Monday, May 23, 2011

Super Easy Entertaining

Tonight, we had my future mother-in-law over for dinner. Since it is the beginning of the work week, I opted for the easiest dinner a girl could make: pasta and salad with ice cream for dessert. Too easy, yet still delish and loved by all.

I bought the pasta sauce and meatballs at a local Italian deli, which is superb! Rarely will I buy pre-made foods. However, you can tell the deli serves fresh, homemade, authentic foods. Yum!

Here is the salad bar I set up:

I set up a main salad with scallions, carrots, cukes, and chick peas. I had additional toppings on the side as not everyone likes the same things. The other toppings were: sliced-n-diced leftover grilled chicken, cheeses, fresh cut off the cob-corn, basmati rice, avocado, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and sliced almonds.

God, I really love salads and salad toppings way too much! A little overboard and obsessed, sorry!

Here is the salad I made for myself with all the toppings - crans:

How yummy does this pipping hot dish of pasta and meatballs look?

That's amorè!

Hello carb loading!

...Oh wait, you're only supposed to do this before a long run???---Whoops!

& everyone's favorite...Ice Cream:

Natural vanilla with a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Overall, not the healthiest of meals, but we had a great time and it took our thoughts off this depressing/never-ending rainy weather. I'd call it a success!

Happy Eating!!!!

What easy entertaining meal would you cook?

What's your favorite food?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Get out and go!

To me, the beach is a peaceful serene place where I can clear my head and truly connect with my guy.  It is actually my favorite place to be on any given day and if I could, I would, live at the beach!  How could I not love the place that makes me forget all of my worries? 

This weekend let's get out of the house, and take a ride down to the beach.  Even if the weather isn't fantastic, it always feels great to take a ride down to the beach and breathe in that amazing, salty air!  This ride will feel especially great as I am sure everyone is getting cabin fever from the awful week of rain and dreariness...BOO! 

Fishing Boats in Galilee, RI.  

The ride down will give you and your babe some time to catch-up with this past week's happenings.  If the weather is clear, and you would like to get a little romantic, why not stay for the sunset?  

Stop at Iggy's or Port-side for a delicious, affordable dinner of clam cakes and chowdahh---So Rhode Island!  

Here is a beautiful shot of Charlestown Beach in Charlestown, RI.  To me, this has got to be the most underrated beach in R.I.---On clear days you can see Block Island across the ocean. 

This is Beavertail in Jamestown, RI.  If you or your lover are interested in geology or huge grassy fields, this is the place to go.  Beautiful landscapes galore!

Do you have a place where you feel at complete peace?

What is your favorite place to spend time with your babe?


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quick Chicken Stir-fry

Happy Tuesday!

How many bloggers are attending graduations and/or lots of parties this week/weekend???

(This one is!!!!)

It is going to be a hectic one! However, that doesn't mean that your love of food or healthy eating should suffer. Try my quick, healthy chicken stir-fry. It is sure to please.

Quick Chicken Stir-fry

(Serves 4-5)

-1lb. Chicken breast
-1 pk. of Stir-fry veggies
-Handful of Almond Slivers
-1T. Garlic
-Trader Joe's Basmati Rice Mix

1. Slice and dice the chicken breast.
2. Place cut chicken into a pan set to medium heat with garlic and 1-2T. Oil.

3. Sauté chicken until cooked through (while chicken is cooking, begin cooking rice according to packet instructions).
4. Add veggie mix in with the chicken: cook.
5. If the stir-fry becomes watery, drain water and continue to cook. Add salt, pepper, and almonds. Cook 1-2 more minutes.
6. Plate with the cooked rice medley and enjoy!

For extra flavor:
-cook with an Asian marinade
-add soy sauce

Happy Eating!!!!

What does your week look like? Hectic, or what?

What healthy, quick, go-to meals do you cook in times like these?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Date- Newport, RI---Cliff Walk!

Happy weekend bloggers!

It's just about that time of year again; the weather is warming up and the scenic beauty of the Newport Cliff Walk is just what the doctor ordered.

There's no better way to re-charge and re-connect with your honey than going for a brisk walk, breathing in that cool salt air, and taking in the sights this walk has to offer. The sights include the beautiful historic mansions, the ocean, cliffs (obviously), tunnels, boulders, and beautiful landscapes galore. It is peaceful, mind-clearing, and totally free!

Here are some pics of the trip Mr. D-Dates and I took recently:

Take a seat at the rocky shoreline and catch up on this weeks events. You could also pack a picnic for the trip. O0o0o0h the romance!

Life must be rough for these Newport residents. ;) The historic mansions are beautiful, and many offer tours.

This Asian-themed mansion is my favorite---so unique!

Anyone can get a great picture at the cliff walk, the rocky shores are amazing!

If your daring like us, you can carefully climb down the cliff and get an up-close look at the waves splashing against the rocks. (Of course, this is dangerous and only proceed to actually do this at your own risk--not recommended!)

Here is a picture from atop the cliff walk. The waves were splashing high up between these two rocks.

...and, here is my favorite picture of the day! Mr. D-Dates a.k.a. King of the World!!!! I love it!

Are there any walks in your area that you especially love?

What do you recommend we go to see next time we are in Newport?

Happy Date Day!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mom's Day Menu!

Hello bloggers!

Here is what you've been waiting for, my extensive recipe post for all the tasty goods that were served at my simple Mother's Day brunch bash!

I hope that you enjoy these dishes, let me know what you think:

Potato, Leek, and Zucchini Fritatta:
(Makes 8-10 Slices)

-5 Eggs
-1/3 of a Zucchini (halved and sliced)
-1/4 of a Leek (sliced and broken apart)
-1/3 Cup of Milk
-2.5 Red Potatoes (previously baked and peeled)
-3/4 Cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
-Olive Oil

1. Grease pie pan with the EVOO.
2. Lightly beat eggs and milk in a bowl.
3. Stir in zucchini, leek, potatoes, and cheese.
4. Pour mixture into greased pie pan and add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until slightly browned and fully set.

