Monday, May 30, 2011

.Music Mondays.

Husbands Turn.
This was His find. His selection. And His new favorite album of the moment {he seriously listens to this non-stop}. He also has a serious crush on the lead female singer. But, I have a feeling YOU might too.
It's Florence Welch {yes, the Florence from 'Florence + the Machine'}, with her old band: 
Ashok.
And they are very, very, very gooood. 
And they look pretty cool too. Like, 'I'd be lucky to hang out with them' cool.
So to pick up Music Monday's beat a little, here is Mr. Husband's new Favorite find:
'Slow Tune', by Ashok

'Sunday', by Ashok

Thursday, May 26, 2011

.Reason #345 of why I'm a housewife in Training.

I've made the Husband a nice dinner two nights in a row, and tonight Husband is going to do a little electrical work for a friend {in other words, he won't be home}, so it's just me and Bella baby.
Well, I'm sure you would assume that I'm off the hook for my Good Wife duties right?!? Ya, I thought so too, but apparently I'm not. 
Here's how it went down:
Husband asks last night before bed, with his cute-as-a-button face, "Honey, what are you making for dinner tomorrow?", I reply "Why?, You're not even home", and he bats his long eyelashes and gives me his I-can-get-anything-I-want smirk and says, "But then I will have no leftovers for lunch on Friday." 
Seriously! 
And the saddest thing is, I am now making a nice dinner tonight. For myself. And for Husband to have leftovers for Friday. 
Ugh. Am I a Housewife in training or what?
'But hey, I got you Babe'.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

.Chicken & Dumplings.

Gwynie {remember my BFF, Gwyneth Paltrow} promised that this dish would vanish. She said that there are 'never any leftovers' because this dish is so good. And you have to trust your Best Friend, right?
So I did. And may I say that trusting your BFF is truly CORRECT!
This dish scored major points at the Trebaczkiewicz's household. 
It has that homey, make-you-wanna-stay-indoors feel, but isn't packed down with all the fatty ingredients that usually accompanies those types of {*delicious} meals. And BONUS: It made my house smell absolutely Scrumptious. AND DOUBLE BONUS: This dish basically makes you have a glass of wine while you eat it! It's practically written as part of the preparation!
I simply paired it with a fresh salad of Spinach, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Avocado.
So here it is straight from my BFF's mouth {err, rather from her new cookbook "my father's daughter", but we all know she would have told me in person the next time we had a little one-on-one time, right?!}
Chicken & Dumplings 
1 Organic Whole Chicken
Coarse Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 Large Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Small Leek, roughly chopped
1 Slice Duck Bacon, finely chopped {**I used Back Bacon}
1 Dried Bay Leaf
1 Tsp Fresh Thyme
1/2 Cup White Wine
2 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup plus 1 Tsp Half-and-Half
1/2 Tsp Fine Salt
Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400F.
2)Wash and dry the chicken. Cut the chicken into approx. 10 pieces. Aggressively season the chicken pieces with coarse salt and pepper.
3) Heat the butter and olive oil in the largest, widest oven-safe pot you have )at least 12" in diameter, with a lid) over medium-high heat. Thoroughly brown the chicken pieces, in batches if necessary (7-8 minutes per side), and remove to a plate, leaving the fat in the pot. 
4) Add the vegetables, bacon,  bay leaf, and thyme to the pot and cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat. 
5) Return the chicken to the pot. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes.
6) Add the stock and water, bring to a boil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat, cover the pot with a piece of parchment paper and place the lid on top. Cook the chicken in a 400F oven for 1 1/2 hours.
7) Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, half-and-half, and the fine salt together in a bowl. 
8) Take the pot out of the oven, discard the parchment, and scoop large spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture on top of the chicken mixture - you should end up with about 10-12 dumplings. Cover the pot and put back in oven for 10 minutes.
9) Spoon (and really soak) sauce over dumplings, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
10) Sprinkle with parsley, and a bit more black pepper. Serve immediately, being sure to spoon plenty of the juices over each portion (the dumplings will need this!!).

Monday, May 23, 2011

.Chuck's Bolognese.

