Friday, August 8, 2014

Delicious Skirt Steak and Buffalo Rice

I don't know how I got so lucky, but my husband really kicks ass. We've been making a conscious effort to go food shopping on weekends, and plan out our dinner menu for the week. We both work in the city, and get home around 7pm. Knowing that you already have the ingridients to prepare dinner is a great feeling! We are always looking for quick and tasty recipes that we can add to our dinner rotation. Above is a delicious skirt steak and buffalo rice that my husband prepared for us! It was so juicy, tender and flavorful! I asked him if we could have it once a week, it was seriously that good. Here's how he prepped the skirt steak:

Salt and petter both sides, then put a little olive oil (about 3 TBSP in a small dish). Add some paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, a pinch of cumin, a pinch of coriander, a pinch of cinnamon and mix until it's almost like a paste (the oil helps everything stick and mix together).

Slather your mixture on both sides of the steak, and throw in a VERY HOT pan for about 2.5 minutes on each side. Cut on a bias across the grain into thin slices. We served it over rice - Knorr Rice Sides, Buffalo Chicken Flavor. The rice is quick and easy, and has a little kick to it. It married great with the steak.

So there it is, folks! I will try to share some of our daily recipes as we make them. I made a little dry-erase menu board, and update it with our weekly menu. It reminds us of what we need to buy at the store, and gets us excited to cook together.

Hope you guys enjoyed! xoxo, Dana and Greg

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bourbon BBQ Hickory Smokehouse - Our New Favorite Local Joint!

As some of you know, my husband and I just bought our first house a few months ago! Since then, we've been decorating, nesting, and exploring our new town. Last week, we tried a new restaurant - Bourbon BBQ Hickory Smokehouse in Wyckoff, New Jersey. We walked in, and it felt very homey. It's pretty small (about 12 tables) and very casually decorated. Any restaurant that has a roll of paper towels on each table is OK by me. They also had various homemade bbq sauces on the table which my husband loved to sample. We liked it from the moment we walked in!

We visited on a Thursday, and there were a lot of people dining. Always a good sign. My husband was smart enough to read up on the place beforehand, and it's BYOB. We brought a bottle of chardonnay, which ended up being a funny conversation starter with our very nice waiter. Later, an older gentleman came over (who we think was the owner/manager) that was very sweet - he said he lived in our town for 33 years and chatted with us for a while. Very friendly and welcoming staff!

Now to the food. We ordered 6 buffalo wings as an appetizer. They came out with bbq sauce instead, but we ate them anyway. Very well cooked and crispy, good flavor. For dinner I got a half rack of ribs, fries and mashed potatoes. Can you believe the below is a HALF rack of ribs?! They were very good, I can't believe I almost finished them. Fries were good - nicely seasoned and crispy. The mashed potatoes were very good - I like a hearty, thicker mashed. They came with gravy on top which isn't my favorite, but it was pretty good nonetheless. My husband got the sampler - ribs, brisket and pulled pork. He liked the ribs and brisket. He said the pulled pork wasn't bad, he just wished they were a little smokier. All in all, the food was great, the atmosphere was warm and laid back, and the staff couldn't have been nicer. We will definitely be back and bring our friends!

Hope you guys enjoyed! If you are in the area and love bbq, you should pay them a visit! xo

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Looking for the BEST Donuts Ever? Your Search is Over!

Everyone has that food or dessert that reminds them strongly of their childhood. Judickies Bakery in Bayonne NJ does that for me. Every Sunday dinner, holiday or birthday, my grandparents would stop at this fabulous local bakery and pick up the most delicious donuts on the planet. “Dunkin Donuts donuts are great too!” you argue. They are. But there’s something manufactured about Dunkin Donuts and chain bakeries to me.

Judickies donuts are different. They taste like…a little Italian woman is in the back rolling out the dough and preparing them by hand with care. Deep frying them. Choosing what sprinkles to decorate the tops with. Putting the new batch in the front bakery window. They taste like LOVE. As an adult, my eyes still light up when my grandmother brings a dozen to a family gathering. They are just as good as the first day I bit into one. If you are remotely in the area of Bayonne, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a sprinkle donut!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Candied Grapefruit Cupcakes! Food Network Recipe and Mother's Day Weekend Food!

Hi friends! I hope all the mommas out there had a wonderful mother’s day! I was very fortunate to get to see my mom and my mother in law in the same weekend! We had a barbeque at our place on Saturday, and took my mom to brunch on Sunday. See photos below!

