Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup!

A classic & favorite soup!

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It’s been a true fall up here in Upstate New York. The leaves have turned, the air is crisp, and there is nothing like hot cider or your favorite fall sweater! I was anxious to get my Crockpot out and cook up something flavorful for the season and hot to warm us up!

This Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup is perfect to start up in your Crockpot on any weekend day and enjoy for a late lunch or dinner.

 

What I love most about Crockpot cooking is that you can throw in a little bit of this, a little bit of that… there’s a lot of ingredient freedom.  The ingredients I used this week were:

  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 1 can of whole or diced tomatoes
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • a handful of baby carrots
  • one small onion
  • orange pepper (use any color dependable on flavor choice)
  • 2 cartons of chicken stock/broth
  • 16oz of your pasta of choice, I used Whole Wheat
  • Garlic Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Goya Sazon
  • Goya Chicken Seasoning Packets

This is gonna be super easy…

I put my Crockpot on the lowest setting which is low-10 hour. I poured in both cartons of chicken broth and my can of tomatoes. Today I used whole tomatoes because I already had them. I would recommend canned diced tomatoes because you do not have to take the time to break them up, however, his is easy after they have been in the Crockpot for a bit.

Next, I trimmed and cut up the chicken. I didn’t worry about making the pieces of chicken perfect because I knew after cooking all day, they would break apart in the Crockpot.

After cutting up the chicken I sprinkled on this Goya seasoning I love to use. I used a fork to mix the chicken around while seasoning to make sure all of the pieces were covered.

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Garlic, garlic, garlic… even though I’m going to add garlic powder to the entire soup when seasoning, I also added it to the chicken. Can’t get enough in my opinion!

Dicing up the veggies only takes a few minutes. And you can really cut any of these veggies into any size or shape you would like.

Really with the seasonings you can add whatever you want depending on what flavors you favor. I love garlic and chili powder so I added a lot! I also used 2 Goya Sazon packets in the soup. Pictured below are the seasonings I added!

I let the soup cook in the Crockpot until about 7 pm (I’d say around 7 hours) and then I added my 16oz of whole wheat pasta. I let the pasta cook in the soup for another 40 minutes, and it was ready to eat!!

 

This made SEVERAL servings! This soup was incredibly easy to make and could also be made before work for an easy weeknight dinner!

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Kay’s Pizza (Kay’s Burden Lake Restaurant)

“We are proud of our pizza as well as the unique atmosphere that our regulars look forward to every season. “

type: pizza
address: 10 walsh lane averill park, new york 12018
ring-a-ding: 518-674-5413
price: $11 + pp
attire: casual – jeans & tee, baby

that’s what friends are for

Last year or so, my friend introduced me to Kay’s! I had been wanting to try it for a while, I had so many clients rave about Kay’s, and I even had a few who were regulars. After my long-awaited first bite, I was hooked! From time to time, I’ve titled myself a pizza connoisseur, so when I say this pizza isn’t only good, it’s freakin’ amazing… it’s the damn truth!

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burden lake, ny

Those of us who live within the Capital Region, let’s face it- we appreciate a chance to get out every now and then. Living between Troy & Albany from the last 5+ years or so made me appreciate my hometown surroundings of the Adirondacks so much more.

From our house in Colonie to Kay’s Pizza, the drive is about a half-hour. But, the drive is fun! You pass so many farms, beautiful & endless green acres, and cozy little camps. We never take the highway. We typically first stop in East Greenbush to pick up my husband’s cousin & his girlfriend. She was the one who first introduced me to Kay’s, so now it’s pretty standard we don’t go without each other!

Burden Lake is such a beautiful view, so if you are lucky enough to get a window seat at Kay’s, you will have a beautiful view of the lake and all the homes that surround it.

 

 

a seasonal secret

Kay’s is in an old house with serious summer camp vibes. Wooden floors and walls, nostalgic & vintage ads on the wall, and classic white and red tablecloths. Kay’s is only open for part of the year. This year they opened in early April, and close on October 13th.

60 years of ooey-gooey cheesy goodness

This year is Kay’s 60th year in business! Kay’s Pizza first opened in 1958. Prior to that, it was called the Lakeview Inn & before that, it was Minko’s Inn, when it was owned by another family, prior to Kay & Vic Campagna. The owner’s Kay & Vic lived upstairs, but it has since been sold (including recipes) to another family.

