Sunday, November 28, 2010

25 years later.....

1985 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon
----a gift for my 25th birthday from my parents :)
Enjoyed with my sister over episode after episode of GLEE - our favorite show!
don't mind the still tasted like silk

Happy Sunday!

...from two VERY happy pups!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

{a very happy thanksgiving to you and yours}

*via style notes

I am thankful for....A-Z

Madeleine's A-Z list of things that I am thankful for....

a - adulthood - apparently i'm in that age group now
b - big bottles of Barefoot Chardonnay
c - claire!! - best sissy ever
d - david yurman - needs no explanation
e - etsy - so many talented designers in one place
f - friends and family- i have the best ones (especially my parents and my sister!!)
g - GLEE!!! - this is probably what i'm most thankful for....
h - happy hour with friends - nothing better than spending time with your friends over a few less expensive-than-usual drinks
i - italy - and all of the amazing adventures that we had when we studied there
j - job - i am SO thankful to have a job that i love
k - kitchenaid products - including but not limited to my mixer, blender, food processor, toaster oven, knife set and immersion blender
l - lebanese food - still learning how to make it...
m - memories - i have so many, mostly good, some bad. i am thankful to have the ability to remember so much
n - nutella - nom nom nom.
o - outdoor seating/patios - i loveee sitting outside in the summertime - people watching is so much better when there isn't a window between you and the old man in short shorts
p - potluck dinner with the girls - delicious food, great company, decent wine :)
q - quirks - and people who can appreciate all of the quirks that i have....
r - responsibility - it's a new concept to me, but i am thankful that it's not as hard as i thought it would be
s - Silver Oak Winery and the 1985 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon that me and my sister just shared
t - TSA - and their new naked bomb scanner - whatever keeps us all safe!
u - universal remotes - sienna has eaten 3 of mine so far.
v - virginia tech - because it's the most amazing place in the world
w - wilson blvd - i live off of it AND work off of it.
x - xenophobia - my dog has it. i have to deal with it.
y - yellow - i loooooove the color yellow, especially marigold, mustard and dandelion shades
z - zoom - the zoom feature on my Canon is UNREAL

*last year's post

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bobbie Allen!!

Isn't she gorgeous?? I can't wait until Bobbie's EP comes out (cross your fingers for January!!)

Not many people our age get to play at The Birchmere - it's legendary. Congrats on an amazing show, Bobbie!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bobbie Allen!!

Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.

Good luck tonight, Bobbie!! I can't wait for you to sing us some beautiful songs at the Birchmere! :)

I hope you all have something equally as fun planned!

Update: michelle posted about her toooooo!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

kate spade gift guide - i die.

i'm dying over kate spade today...and every day!

those "hi 5" mittens might just be at the top of my christmas list - i LOVE high 5s!!

Lovely Day

...i'd replace the tea with some coffee, and it will indeed be a lovely day :)


Friday, November 12, 2010


RIP Marc - I can't believe it's been three years. I still wait for texts from him that say "what's up ho? I'm in town, let's drink beers." - haha he was hilarious (and despite saying "ho", Marc was actually a VERY sweet guy - we met in 6th grade when i moved to darnestown, briefly dated in high school and stayed good friends through college)

To keep sane and cope, my family and I keep in touch with the Cocozzella family year-round. We love to get together to drink wine, make pizza in their imported italian pizza oven (seriously.), talk about good times with Marc, and continue to create new memories. They are the most amazingly strong, caring and kind really upsets me to see such a terrible thing happen to such great people.

I always keep you and your family in my prayers, Marc....11.12.07. Until we meet again...

How do you cope with the loss of a good friend?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Healthier Samosa!

YUM! I love this take on a healthier Samosa from *Guy Friendly-Girl Envied!! Pop over to her blog for a healthy take on some GREAT recipes!!

**note: i used way more spice, only because i love it!


Glee Teenage Dream


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes
(slightly adapted from *Noble Pig)
makes 12.

1-1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 Granny Smith or Rome apples (about 1 pound), peeled and shredded
1-1/2 cups chewy caramel candies
1 Tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350o F. Line a cupcake pan with baking liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Grate your apples to ensure you'll get apple with every bite of caramel (I just got a brand new kitchenaid food processor and it minced my apples in about 4 pulses...obsesseddddd!!!) In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugars until smooth. Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the apples.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until almost full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

In a small, microwavable bowl, combine the caramels and milk. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each one until caramel is melted and smooth. Dip cupcakes upside down into caramel and let cool.

ENJOY!! these taste like fall and are so delicious! once the caramel icing settles, it gives the cupcake a texture of bread pudding. so moist and wonderful! :)

Nutella Marshmallow Puff Pastry

Nutella Marshmallow Puff Pastry
(slightly adapted from *Picky Palate)

1 package puff pastry, 2 pastry sheets thawed

1 Cup Nutella spread

1 Cup mini marshmallows

Egg white wash: 1 egg white whisked with 1 Tablespoon water

Powdered sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut each square of pastry into 4 equal size pieces (I trimmed mine just a little). Spread a couple tablespoons of Nutella spread onto the center of each pastry leaving 1/2 inch border around edges. Top each with about 12-15 mini marshmallows and fold over to form a little triangle. Crimp edges firmly with the tines of a fork. Brush with egg white wash then sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until pastry just turns golden. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes, sprinkle with powdered sugar then dig in!

8 pockets

ya'll, Picky Palate NEVER steers me wrong! These were absolutely delicious, and like she says, do yourself a favor and head to the store immediately to buy the ingredients (all three of them:) ).

what picky palate doesn't mention is how finicky puff pastry is!! talk about hard work! despite the ugly appearance of some of the final products, they were REALLY tasty and still a huge hit with my coworkers!! i'd make these again, perhaps with pillsbury croissants or biscuits, because they are easier to work with!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Candy Cookies!

