Tag Archives: food

Weekend Recap / 8

6 Jan

Well Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It’s been a joyous season and I hope you’ve been able to have a few happy adventures as well. Thanks for giving me a little break on the blog. Bradley and I had a busy 2 weeks traveling to Indiana for Christmas and coming back just before the new year. We spent New Year’s Eve with Brooke and Levi, which was a ton of fun.

IMG_4840Thursday afternoon it started to snow and continued into the night.

IMG_4865 IMG_4904 IMG_4869 IMG_4866This is how I look when it snows. My husband can attest to the fact that when it snows I’m like a little girl who got all she ever wanted on Christmas morning.

IMG_4861Last night we watched the Colt’s game with one of Bradley’s friends. If you watched the game or heard about it, you know it was quite the emotional ride. I’m definitely a fan, but I’m not as much of a fan as these guys. 🙂

IMG_4919 IMG_4908Thank you Colts for pulling that win off. You made these two guys very happy!

What was your weekend like? Football, food or fitness?

Weekend Recap / 2

21 Oct

This past week, I only posted once on Monday night to show honor to a family who just lost their dad. If you have a chance please go back and read this post. It’s about how hard it is to grow up.

This past weekend, Bradley and I got to spend some special time together for our anniversary. We visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It’s one of our favorite places that we’ve been together. Plus, we love the Inner Harbor area and getting to walk around the boardwalk at night was a beautiful experience. There was even a wedding reception going on with a live jazz band, right on the water!

My favorite animal in the entire aquarium was the jelly fish. Did you know there is more than one kind? This one had the most amazing ruffles on it. So delicate!

IMG_0122There were many mirrors all over the place so I had to take some pictures during one of the escalator rides. (unbeknownst to Bradley, pictures are always being taken)aquarium

We watched an educational talk about dolphins. It was so much fun to see the dolphin’s rising and diving all around the tank.

IMG_0092After our time with the fishes (no we didn’t sleep with them), we ate at the Cheesecake Factory. Thanks to our parent’s generous gift card, we had an amazing dinner together.

I think my favorite place in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is the large Barnes and Noble in an old power plant. It’s probably grandest bookstore I’ve ever seen. When they filled it with books, they left all the old structures, original brick, and lofted shafts. Just look at these pictures:

IMG_2041 IMG_5873 IMG_6753 IMG_8648 IMG_9076 IMG_9297It’s pretty amazing and if you get the chance this is a must-see attraction. Thanks for tagging along for my great weekend. I hope you had a few bright spots in yours as well! What’d you do?

Dinner / Grilled Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini

9 Oct

This is the most amazing Panini I’ve eaten. It’s up there with a Frontega Chicken Panini from Panera and the Caprese Panini recipe I put up here earlier this year. If you’ve tried those, you know I’m right.

Once again, I’m going to herald the amazingness of a panini press. They make ordinary sandwiches extraordinary! Crispy and dripping with cheese, paninis are an instant love for any foodie. If you don’t have one and love sandwiches, go to BB&B and grab one. You can thank me later.

Back to the panini at hand. I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman. Her food is always good, and if you need a laugh, just read a recipe! Bradley and I love paninis so I was sure that using one of hers would be an instant hit.

Panini Fact: Paninis are an easy weeknight dinner.

For this recipe all you need is bread, grilled chicken, red peppers, provolone (or your favorite cheese), roasted red peppers (canned), peso and a few other household ingredients. Simple stuff but they pack a huge flavor punch.

A few notes:

I don’t have a gas burning stove so I roasted the peppers under the broiler in my oven. Also, I’m grill-less at the moment but you can either use a broiler or a cast iron pan for the chicken.

IMG_2824.1This is what the spread made from roasted red peppers and pesto looks like. IMG_6978.1

Finished project! (Sorry, I was in a rush and the picture was blurry. You try taking food pictures when you’re more focused on eating than the shot itself.) 😉

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—–

Recipe from Pioneer Woman – Grilled Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini

Ingredients

  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 8 whole Sun-dried Tomatoes, Packed In Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Prepared Basil Pesto
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  •  Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 whole Red Bell Peppers
  • 8 whole Slices Provolone Or Mozzarella Cheese
  • 8 slices Good Whole Grain Sandwich Bread
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Softened

Preparation Instructions

CHICKEN

Slightly flatten chicken with a mallet (just until uniform thickness.)

