Sunday, March 31, 2013

on deviled eggs 2 ways...

Happy Easter everyone! I hope all of you are able to spend quality time with family and friends. We started our morning with a visit from the Easter bunny. Sebastian was very happy to see some goodies waiting for him in the living room. And soon we'll be getting ready to head over to my in law's to enjoy some great food and lots of laughs.  

I don't know about you but deviled eggs are a tradition for us. Easter isn't Easter without deviled eggs and I always manage to make a Traditional Deviled Egg and then another kind. This year I created a Chicken Dill Deviled Egg. They turned out delicious and so I knew I had to share just in case any of you need a quick idea for this morning before all your guest come! Get crackin'!



Classic Deviled Egg
Ingredients:
10 eggs hard boiled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
paprika for garnish

Directions:
1// Boil eggs. Cut hard boiled eggs in half and scoop out the yellow yolk into a mixing bowl. Add all the rest of the ingredients in with the yolk. Using a kitchen aid or hand mixer blend everything together until mixture becomes creamy.
2// Pipe yolk mixture into eggs and sprinkle paprika on top.


When making these Chicken Dill Deviled Eggs I simple added the following ingredients to half of the recipes above. Since I was making two different kinds it was easier this way. 

Chicken Dill Deviled Eggs
Ingredients:
*use all the same base ingredients as above*
1 chicken breast, minced
1 teaspoon Worchestire sauce 
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped 

Directions: 
1// Mix all the ingredients above into the other half of the Classic Deviled Eggs. 
2// Garnish each egg with a sprig of dill.



Tip: Hard boiling eggs can be a challenge. I like to say that I have perfected it. I know many people that always tell me that they despise making hard boiled eggs because when they go to peel them it's never simple and clean. 
One of my favorite food bloggers went and tested three different hard boiling methods and found that the "Quick Boil and Let Sit" method works the best. Funny, because that method has always been the one that I've used!! I swear by it and so if you aren't familiar with this method jump on over to Baked Bree and check it out. I will never us any other way.
** Also I scoop the deviled egg mixture into a ziplock back and use that to pipe it into the egg whites. So simple and less messy.**

Have a great day!
xoxo.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

on chocolate chip cheesecake bars...

 

I'm not a huge cheesecake fan but every now and again I'll get a craving for some. This time I sat down and wanted to think of making cheesecake but different. And these Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars were the best idea. I like how there's cheesecake yet at the same time I get a little chocolate fix. These little bars are easy to make and when they are done in the oven you can hardly wait to get your hands on them. My family will have the pleasure of sampling these tomorrow at Easter. What are you making for Easter? Any sweets? I'm always one to bring the baked goods to any family gathering! Enjoy.


Ingredients:
chocolate chip crust:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour 
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

cheesecake filling:
2-8oz packages cream cheese, room temperature 
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Directions: 
preheat oven to 350°
1// Start with chocolate chip crust by creaming together sugar and butter. Then add egg and vanilla. Mix until combined. 
2// In a separate medium bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add flour mixture to creamed butter mixture and mix until everything blended. Lastly fold in chocolate chips.
3// In a 13x9 baking pan press chocolate chip dough to the bottom leaving 1/2 cup dough for topping. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. 
4// For the cream cheese filling grab a mixing bowl add cream cheese and sugar. Blending until creamy. Add egg and vanilla. 
5// Once the crust is down, pour it the cream cheese over the crust and spread evenly. Next using a teaspoon drop the remaining dough right on top of the cream cheese filling. Set back in the oven and bake another 35-40 minutes. Let it cool and then cut into the bars!


 xoxo.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

on a quick tip...


