Hey guys! I've been really working on my diet and trying to eat healthier (despite the fact that I JUST posted a cake on here less than an hour ago). I'm currently training for a half marathon (and blogging about it as well, here) and trying to lose weight. So far, at my last "weigh in" I was down 3 lbs, but as of this morning, I'm down 5 since two Mondays ago! Yay! So I got some broccoli and cauliflower in my produce basket this week and thought it would be a great way to add some healthy veggies to my diet. I used one of my favorite cookbooks, Healthy in a Hurry, from Williams-Sonoma to pick a great recipe. I paired it with a pork chop that I simply seasoned with paprika, salt & pepper, garlic and a little sherry vinegar and chicken broth which I cooked in my new favorite appliance! And I also paired it with a simple tomato and corn salad (literally just 2 tomatoes chopped mixed with corn from 3 ears and a little salt and balsamic vinegar).
SOOOO my co-worker and friend, Ashley was having a birthday and I figured, why get her a store-bought cake when I could make one especially for her? Her favorite cake is yellow with chocolate frosting, and fortunately, I stumbled across this. Smitten Kitchen's "Best Birthday Cake". I used her exact recipe, so I won't post it here, but it turned out amazing...especially the frosting, which wasn't too sweet but had an incredible flavor! So anyway, the pictures below are just the process, but it turned out fabulous and I highly recommend this recipe!
This is so easy I'm blogging about it from my phone. It was so tasty because all the produce was from the local farmers markets!
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
Zest from 1 lime
Zest from 1/2 lemon
Fresh cracked pepper
Drizzle of olive oil
Put avocado slices on top of tomato slices
Zest lemon and lime over the avocados
Add maldon salt, pepper and then drizzle olive oil lightly over the avocado/tomato
Oh y'all I'm addicted... I have a serious obsession with my pressure cooker. I've been wanting one ever since I taught the pressure cooking class at Williams-Sonoma back in the fall! I finally got myself one and I'm in love with it. You can find one here. I sincerely wish I had one of these to give away to you, because they are seriously amazing... Maybe Cuisinart will hear my plea, and offer one up but no pressure (LOL pun totally unintentional but awesome so I'm keeping it)
Hey guys! Quick post this evening... Today was a lonnngggg day. To tell you the truth, I felt like I was in 50 places at once today, so by the time 5 o'clock came around, I wasn't feeling much up to making dinner. But, like a good housewife (yeah right lol), I texted Matt to see what he wanted for dinner. To my pleasant surprise, he texted back that he was already making spaghetti and had made enough for me as well... what a keeper! But for those of you who have read the blog before, you probably know how I feel about Matt's famous spaghetti with meat sauce.
I figured I'd take the spaghetti and make something else to go on top, since I wasn't crazy about the idea of Ragu and ground beef (in Matt's defense, I had just read on twitter about some meat company that just recalled and insane amount of ground beef for salmonella...and even though it wasn't our brand, it was just kind of unappetizing). SOOOO, I figured that I wanted to come up with something that I could just throw together in a jiffy so that I could pile it all in a bowl, curl up on the couch, and watch Stabler and Benson throw some perverts in jail.
I brought this lovely little tart to a dinner party at Matt's boss' house and it was a huge hit. Since the party was on a weeknight, I needed something that I could make the night before and keep at room temperature to bring to the party. I found this recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it just a touch. This recipe was so easy and required pretty minimal effort, especially because I used store-bought puff pastry. I will definitely make this again but may even change it up a bit by adding some drizzles of a good balsamic, or a touch more goat cheese.
Just a quick post for tonight since I have been insanely busy at work and my whole world feels like a whirlwind BUT that's not really a good excuse to not keep updating for my readers! I posted these little egg cups on instagram ages ago and promised the recipe. So here you go! I got the idea from pinterest (duh where else?). I basically just used what I had around and I think you should do the same. Don't feel constrained by recipes! Use them as a guide :)
6-8 pieces of ham
6-7 eggs (I even had enough egg left over to make myself an omelet while these bad boys cooked in the oven)
About 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup onion sautéed
salt and pepper to taste
juice from 1/4 to 1/2 lemon
About 3 oz goat cheese
Chives (finely chopped for garnish)
Preheat oven to 400
Beat eggs in a bowl
Line a muffin tin with the pieces of ham (I ripped mine up and just layered them so that they lined the entire hole, even around the sides...you can see it coming up the sides)
Saute zucchini and onion for about 10 minutes over medium heat, then add the lemon juice and salt and pepper
Into the bowl with the eggs, add in sautéed zucchini and onion and then the goat cheese
Pour egg mixture into ham cups then top with a sprinkle of fresh chives
Bake in oven for 20 minutes
Allow to cool a bit before eating (can eat them warm, room temperature, or even right out of the fridge!)
Super super easy and a great way to have a couple days worth of breakfast for the whole family already made ahead of time! Like I said above though, make it with whatever you have around! Any fresh produce you have would be great... tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms etc.! Be creative!
P.S. Thank you everyone for sticking with my through this crazy time in my life! It's good to be busy, for sure, and I love it... but I do feel bad leaving y'all out to dry! Thank YOU!
The winner of the Macaron Making set was comment number 79!
