Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bridal Shower oh Bridal Shower!

When you think of a bridal shower what kind of food do you think of??? Well here is what I think of a beautiful brunch with lox, bagels, cream cheese, fruit salad, quiches, mimosas and a lovely pool to lay by. No kidding this is how I always dreamt of it and this past weekend my amazing cousin Danielle, who is my made of honor, and wonderful Aunt Marie brought that dream to reality!

I couldn't have asked for more when it came to my shower they had everything there, the lox, cream cheese, bagels, fruit salad (thanks to Aunt Susie), little quiches, mimosas, and of course the pasta salad my Grandma Wiechec made! Oh did I forget the pool that was there to the day was perfect not to hot not to cold, although I did get a little sun burned while opening my presents but that was because there was so many! I was so thankful not only for the food that was there but for everything and everyone that came to the shower!

Not only were there mimosas but also bloody marys that were amazing and had the perfect spice to them. A few days before the party my Aunt took the vodka and add in jalapenos, garlic, and what looked like maybe an onion and infused it for a few days. The night before the party added the tomatoe juice to the infused vodka and let sit in the fridge over night. They were so good and everyone really enjoyed them.

The fruit salad was a perfect mix of all of the fresh berries and fruit that was in season. And then we come to the pasta salad... The pasta salad that took 4 days to make and many phone calls to my mother and aunt, actually turned out pretty amazing and perfectly seasoned, even though Trade Joes no longer carried the exact noodles my grandmother wanted to use it was still good!

How can I forget the lemon bars! My friend Louise, kind of a mother figure to me, makes the most amazing lemon bars ever! She made about three trays of the lemon bars and I could have ate all three but I didn't think throwing up at my  bridal shower would be appropriate!

All in all the food was amazing the guests were satisfied, and I was blessed with lots of love and  gifts!!!

Thanks to all that were there!!

And a special thanks to Aunt Marie. Cousin Danielle, my sister Nicole, best friend Tiffany, and last but not least my Mother!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vegas and amazing food!!

I know it has been a week or so since I have blogged. This is a very busy time for me, last week I attended Arbonne's National Convention in Vegas and this past weekend I had my bridal shower and bachlorette party! All of these events were amazing and had great food involved.

Lets start with Arbonne's national convention in Vegas, what an amazing event. I am so excited to be apart of this company right now. Our new ceo is making it easier to be successful and launched 150 new products, if you are interested you can check them out at http://www.ashleywilliams.myarbonne.com/. So anyway Vegas always equals great food and of course most of the time it is expensive food! While attending the convention I stayed at the MGM Grand and ate a wide variety of different food. From the amazing breakfast at Wichcraft Sandwiches to room service pizza, to an all day buffett, and finally an amazing dinner at Sea Blue the trip was just fun and food filled! At Wichcraft Sandwiches I had a panni breakfast sandwhich with bacon, fried egg, lettuce, provolone cheese and an amazing ciabatta bread, and to top it all off I was stood in line next to Sue Cassidy! Thinking about this breakfast I can taste the amazing bacon in my mouth, hopefully this doesn't make me too hungry lol!

Another day at the convention we took advantage of a special they were offering at the buffet, $30.00 for breakfast,lunch, and dinner. This was about how much dinner alone would have been at the buffet so it was a great deal. Breakfast was ok nothing too special, and I missed lunch, but dinner was great! Great as in crab legs that were already cracked open for you, sushi, mac and cheese, and an amazing desert spread! I could have stayed there all night and ate!

The last night in Vegas we went to an amazing dinner at Sea Blue. We had a lobster bisque that was so creamy and delicious there was nothing left in the bowl! We had an appetizer that had a variety of their raw dishes, scallop ceviche, tuna tartar, and yellow tail jack crudo. This also was gone with nothing left on the plate, each was seasoned perfectly and was so tasty. For dinner I ordered the scallops from the wood burning grill. I am a huge fan of scallops and always like to try them at different places, often they are not cooked right but this was not the case here. The scallops were cooked perfectly they melted in your mouth and were so sweet and savory it was heaven. I was so full by the end of the meal but could not imagen leaving a single bite of scallop on the plate, it was just too good! I would recommend eating here to anyone that loves seafood!

Wow talking about  all of this food is making me hungry! Thank goodness we had to walk a lot at the convention or else I would have gained 20lbs!!!

What is your favorite place eat at in Vegas???

Stay tuned for the food update on my bridal shower/bachlorette weekend it was great also!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Ok so I know I am a little late posting my veal recipe. I have had a lot going on therapy on my hand, wedding planning (only a month away!), and I just got back from Vegas where I was attending Arbonne National Training Conference. Which by the way was amazing 150 new products were launched and they are 24 hour result driven check them out at http://www.ashleywilliams.myarbonne.com/!

Anyway the Veal ended up being amazing and everyone loved it! I bought the veal cutletts and decided to bread them and fry them in butter! Before I even told Madison what it was she said "this meat is so good!" Needless to say this was a much better choice then the brussel sprouts ugh! Here is the recipe:

1lb Veal Cutlets
Bread Crumbs
2 eggs beaten
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper the veal. Make an assembly line with the first the cutletts, then the eggs, and then a plate of the bread crumbs. In a frying pan add the butter and olive oil to heat up around medium heat. First dip a cutlet at a time into the egg and then into the bread crumbs, fry in the oil/butter for about 3 min on each side. Continue with the rest of the cutlets!

Then enjoy!

The meat was so tender and amazing I will defenitely be using it more often. What is your favorite veal recipe???

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kid, or I mean "men", friendly veggies!!

Tonughts dinner played out a lot different then I had planned in a kind of funny way. Tonight was the night I decided to use my new ingredient for my weekly challenge and along with the new ingredient decided to make something both my fiance and his daughter would eat and get full of off if my new ingredient did not turn out so well. ( F.Y.I. I am writing a seperate blog on the challenge ingredient of the week which ended up being  veal.) I should have made something along with last weeks brussel sprouts that I knew Dusty would have loved and ate because we pretty much ended up with meat and not so good brussel sprouts.

This week was Madison's , my soon to be stepdaughter, spring break so she has been with us all week. I was a little worried about the challenge ingredient of the week because I needed to make it kid friendly, and I am leaving for Arbonne's yearly convention on Thursday so needed to make this challenge ingredient tonight (http://www.ashleywilliams.myarbonne.com/). Of course tomorrow night is St. Patricks day and Dad is making corn beef and cabbage, of course I will let you all know how it tastes tomorrow! Anyway along with my veal recipe I decided to make tortellinis with alfredo sauce, because I knew Madison and daddy would scarf up every last bit of that if the meat did not end up so well. I knew I was going to make a salad but at the last minute decided I needed to add more veggies into the meal. So I decided to add into the tortellinis and alfredo sauce cauliflower and it was amazing!

We sat down for dinner, well Madison and I did, and she pointed out the cauliflower in the pasta and asked why did I do that..but before I could even answer she said "I know it is because daddy never eats veggies and you are hiding them from him!" WOW I thought I was hiding them from her! Needless to say they both ate their veggies tonight and here is what I did:


1 package frozen cheese tortellinis
1/2 a head of cauliflower chopped
1 bottle premade alfredo sauce
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)

Bring about a quart of salted water to a boil and add both the tortellinis and cauliflower to the boiling water. Boil for about 10-12 min, or untill tortellinis are cooked. Drain water and place both cauliflower, tortelllini, and alfredo sauce back in pot over medium heat. Add in the milk, stir, and heat through then serve!!!

I guess I now know how I can get both the kids and Daddy to eat their veggies!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brussel Sprouts!

This being the first week of the challenge of cooking something new I decided at the grocery store to pick up brussel sprouts. I am not that picky of an eater and even though I have never tried brussel sprouts I was sure I would probably like them. Well I was wrong they were horrible! Now this could have been because of the way I cooked them, but I doubt it. I could not stand that bitter after taste it left in your mouth after you ate them.

After looking up a few different ways to cook the brussel sprouts I decided how I would cook them. First I boiled the brussel sprouts in salted water for 4 min, then transferred them into an ice bath. While the brussel sprouts boiled I chopped up half a yellow onion and 4 garlic cloves. I cooked the onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil untill the onion was cooked through, while this was happening I halfed the brussel sprouts. Once the onion and garlic had sweated down I added in about 3 tablespoons of butter and added the brussel sprouts sauteed them for a few minutes and then added half a cup of red wine and 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. I brought that to a boil and simmered for a few minutes.

Anyway it all sounds good but what I think is that if I would have cooked them longer the bitter after taste would have not been so bad. But I am all for trying new things and tomorrow is grocery shopping day which means something new to cook!!

Does anyone else have any brussel sprout recipes???

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cody's Smoke House & Grill

Friday night was date night for Dusty and I. We were trying to figure out somewhere different to go to dinner, we usually go to some of the same places and usually both order the same thing. While driving through Cave Creek we noticed a new place called Cody's Smokehouse and Grill, so we decided to try it out. I would usually look at the menu before sitting down but decided what the heck we will just try it out.

Walking into the restaurant there is an old town western feel, which is different then any other "western" restaurant in Cave Creek. There were dark red currents with a wood floor, and older country music in the back ground. To drink I decided to order a glass of merlot and Dusty ordered a Crown and coke which he said was poured  very good! We have found that most of the drinks made at any bar in Cave Creek are usually pretty good and Cody's was no exception to this.

Looking over the menu we found there was the normal smokehouse food you would find pretty good prices, there was steak, brisket, ribs, and even fish. Then I saw it green chile macaroni and cheese!!! There was no way I was leaving this place without trying this dish. After looking over the menu and asking Dusty what he was going to get we decided to get a few appitizers and split the macaroni and cheese. We had street tacos, mexican shrimp cocktail, and the macaroni and cheese. In my opinion the best dish was the mac and cheese, it had the perfect amount of cheese to the perfect amount of green chiles. The street tacos where good and so was the shrimp cocktail, although they weren't the best I have ever had. Next time we go back I would like to try some of the bbq.

As for the service at the resturant it was amazing! Walking through the door we were greated by three different people and our waitress was on top of everything and very kind. Another waitress helped us out by boxing up our leftovers for us. I would defenitely recommend this restuarant to anyone!

Untill next time!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Here comes the challenge!

I have decided to challenge myself to learn more and taste more. What will the challenge be you ask? Well every week I am going to pick up a new food, whether it be meat, produce, spices, or anything I have never tried or am not familar with and cook with it. The challenge will be to try a new food each week for the next two months and I will start next week. I am looking forward to this new adventure and can't wait to try new food!

Untill next time!

Colorful Fajitas!

I usually do all of my grocery shopping at Fry's Food Store, but the other day after therapy I decided to just go to the store that was near the physical therapist office and that happened to be Safeway. I was planning just to find something to eat for dinner, but what I found when I went into the store was the most amazing produce. All of the produced looked so fresh and amazing. They had bell peppers, green, yellow, orange, red, and yellow, for only 88 cents a piece. I automatically thought about fajitas and grabbed a few of each color bell peppers. The red ones were huge as you can see so I grabbed two of those and figured I could find different ways to use them other than the fajitas. Once I choose the bell peppers I went to the meat counter to see what type of meat I would use. There was sirlon beef already sliced ready for stir fry, so I choose that, I sauteed everything up, an onion. bell peppers, meat, and then added some taco seasoning and it was instant fajitas! They were so good, sweet from the bell peppers and spicy from the seasoning.

The next morning I made a fajita omlete with the left overs! Hope you all enjoy!

Untill next time!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Green Garlic Lemon Chicken Noodles

I love naming my recipes it is so much fun, yet sometimes I think there are way to many words in my names! Today was a good day hand therapy wasn't that bad and I even worked out after. So needless to say I was pretty hungry when I got home which is usually not a good thing for me because that usually means I will cook "bad" food or high calorie high fat foods, and with my first wedding dress fitting in a week that would not be good.
Chinese food was on the mind today, maybe because we are going to PF Changs on sunday and I love their garlic noodles, ok I love all of the food there! PF Changs was actually the first place I tried duck, and I loved it. Duck isn't for everyone but I love dark meat!

Anyway dinner tonight turned out better then I thought it would so I wanted to share it with everyone:


2 Chicken Breast
1 Cup Chopped Broccoli
1 Cup Chopped Zuchinni
2 Cups Chopped Asparagus
1/2 Yellow Onion Chopped
6 OZ Whole Wheat Spaghetti
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For marinade:
1 Cup Soy Sauce
2 Lemons (juice and zest)
4 Garlic Cloves grated or minced
1 Tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme

Mix marinade together. Chop up chicken into cubes and marinate for about 30 min. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. While waiting in a pan over medium heat add olive oil and chicken, keep any left over marinade for later. Cook the chicken through, about 8-10 minutes. Once chicken is done cooking remove chicken from a pan and put aside. Add pasta to boiling water and cook about 9-11 minutes untill al dente. While pasta is cooking add vegtables and the rest of the marinade to the pan and cook on medium heat. After the pasta is done cooking add the chicken and the pasta to the pan with the vegtables and toss so the sauce coats everything.
Serve hot!

5 servings in this one pot meal and each serving is 290calories!

As you can see the reason I named it green garlic lemon chicken was because all the veggies were green! I was about to cut up a yellow sqaush and add it into the mix but I decided to keep it all green. Hope you all enjoy the recipe!

Untill next time!

Amber's Hash Brown Casserole!

What a great weekend, wedding planning on friday night bbq saturday night, and more wedding stuff sunday! And it is exactly 2 months untill the wedding and the honeymoon cruise! I think I am more excited about all of the food on the cruise then I am going on the actual cruise, just kidding, but at least I will have lots to blog about when we get back!

Anyway saturday we decided to have a bbq with a few friends and I was craving my friend Amber's Christmas potatoe casserole. I think when we lived together I would make her cook it every week for me. It is one of my many favorite comfort foods and after my first week of therapy I deserved it. I will give you the recipe although mine has been tweaked a little bit from Ambers. She probably would tell me the right way to make it, but I always ask her everytime I make it so this time I decided to wing it and it was a hit! By the end of saturday night the entire casserole accept for one serving was eaten. And trust me I ate that last serving the next morning for breakfast. Normally I do cook this for Christmas morning breakfast, but it makes an amazing side dish to any dinner. It is cheesey and creamy and has potatoes you can't go wrong!

Here is the recipe:

Butter (for greasing the pan)
1 package ready hashbrowns regular
1 package ready hashbrowns southwestern style
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 stick of cream cheese softened
4 cups shredded cheese (2 small bags already shredded)

Preheat the oven to 375. In a large bowl mix together hashbrowns, mushroom soup, cream cheese, and one cup of the shredded cheese. Place in a greased baking pan and cover with the rest of the shredded cheese on top. Bake for about 45 -60 min.

Trust me if you are looking for some good comfort food this is it! And the guys love it and always ask for me to make it, so if your trying to win him over try this recipe let me know how it goes!

Untill next time!