Going Pro in Wifery

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Yesterday my friend Noelle and I decided to meet up for a girls-only lunch date. I was super excited about it because, even though she only lives in CT, I hadn’t seen her for a while. Before meeting up, I tried to get a few errands done:

I did a couple of loads of laundry (a never-ending task in our house). I went to the grocery story. I made a few treats for an event I am doing at work tonight. And I put dinner in the crockpot.

Despite the fact that I had to push back our original meeting time by 40 minutes, I was feeling pretty good about myself when I showed up for lunch with Noelle. Naturally, I had to brag to her about my accomplishments, specifically about having dinner in the crockpot. To which Noelle quickly replied “yeah, I have mine in too. A pot roast.”

Umm, can someone please inform our husbands JUST how lucky they are? I mean, when it comes to being good wives, I think we’ve nailed it. Maybe we can go pro and get sponsored by Crockpot.

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I made a thai peanut chicken dish. It was really good. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

3 large chicken breasts
1 red or green bell pepper, diced (I used green)
1 sweet onion, diced
¾ c chunky peanut butter
1-2 T lime juice (one whole fresh lime, squeezed) – can use key lime juice as a substitute
1/2 cup chicken broth (you can use coconut milk if you want it to be creamier)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 T cumin (depending on your taste)
1-2 T crushed red pepper flakes (depending on your taste)

rice
chopped green onion
chopped lightly salted peanuts
chopped fresh cilantro

Layer into the crockpot the following:
chicken
onion
green pepper

In a small bowl add peanut butter, lime juice, chicken stock, soy sauce, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Whisk together until well combined. Taste and adjust your seasonings accordingly. Pour over the chicken and vegetables in the crockpot.

Place the lid on and cook on low setting for 3-4 hours. Make sure to stir your mixture at least once during the cooking process, to incorporate the flavors and distribute for even cooking. You should have a nice “gravy” that will work well served over rice.

Serve over rice with the green onions, peanuts and fresh cilantro as garnish.

A Christmas Recap

A few images from our New England Christmas celebrations! Our first stop was Massachusetts to spend time with Matt’s family.

Getting some QT with my niece puppy Sunshine
Getting some QT with my niece puppy Sunshine
Sunny is so happy about her new fur coat
Sunny is so happy about her new fur coat
Bringing a Brethauer tradition to the Englehardts... Monkey Bread!
Bringing a Brethauer tradition to the Englehardts… Monkey Bread!
New clothes!
New clothes!
Quick take a photo of me while I casually pose.
Quick take a photo of me while I casually pose.
Englehardt Family!
Englehardt Family!
The boys made bloody marys for everyone.
The boys made bloody marys for everyone.
Bloody mary bar
Bloody mary bar
I got a new power screw driver from my father-in-law
I got a new power screw driver from my father-in-law
Courtney opening our present to her, a soda stream!
Courtney opening our present to her, a soda stream!
Yummy Chrismtas morning brunch
Yummy Chrismtas morning brunch

Then it was up to New Hampshire for a few days with my family.

Nothing beats hanging out with Abby and her dog Bexley
Nothing beats hanging out with Abby and her dog Bexley
Frosting sugar cookies
Frosting sugar cookies
Yummy!
Yummy!
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
More monkey bread!
More monkey bread!
A skinny Christmas tree this year!
A skinny Christmas tree this year!

 

Deer in the backyard
Deer in the backyard
Bexley in her new bed
Bexley in her new bed
Spending time with my favorite munchkins!
Spending time with my favorite munchkins!
Another Brethauer family tradition
Another Brethauer family tradition

We had a wonderful time visiting our families. Every year I am reminded just how lucky we all are and how incredible my husband is for putting up with my family and our crazy traditions. Here’s to many more Christmas memories made in our matching jammies!

One Trick Pony

Matt and I have been completely surprised by the number if visitors we’ve had since we made the move to Hoboken. We thought that we would get people out to our place 1, maybe 2 times per year. Not that it is far from NYC, but you know, people don’t like leaving the island… especially to come to the dirty Jerz. But thankfully, we have awesome friends who either (1) like us a lot, or (2) are curious to see just how much space you can afford in NJ as compared to NYC.

As a result of these visitors, my skills have been put to the test. Armed with my Martha Stewart manual and an amazing kitchen, I’ve been happily playing hostess with the mostest. I found a recipe on pinterest that looked good and decided to make it for our friends Lindsay and Mike when they came over for dinner one night. It was easy and seemed to be a crowd pleaser so I decided to add it to the menu for Thanksgiving. And it went over well again that day.

When we were at home over Christmas, my mother sent Abby, Matt and me to the store to get some things for dinner. I picked up the supplies to make this now, go-to appetizer. And just as it had the first two times, it went over well. That is, until Matt chimed in.

Apparently he didn’t like it.

No, not just this time, but all three times I made it.

Not sure why it took him so long to say something… but my go-to appetizer is now benched. Looks like this pony is going to forced to learn some new tricks.

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Even though Matt doesn’t like it, I’m still a fan – give it a try and let me know what you think!

Spinach Artichoke Flatbread (from Pip and Ebby)

To begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

The orginal recipe called for frozen pizza dough, but I just used a flatbread I bought at the store

One at a time, place a pizza dough round onto a pizza stone (I used a cookie tray since I don’t have a pizza stone). Top each round with:

1 tablespoon olive oil, spread out to 1/2 inch of edge of dough

3-4 tablespoons Sabra Spinach and Artichoke Hummus, spread out to 1/2 inch of edge of dough

1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped

1/4 of a small red onion, sliced

1/2 of a 14-ounce can of quartered artichokes, drained and patted dry with paper towels

1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown

Slice and enjoy!

