Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

I’m a big fan of “bucket lists.” In fact, I have multiple lists.  I have my travel bucket list:  Italy, Spain, Austin.  The list goes on and on.  My largest list is a restaurant bucket list:  Maude in LA is at the very top.  And then there’s my “kitchen” bucket list.  We’ve tackled homemade pasta and ciabatta bread and I really want to take on homemade croissants.  But this past Saturday we checked Julia’s Boeuf Bourguignon off our list.

The recipe takes some time (you’ll need a good 4-5 hours from start to finish) but it’s worth it.  We popped Julie and Julia into the DVD and got to work in the kitchen.  Our house was filled with the most amazing aroma and we were in heaven as we enjoyed each and every bite.  I served our boeuf bourguignon with roasted potatoes and an amazing bottle of red wine.

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“Nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.” – Julia Child

 

Friday Favorite

Morning!  I have a busy morning ahead but wanted to share some of my favorites from the week that might inspire you on this lovely Friday.  We’re bracing ourselves for the return of cold weather (enter frown here) and have a weekend filled with a mix of social happenings and nothingness.  So here we go….

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Favorite Wanderlust:  5 Favorite Spring Break Spots in the U.S.  As if you needed another excuse to want to plan a trip…

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Favorite Drool:  Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cinnamon Rolls.  These might be a little sweet for my usual 6:30am breakfast but I’m pretty sure I could make room for one or two after a weekend brunch.

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Favorite Shot:  Survive Cold Season without a Sniffle.  No alcohol is involved.  But this is not for the faint of heart.

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Favorite Flavor:  Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.  My face immediately becomes the heart eye emoji when I hear the word “lemon” in any recipe, especially dessert.

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Favorite Fashion:  Striped Sailor Pant.  Yesterday I received a text from a friend with a picture of a blogger in these pants and she deemed I needed them.  I agree.

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Favorite Sammy:  Healthy Pumpkin Seed and Avocado Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich.  I want to pack this up and go on a picnic.

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Favorite Page Turner:  The One That Got Away.  And this book makes me wish for an afternoon by the pool with not a care in the world.

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Favorite Sunday:  Truffled Mushroom Bacon Pepperoni Pizza.  I’m hoping for a pizza Sunday this month.

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Favorite Big Game:  Slow Cooker Asian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.  Perhaps I can get into March Madness with this lovely sandwich and some fun appetizers.

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Favorite Pour:  Pear Elderflower Champagne Cocktail.  No shaking and no stirring. Let’s be fancy.

Cheers to the weekend!

Spicy Veggie Hash {plus WIAW}

Hey friends!  I have an incredibly busy day ahead but I wanted to pop in and share an easy yet delicious recipe plus WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday).  I am intrigued to read what other people eat on a day-to-day basis whether it’s a celebrity, a dietician or just another blog I read.  So here’s how yesterday’s food looked:

coffee

6am – Coffee (with almond milk creamer) & Jesus.  After my alarm goes off and I fully wake up (face washed, teeth brushed, contacts in), I head straight to the kitchen and start the coffee pot and take my vitamins.  I spend about 15-20 minutes doing my bible study questions for the day (still in John!).  I used to scroll through Instagram first thing in the morning but I’ve learned that’s not the best way for me to start the day.

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6:30am – Time to break the fast and watch the news.  Greek yogurt + KIND Granola + Peanut Butter was the bowl of the day (and a typical breakfast two to three times a week).

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6:45am – More coffee and creamer.  I add a scoop of collagen to this cup.  You can read all about the benefits of collagen here.  I did quite a bit of research before biting the bullet.