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first trip of the season

We headed up on a Monday evening and arrived around 6:30. Surprisingly, the restaurant wasn’t busy! And, we were able to seat ourselves. Out of all my visits, this has never happened. My husband ordered a Blue Moon, and I love there Raspberry Tea, so that’s what I got!

I love their wings. Just one regular order of mild. There mild is a little bit spicy, and I’d say it’s more like a medium. Terrance ordered coconut shrimp with Thai Chilli Dipping Sauce & Fried Scallops. Our friends ordered calamari. I’ve had the calamari before and it’s one of my favorites.

 

 

We ordered a large pizza, half pepperoni, bacon & sausage, half black olives. You gotta know I LOVE my olives. When our pizza came out, my husbands half only came out with pepperoni on it- our waitress was so kind to make him an entirely new pizza, free of charge. ♥
pizza + free = no one’s mad!

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Our friends got a classic cheese pizza, and the daily feature pizza. That night, it was “Sesame Thai Chicken Pizza.” I’ve never seen a pizza like this before! It had boneless wings tossed in their Thai Chili sauce on top of the pizza, topped with sesame seeds, all on a white-garlic pizza base. I didn’t try this pizza myself, but it was given an 8/10 score.

 

 

 

some things to know:

  • Kay’s does not take reservations & a lot of the times you do have to wait (totally worth it, I promise!) You can sit out on their porch and have a view of the beautiful Burden Lake!
  • I’d say the best days to go are Monday through Wednesday
  • They are open 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm Mon-Sat & 3:00 to 9:00 pm Sun
  • The parking lot gets full fast, you can park on the street, you may have to walk a bit!
  • Kay’s has plenty of other choices on their menu besides pizza (see below!)

 

 

 

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Have you ever been to Kay’s? What is your favorite pizza topping?

Till next time, T ♥

Pizza Style Avacado Toast with Balsamic Chicken & Roasted Asparagus

“my fresh twist on a typical avocado favorite”

Who doesn’t love Cheesecake Factory? Have you ever ordered their amazing avocado toast? I have and I absolutely love it. With warmer days finally, here, I wanted to make a spring/summer recipe.

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Of course, I had to put my own spin on the recipe! I don’t have to ask, everyone loves pizza! So instead of ciabatta buns or ordinary toast. I grabbed a pre-made pizza crust from Trader Joe’s. Perfecto! This recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight, there’s not much prep time, and you can get other tasks around the house finished while it is baking/cooking!

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  1. pre-made pizza crust (mine was labeled “Rustic Ciabatta Flatbread”)
  2. sweet onion (half)
  3. cherry tomatoes (about a handful)
  4. avocado (2)
  5. chicken (I used tenders because they’re easiest to cut)
  6. balsamic (I used “Glaze” from Trader Joe’s)
  7. cooking oil (I use avocado oil)
  8. plain greek yogurt (one spoonful)
  9. garlic powder
  10. pepper
  11. paprika 
  12. red pepper flakes (optional)

time to chop

Dice up chicken, onion (I like long strips), and cherry tomatoes in quarters. Having a sharp knife is super important, especially when slicing something fragile such as a tomato.

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turn the oven onto 350°

Bake the pizza crust alone. I’m sure all pizza crusts are different, but this one suggested 350° for 12 minutes. I brushed the top of the crust with avocado oil prior to baking. I baked the crust on a large greased baking sheet.

Warm up your cooking oil in a pan. Sautee the onions first. Once the onions are soft, throw in your diced chicken, and pour in a small amount of your balsamic glaze. Just enough to cover the chicken and onion. Sprinkle in some garlic powder & pepper to your liking. Keep the eye on medium heat.

While the chicken is cooking, it’s time to start our green-goodness. Slice and peel the avocados. Place the avocado halves in a small bowl to mix. Add the quartered cherry tomatoes.

I wanted to create a taste other than typical guacamole, so I didn’t add salt or garlic pepper to the avocado. Instead, I added some paprika, pepper and a small spoonful of plain greek yogurt, to make the mixture a little creamy. Smush and smash until it’s creamy goodness.

Once the chicken and onions are complete, turn off the stove top and pour them on top of the crust. Next, the yummies on top of the chicken and onion! I found it was easiest to spread with a flat spatula. I actually used a wooden salad server and spread. I chose to put the avocado mix on top so the chicken wouldn’t fall off, but you can try it either way!

time to dress!

drizzle the balsamic glaze on top of the pizza, cut into four, and you are ready to eat & enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

I’m thinking of trying this recipe again, with seared steak! This recipe also could be made into a vegetarian style with grilled tofu!

