Shortcut to Delicious

I’m usually one for going all out and cooking weeknight feasts…I said usually. Today I was just tired and not looking forward to spending an hour in the kitchen, so I decided to get a little creative and take some shortcuts. I’m sure you guys know by now I have a slight pasta addiction and that was definitely the first thing that came to mind. I tried this sauce a couple of weeks ago and was amazed at how delicious it is, so much so that I just had to have it again. I have never been a fan of jarred pasta sauce but this one can give some home made sauces a run for their money; it is perfectly seasoned (not too heavy on the sodium) and can stand alone or be a great companion to chicken or seafood. The ravioli have a butternut squash filling (light and savory) and the shrimp were pre-cooked to perfection (thanks Whole Foods!!!). I added a little chopped basil, arugula and spinach. Voila! Dinner in 15 minutes! I hope I can inspire you to be a little lazy too 😉

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Life Via Instagram

Instagram has definitely become my favorite app and my go to way of documenting fun moments and things that interest me. The quality of the photos is definitely not amazing but lugging my DSLR around is not the most convenient thing. What do you think of Instagram?

Here’s my week via the camera roll…

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A little wisdom from Magic Hat

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Mike’s favorite…Lobster Penne

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Pizza Night!

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What does one wear to a beach wedding in October???

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Stuck in Miami traffic

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Delicious outdoor lunch on Lincoln Road (South Beach)

On my mind

I’m noticing a trend in my cravings lately; simple and comforting and when it comes to simple can you really beat a sandwich? Now this is not just any sandwich. It is in my opinion the best ever to have been invented and you can of course credit the French. This one is a version by Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere and I can’t wait to try my hand at it.

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What do you think? Do you have a go-to Croque Madame recipe?

Nothing beats homemade

One of the not so healthy things I always find myself craving is a meatball sub. Nothing beats the combination of savory meatballs in marinara sauce, tons of melty delicious mozzarella wrapped in a toasty roll. So I decided to give it a try and attempt to make a healthier, lighter version at home so that maybe I can have them more often 😉 I opted for a lean 95, 15 ground beef, brioche buns from the Whole Foods bakery, mozzarella, and baby spinach for a little something green. The sauce is super light and if you have left overs I would highly recommend boiling some noodles and having a bowl of good ol’ spaghetti and meatballs.

This is how they turned out:

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For the meatballs:

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tsp.salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped Parsley

Bake at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes.

For the sauce:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cans crushed tomatoes
2 dry bay leaves

Heat the oil over medium. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Sauté until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, simmer uncovered on low heat until the sauce thickens. Remove the bay leaf, and toss in the meatballs!

What do you think, will you give it a try?

Keep it simple

There are few things more humble than a can of beans, but the best thing about them is their ability to be transformed, even into something rich. I personally enjoy them quite a bit even at their simplest so when I came across this recipe in Bon Appetit’s website I knew I had to try it. It was beyond tasty and I encourage you to try it too 🙂

Here’s how mine turned out:

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French Inspiration

My Sunday consisted of the usual getting up late, making brunch and doing those little things to get ready to face the week; like cleaning and organizing. However in my time relaxing; I found a little inspiration. After flipping through channels trying to find something to watch (Sunday TV is pretty awful) I landed on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”. The show has long been a favorite of mine and his book Kitchen Confidential single handedly sparked my interest in food and cooking. So it is no surprise that when watching a re-run of an old episode which featured him cooking in the line of the French restaurant that prompted his career (Les Halles)I immediately felt inspired to make something that would be found on said menu. I went with a tried and true favorite; Steak Au Poivre. As a side; I roasted some potatoes and carrots with a little rosemary and I must admit I was quite happy with the results. I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday, and wish you a fantastic New Year filled with blessings, peace and most importantly; health:)

Xox

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sirloin steaks
Salt
1 cup coarse black pepper
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced shallots
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup demi-glace
1/4 cup heavy cream

Season the steaks with salt. With a small knife, spread a tablespoon of mustard on one side. Pack the pepper into the steak. Turn the steaks over and repeat. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the steaks and sear for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove the steaks from the pan. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan. Saute for 15 seconds. Carefully add the brandy and flame. Add the demi-glace, cream and mustard. Mix well. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for 1 minute and voila!

Holiday Breakfast Casserole

After last night’s Tex Mex dinner I am ready to get back in holiday cooking mode. With my favorite holiday around the corner; I thought I’d take a stab at one of the recipes I’ve really been meaning to try. What says Christmas morning more than an Eggnog French Toast Casserole? Best of all, it is super simple and can be prepared ahead of time.

Let me know what you think!

<;3

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You’ll need:

1 loaf Bread ( I used oatmeal bread)
6 large eggs
2 1/2 cups eggnog
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons almond (or vanilla) extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces

Maple syrup (for serving)

Directions:

Spray baking pan with cooking spray. Cut bread into cubes, and arrange in an even layer in the pan.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, eggnog, sugar, vanilla extract, and nutmeg ( I add a pinch of salt as well). Then pour evenly over bread. Cover pan with saran wrap and store in the refrigerator ’till you’re ready to bake.

For the topping:

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add butter pieces and cut into the dry mixture using a fork or your hands. Combine until you create small clumps.

When you’re ready to bake; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the French toast is set and crumb topping is golden brown.

Don’t forget the maple syrup!!

Sunday Salsa

Now I know it’s fall and there are tons of delicious veggies in season that truly reflect the taste of the Holidays. But I couldn’t help myself when my fiancé suggested Tex Mex for dinner (tacos to be exact). It’s so flavorful, and I love the idea of making a bunch of different toppings, so that each taco can be customized 🙂 My favorite part is the Pico de Gallo, so bright and fresh! I left the Jalapeños out, but if in the mood for a little heat; I definitely suggest them.

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Recipe (serves two):

1 large Diced Tomato

1/4 cup finely chopped white Onion

Bunch of finely chopped Cilantro

1 tablespoon each Salt and Pepper

1 Pinch Of Sugar

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Juice from 2 Limes

Delicioso!!!

Birthday fun

This past weekend was filled nothing but joy. It started with a small celebration for my birthday on Friday. We had my parents over for dinner, a few drinks and cake. Michael made one of my favorites; Chili! his recipe is delicious, (I promise to get it from him and post it in the near future) followed by Fun-Fetti Cake for dessert. It’s one of my favorites (reminds me of growing up) and has now become a birthday tradition for us. Saturday night followed; actually the eve of Michael’s birthday (how crazy our birthdays are two days apart?!). We celebrated with family and friends at one of our favorite places in town; The Blind Monk ; a small wine and tapas bar. It was beyond fun and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to ring in our birthdays. However the fun didn’t end there, we had no plans for our Sunday (we usually lay around the house all day) but our friends came over with cake and every intention of keeping the party going. It turned out to be a blast! I got inspired and made beef bourguignon , which I am proud to say (without gloating) turned out very good. I am so grateful for Michael, my parents and all of our friends.

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Sunday Dinner

We typically eat dinner really late, this could have something to do with the fact that during the weekend we are late risers. Brunch for us, can happen at 1, 2, or even 3pm! Which really pushes dinner back, I’d like to think it is very European of us, ha! Anyway, I’m thinking I’d like to try a new recipe, so I decided to search online and found this…promising, no?

Glazed Salmon with spiced Carrots.

Picture of Glazed Salmon With Spiced Carrots Recipe