Our winner is Natalie! She won with this comment:
Wow guys, I really can't wait to talk to you guys about this one... I've had my first encounter with making macarons AND I have a fantastically sweet giveaway going on! So a couple of months ago, I discovered this amazing website that sells all kinds of kitchen stuff (like pretty much anything you can think of!), called Big Kitchen. You can find it by clicking here. So I tweeted to them to see if maybe we could work out some kind of review/giveaway treat for the OinK readers and they agreed! (yay!) I was given a few different options but when I saw the "Macaron making set" on the list, I was sold. I've never tried making macarons before, frankly because everyone else who blogs about making macarons talks about how hard they can be and how the first time never goes well. I will admit, these are not perfect. There are definitely some improvements I could make and I will explain that below in the Verdict section.
But FIRST let me tell you about the items they sent me that one lucky OinK winner will WIN! I got the silicone Macaron baking sheet and this phenomenal pastry bag set!
The Macaron baking sheet is awesome. I don't know about y'all but whenever I'm told how much to put of dough/batter/anything on a cookie sheet, I always put more than I'm supposed to and it can be very annoying. With macarons it would not only be annoying, but would probably turn these little guys into total disasters. This silicone sheet makes it so easy to know exactly how much of the macaron batter you need for each half of the shell and it has ridges so you really can't mess it up too bad! Plus it makes clean up super easy! I mean seriously, the only part of my macarons that could use help was the batter itself (I'm not sure I folded correctly or if I didn't sift the flour properly). All human error basically, so if you already know how to make macaron batter you are golden! Even if you don't, this silicone sheet at least makes it super easy to ensure you have the right shape and size for your perfect macarons! I truly loved it.
Now...on to the pastry bag. I'm obsessed. like incredibly obsessed. obsessed. okay I'll stop, but seriously it is AMAZING. I wish all of you could win this. I will never use my other pastry bags again. I don't even know where to begin! First off, they are silicone, which makes cleaning them pretty much the easiest thing ever. It also comes with this darling little brush that helps you clean the thinnest part so it's easy to get all the icing/batter/whatever out! Also, it comes with a stand. A STAND! No more trying to wrap my pastry bag over the top of a glass to fill it. This bag stands up so easily in the stand (thanks to the silicone I'm sure). Also, it comes with multiple shapes/heads (6 to be exact) that easily attach and detach without couplers! You don't need couplers anymore! Seriously amazing. Also, when it is standing up in the stand you don't have to worry about batter or icing dripping out as you are filling it because it comes with a little cap that you just easily take off before using. Not only are there 6 tips but there are 3 bags (two 17.5 oz and one 8.8 oz) so you can use more than one at a time and there is a clasp for sealing the bag so icing/batter doesn't come out the top! Seriously, whoever wins this is super lucky, and I wish you all the best of luck! I'm so happy I have this little set because I plan to use the pastry bag set for everything (cakes, icing cookies, etc.) and will definitely be making many macarons this summer, both to perfect my technique, and because I think they make the perfect little dessert, especially in the summertime when you don't want something especially heavy.
Here's what it looked like while making it and on the baking mat:
And out of the oven:
Definitely not perfect, but much better than what I was expecting! I can't wait to make more and get better at this! Without the baking sheet and the bag I probably would have pulled my hair out trying to do this!
I used this basic macaron recipe (although the macaron baking sheet comes with a raspberry macaron recipe that looks amazing but I didn't have raspberry preserves). I filled half of the macarons with a basic buttercream and the other half with nutella (swoon). They were both delicious but I'm leaning more towards nutella. I really want to make more this summer and jazz them up with some fun fillings, like raspberry etc. Any ideas y'all have would be great! Anyway, although they didn't turn out perfect, that was clearly human error and I think that these products are fabulous. I think I either didn't fold the batter right or I just didn't sift the flour enough. I'm not really sure, but I think that macarons are kind of a "practice makes perfect" kind of dessert and I plan to practice a LOT with this set. So now that I've gabbed on for like a million years as to why I loved these products, you can actually find out how to enter! Simply read the instructions below and post a comment to enter.
How to Enter:
Required First Entry: Go to Big Kitchen and pick out something you'd like! It can be anything... a new knife, a food processor, anything!
Extra entries (leave a comment for each!)
Like Big Kitchen on Facebook
Follow Big Kitchen on Twitter
Like Order in the Kitchen on Facebook
Follow Order in the Kitchen on Twitter
Tweet the following: "I just entered a giveaway from @orderinthekitch to win a Macaron making set and you can too! http://tinyurl.com/cwzqq9r "
Giveaway ends June 10th at 11:59 pm. A winner will be chosen by a random number generator. Duplicate comments will be deleted. Winner will have 48 hours to confirm or an alternate winner will be selected. Please leave your real email address in order to be contacted! While I did receive this product for free to review, the opinions and statements regarding the products are my own and I was not compensated for them.
Sooooo, exciting news! Little Muggsy turned 3 years old! 3 whole years old! I've heard that this is when dogs start calming down, but I don't really see that happening with this one any time soon. I decided to make some simple sugar cookies (not for her...she got to eat treats and some steak plus a new toy!). I wanted to make them look like her toys and so I picked her two faves! She LOVES her FETCH ball (so much so that she has already chewed off the blue FETCH letters off!) and her KONG toy. Read on for more!