Friday Faves

It is now time for me to share the news I alluded to last week. No, it’s not a baby…it’s a new job!

Today is my last day at my current job and I start my new one on Monday. I’m going to miss my old co-workers, but I’m super excited about this new opportunity. I’m going from working from home to commuting and being back in an office, so it’s going to be a bit of a transition. I’m going to have to be a better planner when it comes to blogging so I don’t leave y’all hanging!

The reason I’ve been so absent the past few weeks is because I was in and out of phone interviews and in person interviews and then doing my current work on top of it. Blogging sort of fell by the wayside. But I’m going to make a conscious effort to stay on top of things because I love this blog and want to keep it going. But hang with me through the next few weeks of transition. I’ll figure things out eventually.

1) One of my faves this week — and going forward — is Eric’s new goal to start cooking for me more. With the new job, him taking over cooking duties a few nights a week is going to be awesome. He’s already started to show some skills. The past two weeks he has made a couple of super tasty dinners.

UntitledOn the left, grilled ratatouille pasta. On the right, Mediterranean flat bread. Both delicious — an nutritious! He knows I have been trying to eat better so he has been cooking a lot of vegetables. And he is very good at it.

2) My birthday is this weekend! I enter the final years of my 20s on Sunday. Eric is taking me to Canoe in Atlanta for my birthday dinner and I’m super excited. It has been on my must-try list since we moved back. We also have some friends coming to stay with us on Saturday. We plan on heading to Fox Bros  on Saturday night, and I’m already dreaming about the Frito Pie. We are also going to hit up Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams tomorrow afternoon. My friend Lauren and I have been talking about it pretty much every day since they booked their trip. I will be sure to report on all of our weekend eating adventures next week.

3) Anyone have any good recs for places to eat in Charleston? We’re heading there in a few weeks for a friend’s wedding and are looking for a good place for dinner and brunch. We’ve never been. so we are relying on other people to tell us what’s good so let me know in the comments!

 

Pecan and Herb Crusted Tilapia

After a weekend filled with tacos and Cracker Barrel, I knew Sunday night was going to need a lightened up dinner. I had some tilapia already and knew I wanted to do some sort of pecan crusted tilapia. I took to the trust interwebs to find a recipe and they all seemed rather involved to me. Flour, breadcrumbs, eggs, frying. I just wanted a simple baked pecan crusted tilapia with a few ingredients. And this is what I came up with.

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The picture isn’t the best, but this was seriously delicious, I sauteed up some squash with herbs and served it along side some wild rice and it was a tasty, light meal.

PS Have you been to Penzey Spices? I used their Sunny Paris blend on the squash and it was so good. I think it is going to be super delicious on grilled veggies this summer.

Pecan and Herb Crusted Tilapia

3 tilapia filets (this recipe could work with any white fish)
3/4 cup pecans
1 tsp rosemary
1 clove garlic
2 tbls spicy or whole grain mustard
Salt and pepper

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If possible, put a cooling rack on a cookie sheet to use for baking. This helps keep the pecan crust from getting soggy.

2) In a food processor or blender, mix together the pecans, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. The consistency should be a little coarser than bread crumbs, but not super chunky. The finer it is, the better it will adhere to the fish.

3) Brush each fish filet with the mustard on both sides and coat with the pecan mixture. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

Friday Fave: Follow me!

I know I have been a bit absent from blogging these past few weeks, but sometimes life just gets in the way. I’m going to be sharing some more news on that front next weeks so watch this space.

Just because life has been busy doesn’t mean I have been cooking and eating and the like. I still post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram quite a lot, so be sure to follow me there if you want to stay up to date on all the tasty happenings!

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Hosting an at-home wine festival

I think I’ve mentioned here before that Eric and I very much enjoy all things wine. We got engaged while on a trip to California wine country. We like trying and tasting new wines. We also love to attend an occasional wine festival every once in awhile.

After one such trip to an poorly organized wine festival last year, we thought “hey, we could put on a pretty good wine event at home.” And so we did. We’ve hosted two little at-home wine festivals so far and they’ve both been a ton of fun.

Here’s how it works. Everyone brings one bottle of wine for sharing (some people end up bringing more, which of course isn’t an issue in the slightest). Eric and I provide the venue along with some light snacks. We also usually contribute a few bottles of wine to the mix. Everyone comes over, we open the bottles, everyone samples what they want, drinks more of what they like. It’s a very fun time.

Now these at-home wine parties aren’t very structured — at least the way we do it. You could ask certain friends to bring white and others to bring red if you want. We just leave it open to what they like.

IMG_20140301_200835For snacks, I like to do a cheese plate. Cheese and wine are just the natural pairing.  I like to do a brie and some hard cheeses (above are druken goat, iberico and manchego), then I add some slices of apples and grapes, nuts and honey and boom — cheese plate done.

We also usually do some sort of small appetizer (the first time we did pigs in a blanket it. This last time we did Bagel Bites). We throw in something sweet too, like chocolate or a baked good. It isn’t a full meal or anything — just something to snack on while you are all drinking.

You don’t need to be a wine aficionado to host one of these gatherings. This is a great opportunity for people who might not know that much about wine to try a bunch of different kinds without having to take the plunge and buy a whole bottle. And it is just a good time overall. I highly recommend doing it.

Slow Cooker Red Wine Pot Roast

This is the second time I’ve posted a recipe involving red wine and the slow cooker. I guess I am drawn to certain flavors. Well, and wine.

The first one I am talking about is the red wine brisket I made back in September. Now while it was very delicious, this red wine pot roast was way, way better.

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I assume that is because chuck roast is a fattier piece of meat than brisket and hence that adds an extra layer of flavor. But this was just so moist and tender. The vegetables were cooked so perfectly and infused with the flavor of the wine, seasonings and meat. Mmm. I am definitely looking forward to having leftovers tonight.

Slow Cooker Red Wine Pot Roast

2-3 lbs chuck roast (I didn’t trim mine, but you can if you want)
1/2 lb baby carrots, whole
1 to 1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, cut in to chunks
1 large onion, cut in to wedges
1 cup of wine (I used Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 package of pot roast seasoning (or feel free to us whatever spices you want)

1) Preheat a skillet to medium high heat. Add a teaspoon of oil. Season the roast on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the roast on both sides for about 3 to 4 minutes.

2) Place the roast in bottom of the slow cooker and top with the chopped veggies. Mix the wine and seasonings together and pour over the meat and veggies.

3) Cooking on low for 8 hours or high for 4. The meat should be falling apart when finished and the veggies should be fork tender.

Friday Faves

I was a bad food blogger this week. I have not cooked a single dinner at home. We’ve just been busy with dinners out with friends and a work event — but I promise to get back in to the swing of things next week.

But I did eat a lot of my homemade sweet potato chips this week. Probably every day. They are just so good and so easy to make. It is kind of unbelievable how I have never thought to do it before. I think next week I might try some apple chips in the microwave so stay tuned.

I saw this recipe on The Kitchn last night and can’t stop thinking about it. Savory french toast? It makes a lot of sense — french toast doesn’t always have to be sweet. Just look at how amazing it looks.

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Mouth. Watering. Mmmm. Bread and cheese — always a winning combination.

We’re having my parents over for dinner this weekend and I’m going to make a red wine pot roast. The weather’s warmed up here in Atlanta quite a bit, so it’s not exactly pot roast weather anymore. But who cares? It sounds delicious and I can’t wait to make it. If all goes well, I’ll share the recipe with you next week.