February 29, 2016

Recapping the weekend, the last of February!

Hello Everyone!  What a great weekend I had, hope you did too!  Lots of friends, family, good food and good times!  Friday I went with some of my lovely Delta Gamma friends for "Whine Night"  We had a blast and checked out two fun bars.

It was so dark, loud and hipsterish here we had to change venues!
Saturday I got to watch my niece play soccer.  It was hilarious, five year olds are so ADD.
Went to one of my faves, Taqueria Corona after with my parents.  Mmmm cebollitas!
The nieces (minus one) I could just eat them for dessert they are so sweet!
Hopped on over to Hollygrove Market and Farm after for some produce! I got the box.
Sweet potato, bok choy, cilantro, creole tomatoes, strawberries, shiitake mushrooms, lettuce, mustard greens more sweet potatoes, green onions and green garlic.  
I am making with it:
1. Cilantro citrus pork tenderloin (already in my freezer!) with spicy bok choy
2. Leftover pork and mustard greens
3. Roasted mushrooms and green garlic with duck breast (fancy on the road post!)
4. A Greek salad for lunch
5. I'll put the strawberries in my smoothie
6. Save the sweet potatoes for later.

It's like being on Chopped!  Pretty good haul of local organic produce for only $25 if I do say so myself! I love the place and it was so good to go back for the first time since the summer!

Saturday night was a fancy dinner party at my pal Monica's in my old hood.  She did it up! Also there were bourbon praline pecans in the salad.  I am now in love with a pecan.  We ran out of wine and forgot about drizly so we resorted to some grappa she had.  Thank you Uber for allowing such fun nights! 

Such a beautiful table!
Cannot go wrong with meatballs and eggplant parmesan!  Yes, Monica is Italian ;)
Sunday was quite hectic.  Housewarming party, patio wine time with some of my favorite girls, and a Delta Gamma alum meeting.  I am slated to be the next New Orleans Alumnae Chapter President!  It is going to be a lot more responsibility with so much already on my plate, but I am excited!

Topped it off at a wonderful Oscars party!  We had lots of yummy snacks, including all the fun candy you find at the movies.  Who knew Mad Max would win so much?!  And that Joe Biden would make an appearance! This is the first year I hadn't seen any of the movies. I used to make sure I watched all that were available to be viewed in the theater and I definitely want to go watch some now.  Did you watch any of them or all of them?

Champagne, popcorn and an oscar ballot.  How it is done!

Hope all my peeps had a great time this weekend.  Spring is here!  The weather was fabulous, I hope it stays. This week on the blog there will be some fancy feasts I can't wait to share!  

Happy Cooking!

Missy

February 26, 2016

Five for Friday...Goodbye February?!

Hey y'all!  Happy Friday!  I'll blame an early Mardi Gras for how fast this February passed despite this being a leap year.  I had one sissy have a birthday yesterday and my other has hers next week! Loving all the family time and cake! I am linking up with the Five for Friday ladies and Amanda for some fun!  Click on their links and share the love!

Bright on a Budget 

February 25, 2016

An accidental barbecue dinner (Oven roasted brisket)

I love brisket. It is always so flavorful and tender and just melts in your mouth.  Living in Texas I got to have barbecue a lot, and I always made sure the brisket was one of my meats.  I love doing pork shoulders and ribs for Hogs for the Cause, but sometimes you just want some good ol' beef.

Making a whole brisket just for me would be silly so I never do it. There are some good BBQ joints in town, but I am really spoiled after my two years in Texas. My friend Casie and I decided to make pho in her pressure cooker for a My Shitty Kitchen on the road post.  I went on an impromptu trip to Costco with my sister to help supervise her kids and decided to check out the meat selection.  They had a beautiful brisket that was just a little bigger than I needed for pho, but was way cheaper than getting it at Rouses or Whole Foods.  That evening I decided to make it my second Saturday in a row for some relaxing time at home, so I needed to make some dinner.  Why not make a 1 pound brisket for me and my leftover purposes?

