Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Soprano Family Tiramisu

On Saturday this past weekend, Zachary and I had our friends Mike and Suzy over for some pool time and some Olympic celebrating as well as some good good good homemade Italian food.  Zachary is a self-taught  chef.  Hopefully one day, we will be able to open our own restaurant - his food is that amazing.  I love hosting at our apartment because it gives us a chance to use our fun toys - like our china and crystal and silver serving dishes!  So here is how I set up the table before the food was placed on it:

The real awesomeness though came from the food!  Zachary made our regular arugula and tomato salad and a bolognese sauce with gnocchi.  It was amazing.  So since we were doing Italian - I decided to try my first Tiramisu.  And what's the best place for a good recipe - of course from my Soprano Family Cookbook.

So below is the recipe for The Soprano's Tiramisu:
1 pound mascarpone
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons amaretto or Cognac
1 cup heavy cream
24 savoiardi (imported Italian ladyfingers)
1 cup brewed espresso, at room temperature
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate

In a large bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, sugar and amaretto until smooth.

In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Lightly dip half of the savoiardi in the espresso and arrange them in a single layer in the bottom of an 8-in square pan.  Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the savoiardi.  Sprinkle with half the chocolate.

Dip the remaining savoiardi in the espresso.  Top with the remaining mascarpone mixture, spreading it smooth.  Sprinkle with remaining chocolate.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, before serving.

***Some noted from my version:  1) I just used normal lady fingers.  2) I used cocoa powder instead of the chopped chocolate.

xoxo Sarah

PS:  GO USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

How sweet it is to be loved by you...

This past Friday, Zachary and I and our good friends Don, Missy, Dan, and Mikie went to Ravinia to see who else but Mr. James Taylor!

It was such a great time with great food, great music, and great drinks!  Take a look below at our fun time...

PS:  Zachary made this amazing Tomato and Brie salad that is such a wonderful side dish for any summer meal!  I will post about that later in the summer I'm sure because I don't have any good pics of it - and I am sure it will be made again!

Happy Friends!
xoxo Sarah

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What I do during the day...

So!  This is a little post for my family to see more so than anything else.  I have never gotten to take my family to my office before in Chicago, so I thought I would take some pics for you all to see! 

My building in Chicago!
My desk in our office - don't worry those GB packers are definitely represented!
Go Orange!
xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Library Time!

Hey Guys!

Sorry I haven't posted about books and tea lately.  Books - I am posting now.  Tea is coming soon!  Wanted to finish off the tea we had at home before I bought some more to taste!

Ok on to the books...

I have read 4 books - or two books completely and tried another one - in the past few weeks.  With all the weddings going on, it has been hard to find time to read since we have been on the go go go!

First was Jodi Picoult's new book Lone Wolf.  She always writes about these intense societal issues that blow my mind!  The subject matter was heart-pulling - the plot though - kind of weird.  The story is about a family - parents who are divorced, mom remarried, and their two children.  It's about sustaining life after a terrible accident has happened.  The dad is a wolf biologist, and for part of his life, he goes and lives with wolves to see how they exist and live.  The daughter is just under the age of 18 and the son left the house when he was 18 - never to be heard from for 6 years until an accident happens that causes him to come home.  This story is intense, like most of her stories, but not the best I believe - even though I did cry like I normally do with her books.  If you are a fan of Picoult - you need to read it.  It's a fast read!

The second book, I tried to read, is P.D. James' novel Death at Pemberley.  By the way - the author is a female - which I didn't know!  She takes the characters from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, and puts the characters into a murder mystery - after they were married of course!  Well, I have never read Pride and Prejudice so it was a little hard to get into this book - maybe another time for sure!

The third book is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  This is a crazy awesome book - a hard read yes - so it might take a while, but I believe definitely worth it!  It's about two individuals thrown into a game - the location of the game is the circus!  I can't give anymore details away - but there is drama, love, mystery, magic, fantasy...it's all there.