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BONUS: my baked asparagus for our side! I also made a side dish, that was super quick! I love asparagus, you can cook it so many ways. Trim the ends, place them in a ceramic dish, drizzle with oil, then I tossed the asparagus in garlic paste. I love garlic paste because it has a creamy consistency, perfect for veggies. I added the rest of the chopped cherry tomatoes, and sprinkled with panko breadcrumbs, just to add a crunch! Bake for about 35 mins.

How do you like to eat avocado? Let me know!
Till next time, T ♥

 

Low Carb Buffalo Chicken Cheezy Bake

“my spin-off of a popular facebook recipe!”

Recently, on Facebook a recipe was getting shared around; ‘Low Carb Buffalo Chicken Bake!” It looked amazing, andddd it’s low carb? YES! If you know me, you know I love anything buffalo flavored! So, I had to make my own creation of this amazing dish!

I think this meal could be a nice Sunday dinner, an easy weeknight meal pre-prepped and frozen, or made for lunch meal prep!

 

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Let’s get started with all of our ingredients

  1. cauliflower (one head)
  2. chicken (about one lb)
  3. plain greek yogurt (1 cup of)
  4. cream cheese (1/3 brick)
  5. shredded cheddar cheese (1 cup)
  6. buffalo sauce (5 tbs)
  7. green onions (a handful or so)
  8. olive/coconut/avocado oil (I will be using avocado)
  9. blue cheese/ ranch greek yogurt dressing (1 cup) (I use OPA, blue cheese)
  10. panko breadcrumbs (OPTIONAL)

 

set the oven to 375° / bring water to a boil

Spray your baking pan lightly. You can chop up the cauliflower to your liking, I prefer smaller pieces. Lay the chopped cauliflower in your baking pan. As mentioned in other recipes, I love my pyrex baking dishes!

Lightly drizzle your oil-of-choice on top of the cauliflower. Pop that pan in the oven for about 20 minutes to soften the cauliflower.

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Now, I trim the chicken and put that in the pot of boiling water. I find that boiling chicken is the easiest way to shred it afterward. Boil the chicken until it is completely cooked and looks like a white-ish color. Mine cooked thoroughly in about 10 minutes or so.

While the cauliflower and chicken are cooking, it’s time to prep our sauce. This sauce is so simple and easy to make. Combine 3/4 cup of greek yogurt dressingcream cheesegreek yogurt, hot sauce, green onions. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Remove roasted cauliflower from the oven.

Remove the chicken from the water with tongs and set on a plastic plate or plastic cutting board. Shred that chicken! I use two forks which typically helps me to shred faster. Once done, spread the chicken evenly across the cauliflower. Drizzle the sauce evenly across the chicken. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese across the top. Top with a little green onion & parsley for fun! Optional: sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs to add a little crunch.

Put the dish back in the oven for about 20-25 mins, depending on how crispy you would like the top. Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve with a pie cutter or flat spatula!

Makes 6-8 servings.

**This dish reheats fairly well, but for the best results, remove from pan after serving into a Tupperware dish and cauliflower tends to get watery.

I think this recipe would be great with BBQ sauce! What other flavors would make this recipe amazing?! Comment below!

Till next time, T ♥

 

 

The Century House Restaurant & Inn

“Full service boutique hotel, event/wedding venue, & restaurant in Latham, NY, centrally located near Albany Int’l Airport, Amtrak, & Saratoga County.”

type: traditional american
address: 997 New Loudon Road (Rte. 9) Latham, NY 12180
ring-a-ding: 518-785-0834
price: $20+ pp
attire: dressy-casual – I wore a sweater, dark denim & booties

 

such a special place to us

Since beginning my blog earlier in the year, I have been anticipating writing about The Century House.

Part I  

The Century House is unlike any venue/ restaurant in the area. The Century House was first built 1812. When you look at The Century House from New Loudon Road, to the left you see the actual part of the building that looks like a house, that is the original structure. The building was purchased by the O’Hearn family during the 1940’s. Then, New Loudon Road/ Route 9 was called, Albany-Saratoga Road. One interesting fact I found out about The Century House is that they have a ghost that occupies The North Room. A small room within the original house. A Wiccan visitor confirmed the presence, and it is believed that it could be Frederick Roff, a man who owned the estate during the 1700’s.

