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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sausage Gravy

Bob Evans eat your heart out.

After proposing, I thought Matt deserved a breakfast built for champions. And that is exactly what he got! First things first....I found these on Pinterst and HIGHLY suggest you all make them immediately. Why these are not on every diner menu in America, I have no idea.

I am a firm believer that everything is better with bacon, but pancakes? Man... it's just too easy and it was SO. SO. GOOD.

Bacon. Pancakes. Syrup. I rest my case.

Ok...time to get back on track. Which in this case is a delicious- manly- meaty- sausage gravy that I think really wow'ed my new fiance. (still so weird to say!) This is something I grew up on living in Virginia, so I'm glad to bring it to our table in Pittsburgh. This recipe is so easy and makes the most comforting biscuits and gravy. You know what I heard? Biscuits and gravy are the best breakfast choice to lead you into a fantastic Thanksgiving meal.... how convenient. ;)

Sausage Gravy

1 Pound Original Sausage Roll
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Milk
Salt and Pepper to Taste

1. Cook Sausage in a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Stir in flour until dissolved.
3. Slowly stir in the milk.
4. Cook gravy until it boils and thickens. Stirring often.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve over hot biscuits.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Girls' Wine Weekend

Since I brought up Girls' Wine Weekend in the last post I thought I shouldn't make yall wait any longer. I know you are just dying to know more about this glorious weekend. Let me tell you one thing.... it is just as magical as you are imagining. A weekend full of good eat, great company, and wine. Lots and lots of wine. I strongly encourage you to plan one with your closest girlfriends right now.

For our Wine Weekends, we come from all around and close in on a little town called Delaplane, Virginia. If you are near there the wine is FANTASTIC! I can't drive home from Pittsburgh to Virginia Beach without my car being magnetically pulled into at least one of the vineyards. It just won't doesn't happen.

This year we decided to bring all of our food. What a nice change that was. We could sit and have a picnic with delicious homemade food at a winery with beautiful scenery and lots of fall foliage. We had cheese. We had chocolate. We had wine. Seriously.... I'll plan another weekend right now and you are all invited.

Pistachio Goat Cheese Balls
(Adapted from

1/4 Cup Shelled Salted Pistachios (I used about double this)
6oz Goat Cheese, Softened
2oz Cream Cheese, Room Temperature

1. Toast nuts in small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes; chop finely.
2. Combine goat cheese and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Drop mixture by heaping teaspoons onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; refrigerate 15 minutes.
3. Roll into balls, then roll in chopped nuts.
4. Refrigerate, tightly covered, up to 1 day.

Another thing brought was an appetizer/snack my family simply calls oysterettes. For lack of a better name, these are oyster crackers marinated in the most addicting dressing ever. As long as I can remember these crackers have been a staple for special occasions so I felt it only necessary that they make an appearance at our annual wine weekend.


2 Bags Oyster Soup Crackers
1 Cup Oil (I used Canola in this case)
1 Pack Dry Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
1 Tsp Dill Weed
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder

1. Mix oil, ranch seasoning, dill weed, and garlic powder together.
2. Put oyster crackers in a gallon zip-loc bag and pour dressing over top of crackers.
3. Let sit for a couple hours or over night. Every now and then move crackers around in bag and flip bag to make sure all crackers are well coated.

So now you have no excuses. Grab your girlfriends and enjoy in a wine weekend (or just a wine night) soon! Vineyards are everywhere and now you have great tasting snack ideas to go along with it!  

Enjoy! :)

These delightful digs were also a star component over the weekend. Check out Sugarcoated to see how to make these wine and cheese cupcakes. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Almonds and an Engagement!

Hello blogging friends! I am SO happy to announce that my computer is back which means I can share with you all the exciting things that have happened over the last month and all the delightful things I have made! 

First things first... I am a newly engaged woman! Matt proposed on 11/11/11. I am a huge believer of making wishes at times that have repetitive numbers (geek, I know) so he got down on his knee at our favorite park in Pittsburgh at 11:11pm and I don't think I have wiped the smile off my face since.

To kick off in this exciting time I wanted to share with you some almonds that I conjured up after our annual Girls' Wine Weekend back in October. One of our stops was Vintage Ridge Winery which does an amazing food and wine pairing. One of the last pairings were these spicy and sweet pecans that were out of this world. I think between the 5 of us we left with 4 containers of them. After that, I decided I definitely had to go home and try to recreate them.

Since I didn't have any pecans on hand, I decided to try almonds and they were just as delicious (and didn't I hear somewhere that almonds are healthy... especially when cooked in sugar??) Merry Christmas in advance friends and family, because you are all getting some of these in your stockings! I am that proud of them!

Sweet and Spicy Almonds


1 Bag Almonds (or Pecans)
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Water
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and brown sugar together in a bowl. Put the water in a pan and let heat up. Once warm, add the sugar mixture and give a few stirs. Next, add the almonds and stir so all the nuts are coated in the sugar mixture. The mixture will begin to boil, keep stirring the almonds around. After about 5 minutes, the sugar will crystallize and begin to stick to the nuts. Once there is no liquid left, pour almonds on a covered baking sheet to cool. Then eat them all. That's it! (Yes, you have to eat them all. It's in the directions. If you don't, I commend you for have WAY more self control than me).

I served these to a few people at work who told me they got a hint of cayenne at the very end. I think the next time I make these I will add a little more (maybe 1/4 tsp) since I am used to eating everything doused in hot sauce. If you are daring enough, try it also and let me know how it goes!

Enjoy! :)