Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Come see our new place!

We've moved all of our new posts and content to our Wordpress site: www.foodiesathome.com/blog

Since we've moved Eric has somehow broken the RSS feed, so you might have to re-subscribe:


If you usually get our posts by email, you might need to re-subscribe to that too, try this link:


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We're moving!

No, we're not changing houses, we're changing blog engines! We've been on Blogger for almost a year and a half now and just can't get it to do all the things we want it to, so this week we're moving over to a specialized Wordpress install. Take a sneak peak here: www.foodiesathome.photographyblogsites.com and let us know what you think! This new site will let us run our Home and Garden, photography and food blog in a much more efficient manner (right now the code is pretty much a giant hack). We should be ready to move officially later this week. Take the new site for a spin, check out all the features and let us know what you think! Later today we'll post something sweet!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Honey Glazed Chicken with Peppers and Goat Cheese

There is just something different about food when you're living in a culturally diverse place like the San Francisco Bay Area, besides seeing squid in between the chicken and the trout in the Safeway freezer. The unique ways in which different cultures approach cooking the same food is pretty exciting for us, because it makes it really difficult to run out of things to do with the same dish. Take chicken for example. Growing up, Eric ate more baked BBQ chicken that you could possibly imagine. With rice and green beans or peas it was a perfect busy-weekday American style staple. Our friends from Asian or Mexican households tell us about their chicken based staples growing that would use the exact same animal and create a completely different meal that was very basic to them but complicated or foreign to us. This is extremely apparent in a diverse city like San Francisco, where Charisse learned first hand the differences between Chinese style whole chicken and American style. In American style whole chicken, the insides are usually cleaned out, put in a small bag and placed inside the cavity (if you shop at expensive stores, otherwise they are just tossed in there). We were living in Downtown San Francsico near the boarder of Downtown, Chinatown and the Little Italy area, so the markets catered to everyone as best they could. Charisse got home early from work, having stopped by out market to pick up a whole chicken for dinner. Upon opening the wrapper she found what looked like the bag stuck in the cavity, so she grabbed it and pulled it out, only to realize as she stared at two lifeless eyes that this was not the bag but rather the whole head from the neck up. She screamed and threw the whole thing up in the air and promptly called Eric, who was working for a Chinese family at the time. After about 10 minutes he had calmed down enough to force words out between the fits of laughter he told the story to his bosses, who simply stared at him and said "isn't that normally how they come?" That being said, Charisse was very careful when opening up the chicken for our dinner the other day. This was a simple roasted chicken, stuffed with goat cheese and a honey glaze on top, which added a little extra crisp to the skin and really worked well with the cheese to keep the bird moist. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Swiss chard stuffed garlic bread

So we all know how obsessed with technology Eric can be and how not obsessed Charisse is. The big lesson learned in this living room re-remodel has absolutely been how we both view things differently. When we agreed to remodel the house and make it a "grown up house" we both came up with lists of what we wanted in the living room: Charisse wanted crown, wainscoting around the TV, new paint, some new furniture and lots of new art. Eric wanted surround sound. Of course that means he wants a new receiver a new subwoofer, a new remote and lots of speakers around the room. Between the holes in the walls, holes in the new cabinet and new stuff showing up every other day Charisse was not a happy camper this past week. What did make us both happy was Charisse's swiss chard stuffed garlic bread, something she pulled together for Eric's parents who came over to see our progress. We're both garlic lovers and adore garlic bread so this was a super genius way of adding even more of our garden grown swiss chard into our diet and gave Eric a break from trying to figure out how one painting was different from another or why we would buy something that looks like an eight year old could have done it. After Charisse whacked him she explained that we were getting the art "because it looks nice and you got all your stereo crap". 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Living Room 2.0

Last week we mentioned that we were going to redo our living room, so we wanted to share an update with you! Once again the house looks like a small war was fought in it with small paths dug through the knee deep wreckage. Holes line the walls and a fine layer of rubble covers the floor. What a mess. However, there IS progress! Lets look at what we started with! Living room 0.5:

This is the living room back in early 2009 after we've taken down the wall paper and painted

Friday, June 17, 2011

Swiss Chard Pizza

Lets face it, Swiss Chard is pretty. Purples and yellows mixing with and accenting the green leaf helps to add a bit of color to our garden. Surprisingly it also adds quite a bit of flavor to one of our more unique pizzas too. Eric was a little hesitant at first, as he is more of a pizza purist (he believes that pepperoni is really the only topping a good pizza needs). How did he actually react? 3 slices later he just couldn't eat any more, so he had another for good measure. With that said, we're finally gearing up for house 2.0: making our house a full blown grown up person's house. Kind of a scary thought, that whole growing up thing but something thats got to happen at some point. It will actually be fun to give the whole house an overhaul, which should be finished just in time for our desire to change something else all over again.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kale Pesto

Kale has flown well under the radar for quite some time now, not really making waves or getting much face time in the American consciousness. Not until home gardening and the desire for local or home grown food started to take off the last couple of years. Rooftop gardeners and backyard horticulturists quickly came to discover Kale as one of the most nutritional, easy to grow super-foods on earth. Its harder to grow weeds than to grow Kale, which actually thrives when it gets a touch of frost. A terrific winter food, Kale brings so many nutrients that in WWII Kale was pushed hard as a way to make up for nutrients otherwise lost to rationing. In fact, during this time the British had a warship named the HMS Kale, named after none other than the River Kale in Scotland that may or may not have anything to do with the plant. This is Eric trying to come up with some completely trivial, utterly useless fact and falling flat on his face but now you know something new about a boat that got sunk and has nothing to do with the most amazing pesto we've ever made. Thats right, the most amazing. Usually, pesto is pesto is pesto. Sometimes it comes out extra special, sometimes it doesn't come out quite right but most of the time its tasty and expected. This one though, not only stood out, but brought us back for thirds. Ok fourths. Okay, we licked our bowls THEN licked the pots. Don't tell anyone though ok? 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Home and Garden: Garden Growing

So when Eric sat down to over-engineer the garden beds he was focused on two things: the maximum garden space possible while being able to reach everything and building boxes that would withstand the apocalypse. One hammered thumb and two years later the boxes are done, filled with dirt and fenced in. Eric's job was done and Charisse took over. After a great deal of reading and research she decided to go with the square foot method of gardening, which is a pretty darn cool way to grow a ton of stuff. She dug around the internet and found a great online resource to help plan your garden out. It's free and printable and a pretty awesome tool for the planing stage and adaptable to your box dimensions (in one foot increments), an important tool when you under-estimate the size of your garden beds. After the planting and watering and yelling at the bugs to get out (doesn't work) we're ready for the great reveal! As you can see from the pictures, the garden is four boxes that are eight feet by four feet by one foot high. We built a picket fence to keep the dog out (and had to add some chain link fencing in other areas where the dog found her way in), one day this will be painted white. We also have a morning glory growing over the arbor, which should be very pretty when it takes over and starts blooming. Hit the jump for more pictures, and the list of what we have growing! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Maple Whipped Cream

