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Champagne Gummy Bears

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I can't be the only one who watched Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears growing up.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Well, that's got me thinking that maybe gummy/gummi is spelled with an "i"...BUT when I purchased my gummy bears, the package shows that it's spelled with a "y".  The Disney cartoons of my childhood can't be wrong!  But this packaging though...

It's too much.  Good thing these things are being soaked in JUST a little bit of alcohol to help me get over this dilemma.  Any way that you want to spell it, these gummy bears are de-lish-ous.  I soaked them overnight in the fridge for about 10 hours, and they were a nice chewy texture the next morning, which I would definitely recommend.  IF, however, you continue to keep the gummy bears in the fridge (like I did), then be prepared that they will morph into a Jell-O-like texture within the next 24 hours.  Prepare thyself.  I hate Jell-O myself (it's a texture thing) so I got rid of these with a quickness!  But, if you happen to love Jell-O, then this could be for you.

Also, I feel the need to address why I own Patron champagne flutes.  These were sent to me in a completely random care package from Patron.  I have no idea why the package was sent to me in the first place, so perhaps the Patron team was just cleaning out the warehouse and wanted to get rid of a few things.  I don't drink champagne very often, as it gives me a headache, so I never bothered to purchase champagne glasses.  Of course, this WOULD be the time that I needed champagne glasses!  Figures.
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Slow Cooker Savory Citrus Chicken

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I'm always looking for new ways to cook chicken.  I'm not sure if I've talked about this before here, but I had this conversation with a few friends this weekend.  We were checking out the menu at MichaelAngelo's in the Little Italy neighborhood in the Bronx.  (Can we just talk about how cute that place is!  It was the best restaurant recommendation I've received in a while!)  Anyhow, the entire table agreed that we very rarely order chicken dishes when we go out to eat.  We aren't chefs, but we do agree that chicken is the easiest protein to make at home, so why would we order it at a restaurant instead of something else that you wouldn't actually cook at home?

I was super excited to try out this particular recipe because I'm really into citrus right now and also, this recipe calls for beer.  What is there not to love here?  I used Blue Moon beer to amp up that citrus flavor, which I think ended up being a good choice.  I also used a variety of spices because "can't stop, won't stop".  If you're feeling creative yourself, you could switch up the spices to your liking.  This recipe is pretty forgiving and easily tailored, which is great for someone like me.  Enjoy!

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Serenata: A Review

I haven't done a review on here in a minute, so let's change that!  This time, I can't even take the credit for this find.  One of my friends found it and I was completely game because I can eat Mexican food wherever and whenever.

Seranata is a healthy Mexican restaurant that you can find tucked away on a side street in the beautiful Chelsea area in NYC.  They have outdoor seating options, which is definitely a bonus.  Just look at it!
 

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Bacon Feta Guacamole

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Oh yes, we're doing this today.  We're going there.  We're taking all of our favorite flavors and ingredients and we're putting them into one thing.  Yes siree...that's how we roll.

This recipe comes to you courtesy of this month's Secret Recipe Club match, I Am A Honey Bee.  Nicole is the brainchild behind this blog.  I think she and I would get along fine because:

1) she hates olives.  This product is the highest on the list of things I really dislike.  It's even higher than pickles and that's saying a lot.

2) she labels everything.  I had to laugh when she mentioned that she labels the kitchen cabinets.  I may or may not have labels on anything stored in a container in my pantry.  I mean, how else are we gonna know what's in there?

3) Nicole is the grammar police.  Yep, I'm guilty of this too.  Though I wouldn't say that I feel guilt when correcting grammar.  I think of it more as a service :)

So now that you know we're long lost sisters, I've got even more evidence for you in the form of this bacon feta guacamole.  Yup.  Keep breathing.  Guacamole and I have a thing.  It's a good thing and it's not going anywhere.  But anytime we can expand upon such a thing, maybe we should do that.  Adding bacon and feta allows you to take a few awesome things and combine them together, and clearly create another most awesome thing.  Thanks for this recipe Nicole!

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Zucchini Banana Bread

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Is it just me, or is anyone else drowning in overripe bananas?  I've resorted to freezing these bananas so I can use them another time.  The issue is that I tend to "freeze it and forget it".  My tipping point came last week when I went into the freezer to retrieve something and all I could find were containers of mashed bananas.  Seriously?  Perhaps it's time to do something about this.

So what are we about to make?  Banana bread of course!  I then realized I didn't want to make a regular banana bread.  There's nothing wrong with it, but if I can add all the things to my banana bread, then why wouldn't I?  Junk up all the things!  I decided that zucchini should be the addition.

Now, here's something shocking.  I managed to refrain from adding chocolate chips to this bread.  Say whaaa?  Right?  I'm shocked too, but I was really trying to step out of my comfort zone and let's be honest, my comfort zone is covered in chocolate.

