Friday Favorites

Guess what?  I finally finished that book I’ve been reading for months.  The book could have been about 100 pages shorter – the end was fantastic but a lot of the middle was unnecessary (in my opinion).  Just thought y’all might like that update.

Back to the whole “Friday” thing.  This weekend has been a long time coming.  Oh, there’s nothing special planned – except a lot of time with Big Guy and wine and cooking and if it really does snow, more wine.  This weekend is all about relaxing.  We’re running on fumes after a crazy busy start to 2016 but hopefully this weekend will recharge us and get us ready to tackle the rest of January.  Wherever you are and whatever you do, I hope you make this a wonderful weekend.


Favorite Cozy:  White Bean Soup with Crumbled Bacon and Spiced Brown Butter.   I want to dive head first into that bowl of yumminess.


Favorite Flavors:  Salt and Vinegar Chocolate Tart. I’m obsessed with salt and vinegar chips and I am even more intrigued by this sweet, tart and salty dessert.


Favorite DIY:  25+ Creative Ways to Repurpose Old Kitchen Stuff.  Some of the ideas are super fun while others would probably turn into a “pinterest fail.”


Favorite Slice:  Kale Pesto Pizza.  Obviously basil isn’t growing in our yard currently.  I love the kale + pecan combo for the pesto.


Favorite Inspiration:  Toast 12 Ways.    The cinnamon roll toast is totally happening.


Favorite Read:  Saving Grace by Jane Green.  I think I’ll purchase this for my Nook today.  It’s weird, I hate my Nook in the summer but love it in the winter for reading in bed.


Favorite Crave:  Jerusalem Hummus.    Yesterday morning while I was at the grocery store, I wheeled past the hummus but none of the flavors caught my eye.  Now I want hummus and I don’t have any.


Favorite Simple:  Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Chicken.    The perfect weeknight dinner.


Favorite Superbowl:  Crispy Baked Hot Wings with Mustard Dipping Sauce.   Let’s be honest, the game is more about the food than the game for me so I’m already brainstorming a menu.


Favorite High Maintenance:  Boozy Clementine Lemonade with Brûléed Citrus and Mint.  My kind of cocktail.








Eating / leftover tikka masala.  And there’s more for lunch today and tomorrow.

Drinking / wine.  I am so excited to open a bottle or two this weekend with Big Guy.

Practicing / barre!  It’s so fun (and challenging) to create a workout every.single.week.

Mastering / how to use a Mac.  I’ve been surprised at how “easy” it’s been.

Learning / so much at my new job.  Every day there is something new to learn.  And I love it.

Trying / to plan meals around the leftover ingredients I have on hand.  Ricotta is always a struggle.

Playing / on SnapChat.  I still like Instagram WAY better.

Finishing / After You by Jojo Moyes.  (oh dear, this was my same answer two months ago.)

Reading / the new issue of Garden and Gun.  Does any one else think Matthew McConaughey looks hideous on the cover?

Remembering / to put lotion on my hands at night.  This weather dries my hands out like crazy.

Wearing / layers.  It is so cold.  I can’t even.

Cooking / lamb and pizza.  I’m really excited about our weekend menu.

Working / some Saturdays.  One of the parts of my new job that I’m having to get used to.

Traveling / perhaps to California next month.  Crossing my fingers it works out.

Wanting / to be on a tropical island with a fruity cocktail in hand.  A girl can dream.

Chicken Tikka Masala

I’ve had my eye on two different tikka masala recipes for the past month or so and I finally added it to the menu plan this week!  This dish was the perfect end to a frigid day.  And when I say frigid, I mean frigid.  A high of 32 degrees just isn’t my idea of a good time.  Can we please plan a tropical vacation soon?

Tikka masala recipes vary greatly – from the amount of time to the spices used.  This particular recipe comes together relatively quickly and the end result warmed my soul.

Chicken breasts are cut into bite-size pieces before being sautéed in a little olive oil with salt, cinnamon and cumin.  This is where the flavor starts.

