Galentine’s Day

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. This weekend was fairly chill for me and to be honest, I took advantage of a rainy Sunday for a ramen lunch date & a few hours to be cozy in my apartment. Last week I wrote about dealing with mean girls however, today I’m writing about celebrating the women that empower & inspire us. The women who we keep as our closest #girlgang and build us up. Though I’m thankful for those ladies everyday, what better time than to throw a Galentine’s party. While we can thank Parks & Rec for the tradition, I love it because it’s a great excuse to get together & have a cute party with your favorite ladies. If you need a little pink & red inspo, as well as a one of my favorite treats, look no further.

First of all, this is the easiest cute treat to make. If you’re in a pinch, all these ingredients you can buy pre-made so… here are the details on these precious love notes.

I’ve made these two ways, with puff pastry and with pie dough. I prefer pie dough because they don’t lose their shape while they’re baking. Cute your pie dough into squares add a little raspberry preserves (if you don’t make it homemade, highly recommend this brand) fold up the bottom corner, then either side. If you have a small heart shape cookie cutter, cut out a little piece of dough & add over the three corners. You can also use your (clean) kitchen scissors to hand cut them out, I did and after a practice cut, it’s easy to get the hang of. Add a little egg wash and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 12 minutes or until golden brown.

 

<bubbles & cake bites>

<these ombre mini cakes are my fav>

<crumbs>

Are you planning to celebrate with your best girlfriends? Have you already? What were your plans? These are also awesome desserts if your beau has a sweet tooth.

xoxox

Italian Chicken & Vegetable Skillet

Happy Monday! We’ve officially made it through our first full week of 2018. We were feeling the effects of the bomb cyclone most of the weekend so I made this delicious Italian chicken and veg skillet with what I had in the fridge. Last week I was still fighting off remnants of a bad cold, so I wanted to make something packed with protein with fresh veggies but would also still feel like comfort food.

This Italian Chicken & Vegetable skillet is delish and & super simple to make. Highly recommend if you need something that reheats well for lunch, too!

(I used different colored cherry tomatoes, which created a yellow sauce versus a traditional red)

What You’ll Need

pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
Tbsp. pesto
2 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
2 tsp. minced garlic
cup cherry tomatoes, halved
small zucchini, diced
cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. chopped fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese

The How To

  1. Season the cut up pieces of chicken with salt & pepper and place them in a freezer bag with the tablespoon of pesto, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and minced garlic. Massage the mixture into the chicken and let it marinate for at least 15 minutes. *I prefer to let the chicken marinate overnight
  2. Heat skillet over medium heat and spray it with cooking oil.
  3. Add the marinated chicken to the hot skillet and sauté until thoroughly cooked, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the cooked chicken onto a plate.
  4. Once the chicken is removed, add in the zucchini, tomatoes & remaining teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Sauté until they start to soften, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Lower the heat to medium and add the chicken back into the skillet along with the cannellini beans, balsamic vinegar and basil. Stir everything together and taste for seasoning.
  6. Top with the shredded parmesan cheese, serve immediately & enjoy!

Cheers!

Three Thrills by Thursday

Finally! Thursday! I don’t know about you guys but I am SO ready for the weekend. After having a bug for the last ten days- I am finally feeling back like my regular, healthy self.

one.

When I started to get sick, I stopped into my neighborhood Le Pain Quotidien and ordered their hot Honey Lemon Ginger. It was the perfect warm up from the chilly winter air and immediately soothed the tickle in my throat; it’s no secret that the three ingredients are packed full of health benefits. Fully knowing I wouldn’t be able to sustain my obsession, I attempted to make it at home… at it worked! It should be noted that I never really measure anything but just ballpark it, you can always even out the flavor once you try it.

