Saturday, July 13, 2013

Amanda's got herself a hobby

So, you might have noticed I have mentioned a charity that I am working with a few times on twitter. If you haven't noticed... screw you man, my tweets are serious business.
 Here is a little back story:
I met Lauren and Mark Teahen early this year through friends and they introduced me to Chrysalis. Good story, right? All joking aside, it's a great organization that helps people get out of abusive situations. They have so many resources and outlets for these families to rehabilitate them and secure their independence and safety. After talking with some of the people there I knew I wanted to help out some way.. so here I am keeping myself busy and helping people in our new community.
One thing that I am especially excited about is helping the shelter plan their charity event. Two days of drinking, eating, golfing with local athletes, and bidding on auction items... sounds like a fun time to me!
I will probably mention it a few more times as the planning continues, but that's just because I want all you guys to get involved with me.
I would love for you guys to donate, attend the events with me and Brandon, bid on items, or just get read along. :)


So, that's everything. Unless you want me to go on and on and on about various cleanses, workouts and gluten free foods I am eating :) no? not now? Ok, I will save that for another post (since my husband as banned me from cleanse talk on twitter)

Amanda
 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Attempting to get better at this! Spaghetti squash casserole (spicy)

So I made this dish a few nights ago for a few baseball wives while we drank wine and watched the game.. Now, I am not sure if it was the wine or that the Dbacks won the game, but we were all in agreement that this was delish.
Now, I kinda just made this up after watching a youtube video teaching me how to prepare the squash. So, I think this is just the bones, ya'll could really change this how you like.

Preheat oven to 375

*Cut the squash vertical (long ways) and place it flesh side down on a baking dish
*Fill the dish with water about a knuckle deep (this is obviously very scientific)
* Cover the squash with foil and stick it in the oven for about 45 mins, after 45 mins stick a skewer in the squash and when it goes in the skin easily it is done
* Flip over the squash and continue to cook for about 15 mins without the foil
 *Depending on your squash size or your love of onions and garlic I would suggest ranging from a half of an onion to the full onion, and 1-3 cloves of garlic.
*Saute onions and garlic in a bit of EVOO
*Use a peeler (the one that makes the noodle strips) and peel a zucchini and place it in a bowl with the onions and garlic
* Once the squash is cool to touch gently spoon out the seeds (If you are not patient you can use tongs to hold the squash still while you scrap)
*Once the gunk is all out, use a fork and gently scrap the meat out
*Put all the "Noodles" in the bowl with the other ingredients
*Season with salt and pepper
* Mix a half a jar of pasta sauce (or use homemade, I used store bought Arrabbiata since I didn't have much time)
*If you like it spicy, like I do, you can sprinkle some red pepper flakes here (I used a lot)
*Top with mozzarella  a little goes a long way
*Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 mins or until all the cheese is melty and fantastic.


Cut, serve and enjoy... just a heads up- the leftovers are awesome too.

Cheers,
Amanda


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cooking with booze

I bet everyone is quite shocked and appalled that I would cook a meal using booze. It DOES go against everything I believe in!! :)
 In all seriousness this recipe for Penne alla Vodka  is very simple to make and is delicious.. Now before I give you the recipe I need to say where I get my recipes from: (I don't need someone yelling at me that I am stealing recipes) about 85% of the recipes that I use come from various Americas Test Kitchen books. I have a little obsession with these books, they make cooking a little less scary-

Now, this recipe says to try to avoid using cheaper vodka because the sauce will become to harsh. Also, to be careful when using it because it can get to "boozy" THOSE ARE NOT MY WORDS! Say first world problems about it calling for anything not in a plastic jug and I will throw my computer out the window!


Penne alla Vodka

From  
Why this recipe works:
Splashes of vodka and cream can turn run-of-the-mill tomato sauce into luxurious restaurant fare—or a heavy, boozy mistake. Despite the limited number of ingredients—vodka, cream, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes—we found recipes for penne alla vodka with results that varied widely. Many were absurdly rich (with more cream than tomatoes) and others were too harsh from a heavy hand with the vodka. We wanted to fine-tune this modern classic to strike the right balance of sweet, tangy, spicy, and creamy. To achieve a sauce with the right consistency, we pureed half the tomatoes* (which helped the sauce cling nicely to the pasta) and cut the rest into chunks. For sweetness, we added sautéed minced onions; for depth of flavor, we used a bit of tomato paste. We found we needed a liberal amount of vodka to cut through the richness and add “zinginess” to the sauce, but we needed to add it to the tomatoes early on to allow the alcohol to mostly (but not completely) cook off and prevent a boozy flavor. Adding a little heavy cream to the sauce gave it a nice consistency, and we finished cooking the penne in the sauce to encourage cohesiveness.

Serves 4
So that the sauce and pasta finish cooking at the same time, drop the pasta into boiling water just after adding the vodka to the sauce. If possible, use premium vodka; inexpensive brands will taste harsh in this sauce. Pepper vodka imparts a pleasant flavor and can be substituted for plain.