Did you know you can make up some buttermilk right in your kitchen? Yup! You bet! No more having to run out to the store just because you have no buttermilk. Tonight I came home from work and saw the pack of pork chops I took out earlier in the day knowing that I was going to make some kind of dinner out of them and realize that I hadn't thought of a single thing to make. It's funny because I knew I wanted to make it a quick meal because well, because really all day I've been daydreaming about the minute I get to plant my butt on the couch. So there I was standing dumbfounded in my own kitchen with these really great thawed pork chops and wondering what in the hell I was going to make. Here's a little secret for you guys, sometimes I go on this very blog, my own blog, and get dinner inspiration. I know right, you just can't believe it. I came across my Home-Style Pork Chops and it sounded perfect for tonight! Except one problem. No. Buttermilk. So I just made some!


All you need:
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar)
1 cup milk 

Mix both together and let it sit. The milk will curdle which is fine. It's suppose to do that. After about 5-10 minutes go ahead and whisk it all together. Done! It will make 1 cup of buttermilk. Keep it in a mason jar or air tight container. Easy right?


xoxo.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

on cilantro ginger hummus...


I took a three day hiatus from the blog. Sometimes you just need that, you know what I mean? It was a nice because I did some things that I don't normally have time for like give myself a fancy manicure which we all know that takes some time to do. Also I took Sebastian to see that new kid's movie out The Croods. Sebastian and I give it two thumbs up! We loved every second of it and I highly recommend it if you have a little one.
So, now that I'm back I wanted to share a fun hummus recipe with you. I adore hummus. I use my food processor the most to make all kinds of hummus. I'm on a huge cilantro kick lately and this Cilantro Ginger combo has become my favorite out of all that I've experimented with. Making hummus is super easy and I always like to keep some in the fridge to snack on with Wheat Thins or toasted pitas! Yum! 

Cilantro Ginger Hummus
Ingredients: makes about 2 cups
1- 15 0z can chickpeas, drained 
1/4 cup Tahini (sesame paste) 
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinaigrette 
1 garlic clove
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup cilantro
1 whole plum tomato
2 whole scallions 

Direction:
1// Combine everything into a food processor and puree until it becomes smooth. Easy! 
tip: if you like your hummus a bit more smooth or runny then instead of draining the can of chickpeas leave about 1/4 cup and add it in with everything else. If you enjoy hummus to be a little bit on the thick creamy side then go ahead and stick to my recipe. 



Have you made hummus? What's your favorite kind to make? 

xoxo. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

on cheddar sage biscuits...


These turned out amazing if I do say so myself. I've never made homemade biscuits and I'm pretty excited about how these turned out. I had already planned ahead of time that we were going to have creamed chipped beef for breakfast and had the longing to get a bit fancy with biscuits instead of just using regular toasted bread. 

These Cheddar Sage Biscuits are perfect to have with something like creamed chipped beef for example or even making breakfast sandwiches out of them. And I don't see why you can't enjoy them along side a meal. Sage is one of my favorite herbs to cook with. The aroma it gives off while baking or cooking is beyond words. I can't even give you a description that will give the taste of it alone any justice. So with that being said you'll just need to make them to really truly understand anything I've just said. Okay? Yeah. Good. 


Ingredients:
2 cups flour 
2 tablespoons fresh sage 
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, chopped into cubes
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup buttermilk 



Directions: 
1// Preheat oven to 400°. Aline a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2// Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, pastry blender or even your kitchen aid (which is what I did and it worked just fine) add cubed up cold butter and work it into the dry ingredients. Keep working butter into the dry ingredients until it starts looking like course meal and crumbles. 
3// Add buttermilk. In the bowl, using your hands work the buttermilk until everything starts to hold together. Next work in the sage and cheddar cheese. 
4// Transfer to a floured work station and roll out dough to about 1/2 inches thick. Use a round cutter (or the top of a mason jar!) and press down,  twist and place on baking sheet. Brush tops of biscuits with some buttermilk and place them in the oven. 
5// Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden.


Enjoy!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

on southwest taco salad...


This Southwest Taco Salad is superb. There are quite a few ingredients but it's worth it! When you take a bite all those flavors come together to equal nothing sort of amazing. I cooked up enough ingredients so that I could have this salad every single day for one week and I was okay with it. That good, I swear.

