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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

THE PATRIOTS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!!!!

So I'll admit it...I didn't follow football as close as I have in previous years. It is my favorite sport and I enjoy watching the games so I'm not sure exactly what happened this year. I was being a bad fan and it won't happen again. 

As I'm sure you've all heard...THE PATRIOTS ARE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL!! Not only are they in the Super Bowl, but they are playing the Giants who we lost to in 2008 with a final score of 17-14. It's gonna be goooood.

In honor of my home team (I grew up just a few miles from the stadium so they really feel like my home team!) here is a little picture montage to get us ready for game time! ONLY 4 MORE DAYS!


Super Bowl 46!!!




Taking place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis - Playing Eli Manning on Peyton Manning's home turf...it's just too good!




Bob Kraft - New England Patriots Chairman and CEO



Head Coach Bill Belichick - he best be wearing that sweatshirt on Sunday!




And now...my favorite boys :)




Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady <3 





Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski - His ankle sprain better get better because I def wanna see him play on Sunday!




Wide Receiver Wes Welker - lovin' the stache




Defensive Tackle Vince Wilfork


You will notice that on the jerseys the Patriots have been wearing recently they have had a patch with the letters "MHK". These letters stand for Myra Kraft, wife of Bob Kraft who passed away this past July after battling cancer.


Bob and Myra

WE ARE WINNING THIS ONE FOR MYRA!




Thursday, January 26, 2012

Super Hunger Brunch to support the Greater Boston Food Bank




Being a food blogger usually means you love to go out and try new restaurants. Well this weekend how about trying out a new restaurant (or visiting an old favorite) and have all the proceeds from your meal be donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank?

This Saturday and Sunday the following restaurants will be offering up special brunch menus priced at $25, $35, and $50. An annual event  for the past twenty years, the Super Hunger Brunch, has raised over $181,000 in the past three years alone providing 456,000 meals to the hungry!


Check out this link for more information: http://gbfb.org/events/super-hunger-brunch.php



2012 Super Hunger Brunch Restaurants


$25 Restaurants
Saturday:
The Fireplace, Brookline, MA - 617.975.1900
Michael's Harborside, Newburyport, MA - 978.462.7785

Sunday:
Appetito, Newton, MA - 617.244.9881
Bin 26, Boston, MA - 617.723.5939
The Elephant Walk, Waltham, MA - 781.899.2244
Garden At the Cellar, Cambridge, MA - 617.230.5880
La Morra, Brookline, MA - 617.739.0007
North 26, Boston, MA - 617.557.3640
Stella, Boston, MA - 617.247.7747
Ten Center Street, Newburyport, MA - 978.462.6652

$35 Restaurants
Saturday:
Grill 23 & Bar, Boston, MA - 617.542.2255
Harvest, Cambridge, MA - 617.868.2255
Sel de la Terre (Back Bay), Boston, MA - 617.266.8800

Sunday:
Chez Henri, Cambridge, MA - 617.354.8980
CLINK., Boston, MA - 617.224.4004
Hamersley's Bistro, Boston, MA - 617.423.2700
Post 390, Boston, MA - 617.399.0015
Rialto, Cambridge, MA - 617.661.5050
Tosca, Hingham, MA - 781.740.0080
80 Thoreau, Concord, MA - 978.318.0008

$50 Restaurants
Saturday:
L'Espalier, Boston, MA - 617.262.3023

Sunday:
Blue Ginger, Wellesley, MA - 781.283.5790
Craigie on Main, Cambridge, MA - 617.497.5511

If you can't make it out to brunch and still want to donate you can go to the Greater Boston Food Bank's website and donate meals. Every bit counts!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweet and Sour Meatballs


I love this recipe.

I got it from my Mom (thanks Mom!) because I always loved it when she made them when I lived at home. I didn't really know at the time what was in it and when she told me I was a little unsure of the sauce but trust me IT IS DELICIOUS!

What I really like about it though is how it can be used as a main course or served as an appetizer. If you want a dinner out of it make larger meatballs, serve over rice and add a vegetable or salad on the side. If you want an appetizer make small meatballs and serve with toothpicks. I haven't tried it yet but I'm sure you could cook these in a crockpot as well! The options are clearly endless.

Feel free to get wild and even switch up the type of meat you use. My Mom typically uses ground beef because that is what my Dad likes but I  have tried it with ground turkey as well and they came out really good. The ground beef was easier make the meatballs with but I found was a little bit drier after cooking. Next time I will shorten the cooking time by 5 minutes or so and that should solve that problem. The turkey meatballs are a little more difficult to form (keep a bowl of water nearby and wet your hands after every few meatballs) but once they were cooked they were perfect! It is really is just a personal preference - get crazy and mix a few different kinds of meat together! And then please let me know how they turned out :)





WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

- around 1lb of ground beef (or turkey, or pork, or a mix of any ground meat really)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (check out my homemade breadcrumbs!)
- 1/2 tablespoon basil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 14oz can of whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1 12oz jar of chili sauce


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl mix together the ground beef, egg, garlic, breadcrumbs, basil, black pepper, and salt. I always mix by hand because it is easier to get all the ingredients combined in the least amount of time. I am a firm believer that the more you mix the firmer your meatballs will be! Mix as little as possible.




