed out so i think bill shared.

 

Continue reading

epic steaks, dirty martinis & boobs

21 Jul

there are so many great cooking blogs out there.  this isn’t one of them.  i’m not going to take step by step pictures. but there is a strategy here.  it’s written so that you can read it through and then just do it.  you don’t need hand holding.  after all, we’re talking about a manly man meal here.   just read it through and you should get it.

i married someone who would have really gotten along with my dad.  they both love good steaks, good drinks, good music and of course,  great girls (ME!).  i interviewed ROF who, without a doubt, makes an excellent steak & martini dinner.

ROF’s famous steak technique: Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: