Monday, February 20, 2017

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers and Dijon Mustard

This is the recipe I promised to post a couple days ago.  I could eat Brussels sprouts at every meal. Sometimes, it is all I eat for dinner - a lot of the time.  Tim knows how much I like them and looks for new ideas on how to cook them.  This was pretty fantastic.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers and Dijon Mustard

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnut
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 45 degrees.
2. Cut Brussels sprouts into quarters.  Spread in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with 3 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add walnuts and cook stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted 4-6 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in mustard, capers and vinegar.
4. Add the brussels sprouts to the pan and stir to combine with the sauce.  Season with more pepper to taste. Serve warm.

You Are Loved



















Years ago when I was in middle school. I went to a 5 and Dime store to buy my mother a gift. At a very early age, I realized that it was going to be up to me to make sure my Mom knew that someone always cared for her. My Dad was a typical military type guy - not very affectionate, wasn’t very demonstrative, and sometimes could be cruel. He would often forget birthdays, and holidays and anniversaries. I got used to it but my mother never did. Unfortunately, my brothers took after him in this forgetful, cruel way. Thus, for my entire life, I have made a point of overcompensating for the three of them on every birthday, Mother’s Day, Holiday and even anniversary. I never wanted my mother to ever think she had been forgotten. When I moved away from home - the guilt of being separated from her made it even worse. I hated to hear her tell me that my brothers had forgotten to call her on her birthday. Or, my father on a particularly stupid moment walked into a Hallmark store with her and handed her a card. He had her read it and then told her “now I don’t have to buy you the card.” Sometimes, stupid was too nice a word for him. I loved my Dad but sentimentality was not his strength.  

I have spent a lifetime trying to shield my Mom from any more thoughtless forgetfulness and in a manner that was at times obsessive - made sure that if they weren’t capable of recognizing her worth - that I would. Now that it is just the two of us and with her in the nursing home, I feel completely hopeless at protecting her or overcompensating in a way that would make up for what she has gone through or what she is going through.  

At a very early age, I ransacked that 5 and Dime for the perfect gift with what little allowance money I had. I came across this tiny chunk of marble with the words “You Are Loved” imprinted on it and thought this would be the perfect gift. Some 40 plus years later, this little rock now sits in my house to remind me of a lifetime of trying to prove and show my love for her. Like always for me, it just doesn’t seem enough.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Baked Chicken with Dijon and Lime


























Tim has made this recipe so many times over the last couple months - we have had it almost every weekend it is that good.

BAKED CHICKEN WITH DIJON AND LIME


  • 8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 lime, squeezed, and lime zest
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Rinse the chicken and remove the skin and all fat. Pat dry; place in a large bowl and season with salt.
  3. In a small bowl combine Dijon, mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, garlic and pepper. Mix well. Pour over chicken, tossing well to coat.
  4. Spray a large baking pan with a little Pam to prevent sticking since all the fat and skin was removed from chicken.
  5. Place chicken to fit in a single layer. Top the chicken with dried parsley.
  6. Bake until cooked through, about 35 minutes. Finish the chicken under the broiler until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

The brussels sprouts were a new recipe and were awesome with the capers will post later. 

Baked Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli



















It was a cold and very snowy weekend - perfect for just working on indoor projects and catching up on Netflix series like Black Mirror and Santa Clarita Diet.  And eating, always eating.

BAKED TERIYAKI CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets
  • 6 carrots, cut diagonally in 1-inch-thick slices
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced

FOR THE TERIYAKI SAUCE

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. To make the teriyaki sauce, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, honey and 1 cup water; bring to a simmer. Stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes; let cool to room temperature. Reserve 1/2 cup and set aside.
  3. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine teriyaki sauce and chicken; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the chicken from the sauce.
  4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; drain excess fat.
  5. Place chicken, skin-side up, in a single layer into the prepared baking dish. Top with broccoli, carrots and reserved 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce.
  6. Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired.


Bath Remodel





























Winter Projects.  Trying to update the master bath room.  Even though I am still not finished with trimming the back hallways which was a major project. I am slow and detailed. I had a lot of tile and bead board left over so I started working on the master bath room.  It doesn't need a lot but I decided to use some of the left over materials from the back mudroom but make it work for the bathroom. The bathroom originally had a doorway from the back hallway so that you could access the bath from the hallway.  However, I thought I could use more storage and walled up the doorway giving me this alcove area in the bathroom.  The only issue was that I couldn't completely close off the space because the bathroom heat vent was in the space and I just didn't want to move it.  I framed out a doorway and put up louvered bifold doors so that the heat could still circulate.  I am taking the same white bead board from the back hallway and painting it black for the master bath and all the trim will be black.  I took the same tile leftover and reconfigured the tile to stripe and border in the bath.  I made the shower curtains and window coverings from a birch jacquard fabric I bought.  I have to paint the cabinets and frame out the mirrors and replace the lighting but I made a good dent in the project this weekend.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A New Year



Catching up with the last couple months.  So much has happened.  2016 was a much calmer year then 2015 but at the same time a slow stretch of problems, disappointments and long goodbyes.  2017 presents itself with it's own new problems.  Christmas was lovely.  A beautiful, quiet week with just the three of us - Tim, Mom and me. We had a lovely Christmas morning opening presents and relaxing all day.  I ordered a ham from our local butcher shop in Hell's Kitchen - Espositos.  Tim made scalloped potatoes and brussels sprouts and bread pudding - a variation on the version he made last Christmas. A new tradition.  Mom and I had lunch all week and did some shopping.  It was quiet and we went for a long early walk on New Years day along our street.








Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas Cookie Weekend




















I love when Tim gets in the mood to make Christmas cookies.  They always get me in the Holiday spirit.  Double stuff Oreo cookies dipped in white chocolate with peppermint sprinkles and Pinwheel sugar cookies.  Yum!