The fourth book is The Sweet Life in Paris: Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing- City, a memoir by David Lebovitz.  This details a comical, dry humorous way an American gets engulfed by Parisian food, culture, and life!  David is funny and witty and if anyone ever is going to be going to Paris and wants to be treated kindly and not like a tourist - you have to read this book.  Plus he throws some awesome recipes int here at the same time!  I follow David Lebovitz's blog on the right side of my blog - so make sure you check it out!  This book definitely made me want to go to Paris!

I'm already on my next book so I will be posting soon about some more great reads I find!

Keep Reading!
xoxo Sarah

PS:  Go USA!  First 2012 London Olympic play today when the women's US soccer team took on France!  We won 4-2!  Woo hoo!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In...

This past Sunday, Zachary and I are started up our once a year watching of HBO's "The Sopranos" TV show.  This could possibly be the best TV show that was ever created for television.  I mean I love my Bravo shows like "Top Chef" and of course AMC's "Mad Men," but this show is the icing on the cake.  Maybe it's because I married into a part-Italian family?  Not sure - but I love everything about it.  The music, the characters, the drama, THE FOOD...  I even own the "Soprano Family Cookbook" (I will be using that for the first time this weekend...stay tuned!) and "The Sopranos" trivia game.

Even at our wedding, our good friend Mark Evans brought up "The Sopranos" when the song "Don't Stop Believing" was being played on the dance floor (that song is the final song played on the series finale).  

Do I want them to make "The Sopranos" the movie?  I would be first in line to buy tickets.  Do I wish I could name my children Christoper and Adriana?  Of course - but you have to pronounce it how they say it on the show - which I have to say I do a pretty great Adriana impression :)  

Anywho - my love for this Italian family drama is never-ending.  I love it - and will enjoy it with the likes of "The Godfather I," "The Godfather II," and of course "Goodfellas."

To celebrate - Zachary and I had a little antipasto lunch with some good Chianti on Sunday.  Take a look below!  
Do I love Italian food?  Yes.
Do I love being Polish?  Of course. 
Do I wish I was Italian?  Si.  And one day - my children will be and I can live vicariously though them.  But in the meantime - I will eat the food and "Salud" with good Italian wine!  So....

xoxo Sarah

Monday, July 23, 2012

London 2012

Ok Ok Ok...

It's here.

First event - Women's soccer starts Wednesday.

Friday - The Opening Ceremony.

Who is excited????  I know I am!  And the fact that it is in London of all places?  How lucky am I?

What is your favorite event to watch at the Summer Olympics?  I would have to say mine would be Women's Soccer, Women's Gymnastics, and Swimming - a Tie for all 3.  But random event I like - might not be random to some of you - Diving.  I think that is one of the most interesting sports ever.

Source: HERE
 Stay tuned for more posts about The Olympics and what Zachary and I are doing to watch them!

xoxo Sarah

Saturday, July 21, 2012

BBQ Grilled Steak Burgers

One thing I love, I think it's because of my mom, is hamburgers!  I can make a mean hamburger - Zachary likes my hamburgers too :)

So I found this recipe as well from Kraft's "Food and Family" magazine/Kraft website.  It's BBQ Grilled Steak Burgers!  Super easy and super yummy!  We didn't have any red peppers in the house, so I used yellow and green peppers instead :)

Click HERE for the recipe!

Did you notice the salad???  It's the arugula one I posted a few days ago! 
What do you think?  What do you love most on hamburgers?  Are you a simple burger fan or are you a cheeseburger fan or are you a fan of the guilty pleasure of Culver's Butterburgers?  I want to know - WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BURGER?

Yeah for Burgers!
xoxo Sarah

Friday, July 20, 2012

Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

Happy Friday ya'll!

I thought I would end the week on a yummy dessert!  Zachary LOVES cheesecake!  So the other night, I thought I would make a fun spin on a cheesecake for him.  I LOVE blueberries - so I found a recipe to mix the two!

