Fresh Mozzarella

Gawd, there is nothing more hot than a gorgeous Italian man making me fresh cheese.  Is that wrong?  (I didn’t catch a picture of husband making it, but trust me…..it’s sexy.  Hmm….maybe it’s just seeing him in dish gloves that does it for me?!)  My first trip to New Jersey was just a few months after meeting husband.  During my visit he made “fresh mutz” (that is how he pronounces it) and I was in love (with him and the cheese).  ….and then we moved to Seattle and apparently the curd you make the cheese with isn’t as easy to find in Seattle, as it is in New Jersey. So then I’m thinking “Oh jeeeezus…..ummmm…..like the only reason I fell for homeboy is because he makes me fresh cheese.  NOW WHAT?!?  MUST FIND CHEESE CURD ASAP or I gotta get out of here!”  Haaaa…..joking.  Anyhow, while at Pike Place a few weeks ago we stumbled upon the Italian Market there called DeLaurenti that has hoards of fresh Italian meats and goods (also hard to come by in these parts).  I thought THERE MUST BE CHEESE CURD THERE – WE MUST GO.  Thank you lord, there was.  Granted, it was much more expensive then it is in NJ but what the hey – if it meant I was going to fall in love all over again with husband it was well  worth the money (haaaaaaaaaaaaa).

So here is the easy instructions:

  • Cut 1/2 lb of cheese curd into cubes
  • Heat your water to just about boiling (little bubbles)
  • Place cubes into hot water until they are malleable (this is my new favorite word)
  • Knead the cubes together until smooth(knead was husband”s word – I rather use “massage”).  Tip – Use nice clean dish gloves.  The water is very hot and you will burn yourself if you do not!
  • Make a long tube under the water and braid
  • Place the braid in cool water (slightly cooler than room temperature)

After he made the cheese he put it on top of crusty bread, with fresh thinly sliced spicy coppa, tomato, basil, a little olive oil, good balsamic, salt and pepper.  Bam.  Put a fork in me, I’m done.  I love him.

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Refurbished Dresser – Craigslist Find!

Dresser Before & After

I have been blessed with the most amazing friends in my life.  Genuine, good, strong, happy people.  So is true with my little friend Miss Monica “Paola”.  She was my bestie starting in 3rd grade.  We were inseparable.  As with most little girl friendships, you grow-up, things change, and sometimes you go different directions.  Through it all I always admired this fabulous female and wished her all the best. Our paths have crossed in the past, but just recently passed at such a perfect time.  New Years Eve day.  I found out that she had moved to Vancouver, Canada and would be driving from home in NorCali through Washington.  Even better she is now engaged to one of my best pals/partners in crime from High School (on a side note I totally tried to hook them up back in High School so maybe I do have a slight knack for the matchmaking…..just saying).  I mean look at this couple….they are absolute gorge.  Don’t just ooooze happiness?!?  Love it.
Monica has always been uber crafty and I am happy to report that she still is.  She is in a bit of a nesting mode with recently moving, and her up-coming wedding so I’m totally living through her craftiness right now (since our itty bitty townhome cannot fit anymore crafty/furniture projects….so daddy says).  She found the dresser on Craigslist and made it into something fabulous!!  Her directions are below.  Thanks so much for sharing Miss Monica.  Loves you loads.  xoxo

 

 

 

 

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Goat Cheese, Lentil and Brown Rice Rolls

Goat Cheese, Lentil and Brown Rice Rolls

Some of my really great goals last only 1 week:  We are going to start “eating clean”…….. I’m going to write a business plan for my new job as a Stay at Home Mom……I will wash my hair more than 2 times a week…..I’m going to write a book….I will NOT wear my workout clothes all day….we will not watch tv on Tuesday nights…..Those great ideas come and go and I look at them and have a good laugh at myself.  One of those goals I looked to implement was “Meatless Monday”.  I will say that one lasted 2 weeks.   I mean truly, COME ON WOMAN, that isn’t even hard.  For whatever reason my selective memory kicks in though and I “forget” about my grand idea.  This recipe for Goat Cheese, Lentil and Brown Rice Rolls was way delish and you don’t even miss the meat.  Obviously you have to be a big fan of the goat cheese, which I find you are either a lover or a hater.  Aint no in-betweens with the goat cheese.

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All American Chili

All American Chili

Are you looking for a good Super Bowl recipe?  Look no more kiddos.  I must apologize actually:  I am sooooooo very sorry that I have never posted my most FAVE chili recipe!  I wanted to make it the other day and when I tried to locate the recipe on my blog in a pinch (to my dismay), it wasn’t there (gasp).  I have always gotten rave reviews when I make it AND to make it even better it’s on the lighter side.  Granted I SOMETIMES make ours naughty by turning it into a “Frito Boat“.  I fill our bowls up with Frito Scoops and top the chili with cheese and sour cream.  Mmmmmm……   Husband had never heard of a frito boat, I felt bad for him. If you never have either, I feel sorry for you too.  I remember being a kid and going to High School football games with my mom and we would always get these little boats of love.  They would take a small bag of chips, cut off the top, fill it with chili and top with cheese.  Aint nothin wrong with any of that.

This is a recipe I’ve been making for awhile….I guess it turns out a longer while then I had thought.  My mom had gotten me a Cooking Light magazine subscription when I started getting interested in cooking.  This All American Chili recipe is from their January 2003 issue.  Remember to slop yours on top of some Frito Scoops and top with some good ol’ cheddar and sour cream…..that is if you dare to be naughty!

All American Chili

  • 6 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
  • 2 cups chopped onion $
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground sirloin $
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped $
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups Merlot or other fruity red wine $
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained $
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese $
  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage, onion, and the next 4 ingredients (onion through jalapeño) to pan; cook 8 minutes or until sausage and beef are browned, stirring to crumble.
  2. Add chili powder and the next 7 ingredients (chili powder through bay leaves), and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaves. Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese.
  4. Note: Like most chilis, this version tastes even better the next day.

 

 

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Free Subway Art!

Hi ya’alls!  I found this great site where you can download free subway art for different occasions: eighteen25 blogspot They are so adorable and perfect for your entry way or wherever.  I’ve already printed up a few (Fall-St Paddy’s Day).  You just slap that puppy in a frame and your home has instant festiveness (is that even a word?  ok, yup it is….I just checked.  I’m going to definitely use it more.)  You can’t beat free peeps.  I mean, nothing is free these days.  Ok…ok….wait…I actually had to pay for the printing of the thing because my printer SUCKS POOP (husband, are you reading this?!  As a reminder our printer is a crap hole.  We have electronic gadgets galore but have a janky @$$ printer.  Alright, I think I got my point across.

 

Also, as a side note I would like to report that the sun did grace itself with her presence this week.  It was magical.  I don’t remember when I had saw it last….so…very…..long…..ago…..  I couldn’t even bring myself to wear sunglasses, I wanted the vitamin d to penetrate my retinas.  I took the babe and dog on a walk to the beach and it was like I was born again.  We saw a sailboat, and ducks and it was all so serene and perfect.  I almost wanted to cry and I thought “dang girl….you crazy….pull it together”.  ME LOVE SUN.

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