Dinner: Spiced Steak and Green Beans with Bacon

Steak with Garlic, Horseradish and Mustard

(inspired from *here)

  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard


1. Prepare grill.

2. Marinate beef in mixture of garlic, horseradish, mustard and worchestorshire sauce. sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Place beef on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Reduce heat to medium. Grill 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145° or until desired degree of doneness, turning to brown on all sides. Let beef stand 10 minutes. Slice beef.

Green Beans with Turkey Bacon

  • 3 handfuls of green beans (great measuring tool....)
  • 5 slices of turkey bacon (you can use real bacon if you are feeling frisky)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • s&p
  1. heat evoo in a skillet-type pan. add bacon, lay flat. when bacon is crisp, remove and add green beans to the pan. add garlic. saute for about 5 mins, or until desired texture is reached. chop bacon into little pieces and add it back into the pan. mix and serve :)

*i suggest using a grill for the steak, i used a pan and it never turns out the way i want it to!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Thursday night games in Lane Stadium are the BEST!
i believe.

Sienna is on bed rest!

who would have ever thought we'd have to put the MOST ACTIVE pup in the world on bed rest?!?!

welp, the little sucker has been playing too rough for about three weeks and seems to have developed a limp/sometimes walks on three legs. it got bad enough that we (my sister) decided to take her to the vet (normally we tell her to walk it off....she IS a ninja afterall....). they first informed us that it was a) lymes disease or b) ACL injury. AWESOME - both will set me back over $1000. after her evaluation - where she attempted to bite the vet tech (yay red flagged folder) - they told us that she doesn't have lymes and that it was probably just a muscle strain that she hasn't recovered from yet. the vet prescribed some pain pills and bed rest for a week...

....she seems to be taking it well :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fresh Tomato Salsa!

i'm kicking myself for not posting this earlier! not only is this SO healthy and fresh, it's amazing. i eat it with a spoon until its all gone, and then i drink the juice.....(too far? nah). i make it at least every two's my go-to side item!

Fresh Tomato Salsa
(i only make large batches)

7-8 roma tomatoes - or 2-3 hothouse tomatoes (i go with whats cheaper/in season), diced
1 1/2 large red onion, diced
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of about 6 limes
1 aji amarillo pepper (or any latin pepper....peruvian ones just give it a great taste and kick), finely chopped
s&p to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and serve! it's great on fish, with corn or pita chips, on chicken, or all alone!


Adobo Chicken with Chipotle Salsa

Adobo Chicken with Chipotle Salsa
(slightly adapted from

4 turkey bacon slices
3 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon Adobo powder (any Goya Adobo product of your choice)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chipotle salsa (i got the harris teeter brand!)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp evoo
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 and chop your bell pepper. sprinkle with s&p and evoo and place in an even layer in a pan. Roast in oven for 15-20. (Or just buy roasted red peppers in a bottle.)

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with a bit of EVOO until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; crumble and set aside. Sprinkle chicken with adobo and black pepper. Add chicken to bacon drippings in pan; sauté 2 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan.

Add onion, coriander, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes.

Stir in salsa and bell peppers. Return chicken to pan. Cover and cook over medium heat 12 minutes or until chicken is done.

Sprinkle with crumbled bacon; garnish with cilantro, if desired.


funny story about this - thank god i made three chicken breasts (one for me, one for sis, one for lunch the next day) - because as i went to take my first bite of the chicken, my ENTIRE plate just flipped onto my lap/the carpet. well if that isn't the most amazingly inconvenient thing to happen as you are about to take your first bite, then i don't know what is. my dog had a minor heart attack with excitement. unfortunately, she didn't get anything until leftovers because there were onions in the meal...sorry pup!

anyway - this is so filling and so healthy! i suggest you try it for yourself!

Pumpkin Apple Spice Cake!

best part about this recipe: TWO main ingredients! how much easier does it get?! YAY - I was sold the second i saw the picture *HERE at Noble Pig (how fitting!).

Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze
(Slightly adapted from *Noble Pig)

For the Cake:
1 Sugar Free Yellow Cake Mix
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree

For the Glaze:
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons apple cider
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Empty the contents of the boxed cake mix and pumpkin puree into a large bowl. Using a hand-mixer or stand mixer beat until well incorporated. The batter will be very thick, but will come together nicely.

Pour batter into a greased pan - mine was slightly large, so i ended up with a thinner cake. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. feel feel to make it thicker, just be sure to use the toothpick method to be sure its baked properly. Bake longer if needed, but pay attention - you don't want to overbake it!!

Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then flip onto a platter.

Make the glaze while you're waiting.

Combine powdered sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice. Glaze should be thick but pourable. Add more sugar or cider if needed. Pour over the cake while still warm. Reserve some to pour over each slice when served.

Serve warm or room temperature.

this recipe was fun, simple, and delicious! the roommates devoured it SO FAST! i can't wait to make this again for a potluck or a girl's dinner! everyone was amazed at how moist it was and how quickly it was prepared. everyone from the most elite foodie to the most amateur baker can enjoy this recipe!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Snookin' for Love

snooki and jwow lookin' reallll good

tweedle dee and tweedle dum - SO cute and creative!

all the girls dressed up! katy perry, ghetto girl, jwow, deviled egg, tweedle dee and tweedle dum, a hunter, and snooks!

jwow and snooks!

happy halloween - i hope yours was as hilarious as mine was!