Carrot-Ginger Soup (with apple!)

My work schedule seems to come in extremes. For 5 days straight, I worked a total of 64 hours, 6 hours volunteering, 8 hours attending events for the amazing Thirst Boston. It’s Boston’s premier cocktail/drink education weekend…. and it’s fantastic.

Rum

(picture from RumForAll! seminar I volunteered at)

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(HOT DOG HAT! Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar helped host Brugal’s “Dog’s and Daq’s” Party on Friday night)

And to recover, I spent most of the past 2 days recovering. I slept in, went to an amazing lunch with my man… then went to the Mandarin to get a couples massage. ahhh-mazing. Later, I made soup. Good, yummy, warm soup. I slept and made soup and ate soup.

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups carrots
  • 3/4 vidalia onions
  • 7 small slices ginger
  • 1 yellow delicious apple
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups veggie stock

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Dice the carrots and onions into bite sized pieces. Add olive oil to a large pot and let it heat up. Add carrots and onions and sweat down. Once carrots are soft and onions are translucent, add the ginger, apples, brown sugar and salt. Let cook down for a few more minutes or until the apple is soft.

add the veggie stock and let heat up for another minute. Then puree! you can either dump the entire mixture into a food processor or combine using a hand mixer.

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oh it’s so tasty. now I shall sit and drink red wine and eat soup

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Apple Cider Spiced Mezcal Cocktail

Okay. So this time it’s not my fault I haven’t blogged in 3 weeks. My iPhoto wouldn’t load and I couldn’t get to Apple for a bit. But thats okay! because I have a bunch of recipes/photos to share with you.

Starting with the apples.

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I LOVE apple picking. We went about a month ago And now I have this giant bag of apples that I’ve been slowly burning through.

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Starting with the cocktail.

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Nom it’s so good. It has a little bit of heat from the mezcal with just the right amount of tartness from the lime and apples. It’s an awesome fall cocktail!

  • 1/2 muddled apple
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz cointreau (or triple sec)
  • 1.5 oz mezcal
  • 1/2 eye dropper of apple cider bitters

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I squeezed fresh lime juice for mine. It only took about a lime and a half.

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So add all the ingredients to a small shaker tin (or a pint glass)

add ice

SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE. Double strain into any glass. Add s’more ice, a straw, and a lovely little apple slice garnish.

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Squat challenge and SUSHI!

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Squat challenge halfway done!!! Oh man. I admit that 150 squats is HARD. My legs are sore but it feels so good. I can feel my body getting tighter and it’s fantastic. I feel stronger. After this intense month squat challenge, I have another one Im going to do. JUST WAIT FOR IT! It be cray cray!

Here’s what I’ve realized since starting this “eating healthier/making better food decisions”

I still go out to eat a lot. It’s just part of my lifestyle. I work in a bar and frequenting other establishments is part of my work. But! I’m getting better/smarter about where I’m going out to eat. Yesterday, I treated the boyfriend to lunch at Wagamamas.

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Today, having no food at home and having to work in 90 minutes, I visited Fins Sushi next to my apartment.

And dang this place is awesome!

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE sushi and this place is great. I went in around 2 and it was bustling. The atmosphere was excellent. Not to loud but fun. The service was quick and friendly and the sushi was soooooo good. Probably my favorite in the city so far ( well, after oishii )

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And even though I probably over ordered just a tad. I didn’t feel like I wanted to die of fullness after the meal. Woooo I love sushi

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Do you have any awesome sushi places I should try?

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Giant Corn ‘n Rice Salad

I told ya’ll in a recent post that there are a few things I’m working on in my life. Ways to improve my own quality of life and those around me. One of them being, eating healthier and not eating restaurant food every day. I’ve been doing pretty good! but now I’m cooking heavier, richer dishes. I’m still avoiding my (former) usual salad binges.

