Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bachelorette Wine Tour Weekend

Sorry I haven’t been posting as many recipes lately but I have been super busy the last few weeks as you can see.  I planned one of my best friend’s bachelorette party and it was last weekend.  We had a great time!  Per the bride’s request, we went on a winery tour and of course I got us all a white hummer limousine!   I used Chariots for Hire based on a friend’s recommendation.  Our driver Robert was great and very helpful.  We also all had personalized wine glasses custom made by Waterfall Designs from Etsy.  I highly recommend Waterfall Designs because the wine glasses were so cute and they were shipped very well with no issues.   I put them in cute gift bags that I decorated with everyone's names and wine themed scrapbook stickers.   We had a picnic lunch at one of the wineries and the weather was perfect.  

One of the favorite wineries was Bluemont Vineyard – it was absolutely gorgeous there!  The views were spectacular.

We went to dinner at the Chart House in Old Town Alexandria  - good food and a wonderful view overlooking the waterfront.  Here is me and the bride-to-be getting ready to head over to Chart House.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sauteed Kale

I have been loving kale lately and have seen it at the farmers market the last few weeks.   This Sautéed Kale is super easy and delicious.  This makes a great side dish to any meal.   I used a young kale, you may notice the leaves are smaller.   You can use any kale that you have.  This took me less than 20 minutes to put together.   I have been so busy this month so something quick is always appreciated.  Enjoy!

Sautéed Kale

1 large bunch of kale
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, diced
¾ cup chicken stock
salt and pepper


Chop stems and leaves of kale.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add garlic and onions, cook until softened.  

Over high heat, add stock and kale to saucepan with garlic and onions.  Stir to combine.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove cover and cook for additional 10-15 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated.   Stir occasionally.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 2 to 4.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sloppy Joes

Don't buy the canned stuff when you can make it yourself!  These Sloppy Joes are so easy to make.  You can substitute ground turkey or chicken if you don't want to use beef too.  I served these Sloppy Joes in wraps instead of the typical buns.  I topped them with shredded cheddar cheese and some spring lettuce mix.  They are filling and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.  Enjoy!


Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground beef
1 carrot, diced
½ onion, diced
¾ cup ketchup
3 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic, granulated or powder
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper


In a medium pan over medium-high heat, add ground beef, onion and carrot.  Cook until beef is browned.  Drain liquids (fat). 

Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, garlic and mustard.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 to 6.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Spinach Walnut Pesto

This spinach walnut pesto is so easy to make and it is delicious.  A good pesto means having fresh ingredients and I had so much spinach from the farmers market recently.  I also happened to have organic walnuts in my pantry too.  I adapted this recipe from  I served it with Cavanna Pasta's porcini ravioli, which I also got from the farmers market too.  What is also great with this spinach walnut pesto is that it freezes well, so feel free to freeze it if you have extra or want to make it ahead of time.   This pesto also makes a great spread on bread if you don't want to serve it with pasta.  Enjoy!

Spinach Walnut Pesto

1 ½ cups fresh spinach
1 cup olive oil
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup walnuts, toasted
2 to 3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt


Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add walnuts to the hot, dry pan and cook, stirring frequently, until walnuts starts to lightly brown for about 5 minutes.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Please all ingredients in a food processor except for the olive oil and pulse until combined to a coarse mixture.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil while pulsing to reach a smooth consistency.

Scrape sides of bowl if needed.

Serve with your favorite pasta.

Serves 4 to 6.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas

These Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas are an easy weeknight side dish to make.  It literally took me 5 minutes and it is absolutely delicious.  I also love raw sugar snap peas dipped in hummus as a healthy snack.  I saw that they had sugar snap peas at the farmers market today too.  Enjoy!

Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas

½ to 1 pound sugar snap peas
½  teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil


Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Add in sugar snap peas, salt and black pepper.

Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.

Serves 2 to 4.