Jan 31, 2010

Birthdays and Snowy Weekend

We are back after a fun weekend full of snow and birthday celebrations in Charlotte.  First we celebrated Miriam's birthday.  We made yummy appetizers including homemade focaccia bread, Italian cheese wheels and olives.
For dinner we had Lobster and Fettuccine Alfredo.

For dessert I made Julia Child's Strawberry/Raspberry Bavarian Cream...really good, but way too complicated.
On Friday night, while we were asleep, it snowed several inches!  Ryan made some snowmen with the three little neighbors, while Riley played in the snow with Cody (Ryans parents dog).

We spent the rest of the day adventuring out into Charlotte and the snow filled streets.  We went to lunch at Big Daddys and then to Strike City for some bowling.  It was a wonderful day overall and we did not let the snow slow us down.
On Saturday night Ryan and I went to spend the night with Brian and Jennifer to celebrate Brian's birthday.  We had plans to go out, but the snow on the streets quickly turned to ice and we decided it was best to stay in.  Although I didn't take any pictures that night I know huge shock! we had a great time.  

We left early Sunday morning to head home.  We did not realize how bad the roads would be and had to take the "detour" several times due to traffic...but finally made it home safely.  We celebrated the third and final birthday of the weekend tonight, but I will post about later because this is already really long...Happy Birthday again everyone!!!  So glad we were a small part in your celebrations.

Jan 30, 2010

Pro Bowl

Quick reminder to watch our friend Andy Lee play in the 2010 Pro Bowl tomorrow!  We had the opportunity to go to see him in Miami, but are trying to stick to our New Years Resolution to save money for our next house...aren't you proud of us!  He is the punter on the NFC team.  Wish we were there to watch and support you in person Andy, Good Luck!!

Jan 28, 2010

Last weekend and a Greek Salad

Over the past two weeks we have been busy!  Two weekends ago we went to visit my family.  We took advantage of the weather and played outside.  I spent the afternoon driving the kids four wheeler with Zachary, my half bonus little brother.  Ryan played football with Jake, my 9 year old brother.

We love spending time with them, and wish they still lived 10 minutes down the street so we could see them more!  OK now fast forward to last weekend... Ryan went to Alabama for a meeting.  He is on the National Student Dental Research Board...yep that's my hubby:)  Anyways while he was there I went to visit my friend Caroline.  We had a great 24 hours packed with "girl time".  We went shopping, house hunting, and to a movie!  We were lucky that our husbands were out of town the same weekend so we could enjoy each others company. 
When Ryan came home he told me about this amazing meal he had that started with a greek salad.  We decided to try to make it.  What made this salad special was that the feta cheese was fried.  Seriously, how could that not be good?

Fried Feta:
I package of firm feta (not crumbled)
1 egg
splash of milk
handful of flour

Cut feta in large cubes.
Beat egg and milk in one bowl, flour in another.

Toss cheese in egg mixture.

Then in the flour.

Refridgerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile get the rest of the salad together.  We used tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, and chicken.  We would include a little red onion next time, but I forgot to buy one didn't have any on hand.

Now heat oil (either canola oil or extra virgin olive oil) and fry the cheese.  Flip and make sure all sides are golden brown.  It wont take long so stay by the stove.

Now serve hot on top of the salad.  It is crazy good!


We also used the leftover cucumber and put it in a pitcher with cold water...like you get when you go to the spa.  It is very refreshing and if we didn't, the 1/3 of a cucumber would probably be forgotten and found moldy 2 weeks later not be used.   Hope you try this salad, it is easy and so yummy!

Jan 24, 2010

Toasted Ravioli

I have been craving ravioli lately, and since there are not any gluten free ravioli available, we made our own! Ryan and I used to make baked ravioli pretty often when we first got married, so we decided to use our home made ravioli along with our old favorite recipe.  I will give you both recipes and although we had so much fun making our own pasta, it would be easy to just buy it from the store!
For the ravioli:
Here is the Gluten Free flour we use all the time:
You can use this in place of flour in any recipe.   Place the flour in a food processor.  Add salt, oil and eggs.  Pulse the mixture until it looks like dough.  Clean a large surface and lightly flour it.  Place the dough on the floured surface and knead the dough for a few minutes.  If the dough starts to crumble, and becomes hard to handle, you can add another egg white.  After kneading, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in a bowl.  Let the dough hang out for 20-30 minutes.

