Friday, January 18, 2013

...And Then We Were Out of Syrup

           Saturday morning was gorgeous in Pittsburgh, especially for January the sun was shining (WHAT?) and it was unseasonably warm and 60 degrees.  ( This is like a Blue Moon for Pittsburgh in January)
          Anyways, DFH is the resident weekend-breakfast-maker and he decided to make us some delicious blueberry pancakes, perfect for the gorgeous Saturday morning.  We got out all of the ingredients, mixed the batter, sprayed the pan, and then realized....we were out of syrup. 

   This sent DFH into a minor panic.  I myself am a pretty boring simple pancake eater, and would have been satisfied with eating my pancakes with butter only, I know GASP!!. 

But DFH wouldn't have it.  I attempted to remedy the situation and did a google search for "substitution for syrup"   I came across a Bon Appetit Blog that provided a quick homemade Cinnamon Maple Syrup recipe:

 1 cup light brown sugar
 1 cup water
 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
 Splash of lemon juice

 Mix the water,sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice in a saucepan and place on the stove over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes or until the sugar is dissolves, stirring from time to time until mixture thickens.

Luckily we had all the ingredients, and quickly mixed all the ingredients and started heating in a pan. 
We let the mixture thicken, and then poured the syrup over our pancakes.

The syrup tasted exactly like a cinnamon maple syrup, I was honestly shocked.  I don't know if this household will ever buy syrup again. It was that fantastic.  So next time you find yourself without syrup, try this recipe, you will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

   It is Wednesday, and we made it halfway through January!! Can you tell I'm counting down until Springtime or at least the return of warm weather.  Unless I am snowboarding, or the occasional big blizzard where you get snowed in, I really do not enjoy the cold. 
 I am linking up this week for What I am Loving Wednesday, and these are my current LOVES this week:
1. I am loving that GIRLS is back on HBO, the humor is so dry, awkward, and funny.  It is one of those shows I cannot really explain, but if you don't watch it should.

2.  I am loving that hockey is back...FINALLY.  I cannot wait until the Pens first game on Saturday.

3. I am loving all the fun cooking experiments and new recipes DFH and I tried recently, one positive of the winter is more time spent inside cooking.

 Many cooking posts to follow!

4. I am loving all the organization I was able to get accomplished over the past weekend, it is amazing how much more productive you feel when everything is organized and in place.  I was starting to feel like a hoarder for a few minutes with all my piles of items that needed to be organized.

Hello. Organized Wedding Planner.

What are you currently loving?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Making My List and Checking It 1,000 Times

 Let's talk Wedding Check Lists. Since DFH and I have been engaged there have certainly been no shortage of lists, which is fine by me, because I love To Do lists.   Currently, there is the "Nine Months To Go Overall List", The "What I Need to Get Accomplished This Week List."  The "Today" check list.  The "Wedding Things To Research List" and I'm sure there will be many more to come.

   So far I'm pretty happy with where we are at the Nine Month mark.  Lucky for all my readers, I was on blog hiatus when I had a meltdown slight bridezilla moment while searching for the reception venue, so you didn't have to hear about all of my frustration of trying to find a venue I loved that wasn't booked for the next 19 months.  DFH and I wanted a venue that reflected the gorgeous country feel of the area in New Jersey we grew up in, and were shocked by how far out so many of the venues were booked.  But I am happy to say we found a reception venue that was close to home, with the perfect country feel, during the time of year we loved.
Here is where I am in terms of my list accomplishments and near future "To Do's"

 1. Pick a Date  -----------------CHECK

2. Reception Venue   ------------ CHECK

 3. Church --------------------------CHECK
        * So excited to be getting married in the church I grew up in.

 4..Band ------------------------------CHECK

6. . Wedding Dress and Veil--CHECK
    * So. Excited. This makes everything feel so real

7.Engagement Party-------------CHECK
    * This was not on my check list, but my parents hosted a fabulous engagement party for DFH and I over Christmas so I had to add it to my check list ( Post to Follow)

8. Announce Engagement in the paper---------CHECK

9. Ask Bridal Party To Be In Wedding ---------------CHECK

10. Take Engagement Pictures
    * Need to figure out a date to do this

11. Hire Organist for Ceremony ----------------------CHECK

12. Reserve Hotel Rooms   ( This should get a 1/2 check)
   * We are in the process of working with a hotel

13.  Choose Bridesmaid Dresses

14. Book a Florist

15.Pick a Rehearsal Dinner Location

16. Register
   * So excited to finally get the registry gun in my hand, our first Registry Appointment is this weekend!

17. Pick and Order Save The Dates
    * I'm in the processing of trying to decide the style I like best

18. Rent Chairs
    * The chairs at the reception venue are ugly not my favorite, I love the venue, but the chairs need to go, so I'm hoping to rent some to fix that minor issue. 

19. Order Groom and groomsmen attire

20. Research / Book Videographer

21. Research/ Book Transportation

There are still 1,000 things left to do,but it is all so exciting, and hopefully some of the biggest stressers/decisions are out of the way. 

