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Showing posts from 2012

Aunt Peg's Wicked Good Cranberry Relish

Don't get me wrong, I still love my canned Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce but I also love my mom's cranberry relish. That's why I always serve both. Grammie Jackie used to make this cranberry relish for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. The freshly chopped cranberries and orange may make this recipe an acquired taste for some. The orange rind really gives it a zing and it will definitely kick it up a notch for your next holiday feast. View the Printer-Friendly Aunt Peg's Wicked Good Cranberry Relish Recipe Card

Hot Turkey Sandwich

I love making hot turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Traditionally I have used Texas Toast but this year I used fresh Challah bread... and oh my... it was to die for! For my DC area friends look for Parisers Challah in your local Giant. First I lightly toasted the buttered slices on the griddle and started with a layer of incredible  oyster stuffing that my brother-in-law Andrew made. Next I piled on the turkey and drizzled with hot gravy. Done. Gourmet is that easy . Now if Carlty Bryer were making these sandwiches he would drizzle gravy on top of the sandwich. In that case, you are going to want to grab a fork and knife...and maybe an extra napkin :)

Aunt Peg's Wicked Good Deviled Eggs

Hands down my favorite deviled eggs are my mom's. Done correctly, deviled eggs can create a sense of elegance to any holiday spread.  Make a few extra and you have a simple breakfast the next day. I had three this morning :) FYI- The recipe calls for hot dog relish. In case you interpret this as just the relish you put on your hotdogs that's not what I mean. Click here to see what I'm talking about. View the printer-friendly  Aunt Peg's Wicked Good Deviled Eggs Recipe Card

Oyster Stuffing

For my husband Scott, Thanksgiving and Christmas are not complete without  several  servings of his mom's oyster stuffing. The first time that he asked me to try to make oyster stuffing the thought of oysters in stuffing kind of turned my stomach but it was a fond family tradition for him so I gave it a shot. I'm not going to lie, my first attempt involved pulling a random recipe off of the internet and left me with less than desirable results. Scott liked it but I think that he was  desperate  and I knew I could do better. First, I needed his mom's recipe and then I needed to watch the master herself put this dish together. During Thanksgiving '07 Alicia and Ernesto came to visit for Thanksgiving and our wish came true, she made her famous oyster stuffing. Wow! It was incredible. The original recipe is from River Road Recipes II "A Second Helping" with slight adaptations from her good friend Ann Guillory, a New Orleans native. Scroll to the bottom for the re

El Rey de las Fritas (Miami)

There is a reason why the locals... and visitors with inside info (thanks to 3 Guys from Miami)... flock to an unassuming strip mall on Callee Ocho in Little Havana. And that reason is the fritas (Cuban hamburger) from El Rey de las Fritas (The King of the Fritas). Whether it's first frita ever (like me) or you frequent various frita joints often, one bite of their Original Frita and you will be hooked. Surprised by the infusion of a secret seasoning in their 100% beef patty our delighted taste buds went into overdrive. The Original Frita from El Rey de las Fritas  If it's your first visit I highly recommend getting the frita that made this place famous and then dive into other tasty options on their menu like the pan con bistec (steak sandwich). Whether you are a foodie adventurer or dining on a tight budget, check out El Rey de las Fritas, your taste buds and wallet won't be disappointed. Where is your favorite frita joint?

The Cuban Sandwich

Ok, here's an example of where I don't have the perfect shot but the recipe is too good to wait. And besides, those perfect shots miss what is really going on in the background... leaving out the love, effort, and balancing act of life that goes into these recipes. As you can see, Koa is waiting for a chance to reenact the Bumpus' dogs famous dinner disaster scene from A Christmas Story and that's one of Morgan's newborn toys making an appearance in the upper right-hand corner. Traditionally we make a huge Puerco Asado con Frijoles Negro  and the following day we use the leftover roasted pork for Cuban sandwiches. I haven't found traditional Cuban bread out here in the DC area so I use Giant's club rolls. My sandwiches have yet to disapoint even the most distinguished Cuban palates. This is how I assemble my Cuban sandwiches. 1. Drizzle a little mojo on the roasted pork, cover, and warm up in the oven. 2. Preaheat George Foreman or Paninini Press

Boston's Flour Bakery Banana Bread

I love banana bread! I have tried several recipes but my favorite traditional banana bread recipe is from Boston's Flour Bakery . You know who else loves this bread? Morgan. Here are a few shots of him scarfing down a piece. And sharing a piece with his best buddy.

