4 Ingredient Oreo Peanut Butter Fudge

Monday, April 14, 2014

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After a few weeks of “healthy Sundays”,

I knew a “downfall” recipe was on the horizon.

Cue this “death by chocolate”

4 Ingredient Oreo Peanut Butter Fudge

recipe I’ve come to love.

And by love I mean,

alter to enjoy whatever candy craving of the week I see fit!

This week’s recipe called for Oreos and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups Minis.

But the fantastic thing about this dessert,

is you can substitute those for just about anything that suits your fancy,

including swapping milk chocolate for white or butterscotch or mint.

The possibilities are endless!

Great for a crowd and perfect to pair with vanilla ice cream.

Happy indulging!

 xx

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Ingredients

12 oreos (crushed)

1 x 8oz bag of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups Minis

3 cups milk chocolate chips

1 can condensed milk

Parchment Paper

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Directions

1. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper

2. Crush Oreos and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Spread half of each mixture along the bottom of parchment-lined pan.

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3. Combine chocolate chips and one can of condensed milk in medium sized pan on stove-top. Be careful not to overcook, stir constantly until all chocolate is melted.

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4. Pour chocolate on top of Oreo/Peanut Butter Cups mixture and spread remaining Oreos/Peanut Butter Cups across surface spreading evenly.

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5.  Place in refrigerator for several hours to set (3-4 should suffice).

6. Using large butcher knife, cut fudge into desired bar size and serve.

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My Wedding Registry Musts: Kitchen + Dining

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

As we move towards another fabulous wedding season

and the showers and festivities kick into high gear,

I’ve found myself perusing, purchasing off of and living vicariously through,

all of our friends registries.

These site visits prompted me to reflect back on our various registries

and what we have loved and really used

versus what still sits in their box, untouched.

I’ve doled out my “registry musts” to friends in the past

but felt it was time to compile into a “permanent form” of sorts.

So, first up, a pictorial of my basic registry musts for the

kitchen and dining room.

Wedding Registry- Kitchen + Electronics

1. Le Creuset Signature 15-Piece Cookware Set with Tea Kettle - I have acquired this set in bits and pieces but it has been worth the wait and I have truly utilized each and every piece. If you enjoy cooking, I believe these will carry you through many kitchens to come and last accordingly. Start small and build as you go or maybe a group of friends will chip in and give you the set all at once! (A very generous group of friends, indeed!)

2. Wüsthof Gourmet 18-Piece Knife Block Set - We received this as a wedding gift from our friends Emily + Garrett with a note saying it was one of the most useful gifts they had ever received and they were paying it forward! I use these every single day, if not twice a day. After two years, I have yet to sharpen them and there is not a piece of rust to be found anywhere.

3. All-Clad 7-Qt. Deluxe Slow Cooker with Cast Aluminum Insert - A must for those winter months and after a few successful meals brewed in our slow cooker, I was brave enough to start getting a little more creative in the kitchen! There is a slow cooker recipe for almost anything and the time you save with a one-pot dinner that turns out, is worth every last penny!

4. Cuisinart Elite Die Cast Food Processor, 12-Cup - We use this for juicing, blending and processing any food down, for recipes. It doesn’t take up a ton of space and has forced us to get a little more imaginative with smoothies and soup purees.

5. Classic 4-Slice Toaster - We originally registered for a 2-slice toaster being that we weren’t huge breakfast people. What we learned quickly thereafter was, while we aren’t huge breakfast people, we are big breakfast for dinner people AND love hosting guests on the weekends. Both things that call for a bigger toaster and less wait time!

6. KitchenAid Professional 600 Stand Mixer - I feel like this is already on everyone’s “wedding covet” list and while it took me a while to opt for this over my old tried and true handheld, once I did, there was no going back. My only regret was not purchasing in a fun, wild color.

7. Champagne Flutes - If you are someone who enjoys entertaining, I would recommend registering for 12. I only registered for 8 and, being someone who enjoys entertaining as much as I do, I wish I’d gotten a few more. If you are someone who isn’t a huge entertainer, you could easily stick with 6 or skip altogether.

8. Chardonnay/Burgundy Wine Glasses - See champagne flutes note.

9. Bordeaux Wine Glasses – See champagne flutes note.

10. Pistol Handle 4-Piece Cheese Knife Set - While I’m quite confident I am never using the correct knife for the appropriate cheese, I do love having a matching set to allow for a full, fun spread.

11. Boos Large Carving Board – Doubles as a cheese board and cutting board, it is sturdy, resistant and looks as wonderful as the day we received it (after hundreds of uses).