Now if you have a husband like mine who has no problem eating salads but wanted a little more matter well all you have to do is combine all these ingredients into a taco shell or tortilla shell. That's what I did for him and he was happy. Honestly speaking that's really not much different but in a man's mind it's not a salad soooo... Also you can hold the meat or enjoy it with ground beef or chicken. Usually we do the chicken route but for the sake of doing something different we did ground beef. I'm not a fan of beef but ground beef in a taco or taco salad like this is alright.

It's one of those salads that are hearty enough to be a meal which is great because in the end you are full but feeling great about what you just consumed! Guilty free my friends. If that isn't a winner then I don't know what it.


Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef or chicken breast, chopped
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoon taco seasoning 
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup cooked Spanish rice
1 tomato, diced
1 bunch lettuce 
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
hand full of crushed tortilla chips
cilantro lime dressing 

Directions:
1// Saute ground beef or chicken. Add 1/4 cup water and taco seasoning. Heat until meat is cooked all the way through. 
2// Assemble salad starting with lettuce. Then layer rice, black beans, ground beef/chicken, tomato, cheddar cheese and cilantro lime dressing drizzled on top with crushed tortilla chips. Yum!


*find recipes for Cilantro Lime Dressing (here) and Homemade Taco seasoning (here).  

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

on homemade taco seasoning...

We love to make tacos or some sort of Mexican dish at least a couple times a month. Or nachos. Ohhhh, we love nachos. You know those little taco seasoning packets that we all buy at the grocery store whenever we plan on making tacos? The ones that you sprinkle over your beef or chicken, well, no need to spend your dollars on them any longer. You can make your homemade taco seasoning right in your own kitchen. Cool right? I think so, only because who the heck knows what is in those packets and most the time the sodium levels are sky high. So next time you plan on making tacos just use this recipe. It will even taste better!!




Ingredients:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper 



Simply mix all seasoning together. This makes about 1 oz (2 tablespoons) taco seasoning. Personally this amount is perfect for 1 pound of beef or chicken but if you wanted more just double this recipe. This seasoning keeps in a air tight container or even a Ziploc bag. Easy.
Moral of the story? Make this taco seasoning. A) Because it's way more delicious that anything else and B) Because all these spices are already in your kitchen so really you have no excuse. 

Enjoy!

ps: next time you make a traditional taco substitute lettuce with fresh cilantro. holy smokes!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

on currently...


Watching// My new current obsession, Breaking Bad! Stumbled across it on Netflix with all four season and so now both Bobby and I have been plugging away episode after episode. At first I wasn't sure about the whole high school chemistry teacher goes meth cooker but in all seriousness it's awesome. It has become something that we watch when we have nothing else to watch. And boy is Bryan Cranston, who plays high school chemistry teacher/ meth cook, a great actor. Great show! Also I've still been keeping up with The Following which has turned into one of my favorite shows. I'm starting to become somewhat disappointed with how the current season of The Walking Dead is going. And last but not least, did you tune into Bates Motel last night? Oh. My. God. Can not wait for this story to unfold. 
I'll stop there because I can go on forever...

Reading// I just finished a book called Wait For You by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Okay, so after reading so many books I always have to throw in a contemporary romance. This book was good. Not great but I'd recommend it to anyone who is into that sort of thing. I mainly say it's not great because it's a story that has been told and at times was very predictable. The fact that it was a story that's been already told was not what bothered me because heck, stories are always retold but I think it lacked energy. But all in all in my mind a book is always good when the author get you all hot and bothered by the lead guy. I mean, helloooo, Cam is gorgeous and he's basically without a shirt the whole book :) 
Now I'm just waiting patiently (hurry up, hurry up!) for J.R Ward's newest book from the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Lover at Last. Squeal!!! I've been waiting what seems like a million years. Highly recommend this series to anyone who loves sexy hardcore vampires.

