Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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Entries in father's day (3)


My Dad + Giveaway Winner

Good morning sunshine! I'm happy to share with you the winner of our giveaway from last week. Alyssa from Life of bLyss is the randomly chosen winner of the custom pet portrait! Alyssa has a lab named Chloe, the same name as my family's little cutie pie cockapoo! Congrats Alyssa! I'll email you with the details to get your prize.

Yesterday, I spent the day with my dad for Father's Day. We barbecued by the pool and ate a lot of cake. It's a day late, but I want to say Happy Father's Day to my Dad, the man...

...who used to have a moustache, but now I can hardly imagine him with one

...who told me to always make good decisions (I think and hope that I always have)

...who taught me that it's always a good time for whipped cream. And that you can never have too much.

...who always has all the answers


...who walked me down the aisle at my beach wedding in Aruba

...who danced with me at my wedding while we both cried a little that my days of living with my parents and driving into work together were over

...who wears sunglasses day and night

...who would do anything for his family

...who is the best Dad in the world

Happy Father's Day Daddy!


How did you spend your weekends? Please tell me some stories!


Father's Day Filet

This past Sunday I celebrated Father's Day by sunning, pooling and spending time with my dad and family. The hot and steamy weather was enough to keep us outdoors, by the pool and on the grill. No stuffy restaurants, no fancy outfits. But hanging by the pool and relaxing like it's nobody's business was no reason to skimp on a delicious meal. The dinner worthy of celebrating the dad of all dads? Grilled filet mignon and a plethora of mouthwatering sides including roasted cauliflower, corn on the cob and sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms. There's really nothing like a summery dinner of fresh ingredients and this one was chock full of 'em.

While my mom did most of the cooking and I handled dessert (specifically my roasted pears with sweet ricotta cream), I pitched in with preparing the filets for their D-Day, if you will. While the term filet mignon might sound intimidating (I thought it did, anyway), it truly couldn't be easier. Let's take a look, shall we?

Grilled Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon, about 6-8oz per person
Bacon strips, about 2 slices per individual cut (we used the turkey variety)

Turn on your grill. Unwrap filets and place on large plate or tray. Wrap the perimeter of each piece of meat with bacon and secure with toothpicks (I put one in each of the four sides). Each cut took 2 slices to cover. Don't they look good enough to grill? Place on warm grill and resist the urge to flip, nudge, turn, rotate or move the meat in any way. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Flip the meat over and cook about another 5 minutes, again resisting the urge to move the meat. The cooking time is of course contingent on how 'done' you like your meat. It could take more or less depending on your taste, so my recommendation is to keep your eye on it. Once at desired doneness, remove from heat and cover with foil so the meat can rest (If you dig right in, the juices will run everywhere, making the meat significantly less delicious) for about 10 minutes. Remove toothpicks and enjoy!

So there you have it - a pretty wonderful Sunday dinner, worthy of one said fantastic father. And just for a little fun, check out a shot of Dad walking me down the aisle at my beach wedding in Aruba...

So how did you spend your Father's Day? And what did you eat?


Key Lime in the Coconut Cupcakes Make for a Gluttonous Father's Day

In between eating delicious food all over the city and beyond as well as pop culturing to my heart's desire, I aspire to be a domestic goddess. I'll admit that sometimes I do curse myself after offering to bring a savory dip to a party or (in my weakest, wedding-dazed filled moment) volunteer to make 150 Magnolia cupcakes for my own engagement party (no, I'm so not exaggerating and I have the carpal tunnel syndrome to prove it...almost). But I do enjoy cooking and especially baking...and that's about as far as my domestic lasso will grasp.

With total disregard for terrible, rainy weather (in hopes that if I don't acknowledge it, it won't exist), I decided to whip up some Key Lime in the Coconut Cupcakes in honor of the usually summery Father's Day. Inspired by a recipe from Ultimate Recipe Showdown (where did that show go? I really do watch them ALL), I altered this one a bit to fit my schedule and my desire to bake. It was all made possible with a little help from my friends.

My favorite appliance...if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

Chopped white chocolate adds some extra flavor to the icing

A doctored-up cake mix and no one will know the difference

Recipe for Coconut Cake
*Inspired by Food Network
1 box Classic White cake mix
1 tsp almond extract
1 C sweetened coconut
Zest of 1 lime
2+ tbsp Key Lime juice (from bottle if you can't find real Key limes)
Directions: Prepare cake mix as directed on box, adding in the almond extract. Fold in coconut, lime juice, and zest before baking. Bake as directed on box.

White Chocolate Frosting
*Ok, this I lifted directly from foodnetwork.com and you can see the full recipe here. Noted below are the elements I changed
5 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped into small chunks
1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (leave it out over night. seriously.)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (I did not sift, and it was just fine)
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon key lime juice (bottled or freshly squeezed)...(I used more like 2 tbsp because I wanted it to be limey)
1/4 cup sour cream
Finely grated key lime zest & sprinkles, for garnish
2 drops food coloring (I like green for lime)

Directions: In a small heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, carefully and slowly melt the white chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool until just slightly warm. (*Note: I did this in the microwave. Heat at 30 second intervals, mixing in between. Do NOT overheat). Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar until well combined. Add the salt, vanilla extract, key lime juice, and sour cream and mix until very smooth. Add the melted white chocolate and mix just until incorporated.

Deliciously fluffy icing of the key lime variety

My biggest tip: Even if you are making a boxed cake mix cake, making your own frosting makes all the difference in the world. If you make your own frosting, instead of serving that canned garbage icing to your friends and family, they won't even notice the boxed cake mix. And my favorite aspect...The frosting is the easiest part to make.

Ta Da!

To cart these little babies around, I got a handy cupcake caddy from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. $25 with a never-fail coupon and worth every penny!

My super adorable cupcake caddy...makes the carting of fab cupcakes possible!

Any other cupcake recipes out there? I'm a sucker for beautiful, delicious cupcakes and always looking for new recipes. If so, write to us, include photos, and we'll share with our readers!