Guy Fieri's Morgan Burger

My friend Michelle recommended Guy Fieri's vegetarian burgers  and raved about how fabulous they taste, that they're freezer friendly and even grill well.  Although I'm not a vegetarian, I have to say I love them.  Here are a few tips that Michelle passed along... Use low-salt beans to make the burgers healthier Really squish the beans so they hold together They are freezer friendly so double or triple the recipe and enjoy them as needed These are awesome with Chipotle Mayo! I found that Bobby Flay's Chipotle Mayo on FoodNetwork was very flavorful and super easy... I threw the five ingredients into my Magic Bullet and BAM! I had Chipotle Mayo... and she was right. Whether you are a full-blown vegetarian or a newbie experimenting with meatless Mondays this is definitely a burger recipe that you'll want to hang on to. Or better yet, take it and pass it on!

Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring

With help from The Grocery Game I was able to make this quick and easy Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring from The Jones Way and All Things Delicious for two dollars! I made two of these this week, one for a group play date and another for an impromptu Frankenstorm brunch. Two dollars and twenty minutes...need I say more? We don't eat a lot of prepackaged foods so I'm eager to try this recipe using my Aunt Nita's famous Bakewell Cream biscuits.

Egg in the Nest

I found this seemingly fanciful presentation idea on pinterest from the Fifteen Spatulas blog. Make this for your next brunch and your guests will think Martha Stewart and her team must have dropped in your kitchen during twilight hours to put these together. Truth is, these are so quick and easy to make that you can whip them up on a weekday morning for an everyday breakfast. Ok, I know some of you are saying "yeah right," but I promise it's true.

The Best Cooking Method for Bacon

My husband Scott loves his bacon extra  crispy. His preference lies ever so delicately between the line of crispy and burnt. And unfortunately I have crossed that line too many times while trying to fry my way to this perfection. Also if you are serving a crowd, frying small batches of bacon can be time consuming... and let's not forget messy. A few years ago my mom taught me a new trick that not only guarantees perfectly cooked bacon, it is time efficient, and you don't have to worry about bacon grease splattering all of your stove. Rather than frying your bacon, preheat your oven to 350 and bake it on lined baking sheet for 20-30 minutes (depending on how crispy you like it). For a huge timesaver, partially bake a large batch for 15 minutes, take out of the oven to cool, and then freeze individual servings for future use. When ready to use, bake bacon on a lined cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes at 350. Having partially cooked bacon in the freezer makes it wicked easy for

Homemade Pita Chips

Pita Chips sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese I can make a bag of pita chips disappear pretty quickly, how about you? Although Stacy's is my go to brand at the grocery store it turns out that I can make them for 1/3 of the price at home....and in 20 minutes. Paired with this low-fat  homemade hummus recipe , you are well on your way to fattening your wallet and slimming your waistline. That's a win win combination! Download the Printer-Friendly Pita Chips Recipe Card

Carlty Bryer's Wicked Good Coleslaw

This zesty coleslaw is a refreshing side that always accompanies my dad's ribs and potato salad . It is definitely worth taking an extra few minutes to freshly grate the cabbage and carrots, but you can also make it in 5 minutes with a package of coleslaw. For me, the addition of a chopped granny smith apple is a must. Download the Printer-Friendly  Coleslaw Recipe Card

Hawaiian Ahi Poke

Historically Hawaiian fisherman would slice fresh fish into bite sized pieces ( poke)  and season it with a little sea salt and seaweed. Nowadays in the Hawaiian Islands you can find hundreds of variations of poke everywhere, from the local grocery store to exclusive restaurants like Nick's Fish Market in Maui. (We had an amazing dinner at Nick's on our honeymoon in 2007 and highly recommend putting that on your "to do" list if you go there on vacation. ) This Ahi Poke  recipe  exemplifies perfection in simplicity. Simple to make and simply melts in your mouth. Once you have made it you can experiment with other seasonings and fish if you like. And, for my fellow foodie adventurers, celebrity chef Sam Choy holds an annual Poke Contest in Keahou, HI.  FYI- Here is an interesting article on what is considered sushi grade , you may be surprised. I get my Ahi in the freezer section at our local HMart.

The Best Travel Agent

Our Hawaiian Honeymoon - June, 2007 How many times have you clicked on an internet travel deal only to find that the final price is way more than initially advertised or the dates you need aren't available . Maybe you got a great deal, but missed a few fine print details and your trip was ruined, and you had no one to call to help fix the problem. I have a solution... and her name is Lisa Olson from Simmon's Travel, Inc. I was first introduced to Lisa when she booked a Carnival Cruise trip to Nassau, Bahamas for me and three of my girlfriends. It was on the last night of this cruise that I met my husband Scott. I have been relying on Lisa ever since to book all of our travel needs. She is a well-seasoned travel agent that has the knowledge to customize the perfect vacation based on the criteria you give her. Her customer service and attention to detail are impeccable. Miami Sunrise Carnival Cruise 04 Beantown Bunch Terminal 3 MIA She is