Use this time to make the filling:

Combine all ingredients
I then rolled out the dough, like you would for a pie.  I used a ravioli cutter, but any round cookie cutter would work too.  Cut two and place your filling in the middle.
If the sides don't stick together you can use a fork to press along the edges.

Boil the ravioli for 2 mintues...they will float to the surface. Drain the ravioli and place on a plate until next step.

Now for the last part...if you are buying your ravioli and not making it this is where you start!
Baked Ravioli:

For the store bought ravioli...boil for a few minutes.  You do not want to fully cook the ravioli, but you don't want it to be too tough.  After you boil the pasta let it cool for a few minutes.  Combine eggs and milk in one bowl.  Combine bread crumbs, cheese and parsley in another bowl.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Dip the boiled ravioli in the egg bowl and then in the bread crumb bowl.  Place ravioli in pan for 3-4 minutes on each side.  I heat the oven to 175 and place toasted ravioli on a baking sheet and keep in oven while I am cooking the others to keep it warm.

Now heat up your marinara sauce and place it in individual bowls so that you can dip your toasted ravioli.


Jan 23, 2010

My Handyman

On Tuesday morning I heard some strange noises coming from my garage.  I walked out to see what it was and found my wonderful husband doing this....

He then explained that he was organizing my spice cabinet....the one that I had been complaining about.  For Christmas Ryan was given The Family Handyman magazine (from his Dad who is a great Handyman himself).  I guess between my complaints and the magazine he got inspired.  He even painted the wood white to match the cabinets!!

So here is the before...you would have to pick up every spice up to see what it was.  Also look at all the extra space not being used...

Here is the after!  I know it's not much, but little things like this make my life so much easier.  I love clean and organized cabinets/closets...especially when I do not have to do it myself.  Can't wait to see what my Handyman does next!!!!

Jan 16, 2010

Breakfast Frittata

Let me start by saying my husband's family, "The Londry's", LOVE to cook...and they are all REALLY good at it. When we get together we spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I love the planning, preparing, cooking and especially the eating that goes around the meal. A few weekends ago we were in Charlotte for New Years and a Panthers game. One morning Ryan's brother, Jared, came over and we all begged him to make his breakfast frittata. As he casually threw things together, Ryan and I paid close attention so that we could hopefully recreate this delicious morning treat. So last Saturday we decided we would give it a try, we still ended up calling him several times on the phone for advice, but much to our surprise it turned out great!!! Not exactly like Jared's, but still really good!

First get your ingredients together:

Here are the Herbes de Provence this recipe calls for:

Now preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use a 10 inch oven safe saute pan.

Cook onion and sausage together on medium low until completely cooked. Add the olive oil and then the sliced mushrooms to the pan. Cook until the mushrooms are tender. Add the Herbes de Provence and Krazy Janes salt mix. I would suggest if you do not have Herbes de Provence you get some...it really makes this frittata and its great to have for Italian cooking. If not use a combo of your favorite seasonings. Then add spinach and diced tomato. Allow the spinach and tomato to saute for a few minutes until it looks close to this.

Then if you are not using a completely non-stick pan you will need to remove this mixture and spray your pan with non-stick spray. Now add the mixture back to pan.

In a bowl mix together the eggs, milk and 1/2 of both the cheeses. Add this egg/cheese mixture to the rest in the saute pan. Allow this to cook until the sides start to brown, about 5-8 minutes at medium-high heat. You will not need to stir this mixture. At this time you can add the other 1/2 of the cheese on top.

Place the pan in the oven and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the egg completely cooks through. If you need to brown the top more you can turn on your broiler and cook for one additional minute on the top rack. Allow your frittata to cool for a minute so it is easy to cut and serve. Now eat and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee and some fruit. This makes enough for 4 generous protions, but we also enjoy the leftovers the next morning.

***You can also use ham instead of sausage, add more/less of the cheese or vegetables that you have on hand. Once you have the timing and the egg and milk amounts correct you can really play around with the rest of the ingredients.