Friday, April 29, 2011

Flashback or Foodie Friday?

I'm sure that some other blogger out in the blogosphere has come up with one or both of these ideas, but I wanted to see what you all were thinking. Or if you had seen other bloggers that have either of these concepts up, then I can just link to their blog. So should this wonderful day of the week be "Flashback Friday" or "Foodie Friday"?
          "Flashback Friday" would be a memory of mine (or another blogger's) that could be as recent as yesterday or as far back as you can remember.
          "Foodie Friday" would be a favorite recipe, restaurant, or meal of mine (or another blogger's). Let me know what you think! I'm off to Virginia for the weekend to see my best friend Kim! Check us out over ten years ago, and I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!
P.S. I'll miss you, M!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chewy Fruity Treats

To start, I had a fantastic training run this morning. Yes, running is a huge part of my life, but I have yet to blog about it. Stay tuned for more on that.
          But another very big part of my life is baking. I don't always like what I bake, but I keep on bakin' on. M loves Rice Krispie Treats, so I have been "baking" those almost every weekend since I learned this fun fact about him. I've craving the flavor of Fruity Pebbles, so of course I thought why not switch up what I bake. Unfortunately, these didn't turn out as good as I would have hoped, but at least I tried.
Two of three ingredients
Serving: Approximately 16 squares
Ingredients:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 package of marshmallows (10 oz. bag)
  • Approximately 6 cups of Fruity Pebbles
Directions:
  1. Over medium heat in a large pasta pot, melt butter. 
  2. Add entire bag of marshmallows. Mix marshmallows and butter. Stir until marshmallows are completely melted. 
  3. Turn off the heat. 
  4. Gradually, add the Fruity Pebbles. Mix until the cereal is completely combined with marshmallow and butter combination. 
  5. In a brownie pan, spread mixture evenly. (We used a 13" X 9" pan, but didn't spread it all the way out.)
  6. Put in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set. 
  7. Remove from the freezer, slice into squares, and enjoy!
Blurry picture, but you can see how we didn't spread them all the way out.

Chewy Fruit Treats!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#17 Pick hyacinths from the garden and bring them to work

Hyacinths at my desk (taken in the morning)
How pretty are these? Until a few years ago, I had never really had a favorite flower. But as I thought about it, what if someone wanted to buy me flowers, what would I want? So I went on a scent hunt and settled on hyacinths. Their fragrance, to me, is unlike any other.
          Because both of my parents like to garden, they ordered a ton of bulbs last year and planted them all, including hyacinths for me. We have picked not even half of them (there are four stems in the vase on my desk, but you can't see the back two).
          Another item to check off on my list of 24 Before 24. I just wish you could enjoy the smell like all the people in my office.
Later in the afternoon in the sunshine (we have sky light windows in our office)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Too Hot to Handle Nachos

This past weekend I was up in Boston with the beau. Saturday we woke up to pouring rain, which meant no running along the beach for the two of us. So instead of being a lazy bum the entire day, M drove us to Stop & Shop where we filled our shopping basket with an assortment of yummy goodies. As a great, but not so healthy lunch, we made some nachos. Ready for the recipe?
Ingredients for a tasty lunch!
Serving: For 2 hungry people :)


Ingredients:
  • jalapeños, sliced
  • 1 jar of Tostitos Hot Salsa, used for dipping
  • 1 bag of Reduced Fat shredded Mexican Blend cheese
  • 1 bag of Tostitos Scoops
  • Optional, vanilla (or any flavor) ice cream on the side
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Slice jalapeños and leave in the seeds. 
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay about two-thirds of the scoops across the baking sheet. (I made them so they weren't on top of each other.) 
  4. Evenly sprinkle the entire bag of cheese across the chips. Then layer the jalapeños over the chips and cheese. 
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then enjoy! 
So where does the ice cream come into play? Well after I had one chip with a jalapeño, I started sweating. My ears were ringing because it was so spicy! M grabbed a pint of ice cream from his freezer for us. With just one spoonful of ice cream, I could taste again and enjoy more nachos without the jalapeños on them. Suggestions for the next time, no seeds from the jalapeños and have sour cream and/or guacamole as sides for dipping too.
Ready to be baked!

Nachos cooling before we devoured them all!

The last crumbs... Do you see the ice cream next to the baking sheet? 

Monday, April 25, 2011

#7 Buy my first car!

Picking up my car at the dealership!
Meet Holly Go-slowly! After starting my fantastic full-time job last June, I decided that I wanted my very own car, and I knew exactly what I wanted: a black Audi A4 with beige interior and all-wheel drive. On the first day that I went out to shop for a car (after many months of saving), I found her!
          I named my perfect car after Audrey Hepburn's character in Breakfast at Tiffany's. I love her free spirit, her classic look, and the message of the movie. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love this wonderful car, and I'm so grateful every time I sit behind the wheel.