Side note:  This recipe I found in a "Food and Family" magazine from Kraft.  My mom has all of these "Food and Family" magazines at her house!  She used to get them all the time, and I would rummage through them the moment they came in the mail!  I love this magazine and I hope to one day own a subscription to it myself!  If you want to check it out - go to Kraft Recipes HERE.  I know Zachary is a self-taught chef, but this website and these recipes really help when I want to cook dinner - American style with some twists sometimes :)  It's an easy way to learn how to cook and then be able to spread your wings and try some new stuff on your own!  I have also made their Bruschetta Chicken Bake and Zachary loved it!  I forgot to take pics of it but you can search for it on the website!

Ok back to my dessert!  Click HERE for the recipe - it is super delicious and I used a lot more blueberry puree than required because I love blueberries so much!  Also - you don't have to use Kraft products!  This is just a base for it - so I used generic cream cheese rather than Philadelphia!  Take a look below at this fun dessert!  Plus - a little sprig of our mint from our slowly drying up garden because of the drought! YIKES!

Happy Cheesecake Making!
xoxo Sarah

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Skinny Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Monday, I made a new dinner!  I have been trying out some new recipes I am really excited about!

I was able to make this in a crock pot, and I got the recipe from one of my favorite food blogs - Skinny Taste Blog.

Take a look at the recipe HERE.  I made some changes below:
1) I used fresh crushed tomatoes instead of canned/
2) I used fettuccine corn pasta and put some butter on the pasta in the pot and covered the pasta in chopped parsley.
3) Use more salt than you think.
4) I topped with Parmesan and basil!

Take a look at how it turned out - so easy!  Just leave it in the crock pot and go!  Wonderful wonderful invention a crock pot is you know?  What are some of your favorite crock pot recipes?

Happy Crock Pot Cooking!!
xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Salads!

There is nothing more that I like in summer than salads!  Fresh tomato salads, shrimp salads, steak salads, Caesar salads, grilled chicken salads - I just love love love salads.

The question is - how or what do you make a salad with!  There are so many options!  You can use romaine lettuce, head lettuce, Boston lettuce, frisee, arugula, basil - there are so many options!  And once you decide the base or greens, then what do you add?  More veggies - a protein -maybe even fruit???!!! It's up to you!  And then to top it all off - what type of dressing do you want - do you want to add some ranch, some oil and vinegar or nothing at all!

Well take a look at this beautiful salad below that Zachary made the other night for dinner!  Some fresh arugula, some yellow cherry tomatoes, some Gorgonzola cheese, and a homemade white balsamic vinaigrette!  Simple - crisp - and fresh!  Exactly how we love our salads!

What is your favorite type of salad?  I would love to know!  

Happy Salad Making!
xoxo Sarah

PS:  Happy Birthday Dad!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wait...They don't love you like I love you...

The title of this blog is a lyric from the song by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs called "Maps."  This song, Zachary and I both love, but was also the last requested song by the bride and groom this past weekend at the wedding we went to for our best friends, Conor and Morgan.

Take a look below at all the fun beautiful festivities - the location was goregous and so unique!  It was fun to not only have friends there but family too!  Congrats to both Conor and Morgan - we love you both and we are so happy for the both of you!
At the Rehearsal...some of the pics are a little blurry because they were walking!

At the Rehearsal Dinner - The bridal party is in the middle, and friends along the sides!  
The Ceremony - look at that lighting!

Friends and Family at the Reception/Cocktail Hour

Speeches at dinner!  
Dancing and Photo Booth!
xoxo Sarah

Monday, July 16, 2012

So Kate Middleton....

Yes - Yes - Yes!

It's true.  This past weekend, I wore an awesome fascinator to some of our best friends' wedding and it was a hit!   And yes - yes - yes - Someone told me, "That is SO Kate Middleton of you."  OMG - it made my year!  As I have a love for the British Culture and Royalty in that country, I was so excited to wear this fascinator!

