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Chestnuts Roasting in a Warm Oven….

December 29, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Dinner | 9 Comments

This meal came the day after the snowpocalypse 2009. Ned and I were looking to eat healthily, like we always do on Sunday evening to try and make up for the weekend of chips and frozen pizzas! (snow food you see!) Ned has been on a big chestnut obsession for awhile, so we finally got some from Wegman’s and then took to roasting them! We paired the chestnuts with grouper, swiss chard, and a pomegranate vinaigrette.  I used my new App on my pink iphone for the epicurious recipe search. I typed in seafood and winter and this recipe is what popped up in the search!

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The fish was so decadent and delicious, probably the most expensive of the flaky white fish selections, but it was worth it! I loved using swiss chard, so meaty and very green. The chestnuts added a nice flavor and texture contrast to the rest of the dish. It was actually pretty fascinating roasting them! (see pictures below..)

Continue Reading Chestnuts Roasting in a Warm Oven…….

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December Daring Baker’s Challenge: Gingerbread House!

December 27, 2009 at 12:00 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert, Entertainment | 4 Comments

This challenge I saved for the end of the month! The reason you see, is that I wanted my two younger cousins to help me decorate it! So the Monday before X-mas I made the dough, Tuesday night I rolled it out and baked it and then Christmas eve it was decorated and constructed! I think it looks amazing!! Love my little cousins Caroline and Sarah- they are such a joy to me. 😀

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The dough making and rolling was actually quite easy- probably about 1.5 hours in total. Not bad if you want to be cheap and authentic when Christmas comes around! We went to Wegmans and got allll the christmas candy to decorate with. I think that was my favorite part- picking out the candy!! My not so favorite part was when the pieces of gingerbread started breaking apart which led me to Plan B, which Auntie Catherine so expertly assisted me with. Basically, I built another house out of cardboard and duct tape and then I royal frosted the gingerbread pieces to the cardboard house!  Check out the recipe below, some more pictures and the rest of my posse!
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Elizabeth’s Cookie Christmas 2009

December 25, 2009 at 12:00 am | Posted in Dessert, Entertainment | 5 Comments

This year I wanted to make christmas cookies like I always do, but I wanted to kick it up a notch! And so I decided to get some awesome packaging (hell yeah paper mart) with very glittery ribbon, which decided to fall off when I was tying it and while everyone was handling their packages! I love seeing glitter ALLLLL over my friends and coworkers! 😀

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So I hope your Christmas day is full of fun presents, funny conversations and lots of cookies!!!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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A Snowy Gingerbread Apple Cake

December 23, 2009 at 10:36 am | Posted in Dessert | 7 Comments

When Martina, our new German friend, announced she would be having Ned’s lab unofficial Christmas party, I bounced onto the opportunity to make dessert! I went searching for something with fruit and something very wintery- and found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. So on Friday night of the beginning of the Baltimore snowpocalypse I went to dinner with Jes at Taverna Corvino, a Federal Hill wine bar, and somehow (oh yes somehow…) ended up drinking quite a bit of wine! It was spread out over four hours and we had a lovely feast of small plates (sorry no blog post though- no camera!).

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So yes- this story will relate to cake! On Saturday, as the snow fell down hard and fast, my stomach was not happy with me.  Neither was my head and because of that my cake making skills were severely lacking… BUT, I did have all of the ingredients ready, so dear sweet Neddy came to the cake rescue! He labored over this baby for about 2 hours and whattdayaknow?? It turned out amazingly! And the best part about this is that Ned is actually excited about baking now! Usually, he wears the chef hat and I’m the one with the strawberry apron and flour and sugar all over myself. 😀  But because of this baking challenge, Ned is no longer “scared” to venture into my domain and having this new cookbook is going to help (yay early xmas presents!). So anyways, about this cake- it was moist and gingery and appley. I have this weird thing with soggy pie crust and mushy apples, so apple pie is something I never crave-but this apple dessert- woweee! It’s basically a tarte tatin, but with a gingerbread cake instead of puff pastry! That Deb is a whiz- never lets me down! Go check out the recipe and some snowy pictures below.

