‘Cause I Can’t Help FALL-ing in Love with You…

Yes I love fall. Terrible title pun intended.

Sunny autumn Saturday mornings make me want to run in circles until I’m about to pass out then fall down in a pile of leaves. I want to eat these until I puke, carve gourds, buy new sweaters, sip spiked cider and make every apple/pumpkin recipe known to (wo)man.

And this marvelous season has begun my friends. Starting with pot roast and festive wreaths. Photos below, recipe even further and please, please go out and enjoy the best time to be a Midwesterner. OH — and give me all of your apple/pumpkin recipes so I can kind-of-but-not-really follow them and make delicious treats for the lucky few who I share these delectable bites.

Mama Margaret’s Perfect Pot Roast

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What you will need:
Frying pan and crockpot
Chuck roast or Rump roast
Couple handfuls of baby carrots
4 to 5 red potatoes
1 large white onion
Minced garlic
Beef broth
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil

AND

The key players that make this roast different (better) than others:
Domestic light beer (Someone left a colors light in our fridge thus it worked for this occasion)
3 to 4 pepperoncini peppers

First most important step:
Heat oil in your frying pan and generously season your hunk of meat with salt and pepper.
Then when the pan is nice and hot, sear your meat on all sides until brown then set aside to rest for a couple of minutes.

This is so important because it will lock in the juices of the meat and make sure it stays moist (how many people cringed here? Hahaha the word does nothing to me!) throughout the long cook time.

Next:
Pour a little beef broth into the crock pot and turn on high — then in goes your meat.
In your still hot frying pan, pour in some of your beer and scrape the bottom with your spatula to get all the good tiddlybits and pieces your beef left behind. Pour juicy succulent remnants over beef and empty the rest of the can into crockpot.

Then chop your veggies into similar sized pieces, fairly big, to ensure even heating and that they wont overcook waiting on the meat. Throw it all in the pot with 2-3 little scoops of minced garlic and the peppers.

Set a cook timer for 4-6 hours and walk away. Possibly do the running in circles falling in leaves thing.

Upon returning at the sound of the buzzer set to low for 2 hours.

Carve a gourd, Come back, turn off heat.

Enjoy and serve with a nice piece of sourdough toast — and send a thank you to my mama.

Happy fall!!

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Pinterest projects, petit fours and pots of fondue

Firstly, I apologize for lack of content — you know life happened. But I’m back now bringing you yes, Pinterest projects, petit fours and pots of fondue.

Pinterest project wine cork letters:

It took about 3-4 months of collecting and 1-2 months of procrastinating and 1-2 hours of intensive hot glue battle but here is the newest artistic piece to our kitchen!

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Petit fours:

I became extremely ambitious for my dearest mother’s birthday, no ordinary cake would do for her “45th birthday” so I made petit fours. Tiny, delicious, tiered cakes with chocolate, cream, and jelly filled layers. Sorry I can’t provide a more concise recipe for the ones I made but let’s face it, I wing most of my recipes and that’s well that’s it…. Enjoy! Chocolate covered one has blackberry filling and the royal icing covered ones have chocolate ganache filling.

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Petit fours: http://ohmysugarhigh.com/quick-and-easy-no-bake-pound-cake-petit-fours/

Ganache: http://lemongrassbakery.com/blog/2010/03/ganache-and-petit-fours/

Royal icing: http://www.brit.co/color-blocked-petit-fours/

Finally, the pot-o-fondue:

Brie pesto dip! So delish and simple — happy weekend!! Now to catch up on Boardwalk Empire and the Newsroom!

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Brie and pesto fondue: http://www.bestfondue.com/brie-fondue-recipe.html

Cheese Stuffed Fried Olives with Spicy Aioli

I was really in the mood for fried pickles tonight, but was immediately disappointed when I opened our fridge to find 3 sad, hamburger style pickle slices floating in green juice. So on to the next task, what else can I deep fry? My eyes landed on the giant jar of Lindsay Spanish queens. I decided to de-pimento them and create a stuffing for them. Cheese seemed like a natural companion to this briney snack. So below is a really quick and easy recipe (sorry I’m not great with measurements since I kind of just fly by the seat of my pants while cooking) for cheese stuffed fried olives and (since no fried snack is complete with out a dipping sauce) spicy aioli.

