Fondue and Soups!!

We had our friends Ethan, Lena and the kids over tonight for dinner.  We had some simple soups, clam chowder and tomato soup (from Costco) and at the last minute I asked my Hubby to make cheese fondue (we had gruyere cheese). Nothing like a great relaxing time with friends:)

gruyere cheese fondue
clam chowder and tomato soup


my hubby
Daniel the chubby baby
such a happy baby:)


One of the items on my fall “bucket” list is to make Chili from scratch. I’ve seen most of Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa episodes so when she featured this chili recipe along with it’s creator I knew that I wanted to try this dish.  I totally adjusted the chili in this one because I’ve read in the reviews that a lot of people found it too spicy.  Using stew meat is my favorite, although the browning of the meat is time consuming I think it’s so worth it in the end. We love tender chunky meat in our chilies.  I will probably do this again as the weather continues to get colder.

browning of the meat..
added green onions
little chili station

Devon’s Award-Winning Chili!!

Ingredients (recipe from Barefoot Contessa/

  • 5 pounds beef brisket, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups tomatoes, chopped with their liquid
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves

Serve with:

  • Sour cream
  • Grated Cheddar
  • Diced tomato
  • Tortilla chips
  • Guacamole (see recipe)


Pat the brisket cubes dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in a very large heavy-bottomed pot and quickly brown the meat, in batches, on all sides. Transfer the brisket to a separate bowl and set aside. Saute the onion and garlic in the same oil over medium heat until limp, but not brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and cumin and saute for 1 minute. Add the green peppers, bay leaf, tomatoes with their juice, the reserved meat, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt, to taste. Add the coffee, cover the pot and simmer for 1 more hour.

Add the kidney beans and basil, and warm through. Transfer the chili to a large serving bowl and serve with sour cream, grated Cheddar, diced tomato, tortilla chips and guacamole.

Melting Pot!

Monday night we had dinner at the Melting Pot!  We’ve been here before and I really like it.  Nothing amazing about the food but it was decent.  I really like the relaxed ambiance and experience of dipping yummy food into a boiling pot of oil!  The cheese fondue was OK, we had the swiss cheese fondue.  I can honestly say that my husband’s fondue last Christmas was so much better than what we had last Monday.  Our server was friendly and always checking on us to see if we needed anything (not in an annoying way) so that was nice:)

swiss cheese fondue
enjoying the fondue

Ceasar salad

California Salad
main entree
I love you hubs!hahaha
OOTD:Top=nordstrom rack,pants=hollister,target sandals


Chicken Piccata

I made this chicken dish last Sunday night and it was delish:) Hubby totally enjoyed it and I will definitely make this again. It’s really simple, although the pounding can take a little time (maybe 5 minutes?) not really a big deal to me because I like the pounding process:)

so good!
we paired it with salad.


  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 ounces all-purpose flour, divided (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1.  Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Place 1 teaspoon flour in a small bowl, and place remaining flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour in shallow dish; shake off excess.
  2.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
  3.  Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots to pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup broth to reserved 1 teaspoon flour; stir until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth to pan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half (about 5 minutes). Stir in flour mixture; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, juice, and capers. Place 1 chicken breast half on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle each serving with about 2 teaspoons parsley.

Weekend Fun!

We had  a quiet weekend this week.  A movie (we watched Looper), dinner, and shoe shopping for my family back home and lots of cuddle time with our Riley:) Here’s some of our pictures from this weekend (mostly the food we had!!)

Friday night dinner: Roasted Shrimp (Ina Garten)
My Hubs preparing our friday dinner at home!
store brought Poke!
friday night dinner:poke,roasted shrimp,sashimi ahi
had 5 guys this weekend too!
saturday breakfast:eggs and dried squid (filipino breakfast)
cuddletime with Riley:)
watched this movie with my hubs and his parents!(pic online)
my In Laws
Carne Asada at the local mexican restaurant
ootd:hollister sweater,toryburch flats,coach bag (getting ready for sunday brunch)
French Toast
brioche, vanilla& seasonal fruit syrup
Tenderloin Benedict
cured tenderloin, poached eggs, ancho pepper paprika hollandaise & breakfast potatoes
happy sunday brunch @Flat Iron Grill
for my family back home!
sunday night dinner:chicken piccata and salad