Sunday, May 29, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan Menu (May 30-June 5, 2016)

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I hope you guys are enjoying your long weekend! I just wanted to pop in and give y'all some meal options for this week. Enjoy! :D

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Something Saturdays (5/28/16)

BUSY week! Last Saturday I helped with the setup of a beautiful wedding at Hale Farm and had lots of fun talking about logistics with my boss, Val. She also officially announced me on the Perfectly Planned's facebook page. Monday, Michael and I took his dad and stepmom and aunt and uncle to Savor (the restaurant that my cousin owns)--everyone liked it, it was all delicious! Tuesday I had a meeting with Val and a bride whose wedding we're doing on June 4. It was fun and I'm so excited for the wedding! Wednesday we went to Michael's sister's baccalaureate (it's like a Catholic pre-graduation mass ceremony thing). Thursday was her graduation! Friday me and Val did another wedding, this one at Brookside Farms-in a barn. It was beautiful but A LOT OF WORK. Val's sister and sister-in-law came to help and we still didn't sit down for more than 5 minutes during that entire 12 hours (noon to midnight). I have blisters on the heels of my feet. They also had Chipotle for the food but Chipotle doesn't cater and the barn doesn't have staff so we had to do ALL OF IT. So...yeah. I'm exhausted lol. And Val has updated her contract to say that clients need to have caterers or get charged a ridiculous fee--which is fair. Seriously. But it's always fun and the bride and her parents seemed very happy so that's all that matters :)

Today is Shannan's (Michael's sister) graduation party and tomorrow is my cousin's! Then Memorial Day we have a pool party at my grandma's-the first of the summer! What are you doing for the long weekend?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies
It's graduation season! People are getting their caps and gowns and getting ready to bit high school adieu. I have 4 family members graduating this year-3 of my cousins and my precious little sister-in-law. Tomorrow is Shannan's graduation and I couldn't be more excited for her! It also makes me realize how ridiculously far removed from that I am. Like...I think that I'm not that much older than an 18 year old buuut I AM. I can barely even remember my graduation-I remember being mad because my hair wouldn't curl the way I wanted it to (typical) and I remember feeling sort of...underwhelmed during the whole thing. Everyone around me was crying and I was just sitting there willing myself to feel...something. But, that's fairly typical for me when it comes to big events-I sort of have a hard time wrapping my head around the situation. Also high school wasn't exactly the most fun time for me, so I wasn't too sad to be ending it. It's funny to look back and think how I had absolutely no idea where my life was headed. Especially considering I have an adorable photo at graduation with my mother-in-law, long before I had any inkling that is what she would eventually be for me :D
Brown Butter Toffee Blondies
Anyway. With graduations, come graduation parties. Which are such a fun celebration of the graduate-I'm so excited for Shannan's and my cousins' and I know that, if asked, I would 1000% make these blondies to bring to a grad party. Because they're totally impressive and delicious and if you've graduated high school you deserve something epic to mark the occasion. And...I mean...on the practical side--bars/blondies are awesome for parties because you just grab one and go. Not messy and super addictive. Everyone will rave about them!
Brown Butter Toffee Blondies
Technically I already gave some of these to Shannan after her last choir concery buuut I mean...I'd make them again for her party! Or just for me to horde and eat by myself while I watch Orphan Black. Because they're gooey and chewy and brown-sugary brown-buttery delish. And the toffee adds a bit of delightful crunch. And chocolate gives us life. And salted caramel on top is probably just a necessity, yeah? Yeah I think so too.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cheesy Chicken & Onion Skillet

Cheesy Chicken & Onion Skillet
Soooo I'm a pretty picky eater. Which means I tend to have a set number of dinner recipes that I like and make regularly, which means I oftentimes get tired of them/burnt out. So when I find a new entree to make that I like it is like a GOSH DARNED MIRACLE! And this recipe is one such miracle.
Cheesy Chicken & Onion Skillet
The inspiration for this recipe came from some cheese and onion chicken dishes I've seen on a couple restaurant menus, and that I've even ordered on occasion. But they never really knocked my socks off. So I thought about what could make them better. I decided flattened, breaded, chicken would be tasty. And sauteed onions that are just shy of caramelized would probably be pretty delicious. And a thick and creamy and rich cheesy cream sauce...yeah. That also seemed wise.

And it was. It so was!
Cheesy Chicken & Onion Skillet
Another beautiful part of this recipe is you make everything in one large skillet--first you cook the onions (then set them aside), then the chicken (which you also then set aside), and finally you make the sauce (which is made all the more delicious because it is partially flavored by the onions and chicken that cooked in there before). Then you add back in the onions and chicken. And serve it with mashed potatoes, over noodles, or rice, or just with some veggies or whatever. It's your life. Eat rich deliciousness however you want. I'm just saying that I loved it. And can't wait to make it again. And I think you should try it. Cuz it's tasty. And you'll like it.

Mkay?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan Menu (May 23-29, 2016)

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This week is full of graduation activities for my family! But I've still gotta eat-which is why I'm super excited about this week's meal plan (and you know I have my eye on those au grait potatoes and that Oreo pie!)

