katietokathryn

HOORAY for Thanksgiving week to finally be here! I am only 3 (technically 2 and 1/2) work days away from a fabulous weekend with family, friends, and food. Several of my extended family members are coming into town but the person I’m most excited to see is my sister Maggie! I tried a new veggie side dish last week and loved it so much that I’m thinking about bringing it to our turkey day celebration. It is a martha stewart recipe I found online.

 

*Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin*

2 tablespoons butter

2 medium zucchini, sliced crosswide, 1/4 in thick

2 medium yellow squash, sliced crosswide, 1/4 in thinck

2 shallots, minced

salt & pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the zuccs, squash, shallots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are crisp and tender (4-6 min.)

Next add the cream and cook until it thickens (about 5 min.) Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the panko breadcrumbs and 1 cup of parm cheese.

Spoon entire mix into a baking dish, sprinkle with remaining panko and parm cheese. Season with salt and pepper and bake until the top is golden brown, about 8-10 min. Enjoy!

*Side note: When I made this, I sauteed the veggies for too long. The flavor and taste was still good but the veggies were too mushy. Next time I will saute them only briefly first.

Saturday was Will’s sister’s birthday party, so we had her and few of her friends over for drinks before. I made her a special birthday martini, complete with a vanilla frosting + sprinkles martini rim! I can’t believe I forgot to take a picture.. but it looked something like this (minus candle + whip cream):

That picture is from http://sipsetc.blogspot.com/ and is where I got the idea from. The matrini included cake flavored vodka, pineapple juice, and cranberry juice!

W and I ate out wayyyyyy too much this week/weekend. (I’m talking like every night.) So our plan this week leading up to thanksgiving is make every meal in and give our budget (and waistlines) a break. Tonight the game plan is soup and sammies. I’m debating whether I should be lazy and buy canned soup or challenge myself to some homemade tomato soup. It doesn’t look too expensive to make so I’m leaning towards trying it!

Also, I never posted about, but W and I went to Charlottesville, VA 2 weekends ago. He surprised me with *2ND ROW* tickets to the UVA football game vs. Duke! We had the best weekend and enjoyed the game (HOOS WIN!) wine tasting, beer tasting, apple picking (kind of) and everything else Charlottesville has to offer. I’ll leave you with some pics from the trip!

2nd row at the game

Beer Sampling at Blue Mountain Brewery. He's so excited!!!

Carter Mountain Orchard

As you know, my obsession with pinterest is quite great. While browsing through pages and pages of delicious looking food the other day, I found a fabulous idea. Chicken parm wraps! (Well, more like chicken parm turnovers.) Shredded chicken, tangy marinara, and ooey gooey melty cheese all packed up tight into egg roll wrappers and baked! And it was super easy…Here’s how I made them:

You will need about 2 chicken breasts worth of shredded chicken. I simply boiled 2 chicken breasts in a bit pot for about 15 minutes and shredded them with 2 forks, pulling against the grain. Place in a bowl and combine with a cup of your favorite marinara sauce. Lay out your egg roll wrappers on a clean, dry work space (I used my new cake stand… random? yes. *Side note: how cute is my martha stewart cake stand..Now just need to actually make a cake so it is useful.) Place some of your saucy chicken on half of the wrapper

Add some shredded cheese. I used mozzerella and parmesean. 

Next brush some water on two of the edges of the egg roll wrapper, fold it over and push down to seal. Pop them on a wire baking rack and spray the whole thing with cooking spray. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 12 minutes and you will have a delicious and healthy dinner!

I’m definitely starting to get more comfortable in the kitchen. I always get super nervous when I find a recipe and attempt to make it for the first time. The other day I made some joke about being a horrible cook to will and his response was: “maybe it’s time to stop doubting yourself so much.” I don’t know what it is about cooking that makes me so uneasy and nervous, but I am definitely starting to get over it and genuinely enjoy making new dishes. I love a finished product! We have been eating out pretty much every night lately because Will’s best friend is in town (and probably will continue into the weekend…) But starting Monday I’ll be back with new kitchen attempts and some healthier eating! later gators 🙂

I found this recipe while browsing pinterest. It’s one of those things that I would normally post and never even consider making. But this time was different! When I saw how easy the recipe looked, I couldn’t help myself. All I can say is YUM! These are super rich and you really only need a small square… Or you can eat half the tray for breakfast like I did. Totally up to you. I found the recipe from www.sweetpeaskitchen.com