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Olives:

Large pimento stuffed green olives

Ricotta cheese

Cream cheese

Lemon juice

Salt Pepper, galic salt, other spices (to taste)

Breading:

Panko crumbs

Bread crumb

2 Eggs

Flour

Salt, pepper, garlic salt, other spices  (to taste)

Vegetable oil or olive oil (to fry them in)

Spicy Aioli:

1/2 cup mayo

2 tablespoons sour cream

Lemon juice

Olive juie

Dijon mustard

Paprika

Hot sauce (just a touch)

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1. De-pimento your olives and set aside.

2. Mix equal amounts of cream cheese and ricotta, season with just a splash of lemon juice, and salt, pepper, galic salt, maybe some paprika to taste.

3. Scoop cheese mixture into a ziplock bag and seal. Then cut off a small piece of the corner (maybe 1/2 an inch). This will allow you to easily pipe the cheese mixture into the hollow olive.

4. Once you’ve piped all your olives, now come the time for you to bread them. You will need 3 small bowls (sometimes I use tea cups because my bowls are too big and I end up wasting a lot of bread crumbs).

  • Bowl 1: 1/2 cup or 1 cup of flour, youcan always add more
  • Bowl 2: 2 eggs, beaten until combined
  • Bowl 3: Equal mixture of regular bread crumbs and panko bread crumbs, as well as salt, pepper, garlic salt, other spices  (to taste)

5. Pour oil into sauce pan over medium to medium high heat, oil should come to about 1/3 to half the way up the pan and be at about 350 degrees F — honestly I just guess the temp its at, but thats what other sites are saying for other fried foods (if you have a tiny sauce pan or tall or skinny one, this is better because you waste less oil but still get the depth for frying)

6. While the oil is heating up, roll your first lil guy in flour, then dunk into the egg mixtures and gently roll in the  bread crumbs — tada! Repeat until all are coated (on a side note: you might need to pause in the middle of the batch to refill bread crumb mixture or wash your fingers because the crumbs will build up on them and its difficult to operate that way)

7. When the oil is hot (might consider using a test olive) drop 4-5 olive in at a time and let them sizzle for 2 minutes or so. Using a slottted spoon, scoop them up when they are golden brown and let them rest on a plate covered with a bed of paper towel to catch the oil.

8. Once you’ve cooked them all and they are cooling slightly, it’s time to whip up the aioli. In a small bowl, combine mayo, sour cream, a splash of lemon juice, a splash of olive juie, a little squirt of Dijon mustard, sprinkle of paprika, and a dash of hot sauce.

9. Serve with the slightly warm olives and enjoy!

Home Sweet Home

Finally after a few remodeling projects, new furniture, and a paint job or two — pitcures are up!

Before (2011):

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Foyer  before

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Foyer before

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Living Room before

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Living Room before

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Guest Bedroom/Office before

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Guest Room/Office before

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Master Bedroom before

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Master Bedroom before

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Master Bedroom before

Bathroom

Bathroom

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Bathroom before

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Kitchen before

The big move!

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IKEA trip

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Unpacking

Painting, painting, painting!

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Bye bye princess pink room

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Pro painter obvi

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Coat #1 of what felt like 1 million

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Big changes!

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Pillow making!

After (2013):

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Welcome

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Foyer after

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Foyer after

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Foyer after

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Living Room after

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Living Room after

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Living Room after

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Living Room after

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Living Room after

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Pillows!

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Kitchen after

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Kitchen after

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Kitchen after

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Kitchen after

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Bathroom after

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Bathroom after

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Bathroom after

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Guest Room/Office after

 

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Guest Room/Office after

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Guest Room/Office after

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Master Bedroom after

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Master Bedroom after

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Master Bedroom after

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Master Bedroom after

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We bought a celebratory bottle of champagne in 2011 and we’re finally able to pop the cork this year!
Home Sweet Home