Listening to// Passion Pit. It's been on repeat. I pretty much love everything from Passion Pit. It's so versatile, I can be dancing to it in my kitchen while making dinner or listening to it while in deep thought about my writing. Good stuff. 
Do any of you have the app Shazam? Love it! My favorite is when I'm watching a show or movie and a song comes up that I absolutely love but don't now what it is and SHAZAM! Now I do. 

Thinking about// the future. I'm huge on doing what you love in this life. I think a lot of people in this world take life for granted. We only have one and why not make the most of it. With that being said I also strongly believe that every accomplishment begins with the decision to try. If we don't try at what we want how do you know you can. I always try to inspire everyone to do anything and everything you want and even if the journey is great or hard to see now it becoming a reality. How will you know you can if you don't try? Fear is a big obstacle but get rid of that fear and what do you have? Freedom. This life if ours and we have the freedom to do what we want with it. Don't let life pass you by and be the one to cling on to what could of been. Get out there and do it! 

Loving// that Spring is almost here. Although it's hard to picture at times like today when the weather is beyond crappy but it's almost here and I can not wait. I crave to be outside more and excited to start a new garden. Having a four year old and being stuck inside can be challenging to say the least! Bring on the sunshine and bright happy evenings.

Sebastian is// amazing. The kids is growing like a weed. Sometimes he'll catch me looking at him with that crazy mommy gaze (you know, the one with tears in my eyes) and he'll just be like what mom! And I'll snap out of it and start spewing off how much I love him, how big he is, just stop growing will you!, and so on and so on and he'll be looking at me with a blank glazed over look and will simply say Alright mom... I swear my life can me a sitcom. The kid is a love muffin and I always want to eat him up. Wait, what. 

Wonderful things// Big love to you, my millions of readers | People who give me encouraging words | A husband who supports all my hopes, dreams and goals. It's truly a wonderful feeling knowing the person I'll spend the rest of my life with will be by my side no matter what | Good hair days | Co-worker friends and hanging out | Kid movies that don't disappoint | Italian hoagies | My kitchen aid | My French Press. 

ps: quick reminder that Google Reader is no long with us (boohoo) so don't forget to add me via Bloglovin'!

xoxo. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

on cilantro lime dressing...

 

This sauce makes everything delicious! Homemade dressing is one of my favorite things to make. Sometimes you need to switch things up and create a new twist to your everyday dressing. This dressing would be great with any salad, drizzled on fish or even used as dipping chicken fingers or all kinds of veggies. The mixture of cilantro and lime gives you a cool yet fresh taste that makes meals end with a zing! Plus the scent of cilantro and lime together is heavenly. 
This recipe makes about two cups and will keep in the fridge for about a week. 

Ingredients:
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime, squeezed 
1/4 cup cilantro 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 green onions



Directions:
1// Add all ingredients into a food processor, puree everything together. 



Enjoy!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

on the ultimate breakfast sandwich...


Remember the recent post on my The Ultimate French Toast with the secret ingredient well, I made the Ultimate Breakfast Sandwiches. Amazing! Using the same French Toast recipe I made some really kick butt breakfast sandwiches. I swear, best idea I've ever came up with. You've got to try this out for yourself. I always love a chance to be creative with things and of course this allows you to customize your perfect sandwich. We decided to combine bacon, egg and cheese. The combination of sweet and savory is delicious so if you're in the market for your next breakfast idea...you can thank me later!

Well, I'm ready for a relaxing Saturday. Today will be full of checking things off my todo list, baking in my kitchen, creating a meal plan and spending precious moments with Sebastian. Hope you all are doing something you love today! 

xoxo.

Friday, March 15, 2013

on greek turkey meatballs...


I made these zesty Greek Turkey Meatballs the other the night that went great with a lasagna I made. We always have ground turkey in our freezer. It's like a staple in our family. The best part about these meatballs is you can make two meals out of them. Make a batch and have it with a traditional spaghetti or with a lasagna and then another night make some meatball sandwiches. So good! 

