Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Creamy Pork Chops and Mushrooms

We have been doing a lot of running around and that means we had limited home cooked meals. At least real meals. Ones that were planned out and involve pots and pans. 

I think it helped that a few weeks ago I got Cooking Light in the mail. I love flipping through that magazine and tagging recipes that look good.  I always come up with at least 2 or 3 I want to make. This recipe comes from the September 2014 issue.   I saw it and immediate knew we needed to have it for dinner. 

I got the ingredients and Mr. J got to work on fixing it up for dinner. We had extra sauce because we only used two pork chops.  But the extra sauce went on the extra rice and was a delicious leftover.  Like most Cooking Light recipes this was a winner. Easy to put together and very flavorful.  I think it would be great with chicken too if you aren't a pork chop fan. 

Hopefully we will be having more "real" dinners at home because this one was a treat. 

Creamy Pork Chops and Mushrooms

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: saute entree mushrooms pork
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 cup unseasoned long-grain and wild rice blend
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut loin pork chops
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 12 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
Cook rice according to package directions.

While rice cooks, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork chops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chops to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer to a plate.

Add rosemary, mushrooms, and onion to pan; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle mushrooms with flour; toss to coat. Stir in wine and chicken stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Return pork chops and any accumulated juices to pan. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until done.

Stir hazelnuts, parsley, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper into rice.

Arrange pork chops on a serving platter. Simmer sauce, uncovered, 2 additional ­minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in sour cream. Serve pork chops with mushroom sauce and rice.
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

New Windows

This weekend was quite the whirlwind. Both Mr. J and I were gone most of last week. That meant we had a stack of mail to go through, tons of laundry, much needed grocery shopping and just general pick up to be done.  I still don't know how a house can get dirty when no one is home.  Regardless, the in-laws also came to town Friday night. 

For the last month or so we have had 26 windows scattered throughout our basement and garage.  It was a little tight but more so than the lack of room I wanted the windows to go in because they were so pretty.  Back when we put in the front door we tested two new windows.  They were Ah-mazing to say the least. Clean, crisp, and very easy to open and close.  Knowing what was to come with the rest of the windows was more than I could take to wait for installation.

But installing 26 windows was not the only thing that got accomplished this weekend. We also cleared the front of bushes.  See...no bushes.  This took all of 10 minutes. 

Here is a picture of the other side of the house before we took the bushes out. They were super overgrown and too close to the house. We had debated about removing them for the last several months and kept delaying. Well, it doesn't take long trying to negotiate a tall latter over a bush before you realize if it is going to happen now is the time. So out came the bushes. You must know that this major decision making with a pregnant woman is not an easy task.

There is still some trim work to be done but you can see here all of the windows are in. They look simply gorgeous.  Mr. J is currently trying to convince me that we should go without the shutters. I like shutters. 

The men did so much work. I got tired just watching them.  No words can describe how happy I am with how everything turned out so far. 

What do you think? Should we keep the shutters or go without?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Meet me in St. Louis and WIAW

Oh man have I had some good eats lately.  Last Friday Mr. J and I had a little date night at a local restaurant.  I had the bolognese with lots of mozzarella on top.  It was super hot and the cheese got all melty. Mr. J had a big steak.

On Saturday my BFF from college paid us a visit. It was such fun. She got in right at dinner time and off we went to eat.  I had a massive grilled cheese. The picture doesn't do the sandwich justice. It was probably a good 3 inches thick with huge tomato slices.

I am still trying to get in the summer fruit. Strawberries and peaches please.

And now for Tuesday, I was off to St. Louis. Before any trip I try to get in some extra fruit and veggies. You never know what is going to be available when traveling. I had a fruit smoothie with banana, peaches, strawberries and OJ.  

I flew through the Minneapolis airport. It is one of my favorites and I stopped at the wine shop for lunch. This is the most delicious tomato, mozzarella and pesto sandwich. I love that they put it on a crusty baguette. It is probably the messiest sandwich though. I had pesto everywhere. Good thing I didn't know anyone. 

Dinner ended up being kind of lame. I was all by myself and the place I originally was going to go was super busy. You don't want to see me hungry nowadays. I opted to leave and go to the Chipotle across the street.  

What have you ate lately?

Monday, September 22, 2014


Today is the first day of Fall and it seems September is coming to an end. I am not sure where the month went but I think summer has said good-bye for good.  The leaves are just starting to turn.  Nights are chilly.  Hooded sweatshirts are a daily occurrence.  

Along with Fall the end of September comes this month's Secret Recipe Club.  I had Melissa from Fried Ice and Donut Holes.  She has been around the block with her blog since it started way back in 2009.  Because of the history there were so many recipes to pick.  

