Morning, everyone! Hope you guys had a great weekend. Now that I think of it we barely left the house the last 2 days and that was A-OK with me. We still managed to have a lot going on around here, starting with our traditional "Winter Wine & Cheese" (think HOT DIPS being B-I-G business) on Friday night...
...where my favorite highlight was my BFF's Pinterest-worthy cheese, fruit & nut plate...esp. since these are some of my most FAVORITETHINGSEVER. Just skip any meal EVER and hand me THIS and I'll be a happy girlJ
Saturday brought our only venture outside of taking Katie to dance class and very soon after we walked in the door, the snow started falling and didn't stop until way past sunset. The snow canceled the plans I had for Saturday night, but lounging around the rest of the day in PJ's with Scott & Katie was a pretty damn awesome way to take its placeJ We even made one of our all-time favorite dinners of Spinach Meatballs with Parmesan sauce over egg noodles...
...butttttt I guess the baby wasn't too crazy over it just yet. We'll leave it at thatJ I think I probably maxed out my weekend cheese quota around 7pm on Friday night and the sauce on this dish didn't do me any favorsJ
Bacon in the oven for 20 minutes = check. Potato Pancakes in the oven for 10 minutes = check. Breakfast = Complete! (topped with a little sour cream & chopped dill)
These little babies were exactly what I was dreaming of in December. Crisp, full of onion flavor (my fav!) and ready, sans standing over a frying pan. I have a feeling this will be a new staple from Trader Joe's from here on out. Scrumptious!
And they must have been pretty filling, because short of a yogurt & 22 COUNTED OUT CRISPY BLACK BEANS (cause portioning them out is a MUST), I was full for the rest of the day and managed to have one of the most productive Sunday afternoons in AGES. I'm chalkin the CRAZY amount of energy I had yesterday up to the fact that I've been eating pretty well/balanced + getting in a lot of exercise. After Scott & I banged out a 2 mile walk before 10am, I tackled a 'to do' list and got things done that I have been putting off for MONTHS (like, ummm, organize Katie's SOCKS...???) I just never stopped moving and it felt GREAT! As much as I love a nice, loungy day (like SaturdayJ), a day where you feel SUPER productive is also at the top of my LOVE LIST.
Another item checked off was also tackling my first ever attempt at Swiss meringue buttercream...
Me & whipped egg whites don't usually get along very well, but I somehow managed to temper them, whip them up into perfect peaks and add butter, vanilla and salted caramel without it all falling to pieces. If I did nothing else for the rest of the day except THIS, it would have been a miraculously accomplished dayJ
Back to the frosting in a sec, because first: DINNER! Since my SIL & I are Pinterest ADDICTS, we decided over a year ago to have a monthly dinner where we alternate dinner & dessert duties and 97% of the time, the recipes are usually coming from our dueling overflowing boardsJ So for her dinner pick of the month, she made us a chicken quinoa enchilada bake (complete with homemade enchilada sauce...yummm!!)
I haven't had a stomach for quinoa since October, but here was a GREAT re-introduction to it since you could barely taste it under all the other fab flavors of pulled chicken, black beans and spices. None of us could get enough!
Andddd of course that brings us back to the frosting, which was tucked between the layers of my HALF-A-CAKE of Salted caramel chocolate fudge cake topped with whipped chocolate ganache & MORE salted caramel...
The cake was delicious (albeit, VERY sweet) but I was SO focused on the frosting that I didn't really notice the oddity of the actually chocolate cake portion of the recipe. It called for nearly equal parts flour and liquid, resulting in a ...well, fudgy layer I suppose, but it also had that weird 'not completely set' texture, even though it baked for nearly an hour. Strange...but we still managed to make do somehowJ
Well...that about wraps up my post for today. Ready to get today started since I have lots of odds & ends to tackle this week to get ready for: KATIE'S THIRD BIRTHDAY! Wow...I can't even handle it. I was all fine with the thought of her turning 3 until we hit the 'two weeks till the day' mark and I nearly started freaking out. Crazy how time flies, but her birthday is always one of my favorite day/weeks of the year, even with that slight twinge of bittersweet...as I'm sure all Moms can relateJ Off to start compiling piles of PINK decor for the weekend...J
Have a great Monday, everyone!J