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10am – I am currently fighting off germs.  I have a fever blister and I had the feelings of a cold coming on.  If you follow me on SnapChat, you know that I put together a “cold chaser” shot:

1/4 tsp. oregano oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. honey
Pinch of Himalayan salt
It was absolutely horrific and I pray that it works.  Immediately after this shot, I reached for an orange for extra vitamin C and to get the awful taste out of my mouth.
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12pm – I found myself with some extra time yesterday so I spent a little time in the kitchen preparing lunch. I typically reach for a smoothie or leftovers for lunch but I’m glad I pulled out the knife and put some effort into lunch.  I prepared a Spicy Veggie Hash and it was deeeelicous.  Plus I have leftovers for the rest of the week.  You do have to dirty up two pans – but it’s worth it. This recipe is incredibly filling and I loved the combination of the sweet potatoes with cinnamon and cumin.
Changes I made to the recipe:  I left out the tomato; I used a different cheese that I had on hand.
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3pm – As usual, an afternoon snack!  I paired one of the muffins I made late last week with 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter.
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 6:45pm – Following a walk with a friend, I threw together a salad that consisted of mixed greens, strawberries, avocado slices and avocado.  This combo is one of my absolute favorites and it totally made me crave spring.
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7:10pm – Tea time.  I wanted something to sip on and reached for a warm cup of tea while I watched E! News.
In addition to the above, I also enjoyed two lime flavored carbonated water (similar to La Croix but an off brand) as well as lots of water.
Oh and a pickle around 4:30pm.

Celebrating Baby Bell

I am so excited to be getting new nephew next month.  I’ll be Aunt Emmy times four.  This past weekend we celebrated the mommy-to-be and Baby Bell.  I, along with Kiersten’s sister, my sister, and both my mom and Kiersten’s mom put a lot of long-distance planning into the shower and it was all worth it.  We went with the theme of “Little Man” and had bowties, mustaches and onesies all over the place.

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The shower took place at one of the club houses where my sister-in-law and brother live in Columbia.  This was Kiersten’s only shower so there was a lovely mix of ladies – family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.

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The shower featured a “mom-osa” bar with bubbles and your choice of fruit juice and fresh fruit.  The orange-peach juice was a favorite.  We also had sweet tea, water and lemonade available at another bar.

foodspread

The shower started at 2pm so we did a light spread of party food.  We had party meatballs (frozen meatballs, chili sauce and grape jelly – so easy), feta and caramelized onion tarts from Trader Joes, fruit kebabs, veggies cups with hummus and a kale-spinach dip.  We also had several cheese and cracker trays.  For dessert – mini cupcakes and cake pops from a local bakery in Columbia.  The cake pops were amazing!

diapercake

And while I can only take credit for helping roll the diapers and placing them in a cake shape, my Momma’s diaper cake was impressive. She’s made a variety of “party cakes” for wedding and baby showers and they always turn out amazing.  So much talent that woman has.

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And a sweet picture with my favorite little niece, Haines.  I cannot believe she is five years old.

It was such a treat to celebrate my sister-in-law this past weekend and see family and friends.  I decided to stay the night with my brother and sister-in-law so I could spend some extra time with them before the baby arrives.

I can’t wait to visit again (hopefully in May) and meet the little man.

Friday Favorites

Oh, March!  When March rolls around I start craving springtime.  And honestly, we’ve had a lot of “spring” weather lately.  Anyways, this week has been a busy one!  I’ve been flying solo this week while Big Guy has been in California working and I honestly haven’t cooked a thing except for muffins and oatmeal.  #truth  I’m headed to Charlotte/Columbia this weekend to co-host my sister-in-laws baby shower and I’m excited to see family and catch up with my brother and SIL.  After a busy weekend with family, I’m looking forward to coming home to Big Guy on Sunday…he’s in charge of dinner but maybe he’ll let me help a little in the kitchen.  Or at least let me pick out the bottle of wine we can have with dinner.

Enjoy your first weekend of March!

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Favorite Daydream:  Your Guide to a West Palm Beach Girls’ Weekend.  We’re in the middle of planning our “spring break”/anniversary trip for this year but I can’t help wanting to go on a “girls only” trip.  I think this would be a fun idea for my mom and sister and sister-in-laws once we get through the baby stages in the family.  p.s. you can feed flamingos and take pictures with them.