I was pretty indecisive about going for cookies, or an entree.  After a bit of digging though I found a recipe from 2011 I couldn't resist.  I chose the Maple Cinnamon Quick Bread.  

I cannot say enough good things about this bread. The recipe came together pretty easily and I had all of the ingredients on hand. My husband's family makes their own maple syrup so we always have an ample supply in the pantry.

The worst part, and I roll my eyes as I type this, is the wait as the bread bakes. The smell is irresistible.  About halfway through the baking time a wonderful cinnamon sweet aroma fills the house and you just want to dig right in.   

I had to fight Mr. J off from taking it out too early and then had an even harder time making him wait longer so it cooled a bit before the glaze.  I am so glad I found this recipe. This loaf didn't last long and I know it will making several appearances in the near future. 

Maple Cinnamon Quick Bread

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast bread cinnamon maple syrup fall
Ingredients (serves 8)
    For the Bread:
    • 2 1/4 cup flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup maple syrup
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup browned butter
    • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
    • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
    For the Icing:
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    Grease a 9x5 loaf pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly whisk in the browned butter. Combine the wet ingredients and dry ingredients and mix until all combined.

    In a small bowl, cut the cold butter cubes and cinnamon together until you have small pea sized chunks. Fold the butter into the batter.

    Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    While the bread cools make the icing. Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl. Add more sugar or cream to reach the desired consistency. Drizzle over the top of the bread or spread over each individual slice.

    Allow the bread to cool for 15 minutes before drizzling with the icing.
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    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    A little BIG surprise!

    So Mr. J and I are having a baby.  It has been a crazy whirlwind these last few months with all sorts of new experiences for us.  I will post more details about it soon but I wanted to share the news. This might explain my absences or limited postings this summer.  It sure is hard to be a food blogger when food really is of no interest.

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Super Easy Cheesy Queso Dip

    Super easy, cheesy queso dip. Sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next Game Day party.  

    Some could say that I am a day behind with my game day food post. I would like to think I am a week ahead. I am giving you 6 days to go out and have everything on hand for this yummy queso dip.  Of course, this recipe is super simple and you probably have all of the ingredients already.  

    If fact I might even suggest you doing a trial run before Sunday rolls around. I tried this out and ended up eating the whole bowl for lunch.  

    I try to eat fairly healthy from real foods although I do enjoy an occasional boxed mix dessert or canned soup now and then.  However there are some things I just cannot do. One of which is Velveeta cheese. That stuff really grosses me out. I always get a bit sad when I see a recipe that looks super yummy only to realize one of the key ingredients is Velveeta. 

    Now I cannot officially say this is a true Velveeta replacement since I don't really know what that stuff actually tastes like although Mr. J is convinced it does.  What I do know is this cheese sauce is super good.  I gobbled up the first serving so fast I had to get more before Mr. J can down to try it out for himself. 

    If Nachos aren't your things, hot dogs and broccoli could be just the base for this cheesy sauce. 

    Super Easy Cheesy Queso Dip

    by Emily Morris, 
    Adapted from Cooking Light October 2014
    Prep Time: 2 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes
    Ingredients (serves 6)
    • 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
    • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
    • 1 cup evaporated milk
    • 2 Tbsp salsa or hot sauce, your favorite brand
    In a medium sauce pan mix together shredded cheese and cornstarch.

    Turn stove top to medium and add the evaporated milk. Using a rubber spatula or whisk stir constantly until the cheese is melted and smooth.

    Add in salsa and combined.

    Remove from heat and serve immediately.

    Optional: If you don't want to have queso dip omit the salsa and use the plain cheese sauce for a hot dog topping or for broccoli.
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    Sunday, September 14, 2014

    A Three Blog Tour

    One of my favorite things about blogging is meeting other bloggers from around the country and even the world. I drool over gorgeous food creations and get to know what is going on their real life. So when Ramona of Curry and Comfort asked if I wanted to join a Blog Tour Post, of course I said yes.  I first was introduced to Ramona's blog from Foodbuzz.  She is originally from Sri Lanka. She post some traditional Sri Lankan dishes, lots of curries and the cutest, creative desserts.  She likes food hot and spicy and I love being taught about new spices from her. 

    In hindsight I probably should have said no since I am about 2 weeks tardy in my post. But better late than never and I have so really good blogs to share with you today.  

    First up, a little more about me....

    1. What am I working on currently on the blog?
    Well, to be honest not much. I used to post 5 days a week but know I am lucky if I get three posts up. I took a break from blogging this summer and I just haven't gotten back in the swing of things between work and house projects. I am hoping to enjoy all of the goodies of Fall soon. I see lots of apples and pumpkin in my future. 

