Tag Archives: weekend

Happy Weekend

Cupcakes for Breakfast: snowy wedding

Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA this week – work and migraines kind of got the best of me. But I will be back next week with a fun gift series I’ve been working on with This Is Our Jam. Meanwhile, this weekend, I’m in snowy Dallas for one of my good friend’s wedding. It’s freezing cold but I’m so glad to have arrived safely and excited to catch up with girlfriends. Follow along on instagram!

Hope you have a great weekend! See you soon for gifts, music, and holiday cookies! xo

{winter bride}

Sunday Pasta: Spinach Mac and Cheese

Cupcakes for Breakfast: spinach mac and cheese

It’s getting chilly out there. (No snow in DC yet though…I’m a little jealous New York.) And while I make pasta almost every week, no matter the season, now I want mine extra creamy and rich. (Like the fusilli at Red Hen or cacio e pepe at Rose’s Luxury…mmm.) Soon the farmer’s markets will start shrinking too. Luckily I know I’ll always be able to find bundles of fresh spinach and local cheese. Combine them with some classic elbows and indulge with some cream, and you’ve got pure comfort food. Sure they’re decadent ingredients, but at least you’ll know them all and where they’re from. Plus, this is my favorite way to load up on my greens!

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Sunday pasta - spinach mac and cheese

Sunday pasta is supposed to be a relaxing activity. Not a lot of thought. A way to unwind before the week ramps up. (A glass of wine usually helps with this too.) So here’s the Nikki no-recipe version:

Spinach Mac and Cheese

Put on a pot of water for pasta. In a large pan, melt some butter and olive oil. Add some chopped garlic. Chop the ends off fresh spinach leaves and add to the pan. Stir until spinach is cooked down. Season with salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg. Meanwhile, cook elbow pasta. Add some heavy cream to spinach. (Don’t be shy here.) Liberally grate cheddar and parmesan cheese into sauce. Add cooked pasta to the sauce. Continue to add cheese until you just can’t wait to dig in.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Sunday pasta - spinach mac and cheese

Sunday Meatballs and Gravy

This is a meatball post. But it’s also a Thanksgiving post. You wouldn’t think the two go together right?

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Sunday Meatballs and Gravy

My family is celebrating Thanksgiving this year in the Outer Banks. We’ll have two big houses, about 30 adults, and a lot of food. Of course we’re looking forward to the deep-fried turkeys and the corn pudding, but that’s only for one meal, maybe two, if we’re lucky to have leftovers.

But mostly we’re lucky enough to have several amazing meals to look forward to over Thanksgiving weekend. First, let me say, it’s not really about the food. We’re a big happy bunch even eating simple ham sandwiches and potato salad from the grocery store. We’re a big Italian family, so food and family are one in the same. We also happen to be a family where everyone is a great cook and everyone appreciates good food. So the kitchen is really the best place to be during family holidays.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Sunday Meatballs and Gravy

One of my favorite dishes that my family shares over Thanksgiving weekend are meatballs. I love my Aunt Lisanne’s recipe in which the meatballs are made with white bread soaked in milk and then baked slowly. We make dozens of them and they’re in the kitchen to grab and make a plate or a sandwich whenever you arrive to the house, are hungry, or just want to keep stuffing your face. Games and reading and crafts and football are happening all around. People are weaving in and out of rooms. “Did you see the basement yet?” But the meatballs anchor us. They’re just part of the family. Part of the rhythm. Grab your plate and pull up to the table and catch up with your cousin or in-law who lives 10 hours away. Belly laugh. Go for seconds.

This is the part of Thanksgiving I’m most thankful for.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Sunday Meatballs and Gravy

I’ve talked to a few friends recently about feeling “Sunday sad.” Maybe we get it because the weekend is over and the stress of Monday lurks ahead. Maybe we’ve been running at full speed for the past six days, that when we finally slow down we succumb to feelings we’ve pushed aside. No matter the reason, we should deal with it. And my favorite way to do so, is to make the food that feels like a hug and I’m surrounded by love. That’s Thanksgiving meatballs. That’s Sunday meatballs and gravy.