 

 

 

*Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies*

Red Velvet layer

1/2 cup butter

2oz dark chocolate (1/5th of a bag of dark chocolate chips)

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp red food coloring (modified this, added a little more because I noticed several commented that 1 tsp wasn’t red enough)

2/3 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

Cheesecake layer

8oz cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat over to 350. Spray the bottom of your baking dish with cooking spray, then line with a long piece of wax paper. Spray the wax paper with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, melt the butter and chocolate chips together on a medium/ power setting. Stir until combined and silky smooth

In a large bowl, wisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and red food coloring together. Add the chocolate mixture and mix well. Add flour and salt and mix. Pour into your baking dish and spread evenly.

For the cheesecake layer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until combined and smooth. Place in large dallops overs the red velvet layer and swirl around with a knife to create a marbled effect. Bake for 35-40 minutes and let cool for at least 10 min. Enjoy!!!!

Hello friends!

The weekend flew by! [Per usual] and I actually can’t believe tomorrow is Thursday! It’s my last work day of the week; I have Friday off for Veteran’s Day. William surprised me with a trip to *Charlottesville* this weekend, aka my favorite place in the entire world. He got us tickets to the football game and we’re hopefully gonna do some of my favorite fall activities there.. a la hiking, wine tasting, eating my favorite cville college foods. I can’t wait! Will had class at the University of Maryland tonight, and I didn’t want to be bored at home, so I came with him and have just been hanging around campus, playing on the internet in the lib, pretending I’m in college again. I can’t help but feel for these kids who are cramming material into their minds. I’ve spotted a few Chemistry and Physics textbooks…don’t miss those long nights studying one bit!

I wanted to share with you guys the dinners we had last week as we finished out the week low carb style. Low carb is not easy for me. Normally, I definitely eat my fair share of carbs, so I spent a lot of last week feeling a bit sluggish and tired. I’m not going to lie though, you definitely drop some lbs. It’s just not exactly a realistic way of eating for me, so I’m excited to be back to my normal eating. I am going to try to start making some healthier eating choices while still enjoying all the food groups (including my beloved carbs!) We ate a lot of meat this week, for example:

Steak, shrimpies, zuccs

Thursday night I was browsing Pinterest, looking for a recipe to peak my interest (get it…Pinterest, interest… Ha. Ha.)

[Side note: If you haven’t discovered the amazingness that is pinterest, please check it out ASAP! For anyone who loves cooking, baking, home decorating, wedding planning, the holidays or just *pretty* things in general, you will be obsessed in approx 4.2 seconds so please check it out!]

I have always had a soft spot for Cracker Barrel. I loved stopping during a road trip down 95 and getting some good comfort food. I’ve always thought their grilled chicken tenders were amazing, so when I spotted a replica recipe for them on pinterest, I immediately knew what we’d be eating. And wait until you hear the recipe…it is so. simple.

First start by making the marinade and combine 1 cup zesty italian dressing, 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice, and 3 teaspoons of honey in a large ziplock bag. Add about a pound of boneless chicken tenders or breasts and let the tenders marinate for at least an hour in the fridge……[wait patiently]…. When your ready dump the entire bag [marinade and all] into a skillet and cook over medium heat. It should look something like this:

Let the tenders cook for about 30 minutes and let the marinade mixture reduce. Once the mixture starts to brown, move the chicken around a lot with a spatula and get all the good flavor bits to cover the chicken (such advanced terminology, i know.) After another 5-10 minutes, you should have delicious, flavorful chicken!

I must admit while the flavor on the chicken was great, they were a little dry to my liking (and W’s) so next time I’d probably reduce the heat and maybe not put as much marinade in so it doesn’t take as long to reduce.

Saturday night we had Will’s last Marine Corps Ball. We had a great time with some great friends! [Probably too much fun, it was a little hard to get out of bed on Sunday morning] I’ll leave you with some pics from the night:

How handsome is my man in uniform!

With some of Will’s buddies

With my baby sissy Jenny Mae!

Big smiles with my love<3

Stay tuned for some more recipes that I made from pinterest this week, specifically *Red velvet cheesecake brownies* Um, yeah.

