POSTED BY: Stefanie LaSalle
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Holidays are always all about family. Rob and I are so thankful that we live close to both our families so we get to see everyone for the holidays. Christmas is pretty convenient because Rob's family has traditionally celebrated on Christmas Eve, while my family is all about the Day. Thanksgiving on the other hand, can get a little crazy.
Two full turkey dinners. Two heaping piles of mashed potatoes. Two baskets of rolls. Two bowls of stuffing. Hell, there's even a ham in there somewhere. Needless to say, we were the stuffed turkeys by the end of the day.
Our first stop was at Rob's mom's house for lunch. She made a sprawling feast, featuring three different meats, and a variety sides. AND APPLE PIE. And ice cream. And then we died.
Even though Rob has a humongous family (wait until Christmas Eve), Thanksgiving is pretty low key. The past two years, it's just been four of us - Rob, his mom, his brother and me - but this year we were honored to be joined by his Uncle Al.
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of Mrs. Brodeur because she was flying around before lunch getting everything prepared and I didn't get any good shots of her. Then we were all in a food coma following lunch and I missed my chance.
But thank you Mrs. B!
Still recovering from lunch, we arrived at my parents house to find THIS resting on the stove. HOLY TURKEY.
We were excited to welcome my Aunt and Uncle who just moved back up to RI after living down south for many, many years. While the Turkey is usually the star at Thanksgiving, I have to say, my dad's mashed potatoes usually get everyone's attention. The only other time he makes them is Easter (which is at my place) and I definitely exercise my host privileges and keep a few extra leftovers for myself.
My mom never returns a dish empty. As soon as I can breath again, I'm digging in!
Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch. Well, almost without a hitch. SOMEONE wasn't paying attention and we ended up losing a baster. RIP Baster. You've kept many turkeys moist over the years.
After everything was clean, and the guests left, we went to bed. Stores weren't going to shop themselves on Black Friday! My mom and I have gone shopping every years since I was in college. It's not really any extra deal for us, but more an excuse for us to have a girl's day every year.
Enjoy the rest of your long holiday weekend and don't eat too many leftovers!
POSTED BY: Meaghan Colerick
Have you ever heard of roller derby?
Chances are you have heard of it but may not know quite what it's all about. I won't go into that now, because I might never stop talking, but definitely at a later date (ask me questions... I love to talk about it). If you're interested in learning more, definitely check out the WFTDA (women's flat track derby association) website for information
Back to my story.
I first fell in love with roller derby after watching my first bout in 2009 in Providence. It took me four years before I got a job where I had weekends off and could actually play (all my jobs have terrible hours).
In February, I decided to start playing the sport of roller derby. I showed up to the new fresh meet class, filled out the forms, bought the insurance, and started. I had bruises on my butt for about a month, but now I fall way less. Since then, roller derby has taken over a big portion of my life - practices a couple times a week, cross training, bouts, meetings, etc. - and I love all of it.
This past weekend was our end of the year party (our season ended in October). Since everything in roller derby is skater run and operated we were in charge of all the food and awards. As usual, I forgot I signed up to make four awards and cookies, but I managed to pull through. I woke up at 6am on Sunday and did crafts and baking (with a break for brunch) until about 4pm.
I think I could've accomplished more.
All in all, it was a good day. I made a fourth award for Most Improved, but my shakey camera skills failed to capture an image that wasn't blurry. I also made some chocolate, espresso, peanut butter chip cookies at about 2pm (I bought the ingredients when I went out for my second supply run at noon). They were delicious. My roommates appreciated the extras.
And the moral of this story?
Well, I'm going to start using a planner... I just have to remember to check it.
Life is hard.
POSTED BY: Stefanie LaSalle
We had two Cornish hens in our freezer. Why? Because I saw them, and they were cute and I had to have them.
And this weekend I cooked 'em up in a little pre-Thanksgiving dinner.
To go along with our tiny bird feast, I also wanted to try some new recipes from my favorite food sites. I don't get a chance to cook any other time during Thanksgiving, since we have two full dinners prepared for us (Tale of Two Turkeys) so this was a good excuse to try out some classic Thanksgiving favorites in case I need them one day.
Green Bean Casserole, from The Novice Chef
Sausage & Cornbread Stuffing, adapted from The Pioneer Woman
A few summers ago we went to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico and one night I ordered, "A baby chicken, cooked in it's own juices" from the menu. I don't know if it was for real a baby chicken, or exactly what those "juices" were, or if something just got lost in the translation. But either way, it was delicious and ever since then I've wanted to cook up a tiny bird of my own.
Here's the Mexican baby chicken. So tiny.
Considering this picture of me was taken at the end of a week in Mexico, I am surprisingly NOT tan. That's probably because I'm terrified of burning and I spent the entire trip slathered in sunscreen, under a hat and a towel and an umbrella and a canopy and a palm tree. You know, just to be safe.
Here are my two Cornish hens, defrosted. Naked.
I poured melted butter, and dusted with salt and pepper at this point. Then I covered with tinfoil and baked at 350 degrees for 45 mins.
There were too many steps and I was too hungry to correctly document every step, so I only have pictures of the final products. I've been researching food photography a lot recently, and the number one tip from all my sources was USE NATURAL LIGHT. I started cooking a bit late, but I did manage to get some shots of the green bean casserole in the light from the window in my kitchen. I think it really did make big difference and I will TRY to cook during the daylight hours as often as I can. This recipe can be found at the Novice Chef
Here is the cornbread and sausage stuffing, adapted from Pioneer Woman. I cut the recipe since it was just the two of us. It still made quite a bit of stuffing and we have a bunch of leftovers. I also don't really like apples in my food (other than sweet, dessert type foods) so I left those out. It came out SO good.