When you come for dinner, you get to see the most historic features of the property. The restaurant’s floors were laid with “vintage chestnut” planks that came from a barn in Connecticut that was over 200 years old. Stones from the very original foundation of the house are laid in the exposed brick on the walls. And, there are embedded antique keys and silverware also within the walls and fireplaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

that irreplaceable feeling of home

The Century House has a warm & inviting ambiance- the perfect place for a romantic dinner for two or catching up with friends & family. Sitting fireside, at a table, dim-lit with candlelight and a nice glass of wine; I’m never in a rush to leave.

My husband, Terrance and I recently helped The Century House with a small advertising project, creating a video talking about the wedding planning process, execution, and overall satisfaction. They were so kind to gift us with a gift card to come back to the house and enjoy dinner, on them!

friday night + newlyweds = our weekly date night

I made our reservation on my  Open Table app! If you’re not familiar with Open Table, head over to my past blog, The Redeye Grill – NYC to find some more information on this awesome site! Reserving was so easy! I just opened the app on my iPhone, click click, we’re in!

Booking on Open Table is so easy! 1) Select your date & time 2) Click “Reserve” 3) Add any special requests or dietary restrictions 4) Earn OT points & enjoy!

8:15 pm

We know right where to go when we arrive at one of our favorite places! Parking is so easy, and right next to the south entrance. I love walking in past the ballrooms and peeking in each time to see if they are setting up or having a wedding! When you have dinner at The Century House, don’t worry if there is a wedding or event taking place, the restaurant is separate and has a door and you cannot hear the music and festivities down the hall.

enjoy one share one

In 2009, The Century House started, “Enjoy One, Share One.” For any meal served at the restaurant, in a banquet, wedding, or even a hotel stay, The Century House provides one meal to the Regional Foodbank of Northeastern New York.

let’s talk about VIP

If you’re a couple of the house, you know that treatment you get! The hostess knew us, we didn’t even have to give our name upon check-in! We were seated at our table of choice and were then greeted with 2 glasses of champagne from our server Ryan. CHEERS! ‘clink’

I ordered my favorite wine, GLENORA RIESLING, from the Finger Lakes. Terrance ordered his usual, JAMESON & GINGER, tall-double! … and keep ’em coming!

 

 

 

 

“Everybody knows the rules”

We always start with an app! Tonight, we shared a plate of delicious and crisp CALAMARI. The Calamari is coated with almonds & cornflake, topped with banana peppers, tomato cumin & basil aioli. The basil aioli sauce is my favorite!

 

 

I have to admit to ordering the same thing every time I come to the house. PRIME RIB, served with creamy homemade twice-baked potato, steamed broccoli rabe & carrots, Yorkshire pudding (popover) Au Jus, & creamy Horseradish. Are you seeing a trend with me ordering Prime rib? (GUILTY) Terrance usually switches up his choice of entree. That evening he ordered THE STRIP STEAK & LOBSTER TAIL, served with CHEF POTATO, CENTURY SAUCE & a side of STEAMED SPINACH. As expected, our food was phenomenal. My prime rib melted in my mouth, the potatoes were cooked perfectly. The veggies were crisp and so fresh. My dinner was nothing but amazing! Something you always get from The Century House. My husband enjoyed his steak and lobster. I didn’t even get a bite of the lobster! (RUDE)

 

Although I passed this particular evening, I tend to order chocolate & peanut butter whoppie pies. OOOOH! Are these divine!? Absolutely.

The Century House Restaurant & Tavern always delivers on date-night! ♥

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To view The Century House menus, click HERE!


Part II

it was an “awe” at first sight 

My first visit to the antique & unique Century House, in Latham, NY was our venue tour. April 7th, 2016. I have to be honest here. Prior to this, we went on several tours to various venues around the Capital Region. After multiple disappointments, I wasn’t expecting much more from this place. Terrance had remembered going to a prom or other event years prior. My first memory is meeting Marge. She was waiting right at the main entrance for us. One of the most memorable things about Marge that I remember is that she worked Tuesday through Saturday, as did Terrance and I at the time! We came in on a Sunday. Marge came in on her day off to accommodate us! Marge has worked at The Century House for years. She led us through the main house & restaurant first, sharing the history and fun facts of the house as she guided us on a tour through the entire property! They had an unbeatable promotion going on at the time, and even included an after party for us in our package! Any question that we asked she was able to answer! After no hesitation, we decided on booking The Century House! September 2, 2017! 