I found a great recipe on food network for an oven brisket and decided to make it.  I did not have all of the rub ingredients but I figured I could improvise and it would still be good.  I was not wrong.  It was delicious!  I had a bunch of green onions I decided to make into cebollitas and some coleslaw mix would round out the low carb fiesta. I made it into tacos the next day too with pineapple, cheese and leftover slaw! Please enjoy the montage and a full recipe to feed more than one will follow.

My substituted b list cast.

February 24, 2016

Getting a little smitten on my old school cookbooks (Mustard Milanese with Brussels sprouts, arugula and apple tangy salad)

I was looking for some cooking inspiration recently and I decided to kick it old school and look through my cookbooks.  One of my favorites is the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.  She always has a story behind a recipe and makes some delicious and different recipes that I have never had versions of before. Mostly I assume because she is from the northeast and has a Jewish background, and I'm from New Orleans with an Irish Catholic background. It is funny how different your food childhood and later adulthood can be depending on where you are from, where you grew up and your family's cultural traditions.

This recipe for Mustard Milanese caught my eye.  I love breaded meats and the salad on top looked great and customizable.  I am not a fan of fennel so I decided to switch up the salad.  I had some leftover shredded Brussels sprouts laying around and I love green apple and mustard together so I decided to make the salad out of that in addition to the arugula.  I also always have chicken thighs on hand so I used that instead of a breast.  They freeze flat in my freezer so no need for pounding it out.

This was delicious and relatively easy to make.  I am a big fan of all of these flavors and my inner German hidden underneath all my Irish heritage smiled.  Try this out, you will not be disappointed. Full recipe after the montage.

The cast.  I had to run out and buy those lemons at the last minute as I forgot them.

February 23, 2016

Tuesday Team Meeting (Pumpkin molasses cookies)

As you know I am not good with letting things go to waste.  I am also the backup designated food provider for Tuesday team meetings. My boss brought us treats for our weekly meeting,  which I think had a little bit to do with her being pregnant, but it stuck.  I started bringing treats when I started the blog, and now I am making it a tradition!

I made a cooling awesome face mask and had a bit of leftover pumpkin.  I know that stuff is like gold so I decided to reuse it. I went to the google and found this recipe from Real Simple.  I had all the ingredients on hand, except the date and walnut mix ins, but figured they would still be delicious without them.  They were!  I would have liked to have had some nuts in there for texture, but still overall, very delicious.  They tasted like fall.

My easy bake oven is a bit wonky so I think I may have undercooked them.  They had more of a muffin texture than a cookie texture.  Let me know if this happens to you if you make them.  I plan on making this a feature, my coworkers are so appreciative of the snacks and it makes talking about all our frustrations more pleasant!  Enjoy the montage, full recipe to follow.

The cast.  That pumpkin is open, but you can't tell!
Mix the wet ingredients, so dark and rich, but not really.

February 22, 2016

Weekend Recap, a trip to Alabama!

Hello!  Welcome to the week.  I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!  I went to Fairhope, Alabama this weekend to visit my oldest friend Toni. Well, oldest besides my middle sister of course, as we are only 20 months apart. Toni has been my friend for so long and we know so much about each other; she is like a sister to me and vice versa.  We were so lucky that her hubby let us get away from him and the kids and we got, for the most part, a fun just me and her weekend!

I had minimal traffic and actually went 35 mph in the infamous tunnel in Mobile, so I knew this weekend would be good!  I got to the house, kissed and hugged all the lego obsessed children and changed so momma and I could head out on the town!

