February 26, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Gift Guide and Tablescapes

I don't know about you, but I am sure ready for spring! With St. Patrick's Day only two and a half weeks away, I've created this gift guide, filled with great serving and entertaining pieces.


  1. Chunky Woven 3 Section Condiment Tray // Great for appetizers and can be used all year.
  2. Olive Crackle Dinnerware // The perfect stemless wine glass for spring.
  3. Shamrock Cookie Cutter // Because you need cookie cutters for each holiday!
  4. Set of 2 Kitchenette Green Dish Towels // I gave these to my dad as a housewarming gift, which he uses year-round. Quality with out the high price tag.
  5. Craft Beer Tasting Set // A great gift for your honey!
  6. Hemstitch Napkin - Grass Green // Add the Concave Wood Napkin Ring from Pier 1 as a finishing touch.
  7. Onion Soup Crock-Bowl with Handle // I own 4 of these and love them! See my Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe.
  8. Le Creuset Heritage Rosemary Au Gratin Dishes (set of 2) // Quality bakeware is a must!
  9. Irish Coffee Mug // Classic and reasonable priced.
  10. CucinaPro Heart Shaped Waffle Maker // Enjoy two holiday uses out of this waffle maker!


Classic. What a statement centerpiece! Source: The Yellow Cape Cod

(I know this is technically a fall tablescape but swap out the pumpkins and it
can be a lovely, natural option for St. Patrick's Day.)  Source: Migonis Home

Simple and beautiful. Source: Everyday Occasions

What a fun, funky option! Source: Rattlebridge Farm

How are you spending St. Patrick's Day this year?



February 20, 2015

Barbecue Steak Pizza


Happy Friday!  Going on our Friday night pizza tradition, Mike and I came up with this creation as a result of leftovers we had in the fridge.  Wanting pizza but needing to use up steak, shallots and a red bell pepper, we decided to add BBQ sauce, Monterey Jack cheese, mushrooms and blue cheese dressing.  What a flavorful combination!  We think this may be our best pizza yet (we're waiting on Mellow Mushroom to call us to add it to their creative menu!)  What has been your best leftover dish?

INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh dough - I get mine from a local pizzeria
  • BBQ sauce
  • Steak, cooked and chopped
  • Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 mushrooms, sliced
  • Shallots, diced
  • Red bell pepper, diced
  • Blue cheese dressing


DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Roll out your dough and set on a pizza stone. Place in the oven for three to four minutes. Remove from oven, leaving oven on.
  2. Carefully place BBQ sauce on pizza- it will be hot! Add Monterey Jack, steak, blue cheese crumbles, mushrooms, shallots and red bell pepper. Place back in the oven for another 10-12 minutes, or until dough is golden and cheese is melted. 
  3. Remove from oven and let sit for about five minutes before slicing. Drizzle with blue cheese dressing and enjoy!





February 18, 2015

Tilapia with Mango Salsa


Sometimes when I am at a loss for what to have for dinner, I resort to the bag of frozen tilapia filets in my freezer. Since they come individually wrapped, it is very convenient to pull one out to thaw. High in protein (about 23 g.) and low in the following- fat (2 g.), calories (110 g.), carbs (0 g.), and sugar (0 g.), makes this is a healthy option with minimal prep.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tilapia filet
  • 1 ripe mango, roughly chopped
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Shallots, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh lime juice
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Wrap filet in foil. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile while the filet is cooking, prepare the mango salsa. Combine the mango, cilantro, shallots, salt, pepper and fresh lime juice. Unfortunately I don't measure-- I just eyeball it.
  4. Once the filet is cooked, remove from oven and carefully transfer to a plate. Top with the mango salsa and enjoy!


February 17, 2015

Surf and Turf


This past Valentine's Day, we opted to stay in and cook with Mike's brother and his wife. We had so much fun! On the menu:

  • Surf and Turf (sea scallops, crab cakes, steaks)
  • Garlic green beans
  • Oven roasted potatoes

All inclusive, Mike and I spent $29.53 on our two steaks and six sea scallops + one lemon and parsley. I already had the garlic and green beans on hand and Mike's sister in law took care of the potatoes and crab cakes. Not a bad price tag, and not to mention, no reservations/searching for parking/restaurant crowds/overpriced entrees for Valentine's Day! A win-win for all :)

SURF
  • 6 Sea Scallops
  • Butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, freshly pressed
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
TURF
  • 2 Beef Tenderloin Steaks (I got about 0.30 lb. for myself and 0.70 for Mike)
  • Your favorite rub/seasoning
GARLIC GREEN BEANS
(My dad's recipe)
  • Sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, freshly pressed
  • 1 bag frozen French style green beans

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Season steaks on both sides with your favorite rub. Place the steaks on the grill for about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip steaks and grill an additional 4 to 6 minutes, or until desired done-ness (is that even a word?!) Transfer steaks to a plate and let them rest about 5 minutes before slicing.
  2. For the green beans, heat a shallow pot over medium heat. Add a small drizzle of sesame oil to the pot. Once oil is hot, add 2 cloves of pressed garlic. When garlic becomes fragrant, add bag of frozen green beans and stir. Continue to stir until all of the beans are hot. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
  3. For the scallops, add butter, garlic and parsley to a skillet and heat stove to medium heat. Once butter melts, add the scallops, seasoning with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. These will cook pretty fast, so allow 60-90 seconds then flip and season the other side. After an additional 60-90 seconds, remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
  4. Serve all items on a plate and enjoy!




Sarah's Crab Cakes… amazing!

She also prepared these adorable (and delicious) chocolate covered strawberries.

Happy Valentine's Day!



February 10, 2015

I Love You Berry Much


Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are my favorite fruits any time of year. Something about their deep red and purple hues makes them especially festive for a Valentine’s Day treat. Not to mention their health benefits—perfect for breakfast, dinner or dessert!

I love gently combining the berries together for a sweet and sour combination. I also enjoy making a spinach salad topped with berries, sliced almonds, feta, and either raspberry vinaigrette or balsamic vinaigrette, whichever I’m in the mood for!

Pictured above, simply combine strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.

Feel free to sprinkle with sugar or stevia for a sweeter option. You can also scoop them onto a slice of pound cake and finish with whipped cream for dessert.



 Avec amour,