Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Attention Wine Lovers! Foldable Wine Bottle Review

Alright all you wine lovers, I have your next must have right here. Introducing, the Vino Mio Foldable Wine bottle for wine on the go!
I had the opportunity to test these out and they are really cool. I think they are really going to come in handy in the summer for bringing wine on the boat, to the beach, picnics, etc. That way there is no glass or big bottles to worry about! 

Not to mention an easy way to bring small amounts of wine from a big box! I'm suddenly a huge fan of box wine. I know what you're thinking. wine yuck! But it really has come a long way and you can get a lot of bang for your buck! My favorite right now,  Bota Box (malbec) is about $19 and has the equivalent of 4+ bottles of wine inside. Not to mention, it's deliciously good and can last on your counter once opened for quite a while! The only problem is its not really portable once open. That's where these foldable, reusable wine bottles really come in handy! Just pour it in and go!

So the obvious big question in using the foldable bottle is taste. When I first saw these bottles I wondered if the wine would taste different once poured into this plastic bag. In my opinion taste is not sacrificed! Just go by the same rules you would go by one opening any bottle of wine. You can't pour it in and expect it to taste the same in a week. But 1 to 2 days is good!

The Vino Mio Foldable Wine Bottle is available on Amazon for only $14.99 and comes with two foldable wine bottles, one for red and one for white! Perfect gift for your wine loving friends and family this Christmas! 

Full disclaimer, I got to try the Vino Mio foldable wine bottles for free, but I promise my opinion is my own.

Also, just a side note from me...make sure you always drink responsibly and where BYOW is permitted! And NEVER drink and drive!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Chicken, Prosciutto and Mozzarella with Spinach Mashed Potatoes

I am SO excited I just found this recipe (and photos)! This used to be my go-to dinner and I haven't made it since we lived in Boston. Now that I'm getting it up on the Search for YUM, hopefully I will never forget about it again!
I came up with this recipe after eating out in the North End one night. I enjoyed my dinner so much, I found myself craving in constantly over the next few days! Since going there every single time I got the craving for it just wasn't an option, I knew I had to try to re-create it myself.
Introducing: my version of a delicious Boston North End chicken dish:

Chicken, Prosciutto and Mozzarella with Spinach Mashed Potatoes

It's a really easy and delicious dinner for any night of the week!

What You'll Need:
Chicken breasts, thin sliced OR pounded out
Prosciutto*, 1 or 2 slices for every chicken breast
Marsala Wine/White Wine
Mashed Potatoes

*Tip: don't cheap out on the prosciutto. Getting nice prosciutto really makes this dinner SO much better. Take my word for it. I didn't find that out until I moved out of the North End where you can't buy BAD prosciutto.

How You'll Do It:

1. Get your mashed potatoes ready. Whether you are boiling potatoes and mashing or using boxed mashed potatoes, I wont judge!
2. Place chicken in a pan on the stove top.
3. Pour in Marsala Wine or white wine until chicken is mostly covered.
4. Cook on medium heat until chicken is mostly cooked, flipping over halfway through.
5. Once chicken is mostly cooked all of the way through, turn the stovetop down to low heat.
6. Cover each chicken breast with 1 or 2 slices of prosciutto. Then lay mozzarella on top of that.
7. Cover with desired amount of spinach and cover for a few minutes until spinach is done and mozzarella has softened. 
8. Place spinach on top of mashed potatoes and serve with chicken, proscuitto and mozzarella and ENJOY!

For all of you visual learners, here it is step-by-step in photos:

Bon App├ętit!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cheeseburger Dip Recipe

Here's a new twist on a summertime favorite. Cheeseburgers, meet Cheeseburger Dip!
(Also a delicious treat to warm your belly in the winter!)

Last week, I was entertaining a few neighbors for a summer lunch get together. I knew hot dogs were on the menu, but instead of also grilling burgers, I decided to mix it up a bit and serve this cheeseburger dip with chips instead! It was a hit! I prepared it the night before so all I had to do was pop it in the oven to warm it up and serve without having to stand in front of the grill. It was win, win. My guests really enjoyed it and I got to visit more!