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Griswald Christmas Party

December 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Appetizer, Dessert, Entertainment | 6 Comments

Our friends Ryan and Lea host a Griswald Family Christmas party ever year and the only requirement is that you wear an ugly Christmas sweater!!! I wanted to bring some funny appetizers, so I searched white trash party and the two creations below were included in that search! A circle pretzel was topped with a rolo, melted, and then a stick pretzel was inserted to make it easy to pop in your mouth!

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The second thing I made was fluffernutter sandwiches! See them and our blurry camera phone picture below!
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December Charm City Cookbooking: Jamie in Italy

December 18, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Cookbooks, Dessert, Dinner | 3 Comments

Well hello blog, a week and change has been too long… but alas I am back so thank gosh! So this month was hosted by Tracy– (first time!) and boy did we have a wonderful time! She has a huggggeee kitchen space with lots of space to spread out and another beautifully dressed table on which we could eat our creations! She is so thoughtful and lovely- I am so glad to have her in my life now! Here is a shot of our dessert that Alayne created! It was one of my favorites from the night. Loved the blackberries and the crust!

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Now go over to our Cookbook Club site and look at the rest of our dishes! But you can also go for the jump and look at two shots Alayne took while playing around with my camera. 🙂

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Jen’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Delights

December 7, 2009 at 12:00 am | Posted in Dessert | 10 Comments

Even though my roomate Jen and soon to be member of our family (CONGRATS BOBBY AND JEN!!! :-D) had Thanksgiving dinner at her house with her huge family, she was able to make it over for the dessert gathering at Auntie Martha’s house and she brought these!!

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They are known as pumpkin streusel cheesecake bars and they were out of this world. I’m not usually one to really enjoy pumpkin pie or apple pie at Thanksgiving.. but Marfi’s pecan pie was very spectacular this year and another welcome addition was Jen’s cheesecake bars! She got the recipe off of Betty Crocker and apparently this was the prize winning recipe from 2008. High accolades for this recipe and I can see (and taste) why! Check out the recipe and a cute picture below…

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Thanksgiving with Papa Bear

December 4, 2009 at 12:00 am | Posted in Cookbooks, Dessert, Dinner | 10 Comments

So this year I had two thanksgiving dinners! The first was at my grandma’s house with most of my mom’s family and abuelita basically prepared everything and I got to do the waldorf salad. The second thanksgiving was prepared by my Daddy and I in my kitchen! We fried a turkey (hoooray) and made lots of delicious things including, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, herbed oyster stuffing, green bean casserole, leftover waldorf salad, canned cranberry and cannolis and pumpkin semifreddo for dessert! Lots and lots and lots of food!! Enough for leftovers for all of us + Ned for two solid nights!

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The most flavorful part of our meal was the herbed oyster stuffing, such a good recipe I pasted it below! The squishy oyster bits kind of weirded me out so I didn’t take any portions of that for my leftover plates, but man were the green bean casserole and mashed potatoes rockin! Check out some of my dimly lit pictures below…

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Dinner Inspired by Real Simple

December 2, 2009 at 12:00 am | Posted in Dinner | 6 Comments

Well this was Round 1 of this meal and two out of the three things were better on this night than on Round 2 night, but one thing stood out- Real Simple’s simple way of cooking a pork tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto is too simple and kinda tasteless! They paired the tenderloin with roasted sweet potatoes and pears tossed with lots of fresh thyme and the side was the winner! When Ned saw how simple this recipe was he decided to make up a sauce with lots of dijon mustard, onions, garlic, thyme and some cream. It really helped with the flavor of the pork. And gosh- I love my creative chef!

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My palate would be so bored without it!  Round 2 included a pan searing of the pork tenderloin followed by oven time and that was a much improved method to make the pig. My attempts to roast the remaining sweet potatoes and Ned’s second try to make that sauce again just didn’t match up to Round 1. It’s fun trying to improve or repeat dishes, really gets those chemistry and creative juices flowing… Go check out the simple recipes!

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