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I’m giving up…

1 Mar

For Lent this year, I decided to give up fried food. I typically try something like swearing, but that doesn’t usually last more than an hour. Other years, I decide that I am just going to be a better person, but I mean I’m already nice, so I don’t know how to be better (sarcasm). This year, I needed to decide on something that I can control. So far, I have only slipped up once. I had a few munchkins last week. I forgot those bitches are fried. They were good, but fried. For those of you that know me, you know my LOVE for french fries and wings. It is going to be a rough stretch, but I can do it. I’ve also decided to not set myself up for a complete failure, so I let chips be off the list of fried food. But, if you see me with something fried in my hand, smack it away from me, please!

 

Stud Muffin gave up sweets and soda. I wish he had just decided on soda because now when we go out, I can’t order dessert. And I feel terrible for bringing anything sweet into the house. I mean, I need Easter candy! I guess I’ll have to hide those little Cadbury Mini Eggs of deliciousness. I will say, he has been really good. A few weeks ago, I went to the grocery store and had a moment of weakness and bought double-stuffed Oreos. First, there are still some left. Second, he hasn’t touched them since Ash Wednesday. #proud However, they are also still there because I can only eat them on the weekends. Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t eat them for breakfast and I cannot eat chocolate past 3 p.m. because it keeps me up all night. So therefore, I can only eat them around lunch time on the weekends. I know, it is like I am a child. If I do decided to indulge, I twist it open as one would and then proceed to just eat the cream. Back to Lent…

This year, we are hosting Easter because we moved into our new house and my sister usually hosts everything else. We will gladly host, but I hope the family is good with french fries and buffalo wings for Easter dinner!

What are you giving up for Lent this year? How are you doing?

The struggle is real.

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You guys want some cookies?

26 Feb

The time is upon us. National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend. Two words… Thin. Mints. I can’t buy them because 1. I would finish an entire box in a sitting and 2. Stud Muffin gave up sweets for Lent, and well, that would just be cruel. BUT, you can buy them and you can use this awesome Girl Scout Cookie Locator to find where they will be selling those little bites of heaven this weekend (Feb. 27 – March 1).

Image from girlscouts.org

Image from girlscouts.org

Fun fact – This year, approximately 200 million packages of Girl Scout cookies will be sold nationwide. And thanks to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts for letting us know about the National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend.

What’s your favorite Girl Scout Cookie? Will you be stopping by a booth to grab some goodness? If you do, I will take deliveries – just don’t tell Stud Muffin.

National Cake Day!

26 Nov

Guys, it is National Cake Day! I love days like today becuase it allows me to channel my inner fat-kid and talk about the greatness of cake. I am pretty picky about the type of cake I will eat, which is making for some interesting cake tastings for our wedding cake.

Here are a few of my all-time favorite cakes:

Party Favors, Brookline, MA – the buttercream frosting on their cakes is the most sinful thing ever, but it is sooooo good. My sister got me hooked on these cakes and we have one for every Kline/Boucher occasion. In fact, we just had one for our engagement party on Saturday. Check this out…

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I even brought a Party Favors cake with me to South Carolina for my mom’s birthday, several years ago. I took it on the airplane with me and stowed it under the seat.

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Then there are Publix cakes: For those of you that don’t know Publix, it is a grocery store chain in the Southeast region. Not only do they have great cakes, they have an amazing sub-sandwich station. So Publix cake also has butter cream frosting and the cake is extremely moist. I hate that word, but it is the only way to describe the cake. It is just delicious. This cake is from my best friend’s wedding:

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And the last cake I will present is my favorite cake of all time! My mom makes it and yes, it comes from a box and yes, it may be funfetti, but the chocolate frosting she makes is the absolute best. She makes this cake for me each year on my birthday! I can’t remember a birthday that I haven’t had this cake. My mom loves me!

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In honor of National Cake Day, I say, “Let them eat cake!”

The Best Christmas Treat – Peppermint Bark

27 Dec

So it’s been a while since we’ve written. Sorry for that. Both Kteb and I are off in our own little adventures. Anyway onto more important matters…the next best Christmas treat.

This year for Christmas we stayed in New England and visited the Love Muffin’s family. I wanted to make some extra cookies and treats to share with the 25+ family members. I decided that I would try my hand at peppermint bark. I’ve read recipes over and over and seen it on trays and in little goodie gift bags, but never made it on my own. So thanks to Pinterest I reviewed a few different recipes and decided to move forward with one of my own.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Unwrap all of the candy canes and place them into a large plastic bag. 
  2. After all of the candy canes are unwrapped, take your rolling pin or meat mallet and hammer away. It’s worth noting that the candy canes did pierce the bag in places so make sure you do this on a surface that can get dirty. I did it over a wooden cutting board.
    Crushed candy caneCandy Cane
  3. After the candy canes are broken begin working with the chocolate. Fill your double boiler with a little bit of water (about 2-3 inches) and turn your stove burner on medium. Allow the double boiler to warm for a few minutes before adding the first bag of chocolate chips.
  4. While the double boiler is heating cover the baking sheet with one seamless piece of foil, set aside.
  5. Once the double boiler is ready (2-3 minutes) add two bags of chocolate chips and allow them to melt slowly. Stir with a heat resistant rubber spatula. After the chocolate is melted take 1/2 cup of the broken candy cane and pour it into the chocolate. Stir until all of the candy cane is incorporated into the chocolate.
    Nestle ChipsMelted chocolate morselsFully Melted Chocolate
  6. Pour the mixture onto the foiled pan. Spread as evenly as possible. The bark will probably be any where from an eighth of an inch to a fourth of an inch thick.
  7. Cover the melted chocolate with the remaining crushed peppermint and refrigerate to set.
  8. After the bark has set (30-45 minutes) remove from fridge and break apart into pieces of your liking.

