Thursday, March 19, 2015

Parmesan Broth

I've been meaning to share this recipe for a while, so here it goes!  We had a plethora of parmesan rinds that we needed to use (we love our fresh parm!).  I googled parmesan soup and came across this gem from The Smitten Kitchen.  The way she described the broth was so enticing, I knew I had to make it.

I was so excited to make this recipe, and she was right about how amazing it is.  It is the best broth you will every have.  It's velvety, rich and so luscious.  I can't wait until we have enough rinds to make this again.  Side note: you can usually find rinds at stores like Whole Foods for a reasonable price.

I didn't have the white beans or kale that she used in her recipe, but I did have tortellini. I made a small change in water quantity to her original recipe to compensate for cooking the tortellini in this mouth-watering broth.  The end result was awesome.

Parmesan Broth with Tortellini

8 ounces cheese rinds
7 cups water
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
Handful of flat-leaf parsley
Salt, to taste

To serve
1 - 10 oz package of fresh tortellini (we used cheese)

Make the broth: Bring all broth ingredients to a boil in a large pot, then reduce it to a simmer. Simmer for one hour. Pour broth through a strainer. Your yield should be approximately 4 1/2 cups. You can use this right away or cool it before storing it.

Tortellini time: Bring the strained broth to a boil and cook tortellini according to package directions.  Serve in a big soup bowl and enjoy!  Makes about 2-3 meal size servings.

I hope you enjoy this just as much as we did! What is your favorite soup?

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Week of Fun!

Lots of good stuff to recap this Friday!  We had a great week with Madre visiting us from O-town.  Every day starts out awesome with coffee...mmmm.  I picked up Costco's House Blend and found out it was roasted by Starbucks, who knew?  It is definitely good stuff.

We did a little exploring around Tally, and went to Bradley's Country Store.  They are famous for their sausage and dang it is good!  Perfectly smoky and spiced.  It wasn't over smoked and greasy like lots of other sausages.

The sausage dog was screaming my name.

Last Saturday we stopped by the Tallahassee Downtown Market, it was a beautiful day!  I'm sad to say that the market was a little disappointing.  Not many local produce vendors were there, if any?  We were really spoiled by our farmer's market in Cali.

After the market Wyatt was pooped!  He fell asleep in the car and immediately cuddled with his dog when I put him in his crib.  So friggin cute!  I had to take a pic (in silent mode of course).

On Sunday we decided to drive to Apalachicola, it was a beautiful drive down the coast!  This quaint gulf town is known for it's oysters, and they were worth the drive.

Another yummy treat we got at Up the Creek Raw Bar (full review soon!) was Alligator Empanadas.  I could not say no to those.  They were filled with a slightly spicy and cheesy filling with plenty of ground gator tail.  Just like chicken....hehe.

Last but certainly not least, we have had so much fun exploring our new neighborhood.  Wyatt loves to go on the bridge on the nature trail and look for fishies.  Yesterday we got lucky and spotted 3 different turtles!  Too bad they moved too fast (ironically enough) for us to get a good photo.

No plans for this weekend!  Just playing it by ear.  For my uber-exciting Friday night I'm going to see a movie, either Birdman or Boyhood...which one should I watch?  What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Decadent Eats!

I appreciate all the kind words about my last post.  It means the world to me!  

Now onto one of my fave things... food of course.  I'm joining up with Jenn for What I Ate Wednesday.  This week I'm sharing all my splurges, delicious and soooo worth it!

Let's start with my breakfast splurge, Red Velvet Pancakes from The Bada Bean, close to our house in Tallahassee.  This local joint has an amazing breakfast menu.  These babies were on the specials board and how could I say no?  Red Velvet is my jam.  At first I thought they were a little cheap with the frosting but turns out it was the perfect amount!  I'm hoping these tasty pancakes are a special quite often.

Next up is my lunch splurge, Fried Shrimp from Tropical Trader Shrimp Company in Panacea.  My Dad & Stepmom came to visit and it was our first real chance to drive around the area.  We stopped in for lunch and we were glad we did.  The local shrimp were perfectly fried.  You gotta have grits with shrimp in the south... and these were loaded with cheese.  It was an amazing meal!

Finally my dinner splurge, Homemade Pizza!  We have pizza night almost every Friday, but on special occasions when Jay makes his sauce and meatballs we do it from scratch.  I made this awesome pizza dough recipe, and we top it with the hubby's tomato sauce and meats.  Hits the spot every time.