In a blender (or food processor), puree sundried tomatoes, pesto, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add half the mixture to a ziploc bag with the chicken breasts, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

After marinating, heat heavy skillet or grill to medium. Grill or cook chicken until done. Slice chicken into strips.

SPREAD

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and 3 tablespoons of the sundried tomato mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

ROASTED RED PEPPERS

If you have a gas cooktop, blacken red peppers directly over the flame. (If you do not have a gas cooktop, blacken them directly under the oven broiler.) Completely blacken/char on all sides, then immediately seal in a ziploc bag. Allow peppers to sit, sealed, in the bag for at least 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove from bag and use fingers to slip off the blackened skin. (Don’t be afraid to leave some black bits!) Lop off the top, cut in half, then seed and slice into strips. Set aside.

TO ASSEMBLE

To make the panini, spread generous amounts of the sundried tomato/pesto spread on one side of all the pieces of bread. On four of the pieces, arrange 1/4 of the chicken slices, 1/4 of the pepper slices, and two pieces of provolone. To with the other four pieces of bread with the spread face down. Butter both sides of sandwich, then grill in panini maker or on a skillet over medium-low heat. (If you use a skillet, set a heavy pan or skillet on top of the sandwich as each side browns.)

Slice in half and serve!

 

Summer 2013 / Life

4 Oct

Well Wednesday was a Gala recap and yesterday you heard all about the summer camps I work with. Today, look at the life I have outside of work. Life’s all about living with my husband and getting to experience new things with him!

Here we are at the Fourth of July parade in our home town. I love the Fourth and parades. Also we had brats. Those are awesome too.

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One night we took locally sourced burgers and fries to a park by a lake. He’s so sweet. It was a great night.
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Also, our friends Daniel and Jacinta got married and Bradley was the best man! What a great celebration and a fun day.
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We travelled up to NY and visited my parents and sister. This is the lake I grew up going to. Some time we’ll have a house on a lake in the woods with a canoe. It’s the dream. Also, orange shoes. They’re the dream too. 1175270_10151844044132792_850450903_nTo cap off the summer, we watched the Fellowship of the Ring while the score was being performed by a live orchestra and choir!  Bradley’s a huge LoTR fan. He geeked out, I love live music, we sat on the lawn, and enjoyed a great summer night.

1011575_10151887007282792_931871524_nBeautiful nights and spending them with the man I love. I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer.

 

Back on line

2 Oct

How does one get back on line? Do I have to apologize for an unexcused 3 month absence? To start things out, I grabbed my own domain!! You can now visit me at joodlesdoodles.com. Big step. FYI, joodlesdoodles.wordpress.com will redirect you to my new domain name in case you get lost. 😀

Well, then there was summer. Let’s continue there.

I promised you a Gala. And well, we had a Gala. Remember, I talked about the centerpieces, flowers, theme, and overview of camp? The first week in June, our first camp was held in Virginia and was a smashing success. The Gala was no exception. It went off really well. With help from my friends, co-workers and counselors, we assembled and pulled off a great event with only 2 hours of prep! It was incredible and a testament to what you can accomplish when you plan ahead and have all your friends pulling together.

First of all, the room we use for this event each year is a library. It has study cubicles, book shelves, blue carpet and cream walls. Not the spot I would hold a Gala, but I do love a challenge. You have to work with what you can’t change.

We decorated the bookshelves with some rosettes and made a cute conversation area.

IMG_2663Pushing all the study tables and most of the chairs to the side, we had to block off part of the room. We used all the flags from our International Summit (one simulation at the camp) to decorate the Ambassador’s VIP area. That was a cool touch.

IMG_2683I layered the large tissue paper flowers over the middle double doors at the back of the room.  They really added a lot of color and life.

IMG_2664Here’s what some of the centerpieces ended up looking like! I added orange and red cloth squares to tables to layer on the color. What do you think? (I love the up lighting!)

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I love how this sombrero complete fit the theme and the color scheme.IMG_2690I used some of the vases and skewered tissue paper flowers to line the half wall down the entrance ramp.

IMG_2691 IMG_2676This is what the food tables looked like. We arranged them into a “+” shape. I lay down burlap as table coverings and then topped them with red and orange runners. As the main centerpiece, I used a large red vase and then arranged smaller vases, battery votives (no flames allowed indoors), and tissue paper flowers around it. I think that the limes and lemons in the tall clear vases also brought in a great natural and vibrant touch.

