Monday, January 31, 2011

Brie Phyllo Appetizer

This weekend was fun filled with dinner Friday night at Fayette Street Grill with the G's

http://www.fayettestreetgrille.com/

I loved my appetizer...Brie and Pear Quesadilla over Greens with Raspberry Habanero Sauce..now how could someone not love that...I left wondering how did they get the quesadilla so crunchy on the outside!!  It seemed different than a Mexican quesadilla, this was golden brown and crunchy!

Saturday was Mr. P's annual Winter-een-mas, which is short for Video Game day!  He unfortunately did not get crowned king this year, but he had a great time.  I love hearing the stories of the day when he get's home.  Each guy brings there own xbox and monitor, and they all play around the table against each other!!!  Sounds like a gamers dream.

I stayed at home in the morning, and cleaned up the tile project in the master bathroom.  And than headed to my parent's house to have lunch and make the Valentine's Day craft sample.  I have to say it looks AMAZING..I am in love!  I am so excited to show all of you. The big unveiling will be this week..
Than later that night it was a Girl's Night out Party, my friend had a spray tan company there, a spa company, and she had her Stella and Dot out!  I love the Jewelry!

Now, I am not to keen on putting different products on my body, so I just tried the foot cream.  You place it on your foot, and than cover your foot with a new plastic bag, and put socks over it.  Wow the one cream really heated up.  It kind of reminded me of the cream, I used to buy from Bath and Body works that they discontinued.

Yesterday, was a clean up day.  In my opinion, I feel that my home has been influx since we got married. We lived in an apartment at first that could only fit so much, than we moved into our house, and immediately decided to fix up the master bathroom/bedroom, well three years later, we are not done, but getting very close to the end! 

I am getting ready and anxious everyday to move in to my house! This means I got to sit in front of my below fireplace and go through box after box, from room after room!
 

YAY!!! My dad and his building manager Mr. P have worked so hard, I love it :)

Well on to the recipe!!

After the quesadilla I was really craving brie, I was thinking of making a brie savory cheese cake, but I did not have enough time, so I figured let me try something simple, and get to use some of my marmalade.

Ingredients

1 Small wheel of brie
4 Gingersnap Cookies
Jam/Jelly/Marmalade of your choice
2 Packages of the Phyllo Dough Cups (They seem to sell 15 in a box)



1.  Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

2.  You want to remove the rind off of the brie, I used a vegetable peeler, it worked out great, and I saved the rind for scrambled eggs the next morning


3.  Crush the Gingersnap cookies 1 at a time, I used a Pillon which is Puerto Rican for a Mortar and Pistol.

4.  Place a 1/4 tsp of the crushed Gingersnap in the bottom of each phyllo cup, and enough brie to cover up the gingersnap.  You will have to cut the brie into little pieces.  From the below photos, you can still see some Gingersnap, however you would want to place more brie in your cups than I did!


5.  Place in the pre-heated over for 10 minutes, or until the brie melts.

6.  Pull out of the oven, and place 1/4 tsp of your favorite jam/jelly/marmalade, I used my homemade Vanilla Bean Blood Orange Marmalade.  Place this in the oven until until the marmalade melts, about another 3 minutes.

7.  Cool on wire racks, now I placed caramelized pecans on top, but I think this takes away from the recipe, on the second set of 15 I did not put the pecans on top.

8.  However you do need to sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top this melded all of the tastes together!
The finished Product cooling!!


With and without the caramelized pecans


ENJOY!!!  Now I wish I had a more creative name to call them, but I could not come up with anything.  If you do, please let me know!




Saturday, January 29, 2011

View from my Front Porch

This winter in the Philadelphia area we have been lucky to have a lot of snow!

I am a morning person, and love the view from my front porch.  On the weekends in the summer I enjoy having breakfast and lunch out there!  The porch is surrounded by a lot of trees and gives it a very private feeling. 