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

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Something Saturdays (5/21/16)

Hiiii guys! I'm working a wedding today (yay!) but let's chat about how this last week went, yeah? Last weekend we went to see the play my old high school did, that I helped direct, and my little sister-in-law was in: Macbeth. It actually went really well and exceeded a lot of people's expectations! I also ran into a couple people I haven't seen since high school, so that was nice! And then we went out to dinner with Michael's fam and best friend (who was the director). Super fun. And other than that...not much else has been going on. Just getting things done, working, and hanging out. Wednesday was Michael's sister's choir concert and then...yeah.

Oh yeah and one other thing happened last weekend. After the play, Michael and David (his best friend) decided to "combat train" with their sparring swords (which had been used as props for the play) and Michael ended up getting hit so hard in the hand that 1-it swelled up and 2-it bent his wedding ring into an oval. Michael was pretty sheepish and worried I'd be mad, but that's what we have insurance for lol. So it got fixed and is all fine. It's just a funny story :P

This post on Buzzfeed about having a dessert stomach is LIFE.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
I'm so mad because these pictures DO NOT DO THIS PIE JUSTICE. This is legitimately one of the most delicious things I've made for this blog and I blame stupid crappy rainy-day lighting for the fact that you so have no idea how good these are. Just...trust me. Listen to me. Let me convince you.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
Ok...I mean...that photo above gives you some idea--right? LOOK AT THE EPIC LEVELS OF GOOEY RICHNESS! 

So...technically...I've shared this recipe before. In fact, it was the first recipe I ever posted on this blog: my beloved chocolate chip cookie pie. It has been way way too long since I've made that pie because....well because I have a blog and I have a ton of desserts I want to try so it's hard to re-make things. But I somehow improved upon that originally favorite recipe. Let me tell you how.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
The original pie recipe calls for melted butter. Which now...if a dessert recipe calls for melted butter....I mean...there's a 99% chance I'm gonna brown that butter. So that's what I did (totally the right call). I also put in a bunch of oh so delicious salted caramel sauce--I poured some on top of the graham cracker crust, drizzled some on top prior to baking AND drizzled some on top after baking. And also sprinkled some sea salt on there. Because when THAT IS HOW WE ROLL.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
The result is an ultra rich, super gooey, cookie pie (with melty chocolate chips that make you want to do a happy dance) in a buttery graham cracker crust with lots of rich and gooey caramel and the most gorgeous crackled brown-sugary top. And more caramel. And that salt. And...oh my goodness it is seriously the most wonderful sort of heaven. I prefer to enjoy the deliciousness of this pie warm, but Michael loves it cold. You can also just serve it room temperature. This pie is versatile like that.

I just...I cannot emphasize enough that THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER AND YOU NEED IT IN YOUR LIFE.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Waffle Iron Churros

Waffle Iron Churros
If you suffer from deep-fry phobia, like me, then this recipe is going to appeal to you in the way way it did to me. We can have crisped, delicious, churro-waffle hybrids (the batter is actually very similar to a choux-the base that creates cream puffs), without all the mess and calories of frying.

And then I highly recommend you drizzle salted caramel all over that shiz.
Waffle Iron Churros
Admittedly, I haven't eaten that many churros in my lifetime. But I do have very strong memories of people selling churros on the subway platforms in NY. They were always there, beckoning to me, smelling oh so lovely...and somehow I just never bought myself one. One of my life's regrets.
Waffle Iron Churros
BUT--even though I missed out on those churros, I did partake in some especially delicious and crisp waffles when I was honeymooning in Mexico. And my favorite way to eat them? With cinnamon sugar and caramel sauce. So when I read the recipe for these waffle iron churros, my mind immediately jumped to those waffles in Mexico that I'd loved so much (to the point of me waking Michael up so we could go get some--me telling him I was going to "starve to death" if we didn't.) And I knew I was going to be drizzling my favorite salted caramel sauce on top. Because I make good life choices.
Waffle Iron Churros
So--the waffles are chewy and and crisp and have gorgeous little specks of cinnamon. Then, you brush them with butter and coat them in cinnamon-sugar. Then you drizzle caramel...or chocolate...or whatever. Doesn't have to be anything. They're delicious either way--but the salted caramel is actually pretty subtle on them. I think it sort of just enchances all the cinnamon-sugariness going on. They're crazy delicious and Michael agrees. It was a real sadness that this recipe only makes 3 waffles. Perhaps you should double the recipe?

Yeah, that's probably the right call.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan Menu (May 16-22, 2016)

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Whether you want to know what to make for dinner, dessert, or even breakfast this week-we have you covered! My mouth is watering just looking at some of these recipes!!

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

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Something Saturdays (5/14/16)

Last weekend was so fun but SO EXHAUSTING! We had to be at Michael's cousin's reception venue at 9AM to start helping setup (which I am so happy we were able to do because we gave her and her parents peace of mind) and then the wedding was beautiful, the reception was SO fun, and we even spent some time at a hotel with some of the family afterwards. THEN on Sunday we had to be back at the same church at 10:30AM for mass and to witness the first communion of some of Michael's out of town cousins' children. Then we had lunch with my mom and then dinner and hanging out with Michael's mom, siblings, and their S.O.'s. It was wonderful but we were very very tired afterward.

