Cherish the lazy days with open arms.

So it’s been 2 weeks and then some since my last post…. yikes! haha. I do apologize for being MIA for about 20 days! Looks like this parenting life is here to stay. Can’t really say I hate it, because honestly? I don’t.

Yes, there are days where I say to myself “when will he stop fussing?” or “Will I get a chance to shower today?” or even “Will I be able to finish my coffee this morning?”, but those are days that makes no schedule-nothing planned-do nothing days THAT. MUCH. MORE. WORTHWHILE.  Don’t get me wrong, but I love my son to moon and back, but I do miss the days that I can just sit on the couch, sip on my coffee till it’s done, and just let the hours pass by. Today I got a taste of what it feels like…

Let’s back track to the weekend before this one just to remind myself how busy weekends can get having fun.

Not only was it a long weekend, but it definitely was fun, friends and family filled as well. I love hanging out with my main squeeze and my little man, there’s nothing in the world I would trade it for.

Not only was the MD State fair in town at the fairground, but the Renaissance Festival was in full swing of their season. Everything from corn dogs, oversized stuffed animals to turkey legs and ax throwing was to be had and done!

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So as you can see the Labor Day weekend was jam packed with fun things to do! lol.

So our three day weekend was nothing but fun and enjoyable…. also exhausting. I was eternally grateful that the three weekend also turned into a short week.

Moving forward to this past weekend, checking the calendar my husband and I realized that we had only one event planned for the weekend. Knowing full well that Sunday was wide open with no plans, we decided not to plan anything and remain low key with anyone who was hoping to plan anything with us. lol.

Low and behold, Sunday came around and our day…. was just to follow the hours and see where it would take us! After a few errands we were home and in our comfy clothes in no time. Which also made for a day of testing out a new recipe.

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Creamed Spinach Au Gratin

Yep, you heard right! Creamed spinach is one of my favorite dishes! and making it Au Gratin last minute was the best idea ever. My husband and I had been wanting to cook up the pork loin we had bought the other day and today being a day of nothing planned was the perfect day to cook up a nice hot meal on a crisp fall day. (How bout that weather today, Maryland?!)

So I end it here, by saying cherish the lazy days with open arms, because they can become few and far. (and also with my Creamed Spinach Au Gratin recipe.)

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Creamed Spinach Au Gratin

1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 bag of Frozen Spinach (16 oz.)
3/4 cup of heavy cream
1 pkg of cream cheese (8 oz.)
Parmesan cheese to taste and to sprinkle on top
Panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sautee garlic and onions till onions are translucent. Add in heavy cream and spinach. Stir around till spinach is incorporated in. When mixture is hot, cut cream cheese into pieces and add into spinach. Once cream cheese has melted turn off heat and add in as much parmesan cheese as your heart desires. Once parmesan cheese has melted pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle a layer of parmesan cheese and then a layer of bread crumbs. Place in oven to toast and melt bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy!

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.The year of the cotton.

It may only be Tuesday, but my husband and I started the week off on a good note with our 2 year anniversary – the year where the wife receives cotton from her husband. 2 years seemed to have passed by so quickly and I feel like a lot has happened within the 2 years of us saying ‘I do’. I just hoped I savored every moment for the past two year and not a moment was taken for granted… just like our anniversary dinner.

For about a week, we pondered on where we should celebrate our two year anniversary and toyed between a few restaurants we’ve been itching to try, but in a last minute switch we chose the highly recommended Parts & Labor.

Let me begin by saying, if you’re vegetarian THIS is not the place to go. Parts & Labor, located in the Remington area of Baltimore, MD, has the only butcher shop I know of attached to the restaurant. The minute we walked in we were greeted and seated. The atmosphere was definitely one to like and the smell…. OH MY… THE SMELL. It was almost a preview of what to come. The fact that the grill is located in an open area of the dining room floor pretty much told me, “hey, this place knows what it’s doing.”

