Where Ya At?

OMG, it’s been a month since I last updated!!!  I apologize, but I have a lot of stuff lined up for this blog, to include:

  1. Stuff I’ve been making in preparation for my daughter’s first birthday party next week (which is why I’ve been absent).
  2. More Stitch Fix stuff.
  3. And my highly anticipated (at least with my friends) reinstatement of my annual Super Bowl Party, which entails a lot of cooking and, inevitably, recipes!

I haven’t abandoned the blog just yet, so keep an eye out for some great posts.

Advertisements

Chorizo Brussel Sprout Hash

chorizo_brussels_sprout_hash

I’ve been on a runny egg kick the last couple of weeks.  Any chance I get to cook I want to make sure I can have a runny egg with it, whether it be poached, sunnyside up, or a good ol’ fried egg!  And not just an egg with toast and bacon; I want a flavorful meal and my runny egg to add a little velvety sauce on top.  And that’s why I decided to make a hash!!!  Yes, I went there!

Ingredients
3/4 lb. chorizo, diced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 red potatoes, diced
3/4 lb. brussel sprouts, shaved
2 tbs. olive oil
salt
pepper

Directions
On medium high heat, heat up the olive oil in a cast iron skillet.  When the skillet is hot, brown the chorizo.  When the chorizo is browned, take the chorizo out and set aside.  Keep the oil/fat in the skillet.

Next, add the potatoes and stir occasionally.  If you stir prematurely the potatoes will stick to the bottom because the potatoes will not brown/caramelize.  This takes a long time, anywhere between 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on how big your potatoes are cut.  When your potatoes have browned, add the onions and brussel sprouts and stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Take off the heat when the onions are translucent and the brussel sprouts have wilted a little bit. Then add your chorizo and juices.  Mix well and then serve a fried egg on top!

Cook’s Note
I find that the chorizo I buy is spicy enough for my family, especially since I cook everything in one pan and  some of the chorizo spices get incorporated into the potatoes.  If you don’t find it spicy enough, definitely add cayenne or even hot sauce.

I would not recommend this to babies or even toddlers.  My 3 year old finds the chorizo too spicy.  You can switch out the chorizo with bacon instead if you want to make it more toddler friendly.  Or you can just get rid of the meat and make it a brussel sprout hash to make it a friendlier baby led weaning recipe.

Herbed Baked Eggs

baked_eggs

So for my brother’s birthday I made this quick, but luxurious and simple brunch/breakfast for him.  If you want to make someone feel special, but don’t really have the time to do it, I highly recommend this recipe.  This is adapted from Ina Garten (via Chrissy Teigan), so again it will be Y-U-M-M-Y!

Ingredients
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
2 tbs. grated parmesan
8 large eggs
4 tbs. heavy cream
2 tbs. unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Set the oven rack 6 inches from the broiler and preheat the oven on broil for 5 minutes.

Combine garlic, thyme, rosemary, and parmesan in a bowl and set aside.  Set out 4 cups/small bowls, and crack two eggs in each bowl, being careful not to break the yolk (otherwise you’ll have baked scrambled eggs).  Add salt and pepper to eggs.

Take 4 individual serving sized baking dishes and place on a cookie sheet (make sure the dish is broiler safe!!!).  Put a tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter into each baking dish.  Place under the broiler for 3 minutes, or until the cream and butter are hot and bubbly.  Take out of the oven, add the 2 eggs, and sprinkle the herb mixture on top.  Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the egg whites are almost cooked.  Take out of the oven and let the eggs set for a minute before serving with buttered toast.

Cook’s Notes
So the original recipe calls for 3 eggs, but my gratin dishes were definitely too small for 3 eggs.  If you have dishes that are a bit bigger, definitely go for 3 eggs.  I thought 2 eggs was more than enough for us and it also meant the eggs were creamier and herby.

The recipe also calls for fresh parsley.  We didn’t have fresh parsley in the house, so I omitted it from this recipe.  However, if we did have parsley I think I would have added it after the eggs were cooked in the broiler.  It was fine without the parsley too.  If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs but definitely use a 1/3 of what the recipe calls for since dried herbs are more potent.

This recipe is also for 4 people.  My brother and I like our eggs a little runny, so I pulled out two dishes at around 6 minutes.  If you like your yolks more firm, keep the eggs under the broiler for a few more minutes.  As long as your eggs are 6 inches away from the broiler, I find that it won’t completely burn if you choose to have a firmer egg.  But remember that when you pull the eggs out, it’s still cooking a bit when it sets up.

Chicken Pot Pie

chicken_pot_pie

It’s beginning to get a little cooler here, which I hate because I love summer.  However, I do like the comfort foods that are associated with fall and winter–stews, roasts, and pot pie!  It was a rainy day when I made this last week and I had leftover rotisserie chicken, so pot pie it was!  This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten, so you know it’s good!!!

Ingredients
2 cups shredded chicken
5 cups chicken stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tbs. unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups diced carrots, blanched
10 oz package frozen peas
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Pie crust
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbs. water

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small saucepan, heat up chicken stock and bouillon cubes, making sure the cubes are fully dissolved.  In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add onions until they become translucent.  Add flour and turn the burner to low.  Stir mixture thoroughly until it becomes a very light brown, very wet sand with onion mixture.  Add stock and stir until it becomes thick.  Add salt, pepper, and heavy cream.  Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.  Then add chicken, carrots, and peas; mix well.

Divide mixture into 4 ovenproof bowls.  Divide pie crusts into 4 pieces to cover the bowls.  Brush some egg wash on the edges of the bowl, then place pie crust.  Crimp and seal crust over the bowl.  Brush crust with egg wash, sprinkle pepper (and sea salt) on crust, and then cut 3 small slits into the crust.  Place bowls on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the crust is golden brown.

