Sushi Night // with Kirin Ichiban

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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This weekend my sister-in-law and I decided to host a sushi night to celebrate the beginning of spring, inspired by the world famous Cherry Blossom Festival.  Spring is the perfect time to celebrate love, friends and family before summer is in full force and everyone is busy with yard work, vacation and summer festivals.

Kirin was kind enough to send us a sampling of their classic Kirin Ichiban and Kirin Light for our guests and us to enjoy with the meal.  Kirin was a new beer to Jared and me and we were thrilled to give it a try.  Kirin only uses the first strain of malt liquid, which makes it truly beer at it’s purest.  It has a clean taste that perfectly compliments bold Asian flavors and traditional Japanese cuisine.  Their namesake, the Kirin Beast is considered a good omen of serenity and prosperity.

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We invited some loved ones, put together a simple menu and set a beautiful table.  Kirin recently partnered with celebrity chef, Candice Kumai to create some Japanese inspired dishes that pair beautifully with Kirin Ichiban and Kirin Light.  We adapted two of these recipes for our meal.  It took the pair of us about 1.5 hours to complete this menu and set the table.  It yielded plenty of food for 6 people.

Menu:

  • A Variety of Sushi Rolls
  • Japanese Chicken & Yakisoba Noodles
  • Asian Pear & Mango Salad with Honey
  • Sushi Ginger (or Gari) for palate cleansing
  • Kirin Ichiban & Kirin Light

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Celebrate with Mrs. T’s Pierogies / Buffalo Pierogies

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Please note:  I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Mrs. T’s Pierogies.  I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Today I’m happy to bring you the final part of my two part series with Mrs. T’s Pierogies. In the first part I showed you how to jazz up a simple Minestrone Soup by adding pan seared pierogies to make a hearty meal for a crowd.  This month I’m sharing the easiest appetizer for a casual get-together.

We aren’t really sports people, but we do like to occasionally host friends for a game night or movie night.  While we love wings, they can be expensive (especially when making them for a larger group of people) and I’ve never had much confidence in cooking them.  A perfect alternative is pierogies!  I honestly had never considered this option until I saw it in Mrs. T’s recipe ideas.  After trying it I truly believe they are a stroke of genius.  Did I mention they are also vegetarian?

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You won’t believe how quick and easy it is.  It only takes about 25 minutes from freezer to table and most of that time is hands off, so you can be working on cutting celery and carrots, setting a table or getting yourself ready for guests.

And they are delicious.  They are satisfyingly crispy with just enough heat.  The sauce bakes onto the shell to make them easy to eat as well.  I caught a few people just picking them up with their hands.  The mini pierogies from Mrs. T’s are the perfect size for appetizers.  I’m hooked.

Buffalo Pierogies - Lost and Fawned

Buffalo Pierogies – Party Appetizer

Makes 4 servings.  Photos show half of a box.  Adapted from Mrs. T’s Pierogies Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Mrs. T’s Potato & Cheddar Mini Pierogies
  • 1 cup of oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup of hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing
  • Carrots & Celery for the side

(Note:  If you are in a real pinch, you can also just use a bottle of premade buffalo sauce instead of the oil, hot pepper sauce and chili.  I did it both ways and it was great either way.)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Combine oil, hot pepper sauce and chili powder in a large bowl.  Add frozen pierogies and use a spoon to gently coat them with the mixture.  (Alternatively, just add the premade sauce to the pierogies in a bowl and toss until coated.)
  3. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray or spread tray with a thin coat of olive oil.  Use tongs to place coated pierogies on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 8-9 minutes.  Flip pierogies.  Bake for another 8-9 minutes on other side until puffed and golden brown.
  5. Serve with dressing, carrots and celery.

For more information on where to purchase, recipes and more visit Mrs. T’s Pierogies website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Partner | Mrs. T’s Pierogies

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Mrs. T’s Pierogies.  I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

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Today kicks off a two-part series brought to you by Mrs. T’s Pierogies.  I’d like to thank them for supporting Lost & Fawned and partnering with us to bring you this content.