So after an entire spring of working on getting the backyard put together, getting the garden done and growing, we ran into another problem... weeds and bugs were everywhere! We had truly created a nightmare there in our little garden. Every day Charisse would go out and check it, and find some new plant that some new bug ate or have to pick out some new weed that popped up and grew 3,856 feet tall overnight. "You're no help" was the response from Charisse when Eric replied to her cry for help taming the garden was "I build just build it. Besides, you like doing this kinda stuff right?". Turns out Eric did get to tackle the weed issues, by "building" the pebble bed around the stepping stones. Apparently hauling thirty 50 pound bags of rocks from the cart to the car and from the car to the garden counts as "building", which serves him right. She also got some seriously good advice from our friend Christina over at Dessert for Two (Charisse says thanks again!) we were able to sort out what was doing the nibbling and get some solid bug control going on in a pet and people friendly way. So after a hard day of working, what could be better than breakfast for dinner? Yeah not much, especially when breakfast is pancakes made with sweet potatoes. And homemade whipped cream. YUM. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Russian Leek and Cheese Bread

We're back! Well, okay we didn't actually go anywhere but Blogger did last week for a few days. Posts vanished, comments died, who knows what else broke over in Google land, but its tough to complain about a free service. Anyways, Bloggers back, we're back, lets get back to work, starting with Russian Leek Bread, and a Mother's day recap. First off: Mother's Day was the other weekend and we hosted a surf and turf brunch of both families. Nothing beats lobster, tri-tip and mimosas at noon on a Sunday. Even the cat liked the menu. Or the menu liked the cat. We're still not sure about that one.
What we are sure about is that somewhere along the line Charisse decided that Russians all like Leeks. Confused? So was Eric but by the time he was done taking photos what Russians like didn't matter, what mattered was how quickly he could stuff this slice in his mouth. For those of you wondering, the answer is very quickly. Really though, Eric was sold as soon as he got the shopping list:

we need cream cheese 1 carton
goat cheese 1 log
sour cream get light 1 tub
ricotta cheese get 2% 1 tub

Seriously how could someone not get excited knowing that all of that will somehow combine with leeks and bread? 

Printable Recipe

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blueberry Cornbread

It seems like every time we dig down deep and pull out the cast iron skillet, theres cornbread involved, this time cornbread invited it's good friend blueberry to the party and what a party that makes. For anyone who's ever had blueberry pancakes on a Sunday morning and gone through the rest of the day feeling happy and full of good feelings should be prepared to have that experience at the dinner bell. With every bite you hit a pocket of blueberry goodness and it makes the world seem that much better. Especially on days when the time leading up to that bite has been a little rough. Like on Monday when Eric decided he would bring the dog to the office. What an adventure. By adventure we mean disaster. We got Koda all set up in the morning: bowls for food and water, some toys a bag of treats and a blanket to sit on. After a quick stop at the Vet (reminder, don't introduce your dog to a new environment right after a visit to the Vet) it was off to work. After some introductions and a quick tour Eric settled in and Koda... didn't. She was very chatty with everyone so Eric decided to exercise her with a laser pointer in the middle of the office. It was quite entertaining until she hit the breaks and with everyone watching, did her business and once again proved that she is a great farm dog, not a city dog. Heres a short video of Eric's co-worker turning around and discovering a dog on his desk.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Honey Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad

When we first got married, there was a standing death threat hanging over Eric's head (and it was a good thing): "eat your vegetables, or else". That's right, "or else" and everyone knows what that means. Growing up, Eric never really had to eat veggies and living on his own provided no external cause for him to change. Turns out the external change was more of an internal change that he had to make before anyone could really push him into loving veggies. Turns out getting into food and cooking as really forced this on him as nearly everything exposes both of us to new foods and new ways of making food. Take mixing beets and carrots. If you'd have asked Eric five years ago what a beet and carrot was like, he would probably have answered "uhm, kinda orange and red-ish? Aren't beets the red ones?" He may or may not have gotten the color of the beets right. Now, he's scarfing things like this honey roasted beet and carrot salad and looking for more. Charisse came across this one and decided that she wanted to go for it, creating one of our best tasting dishes yet. The beets are sweet and crunchy but without being candyish. The carrots really carry the honey flavor. You could even dress it up a bit and serve it as a main course. Yup, it's safe to say that Eric's growing love of veggies has really helped our marriage stay strong. Charisse hasn't had to threaten him about eating it in a long, long time. Doing the laundry when it's his day? "ERIC!!"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Beat Detroit Hot Wings

Because hockey playoffs haven't taken over our house enough, when Charisse wasn't looking Eric let the sneak into the kitchen. Actually it was less sneaking and more along the lines of "Hey, lets make hot wings!" "Why do you want hot wings all of a sudden, you don't even like them that much?" "Because we're playing the Detroit Red Wings! get it? And then I can chomp on one and yell something like "take that Datsyuk!" "You scare me sometimes". And so it was that Eric broke out the hot sauce, the ground ghost pepper and the grill. While she tried to keep us on track and the obsessive hockey nut that is her husband in check, Charisse threw up her hands and went to watch TV once the infamous Sharks Gnome made an appearance. As big as hockey watching was, the real big event was Charisse's Birthday BBQ. Since her birthday was last Friday, we decided to throw a bit of a party and boy, you've never seen a house go from super clean to super messy that fast. It was very much worth it though, especially having family and friends around all day, grilling up burgers and playing croquette. Add two Sharks wins and stir for the perfect weekend. #beatdetroit

Monday, May 2, 2011


We've got a winner! Thanks to a randomly selected comment, Danielle over at A day in the life wins the gift card! Contact us Danielle so we can get your address!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Orange Cinnamon Rolls and a CONTEST!!

