Monday, November 25, 2013

Graciasgiving to the Rescue

It's Caitlin here, since poor Jaisa has pneumonia, but this gives me a chance to rave about how beautiful Jaisa's Thanksgiving recipes from last year look.  In 2012, Jaisa pulled together a bunch of delicious side dishes that include traditional Thanksgiving recipes with a Mexican twist.  

With just a few days until Thanksgiving dinner, I'm sharing these tasty recipes for some last-minute planning. It's intimidating to serve a Thanksgiving dinner (and tough to be a guest bringing a delicious yet unique side dish).  Here are the best of the bunch, starting with stuffing, and with Jaisa's tutorials you'll be ready for Thanksgiving in no time.  De nada.

I loooooooove cornbread stuffing.  As a vegetarian, I don't add the andouille and chorizo that Jaisa calls for in this stuffing recipe, but I must admit that they probably make the whole dish even tastier.  Whenever Jesse sees recipes like this from Jaisa he curses the day I decided to become a vegetarian.  With or without the sausage, give it a try.

andouille & cornbread stuffing

Chipotle sweet potatoes look amazing (& include the story about how Jaisa learned to spell "potatoes" correctly).  I don't like super sweet, syrupy sweet potatoes but love how Jaisa mixes spicy with a dash of sweet for this easy Thanksgiving side dish.

chipotle sweet potatoes

Gratin made with poblano chiles, corn, & potatoes (oh, and a lot of half & half).  Looks heavenly.

poblano, corn, & potato gratin
Last up is Jaisa's cranberry salsa, which I think I'll be trying this year (scroll down to see it served over cream cheese which is what I'm thinking).  Ditch the canned stuff and give it a shot.

cranberry salsa

Gracias, Jaisa, for dreaming up these delicious dishes and sharing them with us.  Stay hungry!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Crostini

This.  IS SO GOOD.  Ok, officially the last crostini post (at least for a while)...and I may have saved the best for last.  Crispy baguette topped with creamy, cheesy, buffalo chicky.  

 And you know what?  You guys aren't going to believe it. 

Instead of cream cheese, I used nonfat Greek yogurt to make the topping nice and creamy.

And Charlie couldn't even tell!  Thank you, thank you, ladies and gentlemen.  You can take your seats now.  No, seriously.  Sit down. 

YUMMM I wish I had more of these.  So delicious.

Here's the recipe:

1 Rotisserie Chicken, Skin remove and meat pulled
1/2 Cup of Non Fat Greek Yogurt
2 Tbs of Hot Sauce of Choice
1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
1 Baguette, sliced thin for crostini
Chives, optional

Toast baguette in oven at 400 degrees until lightly toasted.  Meanwhile, mix rest of ingredients in a bowl.  Top each crostini with dollop of filling.  Place back into oven until cheese begins to bubble and become golden, about 8 minutes. Finish with chives and serve immediately.

Stay hungry!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Over-Door Decor Hanging & Gourds Galore

Jesse & I are hosting Thanksgiving again this year and gearing up for a table to fit 22 people.  Though I should have more pressing issues on my mind (like, you know, cooking turkey for that many people), I'm (of course) most interested in how to make my house feel cozy & autumnal for all of our guests.

Last year I posted about hanging a wreath over the glass door leading into our mudroom.  The secret is a Command Hook upside down on the back of the glass.  It's not QUITE time for full throttle Christmas decor yet, so I strung up some ornamental corn & ribbon.

Here's a close up shot (a little confusing because the glass is reflecting the side of the house):

Besides our corn-decor, we've also gone nuts with gourds everywhere.  Hanging out with our mice candleholders, joining a photo of Will the Baby in our mudroom, sitting in a flowerpot on the front step...

As usual, I'm dreaming of a fancy and elaborate table setting for Thanksgiving but I know that, for the sake of my sanity, we'll need to go simple.  I'm thinking more gourds, more corn, and a few flowers.  Stay tuned and stay homey!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Visit to Eataly

I was in NYC this past weekend celebrating my 30th (!!!) birthday and had some down time on Saturday afternoon to go meet one of my friends at Eataly.  Though Eataly opened while I was still in the city and working two blocks away, I had never been before and we decided to go for lunch.

