May 26, 2016

The Podcast Commute #1

My commute has grown longer in the last month or so due to my company relocating to Jersey City. So, to help me pass the time as I navigate new traffic patterns, I've started listening to podcasts some mornings. I prefer to listen to music on the way home so, I have a variety of things to keep my mind off of the traffic.


I've added a number of subscriptions to my Podcast app on my iPhone. I had no idea how many different podcasts were available... everything from entertainment, business, self improvement, health, cooking... the list goes on and on! So, as I come across specific episodes that I think are really good I'll share them here.

May 24, 2016

Freshening up a favorite banana bread recipe

Bake this moist and delicious Banana Bread on the weekend, and you'll be enjoying it for breakfast or with your afternoon tea all week. 
#bananabread #baking #fromscratch #formyfamily #famfriendsfood



Nothing like having a new oven to try out to get back into the baking game.

May 22, 2016

Hello! Anyone still here?

Hello to everyone who still stops by to see if there are new posts around here! 





I figured it's time to add something new and I'm starting with a new overview of what this blog is going to be about as I move forward.

Back when I started this blog, I wanted to solely focus on my food adventures with family and friends While food is still an important focus of what I want to share here, I also want to share some other types of information and experiences.

I've decided that I want to share more on my volunteer experiences with organizations that are near and dear to my heart. There is nothing more fulfilling than taking time to help others in whatever way you are able to on a regular basis. I simply feels good and my family enjoys finding ways to help others.

Since I'm also starting to listen to podcasts that offer ways to improve my work skills and entertain me during my commute, I want to share those that I find the most interesting or that I think others might enjoy as well. They will vary from parenting, career focused to simple entertainment. I figure if I need to be in the car for extended periods of time, I might as well use that time to learn something new that I can use in my day-to-day life.

I have missed writing in this space and it's taken me time to decide on how to keep it true to who I am. This space is not about what other blogs or websites are doing or sharing, which can be a distraction to what my intent is with my little space here on the internet.

Don't worry... bringing people together through food is still an important aspect of this blog! There is just so much more that I enjoy and I want to bring those things to my blog. Nothing fancy, nothing on a schedule (you'll find a couple of new posts a week)... this is something I enjoy in my free time. It's an outlet to allow me to improve my writing and photography skills.

I hope you'll join me for some great conversations and see where this takes us!

I'd love to hear what types of information you are interested in seeing here... so, let's talk! Leave a comment and share what interests you!



Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

February 14, 2016

Valentines Day ~ Recipes to Warm the Heart

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you are spending it with those who mean the most to you!

Due to the bitter cold we are experiencing here in New Jersey, we are going to stay close to home today. I plan to make a couple of old favorites that scream comfort food to us.

In just a little while, I'm heading into the kitchen to bake up some Cream Cheese Cookies that are consistently one of our favorites!

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are always soft and cakey, which is the way we prefer them... if they last more than a day, you can keep them in an airtight container for up to a week.

Dinner will be cooking low and slow with my absolute favorite Red Wine Braised Short Ribs!

Red-Wine-Braised-Short-Ribs-Bon-Appetit-02


Serving these short ribs over creamy mashed potatoes is the perfect comfort food on a cold winter day - especially one that has negative degree wind chills in the air! You still have time to go and get some nice meaty short ribs from the grocery store to make these for your favorite people today.  They braise in the oven for around 2 - 2 1/2 hours... and the scent coming from your oven will be heavenly!

Wishing each of you who come to visit my little space on the internet a day filled with love and happiness! I'd love to hear what delicious treats you enjoy on this special day!

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

January 24, 2016

Super Simple Snow Day Pancakes

I imagine that if you weren't on the East Coast this weekend, you enjoyed a relatively uneventful weather weekend. Those of us in the path of Winter Storm Jonas had the pleasure of staying home on Saturday while snow swirled around us for the majority of the day. The end result? About 30 or so inches in my town.

We are forever thankful that we did not lose power and that we have snow blower that allowed my husband to get out during the snow storm and attempt to keep up with the piles of snow every few hours. There are many others who were not so lucky that lived closer to the coastal areas and further south of us. My heart goes out to them, especially those who are still trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy!

