Herbed Olive Tapenade with Goat Cheese

Happy 2015 everybody!  I haven't posted on here in ages but I'm hoping that will change this year.  Don't hold your breath though!  I'm pretty sure Christine and I are the only ones who read this... haha.

Well, last night was New Years Eve and we had us a par-tay!  It was so fun!  We had an Italian dinner with friends and did a full sit down fancy schmancy meal!  Who doesn't love that?!

For starters, I made an olive tapenade (TO DIE FOR!) and stuffed mushrooms (also TO DIE FOR!).  I'll post the olive tapenade review here.

Lastly, one of our New Year's Resolutions for 2015 is to make a new recipe at least once a week.  If all goes well, we'll post reviews of those recipes here.

Onto the olives...

I found this amazing gem of a recipe on Pinterest via Jen at City Farmhouse.  She writes "I put all of my favorite ingredients together for this fresh & tasty starter," as if she just threw some stuff in a bowl and didn't realize the amazingness she was creating!  Well, Jen... did you knock your own socks off?  'Cuz you knocked mine off!  Fantabulous!

Herbed Olive Tapenade with Goat Cheese

Enjoy this easy, amazing appetizer!  Even my 7 year old adored it!

Here a few pictures from our party --

French Dip Sandwiches

I don't use my slow cooker very often.  I have a problem with the texture of things that have been slow cooked, so I usually only cook beef and pork in it, and still that's not often.  It's SO easy, and I know that... but I don't think of it often.  So, when I find something I like, that my whole family loves, and it is cooked in the slow cooker, I HAVE TO MAKE IT OFTEN!!!  So, this is the second time in a month that we've had this :)

French Dip Sandiwches

1 (3 1/2 to 4lb) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 beef bouillon cube
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
French Sandwich Rolls

Put roast in slow cooker. Combine soy sauce, beef bouillon, pepper, rosemary, thyme & garlic powder, pour over roast. Lay bay leaf on top.  Add water to almost cover. 

Cover and cook for 6 hours on low or until tender. Remove bay leaf. Shred roast with a fork. Place shredded meat on roll and serve with au jus to dip.

One things I realized tonight - I should shred the beef at hour 5 and then place it back in the juice to finish tenderizing the last hour.

Also, I like to make a mix of horseradish and mayonnaise and spread that on my roll before laying the beef on.  And Kyle likes to melt provolone on top of his.  Just so you have some serving ideas!!

Oh and BTW's - the picture doesn't do it justice, just so you know!


meal plan - january 4 - 9

If you haven't noticed before, I do best when I meal plan Saturday to Thursday.  We stick to our plan better and we are more enthusiastic about our meals when we plan them over the weekend and grocery shop together.  Not sure why that is, but it works, so hey!

Here is a look at our first meal plan of the year.  We are in the process of selling our home and building a new home and we need to cut back on the amount we eat out - because we currently eat out at least 3-4 meals a week, if not more!!!!!  TOO MUCH!  I'm hoping posting here will hold me accountable.  Right.  LOL.  We shall see.

Saturday Lunch - Pretzel Roll Sandwiches (with leftover New Years Ham), Chips & Spinach Dip
Saturday - Steaks, Baked Potatoes & Green Beans
Sunday Lunch - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Pasta Salad
Sunday - French Dip Sandwiches & French Fries
Monday - BRINNER!!  Oh yeah, baby - Breakfast for dinner!  HAHA
Tuesday - Grilled Flank Steak with Soy-Mustard Sauce, Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Spinach Salad
Wednesday - Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders, Pasta Roni & Carrots
Thursday - Italian Wonderpot & Garlic Bread

So, there you have it - my plan for taking 2014 by storm ;)  Happy New Year!!!

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bites

When Valentine's Day rolls around, you can bet you will find Kyle and I cozy at home with a home cooked meal - that's our tradition!  We make an extravagant meal and enjoy it quietly after little one is asleep.  Though this last year, she ate dinner with us and loved every second of it.  So, we may have a new tradition :)

I found this recipe via Pinterest, because how did we ever find ANYTHING before Pinterest?!  It was relatively easy, albeit a tiny bit time consuming, but wow - was it fantastic!  It made SO many and very few were left, Kyle absolutely loved them.  This may be a new tradition now as well, haha!

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bites

The recipe is easy to follow and gives you very true results.  Although, I'll need to work on prettying mine up like hers!  But the flavor is exceptional.  Thank you Annie!!!

Here's a look at our night --

red beans and rice

It's no secret that I'm obsessed with all things Louisiana.  From the food to the culture to the history... it's all just my "thing."

So, it should be no surprise the we celebrate Mardi Gras in my home!  This past year I made red beans and rice, boudin balls and bread pudding.  It was fantastic - but I'd rather have been in NOLA!

I used a wonderful Emeril recipe for the red beans - I'll make it again, any day of the week!  Although, I was informed by a true Louisianian that red beans and rice are for Mondays, not just any day!  It's a neat tradition actually... but the history behind that is another post!  :)

Red Beans & Rice

Of course, I paired this with Abita!  Although, the Mardi Gras Bock would have been more suitable.

I followed the recipe pretty closely, but I did not cook the sausage with the beans.  We grilled the sausage on the pit and then sliced it and served it on top.  Also, I garnished it with some sliced green onion and that added a good oomph!

Here is a view of our night :)