More posts to come on the wedding this week - because it was beautiful and I want to make a special post about Conor and Morgan's wedding weekend!

But I thought I would share my look with the hat - I posted earlier in May about the fascinator when we were celebrating my sister-in-law's 7th birthday and Kentucky Derby - here is that post!

If you don't have a fascinator - I say go get one!  You have to have the confidence to wear it!  And just strut - your-stuff!  Have fun with it!  I think it is a GREAT fashion statement and any hat/hair piece is bold and makes you look like a fashionista!

So take a look below!  I know - pictures of myself yeah yeah yeah - but it's not about me remember - IT'S ABOUT THE FASCINATOR!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Fascinator Wearing!
xoxo Sarah

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Open Faced Caprese Melts

So I made lunch for Zachary and I this past weekend!  I made up my own little recipe!!!  I thought it would be a fun little delicious summer lunch.   So here is the recipe:

Half of a French Baguette sliced into two pieces
1-2 Tbsps of Butter
2 cloves of garlic crushed
Two tomatoes off the vine sliced
Handful of fresh basil leaves
6 slices of fresh Mozzarella
Salt and pepper to season
A little EVOO
A little Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with tin foil.  Slice the baguette half into two pieces the long way.  Then, melt the butter and add crushed garlic to the butter.  Brush the garlic butter onto the baguettes.  Then top the bread with sliced tomatoes.  Then add a little salt and pepper to season the tomatoes.  Top the tomatoes with some fresh basil leaves and place the sliced mozzarella pieces on top of the basil.  Add a little salt and pepper on top of the cheese and place the bread on the lined baking sheet.  Place in over for about 12-15 minutes as long as the cheese gets melted.

After you take out of the oven, place bread on serving plate and drizzle a little EVOO and a little balsamic vinegar on top!  Then Enjoy!!

Yeah!  My first homemade recipe :)  I am very proud of myself!!!

I drizzled WHITE balsamic Vinegar on them so you can't really see it!  Another tip I think, is if you place it under the broiler the cheese might become more golden and melt more so!  
Happy Recipe Making!
xoxo Sarah

Friday, July 13, 2012

Favorite Summer Fruit

Summer is the time for fruit!  Don't you agree?  Do you have a favorite fruit at all - especially during the summer?

I love blueberries - those are probably my year round favorite fruit!  BUT!  For summer, it has to be WATERMELON!  I love watermelon.  My mom would always have a bowl of watermelon out for dinner during the summer!

When I went to Ravinia, my contribution was watermelon skewers.  A fun, easy, and simple way to add some creativity to a simple fruit!  Take a look below:

What is your favorite summer fruit?  Do you like to add anything special or do anything fun with it?

Happy Watermelon!!
xoxo Sarah

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Campillo love for Ravinia

So it has been long tradition for the Campillo and Matthews families to go to Ravinia.  Ravinia, if you don't know, is an outdoor amphitheater where big names play music and there is also lawn seating where people can enjoy good eats and drinks!  Take a look at the Ravinia website HERE!

Anywho, back to tradition, since Zach was little my mother-in-law and her friend Margo have taken their kids to Ravinia many many times!  This time I came along and it was just us girls!  It was so fun!  We went and saw Idinia Menzel.  She is one of my most favorite singers.  If you don't know who she is - she is the original Elphaba on Broadway's Wicked!  Unfortunately, she had a cold so she wasn't able to belt out her power notes - but she still sounded awesome!

Take a look below at our Ravinia set up - flowers and all!  The food was delicious!  We all added out own element!  If you want any of the recipes in the pictures, feel free to let me know and I would be happy to get them for you!
Chicken with Pesto and Tomatoes, Spinach and Orzo with Asparagus Salad, Garbanzo beans,  Cold White Wine and some fun!  That's the best pic I could get of Idina by the way but she walked around the amphitheater and was 5 ft. from me!  She is gorgeous!
For Good!
xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish...