When we are fortunate enough to have a winter storm happen on a weekend, it means a relaxed day at home where we can stay cozy, watch movies and I spend some time cooking. It truly makes me happy when I can have day to make a few things in the kitchen and wander in and out to watch movies with the family.

I don't typically make breakfast on the weekends, even though it would seem the perfect time to get in there and make something special. We often have too many errands or other places to be early in the day to accommodate doing this on a regular basis. So, Saturday morning I made a super easy homemade pancake recipe that I've tweaked from one I found on All Recipes when I ran out of Bisquick one morning.

Snow day pancakes #breakfast #snowday #pancakes




January 3, 2016

Glazed Chocolate Bundt Cake to bring in 2016

Welcome to 2016! Are you ready for the new year and all the possibilities that it has to offer?

I always feel like the new year sneaks up on me and the previous year flew by at lightening speed. I am ready for what 2016 has in store and am working on goals rather than resolutions. It just seems to me that resolutions are something that are so easy to give up on after a short time, whereas a goal is something that you plan out and find a way to make it happen. So, no resolutions here... just well thought out goals that I am going to plan out the steps to reach them. What do you plan to accomplish in this new year?

We had the pleasure of bringing in the new year with our friends and neighbors. It's always a fun evening and filled with more food than anyone can possibly eat, but we enjoy nibbling until it's time to watch the ball drop on tv together.

Of course, being someone who loves to cook I asked what I could bring to share and she asked me to bring dessert. So, I began searching for something decadent and chocolatey to add to the celebration.

Chocolate glazed bundt cake | www.famfriendsfood


November 8, 2015

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken & Rice) ~ New Family Favorite!

Every once in awhile, I come across a recipe that I decide to take a chance and try. This time it's a recipe from Skinnytaste. I was looking for something I could make on a weeknight and that would be a little different from anything else I typically make for dinner.

After going to through a number of appealing recipes, I settled on Arroz Con Pollo. Nothing like a kicked up version of chicken and rice to make dinner more interesting, right?


Arroz con pollo


When we were in Puerto Rico last summer, we enjoyed some of the local cuisine. I decided that I do love mofongo and hope to find a recipe to try to make that one at home soon. My Youngest tried the Arroz con Pollo and really enjoyed it, especially the flavor of the rice. So, I knew that at least a couple of us would like this dish since I was drawn to the flavors already.

What I didn't expect was for everyone to dig in and go back for seconds and even third helpings! The flavor from the Adobo seasoning and the Sazon Tropical, were what I think brought this dish to that level of being hard to stop nibbling.

This was truly a one pot meal since everything cooks together in the same pan. Just keep an eye on it as the rice on the bottom could get dried out faster than the rest of it so, you might need to add a little bit more water if it's getting too dry.

I'm going to send you over to Skinnytaste for the recipe... be sure to check it out!

Here are some other Spanish recipes that I hope to try soon:

One Pot Spanish Chicken and Potatoes from Pinch of Yum
Sweet Fried Plantains from The Kitchn
Bocadillo El Camino from Food52
Tortilla EspaƱola from Trissalicious

Just thinking about these recipes has me wanting to head into the kitchen and start experimenting with these classic dishes!


Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

November 3, 2015

Braised Brussels Sprouts from My Paris Market Cookbook

It's November already? Seriously... someone needs to slow down time for me! While we thoroughly enjoyed October and celebrating all the spookiness the goes along with Halloween, now it's time to think about Thanksgiving... and, I'm still not quite ready.

Sometimes you have to move forward because time keeps moving forward, which also means I had every intention of sharing today's recipe and cookbook review with you a couple of weeks ago... and, well... life happens sometimes. Thank goodness for cookbooks to provide inspiration because the last month or so has not been filled with trying new recipes or even a lot of homemade cooking. We are all missing it, and it's time to get back to it.

So I am so happy to finally be sharing My Paris Cookbook by Emily Dilling with you! For those of us who not only enjoy recipes, but a bit of storytelling as well this cookbook is a delightful read! Each section has tidbits about different markets in Paris at different times of year. As I continue to read through it, I find myself daydreaming about a future trip to see and enjoy everything described for myself.

The book is nicely divided by season, which we all know is the ideal way to enjoy fresh produce at it's peak. The recipes vary in difficulty, but all ingredients are easy to find if you have access to a decent grocery store and farm markets.