A Couple of Couples

I’m happy to report that this weekend, I officially checked something off of my Fall To Do List.

On Saturday afternoon, Matt and I hoped in our car and drove out to Warwick, NY for our annual apple picking trip. Some of you more loyal followers may remember that we went out there two years ago and had a great time. Well after doing a decent amount of research to find a great orchard, I settled upon Ochs Orchard. It wasn’t until we were driving up the scenic road that leads to the farm that I realized it was the exact same place we went two years ago. Guess that research really paid off.

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This year we were joined by two of my favorite people, Lindsay and Mike.

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I used to work with Lindsay and they are SUPER fun to hang out with. Let’s be serious though… the bar was pretty low since the bulk of our free time is spent with Kinsella and Brent, two of Matt’s boyfriends who mostly enjoy bars, Notre Dame football and talking about finance. No offense boys, but it wasn’t my dream to get married and live the single boys life.

We picked a giant bag full of apples and a pumpkin that is sitting on our counter, just waiting to be carved. Afterward we headed over to the Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery. We arrived at 5pm, just an hour before closing. I was definitely bummed that we didn’t come earlier (they have apple picking there too) but it worked out well since the place was packed, but since we arrived late, people were leaving and we had no problem finding a table.

It was a great day, capped off with dinner with another favorite couple, Noelle and Justin. On the drive home, Matt jokingly said “All we do it hang out with your friends.” My response… “At least my friends have cool boyfriends/husbands for you… you’re friend just have other single boyfriends.”

Touché.

Here’s to couple friends, fall and a week full of apple recipe posts!

 

OMG – We’re Adults!

"Heeeeey. Today is my Birthday"
“Heeeeey. Today is my Birthday!”

Today is Matt’s 30th Birthday! Not only is this exciting because it means we get to have cake and celebrate but it also means that Matt can stop reminding me at every change he gets that I am 30 and he is 29. Honestly, the 3 months between our Birthdays are the worst. To be honest, I don’t mind that I am a little older than Matt but I don’t need to be reminded of it all the time.

We kicked off the celebration a little early last night with a dinner party at our friends apartment. We have known Lucy and Smeets since our early days in Boston and have continued to remind friends over the years. They are lovely people with whom we’ve taken a few ski trips , gone to many dinners and shared more than a few glasses of wine! A couple week’s ago we celebrated Lucy’s birthday together with a dinner at Peels, one of my favorite NYC restaurants. That night we ordered some oysters for the table and got to talking about how Matt and I have recently gotten into oysters. It just so happens that Lucy’s uncle owns an oyster farm in Cape Code, Sweet Neck Farms, and knows a thing or two about the slippery delicacies. I mentioned that I really wanted to learn how to shuck them so Matt and I could enjoy them at home (and not have to pay the ridiculous price of $3 per oyster at a restaurant!) So I was pleasantly surprised when Lucy called me on Tuesday night to tell me that her uncle had shipped her some fresh oysters and invited Matt and I over for a shucking lesson and dinner party.

Now, this may shock you – but this was the FIRST real dinner party that Matt and I have ever been to. I know – weird. I think it is because NYC apartments are so small, that very few people have dinner tables so we always go out to dinner. It is sort of funny because the only person I can think of who has an actual table in their apartment, which chairs and adult things like that, is Kinsella – and his version of cooking is opening a can of soup (which IS pretty impressive). We’ve had many a football watching party at his place, but those normally involve Bleeker Street pizza and eating off our laps (please don’t mistake my tone for judging – Matt and I sit on the floor and eat off a coffee table at home).

It was nice to play house for a little with Smeets and Lucy and feel like real adults. Thanks for keeping us classy guys!

 

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Here is Smeets in the Kitchen - hoping that rubs off on Matt!
Here is Smeets in the kitchen – hoping that rubs off on Matt!

 

Girls

Does everyone else there agree with me that the new HBO show, Girls is 100% awesome? I honestly can’t get enough of this show.From the fact that it is set in New York City to the incredibly accurate portrayal of the early 20-something year old female – I love every angle of this show.

It is like a realistic  version of Sex and the City. The girls don’t wear manolo blahniks – not because they aren’t fashionable but because they are in their early 20s and can’t afford a pair of shoes that cost over 500 dollars (I am still trying to figure out how Carrie could afford so many pairs on her writer’s salary). And they don’t live in enormous apartments like Rachel and Monica on Friends, but in small apartments in Brooklyn.

I salut you Leah Dunham. It is like you have tapped into the voice in my head and made it into an incredible tv series. Let’s grab a drink and talk about some of the ideas I have for season 2.

This is How Much I Like You

 

Last night Matt and I went out to dinner with our awesome friends, Lucy and Smeets (don’t worry, that is his last name – his parents aren’t that mean to name him Smeets). We always love hanging out with these two and last night we had a lovely time.

In the middle of dinner, I turned to Lucy and Smeets and said, “You know what, I really like you guys. You know this because I am here with you even though I am missing The Sing Off.” Matt turned and looked at me, completely appalled that I would say something so rude to our friends. However, in my mind, this was a huge compliment. Believe me, I wouldn’t miss that show for just anyone!

So cheers to good friends who are worth setting the DVR and watching your favorite shows later. Clearly tonight, I am going to be glued to my tv catching up with my favorite a capella groups!