Category Archives: Random Times is here!!!

Hey everyone!!! 

Guess what?  Cookinfanatic finally has its own domain 🙂

Check me out at the new site from here on out!!!

Oh, and don’t forget to update your google readers too… don’t want to lose anybody during the move ya know 😛

First recipe on the “new” site should be up later tonight: 

Mark Bittman’s Pasta w/ Fast Sausage Ragu

You won’t want to miss this one guys! 

The Man ate the whole bowl WITHOUT any added cheese it was THAT good (this is unheard of by the way, he’s the pasta + cheese king haha).

See ya from the new site! 😛


Super Bowl Sundayyyyyy!

Superbowl Sunday.


Still can’t believe they won 🙂  And what an exciting game it was!?!?

Let’s just say it is a very happy day in this household haha.  Phew 😉

We watched the game with a few friends over at The Man’s parent’s house.  Everyone brought some food for game-time muching, here were my contributions.

Frank’s hot sauce was the theme!

Ummm think I bought enough?  Hahaha ridiculous, thank you grocery store for only having the “Honey I Blew Up the Kid” version left on this very Sunday 😛

Am I dating myself here?

After seeing these beauties on Andrea’s site just a few days ago, I knew I couldn’t resist much longer.  And how perfect are they to bring to a football party?!

A super flavorful yet healthy option – shhhh no one ever even knew 😉

After marinating 2 chicken breasts in Frank’s hot sauce, I pulled out Nanny’s old little slow cooker/warmer thing (not your conventional crockpot) and let these cook.

Seriously, you could have never set foot in a kitchen and this thing will produce 100% no fail results with chicken every. single. time.  Level 3 for 30 minutes and voila, moist and flavorful and ready for shredding.

After I shredded them up I added some more Frank’s and let the chicken stay in the warm slow cooker for another 30 minutes or so.

Then it was assembly time!

Nasoya egg roll wraps, cole slaw mix, shredded hot sauce chicken and bleu cheese crumbles.  How can you go wrong here?

Just like Andrea, I did a layer of cole slaw mix, a layer of shredded chicken topped off with a layer of crumbled bleu cheese.

Then attempted to fold them up according to her directions, making sure not to put too much filling in them so they didn’t explode! 🙂

A little dab of water sealed the deal and these were off into the oven.


Loved them.

To keep with the Frank’s hot sauce fiesta as well as use some of the 100,043 pierogi that we made during the holidays & stashed away in the freezer, I found this great idea online!

Simply mix together a bit of veg oil (1 tblsp) with some Frank’s hot sauce (1/2 cup), stir, then dip pierogi one by one to cover.

Layer on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes at 400F, flipping once or twice.

They puff up and get all crispy-like, glorious!

Both of these dishes should most definitely be served with bleu cheese dressing for dipping as well 😛

I must say that both of these dishes were a huge hit with me and the rest of the party too! 

The buffalo chicken rolls were perfectly crisp and the chicken filling with the warm, melted bleu cheese was so delicious paired with a cool, creamy dip into some bleu cheese dressing.

The pierogi really took on the spiciness of the hot sauce which was mouth-watering combined with the cheesy, onion mashed potato filling.

Drool worthy!

Now my sleep-deprived self (6:22am wakeup, really body, really? after a 12am bedtime? whyyyyy haha) must get on with life and head to work…

Hoping this day goes by fast so I can come home to a crockpot treat and some Bachelor drama 😛

Oh yea, and only 7 more days from today until the big secret reveal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I feel like a kid before Christmas.

A Relaxing Wine Night

Oh the joys of Saturday!!! 

It’s a relaxing cloudy/rainy morning here in Richmond but I’m okay with that… for now 🙂

I’ve been lounging around looking through some recipe books for the upcoming week and watching tv, no complaints here!

Speaking of lounging, last night The Man and I decided to get our lounge on at a wine bar just down the street which we really like, The Wine Loft.

We had some yummy pours as well as a light appetizer before heading home.

P.S.  My IPhone definitely didn’t take good pics in the darkly lit room!

 This was a red blend of four different wines and was deelish!

