pizza night recap

i know that you’d be hard-pressed to find a person out there in the world who does not like pizza. however, i truly don’t believe that there are many who love pizza the way my husband loves pizza. if pizza were a nice lady, he would for sure dump me in a heartbeat and live out his happy ever after with a lady pizza. and i wouldn’t even blame him.

so, because of this extreme devotion to pizza, we often find ourselves having pizza dinners at least 2 times a week (it would be more if it were solely up to the mister). homemade pizza is really fun, so i’m hoping to make pizza night recaps on fridays a regular thing. since we were out of town last week, this is actually pizza night from two weeks ago. it had been a busy week and there wasn’t enough time to prep for completely homemade pizzas, but in a pinch – the pre-made dough balls at lund’s work (and taste) great.

arugula
the mister’s favorite – prosciutto & arugula
margarita
i lean towards simple pizzas – a basic margarita with basil we grew ourselves!

chicago scenes

this past weekend the mister and i took an “end of summer” jaunt to chicago.  while the weather was far too hot and humid for my taste, we still managed to have a darn good time. i just had to take about a dozen naps because the heat wore me out so much. but then made up for it in the quantity of awesome food that was consumed. most notably, we were able to have one last meal at Hot Doug’s. they are closing permanently in october, which actually inspired the trip in the first place.

chicago in the summer time – you are not bad at all.

chicago1 coffeedrip
hotdougs
hotdogs

wasabi

wanderlust

the mister and i decided to head to chicago for a long weekend in a couple weeks. we haven’t been in about three years and happen to love the city, so we’re definitely looking forward to getting reacquainted. not to mention – it’ll be the last time we’ll ever get to eat at Hot Doug’s! please leave any chicago suggestions you may have – we are always looking for new things to do and eat.

any time we book a trip – it immediately gets me thinking about going on more trips. or i start reminiscing about places we’ve already been. back in may we took a 10 day getaway to california. it was the mister’s first time in california EVER. i couldn’t believe. i had previously shared one of the photos from the trip, but here are a few more. looking at these again made me miss the west coast immensely. SIGH.

LACollage SFCollage

monday breakfast: super eggs!

floodedlake

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a lovely weekend. Yesterday was possibly the most beautiful day we’ve had here in Minneapolis yet. Though, the rain still hasn’t quite let up and our many lakes are turning into even more lakes (as well as streets, bike paths, walking paths and large areas of grass – all turning into little lakes). While I don’t love the problems that come with flooding, I honestly love rain and thunderstorms, so I wish it would just chill out a little bit and let everyone actually enjoy it more.

Another plus side of summer is that the fresh air, sunshine and warm weather has drawn me out of the carb-heavy, please comfort me and help me get through this eternal winter mindset when it comes to cooking. I’ve been trying to maximize and really get happy summer eating rolling. Also, I impulse buy large quantities of produce at Costco that the mister is not that interested in, so have no choice but to figure out a way to eat it all up before it goes bad and I feel extra dumb for overestimating my produce eating abilities.

eggbake

Super Greens Egg Bake
1.5 lbs (approx 16 C) of organic power greens (kale, spinach, chard – this is a Costco size bag)
¼ – ½ lb spicy pork sausage
8 eggs
¼ C milk
paprika
nutmeg
salt
pepper
olive oil

Pre-heat your oven to 425. Grease an 8” x 8” baking dish and crumble the pork sausage all along the bottom.  Use ¼ to ½ of a pound depending on how much meat you want in the egg bake.

Warm up a large pan/skillet over medium heat and add a big drizzle of olive oil. Once the pan is ready, add the greens (depending on how large your pan is, you’ll have to cook the greens down in batches) and sauté them down. Set aside to cool a little bit. Once the greens have cooled off a bit, using a paper town (or your bare hands) squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Pile them all up on a cutting board and do a rough chop.