Dinner Tonight.
It is raining outside and I needed some comfort food. 
This was just what the doctor ordered. Super Yummy and Super Simple.
Thank you Chuck, just for being you.
fyi: this isn't my picture {I forgot to take one, so I'm using the one from the Foodnetwork}
Chuck's Bolognese
1/4 cup Olive Oil (60 ml)
2 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs of thyme, chopped
1 tsp chili flakes (5 ml)
2 cups veal stock (500 ml) **I used Beef stock as I didn't have veal stock
1 pound medium fat ground beef (450 g) **I used ground turkey and ground pork and it was awesome
1/2 pound ground veal (225 g)
 1/2 pound ground pork (225 g)
1 1/2 cups milk (375 ml)
1 1/2 cups tomato paste (375 ml)
1 package of good quality spaghetti (450 g) **I used brown rice spaghetti; healthier
1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes (125 ml)
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped (60 ml)
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped (60 ml)
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan, or Pecorino Cheese (125 ml) for topping
1) Heat oil in a large pan and saute the onions and carrots until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and chili flakes. Saute for 2 more minutes. Add 1/2 cup of veal stock into the vegetable mixture.
2) Slowly add ground beef, veal and pork, stirring and adding more veal stock when necessary to keep the meat moist. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes.
3) Add milk and stir. Continue for about 2 minutes, or until half of the liquid has evaporated. Add tomato past, and remaining veal stock and continue cooking until desired thickness. Adjust seasoning.
4) Cook pasta in salted boiling water, about 8 minutes. Drain and mix with butter then add the sauce, chives, and basil. Mix well.

.Music Monday.

'Happy Rainy Music Monday'.
Or 'Happy Victoria Day', to all you fellow Canadians.
This week's music selection may just knock your socks off. Mine flew. Fact.
They are GoooooD!
I really do think you are going to be blown away by this band, and all the super cool members in it. Check out the video, she actually tap dances on a bucket! So rad.
Love them. So. Much.
"How'm I Gonna Get Back Home Tonight", by He's my Brother She's my Sister


Saturday, May 21, 2011

.Miss Presley Jane Elizabeth Orr.

Ohh Sweet Baby Girl, Welcome to the World!
Already you are so very much loved.
Early this week, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting this gorgeous little peanut, Miss Presley, who was born on Friday, May 13th, weighing 7 lbs 2oz, and already looking like the Beauty Queen she is.
With a gorgeous head of thick black hair, a cute button nose, and plump pink lips (seriously all her perfect little features will make you cringe with envy), you just know this little princess will be crushing hearts in no time.
Especially, her Auntie Erinn's.
Just check out her cute little faces!
She already owns me completely, and I'm fearful she'll get whatever she wants, whenever she wants from me.
**So mommy be warned: Babysitting at Auntie Erinn's + Uncle Peter's, are sure to include wild sugar highs, lots of new toys and clothes, and a few 'no-no' learned words!
I have a feeling this little one will have some spunk, be a tad bit stubborn (which I so love in a little wee one), and come equipped with one of the biggest hearts. Just like her wonderful Momma.
Ohh and what a good momma she is.
Baby girl, I cannot wait to hear your sweet little voice, and share in your giggles.
Presley, you and I are going to be best friends.
Love you, Sweet Little Peanut.

Friday, May 20, 2011

.May Long.

Aren't long weekends a glorious thing?
Ya, I would say so. It's like that one extra day allows you to let go and really do what makes you happy. Whether it's just relaxing and finishing that book, spending some extra time with your family or friends, getting some things done around your house, or just giving yourself one extra night out to go along with one extra sleep in.
Here's my weekend plans, in picture form (haha, enjoy the wonderful snaps!). 
**And be warned, it involves a lot of 'nothing', which I couldn't be happier about.
Putting a dent in this book.
Planting a few of these bad boys in our backyard.
Taking multiple dips in the new tub.
Trying out a recipe from my new cookbook, "My father's Daughter" (Gwyneth and I should seriously be BFF's).
Watching this movie, with my handsome fella (and drooling over Ryan Gosling, Mmmm)
Throwing a ball with our pudgy girl, and watching her die with exhaustion.
Taking pictures, for my new 'friends' feature, of this pretty lady.
Sleeping in way later than I should, and not feeling guilty about it.
So what are you planning on doing this May Long Weekend?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

.Pinterest.

So I had to have a little laugh today, amidst my daily blog creeps.
There seems to be a common trend these days in the blog lovin world. 
And I'm proud to say, I've was on-board (and apparently on-trend) many, many months ago.
Just a little thing called Pinterest.
And it appears that it's on every bloggers mind!
Warning: Don't click on link unless you find yourself with copious amounts of extra time on your hands, or if you just want to be entirely enveloped ever more so with your laptop. Trust me, You WILL spend hours on it. I promise.
It gives you cool sayings like this:
See, Pinterest is really the most brilliant idea since facebook, in my opinion. It mostly seems to attract the creative & crafty sort, especially photographers, bloggers, fashionista's and chefs in the making, but I can see it growing  even more popular by the second for all sorts of people. Gardeners, decorators, book worms, you name it!
And it gives you cool recipes like this:
Probably still wondering what the heck it is right?!? 
What is does, is take your favorite pictures, saying, recipes, whathaveyou, and collectively place them in one easy to find place, called a 'board'. You can share these pictures, and inspirations with 'friends and follower's' and you have yourself Pinterest. Basically your very own on-line inspiration boards!
Brillant right? Saves yourself all the mess from magazine clippings, and clutter!
And Cool Craft Ideas like this:
I personally, have been it for about 8 months now, and let me tell you the hours spent pinning, and re-pinning. It's an addiction. I think I have over 3000+ pins! And the neglect poor hubby has felt because of it (sorry Hubby, I really do love you more than my 13 boards).
Now, I'm not saying that I'm super trendy or super cool for being one of the first's to join this new pinning world, but I will say that I was super lucky. A good friend of mine mentioned pinterest ages ago, and I instantly ran home to find out what she was going on, and on about. Wowyee. Instant love.
I'm just sorry about keeping it all to myself and not sharing the love sooner.
For that I apologize.
Now run, find yourself some 'Boards', and Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

