Monday, January 28, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

Pulled Pork
I'm pretty sure I have talked about "the worst years of my life" on my blog before. I may have also referred to them as "the two years I don't talk about," or "when I was in graduate school at William and Mary." Well, there was one good thing about ye olde Williamsburg...the food options. Oh Cheese Shop how I miss you and your house dressing. Anyway, those Southern people really could make some pulled pork...Berrett's (the Taphouse Grill part) knew what was up. So I finally attempted my own pork. For the cut of pork you can use a pork shoulder or a pork tenderloin roast. The shoulder is definitely fattier and juicier. The roast tenderloin turns out just as good in my opinion, and is a little less work. I make the rub below (it's for Carnitas so I use the leftover pork for burrito bowls) and cover the meat. I think I double the rub recipe for lots of flavor. Place it in the crock pot over 2 bay leaves and cover about halfway up the meat with chicken stock. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Serve on a nice bun and add whatever BBQ sauce you like.

2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pepper

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Yes. I did attend a political event. The things you do in a marriage. I did get kinda talked into it, but I feel like living in Northern Virginia it was something I should do while I'm here. It was a nice first and last time experience. Getting there was actually much more pleasurable than expected, minus the wake up time on a day off. We took the metro and had little crowds or problems.

We had tickets from Matt's cousins who weren't able to make it. And just a word to the wise, I wouldn't do Inauguration without tickets. It's hard enough to see anything with the tickets so standing back by the Wash Mon would not be my idea of a good time. We hit the crowds when we had to go through security, but once on the mall I never felt too crowded. I also stayed warmer than expected. The actual program was nice, but I missed actually getting to see people close up.

After Inauguration ended is when the real adventure began. Getting home was a feat. We couldn't even get near a metro downtown. Like people traffic was stopped a block back from the metro stops and roads were blocked for us to try to pull local moves. It was a disaster. We ended up walking back to Virginia. Six. Miles. It started out fun, but about 4 miles in, and 3 clothing layers deep I was done. In the end I'm glad I went and glad I got some exercise, but I predict some televised Inauguration in 2017.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

Buffalo Chicken Chili
I have a confession to make. I go through stages. Sometimes in one stage I am a cooking fein. I try TONS of new recipes all the time. This stage is usually followed by a stage where we are back to the staples of salmon, pork tenderloin, salad, pasta laziness. Currently I'm in the lazy stage. Some of the recipes I post I made months ago. This would be one of them. And right now I can't remember what I did to make this. I remember combining a bunch of recipes to make something I thought sounded like the best option. So this is my best guess. I can't even remember if I cooked this in a pot on the stove, or a crock pot, or a combination. I also think I probably doubled this to make lots of left overs. I think any of the three you would like would work. If only my blog was my main job, maybe I could remember these things...

1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cups chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup hot sauce (or to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the chicken in a large pan over medium heat and set aside. Heat the olive oil in the pan, add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until tender. Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant. Add the chicken broth, chicken, tomatoes, beans, paprika, oregano, cayenne and hot sauce and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve topped with crumbled blue cheese.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Orleans

The Saint Louis Cathedral
It feels like forever ago that we went to the French Quarter, but it was really just last weekend. I feel like it's been a complete whirlwind since we have been back, so my dear blog has been neglected. Hopefully I can get back on track this week. So back to our trip...part of Matthew's job is holding an annual meeting each January. This year it was in New Orleans so I decided I was going too. Overall, I would say it's a good place to go once, but I don't think I need to go back.

Garden District Home
I did do a lot of stuff on my own because the majority of the time Matt was working. Friday morning I went on a historic tour all around the French Quarter. It ended up being a private tour since I was the only person who showed up. It was kinda nice, though. I got to ask all about what I should do and where I should go while I was in town. My tour guide also suggested a hole in the wall for Po Boys so that's where I had my lunch. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking about town being a tourist and then Matt and I walked down Bourbon Street late night. Now, I'm not really sure what I thought NOLA was going to be like, but the best way I can describe it, and Bourbon St. especially, is Vegas slums. This place make Vegas look tame. And clean. Anyway, walking down Bourbon St. is something everyone should do once in life.

Saturday I went to Cafe Du Monde to get some beignets and cafe au lait. This was a much more pleasurable experience than I expected. Being a lover of all things salty and spicy, my hopes weren't all too high for a sweet breakfast and chicory coffee, but I really enjoyed these. I even made Matt go back before we got on our plane back to DC. After this brunch I ventured to the Garden District. I would say this was my preferred part of NOLA. I went through Lafayette Cemetery which was interesting, but a little creepy with it's above ground tombs. I then went famous home stalking with the help of my iPhone. I found Ann Rice's home, Archie Manning's home, Sandra Bullock, and a bunch more. Saturday night Matt's friend (also Matt) took us uptown for a great dinner at Jacques-Imo's where I tried alligator and crawfish for the first time in my 29 years.

After Matt was finished with his job related duties on Sunday we went to the Monteleone Carousel Bar, which actually rotates, and had some Gin Fizz's. This was definitely an interesting drink. We had dinner at the Palace Cafe and then went people watching and did some bar hopping on Bourbon St. I think Pat O'Brien's dueling piano bar was probably my favorite. The creepy Blacksmith Shop was also interesting.

Like I said, I don't need to go back to NOLA, but I am glad I went. My top three favorite things about the French Quarter were the food, people watching, and I thought it was pretty cool how you could hear music everywhere you went...even just walking down the street in the middle of the day. If you are interested...I will post the rest of my pictures on FB!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Break is O-V-E-R...

Oh and did I get hit hard on the first two days back...sadly I mean this literally and figuratively. But sometimes when someone walks this up to you in all seriousness, and with pride reads their contribution to the class book you are trying to make you can't help but just realize there truly is nothing like elementary school...for better or for worse...

Disclaimer: I did cut off most of this picture to keep my friend's identity a secret and this was not intentional. He wants to let you know that "It's okay to be funny and have FRECKLES."

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
A dessert! I know...never happens here on the life and times. I actually made these a way long time ago in the summer and never posted them. They were good, but as always I would rather have more food than dessert (in most cases). I think this was one of the first KitchenAid mixer experiences and I believe that was the reason I made them. Enjoy!

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°. Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light. Add the egg and mix until fluffy. Blend the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together well. Add these dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the chocolate chips. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375°.