We hope everyone had a terrific Easter! We sure did, especially since it started out with these Orange Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast at Eric's parents house. There is just something about cinnamon rolls that make us hungry for breakfast at any time of the day. Something about the gooey inside and the sugary frosting on top maybe? Whatever the reasoning behind it, we both have a soft spot for cinnamon rolls and decided to bring them over for breakfast. Since Charisse's grandmother's fruit trees are still producing we had an overabundance of oranges this week, and Charisse decided that she wanted to try an orange cinnamon roll. Probably the best idea she's had in at least a week, by far, it totally changes the whole cinnamon roll game. Speaking of games, Eric has been particularly crazy these past few days with the NHL playoffs going on, to that point that people are simply watching his Facebook posts to see how the game is going. It's become a tradition for him to sit in his comfy chair, watching the game with the computer on, with his lucky hat on. If its a close game, he'll sit on the floor closer to the TV (and yell louder, just incase the players are having a hard time hearing him through the TV). Charisse tried to figure out why he does this a while back and is still mystified that he thinks stuff like this will change the outcome of the game. Which got us wondering: how many of you have superstitions about watching or playing sports, or have loved ones who do? What are they? Leave a comment with your sports traditions and we'll pick a announce a winner for a $25.00 Amazon.com gift card on Monday morning!! 
Printable Recipe

(contest rules and small print!) To be eligible you have to be a follower (email, google RSS or Facebook) and your comment has to include your sports superstition! We will close the submissions Sunday night at midnight and pick a winner at random Monday morning. Make you include a way for us to contact you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chocolate Bundt Cake

We were thinking about what to make the other day and figured nobody would want a chocolate bundt cake. Okay so that was more Eric being snarky and Charisse almost hit him over the head with a skillet for saying it, because we know if there's one thing just about everyone loves, its chocolate. Mmmm chocolate. Especially moist, succulent doughnut shaped chocolate that happens to be on our dining room table. Thats the best kind of chocolate. At the time Eric was too busy being unhappy with the Sharks (and you thought after last week you were safe from him sneaking in his NHL addiction around here) to let the smells from the kitchen get his appetite going. Yeah, Sharks didn't play well in game 2, Eric exhausted himself yelling at the TV, turning it off, turning it back on, yelling some more, etc. So it was no surprise to Charisse that he seemed completely unaware of the cake until he turned around and it was sitting there ready to be eaten. Now, Charisse tells Eric just about every game that the team can't actually hear him through the TV (its never stopped him from trying to help) but now Eric's not so sure, after scarfing 2 slices in full view of the post game show the Sharks finally started winning some games. Maybe they have Smell-O-Vision, or maybe its just that Chocolate really does fix everything.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Braised Short Ribs in a Spicy Tomato Sauce

Sometimes life makes you feel a little crazy, then it'll do something that makes you feel a lotta crazy. Take this week for example: Eric starts his new job, is all happy and excited until Charisse calls after getting home from work and finding the fish tank empty and the floor all wet. What a terrific way to end your second day at a new job; "Uhm, my fish tank is broken and my bed room is flooded, I've got to go". Nice. Charisse on the other hand has been battling slugs and other little critters in the garden all week. Now that she's got her garden all up and going and stuff is growing every time she goes out there, there are little holes in everything! After coming this far, the thought of loosing everything to the little buggers has got Charisse in full battle mode! Every evening there's a new battle cry coming from behind the computer: "Citrus, I'll get them with citrus!" or something like that. We honestly can't print most of her battle cries, this is a family blog after all but her determination is something fierce, Eric will vouch for that. We're super excited about the garden, though for now we're still harvesting at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods (and Safeway on occasion). Speaking of harvesting at Safeway, the last time we were there we came back with some rough cut short ribs, and decided to give the oven a good 6 hour workout. Seriously. This one braised for 5 hours the night before, then cooked for another hour before serving. When they say "falls off the bone" this is what they are talking about (who "they" are is a whole new topic). Not to mention this is on the healthier side of meat dishes, the braising draws out quite a bit of the fatty content which congeals on top and gets thrown out, which is pretty fun in and of itself. We've done braised short ribs before, but never like this, with a terrific tomato sauce. The trick to taking this from awesome to "omgwhatisthisitsamazingwliohwghagh" is letting it sit over night. All the flavors intermingle and intermix and the whole pot becomes a big pot of YUM.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding

That time of the year has rolled around again, that time when grown men are allowed to cry and hug each other unabashedly, hurl insults and other throw-able objects at the TV (or other nearby people wearing the wrong colors) and everybody feels just a little bit Canadian (except for actual Canadians, who just feel pretty normal). Yup, the NHL Playoffs are here and Eric is that excited. Actually, he's more excited than that, but we can't print that level of excitement here, this is a family blog! Really the only thing that's been able to cut into talk about his new job has been the start of the playoffs. He spent some serious time getting ready this year: washing all his sharks shirts, getting his jerseys in line, polishing his Sharks gnome (a gift from Cherlyn and Dave that Charisse has restricted to the garage, yes still finds it sitting on shelves around the house) and watching as much hockey has he can take. In other words he's like everyone else who lives in San Jose, Sharks obsessed. Since we don't have tickets this year (yet!) we'll be watching on TV and having people over for assorted Sharks viewing parties and one of the best things to have a viewing party is DESSERT! Last season, we had our friends Dan and Jen over for one and right in the middle of the game, there was a distinct hankering for Ice Cream. Eric like to pretend it was the girls who sent us to the store during intermission and give them a hard time about it, but everyone knows he wanted the ice cream just as bad. This time around, we're not going to get left without, not when we've got Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding! It's seriously half chocolate pudding, half peanut butter pudding, all awesome. It's like a Reece's peanut butter cup in pudding form, but better.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Grilled Fish Tacos

So Eric spent the better part of last week in Columbus Ohio at a show and Charisse insisted that he bring her home some sort of present. After tooling around Columbus on his way back to the hotel, Eric ran into North Market, an indoor farmers market type place chock full of good food and wonderful surprises, namely North Market Spices, a small spice shop that somehow cost us 150 bucks in “presents”. We think you’ll agree that the price was worth the spices we ended up with. Powdered Wasabi, Mace Blades and Powdered Hibiscus just to point out a few. Eric even brought home a book “Herbs & Spices” which is all about… you guessed it, herbs and spices. Reading it on the plane, the smell of all those spices emanated from the pages and pushed Eric to will the plane to go faster so we could hit the kitchen and start coming up with yummy foods and awesomely full stomachs to go with the wonderful smells emanating from the book’s pages. Charisse was home, completely unaware of the culinary storm that was fast approaching, instead enjoying watching her dad Pat play the drums with his blues band. Getting home was almost like Christmas morning, spices flying out of their wrappers and lots of "oooh! ahh!" sounds. Now that the storm has passed here, we’re going to make you wait a little longer to see what we conjure up with all this loot, instead we still need to show you last Tuesday’s recipe: Grilled Fish Tacos. Booyah. Fish tacos are one of those uniquely South American dishes that always seems refreshing, especially at the end of a long, tiring day. We spent most of last weekend getting the yard cleaned up and getting benches put in around the edge of our patio, so we were pretty beat. We decided to fire up the grill, invite Charisse's parents over (actually Pat called and asked "what's for dinner?", so we made extra) and threw some wood in our outside fireplace. The tacos hit the spot and were generously helped down by an outstanding martini. Okay, maybe more than one. Hit the jump though for the Grilled Fish Taco recipe and Eric’s personal view on what makes the perfect Martini. We think James Bond would agree.
Printable Recipe

