Smooth(ie)


Lately, I've been in a healthy-food rut.  And by rut, I mean, I don't feel like eating anything remotely good for me.  Generally speaking, I stay away from fast food, breads and pastas, and only eat sweets on occasion, however, life gets busy and sometimes you JUST. WANT. THE PASTA.

There.  I said it.  Now, moving on.

I made this delicious berry and banana smoothie for breakfast, and I am happy to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Plus, it falls into the "healthy" category.  Yay me.  So, will it cancel out the handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate morsels I devoured while watching MasterChef last night?  Nay, nay.  But it's a good start!

Roasty Tomato Toasty


Hey folks!  Yes, it has been a few weeks (cough, months...cough), but I am finally back with a tasty post on toast – the go-to meal when everything else seems so complicated, takes forever, needs a bazillion ingredients, and, well, you get the point.  Simple.  Tasty.  Toast.

So how does one make a roasty tomato toasty?  Read on...

Ingredients:

  • roma tomatos (1 tomato per slice of toast...cut them into quarters)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • goat cheese for schmearing
  • fresh basil or any fresh herb...chives are great here, too.
  • bread

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet (or a cake pan) with foil for easy cleanup.  Cut tomatoes into quarters length-wise (sounds fancy, right?).  Place tomatoes on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste – don't skimp!

Place in oven for 25 minutes or so.  Meanwhile, take the goat cheese out of the fridge to soften up.  This makes schmearing a lot easier.

Remove tomatoes from oven to let cool a minute.  Pop your toast in the toaster.  Once toast is done, schmear with cheese, add tomatoes, and top with fresh herbs of your choice.


Now that I have insulted your culinary abilities, let me remind you that no one is "above" eating toast.
Even Jesus likes toast.  BOOM.



Thanksgiving



Seasons greetings!  I hope your Thanksgiving was stress-free and full of starches!  I had the privilege of hosting my first turkey-day bonanza, and I have to say...it was pretty easy.  I was in charge of the bird (yes, me, the vegetarian...I buttered that thing up Paula Dean-style and added some homemade rosemary salt & sage), and I made a few sides while friends and family brought the rolls, potatoes, mac&cheese, green been casserole, and vino!

A few days prior to Thanksgiving, I made a run to Williams-Sonoma, which is (partly) why the day went so smooth.  I picked up a jar of the cranberry relish, a box of whole wheat harvest stuffing, a jar of gravy base, and their holiday catalog for table-scape inspiration.  Because I had never made any of these items before, I didn't want to mess them up for the big day (the bird was enough of a "first-time" experience for me), so this was all pretty fool-proof.  The day before, I slow-roasted a batch of carrots/parsnips/and onions. The day of, I made sweet potato casserole (my mother-in-law's recipe), and followed the directions on my box of stuffing.  

ALSO, I whipped up a batch of napkins from scrap fabric I had laying around, and I saw these teeny-tiny pears at the grocery store to use as placecards–cute and edible!  I hand-stamped each person's name on a piece of card stock and tied them to the pears with a piece of twine.  

A few things I learned along the way:

  1.  A big chip/dip platter works well as a serving platter for turkey and cranberry sauce (see bottom right picture).  I didn't have a "serving platter" per se, BUT, I did have a silvery chip/dip set.  Easy!
  2. Don't bother with setting water glasses/wine glasses on the table–it takes up so much space (see pictures...)!  We made a drink station at one end of the kitchen counter, which worked really well.
  3. Get enough serving utensils–lucky for us, the spoons in our every-day flatware are HUGE, so we used them for everything.  Next year, I will certainly invest in another set or two of actual serving utensils.
  4. Timing ISN'T everything.  We told guests that we would eat within a window (1.5 hours) and set plenty of snacks out for them (artichoke/spinach dip, blue crab dip, crackers, fruit, etc).  This way, we weren't stressing out about getting everything finished on time, and we were able to enjoy socializing without worrying about any timing expectations.
  5. Clean as you cook.  If you have limited sink/counter/dishwasher space, you HAVE to do this–really, the turkey is in for a few hours...you have plenty of time to clean up, so no excuses!  Our clean-up afterwards took mere minutes.

All in all, everything turned out great!  And did I mention that we had Wick's Sugar Cream Pie for dessert?!  I was so happy to get the chance to host the holiday, and I am so thankful for each and every person who joined us.  Next up: CHRISTMAS!  

Oh, and happy Cyber Monday!

xoxo,

Mitz

Muffins!


Oh, yes I did!  My fave flavor combo, chocolate & orange, plus some extra dark chocolate chips, made these muffins the most irresistible breakfast/dessert ever! 

Here is the recipe, adapted from the bite sized baker:

½ cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
¾ cup milk
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest of 2 oranges
1/3 cup sour cream (not non-fat) or yogurt (I used yogurt)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat together butter, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla until fluffy. Beat in eggs, then stir in milk, orange juice, orange zest, and sour cream. Mix in flour, then chocolate chips.
  3. Divide batter equally between the muffin cups, they will be full. Sprinkle each muffin with a little coarse sugar if desired.
  4. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out without crumbs on it – chocolate is ok. Remove from oven, cool on wire racks 10 minutes, remove from pan to wire racks and cool completely.

*PS, I didn't use muffin cups...A. because I don't have any, and B. I hate peeling the paper off to eat my muffins anyways!

When buying the ingredients for this, splurge on the dark chocolate chips and cocoa powder...my friend Nate used to always get the good stuff, and it really makes a difference!  Thanks Nate!

Also, I've seen many recipes that call for a tablespoon or two of orange liqueur, such as triple sec.  I don't keep any in our house, but I am sure you could toss some in for an extra orangey-punch. 

Happy baking!

Recipe Card


As my work projects start to build up, I get the urge to create something just for fun!  Today I made a recipe card template showcasing my trusted pink hand mixer.  This is inspired by a recipe exchange I recently was involved in along with 26 other ladies.  With all my new recipes, I needed a cute place to write them all down!

Feel free to print this recipe card template at home and share some recipes with friends and family–they will truly appreciate it (and so will their tummies!).



(via myself)