    2. How does my work differ than others of its genre? 
    My blog is not just a food blog but a life blog.  What I post about is my real world. I travel for work so the blog is a way to journal about new places and restaurants I find on the road.  I also write about the cooking adventures my husband and I have in the kitchen. We both love to cook but go about the process in very different ways. It makes for some very good meals and some interesting kitchen messes along the way. 

    3. Why do I write what I do? 
    My work can be all consuming at times during the year, especially when I am traveling a lot. The blog is a way for me to see other aspects of my life and what I enjoy.  Plus I know our family's like to keep up to day through the blog.

    4. How does my writing process work?
    There is nothing special about my writing process. In fact, I should probably be a bit more organized in my methods.  I write what is going on in my life currently so there is limited scheduled/planned posts.  I use early mornings and lunch time to get most of my posts complete. Evenings are spent visiting other blogs.

    And now for sharing three of my favorite blogs...

    Kayle is an actress currently living in Ohio but she used to live in NYC. I, therefore, thought we were neighbors. I am crazy about all things famous and since she has been on TV she is certainly famous in my book. She must be the coolest actress ever too because she eats real food. Cookies galore!! If you need a chocolate chip recipe this where you should go looking, not to mention her scrumptious uses for peanut butter and brown butter.  Right now she is planning her wedding. I love reading about the adventures and seeing things come into place. 

    Meet Erin of The Spiffy Cookie

    I am actually not 100% sure where I first stumbled upon Erin's blog but I am sure glad I did and I have been a follower ever since.  Erin is part of Pass the Cook Book Club and the Secret Recipe Club each month.  Her blog though is so much more.  First off she is a smarty with a PhD in Microbiology. I have the most respect for those who accomplish this in life.  Such a big deal and in Microbiology no less.  

    Erin's food is a hodge podge of dinners, snacks and desserts, all of which are delicious.  She has made some amazing single serving recipes and one of her most recent desserts I am still trying to wrap my head around....Mini Reese's Oreo Cheesecake.

    Meet Zainab from Blahnik Baker
    Zainab is also another smarty pants who is currently a neuroscience PhD student. My connection with Z is that her husband is also Mr. J and they have almost the exact same birthdays. I think it was fate we were to get to know each other. Her blog hasn't been around for too long and yet she has quite a following. She can make some of the most ridiculously decadent cakes. I want them all. 

    Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour. Please go check out some of these fantastic blogs; I know you will find something yummy.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    What I have been reading lately...

    I haven't done a book review is such a long time. I did take a break from reading but in the last few weeks I got a roll again. 

    The Vacationers by Emma Straub is a book I heard about first from another blogger as a read for the summer. I am always on the look out for a new book so it was added to my list of future reads. 

    The novel is about a family trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca.  The mother and father of the family are celebrating their thirty fifth wedding anniversary. Their youngest daughter is about to go to college. Their son, whom they rarely see, is flying in with his long term girlfriend. Also along for the trip is a good family friend. 

    A private house on an island sounds like an ideal spot for a vacation. However, throughout the book family secrets slip out showing that people are not always what they seem to the outside world or even within their own families.  

    The book is told through different perspectives as the events of the two week trip transpire.  At times you wonder what will come next or if everyone will make it to the end.  The family shows how they can support or tear down each other regardless of the amount of love.  

    I thought this would be a more fun loving book as I got started but it was really a very real life kind of story that got to the not so happy go lucky side of families.  

    Monday, September 8, 2014

    Carne Asada Pizza

    Right now I am all about Italian and Mexican cuisine. Mainly, pizza and meatballs or Chipotle. I could pretty much eat only those things for a month and be happy. Because Chipotle is not too convenient to my house on a regular basis I have been finding ways to recreate something similar at home.  Hello guacamole!

    Remember when I mentioned on the beef barbacoa post about using the leftovers as a pizza time.  Well this is not that pizza. But it did give me the inspiration to use that beef on pizza. This recipe is extremely similar in flavors but a bit more involved. It probably wouldn't be the best option on a busy weeknight. 

    This pizza is full of Mexican flavors and heat.  Packed full of peppers, corn and onions and made even more hearty with flank steak.  I think it might be the steak topping but for me this is a man's man pizza. I am not a man though and I thought it was pretty dang good as well. So good in fact I wanted to make it again the next time it was pizza night. 

    So here is the recipe that combined both the Italian and Mexican I cannot get enough of lately.  In my mind this was the perfect meal. 