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grilled Corn Salad

So Eric's one task on Monday nights and Tuesdays around lunch time is creating and posting wonderful things for everyone to read, but this time around he was pretty much not really focused on much of anything. Instead he took off for Ohio for this last work related trip Wednesday morning after spending all of Monday and Tuesday distracted. We were both pretty much super distracted this week, on one hand because of Eric's trip, but on the other hand because we were expecting to hear back about a possible new job, which means he sat around the last few weeks saying "oh, I'm sure I didn't get it. Oh, I'm sure there'll be more interviewing to do for it. Oh it's just exploring my options, I'm not going to get all excited about something that probably won't happen". Of course Charisse managed to decode these messages and revealed the real message he was sending as: "OMG, IfIgetthisjobitwillbethebestjobeverI'msoexcitedIcan'tthinkorsitstilllongenoughtowriteablogpost". Needless to say, we were both very excited when Eric actually got the call on Tuesday morning, and the call was "you got the job!". Don't tell anyone, but Eric was caught dancing a little jig down the hallways of his office and Eric dancing does not happen that often (not without a long night out that leads up to the dancing part anyways). Anyways, our post about firing up the grill, grilling being Eric's "man thing" and how to make the best Martini in the world (at least one that would make James Bond proud) got a bit sidetracked. Instead we offer you a grilled corn salad which we hope will tide you over until next week and get you though all of Eric's corny jokes.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Asparagus Tart

Never go to the food store hungry. We know it's tempting, especially when you're hungry and there's not much in the pantry and you've got to cook dinner. Don't do it! Or you'll be like Eric last night, who went to the food store for hamburger meat, buns, cheese and a red onion (we had burgers) and returned with all that, plus a bag of chips and a can of frosting and some beer. 3 hours later we both had stomach aches, half the chips were gone and there was a slightly depleted frosting can. See what happens when you go to the store hungry? We suggest eating a cookie first, to take the edge off. Or have some Asparagus Tart. Whats asparagus tart you ask? It's pretty awesome is what it is. A flaky pastry topped with cheese and caramelized onions and pancetta and asparagus. Yum. This is a perfect party snack or first course (or you can be like us and eat it as a main course)! The asparagus actually makes this a pretty refreshing dish, perfect for when the weather goes from 50* and dumping down rain on the weekend to 80* and sunny by Thursday without prior notice, which is exactly what happened here. Last week, we were buried under enough rain to pull the whole state out of a drought and now it's like summer, complete with Eric's glow in the dark legs seen peeking out from a pair of shorts. Don't look, you might go blind!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Grandma's Classic Pot Roast

For some reason, pot roast doesn't conjure up images of succulent braised meat bursting with flavor as it falls apart on your fork. Not sure why that is, as that has definitely not been our experience. Maybe it has something to do with how simple and basic a pot roast is. Usually the foods that get the most attention are complex and a great challenge to prepare (soufflĂ© for example). A well made pot roast on the other hand is a prime example of winter time comfort food. The best part is the gravy this makes, there's nothing like a good beef gravy with some mashed potatoes and, well beef. Now since we know that Spring is officially here what are we doing making comfort food? You'd never know spring is here based on the weather we've been having. It has rained for pretty much the last 10 days. Buckets upon buckets upon buckets. Which is good, we've needed it but we've hit that point where enough is enough! We're getting all set to enjoy our backyard and all we've got is rain. At least it's good for the new lawn in the backyard, it's hard to over-water new sod under normal conditions but this rain is pushing it. Actually Eric is more concerned about the dog wrecking the new lawn than he is about the rain. She loves the lawn. Loves it in ways that just aren't healthy for the poor poor grass. That darn pooch is just too smart, she's managed to defeat two different fences Eric has put up around the grass. After first stretching some plastic fencing around some posts he put up at the edge of the lawn, she found that she could just take a running start and bowl right through the fence. It was pretty funny for a minute, until she started running around and pulling up chunks of lawn. Eric was not pleased, so yesterday he pulled out his stock of 2x4s and other wooden planks and set out to really get a solid, dog proof indestructible fence up. Extra layers of fencing, reinforced posts and cross pieces and wrought iron barricades. A whole afternoon of no dog on the lawn, Eric couldn't have been happier. Charisse woke him up this morning and pointed out the bedroom window: there was the dog, in the middle of the lawn, happy as could be. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Early Spring Salad With Roasted Garlic Lemonette

Spring is here! Eric was all prepared to talk about how spring will be here really soon and we're doing an Early Spring Salad to celebrate when Charisse pointed out that spring came last weekend. Swing and a miss. At least we got that sorted out before the post. The early spring part apparently has to do with the ingredients we used, spring onions and radishes are among the first crops up for harvest in the new year and they are tasty. Oh yeah, and more lemons in here too from the great lemon harvest of 2011. So what are we doing with Spring officially here, grass growing in the backyard and living in California? Staying inside and working on the stuff around the internets because it's been raining for the last week. Raining hard. The kind of rain that makes you never want to leave the house because you can go from dry under an umbrella, plastic rain coat, parka and sweater (yes, when its 50* and raining thats how you dress around here) to instantly wetter than when you've been in the shower for 20 minutes. So Eric when and gave the blog another face-lift, adding lots of features we've been talking about adding for a while and trying to clean up the general look and feel. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Home and Garden: Cheap Finds