Cheeseburger Dip Recipe

What You'll Need:
1 lb ground beef
1 lb velveeta cheese
8 oz salsa
1/4 cup milk

enjoyed with your favorite tortilla chips!

How You'll Do It:

1. Cook ground beef on stove top in large pan
2. Drain ground beef and empty into casserole dish
3. In the same pan, add milk and cubes/slices of velveeta cheese until melted. Pour over beef and mix together.
4. Serve warm or put in fridge to heat up and enjoy at a later time!

(I stole this recipe, like most of my best recipes, from my sister...thanks, Cheri!)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed

My absolute favorite mornings are the ones where we don't have anywhere to be or anything specific to do and we can just hang out in bed. Just my baby, husband, dog and me :) There's nothing better.

That's why all I want for my first Mother's Day is brunch in bed! What could be better than pancakes and snuggles all morning?!

When I was a little girl, I would make my mom breakfast in bed every year for mother's day. I would tip toe out of bed and into the kitchen and make my mom some unfortunate hodge-podge of unappetizing food (my earlier days in the kitchen were pretty lame), and she would stay in bed pretending to be asleep so I could "surprise" her as I clattered and clashed around the kitchen making a huge mess. I think the most memorable year was when I was about seven or eight. She was sitting there crunching on her eggs...yes crunching...and I was sitting there grinning, very pleased with myself, when she asked what the date on the eggs was. They had expired over a month ago! Whoops!

Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed Ideas

So in honor of Mother's Day, I'm sharing all of my favorite breakfast/brunch recipes on Pinterest:   

Consider it a handy dandy guide to all of my favorite brunch recipes! (**wink wink husband...don't forget to check the date on the eggs ;) **)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Baked Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Peppers & Chicken

Sprinkling in a little Flashback Friday! I am trying to add some articles that I have written elsewhere to my Search for Yum and stumbled across this little GEM! Over the course of about 10 years, I have scattered my writing over dozens of websites and blogs. Now that I have found my permanent home here at S4Y, I want all of my work home :)

Hope you enjoy...this is a good one!....

Baked Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Peppers & Chicken

Not to toot my own whistle or anything (Toot! Toot!) but this little creation is fun, easy and full of warm goat cheesy goodness.
What you'll need/want:
~Boneless chicken breast (You can easily make this a herbivore only friendly dish but just leaving this out!)
~Goat cheese log
~Roasted Red Peppers (If you are in Boston, Golden Goose in the North End has my vote for fresh RRPs! well as many other things!)
~Fresh baby spinach
~Fresh baguette (1 more shout out to the North End - Bova's!)
~Fresh Thyme
~Olive oil
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 - put your desired amount of goat cheese (log) in an oven safe dish and throw it in! -This should be fine warming up while everything else is done, but make sure to keep an eye on it - especially if using less than 8oz of goat cheese. You can season the goat cheese, but I prefer not to - I love love love just good ole' goat cheese!
1 1/2. Slice the baugette fairly thinly, place on a cooking and coat in olive oil (don't be shy with this). Then sprinkle with fresh thyme. You will want to put this in the oven about 8-10 minutes before everything else is done.
Then, you're on to the rest:
3. Cube boneless breast of chicken and cook thoroughly in a deep pan coated with canola oil. Season to taste with your favorite seasonings - My go to seasonings are pretty much always garlic powder and onion salt.
4. When the chicken is just about thoroughly cooked, throw in some thinly sliced roasted red peppers and place spinach on top of roasted red peppers and chicken - cover until spinach is cooked.
Lastly, place everything in fun serving dishes and pair with a full bodied red wine* (My favorite is Gabbiano Chianti 2010 (Hanover Wine & Spirits in Boston sometimes has these 2 for $14!)
This is kind of a -make your own bites as you go dinner- Its fun to sit around a large table or coffee table and load up pieces of baguettes with warm goat cheese, chicken, spinach and rrp's, sipping on wine and enjoying good company!

