Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Aftermath - Bean Style

Who's still full from Thanksgiving?

*Slowly and shamefully raises hand*

But I have a good reason:

This photo doesn't do justice to the amount of food that I cooked for Thanksgiving.  For two people.  We had a 15 pound turkey, peeps.  For two people.

But because Thanksgiving is my favorite of any holiday in the history of the universe, I knew I had to go big.  As such, I made this recipe for Haricots Verts with White Beans and Shallot Vinaigrette.  I couldn't find dried canellini beans, so I went with the canned variety and simmered both those AND the green beans in the thyme, onion, and bay leaf fashion.

I also used spicy brown mustard in my vinaigrette because I had it in the fridge and forgot to purchase dijon when we were doing our turkey shopping.  A turkey, almost literally, called to me during that trip to the grocery store, so I couldn't be bothered with mustards.

These beans were wonderful.  Crisp, flavorful, and a perfect light side to go with the cornucopia of brown foods that took over the rest of the table (turkey, rolls, cheesy vegetables, stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes for the F.  All brown.). 

I love brown foods.

And brown shoes.
Manolo Blahnik via Bergdorf Goodman

Honeymoon shoe, anyone?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day!

It's official (or more official, anyway).

I'm a dork.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving - regular posts return Monday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Slow Cooker Not-Fried Refried Beans

When I came across this recipe for refried beans that weren't at all refried, I had to pin it.  Immediately.  And tell everyone I knew about it.

Refried beans are one food that I can say I firmly and adamantly HATED as a child.  "All rice, no beans," I would declare during every, single Mexican meal I consumed.

And while my love of rice continues, my love of refried beans grows stronger by the day.  I added four jalapenos to these beans (not one as the recipe suggested.  We all know I like my food spicy), but otherwise followed the directions exactly.  When it came time to drain the beans, I got a full soup-bowl full of liquid out and set it aside (but I didn't figured you'd want to see a picture of bean juice.  Am I right, peeps?!).

The beans were so soft, after removing most of the liquid, that I was able to mash them easily with a wire whisk.  I left them slightly chunky, but obviously mash to the consistency you desire.

We enjoyed these beans with shredded chicken (also cooked in a crockpot (not the same one as the beans, obvs.) [4 frozen chicken breasts, two jars salsa verde, low, 9 hours, shred.  Voila!]), diced onions and red cabbage, tortillas, and topped with queso fresco.  This meal was so delicious and satisfying, not to mention low in calories, that I can assure you it will be on heavy rotation in our house.

In the vein of my "all good things come from pinterest" meals, I bring you shoes that I found on pinterest.

Jean-Michel Cazabat via Endless/Amazon

I don't have anything else to say about these other than that they are the perfect black shoe and I DESPISE that Endless is now a part of Amazon.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Quickie Friday: Baked Eggs

In an effort to help the F start his day out on the right foot (and not eating leftover flan for breakfast . . . oy) I baked some eggs.

And wouldn't you know it, cracking a dozen eggs into a muffin pan and baking them at 350 for about 15 minutes yielded some great results.

Let it be known, first, that one should generously grease said muffin tin prior to cracking, so the baked eggs slide out with ease.  Let it also be known that it is quite easy to fashion an at-home McMuffin, of sorts, with a container filled with pre-baked eggs.

Happy F, Happy Ash.  (Pretty sure that is NOT how that saying is supposed to go, but since we aren't getting married until next year, I can't pull the "Happy Wife, Happy Life" card quite yet.)

I can, however, continue to play the "but I wanna be 5'9" like Cindy Crawford" card all over town.

These cheap fixes would put me at a solid 6'1/2" . . . I will take it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Easy Creamed Spinach

Do you ever find yourself with a not-yet-expired but not-salad-worth bag of spinach in your fridge and think what in the WORLD should I do with this stuff?!  It happens to me regularly, so I was really excited to come across this recipe for creamed spinach that requires a mere 1/4 cup of half and half!

Spinach is one of my favorite things and I'll eat it any which way, but I really love creamed spinach but hate that it's normally so terrible for you.

While this recipe is obviously not scant in calories, it's certainly not as bad as the others that I've tried which call for copious amounts of heavy cream.  

When the sauce cooked down it was super creamy and the flavor, from the cheese and onions, was wonderful.  I used a white onion and lots of garlic in mine, as well, to give it a little something extra.  Garlic is a girl's best friend.

These, while not currently in my possession, could certainly become my new best friend:

Sergio Rossi via Barneys

They're a great librarian shoe, with the t-strap and slightly muted color palette.  And I love them.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Quickie Friday: Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

The F and I eat a lot of vegetables and, in an effort to get fit for my now 176-days-away wedding, I have now taken carbs off of the dinner menu (for me - the F gets to enjoy more potatoes this way, which he enjoys).  In an effort to taste carb-like things, however, I've been experimenting with cauliflower.

For this side dish I cut a head of cauliflower into bite-sized florets, drizzled olive oil over the top, then added copious amounts of garlic and read pepper before adding a light dusting of parmesan cheese.  I roasted the florets in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, and they turned out perfectly.  Browned, slightly crispy, in spots, and with TONS of flavor.  They almost reminded me of croutons, and bread that's not bread is great for the new rules.

I have been getting into the color block trend recently, and feel that perhaps my shoe wardrobe needs some new rules, much like my diet, to fall in line.

I absolutely refuse to spend lots of money on a super trend-specific item, so these fit the bill.  And with a mere 3 and 1/2 inch heel, I think I could even walk in them without a problem!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Favorite Things Thursday: I Can't Resist

She's been laying low for awhile, but not today.

Is she, or is she not, the world's cutest dog?!  Seriously.  Happy Thursday, peeps.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Loaded Potato "Chips"

Don't you just hate it when one of your favorite bloggers disappears for no good reason?

Obviously this is an attempt to compliment myself, but it must be done.  Truth be told, my mother and aunt were in town and we were busy gallivanting around the bay area, shopping and eating delicious things.

These loaded potato chip-like things came to my attention on pinterest, and as a non-potato eater I thought they might be worth a try, since they're so covered in stuff.

I boiled my potatoes about a minute too long and they started to fall apart, slightly, but it didn't hamper my determination to pile lots of stuff on them.  So pile I did.

And then I piled some more . . .

And then we ate.  And I wasn't a fan.  But my good 'ole midwestern, potato-loving F adored these, and his big appetite did not leave a chip on that baking stone or a drop of ranch in the bowl.  Next time I think I would add more stuff to them, spice them up a bit, but if you like loaded potatoes these are for you.

And since those are for you, these are for me!

Jimmy Choo via Bergdorf Goodman

It's only fair.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Favorite Things Thursday: Vanessa's Wedding Surprise

We had our tasting for the wedding a couple weekends ago, and so I have our wedding on the brain.  Because I haven't been cooking much, I'm going to share this favorite video today.

I promise to get back to the food posts soon, peeps. Until then, enjoy Vanessa's Wedding Surprise!