The Man enjoyed a local Kluge Cru (Charlottesville, VA) which is actually a Chardonnay that has been blended with brandy and then aged in Jack Daniels barrels, it is AMAZING when served over ice.

Woah 19% alcohol though 😉

Caramalized onion and mushroom flatbread – holy yum!

Definitely one of my favorite places to celebrate the end of a super busy work week 🙂

We also made a stop at World Market (my obsession?) for this new wall hanging for our living room…

And yes, our walls are blue!  Love it.

Today I have a few things planned, including getting my hair did, finding a yummy appetizer to make for Super Bowl Sunday and then having Fanatic Mom and Dad over for a belated birthday dinner!

A fun recipe awaits….. 😉

Before I go, let’s get into another one of the new Cho flavors, which continue to impress me.

The lemon was next on my to-try list and I gobbled it up yesterday afternoon!

Kind of reminded me of some sort of lemon pie/dessert, but once again not super sweet and with a little bit of that “pucker” that you’d expect from a lemon.

I liked it.  I liked it alot.  I kind of wanted to dip a sugar cookie into it.  Don’t ask why, it just sounded so good 🙂

Overall, here’s my ranking of the new flavors:

1.   Black Cherry

2.  Mango

3.  Lemon

I’d have to say that pineapple is still by all time #1 favorite, but these are some great other flavor options to mix things up!

Next up:  Chobani Champions!

Note that I received all of these Chobani products for free.

Happy Saturday!!

Birthday at Balliceaux

Last night was my official birthday celebration!!

Two of my besties from college made it in for the occassion along with my Richmond besties and my favorite foodie ever 🙂

We all met up at a restaurant in The Fan (by my old house) called Balliceaux

I’d really been looking forward to trying this place and was definitely not disappointed!

I did miss my DSLR though 😉

The menu had some phenomenal choices and it was hard to choose an entree, but the Grilled Vegetable Lasagna ended up winning out.

Fresh house made pasta/ eggplant/ mushroom/ zucchini/ roasted garlic pomodoro.


Served with a bed of greens on top, so creative and a great addition of flavor.

‘Twas delicious!

The Man chose the Sesame-Potato crusted Catfish.

Served with spicy grilled sweet potatoes and honey glazed broccoli rabe.  

Even though I really enjoyed my lasagna, I must say that this dish was amazingggggg.  The fish was cooked perfectly and had such a nice crust, the sweet potatoes were divine (and the broccoli rabe was even cleared off his plate).

Wow I’d go back just for this dish!!

To finish things off The Man and I shared a four-layer cake that was the size of my head haha.

Moist & delicious.

Balliceaux was definitely the perfect place to spend some quality time with great friends, such an awesome night! 😀

Oh, and as if the company and the food wasn’t enough, check out these super fun gifts that I was lucky enough to receive too.

(My friends know me too well).

Mexican inspired measuring cups – how freaking outta control cute are these?!?!?!?!

Laura just knows 😉

And this amazingly scented candle which is currently making my kitchen smell like the freshness of spring!

Love it Brittany 🙂

Well I better get back to the kitchen, I’ve got lots of fun things going on in there today including a fun new dinner I’m trying out for tonight (The Man’s parents are coming over!) and dinner prep for tomorrow night…

Can’t wait to share both of these dishes with you guys too! 😀

See you soon!

The Big 2-9!


Well I made it through.  Last birthday in my 20’s, still can’t believe it?!

Only 364 more days until I’m no longer a “20-something” – but who’s counting 😉

Tonight’s birthday celebration was pretty fantastic, and spent at one of my favorite places everrrrr.

Whole Foods Beer Tasting Dinner!!!

Doesn’t get much better. I take that back, it would have been better if Fanatic Mom & Dad were able to make it to celebrate Dad’s birthday as well, but alas it decided to sleet/snow all night and it just wasn’t possible since they don’t live as close as we do 😦

Don’t worry Dad, we drank your share of the beer anyways 😛

Each dish tonight was paired with a feature beer from Victory Brewing Company, a craft brewery located up north in Pennsylvania. 

So, are we ready to drink eat?

Dinner started out with an appetizer of “chips & salsa” which was paired with a pilsner.

This unconventional salsa was a blend of soy sauce, chili paste, cilantro, scallions and maybe a couple other ingredients I didn’t catch.