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And then a few days ago I went shopping and couldn’t fit into my normal size jeans. WAKE UP CALL! Time to shape up. So I left the store and immediately walked into the Copley Farmers Market.

Perfect place to start. I loaded up on fresh corn, mushrooms, baby kale arugula and then this awesome 5 grain wild rice blend.

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Continue reading

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ch-ch-channnges

inspirational quote

I’ve doing a bit of soul searching these past few months. I’ve been reading and re-reading some of my favorite bloggers/writers/mentors/books/articles etc and really trying to get my bearings together in life.

I’ve pretty much taken off the past 6 months from life and just played. It’s been GLORIOUS but I want to start to get a grip on life. I want to be on a particular journey. It’s okay if that journey isn’t planned or set yet, but I need to know I’m at least taking steps down a path.

So for you, here are a few of the things I am going to keep in mind the next few months.

1. be more health conscious. What does this mean? um… stop eating restaurant food EVERY DAY FOR ALL MEALS. Seriously, just because I work in one doesn’t mean I need to eat the food all day/every day. I’ve been getting up just a little bit earlier than normal and making a giant thing of eggs before I depart. I’ve also been making regular grocery store trips for protein/granola bars (the more “organic/good for you” ones!

Most importantly, I’ve stopping having a drink every. single. day. I used to come home from work and have wine. We used to have a beer/shot or a few beers before we left work. I used to do after hours at a specific bar almost every night. HABIT BROKEN!

2. Cooking/blogging more. I really love cooking and blogging. Like, REALLY love it. I love the creativity and physical work in the kitchen and I really enjoy just sitting down and writing later on. If you know me, which most of you don’t, you’d know I’m a talker. I like this form/space for writing because I write the way I speak. Silly, all over the place, happily, childishly. My mouth gets a break and my fingers do the work.

3. reading. I have SO MANY BOOKS IN MY QUEUE and littering my apartment but I just don’t make it a priority. Times, they are a changing.

That’s all for now. These are specific/visual things I am working on by the end of 2014. (Ew, did I really just write that? where did the year go?) They are measurable. They are incredibly attainable. And more importantly, they are the things I actually want to do with myself.

MWUAH! Happy Saturday!

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Potato Chip Reese

I’ve been trying really hard not to eat at the bars/restaurants I work at lately. I’ve been cooking (and taking pictures!) up a storm in my kitchen and am uber excited to show all that to you.

IMG_8693But lately I’ve also had an uber sweet tooth. Not too sure why. I think I got it in my head one day I needed chocolate and have been on a kick ever since. Actually. I know exactly what it is. Last saturday we had an all staff meeting at noon and then had to work from 3pm to 330 am. Because all the bartenders were dragging/exhausted, our amazing bar manager bought us gummy worms, salted peanuts, crackers, and those little mixed hersey candies. nom nom. I OD’ed on sugar/chocolate that night and now am mildly paying the addicts price.

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So I decided I wanted to make homemade reece’s again. But… been there, done that. How could I make them different for you? UM… CRUSH UP LAYS POTATO CHIPS, ADD MORE SALT…. = CRUNCHY/SALTY HOMEMADE REECE’S.

sign me up.

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My recipe actually makes 20 but… I ate a bunch of the raw ingredients and only had enough to make 17. heehee.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup confections sugar
  • 1 package (10 oz) dark chocolate morsels
  • individual size bag (3 oz bags I think?) of Lay’s Potato chips

This recipe is stupid easy. Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or in a water bath on the stove. While the chocolate is melting, crush up the (uneaten) chips into tiny, tiny crumbles. I popped mine into a plastic bag and rolled a rolling pin across for a few times. Once chocolate is completely melted, add chips and thoroughly combine.

In a separate bowl, melt the peanut butter and confections sugar together. it should be on the stiffer side. We want the mixture to be tougher so we can make little balls with it for the inside of the reeces.

Line a mini muffin pan with cupcake liners and spray with baking spray. Put a small dollop of the chocolate/chip (chocolate chip, get it?!) mixture on the bottom of each liner, or until the bottom is completely covered.