.Versatile Blogger Award.

Yeah Me!!
Sorry, just doing a little happy dance.
I've been given the 'Versatile Blogger' Award!
One of my daily blog creeps, athoughtinthemindof, has awarded the Fancy Napkin as a versatile blog! Thank you lovely Nik, Thank you!
This means a lot to me, as I pour my thoughts and heart out here on a (*mostly) daily basis. I try to focus on an array of topics (versatile blogger!) to keep my many random thoughts in check, and not allow myself to get bored on one specific thing. The feedback has been so positive from everyone, and all the support is overwhelming. I love receiving comments, and sometimes find a smile appear on my face when I realize that someone, who I didn't know read the Fancy Napkin, is actually reading it on a daily basis! 
Pretty powerful motivator let me tell ya.
So as the blogger rules go, I must share 10 facts about myself that you may not already know. Then I have to send the award off to 2 Versatile Bloggers of my choice.
So here goes:
1) When I am cold, the tip of my nose turns to ice. Not my feet, but my nose. It's the first to go.
2) I absolutely love hot dogs. Crave them in fact. It's not normal. Especially BBQ or Street vendor dogs.
3) My nails are always short. I can't keep them long for the life of me, though I wish they were. 
4) I have a secret longing to become a photographer. Like professionally. 
5) I have an obsession with slippers. They must be on my feet at all times. Okay maybe just at home, but still. 
6) I am a terrible 'throw-together' cook, but I am a great 'cookbook' cook. Guess this chick knows how to follow directions.
7) I've been going to see the Nutcracker ballet every Christmas since I was 14. I missed it last year. And I was very sad about it.
8) I am usually the one who takes out the trash on garbage day. Hubby fails at this miserably. 
9) I always wear mascara, ALWAYS. I can go without any other type of make-up, but mascara is a must.
10) I pick at my split ends, and my hairdresser gets mad at me.

And my Versatile Blogger Award goes to:

(a new food blog that I creep on daily. She's a vegetarian, but is so versatile in all her meals, even a meat lover can appreciate her creativity!)

Dash Dot Dotty
(a stylish fashion blogger, who I look to for inspiration. She can mix everyday pieces and not break the bank. She looks like a pretty cool girl, and I think I'd like to be friends with her)

.Chuck's.

