Friday, January 31, 2014

Choo Choo, Colin Turned Two!

Way back in the beginning of January, my little boy turned 2.  In the blink of an eye he's suddenly a whole grown up person.  He's hilarious, a ton of fun, and full of opinions.  I hear a lot of "What's this, Mommy?," "I can do it myself.  Colin does it!," and "Oh, dump truck, I love you so much, would you like to play trains with me?"  That last one might not be typical two year old behavior, but it's pretty funny to hear.  To celebrate his birthday, we had a brunch with family and friends.  This year's theme was trains, as the birthday boy loves "chookin chookin."  He is also of the opinion that it's not a party without balloons and cars, so both were included in the day.  I didn't do a good job taking pictures of the food or the dining room because I was a busy bee and enjoying the celebration, but here are a couple glimpses from the day.

The menu had some repeats from last year, and a couple new items.  

Colin's Birthday Brunch Menu
Fresh Fruit Salad
Bagels and Cream Cheese
Broccoli, Tomato and Cheddar Quiche
Baked French Toast
Yogurt and Granola Parfait
Egg and Bacon English Muffin Bites
Apple Maple Chicken Sausage
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Colin was far too busy partying to eat anything other than all the blackberries from the fruit salad (and off people's plates...) and two cupcakes.  Aside from the carrot cake cupcakes, the most popular dish of the day were the Egg and Bacon English Muffin Bites.  They were eaten too fast for me to photograph, but I'll share the recipe and will certainly be making them again!

Egg and Bacon English Muffin Bites
recipe from The Pioneer Woman

12 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup mayo
12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
about 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
6 Whole English Muffins, split and lightly toasted

Combine eggs through Worcestershire.  This can be done the day before, refrigerate overnight.
Spread egg mixture on English Muffin halves and sprinkle with cheese.
Cook at 375 for 10 minutes, or broil for 5.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fancy Roasted Butternut Squash Sandwich

You know how when you get so far behind on something you can't even think about it because it's just too daunting to start?  That's part of how I was feeling for the past six weeks.  I have pictures and recipes and stories to share, but I felt like I needed hours to get back on track.  Of course starting and doing anything is always the best way to get back in the swing of things, so we'll ease in nicely with one of my absolutely favorite sandwiches.

I'm hoping I can keep the momentum going since Jon is busy renovating our half bath and we have finally caught up on Game of Thrones.  Wow, we are old and boring.

I served this on Christmas Day, which is why you see my festive decor and bloody marys in the background.  It takes a bit of prep work, but once everything is ready to go, they are easy to assemble for a crowd.

Fancy Roasted Butternut Sandwich

Crusty Sourdough or French Bread
1 Butternut Squash, sliced and roasted (directions below)
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
Baby Spinach leaves
Goat Cheese, softened
Cranberry Sauce (purchased or home made, my directions below)

Layer all components together and grill or press to heat through.
You know, make a sandwich.  Aren't you glad I stopped in to share this groundbreaking technique?

Butternut Squash
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel squash and slice in 1/2 inch rounds.
Arrange slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until soft in the  middle and starting to caramelize on the edges.  Flip halfway through.

Cranberry Sauce
2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

In a saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil.
Add cranberries, decrease heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until berries have burst and sauce has slightly thickened.  It will continue to thicken off the heat.
Store in a jar in the refrigerator.

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