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Showing posts from November, 2012

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Super easy recipe to make ahead and freeze or to make fresh!
Ingredients: 1 box large pasta shells 1 lb. frozen spinach 1 16 ounce container ricotta cheese 1 c shredded part-skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided 1 egg 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced 1 T Italian Seasoning 1 c Tomato Sauce 2 T Parmesan Cheese
Boil Pasta Shells per package instructions. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to help them stop cooking.
Thaw the spinach and press out all of the excess water. Add pressed spinach to a large bowl with ricotta cheese, 1/2 c Parmesan, 1 egg, diced chicken breasts, and Italian Seasoning. Mix well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9x13" Pyrex, spread around 1/2 c Tomato Sauce and set aside.
Using a tablespoon, add the mixture to each shell and place opening side down into the Pyrex dish. Fill the pan with the shells in rows until filled. Top with remaining 1/2 c of Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheeses.

*Stop at this point if you want to freeze ahead. Tip: U…

Dean, Gia & Flaps

A little photo essay of my niece, Gia, and her big brother, Dean, and our dog, Flaps.

Nat + Kira - 10.6.2012

On October 6, one of my besties, the other Kira, married Nat, her long-time college boyfriend. It's actually very nice not to call him her boyfriend any longer. Because we've been calling him that for the better part of a decade. :) I kid, but seriously, we are all thrilled for this wedding!

The ceremony was held at a lovely white church dotting the Northern Virginia countryside, with the reception to follow at the beautiful Belmont Country Club. The Belmont actually has an amazing history as the Colonial home from where James Madison ran the country after the White House fire during his presidency. Later on, the country club was added onto the back of the home, establishing it as a modern facility with historical charm.

We (the awesome brigade of bridesmaids) started the day at the Landsdowne Resort where the guests were staying. The hotel is gorgeous and I highly recommend it if you're in the western part of Northern Virginia.

Here are some shots of the day: 

The Duke D…

Kyra's Wish List

I'd like to think this is kind of like Oprah's Favorite Things  ... Only you don't get one of everything. Heck I don't even get one of everything. But we can still dream:


This meme is about me.


The Kitchen Renovation continues! I am taking this break from sanding/caulking/painting to tell you about my love of FrogTape
According to their web site, this is how FrogTape works: FrogTape® is the only painter’s tape treated with PaintBlock® Technology. PaintBlock is a super-absorbent polymer which reacts with latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape, preventing paint bleed.
In layman's terms, when moister hits the adhesive on the tape, it turns into a gel-like substance that creates a protective barrier along the edges of the tape. Resulting in badass straight lines. Like this:

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by FrogTape or a retailer of FrogTape. I just really love FrogTape.

Fabric Find at Goodwill

While waiting for my husband to get a little car work done, I meandered into the Goodwill store next door. I had a total score for these fabrics! They look like upholsterer or designer swatches, and I got all three for only $3.00! They were tucked in with the tablecloths and a total score.
I'm redoing our Master Bedroom in Gray and Champagne, and these will make perfect throw pillows. The patters are a mixed dot pattern, a flourish pattern, and (one of my favorites) the fleur de lis pattern. Each was about 2' x 3' in size, perfect for some little projects around the room. If there is leftover fabric, I may even cover a foam board to make a necklace board for our bedroom wall.

Wouldn't that look great in a light gold/champagne vintage frame?

Frozen Grapes Keep Wine Cold

Seriously, it works. Freeze grapes on a cookie sheet or piece of wax paper and toss in your wine to keep it cold longer. You'll thank me later. 

20 minute Chicken Fried Rice

This post is an ode to my baby brother on how to make good food fast with some handy shortcuts.
The longest part of this recipe is cooking the rice. If you make the rice ahead, this becomes a 10 minute recipe.

Here's what you'll need: - 3/4 c white rice, uncooked - 1 1/2 c water - 1 t salt - 1 c frozen veggies (I used the Great Values (Wal-Mart) brand of a snap peas stir fry mix) - 1 chicken breast, uncooked - 1 T canola oil - 1 spring onion, chopped - 1 egg - 2 T teriyaki sauce - 1 T low-sodium soy sauce - 1/2 t ground ginger - 1/2 t fresh minced garlic

I use a rice cooker, but you can also use the stovetop to prepare the rice per package instructions using the rice, water, and salt (first three ingredients). Make the rest of the meal while the rice cooks. Over med-high heat, cook chicken breast for 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Dice up into bite size pieces. I like the dice the chicken after cooking to keep it from drying out. Once the chicken is diced, dri…

Halloween with Strawberry Shortcake

Demitasse Spoon

I come back from Virginia to find the garbage disposal humming, but not churning. Awesome. I feel around down there, tried disposal-safe Drain-o, etc. Nothing seems to be blocking the system at all. All I can feel down there is the metal workings of the disposal itself and some grime (gross, I know).

So I turn to my girlfriends for their experitise (seriously, it doesn't matter the question, they know the answer). Advise mostly focused on trying a reset button and using an allen key to manuall crank the disposal from the bottom.

I tried the reset button a few times -- no dice.

Still just humming.

Since we are currently in the middle of painting our kitchen walls and cabinets, I just happened to have my tools in the kitchen and grabbed the allen wrench to manually crank the opening at the bottom of the disposal.

It took about a half dozen good turns to get it moving smooth and I did need a flashlight down the hatch to see what had been causing the issue (my money was on a marbl…


So while my parents were recently on vacation, I flew from Chicago to Virginia to run their restaurant while they cruised the Caribbean  Of course, I obliged and packed my bags! While there, their housekeeper was going to come and clean one day, so I needed to tidy up before her arrival (seriously, we've all been there).
I tidied the living room and found, not one, not two, not three, but FOUR idential remote controls. Seriously, mom and dad. Seriously.

Zoe - 20 months