Ohh Lord. Where do I even begin.
Maybe, declare the BEST Restaurant ever. Or Maybe proclaim coolest place. Maybe even, dare I say it, Heaven on Earth.
And All of it would be true.
Chucks Hughes restaurant in Old Montreal. aka. 'Chuck's Day Off', from Food Network TV.
Garde Manger is OUR kind of place.
The music was off the charts good, and I swear they stole Peter's i-pod and just selected random. It was all those hard-to-find gems (think Music Mondays), mixed with a bunch of classics. It was loud, and Pete was bopping and grooving, and his smile NEVER faded. Actually, neither did mine.
Our waitress, Chris, both beautiful and perfectly fluent in English, was possibly the best we've ever had. I wanted to be best friends with her. She even taught me how to never miss a 'high five'. Seriously.
She also gave us some insider information when we asked why Chuck was not at the restaurant (we were very sad, yes) as we heard he was always there, and she said that Chuck 'may' be in the works for a new TV show positioned out of Mexico. Hmmm....More Chuck, Yes Please!
The restaurant was covered with mostly brick walls, with a touch of wood, and some old school gothic looking chandeliers. Utterly amazing. Only could you find this sort of atmosphere in Old Montreal.
Didn't even have a sign on the outside, just a colored light. 
We started out with some Big Crab Ceasar's. And they came with actual whole crab legs in our drinks.
Umm, Delicious.
Then we where served bread with a cream cheese spread. I casually ask, thinking we're total foodies and can taste flavors exactly as they are, "So is this bacon or salmon cream cheese?", Our waitress answers with a small smirk, "Actually, caramelized onions". I felt like a turd. Some foodies we are.
Then Chris spends the time to read the entire menu to us. It was in french, written out on chalk boards hung on the walls. Totally cool. Allows you to really get to know each other intimately. 
So we go for the Spicy Jerk Snow Crab legs for our appetizer, especially after seeing it on an episode of Chuck's show, (and FYI: I have the recipe at home & will post).
And spicy it was, but the most authentic Jamaican jerk spice I've ever come across since, well, Jamaica!!
Hubby declared it the Best spice he's ever tasted. Note: Also the messiest. 
See picture of Peter after...(this doesn't really do it justice, Chris actually had to change the tablecloth!)
The best way to talk of our main course meals where as Pete described "Chuck knows how to serve comfort food classy, and classy food comfortably", which I decided was perfectly put.
Peter ordered Giant Scallops, and got a ton of them, served with scalloped potatoes, pancetta bacon, and a tomato based sauce. Words can't even go into detail the deliciousness of this meal.
Then I ordered the Duck Breast, served with Fois Grois (yes, I am aware of what it is), which came with roasted potatoes, fried cheese, in a mushroom demi sauce. Ohh YUM.
My mouth is still salivating.
I think we are ruined with future food forever.
It was JUST AMAZING!
We basically licked our plates clean, even though we couldn't possibly stuff anymore food into our bellies. 
I had huge expectations for Garde Manger, and let me tell you the anticipation was immense before we left; this was one of our high-lights of the trip, and it did not disappoint.
The food, the music, the company, the atmosphere.
It was just a whole lot of goodness.
When can we seriously go back?
ps. Chuck, if you ever need 2 very willing participants to cook for on 'Your day off', you know where to find us. 
HAHA, check out just HOW Happy Hubby is! That smile says it all!!! This is just after getting back to our hotel.

Monday, May 16, 2011

.Music Mondays.

So as you know, the Husband and I have just returned from our little vacation to Montreal.
(See below if you haven't heard about it yet)
In honor of that, we've decided to play you one of the most beautiful songs we have ever heard. 
Like seriously almost brings a tear to my eye. His voice, his guitar. Wow.
I listen to it on repeat, and don't even know what he's singing about.
Yes, it's in French, and be warned: it will make you want to learn the language.
'Toi Et Moi', by Guillaume Grand



Sunday, May 15, 2011

.Welcome Back.

Phew. We have Returned.
And with a Vengeance!
Flew in late a couple nights ago, and have been busy little bunnies ever since (you'll have to stay tuned to find out what we've been up to!) And I apologize that this may be a few days late, but like I always say
"Better late than Never"!!!!
So that being said, here's a little Montreal Love for you all that I'd very much like to share.
Be prepared for picture overload.
We fell madly in love with this big city and dare I say it, it may be my new favorite Canadian City.
Just arrived. At our first cafe stop and about to enjoy a sampling of some yummy mussels.
Our Adorable Hotel Lobby. Downtown Montreal.
Visiting a MUST in Montreal. Schwartz's, for their Famous Montreal Smoked sandwich. 
It was incredible. Just look at that line-up to get in, which never died down.
Our nights were filled with some of the MOST delicious meals we've ever had. Those French-Canadian folk sure know how to eat. I'm almost positive I'm 1/2 french. I must be.
Here we are at the hard-to-get-into 'Au Pied de Cochon' restaurant, translation: Pig's Foot.
It was make-you-moan-out-loud good.
FYI: We also had the opportunity to check out Check Hughes Restaurant, Garde Manger, from food network's show 'Chuck's Day Off', and well.....let's just say it's getting it's own blog post. Stay tuned. 
Here we ate brunch at the coolest place. L'Avenue is a local favorite, with an edgy rocker feel. Graffiti on the walls, silver mannequins, and disco balls helped shape the atmosphere.  They also had the best baby potatoes my lips have ever tasted.
Switching gears, we decided to headed over to the Art Gallery for a little Culture.
Rode some rental bikes over the Montreal Forum, and got a couple pictures in the old stands.
We also walked through Old Montreal (which is phenomenal by-the-way: cobblestone streets, horse and buggy cart rides, old brick/stone buildings - just beautiful.) We got some mild sunburns, beer + sangria and shared a tasty poutine. 
Then strolled through the old town holding hands, just like the lovers we are. You know those obnoxious couples that just can't be that happy. Yes, that was us.
We checked out Old Notre Dame Basilica. Beautiful and Grand.
Drank coffee on park benches, and people watched on the steps of gorgeous buildings. And just an interesting note, we only saw about 3 Starbucks our entire trip. Seems they haven't yet taken over Quebec. And to be honest, it was a refreshing change.
We Love You Montreal.  
And all your infectious energy and spirit.
Till we return, New Friend. Till we return.