I Know this is Late, But Hear Me Out

Yes, yes, yes I know what you’re thinking……”You’re not even in school anymore girl….get your shit together!”  Okay, I get that, but I had a lot going on this weekend, I’ve worked late every night this week, and there was no way that this was going to get put together on time.  Epic things happened that deserved time and dedication!

On a totally random side note, I bought a cute keyboard cover for the MacBook….so I’m typing this out all stealthy and silent.  You wouldn’t even know I’m working, it’s amazing!

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Okay….so….onto the main event.

LIL B’ CAME TO VISIT AND WE HAD A HOUSE PARTY!

She got here Friday afternoon and it was basically all the food and all the drinks all weekend long.  Sometimes you’ve gotta let it all go I guess.  Friday night we all had dinner at the BFB and Hubby in Law’s house.  Then of course BFB made dipped strawberries….cuz that’s just how we roll…..FANCY!

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I take only the best pictures of my friends….it’s how they know I love them!

Post dinner we played board games….cuz we are adults!  #sorrynotsorry…..but literally, we played Sorry.  Does anyone else remember that game taking hours?!  I think we must have been doing it wrong cuz it took forever!  Also, everyone discovered that I have problems when Skittles are in my presence…..like black tar heroin level addiction problems if they appear within arms reach of me!

Saturday morning we had “Crepe Bar” at the BFB’s….like I’m really not sure you’re really grasping the level of fancy we roll with when we are together!

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This plus bacon and Crepe Bar….what could even go wrong?!  BFB even bought fresh flowers!

We girls went to the mall  after breakfast.  The mall on a Saturday is always a bad idea, but we did get through Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, and Pink.  If you’re wondering why we had to go to both Victoria’s Secret and Pink…..it’s because I’m a diva and insisted on it.  Under roos are cheaper at Pink, and this is important to me since the Scout a Roo continues to eat them given even the smallest oppertunity.  It’s a bit of a problem, but she’s old now so I doubt it’s going to change anytime soon honestly.  Plus side, I guess she is always keeping me in the season’s latest fashions, under roo wise anyway!

After shopping it was time to start cooking.  The cooking started with maybe the best question quote that has ever left Lil B’s mouth…..

Is your tomato sauce…..tomatoey?!  Like does it taste like tomatoes?  Is it like Prego?!”

WE…MADE…SO…MUCH…FOOD!!

I had 7 friends over for Pasta, Pino, and Pizza.  We opened up Maximus, the 5 liter bottle of wine I received for Christmas, and all went to town.  Between us, we drank most of it.  Probably about half of a normal sized bottle was all that remained the next morning when I was cleaning up.  To go along with Maximus….we made way too much food….which is a thing we tend to do every time.

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A busy stove top is a happy stove top!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The party begins!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alright, the run down!

  • Erik’s Homemade Alfredo Sauce with Chicken
  • Red Sauce with Hamburger…..homemade by me!  (Yes, it’s tomatoey)
  • Chicken and Pesto Pizza
  • Pepperoni Pizza with Onions and Green Peppers
  • 2 Pounds of Dry Pasta
  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • A Whole Loaf of Garlic Bread
  • Gluten Free Pasta for the BFB

After we all got silent and shoved our faces full of yummy Italian and wine, we basically just bummed around, chatted and caught up with each other, and played a couple rounds of Cards Against Humanity.

Yes, you saw that picture right, Maximus required buddy system pours for probably the first half of the bottle.  He was just so heavy, it wasn’t a one man job.  Also, uncorking him wasn’t a one man job either.  Lil B had to help hold the base of the corkscrew while I leveraged the arm up.  Once the cork got started it went alright, but the initial part seemed a little questionable.  There was even a brief discussion of whether or not power tools might be necessary.  We were all maybe a little concerned about the quality of Maximus, but all things considered he wasn’t half bad at all!  The night was another successful dinner and booze party!