The bark should be stored in a cool, dry place and will keep for up to two weeks (if you can make it stay that long!).

Peppermint Bark

Finished Product! Enjoy!

peppermint bark 2

~cdog

Oh Easter Candy, How I Love Thee

6 Apr

Easter is here! Finally! That means a lot of things to a lot of people (springtime, sunshine, long church services), but let’s be real, for many Easter means CANDY! Delicious, delicious candy. And in my estimation we have this little guy to thank:

Yes, the great, all powerful, all knowing, Cadbury Bunny. Below I have listed, in no particular order my most favoritest Easter candy and why they are awesome. Leave a comment with your favorite candy or why you think I might be wrong (just kidding, I’m never wrong).

Cadbury Cream Eggs

I read recently that there are actually people who don’t like Cadbury Cream Eggs. Who are you and what are you thinking? These are by far one of the best Easter treats ever created. I love everything from the pre-decorated egg chocolate coating, to the pretend yolk cream center. It’s good that they sell these individually, otherwise I’d have to eat the whole package (and fight the Love Muffin off in the process).

To. Die. For.

Peanut Butter Cup Eggs

I think most of you know the love that Kteb and I share for PB Cups. During the Easter season, it is no different and perhaps even better as Peanut Butter Cup
Eggs are bigger than a normal PB Cup. Mmmmm, I could go for one right now! I think we can all send Reese’s a big THANK YOU!

PBCup Eggs...need I say more?

Peeps

Oh Peeps! I think that the Peeps company is sort of ruining these formerly Easter-only marshmallow treats. I prefer the chicks to the bunnies and like to eat them tail first. What? Don’t pretend you don’t have an order in eating these things!

PEEPS!

Butterfinger Eggs

I love these little beauties because unlike regular Butterfingers these do not get stuck in your teeth! They are also the perfect combo of chocolate to crispety-crunchy center! Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger eggs!

Butterfinger Eggs

Cadbury Mini Eggs

Can we start a slow clap here people? Cadbury Mini Eggs deserve a round of applause. I do not know what Cadbury does to these little candy-coated, chocolate eggs, but it is like they are laced with crack. Once you open the bag you just can’t stop eating them!

Mini-Eggs! Oh Cadbury, you had me at hello!

Crunch Eggs

Nestle Crunch bars were one of my most favorite candy bars as a kid. Although, I think my brother takes the cake with his love for Crunch. Again, these eggs just bring the right amount of crunch, chocolate and rice cereal. Love em!

CRUNCH Eggs

And there you have it my friends! Now you may be wondering why there are no jelly beans on this list. Here is why, I can’t stand them. I hate candy that sticks in your teeth (with the exceptions of Starbursts and licorice). I also got jelly beans one year in my basket and it just so happened to be the year that I got a cavity. I’m blaming the jelly beans. Thanks but no thanks, I’ll stick with chocolate.

With all of this said, both Kteb and I wish you a very Happy Easter! May the bunny bring you all the candy your heart desires!

~Cdog

Springtime in Munich

25 Mar

Let me start this post off with apologizing. Negligent isn’t even the word I would use to describe my current blogging habits. I promise that I will try and be better. I also have to thank my blogging partner in crime, Kteb, for keeping this thing afloat. LOVE! Now…onto the food!

My work travels recently have taken me to the wonderful southern Germany city of Munich. Now, I had been to Munich once before, but it was for all of about 36 hours and I didn’t get to see much. This time I spent the entire week and stayed right near the city center. I had wonderful hosts who showed me some great places in the city. The first place we went was Brenner Grille. Unfortunately for you, I didn’t take any pics that night – give me a break it was my first night after an overnight flight. Brenner’s was great. The building that the restaurant is in, is the old horse stables from 19th century Munich. It’s got giant stone columns which are featured throughout and giant arched windows that allow you to see into the city center. It is an Italian restaurant where you choose between a salad, meat or fish main course and dessert. They cook on open grills in the middle of the restaurant, which provided a cool ambiance. I dined on dry aged, Irish beef and had a great panna cotta for dessert.

Now, onto one of my favorite meals…breakfast! Whenever I am in Europe, I try to take advantage of the typical European breakfast with sliced meats, cheese and fruit. Let me just tell you, I ate my weight in pretzels while I was there. To. Die. For.

