Monday, March 17, 2014

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 12

Last week I was not able to post even once! How terrible! I will go back and update probably, but Sunday and Monday we were up working on the house both nights until midnight. It was definitely a rush job on the living room to get it ready for Bunco. We definitely did not get done, but at least it seemed somewhat pulled together and at least clean.We needed another two weeks,, but I am really hoping it is done by the 29th for our cocktail party (realistically, it has to be!). 
We had such a busy week, first Bunco on Tuesday. Wednesday we were supposed to go and see a movie screening and we just vegged out. It was nice to just be home and relax. But Bunco was a ton of fun!


Thursday we did the Penfolds wine dinner at Ruths Chris, it was fan-flippin' tastic and of course we had an awesome table!


This past weekend flew by! Friday my mom and dad brought my niece over and we had dinner together. It was so good to see them, they just got back from AZ so it was good to catch up. My parents helped us rearrange furniture in the living room, we must have moved it around 7 different ways to the sun. And of course, it went back to the way we had it to begin with. We are really struggling with this room and the layout, but we may have come up with a solution.

Gracie stayed and spent the night. The next day we went and had our nails and toes done. Of course Gracie loves the massage chair.
 After lunch and some errands, it was time for wine class, and then we took Gracie to soccer before we headed to a friends for dinner. Friends T & J had given her a huge bottle (5 liters) of wine for her birthday, so we had a nice dinner and shared it. It was fantastic of course. 
After a late night, we slept in and then headed to the furniture store. We needed to get new fabric samples for the sectional we want to order. We had already gotten five samples that did not work, so it was back to the drawing board. We ran into friends M & B though who were shopping for a rug, so it was fun to catch up with them.
Then it was onto the car show. The boy was so excited and had been talking about it for weeks. We both need new vehicles, so it was a great way to check out what is out there and see what works for us. I came away with some clear options. It was fun to see what was new.

We were just exhausted after spending hours in and out of cars, so dinner was a frozen pizza after stopping at the grocery store to pick up a few things for the week. 
Here is what we have lined up for this week!


Plans - St. Patrick's Day! Our neighbors Barb and Pat are joining us for corned beef and cabbage. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, leftover pizza
Dinner - Corned Beef and Cabbage (potatoes and carrots)

Plans - Home
Breakfast and Lunch - Cottage cheese, strawberries, leftovers from Saturday
Dinner -  Spinach and Artichoke Pasta
Plans - Furniture store to turn in fabric samples, Lowe's for supplies, Home Goods, picked up new rug for my office.
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, leftover corned beef
Dinner - Red Robin for my birthday burger
Plans - The boy worked on the living room, neighbors across the street stopped by to check out the boys work in the upstairs hallway and to see the progress on the living room.
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, leftovers
Dinner - Pan fried blackened Mahi Mahi and steamed green beans
Plans - The boy worked on the living room, turned in early - long week
Breakfast and Lunch - Cottage cheese and strawberries, leftovers from Saturday
Dinner - Ordered in - veggie pizza
Plans - Errands, Wine Class, Dinner out with friends
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, lunch on the go
Dinner - JD Hoyts with friends T & J. Another restaurant off of our list!
Plans - Errands, groceries for dinner, impromptu Dinner Party with friends S, L, T & J (even puppy Maddie got to join us). S & L were coming anyway to discuss plans for the party Saturday. S is making cookies and L who is in my wine class, is bartending and helping with appetizers. SO nice to have help!
Breakfast and Lunch - Trader Joe's Toaster Pastry
Dinner - Barefoot Contessa's Coq au Vin

For more meal plans and to find links to other recipes, check out the

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Recipe of the Week - Chocolate Mint Trifle - St. Paddy's Day Bunco!

Time for the Tuesday Recipe Link up! I am linking up with Tasty Tuesdays, Hello Happiness and In and Out of the Kitchen.

