Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Usually we plan our schedules out nicely that we have class in the morning and are done around 1 or 2 every day, perfect to have the afternoon to do work then prepare dinner and be eating by 5:30-6. Well, I totally screwed that one up. I don't start until 2:15 on Monday/Wednesdays or 12:30 on Tuesdays/Thursdays therefore I'm not done until 6:20. Totally. Ruins. Everything. So a little bit of teamwork and dinner is on the table waiting when I get home.

This morning I had a zillion things to do (applications galore) I wanted to get done before class and also had to prep dinner for Mariah to assemble. I had the sweet potato in the oven at 9, cutting onions at 10 (not the way to start your day, let me tell you) and everything labeled in tupper ware before I was out the door.

Then I came home to this:

Mariah even made homemade dough because she was "bored and didn't want to do homework". Killer teamwork let me tell you. Oh and, when I walked in the door, pizza was fresh out of the oven and my milk was poured. Rockstar of a roommate. With pumpkin bread waiting on the counter for dessert. Double rockstar.

Sweet Potato Pizza with Kale and Caramelized Onions
adapted from: The Type A Housewife

1 large sweet potato
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 cups chopped uncooked kale
3 tbsp. skim milk
1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
Homemade whole wheat pizza crust (or prepared)
1 cup shredded Fontina cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce sweet potato several times with fork and roast about 45 minutes, or until soft. Allow to cool slightly--do not turn off oven.
2. While potato is baking, heat oil in medium skillet over low heat. Add onion and dash of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until just caramelized. Add kale to skillet and cook until tender and wilted. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Scoop insides of potato into medium bowl and mash; add milk, sage, and salt and combine until well-mixed and smooth. Spread mixture onto pizza crust.
4. Top with half of cheese, kale and onions, and then remaining cheese. Bake pizza in oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until kale begins to crisp and cheese melts.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cheeseburger Soup

Today I was the least contributing member of society possible. But, I did make dinner. Soup. Soup that has deemed Mariah's approval and is now her favorite over greens and beans, that's big.

This soup can be easily summed up in four words: Tastes like a cheeseburger.

Cheeseburger Soup

1 lb ground sirloin
1 cup onion, diced
3/4 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup russet potatoes, peeled and diced (or sweet potatoes, that's what we used!)
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
Shoestring Fries
Chopped dill pickles

1. Brown beef in 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook until the meat begins to brown, then add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Saute about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the broth, potatoes, and basil; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10-12 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through.
3. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1-2 minutes, then add the milk, whisking until smooth, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the milk mixture to the soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
Add cheese, ketchup, mustard, salt, and pepper, stirring until the cheese is melted. Serve with fries and chopped pickles.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Piggy Backs

Mastering a three person piggy back is no small task. I think I ended up on the ground more times than on top. Somehow I was deemed the top person (I was the runt of the group, all week. Rude). Basically every time I attempted to get on, we all ended up in disarray. We finally got down the technique after a few mishaps..

Clearly the best for last..


Last Sunday me, fay, fay and Mrs. Felice headed off to Niagra Falls at 7am for our 11:30 flight straight to Punta Gorda. Well..let's just say 11:30 turned into 6:30 then to 5:30 oh wait, it's 4:30 now. But don't get too excited, back to 6:30. Well. Needless to say after seeing our flight would not be taking off for seven hours we decided to head off to the outlet mall to kill some time, but let me tell you seven hours is SO LONG. Finallllly it was time to go through security, after waiting in the longest line ever and we were about to be next little fay discovered her license was missing. Fabulous. After solving that fiasco, waiting some more, sitting on a never ending plane we finally made it to the Sunshine State. We spent the week soaking up the sun at the beach and pool, eating lots, did some shopping and took about seven billion pictures. Oh, and mastered a three person piggy back. It is not as easy as one would think, let me tell you. I ended up on the ground, multiple times. That requires its own post.  Here are a few pics..

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Best Basic Risotto

This recipe is very near and dear to me. I remember growing up going to my grandma's and getting a heaping glob of this yellow, creamy rice with mushrooms studded throughout. Not knowing what to do, I would follow what my dad did, take your fork and push the pile out until it evenly covered your plate and resembled a pie, and then dug in. As everyone got older, we stopped going to my grandma's and transitioned to my uncles for family gatherings and the risotto I loved so much got lost between the two houses.

We are big fans of Rachael Ray in our house so we had gotten one of her cook books way back when and when there was risotto recipe in there we decided to give it a try. Oh my, how it has become a staple and I insist we have it every time I come home, I could never, ever get sick of it. We spruce it up and add shrimp and scallops and serve it with Wegmans' Garlic Tuscan bread, I am in heaven. And still today I smooth out my glob until its a pie before digging in.

This dish is always made by my daddy and I, mom makes the broth before hand and cooks up the scallops that go in at the end. Over Thanksgiving break I had to make it without my father for the first time because he was couch-ridden. Thankfully mom stepped in to help and it was quite a success. Now that we've made it so many times, I've got it memorized and it may seem scary at first but once you get the hang of it, it's quite easy. But your arm does get tired stirring and stirring, but it's sooo worth it.

Best Basic Risotto
adapted from: Rachael Ray

4 cups Chicken Broth
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups abrorio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese
Pepper, to taste
8 scallops cut in half
10-12 uncooked shrimp, chopped into thirds
Pinch of saffron

1. Heat chicken brother over low heat
2 In a deep skillet melt butter into olive oil over medium heat.
3 Add the onions and saute 3 minutes.
4. Add the rice and saute 2 minutes more.
5. Add wine, cook 1-2 minutes (or until no longer fragrant)
6. Add broth a few ladles at a time over the next 18 minutes, stirring it into the rice each time the liquid has been absorbed.
7. When there is about 10 minutes left, heat a small pan with olive oil and over moderate heat cook the scallops through.
8. When the last ladle of broth is added, throw in the shrimp to cook through and the pinch of saffron.
9. Stir in cheese and season with pepper.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A sentimental post

It's hard to believe that Christmas break is already over, it feels like yesterday I was counting down the minutes until my last final was over. Break was filled with lots of good food, friends, family, laughter and a trip to sunny Florida!

As I drove back all I could think of was two years ago the same unfamiliar drive my parents and I took for the first time to move me in and start my new journey. The drive was full of hope, nerves and one anxious girl. Now I can do the drive without even thinking about what turns and roads to go down. This journey has been everything I could have wished for and more.

Welcoming us back was another big win for the basketball game and finally being able actually be at the game and not having to watch it on TV. Followed by a night reuniting with our best friends, who are graduating in May. So scary. We are treasuring every minute we have with them since our time is limited, which I don't even want to think about because the boys have made our past two years so memorable. I don't even want to think about next year without them!

And finally, Happy 2 Years to my best friend. It was fate the way our paths crossed and without you, I don't know where we would be. It's scary how alike we are. Very scary. There is never a dull moment in our lives and I can't imagine life without you. I love you soOoOOo very much, especially because you put up with me when I'm in 5 year old ADHD moods :) I know there your fav ;)

Two years ago I made the biggest decision of my life and haven't looked back once. It's funny how things have a way of working out for the best.