We actually get asked a lot about where we get most of our patterned plates and napkins and other awesome kitchen decor for the blog. Truth is that you don't need to spend a bundle to have a variety of items for photography set ups. So today we're going to let you in on our little secret... you ready? This is it... Thrift Stores! Yup, thats right, Goodwill, Savers, garage sales you name it. About once every couple months or so Charisse will sift through our local second hand stores to score a ton of swag for not a lot of money. If you know what you are looking for and have a little knowledge about how to spiff up a used item then you are pretty much guaranteed discover a hidden treasure or two (or five or ten). Actually, not all of our finds are blog related, our favorite over-sized chair and ottoman, our antique dining room set and our trusty kitchen chop block were found at the thrift store, moving sale and craigslist respectively and we didn't pay over $50.00 for any of it! Here's the biggest cooking prize at any thrift store; cast iron cookware! We have talked about how much we adore our growing collection of cast iron skillets but seriously it is Charisse's favorite item in the kitchen hands down and she always seems to run across a skillet here or pot there for around $5.00. Cast iron takes work and effort to maintain and some knowledge of cooking to use properly and most people who buy one don't want to be bothered learning to use it properly, so it gets tossed under all the non-stick cookware and eventually donated. Score for us! Stopping by "Savers" last Friday Charisse came home with a really guilty look... she'd hit the jack pot and found a beautiful 10 inch antique skillet, a 8 inch deep skillet and a Ă†bleskiver skillet, which is used to make Danish pancake puffs. She also scored a small Graniteware stock pot with lid that was practically new. The guilty look? Charisse brought home about our bajillionth cast iron pot so Eric has to wait until next month to buy his bajillionth camera accessory. A promise of something yummy took care of that situation. Now cookware is awesome, but for the blogger or budding food photographer out there, second hand stores are the BEST place to stock up on textiles, plates, silverware, glasses, and any other staging object for food photography. In the same trip Charisse bought 8 pieces of fabric ranging in price from $.99-$2.00. It's fun to find unique patterns and colors that will really pop in pictures and compliment the food. Furthermore, many items are at these places because they are just that, one item. Who needs 1 patterned plate? 1 funky napkin? We do! So next time your driving by your local thrift store, stop in and do a little digging and see what treasures you can find! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Champagne Cupcakelettes

"What should we do for dinner?" was the question Charisse asked the other day. "Cupcakes" came the answer. Yup, cupcakes is what Eric came home with a hankering for and letting up on that dream was not on his agenda. As Charisse had a one sided discussion about dinner, Eric sat and surreptitiously dreamed of different kinds of cupcakes. Red velvet, rich chocolate, cream cheese frosting whipped cream frosting, frosting, Mmmmmmm. After almost 20 minutes of "how about a nice homemade salad or some bread pudding?" being answered with "Hmm, no, I don't think those flavors would make a good cupcake" Charisse gave up and threw her recipe book at him and said "Fine! We can have cupcakes for DESSERT!" Eric earned that lump for sure, but the result was one serious cupcake, Champagne Cupcakelettes! Thats right, mini cupcakes with Champagne. These were cause for some serious celebration, so much so we ended up needing another bottle to finish the icing. Okay, so we were actually celebrating the instillation of grass in the backyard, but these little jems are totally worth a celebration in their own right. 

So last week it was 65* and sunny all weekend here in the Bay Area, we put some serious time into the backyard, built a fence for the garden and generally got the backyard moving, Eric also ordered some grass, to be delivered the following Saturday morning. Dan agreed to come over again and help put it in (he helped with the front yard too, he's building up some serious credit for when he finally buys a house) and things were good. By Saturday morning we were in the middle of the biggest storm of the season, hail, ice, gail force winds and a tornado warning (and actual tornado in some parts of the bay). Eric has not the best timing but they got it done, ended up covered in mud and now our backyard has a yard instead of a mud patch reminiscent of a battlefield. Now to only keep the dog off of her newfound playground for two weeks...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not Corned Beef and Cabbage Mini Meatball Soup

We set out to create a great St. Patties day post the other day, started poking around, looking for recipes and getting all excited about it (Eric starts playing bagpipe music at his desk starting in early March) but we realized the same the we realize pretty much every year, neither of us are huge fans of Irish food. Irish whiskey? Yes. Irish Beer? Yes. Yes. Fake Irish accents? Yes. Yes. Yes. Irish food? Ehhh not so much. (Charisse says "except stew. I like stew. Put that in there.").  Charisse found the recipe and really wanted to try it out. Eric wanted to drink Guinness and pretend to be Irish. Not surprisingly we did both. It's actually a really tasty soup using Charisse's homemade chicken stock for a base. We made of course, far too much. Even giving it away we ended up freezing a ton of it for a later date. We always make way too much soup for some odd reason, but having too much soup is rarely a problem to complain about. Tomorrow Dan is coming over and we're installing grass in the backyard, which should be a huge improvement over the existing patch of dirt and remnants of the great grass disaster of '09. Grass seed + exposed sprinkler wires + new puppy = disaster. Actually quite a number of things + new puppy equals disaster, though we'll have to get to that another day since the dog just took off with our soup spoon. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jen's Now Famous Almost BBQ Shrimp

Not long ago we raided our friend Jen's recipe book for one that drives both husbands crazy during the non pumpkin season and last weekend decided that one good dish deserves another. Now this one wasn't nearly as famous as the pumpkin pie bars were but when you've got a hankering for shrimp, butter and a big delicious mess this is the one to turn to. If you can think of something better than a buttery shrimpy mess to top off a wildly busy and productive weekend we'd like to know about it! Why was our weekend wild, busy and productive you ask? We're glad that you did! If you remember waaaay back when we started, we go super excited about finally putting grass in the front yard (and no longer looking like the biggest hillbillies on the block). Well now we're only a few days away from being that excited about the back yard! We finally dug in (literally) and executed our plans for the yard. Grass, garden, garden fence, new BBQ, place to put outside stuff. Super excited. Also tired and sore, but excited none the less. We were actually completely wiped out on Sunday from Saturday when it came to chow down with Dan and Jen and our friends Brooke and Scott. Saturday Dan came over and we spent the day building our garden fence, then ran to Charisse's grandmother's 85th birthday party, then hustled off to Eric's hockey game which started at 11pm.

This is him playing on the left, and a tip for all the parents and spouses of hockey players: garage. Outdoor storage. Attic. All are good places to store hockey gear. Living room. Bedroom. Kitchen. All lousy places to store hockey gear because that hockey smell is considered by scientists to be among the worst smells every made by human beings. Eric got re-educated about this once, when after a late game he left his bag infront of the heater in the living room, intending to put it away in the morning. Que morning, wake up, turn on heater, turn on coffee, wash face, gag over awful smell permeating the house. Yuck. Anyways, Saturday was a long busy day and we did more work on Sunday (with slightly less limberness). On Monday it was very, very hard to wake up, but the thought of leftover buttery shrimp for lunch was a big motivator.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Crisis in Japan

Our hearts and prayers are going out to everyone in Japan right now.