Carlty Bryer's Wicked Good Potato Salad

Everyone loves my dad's potato salad. All of the fresh vegetables give it a refreshing crunch. I love it with his famous ribs . I love it with Maine red hotdogs . I love it with my mom's baked beans (Aunt Peg's Baked Bean recipe coming soon). Well, I just love it. Download the Printer-Friendly  Potato Salad Recipe Card

The Best Cooking Method for Wings

Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and slathered in a zesty sauce, that's how I like my wings. I used to think that I needed to fry them in hot oil to achieve this perfection, but after I tried Alton Brown's method , I knew there was a healthier way to get the same results... or even better. When we are in the mood for going out for wings, one of our favorite places to hit is Buffalo Wild Wings because of their delicious selection of sauces. My husband first found BW3's in Ohio when he was attending Denison University . When he came to the University of Maryland for graduate school, he was missing his beloved wings so much that he mail-ordered the Spicy Garlic sauce online and contacted the company trying to persuade them that College Park was the perfect location to open a new restaurant. Although it didn't happen right away, it was something like 7 years later (Scott now being a Director and Faculty member at UMD), that sure enough a BW3's op

Taste Unlimited - Virginia Beach

Thursday Morning: Picked up Scott from UMD and headed to Virginia Beach for a family vacation with the Imrichs. Now all of you with small children know how easy it is to leave in the morning without having breakfast. Well, all I had was a cup of coffee, but when I had the option of stopping half way and filling up on fast food or waiting it out and getting the ultimate satisfaction of wolfing down a sandwich from the Taste Unlimited , this mommy opted for the latter and grabbed another cup of coffee. And boy was the wait worth it! Chicken Curry Sandwich, Route 11 Dill Pickle Chips, Fruit Salad, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA Sunday Afternoon: As the saying goes, betcha can't eat just one. After spending the morning playing with Morgan on the beach while the bigger boys took the kayak out crabbing, I was ready for another round of Taste delectables. What are in the bags? A Northender , Roastbeef with Provolone, Route 11  Chesapeake Crab and Deep River Rosemary and Olive Oil

Fricase de Pollo

Warning: This dish is addicting. My father-in-law Ernesto, taught me how to make it in October, and I have made it several times since. A Cuban comfort food that freezes very well. It is often accompanied by white rice, tostones or maduros. View the printer-friendly Fricase de Pollo Recipe Card

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Who doesn't love hot and bubbly spinach and artichoke dip? It has to be one of the most popular appetizers ordered at restaurants. Well, you no longer have to go out, you can make it at home. My recipe is slightly adapted from this highly rated dip on Allrecipes. Grab your favorite tortilla chips and dig in! Having beautiful and unique bakeware that can go straight from your oven to table is great not only for presentation but also for an easy cleanup. While on vacation in the Florida Keys, my parents picked up a few pieces of Tom Chamberlain pottery for us as wedding presents. I have loved using the brie baking dish for my crab dip. Download the Printer-Friendly Spinach Artichoke Recipe Card

Shag Boston

January 2011 Have you dreamed of getting your haircut at a celebrity salon but assumed you couldn't afford it? Well, now you can, and starting October 1, 2012 we will be giving away three haircuts from Shag , Boston's hottest hair salon. The final giveaway is for no other than the man himself, celebrity stylist Sandy Poirier. Read on for details regarding this absolutely fabulous opportunity. After spending a week in the woods last October at Project Adventure, in Beverly MA, I was ready for a daring new haircut that emulated the exuberance of energy I was feeling after such a life changing week. I was going to be in Boston area for another week, so I hit up Yelp trying to find Boston's best to cut and color my hair. Of course there were many reviews for stylists on Newbury St. but no one stood out until I started reading reviews and articles on celebrity stylist and professional photographer Sandy Poirier, owner of Shag salon in the south end of Boston. I had just sp

Cloth Diaper Swimmis and Swim Coordinates

Morgie is a water baby so finding cute, reliable, and reusable cloth swimming diapers is a must for our family. After reading several online reviews we chose Bummis Swimmis and have been absolutely happy with our purchase. I have so far gotten almost 2 years of use (summer pool seasons and winter vacations) out of these swimmis and they look and perform just as good as when I first bought them.  Watch for rockbottom online sales from Gymboree's Swim Shop. You will save a ton of money! During Morgie's first year, I planned ahead, purchasing offseason, and was able to snag matching rash guards, shorts, and hats for well under $5 a piece (original prices averaged $20). This year I forgot to do so, and spent a small fortune outfitting him for our March trip to Punta Cana.  I learned my lesson and will be looking for this sale over the next couple of months. Let me know if you want a heads up when the sale begins. GNG highly recommends picking up a couple of rash guards for