Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Because I am a forgetful girlfriend

i jazzed up a really pretty photo about three weeks ago for the boy for Valentine's Day - it's cheesy, but cute. Good thing I forgot to print it - or even tell him about it - until today. what a gem of a gf I am!

Happy Valentine's Day, baby, even if it's three days late! :)

Because work is taking over my life

hey guys, work has been a whirlwind this week after the huge snowfall last week! we have been non-stop getting ready for a huge conference next week, and my days at work no longer involve long lunch hours reading blogs :)

however, here is some eye candy !

be back with more this week, i promise!

dreamin' of some fun, sunny days in Florida all of next week!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bay House Weekend!

Hi bloggy friends!

this weekend, me and the boyf are headed to my parents' bay house with a few friends!

I seriously can't wait, and I'm SERIOUSLY hoping the roads are much would it suck to drive 3 hrs and have to walk a mile with a dog and crapton of groceries? in 3 ft of snow. oh...i don't even want to think about it!

both photos by my papi!!

on the menu this weekend:

Boyf's french toast - it's to die for, i dont know how he does it...i always mess up!
Pasta with Arugula and Tomatoes - from snowmageddon
Pan-Seared Scallops on Linguine with Tomato-Cream Sauce - for valentine's day!
Flank Steak with Chimichurri sauce and my dads Garlic Jasmine rice ( good)

and so many other delicious things! I'll be sure to post new recipes next week, lovlies!

shameless plug, my dad's rental properties! don't bother looking unless you have money to spend! I know I can't afford it!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!!!!!! I hope you all have AMAZING weekends, from what i've read/stalked on your blogs, everyone looks like they have perfect plans :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pasta with Arugula and Tomatoes

Pasta with Arugula and Tomatoes

adapted from here**


photo from the website - we gobbled ours up to quickly!! woopsies!

Pasta with Arugula and Tomatoes


1 pound pasta (i used a shell type pasta, and for the life of me can't remember the name)
3 cups cherry tomatoes (about 1 pound), rinsed (i used regular tomatoes for extra juice)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tsp (at least) chili powder
1/2 pound arugula
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano


1. Chop the tomatoes up into half-inch pieces. Pour the olive oil into a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes until they have softened, about five minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Sprinkle in a few tablespoons of salt. When boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the direction on the box.

3. Turn the skillet with the tomatoes back to medium high, and then toss in the pasta.. Stir together, and cook for a minute or so, adding some of the reserved pasta water if it is too dry. Add the fresh arugula and toss, coating the arugula with the mixture. Season with extra salt and freshly grated cheese.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis and Food Network
*via the SoHo

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened - i used light, salted
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese - i used part skim
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Makes about 44 cookies. (ok...i made them way too big, but still DELISH!!)

mine had the perfect consistency of "Madeleine Cookies" - the little french coffee cookies! also - my name! how fitting!

Shrimp and Scallop Orzo with Cherry Tomatoes

OMG. that is all i have to say about this recipe.

Shrimp and Scallop Orzo with Cherry Tomatoes and Romano Cheese

adapted from here**


  • 1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta) ** i used a box - feeding lots of hungry shovelers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound Sea Scallops, halved **bay scallops work fine too, i just dislike them
  • 1 chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic ** i used way more, like usual
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 *container cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil ** i used way more


Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat (or don't omit...whatevs).
While pasta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper evenly over shrimp. Add shrimp to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. Do the same with the scallops. instructions how to pan sear them here**.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes, and cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Stir in pasta and shrimp; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, cheese, and basil.
some comments received:
"omg mads, this is UNREAL"
"mads, seriously, this is the best thing you've ever cooked"
"mads, make this again. tomorrow"

Please forgive me!

as you can see above, DC has been stuck under about 3 ft of snow!! I found this picture at the Prince of Petworth Blogsite, isn't it beautiful?

After my 4-day-long hiatus, I'll be posting quite a few deliciousssss recipes today! All this snow has me cooking up a storm!

I can't wait to get out of the house!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Guinness Battered Cod and Onion Rings

Superbowl Sunday = greasy goodness

After being snowed in all weekend, I had a major itch to cook, and with limited ingredients. Found this awesome recipe and substituted Guinness - turned out to be some of the best onion rings i've ever had.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling on onion rings and fish
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Guinness Beer
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced into 1/2-in.-thick rings
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless cod fillets, rinsed and cut into 2- by 4-in. pieces


1. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper, egg, and beer in a large bowl.

2. In a 6- to 8-qt. pot, heat 2 in. of oil to 375° over medium-high heat. Add onion to batter, turn to coat well, then put several onion rings in pot (do not crowd). Cook, turning often, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a rack set over a sheet pan, and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining onions.

3. Allow oil to return to 375° and skim to remove any batter bits. Add fish to batter and turn to coat well. Cook fish in hot oil, turning and holding down as needed, until deep golden brown, about 7 minutes. Drain on rack and sprinkle with salt.

not the prettiest food, but SOO yummy!

Champagne & Cupcakes

Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream Icing
adapted from here*

Champagne Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup champagne
  • 6 egg whites
  • optional: food-dye (i like purple!)

Sweet Champagne Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 3 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature


To Make The Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a cupcake pan with liners. (This recipe yielded about 20 for me.)

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne.

In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

To Make The Frosting:

With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes. Add rum extract and champagne, beating on medium for another minute.

so sloppy, but pretty!

don't forget to **pop the bubbly** while you are making these little treats!

Chili-Roasted Cod and Garlic Asparagus

Chili-Roasted Cod
adapted from here**

1 lb cod filets
chili powder
juice of 1 lime

Heat oven to 450°F. Lightly coat a roasting pan with vegetable cooking spray. Arrange the cod fillets skin-side down. Sprinkle with the chili powder, s&p, and drizzle evoo. Roast 5 to 7 minutes or until the cod is just opaque and flakes when tested with a fork.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, swirling constantly, just until the butter begins to brown. Add the cumin and lime juice and continue to cook, swirling 1 minute longer.

