Sunday, March 24, 2013

Menu Sunday, plus

TWO "boring cooking posts" IN A ROW!  Lucky y'all! 

Last week was a bit of a bear.  L ran a low-grade fever for two days, was teething like a mo'fo, eschewed naps, and was just generally a massive crabby pants.  

Plus I was stuck on level 35 of Candy Crush for, like, 72 entire hours. 

Just one tragedy after another, I know

Gladly, we had a stellar weekend in Austin celebrating my cousin's wedding... and I very much enjoyed not one but two evenings out sans bebe {gracias to my doting husband for taking one for the team and sitting the rehearsal dinner out... although, somehow, I'm don't think lounging about in front of the NCAA tournament was too much of a sacrifice. #pleaseforthelovenomorebasketball}.  

OOTD: My Cousin's Wedding!
woefully rusty bathroom-photo-taking skil

The wedding was absolutely lovely -- everything was subtly French-inspired, and I loved all the little details {a buffet comprised entirely of Parisian street food? Um, yes, please.}.  We were also jazzed to boogie down to the same band that played our reception {4 years ago on Thursday!}.  Such fun. 

My cousin's dress is GORGEOUS! {blush colored with ribbon embellishments}
the bride's gown was...stunning -- wish I had a better photo

L partied with cousin Margot {who found out hours before she was accepted to her first choice college and will be attending UGA in the Fall!!!} and was likely sad to find her gone when she woke up this morning. 

Think someone's having fun with the babysitter?! @mwarren13

ANYHOO.  I think I'm supposed to be posting about food... Yes. Right. Let's do that now...

Chicken & Asparagus in Garlic White Wine Sauce
adapted from Skinny Taste
Chicken & Asparagus in White Wine Garlic Sauce {+ Red Pepper Quinoa Blend} #wfd
Another major win for Skinny Taste!  This was delicious. Modifications: I don't care for mushrooms so I subbed asparagus.  I only used 1 T of butter.  Served with a Near East mix... this one is a Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Brown Rice Blend. 

Quinoa Cups with Habanero Chicken Sausage, Spinach & Broccoli
adapted from my base recipe
Quinoa Cups with Spinach, Broccoli, and Habanero Chicken Sausage #wfd
Quinoa cups are one of my never-fail, off-the-top-of-my-head, throw-in-the-kitchen-sink recipes.  I always start with one cup of dry quinoa, prepared according to package directions with chicken stock, and I just go from there.  This go-round, I crumbled and browned 2 habanero chicken sausages {which were not spicy at all, surprisingly}, and entire tub of wilted spinach, and a smallish crown of steamed broccoli.  I'm going super, super light on dairy these days {SOB} so I grated maybe 1/3 cup extra sharp cheddar instead of the usual full cup.  Stirred in 3 eggs {I noticed in my link I usually use 4... oops}, baked those suckers, and was good to go.  L looooves these, and I feel super smug and trixy packing all those secret veggies in there. 

Broccoli Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Brussells
modified from Skinny Taste
Broccoli Stuffed Chicken + Roasted Brussels #wfd #latergram
My recipe inspiration called for zucchini... and a good chunk more of cheese than I ended up using, but I still think my version turned out decently yummy.  Modifications: For the stuffing, I pulsed a small crown of steamed broccoli together with a clove of garlic, a few pinches of red pepper flakes, and a 1/3 c part-skim mozzarella {no Parm} in the food processor.  This made enough to stuff 3, maybe 4, large chicken cutlets.  I only needed two so I saved the rest for the recipe below.  After rolling up the chicken, I followed ST's recipe, omitting the Parmesan from the breading.

Toaster Oven Broccoli Souffles
Hello, adorable mini soufflés. #wfl #iloveyoutoasteroven
I have a major affinity for my toaster oven.  I hesitate to say it's my favorite small kitchen appliance {aside: have I seriously reached a place in my life where I've actually had a meaningful internal dialog regarding my favorite small kitchen appliance? whoa.}, but it is without a doubt my most used.  If you do not own a toaster oven, you're life is likely infinitely more thrilling than mine a sad, sad state of affairs, my friend.  Grab one of the 87 Bed Bath & Beyond coupons you have sitting in your Shamefully Large Mail Pile {what? just me?}, make like Sonja Morgan, and get yourself one.  CONTINUING ONWARD... I had that broccoli filling left over, and decided to do a wee culinary experiment.  I whisked three eggs together, stirred in the filling, poured the mixture into three greased ramekins, and set my toaster oven to bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  BAM.  Three perfect tiny souffles. 