Even though we booked a year and a half out, the day came fast. Every meeting and detail were never over-looked. It was always enjoyable to meet with Phil & Stephanie. Through every meeting, they ensured that every point and detail we asked for, would be delivered… and they did! Phil worked with us and led our entire rehearsal. I stayed at The Century House both Friday and Saturday evening. On Saturday morning, I swear Phil was there before I woke up, and that was 7 AM! He led my vendors and wedding party throughout the day and kept us on schedule. Before I knew it, Phil said, “Okay, Taylor we are gonna be lining up soon.” I couldn’t believe it. I asked if anyone had arrived yet. He laughed and said yes. We had 200 guests in attendance. If I could do anything again in my life, it would be to relive our wedding day. My wedding visions became a reality, and now it was all just a dream.

Although I could go on for days about The Century House, at the end of the day -all I can say that for dinner, for drinks, for birthdays & weddings, showers, and corporate events, The Century House is always the right choice. The Century House will always hold a special place in my heart.


it’s your turn

Ready to visit The Century House for dinner?

 

 Have you ever visited The Century House? What was your favorite part?

Till next time, T♥

 

 

 

Savory Garlic & Herb Glazed Roast

Butter & Garlicy Herb Glazed Roast, served with Peppered Potatoes & baked asparagus and cherry tomatoes.

I’m not sure if this cold weather is ever going to make its way out of here! Nowadays, Sunday seems to be my only one, true day off. So, I love to do what I do best and chef up a classic & cozy dinner for the hubs and I. This Sunday, I cooked us a Savory Garlic & Herb Glazed Roast, accompanied with quartered and seasoned red potatoes, and asparagus with cherry tomatoes.

The first time I created my beef glaze, I was nervous about some of the intended ingredients I was researching. Mustard on roast? Butter? I just had to play around with these ingredients my first couple times preparing this meal, and now I have created the most-perfect glaze!

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Let’s get started with all of our ingredients

  1. one beef roast (about 1.5 lbs)
  2. one stick of butter (salted or unsalted)
  3. Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Champagne Mustard (one spoonful)
  4. fresh garlic (I used the diced garlic in a jar)
  5. salt and pepper to taste
  6. minced onion
  7. maple syrup (a shot)
  8. extra virgin olive oil
  9. beef broth (about half cup)
  10. fresh rosemary
  11. one bushel of asparagus
  12. cherry tomatoes (about half container)
  13. 1 bag of red potatoes
  14. PAM spray

 

If  I have the time, I let my glaze sit on the roast for a few hours. So, I always start with my glaze.

set oven to 425° (my roast is going to be prepared medium-rare)

In a small mixing bowl, I put in 1 to 1.5 sticks of butter, dependable on size(this time one) I soften the butter in the microwave, for about 20 seconds or until it is soft but still in its original form. Then, I scoop in one big spoonful of minced garlic. Scoop in one spoonful of Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Champagne Mustard (link above) or any other flavored mustard you could find. I would not advice using regular sandwich mustard. Salt & pepper. Sprinkle in some minced onion powder & a quick little shot of maple syrup (trust me) & extra virgin olive oil.

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I blend all ingredients together with a spoon. And get my baking pan ready. I use a ceramic or glass baking pan. I pour in enough beef broth to just line the bottom.

 

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The glaze can appear a little chunky, that’s okay as long as the butter is spreadable!

 

Now, time to prime the roast. I try to apply the glaze with a spoon, as much as I can. It is hard sometimes to get it to stick, so I end up pressing it on with my hands. I garnish the top of the roast with fresh rosemary. I do not break the rosemary up because it is much easier to lift off each little stem than to pick up each little piece when cooking time is done.

*As noted, when time allows, I let the glaze sit on the roast to ensure maximum absorption of flavor. (No more than a few hours)

 

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Don’t forget to base your pan with broth!

 

Once I am ready to start my side dishes, I pop the roast in. I leave the oven on 425 for 20 minutes. I set my timer, and once the 20 minutes has passed, I change the oven temperature to 350°. I open the oven door for about 15 seconds to allow some heat out, making sure the oven’s temperature decreases.