Between big games, award season and season premiers, it’s a great time of year to entertain.  Cooking for a crowd or even a small party can be a challenge for those of us who don’t have practice cooking for more than 2 people.  Mrs. T’s Pierogies are a great shortcut.  They have a huge collection on their website of inspiring recipes for entertaining, like Pierogy Kebabs or Buffalo Pierogies.  As a main dish or appetizer, pierogies are a perfect addition to your party menu.

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This time of year, I love making soups.  They especially come in handy when I need to cook for family and friends.  When entertaining, my time management can be shaky at best.  Soups and stews are great because you can cook them ahead of time and simmer them as long as needed while you entertain your guests or prepare other components.  Pierogies seemed like the perfect way to jazz up a quick and simple minestrone soup.  I modified this recipe from Mrs. T’s recipe collection.  For a small group double the following recipe (or even triple it for a party).

Ingredients:

  • 2 (12 ounce) boxes Potato & Cheddar Mini Pierogies
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • ¼ tablespoon dried or fresh basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 bag of frozen green beans (or fresh if in season)

Directions:

In a large stockpot, combine onion, garlic, and carrot with enough broth to cover; cook until onions are soft. Add remaining broth, tomatoes and seasonings; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer at least 15 minutes (I like to let it simmer for at least an hour personally).

In a separate frying pan, saute Mini Pierogies with a little bit of oil or butter until cooked through and shell starts to get browned and crispy.  Add beans to soup 15 minutes before serving and allow to cook to desired texture.  Add pierogies to soup just before serving.  Sprinkle with parsley or parmesan cheese.

For more information on where to purchase, recipes and more visit Mrs. T’s Pierogies website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

A Night In // Watch – Make – Drink

Watch Make Drink - Lost and FawnedThe holidays can be a super busy time.  So when I get a night off to myself I try to take advantage of it.  I’ve put together a little cocktail for a perfect December night in for just you or a few close friends.  I suggest pairing it with PJ’s and wooly socks to complete the cozy atmosphere.  Bonus points for a glowing fire or christmas tree.

My ultimate holiday movie.  I watch this every year and I cry every year.  Also always try and get Jared to watch it with me, but he insists he has seen it, and then I insist that he is thinking of “Holiday Inn” and then he rattles off the plot accurately and I concede.

I usually like to bring a project I’m working on downstairs and stitch away on the couch or spread out on the coffee table.  These votives look so easy and look great on a mantle or in a table setting.  (Side-note: My favorite tealights are the TINDRA scented tealights from Ikea.  The vanilla perfect for every season.  I have a huge stock of them and usually light one in the kitchen after I do the dishes.)

Treat yourself!  There are tons of great hot chocolate hacks on pinterest and Tastespotting.  This recipe contains three of my favorite things… cookies, cocoa and rum.

All images property of the noted owners.  Please visit their sites for more information.  Thanks!

“Oh Bring Whatever…” Thanksgiving Favorites

Thanksgiving 'Bring Whatever' FavoritesLike many 20 and 30-somethings, we don’t host Thanksgiving at our home, but we are guests at a handful of holidays.  You always ask what you can bring and often you get “Oh bring whatever…” or “Anything you like…” which usually means the potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie are already spoken for.  So what do you bring?  I typically stick to 3 categories: appetizer, dessert or cocktail.

  1. Boozy Pomegranate Cider by Dessert for Two  //  A cocktail is almost always a welcome addition.  It’s a great twist on the usual “bring a bottle of wine” approach.  While this one requires a little prep, it’s pretty simple and has great autumn flavors.  Easy to omit the booze too and it still sounds delicious.
  2. Candied Citrus Peel from Martha Stewart  //  I’ll be trying this one this year.  Make a variety of lemon, orange and grapefruit for a beautiful plate.  I’ll be finishing them in chocolate (because chocolate makes everything better).  They are easy to pack up and take on those longer road trips and are perfect to make ahead.
  3. Crispy Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries by Dashing Dish  //  I love this idea.  It uses a classic Thanksgiving favorite and makes it something fun.  a basket of these would be perfect on the coffee table for the Thanksgiving ball game.
  4. Easy Holiday Chocolate Bark from PBS Kitchen Explorers   //  Only two ingredients… seriously.  Chocolate and trail mix.  Perfect to make they day before and bring in a tin.  It even looks beautiful!
  5. Autumn Punch by Scout  //  Another cocktail.  Cider, spices and rum… delicious.  A little harder to make this one a “virgin” cocktail, but the grown-ups will thank you.
  6. Fall Cheese Plate  from Taste  //  You really can’t go wrong with cheese, crackers, fruit and sliced meat.  There are tons of guides out there to help you put together a well rounded cheese plate or board.  We almost always put one together for Thanksgiving, and by the time we start slicing the turkey it’s pretty empty.

