Sunday, March 27, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan Menu (March 28-April 3, 2016)

Weekly Meal Plan 032816-main
Happy Easter!! I hope you have a super fun day (full of delicious food) and if you need some inspiration for what to make for this coming week then you've come to the right place!

This week’s meal plan was brought you to by:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Something Saturdays (3/26/16)

This week I've just been spending time with the hubby (since he is on spring break and took the week off from work too), helping out with clearing out/packing up his mom's house, and obsessing over potential future homes for us. We also got some great news: Michael got promoted! This job is going to be a lot less stressful for him + pays more! Yippee!

Today we're dyeing Easter eggs with Michael's family and tomorrow we're going to have Easter with Michael's stepmom's family and then later with his mom's family. Are you doing anything fun?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ultimate Fudge Brownies with Toasted Pecans

Ultimate Fudge Brownies with Toasted Pecans
This week is a little special for me: Michael's on spring break from school and he also took the week off from work. So I get to have my boy home with me all week!! Which is awesome but also means my productivity is gonna be minimal. It just always is when he's home. We get stuff done but things for him or with him, not so much the stuff I usually do when he's gone. I guess this is my way of saying that um I don't know if I'm going to have recipes for you next week? Maybe? We'll see??

Regardless...if I don't-these brownies will MORE than make up for it! They are PHENOMENAL.
Ultimate Fudge Brownies with Toasted Pecans
Warning: these brownies are not for the faint of heart. They are very rich. The recipe uses 4 sticks of butter and 6 eggs--that equals a lot of decadence (also this recipe makes A LOT of brownies. So take that into account). I highly suggest freezing some brownies for later. And sharing with everyone so that they are in awe of you and your baking prowess.

Texture: super fudgy and decadent and perfection--with some melty chocolate chips and crunchy toasted pecans thrown in (and normally I'm not a fan of nuts mucking around in my brownies but OMG go with me on this these are an exception and you shouldn't omit them because they're awesome!)
Flavor: A LOT of browned butter means a lot of browned butter flavor, plus a lot of delish dark chocolate, toasted pecans add to the entire thing and then some sea salt on top brings everything together. Serious indulgence here, my friends. Serious brownie perfection. They even have the sought after crackly tops!

These shall go down as one of my favorite brownie recipes-EVER. You will be blown away, forreals.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Thick Italian Hot Chocolate

Thick Italian Hot Chocolate
First of all--I'm aware it's March and spring is technically here (although, it is March-you never know. It snowed yesterday.) and I'm sharing a hot chocolate recipe with you. BUT I just want you to know that if you serve this room temperature or chilled in a small bowl or ramekin, it's essentially like a chocolate pudding or mousse or pot de creme. So it's a very versatile dessert that can be sipped warm or eaten chilled with a spoon! It's the perfect March dessert, really, you're prepared for whatever the weather decides to do!
Thick Italian Hot Chocolate
Also...Easter is coming up. And I think if you served this "hot chocolate" chilled in pretty glasses or ramekins they'd be a pretty impressive holiday dessert. Just sayin'.

Now that we're done discussing the fact that this hot chocolate doesn't have to be hot chocolate....let's talk about it as hot chocolate. I tend to love most Italian style things--I love traditional Italian style pizzas (Neapolitan specifically), gelato, and pretty much all things I've been exposed to. So it shouldn't be a surprise that I'm 1000% on board with their way of doing hot chocolate--which is thick chocolatey indulgence style. Seriously...border-line pudding. Which I adore.
Thick Italian Hot Chocolate
Is it the same as the Max Brenner's Italian Thick Hot Chocolate I so miss? 
No. It is actually thicker. 

Is this my favorite hot chocolate I've ever made? 
YES!

It's rich, and decadent, and thick, and pretty much insanely chocolety and perfect in every way.