We quickly decided on drinks followed by a back and forth debate on what to order. This is only because we pretty much wanted everything on the menu, but our pockets and our stomach would limit us to just a few things. We ordered the raw cheeseburger (yes, the meat was raw. happy.), crispy pig ears, braised beef shank with polenta, rare flank steak with a herb relish & to top it all off we ordered the bread pudding. I could sit here and tell you how good each dish was, but honestly I don’t think you would want to read a novel at the moment (nor do I want to write one.). So I’ll let the picture tell you…

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Parts & Labor. Our wedding anniversary meal.

With all this meat talking, let’s move on to what was on the Tuesday menu at Casa de Chalice…..

In the spirit of red meat, my husband and I have been itching to try and make a replica of one of our favorite dishes that we had tried for the first time in NY. These were things we had never thought would come together in one dish, but it works so well!…. Lomo Saltado had won our food loving hearts!

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I thought I’d be slaving away in the kitchen with this meal, but it was so simple and easy to make. I also realized ‘to each their own’ with this recipe. I’m guessing there is a classic way to make this dish, but from reading up on people’s recipe on Lomo Saltado, everyone’s was different, including mine.

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Chalice’s Lomo Saltado
Serving size for 2

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Medium Onions – cut into wedges
2 vine tomatoes – peeled, seeds scooped out, and cut into wedges
2 bell pepers – cut into strips
3 cloves of garlic – cut up into little strips
1 – 1.5 lbs of meat (chicken, beef or pork)
1 – 1.5 teaspoons of cumin (to your liking)
1.5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1.5 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (substitute parsley if not a fan of cilantro)
1 stalk of scallion – chopped for garnish (optional)
French fries
White rice

Instructions:

*bake/fry french fries in your own desired way. I took the easy way due to time and just baked up pre cut fries.
*Make white rice your own desired way as well. I just made rice in my rice cooker.

Heat up wok with a little bit of oil and cook meat till browned. Pull meat out of pan and place aside on a plate.
Add onions, bell peppers and garlic in the same wok the meat was cooked in and cook on high heat till they are softened and slightly brown. Mix in tomatoes. Add in the meat, cumin, soy sauce, vinegar and mix. Pull off heat and add in cilantro. Serve over french fries and sprinkle scallions on top. White rice can be served on the side. Enjoy!

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something to wash it down with is always a plus!

Again, this recipe doesn’t have to be followed to a ‘T’. Feel free to take it and switch it up any way you like. I’m even thinking substituting in tofu for the meat for my vegetarian fellows. If anyone does try this, let me know! I’d love to know how it turned out! And as always, let me know if there are tweaks that could make this recipe better!

It’s been a while….

It’s been a very long time since my last post and a lot has happened since then!

I am proud to say I’m a mother of baby boy who has stolen my heart to say the least. So things have been anything but boring. Thought I’d share a little of my day and a little recipe to top it off.

I’m not sure if I would classify my husband and I as being foodies, but we definitely are people who love food. The colors, the flavors and the endless ways to cook up a feast is just a few reasons why we love food. Which is also another reason why we are avid goers of the Farmer’s Market.

However, this year, we have a new member of our family. And even though he’s only 5 months, we figured we’d start him young in getting to know his local farmers. This trip marks his 3rd time and definitely won’t be his last.

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his appa (dad) strapping him in for a day at the farmer’s market.

So we head into the crowd at the Baltimore’s Farmer’s Market located just under 83 in Baltimore City. This probably is my favorite farmers market out of all the farmer’s market’s I’ve experienced in Maryland. They just have so much to offer to satisfy my cooking and food knowledge. The enthusiasm of these vendors/farmers adds to enticement of wanting to buy and eat everything they have.

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we love meeting up with friends!

Always starting off the right way with Zeke’s coffee and meeting up with a few friends, we venture into the “jungle” to see what daily offerings we can find.

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Zeke’s Coffee

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So this place…. Farm to Face…. MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE SPOT FOR A FALAFEL and i mean that. Not sure if it’s the actual falafel I’m in love with or the fact that the ingredients are so fresh or that they have raw collard greens as an option for your wrap. Whatever it is, it will have you anticipating the next Sunday all week till you can get your hands on another falafel.

Another note worthy spot to eat at here is the Mushroom Stand…. by far the best oyster mushrooms fritters I’ve ever had in my life. And beware the wait is long, but SO WORTH it.