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Arnold Palmer Popsicles

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Remember that time I was obsessed with popsicles?  Yeah, that's a thing that's happening once again.  It's hot out so let's cool down with something refreshing that involves tea and lemonade: two things which are essential to summer.

This time, I'm going to shock you by not adding any alcohol to the mix, so these are kid-friendly.  BUT, if you feel the supreme urge to layer in some spirits, who am I to stop you?  In fact, I'd like you to send me one or three.  Thankyouverymuch!

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Pie Crust Pepperoni Calzone

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You guys don't know the struggle I had making this calzone.  Ugh!  I know I can be dramatic, but really though...

This particular day, I preheated the oven in preparation for baking.  I then got to work with my pie crust, which thought I had defrosted enough to use for this calzone.  However, it still wasn't pliable enough for me to fold over or even move around without breaking.  And break it did...  I tried for what feels like forever to make this work.  Guess what?  It wasn't working.  I only generated a pile of broken pie crust pieces.  Womp womp.

Never fear!  Living in Hoboken means I have a grocery store three blocks away, so I ran there to buy more pie crust (with a pit stop to get iced coffee, obviously!) and was back 15 minutes later.  As I walked back into my kitchen, I instantly realized that I had left the oven on.  I thought I had turned it off because I had pressed a button and the oven beeped at me.  That means it's off, right?  No!

Once I got over my annoyance at myself, I realized the pie crust which had offended me 15 minutes earlier was now at a perfect temperature to roll out and use for my calzone!  Soooo, I ended up using the original pie crust instead of the one that I had left my apartment to purchase.  Isn't cooking fun?  This is fun.  So. much. fun.

I had toyed with the idea of using regular pizza crust for this calzone and I'm really happy I stuck with the pie crust.  The calzone was flaky and completely delicious.  The only potential drawback is that you will need to use a knife and fork to eat this.  The pie crust just isn't substantial enough to hold the filling.  This is so delicious that I couldn't really care less!  Just make it yourself and see!

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Corn Salad

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Here I go again, losing my dang mind over fresh summer corn.  It happens every year and there's really nothing I can do about it.  I'm just so in love with that fresh sweet/tart corn!

This year, I found a new recipe with which to inhale my summer corn: Corn Salad.  Why have I never done anything like this before?  OK, I've made kinda, sorta, similar recipes, but they are definitely not the same.  Which means that basically I needed to make this one.  Plus! It's got feta cheese and basil in it so I need need neeeed this in my life...Is this how adults throw temper tantrums?  I feel like this is how it all starts.

Anyhow, I am basically head over heels in LOVE with this dish.  I couldn't stop standing at my kitchen counter "taste-testing".   This may also be known as "eating the corn salad out of the serving bowl".  I see you judgy mc-judgersons.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Final thought before chowing down on some more of this salad: Can someone please create a super easy way to cut corn kernels off the cob?  There got to be another way!  I use the bundt pan method (link in recipe below), which is so far the easiest method I've tried.  However, the kernels still tend to pop all over the place.  Stay still, darnit!  Your only job is to fall into the bundt pan!  OK, so, if you have any other tips/recommendations for removing kernels from corn, lemme know!

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Overnight Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

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Well, I finally did it.  I broke down and purchased an air conditioner.  I had resolved that I wouldn't do it. I could stick it out and make it through the summer.  Yesss, you got this girl.

Two days into a massive heat wave (but it was really just two days in the high 80's/low 90's), I decided that maybe I couldn't do this.  No, you don't got this.  Get a grip on reality so you can stop taking 4 showers a day because of how much you're sweating.

I trekked over to Home Depot over the weekend and picked up a window air conditioning unit.  I got someone to help me bring it upstairs, and then I got someone to install it.  Ahhhh instant cold air goodness!  You know what this means, right?  Time to turn on the oven and bake all the things!

So that's pretty much what had to happen.

For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Wendy's blog, A Day in the Life on the Farm.  Something I love about the SRC is that I get to peruse so many different blogs.  Everyone has such an interesting story to tell!  Wendy and her husband are both retired cops who decided to move to a small town and purchase several acres of property.  Pretty soon there were fruit trees, chickens and other livestock being raised there.  They had somehow turned their space into a farm, hence the name of the blog!

I was sorely tempted to make Wendy's Waffles recipe, as Ive been looking for a decent waffle recipe for a while.   Could this be the holy grail recipe I'm looking for?  I also really wanted to make the Stollen Bread Pudding (I'm on a carb-up diet, in case you couldn't tell) but this Overnight Cinnamon Raisin French Toast swooped in and held me hostage!

Not only am I a fan of cinnamon and raisin, but I'm also obsessed with baking my French Toast.   Additionally, this overnight version required only a few minutes of prep the night before so the next morning all i had to do was put it in the oven.  This is so ridiculously easy and tasty!!

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