Monday, August 31, 2009

Baking Again!

I feel like I haven't been baking much lately and suddenly had an urge to. I looked around and realized that we had a bunch of lemons and limes that were left over from my attempt for an edible centerpiece for our new dining table (don't ask!). So I went to my favorite recipe website and found this perfect recipe to use them up! For once, I actually followed the recipe completely. These came out a bit softer than my Cookie Carnival Lemon Bars and you can definitely taste the addition of lime in them, which made them REALLY good!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Osha Time!

The 4 of us went to Osha for a nice Saturday lunch and as usual, I ordered their Papaya Salad (no peanuts). Just for comparison purposes, I wanted to show what my last order looked like...
...and what this order looked like. What a difference right? I'm wondering if it's cuz my last salad was during dinner time and this was during lunch? I have no idea but they both tasted great! I this one was spicier though.

Greg and Kanika both ended up ordering the Duck Curry and said it was awesome. Ryan ordered the Sea Bass, which he really liked too. Ah the happy (and full!) family! :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our First House Guests!

We're having our first house guests, so of course I made Deviled Eggs! Greg's brother and sister-in-law (Ryan and Kanika) are staying with us this weekend and I'm sure there will be a LOT of eating and drinking involved! This is actually Greg's mom's recipe which is basically a combo of mayo, dry yellow mustard and S & P with paprika sprinkled on top. I followed this guide for hard-boiling my eggs cuz I can never seem to get it just right and they turned out perfect! I guess the real trick is just having patience and letting the eggs cook long enough (30 min after the water starts to boil OFF the heat) and letting them completely cool (20 minutes in ice water) before attempting to peel them. I did still mess up on 2 of the eggs but that's why I made EXTRA! Do you like the pretty egg tray I got from Bed Bath and Beyond? It makes the eggs look company ready, doesn't it? I also made Guacamole but somehow that never turns out to be very photogenic!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza = The Best Pizza EVER!

I'd like to quote Greg after his first bite of my latest pizza creation..."Baby, this is the BEST pizza you've ever made!" MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Although, now I'm gonna have to try and outdo myself and I'm not sure how I'm gonna do that...anyway, this pizza took a lil more time since I cooked the onions and mushrooms before adding them to the pizza crust but that extra step is TOTALLY worth it! Can you see the yummy carmelized onions on there? OMG SO good! I also used sliced provolone cheese along with the mozzarella since that's the traditional cheese used in Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches and the flavor really came through.


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
8 oz sliced roast beef, cut into thin strips
1/2 c sliced onions
1/2 c sliced mushrooms
1 Boboli pizza crust
1/2 c pizza sauce
6 slices provolone cheese
1 c shredded Mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 450F.

2. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add butter and mushrooms, and cook until caramelized, about 15 minutes, stirring often.

3. Place Boboli on ungreased baking sheet. Top with pizza sauce, Provolone, onion mixture, beef and Mozzarella (in that order).

4. Bake for 10 minutes, until cheese melts and crust warms through.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trader Joe's Has Done It AGAIN!

This entire gourmet Lamb over Mushroom Couscous meal came from Trader Joe's and only took 15 minutes to prepare! I'm not joking! I picked up a package of their Burgundy Pepper Boneless Leg of Lamb (only $5!) and decided to serve it over some couscous with mushrooms and of course, LOTS of parmesan cheese! I pan-fried the lamb in some olive oil per the package directions, for about 10 minutes, until they were still a bit pink on the inside. At the same time, I cooked some sliced mushrooms in a small pot until they were soft, added a cup of water, brought that to a boil and added in a cup of couscous. Took the pot off the heat and 5 minutes later, stirred in a BIG handful of parmesan cheese and DONE! SO good! I'm SO glad we still have half of the lamb in the freezer for a rainy day! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Wonderful Weekend with the Future In-Laws!

Jon and Priscilla came to visit us this past weekend and we had SUCH a wonderful time, as usual! We started the weekend off at Tres Agaves Friday night, where a LOT of yummy Mexican food was served and pitchers of Margaritas were consumed. This place has got to be one of our all-time favorite Mexican restaurants and lucky for us, our new place is now 2 blocks away!

