Ok. Truth time. I do not like the movie Elf. I find no redeeming qualities in the movie, irrespective of the reality that I love Zooey Dechanell. The movie is just not funny. There. It’s out there. Just had to get that off my chest. BUT even though I will not spend my Christmas season watching Elf doesn’t mean I’m not excited for winter because…
It’s party season!! And this girl LOVES parties. Eggnog. Christmas cookies. Ugly Sweaters. Love Actually (now that’s a movie!). Wow, my heart is fluttering as I type this.
With all these parties, it’s likely that you’ll get an invite to a party where you need to bring something. Here is a great taco dip recipe that is SUPER easy and CRAZY delicious. Million gustas.
It’s been a while! I have so many new recipes to share and so many pictures to edit. Hence the lack of new recipes.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for Thanksgiving. Now that I have a full-time job, long vacations are far and few between. No more month winter vacation or no class Fridays. Eh. The growing pains of becoming an adult. So a 5-day weekend–it felt like winning the lottery!
This long weekend has been a great opportunity to make new, fun side dishes. Honestly, with working every day, making multiple dishes each night is a bit of a handful. So in my effort to learn to cook, my focus has been on main dishes. Thanksgiving was a great chance to master some appetizers.
Matt has always been a dip-guy. He loves chips. So when I found this kopanisti recipe, I had to try it. This dip is great for pita chips, carrots, celery, and other finger veggies. A great change from the usual french onion dip Matt has been devouring.
I PASSED THE BAR!! You have no idea how good it feels to write that. After months of waiting, worrying, and some more waiting, I got the coveted letter from the Bar of Law Examiners Friday morning at 11:00 and screamed in excitement. So loud that one of my co-workers came into my office to see if I was ok. Ha. I was shaking with excitement for a good hour. The final hurdle standing in the way of my legal career has finally been conquered.
Now that I’ve lawyered the bar exam, my next feat will be working with yeast. I have a long list of recipes I want to try that work with active yeast that I have putting on the back burner to try “someday.”
Well, that someday wasn’t today. (hey, I passed the bar. I figured I earned myself a break) But next week I am going to overcome my fear of yeast and give it a good college try. This pizza was so delicious that it will probably be one of my first recipes I’ll make using yeast. Figure even if I fumble a bit, the powerful basil and mozzarella flavors will overpower any mistake I may make.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving. Well, at least in Canada. And since I married a Canadian, it meant it was Thanksgiving in our house. We invited some of our favorite friends over for a full-out Thanksgiving meal. As expected, we all went around the table and said what we were thankful for.
It made me realize something. I have the greatest life. I grew up in this quinessential small town where when you go to the grocery store, you know every single person there. I was raised by a mom and a dad and a brother and a sister–a family who doesn’t always agree but always believes in the importance of standing up for what you believe in.
I married a man who loves me just as much as I love him. Who honestly would do anything to make me happy-including toying with the idea of buying me a french bulldog despite his so-so feeling about owning a puppy. I married into a family that is extremely loving and welcoming.
My cellphone is filled with numbers of friends from across the states. Sure, some numbers haven’t been dialed in months, but the voices at the end of line are comprised of friendships that allow us to pick up right where we left off. I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s what it means to have a solid friendship. And all of that, equals the greatest life. Sure, there are things that could make my life easier, better, less of a hassle. But I’ve never wished for a perfect life. Just a happy one. And there is nothing greater than that.
And just as Minnesota is notorious for, we skipped straight from summer to a cold fall. Because of the early morning frosts, our garden had it’s last harvest. I completely stripped my plants from any and all usable ingredients. It was overwhelming how fruitful my hall was! I felt so lucky to have so many fresh veggies to work with at this late in the season.
Per usual, my jalapenos grew out of control! I wanted to figure out something fun to make with them! And that’s how my bacon-wrapped jalapeno boats were born!
How do people do it? Hold a full-time job. Work out. Make dinner. Spend time with a significant other. Practice a hobby. And still go to bed at a decent hour. After one month of working full-time, it has definitely readjusted the way I look at the working world. Much respect. I have no idea how everyone does it. It’s clear that I am still acquiring my sea legs. Hence the lack of posts in the past month.