Selfie at the wine bar.  Oregon Pinot Noir is awesome!
Had a little cheese with our wine.  The Gouda was the best as usual!
After we went for dinner at Dragonfly and ran into her middle daughter's teacher.  She was a hoot! We had some fancy fusion tacos.  Chicken fried steak and basil aioli on a homemade tortilla? Yes please! Despite my long day at work and a 3 hour drive after and her long day of kids, we decided a nightcap was in order. We went to a cool place called Tongue and Groove.  They made us some smashing bourbon drinks and had a killer music playlist.
Our first old fashioned was too sweet.  We got the hipster guy to make us one that was less sweet.  
And then after a failure of a too smokey house smoked bourbon, I got a fabulous Sazerac, my new winter bestie of a drink made by the fabulous hipster bartender.
Found some deer on the way home, this city girl had to snap a pic!
Saturday we took the girls for haircuts.  They looked so pretty after! (and before too, of course!)
We met Daddy and little man for some out on the water lunch on a GORGEOUS day!
Annabel and Toni are twinsies just like me and my mama!
I could get used to living like this!
I got a burger with a fried green tomato on top. So delish!

They all play so well together!

Then Toni and went shopping in Downtown Fairhope.  The consignment and antique stores were so fabulous! Everyone knew Toni and asked about the kids.  And the two of us haven't shopped just the two of us since the days of Contempo Casuals!  Just what the doctor ordered.
We put this on hold, so cute!
I could not pass up this tiger bracelet!
After spending a little too much money, we went to Publix and got some supplies for dinner.  It was a beautiful night and it called for grilling out!

Daddy pitched the tent for the kids to play!
Josie and I both had similar Volatiles on!
Josie, Annabel and Davis decided to put on a dance party for us!
Their uncle gave them s'more and hot dog cooking fishing poles!  They worked so well!
The kids had hot dogs and s'mores and then went to bed.  Mommy, Daddy and I had delightfully marinated skirt steak (recipe to come), grilled veggies and too much IPA, wine and bourbon after. And we made our own "adult s'mores" with dark chocolate.  Good idea! So delish.

Just fishin' for a s'more. I forgot how delicious and fun they were!
This didn't do it justice, but so good I had more!
Ah it was so fun and relaxing.  I missed my pup but I was lucky to have someone sweet looking after her.  I came back just in time for book club.  That was a glitter party of a shit show and deserves its own post.

Hope you had a great weekend.  And I hope you all have old friends you still keep up with like I do. It is the best having special people in your life, but especially the ones that have known you for so long!

Happy Cooking!

Missy

February 19, 2016

Five For Friday: Heading out of town!

Hey y'all!  Happy Friday.  This was a long week considering it was the first one I have been at work for 5 consecutive days in awhile.  Linking up with some lovely lady bloggers for Five For Friday,  head on over and show them some love, just click on the pics!

Bright on a Budget 
ONE:
I am heading out of town to visit my best friend since I was 6 years old!  That means we have been friends for, gulp, 30 years!  I have seen her on the reg over the years, but this is the first time I am visiting her in her town in about 5 years.  Crazy.  Living in Texas and a wonkily work scheduled boyfriend got in the way the past few years, and now those obstacles are gone and there is no excuse to keep me from getting back to semi-regular visits.  Going to be a fun weekend!

The last time we saw each other, at the high school cafeteria!
TWO:
Two members of our Hogs for the Cause team, Sweet Swine of Mine, had birthdays this week.  We celebrated by attending a Moises Pinot Noir event with bread, meats and cheese at St. James Cheese Company.  It was a fabulous time with some great people and great food and wine! Unfortunately the event sold out super quick and we all couldn't get tickets. Missed the ladies that couldn't attend!

My favorite flavor combo of the evening: Tomme cheese, Marcona almond , black cherry jam and pink Himalayan sea salt.  It was paired with Moises "Mis Amis" Pinot Noir, which is one of my faves because it behaves like a Cabernet!
We need to put a selfie stick on our supplies list!
THREE:
Have you tried Avocado oil?  It is made for cooking at high heat and the taste is so light you won't even know it isn't olive or vegetable oil.  I have been cooking my chicken and veggies with it and I love it!! Get it and tell me how you like it!  My sisters and I are hooked.