The rest of our weekend was spent up in Napa and the weather was just PERFECT! We drove up Saturday morning and had an early lunch at Rutherford Grill, where we pretty much always eat at when we go up to Napa. It's just such a nice and casual place with great food and outdoor seating! The menu also has all sorts of different items so everyone's pretty happy. Then we stopped at our first winery, Cakebread Cellars. We made reservations in advance and got to sample 5 of their wines in the barrel room.

Then we hit up 4 more wineries, which included our favorites like Raymond Vineyards and Folie à Deux, and also checked out some new places like Merryvale and Opus One. We ended up only purchasing a few bottles from Raymond and Folie à Deux though. (I guess we're creatures of habit!) We were planning on having dinner somewhere nice but after a full day of wine-tasting, we got some drive-through burgers at Sonic and called it a night! :)

The next morning, we hit the road bright and early for some brunch. We drove all the way up to Calistoga and it was such a nice and scenic drive! The streets were pretty much empty since the wineries don't open until 10am. We finally stopped for brunch at this cute place called Hydro Cafe, where they served everything from Eggs Benedict to fruit parfaits. (Guess what Greg got?) The service was quick and we were on our way to Castello di Amorosa by noon. The first time we were there, it was overcast and yucky outside so we didn't take any pictures. This time, it was sunny and a perfect photo op!

Our trip ended at Mumm with some wonderful Champagne tasting outside. We split a bottle of their DVX 2001, which was our favorite the last time we came. I was so sad we had to end our lovely weekend in Napa, but I'm sure there'll be plenty more trips to come! The most depressing part, of course, was waking up and seeing FOG but I'm loving our new place so I'm not gonna complain too much!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TJ's Lobster Ravioli Take 2

I haven't been posting much lately due to our big move but I'm BACK! I actually have made a few things in the slow cooker but those are never very photogenic so I didn't take pictures. (They were happily consumed though, so don't worry!) I'm getting used to driving to Trader Joe's after work now and tonight I picked up another package of their Lobster Ravioli. The last time I made these, they were a total hit and this time they didn't disappoint either! I had almost a full bottle of Vodka Sauce in the fridge (don't ask, I have NO idea why!) so that's what I used along with some mushrooms and of course, LOTS and LOTS of Mozzarella and Parmesan CHEESE! SO simple but SO good! Dinner was on the table in less than 15 minutes. (Beat that Rachael Ray!) PLUS at about $5 for 2 servings, you really can't get better than this!

Another BBQ Pizza Featuring Frank's!

I guess we have a slight obsession with Frank's Red Hot Sauces at our house, especially when it comes to BBQ Chicken Pizza! This one was very similar to my last creation except that I used Tyson's Crispy Chicken Strips (microwaved for a minute then cut into bite-sized pieces) instead. It came out SO good and only took about 10 minutes to make. I'll definitely be making these pizzas more often. WAY faster and cheaper than delivery!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Letting the Creative Juices Flow...

I swear I get ALL of my great ideas at the gym! While on the elliptical Saturday morning, I suddenly came up with 2 GENIUS decorating ideas. I couldn't WAIT to get off and head over to Michael's for my "supplies"! Below are 2 sunflowers in an empty bottle of our favorite wine, Ménage à Trois. The ORANGE totally matches with our new living room decor. Cute right?

Now THIS is even more genius! BLUE flowers in a Cabo Wabo bottle to remind us of our Cabo trip! Gosh, has it REALLY been over 2 years? Geez time flies!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oven with Knobs???

Our new oven has knobs, which I haven't quite figured out yet...SO this Spaghetti Pie that I intended to make turned into a fat bowl of plain old spaghetti instead. Greg didn't complain though since any type of pasta with meat sauce is all good to him! I also added some mushrooms (which are also his fav!) and omitted the parmesan since I didn't have any. The result? A comforting meal and LOTS of left-overs! I need to figure out the oven ASAP though cuz I can't go on another week without baking anything!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Testing Out The New Kitchen with French Toast!

We were watching an episode of Good Eats featuring French Toast a couple of weeks ago and ever since then, Greg's been requesting it. It's been so crazy with the move and I hadn't had much time to cook at all so I thought this would be the perfect meal to break into our new kitchen! My version was pretty similar to Alton Brown's except that I didn't add the honey and I used good old Buttermilk bread that we had in the pantry. Oh and of course, my special touch of sprinkled powdered sugar at the end. YUM!

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