I mentioned a while back that Wills is in the Marine Corps, and every year in November, every unit throws a Marine Corps Birthday Ball to celebrate its founding. There is a traditional ceremony, as well as dinner and dancing. All the boys dress up in their blues and look SEW handsome. Last year’s ball was quite the whirlwind for us. 

I met William in September of 2010. We started hanging out with some mutual friends who were dating and we quickly hit it off.

He asked me out on our first date to a small little mexican restaurant close to our houses, and from then on, we were pretty much inseperable. I know a lot of people say that, but I’m 100% serious. Like we hung out/went on dates every day and texted all day. We quickly realized we have pretty much everything in common (most noteably, the exact same weird sense of humor..) and the things that we didn’t have in common were perfect balances to eachother.

I remember on our second “official” date we went to one of my favorite seafood restaurants. We sat there and talked and drank wine for like 5 hours and were completely all about each other. I pretty much decided in my head at the moment that I would love him forever and get married and make babies with him someday, but I figured maybe we should date more than 2 times first.

So began my love affair with William Anferney.

Anyhoo– We had JUST begun dating when he told me about the Ball, which would take place in November. I was THRILLED. It sounded like Prom/Sorority formal all over again. What girl doesn’t love getting all dolled up? I went out and bought my dress THAT weekend (and blew WAY too much money on a BCBG dress..) I was so excited.

We had been dating for a few weeks when Will sat me down one night and told me some bad news. He had signed up to go on a voluntary mission to Romania before he met me, and he had been selected and would be going there……for a year. He also had to go on two week training trip which fell right when the ball was. At this point, I didn’t give a shit (excuse my french) about the ball. I had just met this guy who I totally clicked with, who was perfect to me, and he was leaving. For a year. We were both completely crushed. It kind of felt like life was playing a big joke on us.

Long story short- I helped Will get ready to leave for Romania. We went shopping, got him lots of new clothes, packed him up, and a few weeks later, drove him to the airport. I tried to be strong for him but it was really hard.. I ended up boo hooing like a baby. This guy had become my best friend and I was crushed he was leaving me. This was on the exact day the ball was being held. On our way home from the airport, Will’s mom, sister, and I stopped to get some coffee. We got a phone call “they don’t have my ticket…” …. “WHAT?!?” Something had gotten messed up, and it turns out his orders were wrong and he was no longer going on this 2 week trip. AHHHHHHHHHHHH

Will’s mom and sister rushed me home where I showered and got ready lightening speed (sidenote: I normally take forever to get ready.) They went and picked him up from the airport and he did the same. When we finally saw each other again, I squeezed him so tight (and never wanted to let go.)

We went to the ball that night, happy than ever. We missed the official ceremony, but still had a blast with all the other marines.

Hello fur. Give me fabulous.

Anyways…….Will obviously ended up NOT having to go on the year long mission to Romania. Which means I got him all to myself and got to spend every day falling more in love with him and now we are where we are 🙂 That man is my best friend in the whole world and I am thankful to have him in my life everyday.

Enough of the mushy gushy, the reason for this long story is because the 2011 Marine Corps ball is THIS weekend! We’re both very excited and even got a keg bus to party on afterwards. We both want to look our best this weekend (and I have to fit my ass into a little dress) so we’re been trying to take it easy on the carbs this week. Tuesday we had steak and veggies and last night we crock potted it up using a recipe I found while browsing online.

I give you Creamy Salsa Chicken in the crock pot:

Simply mix 1 can FF cream of chicken soup + 1 can cream of mushroom soup + 1 big jar salsa and pour over chicken breasts in crockpot. Cook for 3-4 hours and then chop/pull chicken and return it to pot to soak up the sauce. We ate it with roasted zucchinis with garlic powder and parm cheese. Simple, healthy, delicious! My kind of meal.

*Hoping this week goes by quickly* Have a great Thursday!

Hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween weekend! On Friday night Will and I went out with some friends for dinner (tapas) and then out for drinks. On Saturday, the snow hit the east coast! We slept in and enjoyed the warmth of our bed, and eventually made our way out for some brunch. We went to a new place for us, Luna Grill. I had a yummy crab meat eggs benedict. 99% of the time my brunch selection is some form of eggs benedict. I can’t get enough of those yummy poached eggs, runny yolk, creamy hollandaise, oh yummmmm

We decided that braving the freezing cold temps & snow sludge in costumes that barely cover our bodies + standing in a crowded bar not being able to hear each other talk + spending exorbitant amounts of money on alcohol sounded much less appealing than relaxing in our warm apartment with some beers and a good dinner. Old and married? Yes maybe a bit, but it was exactly what we both wanted- very US 😀

Now let me get to our amazeballs dinner… We went to Ted Montanas for BISON burgers. Oh my gosh….