The winter mornings are just as beautiful, but can only be enjoyed in spurts!! 







I was even able to catch a glimpse of the snow plow!


Have a wonderful weekend.  Today is a freedom day, which is really just a me day!!...I have already gone grocery shopping, made an appetizer for Girl's night out, and cleaned out our almost finished master bathroom!  It is always nice to have the house to yourself sometimes!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Valentine's Day Craft is picked and supplies have been purchased!

During my Valentine's Day Dessert Swap I wanted to make a craft with my ladies.

My mom called stores near our homes and they did not have the quantity that I needed.  However she was able to find the below wreath company that had the heart forms in the quantity that I needed:

http://www.mainewreathco.com/

8 Inch Heart Wreath Ring

And I love Maine so this makes it even better.

and I have ordered the Tulle from:

Tullesource.com

In the following colors:

light-garnet-tulle-medium.jpg
Light Garnet
american-beauty-tulle-medium.jpg
American Beauty
This weekend I am working on making a sample of the wreath with my mom! 

I am getting so excited..and it is still January!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekend ReCap and 5 intersting facts about myself

This weekend it was very very cold here in Philly!

I had great plans, I wanted to go sledding, start to grout the tile, make cream puffs...I got one of those done....the cream puffs..and they were so good!  I did learn that I need to work on my piping skills, because when I cut them in half there were holes on the bottom!

Mr. P and I watched a lot of great movies this weekend: 

Dear John
A great movie..but sad!!!  Mr. P advises you love Nicholas Spark..why are you so sad..I responded with "do you remember the notebook?", I cried throughout the entire movie except for the first 15 minutes, and than continued to cry for a half hour after the movie

Alice in Wonderland
We finished watching Alice in Wonderland...one hint of advice is make sure you know the beginning of the story, if not this will confuse you as it did me!

And of course I taped the Hallmark Channel movie, got up at about 4:30 am on Sunday to watch it..it was a great girly movie!!!  The next one that they advertised is Smooch, unfortunately I could not add it to my Tivo que because it is more than two weeks away..hopefully this will remind me...or hint hint Mr. P

Backyard Wedding

Hallmark Channel

www.hallmarkchannel.com

and now I figured it would be good to do some interesting facts about myself:

1.  I am a daughter, a sister, a cousin, and a WIFE!!!

2.  I love my job, and feel fortunate every day for it!

3.  Mr. P and I have been living in our house for three years, and have not slept in the Master Bedroom!

4.  I was blessed with great friend later in life, in the school years, I was very shy and kept to myself.

5.  I married the first man I ever dated!


I was thinking on this blog I have never posted anything about my age...for those of you who do not know me how old do you think I am???

Friday, January 21, 2011

Homemade Granola

Now I do not know about you but I have to say there are a bunch of things that I just did not think you could make before and that had to bought in a package.  The main one was corn bread, but now I think homemade is the only way to go!

The recipe I am going to share with you today is another one! Granola -- Now I think I am selling my self short by saying that Granola can only be bought in a can, but more or less maybe my perception was it is easier to buy it from the Grocery store.  But after you try this recipe you will never go back to store brought Granola.  I now think I am a Granola SNOB

Ingredients that go in the Oven:

3 Cups of Oatmeal
1 Cup of Nuts (I used a mixture of pecan bits, whole pecans, slivered almonds, and walnuts)
1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1/3 cup of Brown Sugary
1 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup.

1.  Pre-Heat the Oven to 325 degrees.
2.  Dump all of the above ingredients in a big enough bowl, and mix well.


3.  Line a cookie sheet with foil, and spray with butter flavored Spray
4.  After all of your ingredients are mixed well spread onto the cookie sheet, making sure all areas are covered.

