Friday, January 27, 2012

Vote for Hailey-AWA 2012 Paws and Feet Mascot Contest

Hi fellow bloggers, friends & family-need some help! VOTING FOR THE 2012 AWA PAWS & FEET MASCOT has begun! Please vote for our rescue pup Hailey for AWA (Animal Welfare Association)  Mascot!! 

All you need to do is go to to vote for Hailey!   It is $1 a vote, and there is a minimum of 5 votes at a time!! There is no cap on how many votes or how many times you can vote.  Voting begins at 1pm today (Friday 1/27) and ends February 6th! If she wins, we will be seeing her on printed and online ads, materials, and the official event T-shirt!....and she turns "1" on Feb 1st so this would be an amazing birthday for her! So get voting y'all!  
                                                             ♥ ♥ Hailey (woof woof)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ant's Creamed Spinach

This is going into my recipe book as a family favorite, Ant's Creamed Spinach (we served 6 people with this). It's always a real treat when we go out to a steakhouse for dinner, and we always know at least one side dish that we will get, creamed spinach, Ant's favorite. We haven't found the perfect one yet. Some are to dry, too much cheese, to liquidy, etc... Since, I watch a lot of Food Network and Cooking Channel, Anthony gets pulled into some of the shows as well. He ended up watching Chuck Hughes "Chuckmas" and they made a creamed spinach which gave Ant the idea to try and make a recipe that was perfect to his taste buds. We looked at a few of my cookbooks and some online recipes and took a little from here and there and added some of our own touches, like bacon and panko bread crumb topping. We did a trial at our neighbors house prior to Christmas, and Gerry (not a spinach fan at all), ended up trying it and loved it. So, it was official that we were going to make it to accompany Christmas dinner. Hope you enjoy!
  • 3 (10 ounce) bags clean fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons minced white onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
Panko Bread topping
  • 1 cup panko (you can also use regular bread crumbs)
  • 2 table spoon of butter
  • pinch of italian seasoning
  1. Take a large skillet over medium high heat and cook the bacon until crisp, place on a plate wtih papertowels to soak up excess grease. Once cooled, cut into small crumbles and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted, stirring constantly. Remove from the skillet and drain in a colander. Try to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  3. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onions; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes (don't burn the garlic!).
  4. Add the spinach and stir in the heavy cream.
  5. Sprinkle in the mozzarella cheese and stir to melt and coat the spinach.
  6. Once the mozzarella has melted, stir in the Parmesan cheese and bacon bits and continue to cook and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to your tasting!
  7. Pour spinach mixture into a greased casserole dish
  8. Now take a smaller pot, and melt 2TBS of butter, once melted, remove from heat and stir in panko and seasoning and stir to combine. Sprinkle this on top of the creamed spinach and place under boiler (high) for 3-4 minutes until its golden brown on top.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Delicious December

Christmas in Virginia with my family was beautiful, filled with love, presents, doggies, plenty of wine, and delicious meals on Christmas Eve and night. Christmas day was filled with opening gifts, mom's egg casserole and then feasting on appetizers before dinner with my buffalo chicken dip, chicken artichoke dip, Hickory Farms cheese and sausages, and the cookie plate was also out again.

My brother in law brought his smoker over that night and we ended up making a meat rub with basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley, garlic, and some other components. We rubbed it on 13lbs of meat, and it was so good, just fell off the bone practically with a light smokey flavor. Paired with my moms twice baked potatoes, me and Anthony's new creamed spinach recipe (recipe to follow in my next blog post), and green beans and onions. This was the best Christmas dinner, hands down. After dinner we tried to watch The Hangover, but food coma took over Erin and I. None the less, strict WW diet goes back on starting tomorrow!

Hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday and hoping the New Year will bring you new blog worthy dishes and wishes for 2012!