Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas 2011

I had a lovely time visiting my family for Christmas this year. I got to go home for about a week and get some wedding things settled. Matt, Caitlin, Mike and I got to go to the Steeler game on Christmas Eve. The game wasn't the most exciting, but we had a good time watching people and providing our own entertainment. 

If looks could kill...we definitely would have died on Christmas
We had Christmas at my parents house this year. It was a ridiculous time as usual. The highlight of the night was probably the game I got as part of the grab bag. My cousin, Sarah, got me the game Quelf which we all played after we finished opening presents. In my's a formalized game of King's Cup. The picture to the right is the result of wine and too much fun with Quelf, but it's my favorite picture for the night. 

I'm pretty bummed I'm towards the end of my break. I typically do not like New Year's Eve, but we are going to a party at my friend Melissa's tonight and I am looking forward to it. New Year's day I do love because of the good football and we had a great tradition growing up. More details on that later, but for now...HAPPY 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Recipe of the Week!

Banana Bread
I love banana bread, but hardly ever make it. We usually eat all our bananas before they are banana bread quality, but I finally saved up four and got to make this treat. I love this recipe because the bread turns out very moist. I don't like when banana bread is dry. It does take a pretty long time to bake though, so don't have a place you need to get to in the near future when you start this recipe. In the directions below it says to bake an hour or so, but I swear its more like 2 hours.



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Binder

You know in all those wedding movies and wedding reality TV shows how all the Bridezillas have the infamous wedding binder? Well I'm now THAT girl. In my defense this is no binder of wonderful and wistful ideas that I have dreamed of since age five, nor is it something I pulled out upon Matt's proposal, it is just an organization tool. None the less I still feel like a borderline Bridezilla, but I really couldn't handle the amount of paperwork without the help of a binder anymore. There's a lot to keep track of already, and there will be more in the near future.

Over my long awaited break from school I have appointments for flowers and photography. And I probably need to work towards getting a few more things done as well while I am in Pittsburgh. Oh and just another note...I am also that girl who did something cutesy to ask bridesmaids to be in her wedding, but you have to wait on that information for a few more days. So over the next week this may turn into a slight wedding blog. I apologize in advance. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Recipe of the Week!

Peppermint Bark

 Here is my Christmasy Recipe of the Week. Great news! It's super easy, tastes pretty good, and you can make it to your liking very easily. I made a few different kinds of bark last Christmas, but this combo was my favorite so I made a quick batch last week as a hostess gift for a Christmas party we went to. Last year I made this using White Mint Chocolate Candy Melts, but this year I couldn't find those. I highly recommend getting that flavor. It was amazing. This year I used plain white chocolate melts. I got mine at Michael's. 

For this recipe all I did was mash up a couple candy canes. Melt a whole bag of the chocolates. I did it really quick in the microwave. Pour the melted chocolate on the shiny side of a piece of tin foil and spread into a thin layer (see below). Sprinkle candy canes and let harden. Break into pieces and enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Recipe of the Week!

Lemon Sage Chicken
This was a random dish I found in my FoodNetwork magazine. I edited it a little to fit what I actually had in the house and to make things easier. I love lemon (like a lot), I love sage, so I loved this dish. I will definitely make it again. 

2 chicken breasts (trimmed and pounded)
Flour for dredging
2 eggs
Juice of one lemon
4 sprigs sage
2 tbsp. butter
Olive oil

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, coat each breast in flour. In a bowl whisk together eggs and lemon juice. Dip the floured chicken in the egg mixture, coating both sides. In a skillet heat olive oil. Add chicken to skillet and cook until the bottom is golden brown. Flip chicken and add sage leaves to the pan, cook until chicken is golden brown on both sides. Remove chicken from the skillet. Add the butter to the remaining sage leaves and cook until butter is browned. Top chicken with butter and sage. 

Also...I LOVE lemon so I added some more lemon juice to my chicken once it was plated :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

All I want to do... think about where I'm going on my honeymoon. It's a problem. Although, in my opinion, a great problem to have. I would say I spend a great portion of my after work and after dinner time researching airfare, resorts, countries, etc. for a honeymoon. Do I have bridesmaids yet? No. Do I have a definite idea of flowers? Not really. But obviously honeymoon destinations are more important. Now I task you dear reader with two questions to answer. 1. Where did you go/want to go on your honeymoon? And 2. What are your ideas for our honeymoon? Please take into consideration that Matt is not someone who can sit on the beach all day. We can still go to a beach, but there needs to be some other activities around as well. Yay! Can't wait to read suggestions!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fabulous Fifth Grade Field Trip

During my tenure at good old BES I have been invited, or invited myself more like it, on one field trip. This is when two of my very dear friends taught kindergarten, and one of them had a very intense group of five year olds. So why not take your school counselor. I got to go to Cows and Corn that year...after it had rained for about one week straight. It was a delightful experience. This year I got invited to join the fifth grade team on their field trip to DC. It was great! I'm so glad I went.

Capitol Christmas Tree
The planned agenda was to go to the National Tree, the Natural History Museum, monuments, and the National Tree. Well my group and I deviated from the original agenda just a little bit to make things more interesting, and interesting it was. We got stuck in a police barricade and almost run over by a motorcade. We made sure to visit all the trees including the Capitol tree above, the national tree was looking a little sad and not even picture worthy. My company on this excursion made it all the more interesting. So a very big thank you to the fabulous fifth grade team at my school for brining me along. I would say this was definitely a field trip cut out for me. Cows and Corn was a little too rugged.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Recipe of the Week!

Swordfish Parmesan

When I was growing up my parents were always going to this restaurant called Monterey Bay. My dad loved the swordfish parmesan there. During my budding years as a wannabe chef I attempted to make this for him at home. When I was home for Thanksgiving we decided to make it again. Typically I make this in a pan on the stove, but it's really stressful. So I decided we should try it in the oven. It definitely wasn't as good as usual, but it sufficed. 

To prepare the swordfish steaks: Toss steaks in flour. Dip floured swordfish into whisked eggs. In a pie pan mix bread crumbs (for the picture above we used regular bread crumbs, but I would use panko in the future), parmesan, salt and pepper. Coat swordfish in bread crumb mixture. 

To cook: Bake in the oven or coat pan with olive oil and cook on the stove. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Girls on the Run, Fall Season Wrap-up

A while ago I mentioned that I was having a really hard time enjoying my GOTR experience this fall. My dear friends above were a little rambunctious and required a little bit too much maintenance for a volunteer activity. Well things shaped up very shortly after I wrote that post. Maybe they had heard a little too much of my complaining about their behavior. 
This is the end of our season. Each girl completed a 5K the weekend before Thanksgiving. Don't we look fabulous in our green this season?!?! I loved it and I think they did too. We will see you back in the Spring :)