Monday, January 31, 2011

i love my little!

my other little sister, sparks!
it had been far too long since we saw each other! amazing to reunite :) miss you already, little!

Tabbouleh and Pan Seared Scallops


ya'll - get off your butts and make this tabbouleh ASAP! it's that good. thank god its healthy, because i ate the entire batch in less than two days. ya, it's like that.

i found the recipe on Gimme Some Oven (one of my favorites!!) I didnt even bother adapting it (except for like...doubling it) because it looked so perfect! topped it with some fat free feta cheese, and boom. amazing.


  • 1/2 cup bulgur (a.k.a. cracked wheat)
  • 2 cups of water or chicken stock
  • 2-3 cups of curly parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of mint, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of scallions, finely chopped
  • 3-4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • juice of half of one lemon (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
In a large bowl, pour 2 cups of boiling water (or chicken stock) over the bulgur.  Let it sit for 30-60 minutes until softened, and then strain the bulgur through a fine-mesh strainer.
Then combine the prepared bulgur, parsley, mint, scallions, and tomatoes in a large bowl. 
tabbouleh pre-bulgur addition
Add oil and lemon juice, and stir until well mixed.  Add salt to taste.
Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to one day.

 Pan Seared Scallops

pan-searched in the tabbouleh mixture
1/2 lb of  ocean scallops (for two people this was about 4 medium sized scallops each)
1/3 cup of tabbouleh mixture (minus the bulgur wheat)

combine scallops and tabbouleh mixture and let them marinate while you prepare the tabbouleh.  heat a pan and sear scallops on each side for 2-3 minutes until they are white (instead of opaque).
scallops in the pan

serve immediately.

ENJOY! (i know you will!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow Dazzeeee

it looked light out at around 11pm!! crazy! haha leigh...creepin' through the streets

me and casey taking part in the redneck tradition of porch sitting while we watched the other girls clean off their cars

kisses for puppy!

high five, mom! give me the biscuit!

Valentine's Day Collage

{click on the picture, then right click and set to desktop background}

all images *via

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Day!

our pretty little snowy tree!

5501 snow day!

we lost power last night for about 6 or 7 hours, soooo naturally we filled up our wine glasses to the brim and had a dance party - trance, hiphop, pop - you name it, we danced to it. about 30 candles were lit all over our house and we had our own little winter wonderland! so much fun!! and now we are celebrating the snow with a SNOW DAY!!!! i'm making the best damn tortilla soup you'll ever have....hope ya'll enjoy the day as much as we do!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bobbie Allen!

YAY we got to see Bobbie perform again last night at Galaxy Hut in Arlington with 8 other very talented musicians! 
i love having a wonderful friend with such talent! :)

can't wait for next time!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I hope you have a very happy weekend full of amazing plans!

Tonight we are celebrating the birthday of Miss Abby at Martins in Georgetown! Then we are going out on the town - and braving the 17 degree DC weather!

In the morning we are all waking up and going to Ashton's baby shower! Ahhh little Charlotte is going to be here SO soon! :) can't wait to meet her!

AND to top off the weekend - Kate is taking a weekend off of chef school (CIA in NY) and coming to see us...YAY for sunday brunch at Chadwicks...$20 brunch AND endless champagne, don't mind if i do!!!!

i'm very excited for a fun-filled weekend with the girls!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shrimp and Shiritaki Noodles

let's just start with me saying how hesitant i was to buy these noodles. i read about this recipe *here at Guy Friendly - Girl Envied.  she posts delicious, hearty recipes with a healthy twist, it's a great food blog!  when reading the recipe, i noticed they were tofu noodles, and that apparently, they smell and are expensive.  ewww, who wants smelly, expensive food? with that being said, the smell wasn't horrible, and the packages were $1.99 per 8oz, which truly isn't that bad, it just seems like a lot to pay for "pasta."  so yay for proving my negative self wrong!

i jazzed up the recipe using Pampered Chef Thai Red Curry spiced shrimp and it was filling and delicious! i also changed up the veggies, but the essential ingredients are the same.

