Merry Christmas and where did the year go?!

I have no clue where the last 12 months went. Did they even happen?  The 6 month old sprawled across me sleeping would indeed indicate that they did. Between being pregnant, packing up the old place, buying a house, moving, having a baby and raising the baby, wow it has been a whirlwind!  Hopefully this coming year is a little more calm and collected.
On a happy note, I installed a WordPress app on my phone, so hopefully I can get more recipes and posts done. Fingers crossed! In the mean time, I just wanted to take a minute and wish you all a very happy holiday and wonderful new year!

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This and that and I miss food.

Hello there! How’s it going? How was your Thanksgiving? This here is going to be a really informal chat .  There has a noticeable lack of activity on all areas of Burlap and Butter Knives, and for that I apologize but I’m going to be brutally honest with you. Writing about food, and posting delicious pictures can be SO hard when you have no appetite and can’t keep a thing in your stomach. It is horrific.  Yes I am still putting a hot meal on the table every night, granted it is often grilled cheese (usually with some kind of tastyness/protein stuffed in for the mister, but I myself and not really eating. I am in fact usually “mourning the loss of my meal”, aka tossing my cookies.  It is the pregnancy, and I am hoping it ends soon, because this is torture.  The hubby has been so helpful and really stepped up (in addition to working from 4am till 5:30pm)  and I cannot thank him enough. I bought him two brand new video games to show my gratitude and thankfulness and he plays them while I lay on the couch usually asleep and dreaming of a day when I can eat a full meal.

I haven’t  been on pinterest, or twitter, GASP!!!! I know, its shocking. I feel like I have failed you, and I am sorry.  On the bright side, as of yesterday I started taking some meds that will hopefully help me keep food down, YAY for meds!! The dr was concerned about the baby getting all the nutrients it needs (I am taking vitamins just FYI) so as anti meds as I am, I am giving them a try.  And fingers cross, I will be back to my old self in no time! And in the meantime, I am experimenting with dinner alternatives, things I can make quick and easy and without my usual 2 hours of work.  I just found out about a new gourmet food product line called Simply Enjoy which I am definitely going to be checking out because right now, with working, growing a baby, keeping up with the home, laundry, dishes, and having limited time overall I need all the kitchen help I can get! I will be sure to report back to you on how the foods are. (I am totally going to Stop & Shop tonight and checking them out, hello Christmas shortcuts!) 

Our Seats for the show!

Our Seats for the show!

 

I DID go to NYC on Saturday (was sick on the tain and in a really nice store, luckily both times were in a bathroom) and I will definitely be posting pictures of that soon!! We took my sister Elizabeth to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, it has been her dream for a long time, and since this year is her 21st birthday, it just seemed like a good time! We saw the show, ate at Carnegie Deli, walked around, shopped, did not get to little italy :-(, but did have a great time and did see a wedding being photographed in Grand Central!!

Grand Central Wedding!

Grand Central Wedding!

A Place For Everything and Everything In Its Place, and Thanksgiving Thoughts

“A Place For Everything and Everything In Its Place”, that is a mantra I have lived by my entire life. Growing up I always thought Mary Poppins was simply the bee’s knees.  She was prim, proper, composed, always knew just what to say, how to organize, how to get children to keep a tidy home and listen. She was the golden goose, everything I wanted to be.  And I was.  I grew up to be a wonderful nanny, with some of the most wonderful children in my care, and many of the families would lovingly say I was like the wonderful Miss Poppins. In my opinion that was the highest compliment. I may have moved on in life from being a nanny,  (went to culinary school and beyond) but the need for order and placement is one I have never left behind.

You might not think it by my love for pinning holiday things, but sometimes the holidays can be frustrating for me. The weeks leading up to them mean a plethora of excess in the house,gifts, foods, decorations, etc; and finding places to put all this “stuff” can be taxing. The gifts I usually put aside in the spare room where I don’t have to see it, but the food items for the big dinners, there is no avoiding seeing THAT.  The past few days I have really been struggling, my anal retentive Poppins has kicked into high gear.  I look in the kitchen, in the fridge, and I just see STUFF, and I want to tear apart the fridge and reorganize it because there  MUST be a way to make it prettier, more organized, neater, roomier, etc; except there isn’t. The fridge is stuffed to the max and there is nothing I can do about it.  I was standing there staring at it when it hit me….. WOW, that a blessing this is, how lucky we are!!! There are so many people around the country, the world, who don’t even have a fridge, let alone one so full they can’t shove anything else in it, and ours is maxed out! Our fridge is SO full we can’t fit one more thing in it. WOW, that is wonderful, I truly am blessed beyond measure.

And just like that my entire attitude and outlook changed.  I went from being upset, frustrated and irritated; to being humbled,  appreciative and thankful.  Thankful for my husband who worked all weekend, up eat day off at 3 am to be at work by 4, thankful for the food in that fridge, and the ability to get it all and still pay our bills, have a beautiful home, and love in our lives each day. Thankful for this “mess” of a spare room because we have bought so many gifts for our family and loved ones that we literally have run out of room to store it.  (In all fairness I start the holiday shopping around um, June, July, sometimes May if I see something great)

So, if you find yourself getting upset this Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas, take a moment and remember….

  • There are people with no family to sit at a table and spend time together, or argue with, or get annoyed by.
  • If Aunt Zelda makes a gross side dish, remember to look around and realize that not only did she love you enough to put her hard work and effort into it, but there is a table full of food around you, what a blessing!!!!
  • If the house gets overheated with all the hot air flying around, be thankful you have heat and a roof over your head.
  • If the plethora of gifts you are giving takes over every spare and hidden nook and cranny in your home, be thankful you are able to buy such beautiful, wonderful and special gifts for others, how fortunate you are!!
  • If you are chosing to not cook and are ordering your dinner or going out to eat, think about the sacrifice those cooks and chefs are making to make YOU a MEAL!!! They are giving up their time with their loved ones so that you can not cook for yours, THAT is luxury!!
  • If like me, you look at your fridge and want to teat the entire thing apart, stop and take a look, and realize just how blessed you are to have that overstuffed, nothing in its place, everything mixed up fridge that makes you want to tear your hair out.