While the is cooking, I prep and begin to bake my side dishes.

potatoes 

Have you ever used a microwavable potato bag? I’ve been using the same one for years! I don’t necessarily completely cook my potatoes but I soften them and cut down cooking time. Potatoes are a super starchy vegetable and need to often cook for a long time.

I start my rinsing my potatoes, and scrubbing them some-what abrasively with a potato scrubber to remove any dirt or dried pieces. I pop the clean potatoes right in the bag without drying them (I  feel the moisture helps to loosen the potatoes up even more) and put a full bag in for about 5 minutes. Be cautious when removing the potatoes, they will be very hot. I let them cool for a moment, and quarter them up. I also put my potatoes in a ceramic baking pan. I line the dish with PAM spray, and evenly place my potato pieces in the pan. I drizzle olive oil on top, sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. I next add a big scoop of minced garlic. I take a large mixing spoon or baking spatula and mix everything around. Make sure the potatoes are evenly saturated with the mixture.

Have extra rosemary?

Sprinkle some rosemary right on top of the potatoes. This time, I do break up the rosemary. (Optional: Chop the rosemary into smaller pieces.)

Pop ’em on in!

 

asparagus & cherry tomatoes 

I love asparagus, it’s one of my favorite vegetables & creates a very flavorful side dish. Often, people don’t realize that you can cook asparagus in a different way besides just seasoned and baked or steamed.

Leave the asparagus wrapped in the rubber band. Quick rinse, and cut off all ends with one big chop. Having sharp, quality knives is essential to creating successful and tasty meals in the kitchen. Below, I will include a link to my favorite knife set, along with other kitchen tools.

Again, line a baking pan with PAM spray, lay in the asparagus, all facing the same direction. Drizzle with your choice of olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic powder or fresh minced garlic, salt & pepper. Flip the asparagus around with a utensil of your choice to ensure even saturation. (Just like the potatoes)

It’s time to add the cherry tomatoes. After a quick rinse, I slice each little tomato in half. (Optional: leave tomatoes whole if you’re craving a more even flavor of both veggies) At this time, I can add a little more salt & pepper if need be. (Optional: add sliced almonds on top. I usually do this but on this day I think we had something with nuts already so I skipped. I love adding the almonds, they add a mild yet unexpected crunch!)

Pop ’em on in!

Basically, I leave both side dishes in for the remainder of baking time on the roast. As mentioned, I don’t follow recipes to a T, and I remove them from the oven when I desire. We like our asparagus a little crispy, as well as the potatoes. Press a fork into a potato and see if it feels soft in the middle, if so, then they’re ready! Make sure the middle is soft, then continue baking for a crispier dish.

 

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“we are ready to be baked!”

 

turn off the oven 

I leave the side dishes in the oven to stay warm. I take out the roast and set it on a pot-holder on the counter. Setting it on the stove top could cause the roast to cook further than desired. Again, this recipe is for a medium-rare roast.

slice and serve

First, remove stems of rosemary. I like to hold the roast with tongs in one hand and cut with a knife with the other hand. I typically cut about 3/4″ pieces. Don’t forget to scoop up and juice from the pan and dress the top of the roast slice.

 

 

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A finished med-rare roast.

 

enjoy

This is one of my favorite go-to Sunday recipes, especially in the fall or winter. The savory and warm flavors are perfect for a crisp & cozy day.

 

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dinner is served!

 

BONUS TIP: Another reason for why this is my favorite, is because of the many meals afterward this dinner provides. The next day, I reheated and enjoyed the same meal for lunch, and the second day I made steak tacos!

my must have kitchen tools

potatoe bag
Microwave Potato Bag Cooker – $7.99

 

knife
CUTCO Santoku Knife

 

pyrex
Pyrex Easy Baking Dish Set

 

 

What do you like to cook on Sundays?

Trying this recipe? Let me know!

& remember, it’s Sunday take it easy!

Till next time, T♥

 

 

 

 

 

Caskade Kitchen & Bar

“the perfect date night spot”

type: gastropub, tapas/small plates, american
address: 182 Remsen street, cohoes, new york 12047
ring-a-ding: 518-720-1553
price: $20+ pp
attire: casual -I wore my go-to thigh-highs, dark denim, sweater & simple jewelry

Starting off my birthday weekend with a double date at the freshly opened Caskade Kitchen & Bar, was beyond a great choice. Between the unique cocktails, beer & wine selection, amazing small plates, and general atmosphere, Caskade is now that place.

dinner, brunch, cocktails, wine, beer

We headed to Caskade for a double date with friends on a Thursday evening. Caskade was recommended to me by a client of mine, who is a friend of the owners. I have never dined at a restaurant in Cohoes prior to this. We made the short drive from our house which was about 15 minutes away. If you didn’t know, the entire Capital Region is filled with tons of old buildings that line the streets. As we finally arrived on Remsen Street, I immediately noticed how all of the store-fronts have huge windows allowing you to see right inside each and every shop, restaurant or office.

