Snow Day!

Honey told me at about 8am this morning that her crate called and said she didn’t have to go in today because of the snow storm last night. After we jumped up and down on the bed for a few minutes in joy I suited up to get some photos of the snow outside. I love the morning light…

It was so pretty and quiet out there. Quiet except for the crunching of my awesome rubber boots in the snow (thanks mom!)… and well… the tow trucks out around back rescuing cars that got stuck in our parking lot last night.

Chocolate Covered Orange Peel

Chocolate covered orange peel is one of my moms favorites candies. I think of her every time I walk by Godiva and pop in quickly to see if they have any (they usually don’t, people prefer chocolate covered strawberries. Weird).When they do I savor the little gold bag filled with orangy goodness like it’s the last on earth. I try to eat just one and put it away, but it’s usually gone within an hour. I can’t believe I pulled off making these fabulous treats on my own.

*2 oranges *Chocolate (milk or dark) candy melts *1 cup sugar *1 cup water

1. Score 2 oranges, making sure there is no fruit left on the peel, and slice them into thin clean strips.

2. Blanch (soak) the orange peel strips in boiling water for a couple minutes and remove them. Dry them off and blanch them one more time. (This removes the bitterness, in retrospect I enjoy a little bit of the bitter taste and would only blanch them once)

3. Simmer them in a simple syrup for one hour. 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar. Caution: Keep your eye on them. Seriously. They sugar can burn quickly.

4. Let them sit on a drying wrack for a few hours. I even put mine outside in the cold to harden a bit.

5. Melt your chocolate and dip the ends or the whole peel. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Mango, Pineapple Salsa

I prefer a fresh salsa over jarred any day. I’ve been making this one for “casual entertaining” for years. I used to make it every week when the girls would come over to my old apartment to watch “The Bachelor.” Wine, laughing, gossiping and making fun of all the women making fools of themselves on national television. I love that show! My boyfriend watches with me now, he says he hates it but I think he secretly looks forward to “Monday Bachelor night” too. (Girls come over and watch with me soon!)

*4 Tomatoes *1 Mango *3 Pineapple Spears *1 Garlic clove *1 Small onion *Cilantro *Lime juice *Salt and pepper *Teaspoon sugar

1. Chop tomatoes in quarters, removing the gooey insides (they will turn your salsa to soup). Add tomatoes, garlic, half of a small onion, and cilantro. Pulse in the food processor 6-8 times leaving a rough chop. If you turn it on for more than 15 seconds you will have tomato gazpacho. Pour contents into a separate bowl.

2. Score the mangos, removing the peel. Chop into small chunks along with the pineapple. Toss fruit in with the rest of the salsa. Season with some fresh squeezed lime juice, a sprinkle of salt and a teaspoon of sugar, stir and serve. (great with lime tostitos) 

Have Honey on the scene to catch any dropped chips 🙂 

Breakfast Pizza

This is the second “pizza” recipe I have posted. Nick made the other one, and this one is mine. I guess we just really like pizza. (Doesn’t everyone?) This dish is perfect for brunch and easy to make.

*1 small package bacon (fried and chopped, I just threw mine in the food processor)
*1 bunch parsely
*Chopped scallions or chives
*Mozzarella cheese
*Parmesan cheese
*1 ready made pizza crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle desired amount of cheeses on pizza crust. Fry three eggs over easy on your stove top. (Just fry the bottom no need to flip them the rest will cook in the oven.) Place the eggs on top of the sprinkled cheese then salt and pepper. Place the pizza in the oven on a pizza stone for 8 to 12 minutes or until the top of the egg looks cooked and the crust is golden brown. Top with chopped parsley and scallions.Cool and serve.

Don’t be afraid to change up the ingredients. Any kind of cheese or topping will do (mushrooms for a vegetarian version would be delish).

It’s game day today and we already got started and ate the breakfast pizza with cold beers! Don’t worry it was after 12 noon 🙂  Last weekend the Steelers beat my Ravens and today the Jets better take the Steelers out.

Birthday Cake Pops

These cake pops aren’t anything new, I’ve posted the recipe before, but aren’t they pretty? I made them for Helen’s birthday today (a co-worker) . Truthfully they take less time now for me than it would for me to make cupcakes or a whole cake.

Funny Story about Helen’s Birthday: At my job when it’s someones birthday a card is circulated around the office secretly so the recipient wont see it. There is a method to this. Inside a brightly colored folder there is a post-it note that says “Return to Helen” and the initials of everyone who has to sign the card. After you sign it you cross off your name and it is passed around to whomever has not signed it yet, the last person brings it back to Helen. Helen is keeper of the cards and head of the “birthday party committee.”

My first week I was unfamiliar with the routine. Someone came into my office handed me the folder and left. I opened it, saw the card and read the post-it note quickly. I saw “Helen blah blah blah” (Obviously I am detail oriented). “Oh!” I thought, “A birthday card for Helen.”

Actually no, it was ANDY’S birthday. Not knowing this I signed the card to Helen. Then making things worse, there were cute little party monkeys all over the card. Kind of like this. I drew caption bubbles making the monkeys say “Helen is Amazing!” “We LOVE Helen.” It gets worse… I then brought the card to Andy to sign next. His own birthday card. Frown. 

After making the connection I panicked and told a couple people in the office my mistake. I was new and assumed that ruining someones birthday surprise was not a good way to start off and was practically in tears. Luckily everyone thought it was hysterical and now every time there is a birthday people crack jokes about it. I still turn bright red.

Now it really is Helen’s birthday. I wanted to make this one special for real, hence the cake pops. I’m headed to target to pray there is a card with party monkeys on it 🙂