AND….just to REALLY put my uncomfortable self out there… here is a picture of my “god awful” fridge. I am so embarrassed, but I am doing it anyway! Do not judge my fridge. I am using some shortcuts this year (premade pie crust, DO NOT JUDGE) simply because I am exhausted, like really tired and not feeling well. But I AM making Thanksgiving dinner!!  Also, darn tootin that’s “regular” martin’s potato bread, what else would I eat leftover sandwiches on?!?!  I eat organic yogurt, but I love my Philly cream cheese. And Chris goes through an obsene amount of half and half. BEHIND the coffee mug with Riley on the front is indeed organic juice, AND Ronnybrook Milk, as there is Ronnybrook Eggnog on the lower shelf.  And all those egg crates are full of eggs from backyard chickens!

My terrible fridge, please do not judge

My terrible fridge, please do not judge

Happy Thanksgiving, from my home to yours. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day

To the women that are mothers already, whether their children have two legs or four.  To the women that are waiting for the right time in life to be a mother.  To the women that long to be mothers, yet are unable to be.  To the women that are mothers to other’s children; adopted, fostered, or just who take them under their wing.  To you all, you are thought of and appreciated on this very special day.  – Jessica M. Berardi, Burlap and Butter Knives

Backyard Bloom for Mother's Day

Backyard Bloom for Mother’s Day

Tastes and Treats for Easter Eggcellence!

Easter is almost here, and to be honest, this is the first year I don’t have everything done already.   I am not really freaking out though, despite what a plan ahead OCD freak I am, I also have learned to just roll with the punches in life.  However, I did not plan on being a little under the weather this week, and THAT has really put a kink in my plans!  Mental note, never get sick before a holiday.  With that said, I apologize for this post going up so late, but I promise you will find inspiration here.  Also you can check out this Easter Pinterest Board for a plethora of fantastic ideas and the Burlap and Butter Knives Facebook Page  for more inspiration! Happy Easter, I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

 

I love these Chick Cupcakes from Bird on a Cake. They look great and are easy to make!

I love these Chick Cupcakes from Bird on a Cake. They look great and are easy to make!

 

Easter Marshmellow Bark, from Butter with a Side of Bread. Another easy and fantastic Easter Treat!

Easter Marshmallow Bark, from Butter with a Side of Bread. Another easy and fantastic Easter Treat!

 

A Peep Cocktail from Feast of Fun! So cute, and it sounds delicious!

A Peep Cocktail from Feast of Fun! So cute, and it sounds delicious!

 

Pineapple Mustard Glazed Ham from Martha Stewart. This is very close to the glaze recipe I make!

Pineapple Mustard Glazed Ham from Martha Stewart. This is very close to the glaze recipe I make!

 

This Asparagus Gratin from from Apron Appeal looks great!

This Asparagus Gratin from from Apron Appeal looks great!

 

This Zucchini Cheese rice from Buns in my Oven, would make a great side dish or vegetarian dish!

This Zucchini Cheese rice from Buns in my Oven, would make a great side dish or vegetarian dish!

 

And when you need to do something with all that leftover ham, these sandwiches from The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife look delicious!

And when you need to do something with all that leftover ham, these sandwiches from The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife look delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Patrick’s Day Inspiration Round Up

Here is a little something you might not know about me…. I’m Irish. I know, I know, everyone is Irish right now.   No really, I’m Irish Italian to be precise. I have found two 4-leaf clovers in my life. One took up residence with a “rock star” who happens to be one of my favorite foodies, and the other is nestled in my 2nd copy of Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. The first also resides with said rock star.  For those who don’t know, Saint Patrick’s Day is almost here, as in this weekend.  If you need some last minute inspiration, heck any inspiration at all, look  no further, I’ve got you covered.  No I am not including that pepper shamrock thing that EVERYONE is posting all over their walls and boards, well not including it here, it is on the board.  As usual I have scoured pinterest and gathered all my favorite ideas right here for you’re viewing pleasure. Also I have an entire pinterest board with these ideas and many many more. All pictures below link directly to the recipe, if you want to check out my entire pinterest board click here.

Without further ado, here are the ideas!

Lucky Charms cupcake from Betty Crocker

Lucky Charms cupcake from Betty Crocker

 

Blarney Stones from Taste of Home

Blarney Stones from Taste of Home

 

Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes (with icing tutorial) from Recipe Girl

Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes (with icing tutorial) from Recipe Girl

 

Chocolate Baileys Cupcakes from Tidy Mom

Chocolate Baileys Cupcakes from Tidy Mom

 

Irish Coffee from Irish Central

Irish Coffee from Irish Central

Guinness and Baileys Cupcakes from Irish Central

Guinness and Baileys Cupcakes from Irish Central

 

Leprechaun Balls from Mom Foodie (not for the kiddies)

Leprechaun Balls from Mom Foodie (not for the kiddies)

End of the Rainbow Crunch, from Mama Loves Her Bargains

End of the Rainbow Crunch, from Mama Loves Her Bargains

 

ColCannon Potatoes from Williams Sonoma

ColCannon Potatoes from Williams Sonoma

Mint Oreo Brownies, from Loves Veggies and Yoga

Mint Oreo Brownies, from Loves Veggies and Yoga

 

Fun little activity for kids from about a mom

Fun little activity for kids from about a mom