With your hands, make a small ball of peanut butter and place it in the center of each Reece’ well. It should be pretty good sized. Almost to the top of the mini muffin tin well so that a thin coat of chocolate on top will bring it level with the pan.

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Top each peanut butter dollop with more chocolate/chip mixture.

Let freeze for about an hour. Let sit and defrost for about 10 minutes so they aren’t rock solid when you try to bite into one. We froze them so they would keep their mold, not become baseballs.

SNACK TIME! Or for me, breakfast time.

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Stuffed Shells

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As I have told you many times before. I am Italian. Well, I’m a mutt but my dad is 100% Italian; which puts that heritage at the top of the percentage list and overall is the one I identify with most. Unless I’m telling someone that I’m part mexican. Then I push that as much as I can. Thanks mom.


For every Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving… holiday or family event there are a couple things that are always present.

  • m&m’s
  • homemade stuffed shells
  • the family

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Normally, my dad makes these a very certain way. Me, being me, changed the recipe. #daughterfail. Have I ever told you how my senior year year of high school I was a peer leader? Normally, every year , the peer leaders write a sort of “vow”.

such as “we will do this” “we don’t do that”. Well, my year, we decided not to do that. Instead, our motto was “winging it responsibly.” I kind of feel like this is my life motto. I never really know where I’m going or what I’m doing. I wing it A LOT.

So back to the stuffed shells. THE GOOD STUFF. I didn’t have time/energy/interest in making sauce from scratch. Sowwy. I used a “traditional sweet basil” combined with “‘meatloaf meat mix” and then made my own filling. I promise you, it’s delish.

Cheese Stuffing Recipe

  • 1/3 Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
  • ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1 package Prince jumbo shells

Meat Sauce

  • 1 package “meatloaf mix”
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced

topping: 1/2 cup parmeasan cheese

I didn’t have time to do the whole thing from scratch so I did a variation of “homemade”

I took the meatloaf mix and sauteed it with half a white onion and 2 gloves of garlic. After the meat had cooked about 90% of the way through, I took it off the heat. I put two ladles full of the meat/sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9″x13″ pan. Then I stuffed each shell with the cheese mixture and placed it in the pan.

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After filling each shell, I put more sauce on top. Finally topped with half a cup parmesan cheese.

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Baked for 20 minute at 350 and BAM! YUMMY SHELLS

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Ohhhh not as good as my dads but dang good.

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Like, DANG GOOD

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Portland, Maine

In my last post I spilled the beans on this new man in my life. He’s quite wonderful. We’ve been together for 6 months and he’s pretty much commandeered the right side of my apartment. I love it.

Maybe I’ll give you more of the skinny on him / how we met in a later post… just maybe :p

earlier this week, we went on our first vacation together. We went to Portland, Maine for 4 days. At first we only planned on staying 3 days and 2 nights. Once we got there, we fell in love with the city in its entirety, we decided to stay another night.

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As I’m sure you know, we both work/run different bars. So we went to a few brewery’s whose beer we each carry. First we went to Peak Organic, one of my favorite brewery’s. At my bar, I used to carry Peak Organic Pomegranate Wheat. SO DELISH! Man-friends bar carries a few of their brews. Primarily their Nut Brown, Fresh Cut, and their IPA. Awesome beer. We got such an amazing tour and tried some uncorroborated beers. How unusual!

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We also did the amazing Duck Fat. How could you not love a place called DUCK FAT?! Their sandwiches (cured meats), poutine and milk shakes were to die for.

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And they had this word magnetic board. UHHH DUH, AMAZING

allagash[allagash brewery. holy smokes. If you ever have the chance to try Neddles. DO IT. DO IT AND DON’T LOOK BACK! it’s a sour brown ale aged in rum barrels. duh, ENOUGH SAID]

Cape Elizabeth

Lastly, we went to Cape Elizabeth to see the lighthouse and view. Awesome afternoon trip.