Shiritaki Noodles with Spicy Thai Shrimp

5 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter
1/2 cup lower sodium chicken stock
3 tbsp rice vinegar
5 cloves minced garlic
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce (any hot sauce to you like)
3 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cups diced zuchinni
1 1/2 cups diced yellow squash
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 lb medium peeled shrimp
2 tbsp Pampered Chef Thai Red Curry Spice (or any thai mix, really)
3 8-oz packets shiritaki noodles
when i read the original recipe, i found some good advice about the shiritaki noodles. 1) you'll find them at whole foods in the refrigerated tofu section. 2) take the noodles and drain and rinse them. then boil them for 3 minutes. it will remove any odor that came with them.  

prepare the sauce in a microwave container. use all ingredients from peanut butter through ginger. microwave for about a minute, and stir. (ew sorry for the heinous pre-picture!)

meanwhile, spray pam on a skillet pan large enough to fit all of the shrimp. heat the pan and cook shrimp for a few minutes on each side until pink. do not overcook the shrimp, test them as you go!

in a deeper pot, add zuchini, squash and peas and a bit of chicken stock. cook for about 5-7 minutes. (once again, ew to the picture. it was dark and gross out)

toss all ingredients together in the deeper pot and serve!

don't be turned off by the large ingredient list, it's actually a simple recipe that i think you will really enjoy!

Yum! annnnd again, picture is gross, food is delish! i was too hungry to clean up my mess - typical.
happy cooking!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Beer dinner with Kelley

last tuesday, HH with kelley turned into aggressive beer dinner at The Lighthorse in Alexandria, VA. i started going there because one of my really good friends works there!  if you have never been - go! the food is great, and the beer/wine dinner pairings are even better! every month or so, they have a distributor come in and their chefs create a course that matches the alcohol pairing. they have young, creative chefs, and i highly recommend it!

isn't alexandria precious in the winter time??

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

54 days!


sun and the sand :)

as a family, we try to go every year (since me and sissy were born) - and last year i had to miss it! obviously, im SO excited to have this trip booked already for march!! :) yayayayayaya!

sister sister!!

my SUPER sister! sister squared!
like my hat?!!? i dooooo!

love these little ones!

<3 throbs! (had no idea there was a tv behind us???)

SK lovers :) waaahh i wish they all lived here all the time!

lots of the girls were in town this weekend and it was amazing to see them and catch up!! we had plenty of stories to pass around, it had been since september for most of us!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

switching to the dark side....

i don't really think that virginia is the "dark side" (obviously, i've lived here for three years now, seven if you include college)...but coming from maryland, i am pretty upset that insurance FINALLY figured out that i live in virginia and they are requiring me to get a virginia driver's license.

{via *google images}
for those who haven't seen the new virginia licenses - they are the ones where you are not allowed to smile with teeth.  awesomely awkward.  the fuster fam face was made to smile with teeth, we don't do the whole no teeth smile...its just not cute. most of my friends look like pedophiles in their that's fun.

besides the whole no-teeth-smile - i am also not thrilled that i have to switch for extremely shallow reasons that have no sense of truth at all.  my md license says that i weigh 102 pounds (i really weighed 105 when i got it, but someone messed it up and im not complaining).  virginia licenses don't show weight - which im not complaining about either....but for some reason, that 102 made me happy - despite it being from like 10 years ago....hahaaa

wish me luck. i'll be waiting in line all afternoon at the dmv.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Here's to trying new things....

given my past with food....i've grown WAY more adventurous over the years. i didn't even eat fish from 2nd grade through college - but now i am obsessed. the thought of mussels and oysters used to make me sick to my stomach...but now i love both of them and would choose to eat them over many other things.  i used to think that radishes and parsnips were repulsive...but now i love including them in my dishes....funny how things change.

a few things i still can't manage to enjoy - despite how many times i've tried them - are mushrooms, clams, beets, and olives.

i can't even begin to count how many times i've tried mushrooms. fried, cooked, uncooked, in meals, on pizza, in mini quiches.....and i've liked them a grand total of ONCE...and that was in san fransisco....on the other coast. but i am willing to keep exploring the wide world of mushrooms - i am convinced that i will eventually like them. my dad and most of my best friends are obsessed with i have to be too (it makes sense in my head).

beets taste like feet. but they have amazing health benefits and i want to like them. so i am going to try to cooking them on my own - i usually like things the way i prepare them more anyway....any good recipe ideas? i keep reading (wear an apron....they will stain everything. wear gloves, they will stain your hands. blah blah blah - sounds like a hot mess.)

clams taste like rubber. i dont see myself liking them any time in the near future, but the last time i had them, i didn't hate here's to hoping! as for making these myself, i am still venturing into the seafood cooking world, and i've heard the cook time is harder to estimate. i don't want to fail and be turned off i'll leave the clam cooking to the pros :)

as for olives.....i still gag at the smell and i could never wrap my head around the various textures. never. my dad once convinced me that olive bread was raisin bread...thinking i would at least try it. well i did, and i threw up in the kitchen sink. thanks, pops....enjoy cleaning that up.

have you challenged yourself to enjoy something that you generally dislike?  a lot of foodies say to try things several different ways before you completely dismiss it....and that's what i plan to do this year! any suggestions on how to go about this are more than welcome!

