Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

This sure was a delicious Easter! We started things off with some challah french toast. It blew my MIND!! The legend is correct, it absolutely makes the best french toast in the world.


Then we had my parents over for dinner! I made this Martha Stewart recipe, Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole. It's from one of the recent issues of Everyday Food, and I've already made it FIVE times! It's SO easy, SO healthy, and SO delicious!!

Mom brought a delicious salad.


For dessert, we made Peep s'mores!

Mmm, toasty little bunnies.



Ben and I made a second batch later in the night. Too good to resist! HAPPY EASTER!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Eggy Cooking Club

Emily hosted the April Cooking Club tonight, and the theme was eggs. A perfect theme for springtime, especially since the dinner took place on Easter Weekend! I decided to make a strata, which I had never done before. I made a dinner strata that had mushrooms, onion, spinach, ricotta and marinara. Here it is fresh out of the oven!

Valerie made challah bread! Look at how shiny and delicious.

Of course there was Easter candy.

Nancy was in charge of cocktails! The first one was a Perfect Lady, which has gin, peach brandy, lemon juice and egg whites. Cheers!

Summer made some little egg sandwich appetizers! They were on little toasts with a basil-arugula pesto. MMM!! Amazing.

Emily made a salmon souffle! Look at how tall and mighty it is!!

Yumi made a side dish of asparagus with bearnaise sauce.

Oh, hi! This challah was OUTSTANDING and the best thing about it was that Valerie made tons of it so that we could all take it home to make french toast the next day. I've heard the legend of how challah bread makes the most incredible french toast in the world, but I have never experienced it yet. Can't wait!

Emily bought some fancy eggs from the farmer's market. They were $1 apiece! This is because they come from a rare breed of chicken. She hardboiled them and we each ate one half just to see how they taste. It was delicious, but it tasted mostly like a REGULAR delicious hardboiled egg to me!

Here I am cutting into my strata. Rarr, look at the size of that knife! I am SERIOUS about cutting this thing up.

At this point, it was time for Nancy to prepare her second cocktail of the evening. This one was called a Royal Rumble, and included gin, one beer, orange soda, and a whole egg. Sunset Wheat was the beer of choice.

Here is Nancy, ready to add the egg!

Money shot!

OOPS!!! The blender was too full and Royal Rumble went EVERYWHERE!!! I love the look on Nancy's face as she's realizing that this is happening.

We cleaned up the explosion, and got back to it. This time the look on her face says, "Oh yeah. I am in charge here. I OWN you, blender. Just TRY to explode again, I dare you!!!!"

This time it was a success! ROYAL RUMBLE!

This is where I would like to make an announcement that I'm afraid my camera is dying. All of a sudden, the little lens won't immediately open when I turn it on, and look at THIS picture!!:


For dessert, Emily made sabayon with fresh fruit. It was soooooooo good!!!!

Seriously, SO good.


At this point I started to get passionate about something (yogurt? I think?) and realized I forgot to pack my ushanka! I really like to always have it with me at Cooking Club because you just never know. Luckily, Emily also owns a fur hat!! Whew! A passionate tirade just isn't the same without one.

You can really tell I mean it when the fist hits the table.

Doesn't Emily look lovely in it?

The last cocktail of the night, which not everyone chose to enjoy, started with this bowl of glittering Peeps.

Peeps + wine! Obviously the yellow Peeps go with white wine.

And the pink ones go with red! CHEERS!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

California Trip

This week I headed to California for the annual NBIA conference. It was great to see Lindsay and Tom, and as usual we did a lot of hard work and managed to fit in a great deal of fun as well. After I was done working the event, I headed to Santa Cruz to spend a few days with Cousin Dan & family. It was an excellent trip full of tons of delicious seafood, lots of fun times, and many beautiful sights. Check out my photos for all the details!

Friday, April 08, 2011

I Didn't Miss The Cherry Trees!

I'm leaving for California first thing tomorrow morning, and I was feeling super pouty and bummed this week because I thought I was going to miss the cherry trees this year. I could see the buds starting to peek out slowly throughout the week, and figured that next week they were going to explode. Even yesterday morning they were still little buds. But it was a sunny and gorgeous day, and by the late afternoon, a bunch of them had bloomed!

So last night when we got home from work, Ben and I took a little drive down to see them! We try to always have a visit or a picnic under them while they're in bloom.

Yay! There they are! They're not in full bloom yet of course, but they were DEFINITELY worth a visit! There were lots of people out enjoying them.

Happy to be there!

What good luck! I really feel complete and ready for my trip now. I know I'll see lots of cool and beautiful things in California, but I have to say I feel very lucky to have gotten a little glimpse of the cherry trees this year. They're really special and awesome! I bet they're going to be incredible next week, everyone should go and enjoy them as much as possible!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Ben Got a New Helicopter

Ben got a new remote-controlled helicopter, and it is super awesome!!

Here comes Charlie to check out the scene. Look at his little marshmallows marching across the floor.

He was pretty enthralled.

Landing a helicopter is serious business.