                                                     Chosen Foods 100% Pure Hand-crafted Avocado Oil

FOUR:

Who else is obsessed with La Croix?  It is my jam.  I used to have a serious Diet Coke addiction and I used to let myself have one every now and then.  Now I have a LaCroix.  No calories, no caffeine and no sodium.  Plus it tastes great and is made with natural flavors.  My current obsession is the Mango flavor.  It is so good!  I have mixed it with gin and tequila as well and it is even more delicious! Have you seen the Mango flavor in your neck of the woods?


FIVE:
Do you have a Bitmoji? If you don't know it is an app wherein you create an avatar of yourself and you can add it to your iPhone keyboard and add it into your texts. (I think android has it too).  My friends and I are obsessed and have been sending them back and forth. Get one if you haven't, it is free and so fun!  With all the birthdays this week, this was my most used.  

What are your favorites from the week?  Hope y'all have a fun filled and/or relaxing weekend!

Happy Cooking!

Missy

Fine Print: this post contains affiliate link(s) and I may receive compensation if you should purchase.  The thoughts on the products are my own and I have not been compensated for my opinion. Thanks! -Day Job Missy

February 18, 2016

Errand inspired dinner (Brussels sprouts and caramelized onion pizza on semi whole wheat crust)

I was running errands with my sister and nieces one weekend. She always has a funny way of roping me in ("hey want to meet us at Costco, it's right down the street!") and somehow I end up going to multiple places and end up at her house.  I don't mind at all though, I get out of the house and get some QT with some of my favorite girls! On this Saturday we ran all over, Costco, Whole Foods and Rouses.  She picked up some things to make the nieces pizza for dinner.  I thought that didn't sound half bad and picked up a small brick of mozzarella for myself.  I figured I had what else I needed in my smartly stocked fridge and pantry. Which I did.

As we've discussed, I've got pizza problems.  I can never transfer the pizza over to the hot stone. Luckily my cousin Mary has now shown me the light of making the pizza on parchment paper (Post soon to come).  If only I had that advice before I made this awesomely flavorful, yet ugly pizza.

I love Brussels Sprouts.  And I love caramelized onions.  I had salami in my fridge as usual.  Hello Pizza! This was such a great combo I made it the next weekend too but with ham.  I liked the salami better. I made my semi whole wheat pizza crust which was delicious as always.  I thought that my beautiful new pizza peel from Santa was going to fix my pizza probs but it sure didn't.  This was a bit better than my past attempts but from now on, Parchment Paper it is!  Full recipe after the play by play.  Linking up with Meal Plan Monday over at Southern Plate and others!

The cast.  Sure to be yummy.  

February 17, 2016

A winning combination! (Hawaiian pizza quinoa stuffed bell peppers)

I love a stuffed bell pepper.  They are the best for making a low carbish meal; obviously only when you leave out the rice. I have made many iterations of stuffed bell peppers before, trying to make them taste like other dishes. One of my loves for a cheat day is a Hawaiian pizza.  Something about pineapple and pizza just makes sense to me.  I know not all feel that way, but I have weird taste buds that believe it!

I was playing on Pinterest as a girl is wont to do and stumbled across this recipe for Hawaiian Pizza stuffed bell peppers.  Holy cow that sounded great.  I was determined to make it.  I was planning on having leftover ham from something that has escaped my mind, but alas that did not happen.  I had some salami laying around like I always do, and that was the perfect sub.

Quinoa certainly has carbs, but it has so much protein and other good stuff that it makes it little to no carb in my book. I also added some sauteed red onion for flavor as I had it lying around.  This was very easy, and easily adapted for your tastes.  You could do supreme pizza and add mushrooms, black olives and sausage, plain pepperoni, all veggies, use your creativity!

The other change I made was to boil my bell peepper for a bit while I was prepping the other ingredients.  I feel this cuts down ont he cooking time and makes the bell pepper easier to handle while eating.  Feel free to do it the other way and tell me how it turns out!  Full recipe after the montage!