12. Salud Glasses - Or any drinking glass set that you fancy. We have 8 tall and 8 short and I’ve found it to be the perfect mix of both.

13. Arctic 6-piece Serving Set - It’s so nice having a matching set to use with different plates for a dinner party. They have never tarnished and are dishwasher-safe.

14. Flatware –  A full set of 12 x 5-piece setting has served us well. Tons of different patterns are offered at any/all discount stores if you don’t want to register for the really pricey options.

15. 5-Piece Calibowl® Nonslip Mixing Bowl Set - Having different shapes and sizes makes cooking and baking easier and more concise! Plus, having them able to be stacked inside one another saves a ton of room in your cupboards.

16. Williams-Sonoma Stainless Steel Thermo-Clad™ 15-Piece Cookware Set - Same sentiment as the Le Creuset set. Definitely a steep ask, but worth every penny of the investment. We use ours daily, they are dishwasher-safe and have remained in amazing shape after regular use over the last two years.

17. Dinnerware Set - I originally registered for 8 settings but received 12. I could not have been happier with the extra 4 settings and would absolutely recommend registering for 12 if you have a big family, enjoy entertaining or just don’t like doing the dishes very often!

18. Cooking Utensils – I have acquired many different (and duplicate!) utensils over the year to the point where our drawer is overflowing! That being said, I have found you can never have enough and could / should register for any tool that suits your fancy as it’s almost guaranteed you’ll eventually have a use for it!

Skinny Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

Monday, April 7, 2014

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Another cozy Sunday,

another delicious new recipe.

This week’s concoction was the perfect mix of sweet, spicy and savory,

adopted from Half Baked Harvest.

These healthy Chipiotle Chicken Sweet Potato skins might just be

my new favorite (light) comfort food!

They were done in no time

and we even made a few extra to enjoy for a second night!

One of the perks about these

is you can make them a little different every time.

Garnish with new veggies (red peppers, kale, broccoli)

or meat (sausage, turkey, beef)

and you have yourself a whole new dinner every time.

Give this delicious recipe a try and let me know what you think.

Happy Cooking!

xx

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Ingredients

4 medium sweet potatoes

1 pound (about 3 small) boneless skinless chicken breast

1/4 cups olive oil

2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

salt and pepper

2  cups spinach (5 oz)

2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

chopped cilantro, for garnish

greek yogurt, for serving

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Directions
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash your sweet potatoes and stick with fork. Place in the oven and bake until fork tender (about one hour).
2. Place your chicken in a baking dish and rub with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven with the potatoes and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and shred the chicken with a fork.
3. When the sweet potatoes are done cut in half and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
4. In a medium size bowl combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
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5. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and wilt the spinach. Toss the spinach and shredded chicken together, set aside and keep warm.
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6. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, leaving a medium size layer of flesh inside with the peel and place in a baking dish.
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7. Brush the skins with chipotle sauce and bake for 5-10 minutes until nice and crisp.
8. Remove skins from the oven and stuff with the chicken and spinach mixture. Brush chipotle sauce over top of each.
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9. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
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10. Garnish with cilantro and serve with Greek yogurt if desired.
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Have a Fling

Thursday, April 3, 2014

…with the season’s prettiest spring outerwear.

As the transition from freezing to “bearable” begins,

so must the movement from “down” jackets and pea coats to…

well, what do you wear for the that awkward in-between?

This time of year, the time for April showers and May flowers,

is often still too cool for just a blazer

and a little too warm for those heavier coats we don all winter long.

If you’re anything like me this week,

I’ve been staring aimlessly into my closet grappling with just that

and ultimately,

giving up and giving in to wearing the same winter coat I’ve worn for the past five months.

Boooorrring.

Cue, pretty jackets of spring;

a lighter, lovelier, brighter piece that can also assist

in the transition from fall to winter.

Here are some of my top picks

for  those “awkward” days after the polar freeze,

before the summer sun

and any other moment in-between.

xx

Spring Fling - 4.3.14

1. Barbour Outdoor Hooded Beadnell Jacket $379.00

2. J.Crew Collection Icon Trench $298.00

3. J.Crew Fatigue Jacket $188.00

4. J.Crew Collection Basket Weave Toggle (sale) $445.00

5. Madewell Rainstorm Jacket $138.00

6. Zara Structured Coat $159.00

7. Penfield Vassan Jacket $160.00

8. Zara Pique Coat $139.00

9. Zara Jacquard Coat with Pockets $159.00

10. Zara Wool Coat $119.00

11. Madewell Folkstitch Jacket $158.00

12. Tuckernuck Armor Lux $195.00

Covet & Love It

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

These last few sunny days

have teased us with the possible”real” start of spring weather.

