Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spring Sunday Dinner: Duck Confit at Home

Duck confit is such a treat, such a decidedly restaurant-ish treat, that I was nervous our attempt to recreate it at home would fall short.

I'm happy to report that this recipe truly is really easy, and while it's surely still a treat, it's not actually that extravagant. I bought a whole duck, and Peter broke it down into breasts and legs so we had not one, but two fabulous meals! Plus, a ramekin of left over duck fat that I've been slowly rationing out for amazing roasted potatoes. Twenty dollars very well spent.

Spring Sunday Dinner: Duck Confit at Home

Monday, May 13, 2013

Noanet Woodlands Hike

I've said before that I'm not much of a hiker, but a few weeks ago, I found myself talking Peter into a trip to Noanet Woodlands for a little walk. If I refer to it as a "walk," I feel less intimidated. Ha!

I asked Peter if he would have carved our initials into the tree if we had been dating in high school, and he said, "Ummmm..." Rule following above romance! Peter, if we were dating high school, I would have tagged a barn with our initials. Oh yes, I would!

That's the Boston skyline up there, do you see it?! And those people below had a really impressive picnic with lots of snacks - I was jealous.

We did a three mile loop up to the summit - pretty easy, and really pretty. I'm basically an expert hiker now.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Herb Turkey Meatballs with Goat Cheese and Figs

Happy almost weekend, everyone!

I don't usually cook with ground turkey (I always sort of feel like, what's the point when there's beef?). But this post about herbed turkey meatballs inspired me to try it out. And look at my cute herbs up top - they are just begging to be used in meatballs, no?

Herbed Turkey Meatballs with Goat Cheese and Figs

You will need
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
8 fresh sage leaves
8 large fresh basil leaves
leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme
1/4 cup italian parsley
1 large handful of arugula roughly chopped
1 pound ground turkey
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
10 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 oz. goat cheese
4-6 dried figs, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine onion, garlic, herbs, arugula, and olive oil in a food processor until finely chopped. In a bowl, lightly beat the egg, and add the turkey, herbed mixture, and salt and pepper. Use your hand as a claw to combine everything, but don't get too aggressive with it. Form into one inch balls (use an ice cream scooper, if you want), and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, add the mushrooms to a skillet and cook on low heat (no need to add butter or oil - they will slowly release their liquid this way). Shake them around every 5 minutes or so. After about 15 minutes, add the sliced figs and cover until the meatballs are finished.

I served this on polenta, but you could do pasta, quinoa, grits - anything, really. Just put the grain at the bottom, then spoon the mushrooms and figs on top. Then add the meatballs, and add the crumbled goat cheese (feta or blue cheese would also be great, I'm sure). Add a few clips of fresh basil, and you are good to go :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Berkshires Bathroom: Before and After

Much like my bedroom in the Berkshires, we were very stencil-happy in the upstairs bathroom. After we finished painting the bedroom, my mom and I decided to go ahread and repaint this room the same color for a little continuity (plus, we had extra paint!). They are down the hall from each other, so it's not super matchy-matchy.

Muuuuuuuch better, right? We moved the towel rack to over the toilet, and picked up the shower curtain and bathmat at Home Goods. A quick and easy make-over!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Fish Tacos

Happy Cinco de Mayo, friends! I hope you're having a fun weekend so far. Our Derby party yesterday was a success! We even had some surprise littles in the house, which was such a fun treat. (I think I'm finally over my party hosting fear...)

Cinco de Mayo is admittedly a fake-ish holiday, but we all need an extra excuse for tacos, right? So just in case you're looking for a holiday themed dinner to make, I wanted to share these. Slightly strange ingredient list with the carrots, but it was inspired by this awesome salad.

Throw in a margarita  and you'll be in a full-on celebration mode!

Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

You will need:
1 lbs Mahi Mahi (I buy pieces of frozen fish at Trader Joe's - perfect for fish tacos!)
3 carrots, sliced on the bias into bite sized pieces
6 scallions, cut into one inch pieces (white and green pieces)
1 lime
1 ripe avocado, cut into one inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a mortar and pestle, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, cumin, thyme, and some salt and pepper. Toss the carrots and scallions in the marinade on a baking sheet, along with half of a lime. Roast 10-15 minutes. Let cool, then squeeze the juice from the roasted lime on top. Gently combine the roasted carrots with the avocado pieces and 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro in a bowl, and set aside.

Heat a pan to medium high heat. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper, and cook a little bit of oil, 2-3 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of your fish - mine were thin!). When all the fish is cooked, put it in a bowl and squeeze the juice from the other half of the lime and add the remaining cilantro. Break the fish apart using two forks, until flaky and well-combined.

Serve with rice and warmed tortillas.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Derby Day Party!

(via Life)

I thought it would be fun to invite a few people over to watch the Derby this weekend, and it's expanded into quite a fun group! Here's my menu I'm planning on:
I'm not worrying about sweet stuff since a few people have offered to bring desserts (though of course, I always have "emergency" candy on hand, just in case...).

We'll definitely plan on organizing the first betting game listed here, and possibly the second one, too - after that, the math gets confusing. Aaaand I really hope my Target is stocking these cute straws.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Children's Literature Favorites, Part Two

As promised, here are a few final children's literature favorites. With the exception of The Giver and Part-Time Indian, these were all new to me. And I loved them so! Even Coraline, which I thought I would hate :)

And now I have a few blissful weeks of grown-up reading ahead. I'm going to read this and maybe this. Have you read anything good lately?! Please share!
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