I don’t know whether I’d classify myself as a “girls’ girl” or more of a “guys’ girl”.
While I certainly enjoy my sporting events, I enjoy my high heels just as much.
And I’ll say this much: the convention of baby/bridal showers, engagement parties and the like have always sort of baffled me. As in, “where do I go?”, “can I wear jorts?”, “what the heck is a swaddler?”. You know what I’m talking about.
But as I suddenly find myself to be a real-live adult with grown up friends, I think I’m finally getting the swing of these things.
So when my good buddy, Alison announced that she was pregnant, planning for a baby shower began.
You all know how I have issues controlling myself when it comes to deciding how much food to make, right?
And I have to say that for once in my life, I think I actually planned for an appropriate number of dishes, so I thought I’d share the contents of the spread. ‘Tis shower season, after all!
The line up included:
Crab rangoon wonton cups (loosely following the recipe from Steamy Kitchen).
Chicken salad in endive leaves (I didn’t really use a recipe for this one, just threw some ingredients in a bowl and called it good).
Plus the obligatory chips and salsa and guacamole, lest we forget that Sunday was also Cinco de Mayo.
A zucchini flatbread on Trader Joe’s garlic and herb pizza dough (oh man, go try that stuff now, it is delicious).
Buffalo deviled eggs (I just threw some wing sauce and ranch dressing along with about a tablespoon of light mayo in with the yolks and then piped the filling into the whites).
Crostini with Boursin, apple and honey. These may have been the crowd favorite. All I know is we took down almost every single one of those little toasts.
Plus cupcakes from my friend, Sarah!
And of course, plenty of mimosas.
As a rule, I think showers should always include mimosas.
I think most things in life should include mimosas, actually. It’s illegal to be in a bad mood when drinking a mimosa in most states in the union. That’s a fact and you know it.
Thanks to Sarah, Molly and Shannon for the help setting up – you guys are amazing!
And congrats to the mom-to-be!
Alison – you just wait until the little one is here and we can resume drinking ALL THE MIMOSAS.
Not that we really need them.
Happy Monday, everyone! If you celebrate, I hope you had a good Easter!
I had a lot of family time, church time, plenty of personal space being invaded by nephews (if anyone is going to invade my personal space, it’d better be them), and enough sugar to jolt a sloth.
While I know a lot of people go the church -> brunch -> mimosa -> nap route on Easter. I’ve always admired that plan, but in my family we have a big dinner and generally skip the big mid-day meal. Or at least downsize it considerably.
This year, church was a bit earlier than usual (9 am…ouch) so naturally I was already asking about where I could access food immediately after the service. I’m an infant and I need to be fed at regular intervals. Luckily, my family is pretty well aware of that.
My parents and I decided that I would make something for brunch as soon as we got home from church, so once I walked in the door I dug around their fridge for a while to see what kind of ingredients I was working with.
Bag of shredded hash browns? Yes, please.
Obviously, eggs are an appropriate decision for Easter. Done.
A quick check of the snack drawer and bacon was confirmed.
Bacon Zucchini Hash Brown Casserole
2.5 cups shredded hash brown potatoes (thawed and drained of excess moisture if previously frozen)
4 slices bacon
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 small bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup half and half
1/3 cup shredded cheese (I used a 3-cheese blend)
1/2 t garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish (or pie plate) with cooking spray. Spread hash browns in an even layer in the dish and press down lightly to slightly pack them in. Spray with cooking spray again and season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake hash browns for about 30 minutes, until beginning to brown. Remove from oven and turn heat down to 350°.
4. While hash browns bake, place bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat and cook until crisped to your liking. Remove from skillet and crumble.
5. Shred zucchini with a box grater or in a food processor with the grating attachment. Place in a clean dish towel or paper towel and gently squeeze to remove most of the moisture.
6. In the same skillet that you cooked the bacon, saute the onion, bell pepper and zucchini over medium heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
7. Crack eggs into a mixing bowl and beat lightly. Add milk, cream, cheese, reserved bacon, a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder and whisk to combine.