February 16, 2016

When prompted, I can really make a good dinner (Oven risotto with kale pesto)

I have a lot of blogs that I have followed for years.  Most of them I stumble upon and get obsessed with reading every day (like I hope everyone here is doing) and then it dies down (like I hope doesn't happen here).  I stumbled upon Jenny's Lark in a convoluted way.  My pal Chef Kelly was mentioned on her blog one time and his now ex wife put it on Facebook.  I clicked through to read the post and I was hooked.  Her writing was beautiful, and she did meal planning and talked about what they were eating for the week.  I am obsessed with all things food so I followed along.  I especially loved that she was a frequenter of farmers markets and CSA's like I used to be (and need to get back into.)

One day she decided to get rid of the food component and moved it over to a new site called Dinner Prompt.  I followed it for a bit.  The style of it wasn't as appealing to me as her original blog and we lost touch, Dinner Prompt and me.  I moved on to Pinterest for my food obession and blogs about fashion mostly after that as well.

Lo and behold one Sunday while meal planning with my three Erin Condren dashboards I had an overwhelming thought, I'm going to run out of things to cook one day.  That gave me anxiety and I just could not meal plan.  I poured myself some wine and calmed down and remembered Dinner Prompt.  And it was there when I needed it.

I stumbled across Kale Pesto Oven risotto first and it caught my attention. I have never made risotto because it seems so hard and time consuming.  After I mastered roux I figured I could do this!  I also bought a tomato to do the broiled tomatoes on the side, but totally forgot that's why I got it and made chicken instead.  I needed the protein, I did Pure Barre 7 days in a row!  The only thing I would go back and change is that I would leave out the big pieces of kale that are added at the end.  I think the pesto was enough kale for me, and I like kale.  This was very easy, but a little messy.  More of weekend meal than weeknight if you aren't like me and have plenty of free time on your hands. You could make it easier on yourself by substituting store bought pesto.  The risotto part was the easiest part!  Full recipe after the montage!

The simple cast.  I ended up using chicken broth too because I had exactly two cups lying around.

February 15, 2016

The Ladies of Misrule have a boozy lunch at Tableau New Orleans

Not much happened this past weekend as I was still in Mardi Gras recovery mode and I don't have a mushy Valentine's story to recap so instead you will get a recap of my fabulous Mardi Gras lunch two Fridays ago. My fabulous friend Courtney always is a great organizer of events and this one was no exception. You may recall she organized a Jingle Bell lunch over Christmas as well.  It had fabulous head pieces as well.

We Ladies of Misrule got together at Tableau for a very late lunch.  It was a smattering of Delta Gammas and friends of them.  I brought my friend Jen who was experiencing her first Mardi Gras.  I thought she would love to have a fancy day in the French Quarter and I was not wrong!  I met some new friends as well.  And the food was delightful.  It was so nice to see so many people in festive dress and moods!

A Sazerac and our cute headgear while waiting for the table.
The Delta Gammas clockwise from bottom left: Me, Elisabeth, Brooke, Becca (who we ran into randomly!), Kristin, Courtney, Jenny and my friend Jen.  We made her an honorary DG for the pic!
The Triple threat appetizer, left to right: Shrimp Remolaude,
 Truffled Crab Fingers and Crabmeat Ravigote
Obligatory Turtle Soup
The Eat Fit Entree of Asparagus and Seafood Salad ordered by our fittest attendee, Raven.
I got the Eggs Hussarde.  Very yummy. #runnyyolksforpresident
Shrimp and Grits
The Fish of the day, which was Drum.  
Chicken Tableau
Courtney just got a burger.  She cracks me up.
Jen and I split the Cafe Au Lait Pot de Creme.  I mean, so good.
Jenny got the Tart a la Bouille.  It was fantastic.
Some ladies down the way got Praline Monkey Bread Pudding.  
We had such a great time!  I can't wait until next year!
Sorry this is just pic intensive with no descriptions, it wasn't like a regular restaurant visit where I usually do some family style eating.  I truly made one of the best decisions ever going Delta Gamma, it has been an important part of my life ever since.  It helped me be more social when single, helped me make friends in Austin, helped me through breakups and truly has made me some friends for life!  Were you in a sorority or other organization that has made a great impact on you?

Happy Cooking!

Missy