And now--for everyone who has every loved a Ryan Gosling "Hey Girl" meme:



Monday, May 9, 2016

Salted Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies sorta kinda blew me away. Like...I didn't expect cookie made with whole wheat flour  and coconut sugar to be JUST AS GOOD as really really good chocolate chip cookies. Michael made fun of me because I ate 3 of the cookies the day I made them, and a fourth the next morning. --The recipe only makes 10 cookies so I ate nearly half within 24 hours. BUT THEY ARE SO GOOD! And they're definitely infinitely better when fresh-make sure to keep that in mind. They get less good every day that they're leftover. They do stay soft, though! Which is pretty nifty.
Salted Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Now....these are definitely not really healthy cookies. I mean...they still have butter. But a little extra betterness in the form of white whole wheat flour (DO NOT substitute regular whole wheat flour, it will not taste the same. White whole wheat flour has a lighter texture and more mild flavor) and coconut sugar never hurt anyone, did it? Nah-it's a nice little perk. A perk that seriously--when you have one of these cookies fresh and warm...you'd never know. You'd just think, "These are some darned good chocolate chip cookies!"

And they are.
Darned.
GOOD.
Salted Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
So. Do we like soft and chewy cookies with complex flavor? Do we like melty dark chocolate contrasting with little bites of sea salt? Do we like deliciousness?

You're here. Of course you do!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan Menu (May 9-15, 2016)

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Ooooh this week has some insanely delicious options for you! And ME--which is good because this weekend is crazy! Now, enjoy your Mother's Day without having to stress about what you're making for dinner this week :D

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

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Something Saturdays (5/7/16)

This week has been mostly uneventful. However TODAY is Michael's cousin Chelsea's wedding! I'm helping set up her reception space with a couple planner's her fiance's family hired and then I get to enjoy the day. It should be tons of fun-I love weddings :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

{Vegan & Gluten-free} Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

{Vegan & Gluten-free} Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are pretty miraculous. They're really delicious, and chewy, and awesome. They also happen to be gluten-free and (if you use vegan chocolate chips) vegan. 

WHAAAAA??! 

I know. Like I said-miraculous.
{Vegan & Gluten-free} Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
BTW--HOW adorable is that little glass bottle thing in the background?? Michael's mom has a few of those on display in her dining room and I've been eyeing them for awhile. Since she's moving, she's trying to get rid of a lot of stuff, so she happily gave me one! (She offered to give me a bunch more stuff but...I don't have the space lol) I knew they'd be perfect to include in a cookie shoot and i was right!
{Vegan & Gluten-free} Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Honestly, these cookies just taste like a delicious almond butter (or peanut butter) oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. I would never have guessed that they're vegan and gluten-free. They're really really delicious. And, I felt like they were healthy enough to eat for breakfast....

But you know. You do you.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Homemade Mexican Guacamole

Homemade Mexican Guacamole
Lately...I've been craving guacamole. And I haven't been able to get it (I keep meaning to go to this one Mexican restaurant we love but it hasn't happened yet) so...I finally just decided to make my own. Because that's what we food bloggers do. Or...at least...that's usually what I do. And really...there's no reason that all of us shouldn't make our own guacamole! IT IS SO EASY! And insaaanely quick to make!

Funny fact--apparently my dad and grandma (heck..probably all of my grandparents) have never tried guacamole. And one time (a time my brother and I still enjoy a good giggle over) my mom pronounced guac "GWYE-ACK" (admittedly on accident--she does know how to correctly pronounce it). So...I don't come from a particularly adventurous food background. But somehow...I love guacamole. And I am so happy that I do.
Homemade Mexican Guacamole
First a little tip on avocado ripeness--you're going to want the avocado skin to be very dark and have give when you squeeze it. If it's suuuper soft when you squeeze it-it may be over-ripe, but you can still cut it open and use any parts that are still green and not brown! Another tip for good guac is DO NOT BE AFRAID OF SALT! Seriously...you're gonna want to be generous. And also, this recipe is definitely one of those taste and adjust sort of situations--some of the ingredients aren't going to have amounts because you should sort of just add however much tastes good to you, you know? I know the first time you make something that is super frustrating but I promise after you make it once and figure it out...it just makes sense!

Oh and after you've made the guacamole, if you don't finish it and want some leftovers and are concerned about it turning brown here's another little tip: spray the top of the guacamole with cooking spray and cover the top with plastic wrap (so that the wrap is pressing on all of the guacamole)--it helps!
Homemade Mexican Guacamole
Avocadoes are potentially the only thing that I like and Michael doesn't, so I had to eat all the guacamole myself. Which...even though it didn't look like much...it actually was. So this might be best to serve if you're entertaining or have at least a couple people to eat it--because I had a difficult time finishing it by myself. 

Also--don't limit yourself to eating this deliciousness with just chips! Quesadillas, flautas, and even french fries are so good dipped in the guac and it's also tasty on sandwiches!

Guacamole is too good to only enjoy one way. 
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