Saturday, April 30, 2011

Strawberry Jello Pie

I'm sharing with you a very special recipe today. This is my mom's "famous" recipe. You know how every mom has one go-to recipe that everyone loves? Well, this is my moms. Only I adapted it a bit. She usually makes it with peaches and peach jello, but since peaches aren't in season at all, I decided to use strawberries. After making it I realized how great this pie would be for the 4th of July! We're heading over to Jeff's sister's house for a BBQ tonight so I made this for the occasion.

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 8 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 box (3 oz) strawberry or peach jello
  • 1 ready made graham cracker pie crust
-Combine the first three ingredients in a sauce pan. Heat until boiling (stir often) and the mixture becomes clear and thick.

-Remove from heat and add the jello packet, stir well.

-Arrange the berries in the pie however you like.

-Pour the jello mixture over the fruit and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving!

I can't wait until fresh fruit is in season so I don't have to pay over $4.00 for a very small container of blue berries!

Make sure the mixture turns clear before pouring the jello in.

I ended up adding some strawberry jello on top of the peach jello since it didn't fill the entire pie crust. I guess I bought the biggest size by accident! Fine by me, though. The red color was much prettier :)

While the pie was cooling Jeff and I ran some errands! We tend to do this on Saturdays. We took ourselves to the mall to shop for several birthday presents. Left with nothing of course. Looks like I'll be going back to the mall one night this week sometime. We came home to Ollie man (who got his first haircut today and is not traumatized) and wasted 2 hours of our lives watching this movie. Off to a BBQ now!
Friday, April 29, 2011

Why I love Fridays...

I love Friday because Jeff has off of school and can hang out with Sean and I all day.

I love Fridays because we have nothing better to do then spend the day at the duck park and take pictures together.

I love Fridays because Ollie gets to come and play with us too.

I love Fridays because I always get an iced coffee mid-morning (usually from Dunkin, but we took Seanie to the dreaded McDonalds to get him a Happy Meal today :)

Lastly, I love Fridays because as much as I love tying shoes for the little man, I also love having weekends in which I don't have to care for any kids! One day, but not yet...

What do you love most about Fridays?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oatmeal Breakfast Cake

Last time I made these breakfast bars, Jeff loved them! It was a great breakfast on-the-go for his early morning classes. Lauren from Little Yellow Kitchen commented on the recipe of the last breakfast bar recommending a different yet similar one, with no flour at all in them. I decided this rainy morning was a perfect one to bake cake for breakfast. This recipe isn't vegan but it is still healthy-with no granulated sugar, oil or butter! I borrowed this recipe from Gingerbread Bagels but instead of making them bars, baked them in cake form :) Cake for breakfast, my favorite.

Ingredients (recipe borrowed from here):
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (I actually didn't use quick cooking)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
-Mix together the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.

-Add in the vanilla extract, milk and egg. Mix well.

-Finally add in the mashed banana and peanut butter and mix thoroughly.

-Set your oven to 350 degrees and grease any pan of your choice (about 8 in. by 8 in). Bake for 20 minutes and allow to cool before enjoying!

I thought this tasted similar to the baked oatmeal I made this past fall. This recipe is another great one if you need to bring something to a breakfast or brunch!

I was quite frustrated with these pictures because of the horrible shadows, but decided to post them anyway. Sometimes I am too hard on myself when it comes to pictures, but I am learning to just "go with the flow" on days when lighting might not be the best!

Why not top your piece of "cake" with more peanut butter? ;) I'll leave you with one last picture of Ollie and I. Jeff took this of us snugging last night while watching Extreme Couponing (which I love, but could never do-those women do not mess around when it comes to coupons). Ollie is getting so big! He even started losing his baby teeth this week.

It is raining now but hopefully it stops since Jeff and I have plans to go to a BBQ someone from his class is having! Quick question, are you getting up at 4 or 5 am to watch the Royal Wedding? I haven't decided if I am or not...but I am leaning towards yes...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eggs, Asparagus and Fried Polenta

Breakfast for dinner? Why not! I have always heard about polenta but only tried it for the first time a few weeks ago when my dad cooked it with our dinner. Was I missing out, or what! I love it. Not only is it super low in calories, but also gluten-free. You can serve it instead of pasta or as a breakfast item. Tonight we had it for dinner, but it was almost like a breakfast. Either way, it was very good and looked beautiful in pictures!

Ingredients (for 1 meal):
  • 4-5 thin slices of polenta
  • 5-10 stalks of asparagus
  • 1 egg
-Slice polenta thin. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on the stove and fry polenta on each side for a few minutes until browned.

-While polenta is frying, cook the asparagus in the oven. Simply place in a pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper and cook at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

-Finally, once everything else is cooked, make your egg! You can make it anyway you like. Jeff likes "dippy" eggs as I call them.

