Thanksgiving Table

We are having Thanksgiving at our house this year, and I’m really excited, and also terrified!  I’ve never made a turkey or hosted a legit dinner for 14 people before…but I’ve made a million lists, and purchased (I think) everything we need.  Anyways, the best part has been getting to plan for the table and making decorations.  I found the cutest mason jar mugs last week, and have been picking up all different glass bottles/jars over the past month to make different groupings for the centerpieces (need a bunch since the table will be so long!).

Here is some of what I’ve done so far:

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(Place Cards / Remember which drink is yours / Thanksgiving Party Favor)

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I’m so happy with how everything turned out!  Now, as long as I don’t destroy the turkey we are good to go!

xo-j

Sausage & Brussels

We eat chicken sausage probably once a week.  They are so delicious, and not SO horrible for you!  How I have never combined my bizarre love of Brussel sprouts and sausages before I don’t know.  The hardest part of this recipe is chopping the sprouts, seriously. Anyways, wanted to share another simple one that ends up really really tasty!

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Chicken Sausage & Brussels

What You Need:

Chicken Sausage (I get Aidells garlic & gruyere)
Ziti
Brussel Sprouts (I use the frozen ones)Olive Oil
S&P

Directions:

Make your sprouts! Preheat oven to 425*.

1. Defrost the sprouts in mic with 2 tbsp of water and then cut them in half/quarter

2. Toss the chopped sprouts in olive oil and about 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt (change this to taste)

3. Spread them out on an aluminum foil lined pan and bake for about 30 minutes, but this depends on your oven and how brown you want them.  Keep on checking and shaking and tasting and salting throughout the cooking process.

4. In the meantime boil your water, cook your pasta, and cook your sausages.  I slice the sausages up while cooking into bite size pieces.

5.  When it is all cooked, toss it all together with a little bit of olive oil and done!

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Hope you guys make this one and enjoy it, it has become a staple over here!

xo- J

culinary institute

Last night my friend Erin and I took a wine, cheese, and meats of Italy class at the Institute of Culinary Education…it was so. much. fun.  We learned all about the different grapes, regions of Italy, the different textures, flavors, and aromas of not only the wine, but cheese and salumi.  We had a great time pairing the wine with the food (obviously), and learning at the same time!

Here are some pictures from our amazing class:

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(did you know all salami is salumi, but not all salumi is salami?!)

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(we had 10 different wines!)

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I would recommend this class to anyone!  I want to take so many more now! Thanks so much M&D for this great gift.

xo-j

the 60th!

This weekend was Dad’s 60th birthday dinner!  We had a great time seeing friends that are more like family, and celebrating with him.  Jay and I traveled home early Saturday morning and within 5 hours ate two huge meals out with my family…nothing like home!  I wish we could have stayed longer, but the short time we had there was a blast (rondo was loving life too with his bff kitty caesar).  Here are some fun party pics of the family, and then of course, food!

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(part of the party crew & then the late night party crew!)

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(only in nj can you get porkroll like this…mmm)

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(even rondo was tired when we got home)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We need to sleep ours off, but no rest…tonight we go see D’angelo at Brooklyn Bowl!!

xo-j

Party Time / Day Off

IMG_5550(view from walk with rondo saturday night)

This weekend was a blast, and fortunately for me, it is still going on as I have the day off (sorry if you’re ready this at work Jay)!

Friday night I had dinner with Lauren at Ed’s, and stuffed my face with unbelievable food…

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(lobster roll and fried oyster & bacon sliders…ahh!)

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(blueberry creme brulee and yummy crackers)

Saturday we hung around and enjoyed the (slightly) warmer weather before going to Adie’s birthday party!

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(some pics from my walk with rondo…love that last one)

Then it was party time…

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(a little too much fun out)

Now it’s time to watch the President and go to Trader Joes…exciting day off eh? Hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend too!

xo-j

 

La Esquina / Hot Date

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Last night I had a night out with one of my bests, Adie!  We did some (unsuccessful) shopping in SoHo, explored the weirdest Asian store ever (we were both way into it), and went to taco heaven at La Esquina.

Here are some fun ones from last night…

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(yummy food & sodas)

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(wrapping paper for the birthday girl…she loves some jesse pinkman)

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(at home after dinner snuggling the boy)

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(bracelet purchase from last night)

What do you guys think of  the site redesign?

xo-j

3 Years

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Last night Jay and I went to dinner for our 3 year anniversary at Marlow & Sons. Everything was so delicious and it was really nice to go out to dinner alone (we’re so busy it doesn’t happen too much!).  I took some pictures but they all turned out dark…bear with me here…

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(duck leg with green apples, spinach, onion, and so many spices mmm. sweet sunchokes with bacon. crostini with feta, fennel, and red onion salad)

IMG_4593(my man loving his chicken/lemon/rice soup.  if you know jay, you know his world revolves around soup.  look at the concentration!)