What were some of your decadent eats this week?!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Miscarriage Sucks

That pretty much sums it up.  I, like many other women out there, recently suffered a miscarriage.  I went back and forth if I wanted to share this part of my life with my readers, but I just knew I had to. Keeping your feelings in from this loss only makes it worse.  It's very easy to feel you are alone when you experience the loss of a pregnancy, and if my story can comfort someone the way others' stories have comforted me during this time it will be the least I can do.

On Christmas morning, I found out I was pregnant.  My period was 3 days late (which wasn't unusual), but I thought if it was positive it would be a great Christmas gift.  Before everyone woke up, I took the test and it was a big YES.  I woke up Jay with the news and we spent the next few minutes relishing in our happiness.  After four months of trying, we were so excited!  

Christmas Morning Excitement

After Wyatt opened up his abundance of presents, we told our immediate family.  We couldn't keep this exciting news in, plus it would be pretty obvious when I wasn't having any wine with dinner.

Everything seemed to be going perfectly well, I felt the same as I did with Wyatt.  I had some minor cramping, and was a little moody and tired.  I made my first appointment for when we moved to Tallahassee, and couldn't wait until that first ultrasound.

Jay left on Monday, January 12th to drive down some things to our house in Florida.  I was 6 weeks pregnant.  Wyatt woke up from his nap and I fixed his lunch then headed to the bathroom.  I noticed some spotting and freaked out.  No major cramps, no pain, just spotting.  I new I had to get a Rhogam shot because of my O negative blood type.  I called my doctor and they advised me to go to the ER.  

Wyatt and I spent 5 long hours in the hospital.  It was so hard being so anxious and dealing with my energetic toddler!  I wasn't bleeding much, but my main goal was to get an ultrasound and the Rhogam shot and get out of there as quickly as possible.  After waiting, taking vitals, waiting, ultrasound, waiting, results....I finally got my shot and some information.  Poor Wyatt was "done, done, done".  The doctor said they found a gestational sac on the ultrasound but no heart beat.  He said it was still early, and it was possible I was still pregnant.  Also, my hcg levels were showing I was about 6 weeks pregnant.  I would have to go to my doctor to check my hormone levels in a week and have an ultrasound in 2 weeks.  

Jay flew home late that night from the road to be with me.  I was exhausted, scared and broke down.  The next morning I went to the bathroom and the bleeding was very heavily.  I knew I was miscarrying and I just sat there and cried.

I spent the next week going through the miscarriage, for me physically, it was not much different than a bad period.  It was a sad week.  I went to the doctor and took a pregnancy test, it was negative.   She told me there was no way to tell what happened.  The unknown is never fun, but unfortunately that's how it goes I guess.

One week later I was in Tallahassee and had an ultrasound to make sure everything looked okay.  It was so sad walking into that office... I was supposed to be there to see my baby for the first time... but now it was to verify that there was not a baby.  The good news was that I looked healthy and we could start trying again in a couple months.

Just writing this down made me cry. The last time I cried about my miscarriage was in that doctor's office, when after the ultrasound the doctor said, "I'm sorry for your loss".  It has been about 6 weeks now since my miscarriage, and it has gotten better.  I have hope that Wyatt will have an amazing sibling soon, and that he or she was meant to be in our lives just a little later than we had hoped.  I can't wait for that day when our little family will be complete.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Burger's Priest

I was going through my photos today and realized I forgot to do one last post about the best burger we had in Toronto, at The Burger's Priest.

It was our last full day in Canada and realized the newest outpost of this local chain was only about a mile from our hotel.  We got there right before noon, glad we got there before the huge rush!  The place was a zoo when we left.  Anyway... Our food took about 10 minutes and came out hot and fresh.  Wyatt got a "half Vatican", a grilled cheese.  So what is the (full) Vatican you ask?  Two of those grilled cheeses with a burger patty in the middle.  I wanted to order one so badly but I just couldn't get myself to go through with it.

Jay and I each got a double cheeseburger.  It was an amazing burger.  The patties were juicy with a nice crust from the griddle.  The squishy buns were the perfect complement.

The fries were fresh cut, hot and crisp.  I wanted to eat every last one but my stomach could no longer handle all the food I was stuffing it with.

If you are going to Toronto, this is a must for a quick meal!  Maybe it's good I didn't try it out earlier?  My waistline wouldn't have been happy.