Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We're Back!!

Our trip to PR was amazing. It was peaceful, relaxing and lovely (hilarious) times with my family. They absolutely adore Chako, so it's always fun to get them all together. We went to the beach or the pool every morning, had a huge Thanksgiving feast (PR style) with many of our cousins, Chako and I took a romantic day trip to Old San Juan, and we finished the trip with a beautiful dinner to celebrate my parents 25th wedding anniversary at our favorite restaurant in Isabela, Eclipse. I'm going to a follow up post on that meal because it OUTRAGEOUS, and I want to try a recreate some of the recipes. 

I am so grateful that Chako and I got to take this trip with my family. I needed some quality time and it meant the world to me for Chako to meet all of my cousins and family in PR. I am always so happy to be in my home there, can't wait to make it back soon!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipe #1...Zucchini Corn Bread

Chako and I hosted our very first Thanksgiving feast on Sunday. It was crazy. 

I cooked for 50 hours straight. Literally. I was one with the kitchen.

We planned the menu. We wrote the menu. I made a schedule for the whole weekend. Multiple to-do lists happened...it was crazy times. After all that, I was so thrilled with how it turned out and that fact that I got to spend a lovely evening with some of favorite people.

Our menu was extensive...

This image leaves out the Zucchini Corn Bread and the French bread, as well as the dessert...Custard Pear Pie and Pumpkin Bread.


Here are some other images from this lovely lovely night....

Our table, everyone had different plates! Virgin Mary candles and flowers from Uncle Sarah completed the table.

Same table in daylight

Uncle Sarah making a carrot ring

 Chako making a cheese plate

Guests! Drinking! 

Gouda! Mac! Cheese!

Definitely my absolute favorite..Creamed Spinach!

I was happy with how everything came out, and everyone pigged out. We were over full. I had to convince people to have dessert. Force feeding them pie and champagne. Very happy.

I am going to share a bunch of recipes from this feast over the next week, and we are leaving tonight for Puerto Rico to cook another Thanksgiving feast with my Puerto Rican family, so recipes and pictures from that! 

To start the recipe train...Zucchini Corn Bread!!

I am obsessed with this bread and will make it year round all the time and eat it all. Seriously.


Browned Butter!! What could be better? Tell me!

Mixing wet stuff...

Add the zucchini..

Add the dry stuff...


Ready for oven...

 Eat now.

Zucchini Cornbread
I doubled the recipe to make two loaves, below is the original for one!

You'll Need...
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter plus more for pan
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 large zucchini (about 10 ounces)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup medium-grind cornmeal

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a loaf pan.

Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter solids at bottom of pan and turns golden brown, about three minutes. Scrape butter into a medium bowl. Set aside and let cool, whisk in eggs and buttermilk.

Trim zucchini and reserve 5 pieces for garnish. Grate the remaining zucchini into the butter mixture and fold in. 

In a separate bowl, sift both flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Whisk in cornmeal. Add zucchini mixture, just fold to blend, it will be a super thick batter. Transfer batter to pan and smooth. Place reserved zucchini slices down the batter loaf. 

Bake bread until golden, 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bits + Pieces

A lovely weekend full of the zoo, family and LOTS of thrifting!

1. The sea lion habitat, The Prospect Park Zoo
2. Monkeys, The Prospect Park Zoo
3. My beautiful cousin, Gabriella
4. Gabriella and baby brother, Stefano
5. My very first Battenburg Cake!
6. New storage boxes, thrifted
7. Cookbooks, finally they have a place to live
8. Gold & black serving platter, thrifted
9. Crystal wine glasses, thrifted (I also got the matching champagnes glasses!! $1 each!)
10. Small crystal dish, thrifted
11. Spices in their new home
12. Precious sugar bowl, anthropologie
13. Awesome 70s green tumblers, thrifted
14. Rice pot! Thrifted
15. Amazing art by Miss Willa
16. Small pot, thrifted