Smitten Kitchen Pear Bread:
(Serves an Army)

Check out this amazing site for the delicious recipe! So yummy. I've also made a variation by using apples instead of pears (also delish).

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries:
(Serving Sizes Vary)

-Milk Chocolate Morsels

1. Melt chocolate using directions on packet.
2. Dip strawberries into melted chocolate.
3. Lay dipped strawberries on wax papered pan to cool/harden.
4. Serve on a tray once they are all hardened.

M.D. Salad
(Serving Sizes Vary)

-Sliced Zucchini
-Sliced Cucumber
-Sliced Leek
-1 Cup of Shredded Cheese
-3/4 Can of Black Olives
-1 Bag of ITAL. Salad Mix
-1 Bag of Baby Spinach

1. Combine all ingredients in large bowl.
2. Serve with dressing and enjoy!

Super Simple Homemade Lemonade
(Makes 2 Quarts)

-Lemon Juice
-Lemon Slices

1. Fill pitcher 1/16th full with lemon juice.
2. Add 1.5 C of sugar and lemon slices.
3. Fill (almost to top) with water.
4. Add 1 Cup of ice.

My family loved this lemonade, I ended up making four pitchers of it! Enjoy it!

Super Simple Chicken Salad
(Servings Vary)

-1.5lbs. Chicken Breast
-1 T. Olive Oil
-Italian Seasoning
-1/2 C. Water
-2 Chopped Celery Stalks
-1 Chopped Scallion
-Italian Dressing

1. Place chicken, water, seasonings, salt and pepper into a slow cooker.
2. Cook on high 2-3 hours, until chicken easily falls apart with a fork.
3. Add in celery and scallions.
4. After 2 minutes turn off slow cooker.
5. Place mixture in a bowl add as much Italian dressing as you desire.
6. Refrigerate until cold. If needed, add more dressing.

This can be served atop a bed of lettuce or on a bulky roll as a sandwich.

Taste of Home Corn Soufflé
(Servings Vary)

Check out this awesome site for the recipe. This soufflé was definitely a party favorite! It is a simple recipe but it does have a 55 minute cook time.

I hope that you enjoy my recipes and that you can share them with friends and family.

What is your favorite brunch food to serve?

What is your best Mom's Day memory?

Happy Eating!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!!!

I am hoping that all the great moms out there had an amazing day! Today, I hosted a Mom's Day brunch for my fabulous mom and my sisters (who are also amazing mommys).

Here's a glimpse of what we gnashed on and the recipes you can look forward to this week!

Potato, Leek, and Zucchini Frittata

Smitten Kitchen Pear Bread

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Mom's Day Salad

Simple Homemade Lemonade

Super Simple Chicken Salad

Taste of Home Corn Soufflé

These tasty bites were a hit, and there were very few leftovers. The brunch I hosted today served 9 adults. Check back ASAP for detailed recipes! Have a great week!

Have you ever hosted a brunch?- What did you serve?

What did you do this Mother's Day?

Happy Eating!!!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

TJ's Black Bean Soup

Hello Friends!

It's been a busy week but I'm glad to be back, writing this post!

This past week I decided to take my first trip to Trader Joe's. I've been reading various food blogs and seeing lots of great comments about the store. Needless to say, these bloggers were right...Trader Joe's is awesome! They have cheap deals on organic fruits and an immense selection of dried fruits, nuts, and yummy healthy treats. It's a great grab a few, fun, healthy items store, but I don't think I could do a full grocery shopping there. If you're into pre-made organic meals, TJ's has lots of options, but pre-made really isn't my thing! I liked the cheap cheese selections and did not love the meat section or lack of deli. TJ's seems to have something for everyone but not everything for everyone. Try it out sometime, I am sure you will fall in love with at least one aspect of TJ's.

One item I ordinarily wouldn't try is pre-made soup. However, I bought a container of TJ's Black Bean Soup to keep in the cupboard for a quick dinner or a lunch once all my other food items have run out.

I tried it out tonight, it was delicious (and organic!!!). However, it was a bit watery for my liking, so I added my own D-Dates twist! Here it is, I hope that you enjoy it. You can eat it as a simple dinner or a quick snack!

Black Bean Soup with a D-Dates Twist

(Makes 1 Bowl-repeat to create more servings)

-1 Cup of Trader Joe's Latin Style Black Bean Soup
-1/3 Cup of Cooked Brown Rice
-A Few Slices of Colby-Jack Cheese

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and microwave on high 1-1.5 minutes

Serve with tortilla chips, or toasted bread.

Does it get any easier than that?

Next time, I may also add my own beans, tomato, and onions to make it more hearty.

O.k. This meal was yummy, but I was hankering for more after my first bowl. I used this meal as inspiration and created a less healthy snack. I loved this snack so much, I think I may add it to my Mother's Day menu (keep your eye out for that).

Cheesy Black Bean Dip
(Serves 1-2)


-1/3 Cup of Trader Joe's Latin Style Black Bean Soup
-4-5 Slices of Colby-Jack Cheese
-1 Slice of Goat Cheese (crumbled)
-Tortilla Chips (for dipping)

1. Combine soup and cheese slices in a bowl. Microwave on high 45 seconds-1.5 mintues.
2. Stir up ingredients with a spoon.
3. Top with cheese crumbles.
4. Grab chips, dip and enjoy!

This is a slightly salty but super yummy treat.

Happy Eating!!!

What are your thoughts on Trader Joe's?

What will you be adding to your Mother's Day Menu?

How do we feel about the font switch-up?