Monday, May 30, 2011

Plain Jane Pancakes & A Giveaway

Happy Memorial Day!! I hope you have the day off and have plans to laze around :). I am teaching Body Pump and otherwise????

Sunday was a beautiful day in Charleston. I started my day off right by walking the bridge with Amelia!! It was getting hot quick- it was over 80 degrees by 9 AM, but the breeze on the bridge made it feel just right. So great to catch up with Amelia :). After, I headed home for relaxation and yard work. Josh cut & edged the lawn while I weeded, laid down grass seed, and watered.

At night, Josh’s friend Jeremy came over to join Josh and Andrew in a video game marathon. I was feeling a little like I was living in a frat house haha. When it came time for dinner, I knew I wanted to make something from a fabulous cookbook I received to review, In the Small Kitchen: 100 Recipes From Our Year of Cooking in the Real World by Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine (disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher). 


According to the publisher:

“This cookbook is what all twenty-something cooks need: user-friendly, affordable, yet delicious recipes based on the popular blog, Big Girls, Small Kitchen…Included in the book you will learn all  about how to cook on a budget, cooking for one, friends, family, date nights, brunch, and dinner parties, plus great cooking tips, whether your kitchen is big--or like my NYC kitchen--very small!”

Cara and Phoebe seem so down to earth and fun! I love the way they divided the book into the type of cooking you may be doing (my favorite chapter is clearly brunch!).  I also enjoyed all of the stories, tips and tricks throughout the book. For my first recipe, I tried the Plain Jane Pancakes:


I made a double batch, some plain (Jane ;)), some with chocolate chips. Both myself and all of my frat boys thought they were fantastic! I threw bananas on top and let everyone choose whether they wanted butter or syrup or both on top of their pancakes.


Other recipes I can’t wait to try? Winter squash patties, white cheddar mac n cheese and my mother’s garlic soup! I think there is something for EVERYONE in this cookbook. Do you want a copy of your own? To win, leave a comment on this post by Friday, June 3 at noon telling me the first recipe you “mastered” in your early twenties. For me, it would probably be stir fry (unless fajitas in a box count haha).

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bricco Bracco & Pregnancy Update/VLOG Week 31

Have you been enjoying your weekend? I hope so! Mine has involved a few great workouts (including Body Step with my Mom!!), yummy eats, baby stuff shopping with my Mom, and a date night with Josh. Josh was in the mood for Italian food, so we tried a new-to-us spot, Bricco Bracco (which apparently means this and that in Italian).  


 Although the restaurant has sort of an odd location (in a shopping center), the inside is beautiful and somewhat modern.  After we were seated in a comfy booth, our waitress brought us both focaccia and Italian bread and garlic dipping oil. It was very tasty! Josh preferred the Italian bread, while I liked the focaccia:


 The restaurant has great specials, local seafood, house-made mozzarella (!!) and has a very made to order approach to their dishes. For example, Josh liked the chicken in one of their specials (chicken stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella), but didn’t want it with the marsala sauce or the potatoes that came with it. He requested marinara and house-made pasta (regular and spinach) instead. The chefs were happy to accommodate his order: IMG_2229

 Although the marinara was a little bland, the homemade noodles were incredible. I stole a bundle of the spinach noodles- yum!

I was in the mood for a big salad with balsamic and olive oil. Lucky for me, they had a tri color salad with a large blob of homemade mozzarella! To beef it up a bit, I added local shrimp:


The mozzarella was incredible and the shrimp were super tasty. Josh and I will definitely be back!

Bricco Bracco. on Urbanspoon

Pregnancy Update- Week 31:



Two links discussed in the Video:

The Pregnancy “Look”

Prenatal Vitamins & Autism

Friday, May 27, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Calzones, Take 3

Friday!! This day always makes me so excited! ESPECIALLY since its a three day weekend. Any plans? My Mom is coming down for Body Step and baby stuff shopping tomorrow. Sunday, I am hoping to walk the bridge with Amelia.  And Josh and I are going to have a date night somewhere in there :).

I’ve made buffalo chicken calzones a couple times (see here and here).  So, what was different this time? For one, it was almost a disaster:


Yes, that would be dough and a ton of flour STUCK to a cutting board. I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pizza crust for the first time. Apparently, it isn’t exactly like regular pizza dough.


The good news is that I saved this dinner and ended up with 4 tasty calzones. I also used a new to me marinade, KC Masterpiece Buffalo Marinade (disclaimer: samples came for free through the the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program).