I am getting ready for next week and our Bunco themed St. Patrick's Day game night. My sister made this last year, and it was such a hit! Festive, delicious and pretty (at least while in the bowl!).
1 box (19.5 ounces) family size brownie mix, prepared according to directions and baked in 9 x13 inch pan
3 cups cold milk
2 boxes (3.4 ounces) instant chocolate pudding
1 container (12 ounces) of frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
a couple drops of green food coloring
1 ½ cups mint baking chips
a few Andes mints, unwrapped
Fresh mint sprig

Cool brownies and cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes. Beat pudding and milk together until it starts to thicken. In another bowl, mix peppermint extract and a few drops of green food coloring into the whipped topping until it turns light green. Place half of the brownie cubes in the bottom of a trifle dish or clear glass bowl. Top with half of the chocolate pudding. Sprinkle on half of the mint chips. Next, carefully spread half of the green whipped topping over mints. Repeat with the remaining brownies, pudding, and mint chips. Cover loosely with plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve. Right before serving remove plastic and decorate the top with a “cloud” of the reserved green whipped topping. Place some whole mints on top and garnish with fresh mint sprig.

Monday, March 03, 2014

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 10

One of my favorite weekends of the year did not disappoint. We were so fortunate to have so many of our favorite things all land on the same weekend. The wrap up of Restaurant Week, The Food & Wine Show and The Oscars. The only bummer was not being able to host what had started to become our annual Oscar Party. Just too many things happening all in the same weekend. It seems the Oscars were a bit later this year as well.

We wrapped up the week on Friday out with good friends J & T at Ruths Chris. Dinner was amazing, so good and good to see them. We also ran into friends J & J who were also finishing up dinner. However, they also shared terrible news with us that another good friends sister was very ill, and unfortunately passed away Saturday evening. Too young and too soon. I am sure this will be a tough one. 
Saturday we did our volunteer shift at the Food & Wine Show. This was my ninth year, and probably the seventh for the boy. I did miss one year where I had a shoulder injury, but it is always a ton of fun. Recently however, the magazine, Minnesota Monthly, which puts on the show, was bought by another publishing house. There were quite a few staff changes over the last couple of months, and the people who we were used to working under have moved on. The changes were not exactly for the positive I will add. We have, for the past few years, passed out bags, water and wine glasses, greeting attendees as they come in. It is a lot of fun and high energy. The boy does a great job of breaking down boxes and moving things, everything usually works very seamlessly. This year. Not so much. There were a TON of volunteers to begin with, they did not seem to be very coordinated and the staff people that were working alongside us, took on more of a dictatorship role. I will add that the weather has not been cooperating either. It was probably -6 with a -26 windchill and while this was indoors at the Twins Stadium, the doors were open when people were coming in and it was COLD! Also, for people taking ID's and doing wristbands at the door, it was beyond freezing. Volunteering is supposed to be fun though,ad n this just was not all that much fun, so we are re-thinking whether or not we will be volunteering next year or just be attendees. 
Saturday evening we met up with friend J & C for dinner out at Bar Louie. It was really good to see them and catch up. They recently got back from a Caribbean cruise so it was fun to hear about their travels. A good friend J, her sister passed away Saturday evening, so I will be traveling with sister J later this week for the visitation and funeral. So tough and never fun and I just cannot imagine what she is going through.
We don't have a super busy week, but we do have plans!

Plans - We went and looked at fire place inserts and mantles. Then proceeded to get into an argument at the home materials building store because I am frustrated with the boy and his lack of plan for our project at home. I wish I had more patience. I am such a planner. Lists, timelines, the whole works. He is not. Makes me crazy.
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, chicken noodle soup
Dinner -Joey Nova's, local pizza, SO good.
Plans - Mardi Gras fun at R's
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, power salad from Costco
Dinner - Good stuff!
Plans - Leave for Funeral.
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, chicken noodle soup
Dinner - On the Road
Plans - Travel back from funeral
Breakfast and Lunch - On the road
Dinner - Up in the air.
Plans - Remote, we are having our chairs delivered. We will need to move things around to prepare for them.
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, power salad
Dinner - Crock pot salsa chicken
Plans - Lunch with the boys cousins and their little baby girl (maybe, at this point I think we have to post pone based on how things are going in the living room)
Breakfast and Lunch - clean out the fridge
Dinner - clean out the fridge
Plans - Going to take my niece to see Frozen and for lunch. Need to get ready for Tuesday, hoping the boy can get a lot accomplished in the living room. Seriously starting to get really stressed that we have a week to finish that room.
Breakfast and Lunch -Out for a girls lunch!
Dinner -  Something quick and easy for the boy and I.