Holly in Syracuse, N.Y. - October 2010
Buried in one of many winter storms - January 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Alien Before the Planetarium

Ticket to the planetarium!
Even though I have created these fantastic lists, M and I still make a point to do different activities without agenda. We have a lot in common, so it helps that we're both happy to spend our Saturdays on the couch or exploring. Anyways, one spring Saturday, M wanted to take me to the planetarium at the Museum of Science in Boston. I hadn't been to the museum since I was very little, so I was excited.
          A fun fact about the two of us is that we're on-time people, and by on time, I mean always early. We headed from his apartment to the museum with plenty of time to spare. And what better way to spend our early time than browsing the gift shop!

Me as an alien in the gift shop (Photo taken by M)
Not the best picture of me, but who cares. It was a great afternoon, and the actual planetarium show was quite entertaining. The show was interactive, so the audience was invited to participate, however it was definitely geared towards the 12 and under age set. I enjoyed it though and learned lots about the wonderful world of space. Do I recommend going? YES!
          Hopefully this weekend we'll find time to do some exploring and find delicious French macarons. Does anyone have suggestions for where I could hunt some down in Boston?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rebeccas, You Stole my Heart

My ongoing birthday treats!
Last night, we went to dinner to celebrate a good friend's birthday. It was his actual birthday yesterday, so his parents and mine headed to ravishing Rebeccas. Because it's on the fancier side, we got to get all dressed up. So before leaving I asked my mom to take a picture of me for my blog.
Me all ready to go! (You can't see my gold sparkly pumps)
It was a great atmosphere for dinner conversation because of the round table and the not too crowded restaurant. To start, we each had different salads. I had the frisée salad with sautéed mushrooms, asparagus tips, and warm goat cheese. It was fantastic! When it came time for dinner, my mom ordered the Lobster with lemon risotto, asparagus tips, and green peas. Look at how they set up the dish!

Mom's dinner
For my dinner, I ordered the Nantucket bay scallops with saffron couscous and a ragout of provencal vegetables. The presentation of the plate was quite the display! I really enjoyed the dish, but didn't really like the green pesto sauce around it. I think the dish would have been perfect without it.
My dinner
Finally, we had to order dessert. The birthday boy offered to share the key lime pie with me, but his mom also made sure that I had a little plate of desserts to blow out a candle on (see the first picture at the top). The key lime pie was to die for. By the time that we had all finished our individual desserts, we still hadn't received the doughnuts for the table. I didn't take a picture of those, but they were coated in sugar and melted in your mouth with each bite! 
Key lime pie with graham cracker crust, lime zest, and whipped cream
You definitely need to check this place out if you ever happen to be in Greenwich. You know I'll be back for more!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#2 Visit the Guggenheim

The skies were overcast, and the wind chill made that February day feel even gloomier than it already was, but I was with M, so I couldn't complain. On our first date, I had showed him my list of 23, and luckily, he was more than happy to participate in many of the different activities. We took a mid-morning train into Manhattan and ventured uptown to the Guggenheim.
          The architecture of museum itself struck me as a place where fantastic art would temporarily (or permanently) call its home. Unfortunately, we left unimpressed. Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe we just didn't like the style. But overall, we probably won't be heading back there, whether it's cold as hell outside, or a perfectly lovely day.

Ticket into the museum!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Perfectly Imperfect Chocolate Chip Cookies


Yield: Approximately 24 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup dark chocolate chunks
½ cup milk chocolate chips

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, use a whisk to mix flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, use a mixer to combine brown sugar, sugar, and butter. Mix until light and fluffy. Make sure not to over-mix.
  4. Add egg and vanilla to sugar and butter mixture. Mix until fully combined.
  5. Now add half of the flour mixture at a time. Again, make sure to not over-mix.
  6. Lastly, put all chocolate chips into the dough.
  7. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets. Then put heaping spoonfuls of dough onto the sheets about an inch and a half apart.
  8. When oven is ready, put sheets with cookie dough in the oven. Bake cookies until golden brown. Depending on the oven, set timer for 6 minutes, then 2 minute intervals until cookies are to your liking.
  9. As soon as their done, take out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

Cookie dough ready for the baking sheets! 

Pre-oven!

Baked and ready for eating! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Welcome! Benvenuti! Bienvenue! Bienvenida!

This blogger is back! It's taken me a little while to get my blog as pretty as can be and to get back on the blogging band wagon, but here I am! To start, I wanted to say welcome to everyone new and returning to reading my blog. Previously, I had a blog that chronicled my dating life, which you can find here.
          Currently, I'm in a very happy, healthy, but long distance relationship with the most amazing and perfect person in the world. And I try my hardest to tell him that every day. The short of it, I'm beyond grateful and lucky.
          This blog isn't about our relationship though. Even though he's an extremely important part of my life, our relationship is ours. Simple Girl, Simple Pleasures will include him because he's such a focal point in my life, but it will also include my baking and cooking experiments, plus the stories behind each item on my lists. Take a quick look around, and don't hesitate to contact me or better yet, follow me!