Snow Day??

we are expecting snow tonight.....wear your pajamas inside out and do a dance! crossing my fingers for a day off work :)

(eeeks i dont remember where i got this picture!)


A few weeks ago, my uncle Phil took me and Claire to the Ravens/Bengals game (which they won!!)!

me, our cousin Gabby, and sissy! (forgive the sleepy eyes, it was a 1pm game...meaning we had to wake up WAY TOO EARLY for a weekend!!)

us with Uncle Phil!!

just a few rows back....not too shabby for season tickets :) thanks, Uncle Phil!!!!!!!!!
Now we are routing for them in the playoffs! I hope they crush the Steelers this coming weekend!!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recipe: Crab and Chive Puffs

I made these for dinner on Christmas Day! For the past 15 or so years, our best family friends - The Matthews, invite our family over on Christmas for dinner. It's the best tradition - mostly because they are awesome, but also because it gets us out of doing other family things...which we've usually had enough of by Christmas day.

Since we were using them as appetizers for entertaining, of course I went to Noble Pig. I am slowly working my way through their entire recipebook...everything is awesome.  These were SUPER simple, very pleasing to the eye, and also very tasty! I don't think I'd do anything different, and I will definitely be making them again soon!

Crab and Chive Puffs
(adapted to make them slightly more healty from *Noble Pig)

2 sheets frozen puff pastry (a 17.3 ounce box), thawed
4 ounces fat free cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 chopped fresh chives, more for garnish
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound lump crabmeat

Heat oven to 400o F.  Using a 2" inch-cookie cutter, cut the pastry into rounds.  Place on 2-parchment-lined baking sheets. (I used a champagne flute as the cookie cutter, and just greased my pans! worked just as well)

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Fold in the crab.

Dividing evenly, spoon the crab mixture onto the pastry rounds (about 2 teaspoons each).  Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the pastries are golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with more chives and serve hot.

ENJOY!!! happy entertaining!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

yay for 2011 being a great year for everyone!

Recipe: Baked Artichoke Ravioli


I did some cooking over my "winter break"! We had lots of dinner parties to attend and I contributed where I could after coasting along without making a thing all these years.

These were originally found on Noble Pig, but due to a lack of resources at the grocery store right before christmas, and a lack of resources at my parents new house, I had to switch them up a bit (with my dad's help of course!!)

They turned out crispy on the edges, and soft in the middle. The perfect combo! The flavor was great - I added more cayenne pepper (because I like to overseason everything) and it worked really well.  Next time, I'd add a little bit less red pepper, as it's a very overpowering flavor!


Cooking spray
16 wonton wrappers
1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheese
4 oz. fat-free cream cheese 
1/4 teapsoon cayenne pepper
1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons sweet red pepper, chopped
7 oz canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley

1 lb of turkey bacon, chopped and crispy

 Preheat oven to 350o.  Coat a flat baking pan with cooking spray.

cut the wonton wrappers into equal, triangle-shaped halves.

Combine cheeses, cayenne pepper and mustard; mix well. 

Stir in red pepper and artichoke hearts and evenly spoon the cheese mixture into the middle of each wonton wrapper. Using your fingers, wet the edges of the wonton wrappers and fold over, using a fork to crimp the edges.

Brush EVOO on all of the tops of the ravioli.  Bake until cheese mixture is set and edges of wrappers are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Garnish with parsely and bacon and serve.


I love my sissy!

i love my sissy!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! welcome to 2011

me and sisssyyy!!!

happy new year! love, the girlssss

party! party! party!

this year i plan on trying new foods, visiting new restaurants instead of going to the same ones over and over, continuing my adventures in cooking and baking, and keeping up with my gym kick. all of these "resolutions" are very attainable, wish me luck!