Friday, March 22, 2013

Best New Kitchen Find!

OK to some people this might be old news - but to me it's new!  Zachary and I love making homemade pasta!  We have this awesome pasta maker that we use, but once you make the fettuccine or spaghetti - where do you put it??

AHA!  This past weekend I found this drying rack at Sur La Table - at a very reasonable price!

Just wanted to share this great find if you are looking for a pasta drying rack out there!!!  Pasta tastes amazing when it's fresh :)

Yeah for fun kitchen finds!
xoxo Sarah

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chicago Bucket List...

A month from yesterday - Zachary and I will be moving to our new home in Wisconsin.  Before we leave though, Zachary and I have started a "Chicago Bucket List"  Although we are so happy to be going to Wisconsin, there are definitely things we are going to miss in Chicago.  Activities, museums, restaurants, shopping. So much to do in so little time!

So the list includes:
1) Ovengrinders (Zachary and my restaurant :) )
2) Flips (Zachary's childhood favorite Chicago hot dog location!)
3) Going to Alfie's with our friends Morgan and Conor (A tradition for the last several years)
4) Hugo's (Sarah's favorite Naperville restaurant)
5) Chicago Art Institute (miniatures!!!)
6) Shinto (Sushi spot across the street from us that has a great Happy Hour!)

We are going to be adding to the list - but this is what we have so far!!!  A lot of restaurants I know - but the food is going to be a big miss when we leave!
Source: HERE
Do you have any suggestions of what we should do before we leave?  Or what would your bucket list before if you were moving out of town?  

Yeah for Chicago!
xoxo Sarah

Monday, March 18, 2013

My Goodness! My Guinness!

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

Source: Here
Zach and I searched high and low for Guinness  yesterday to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!  We made roast beef sandwiches and had some Guinness together - a lovely St. Patrick's Day tradition!  Most individuals love corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's day - but we love roast beef sandwiches on St. Patrick's Day.

What did everyone do for St. Patrick's Day?  We celebrated the night before with Zach's grandma, aunt and cousin to celebrate Zach's grandma's birthday who just happens to be Irish as well :) The next morning, on actual St. Patrick's Day, we had some bacon and Irish Soda bread for breakfast and then headed to mass followed by a Guinness scavenger hunt!  I would love to hear what your plans were!

The recipe for the sandwhiches we made is so so so easy and just the perfect lunch or app to bring to a party!  All you need is small butter croissants from any bakery, Boursin garlic and herbs spread, and roast beef.  Cut the croissants in half and put them on a griddle heated around 200-250 deg.  Let them set there for a couple minutes and just keep your eye on them - and they will just naturally crisp.  No oil or cooking spray needed. Once they are done to the golden color you would like, add some Boursin spread and and top with roast beef.  Put a little bit of the Boursin on the top portion of the croissant and you are good to go!  So easy and SOOO yummy!

Yeah for St. Patrick's Day!
xoxo Sarah

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Heart PBS

Hey all and Happy Friday!

Can you believe that Easter is just around the corner!??!  Time is flying by so fast, and I cannot believe we will be in WI before we know it!

One thing I have wanted to blog about is actually something that Zachary and I love to do on Saturday mornings.   I did not watch much PBS TV when I was younger - except for Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street of course!  But now there are so many TV shows that I love to see on it.  Not to mention my absolute favorite Downton Abbey is on PBS :) Start watching that show if you have not yet!

Well Zachary loves watching the cooking shows that are on PBS!  And I have grown to love them too!

Shows that we DVR and watch on Saturday mornings on PBS are:
1) Lidia's Italy
2) Simply Ming
3) Pati's Mexican Table
4) Mexico - One Plate at a Time
5) Martha Stewart's Cooking School
6) Essential Pepin
7) America's Test Kitchen
Source: HERE
I can't wait to see what types of shows that are on PBS when we get up to WI!  Is there a specific cooking show you or show that you watch on PBS??  I would love to know!

Yeah for PBS!
xoxo Sarah

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Creamery

As I mentioned in my last post, I was introduced this past weekend to my friend Pam's new coffee and cupcake shop, The Creamery.  I love seeing the cupcake movement hitting the Green Bay area.  It's all over Chicago and I just love that I am going to be able to get cupcakes up in Green Bay too!

So the Creamery...It is just awesome!  It's a great spot to spend the afternoon sipping a nice chai latte or having some of their personal drip coffee!  The coffee comes from California from a coffee roaster known as Handsome Coffee Roasters.  And I don't drink much coffee anymore and if it is it is just decaf, but this coffee doesn't need cream or sugar - it is just made perfectly by itself.