 

 

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Chorizo-Veggie Egg Cups

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Guess who’s back, guess who’s back…. guess who’s backkkkkkk?

So many different things have been going on. The new bar, new boyfriend, finding a new apartment. Traveling a wee-bit to new cities and towns in New England. You know, life happened.

And I have about 8 recipes/posts all built in here as Drafts that I haven’t uploaded. So I decided to start with this awesome breakfast and we’ll go from there. Deal? deal.

Oh, also, amazing boyfriend bought me the most ridiculous Cuisinart and I loooooove it and pretty much use it every day. I also recently learned how to use the attachments, hence this post. I used the shredder attachment which is how I made the little veggie/chorizo nests for the egg!

Ingredients

  • -1/2 zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 summer squash, shredded
  • -1 chorizo link, shredded
  • 1/2 white/vidalia onion, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt, pepper

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Shred the both squashes, chorizo and onion. Empty into a paper towel and squeeze all the liquid out. If you have the time, let it sit for a minute after you squeeze, then squeeze the last of the moister out using a new paper towel.

In an ovenproof pan, empty your mixture, chili powder, paprika and salt, pepper and saute for 7-10 minutes or until cooked through. Add the Parmesan cheese and cook for another minute. Next, form the mixture into two little “nests.” I just used my spoon to shape it. Start with two circles and then gently press down in the middle creating a divot. This is for your egg to live!

Squirt a tiny amount of olive oil in the bottom of the nest. It helps with the cooking of the egg. Probably only about a teaspoon worth. Crack each egg into the center of the “nest.” Toss a little bit of salt and pepper on top. Bake in oven at 350 for roughly 5-10 min (until the egg whites have turned white and there is some form to your egg yolk. I LOVE running yolk but my man-friend doesn’t love it as much… so I let it cook a little longer.

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It’ll smell SO GOOD.

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Let these cool for a minute once out of the oven. Cut them apart completely with a knife, then using a spatula, scoop each one out of the pan and straight into your mouth onto a plate. I served mine with some fresh fruit! yippee!

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Honey BBQ Frito Baked Chicken Fingers

Two back to back posts?! Man! Being unemployed blows. Not that I don’t love cooking and blogging for you guys. But really, I am SO BORED. I am so incredibly ready to start working.

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Right now, my life mainly includes going to different bars and going out to eat. All. The. Time. I am so tired of it. I need structure and work and new people. I buy things for my apartment and keep running up my credit card bill. It’s really quite lovely.

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I told you last week that I’ve been going to my parents house and cooking things for them. I sneak in in the afternoon, do laundry, cook a bunch of things, sometimes see them if they come home early enough and then escape like a thief in the night. Escape with clean clothes, leftovers, generally a pan or something weird that I need for my apartment.

fritos

Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken tenders, about 8 pieced
  • 2 cups uncrushed chips, then crush
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs + ¼ cup milk
  • salt and pepper

First, clean all the fatty parts off the chicken tenders and set aside.

Next, put your Honey BBQ Fritos in a large zip lock bag. Using a rolling pin, crush up the chips until they almost resemble breadcrumbs. Next, add your breadcrumbs into the zip lock bag and give a few shakes to combine thoroughly.

Set up 3 bowls, assembly line style. In the first bowl place your flour, salt and pepper. In the second bowl whisk together your eggs and milk. In the third bowl add your chip/breadcrumb mixture.

batter

Start by covering each chicken tender with flour. Set aside for a few minutes. Setting the chicken aside helps all the coating stay on. Next dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture. Let the chicken sit in the mixture for 30-60 seconds. Put each piece of chicken in the chip mixture and really pack the chip onto each piece. Make sure it sticks on it.

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Lay each piece of chicken on a cooling rack set on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20-25 min at 350 or until chicken is cooked through.

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I used ranch dressing as the dipping sauce. YUM YUM

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