I should preface this by saying that if I did still work two blocks away from Eataly (which is on the corner of 5th Avenue and 23rd Street), I would never choose to go on a Saturday afternoon at the beginning of the holiday season.  It was super crowded and full of tourists.  Like overwhelmingly crowded.  But if you can get past the crowds (or go during off hours), it really is an amazing place.

Offering the most incredible selection of both fresh and packaged Italian foods, it reminded me of the food market Jaisa & I visited while in Madrid.  Or like a very high end, very Italian version of Pike Place Market in Seattle.  There were fresh veggies (while killed my theory that this was only a place for tourists), desserts, all sorts of canned and jarred meats and fish, oils, cookbooks, housewares, and SO MUCH PASTA:

My friend Sarah and I met inside and beat the crowds downstairs by heading up to Eataly's rooftop bar, Birreria.

We found a spot at the bar and ordered some drinks.  After relaxing a bit upstairs, we headed back down to the market to get some food and shop around.  Not pictured, because although the crowds had died down a bit by then, it was still super crowded and hard for us to find a place to sit.  So we ended up with more wine.  It should be called "Drinkaly," amirite?

Luckily our two glasses of asti spumante came with a mini cheese and crackers plate as well.  We sipped our wine, enjoyed the cheese, and then left Eataly without having actually eaten a whole lot.

I have to be back in the city later this week and am thinking about making a trip to Eataly during what I would imagine is a quieter time.  Any suggestions on how to beat the crowds there?  Any of Eataly's restaurants I should try?  Let us know and stay hungry!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Prosciutto Goat Cheese and Black Cherry Crostini

As promised, I'm going to continue on our little tour of Crostiniville.  Costini is fun and super easy to make, and the different combinations are endless.   Sometimes I just lay in bed and dream up different combos.  I'm weird.  I know. 

Check out this one:  crispy crostini topped with tangy goat cheese, tart black cherry preserves, and salty smokey prosciutto. There are too many yums in that sentence.  Can't even handle it right now. 

Adding a little fresh thyme makes a beautiful garnish and adds a bright fresh taste.

Imagine this with a bottle glass of pinot noir?  Excuse me, Day, can you be Friday again, please?

Here's the recipe: 

Toast thinly sliced baguette in a 400 degree oven until very lightly toasted.  Spread with a thin layer of goat cheese and top with thinly sliced prosciutto and a dollop of tart preserves (dark cherry works great, but any other flavor would work great too).  Sprinkle with a little fresh thyme and serve immediately.

Stay hungry!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Non-Balloon Gender Reveal Ideas

A bunch of my very close friends are expecting babies between now and May and it seems like I'm seeing a Facebook pregnancy announcement every few days.  Though Jesse & I opted not to find out the sex of our baby before the birth, most people I know choose to find out in advance.  Just the other night, I got a photo from a pregnant friend, grinning ear-to-ear and wearing a pink pashmina (I assume the blue one, not needed, was just out of frame).

In this Pinterest age, "Gender Reveals" are becoming more and more of an event and there's one thing that really gets under my skin.  I HATE seeing gender reveals where people open a box and pink or blue balloons fly away.  I get so fired up when I see these on Facebook or other blogs (poor Jesse has heard this rant a million times).  Releasing balloons into the sky, no matter how nicely it photographs, is littering and terrible for the earth.  The sea turtles, you guys!!

So here are some sweet and turtle-friendly ideas for your gender reveal that don't involve balloons:


How did you share the news?  A full on party?  Sharing via email or Facebook?  Phone calls to your closest family and friends?  Or did you wait, like us, and have your man head out to the waiting room with a simple "It's a boy!"?  Let us know!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Roast Beef and Garlic Herb Cheese Crostini

Accept it or not, holiday season is right around the corner.  Which means finger food and delicious appetizers!  YEAH!  I LOVE making much so that I'm going to feature three, super simple recipes you can whip together in no time but still totally impress your guests. 

This one is an oldy but such a goodie.  I think this was the first appetizer I ever made for my husband.

It has three ingredients (three!) well actually four if you count the chives.  But come on, that's the garnish.  That doesn't count. 