Then pair your drink of choice with a delicious cupcake - whether it's the fire engine red or the chocolate stout or any other daily cupcake, I promise you they will rock!  If you aren't feeling a cupcake - how about a homemade granola yogurt parfait or a scone?!  It's all up to your taste that day!

Whether it is bright and early in the morning or in the early evening after a long day of work - take a stop at this coffee shop with character and relaxing appeal!  I promise you, you won't regret it!

Take a look at some of the pics of The Creamery and their yummy creations:

The beautiful interior of The Creamery!
The drip coffee process, latte art, chai latte, yogurt parfait, chocolate stout cupcake, and orange scone!
Kudos to Pam, her husband Chris, and Chris' brother Mugs for bringing a fun new hot spot to the NEW!  I am so happy for you guys!  Can't wait to be a regular :)  

Yeah for drip coffee!
xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Let Go and Let God...

This past weekend, my girlfriends from college and I got together for our annual girl's weekend!  It was such a blast!  It is so great to have such a great group of friends to be able to talk to. We all got together to stay at the Kress Inn in De Pere right on campus at SNC.  After a glass of wine, we then headed over to Pam's beautiful new home for wine, apps and pizza.  Saturday morning, we woke up and went to Pam's new coffee and cupcake shop, The Creamery, she opened up just outside of Green Bay, WI.  It is just the best little business :)  If you are in the Green Bay area - like I will be in a month and a half - this is a hot spot that you need to check out - I will blog about it soon.

After The Creamery, we headed over to the signature SNC spot for lunch, The Abbey.  After catching up some more and having fun at the Bay Park Mall, we headed back to the hotel for some apps and getting ready to go out for dinner at the new small plates restaurant  Salt - which is delicious, and I am so happy food like this has shown up in the NEW (for all those out there that does not know what this means is Northeastern Wisconsin).  During our app session, my friend Katie brought up the idea of talking about our peaks and pits from the last year.  We all went around and shared, and after we all agreed on two things:
1) Everyone's peaks were somehow connected to their pits (the saying goes - the good comes with the bad) and 2) sometimes, we all have to just let go and let God.  Sometimes things have to just happen and you just have to let go.  You have to realize that you just have to let it go and let it happen!

I love hanging out with my girls and being with them!  They mean the world to me and we are so close!  We are so lucky to have been brought up with the same values and kindness, and we are even luckier to have all found each other at SNC!  Cheers to Katie, Megan, Angela, Lauren, Pam, Kayla, and Dani - without you guys, life just wouldn't be the same!
Some great apps and wine at Pam's house, at the Creamery, and then A Blue Moon :)  
If you would also like to take a look at Katie's blog - she posted about girl's weekend HERE!  She is a great blogger if you don't follow her blog, Rhubarb and Linen, you need to start doing it asap!

Yeah for friends!
xoxo Sarah

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Peanut Butter Cheese Ball

I know some of these posts are out of date when it comes to time frame - but oh well :)

For the Superbowl this year, we went over to our friends Conor and Morgan's house and had some great eats and good times :)

Salad, dips, fried chicken, chips, nuts, M&Ms, Guac and cocktail weenies wrapped with bacon and pizza (not shown), and my peanut butter cheese ball (top of the page)
With all these snacks, we definitely had a full tummies after!  But I loved my Peanut Butter Cheese Ball I made and wanted to share the recipe with you.  My aunt made one of these for Christmas this year - and I changed it a little bit - instead of using peanut butter chips and regular chocolate chips to cover the ball, I used mini chocolate chips.  I also served it with Teddy Grahams as well instead of apples of graham cracker sticks.  

I got the recipe off of Nestle's website HERE.  It is incredibly easy and super super yummy!  A great snack for any age!  

Yeah for Peanut Butter Cheese Balls!
xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ding Dong!


Over the holidays and through Valentine's Day - Zachary and I were all about seeing shows - Broadway and plays!  We love going to shows and have been since I was in college :)  

Our regiment going to shows must consist of going to lunch or dinner after in the city - usually "The Italian Village"  which is located in the Theater district of Chicago.  

The first musical we saw together was "Wicked" the first time it came to Chicago.  OH MAN!  I instantly fell in love with this show!  The music is INCREDIBLE - so if you haven't seen this yet - go see it!  We also saw it a second time a little over a year ago when it came back to Chicago!  Hands down - I wish I was Elphaba - If I were ever to be in Broadway - I would want to play Elphaba because I just need to sing "Defying Gravity."

