Friday, January 4, 2013

Goat Goodness

Before we get too far away from the holidays, I want to share an awesome app that Chris made for one of our lady group Christmas hang outs. These things look and sound much harder to make than they actually are. They were definitely a crowd pleaser in a room full of cheese lovers. Make these for any little gathering, but little is the key word. Goat cheese ain’t cheap.

Lazy Goat Cheese & Bacon Goodness Balls

One 4 oz package goat cheese (makes 7 balls)
A splash of olive oil
½ a package of lean, center-cut bacon

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook about ½ a package of bacon on a cookie sheet for about 20 minutes like usual.

While the bacon is bakin’, crumble the log of goat cheese and put it in the bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Then roll it into small balls - smaller the better because the cheese is so rich. If they balls are not sticking together, add a splash more olive oil.

 Once bacon is done, let it cool then crumble it. The smaller the bits, the better they’ll stick to the cheese. Gather the crumbles on a plate.

Roll cheese balls into bacon bits until they’re mostly covered. Some pieces may not stick, so stick them by hand.

Once they are all covered, put them on a cookie sheet or pan then into the freezer for 30 minutes to let them set.

Then enjoy!

These can be made the night before and refrigerated overnight.

So easy, right?! We popped these little balls of goodness in our mouths all night until we moved to Bobby Kennedy Pie for dessert. Yum.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012: Nothing Short of Thankful.

Ok, ok, I know. It’s been a while, but before I start rattling off excuses for my extended absence, let me get a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The Bonner-Schroeder drop of 2013
I’m starting 2013 with a week off of work and more than enough time to blog. I’m a happy lady.

So the end of 2012 came and went before we knew it. In true form, we packed in plenty of excitement; a year’s worth if you ask me. Here’s a little run-down.

Thanksgiving was spent with the fam, and it was lovingly gluten-free. As I mentioned before the holidays, I took on the gluten-free stuffing challenge. I’ll get to that later. We ate, we shopped, and then we invited all of our out-of-towner friends over and partied. The best part about the holidays is togetherness, and we were (are) so thankful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Under the Bisque Top

I’m back!!!!! This isn’t Katy. It is Chris – her roommate and loyal blog reader. Katy has kindly offered to let me guest blog on here to share with y’all my new favorite fall recipe: Pumpkin Bisque! Before I share the easiest recipe with you – we have had some wonderful fall adventures!

A couple weeks ago, Mr. Banks, Katy’s dad, took a great group of us to see Totem (pronounced Toe-Tim) by Cirque du Soliel .Our sweet friend Haley came into town for the big event and she is a gymnast so she loved it! We were all amazed by women on unicycles throwing bowls and catching them on their heads, trapeze, and in general the amazing talent all of the performers displayed.

After an amazing and breathtaking performance, Mr. Banks took our group to Lure in Midtown. This 5th Group seafood restaurant accommodated Katy’s gluten free needs and my shellfish allergy. To start the meal we had amazing crafted cocktails and appetizers. I had a steak and potatoes and they paired it with a lovely glass of red wine! The food was out of this world, but the company was just as phenomenal.  Everything was flavorful and everyone shared. Amazing. Everyone was completely satisfied with the service, food and drinks.  Thank you, Mr. Banks!

Katy snuck this picture

Tom & Arlo at Lure
Whole gang
girlz girlz girlz

Specialty bottled in-house drinks

Katy's scallops
Last week one of the non-profits I work for had a fundraising event. This art show raised money for Work of Our Hands which helps funds Emmaus House Saturday Arts program which my roommates and I have been involved with for a while now. It offers children in south Atlanta a chance to explore their creativity and make art with their own hands! I am working on the development team for WOOH & so many of our great camp friends came out to support the event. An amazing night of friends and supporting a great cause. Our friend Anna Murphy’s art from Two Leaf Studio was also for sale. We now own original Anna Murphy Christmas Ornaments.

Anna's table

Ladies at the Art Show!
In my free time, I nanny! One of the moms I nanny for gave me a very easy and tasty recipe for Pumpkin Bisque. I had this at her house for a Halloween Party and it was phenomenal. This recipe makes about eight servings.  You may feel like you are adding large amounts of spices and sweeteners, but you could stretch this recipe to serve ten people. So all those ingredients go a long way.  So this is a great dish for a lazy week when you need lots of leftovers or when you have gluten free or vegetarian friends over for dinner! Thanks Ms. Elaine for the recipe and a great Halloween party!

A big thanks to Katy for letting me post! It is such a treat, and I love doing it. Well I better get back to studying for my LMSW Exam. Until next time! Xo. Chris

Pumpkin Bisque

What You'll Need: 

   3 cans of pumpkin puree ( 2 1/2 Cups) 
   One large yellow onion 
   Chicken Broth 1 1/4 Cup  (Can use Veggie Broth if you are a Vegetarian)
   Heavy Whipping Cream (one pint) 
   Craisins (for a tasty garnish) 
   Olive Oil 

Get Cooking: 

   Finely chop the onion
   Then in the large soup pot, sauté the onion in one tablespoon of olive oil. You just want the onion to become translucent -- not brown! 

   Then add the pumpkin puree Stir! 
   Add the chicken broth and two cups of water 
   While stirring add one tablespoon of cinnamon and nutmeg 

   Then add sugar -- make it as sweet as you like! We added about a tablespoon

   Bring everything to a simmer and let it sit for about five minutes, then stir in the pint of cream

   Let that sit in a simmer for about five minutes while it is covered 
   Cool before serving 
Add a handful of crasins on top for a perfect fall flavoring! 

This makes about 8 servings! Goes great with a grilled cheese or pb&j sandwich!

