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Archive for the ‘cooking+entertaining’ Category

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Happy 4th of July! Here’s to all the men and women who are fighting for independence around the world.

Last year J and I attended a pool party thrown by some members of our synagogue. It was there that we met some of our good friends. I was invited again this year but don’t think I’m going to go since J isn’t here. Instead, I’m going to spend the afternoon grocery shopping and then preparing a side dish to bring to a friend’s BBQ tonight. We may all try to get down to watch the fireworks, but since I’m not a huge fan of fireworks, I’ll be OK if we don’t make it.

What are you doing to celebrate?

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Originally uploaded by stefhope

No green Bud Light or Corned Beef and Cabbage Cupcakes (eww) for us this year. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day would have gone unnoticed if J hadn’t prepared the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner tonight. He didn’t go into work today and spent all afternoon slaving over the stove (doubtful). All I had to do was stop at the supermarket to buy the cabbage on my way home from the office. Oh, and wash the dishes afterwards.

The meat and potatoes were cooked perfectly. The cabbage I could have done without. I’m just not cooked cabbage kind of girl.

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Following a very easy recipe from the March issue of Real Simple, I prepared dinner last night for the two of us. Instead of buying skirt steak I used a flank steak we already had in our freezer, and J found a bag of Yukon gold/new potato hybrids, so I didn’t have to decide between the two. J’s contribution to the meal was fresh asparagus seasoned with lemon, thyme and salt and pepper. So simple, yet so tasty.

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Superbowl Shindig

J and I hosted a Superbowl Shindig tonight, and everybody who was invited had to promise to cheer on the Giants. Ok, not really, but they did.

Superbowl Sunday coincided with my future mother-in-law’s visit to the big O, and I had her help in the kitchen this afternoon while I made Chili con Carne and some fudge for dessert. She made Spicy Buffalo Chicken Dip (“tastes like wings without the bones or mess”), which we served with tortilla chips and pita chips, Chili Cheese Bites, an appetizer made of eggs, cheese and green chilies and a side of salsa, and mini cornbread muffins to eat with my chili. There pita chips could also be dipped in the vat of hummus we bought from Costco. Then there was the lovely vegetable platter also from Costco that the B-W’s brought with them.

There was a lot of bland-looking yet spicy food, and we all ate so much of it that we barely had room for the fudge, football shaped cookies (from the F’s) and leftover DQ ice cream cake that we bought for last night’s evening activity.

barely paid attention to the game during the first half. The girls were busy sitting around the table chatting about weddings and celebrities (what else?). Everyone agreed that the halftime show was boring, and I started getting sleepy (food coma!) during the third quarter. But then the action picked up during the middle of the fourth quarter, and my Giants took the lead! I was jumping out of my seat, yelling “C’mon!” and “Wooo!” Oh god, it was almost too intense for me to watch.

But when it was all said and done, we wiped that obnoxious smile right off Tom Brady’s face. You can’t have your cake and eat it too–make a baby with Bridget Moynahan, date a supermodel, be undeniably attractive, and, on top of all of that, be one of the best in your sport.

I love the underdog–and NY.

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Banana Bundt Cake

Following a new recipe I made this Banana Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake.

It looked just like the photo in the cookbook!

Unfortunately, the toothpick test failed me again; it wasn’t fully cooked inside.

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i can cook: banana bread

Last week I made banana bread from a recipe J found on the web. It said I’d need two loaf pans – I only needed one. It also said it could take up to 1 hour to bake. When I checked the oven after 50 minutes, my bread was already on its way to being over cooked.

I’m only a novice baker, so I had J review the recipe with me, and he couldn’t figure out where I might have gone off course. It seemed I did everything properly.

So now I’m on a quest to perfect my banana bread. I’m not sure there’s a more lovely smell than a loaf of banana bread baking in the oven.

(Recipe: Homemade Banana Bread, originally uploaded by Smaku.)

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Here are some photos of the mundane taken over the past couple of weeks. This is my life in O.

Homemade muffins for breakfast (ok, I used a mixed).

Mini Muffins for Breakfast

We’ve only gotten two flowers from the gardenia my parents gave us as a housewarming present, which we named Bernice. Sadly, I think she’s going to die soon. I’m a terrible plant-mother.

Flower

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