Ingredients: 
1 pound ground turkey
2 slices of crusty bread
1/4 cup corn meal
1 egg
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 cloves garlic
1/4 onion, chopped
2 tablespoon oregano
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon paprika

Directions:
1// Soak bread with water and then squeeze it out. Add bread along with the rest of all the ingredients in a bowl and mash everything together with your hands. 
2// Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a baking sheet down with olive oil and form meatballs. 
3// Bake meatballs for about 20-25 minutes or until they become golden. 


Enjoy! 

xoxo

Thursday, March 14, 2013

on books this year...

I love reading and just like cooking I love to inspire people to read. I get so much joy out of recommending a really great book and having someone read it and totally love it as much as I did. Not only that but I love seeing what others are reading too! I have a notebook that I use just to write down all the books I plan on reading and I cross them off as I go. Nerd much? For sure! Here are some of the books that I've read so far this year...

Under the Never Sky.  This series was recommended to me and I enjoyed it very much. This author takes you to another world with a crazy adventure full of hardship and love. Aria was exiled from her home and now forced into a unfamiliar land. Scared and hopeless she meets Perry, an Outsider who shows here who she really is. Oh and Roar Perry's best friend is my favorite. Very good read.


Little Wolves. This was one of those random picks I found while browsing books on my Kindle. This story takes place in the 80's in the Minnesota prairies full of folklore and mythology. While a man seeks the truth about his murdering son who then commits suicide and a wife of a pastor who also returns to the same small town for unknown reasons. Both stories are intertwined and yes, there's wolves! It's a haunting story about deep dark secrets and about how far people go to reveal them. Must read. 


The Witch's Daughter. A three hundred and eighty-four year old witch meets a teenage girl and ends up teaching her things that she never though she would ever share. This book is full of magic and witchy stories. It took me a little while to get into this book but in the end I was glad I read it. 


So, it's not lie that I am a hopeless romantic. I love, love stories. The sweet happily ever after ones, tragic tearful ones and even the dirty spicy ones. Yes, I said dirty and spicy. Or even a combination of all of those in like, one book! In Hopeless, girl meets boy. Girl falls for boy even though she doesn't want to have the feelings she does but of course those feelings are uncontrollable. Girl ends up finding out boy isn't just a boy she randomly met but a boy with a secret. A secret that involves her. Oh snap! Crazy book. You have to read this book. Like now. I've already hooked two people. A super page turner and I even cried at the end. Yep. Me. Cried. 


Dark Places. Same author as Gone Girl. Gillian's writing style is amazing. Different view points while the time and place jumps back and forth. At first I was a little weird about having things jump back and forth but she does it in such a way that makes you think and wonder. It's almost like a puzzle and each page is another piece that you are trying to put together to figure out this crazy mystery. Libby was the only survivor when her family were all killed, well, except her older brother who killed their mom and two sisters. Or did he? Dark places totally says it all. 


Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors mostly of her books take place in the Pacific North West. Home. My first ever book I read of hers was Firefly Lane. Her books always build up so many emotions in me and I always relate to her stories in some way. Night Road was a beautiful tragic story about a mom who's world revolves around her twins Mia and Zach. Mia meets Lexi who become best friends. They grow up together and all three of them face challenges. And then something happens that chances all of their lives...I can't even say anymore! It's an amazing book. 

Have you read any of these? What are you reading now? I'd love to hear about it!

xoxo.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

on crock pot barbecue pork ribs...


Have I ever told you how much I adore my crock pot? Well, I'm telling you now. Who knew Barbecue Pork Ribs can be so juicy and melt in your mouth! These are so easy to make and they were a surefire hit with the hubby, because you know our men, they like their meat. 