Sunday morning I made breakfast and we had our “Girl’s Morning Coffee Sesh”.  Sometimes it’s the littlest things you miss when your besties aren’t around all the time, and for us….morning coffee is that thing.  We also learned that pancakes made with coconut are delicious, but literally pancake flat!  They don’t puff up at all….and yes, before you ask, I did add plenty of baking powder.

After breakfast, we decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and go wander the boutiques downtown.  Between breakfast, the bakery, and lunch….we basically ate all morning long….and I’m totally ok with that!

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Macaroons and Ham Croissants anyone?!

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Jalapeño margaritas at my favorite downtown restaurant with my favorite people!

All in all it was an amazeballs weekend, and given the amount of alcohol consumed over the three days….it’s a Christmas miracle that no one woke up with a hangover!  I’ll take that as a win and get to planning the next bestie weekend.  Actually, the next bestie weekend is gonna be in a couple weeks, except that we will be short the BFB. :/

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Chicken…..It’s What’s for Dinner

It’s been a few weekends since I saw my Main Squeeze, but he came to visit this weekend…..so, naturally I had to feed him!!  Our running joke is that he only eats chicken, because that’s all he wanted to eat the first weekend he came to see me.  Before I fed him, he decided he needed to take me out on an actual date, so Friday night that’s what we did.  We headed downtown for pizza and drinks……nothing like a night on the town with my Squeeze!!

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Saturday night was chicken dinner at home before some quality time with my Squeeze, my Bitch Faced Bestie, the Hubby in Law, and Cards Against Humanity.  A easy and favorite recipe is Chicken Parmesan, so I decided that I’d make that and some fancy Pinterest inspired garlic pull apart bread.  It’s one of those recipes that comes out of the oven looking fancy, but it’s really quite simple to put together.  Best yet, it’s fast.  It takes about half an hour for me to get it all prepped and in the oven baking away.

We waited a bit late in the day to start making dinner, so we were hungry by the time it came out of the oven.  I didn’t stop to take pictures of the finished products…..sorry about that!

Things you will need:

  • 1/2 Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Package Chicken Breasts or Tenderloins
  • 1 Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 Pound Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Italian Spices : Basil, Thyme, Garlic Powder, Cayenne
  • Small Loaf of Bread
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil Plus More for Frying the Chicken
  • 3 Tbs Butter 

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I bought one of the “Bake at Home” loaves of bread, so I threw that in the oven for 15 minutes while I got the chicken prep ready.  Honestly, I’m not sure it did much of anything for the bread, and considering that you’re stuffing the bread with yumminess and putting it in the oven, I’d probably skip that step when I do this again.

Get your chicken started by setting up your breading station.  I like to add salt and pepper to the flour and jazz up the bread crumbs by adding a good dash of all the Italian spices.  Even if I buy the “Italian” breadcrumbs, I still add extra spice!  Crack the egg into a dish, add a splash of water, and beat to mix.  Then just process your chicken through the three stations.  Flour, egg, crumbs!  Place the chicken in a large pan with a generous amount of olive oil over medium to medium high heat.  Cook just to brown up the breading and create a nice crust.  Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through, the oven will take care of that.

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Open the sauce and add a thin layer to your favorite baking pan.  I find a normal 9×13 to be a bit large for a single package of chicken, but it would certainly work.  I have a smaller Pyrex baker I use.  I have to squish the chicken in a bit, but it works just fine!  Once the chicken has been browned on both sides, place it into the baking pan on top of the sauce.  Continue the breading, cooking, placing process until all of you chicken is in the baking dish.  Use the remaining sauce to cover the chicken, and top with about 3/4 of the bag of shredded cheese.  You could get fancy and top the chicken with a mix of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, but I didn’t have any Parm in the house.  Bake at 375 for about 30-35 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned, and the chicken is cooked through.

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Using a bread knife…….which I don’t actually own…..slice the bread in 1 inch diagonal sections twice, you’ll end up with small diamonds that you can pull out and eat.  Just don’t cut all the way through the loaf, just go down to the bottom crust.  I’ve decided that I think it’s impossible to keep the bread looking nice and poofy and cute once this is all done.  Just accept the slight visual fail because it tastes the same, even if it’s a bit smooshed.