The sausage that I used in this was from Moody Street Delicatessen and Provisions in Waltham. It's a brand new place on food row (a.k.a. Moody St). We visited for the first time on Saturday and I bought a lot of meat and cheese. Hopefully around the holidays I'll have a day off and can get in there during lunchtime to snap some pics so you can see the beautiful shop. The prices are higher than you would pay in the supermarket, but that's because all the meats are handmade on the premises.
The final feast!
After the hens cooked for the first 45 mins. I took them out. I smothered the left hen in Pioneer Woman's turkey butter found in her holiday cookbook, which consists of butter, fresh chopped rosemary and the zest of an orange. The bird on the right has a mixture of sriracha, honey, soy sauce, lime juice and melted butter. It was adapted from The Comfort of Cooking's recipe. It would have been EXACTLY like their recipe, except when I tried it my "sauce" came out all crazy.
I don't know exactly what happened, but I think it had to do with the honey and the heat. SO I used the same ingredients without heating them it it came our very tasty.
HAPPY (mini) THANKSGIVING!
You don't often hear many good things on the news about my hometown of Woonsocket, but it really is a great little city.
This summer we celebrated the city's 125th anniversary. It wasn't an easy year for the city, so it was nice to see everyone come together and be reminded that there's still a lot Woonsocket has to offer.
The giant event was paid for through sponsors, like CVS, who's corporate office is in Woonsocket, as well as donations from local restaurants, businesses and residents.
This structure was put up just for this event. It was inspired by France's Arc De Triumph and is covered with a mural of pictures depicting the city's history.
There isn't tons of parking available near Main Street where the event was held, so they sent out maps designating parking lots around the city, and school buses came to pick us up. We were skeptical that this would run smoothly, but we never had to wait for more than 5 minutes for a bus to or from the lots.
Of course these troublemakers went straight for the back of the bus...
Stadium theatre is a beautifully renovated historic theater on the corner of Main Street. They have lots of great shows here, and free movie nights. It is more well known for being the location for the film premiere of There's Something About Mary. The Farrelly brothers are locals from a neighboring town.
There's a pretty active antique car club that can be seen driving or parked around the city. There were tons of these beautiful cars parked all along one part of Main Street.
Hot wieners at New York Lunch! If you ever do find yourself in Woonsocket, especially in the wee hours of the morning, stop by New York lunch, order yourself 3 with the works, a large (fry) and a coffee milk. If you are reading this from outside RI, coffee milk is like chocolate milk, only coffee flavored. I know, it's hard to understand. But it's amazing.
It was hard to get a good picture to show just how HUGE the crowd was. This is only one half of the length of the celebration. You can see just how many bodies there are past the bridge.
This is the train station from the movie Hachi!
Movie Trivia: This train station, and the house that Richard Gere's character live in are in reality an hour drive from each other, depite the fact that in the movie he walks to the station every day. Now that's quite a morning stroll!
Nothing says Woonsocket more than a good ol' French Meat Pie.
I try to limit the number of gadgets I have in our kitchen. Ever since Rob and I moved in together, and brought two whole apartments worth of furniture, silverware and bedding with us, I think I've done a good job of editing our kitchen tools.
That being said, I did a bad thing.
I bought a spiralizer. A totally unnecessary tool that does a very limited task and takes up quite a bit of space.
But I couldn't help myself! I was Inspiralized!
Now, I specifically bought this thing to make zoodles, or as normal people call them, zucchini noodles. I started making them about two years ago when one of my close friends started a gluten-free diet. At the time, we got together once a week for a Girls' Night and made dinner. A quick search online for "gluten-free" meals shows results for lots of zucchini recipes, and specifically zoodles. I went out and bought a julienne slicer and we made zoodles of noodles! But using the julienne slicer is cumbersome and I found myself not excited to use it, even though I love the final product.
Recently, I discovered the food blog, Inspiralized, a website entirely dedicated to meals made with the spiralizer.
And I looked at every post.
And then I ordered a spiralizer. And boy, am I determined to get my money's worth out of it.
Here it is. The Spiralizer. It's a little large, but I do like the way the blades are stored underneath - makes it easy to keep together.
Also the spiky wheel made me nervous in the pictures - I thought I would break those things off left and right, but they are actually pretty sturdy and don't have any trouble piercing anything I've stuck it in.
Didn't want to make anything too complicated. I grilled up some chicken breasts, sprinkled with salt/pepper/garlic powder.
When it's time to spiralize, cut the ends off of the zucchini and then cut it in half. THEN DO IT. ZOODLES.
I should have cut the zoodles as they came out, just to make them more manageable, but long zoodles are fun zoodles!
This is what is left. ZUCCHINI SKELETONS! These make me very uncomfortable.
Ahhhh zoodles. Butter, salt, pepper and minced garlic, sauteed in a pan for 8-10 minutes. Easy. Delicious.
Now add that chicken!
Once the zoodles were cooked, they definitely lost a lot of volume. For three people, I should have spiralized three zucchini (this is only 2).
I have a butternut squash and sweet potato in my fridge with a spiral future. And I will spiralize everything I can get away with until Rob tells me to make him some real damn noodles.