Remove the cod from the oven. Set aside half the cod for another use. Drizzle the cumin-lime butter over the remaining cod. Serve.

Garlic Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus (skinny or fat, doesnt matter, longer cooking time for fat)
1 bigass tbsp of garlic (i use more, cause i'm garlicky like that)
2 tbsp evoo

heat evoo and add garlic. when fragrant, add asparagus. s&p as desired. stir up to make sure aspragus is covered in evoo and garlic. cook for 5 mins!

how easy is that meal? enjoy!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

photo love

that is incredible photography!

...soo true. i hate the pink ones! looooove the blue ones!

what a sweet sign :)

**if only i could document where i find these...oops

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Turkey and Bean Chili

while i hate following directions (with a passion), i have to admit that i followed this one pretty closely, minus the spices. they are the only thing i changed (added way more), besides adding more beans.

Turkey and Bean Chili

**photo via


1 cup prechopped red onion ** i used yellow, it was what i had in the fridge
1/3 cup chopped seeded poblano pepper (about 1) -- ** i used ancho chili powder instead, my safeway is ghetto
1 chopped seeded green pepper ** i added this
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic ** at least 2. at least.
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
1 tablespoon chili powder **2-3
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin **2-3
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can chili beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (i prob used more)
6 lime wedges

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add first 5 ingredients; cook for 6 minutes or until turkey is done, stirring frequently to crumble. Stir in chili powder and next ingredients (through broth); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

so now that i read all my changes...i guess i just followed a general guideline. but whatevs. :) The final product looks exactly like the photo above, just add sour cream :)

repeat dish for SURE!

Wine Wednesday

Happy Wine Wednesday!

Today, I decided to switch to red.

Mark West Pinot Noir - Oregon

Tasting Notes
: Color: Deep dark ruby translucent. Aromas: Pomegranate, baking spice, bacon fat (I would have guessed there was some Syrah in this one due to this aroma) and forest. The mouthfeel is light-to-medium-bodied, easy, dry but not drying. Tart pomegranate and cola flavors are actually fairly lush and finish well. 13.8% alcohol content.
Runs from $10.95-13.
for the taste, it's a great value for the average 20-something.

mmmm mmm! makes me want to cook up something delicious!

Superfood x2

I have a couple wonderful, healthy recipes to share with you bloggy friends today!!

first up:
Quinoa, Black bean, Edamame & Chicken salad

alright friends, don't be intimidated by this, it requires some time mgmt, but it's so worth it!


2 chicken breasts, in cubes
1 chopped medium onion
1 chopped red pepper (yellow and orange work well too!)
1 tbsp evoo
2/3 cup red quinoa - SUPERFOOD!
1 1/3 cup of chicken stock (or water. or vegetable stock. you're choice)
1 bag of Steamables edamame (soy beans) - SUPERFOOD!
1 can black beans
2 lemons (juice)
2 tbsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp minced garlic
s&p to taste

combine first 4 ingredients in a pan, cook through. add garlic after 5 minutes. be sure to stir, you don't want that garlic to burn!
while the chicken is cooking, prepare the quinoa. prepare as directed on the package - bring stock to boil, add quinoa, stir, reduce to simmer - 15 minutes cook time is standard.

steam edamame as directed on package. if necessary, remove from pods.

while waiting for chicken and quinoa, (see??...time mgmt...) in a separate bowl, add black beans, edamame, basil (to your liking), lemon juice, lemon rind, and s&p.

when the chicken mixture and quinoa are cooked, add to the bowl. mix well, s&p to taste. serve hot, warm, or cold :)


i'll have to post a picture next time, friends!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kitchen Essentials

really, Dean & Deluca? you just had to go there, didn't you?

i want.

considering the price, i may have to save up. $165 for the 40-spice rack, $105 for the 21-spice rack.
i want 40, i want it now.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Motivation

“I’m not going to call it working out. I’m going to call it horror movie training. You never know when you’ll need to run.”

My new motivation.

I am going to Florida for work (read: FUN!) in a short 20 days - I am heading south for a FULL WEEK despite the fact that my conference is only three days. You see, little old me was selected as Aide de Camp (read: head honcho's biotch) so I am taking my position with pride (read: I don't care what my role is, I want Flo-ridaaaa) and all of the perks that come with it (read: RITZ CARLTON, BABBYY!!!)

things to look forward to:
  • hanging out with some of my FAVORITE co-workers - seriously, they are awesome
  • face time with the big dogs - this is important to me and it's an amazing opportunity
  • learning more about my industry and company - i suppose i'll need to read up on Army speak
  • sun
  • sand (is there a beach in ft. lauderdale? i have no idea where it is?)
  • a drink in my hand
  • no problemssss (too far?? haha)
things to be scared of:
  • errors -
  • the big dogs - I need to be ON MY GAME this week, I can do it!
  • bathing suit season is TOO soon. and I am taf (spell "fat" backwards - it's SO much nicer sounding. and funny)
motivation to stay on track with my healthier me: florida. horror movie training.

Monday Morning

It was another snowy weekend here in DC! can't believe we've had two big ones so far!

wishing i was at home in my cozy bed with:

a little cup of hot chocolate! these cloud marshmallows are so cuteee!
a soft and pretty alpaca throw:
a sweet scented candle:

and a good book:

ooooh steal my weekends away from me!

I Choose Love

Pop over to my friend Erin's blog for a GREAT way to look at the month of February!

You should also take the time to read the rest of her blog, she is awesome! also - leave comments for her to post more.....hahaha

Happy Monday, lovlies!