Martha Wrap

Have you heard of my friend Martha’s latest invention?! Martha Wrap. Aluminum foil on one side, parchment paper on the other side. Perfect for baking, roasting, etc… It’s not too easy to find so when we saw it at Marshalls we grabbed a roll. We used it most recently when we made this flaky tomato and mozzarella tart. It worked perfect as parchment paper so the dough wouldn’t stick to the pan and as foil to wrap around the side of the pan.


That Martha, she thinks of everything.

Flaky Tomato and Mozzarella Tart

As always, we were looking for a new idea for a side dish to serve with our regular steak tip dinner. I found this recipe from an issue of Real Simple magazine from last summer that I saved because I thought it sounded good. Kind of like a healthier, fancier pizza…perfect to go with grilled steak!

Flaky Tomato and Mozzarella Tart
from Real Simple Magazine, July, 2011

all-purpose flour, for the work surface
1/2 sheet puff pastry (1/4 of a 17.3-ounce package)
1 C grape tomatoes (halved)
4 oz grated mozzarella (1 cup)
1 Tbs olive oil
s&p

Heat oven to 425° F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 9-by-6-inch rectangle. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Prick the puff pastry all over with a fork and top with the tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle with the oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into pieces before serving.

Enjoy!

Oscar Party

I love watching the Oscars – the clothes, the movies, the speeches…the snacks! Here is a list of all the films nominated for Best Picture and an appropriate hors d’oeuvre, meal, or dessert to go with each. Make them all or just make the one that corresponds to the movie you want to win Best Picture…either way have fun watching the Oscars Sunday night!

The Artist – French Onion Soup

The Descendants – Hawaiian Pizza

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – New York Pretzel

The Help – Southern Fried Chicken

Hugo – Nutella and Fruit Crepes

Midnight in Paris – Croque Monsieur

Moneyball – Baseball Game Chili Dog

The Tree of Life – Texas Pork Ribs

War Horse – World War I Cake

At our house, we will be making Baseball Game Chili Dogs (my husband’s movie pick) and Croque Monsieur (my movie pick).

Dinner for Two

I got home from work last Tuesday to the most wonderful Valentine’s Day celebration that I just had to share in case you’re looking for ideas for a romantic dinner for 2…

Double Dozen Red Roses

Beet and Goat Cheese salad (yes, each beet is in the shape of a heart!!)
Baked Stuffed Shrimp, Chateaubriand, Green beans braised with tomatoes and basil

And, to finish the evening, homemade French Macarons, my favorite dessert…

*Note, my husband is on paternity leave right now so he has a little extra time during the day. Isn’t he the BEST?!

Brownies from Scratch

Again, I’m not really supposed to be eating dessert (I have a couple last stubborn baby weight pounds to lose), but we just felt this weekend that we really needed brownies. And I thought, if I’m consuming all of those calories, the brownies better be out of this world.

So, we made our old standby recipe for brownies from scratch. These brownies are fudge-like and phenomenal. Not too sweet. Super moist. Just great. Definitely drink with a glass of milk. Note, we made a half-batch so the recipe is easy to halve if you don’t want leftovers for days…
Cocoa Brownies
from Alton Brown, www.foodnetwork.com

Soft butter, for greasing the pan
Flour, for dusting the buttered pan
4 large eggs
1 C sugar, sifted
1 C brown sugar, sifted
8 oz melted butter
1 1/4 C cocoa, sifted
2 Tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C flour, sifted
1/2 Tsp kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan and bake for 45 minutes (edit – these brownies bake for nearly 55 mins, but start watching them at the 45 min mark). Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean. When it’s done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to cut into it until it’s mostly cool.

Enjoy!

Risotto

If I were to declare a “signature dish” for my husband and I, I would definitely say it’s risotto. It’s our favorite thing to make for a dinner party. It’s a basic recipe that we jazz up depending on what we’re in the mood for. It’s something we’re so comfortable making that it graces our dinner menu about once a month. We made a particularly good one this past weekend that I thought I would share.

You may think a risotto is intimidating to make but I assure you it is not. Yes, you need to stir quite often from the moment you begin, but it’s only about 25 minutes from start to finish and if you are mindful of when you’re adding the next round of liquid (not adding too soon or too late), your risotto will come out great, I promise!

We follow these basic measurements for making a risotto but then add varying veggies, protein, stock flavor, etc… depending on what we’re in the mood for. This night it was stewed tomatoes, asparagus, and chicken.

4 C chicken broth, low sodium
3 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
s&p
1 C Arborio rice
1/4 C dry white wine
1/4 C Parmesan cheese, grated

To start, pour stock into a saucepan and keep simmering on the stove. Then, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a heavy bottom saute pan or dutch oven. Saute the onion and garlic clove. Add the rice and stir quickly until it is well-coated with the oil and opaque, about 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook until nearly evaporated (if you are adding stewed tomatoes like we did, add them now so the tomato juice from the can is absorbed by the rice).

Now, with a ladle or measuring cup add 1 cup of the warm broth and cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time. Continue to cook and stir, allowing the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more. The risotto should be slightly firm and creamy, not mushy. Season with s&p. Add other veggies and protein at this point, or serve with veggies and protein on top of the risotto. We like to add the Parmesan cheese once the risotto is plated.

Enjoy!

Monday Outfit

I am off Monday for President’s Day so I’ll be wearing something a little more casual as I run errands and take our baby out for a little lunch. Have a great week!

J Crew knit top
$62 – jcrew.com

Miss Selfridge foil t shirt
$44 – missselfridge.com

Citizens of Humanity pocket jeans
$176 – bloomingdales.com

Tory Burch leather shoes
$195 – saksfifthavenue.com

J Crew j crew jewelry
$95 – jcrew.com

J Crew 14k jewelry
$28 – jcrew.com

DVF for GapKids

A match made in adorable Heaven – little girls wearing classic DVF wrap dresses!

After almost a year of rumors and speculation, I was so excited to read in the March issue of InStyle magazine that the Diane von Furtsenberg collaboration with GapKids is confirmed! The line will be for babies and girls size 2 to 14 and will include adorably patterned dresses and shoes. I’ll have to buy a few dresses now to put away for our baby girl. I know when she’s 2 and she hears that she could have had a DVF wrap dress, she would be bummed if she missed her chance. =) The line launches March 15th, preview it here.