***Disclaimer: When I talk about wine or pairing wine, I really have no idea what I'm talking about. I just like to throw out those buzz words you always hear people say: full bodied is my favorite and the only one I can usually think of :)
Also, I just moved from Boston, but many of my suggestions will most likely be coming from there for a very long time. You just can't beat the North End (Boston's Little Italy) for most ingredients. I dare you to prove me wrong.
One more thing - I have never been crazy about exact measurements or exact recipes - which if you think about it, could pose quite a problem if I am going to be posting a lot of recipes. To me cooking and baking is about having fun and learning as you go AND TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS THAT WILL MAKE YOUR MOUTH WATER. So if I have left any lingering questions that beg answering, please feel free to post me a comment or shoot me an email and I will get back to you with some sort of answer! :)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Turkey Burgers with Avocado and Tomato Salad

It's finally starting to warm up here in Connecticut! It feels so great to open the windows and finally get some fresh air! The best part about Spring this year is I can finally get the baby outside! After spending his first 3 months indoors, he is loving the new experience of being outside!

My favorite time of the day during the spring is the evenings. We go for our family walk (which now consists of 4...daddy, Colin, puppy and mommy!) And while the air is still warm enough to keep the windows open, we come home, turn on some jazz music and whip up a simple, yet delicious dinner to be enjoyed out on the deck or in the dining room depending on just how warm it is!

This is the perfect dinner for one of those nights. It's simple, healthy and delicious. My 3 favorite things in a recipe :) This light recipe will easily become one of your go-to dinners!

Turkey Burger with Avocado and Tomato Salad

What You'll Need 
Ground Turkey
Italian breadcrumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
Olive Oil
Tomatoes, diced
Avocado, diced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional: Mix in some feta or goat cheese or sprinkle over the top!

How You'll Do It 

1.Sprinkle the ground turkey with Italian breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.
2. Shape the ground turkey into burger shaped patties and cook either on the grill or on your stove top in a little olive oil.
3. While the burgers are cooking, dice up your tomatoes and avocado. Mix them together with a few dashes of olive oil. Salt & pepper to taste!
4. Enjoy the turkey burger in a bun or without with the avocado & tomato salad as a topping and/or side!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sweet Sweet Potato Side Dish

No, there is not a typo in the title. This sweet potato side dish is sweet!
I actually had a really hard time coming up with a name for this was so hard to capture the sweet potato goodness in a title! So if you have any ideas, please feel free to leave a comment! 

On Easter, I was looking for a side dish recipe to contribute to our family meal. We weren't sure what the main dish was going to be yet, so I wanted to come up with something that would go with anything. And this delicious and extremely easy side dish can go with anything! Chicken, turkey, lamb, steaks, fish....anything!

And easy is so important with a 3 month old. The more steps there are lately, the more chances there are for me to get distracted while I am cooking and entertaining my happy baby. Cooking anything has turned into a show at my house! And honestly, I have had more failed recipe attempts than successes lately so I was determined to make something delicious.

If you look at the ingredients, you might think this is more of a Fall dish with the warm hints of comfort of the ground nutmeg and cinnamon I admit it makes me think of Thanksgiving - but that's a good thing if you ask me!

Ever since Easter, this has been my go-to side dish so I always have at least 2 sweet potatoes in the kitchen at all times!

Sweet Sweet Potato Side Dish

What You'll Need:
2 Large Sweet Potatoes (peeled and cubed)
2 tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup of Brown Sugar*
A dash of Cinnamon
A dash of Ground Nutmeg

How You'll Do It:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix everything together in a casserole dish.
3. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and golden (time may vary based on how small you cube).

Could it be any easier?! Could it be any more delicious?! Nope!

*The second time I made this I was out of brown sugar, so I sprinkled just a little regular sugar on it and it was still delicious! (just a little tip in case you run out of ingredients as much as I do and don't realize it until it's too late to go to the store before dinner!)

**Bonus - my dog got really sick a few days after Easter. She wouldn't touch her food. She wouldn't even eat the chicken and rice I made for her. I was just about to take her in to the vets when I thought I would try one last thing - sweet potatoes! She LOVED it! I had to make more! So, dogs are also a fan of this recipe :)