In a big bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and spices (decide on the quantities based on your tastes) until well mixed.  Add the chopped the greens and stir until they are evenly incorporated into the egg mixture. Pour into the baking dish over the sausage.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. The eggs should be pretty firm before you take them out. Give the dish a nice shake to check out the jiggle factor.

things for your oven: chicken in milk

have you all tried Jamie Oliver’s chicken in milk? sounds weird, i know – but let me tell you – it’s my new favorite way to braise a chicken. the instructions are simple, the ingredients are easy to find and it makes your home smell just wonderful. we served it alongside Mark Bittman’s mushroom risotto from How to Cook Everything. try it – you’ll love it!

herbs

lemon yellow for springtime

oh boy. here in the twin cities, we had a heck of a day yesterday. glorious sunshine and a whopping 75 degrees. the mister and i took the pup on a walk around the lake and encountered scores of other walkers, bikers and happy pups. there is nothing like the overwhelming joy that is the mood in Minneapolis when winter (hopefully) has made the final wave good-bye. and to celebrate – i made lemon bars.

lemonbars1

what i love about these lemon bars is how easy they are. they come together FAST. no fuss, no muss – the magic all happens in your food processor. it’s just fantastic. check out the finished product (and my husband’s snazzy socks!).

lemonbars2

LEMON BARS
For the crust:
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the filling
1 medium-sized lemon (i weighed the one i used, it was about 5 oz.)
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 large eggs
2 T cornstarch
¼ t salt

preheat oven to 350 and line a 9×9 metal pan with parchment, spray with baking spray or grease with melted butter.

make the crust: add the flour, sugar and salt to the bowl of your food processor. pulse until combined. add the butter and continue to pulse until the butter is fully incorporated and looks like a fine powder. empty the dough into your prepped pan and press firmly to form the crust. prick the surface with a fork and bake for about 20-22 minutes (lightly browned).

make the filling: rinse out your food processor bowl. thinly slice the lemon and pick out and discard the seeds. add the lemon and sugar to the food processor and puree. add the butter and continue to run the machine until it’s mostly smooth. next, add the eggs, cornstarch and salt and pulse until you have an even curd.

pour your filling over the crust and bake for 34-40 minutes. the filling should only be slightly jiggly and the edges and top will be lightly browned.

let the pan cool completely on a rack. then refridgerate until chilled. cut into squares and sprink with powdered sugar (if you want). these are delicious cold or room temp.

monday links

snowwalk

here in good ol’ minnesota, we are entering polar vortex version 3.0. while the picture may look like a creepy ice tundra, it’s actually just my walk to get to the public transit stop that takes me to work. in honor of the current frigid temperatures – here are some recipe links for food that will warm up your bones and keep the cold outside!

*in general, turkey is my least favorite meat/poultry – but this Turkey Pot Pie seems to make the normally boring meat really shine.
*Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Roll Ups – artichoke in lasagna, you guys.
*as someone who loves the burnt edges of food, this recipe for Stuck-Pot Rice with Lentils is haunting my dreams
*anything involving a rice dumpling is something i will not say no to – Korean Pumpkin Porridge with Rice Dumplings
*savory french toast. i repeat: savory. french. toast. Crispy Salt & Pepper French Toast (w. sriracha ketchup)

bundle up and stay cozy, friends!!

happy valentine’s friends!

sprinkle2

wishing you all a happy valentine’s day! while the mister and i don’t go out to eat or anything (it’s kind of amateur hour when you’re restaurant nuts like us), we do have a few fun things planned for today and this weekend. and a long weekend to boot! as you can maybe tell from the photo above, i made homemade sprinkles to celebrate this day of hearts and it’s possible i went a little overboard. but it was SO fun.

sprinkle1

i got cute little jars and sent them out for “Galentine’s” Day – super cute and fun! i would definitely make my own sprinkles again. it’s a bit tedious but i popped in a movie and was done before i knew it. they are made from royal icing and whenever i need to make royal icing, i look up new royal icing recipes and this time, i ultimately decided to go with a meringue powder version because i didn’t want to have to figure out what to do with the leftover egg yolks.

Royal Icing
2 T meringue powder
2-4 c powdered sugar
1/4 c water (+1-2 T depending on consistency)
1/2 t vanilla (optional, for flavor)
food coloring
*blend everything together and pipe onto parchment. let dry overnight

pumpkintreats

and a bonus – i would never leave out holiday treats for our four-legged friends. my dog flipped out for these pumpkin peanut butter biscuits. like, really flipped out. they’re simple to make and so much more inexpensive than buying organic dog treats. check out the recipe here from My Baking Addiction.

that’s all, folks! happy heart friday!