In my ever so humble opinion.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan Menu (March 21-27, 2016)

Weekly Meal Plan 032116-main Ummmm how is it almost Easter??? INSANITY! If you're anything like me then you always have some trouble figuring out what to make prior to the holidays. Sooo this meal plan will REALLY help out with that! Enjoy my lovelies xoxo

This week’s meal plan was brought you to by:

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Something Saturdays (3/19/16)

at Salt and Smoke with my bestie
I'm back! I had the most wonderful time in St. Louis with my best friend, Alex, and her boyfriend-Mike. I arrived Saturday and we had a delicious dinner at Pastaria (hiiighly recommend the fried risotto balls and the Canestri Cacio E Pepe). Sunday, we checked out the Delmar Loop and had my favorite meal of the trip at Salt and Smoke. Everything we had was so so delicious (I got a super amazing brisket sandwich) and we were full all day. We had some time to kill at that point so we checked out the Missouri History Museum and saw the loop, and then we went to see Beauty and the Beast (stage musical) at The Fabulous Fox Theatre (loved it!) Monday, Alex and I visited the Cahokia Mounds, St. Louis Science Center (and we discovered it's more for children), and then we grabbed lunch at The Schlafly Tap Room (the best part were the fries and truffle aioli! They also have a bunch of their own beers available, which is cool.) Then we checked out historic St. Charles, including the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center (Lewis & Clark left from St. Charles so it was like a little museum about their expedition). St. Charles had a bunch of adorable shops and things but Alex and I especially liked Kilwins (I loooved their almond toffee) and di Olivas (an olive oil and balsamic tasting emporium--Alex ended up buying a bottle each of their Tuscan Herb olive oil, Margarita Balsamic, and Strawberry Fields Balsamic). We went back to Alex's place for a little bit to see Mike off (he had to fly to Cleveland for work) and then after a little relaxation we went to PW Pizza for dinner. We split a pizza-one half was the "Wolf" for Alex and the other half was Margherita for me. It was my kind of pizza-so so good! Tuesday (my last day), we started out day with Vincent Van Doughnut--and I can say the Chocolate Salted Caramel Doughnut is def. the best, and they were absolutely some of the best doughnuts I've had. Then we spent most of the gorgeous day at the St. Louis Zoo (so fun!) and had lunch at a nearby Irish pub called Seamus McDaniel's. And the rest of the day I just binge-watched The Jinx with Alex and enjoyed my remaining time with my best friend. <3

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan Menu (March 14-20, 2016)

Weekly Meal Plan 031416-main
Sunday is here which means another week full of meals for all of you! This week features a couple of my favorites, so I hope you enjoy! 

This week’s meal plan was brought you to by:

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Something Saturdays (3/12/16)

This week was actually pretty exciting. Wednesday I met up for lunch with an old friend of mine from high school to catch up, and that was cool. But then later I met up with a local wedding planner (Val of Perfectly Planned) and after chatting and finding out we have a ton in common (we're the same age, got into/are getting into wedding planning for similar reasons, and we even got married the same exact day!) we decided to have me start assisting her with upcoming weddings and, if everything works out long-term, I could eventually be a planner for her business and help her take on more clients! I am outrageously excited and I can't wait to see how it all works out!!! And then on Friday I had a call-back audition for a union commercial I auditioned for a week and a half ago. So that was exciting--I didn't do as great as I would have liked but whether I get it or not I'm excited they liked me enough to have me in for a call back!

Today I'm flying to St. Louis to spend a few days with my best friend! I'll be there until Wednesday so, aside from today's post and tomorrow's meal planning post, I'll be pretty much off the internet (aside from Instagram, of course) until I'm home. I'm so excited to spend this time with my best and I'll fill you all in on how it went next week!

From last week's SNL-Jay Pharoah doing impressions of black comedians is amazing!

I watched Pitch Perfect 2 this week and, while it wasn't great, I did think this part was spectacular:

Also-in case you haven't heard-our friend Hayley, AKA The Domestic Rebel, has her very own cookbook coming out! And I highly suggest you pre-order a copy of Out of the Box Desserts: Simply Spectacular, Semi-Homemade Sweets because I'm pretty sure it's gonna change all our lives for the better.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Homemade Cheddar Pierogi {with Caramelized Onions}

Homemade Cheddar Pierogi {with Caramelized Onions}
This is a big one, guys. This is one of those recipes that like...changes your life. Ok...maybe that's dramatic.

...OR IS IT?
Homemade Cheddar Pierogi {with Caramelized Onions}
No but forrealsies, these are definitely a new favorite. Turns out-making homemade, from scratch, pierogi isn't that hard (I will admit that it dirties a lot of dishes, but it is TOTALLY worth it!)