This recipe is not tailored for the working-folk. Today, I came home from work at 7:15. I had called Matt at 6:30 asking him to start this recipe. Yet we didn’t eat until 9:15!! I haven’t had dinner this late since I lived in Spain. As my roommates in Spain quickly learned, I fucking hate cena (late dinner). So save this recipe for the weekend. A day when you come home early. Not a day when you have to work all day.
The weather is crisper. The leaves have carpeted our backyard. Fall is definitely in the air. As much as I love wanting to smush pumpkin into everything I eat and wearing boots and sweaters, it is going to be too cold for my plants to survive. While I can move some of my basil and tomato plants into my basement, my summer of fresh veggies and herbs is coming to a close. To mourn the loss, I decided to make recipes that call for lots of fresh herbs that I won’t be able to make this winter without a high grocery trip bill. It was time to make pesto!
Despite having a food blog for over half a year, I don’t have fancy tools for the kitchen. No food processor. No sharp knives. No Kitchen-Aid. I rely on hand mixing and hand chopping (with awfully dull knives). And that’s ok. Because when I finish a recipe, I love saying I made this without any fancy kitchen utilities and it still tastes awesome. And I kick ass.
The best part about this pesto recipe is that while most people rely on a food processor to make pesto, this recipe doesn’t need one. In fact, rumor has it, the best pesto is made when you chop the ingredients by hand. And that made my day. Who needs fancy, expensive kitchen machines when you got your hands : )
Fall is finally here!! It is my favorite season–cool, crisp weather, sweaters, scarves, boots, pumpkin lattes. Usually fall marks new beginnings for me since a new year of school starts–but this year is the first year in 20 years that I didn’t start school. Luckily, the great feeling of a fresh start didn’t fade this fall because I started my first, real job as a lawyer a couple weeks ago. Still, it’s odd not working on homework or spending time on OneNote.
Fall also means more heartier meals. Something to stick to your ribs. And this makes me think of eggplants. I always avoid recipes that require deep frying so making eggplant parmesan has never been something on my to-do list. Thank God I found this recipe! I still get to enjoy eggplant parmesan without all the deep fried hassle and high calories.
So many new things have been happening in my house. I got a job!! Only after a couple months after graduating law school, I got a position as an associate attorney at a law firm that specializes in banking and business law. I started last week and so far I am loving it! The firm has been so welcoming. It feels like I hit the jackpot.
And the day after starting work, Matt and I decided it was time to paint our kitchen cabinets. We’ve only had our house for a little over a year, and it definitely falls under the category of a “fixer-uper.” The kitchen had cheap, dark, wood cabinets. They added nothing to our kitchen. My mother-in-law suggested we paint them, and it was time for us to take her advice.
Still putting last minute touches on the newly, painted cabinets. So no “after” picture yet. With the new job and a diy project turning my kitchen upside down, cooking fell to the back burner. But after a week hiatus, it was time for a new recipe.
While I was studying for the bar, I wanted fast and easy homemade meals. Our freezer was full of ground turkey so I decided to cook it up, mix it together with pasta, cheese, and herbs and turn it into a bake. Matt feel in love with the meal, begging me to remake it. So after making various versions of the pasta bake, I decided it was time for a vegetarian bake.
Our fridge is becoming increasingly more full of fresh veggies from our garden every day so I cut up our multi-colored zucchinis, some basil, green onions, and jalapenos, mix them with some cheese, spinach, and dried herbs. and the cheesy zucchini bake was born!
Today was harvest day at the Cremona house. With my handy shears, I plopped tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos, serranos, green beans, and an orange pepper into my basket. When I was done, I looked like I raided a farmer’s market.
I am so proud of my orange bell pepper. Last year only my green peppers grew so I was thrilled when this year turned out to be different. I didn’t want my miracle pepper to go to waste. This pepper needed to be used in a truly fun recipe. Something unique where the flavors of the pepper stood out.
This twist on the traditional, tomato-based bruschetta was excellent. The orange pepper makes the bruschetta sweeter and crunchier. Next time I make this I think I’ll use different color bell peppers to see how that mixes up the taste.