What are you bringing to Thanksgiving this year?  If you are a host, what dishes do you LOVE to see people bring? 

Please visit the sources provided for more information on any of the pictured dishes.  Link lovingly to the original source if you decide to share.  Thanks a million!

 

My Blissful Moment with Neuro BLISS

Neuro BLISS and Tell

It’s been a stressful year.  Probably the most stressful so far.  On top of dealing with a lot of personal struggles, I’ve been super busy.  If at all possible, I try to find at least 15 minutes a day (in the evening before bed, in the afternoon after work, or in the morning on weekends before the boys wake up) to do something just for me.  Maybe I spend the night in and put on a soothing skin mask, watch one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies (I’m looking at you The Devil Wears Prada) and give myself a pedicure.  Or just spend 15 minutes on the sofa with a dog and a good book or new magazine.

Instead of reaching for a comfort food, this week I gave something new a try.  neuro BLISS is a deliciously fruity beverage.  It’s a blend of citrus and tropical lychee and is lightly carbonated.  It also contains a smart blend of chamomile, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea which has been found to reduce stress, produce relaxation and enhance focus.  Neuro drinks contain no artificial colors or flavors and are a guilt-free 35 calories per bottle.

My Blissful Moment

Enjoying my Blissful Moment

Recently neuro did a study of a large chunk of consumers.  More than half revealed they spend at least half their daily lives feeling stressed out.  Additionally about 89% said a night out did NOT help relieve their stress.  Check out some of the other data collected in the infograph below…

NeuroBLISS Stress Study

Give neuro BLISS a try and take $1 off!  Print the coupon by using the widget below to print your coupon and visiting Target, Walgreens, 7-11, Safeway or using this store locator to find your nearest distributor of neuro drinks.

Then share your BLISSful moment on instagram or twitter and enter to win a $10,000 dream vacation!  For more details on how to enter and official rules visit neuro BLISS.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Date Night In // Experimenting with Herbs

Date Night In - Herb Experimentation

We are starting to save up for some bigger projects on the house, so lately we’ve been cutting back.  A big area where we have chosen to save, rather than spend is Date Night.

Instead of a movie or dinner out, this week we had a Date Night In.  I made a dinner and after we ate, we gathered some fresh herbs from the yard and had a tasting.  We have a few different mints we put in last year that (pineapple mint and chocolate mint) as well as some pineapple sage and lemon balm.  Jared has been wanting to try some fresh herb teas (or as he calls it “survival tea”).  So we got out our little tea cups (this set from Ikea) and put the kettle on.  We made a cup with each type of leaf and gave them a try.  3 out of 4 were OK, but nothing special.  The tea made from our fresh chocolate mint was the clear winner.

We also harvested the lavender I have been drying in the kitchen.  I have a few projects planned for my lavender.  We are also planning to make some mint oil.  We are trying 2 methods.  One with a carrier oil (in our case olive oil) and distilling out the oil with vodka.  Both of these take some time, but we have them started.

 photo 2

Fresh Mint Tea

Lavender Drying in the Kitchen

It was a lot of fun, and in the end didn’t cost us a penny (other than the groceries).  Stick around for more Date Night In posts over the course of the summer.

Feel free to pin, post or share, but please link lovingly back to the original post here on Lost & Fawned.  Thanks a bunch!

Grocery Treasures

Grocery Treasures via Lost and Fawned

How about something a little different this week?  Usually I blog about beautiful handmade and indie finds, but most of my little treats actually come from the local grocery store!  Here are a few treasures we have discovered lately while picking up our weekly groceries.