William has been talking about bison burgers for a while, and I wondered, how can they be that much better than a regular beef burger? But they are. A million times better. I don’t even know what it is, but they are amazing. Combine that with crispy fries and onion rings + cheddar and bacon on my burgs…It was heaven.

 

On Sunday, we woke up nice and early and started our day! We made a trip to the teeter and got supplies for  slow cooker pulled pork. We bought a massive pork shoulder (and got it on half price baby!) and took it home to get to work! Wills was the chef on this one..

 

He made a dry rub out of pretty much everything in our spice cabinet and rubbed that bad boy down.

We placed it in the crock pot and added three flavorful beers to cook it in. *Funny story* we both opened beers Saturday night that didn’t get drunk, so we were resourceful and added them! 5 hours in the slow cooker later, we had tender and delicious pork. Will chopped/pulled it and covered it in a jack daniels bbq sauce.

We served them on toasted and buttered buns with homemade fries that W fried up

It was a great Halloween weekend, especially food wise. I will leave you with this pic of my favorite halloween costume I found on facebook the day after…..

Don’t even know who’s baby that is HAHA

Hello to all my lovely devoted readers out there! I am SEW sorry for being gone for so long. I had my first major trip for work which took me to Massachusetts for 2 weeks! I didn’t have my computer up there so blogging unfortunately was pushed to the side 😦 .. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been enjoying every minute of time with William, my family, and my girlfriends. It has been a great October! Since I’m home for a good two months, I am going to get back into blogging and promise I will be much better about it. Hold me to it! I figured it would be appropriate to do an October recap. So here’s my recap, mostly in picture form:

 

Went to a fall festival with my momma and william

Went to Massachusetts for work for two weeks, spent one weekend in Boston with some of the work girls!

We did all the fun touristy stuff..went up in the prudential tower and did the skywalk, had a drink on the top floor bar

 did a duck tour, shopped on newbury street

went to Harvard, saw Sam Adams and other great patriots graves, saw Ryan Reynolds shooting a movie (kind of..) It was a perfect weekend and I absolutely adore the city of Boston.

It’s so pretty and clean. We also had amazing food there. I’m talking a lobster and goat cheese omlete for brunch one morning, baked eggs in cream another. We even had the original boston cream pie! 

I am pretty sure I also sampled every kind of pumpkin beer known to man….and for the most part, I loved them all 😉

While my trip was great, I was the happiest girl in the world to get back to DC. I jumped into Will’s arms when I got off the plane and haven’t really stopped squeezing him since. We celebrated our one year anniversary this month (Oct. 11th!) and spent a perfect weekend together. We ate at one of my favorite restaurants, La Tasca, which features spanish tapas. We also went to a capitals game (the location where we began dating last year, when W asked me to be his lady friend.) Somehow he managed to get us the exact same seats where we sat the year before! It was amazing! I enjoyed every minute of it and the caps won in overtime!

We are huge caps fans, and have been to 3 games already this season. The weekend I got back from my trip we went to another caps game with my sister Maggie (who was home from South Carolina on fall break) and her boyfriend, Sean. My friend Tessa and her boyfriend also met us there!

Our last adventure of the month involved a day trip to Philly. We basically went for one thing… the food.

Will and I got cheesesteaks at Tony Lukes, and they were amazing. Who knew french bread, sliced steak, and provolone could be SO good!

We also stopped by reading terminal market early in the day, where we grubbed out on italian food. *Two slices of pizza + a side of baked ziti* We then walked around the city for a good 2-3 hours.

We saw where the Marine Corps was founded and saw the LOVE statue/display/thingy. By the end of the day our feet were killing us- but we had a blast together and it was totally worth it.

See ya later October, Can’t believe it is actually November!! Christmas is right around the corner, and I love it!


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  • katietokathryn: yes you did-- I give you full credit!!!
  • Will Deibler: I made the tacos!!! haha
  • Mr WordPress: Hi, this is a comment.To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts' comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

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