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(table settings, menu, chalkboard menu)

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It was a really nice night, followed by the 12.12.12 concert, a double overtime Celtics win, and this little guy doing this all on his own after a walk in the cold…

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He cracks us up!

xo-j

Don’t judge a book (or soup)…

The problem with a puppy is you can’t say “come on just smile at the camera for me please”…well you can, and I tried, but it doesn’t work.  This ^ is the result of countless attempts of a picture together on Friday…oh well!

(rondo in his winter coat / unreal pizza from Friday night)

This weekend was nice and lax.  We went to the movies (NiteHawk if you’re ever in the area go! Awesome food and such a fun atmosphere!), saw some friends, played with the little guy, and enjoyed time at home together.  I also made some lentil soup to have for lunch this week…

LENTIL SOUP RECIPE

This is one of my favorites.  My Mom always made it and it’s just delicious.  It may look ugly, but don’t judge…the taste is unmatched!

What you will need:

In the spirit of honesty, I used a can of diced tomatoes,  2 cups stock/5 cups water, a weird amount of black pepper, and some pickle juice on the top…yup…

First get those lentils going on the stove with the water/stock…they need to come to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes with the lid on.

Next chop up the onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes (or open the can 😉 ) and put them all in a frying pan with a couple tbs of olive oil…

Let that cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then add all your spices (thyme, basil, oregano, garlic, s&p)…

Mix the veg & spices together and let cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from heat until your beans are ready…

Once your beans are done, mix the vegetables and beans together.  Then add the lemon juice and brown sugar…mix this all up, put the lid on, and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes (the longer the better, but make sure to stir).

Then top with some vinegar, or in my case pickle juice (about a tbs), and enjoy!  It may not look beautiful but my goodness it is delicious…

The perfect winter meal!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

x0-j

Meatballs! (recipe below)

Another weekend over…bummer…we did enjoy it though!  Friday we had our friend’s engagement party at Brooklyn Brewery (congrats T&K!).  Below are some pics from the night (cheese much Jay?!)…

Saturday we took it easy during the day, and went to see David Byrne on the waterfront at night.  Such an awesome show!  Plus, we were standing next to Bobby from Twin Peaks (which we were way too excited about).

The rest of the weekend was spent paying attention to our man… 

He’s a horrible New Yorker…

Sunday I decided to use my herb garden since it is starting to grow out of control and make turkey meatballs (we are a red meat free house).  I thought I would share the recipe since they are so delicious and pretty healthy as meatballs go!

TURKEYMEATBALLS

What you will need:

3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup parsley
1 pound turkey meat (I get 99% fat free organic)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parm cheese + a couple tablespoons for rolling
1 egg beaten
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 large yellow onion chopped or 1 teaspoon onion juice

(As you can see above I have an onion hater in my house.  I use onion juice in exchange for the onion since it gives the same flavor and keeps the moisture.)

First, preheat your over to 400 degrees, then tear up your turkey with a fork in a bowl:

Next, chop up your parsley (I used some from my garden and bought the rest…I was a little short):

Beat your egg in a separate bowl then add all ingredients to the turkey bowl including the egg:

Now mix it up really well…use your hands! use a fork! but make sure all of the turkey gets seasoned and doesn’t become compacted:

Now start scooping and rolling your meatballs onto a lined baking sheet.  Once you have your meatballs on the sheet, sprinkle with those extra tablespoons of parm:

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until they are firm.  I usually bake for 25 then let them cook in the sauce for another 10 minutes or so:

Use any sauce you want!  I made mine from scratch yesterday (Trubiano’s you know the recipe) since I had herbs to use and time to kill.

While your meatballs are making the sauce taste extra yummy cook your pasta:

Then plate, serve, and enjoy these tasty (and pretty healthy) meatballs!  Below is Jay’s version and mine:

Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy the start to your week everyone 🙂

Nada

This weekend we did a whole lot of nothing!  After all of the traveling and weekends apart we were both looking forward to a weekend of napping, movie watching, and cuddling the pup…which is exactly what we did!

Saturday Rondo and I went to a new park by the river…check it out…

You could walk right into the river if you wanted!  Naturally, Rondo gave this his best effort.

Jay and I went on a date to Sea that night and ordered enough for 6 people.  The food was incredible and we had a tasty lunch the next day with all those leftovers.

(my attempt at a braid across my hair for dinner)

Then, like I said, lots and lots of napping, movies, snuggling, and an annoying amount of pictures with the pup…

On Sunday Rondo got to play with his new best friend Frank (which means I got to play with Frank’s mama Chelsea! yay!) Here are the two little guys together:

So cute and afterwards soooo tired and a little sulky because his friend left…

Now it’s back to another work week at Rolling Stone… I miss the weekend!