Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby Showers Galore and Cinnamon Bun Popcorn

The last two weekends I have hosted baby showers for two very important people in my life. We had a blast of course and the parties were filled with Ooohs and Aaaahs!

The BG Shower for Lindsay and Baby Ella was a lot of fun. It is always so fun to get all the Burg Girls together with our moms and throw a party. We had way too much food, but we wouldn't know how to have a party without planning for an army! The Cake by Carrie was incredible of course - lemon flavor and champagne with strawberries flavor. Delicious and BEAUTIFUL! You almost hate to cut into one of her cakes but then you do and never look back! I did make the Ella Ryan banner which was a lot of fun to make and if you would like a tutorial just let me know.
The surprise of the weekend was the arrival of Beautiful Baby Ella! Although I had to fly out before I could get a sneak peak at the bundle of joy, Ella is doing great and she has wonderful parents.

Cake By Carrie

Look at the Detail, she is sooo talented
Just a few of the many presents for Baby Ella!
Best group of girls ever... The Burg Girls
Let the excitement begin! This is what happens when you attend a Just Dance Party

The following weekend, the Pilates on Highland staff showered Holly's baby with some love. We decorated with children's story books since Holly has a love for books. All the food was themed according to a certain book. Think Perfect Piggie Sliders, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Salad, Say Please for Macaroni and Cheese, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake Baby Bites...etc. The decorations were gender neutral, so lots of linen colors with subtle color incorporated in. I had a great time planning for this shower and hosting it at my house! Although it was stressful right at crunch time, it was so much fun to have Holly (and Baby) enjoy the party!
And of course I also made this banner which was soooo easy and if you want the tutorial for it, just ask!

Presents for Baby Jason
Delicious Baby Bites from Pastry Arts
The Grub


We love Holly and can't wait for Baby Jason to arrive in April

Favors for the Guests!

I leave you with an excellent, addictive, and not so bathing suit friendly Recipe!
Cinnamon Caramel Corn with Pecans Popcorn
AKA Cinnamon Bun Popcorn!

Recipe Adapted From Our Best Bites

12 cup popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup kernels, or 1 bag low butter, lot salt microwave popcorn)
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup Light Karo Syrup (honey can be used also)
1 stick real butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp good quality vanilla

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place cooked popcorn and chopped pecans in a VERY LARGE bowl. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a BIG microwave safe bowl. Like a 2 quart bowl or a Pyrex Measuring bowl. Stir to combine. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over the top of everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more. It should now be bubbly. Remove from microwave and add in the vanilla and baking soda. Enjoy the science experiment that takes place at this point. Pour this right over the popcorn and pecans, stir right away and stir a lot. Don't waste time or else the caramel will harden on you. Spread the popcorn mixture onto a foil lined baking sheet. Do a quality assurance test at this point, just to make sure that it tastes good! Then bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring twice, each 15 minutes. Let it cool and enjoy! Warning, it is very addictive!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spinach, roasted red peppers, and broccoli Pizza

The pizza loaded down with veggies... before the cheese was added

I had some leftover homemade wheat pizza dough and decided to put it to use. I found this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Pink Parsley, and modified it a little bit (She actually adapted it from another favorite of mine, Annie's Eats!). Turned out very yummy! It also helps that Ryan Grilled it on our Kamado Joe. Yes, you heard that right, the weather is nice so we can finally grill again! I long for the warmer weather where most of my food is cooked on the grill... i.e. less dishes to clean!

Broccoli, roasted red peppers, and Spinach Pizza

Adapted from Pink Parsley, originally from Annie's Eats
  • 1 serving homemade pizza dough (this recipe makes 2 so just used 1/2 of it)
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs flour
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 Tbs freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach, packed
  • 1 cup roasted red bell peppers (I used the jarred ones)
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
NOTE- Ryan insisted that his part of the pizza had pepperoni on it, so I did add that to his "half". He really enjoyed it with the veggies and still felt like he wasn't eating just veggies!

