Friday, August 29, 2014

things my kitchen wishes I would buy

1. a panini press
so we could make deliciousness like this and this together

2. a slow cooker with a timer
I have a Crock Pot, and I have slow cooker liners, so if I just had a slow cooker with a timer, I feel as though my kitchen and I could take on the world together (at least the world of advance dinner-making).

3. actual space between the stove and the fridge
Alas, that is a problem only solved by major renovation (sorry kitch, not in the cards right now). I'm not sure what kitchen layout genius put them next to each other, but it cannot be very efficient.

4. a ladle
I know, I have no excuses, its just one of those things that I forget that I don't have until I go to get soup out of a pot, and then I'm like, oh right, I don't have a ladle.

5. one of those cushy-comfy foot mat things
If I bought of those for my kitchen, we could spend so much more quality time together. Nothing makes you feel 30 more than a backache after a half hour at the stove.

What would your kitchen tell you to buy?

til the waffle irons,

6. a waffle iron!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Do You Call It Sauce or Gravy?!

Do you call it sauce or gravy? Well I think it all depends on who you ask. But whatever you call it, it can make or break your meal. There’s nothing more gross than a watery sauce, a sauce with no flavor, a sauce that’s too acidic … clearly I call it sauce.

We grew tomatoes in our garden this year (only tomatoes) and we have about 30+ sitting in our kitchen waiting for us to do something with them. We've already made tomatoes chopped up with fresh garlic, a little EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), salt and pepper (yum!), tomato/mozzarella and fresh, juicy tomatoes in our salads every night. 

Now it’s sauce time!!!

I start by boiling a pot of water and blanching the tomatoes in the boiling hot water and then transfer them right into an ice bath. This makes it easy to peel the skin off the tomatoes.

Next I'll dice up onions and garlic and sauté them in some EVOO with salt and pepper until they are translucent - do this in a big pot.

Next I’ll add the fresh tomatoes, which I’ll chop up a bit before hand. I may add a large can of crushed tomatoes depending on how much our freshly grown tomatoes yield. Add a bit more salt and pepper and cover on medium/high. 

I love to add fresh basil to my sauce, but I dice it up a bit - add it into the sauce when ready. If you don't have or want to buy fresh basil, feel free to add dried basil or oregano. 

I will also throw either 1 full carrot or a couple small carrots into the pot to take some of the acidity out of the sauce. Once it starts bubbling add about 1tsp. of sugar and lower the heat. 

Simmer for a while with the lid half on and let it thicken up a bit, obviously taste it along the way to see if you need to add any more seasoning (salt, pepper, sugar, etc.). 

Serve it up with some chicken parm, homemade meatballs, pasta or whatever else you like. 

I swear I was Italian in another life - Bon Appétit! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday is the new Friday, right?!

Sorry for the radio silence there on Friday. We were on a family vacation and it was just not in the cards to get a post drafted and scheduled before we left. 

like a good someecard, this is bit sarcastic...

We had a wonderful, awesome, fabulous, amazing time and now its time to whip our routines back into shape. Preschool starts up again on Tuesday (wait, what?!) and Sally has been walking around with her backpack on, talking about show and share and how she's going to play tag with her friends. Somebody's a little excited, eh? 

til the boardwalk fries,

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Girls Rule!

The internet, sports center, even the news have been a buzz this week about Mo'ne Davis. The little league pitcher who throws 70 mph, is taking center stage again tonight (on the mound that is) and who made the cover of Sports Illustrated ... oh did I mention she threw a complete game shutout on Friday too?! 

Why is this a big deal you might ask? It's a big deal because not only is she out there kicking all the boys asses, but she's the first little league player to make the cover of Sports Illustrated ... AND SHE'S A GIRL! Yep that's a bad ass chick in my book if you ask me. 

I started out playing t-ball then baseball with the boys when I was little (see photo below), so in some weird way I feel a connection with Mo'ne. Granted I wasn't throwing 70 mph and I wasn't the only girl on the team. But that's fine! 

Mo'ne takes center mound (I mean stage) tonight in the Little League World Series. It's been a whirlwind month for this 13-year-old right-hander. I'm sure things are just getting started for her ... I can't wait to watch her continue to make history and move women in sports even further along. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

knock knock...

Who's there?


With who?

With whom.

I cannot even tell you how much I love that. BuzzFeed has had a few really funny (to me at least) joke posts in the last couple months. Like a moth to a flame, I tend to click on the posts along the lines of "corny jokes" "jokes for people who love words" "jokes only geeks will appreciate". Here are some linky's for Friday funnies.