Buffalo Chicken Calzones


  • Pizza dough (enough for 2 pizzas)
  • 1/2 lb chicken, boiled (cooked through) and shredded
  • 1/4 cup KFC Buffalo Chicken Marinade (or similar marinade/hot sauce)
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta
  • 2/3 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
  • olive oil for brushing


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together chicken, buffalo chicken marinade, and cheeses. Divide pizza dough into four pieces. Roll out the dough and split filling evenly. Place dough on non-stick aluminum foil or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Pinch calzone shut and brush with olive oil.



Bake for ~25 minutes (sorry for the dark pictures- it was a late dinner night!).

Printable Recipe



Have you ever “saved” a dinner??

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Garlic Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

We have a visitor staying with us! Josh’s friend Andrew will be staying with us for two weeks while he waits for his apartment to be ready. Given this, I decided I need to make Josh and Andrew more man friendly meals. For his first night here, I made a Southern-ish spread of sorts. I cooked up pulled pork and served it with a side of watermelon, garlic cheddar buttermilk biscuits (a semi-homemade version) and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (not shown):



For the biscuits, I used a Jiffy mix I had in the cabinet and doctored it up a bit:


Garlic Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits (Cheaters Version)


  • 1 package Jiffy Buttermilk Biscuit Mix
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar- 2%
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning (or similar seasoning mix)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk


Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.

Mix together biscuit mix, cheddar cheese and seasoning. Add in milk and mix until just combined.


Drop biscuit mix onto a cookie sheet and form 6 biscuits.

Bake for 11-12 minutes, until lightly browned.




I have been very spoiled lately :) A HUGE thank you to Julie (fellow Bravo & peanut flour addict) for this adorable baby outfit! Perfect for the food bloggers baby!!




Do you use boxed mixes? I usually avoid them, but they’re fabulous in a pinch!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spinach, Artichoke & Ricotta Pie & Week Happenings

   How has your week been treating you so far? Mine has been good- playing catch up from the weekend, working, taught pump x’s 2, enjoyed a few beautiful walks outside and cooked & baked. 

First up, I baked up a batch of my Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookies for Meighan who won them through a fundraiser on Carrots N Cake. IMG_2184


  I hope she enjoys them!!

Also, my garden has been growing out of control! We have tons of yellow squash coming in:


And we also got our first red tomato:


On Monday night, I made a version of Natalie’s Artichoke, Kale & Ricotta Pie. Instead of using kale, I used about 4 large handfuls of spinach. Here is the finished bake:



I had mine with apple slices and the tomato from the garden. Obviously, I topped it with ketchup :). IMG_2191

SO good!!IMG_2192

Josh really enjoyed the dish too!! Thank you Natalie!

And another BIG thank you to Ms. HEAB, CD & Summer who sent little Itzy some CUTE gifts- one of Summer’s favorite books and a little lamb blankie!



And finally (sorry for the longggggg post), I was recently contacted by enLiven to see if I wanted to try their new low-cost, all natural enLiven yogurt, which is available exclusively in Walmart stores (disclaimer: I received coupons to try this yogurt for free). IMG_2156


  I thought the size of the yogurt was perfect for a lunch box/bag. I also really liked the thickness of the yogurt and the fact that its free of artificial sweeteners.


On the downside, it was a little too sweet to me, but I think this is probably due to the fact that I’ve been eating plain Greek yogurt lately. Also, the peach flavor only contains 3 grams of protein per serving.

What yogurt types & brands do you buy? What do you look for in a yogurt?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jenny’s Graduation Weekend

We spent the weekend with Josh’s family celebrating Jenny’s college graduation! This post will be pretty picture heavy, so I will keep the words to a minimum.

We started the weekend off at one of Jenny’s favorite restaurants:


I got the yummy Chipotle Chicken Salad with raspberry vinaigrette:


After dinner, it was off to frozen yogurt. Josh’s Dad & the graduate:


Jenny and one of the teachers she student-taught for, Nicole. Nicole was super sweet:


Saturday, graduation was held under the gorgeous oaks. It was a TOASTY, but beautiful day.


Josh’s Mom always makes visors with the graduates name on them- so cute! Me (bump) & Josh waiting for graduation to start:


Jenny & her brothers:


Proud parents & the graduate:


After graduation, we had a bbq at Jenny’s adorable house. Some of the yummy eats, fruit!


Cheese, crab dip & crackers:


Josh made the guacamole (this is the greatest picture):


There was also chicken & veggie skewers, sausage, key lime pie and my cookies. Jenny’s boyfriend & Jenny:


Josh & his brother Justin, grilling:


After the bbq, there was pool time and relaxing. Later that night, we went out to dinner. Josh & I:


Josh’s Mom’s best friend, Katie, & Josh’s Mama:


We ended the trip with brunch Sunday morning. Roses on the table:


The brunch included AMAZING fresh fruit and whipped cream:


Congrats to the fabulous Ms. Jenny!!!

What did you do this weekend?