If you need a dinner idea for this week, this is cheap and easy and sure to please almost anyone! Give polenta a chance-it's great.

If any of you live in Long Island and want to have your kids/family photographed for a reasonable price, Jeff and I have just started photography as a side job/hobby. Our add is currently on craigslist here: Hopefully once we get some more clients we will have a website up and running!

Lastly, can you believe it is almost May? This year has flown by! Next month Jeff and I will celebrate our 1 year anniversary and I can hardly believe how quickly it went. It has been such a great year :)
Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Day

We spent Easter day at my parent's house in Pennsylvania yesterday. We usually have a large group of people since my extended family is large, but this year some people did their own thing leaving a smaller group to celebrate together! I helped my mom get ready for the day, but all of the decorations and menu items were here idea...she's so creative.

My family has a tradition of finding Easter baskets Easter morning. And although my sister and I are now 23 and 27, we still have them! This year however, my mom put a spin on things and made our dogs find out baskets for us. We all looked pretty ridiculous running around the house with 5 dogs barking and running!

Could they all be any cuter? Just wait until Jeff and I have 2 dogs too ;) One day...

Before family arrived, we had some time to take a few family pictures outside.

The Bryant's above (with a little baby on the way) and the Jensen's below.

I see a little baby bump!

For the meal we had pork tenderloin with a red lentil sauce, ham (of course), cauliflower casserole, green beans and sliced almonds and homemade mac n' cheese! I helped make the cauliflower casserole.

Cook up a pound of bacon. In the same pan, saute the cauliflower for about 10 minutes. Place in a pan and crush up the bacon on top. Then, add about a 1/2 pound of shredded swiss cheese.

Mix it up then add some fat-free half and half cream. Just enough to cover the bottom half of the pan.

Bake for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Then, have some dessert! We had fruit skewers that my sister brought and gluten-free chocolate cake with vanilla icing.

Strawberries, melon, pineapple and grapes.

My mom bought this cake stand for me for my bridal shower-I love it and it matched the cake perfectly.

After our bellies were full, we started hiding the eggs so my little cousins could have an Easter egg hunt. They had so much fun and each got so many eggs!

And they're off...

Happy Easter from my family to yours!

We're finally back to "real" life. Home from vacation and the holiday and unpacking-UGH my least favorite thing to do! What is the first thing you do when you get home from a trip? Jeff and I always go right to sleep and save unpacking for the next morning or day. I'm off to finish organizing, cleaning, working out and grocery shopping!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cucina Orecchio

Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday! We had a busy day catching up on sleep, lounging at the pool and finally being able to eat at Mike's restaurant Cucina Orecchio! First though, I'll share with you a few pictures from Thursday night. Jeff and I cooked dinner for Lexi and Mike. Nothing fancy, but it sure was good. For the meat we had a lemon and garlic pork tenderloin and Italian chicken sausage with veggies...

Why do I always have to make a mess?

Wish I had a kitchen like theirs! It was so much fun to cook with Jeff and not be running into each other constantly like in our little kitchen :) One day, one day...

After enjoying a meal together we headed out on the town! I didn't bring my large camera with me into the bar, so we were sure to take some pictures before heading out.

Take two-much better. I bought the skirt I am wearing at Old Navy a few days before our trip for only 8 dollars-they had a crazy clearance rack and I took full advantage!

SO impressed with Lexi being able to walk in these 6 inch heels! They are adorable, but I tried them on for about 10 minutes and struggled big time. Good thing I could never afford to buy them so never have to try ;)

Best friends since high school.

And now we are friends because of them! Fun fact: Lexi caught my bouquet at our wedding.

The next day we recovered from a late night out by relaxing at the pool. At night we finally headed to Mike's restaurant. Jeff and I took some pictures of the food (which was incredibly amazing- huge portions and cheap prices) for Mike to use on his new website.

The feel of the restaurant is super cozy-perfect for a romantic date night. They serve authentic Italian food which is not only delicious but priced very reasonably. If you are ever near Boca Raton, FL please take time to check them out! You could start off with an appetizer like this...

Each dinner is served with a soup or salad and a side of pasta anyway you like. I had a salad with angel hair pasta covered in butter and garlic-yum.

Then you could enjoy one of these lovely meals...

We of course had to end with a dessert! We didn't order this one but I had a taste and it was just as good as the ice-cream we had.

A great way to end our trip. So happy for Mike and Lexi and their adorable and delicious restaurant! We had a very early flight this morning and woke up at 4 am to get there just in time-Jeff and I were the last ones to board the plane...oops! At least we made it though, right? Sad to leave our friends, but happy to be home with our Ollie man :)

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