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We served cheese, crackers and fruit plates. Chips were served in terra-cotta pottery with queso, salsa and 7-layer dip accompanying them. Then we covered styrofoam cones with glazed donut holes. Those made a great impact in the room! We also made bite-size key lime cheesecakes.  Since the Gala was right after dinner, minimal food was required.
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I absolutely love this picture! Just look at all the variety of textures, colors and sizes.IMG_2653 IMG_2654People started to arrive and we broke out the virgin mixed drinks: Margaritas, Lemonade, Strawberry juice, Pina coladas and Watermelon Refreshers. Our “bar” was never empty or dry!

IMG_2661 IMG_2667 IMG_2673As you can see here, we also strung twinkle-lights around the ceiling and the pillars in the room. With some like Spanish guitar and salsa music, we were ready to get the event started!1039721_10151754944288561_939463409_o 1048192_10151754944748561_1980015192_o 1040666_10151754944268561_1038031452_oI’m very happy with how everything turned out. I think it was a great success. From the decorations, to the food, and the atmosphere (lighting and music) to the flow, the Gala from beginning to end was a blast to plan and throw. Can’t wait for next year!

Cara Box / May Reveal

28 May

Today I’m revealing my May Cara Box to you. Cara Box is a way for bloggers to link up, meet new people and send each other encouragement in a sort of care package. This was my first month participating and I was paired up with two amazing bloggers. Kym sent me a box and I sent one to Britiany.

Kym is an amazing girl who loves to run (especially with her family), lives in Indiana, and is married to a Marine. She sent me a great box for  a summer cookout. The package was filled with such goodness, I can’t wait to use these things with B this summer!

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IMG_0171Corn dishes and holders (which I love because I hate burning my fingers)
IMG_8954Scarf, earrings, red nail polish (they are awesome!)IMG_8232Corn tongs, spoon, spatula and bright yellow towel!
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And a summer bbq towel and measuring spoons!IMG_3239
Thank you Kym for this great May Cara Box!

Event Planning / Gala Centerpieces

24 May

This past week has been very busy. Reason number 1 why this is only my third post this week. Work is definitely picking up and our camps start in only 9 days! I can’t believe they are already here!

I definitely want to update you on how my preparations for the Gala are coming. Catch up on all my previous preparations here, here and here!

I’ve been working hard on the centerpieces recently and want to outline for you what I’m thinking. These tissue paper sunbursts are made from the remains of the large flowers I showed you last week.

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I love being resourceful!IMG_6258

I also put all the even smaller trimmings in glass vases.

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To keep in line with the Cinco de Mayo theme and colors, I’ve designed 4 different centerpieces that will we randomly scattered around the room. Different collections on each table, so that it looks both cohesive and interesting.

Centerpiece 1: Tissue paper poms on skewers in a glass vase.

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IMG_0592Centerpiece 2: Brightly colored flowers and greenery in a vase.

IMG_3385Centerpiece 3: Limes and Lemons in a large glass container

IMG_0533Centerpiece 4: Tin cans from the Mexican grocery store with succulence inside.

IMG_7776These are just some rough sketches that will make a reality next week! Let’s talk food next time. I have so many ideas. 😀

What are your party planning thoughts? What should I “make sure to remember” and “definitely not forget”?

Weekend Recap: Mother’s Day

13 May

This past weekend, I was able to spend time with Mom. We drove up to Penn State (where my little sis goes to college) and meet up with Mom, Dad, Beka, and Skip. B and I drove up and back in one day, whew. It was a great visit! So glad to be able to see Mom on Mother’s Day weekend!

Friday night, B and I spent preparing gifts, flowers, and food for the next day. My husband made a great bacon, spinach, cheddar quiche (recipe coming later this week)! While he was in the kitchen I put together some flowers,
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as well as wrapped a gift box for Mom. This box included a soft pink shirt, picture book of Paris and a cute macaroon card. She loved Paris the time she and Dad got to go and this box referenced that! 🙂

mother'sday2The contents of this box were special, but the wrapping was just as fun to give to her. I wrapped a box in brown paper and decided it needed a little color. So using a baby carrot and some red paint I had in the cupboard, I stamped out some polka dots.

mother'sday3After polka dotting the wrapping, I tied it all up with some candy striped string for a complete packaged look!

mother'sday4Remember those Mother’s Day cards I was working on last week? Well I narrowed it down to two that I wanted to give to Mom. They were both so cute. 😉

IMG_1285Saturday morning, B and I started the trek up to PA. The forecast was rain, but we didn’t expect the torrential downpours. (the pictures don’t do it justice)

IMG_5261 Finally we arrived! Mom was packing us a picnic lunch, which we ate outside in a local park under the pavilion. She makes great sandwiches. After that, Beka finished her morning shift and joined us for some games and chill time.