Veggie Calzones
 Veggie Calzone with Whole Wheat Crust. Not pretty / highly delicious! #wfd
A little twist on our weekly pizza night... I made my {now standard} crust {the quick version of Deb's pizza dough from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook,using half whole wheat flour}, rolled out the dough, cut it into sections, topped it with charred cherry tomatoes and zucchini lightly sauteed with garlic and herbs and a bit of mozzarella, folded it into pockets, and baked at 425 for 20 minutes.  Divine. 


  1. I know I already said this on IG, but you looked lovely last night!

    Adding that chicken and asparagus to my list of "to make meals" now!

    Also...I have a confession. Candy Crush is making me a bad mom. Sometimes I try to get M to nurse for just a FEW more minutes so I can finish a level. (I can't believe I just put that out on the internet for all to read). I guess if I'm force feeding her breastmilk and not candy, it's not THAT bad, right??

    1. Thank you so much!

      I nursed L to sleep and held her for a good 20 min {something I NEVER do any more because she'll howl when I put her down instead of just rolling over awake and quietly falling asleep by herself} so I could play more Candy Crush. You are not alone.

  2. bathroom photo: gorgeous. you've just made up my mind to go back to blonde and have a lovely shiny mane like that ;)

    1. Thank you! In college, I had just about every (naturally occurring) hair color under the sun and I always went back to blonde. Requires a little more upkeep but it's definitely the way to go for me!

  3. Confession: I live in the most perfect tiny city studio and the only drawback is no oven. This foodie's turned tres Sonja Morgan with le toaster oven. Super excited to try your recipe, thank you!

  4. I think the question on everyone's mind is: WHO MAKES THAT GORGEOUS DRESS?

    Sorry for the caps attack. I couldn't help myself. You looked beautiful, and I think that wedding looks like it was so much fun.

    Have a good week.

    1. Thank you so much! The dress is from Trina Turk and it is so comfortable!

  5. I love your "boring cooking posts." You always inspire me to cook new things for dinner and every recipe you've recommended that I've tried has been a hit. Your quinoa cups are next on my list.

    My husband would love a toaster oven. If I can clear out enough cupboard space, maybe I should indulge him. It would be nice not to heat up the entire oven (and house) during the summer.

    And I already told you on Instagram but you looked gorgeous at the wedding! L is too cute in her jams! Love that toothy grin.

  6. Gorgeous lady! Love that dress on you. And for you cousin? GOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS!!!!! SIC 'EM, WOOF WOOF WOOF!! She is going to have a BLAST. Gah, I would love to go to UGA all over again. Especially with adult wisdom and confidence. I would really rock it out even more. Seriously, Athens is one of the greatest places on earth. Margot is a lucky girl.

  7. Loving all of the vegetarian food here - thanks for planning my week (or two!) And LOVING the comentary in the Toaster Oven Broccoli Souffle section. Laughed out loud at my desk. :)

  8. One more for the gorgeous dress (and gorgeous you)! I love L's cupcake jammies, too.
    I'm inspired to substitute some of the cheese in my diet with veggies. Less cheese, more veggies, more exercise. (I should probably add: less wine, more water)

  9. I'm totally obsessed with candy crush too, but it's telling me I have more lives and I have to buy more. Is there a way around that or do I have to continue to buy more? By the way, gorgeous dress and beautiful baby girl! ;)

    1. What level are you on? Thus far (I'm on like level 38? I move slowly), I've had the max # of 5 lives - then once I run through them, I have the option to wait for more or to buy. There was also one point where I either had to pay or ask FB friends to give me invitations to unlock more levels.

  10. I'm only on level 15. So I can just wait for more lives? It asked me if I wanted to ask my FB friends for more lives, but I didn't want to do that and I don't really want to pay for it either. I can't believe I'm this obsessed with a game! Ha! ;)

    1. Yes! I think it's something like 30 minutes for each new life up to 5. OR... you can set the clock on your phone ahead 2 hours and be instantly reloaded.

      Yes. There is probably something wrong with me.


happy little comments!