8. Spread the vegetable mixture in an even layer over the potatoes and then pour egg mixture over, tilting the dish slightly to make sure the egg reaches all corners.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is slightly puffy and the mixture does not wobble at the sides when the dish is tapped. Allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing into 6 pieces and serving.
I have to say, even though there’s bacon and cheese in this casserole, it’s really not very heavy. It is very flavorful, though, and everyone seemed to enjoy it (considering 3 of us slammed almost the entire thing).
Of course, it put me in the mood for a mimosa.
But there was no champagne.
But then we found a bottle of prosecco in the back of the fridge!
But then there was no orange juice.
And somehow drinking straight prosecco before noon didn’t sound all that appealing. (I know, very unlike me)
Good thing it was only a few hours until our next meal. And by then, of course, I was already sniffing around the kitchen before everything was ready.
And good thing my dad is well aware of my aforementioned need to eat at compulsively short intervals and had this bad boy ready for me:
Uh, yeah. That’s a straight-up BONE. A bone from the lamb roast for me to gnaw on.
So basically my eating habits either make me an infant or the family dog. Either or.
At least there are leftovers!
I’m actually feeling pretty good about the start of this week. Sure, it’s still in the 30′s here in Chicago, but it’s supposed to be 50 and sunny this weekend. I am beyond ready to ditch my scarf and gloves for the season.
Of course, I’ve been eating like food is going out of season. All the food. Burgers, boozy brunches and oh, yeah. This:
That’s the chicken and waffles from Hash House A Go Go. (PS, follow me on Instagram! @braisetheroof)
In the interest of transparency, that was not actually my dish. I still had fried chicken, though, with eggs, mashed potatoes, bacon, tomatoes and a giant biscuit. So, uh, not exactly a light meal. Worth every button-popping bite.
Needless to say, I now have a fully stocked crisper drawer with tons of veggies to try and gorge myself on nutrients rather than butter and fried food this week. (Insert dread-inducing comment about the impending bathing suit season here)
Something that I haven’t given a lot of thought to is the whole “ricing” cauliflower trend that has been making the rounds. You all know how much I love cauliflower, and I’ve certainly used it in “non-traditional” ways (like here), but cauliflower rice. is. not. rice.
However, I got an itch to do something different with the 5,000 head of cauliflower I had bought in the span of about 4 days last week and decided to go for it. And you know, though I make no pretense about this tasting like anything other than it is (it’s a veggie, y’all. Get on board), it was a hit. Besides, you know me. I can’t leave anything well enough alone, so if I’m going to rice a veggie, you best believe that I’m going to jazz up the meal in a big way.
Spicy Tahini Veggie Bowl
1/2 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t olive oil, or oil of your choice
1 cup brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 small/medium sweet potato, diced
2 T tahini (I used Trader Joe’s tahini sauce, which has some added lemon and spices)
1-2 t Sriracha, or chili paste of your choice
1 t soy sauce
1/2 t garlic powder
salt+pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray and place sweet potato and brussels sprouts on it. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 20-30 minutes until veggies are tender and beginning to turn golden brown.
2. While veggies roast, place cauliflower in a food processor and pulse several times until it resembles rice, erring on the chunky side – you don’t want it pureed. (Alternatively, you can either grate the cauliflower with a box grater or chop by hand if you don’t have a food processor)
3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add cauliflower and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, until cauliflower is tender. If it looks like the veggies are developing too much color, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and let it cook until veggies are tender.
4. Combine tahini, Sriracha, soy sauce and garlic powder in a small bowl and mix to combine.
5. Plate cauliflower mixture and top with roasted veggies and a good drizzle of tahini sauce and serve hot.
I served mine with a runny fried egg on top (big surprise there) for some protein. You could also mix some beans in or add some chicken, or other meat to the dish to make it more substantial.
Yep, a few servings of this stuff and maybe the swelling in my fingers from all that extra food I ate this weekend will subside. I love sausages, but I do not enjoy my fingers resembling them.