So the real reason for this post - I made these killer cupcakes! I wanted to try something new and fun. I subscribe to Food Network magazine (which I absolutely devour each month, so much great info) and these citrusy cupcakes caught my eye. I will tell you – they are time consuming to make from start to finish. I think it took me about 2 hours to make the batter, let the cupcakes bake, make the frosting, then candy the fruit. All in all, I think it was totally worth it because they seemed to be a big hit!

They were sweet and tart all at once! The candied zest really adds a little extra something to it. They're a great alternative to just plain old chocolate and vanilla cupcakes - refreshing and springy!

Now, for the rest of Mother's Day weekend!

My awesome husband and his new baby! Let's just say we've been eating a whole lot of awesome grilled meats!

Example: This perfect lamb cooked two ways. It was absolutely delicious!

Growing up, my parents always had fresh flowers in the house. So now I do the same thing! Bought these beautiful lillies from Shop Rite, believe it or not!

My lovely mother in law came over for a BBQ!

My sister in law brought over her fondue set. We had chocolate fondue with fruit for dessert!

On Sunday, we took my mom to this cute little brunch place in Fort Lee called Khloe Bistrot
The furniture and decor was very antiquey and quirky.
And the most important part - the food was fantastic!
It's a very small place, and the food took a little while to come out, but everyone enjoyed their food. Very highly recommended. It's BYOB so we brought a few bottles of white wine. So fun!

And last but not least - my "little" brother is all grown up!
He moved out of the house and has his own awesome apartment all to himself.
So proud of him!

Hope you guys enjoyed this post! If you're interested in the Pink Grapefruit cupcake recipe, click this link!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Mini Cupcake Gumball Machine?!?

How awesome is this?!? I recently went to a Cosmetic Executive Women event, and they had one of the coolest things I've ever seen. And it wasn't even makeup related! It was a Baked By Melissa giant gumball machine! The cupcakes inside were real, and fit so perfectly in the little plastic bubbles. What do you guys think? Pretty innovative right? Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Best Homemade Smoothie Recipe - Make Once, Drink For One Week

My dad created this recipe, and drinks one when he wakes up every morning. My dad and I are both bad with eating breakfast. I usually don't eat or drink anything (besides coffee) until around noon. This smoothie is delicious and filling. I seem to have more energy on my way to work after drinking one. I'm not a huge blueberry fan, but once this is all blended I can't even taste them. Here's the recipe:

  • 2 scoops whey protein (the scoop that comes in the whey container)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 hand fulls frozen strawberries
  • 2 hand fulls frozen blueberries
  • Fill to top of fruits in blender with 1% or 2% milk (don't fill too close to the top or you'll make a mess!)

Make one big batch in the blender in the beginning of the week, pour into glasses, and refrigerate with tin foil over them. Grab one in the morning and go!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Hi dolls! Wanted to share with you this super easy and awesome no bake recipe - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls! I made these as a back up for Valentine's day - my amazing husband cooked us a beautiful dinner and needed the oven. So my idea for a cookie cake went out the window.

We had just watched an episode of Shark Tank (love that show!) where these two chicks were trying to get an investment on their edible cookie dough in a jar. I wanted it immediately! I found the recipe for cookie dough balls on Pinterest (original post click here) and I am so glad I did. I added my own flair by using the left over chocolate chips, melting them, putting them in a ziplock bag and drawing letters and hearts on parchment paper. I refrigerated them for 30min and peeled them off the parchment paper. Cute, right? Anyway, see below for photos and step by step!

 L - could be for our last name or Love! I tried by best to make the chocolate drizzle on top of the cookie dough balls look cute - might need to work on that a little!

My first attempt at drawing with chocolate!

1 cup butter, room temperature
1½ cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
6 ounces mini-chocolate chips
Milk Chocolate Wilton candy melts

1.Cream butter and sugar together
2.Add remaining ingredients and mix
3.Roll into 1-inch balls
4.Melt candy melts in microwave and use a spoon to drizzle over balls
5.Refrigerate until firm (30 minutes)
6.Let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving
7.Store leftovers in refrigerator

Sooo easy guys, and SO good. We just had 1 before breakfast ha! As an added bonus, here is a photo of the kick ass short ribs and potatoes Greg made last night. Delicious!

Hope everyone had a nice Valentine's day and is staying warm! Xoxo