 Here's the recipe!

1 Baguette, sliced thin and toasted
1/2 Pound of Very Thinly Sliced Roast Beef
Garlic & Herbs Allouette Cheese Spread
Chives for Garnish

Thinly slice the baguette and toast in a 400 degree oven for 5-6 minutes or until crostini begins to get lightly golden brown.  Spread with cheese and then add small pieces of the roast beef on top.  Top with a few green chives for a pop of color and enjoy.

Stay hungry!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

RhiNO or YES?

Here's a little disagreement that Jesse and I are having when it comes to decorating the baby's room.  Jesse bought me this paper mache rhino bust from Anthro for my birthday years ago and it used to live above the bedroom door in our Brooklyn apartment.  I knew I wanted to hang it up in a nursery as soon as we had one to decorate.  And now we do.  So I hung it up.

But Jesse HATES that it's in the baby's room.  He thinks that Will is going to have nightmares about the "horned beast" hanging on the wall.  I guess I will concede that he looks a bit grumpy...

...but he's made from recycled french books!  He's some nice 3D art for the walls (...not that we've hung much else yet... it's been a busy 7 months...)!  He's a rhino and we got to see real rhinos on our South African safari while I was pregnant with Will!  And it's not like he lives above the crib... he's tucked into a corner near the closet.

So what do you think?  Too creepy?  Should I dress him up with some sort of silly hat to make him a big goofier?  Let us know and stay homey!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Review On VROU

When the opportunity came along to support a dear friend's sister's (who is also a friend of mine) new beverage, VROU, I jumped at the chance.  It's a drink made for women BY a woman who knows a thing or two about health and fitness.  And, well, I need all the help I can get. 

VROU is a super simple way to get multivitamins, antioxidants, and electrolytes to support the active lifestyles of women on the go.  It's also getting all kinds of press, including  WSJForbesRefinery 29 and Levo League. Check out their latest press in Cosmo!  Crazy, right?! 

I received a sample in the mail - one of each of their flavors.  Pineapple Mint, Orange Guava, and Cucumber Lime.  I'm obsessed with all three flavors but my absolute fav is the Cucumber Lime.  It reminds me of the cucumber water at my favorite spa, but it's better.  Charlie's favorite is the Orange Guava.  

As mentioned, VROU is made for busy women like myself.  Even though I try to eat healthy (ahem, sometimes) I don't really have time to double check to make sure I'm getting all of the right nutrients I need so the fact that it's affordable and comes in a tasty little drink (that only has 5 calories!) works perfectly for me.  Check out the nutrients and vitamins included in each bottle of VROU:

Ok I know it's totally NOT INTENDED for this, but I put a splash of cucumber vodka in the Cucumber Lime and added a cucumber for garnish and it was soooooo good.  Maybe if I use this for my mixers I won't get hungover?  TBD.  

Right now there is an amazing deal going on at Plum Alley where you can make a small investment in VROU and receive awesome perks.  For instance, if you invest $35 you will receive a case of VROU (your flavor of choice).

Congrats Kathryn on you entrepreneurial skillz and for making a product that's not only delicious, but amazing for women!

Here is Kathryn Moos, our friend and founder of VROU. 

Stay healthy!   

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hardly Housewives is Two!

On November 1, 2011, we hit "publish" on the first post for Hardly Housewives.  Two years later, all sorts of things have changed for us (new jobs!  new cameras! a baby!) but we are still going strong and couldn't be more thankful to our readers who pop in daily to get a dose of homey and hungry.

Thank you so much for coming to check out our projects and recipes, for sharing ideas and feedback, for leaving sweet comments and "liking" posts on Facebook, for pinning things you like, and for telling your friends about our little blog.  Thank you for sharing your projects gone right and your projects gone wrong. Thank you for putting up with our erratic schedules and our typos and our periodic blurry cell phone pictures.  Thanks!  Really! Blogging is a blast for us and it's great to know that there are people out there appreciating it with us.  Besides, you know, our parents.

So while Jaisa and I will be having a virtual toast to celebrate, here are Hardly Housewives' three most popular posts of all time:

1. Sausage Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

2.  Oven Roasted Mushrooms