5.  Bake for 20 minutes and than stir the granola around, so that other areas of the granola will get toasted. 

6.  Make for about another additional 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

7.  Allow to cool completely, and than put away.  My pieces stuck together a bit, so I had to break them up.

I ate this granola over yogurt you can also mix in some dried fruit before serving.
I ate 1/2 a cup of granola mixed with a half container of yogurt for breakfast.  The first day I was starving at 10:00 am.  The second day I did the same mixture, and I was full.  I think the difference with the two days, was on the first day I ate at 5:30 am, and the second day I ate around 7:00 am.

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Valentine's Day Dessert Swap--Packaging Ideas

I am working on getting the boxes together to wrap the desserts in for everyone to take home from the Swap.

I stumbled upon this great web-site:

http://www.brpboxshop.com/

Look at all the great packages they have for wrapping up Valentine's Day sweets!  All the photo's came from there web-site..aren't they just just great!!!



Now these are the one's I am leading towards:



1204 - 7" x 7" x 4" White/Brown Without Window Lock & Tab Box With Lid

The big question is without the plastic on the top or without.  Now the reason why I am saying no plastic is I was hoping to wrap the boxes with this twine:


Image of Divine Pink Bakers Twine - Cotton Candy
Picture from Divinetwine.com

Now the big question is can I do plastic top and use the twine at the same time...is that too much???

Now I was always wondering where I could buy cake boards, and now I have my answer:

227 - 9 inch Cake Round, Silver Single Wall Corrugated

Look at these great little boxes for cookies:

2251 - 4 3/8" x 4 3/8" x 1" Brown/Brown with Heart Window  Reverse Tuck Box

And this is great...we used to always make Brownie Pizza's when I was little to bring to get togethers..this would of came in handy!


Now what special things do you bake for Valentine's Day???

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Valentine''s Dessert Swap--Craft Ideas Wanted!!!

This year I am hosting a Valentine's Day dessert swap, and I am hoping you have some great Valentine's day Ideas:

It will be six girls, and we are each bringing a unique dessert for this swap.

I am planning on either doing lemon curd cream puffs, raspberry cream cream puffs, or Ricotta filled cream puffs!  maybe I will do all three.

Now this is where I need your help!  I want to do some type of Valentine's day Craft.  I was thinking we could make cards, but the party is only two days before Valentine's day, so I am assuming everyone will have there items already for their special someone.

My mom found these cute ideas on http://www.tipjunkie.com/make-wreath/
That is where the below photos are from!!!

all crafts How To Make A Wreath ~ 22 Valentine Crafts

all crafts How To Make A Wreath ~ 22 Valentine Crafts

Now this is the one I am leaning more towards, however I am thinking it might be somewhat expensive with all of the fabric:

all crafts How To Make A Wreath ~ 22 Valentine Crafts

However I am really open for ideas...do you have any Valentine's Day crafts that are easy, and not to expensive to make???

Monday, January 17, 2011

Homemade bread in almost 5 minutes

My Aunt is a wonderful cook, and has always shared great recipes and cooking trends with me!

She had asked me if I heard about no knead bread...and I had not..she was tempting me with photos of this delicious bread, after her second loaf being in the oven I knew I had to try this.

This recipe comes from the Book Artisan bread in 5 minutes a Day it is there master recipe:

I also was googling about the book and found their web-site, the ingredients and the directions are all there, please go and visit for the exacts.

http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1616


Ingredients:

Lukewarm water
Granulated yeast
Coarse Salt
All Purpose Flour

Tools:
Wooden Spoon
A big bowl for mixing
Another bowl for rising (we used our kitchen aid mixer bowl)
Pizza stone--I used a cookie sheet
Broiler Pan

Mix all of the ingredients together--visit the web-site for the exact measurements!
Believe it or not, it all comes together very nicely.  We placed the dough in the kitchen aid mixing bowl for 2 hours, this is where you let it rise!
 Two hours later it has really rose and doubled in size, so make sure you use a big enough bowl!

Next you either place the dough in the fridge for up to 14 days, or you can cut of a piece of the dough to bake now.  From this recipe, you get 4 pounds of dough. 

