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Archive for the ‘entertaining’ Category

By some strange stroke of luck, Cuddlegan was able to coordinate schedules (for the most part) and head up to Kim’s house in the Catskills for the weekend. Christina, Amanda and Nina piled into Kim’s car for the drive upstate on Friday evening. Linnae joined us on Saturday morning and Nina headed back home on Saturday afternoon. Of course we missed our Emily, but had a great weekend nonetheless. We have compiled a top-8 list of weekend happenings for you to enjoy.

1. Smores: our go-to dessert on both nights. Amanda like her marshmallow to be completely lit on fire, held close to the chocolate to melt it slightly, blown out and then smooshed on top and eaten open faced. Christina prefers her marshmallows lightly toasted until brown then placed ontop of chocolate squares, sometimes skipping the graham cracker altogether.

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2. Our morning hike. The epic hike Kim had planned was downgraded to a walk to the reservoirs due to muddy conditions on the trail. We saw tadpoles, risked our lives, put our toes in freezing water, and played with some pups. We returned home with rumbling tummies and made ourselves yogurt parfaits with blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas.

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3. Woodstock. We piled into the car and drove into Woodstock to explore for a bit. We picked up some fresh bread for dinner, shared some homemade chocolate ice cream, and bought a quarter pound of homemade Twizzlers. Yum!

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4. Pink champagne toast. Linnae brought along a bottle of pink champagne with which to have a traditional Cuddlegan champagne toast before dinner. The champagne was finished by the time we sat down to dinner so we popped open a bottle of another favorite, a magnum bottle Yellowtail’s Shiraz-Cabernet. And of course we had Woodchuck Amber cider with dessert.

5. Saturday night dinner! We sliced some bread and poured some olive oil to up our energy while we cooked. We chopped some veggies, made a simple tomato sauce (tomato puree, whole peeled tomatoes, red wine, shallots, garlic, and spices), and put together a salad (romaine, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and Naisy’s dressing). Soon enough we were sprinkling chopped fresh basil and fresh mozzarrella on top of our pasta, loading our plates with roasted vegetables and salad, and sitting down to eat.

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6. Stargazing on the basketball court. After dinner and dessert we drove down to the golf course to look at the stars, bottles of wine in hand. Kim had a semi-panic attack about a campout that a seven year old had told her about and so we decided to spread our blankets on the basketball court instead. The stars were great, the snuggling was better.
7. We woke up early on Sunday morning and headed to Maggie’s Krooked Cafe in Tannersville for breakfast. We each polished off a half order of atmeal pancakes loaded with seeds and grains and stole bites of Linnae’s banana (aka blueberry ::ahem::) pancakes and Kim’s top secret omlette. We left with satisfied tummies.
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8. Move over Columbia tennis team, Saucy is hitting the courts. We suited up in (borrowed) tennis whites and headed over to the tennis courts. Christina showed off her serves while Amanda dodged the incoming balls, and even hit a few. Final score? Love-Love 🙂

A special thank you to Kimmy for opening up her home and sharing it with us. xo, Saucy

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There are certain foods that just taste better at home: monkey bread, chocolate chip cookies, and, of course, Gram’s pancakes.

A few weeks ago my mom threw a little graduation brunch for yours truly. I made banana crunch muffins and sour cream coffee cake. Mom made baked eggs florentine, baked french toast, and monkey bread (duh!) Everything was delicious and quickly eaten up.

banana crunchies

banana crunchies

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Ina Garten’s Banana Crunch Muffins

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 large eggs

¾ cup whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)

1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)

1 cup small-diced walnuts

1 cup granola

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into bowl and whisk. Add melted butter and blend. Combing the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas and add them to the flour mixture. Do not overmix. Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tin and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

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monkey bread

monkey bread

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I was just in New Jersey staying with my little brother for a few days and there was a strange lack of cookies in the house. (For those of you who know my stepmother, you also know that there are usually sixteen different types of cookies to choose from at any given time.) Obviously this was an issue, but Veraldi’s have pretty good problem solving skills so we were whipping up our own batch in no time. I used Baking Illustrated’s recipe for thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies and we threw in some peanut butter chips too. Please note the new jagged edge cookie technique outlined below. Loves it. Cookies were dunked into glasses of milk soon after being removed from the oven and our cookie cravings were satisfied.

please note the jagged edge technique

please note the jagged edge technique

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm

1 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325F. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and blend until combined. Slowly add flour mixture and blend until just combined. Stir in the chips.

Roll a scant ¼ cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with the jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 ½ inches apart.

Bake until edges have begun to harden but center is still soft and puffy, about 15-18 minutes.

ready for dunking

ready for dunking

The next morning Robbie and I drove over to my Gram’s house for pancakes. Cooked to order (I like mine batter-y in the middle, don’t ask.) and with optional blueberries, they were better than any pancakes elsewhere. Leftovers were, of course, thrown to the squirrels.

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lucky squirrels!

lucky squirrels!

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February 14th. Valentine’s Day. To some it’s a Hallmark holiday, to others it’s simply nervewracking, but to us it’s a day to embrace all that is red, pink and heart shaped…and each other, of course. This Valentine’s Day we decided to share the love and spread some cheer by hosting a brunch.

As our first Saucy-sponsored event, we had many expectations to not only live up to but to completely blow away. The menu was edited and re-edited throughout the week until we were confident that our choices would result in both festive cheer and satisfied palates. Prep began with a 9am wake up. Despite our sleepy eyes and slightly grumpy attitudes, we were soon cracking eggs and measuring flour with true Saucy gusto. With the quiche baking in the oven, we finished the scone dough and heading out on a hunt for our 20th bag of Valentine’s m&ms. It was a Valentine’s Day miracle–one bag left with our name on it. Giddy as ever, we hurried back home, took the quiche out of the oven and popped in a batch of granola. We cleaned up and dressed up, put on our aprons and tackled the scones. Before we knew it, guests started to trickle in. We offered them mimosas as we put the finishing touches on our culinary creations. The brunch was a huge success. People left with happy tummies, smiling faces, and a new admiration for our favorite holiday.

dsc01194Clockwise from the top: heart-shaped whole wheat pancakes; fresh berries; raspberry scone; vanilla yogurt with granola; more berries (can’t get enough!); goat cheese, tomato and onion quiche

Goat Cheese, Tomato and Onion Quiche:

5 eggs
1-1 1/2 cups half and half
3 tablespoons goat cheese
1 small onion, diced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pie crust!

Line a glass pie pan with pie crust, make it yourself or store-bought works well too. Spread the goat cheese on the bottom. Saute onions in a little bit of canola oil until translucent. Add the onions to the pie pan and layer tomatoes on top. Whisk together 5 eggs and add enough half and half to fill 2 1/2 cups. Pour into pie pan on top of cheese, onions and tomatoes. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes then turn down to 350 for 45 minutes or until eggs have just set.

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Raspberry Scones:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons whipping cream
1/3 cup (about) raspberry jam (do not use seedless)
handful of raspberries

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Add the cold butter into the dry mixture and incorporate by hand. Gradually add one cup of heavy cream. Gently mix in desired amount of raspberries. Chill covered dough for thirty minutes.  Preheat oven to 400F. On a piece of tin foil, roll dough to a 1/2″ thickness and cut using a heart-shaped cookie cutter.  We experimented with the next part, cutting some partly in half and filling them with jam, while others we left as they were. Bake for about 18 minutes or until lightly golden.  Add more jam if desired and serve warm if possible.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, Stina & Manda

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