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Favorite Dough:  White Pizza with Spinach and Lemon.  Pizza night!  We haven’t had one in awhile.

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Favorite Makeover:  DIY Campaign Dresser.   Love how this basic dresser is made incredibly glam.

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Favorite Cookie:  Oatmeal Raisin Snickerdoodles.  You either love raisins or you don’t.  I do.  And these cookies look amazing.

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Favorite Bookmark:  Southern Solstice by Sarah Sadler.  MUST READ!

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Favorite Buzzed:  Espresso Almond Cashew Butter. Coffee in my nut butter?  Sign me up.

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Favorite Weeknight:  Skillet Lemon Chicken with Olives and Herbs.  I love that it’s one pan and dinner is done.  Light and bright and dinner perfection.

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Favorite Craving:  Honey Walnut Shrimp.  I am sooooo looking forward to having fresh shrimp from the local seafood shack at Ocean Isle Beach.

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Favorite Announcement:  March Cookbook Club!  Totally buying this NOW.  It’s been on my “want” list for a while and now I have a reason to buy it.

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Favorite Fancy:  Lemon Raspberry Sorbet Prosecco Floats.  Sweet, tart and bubbly.  My kind of drink.

Cheers!

 

 

five ingredient banana muffins

This may be the easiest recipe with the easiest clean-up I’ve ever posted.  I’ve been staring at the bananas in our kitchen since Monday wondering what I want to make with them (the freezer is fully stocked with frozen bananas for smoothies – that’s what usually happens to brown bananas).  I researched a few that I had pinned on Pinterest but I wasn’t sold.  Then on Wednesday I was browsing Instagram and came across these five ingredient banana muffins.  And the best part – they are made in a food processor.

Here’s what you need:

3 ripe bananas
2 cups oats
3/4 cup pitted dates
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda

That’s it!  I did add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few shakes of cinnamon (a last minute addition).

Simply add all the ingredients into your food processor and whirl until smooth.  If your dates are super hard and/or your food processor isn’t super strong, soak the dates in some warm water for a minute or two before adding them to the processor.

Scoop some batter into a muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes (anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes).

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Your house will smell amazing.  And you are done cleaning up before the muffins are done cooking (well, if you have a dish washer).

These muffins have less than 130 calories each and are the perfect snack or breakfast.  I recommend pairing with a good smear of nut butter.

Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole

A one-pot dish that is sure to be a winner on the dinner table.  It’s healthy comfort food that’s also husband and kid-friendly.  I recommend this dinner on a night when you have a little bit of time to prep (30 minutes) but once it goes in the oven, the work is done.

I love that this recipe makes prep easier by using a food processor to chop up the carrots and onions.  Simply place the veggies in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Let the dishwasher clean the food processor.

Sauté the onions and carrots for about 4 minutes and add in the finely chopped garlic, allowing that to cook for 2 more minutes.  Then add in the Italian seasoning – I made my own Italian seasoning using dried basil, thyme and oregano, some red pepper flakes and a little salt.  Add in the beef.  I find that Trader Joes as some of the best ground beef.  I try and stock up when I got and throw several packages in the freezer for nights like this.  Cook the beef for 5 minutes, breaking it up as it cooks.  I like using a potato masher for this.  Seriously.  Then goes in the chicken stock, fresh basil, tomato paste, vinegar, pasta (I used gluten-free brown rice pasta) and the tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and cook about 13 minutes or until the pasta is almost cooked through and the pasta has thickened a bit.

At this point I decided to transfer the pasta mixture to a baking dish knowing we would have lots of leftovers.  But you can totally keep this a one-pot meal and starting the whole recipe in an oven-safe pot.

Top the pasta with mozzarella and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Sprinkle with basil and dig in!

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So yummy!  Absolute comfort food – carbs and cheese.

Like a said, a true winning dinner that everyone will love.