The other weekend, my sister, mom and I went to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.  I haven't been there for YEARSSSSSSSS!!!  We had so much fun!  We saw a BUNCH of different fish and sea mammals.

Take a look below at the fun time we had and all the different creatures we saw!  One of the highlights that we saw, was the baby dolphin that was born in late May!  I have a special picture of that below!

Mama dolphin and baby dolphin!
The Jellies exhibit-look at all these Jelly Fish!
Look at all these crazy looking creatures!  The crab at the bottom of the collage is called a Tasmanian  King Crab - literally the size of a couple basketballs!  
At the aquatic show - the dolphins were in the water before it started - the show was about the beluga whales!  It was very fun!
Hope you enjoyed a little light into our fun Kaminski girl time!
xoxo Sarah

PS:  Sorry for the lack of posts lately - have been CRAZY busy with life and weddings!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rock, Flag, and Eagle!!!

Ok the title of this blog post is from one of our favorite TV Shows "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" from one of their episodes about America.

Happy Foruth everyone - I know a day late!  But better late than never right???  So what did everyone do for the 4th?  Zachary and I just relaxed - saw a movie - and ate some good food!  It has been HOT HOT HOT HOT outside so we weren't even able to lay by the pool!  It actually reached 105 degrees today in the city - CRAZY!

We had some great eats yesterday - Zachary grilled some flank steak and shrimp skewers and we had some guacamole and green beans!  It was all delicious!  I made these white chocolate covered strawberries!  I found out about this fun little dessert from my friend Katie's blog last year!  When I saw these, I told myself I HAVE TO MAKE THOSE!  So here is her blog post on these fun 4th of July treats!

Take a look below to see how mine turned out :)
"4th of July" Chocolate Strawberries
I am proud to be an American!
xoxo Sarah

Tea of the Week!

Hey Guys!

So I got a new Yogi tea!  Are you all familiar with yogi tea?  I love this type of tea!  I posted previously about their ginger tea!  This time I got a "Stomach Ease" tea.  This just helps with healthy digestion and helps when your tummy might get really full!  It is very herbally - but a great caffeine free tea that helps with your digestion process.  I like finding these types of teas that help your body!  I think that it is a great natural way to help your body function properly!

Ok short but sweet!
xoxo Sarah

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wedding Season has Begun...

Ok sorry for the lack of posts this past week.  Zachary and I have been prepping for the wedding season we have this summer...we may only have three that we are going to - but at least one of us is a part of each wedding we are attending - and that is a lot of work!  BUTTTTT - we love it :)  Why?  Because we love the people we are with - friends and family.  They are so important to the both of us.

So let's kick it off right - with the Holland/Misener Wedding!  Take a look below at the fun times we had - both at the rehearsal and wedding!  Fun fact:  Melissa, Jeff and all their friends and families helped put together 1000 paper cranes that were used throughout the wedding.  The paper cranes are a symbol of 1000 years of happiness and love and prosperity according to Chinese tradition.  It was a very cool unique addition to their wedding!  Thank you both to Jeff and Melissa for letting us be a part of it - we love you both very much!
At the Rehearsal

At the Rehearsal Dinner - Cleveland Yacht Club

The Wedding!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At the Reception!
Best Wishes and Congrats to Jeff and Melissa Holland!
xoxo Sarah

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Nearness of You...

For those of you who are married - do you ever just wake up in the morning and go - GOSH!  I am just the luckiest person in the whole world?  That is how I feel ever day!  With wedding season kicking off this past weekend for us, I just wanted to say, for those who are getting married this year - congrats - it's the best time of your life...

This post is just strictly dedicated to the amazing husband I have.  Thank you for loving me, respecting me, taking care of me, protecting me, and always being there for me.

At the wedding we were at this past weekend - Cleveland Yacht Club
Love your wife,
xoxo Sarah