Monday, May 12, 2014

My Pinterest Menu: Week of May 12th

After this weekend, I got pretty spoiled and did not have to cook even one meal.  Lots of great food...

lots : )

But now, it's time to get back to reality.  And I have picked out some great looking recipes. Here, in Charlotte, we jumped right into Summer, so I wanted to try out a few lighter recipes this week.  

I am excited about the Grilled Honey Orange Chicken Salad.  Even though everyone knows that apples and pork go together, I have never made them together myself.  The Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops look too good to pass up though, so this week I will be trying them out.  

Here is this week's menu...Enjoy : )

via Baker by Nature

via BH&G

via Gimme Some Oven

via Gimme Some Oven

via Rock Recipes

The Grocery List:

Roasted Garlic and Lemon Rigatoni with Browned Butter and Gruyere-
1 head of garlic, bottom cut off
1 pound rigatoni pasta
*reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water
5 tablespoons butter, browned
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 lemons, zest and juice; divided
1 cup fresh grated gruyere cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper for sprinkling

Grilled Honey-Orange Chicken Salad-
pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 3)
teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
1/3 cup orange juice
cloves garlic, minced 
tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
tablespoons olive oil
tablespoons white wine vinegar
tablespoons orange juice
cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
cups torn baby salad greens
medium red sweet pepper, thinly sliced
medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
Sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops-
4 Ribeye (rib) pork chops, bone-in, about 3/4-inch thick
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 apples, peeled (optional), cored and thinly sliced
1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cayenne pepper
2/3 cup apple cider
1/3 cup heavy cream

5 Ingredient Black Bean Soup-
3 (15 oz) cans black beans, with liquid
1 lb. (about 2.5 cups) good-quality salsa, homemade or store-bought 
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed (plus extra for garnish)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken-
large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups flour
4 tsp salt
4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp ground sage
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 eggs
8 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium soy sauce is best)
1 tsp ground black pepper
 canola oil for frying

Monday, May 5, 2014

My Pinterest Menu: Week of May 5th

We're going to kick off the week with Carne Asada Tacos to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  Feel free to toss in a couple margaritas too : )  I love that all the recipes this week look super simple to make, but I love all the color even more!  It's easy to get excited about dinner when it looks so good! 

Some favorites from last week were the Spring Chopped Salad and the Garlic-Yogurt Baked Chicken.

Here is this week's menu...Enjoy : )

via The Picky Palate

via Gimme Some Oven

via Minimally Invasive

via Love Grows Wild

via The Novice Chef

The Grocery List:

Carne Asada Soft Tacos with Guacamole & Corn-
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 lb of carne asada beef or flank stank
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 avocados, peeled and seeded
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup yellow corn
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
4 soft tortilla bread

Bourbon Old Fashioned Shrimp-
1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup bourbon
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (or honey)
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 pound large or jumbo shrimp, raw, peeled and deveined
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
zest of one orange
2 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
(optional garnish: orange and lemon slices)

Skillet Rosemary Chicken-
3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved, or quartered if large
Kosher salt
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons leaves

2 cloves garlic, smashed

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4-6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (I am going to substitute boneless chicken breasts)

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved

Crunchy Romaine Strawberry Salad-
1 package ramen noodles
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
8 cups torn romaine lettuce
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

Caprese Chicken-
4 skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
10 large basil leaves, finely chopped
8 oz fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced in 1/2 inch thick slices
balsamic vinegar, to taste

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Saturday Song...

After getting used to solitude in my house for the past two weeks, yesterday was full of activity.  My best friend Courtney picked me up, and we went to a walk-a-thon where she proceeded to push me in my wheelchair for 4 miles- great workout for her and I got to enjoy the scenery and the conversation : )  Then my wonderful neighbor, Monica, picked the girls and I up and took us to happy hour at Starbucks- half-priced frappacinos for everyone! And finally, after Jason got home we went and met my brother-in-law and nephews out for dinner. Overall, it was a GREAT day and I love everyone for helping me get out of this house!

We are heading to a family reunion on my dad's side today, and it looks like it will be a beautiful day for it!

Here is a song for your Saturday...

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Friday Five...

I have some catching up to do.  I have not posted a Friday Five in a couple weeks...not because there haven't been bright moments in my days...I just haven't been able to get into my office, or sit at my desk comfortably.  Now, things are looking better and feeling better too!

So, here I go, catching up on some happy moments from the past couple of weeks...

{ We celebrated Jason's birthday with fresh strawberry cheesecake. The girls get more
excited every year about new ways to surprise and celebrate him.  I LOVE it : )  }

{ A night out with friends under one of Charlotte's  most recognizable landmarks...the JFG sign }

{ One more project is marked off my list...only one more to go : )  I LOVE the way it turned out! }

{ One of my last days of freedom before my accident...going to see a movie during
the myself. Still one of my favorite things to do }

{ Isabella fell in love with the baby ducklings at the petting zoo.  They were too cute! }

What are Your Five?

The #100 Happy Days I come

Okay, so I just heard about this...literally...about two minutes ago.  Have you heard about it?

The #100 HapppyDay Challenge

You can check out all the details HERE, but the gist of it is this...For 100 days, take a picture of something that has brought you happiness and post it to whatever platform you prefer (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) with the hashtag #100happydays. It can be whatever you want...a nice cup of coffee, feet up after a long day, a night out with friends, anything that floats your boat.  According to the challenge website, 71% of the participants are unable to complete the challenge citing a "lack of time" as the main reason.  Kind of sad really...

When I read that, I was a bit bummed because the thought had crossed my mind that 100 days of happy would be a challenge.  And then I thought... it's a challenge to be happy?  I HAVE to do this thing now : ) 

Who wants to say they did not have the time to be happy, or that it was too challenging so they didn't even try?  Not me!!!!  So here I come happiness...I am looking forward to spending a lot more time with you in the coming weeks!  

Find out more about the 100 Happy Day Challenge HERE.  Come be happy with me : )

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Have you seen this?...Theo and Beau, six months later

Do you remember these two?  I first wrote about Beau and his canine companion Theo six months ago when Theo was only 7 weeks old.  Now, six months later, they are still napping together every day and even though the sleeping arrangements may be a little more crowded, these two are no less adorable.  I could spend most of my day looking at these peaceful and sweet moments.  So cute : )

(images via My Modern Met)

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Artist Spotlight: Zaria Forman

Today's artist spotlight is dedicated to the truly amazing drawings of Brooklyn-based artist, Zaria Forman. She is bringing awareness to global climate change by capturing the evolution of the arctic landscape through her large scaled chalk drawings.  Her arctic landscapes are part of her Chasing the Light exhibition, in which she traveled up the coast of Greenland to observe the effect of climate change on the arctic landscape. She also traveled to the Maldives, the lowest lying country, to acknowledge that the rising tides will more than likely submerge this country first.   

When I think of chalk, as a medium, I usually think of fluidity and a general "smudginess"- and yes, I just now invented that word : )  But Zaria's work makes me rethink chalk completely.  I am amazed by the vast and detailed landscapes she is able to create. I can almost feel the jagged edges of the ice when I look at her drawings. They are both beautiful and haunting at the same time.  I absolutely LOVE them!

A big THANKS! goes out to my very good friend Kelly for introducing me to her work : )  

You can find original artwork available at Artsy, and you can purchase prints at ArtStar.

(images via Colossal and My Modern Met)

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