Working On Our Wife Skillz…
I am not the world’s best chef. I really like quick + easy meals (time is money, people!), and I LOVE my microwave. So, I was Meagan’s “most eligible” friend to invite to join her for a cooking class she won at The Cook’s Warehouse. (Thanks, Meagan!)
She selected the “Brunch Basics” class, and I felt pretty confident that I wouldn’t be the most remedial chef in the room since the word “basic” was used in the description. (I still was, by far, but it wasn’t a big deal.) We met for the class early on a Saturday morning at The Cook’s Warehouse in Ansley Mall (pictured below).
We sat down at a table full of friendly-looking aspiring chefs and the instructors brought us over a cocktail. NOW they had my attention! They started the class by introducing themselves and running through the tasty items we’d make over the course of the next few hours.
Then, cocktail in hand, they turned us loose in their massive kitchen! (I didn’t get a picture of the CW Ansley Mall’s actual kitchen, but this one of their Brookhaven location is pretty close to what it looks like.)
Over the next two and a half hours, we made a breakfast strata, mix and match muffins of various kinds, two fruit salads (we learned how to properly cut fruit – Meagan is demonstrating what we learned in the picture below), and stuffed french toast. The instructors also made us another brunch cocktail. I certainly didn’t turn my nose up at that!
I learned so much over just a few hours in the Cook’s Warehouse kitchen, and Meagan and I had an excellent time working on the recipes. She got married the weekend before I did, and we joked that we were practicing our “wife skillz” during the class. (The wife skill I’ve been practicing the most over the past few blissful months of marriage has been letting Kevin think he’s making our decisions when I’m actually doing it. #marriedlife)
I really enjoyed our cooking class at Cook’s Warehouse, and I’d recommend checking out a class to anyone who would like to learn a few new recipes or cooking techniques or anyone who wants to plan a fun date. There is definitely a lot of teamwork involved! Oh – and the very best part of all is that you get to eat everything you make!
Click HERE for information about Cook’s Warehouse classes.
Cooking w/ L+L: Anjali’s Spinach Lasagna
My buddy, Anjali, is pretty serious in the kitchen. I am not. My dinner repertoire consists of a regular rotation of turkey tacos, baked salmon or tilapia, homemade pizza, crock pot pulled pork, and spaghetti-squash-with-crumbled-veggie-burgers-and-marinara. Needless to say, Kevin and I eat out A LOT…
When I was in DC over my birthday weekend, Anj made a delicious lasagna one night. It was so impressive and half of it fed six people. It was a real meal in my book.
I felt inspired a week ago to take a stab at it. Since Kevin and I tied the knot, our kitchen has been filling up with exciting cooking gear + it was time to break some of it in. There weren’t that many steps to the lasagna recipe, and I had a lot of the ingredients at home anyway. It was the first real meal I’ve prepared as a married lady. And, it was AWESOME!!
Behold my very first lasagna in all its Instagram glory:
(I was a little heavy-handed on the cheese, but whatevs…)
Okay, so here’s the recipe:
1 box of whole wheat or regular lasagna noodles
1 16 oz container of part skim ricotta cheese
1 16 oz package of mozzarella cheese
1 smaller package of shredded parmesan cheese
1 box of frozen chopped spinach
2 bottles of marinara sauce (whatever flavor you prefer)
Dried basil, oregano, or any other Italian seasoning
Red pepper flakes
1. Preheat oven to whatever it says on the lasagna noodle box.
2. Boil lasagna noodles according to box.
3. Defrost spinach.
4. Mix together spinach, ricotta cheese, and half a jar of marinara sauce. Season to taste with dried basil (or other Italian seasoning), salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
5. In a 9×13 inch baking pan, pour some sauce, lay down three cooked lasagna noodles, add 1/3 of the spinach ricotta mixture, and then sprinkle mozzarella cheese. Add sauce, noodles, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese for a total of three layers. After the last layer of noodles, add remaining sauce, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.
6. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for however long it says on the box. After that amount of time, remove foil and broil for 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese.
7. Cool for 10 minutes.
8. Slice and serve. Enjoy!
Make this lasagna. It’s really pretty easy, super delicious, and you’ll feel like a grown up in the kitchen! It lasts forever if you freeze it properly, too.
Categories: What we're Cooking
SuperBowl 47: Brother v. Brother/Sister v. Sister
So, its Super Bowl Sunday. It’s the biggest game of the year (apparently.) and I’m actually pretty jazzed up about it. Not because I like anything that’s consistently classified as “Super” (I do.) or because I care about sports (I don’t!) or even because of the outrageously amazing ads (ok, I’m still excited about that)… I’m just REALLY into the Harbaugh Brother Rivalry!
I mean, WHAT are their parents going to do?
I was on the phone with my sister last night discussing this matter and, more importantly, which dishes we will be bringing to our respective Super Bowl parties when it occurred to me…we just may have a little Super Bowl Sibling Rivalry of our own!
May I present to you… the FIRST EVER
(former) Kraselsky vs. (former) Kraselsky SUPERBOWL PARTY SNACK-OFF!
We will each bring one savory and one sweet item. Feel free to let us know which items you prefer… or just enjoy the recipes below for Buffalo Chicken Dip, Oreo Truffles, Baked Brie, and S’mores Brownies!
I came to play with the crowd-pleasing Buffalo Chicken Dip!
It’s SUPER easy. (Pun intended.) and people go CRAZY for it. This is how you do it:
Ingredients: I run to the grocery and get the following: 1 rotisserie chicken (Costco also has a cheap/good one.), 2 8oz packages of cream cheese (I usually do a full fat and a low fat…like that’s gonna help.), 1 small bottle of ranch dressing, 1 bottle of Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, and a 16oz package of grated Sharp cheddar cheese. I like to serve this dip with Chicken in a Biskit crackers and celery sticks.
Directions: First, I get Greg to dismantle the rotisserie chicken while I’m in another room. Ick. Then I throw the chicken pieces into my blender with 3/4 of the bottle of Franks and blend. Then I transfer the mixture to a pot on the stove and heat it with the 2 packages of cream cheese, 1 cup of ranch dressing, and 3/4 cup of the grated cheese until creamy. Then I pour it into a Pyrex and cover the top with more grated cheese. When I’m ready to serve, I heat it for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees until it’s bubbly on top.
Prepare to have zero conversation while this dip gets wolfed down the moment you set it on the table.
For my sweet dish…I’ll be making my super easy Oreo Truffles. Somehow the post I wrote several years ago is nowhere to be found, but here’s another good how-to (although I use Wilton’s candy coating instead of semi sweet chips.) In any event, they’re really easy.
For an extra special gameday version (or the “extra point” if you will…) I ran to Michael’s and picked up some disposable candy decorating bags, rolled the filling into ovals instead of balls, and made them look like little footballs!
So, I feel pretty solid about my “roster…” but my sister is a well-known amazing cook and fierce competitor!
Katie will be competing with her standard party favorite: Baked Brie. (obviously her party sounds pretty high brow.)
She always uses this recipe and said that she uses crescent rolls and switches up the jams. She says the honey and sugar are optional.
For dessert, she’ll be serving her always delicious S’mores Brownies.
Here’s how you do it:
Ingredients: You need 10 whole graham crackers (20 crossway halves), 1 package Betty Crocker brownie mix (and its ingredients), 2.5 cups mini marshmallows, and 1c semi-sweet chocolate chunks
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350. Line baking pan with foil extending beyond sides of pan and grease foil. Make brownie mix as directed on back of box. Try not to eat it all. Place 15 of graham cracker halves in bottom of pan (overlap slightly), set aside other 5 halves (break into large pieces). Spread brownie mix over graham crackers
Bake 28-32 min (toothpick comes out fudgey crumbs. DON’T OVERBAKE… and don’t turn your oven off just yet.)