Typical breakfast - pretzel, sliced meats & cheese, hot tea

The following night for dinner we ate at this lovely Italian restaurant (I know, I know…again!). Sadly, I can’t remember the name. If I do, I’ll update the post accordingly. Regardless, I had another amazing meal. Starting out with a chef’s antipasti plate – best carpaccio I’ve had to date. Additionally, my entree was awesome – fresh pasta with fresh shaved white truffles. For those who don’t know, I am a bit of a truffle monster. If they are in a dish, I have a really hard time not ordering it.

Pasta with fresh shaved white truffles

Dessert was also just as amazing – homemade gelato – fresh mint with lemon on the bottom. I wasn’t sure how I would like the combo, but they were bright and complimentary. Especially after such a rich, filling entree.

Homemade gelato!

My next day was filled with meetings in Munich…in Vits Cafe. This was an interesting place because it is also a coffee roaster. They have coffee from all over the world available to try in a variety of ways. I stuck with tried and true cappuccino but with their coffee of the week, an Ethiopian blend. To be honest, I’m not a huge coffee connoisseur, but this was VERY good. I could actually taste the chocolatey notes that they described in the menu.

Cappuccino

My last night I spent in a traditional German style beer hall/restaurant – Augustiner Bräu, established in 1328, it is Munich’s oldest still independent brewery and produces Munich’s most popular brands of beer. Their beer hall and restaurant is located in the city center right near the Marienplatz. It was bustling with families, single youngsters and older people enjoying beer, food and each others company. The seating arrangements are long tables, so since it was just two of us we shared a table with a group of five older German men.

I had to go with my traditional Munich fare – schweinshaxe mit knödel (pork shank with a dumpling and sauce). I mean really, need I say more?

I of course didn’t pass up a trip to one of the best beer cities in the world without sampling some of their finest offerings. I had the same beer throughout my meal, the Augustiner Edelstoff. A fine lager if I do say so myself. Augustiner describes it as, “A bright export beer, sparkling and fresh at the same time, brewed with the noblest raw materials. The high-class product of the old-Bavarian brewing art. A great treat for every beer expert.

German Lager

All in all, my trip (including the work stuff) was pretty good. Excellent food, excellent weather and excellent company. I’m looking forward to my next trip back when I can continue to sample some of the best that Munich has to offer!

Auf Wiedersehen!

~Cdog

Beehive Boston is the Bee’s Knees

25 Feb

Dear Cupid, I hate Valentine’s Day. Ok, I don’t hate it, but I don’t believe there should be one day dedicated to telling someone you love them – that should be every day (enter corny cries here, but I’m serious).  It’s a great opportunity for Hallmark, restaurants and stores to make some extra cash in between birthdays and holidays in December. I get it. It bothers me, but I will say in that same breath, that if Valentine’s Day wasn’t acknowledged, I would not be so happy.

So to acknowledge “it”, we decided to head to Beehive in South End in Boston for dinner. Beehive touts itself as a “wildly popular Bohemian eatery and bar,” and it’s “eclectic, funky, yet elegant.” Stud Muffin had never been, and I had been there for drinks once and for brunch (which is delicious) and I was looking forward to trying dinner!

Photo from Beehive Boston's Facebook page

When we arrived, our table was waiting, albeit a little close to the other tables. I like to people watch, so I was a little distracted by the others around us. However, it was a nice location because we sat close enough to the stage where we could hear the great, live jazz music, but we weren’t having to yell at each other to talk. Enough about that, just know that the atmosphere is fun and it’s a cool restaurant/bar. Now on to the food… Just to preface this, we didn’t hold back on the food and both ordered off the special items on the Valentine’s Day Menu

Stud Muffin had the Beehive Honey Brew to drink and I had a cocktail that had St. Germaine in it, and it was good.

For an appetizer, we started off with Moroccan Cigars – lamb filled phylo dough with a cranberry chutney – FANTABULOUS

I had the Pan Seared Halibut with Herbed Couscous in a Lemon Escarole Broth with Carrot Frites – it was cooked perfectly and the Israeli couscous complemented it to perfection. I was a little leery of the carrot frites, but they were damn good.

Stud Muffin had the Filet Mignon with Artichoke and Black Truffle Crumbs, Potato Gnocchi in a Red Wine Sauce. He was part of the clean plate club – enough said.

It was V-day, so we decided that yes, dessert was indeed necessary (I told you we didn’t hold back). We indulged in a hazelnut bread pudding, which was absolutely to die for.

(So, Cdog and I are thinking we need a rating system for restaurant reviews. So if you have any ideas, please send them along or provide them in the comments below.) For the time being, I will give Beehive 4 beehives. We had a great dinner and the atmosphere is great. My only complaint was that the table was really close to the tables next to us.

Interested in seeing what the Beehive is offering soon? Cconnect with them on Facebook and/or on Twitter.

While I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day, it was definitely nice to share the day with someone so special. My gorgeous bouquet is sitting on the table, reminding me every day how much I am loved. I do like conversation hearts though… “Email me.”

-Kteb

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