Form the mixture into whatever size meatballs you want to make.




Now this is where it got weird for me...When I think of chili sauce I think hot and spicy. That is not the case here. Trust me.




Empty the jar of chili sauce and the can of whole cranberry sauce into a bowl. Stir to combine.




Pour the mixture right over your meatballs.






Bake for 30 minutes COVERED


I served mine over some brown rice with a side of Caramelized Lemon Brussel Sprouts.




If you can contain yourself and save some leftovers they taste even better the next day!



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Caramelized Lemon Brussel Sprouts

For not having many posts on the blog yet this is already my second one about brussel sprouts :) Some people hate them, some people love them - I love them and am always looking for ways to give them more flavor. This won't be the last time they make an appearance here.

The combination of the intense steam when cooking them this way and the lemon juice added towards the end makes the most perfectly tender and flavorful sprout I've made to date! 




Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens


WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

- Skillet with a lid
- Brussel Sprouts, halved   **I bought a 10oz package of them**
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice   **If using fresh, it's the juice of a half a lemon**
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste



Rinse the brussel sprouts.





Slice off the stem ends and remove any leaves that are browning or torn.





Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over a medium heat. Place the sprouts cut side down and drizzle the remaining olive oil over them. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Cover and cook for 3 minutes.




After 3 minutes remove the lid and add in the 2 tablespoons of water. 

**At this point if you wanted to add another flavor boost toss in 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic, approx. 1 clove**

Your sprouts will be fork tender at this point...don't touch or flip them yet though, we're almost done! Cover again and cook for 2 more minutes.

Increase the heat on the stove slightly, uncover the skillet and toss the brussel sprouts in the pan. Add the lemon juice and more salt and pepper if necessary.




Super fast and guaranteed way to make sure you won't be eating under cooked brussel sprouts ever again!







Monday, January 16, 2012

Homemade Breadcrumbs

I love making breadcrumbs with any leftover bread I have - especially those end pieces you usually just throw out. You can mix any type of bread together and it stores really nicely in the freezer. 




I typically buy a few different types of bread at any given point depending on what I am cooking that week. Unused slices usually end up in the freezer. I had a vacation day today and after grocery shopping and organizing my freezer I took some frozen slices out and started toasting!

Pre-heat your oven to 350 F and toast the frozen slices for 10 minutes. Flip the slices over and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they are not burning but you do want them pretty crispy so you don't get soggy breadcrumbs. If you need to, continue toasting after the 15 minute mark - It all really depends on your oven and what type of bread you are using at the time.




Once the bread is finished toasting remove from the oven and let cool completely. Making sure the bread cools all the way will also help avoid soggy breadcrumbs.

When ready, tear the bread up into smaller pieces and place in a food processor.

**At this point you could throw in toasted nuts, seeds, or oats for more texture and flavor**




Pulse on high until the bread has been broken down into small crumbs. The finer you like your crumb the longer you will need to pulse.








And that's all there is too it. Put the crumbs in a freezer safe ziplock bag or container (and if your an organizational freak like I am label with what it is and the date) an freeze until needed!











Saturday, January 14, 2012

Crockpot Parmesan Garlic Chicken with Orzo

If you guys haven't heard of the blog How Sweet It Is you need to check it out. Jessica has a wonderful variety of recipes and I love that the majority of them have a few simple ingredients that I typically have in my house. I love her writing style and she takes beautiful pictures of all of her food.

I've been wanting to use my crockpot all winter and finally came across a simple recipe on How Sweet It Is last week: Crockpot Parmesan Garlic Chicken with Orzo. Jackpot!

I was a little nervous leaving my crockpot on all day while going to work but luckily my house was still standing by the time I got home. 




Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is


WHAT YOU WILL NEED:



3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil  **I didn't have basil so I used oregano**
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese + 2 tablespoons
box of orzo
3/4 cup vegetables of your choice  **I used broccoli**

If you can, the night before season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, garlic and 3 tablespoons of wine in a bowl. Place chicken in a large ziplock bag, then pour marinade over top and coat chicken. Keep in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, place chicken in your crockpot with 3 tablespoons of wine. 

Cook on low for 8 hours. 

Shred the chicken with 2 forks - it should be super tender from cooking in the crockpot all day!

Prepare the orzo according to directions and cook your vegetable of choice. Once cooked, add as much or as little as you want to the shredded chicken. Add in your vegetable. Mix in the remaining olive oil, parmesan and salt and pepper if desired. 

Serve with additional grated parmesan cheese.

If you have any good crockpot recipes please share them with me!! Thanks :)