Sprinkle marshmallows and chocolate chunks on top, then throw that sucker in for another 3-5 min or until marshmallows begin to puff. Then press graham pieces into marshmallows and allow it to cool in pan. Lift out of pan onto cutting board using foil and cut brownies…voila!
So, there you have it! 4 extremely easy gameday recipes you totally have time to make before kickoff! Now, go forth, enjoy your commercials and…
Kale Chips: My New Favorite Snack
I really like to eat. Like a lot.
I think breakfast, lunch, AND dinner are all the most important meals of the day. (This is why I try to work out so much, because I’m always eating.) On top of my three square (usually) meals, I am a pretty big snacker, too. If I could eat whatever I wanted, I’d go for nacho cheese Doritos every time. Because I just can’t eat like that whenever I want + I definitely wouldn’t want to offend you with Doritos breath (no really – Doritos give you the worst breath!), I’ve turned to alternatives like whole wheat pita chips + my newest love/ favorite snack: kale chips.
Kale is super healthy for you since it’s high in fiber, vitamin A, and calcium among other things. It tastes pretty good raw, but it’s truly awesome when thrown in the oven and made into chips. Kale chips totally curb my salty/ crunchy cravings and they are way more filling than they look!
Basically, I get this bag of kale from Trader Joe’s…
…and in a few simple steps I turn it into this. Voila!
Here’s the kale chips recipe I’ve been using lately:
What you need:
8 cups of kale
1 Tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of black pepper
How you do it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line sheet pan with parchment paper. Remove stems from kale. Tear into very large pieces. (Chips will shrink considerably.) Wash kale. Dry in a salad spinner or with paper towels. Make sure it’s fully dried.
In a large bowl, add kale, oil, and seasonings. Stir to coat evenly. Add kale to parchment lined sheet plan in a single layer. Bake in batches for about 8 minutes until edges are slightly brown. (Start checking your chips at about 6 minutes.) Do not allow to overcook – they can go from perfectly crisp to completely burnt in a matter of seconds. Enjoy!
Happy healthy cooking + eating, y’all!
Return of the Terribly Absent Blogger…
Hello, everyone! It’s me! It’s me! I’ve returned from my two month hiatus!
THANK YOU for allowing me that precious time for a little blog cleanse. After over three years of almost constant blogging, I’ll be the first to admit that you can get burnt out when you overdose on things that you love so much (gelato, pizza, yoga, Real Housewives of any city, blogging), so I truly appreciate your patience with me. The good news is that I’m officially back now and ready to fill you in on lots of exciting things going on in Atlanta! Starting tomorrow, I’m back to the grind. Today, I wanted to update you on what I’ve been up to over the past two months.
Kevin and I tied the knot in Atlanta! It was an unforgettable weekend for us.
(Muscles brought to you by the amazing pilates reformer guru, Meredith Bass!)
We took an awesome trip to Arizona! Here we are in Sedona…
At the South Rim of the Grand Canyon…
And relaxing at the Ritz-Carlton Resort at Dove Mountain.
We spent Thanksgiving in Jacksonville where we came in second place in a highly competitive family holiday cookie competition with these bad boys. Brown Butter Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies. (We were robbed, I tell ya!)
We traveled to beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica for Rosh’s wedding.
Then to Delray, Florida for our friend Jesse’s wedding.
And we celebrated the New Year in sunny Jacksonville Beach!
In between all of our traveling, we found time to eat. A lot.
Drink. A lot.
Relax. A lot.
Experiment in the kitchen. (Here’s the no-brainer peppermint bark recipe we used.)
Get together with good buddies.
Play with nail polish.
Hug some babies.
Get some dental work done. (Sidenote: I really wanted this to be our holiday card, but I was vetoed.)
Watch an entire two seasons of Homeland. Totally obsessed – more on that later…
And meet Charles Barkley!
Needless to say, it’s been a very busy past two months. I’m rejuvenated now, and it feels so great to be back!
Here’s to the Q+DD! Here’s to 2013! It’s totally gonna be a great one!
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