How To:
1 cup water
knob of fresh ginger, about an inch depending on how prominent you want the flavor
1 lemon
honey

Instructions:
1. Peel & slice ginger, about ¼ inch pieces.
2. Add the water, honey and ginger to the pot.
3. Juice ½ the lemon into the pot (reserve the other half in case you like it more lemon-y).
4. Heat over very low heat for 5-10 minutes, covered, so it’s barely simmering.
5. Strain liquid and add fresh lemon slice into cup & enjoy!
two.
After I posted a few of our engagement photos, I got a lot of questions about my this outfit but especially my tulle skirt. Truth is, I love dressing up a tulle skirt and in fact, I couldn’t find a top I loved, so that’s actually a dress. I’ve linked a few tulle skirts below that (some) may or may not be hiding in my closet.
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9
three.
Two weeks ago we visited some of our best friends in Pittsburgh. We hadn’t been back since Dave moved but it was great to revisit some of our favorite spots and even try a few new (amazing) places. I think we ate our way through the entire city!
Iron Born Pizza at Smallman Galley 
Shopping at No. 14
Dinner at DiAnoia’s – I highly recommend their gnocchi and of course, prosecco on tap
How are the holidays coming along for you guys? Did you wrap up your shopping? I’m still finishing off a few things but tonight we’re seeing The Nutcracker, so I suppose it will just have to wait.
Want to follow along? As always, follow me on Instagram 🙂
Cheers,

Jicama, Orange & Avocado Salad

Last week I posted a few Instagram polls asking what you’d like to see more of on the blog as I’ve been a little remiss lately. Well, I’ve heard you & I’m excited! Lots of fashion, travel, cooking & entertaining and even a little bit of wedding planning coming your way.

Today, I want to share a new recipe I learned while taking a cooking class this weekend at Sur La Table. Sidenote: I love taking classes at Sur La Table- they make an excellent date activity and a few, I’ve even flown solo (macaron class a few weeks ago) and always have the best time. This last weekend’s class was Authentic Mexican and this Jicama, Orange & Avocado Salad stood out as a repeat recipe for sure.

What You’ll Need:

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced on mandoline
3 large oranges, rind removed, quartered & cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium jicama, skin removed with a knife and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
2-3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
1 large avocado, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
sea salt<I love this OXO mandoline & always use it with this cut resistant glove to avoid a nasty cut>

How To:

Combine onion, oranges, jicama, oil, chile power and lime juice and toss to combine. Gently fold in the avocado and cilantro. Taste & adjust seasoning with salt or additional chile powder. Allow to chill for a few minutes for flavors to marinate & serve in a large chilled salad bowl.

*Consider making ahead by combining all ingredients except for the cilantro and avocado, and marinating the flavors so it can be absorbed into the jicama. I find it to be a little like tofu in the sense that it takes on whatever flavor its paired with.

I also fell in love with a shrimp taco recipe that I’ll be sharing later this week. Crazy week for me as I’m doing a quick flight out to Phoenix and topping the week off with our engagement photos! Here we go…may your coffee be strong & your Monday be short!

cheers

Summer Chickpea Salad

 

This is one of my very favorite recipes, especially in the summer when almost all the ingredients can be picked up at my local farmer’s market. Full disclosure, this is not my own recipe, but reblogged from one of my very fav food blogs, How Sweet Eats. Jessica recommends the salad be enjoyed on bread but I love it so much, I eat it as a lunch salad by itself. It also maintains extremely well in the fridge as I usually make it on Sunday & enjoy throughout the week.

Summer Chickpea Salad with Honey Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

yields: serves about 4                          total time: 30 minutes

What You’ll Need: 

3 cups chickpeas (or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2-3 ears grilled corn, cut from the cob
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 lime, juiced and zested

The How To:

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, onions, corn, tomatoes, basil and chives. Toss well with the salt and pepper. Separately, in a small saucepan, add the oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, lime juice and zest. Heat over low heat and whisk until the mixture is warm and garlic cloves are sizzling a bit.Pour the liquid over the chickpeas and and toss well to coat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Check out How Sweet Eats for this recipe & many fantastic others!

Cheers!

Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms & Peas

Happy Friday! I’m still loving my girl, Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, Cravings. If you haven’t gotten it yet- you should. From page 1 you’ll be wishing you were a supermodel, who eats carbs and is married to John Legend. Man, some girls get all the luck.

If you’re in need of a delicious dish heading into the weekend, this risotto is la la lovely for a snuggled-in date night or impressing a group of your besties (either situation deserve a glass of wine, of course).

What You’ll Need:

2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups warm water
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot or 1/4 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup shredded Parmigiano- Reggiano, plus more for garnish
freshly ground black pepper

The How To:

  1. Place the porcinis and warm water in a bowl & soak until soft, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Remove the mushrooms, squeeze them so the liquid drips back into the bowl and strain the liquid through a piece of cheesecloth or very fine strainer.
  2. Transfer the strained soaking liquid to a medium saucepan, leaving behind any grit in the bottom of the bowl and add chicken broth. Warm the broth over medium-low heat until steaming and keep warm on a back burner.
  3. In another medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until translucent (but not browned) about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir, allowing to cook for 2 minutes. Add wine and salt and increase heat to medium-high and boil until the wine is mostly evaporated, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Return the heat to medium and using a ladle, add 1 cup of the brother to the rice; cook & keep stirring until the broth is almost all absorbed. Keep adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, waiting to add more until most the brother in the pot is absorbed each time and cook, stirring occasionally until the rice is swollen and still very slightly firm in the middle. Overall this process is about 22 minutes. You may be left with a little broth you don’t use; traditionally risotto should be a little loose and saucy but how wet you want it is up to you.
  5. Stir in the peas and cook just long enough to warm them through then stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, Parm and reserved chopped porcini.
  6. Divide risotto among bowls, garnish with fresh pepper and of course, a little more parm (because, cheese..) Enjoy!

Cheers,

Crispy Brown Butter Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Caramelized Mushrooms & Goat Cheese

Happy Holidays, loves!

Anyone else in full winter mode? I’m craving cocoa, hearty food and just want to watch Christmas movies by the tree. A few weeks ago my friend instagrammed a picture of incredible gnocchi so of course I had to ask. She turned me onto Half Baked Harvest and now I’m so obsessed! The recipes on Tieghan’s blog are incredible!

Today I’m re-blogging:

Crispy Brown Butter Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Caramelized Mushrooms & Goat Cheese
(because you need this in your life)

What You’ll Need

Gnocchi:

1 cup of mashed sweet potato
1 cup pureed burrata cheese  (I mixed whole milk with burrata)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh parmesan, grated
3-4 cups all-purpose flour

Brown Butter Balsamic Sauce + Mushrooms

1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced
6 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

How To:

Gnocchi: Mix mashed sweet potato, pureed burrata, eggs, salt and parmesan together in a large bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and mix well with your hands. The dough should be very sticky. Add another half cup of flour and mix in. You want the dough to still be pretty sticky, but sturdy enough to shape into a ball. If it’s not, keep adding a little flour at a time until you can get a soft dough that will be rollable.

Spread some flour on a large work surface. Section off the dough into several smaller spheres. Take one piece and roll the piece of dough into a snake about 1/2 inch thick, then cut it into pieces about the width of a fork. Dust the gnocchi with a little flour and press the tines of a fork into each individual piece. This create ridges for the sauce to stick. Repeat this process with the other piece of dough and place the gnocchi on a large plate, cover and set aside. *Note: this dough freezes extremely well!

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Mushroom & Brown Butter Sauce: In a medium skillet over high heat, add 4 tablespoons butter. When the butter is melted, sprinkle in the mushrooms in a single layer but do not stir. Let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, approximately 2 minutes. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them once and season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook without stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining butter and cook until it begins to brown. Once the butter is browned reduce the heat and add the garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook for about 10 seconds. Add the balsamic vinegar, and simmer until the mushrooms are glazed with the sauce. Then stir and remove the pan from the heat and slide the mushrooms and sauce off to the side.

Add the gnocchi to the salted boiling water. Boil the gnocchi until they float, then remove them with a slotted spoon and add them right into the skillet with the mushrooms/sauce. Return the skillet (with the mushrooms and gnocchi) back to medium heat and allow the gnocchi to get a little crisp on each side (roughly 2 minutes per side). Stir the gnocchi into the sauce and mushrooms and serve, topped with crumbled goat cheese.

Enjoy!

What are some of your winter favorites?

Cheers!