Please take a moment to help in any way possible through reputable organizations. We recommend the International Red Cross / Red Crescent Societies. They have a good record of response and pushing as much of the donations they receive directly into crisis situations as possible.

If you are looking for someone, Google's Crisis Response Project is a good place to start.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lemon Marmalade Bread Pudding

We are so boned, but in a good way. Kinda. See this year for Lent we gave up watching TV (except the last episode of the Bachelor and Sharks games) But other than that, the TV stays dark. It's a big change for us, we usually turn on the Tube and watch GMA over coffee and light chitchat (Eric doesn't really wake up until around 10:30-11, so deep conversations are usually pretty one sided). This morning we ended up just sitting there in silence, staring at each other until Eric quipped "This is going to be a long 40 days". "40 DAYS! I thought Lent lasted like a week!" came the response. Charisse apparently did not pay much attention in Catholic School. Eric thinks this will help us strengthen our relationship and get more stuff done around the house. Charisse isn't so sure, she likes to wind down to reruns of Friends or Bones after a long day. Only time will tell, time and maybe some well timed bread pudding. Hopefully you haven't given up bread, lemons or yummy food for lent (if you "celebrate" it, but why they call it "celebrating" lent we'll never know)! Actually there are two recipes today, lemon marmalade and lemon marmalade bread pudding. Remember to make the marmalade before you try and make the bread pudding! Oh yeah! Like we promised yesterday that we would, we've officially launched our SmugMug hosting! From here on out all of our pictures will be available as prints, tee-shirts, aprons and other goodies! Yippee! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lemon Pull Apart Bread

As of Sunday night, we were officially wiped out. We're back in full project mode, working on the house, the blog and life in general. For starters, all of our tabs can take comments too! We've also launched our "Home and Garden" tab, where we'll keep you updated on our projects around the house and how our garden is doing. We're also getting ready to launch our new photo platform on Smugmug.com. Right now we are hosting all our images on our Flickr account, which was great when we were new and scrambling to get viewers but we've outgrown what Flickr has to offer, so now we're switching platforms. We plan on rolling out our first Smugmug hosted post later this week, so keep your eyes peeled! Hmm... what else have we been up to, oh yeah! The Backyard! That one teensey little task thats taken us 2 years to get around to even thinking about starting! So for everyone who missed it, heres the low down on our house: Charisse's grandfather, Irv owned the house for the last 60 years before us but one of the conditions was we move in with the house "as is". So we've bit by bit been remodeling and bringing the house up to speed. The last of the great projects is the backyard, which we've been fighting a loosing battle to keep it from going back to nature (not that Koda would mind, she loves to romp through the weeds!). Well this past weekend we mustered up the strength and energy and decided to dive in and get it finished! 2 years ago Eric built some planter boxes for the garden and almost finished them (hammer met thumb, work stopped and never quite got started again). The boxes got finished, filled with dirt and Charisse bought some plants and seeds. We prepped for grass and Eric and our friend Dan demolished some brick to make way for a brand new BBQ. We're now officially excited to have our backyard coming together. So excited, we almost forgot to cook something! Well, we didn't forget, but we were super busy, so we kinda cheated a little bit, and used a refrigerated dough for this bread. Don't worry, it's still pretty amazing, its like a cinnamon roll, but with lemon. Charisse's grandmother came by and ended up eating two big slices, both of which she prefaced with "Oh I couldn't, I'm not hungry". Just goes to show, nobody can resist the lemon bread! 

Friday, March 4, 2011


LIZZY! From That Skinny Chick Can Bake! Lizzy has won the $25.00 Williams Sonoma Gift Card! Lizzy contact us right away so we can send you your card!

(Small Print): We aren't sponsored by Williams Sonoma or anything, we sponsored the prize ourselves. We also used a random number generator to pick the winner. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Meyer Lemon Curd

If you remember back a ways, Charisse's mom Monica's lemon tree went a little crazy and we ended up with a bunch of lemons. Charisse's Grandmother's Meyer tree has so far produced a TON of lemons, and thats just the ones we've taken. We ended up with around 200 lemons last weekend and that was our second trip over there, the Butera family has just gone completely bananas! We mean lemons! We've got so many lemons we are literally scrambling to use them before they go bad. Lemon drop martinis, martinis with a lemon twist. Lemonade. Frozen Lemonade. We used quite a bit for the lemon curd we are featuring here, and still have a bag leftover. Eric thinks that the funniest part of this whole thing is that Charisse's dad Pat hate lemon, lemons and anything lemon flavored yet he is constantly surrounded by them. Sometimes Eric is easily amused. We've been working on our backyard for a while now, we got through periods of work, ignore, work, ignore. Mostly because the task is just so huge, but we've got our garden rolling. We're going to open a new tab for garden related posts, and we'll include before and after pictures. Eric built 4 planter boxes about 2 years ago and got them about 85% complete, then hammered his thumb instead of the nail. The project kinda stalled after that, until a few weeks ago, when Charisse decided that he should finish the darn boxes so she can have her garden or she'd find a new husband that will. We're pretty sure she was joking, but keep an eye open for our new garden posts! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

1st Anniversary Giveaway (and Mac & Cheese)

We're one year old today! Thats right, we launched exactly one year ago with a short introduction post, no pictures and a link to Eric's personal blog, which he kept up for exactly 3 weeks. Not a very auspicious start, but it was a start none the less. Now, well, we've come a long way. How far exactly? Williams Sonoma and Mac and Cheese far! To celebrate our 1st Blogiversary (get it? a Portmanteau of "blog" and "anniversary". We think we're so funny) we're giving away a $25.00 giftcard to Williams-Sonoma! Yup, free stuff for one lucky follower! Here's the rules: 

  • Follow our blog (facebook / Google / Feedburner (email) or ATOM (RSS))
  • Leave a comment telling us why you love your favorite kitchen gadget (and what it is!)
We'll review the comments this week and announce a winner on Friday! Make sure you leave some way for us to reach you! 