Grocery Treasures on Lost and Fawned

  1. Bulls Eye Carolina Barbeque Sauce // We love barbecue.  And we have been hooked on Carolina style sauce.  I just made ribs with this sauce tonight and they were excellent!  A great way to mix up your summer barbeque.
  2. Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Mustard // I was craving a real mustard (not the neon yellow stuff) last summer and ended up taking home this bottle.  I love the simple ingredients and the flavor is classic.
  3. Essie Polish in Hip-Anema // My new signature nail color!  This is a little more of a splurge item, but it’s so worth it.  The color is gorgeous and it goes on so smooth (even for someone like me who is polish-challenged).
  4. Neutrogena Naturals Cleaner // I love the way this cleaner smells.  It’s just what I need at the end of a hot day to wash away a day of make-up and sweat.
  5. Herbal Essences Rose Hips Shampoo // Talk about flashback!  When I saw this nostalgic bottle on the shelf I HAD to take it home.  The scent takes me back to 8th grade!  Plus is makes my hair smooth and shiny.
  6. Blue Diamond Toasted Coconut Almonds // This was an impulse buy that paid off.  I was skeptical, but these almonds are like candy.  Sweet, toasty and warm.  And I don’t even particularly like coconut!
  7. Honey Bunches of Oats Fruit Blends // Honey Bunches of Oats is one of my favorite cereals.  And peaches and raspberries happen to be two of my very favorite summer flavors.  It’s like this cereal was made for me!
  8. The Kraken Spiced Rum // One of the more decadent purchases on this list but totally worth it.  It’s tasty and the bottle is a great conversation starter!  The new staple rum on our bar cart.

Lunch Date with Uncommon Goods // GIVEAWAY

lunch date with Uncommon Goods

You may have noticed I have another new affiliate in my sidebar.  I’m so excited to partner with Uncommon Goods to bring you today’s post!  The fine folks at Uncommon Goods offered to let me pick out something special to try out and share.

Men can be hard to buy for.  I know Jared just buys what he needs/wants and whenever a gift-giving occasion rolls around I get the “I don’t need anything” shrug.  So for our “halfiversary” (yes, we still celebrate our half year anniversary) I decided to treat him to a lunch date in our dining room. I picked up this tasting plate and this adorable tea towel and planned our date around them.

One of our favorite easy meals is from scratch chicken nuggets.  I bread them using olive oil and a mix of panko, whole wheat bread crumbs, parmesan and spices and bake them for 5 minutes on each side.  I know it’s not terribly fancy, but it makes for a nice lunch with a sliced pear and some veggies.  We like to splurge a little on fancy dipping sauces (here we tried a spicy mustard, Carolina style barbeque sauce, yogurt ranch and a sweet and spicy barbeque).

Tea Towel from Uncommon Goods via Lost and Fawned

lunch date with Uncommon Goods on Lost and Fawned

I can see us using this plate a lot.  It would be great for bread, olive oil and cheese or fruit with honey, yogurt and chocolate.  It makes a simple meal a little more special.  Find more great gift ideas for the guys in your life here.

I adore the tea towel as well.  We already have an Oregonian tea towel to celebrate my childhood home.  It’s time we added some Ohio pride to our kitchen.  I love the handmade details and rik-rak trim.  It looks so sweet hanging in our kitchen.

Dipping Plate from Uncommon Goods via Lost and Fawned

As a bonus, Uncommon Gifts to offering one lucky L&F reader $50 to treat themselves with a little something (or perhaps find something special for an upcoming birthday).

Giveaway - Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods Giveaway IdeasThere are so many amazing items at Uncommon Goods, seriously something for everyone.  $50 can go a long way.  You can find lots of great ideas under $50 here.

There are a ton of ways to enter this giveaway.  Use the widget below (if you are reading from an RSS reader, click here to view the widget) to enter.  Some entries can be done once per day to earn bonus entries.  Giveaway will close at midnight on March 6th, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 This giveaway is courtesy of Uncommon Goods.  I was provided with the reviewed products, but the opinions and description are my own.  I only review products I love.

New Affiliate // Tazo Tea

TAZO Affiliate

We are big tea drinkers in our house.  I love fruity teas, herbal teas, a good black tea, any tea.  I have been a Tazo drinker for awhile, so when I got the chance to affiliate with Tazo I jumped at the chance.  I love their teas, but I had no idea that their online shop had so many beautiful gifts.  Between their selection of drinkwear, accessories, tea enhancers and of course artisan teas, it would be so easy to put together a lovely care package for tea lover.

TAZO GiftsMy Gift Picks: