Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bunny Baby

....And if delightful recipes aren't your thing, perhaps adorable bunny babies are:
here is Ashlyn modeling her bunny jacket and bunny boots....

....and here she is again in her bunny boots and bunny cape!
i LOVE these little girl outfits!...and i also love love love the little girl wearing them!!

Now we just need to find the perfect Easter dress to accompany all of these cute little things!

Chipotle at home...but better.

This little diddy was inspired by a Chipotle burrito bowl. I made it a little lighter though (no cheese, sour cream, or guacamole... and although i am sure all of those things would be great if added - this really was delicious as-is and so easy to make.
Basically i just trimmed the fat off of some boneless skinless chicken breasts (which i am PSYCHO about - seriously. I remove anything that comes within a half inch of touching fat).....and once the chicken was safely de-fatified- i salted, peppered and "sauced" the chicken in this sauce below.
annoying that it is sideways right???? i had a really hard time with the pictures today :)
in case you cant read sideways this was "Hot Squeeze" Sweet Heat Chipotle Sauce.... it is seriously good. It gives the chicken a really smokey (sort of spicy flavor) that is as they claim, actually sweet too.
the chicken went into the oven at 400 for about 40 min. Don't listen to my chicken cooking timeline though. I really like dry chicken and i have forced my husband to like the same. Weird I know. It has to do with the fat issue and juicy chicken just grosses me out. So anyways maybe you should try to do this at 350 and check it after 25-30 minutes?
While the chicken was cooking I opened a can of black beans, and a can of green chilies. I chopped those up along with some white onion, cilantro, and grape tomatoes.
I combined the beans, the chilies and the onion on medium heat in a pot. Let that hang out until the onion has softened. You probably want to season this a bit too.

While all of that is going on start boiling some water for rice. I used white only because i had it on hand. I am sure you could use brown too if you wanted to be healthier. Let the rice cook and when it is done squeeze the juice of a 1/2 of a lime (or more if you want) onto the rice. Toss in most of your cilantro too. This really makes the most delish rice ever. The cilantro totally changes the flavor and is probably the best part of this whole dish.

build your plate with rice on the bottom, the beans and chilies next then top it with the chicken and a tomato cilantro garnish.

My husband ended up mashing all of this together and eating it in a tortilla but whatever. It still tasted the same :)

Oh and for dessert, we had my dad's favorite....which i have posted on here before but it was too good to skip.
Fresh red raspberries with a little bit of heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar served in a martini glass.

so easy. so fancy...and sooo good.
....and fr the record my little superstar baby chilled on the counter top in her bouncer chair whle all of this was going down. I think she likes to "cook" too. She never freaks out during dinner prep time :)

My other super easy stuffed chicken recipe is coming next. Get excited!!! :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My little Valentine

I had so much fun getting ready for Valentine's Day yesterday. I usually don't really care a ton about this holiday, but i for some reason i was feeling extra festive and i (of course) wanted to take advantage of a good excuse to get Ashlyn all dolled up.

We started the day off with an 8 week photo shoot in her room. I'll post pictures soon - but thank god for her shaggy pink rug. It was an excellent backdrop for the Valentines Day theme

After the photo shoot we went to the grocery store.
My car seat is awesome as far as safety ratings and cuteness are concerned....however it does not fit into the top of a grocery cart (safely) which totally sucks. Instead, i buy fewer groceries and Ashlyn gets to fill up the rest of the cart. This is very inconvenient, but i have my fingers crossed that it will somehow lead to me losing some weight... less groceries=less eating. If it works i'm sending Maxi Cosi a thank you card for sucking with their design.
p.s. - we kind of match. two red cardis. That wasn't an accident. wow katie - really?

Moving right along..... After shopping we went home and set a very pretty table for the romantic dinner with dad. I waited on all the cooking until Pat got home. He was a huge help and it was way more fun to get everything ready together.
I didn't set the table in our dining room because it is kind of "exposed" when the lights are on at night. Not like we were going to "do it" in there or anything, but i do have some nosey neighbors that have been known to report what they watch us doing inside of our lights on at night was a little too voyeuristic for my idea of a nice private V-Day dinner. i opted for the dinner table in the back of the house instead

For the record there are few things that bring me greater joy than finding an excuse to pull out all my wedding presents. My monogrammed ice bucket.....the crystal champagne flutes...shiny chargers.....ummmm i die. SO anyways.. here is the before (above) and the after (below)

For dinner we had filet mignon with sauteed mushrooms and lemon garlic shrimp on the side. We had a party catered at the house the night before so, for sides, i also reheated some delish eggplant tarts and spicy stuffed peppers in the oven. I know leftovers don't sound very romantic, but hey they were beyond good and i didn't want to waste them. of course there was lots of Pink Champagne and brownie sundaes with fresh strawberries for dessert.

It's funny how everyone seemed to stay in this year for Valentines day. Obvi we did and really - i think this might have been one of my favorite valentines days yet. Something about your husband bringing home a teddy bear for his new valentine realllllly melted my heart too :)

hope you had fun ....and booooyah for 2 posts in one week. I am on a roll!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


you know those girls that get a boyfriend and then they drop all their friends like a hot potato?
ummm. i am that girl now....and ashlyn is like my new boyfriend.
I hadn't left the house in 3 days (until today) and somehow i still find it super hard to return emails, phone calls...and ummmmm air mattresses. Sorry Carley. A month is a ridic turn time. its coming back to your house this weekend. :) i promise.

so anyways...i also suck at blogging. Which is weird becasue i think about blogs i would like to write all day. Some of the most recent "posts" include my commentary on the following (in no particular order - (and P.S. these are all somehow linked to tv watching....which IS something i have managed to find time for lately)

so anyways - here it goes:

1. Have you ever noticed how Rachel Ray used to be so cute and bubbly and now she sort of seems like she is dead inside? Like she hates her life eventhough she is the luckiest B in the world to have been discovered while cooking recipes in a grocery store??? Yeah i don't like her at all. She makes smiling look like such an effort these days.

2. HOW ON EARTH do all of the teen moms on MTV have the freaking cash to constantly get their nails done? i would love to have my nails done all the time and despite having a full time job, and tons of fiscal responsibility it still is not in the budget....and i wouldn't be getting the freaking air brushed unicorns and other shish these girls have going on so technically the manicures i would want would be even cheaper. I kinda want to shake them. Maybe if they saved their "manicure" money for something like ohhhhhh i dunno - rent, formula, diapers...birth control-- their lives wouldn't be so hard? just a guess though. o h yeah, and i want to kailyn to stop being such an ungrateful B and appreciate the wonderful home and support system that Joe's family provides. And i want to tell her mom that she is a pathetic human being.

3. I need to grow up and stop watching Teen Mom 2. for reallllllllll.

4. I want to be barefoot contessa. No seriously i want to be Ina. I love how her show is centered around cooking for the people she loves and just being a nice friend....And not that i want to be like "this" but i do find it fun to imagine what those friends really think when she drops off a fabulous picnic to her "girlfriend that had a bad day at work".....ummm if i had a bad day at work, i probably wouldn't want a reminder of how much cooler she is than me. I might even be secretly annoyed with my my friend because her only job is to cook delicious food, drive around town in her convertible BMW and shop at fun little delis and flower shops while sipping cocktails that she invented. yeah. thats how she rolls.
i don't want to make my friends feel bad, but i do kinda want that schedule/daily routine :)....and pat would love the fancier dinners.

5. Speaking of Pat and dinners....I'll admit- while i am normally a pretty good little chef - i do occasionally screw up with cooking (and when i t happens it isn't usually a little mistake). This week was the first time that i can remember though that Pat actually SPIT out the food i made. not very Ina-ish of me, i know. I tried to make Carne Asada. I failed. I really do think being mexican is a 100% necessary ingredient in making successful shredded taco meats. Not only do i suck at carne asada but i also suck at carnitas. ....but so do all of the mexican restaurants in Ohio so i don't feel that bad. i miss california mexican food...and apparently Pat just misses edible food.

6.I would like for Victoria's Secret to stop sending me their catalogues until all of my baby weight is lost. I have cried (more than once) after looking at this stupid thing.

7.HAs anyone ever tried Jackie Warner's workout DVD's? they are awesome and so cheap! Only $8.99 at Sam's Club. It kicks my butt and it is only 30 minutes...which means that i shouldn't have ANY excuse not to complete it. P.S. "shouldn't" was written for my own benefit. I need to keep doing this workout along with the elliptical if i ever want to wear non-yeti sized clothing again. ONe would think the prospect of only wearing yeti clothes for life would make you get off your butt right???

and now that i am thinking about it - i AM going to get up and go do this darn workout.
end of blog. Beginning of embarrassingly huffy-and-puffy workout :)At least my baby is cute ;)

tootles. Have a fun weekend!