Now, to celebrate our blogiversary we thought about making a cake but decided that a homemade mac and cheese was more our style. This is actually a unique recipe for one important reason, it is the only mac and cheese that Charisse likes. She hates mac and cheese, right up there with raw celery and pop-quizzes. Once, when we lived in San Francisco Eric (who LOVES mac and cheese) tried his hand at a home made one, which was fantastic and she still didn't like it. So when she landed on a mac and cheese recipe that she actually liked, the skies opened up, angels sang, the cats and the dog began to dance together and hold intellectual conversations with the fish. Okay, maybe we're exaggerating just a little, the cats and the dog don't quite get along yet but you get the point. What really makes this is the bees knees is the toasted bread on top, it adds a crunch and texture you don't find in that certain neon orange kind from the box.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Butera Family Cannoli

Anyone who's seen the Godfather knows the quote: "Leave the gun, take the cannoli". It's the kind of moment that makes everyone smirk, who whacks someone and immediately thinks of dessert? The Italians thats who. And what could go better with a good classic mob movie than the classic Italian dessert? Noting. When we sat down to make this dish, we were going a little cannoli crazy around the Petruno household and Eric was wandering around the house mumbling what he thought was a pretty good godfather impression. Even the dog was unimpressed. Why had we gone crazy? A few weeks back Charisse had the Butera Family Cannoli recipe passed down to her from her Grandma Butera. This recipe had been in the family for generations and is saved for only the most special of occasions (mostly because it is a pain to make!). Maybe not a pain, rather a labor of love. A labor that is absolutely worth it, you will love them, we promise... have we ever steered you wrong? Back to the cannoli. This came from Charisse's Great Aunt Ida who was well known in the family for making these special treats. Charisse grew up around her Great Aunt but had never had the chance to try one. Actually nobody in Charisse's generation had the chance to try one, the recipe hadn't been made in 30 years! Now that Charisse has really taken on the cooking reigns in the family, Grandma Butera has been excited to share some of the family secrets with us, and this is one we've been excited for for quite some time now! In case you've never had a homemade cannoli, you can't even begin to compare store or bakery bought cannoli to these. Most of the time the shells are soggy or stale and the traditional Italian filling contains weird chopped up candied fruit and maraschino cherriesWe took a few liberties with ours using plenty of Chocolate Chips and drizzled Chocolate on top. How very American of us and a little too liberal as far as Grandma Butera was concerned but for us, well you can't have enough chocolate! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bison Steaks with Whiskey Pan Sauce

The American Buffalo (which is actually a Bison, not a Buffalo) is one of the most iconic animals of the American West... and last weekend we got to eat one. Eric actually got very excited when he found Bison steaks in the grocery store, like really excited. It was almost an almost inappropriate level of excitement. We're pretty sure we overheard a woman telling her son to behave or he'd end up like "that guy", pointing to Eric. We're not sure exactly what Eric was imagining Bison to be like but it was probably something along the lines of John Wayne walking in, cutting his slice with his boot knife and then both of them riding out to rustle up some outlaws with Wyatt Earp. In reality we had this on a Tuesday, after which we sat and watched Glee. Not that there's anything wrong with Tuesday nights, or Glee. Also, the Bison was fantastic in a completely unexpected way. Lean and flavorful, not gamy at all, just a really great tasty steak. Higher in protein and significantly lower in fat than even USDA Choice steaks Bison is quickly gaining ground as one of the many beef alternatives gaining acceptance in the US market and for good reason. The other part of this dinner was the pan sauce, something we've used before but never really focused on. Basically a pan sauce is just using the remnants from cooking high protein meats over high heat. Alcohol and a good scraping brings all the baked on flavor that is usually reserved for a long soak the bottom of the sink and gives you an extra flavorful sauce when mixed with cream and other goodies. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet Onion Corn Bread with Cranberry Butter

It's probably no surprise  that two people that love to cook as much as we do have a slight obsession with kitchen gadgets. Neither of us are able to pass by a kitchen store without stopping in just to "look" and always come out with shopping bags full of goodies. Our little old kitchen is so stuffed with pots and pans that we have now a dedicated corner of Eric's man cave, aka the garage, for the storage of excess pots, pans and a Charisse's growing canning storage. We get asked a lot that if we had to pick just one item that was a necessity in any household what would it be? The first thing that pops into Charisse's mind is her trusty old cast iron skillet. This is by far the most used skillet in the Petruno house and it is also the least understood by a lot of people. It always surprises guests when a cake or even a pizza are presented in cast iron, but there is just something that can't be described when cooking in it. 

For those of you that don't know about cast iron cookware, a skillet, dutch oven and griddle are essential for your collection. They can go from stove top to oven and are great if you like to camp because you can cook just about anything on a open flame and they are basically indestructible. There has also been some new science out there that cast iron cooking is extra healthy for women. Some iron from the pan gets absorbed by the food your cooking and then gets into your system via eating. In America there is iron deficiency in women is a big issue, especially if your looking to have kids so this is yet another way to be a little more healthy without lots of extra pills or weird sounding supplements! We have made many a delicious dinner in our cast iron but one of our favorite things to make in the skillet is a good old fashioned corn bread. Last week we were craving corn bread but Charisse wanted to try a new twist by combining the sweet and savory mix. This recipe has a few more ingredients than the usual cornbread but is not that hard to assemble and tasty to eat. The cranberry butter was so good and we made a little extra that we have been using on toast and in our oatmeal. Although it's been warm and sunny in California, warm cornbread definitely feeds the need for comforting winter time food. 

A quick tip for those of you who are looking to invest in some cast iron cookware, we suggest browsing garage sales and thrift stores. Although brand new pieces are not expensive, we have found skillets and griddles for around $7.00. Just be sure to re-season them before using. If you have a favorite cast iron recipe we would love to hear about it! We are always looking for new ideas!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lemon Chicken Fingers

Last weekend our friend Nicole Chubb Ralston came over to do a portrait session for us and we're pretty excited to get the shots back. Charisse and Nicole when to high school together and we've been hanging out more since we moved back from the city. Nicole started her photography business right around the time we started our blog, so we've both been enjoying going through the same experiences at the same time. Turning something you love and are very passionate about into something that puts food on the table (okay in our case, provides the money to buy the food) is a huge challenge that takes the kind of dedication and patience usually reserved for putting a rocket on the moon or getting that first real world job or making the perfect martini. Its really really hard. Okay so maybe every martini tastes perfect after the third one but still, you get the point. When you listen to someone talk about a business they started or a company they grew you never hear about all the nitty gritty details, nothing about how many forms you have to fill out to get a business license, how much time you have to spend on Google researching "business plan", how nothing goes "according to the plan" or how often that first big break they had was just dumb luck. Of everyone that we've talked to about this the two things that keep popping up are perseverance and knowing what it is that makes your thing different. If you have something you love, you can eventually find a way to make money doing it. Right now, we love these Lemon Chicken Tenders that Eric made. These are baked instead of friend, so we count them as "healthy" and they taste amazing. Perfect for the "big game" (we can't legally call it the Super Bowl) or when the kids are having a sleepover. They carry a ton of flavor that you wouldn't expect from chicken fingers but don't worry, the kids will like them too!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pocket Slider Burgers