Thanks so much, Christy, for everything you do! You da best. And for real, this bisque is A-MAZING. I had some when I got home from a super late, chilly night at work. And Chris even made me a GF grilled cheese. I'm so very thankful to have a roomie/bff like you. 

xo, Katy

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Love & a Skillet

ATL Beltline love
 As usual, we’ve been up to some super fun stuff, and cooking some great new things, but I’m going to share it all in parts and pieces so no one gets too jealous all at once. Ha.

A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to head south to Americus, GA for a weekend to celebrate our friends Bryan and Danielle’s wedding. The whole weekend was an absolute blast. We saw so many great friends we hadn’t seen in a while (too long), and witnessed such a sweet couple finally tie the knot. They got married on Bryan’s family’s farm on Bumphead Road, but don’t let the name fool you. It could not have been a more perfect setting or a more beautiful day.
We stayed at the Windsor Hotel in downtown Americus, which is famously old and haunted. The place was freaking cool, inside and out. The 3rd floor was supposedly the most haunted, but we stayed on the 2nd floor much to Chris’s excitement. Don’t worry, we tried to scare her the whole time.

On Saturday before the wedding, the groom hosted a little kickball game for the wedding guests on the farm. Nate and I played, Whit and Chris cheered us on. My team won, duh. After that, we drove out to the Andersonville Civil War prison site. Our friend Sarah was a history major in college at UNC, so she is chalk full of civil war knowledge. So full that she lost her voice while sharing her knowledge, and if you know Sarah, you know that she uses her voice a lot. (Love you, Sarah Tillet!) 

See, her mouth is always open.
Nate had been there before, so he was filling us in too. All of my AP U.S. History knowledge started coming back to me, and I think we all felt a little nerdy. It was awesome. Ironically, we were listening to The Civil Wars in the car the whole weekend.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Kabob your head.

I’m noticing a trend here…most of my posts begin with an Atlanta weather recap that probably no one cares about, ha! Well, I’m not just making small talk in a “sooo, how’s the weather” sort of way. I started thinking about defines our lives in a lot of ways (at least mine anyway). It has a lot to do with my weekend plans, and has a good deal to do with what we’re cooking! Hmmm.

Speaking of weather, Chris and I are so completely devastated for all of the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. We’ve been keeping track of the recovery process and the unbelievable pictures.

I’m a summertime, warm weather junkie, so this past Saturday’s Indian Summer-esque weather was so amazing! I thought winter was here for good! Silly me, this is Georgia. I’ve had many a short-sleeved Christmases in my 24 years. We took full advantage of the wayward November day and pretty much stayed outside all day long.

On Saturday, we went to the 10th Chomp and Stomp in Cabbagetown, which is a cool little neighborhood next to ours. Every year, Cabbagetown businesses and community members put on an awesome Chili and Bluegrass festival, complete with a cook-off and a 5K. 
Chris, Meg, and I did the 5K in the morning, and then we gathered a few more folks and headed back for the Chili and the music. Local restaurants and residents set up booths and handed out little sample cups of their best effort chili. Eaters paid $5 for a spoon, which got us unlimited chili while supplies lasted. Chili is generally gluten-free, so this girl was excited. I asked a few questions regarding gluten content as I went down the line, but for the most part, I chowed down without issue. Among the group of us, we were all pretty torn on our favorites.

After our mouths were sufficiently on fire and our bellies were filled, we settled in the grass for some bluegrass! Our amazingly talented friend Kyle Tuttle came all the way from Nashville to perform with Plectophilia. He and his banjo never cease to amaze.

Fun, fun day.

Just when we thought our grill was put away for the season, we decided to whip it on out for one last (or maybe not) hoo-rah before we’re too cold/lazy to stand outside and cook. This brings me to the kabobs!

I think kabobs are one of those great forgotten meals that we’re reminded of every so often, and we vow remember them in the near future…and we never do. There are so many different ways to make them; it really is such a shame to forget. And just like all of my favorite meals to cook at home, kabobs are cheap, easy to make, and even easier to clean up.

We've used this website for ideas in the past, so we figured it would be a good place to start this time.
This time, we consulted the sale ad, and creativity ensued. Here’s what we used:
 Sale Kabobs
  • 2 Yellow Squash
  • 4-5 red potatoes
  • ½ a yellow onion
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1-part Dales
  • 1 part Olive oil
  • 1 part Honey
  • A dash of Garlic, Salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning
Preheat grill on high heat, and then prep your skewers if needed.
 We used wooden skewers, so we soaked them in water for about 20 minutes before putting them together.

Chop all of your veggies into bite-sized pieces.
Quarter the potatoes, slice the squash and onion, and tear the florets off of the broccoli.
 Mix all of the veggies together with the marinade in a bowl and put it in the fridge for as long as you have/want. We let everything marinate for an hour.

Shakin' it up!
 In the meantime, trim and cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.

Thread the skewers in whatever order you want. We switched it up with each skewer.

 Grill the kebabs, turning, until the ingredients are charred and cooked to desired doneness, 3 to 15 minutes. We cooked ours for about 5 minutes on each side, which was pretty perfect. 

Chris and I especially loved the char-grilled taste of the veggies.
After letting the kabobs cool for a bit, we de-skewered them.
We watched Gossip Girl while we ate, and in true Chuck Bass form, we ate off of the china. And drank La Croix.

Our sale kabobs were delicious, but there are so many different ways to go with these. Hopefully we’ll have another warm day this month so that we can try another version. Maybe with a Mexican flair? Or Asian? OHHH the possiblities.

In other news…someone dropped her Blackberry like a bad habit, and traded up for an iPhone 5! This someone is in love.