Served with some sort of fried pita chip, it sure was tasty!

I also really enjoyed the Victory Brewing Company’s Schwarz Pils, it offset the spicy salsa just perfectly and was nice and light.

Next up we were served Chicken Yakitori which was paired with a pale ale.

This chicken dish was a definite winner!  It was my second favorite dish of the night 😀

The peanut sauce atop the chicken had a blend of Asian and Indian flavors which were so good with the cool cucumber salad.  Loved it.

And the Pursuit Pale Ale was actually a model version for the one to be released later this year by Victory Brewing – so fun to get a sneak peak!

Onto my favorite dish and pairing of the night:  Shrimp Spring Roll with a Belgian Triple.

The spring rolls were so light & fresh plus the dipping sauce was just the perfect flavor & spice!  Sriracha, soy sauce & butter I think?

The Golden Monkey Belgian Triple was my favorite beer of the night too, loved it.  It was spiced with coriander too, so cool!

The beer really mellowed out the spicy spring rolls so wonderfully and just had the best taste.  This one was a winner! 😛

The last savory dish of the night was a Korean Taco paired with a barleywine.

Hard shell filled with shredded beef & topped with an Asian slaw of some sort. 

Ehhh, this wasn’t my favorite.  Probably because the Asian slaw contained kimchi which just isn’t my cup of tea.  Oh well!

The barleywine was pretty tasty though and was pretty cool that it had been aged since 2006.  Some beers age well which I found interesting, just like wine!

The Man liked this beer the most I think 😀

Last up was the sweet treat of the night – Gingerbread Napoleans paired with a rich stout.

The combination of gingersnaps, pumpkin goat cheese and brown sugar whipped cream was just divine!  And this is coming from someone who doesn’t really have a taste for goat cheese (I know, I know, but I’ve tried!)

Perhaps the trick is to just mix it with some tasty pumpkin and some sugary goodness 😉

This dessert was really tasty and different and definitely something that would be fun to serve at a party.

The Storm King Stout was a bit rich for my tastes, but I do think that it was a good choice to go with the sugary spice of the dessert.

Overall we had a great time and it was a wonderful way to spend my birthday!  We’ll definitely be going back again.

Well it’s getting very late, I better get some shut-eye… Looking forward to the rest of the week and then some more birthday celebrating this weekend – you know I always have something up my sleeve 😀

The Reality

This morning I started on THIS post based on how I was feeling:

Finally. Better.

Phew, what a weekend of “fun” that wasn’t!!!

Seems like alot of people were sick this past weekend… glad I wasn’t left out haha 😉

I’m hoping/thinking that normal life will resume soon.  And normal food.  And normal activity.  And normal sleep. 

Did I mention that I’ve been up since 3:30am?  Guess that’s what happens when you go to bed at 6.

THIS is the reality of tonight, what happened??

Fever is back.  Nausea is back.  And I ate a piece of bread with cream cheese for dinner (?why body why?)

Not pretty.  Not pretty at all 😦

Would love to know when things are going to be normal around here again… this is getting pretty old pretty fast.

Plus The Man is getting too good at making himself dinner.  Me no likey 😉

Plans for dinner this week include some new recipes, hoping I’ll be able to enjoy them 😛

  • Brunswick Stew (ever heard of it?)
  • Crockpot Chili (with a lil’ twist!)

Now let’s just hope that tonight was the last of the cream cheese topped bread.  Fingers crossed.

P.S.  Thanks so much for all the get-well wishes ya’ll, definitely hoping that I can return to my CookinFanatic self soon. Very soon!

Until then – how about a few of my most favorite recent recipes!

Baked Pasta w/ Cheddar & Leeks

Feta & Olive Stuffed Chicken baked in Tomato Garlic Sauce

Green Chile Tortilla Pie

Enjoy 😀

Until then…

It’s been another long day… hoping things are going to ease up at work soon!

Until then, I’ll thank the pasta fagioli that froze so beautifully for my delicious dinner tonight 🙂

And some much needed vino.  Emphasis on the “much” 😉

What, it’s not Christmas season anymore?

Time to unplug!

See you tomorrow friends 😀