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Place the minced garlic, butter, and 2 Tbs of olive oil in a small sauté pan.  Melt everything together and cook the garlic slightly, stirring often to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn.  While that’s going, stuff the remaining 1/4 pound of shredded cheese, or cheese blend, into the slices.  Place the loaf on a piece of foil, and drizzle the garlic oil over the whole thing.  Tent with a piece of foil, and toss the whole thing into the oven.  Cook 10 minutes covered and an additional 5-10 uncovered to brown up the cheese.

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It was an easy and cute at home date night.

Yes, you’ll end up with garlic breathe, but at least you’ll have garlic breathe together!

Sometimes, You Just Need To Be Fancy

I have done two unthinkable things this week!!!  First, I finally joined the modern age of dating, and got a Tinder account.  Welcome to the crazy, we’ll talk about that whole situation later!  The second was that I signed up for a 5:30 AM rowing class tomorrow.  I love to row, but nothing about me functions well before about 8AM…..so we shall see how this goes.  Since I need to somehow wrangle myself into bed ungodly early, tonight’s post shall be short and sweet.

Do you ever just sit at home and think to yourself, “I want to eat something fancy, but I’m also lazy.”  If that’s you then I’ve got your fix.  It’s fancy enough to serve company, and easy enough to whip up anytime you’d like.  I present to you, Caprese Bruschetta!

How could you not want to put this in your mouth immediately!?!

How could you not want to put this in your mouth immediately!?!

The Fixings:

  •  1 Container Cherry Tomatoes
  • ½ Package Fresh Mozzarella – I buy the pearls, or you can cut up a ball into pieces.
  • 1-2 Tbs Fresh Basil – Chop finely, or you can purchase fresh basil paste in most grocery stores
  • 2-3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Option: 1 Clove Minced Garlic

The Prep: I find that this is better if you can let everything sit together for an hour or two and blend.  The prep is super simple, even non-chefs will master this with ease!

  •  If you’d like to add some garlic, it’s best to infuse it into about 3 Tbs of oil olive in a pan over low-medium heat.  Just cook until everything starts to become aromatic, but watch carefully so it doesn’t burn!  Let cool slightly.
  • Wash, and slice the tomatoes in half.  Occasionally, I like to get extra fancy, and mix in some yellow tomatoes as well.  Just use half a package of each.  Also, regular tomatoes can also be used, you may need to adjust the dressing slightly to account for extra juice in larger tomatoes.
  •  Add the tomatoes and mozzarella to a mixing bowl.  Throw in the basil and drizzle with the olive oil, infused or plain.  Splash in a dash or two of balsamic vinegar, and stir to mix everything together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  The dressing should be very light, but cover all pieces.  It may pool slightly at the bottom of the bowl, but that’s fine.  If it looks dry, drizzle in a bit more oil and vinegar.  Embrace your inner Italian grandma.  It’s an art not a science!!  Cover your bowl, and let everything marinate in the fridge for an hour or two.

Digging In: Now, the fun part!

  •  Grab some good bread, generally I do Italian, but anything will work.  Slice it thickly, about half an inch, and butter both sides.  Toast in a pan on both sides until crispy and golden, like you’re making grilled cheese!
  •  Stir up your bruschetta topping and ladle on the gloriousness.  Be sure and grab some of the extra dressing from the bottom.  If you want to get extra fancy, you could top your fanciness with a basil leaf, but I’m single and I frankly don’t have the time for that!  The best I manage is an extra drizzle of balsamic for that extra air of fanciness!

During this whole process you should be drinking wine….any wine….all the wine!  Sit back and bask in the delicious and simple creation before you.  This recipe would be exceptionally good with a trip to a farmer’s market for super fresh tomatoes and basil.  Since the recipe is so simple, it’s really important not to skimp on quality.  Unfortunately, in South Dakota its still way too early for farmer’s market adventures.

As Julia Child would say, “Bon Appetit!”  With that, I’m off to bed!