For more meal plans and links to recipes, check out the orgjunkie.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Five for Friday - Week 9

It has been a couple of weeks since I have posted my Five on Friday and linked up with these girls Natasha, April, Christina, and Darci!. Work has been crazy lately!


1. Restaurant Week - We have gotten out a few times this week for Restaurant Week, so delicious, even though we didn't try anywhere new, we had some great meals at some of our favorite places, including Borough, which I love. One more tonight, can't wait!

2. Trying new restaurants! We checked out a new to us place last night, Parka. They have been open for a little over a year. It was delicious. We started with bacon wrapped figs in a blue cheese whip, then had perfect burgers with bacon fries (the white stuff is powdered bacon) and dessert was chocolate lava cake with both vanilla and salted caramel ice cream. The burger was by far one of the best I have ever had. 

3. Home & Garden Show - We had a great time and got lots of ideas. Now we have more projects and more resources. Can't wait to cross more off of our list.

4. The Day Designer. My new planner came in the mail yesterday. I love it and I can't wait to spend some time in it this weekend. I have spent a lot of time in the past couple of months trying to figure out what kind of planner works best for me, but I am really excited to try this one. 
5. The Food and Wine Show. This weekend. Can. Not. Wait. It is always one of my favorite weekends of the year. We volunteer on Saturday and then attend on Sunday. There are always so many fabulous vendors and we usually go with a big group. I am really looking forward to it, I always find new wines, new restaurants to try, new cheeses, a little bit of everything! Then of course we have the Oscars after, so it is double the Sunday Funday!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Recipe of the Week - Mushroom Asiago Chicken Recipe

Time for the Tuesday Recipe Link up! I am linking up with Tasty Tuesdays and In and Out of the Kitchen.

One of the things that I have been trying to work on lately in my cooking is sauces. We have had dinner with good friends T & J quite a bit in the past few weeks, and he has been cooking for us and the sauces he makes with his dishes are just phenomenal. I knew after the second time that we were there for dinner in two weeks, tasting his sauces, yep, I need to step it up. 
I saw this recipe online and thought I can do that and put my own spin on that and work on my sauces. Boy, am I glad I did. This was so delicious, I was so full after dinner because I just wanted to keep tasting it. We had this with steamed fresh broccoli and cauliflower. One of the things that I am pretty adamant about, fresh veggies only, and I prefer them steamed, on their own. Weird, I guess it is just one of those things.

Mushroom Asiago Chicken Recipe
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh or breast 
2 cups portobello mushrooms
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 springs fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
2 tbsp butter

Cut chicken in to med slices. Heat the butter with 1 tbs of olive oil in deep, heavy skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Dredge chicken in salt, pepper and flour.  Add it to the skillet.  Saute until golden on each side, about 5 minutes per side.  Remove from pan and reserve on plate. Saute mushrooms in pan with garlic (I had to add a little oil and butter at this point). Mix mushrooms and chicken together. Add white wine and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add asiago and parmesan cheese and heavy whipping cream. Cook, stirring constantly over low heat until cheese melts.
  Try this dish, we served it over egg noodles. The boy said it seemed like a chicken stroganoff. Truly, I just love anything with wine in it. Gives me a reason to drink the rest of the bottle. I will add this, don't go and buy a cheap bottle of white wine to make this with. You should cook with the quality of wine you drink with, believe me it makes a difference.