    Carne Asada Pizza

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Keywords: bake pizza
    Ingredients (1 pizza)
    • 12 ounces refrigerated fresh pizza dough
    • 2 small poblano peppers
    • 8 ounces flank steak, trimmed
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • Cooking spray
    • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
    • 1/2 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce
    • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
    • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
    • 1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
    • 1 ounce cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
    • 1 ounce queso fresco, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
    • 1 cup chopped seeded tomato
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
    • 1/2 cup roasted corn
    • Cilantro sprigs (optional)
    Remove dough from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
    Preheat broiler to high.

    Arrange poblanos on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 8 minutes or until charred on all sides, turning occasionally. Wrap peppers in foil; close tightly. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and seed peppers; discard skin, membrane, and seeds. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips.

    Sprinkle steak with cumin, chipotle powder, and salt. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until well marked. Let stand 10 minutes. Thinly slice steak across the grain.

    Add onion rings to pan; grill 4 minutes on each side or until well marked. Place in a bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Combine marinara and adobo sauce.

    Turn oven down to 425 degrees F. Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza stone/ pan.  Roll dough to fit pizza pan.

    Spread sauce mixture over dough. Arrange poblanos, corn and onion slices over pizza; top with steak. Sprinkle with queso fresco. Return stone to oven; bake pizza 9 minutes or until crust is done.

    Top with cilantro sprigs, if desired. Serve immediately.
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    Friday, September 5, 2014

    Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

    Beef barbacoa is Mexican BBQ at its finest. The slow cooked beef in a spicy Adobo sauce can be used for tacos, burritos, nachos and as a pizza topping.

    Today's recipe is super simple to put together and is super versatile in terms of what meals it can be used in to make dinner.  This week has been really hectic and stressful. Our house decided to have some major catastrophes over the holiday weekend. Thus everyday this week has been trying to figure things out and get repairs done. We are making progress but have a major hurtle still with our well water. Fingers crossed that this isn't going to cost us major $$$$. 

    So back to the super easy recipe. First off it is a slow cooker recipe and well that should tell you a lot.  In the most basic steps you put the meat in the slow cooker, mix the sauce ingredients in a blend for about a minute, pour the sauce over the beef, turn on the slow cooker and wait for dinner to be done.  That's all.

    I had to get the chilies in adobo sauce as an extra ingredient but everything else we had already in the pantry. 

    The best part about this recipe is that it could be used for about a million different dishes. OK so maybe that is a bit of a exaggeration but it can certainly be used for a lot.  We had nachos the first night.  Pizza the next night.  And I used some for a burrito bowl for lunch. 

    This recipe is a keeper for us for those busy weeks as well as those not so busy weeks just because it is that good.  Enjoy!

    Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 6-8 hours
    Keywords: slow-cooker entree Mexican
    Ingredients (serves 8)
    • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 yellow onion
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons oregano
    • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 3-4 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
    • 3/4 cup beef stock
    • 3-4 lb. beef chuck roast
    Trim any excess fat off the roast and place it in a slow cooker with the beef stock.

    In a blender, combine vinegar, onion, lime juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt, cloves, allspice and desired number of chilies and puree until smooth. Pour the sauce over the meat.

    Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or high heat for 6 hours.

    Shred the meat in the juices and serve warm.
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    Thursday, September 4, 2014

    Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

    A spicy shrimp and sausage stew packed full of veggies. I can only imagine it is as good as the gumbo you can get in New Orleans.

    Yesterday did not go very well as expected but it is over now and I am feeling much better this morning.  Thank goodness those days don't happen too often for me. 

    We made this shrimp and sausage gumbo this weekend. We were both in the mood. Kind of weird since it was super hot and humid on Sunday when we whipped up this lunch. What do they say, "eat spicy food when it is hot and you will feel cooler afterwards."  Is that right? We were both steaming after we were done. Fitting I guess for the whole New Orleans atmosphere. We were just being authentic.

    The gumbo is a one pot dish and you can switch out the shrimp for chicken if you don't like the seafood.  I wish we could have had craw fish but I don't think I have ever, EVER seen craw fish in the store. You can also customize the hotness - spice hot - of this gumbo but adding hot peppers for more of a kick or cutting back on the Cajun seasoning in the recipe. 

    The recipe made a ton - 4 heaping servings but I know you can easily halve the recipe for 2 servings with enough for leftovers for one lunch.  I froze about 2 servings and had enough for two lunches the next few days. 

    On a side note, when I was little I hated leftovers. I pretty much refused to eat them. I didn't make things easy for my parents.  Nowadays they are the best thing ever.  I love having food ready to grab in the morning for lunch. Oh how the times change.

    So this gumbo...it is good.  Real good.

    Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Keywords: saute entree soup/stew sausage shrimp Cajun
    Ingredients (serves 4)
    • 1 LB raw shrimp, skin and devined
    • 6 Ounces Chicken Sausage, precooked and sliced
    • 1 Cup Long Grain White Rice
    • 2 28-Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
    • 2 Green Bell Pepper
    • 2 Stalk Celery
    • 2 Yellow Onion
    • 8 Cloves Garlic
    • 4 Tablespoons Butter
    • 4 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
    • 1/2 LB Okra
    • 2 Tablespoon Cajun Spice
    Remove the shrimp and sausage from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature.

    Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove and discard the stem, seeds and ribs of the green bell pepper. Small dice the green bell pepper and celery. Peel and small dice the onion. Cut off and discard the stems of the okra; cut the okra into ½-inch rounds. Peel and mince the garlic. Place all vegetables in a medium bowl and set aside.

    Make the roux: In a medium pot, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes. The mixture will turn a deep brown.

    To the pot of roux, add a drizzle of olive oil and the green bell pepper, onion, celery and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.

    Increase the heat to medium-high and add the sausage, crushed tomatoes, rice, Cajun seasoning, okra and 2 cups of water; season with a little salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes,

    Add the shrimp and stir into the gumbo. Cook for about 8- 10 more minutes the shrimp and sausage are completely cooked through. Remove from heat.

    Serve immediately.
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    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

    Not A Good Day and WIAW

    Do you ever wake up and know the day is not going to be good?  Well, I think today is going to be that kind of day. I woke and less than an hour later I think I should have just stayed in bed. 

    Mr. J was gone last night so I was on my own. It was super hot and humid and thus hard to get to sleep. Then I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't fall back asleep. If Mr. J was there I would have just laid awake but since he was gone I got on my phone to check emails, Facebook and Instagram.  Is that weird? I actually think it helped me go back asleep.

    I have a full day of work and other errands I need to get done and well like I said I just want to go back to bed.  Here is to hoping things improve with some coffee.

    Besides our little trip to the city this weekend, my meals have been kind of blah. Green smoothies for breakfast are still my favorite. I have been trying buttermilk in my smoothies. I kind of love it. Leaves a tangy taste in my mouth. I heard there were really good health benefits so I thought I would try it out.  If nothing else I will have it for biscuits and pancakes.

    Lunch was a leftover meal from a slow cooker recipe. I plan on posting it tomorrow. Super good and easy. I made a mini burrito bowl.

    Dinner was a huge salad topped with some leftover steak and grilled corn.  Garden tomatoes. Avocados.  I promise there are some greens under all of those toppings.  I love a salad that has so many toppings that you don't even need dressing. 

    Monday, September 1, 2014


    This weekend was all about celebrating.  We had a very low key Friday night for our anniversary. We were both beat from the work week and just ordered pizza.  We also had some big plans for the long weekend.

    We decided to make the trek into NYC for Saturday. Our trips normally revolve around our meal plan and this one was no different. I wanted to go to April Bloomfield's The Spotted Pig.  Do you see all of the pigs?  They were everywhere. I loved it!  The place was pretty hipster but were so welcoming to us preppy folks from Connecticut. I got the most amazing grilled cheese. It was loaded with cheese and then served with a sweet onion marmalade.  I offered Mr. J a taste and then had to fight him off of seconds and thirds.

    He went all out ordering cold brewed coffee, a devil's egg and then this massive burger. I couldn't get it in the picture but under that bun was a boatload of bleu cheese.  And that stack of potato sticks was gigantic. They were served with fried garlic and rosemary. He had to fight me off of these. 

    After walking around Greenwich Village and then Union Square we came back home. I was beat.

    Sunday was pretty low key. I made chocolate chip cookies. We went to the movies to see A Hundred Yard Journey.  It was my first choice.  So cute! I loved seeing France and hearing French accents. Plus there was a lot of food shots. Don't go hungry because you will leave hungry. I currently need to visit a French bistro and then an Indian restaurant.  Mr. J grilled steaks and corn for dinner and we enjoyed the evening inside as the thunderstorms rolled through. 

    Monday I made gumbo - recipe this week on the blog.  Not sure if it was the best idea on a hot, humid day. It tasted amazing but left us both sweating.  

    We hit up the movies again. Mainly because Mr. J wanted to see his first choice movie - The Chef, and because it was super hot and movies equal lots of cold A/C.  The movie was a bit slow to get going but then got really good.  Also another movie where you will walk out hungry. This time for a Cubano sandwich.

    We finished the day with an ice cream as a final farewell to Summer. 

    I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!  I am not really looking forward to going back to work. 

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