I have my own more simple and quicker version of my aunt’s meatballs that I love to make early on a Sunday. (There’s almost as good!) Get them made early, leave on stove, take care of other Sunday duties, take care of myself a little, have some meatballs, watch episodes of Scandal, call home, have a little more meatballs, soak up gravy with bread. Feel the love.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Sunday Meatballs and Gravy

It goes a little something like this….

In a large bowl combine 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add 1 pound ground beef and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Mix gently and form into about 15 balls. In a Dutch oven, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add meatballs, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Leave on stove on low until ready to eat. Serve with crusty Italian bread and extra Parmesan.

Happy Weekend

hello weekend

Fall is here! Fall is here! I’m looking forward to another jam-packed DC weekend full of GW Alumni events, photo shoots, farmer’s markets, dancing, and street festivals. Hoping I can fit in a little down time too…catch up on sleep and get back to my Sunday pasta routine.

A few things I loved this week:

Checking out the awesome work from City Blossoms. Makes me want to get dirty, plant some chard, and connect with some awesome DC kids.

Dinner and lambrusco at the bar at Etto, patio beers at Bourbon, cider punch at 2 Birds 1 Stone, brown butter gelato at Dolcezzafusilli with autumn squash + chicken liver crostini + burrata at Red Hen

Today’s Creative Mornings talk was one of the best ones we’ve had in DC so far. Check out the awesome new CM site and see if they have a chapter in your city!

Hashtags, Lip Syncing, new Kings of Leon

Dating is like buying jam. And it sucks. So instead buy some Cava dips at the grocery store.

Have a happy weekend, friends! xo

Sunday Pasta: Roasted Tomato, Corn, Ricotta

On Sundays I make pasta. It’s not overly planned or anything, but over time I realized this was become a routine. It makes sense. After a weekend of moving all around the city and most likely eating out a lot, this is my time to regroup and unwind. I always have a bunch of veggies from my CSA and and I visited the farmer’s market earlier in the day for more provisions. Pasta is just my go to. It’s comforting and easy. I know it’s the perfect base for experimenting with any of those veggies or new ingredients. Carbs schmarbs. The kitchen calls.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Pasta with Roasted Tomato, Corn, Spinach and Ricotta

This pasta celebrates the seasons changing. The corn is still so fresh and summery. Tomato season is almost over, so while I can, I like to roast them for some fall-flavor. Ricotta from Blue Ridge Dairy is so creamy and light. I love knowing about where these ingredients come from and that they all end up working together to create something new and exciting to devour.

I take my time and sip wine while cooking. Between steps, I bob in and out of the kitchen, cleaning a little and getting ready for the week. Coming back to the stove slows me down. Maybe I’m crazy that making a big mess is a way to wind down but I love it. It fuels me. It’s my time. And even though I always cook enough for small dinner party, usually I’m pretty happy that it’s just me. Sunday nights with me and my pasta.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Pasta with Roasted Tomato, Corn, Spinach and Ricotta

As you’ve read before, I don’t really do recipes for pasta. Because I never measure anything out really I think with repetition, you’ll be able to come up with something great yourself too. Here’s my non-recipe recipe:

Pasta with Roasted Tomato, Corn, Spinach and Ricotta

Preheat oven to 300° and throw a pot of water on the stove to boil for the pasta. On a baking sheet, toss golden cherry tomatoes and whole garlic cloves with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until soft about an hour or you’ve run out of patience. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil and butter in a pan on the stove. Cut corn off the cob and toss in the pan. Cook for a while until soft. Toss in some fresh spinach (cause you have it and you should eat something green) and cook down. Now’s about the time you should probably cook your pasta. I typically use cappellini, but I think bowties would be nice with this too. Remove tomatoes from the oven and pour into the pan, juices and all. I removed the whole garlic, chopped, and returned it to the pan. Toss with pasta and fresh ricotta. Best eaten on the couch watching West Wing season 4.