Ingredients:
1 pound pork baby back ribs
season with:

  • salt 
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder


Sauce:
2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce (we like Sweet Baby Ray's)
3 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon Djon or brown mustard 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon hot sauce 

Directions: 
1// Season ribs and cut the ribs into third's or so that they fit nicely into the crock pot. 
2// Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce.
3// Place ribs into the crock pot and pour sauce over them. Cover crock pot and cook ribs on high for 6-7 hours. 
4// Once ribs are done place them in a 400° oven with another coating of barbecue sauce and bake them for 15 minutes to caramelize sauce. 



Enjoy! 

xoxo.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

on south pole hot chocolate...


One of my great mentors and someone who is very dear to my heart asked me to help create some recipes to go along with her book The Search for South Pole Santa that was just released this past October. Of course I was on it in no matter of time since I fancy projects, especially if I get to spend more time in my kitchen!

Okay. Now go on over to JingleBelle Jackson's website where you can find the recipe to some really delicious South Pole Sensational Hot Chocolate! And there's a secret ingredient unlike any other.  Go, shoo, go!


Oh Oh Oh! 

on bits & pieces...



Bits & Pieces...

1// Guatemalan
2// A little boy who dressed himself
3// In my natural habitat 
4// regrowing some green onion
5// swinging life away, no really. stop growing kid
6// woah. sun on my vampire looking skin. ahhh it's burning my eyes. 

xoxo. 

Friday, March 08, 2013

on spinach artichoke melts...


I'm sorry but there's nothing better than spinach or artichoke. I love both and then when they are combined it's like best thing of all. Well, maybe it's just me but these melts are delicious and a must try. This week I've been making quick dinners. It's been a gloomy and tiring week and  so when I have days/weeks like that all I care about is quick and easy meals. Of course quick doesn't need to necessarily mean lousy. Sometimes my quick meals end up turning out to be so yummy. Again if you don't have a panini press well, you must get one. Best thing ever! These melts are the best with sourdough bread which is my all time favorite bread. My first job back when I was still in high school was at bakery. Great Harvest Bread Co. to be exact so I was very spoiled with all my breads. I still don't know how I'm not 300 pounds after that episode of my life. Golly. I still absolutely love bread so whenever I make melts or panini's sourdough is always my number one chose. Highly recommend it for these melts. Brilliant combination! Enjoy.


Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter + some to spread on slices of bread
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 bundle of fresh spinach or 1 cup of thawed frozen chopped spinach
2 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1 ounce cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded 
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
*sourdough or your choice of bread, sliced

Directions: 
1// In a skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add minced garlic and cook for a minute. Add flour and whisk until it creates a paste. Pour in milk, cream cheese, sour cream & both cheeses. Cook on low heat until it becomes creamy yet not too thick. Just at more milk if it does. 
2//In a separate skillet slightly wilt spinach. 
3// Add artichoke and spinach to creamy cheese mixture and cook for another 5 minutes to allow everything to combine. 
4// Butter the outside of each slice of bread and spoon a heap of spinach artichoke mixture on a slice and sandwich it. Either cook melts on a skillet like you would be making grilled cheese or simply use your panini press. Cook until crispy, golden and ooey gooey on the inside. 


See what I mean?! A picture is worth a...naahh these pictures just make my tummy rumble. 

xoxo.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

on chicken cordon bleu au gratin...


I made this yumm-o Chicken Cordon Bleu Au Gratin just the other night. I was looking for something different, delicious and something that I could just pop in the oven. It was all those things and more! It's funny because I was actually planning to make an ordinary Cordon Bleu dish but ended up throwing this together and honestly I'm glad I did. And the best part are the left overs!! Just place it in the oven and go about your to do list. I needs a good hour to bake so I had plenty of time to fold that basket of clean clothes that was sitting for god knows how long in my bedroom. I swear my boys have more clothes than me. Phew. Chores always make an appetite grow. Win win.


