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the weathermen were right…

…about the snow this time!!  We only got a few inches, but it is always so pretty when the snow is falling…until I get home to Southie and people have marked their spots with cones and chairs, etc!  UGH!

But I got home, found an unmarked parking spot and was ready to make dinner.

I felt like some delicious green veggies tonight, so I roasted some asparagus and brussel sprouts, and cooked up some barley which I seasoned with lemon and herbs.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I made roasted brussel sprouts in mustard sauce again, since they were such a big hit the first time around.

I cleaned up the brussel sprouts.

Then, mixed them with mustard, brown sugar, sesame oil, salt and pepper and spread them out on a cookie sheet to bake at 400°F for 25 minutes.

Yum!  They came out caramelized and crispy and even better than last time!

Roasted Asparagus

  • 20 asparagus stalks
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • handful of grated parmesean cheese

Lay out your asparagus on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on parm cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Bake at 400°F for 10-12 minutes, or until roasted.  I already had my brussel sprouts baking, so I just popped this cookie sheet in when they had about 10 minutes to go.

This is such a quick and easy way to cook asparagus.  My husband and I love it!

Tomato & Barley Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked barley, cooked according to package instructions
  • 2-2.5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme (use fresh if you have it!)

Directions:

  • Boil 2 cups of vegetable stock.  Add barley, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  I have found that the cooking times with barley really vary for some reason!  Check your barley every so often.  You may need to add more vegetable stock if the barley is not tender enough.  I cook long enough so that it is al dente.

  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add chopped garlic and onion.  Cook until onion is tender, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add grape tomatoes and cook until warmed through.

  • Once barley is cooked, remove from heat and add to the onion/tomato mixture. Stir until combined.

  • Add lemon juice and zest to the mix and stir to combine.  Then, add thyme and mix.
  • Serve with roasted asparagus and brussel sprouts, or your veggie of choice!

This was a great dinner.  I adore vegetables and grains, so anytime I have a meal combining the 2 is phenomenal in my book.  I make sure that everything has a lot of good flavors, but that they don’t overpower each other.  The barley salad was very lemony, which worked well with the mustard brussel sprouts.  And, the asparagus was so simple, that it could be served with anything.  Loved this meal!

Wow!  An all around great day of eats. 🙂

cross country skiing

It was chilly up here in New Hampshire yesterday, so we started with a hearty breakfast!

My mom made a delicious breakfast with broccoli quiche, sour cream coffee cake and fresh cut cantaloupe.  It was a great start to the day.

And, my plate!

After breakfast we headed out to cross country ski with my in-laws.  I haven’t been cross country skiing in a really long time, so it took a little while to get the hang of it, but once I did it was fun!

We went to the rental place to pick up our stuff.

After what seemed like forever to get our gear, we headed out to the slopes!

We made it 2 laps around these cross country trails.  It felt like a great total body workout!  I am exhausted. 🙂  Some pics of our day!

It was mostly flat or uphill, until we came to the hills – yikes!

We made it down and stopped by the river for some photo ops!

It was a gorgeous day!  After we finished skiing, I snacked on my new favorite bar for some protein before lunch.

Once home, we had panini’s and homemade soup for lunch!

I enjoyed a grilled cheese with cheddar and some roasted root vegetable soup from Barefoot Contessa made by mom!

After lunch we took a scenic drive up to the Mount Washington Inn!  The sky was a gorgeous blue and so clear that we had a perfect view of Mount Washington from the Inn.

We decided to sit in the gorgeous lobby overlooking the enormous fireplace and enjoy an afternoon cocktail!

I enjoyed a hot apple grog (cider and brandy) along with my mom and father-in-law, while Brant and his mom enjoyed an Irish Coffee.

With a cinnamon stick!

And, some snacks.

Once home from our lovely and relaxing afternoon, we started preparing for the dinner party!

A fun cheese platter!  I have a major cheese weakness…I love the Apricot Stilton, yum!!

And, the whole appetizer spread.

Lots of yummy choices, but I stuck with the cheese and crackers.  They went better with my cosmopolitan!

Dinner was chicken marsala, israeli couscous salad, spinach pie, and salad.  Here is some of the spread.

My favorite was the couscous!  YUM!

And, it is so simple!  Just israeli couscous, toasted pinenuts, raisins and some herbs.  Delicious.  I made a plate up of green salad and the couscous with added mushrooms from the chicken marsala (minus the chicken)!  Along with a glass of red wine.  Perfect!

snowshoeing

It was another great weekend up in New Hampshire!  We spent both days skiing, and even did a little showshoeing on Saturday afternoon!

Our snowshoeing adventure was my first time, and it was tons of fun!  We walked along the river and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the workout, and the dogsled tours we saw going on!

Here are some photos of our afternoon:

It was such a beautiful tour and a great workout, especially up those hills.  I will definitely be snowshoeing more often for the rest of the winter!

snow & pancakes

Sunday morning we woke up to a beautiful snowfall in Southie!  We only got about 8-10 inches in Boston…it was nothing like other parts of the Northeast, but it was still beautiful!
 
Pictures of the snow on our porch! 
 
 
 
 
We decided to make a perfect ‘snowed-in’ breakfast of whole-grain pancakes with chocolate chips and raspberry syrup – YUM!  Brant whipped up the batter and the pancakes, while I worked on the raspberry syrup (and staying out of his way!).
 
Whole-Grain Pancakes (from 101cookbooks.com)
makes about 12 pancakes
  
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup natural granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 1/4 cups organic buttermilk
  • 2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter.
  • Stir all the ingredients until they are just combined. Don’t worry if the batter is a bit lumpy, you don’t want to over mix.
  • Heat your skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. Test for the right temperature. If a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to dance, you are in the ballpark.
  • Pour about 1/3 of a cup of batter into the skillet. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter.

We decided to make these pancakes extra special and add chocolate chunks to them!

Yum!

huge pancakes cooking on the skillet

flip once nice and golden brown

On to the syrup!

While Brant was cooking all of our delicious pancakes, I decided to use Heidi’s idea (from 101cookbooks.com) and make a flavored syrup.  We didn’t have blueberries like she suggessted, so instead I used some frozen raspberries we had in our freezer.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces of raspberries
  • 1/4 cup natural granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup real-deal, PURE, maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water

frozen raspberries

  Directions:

  •  Add 6 ounces of raspberries, 1/4 cup natural granulated sugar, 1/4 cup real deal, pure maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of water to a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Heat and stir until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for 5 or 6 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and press the raspberry mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl.
  • Mash the fruit to get all the juiciness extracted.
  • Throw out the solids.

raspberries and syrup simmering on the stove

Pour syrup over pancakes and top with more raspberries and chocolate chunks.  

ready to eat!

Enjoy!

After our delicious breakfast, we ventured out to dig out our cars!  Living in Southie, people are very meticulous about their spots…and use “space savers” to save those spots when they leave!  Luckily, shovelling was not too bad this storm, and we are fully prepared with our cone!  

Having fun shovelling!