I think it’s coming this time…I really think it’s coming…

(I really hope it’s coming!)

As the days move towards temperatures

 where tights are no longer necessary,

I find myself moving towards wardrobe items,

where pedicures are.

I’m loving the new sandals of summer

that have started creeping back onto the shelves of my favorite stores

and as always,

immediately fall in love with the ones that are currently outside of my price range.

I’m currently on the hunt for the perfect “everyday” sandal

that can be worn both day and night

(read: getting your money’s worth all day long)

but don’t think I can justify the splurge on this one…

especially since the Yosi Samra flats are so similarly cute.

While the fabulous Chloé Ankle-Strap Sandals will remain on my “wish list” for always,

these look-alikes prove to be the perfect “love it” for right now.

Happy Shopping!

xx

Covet&LoveIt-4.2.14

One-Dish Dinner: Sausage, Peppers + Quinoa

Monday, March 31, 2014

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One of my favorite things about a lazy Sunday at home

(and not traveling!)

is having the time to try out new recipes.

Quinoa has been a new favorite in our house as of late

(once I purchased a small enough strainer to rinse the bitter taste off)

and I’ve been drawn to all different kinds of recipes that call for it ever since.

Better Homes and Gardens had the perfect one-dish option I was looking for on a rainy afternoon.

First of all, one-dish dinners are the best.

But, one-dish dinners in the slow cooker that require nothing more than tossing everything in?

My favorite.

With a few tweaks to the ingredient measures (so we could squeeze some leftovers out of it)

we had ourselves a delicious, healthy and “light” Sunday dinner meal

that will most definitely become a reoccurring favorite going forward!

xx

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Ingredients

32 oz. reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 c. quinoa rinsed + drained

1/2 cup cider vinegar

3 tbsp. stone-ground mustard

1 tbsp. honey

3 medium peppers (any combination of red, green, yellow- I used one of each), cut into bite-size pieces

1 sweet onion, cut into wedges

16 oz. sweet itlalian sausage links, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise

light cheddar or feta cheese to garnish (optional)

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Directions

1. Combine all ingredients above into 4-5 qt. slow cooker

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2.  Cover and cook on high heat setting for 2 1/2 hours

3.  Stir mixture gently, garnish with sprinkle of cheese and enjoy!

Note: With chicken broth used in place of water for the quinoa, it gave the mixture

a different, creamier (no milk necessary) texture that was really delicious!

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Reviewed and Recommended

Friday, March 28, 2014

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Not your typical love story,

but an incredible love story nonetheless.

Every once in a while,

a book comes along that completely encompasses you.

For me, Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You did just that.

At the (many) recommendations of friends,

I added this novel to my reading queue for our vacation and could not have been happier I did.

A love story that forces you to contemplate life and then contemplate it some more,

the characters are relatable and the storyline, unpredictable.

 35-year-old Will Traynor  has spent the past two years as a quadriplegic

after a horrible street accident robbed him the use of his four limbs.

He is brilliant, handsome and incredibly angry with his life.

Enter Louisa Clark, a 26-year-old working-class girl, who is hired by Will’s mother, Camilla,

to be his care-giver, morale booster and companion.

A feat that proves to be quite daunting.

Before his accident, Will was an extremely successful businessman,

thrill-seeker, world traveler and boyfriend to the “perfect girl”.

Lou, on the other hand, has lived at home with her parents her entire life (while financially supporting them),

was recently laid off at the cafe she has worked at for the past six years,

and has never traveled, moved away or stepped outside of her “town comfort”.

She has a steady boyfriend, Patrick who, after many years together,

doesn’t really feel the need to discuss marriage or their future.

She considers herself “one of the invisibles” and has chosen to live her life that way.

Lou hasn’t begun to live and Will feels like he no longer can.

When absorbing such topics you don’t typically encounter in popular fiction,

much of the story makes for some heavy reading.

The type you can’t put down…

but must so as not to let anyone around you catch you tearing up.

Moral dilemmas, unexplored perspectives, new beginnings and shocking outcomes

are all present in this “must read”.

I feel that, while there is so much to share about this book,

it’s difficult to disclose too much more without robbing you of the reading journey you are about to embark on.

Certain stories are better left to the reader to uncover, analyze and digest

without too much insight ahead of time.

This is one of them.

Give it a try and be sure to share your feedback should you feel so inclined!

Happy reading,

xx

PS, MGM has snagged the rights to “Me Before You”. Let the casting fantasies ensue… swoon.

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