We chose to bake a loaf right away to have with dinner. 
 
After you cute the dough off that you are going to bake it needs to rest for 45 minutes.




You set the oven to 450 degrees twenty minutes before you are to place the bread in the oven. The pizza stone/cookie tray and the broiler plan should be placed in as well when you start the pre-heat.
 Right before you place the bread in the oven, scour the bread, about 1/4 inch in depth!

 After the bread is baked for 30 to 35 minutes, it should be golden brown and it is done!

Now this bread did not take exactly 5 minutes about an hour in total from start to finish!
Enjoy this delicious bread it is very light and I could of eaten 1/2 of the loaf!

Also, here is a YouTube video, that helps explain the process:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFJZPm-_2-M
 
Do you have a homemade bread recipe that you love???

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Weekend Fun

Good Morning!!!

It is a three day weekend and I am so excited!!

We are driving up to North Jersey today for lunch with my family for my Grandmother's 81st Birthday!!  We will have really good Italian food.  I also have in my plan to stop at a bagel shop to get really good doughy yet crunchy New York bagels to have with my marmalade's for breakfast tomorrow!  My mom and dad will also be getting a cake from Sweet Eats to celebrate, their cakes are so good!

I am lucky to have a special relationship with my Grandmother.  She has loved and spoiled me my whole life.  My life has been enriched because of her,  I love you!!!

On Sunday, Mr P and Mr M (my Dad) will be working on the bathroom, it looks so good!  I love it, almost all of the tile except for one piece is completed in the bathroom, next is the vanity area!

Tomorrow,  I am going to be spending the day with my mom!  My dad will drive to my house, and I will drive to there's!  The main reason you ask, well of course to spend time with my mom, but also the puzzle is there!  We are going to try to make granola, and hopefully make food for the rest of the week.  Last weekend we did the same thing, my mom stocked me up with homemade chicken stew, beef stew, my dad gathered pizza dough, tortellini for the stew, grapefruits and green peppers!  Thank you :)  It saved me going to the grocery store for the week and cooking time!

Mr. P was in love with the beef stew and chicken stew..he said of course I can go to my mom's on Sunday as long as I come home with some good food!  I do feel bad leaving somewhat, but getting food ready for the week is a chore, so I consider it fair that when he is working on the bathroom, I am taking care of the meals for the week.  It is such a great thing to come home and have the meals ready!!

Monday will be a low-key day!!  I want to go through the closets in our soon to be master bedroom and get them cleaned out.  Believe it or not, I have six closets of clothes (some even double hung) between my house and my parents house!  Now, some of these clothes do not fit anymore, so I just have to donate them! 

Here are some photos of our house from when we were looking to purchase it..I will be showing you over the next couple of months the transition of this house to our home!!


The outside of the house--This porch is what made me fall in love with the house!!
The living room--now our media room!!

Living Room
Dining Room which will be our Den--That's me peaking in!!

Master Bedroom--I have not lived in the Master Bedroom of our home for 4 years!! 

Master Bathroom Vanity Area

I hope you have a great weekend!!! Isn't it kind of strange that in the winter our activities are different than the summer?? 
How are you spending your winter weekend???

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Sandwich

I have been reading Sugar Plum Blog for some time and she is a finalist to be the Grand prize winner for what's your spin on thin!

Now doesn't this Caribbean Jerk Sandwich look delicious...I wish I could have one for lunch today..How nice would that be!!!



Now if you think it sounds delicious as well, and how could you not please vote for it on Facebook, the link is:  http://apps.facebook.com/spinonthin/?page=VoteNow

You can vote once a day until:  January 17th!!

If you have not ready Sugar Plum Blog before you must, She develops amazing recipes that get you so hungry.  She is so creative she even a a bacon flavored whipped cream..how amazing!
http://www.visionsofsugarplum.com/

Now I will have a two day old leftover salad for lunch while dreaming of this sandwich!