IMG_5993We played Uno, Tsuro, and Catch Phrase. Catch Phrase is my favorite. 🙂

mother'sday5Our family times always revolve around food and games. Or at least that’s the way it feels. Because the next adventure we had was walking around Penn State with ice cream in our hands! The Berkey Creamery is not to be missed if you find yourself headed through State College, PA. I had an amazing bittersweet mint shake.

IMG_7989All the dairy for their ice cream comes from cows on their campus. Beka is working in the barns this summer and during her shift that morning had milked several hundred cows!

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I think we are just the cutest.IMG_9619
Finally Mother’s Day Brunch began. (count it, yes, it was the third meal in a 6 hour time span.) We served B’s quiche, my lemon blueberry muffins and Skip’s fruit salad. Delicious!

mother'sday6We definitely missed my older sister and her family.

mother'sday7It was a wonderful day with Mom!

IMG_0672What did you do this past weekend?

 

Mother’s Day Preparation

10 May

B and I are headed up for an early Mother’s Day tomorrow with Mom, Dad, my brother and younger sister. That means today I am planning the Day Early Mom Appreciation festivities. Happiness!

Menu: Spinach Bacon Quiche, Blueberry Muffins, and Cranberry Pecan Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing. Mom loves breakfast and has skillfully served it to us every birthday as we grew up. Even though this meal will be served at dinner time, I want to make a brunch to honor her that way.

We’re hoping it doesn’t rain so that we can attend this Plant Celebration at Centre Furnace Mansion. It looks beautiful!

Kid President Rocks! And this is a funny, amazing tribute to Moms.

I’ll leave you with a few picture of me and my mom. We’ve had a lot of good times together. We worked for New Yorker’s for Constitutional Freedoms together. We both love history and museums. We love food and serving others. We both love crafty things and making stuff with our hands. She’s taught me a lot.

momsday24443_94361947791_5725920_n momsday1I can’t wait to see you tomorrow Mom!

Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

7 May

I need these to come back in my life. They are the most amazing muffins. Crisp apples and lovely cinnamon mixed with textured oatmeal make for an amazing muffin. Seriously, go make them right now. You’ll thank me.

I was surprised when I looked for a recipe for “Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins” however. I looked, searched, Googled and ventured in to the great unknown but there were only one or two recipes that even remotely seemed like what I was looking for. I took a chance on one from a blog and it definitely paid off. Follow along! The recipe is at the end.

1) Chop apples. I used 2-3 because I like my muffins to be mostly fruit. 😉

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2) Wisk dry ingredients.
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3) Mix wet ingredients and add to the dry ones.IMG_0849
4) Stir to combine.
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5) Add apples.IMG_5774
6) Stir to combine.IMG_56887) Portion into muffin pan and cook. (Keep watch as they near the end because I needed less time than they called for)

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Look how amazing these are! They fell apart in my hand and were so full of amazing apple chunks! Get out the stick of butter and go at ‘um. Ooo so good. IMG_3613IMG_2441IMG_0819

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Recipe care of Cathlin Cooks

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour (used white flour but only because I need to restock on whole wheat!)
  • ½ cup rolled oats (Because of the lack of wheat flour, I upped this to 1 cup oats and used 1 cup white flour)
  • 1/3 cup light-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk or water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½-2 cups chopped apples (I used Galas which allow the apples to retain a little crunch even after cooked)
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F and grease a muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, stir together milk/water, eggs, oil, and vanilla until blended.
  4. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add wet ingredients, stirring just to combine.
  5. Stir in apple chunks.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a muffins pass the toothpick test.
  7. Allow muffins to cool on a wire rack for five minutes before removing from pan to continue cooling.

Serve warm or completely cooled. Muffins can be frozen.