Over Christmas, Zachary and I saw "The Book of MOOOORRRMMMOOOOONNNNN...HELLO!"  If you didn't understand that - we saw "The Book of Mormon."  Unbelievably funny and a must see - FOR ADULTS.  It is a little crude at times...but the music and comedy is so good - no wonder it won 9 Tony awards!  Seriously - you need to go :)  

Then over Valentine's Day, Zachary took me to my first Chicago play at the Goodman Theater.  He got us a box at the theater and we had a blast watching "Other Desert Cities."  It was a great time - although it was a drama piece - it was such a cool experience as we went to Petterino's for brunch beforehand and were treated amazingly - and then headed to a box at the Goodman.  What an amazing time!  

So now that we have been going to shows - I am starting to collect playbills!  I am making a binder and will have to share it when I have finished prepping it :)  

I think that if you ever get the chance to go to a show -you should do it.  Whether it's in Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Colorado, New York - take advantage of it.  It's so worth it - just a wonderful time with you and your significant other :)  What is your favorite show you have seen?  I would love to know!
At the Goodman - The stage from our box :)
Yeah for fun shows!
xoxo Sarah

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Wedding Registry

So I thought of doing this blog post the other weekend when my two great friends Lauren and Ang came to visit in Naperville!  Lauren is getting married this coming summer, and we were doing a little shopping and we were thinking of items for her registry and what type of items were good to register for.

A fun picture of Lauren, myself, and Ang!  Not the best pic of us - but describes how fun/ridic we can sometimes get :)
I remember when I first registered, I was like a kid in a candy store - not to mention I worked kiddie corner to the one of the largest Macy's in the US.  I registered for everything from silver and china to brooms and vacuums   As a bride, though I bet most of you feel now, you wish you would have not registered for certain things and registered for other things.  So now I am going to make the ultimate wedding registry list for any of those brides out there that want ideas.

Here are the 10 Must-Have's to a bridal registry:
1) Vacuum - My Dyson vacuum is one of the best items I believe I registered for.  We didn't get it for our registry, but we were able to purchase it a couple months later and it is a life saver! I recommend the Dyson Ball Vacuum.

2) Dust Buster - This is the perfect registry item for cleaning up small messes.  We use ours especially at Christmas time to pick up pine needles from the Christmas tree.  You can find them at Target.

3) Le Creuset Dutch Oven (any size) - Although these carry a little price tag with them, we use ours for everything - from soup to roasts to risotto!  This is a definite must-have!  You can pick from any color and they are at usually every kitchen store!

4) 2 Crockpots - We only registered for one crock pot but I got a second one from my aunt, and I was so happy with getting two.  One we keep at home, and one we travel with/use for work functions.  I think it is smart to register for 2 not just 1 :)  Same at the Le Creuset - you can find them at any kitchen store.

5) KitchenAid Stand Mixer (Any Size) - The bigger the better on this one, but we use this for everything - baking and pizzas :)  This is a great item to watch for at sales times when purchasing for someone for a wedding gift, or if you are the bride, anytime after your wedding and still on your registry - Black Friday always has good deals!  Macy's is a great location to find one of  these!

6) Food Processor (Any Size) - We also use this for everything - pasta sauces, pasta dough, dressings, hummus, salsa, guacamole, chopping onions - seriously - everything.  You can find that at any department store.

7) Wine Glasses (any kind/any size):  You will go through these fast and don't be afraid if they break - that's why your order for all different kinds :)  Crate and Barrel has a great selection!

8) Champagne Glasses:  Doesn't have to be a lot, any size is fine - it's just nice to have for those fun first moments in your marriage - a new car, buying a house, moving, a baby, a new job...things like that!  For fancy ones take a look at Macy's!  For every day ones - check out Crate and Barrel!

9) A Good Knife - I know that sounds kind of funny!  But any good knife, will be able to cut anything you are looking to cook with! Wustoff makes a great chef's knife that can be used for everything in the kitchen!

10) Wedding Day Cake Serving Utensils and Champagne Flutes:  You can make these as special as you want.  Sometimes, they are hand me downs from your parents' weddings or you can put these on your registry and they are great buys for your guests at your showers so that you can use them on your wedding day.  We got our from Macy's.  The cake utensils were Kate Spade and the champagne flutes were Waterford.

Well I am sure that all of you reading this have other ideas of what your top 10 would be on a registry list would be as well - I would love to see what your thoughts would be so make sure you leave a comment :)  All those going to be brides would definitely appreciate it!

Yeah for friends getting married!
xo Sarah