And a personal favorite from the lists above...
Q: How is imitation like a plateau?

A: They're both the highest forms of flattery. Buh dum tshhh.

til the side stitches,

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Are You Ready for Some Football?!

I sure am ... and as you read on Friday so is Em and her family! (I can't wait to get my 2014 Seasons Greetings). 

That was always one thing she and I had in common throughout college, our love for the Eagles! Lucky for her she married an Eagles fan. Me on the other hand, I crossed enemy lines and married a Giants fan (I know crazy right?!) Football season sure is fun in my house!

Sundays we both wake up and immediately put on our respective team shirts and the sh*t talking begins. Well, it's already begun and the 2014 regular season isn't even underway yet. Forget about the days (October 12 and December 28, the last game of the season) that the Eagles play the Giants. We might as well have war paint on our faces those days. 

I am unfortunately very outnumbered living in New Jersey. All of our friends in Jersey are Giants fans and my entire family (uncles, aunts, cousins) proudly wear that hideous shade of blue.  

I am the happiest when my brother and dad are around on a Sunday to at least have a couple Eagles fans in my corner. 

The Eagles made some big moves in the off-season by drafting Marcus Smith in the first round and trading for Darren Sproles.
Friday the Eagles take the field in their second pre-season game up in New England against Tom Brady and the hooded Bill Belichick who are out to reclaim their position on top this year. 
Unlike last year, the Eagles actually look like they belong on the same field as the Patriots, with Foles at the helm of the ship. It’s amazing the difference a year can make, Foles is looking sharp, the o-line has more cohesion and the defense now knows what it’s doing.
Dare I say, they already look like a better team than they did last year?!
Only time will tell, but I sure am excited to get this season underway! But first we must head up to New England, then host the Steelers and the Jets to close out pre-season. September 7 can't come soon enough, I'm like a little kid on Christmas Eve anxiously awaiting something special ... The start of the 2014/2015 NFL Season. 
Em, please tell Sally and Graham that Aunt Loni is practicing her Eagles fight song! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

football: a family affair

We are like, so pumped for the start of the football season. E-A-G-L-E-S...Eagles! We've been brainwashing instilling a love for the home team since our babies were big enough to wear clothes. Football games are on every Sunday, the touchdown song is sung (hopefully frequently) loud and proud and clapping, jumping, and high-five-ing is encouraged.

A point of pride for both Justin and I was just the other day, when Sally just started singing "Fly, Eagles, fly, score a touchdown, 1-2-3" while playing with her dolls. And Graham says "ball" whenever he sees the Eagles (and Phillies, actually) logo.

The Eagles schedule is consulted before any plans are made in the fall/winter months. We may or may not send out a "holiday" card at the start of the season. And Sally has come to learn that its perfectly normal for Mommy and Daddy to scream at the TV from September to January. Yellow label is making Sally an Eagles dress and I don't which one of us girls is more excited.

So Season's Greetings fellow football fans (except Cowboys greetings for you), may our team win.  


til the grid irons,

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Attention All Wine-O's

What do you do with the cork after you finish a bottle of wine? I save them! And after many, many bottles of wine I was finally able to make this. 

If you're interested here's what you need to make this yourself. 

Head to your local arts & crafts store (A.C. Moore, Michaels, etc.) and pick up a flat wooden letter. 

Next, break out those corks that you've saved - the fruits of your labor. 

You'll need a hot glue gun and the corks that's it! My kind of craft ... simple. 

Other great uses for an abundance of corks are a cork board (turn those champagne corks into push pins), trivets or bordering a cool wine photo with corks to give it a three demential look. 

Happy drinking ... I mean crafting!

Friday, August 1, 2014

you stay classy

Back to life, back to reality. 5 days of drip castles, sweet tea, sun-induced laziness, naps on 'that little basket thing' (hammock), and staying up past bedtime for games of beach tag. We are home with our boys and have eased back into things without much of a hitch. I took this picture during a morning walk, and I already know I'll cherish it forever.

At some point this weekend, I will be making these. Justin and I have been trying to make the most of oh-oh-those-summmer-niiighhhhts by eating dinner outside after the kids go to bed, with some beer, some wine, and some delicious (dare I say, grown-up) food.

Also on the must-make, class-it-up-a-notch list:



And finally

til the moon beams,