Cannot believe I get to marry this guy in just nine months!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pepper Jack Grits Poppers


  At our engagement party in December my Mom made delicious Pepper Jack Grits Poppers that were so tasty and looked so pretty and festive with the bright colored peppers.   DFH and I both loved and devoured way too many of the peppers that night, even eating the leftover peppers the following night, we couldn't get enough of these grits peppers.

      It is not often you see Grits being served above the Mason Dixon Line, but after attending college down south Grits remind of my love for the South and my time at Elon, which is probably one of the reasons I loved this recipe.   But whether you like grits or not the combination of the flavors of the grits and pepper jack cheese and cilantro is delicious. 

    On New Years Eve we had a few friends over, and I knew it was a perfect time to try my hand out at these festive finger foods.   The recipe comes from the December 2012 issues of Southern Living, and it is such a quick and unique recipe for any type of party or even as an afternoon snack. 

  • 1 cup hot cooked grits  ( you use approximately 1/2 cup uncooked grits)
  • 1 cup (4 oz.)  pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons  fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 18 to 20 sweet mini bell peppers


   First, mix the first five (5) ingredients together until the cheese is melted, and add salt and pepper to taste.   The recipe calls for you to chill the ingredients in the fridge for eight (8) hours, but I only had time to chill the ingredients for an hour or two and I had no issues with the grit filling consistency. 

Preheat the broiler and when you are ready to fill the peppers, cut each pepper in half lengthwise leaving the stem intact, but make sure you remove all of the seeds.  Place the peppers on a greased pan and spoon the grit mixture into each pepper halve. 

Once you have filled all of the peppers, place the pan in the broiler for approximately four (4) minutes or until the grits and pepper turn a golden brown. 

Enjoy Y'all!

Friday, January 4, 2013

It is 2013....and I am back!


 Happy 2013!!
I am back.
          I cannot think of a better time of the year to get back into blogging and to resolve to blog more then during the new year.  During my two month blogging hiatus I missed documenting my weekly adventures and staying caught up on all my favorite blogs.  I guess sometimes life gets in the way, but I really want to be better at blogging on a regular basis.  With getting married in 2013, I know there will be lots of wonderful memories made and festivities that I want to document for friends and family near and far and blogging about it all is a wonderful online scrapbook to look back on years from now. 
    It isn't just blogging I want to get back into, one of  New Years Resolutions is have more "Me Time", I guess that sounds kind of selfish and I should call it my resolution to, "Keep Up With My Hobbies." The other day I realized that I hadn't picked up a leisure book since October, I hadn't picked up my knitting needles in over a year, I hadn't attended one weekly ballet class since the beginning of November, and I had about 6 unfinished crafts I hadn't touched in the past few weeks/months, so in addition to blogging I want to try to make time to keep up with these hobbies, because I truly enjoy them.

       It is easy to come home after a long day of work and after cooking dinner and lay on the couch, but I am going to try my very best to do one of my hobbies instead.  Granted there are nights of wedding planning, and Junior League-ing, and just being plain tired, but baby steps right!

   So here is too a new year full of happiness, health, and new adventures!

   I have had a fabulous 2012 with so many wonderful memories, but I know 2013 is going to be amazing, with already so much to look forward to in the next year!

Here are some of my favorite highlights of 2012:
In January I enjoyed spending time with extended family at our mini family reunion in NYC.

In March, DFH and I hosted a 1950's Soiree for my Birthday and had a great time cooking up food from the Golden Age and dressing for the part. 

April, brought celebrations of new babies with a longtime friend.
In May, DFH and I enjoyed attending Penguin Playoff games...

...Trips to Wine Country in Ohio

...and a NYC surprise for Grammy's 80th Birthday


In June, LES and I survived our first music festival weekend at Delfest...
Enjoyed a beautiful Wedding.
Had a blast at the Plate girls weekend on Long Beach Island
and at the Tim McGraw/Kenny Chesney Concert
4th of July brought sparklers with family at the beach
and boat rides in LBI
In July DFH and I traveled to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and enjoyed a week of fun with friends
and beautiful sunsets.
In August we enjoyed our backyard garden and had fun experimenting cooking with all of our freshly grown veggies and spices. 

In September, I Enjoyed one last weekend at the beach with Family

and on September 14th DFH and I got Engaged!!
 and attended our 10 year High School Reunion.
In October DFH and I ventured to Long Island to visit my grandparents
I Attended the Junior League of Pittsburgh's 90th Anniversary Gala
And I loved having my Elon girls visit Pittsburgh for a girls weekend. 

In November LES and I road tripped to DC to visit a good friend.
and I asked my sister JLP to be my Maid of Honor and she said YES!
In December, I enjoyed spending the holidays with family and friends, and my parents hosted  a wonderful Engagement party for DFH and I.
 DFH and I finished the year with a delicious dinner and drinks with great friends and rang in the New Year ( and year of our wedding) together!
Happy 2013!