Ingredients:
4 whole Russet Potatoes, sliced thin
2 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon flour
2 cups milk 
1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano 
3 chicken breast, sliced thin
2 cups ham, chopped
salt & pepper 
4 slices of provolone cheese or swiss cheese ( I used provolone) 

Directions: 

1// Preheat oven to 400°. In a casserole dish, spread thinly sliced potatoes along the bottom. Light salt & pepper potatoes. Next sprinkle chopped green onion and chopped ham then in a single layer place chicken on top. 
2// In a medium sauce pan melt the butter. Add the flour and milk. Let it thicken on low heat. Add Parmesan Reggiano  and mix everything together well. It should thicken slightly. If it becomes too thick just add a little more milk. 
3// Pour cream mixture over top of the casserole dish. Sprinkle some more salt & pepper on the top. 
4//Cover dish with foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Uncover and lay provolone cheese or swiss all along the top of the dish and bake it for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese browns and bubbles. 


Bon App├ętit! xoxo.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

on body modification...


I'm a twenty-four year old mom with tattoos and piercings. I started out in a very strict old fashioned European family. Well, that's basically describing my father. Anyways, it was always frowned upon, and I knew this oh so well because my father never was or will be subtle about anything (and I wonder were I got it from). I always knew that I fancied tattoos and piercings and although I never voiced my liking to my dad, I think he secretly knew I did and just prayed to the heavens that I wasn't going to "do that to my body". For the most part (because I hid my belly button piercing for while and got my nose pierced all the way in Europe, far far away) I respected my dads wish up until my eighteenth birthday when I marched right in and got my first tattoo along with piercing my lower lip. I came home newly inked and my dad's reaction was as expected and then he said something that is still voted #1 most ridiculous things my dad has EVER said to me I hope those come off! Well, no dad. Those two stars that have been tattooed below my collarbones do not come off. OK, so I didn't say that to my red in the face father and just left it at a simple nope. With a big grin of course. 

That's how it started and since than I've gotten a few more tattoos and piercings. I am not heavily tattooed but I know I will be in the next five years. Why? Because I want to be. I've always gotten questioned by my family, friends or just random people about why I have tattoos or my piercings? And I always have a short and simple answer. Because I like it. There's really nothing more to it. Others might have different answers but for me it's just because I like it. And then I'll have a person come back and say well, I still don't get it...Honestly you don't have to. Why do you to eat pizza? Or why do you have a cat instead of a dog? Then most of the time they won't have a comeback to that. Which really, doesn't everything come down to that? We all do the things we do or have the things we have because we want them and like them for whatever the reason. I will never be something that society or culture wants me to be. I've always had a free mind about everything there is in this world. And I know that's how I will raise Sebastian. 

It's totally a different time now but I do know this, I can't picture myself having a mom or a dad all tattooed up. I always will wonder what Sebastian will think when he is older. I'll never know for sure but I do know that all my tattoos are part of me. He knows that it's just how mommy is and right now my "pictures" are cool. Cool mommy, you awesome. When it comes to that time and he's the one coming up to me saying he want to get a tattoo, well, I don't really know what I'll say. I know for sure that nothing is going to be inked on his body until the day he turns eighteen. Other than that I pretty sure I'll be okay with it. He'll always be my baby but once he turns eighteen the choices he makes are his. I know I will guide and oversee and help but what you do is what you do. I only say this because that's how I wanted to be treated at eighteen. 

This world has come so far but I hope that my children and my children's children grow up in a world that doesn't judge people for the way they look. The way we look does not define who we are and I will always teach Sebastian that. Or even preach that to everyone. I'll shout it out and hope that those few people will hear and see how wrong their actions can be. I still to this day get a few side-eye questionable glances my way or comments that really all I can do is laugh at but at the end of the day I am who I am because I want to be and that's that! We are all diverse. Be who you want to be because hell, we only live this life once. Amen. Hallelujah.  

I'm a twenty-four year old mom with tattoos and piercings. And I love it!

xoxo.
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