Once sautéed, the chicken is removed from the pan and diced onion, diced serrano, garlic and ginger were added into the pan with a little more EVOO.  Once the peppers and onions soften a little bit, garam masala (flavor!) and a little cayenne pepper is added followed by tomatoes, half-and-half and chicken stock.  Don’t forget to scrap all the bits off the bottom of the Dutch oven (more flavor!).  The chicken is added back and the entire mixture simmers so that the flavors can all combine and meld together.  The final touch is butter that is swirled until melted and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro for a POP of freshness (and flavor!).


So delicious!  It was exactly what I wanted (and needed) on a chilly freezing day.

The chicken tikka masala is served over a bed of rice – feel free to use your favorite style of rice – I went with a white basmati.

The best part – leftovers.

(To note:  I halved the recipe since the original makes 12 servings)


Friday Favorites

Fri-YAY!  I’m always excited for Friday but this Friday is extra sweet because Big Guy is finally heading home.  He’s been in California for the past two weeks and I’m more than ready to spend the weekend with him.  So yes, the recipes have been lacking this week but that’s because I’ve eaten enchiladas since Monday.  So help me if someone suggests we eat enchiladas this weekend.

Here are my favorites of the week!

Favorite All Mine:  Ahi Tuna Poke Quinoa Bowl.   Big Guy would totally not be into this bowl of goodness but I would devour that entire bowl so I’ll save this for a night when I’m on my own for dinner.


Favorite Weekend:  Coconut Banana Pancakes. My day dream is simple:  a weekend with Big Guy and no plans.  And these pancakes.


Favorite Tech Advice:  13 Settings You Should Change Right Now on Your iPhone.  I think everyone in my family needs to scroll through this list because we are quite unfortunate when it comes to technology.


Favorite Monday:  Loaded Veggie Nacho Soup.  A soup that tastes like nachos that is meatless?  Count me in.


Favorite Bite:  Brussels Sprouts Roasted in a Peanut Harissa Sauce.   I feel like I haven’t had brussels in forever!  These would be an amazing appetizer or side dish.


Favorite Tip:  3 Ways to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet.  I love our cast iron skillet.  You should love yours, too.


Favorite Cozy:  Crock Pot White Chicken Chili.  It’s cold.  And next week doesn’t look warm either.


Favorite Spoonful:  White Russian Ice Cream.  I have a bottle of Kahlua begging to be made into this spiked dessert.


Favorite Fashion:  Golden Globes Red Carpet Review.  Anyone watch the Golden Globes last Sunday?  I watched the first hour (hello, bed time!).  But let’s be honest, I haven’t heard of half of the movies and/or shows so I really watch just to see the dresses.  I didn’t have an “OMG, that’s the prettiest dress I’ve ever seen” moment but I did think that Jenna Dewan-Tatum looked amazing.


Favorite Tipsy:  Sparkling Sage Grapefruit Cocktail.   Because, duh, it’s the weekend!



some things you may not know about me

  • I was on the tennis team in high school.
  • I wanted to be a teacher when I was growing up.  Then I wanted to be a nurse.  And now I’m neither.
  • I could eat an entire jar of pickles in one sitting.
  • I am petrified of squirrels.  Especially in parks.
  • I’ve had the same cell phone number since I was 16.
  • I wish I could be friends with Giuliana Rancic and Giada De Laurentiis.
  • Despite the fact that we’re always on the go, I’m a homebody.
  • I love to exercise.  But not outside.  Unless we’re going on a long walk and the weather is “comfortable.”
  • I would love for us to build a house but I’m afraid I would never be able to make decisions.

p.s. I “stole” this idea from The Lunchbox Diaries.  

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

#meatlessmonday vs. #mexicanmonday

I typically choose Meatless Monday but last night Mexican won by a landslide.

I was craving something hearty and warm.  And after seeing Jessica’s blog post this morning, I couldn’t get enchiladas off my mind.

These enchiladas are full of shredded chicken, black beans, a homemade enchilada sauce (so easy!) and cheese.  Lots and lots of cheese.  The corn tortillas are rolled with the chicken and bean mixture inside before being topped with more enchilada sauce and CHEESE.

to note: You could totally use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to make your life easier when it comes to the chicken.  I went the “difficult” route and poached a couple of pieces of chicken and then shredded them.

After the enchiladas bake until bubbly perfection they are topped with cilantro, Greek yogurt and salsa.

It was everything I wanted and more.


It warmed me up and filled me up and made me totally NOT regret breaking the #meatlessmonday rule.