This farmer’s market trip, my purchases were lacking because we had done a little shopping for food for the week beforehand, but I did get my hands on some peppers (for lomo saltado to be made this week) and my husband grabbed a few apples he’s never even heard of before.

All in all it was a good day for eats, which continued into dinner. I didn’t grab anything from the Farmer’s market for dinner tonight but I definitely knew what I was gonna cook up. I had been planning it for weeks…..

My Umma’s Fried Chicken.

It was fried chicken I grew up with. My mom(aka Umma) used to make by far the best tasting chicken I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, my downfall is Popeye’s chicken, but this recipe strikes home for me. These drumsticks are fried up using potato starch, that gives it a nice crunch. I will end with this recipe. Hopefully this won’t be my last post till months later! Thanks for catching up with me!

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My Umma’s Fried Chicken

I used no specific measurements

Ingredients:

Chicken Drumsticks(you can use wings as well)
Soy Sauce
Grated Ginger
Grated Garlic
Brown Sugar
Potato Starch

Mix soy sauce, ginger, garlic and brown sugar. Taste and see if the flavors right to you. There is no right or wrong amount in this. Next, peel the skins off the drumsticks and discard (if using wings, leave skins on). Take a knife and poke little slits into fleshy part of the chicken. This will help the marinade flavor the chicken. Put chicken into large plastic bag/ large tupperware and pour marinade over chicken and refrigerate overnight.

Pull out from fridge when ready to fry up. (I used a deep fryer.) Heat oil up to 375 degrees and dredge each drumstick lightly in potato starch and drop into fryer and fry for about 8-10 minutes depending on your fryer.

Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Popover obsession.

Just recently, we’ve acquired an oven for our kitchen! Yes, hard to imagine that I never had one for the last 3 years or so. So you can only imagine what I’ve baking to make up for lost time.

Lately I’ve been on this kick of making the classic easy to do Popovers! I’ve made the classic style popovers, the garlic popovers and today I baked Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Popovers.

Popovers are so easy to make and to make your variations of. And since traditional popovers are norm, I decided to think of my own sweet snack recipe.

So here it is! The recipe…..

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Popovers

Ingredients

1 cup Milk
1 cup Flour
2 large Eggs
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp of vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp Grated dark chocolate
Small Peanut Butter Cups to put on top of popovers

Preheat oven to 450º and lightly grease muffin pan with butter.

Crack two eggs into a bowl and slighty whisk till yolk and whites are almost mixed. Then add your milk, flour, cocoa, vanilla, salt, sugar, and grated chocolate. Mix till no lumps. Be careful not to over whisk.

Pour into muffin pan filling each muffin spot to the halfway mark.

Bake in oven at 450º for 20 minutes then at 350º for another 20 minutes. When done, place a peanut butter cup on each popover and push into popover making sure its securely placed. Its okay to deflate the popover a little.

Serve while still warm.

Finally beginning to feel like fall…

The weather finally seems like it’s catching up to its time and I’ve seemed to have enjoyed every moment of it from hot cups of coffee and sweaters to keep warm.

A late saturday night exchange of pastries from Maine for NYC’s Mud Truck coffee beans made for an amazingly fall weathered Sunday awakening.

And couldn’t forget that Sunday was also gameday for my adopted city the Baltimore Ravens. So instead of overloading on fried goodness and fizzy soda, we opted for a lighter but yet in the realms of tailgate fare. Cheesesteaks with arugla and a side of raspberies.

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Hope everyone had a amazing fall weathered weekend!

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

Time for new beginnings…. (with a new blog!)

Hello, Everyone! I’m Alice. you can basically call me a craftie, foodie, chef, baker, knitter, crocheter, yarn addict, coffee addict,….. the list is endless.

I’m starting my new beginning of being married and hopefully a soon launch of my new etsy site! So I’m hoping this is the new start i need to start my newly wed life! 🙂

Hope you can all spread the word about my new blog and soon-to-come etsy site! I’ll be posting not only the goods i make, but patterns (knit/crochet), recipes, and photos of food, art, and trips! I hope i can be interesting enough to make ya’ll come back and read another post, but till then…. Image
(photo credit: Photography by Brea)