Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Recap

I can't believe it is November and what a month October was! We attended 2 special weddings and celebrated 3 big birthdays! Can you guess who turned 1, 102, and 60 in this picture?! I love this picture of my family and coincidentally they all have October birthdays. Cheers to many more!!!
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween

First of all, I want to give a shout out to my former coworkers, the amazing nurses and health care personnel of NYU Medical Center that carried patients down 15 flights of stairs using med sleds! Y'all are my heroes and I wish I could have been there to help!

Switching subjects, here is a picture of my finished costume. I think I pulled off the look I was going for but being a "zombie" was not part of my original plan. My husband decided that we should take our 80s costumes to another level. His reasoning, "it is Halloween!" I hope those of you living in the Northeast can get some comic relief from my Halloween costume because I still can't believe I agreed to this!
Happy Halloween!
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Friday, October 26, 2012

80s Rocker

Halloween is just a few days away. We have an 80s party to go to on Saturday night. Here is who I am aspiring to be...
Sarah Jessica Parker meets Madonna in the 80s
FP 3580175 Sex And the City Friday Fun: 80s fashion on the Sex and the City set
Here is my checklist of things I must have to complete this look:
1. Big bow
2. Finger gloves
3. Lots of bracelets, necklaces
4. Lace arm sleeves
5. Corset
6. Tutu
7. Leggings
8. Pumps or short boots

Check back on Monday to see if I was able to pull this look off with my thrift store finds. I am still short a few items so I have until Saturday to find the rest of my costume!
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Asparagus Stuffed Chicken

I was very nervous cooking these chicken rollups. I feared undercooking the chicken and/or the chicken being bland. However, it was anything but either of those things. The chicken turned out moist and the asparagus was crisp! I prepped my chicken rollups about 5 hours before cooking them. I do not think it is a necessity to do this but if you have the time, it definitely gives the chicken more flavor. Also, I doubled the ingredients for the apricot mixture. This will give you some extra dressing to baste the chicken with when you starting cooking it on the grill! Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Adapted from Rachael Ray
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons apricot preserves (I used sugar-free)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Toothpicks (to secure rollups)
Fill a medium-sized skillet halfway with salted water. Bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes (no longer). Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water. Toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl, mix together jam, lemon juice and 2 teaspoons olive oil.
Preheat your grill to medium.
Pound each piece of chicken to about 1/4 inch thick and season with salt and pepper.
Place skinned side down on a baking sheet.
Divide the asparagus evenly among the chicken breasts and roll each cutlet. Secure with toothpicks. 
Using a spatula, cover each chicken rollup with the jam mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
*Do not throw away the extra jam mixture. You will use it when you are cooking the chicken.
Transfer the chicken rollups to the grill. When you put the chickens on the grill, brush all of the chickens with the extra jam mixture. You will see that a lot of the jam gets left on the plate when you transfer the chicken to the grill. Cook the chicken, turning occasionally until browned, about 15 minutes.
I served my chicken with couscous and a big salad. YUM!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

It's been forever since I've made spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is something everyone would love if they just tried it. You also have to get past the fact that you are substituting pasta for this. I even think kids will love this recipe as long as you do not tell them it is squash.

Semi-Adapted from Yummy Mummy Kitchen
Yield-2 people
Ingredients (pictured below minus your meatballs!)
1 extra large spaghetti squash
Your favorite meatballs (my recipe is the best!)
2 cups of pasta sauce
1/2 cup of fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Slowly, key word slowly, slice the squash in half. I got very close to cutting off a finger because the knife kept getting stuck in the squash. Then, remove the seeds.
Drizzle each half of the squash with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Generously season both halves with salt and pepper.
Turn cut side down and bake the spaghetti squash for 40 minutes. It may need a few extra minutes if your spaghetti squash is the size of a football. Your spaghetti squash is done when you can easily scrape the inside of the squash into strings of spaghetti.
Now, increase your oven to 400 degrees.
After you fluff the spaghetti strands, place 1 serving of meatballs and a little less than 1 cup of tomato sauce over the meatballs and squash in each half. Don't worry about mixing it all together. You will do that when you are ready to eat it.
Top with 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese to each half.
Return your spaghetti squash to the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly and everything is cooked through.
Top with fresh basil and serve!

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Monday, October 22, 2012

My Favorite Healthy Meatballs

I am back from my hiatus or at least for this week I am.

Surprisingly, this was my FIRST time to make meatballs! I was shocked at how easy it was to make these. I incorporated these meatballs into a spaghetti squash dish but these would also make great appetizers too. Of course, I made these healthy but you would never know because they were filled with flavor.

Adapted from Wishful Chef
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely diced white onion or shallot
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with nonstick spray.
In a bowl, mix all ingredients together.
 It is easiest to just mix the ingredients with your hands! 
Roll into  about 20 meatballs and place on a pan. 
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes or until cooked through and not pink in the middle.
I promise if I can make these, you can too! Be sure to check back tomorrow for the best spaghetti squash casserole!
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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Europe Purchases

Being such a shopper, it is hard to believe that I only found two things in Europe! However, it is hard for me to justify buying rugs, furniture, and china when I do not even own a house yet. The two things I found maybe small but they are timeless.
This butter dish is large enough for two sticks of butter! I found it more beautiful that the Waterford butter dish. This will complement my crystal collection just perfectly.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

More Gift Ideas

It has been a whirlwind of a week. We have had two weddings since we have gotten back from Europe! That combined with working, is my excuse for not posting. My hope is that after Austin City Limits, I will be back to my normal routine.

My sister-in-law got married this past weekend and she gave me two wonderful gifts. Since wedding season is upon us, I figured this post could be useful.

Pictured below is a monogrammed silver cup filled with flowers. Unfortunately you cannot see my monogram but it is there! You can drink out of this cup, use it as a vase or even as a place to hold makeup brushes! This versatile cup comes from The Menagerie in Austin, Texas.
I also love this travel jewelry case. It comes in a bunch of different prints so you can get everyone their favorite color. It is also personalized which I think makes everything more special. You can find these on Etsy.
All my other gift ideas can be found here if you missed my post last year!
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