1 pound penne pasta
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and liquid reserved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup minced onion
1 tablespoons tomato paste

3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper
1/3 cup vodka
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons minced fresh basil
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving

1. Start heating heavily salted water for pasta. Puree half of the tomatoes* in a food processor until smooth. Chop the remaining tomatoes into ½ inch pieces, discarding the cores. Combined the pureed and diced tomatoes in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Add reserved liquid to make 2 cups.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is light golden around the edges, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Stir in the tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt. Remove pan from heat and add the vodka. Return the pan to medium high heat and simmer, stirring frequently for 10 minutes to cook off the vodka. (Lower heat to medium if simmering is too vigorous.) Stir in the cream and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until hot.

4. Right after you add the vodka cook the pasta according to package directions. Set aside ¼ cup of salted pasta water at the end of cooking time. (I save about a cup, often needing more than called for.) Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, add the sauce and cook over medium heat for 1 ½ minutes to make the sauce stick to the pasta a bit. Then turn off heat, add the pasta water, basil, a little salt and pepper and Pecorino Romano cheese as desired and serve.










*A little revision to the recipe (to make it faster) I am using crushed tomatoes and skipping the pureeing step it just cuts down on time
 Tonight I am adding chicken to it to add a little more protein for the hubs, and I will also post a picture of my dinner when it all done tonight...

HAPPY DRINKING AND EATING!

Amanda

 

Friday, December 14, 2012

So, baseball is a business huh?

 Everyone says don't get too attached, baseball business is out of your hands. Where that might be true it is IMPOSSIBLE to not be attached to Oakland and the entire bay area. 
From the start I felt the love in the Coliseum, though I would joke about its cold cement atmosphere, and on those certain freezing nights that the only people there were the right field bleachers and the wives.... I still loved it. I loved those loyal fans, I loved the gritty stadium, I loved the wild players it all made the A's THE A'S!
Never have I seen or heard of such amazing, and positive fans. When a player is down you guys encourage them to get up. You find their family and tell them you are rooting for him to come back, you make signs, buttons, flags all to show that you support and love your players. You guys are seriously amazing, and I think that is what I will miss the most.
There is no easy way to transition into this, but September 5th was a very scary day for our family. I will never forget the love that the A's showed me. To have Billy Beane, Bob Melvin, and Nick Paparesta all drive into the city in the middle of the night to sit with me and wait for Brandon to get out of surgery was emotional and amazing all at the same time. Grown men who I have had minimal contact with for two years prior left their families to sit around telling me stories of their past and get me laughing. They were all there when he came out of surgery, and as fathers and friends they were concerned with Brandon and wanted to say hi to him as he woke up. Baseball business didn't exist that early morning.
The days that followed there were hourly check ups from the entire front office, players, and players families. The sheer love and support we felt was so humbling and it all helped so much. Never will I forgot a moment of all that.

 The outpouring of tweets, emails, and letters was astonishing. They made us feel like we were one huge family. Everyone was concerned, and everyone just wanted good things for us. It makes me smile just thinking about the people who sought me out at the games to tell me how happy they were to see him back on the field. I have never felt so close, and had so much love for complete strangers.
So in closing.. I just want to say from the absolute bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you to the front office for being awesome and putting up with my crazy requests. Thank you to the players for being a family to us, and thank you to the fans for showing us love and support for the entire two years, and lastly, thank you to my little group of A's wives, I know I am a handful :)

Thank you everyone for two of my favorite years in baseball so far. 




Monday, July 9, 2012

I have been an awful tease

Yes, I know that I have been teasing ya'll with all this online auction talk. It is taking me a little longer than anticipated to get it all in order- I thought while I am working on it I would publish a list of the items that we have so you guys will get excited!
Remember Brandon and I are doing this to help the people and animals in Colorado who were affected by the fires. All proceeds will go to the Colorado Chapter of the Red Cross and the Pikes Peak Humane Society. If none of these items interest you, but you would like to help Brandon and myself raise money please donate here: https://secure.mlb.com/oak/community/fire_relief.jsp


And now for the items that were donated to us to raise funds:

Evan Longoria autographed ball 
Pablo Sandoval autographed jersey 
Jonny Gomes games used autographed batting gloves
Dustin Pedroia autographed ball
David Ortiz autographed ball
Ferguson Jenkins autographed ball
Paul Konerko autographed ball 
Tim Lincecum autographed ball
Brian Wilson  autographed ball
Ryan Sweeny autographed ball
Aubry Huff autographed cleat 
Jeremy Hellickson autographed ball
Joe Maddon autographed ball 
BJ Upton autographed ball
Desmond Jennings autographed ball
Luke Scott autographed ball
Carlos Pena autographed ball
Matt Moore autographed ball
Jake McGee autographed ball
Ben Zobrist autographed ball
J.P Howell autographed ball
David Price autographed ball
Michael Young autographed ball
Nolan Ryan autographed ball
MItch Moreland game used autographed helmet
Nelson Cruz autographed jersey
Ian Kinsler autographed ball
2012 SF Giants team autographed ball
Jarrod Parker autographed ball
Jeremy Affeldt autographed used ball
Brad Penny autographed ball
Santiago Casilla autographed ball
Clay Hensley autographed ball
Jacob Hester game used autographed cleats (NFL)
George Kontos autographed trainers
Shane Loux autographed used hat
Joel Hanrahan autographed cleats 
Matt Cain game used autographed bat
Justin Christian game used autographed bat
Emmanuel Burriss autographed bat
Brandon Crawford autographed used bat
Buster Posey autographed bat
Angel Pagan autographed bat
Sergio Romo autographed bat
Brandon Belt autographed bat
Barry Zito game used autographed bat
Ryan Vogelsong game used autographed bat
Aubry Huff autographed bat
Gregor Blanco autographed game used bat
Hector Sanchez autographed game used bat
Nate Schierholtz bat
Pablo Sandoval Bat
Melky Cabrera Bat
Madison Bumgarner autographed bat
Javier Lopez autographed bat
Joaquin Arias autographed autographed
Kurt Suzuki autographed bat
Brandon Hicks autographed bat
Kurt Suzuki game used autographed bat
Brandon Hicks game used autographed bat
Brandon Inge game used autographed bat
Elvis Andrus game used autographed bat
Chris Carter game used autographed bat
Seth Smith game used autographed bat
Brandon Moss game used autographed bat
Jemile Weeks game used autographed bat
Ryan Theriot autographed bat


We are really excited to raise some money and help the people in Colorado out. I would like to thank all the players, wives and teams that donated these items to us..


Thanks!
Amanda

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Remember me?

I know I have been an awful blogger, but there has been a lot going on. No- I am not going to list everything that I have done this off season to try to convince you that I am not a bum, but I will say I have been awake before noon THREE times this week already!! All kidding aside, I stayed away from blogging since we have been traveling and relaxing. I knew if I blogged about our trips I would want to post pictures and frankly I am tired of my pictures getting ripped off and re-posted on other sites. So, now you get a tame blog about my travels, cooking and wine adventures SANS personal pictures (I might sneak one or two in here and there)

So what have I been up to?

Cooking.. I have fallen back in love with the kitchen- I love to cook, but I get nervous that it wont turn out well and all my hard work will get tossed out- this has happened, and it ruined me! Also, I have strayed away from my culinary love since we travel so much, and I am usually just working with a spatula, a frying pan, a small pot and my blend-tec.  I have bought and re-bought so many kitchen items in all the homes that we have lived at... that I have finally given up! I buy simple items to cook or premade meals from whole foods since I am always cooking for one. (Brandon eats at the ballpark, I don't ignore him.. jerks)

So this brings me to my new obsession:

I got it for Christmas and I have been cooking every meal (that we are home) ever since!



Now, if you follow me on twitter (which you have to, otherwise how do you know about this blog) I have been posting pictures of my meals pretty frequently, BUT last nights meal was so tasty that I have to share the recipe:

Pasta with meat ragu

1 small onion cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 small carrot cut into 1-inch pices
1/2 small celery rib cut into 1-inch pices
3 ounces white mushrooms brushed clean trimmed and broken into pieces
1/2 slice of high quality white bread torn into pieces
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of whole milk (must use whole)
Salt and pepper
8 ounces 93% lean ground turkey (do not use ground turkey breast or 99% lean, it will be dry and rubbery)
1 (28 ounce) can of whole tomatoes drained,  but saving 1/2 cup of juice
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup of slightly sweeter white wine (not a dessert wine)
1 table spoon tomato paste
1 package of spaghtti

steps:
Pulse onion, carrot and celery in a food processor to a fine mince about 10 pulses
trasfer to a bowl
pulse mushrooms about 5 pulses and add to same bowl
pulse 1 table spoon of milk, bread 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper until a paste is formed- about 4 pulses
add turkey to processor and pulse with the "paste" about 5 pulses
remove and add to separate bowl
Pulse tomatoes and 1/2 juice until smooth. About 8 pulses and add to a separate bowl
Melt butter in a skillet and add pulsed veggies. Cook until soften and lightly browned. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant about 30 seconds.
Stir in processed turkey meat and cook until it is no longer pink. About 4 mins (hint break apart using a wooden spoon). Stir in remaining cup of milk and simmer until milk evaporates and only s clear liquid remains. Stir in wine and let simmer for about 15 min. Stir in tomato paste for about 1 minute. Add processed tomato mixture and simmer until slightly thickened about ten minutes. Salt and pepper to taste
Make paste per directions and on the box and then add sauce to the pasta.. and just like that yummy pasta

I wrote this whole thing out, so ya'll better make this pasta!!

Now I promise that I will blog more, and since the season is starting back up it will be a lot easier for me to do it. So get ready people.. I am back (kinda)








NOW I am off to consume wine.. I need a drink, my father in law is here for 5 days (Hi Pat)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Off season is here

So, the baseball season finished- that means dinners with Brandon, lunches with friends and vacations!
It took a lot of driving, so much unpacking, an insane amount of organizing, and a mini vacation with my in-laws in Tucson, but we are all finally in Dallas and ALL moved in

AND I can't get enough of our favorite rooftop:
Let the wine nights with friends begin!