I can't wait to try so many more recipes from this cookbook! Ranging from Five Herb Baked Tomatoes in the summer to Slow Cooked Chicken in Wine and Mushroom Sauce on a cold winter day to Chocolate Mousse in spring (did you know that spring is the season of chocolate in Paris?). Each season brings some mouth-watering recipes to the table.

Braised Brussels sprouts


This time of year, I am on the hunt for different vegetable side dish recipes, so I decided to try two different recipes. The one I'm sharing today is an incredible way to prepare Brussels sprouts, and one that will be making a repeat appearance on my dinner table - Kristen's Braised Brussels Sprouts.

I've leaned toward roasting them in the past since we enjoy the crispness that roasting adds to the outer leaves. It's a simple recipe and always turns out perfectly. But, now that I've tried braising them, both preparations will be in heavy rotation!

The flavor from the wine gently infuses the sprouts as they cook, and we found it hard to stop going back for more. The term braise often makes you think that it's a long cooking process, but in this case they are done in under 20 minutes. Not a lot of hands on time, so you can work on the other components of your meal.

Recipe shared with permission from the publisher. 


Kristen's Braised Brussels Sprouts

Recipe by Emily Dilling, My Paris Cookbook

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  • dash salt and pepper
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
Cooking Directions
  1. Melt butter in a large pan. Add halved Brussels sprouts face down.

  2. Cook in butter on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add salt, pepper, shallots and dry white wine. Cover and cook for 4 minutes.

  3. Stir lightly. Cover and cook on low heat for another 5-7 minutes.

  4. Serve immediately.

Note: I was provided with a review copy of this cookbook, and all opinions are my own.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

October 25, 2015

Spice Rubbed Braised Beef #SundaySupper

When the weather gets cooler and the leaves have begun to change... it's time for those dishes that warm you from the inside out. This week's Sunday Supper theme is Warming Trends... and we are all sharing those dishes that warm us up when it's getting colder outside.

I fell in love with braising the last couple of years... and as a result, the use of my French oven goes into heavy rotation once we get into fall. Nothing like putting a dish together and allowing it to simmer and do it's magic all afternoon on the weekend. The house smells amazing and the meat becomes so tender that you would never consider putting a knife on the table when you are ready to eat.


Spice rubbed braised beef


We recently re-started our Dinner Club group - just 2 other couples and us - because we wanted to get back to trying new recipes. This first get together was to bring together comfort foods, because I was craving braised beef. The recipe I decided to try was from My Recipes and had a blend of spices that I knew would make the dish sing.

This is one of those dishes that you keep going back for a little bit more and a little bit more because the flavors keep calling to you. It is ideal when served with mashed potatoes and some crusty bread (yes a carb-fest!) to soak up that sauce. My mouth is watering just thinking about this dish again!

You know you will want to give this dish a try during those cold days in the Winter when the idea of going outside is simply not appealing.



Spice Rubbed Braised Beef

Recipe Adapted from: MyRecipes.com

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon half sharp paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless chuck rust, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, mustard and ground red pepper; then rub all over the roast. Place in a large ziploc bag for at least 1 hour, but overnight is ideal to ensure the beef is infused with the spices.

  2. Heat a large Dutch (or French) oven over medium heat; add olive oil and when hot, add onion, crushed red pepper and minced garlic; cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring. To the onion mixture add: crushed tomatoes, water, 6 tablespoons brown sugar, red wine vinegar and tomato paste. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and black pepper an stir.

  3. While sauce is simmering, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

  4. Add the roast to the pan, cover and bake for 2 and a half hours.

Now, head on over and check out the rest of the Warming Trends recipes from the rest of the #SundaySupper bloggers!

Beverages

Desserts

Main Dishes and Soups

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

October 12, 2015

Apple Barley Salad

Note: I received a review copy of the cookbook I share in this post. All opinions are my own. 

Looking for a salad that you can make on the weekend and have ready for healthy, quick and easy lunches? Then you are going to love this recipe!
Apple barley salad


When I was asked if I'd like to check out The Age GRACEfully Cookbook, I was intrigued. I have done a lot of reading into different ways of eating healthfully the last couple of years and am always looking for new ways of making recipes healthier and part of a cleaner eating style.


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