Now, first of all, if you aren't familiar with pierogi: they're pretty much a pasta that is filled with mashed potatoes (and, in this case, cheddar cheese) and usually served with sauteed or caramelized onions. There's a bunch of variations but, in my opinion, this version is the best.
Homemade Cheddar Pierogi {with Caramelized Onions}
The pasta shell is tender. The cheddar mashed potato filling is perfectly flavorful and comforting. Sauteeing the pierogi in butter after boiling makes the texture and flavor even better. And serving them with caramelized onions is just perfection. I'm legit. obsessed. Michael is too. He took one bite and gave me a wide-eyed look, "These are amazing!" He was impressed. I was sort of impressed. You'll be impressed. If you need a perfect pierogi recipe-look no further! Or, if you just want a new idea for dinner tomorrow-also look no further! You need homemade cheddar pierogi in your life!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Cheesy Turkey Pesto Rolls

Cheesy Turkey Pesto Rolls
I can't believe I did it. This is something I practically never do. I...I used crescent rolls in a recipe. And I didn't make the crescent roll dough from scratch. This is not a thing I usually do but I know we don't always have time and...I wanted to make these. So I bit the bullet and used crescent roll dough. I hope we're all ok with this? Everything in moderation, am I right?
Cheesy Turkey Pesto Rolls
I feel like I've been pretty firmly in the old-for-my-age camp in a lot of ways for awhile. You know, I'd rather sit and watch Netflix or a movie than go out, I like to cook/bake (obviously), Michael and I bicker like an old married couple...etc. One of the few things that kept me from being too far over the edge is that I've never cared much for HGTV...and I don't knit. Well...now that I'm starting to get into the idea of house hunting...I am sorta loving HGTV all of a sudden.

...but so far I still don't knit.
Cheesy Turkey Pesto Rolls
But whether you're young-at-heart or old-for-your-age...or anywhere in between, you're gonna be all about these rolls! They're crazy easy to throw together and they make an awesome lunch or snack or appetizer or just grab-and-go sustenance! They're cheesy and pesto-y (so make sure to use a pesto you love!) and there's turkey so yay protein! They're also super customizable so feel free to play around with the fillings, and you can totally make them vegetarian (just...don't add any meat--ta da!) 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan Menu (March 7-13, 2016)

Weekly Meal Plan 030716-mainHere we are, another week's worth of delicious meals for you to enjoy! I've gotta say...I'm loving the selection in this one, how PHENOMENAL does everything look??!

This week’s meal plan was brought you to by:

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Something Saturdays (3/5/16)

I've seen The Lion King like a thousand times but seeing it through new eyes in this Buzzfeed article that is a play-by-play as someone who has never seen it watches it for the first time.....made me get all the giggles.

Fellow 90's kids--Nickelodeon is bringing back Hey Arnold! (And Legends of the Hidden Temple)

Michael and I are getting closer to taking the steps to buying a house. AND his mom is about to start house hunting. Sooo....I've officially become addicted to HGTV is pretty much what I'm saying (namely Flip or Flop and House Hunters).

This week was pretty boring. Our microwave broke and I had to get a new one from my mom (she had an extra). I also got to talk to my brother because he's now in his job training so he can use his phone and the internet and such again. Annnd last night we saw Deadpool! And loved it. It was perfection. Ryan Reynolds is amazing. Today I work but then we're going to Youngstown for Michael's cousin's birthday. And then tomorrow=more work! Ick.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Potato Scones

Potato Scones
Yes yes....Kayle sees a new potato recipe and feels the need to make it. Don't give me as hard of a time as Michael does about it, mmkay? Cuz really...don't we all love potatoes? And my love means I share potato recipes with all of you soooo...I think it's a win win for all of us.
Potato Scones
Now...I had never heard of potato scones before. Google tells me they're Scottish...which makes sense (I've been watching a lot of Outlander and I've read the books so obviously I'm an expert on Scots lol). I'm not Scottish at all (to my knowledge...although those ancestry commercials for DNA testing make me consistently curious as to what my results would be) but I am Irish. And St. Patrick's Day is coming up. And you know...potatoes are like a big deal for Ireland (which is like pretty similar to Scotland really...they both speak Gaelic and are in similar areas and yeah...) So I think these potato scones are perfect for the occasion, really.
Potato Scones
They're a comfort food I didn't even know existed. They're made from mashed potatoes and normal scone/biscuity-y ingredients and then...they're fried in a skillet (I prefer cast iron for this sort of job. Makes me feel very pioneer-y.) And you serve them with butter. And they're darned delicious. Crisp and fried on the outside, and shining with melted butter, and then they're chewy and potato-y on the inside. I loved them.
Potato Scones
DO YOU SEE THE GLISTENING BUTTER AND THE FRIED GOODNESS??!

Need I say more?
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