Preheat the oven or the grill to 500 degrees. If using a pizza stone, warm it in the oven for at least 30 minutes.
White Sauce: Melt the butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly until the sauce is golden and bubbly (About 1 minute). Whisk in the milk, add the garlic. Continue to cook and stir often until the mixture becomes thick and begins to bubble (not a rapid boil). Remove from heat, add in the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Then add the parmesan cheese. Either make sure that the garlic is completely mixed in or if it is still pieced together then you can just pick it out and discard it. I like garlic left in, so I just made sure it was not lumpy in the sauce!

Now, roll out the dough, brush the perimeter with olive oil, and spread the milk mixture evenly on top. Now top the pizza with the spinach, broccoli, and roasted red bell pepper. Spread the cheeses over the top. Transfer to your pizza stone or onto the grill and cook for 10-12 minutes. You want the cheese to be bubbly when it is finished.

Enjoy! We had this alongside a nice mixed greens salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. It was a great meal and a good way to get some veggies in it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

Beautiful Roses, Arranged by Ryan Himself!
The Grub: Filet Mignon, Asparagus, and a Twice Baked Potato
Toasting to many more awesome Valentine's Together

I know that Valentine's day was yesterday but I thought that I would share how we celebrated! Ryan did an excellent job, taking over the grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning! It was great and he surprised me with gorgeous 2 dozen red roses. He was the grill master, all of the food was cooked on the grill and it was amazing. Plus an excellent bottle of Cakebread Syrah to complete the meal (I got to pick the wine)!

Hope that you had an excellent Valentine's Day. I really enjoy the low key celebration ideas for this holiday, and ours was just that. Tucher of course got to "woof" down the leftovers, so he was a happy puppy!

Lots of stuff on the agenda this week, starting with a crown at the dentist this am:( Finishing off the week with a baby shower for Holly and working at POH this weekend. Plus, I need to share some great ideas from Lindsay's baby shower from last weekend. So, check back for lots of blog entries this week. Oh and the recipe for the broccoli/spinach/roasted red pepper pizza that is baking in our oven right now will definitely perk your attention!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


This is a nice snack that I have been enjoying lately. Good source of protein and other nutrients. Quick and easy to make and so much fun to eat!

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 lb frozen edamame

Heat salt, chili powder, red pepper flakes in a small pan over medium heat. The mixture will begin to smell fragrant in about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Set aside.

Boil the edamame pods in water until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and pat dry. Toss the edamame pods with the spices and serve warm.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Cajun (Chicken) Pasta

This dish was amazing. When we were celebrating at the Renner wedding, Destin mentioned this recipe and sent the recipe to me. I made it that week and we both loved it. It was pretty easy to assemble and prepare and made excellent leftovers. I especially loved the baby bella mushrooms! And the spice is right on.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Recipe from Destin Jines

Box of Rotini Pasta
2 tablespoons of un-salted butter
1 pound of boneless skinless chicken tenders (optional if you want meat)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 bunch of green onions, chopped (washed well)
1-2 tablespoons of cajun seasonings (I use one called "slap ya mama" from publix)
black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (really this depends on if you want it really spicy or not - a must in my opinion)
6-8 oz heavy cream
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
8 oz fresh baby bella mushrooms quartered (the baby bellas have more flavor than the buttons)
1/2 cup fresh/good grated parmesan cheese

Cook rotini according to package directions. Cut chicken strips into bite-size cubes. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned (don't over cook cause it simmers with the veggies too). Add garlic, onions, cajun seasoning, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to coat chicken. Ad bell peppers and mushrooms; stir to combine. Cover and cook for 5 mins. Uncover; stir in cream and let simmer another 2 mins. Stir in parm. cheese and remove from heat. Pour on top of cooked and drained pasta, toss together and serve!

Notes from Destin: ** I usually use only 1 tablespoon of the cajun seasoning, it gets kinda salty if you add too much. I also take out about a cup of the pasta before I put the sauce over the top. I like it to be more sauce than noodles :) It is also the bomb with some good crusty bread!! )

I must agree that this dish is the bomb! Loved it. And please just enjoy the cream! If you know you are eating this for dinner - have a big salad or green smoothie for lunch!