For Christmas our friends Rob and Wendy gave us a fun little kitchen gadget that makes perfect patties for slider burgers and we finally had the chance to use them. We’ve wanted to try it out for a while now, but felt that we didn’t want to add just another burger, so we got creative. These pocket sliders made a perfect appetizer for a Sharks watching party we were going to later that evening. This month we’re getting ready to plant our “Victory Garden” in the back yard. We planned on this last year and failed due to lack of dirt, and a bent thumb on Eric's end. We looked back on why we never finished our planters and the obvious answer was "hammers hurt". Eric needs to get better at aiming that thing. When Eric first described the garden area as our victory garden, Charisse asked "its not a vegetable garden? How do you grow victories?" Okay, so maybe we added that last part for dramatic effect but here in the US and in England a backyard garden holds more meaning than just a fun hobby. Beginning in 1917, American and British citizens were encouraged to grow small portable foods like vegetables and . While victory gardens made a terrific marketing tool, the effect on the home-front was fairly pronounced in a number of ways. Most of the time when someone thinks of a victory garden one conjures images of 1940's war propaganda. In reality both world wars depended on individual households doing everything they could to reduce their draw on existing resources. A garden in the front lawn meant more than just more food on the plate and happier people, there was more food for G.I.s fighting overseas even with a reduced labor pool as so many of the laborers normally involved in agriculture were enlisted. At this point, Charisse began rolling her eyes and summed up Eric's whole lecture with a comment along the lines of "so everyone had more food and was happy". 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pomelo Cake with Blackberry Sauce

Weekend trips to the grocery store have become somewhat of a tradition for us as a couple. Wandering up and down each aisle deciding what will be on the menu for week is fun for us...ok, we may be weird, but there is just something about discovering a really interesting ingredient that we haven't used yet in the kitchen that gets our creative juices flowing. Charisse loves the colors and variety in the produce section while Eric usually gets stuck in the cheese and chocolate section of the market. During our last outing food shopping, Charisse picked up two pomelos but honestly had no idea what she was going to do with them. For those of you who are not familiar with this large citrus and like Eric ask "What the heck is this?" A pomelo is a cousin of the grapefruit. It is large in size with a green peel and has a tart kick that it's sweet cousin doesn't have. A few days later, after the cheese and chocolate had been eaten, the pomelo still sat in the fruit basket when Charisse decided to attempt to use it in a sweet dessert. That night called for cake and Eric called out "Let us eat cake" in his best British woman voice, which sounded like an Australian dog being hit by a car. With a bundt pan in hand Charisse whipped up a dense but not overly sweet cake that incorporated diced segments of pomelo into the batter. After 40 minutes of baking and 30 more minutes of cooling, it was time for the tense moment when the cake is inverted and with fingers crossed and a bit of good luck, pops out in one piece. Unfortunately for Charisse lady luck was not with her this time and our poor pomelo cake broke into multiple chunks. After much pouting, Charisse put the boo boo lip away and reassembled our humble bundt; not the prettiest sight in the world. It was at that moment we decided that in order to hide the seems of our cake, a nice dark sauce should be drizzled over the top and no one would be the wiser. And so a beautiful combination was born, pomelo cake with blackberry sauce was served up and enjoyed by all. Just a tip for all of you readers out there that can't find a pomelo, a grapefruit may be substituted for an even sweeter cake. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Almost Done!

Well our overhaul is almost done, did you notice any changes? We sure do, but thats probably because we spent the whole week making them. Some of the things we worked on we smoothing the format and cleaning the layout which should result in a faster load time. There is also a new header at the top and social media buttons at the bottom of each post! Lastly we added a few other tabs: About Us, an FAQ and a photography section which we're still refining. We have a photo shoot scheduled with our good friends Nicole and Jesse, the former of whom is the mastermind behind the ever popular Nicole Chubb Photography to help bring out our pretty smiling faces.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Doughnut Muffins

Our new vacuum sucks. Thats a good thing, a really good thing. When we moved here from the city, we'd never owned a vacuum of our own, either of us so when we received one as a housewarming gift, we were in second heaven. It was a small Hoover and it was not prepared to handle our house, 2 cats a dog and Eric. During our Christmas cleanup, it gave up and died. Today we went to Lowes for paint and came home with a new vacuum. It works really well, and that has us very excited, something neither of us would have expected 2 boyears ago when we moved in. When we moved in we'd been married less than a year, moved into our first house from a 400 square foot studio in downtown San Francisco. It was safe to say that a new vacuum was not at the forefront of the excitement list. Actually it sounds more like the plot of a bad sit com; city couple moves to the burbs, tries to fit in and get excited about things like vacuums and cooking but the reality is that we've been growing up. Yikes! Who let that happen? Something we pondered over a morning muffin that tasted like the best sugar doughnut ever. Thats right we had muffins for breakfast that taste like doughnuts, eat your heart out city life, unless you are a great muffin shop, then make room, we're on our way!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pardon Our Dust!

We're working on our new remodel and Blogger is having ... issues with the header image, it seems to be widespread right now, so hopefully we'll be fixed up soon and looking good again!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Clam Linguine

Theres been a nasty little cold running through the Bay Area and its had Eric moping around being miserable. Its also given us the problem of not having much to talk about since we haven't done much this week. One thing we did do was go to the viewing party for the Sharks - Vancouver game on Thursday, which was really a lot of fun. Basically for away games they go somewhere (in this case a bowling alley) they bring some marketing people, a bunch of prizes, S.J. Sharkie and tons of fans to make a big party out of watching the game on TV. They had someone playing all the normal hockey songs on the organ, its really like being at a game, but warmer. Our friends Nick and Lisa brought their adorable kids and Dan and Jen were there too. Eric ended up winning a chance to bowl against Sharkie for tickets to an upcoming game and promptly demonstrated to everyone why he plays hockey and not bowling, but he did win a t-shirt and a snow globe, which has for now found a home next to the Sharks gnome. Charisse is busy rolling her eyes at the pair and wondering when she can get them off the mantle. Something we hadn't done lately besides actually go to a game has been seafood. Charisse decided to get us off that particular snide with a linguine. It was fun shopping for this because it gave us the chance to head out to our local seafood shop, Race Street Foods. We're really lucky to live close to the coast, so seafood is super fresh here but it does mean you need to scrub the clams that much more, a small price to pay.