From the street, Caskade is lit dimly and has an inviting glow. The table-tops and petite bar are lined with romantic tea lights. How can one place be so clean and bright, but dim and cozy at the same time? I don’t have an explanation for this but, I am sure when I say Caskade is my home-interior goals. This restaurant is the perfect setting for date night.

sip, sip, hooray

If you know me, then you already know I already ordered my Riesling. Boundary Breaks. This was my first time trying this brand of wine. Light and just that little touch of sweet – that one went down fast, of course. Typically I’m ready to say, “another, please” but, now that I’m actively blogging, I have to give other things a try! Plus, a cocktail atop the menu had quickly caught my eye.

WISHFUL THINKING
white rum, coconut rum, pineapple, lime, egg whites

Hold up, egg whites? Egg whites. After some convincing from our server, I went for it and ordered myself a WISHFUL THINKING. WOW. My first reaction. I had no expectations when ordering this beverage because I was focusing on the egg whites. I took the first sip, and I said “OH! Okay, wow!” Simply amazing. Fresh, frothy, bubbly, light, and mildly fruity, mmm yum. I’ve talked not only about Caskade to friends and clients, but I talk in detail about this specific cocktail. And I get the same reaction that I initially had. Egg whites? Yes honey, egg whites!

 

3:2

Caskade’s menu items are all small plates. *There is a burger and fries on the menu. Our server said it’s typically recommended to order three plates per two people. We went ahead and ordered TEMPURA BAY ZUCCHINI, CHICKEN WINGS, BEEF BARBACOA TACOS. Oh! Is this zucchini now my favorite thing? Yas! It’s lightly fried and it does not have that heavy oil consistency that you tend to get when ordering foods that are fried. The zucchini is served on top of tzatziki and pomegranate seeds. Tzatziki sauce, I’m gonna say it- I love it. I first tried tzatziki sauce with naan bread and quickly learned that it compliments a variety of foods. The tzatziki balanced out the zucchini and had a cool taste while the pomegranate seeds added a surprise pop of sweet and crunch. The chicken wings were dressed with lime & chili and sprinkled with toasted coconut. A new spin on a common classic. Lastly, the beef tacos. I mean, who doesn’t like tacos? The tacos are served in threes, with salsa verde, chorizo queso, and cilantro. Yas! The beef is shredded and soft.

I’m learning a lot from blogging and I’ve done more research on different types of foods. Is it silly I had no idea chorizo was pork sausage? Well, now I know. If you read in one of my opening blogs, I don’t eat pork. But, I ate and enjoyed these tacos. I can’t help but get mad at myself for eating pork, but I simply did not know. I’ll pass on the tacos next time, but still recommended them!

Our friends ordered the PORK BELLY BAO BUNS. These looked amazing, and they said they were great. Served with hoisin sauce, pickled carrots, cucumber and spicy mayo. Bao buns are a steamed Chinese bun. They looked so fluffy and soft and I must get one!

drink, please!

It’s always a good time for another when you’re out with friends right? I finished off our double date with an ELDERFLOWER COLLINS – elderflower liqueur, vodka, citrus, and seltzer. Once on a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio, I tried an elderflower margarita, and enjoyed! Elderflower actually comes from a toxic plant, the elder plant, or Sambucas and it is also well-known for its medicinal uses. This drink was very refreshing and I would love to sip these in the summer. I wonder if Caskade will have some tables along the sidewalk in the upcoming months? I want to drink this cocktail in the summer sunshine.

Is it the atmosphere itself, or the food that makes me love this place so much? I cannot decide as both elements have me in serious awe. Caskade is setting the culinary bar high in Cohoes, and I’m excited to see Caskade continue to blossom! I’ll be back, Caskade – and next time, it’s for brunch! Haay!

Caskade’s website is still under construction, but you can view their instagram here → click click

Have you taken part of Caskade’s dining experience? Let me know, below!

Till next time, T ♥