Cook’s Notes
This can be a baby led weaning recipe.  I would either take a baby portion of the crust and stew and have it sit in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Or I would just cook the crust separately and serve the warmed stew and crust.  The stew bit is already cooked, but when it comes out of the oven it is soooooo piping hot.  My son’s pot pie sat for an hour, even after we put an ice cube in, before it was cool enough for him to eat.

To save time, I always use a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  A whole chicken costs $4.99 where I am, and we never eat an entire one for dinner.  So I repurpose the leftover chicken into the pot pie.  It’s easier and saves me time.  I also buy pie crusts just because it’s easier and saves me time.  But I know some people like to make their own crusts, which you can do of course.

Mommy Makeup

makeup

So back in April I mentioned that I got a makeover done by Sephora to help me get a simple look in a quick amount of time.  I still do the routine the makeup artist taught me almost a year later.  Pictured above is me without makeup and then with makeup suggested to me by the makeup artist.

First and foremost, you need a good base.  And by base, you need a good moisturizer.  After every shower and when I wash my face I put these three products on my face.  I first apply NUDE Skincare Advanced Renewal Serum and then I apply the NUDE Skincare Advanced Renewal Moisturizer.  It doesn’t make my skin feel super oily and it keeps my skin youthful.  I then put Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm under my eyes.  Now this is an absolute must for all mothers out there!  Since using this product I have noticed that it has reduced the bags/dark circles under my eyes.  It seriously helps!!!  Buy it now!!!

Now on to the makeup.  Here’s what I use:

If I am super super short on time, then I only use the CC cream.  And because the Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm has seriously improved my eyes, I rarely use a concealer.

So that’s the makeup I use.  I highly recommend you carve out some time to make an appointment with Sephora to update your makeup and have them show you a good routine.  Not only will you be pampered, but they do make it feasible to make yourself up in a little amount of time.

Fabletics #1

fabletics

So I recently joined Fabletics (the Kate Hudson athletic wear line).  I thought why not get reasonably priced work out clothes that look good to help motivate me to work out more.  I almost ordered more Lulus, but the price of your first outfit with Fabletics was pretty hard to say no to.  I ordered the outfit pictured above (and I also apologize for looking so terrible; I just finished a run).

Pros
The clothes are actually great!  As advertised, they are definitely comparable to Lulus, Nike, etc.  I actually think the crops I bought are better than Lulus.  The fit is the same, but the fabric and quality of how they stitch it together is much better.  Definitely no underwear showing when I bend over.  😉  The pants stay up when I run, and there’s a little pocket for a key and/or cash.  The tank top is also nice, although nothing special.  But that’s ok as long as it’s breathable.

The price is fantastic!  So when you become a VIP member outfits (2-3 piece sets) start at $49.95!!!  That’s pretty cheap considering it’s hard to find good work out pants for that price on its own.  What’s even better is your first outfit is half off–so this outfit I’m wearing cost $29.97.  Yes, $29.97!!!

Cons
The only con right now is that you have to be a VIP member to get these deals, even though it is free to be a member.  Being a VIP member is basically a ponzi scheme to get you to keep buying their clothes.  So yes, your first outfit is 50% off.  But at the beginning of each month you have to log into your account and either buy a new outfit or say you want to skip.  I really don’t know anyone who needs a new workout outfit each month.  But the way they get you to stay is because you have to physically call them to unsubscribe/cancel your membership, which is super annoying because I’m sure they will try to talk you out of it.  While there’s no obligation to buy an outfit each month, it’s annoying to have to go to their website to say, “No, I don’t need an outfit this month.”  Admittedly, I did buy another outfit this month.  But let’s say you are super busy and forget to tell them you don’t want an outfit this month.  They charge you $49.95, which will be a credit toward a future outfit you want to buy–a bit annoying right?

While the quality for the price of Fabletics seems great, it’s just annoying to have to be a VIP member.  We’ll see how long I continue to be a member.

And in case you are curious, I’m wearing Nike In-Season TR 4 shoes and a Nike running hat to keep the sun off my face.

Braised Chicken and Kale

braise_chicken_kale

So this is a go to recipe in our home.  It is a very light, healthy meal that’s also rather filling.  That’s because I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light.  I end up making it once a week and I feel healthier for doing so (although I really don’t like kale and can’t wait for that food trend to end).

Ingredients
2 tbs. canola oil
4 chicken thighs
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup flour
5 garlic cloves, minced
16oz package chopped kale
14oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbs. red wine vinegar

Directions
Preheat oven to 325°F.

Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add the canola oil.  Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour.  Place chicken, skin side down first in oil.  Render out most of the fat from the skin, about 5 minutes.  Then flip over chicken and brown for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove from dutch oven.

Take half of the kale and put in dutch oven.  Stir and then cover for 2 minutes to let the kale wilt down a bit.  Then take the remaining kale and garlic and add to the dutch oven.  Stir and cover again allowing the kale to wilt all the way down.  Then add tomatoes and its juices and stock.  Bring to a boil.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom bits off the dutch oven.  Then bring mixture down to a simmer.  Place chicken back inside the dutch oven.  Cover and place in the oven for about 50 minutes (or until the chicken reaches and internal temperature of 165°F).

Remove from oven when done.  Take chicken out and add vinegar to the veggies.

Cook’s Notes
I actually serve this with a side of rice because we can’t live without carbs in this house.  I’m sure it would go great with potatoes, or as pictured above.

This is actually a really great baby led weaning recipe.  Just take the skin off and shred the meat.  And make sure you give the kale without the rib pieces as those are far too tough to gum.  I mix it all up in a bowl with rice and serve it to my kids.  My daughter actually preferred the kale over the meat.