Jam-Packed Weekend

Where do I even begin with this weekend! We had such a fabulous, long weekend hanging out with friends, eating great meals, celebrating birthdays and celebrating a Niners victory! We kicked off the holiday weekend with delicious appetizers and drinks with some Columbia couples (the better halves group) at our friends' apartment in the East Village. From there, we headed out to dinner at DBGB Kitchen and Bar, which is Chef Daniel Boulud's restaurant. DBGB is known for their sausage selection...They literally have every kind of sausage imaginable! We lucked out with a booth and enjoyed lots of good food, wine, and great company!

Saturday, we woke up relatively early and headed to the gym before having to get ready to head to Hoboken for the night. Saturday was Jacqui's birthday and we decided to leave for Hoboken early so we could watch the 49ers playoff game. Jacqui and Kara were gracious enough to host us to watch the game and had delicious appetizers and drinks. It was one of the most exciting football games ever and we had such a great time. After the 49ers victory, we headed to Leo's Grandevous for a late dinner. Leo's is a famous eatery in Hoboken as it was one of Frank Sinatra's favorite places to eat. The restaurant is adorned with all kinds of Frank Sinatra memorabilia and the play all of his songs. The food was really good and we had such a nice dinner celebrating the birth of Jacqui :) (I would have taken more pictures, but I forgot my phone and camera! Here's one Tyler took, which is so cute!!!)
After dinner, we headed to a bar and met up with a bunch of our Fairfield friends, which was such a blast. It was so nice to see everyone and celebrate Jacqui's birthday!

Sunday, we had a very low key day...We were so exhausted from Friday and Saturday that we took it easy. I met up with a friend who was in town visiting from LA and then just came home to veg out on the couch. We watched the Giants vs. Packer's game and made whole wheat roasted red pepper and fontina cheese pizza, which was absolutely amazing!!!! It was nice to have a quiet night at home :)

Monday, we woke up early and headed to Target and Costco....my favorite! We needed to stock our pantry as we were literally out of everything. We then came home, relaxed, and then started getting ready to host some friends from CBS for dinner. I really wanted to use my Barefoot Contessa cookbook and picked 3 delicious recipes (see below) and made a new appetizer, Hot & Cheesy Roasted Red Pepper Dip, that was so addicting. Everything was so flavorful and really easy!

Lemon Chicken Breasts
Serves: 4 (I doubled it)


  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves) 
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine 
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons) 
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (bones in are fine if your grocery store doesn't carry them), skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 1 lemon 
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. 
  3. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 X 12-inch baking dish. 
  4. Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken. 
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. 
  6. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.
Parmesan Risotto
Serves: 4-6

  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset.
  3. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente.
  4. Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt and pepper, and stir vigorously for two to three minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy.
  5. Add the peas and stir until heated through. Serve hot.
Roasted Summer Vegetables

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme 
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchinis and cut them diagonally in ¾-inch-thick slices. Cut the peppers lengthwise in 1½-inch-wide slices, discarding the core. Trim off the fennel stalks and cut the bulb through the core in 1-inch wedges (cutting through the core keeps the pieces intact). Peel the red onion and slice it in ¼-inch-thick rounds, leaving the slices intact. 
  3. Place the vegetables in groups on a sheet pan. Drizzle with the olive oil, add the garlic, and toss gently to be sure the vegetables are lightly coated with oil. Spread the vegetables in one layer on 2 sheet pans (if they're crowded, they'll steam rather than roast). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place the thyme sprigs on top. 
  4. Roast for 15 minutes. Turn each piece (turn the onions carefully) and put the pans back in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until all the vegetables are crisp-tender. 
  5. Sprinkle with extra salt and serve hot or at room temperature. 

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