Pepper Jack Breakfast Bake, and a Giveaway!

pepper jack breakfast bake // sweetsonian

pepper jack breakfast bake // sweetsonian

Hi friends — so today, in addition to setting you up with a great brunch recipe, I’m here to tell you about a pretty awesome local production called the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS, for short).

If you’ve been reading a while, you probably already know about my love affair with all things Baltimore… mostly because of its hip, grungy art community, and my attachment to the art school I almost went to up there. Let’s be real — my heart aches every time I get an email from MICA. But maybe… someday, I’ll go back to school for my MFA.

Anyway.

A close friend got involved with BROS last year, putting on some pretty amazing performances. I was lucky enough to catch a round-up performance of last year’s show at Artscape, Baltimore’s huge, amazing, humid art festival. The Natty Bo was flowing. 

pepper jack breakfast bake // sweetsonian

pepper jack breakfast bake // sweetsonian

This year, the BROS are performing Grundlehammer — the description is here:

Gründlehämmer takes place in the land of Brotopia: a once-prosperous kingdom where the power of music can make crops grow, heal the sick, or smite an enemy. For 30 years Brotopia flourished and prospered – but a shadow has fallen across the land, cast by a tyrannical Dark King Lothario and an immortal cave-dwelling monster of unspeakable evil: the Gründle.

Something that I find particularly fascinating about the BROS is that, for the most part, every person that participates in these production, like myself and probably most of you, has a day job doing something completely different. I wouldn’t have realized this if a friend hadn’t mentioned this to me at the Artscape performance. I was pretty blown back by the talent, so I highly recommend trying to catch a show.

That being said, the BROS have teamed up with Thread Coffee in Baltimore and Yours Truly to sponsor a giveaway for two tickets to this year’s Gründlehämmer show — the tour is based in Baltimore, but they’re traveling to both Alexandria, VA, and Philly, PA for additional shows. In addition, the winner will get one bag of the BROS Blend coffee from Thread Coffee in Baltimore, MD.

Sounds great, right? There are a few ways to win — first, you MUST leave a comment below telling us which city you’d like to see the show in! Then, for extra entries, you can Tweet about the giveaway, like BROS on Facebook, or like Sweetsonian on Facebook. Each item will give you an extra entry in the giveaway. BUT — you have to do the additional pieces through Rafflecopter. If you don’t, it won’t count in the raffle! The contest ends at midnight this Friday, March 15.

Anyway, good luck! And check out the delicious BROS breakfast bake recipe below (Sweetsonian-ified, of course, for simplicity).

Also, I almost forgot — check out show dates and locations here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Recipe after the jump! Continue reading “Pepper Jack Breakfast Bake, and a Giveaway!”

Knork Flatware Giveaway Update

Knork Flatware

Congratulations to Andrea, who won a set of the glossy finish Knork flatware set! Andrea — go ahead and email me your address, and Knork will be sure to send the 20-piece flatware set your way.

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Thank you to everyone who entered, and thank you all for reading! I hope you have a fabulous Thursday night.

And, if you’re interested in purchasing a set for yourself be sure to check out the beautiful selections on Knork.net, or like them on Facebook here!

Chicken Marsala + a Birthday Giveaway!

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Today, reader, I’m 26.

Hitting the second half of my twenties, unlike all of the previous birthdays, has me thinking about the next five years more than anything. The big 3-0 used to be something that you’d see twenty-somethings dreading. But not this girl.

When I was younger, I noticed a recurring theme on sitcoms and in dreaded sentiments from older people on birthdays — people complaining about age. And once, on my dad’s birthday, I asked him if he hated getting older, too.

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His response was different. He told me that age was an accomplishment. And we should be proud of every year we live.

It was a great shift from the general “I hate birthdays” and “oh no, wrinkles” grumbles. Or the classic response from teachers and relatives when I’d talk about the excitement of getting older and growing up: “Oh, honey, you’ll get over that. That will change.”

Nope, I still get excited about birthdays. And you know what? The years only get better and better. Each and every year, each and every candle makes me happy about the life I live, the people I love, and amazing world I wake up to every morning.

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Today, I’m celebrating my birthday by setting up a giveaway for you! I’ve been pretty obsessed with Knork flatware for the past two years — my former roommate and amazing friend Kristen introduced me to the brand when she first moved into her own apartment. And since then, I knew that I would want a set for myself when I moved into my own place.

The Knork concept that I love is that just one utensil blends the function of a knife and a fork into one beautiful design. My own mother taught me to cut food with the edge of a fork, so I’ve been doing this for years, but Knork takes it to the next level — the edges of the forks are beveled, making it easier to cut your food. They have finishes in both glossy and matte brushed silver (if they ever get a line of gold flatware, I’ll be first in line).

I’ve already had people over for dinner parties and explained the brilliance of the flatware to my friends. The general reaction is “but isn’t that dangerous? Will I cut myself on the edge of the fork?”

Come on, friends. They’re not that sharp — if you’re dining on a hearty steak, then you’ll probably need a knife, too. But the Knorks were exactly what I needed to enjoy this plate of chicken marsala.

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So, like the communications professional I am, I stalked them online and got in contact with their communications team — and Knork will be sponsoring a 20-piece flatware set for the winner of this contest!

To enter, check out Knork’s pretty flatware selections on Knork.net, and leave a comment below — be sure to let me know which finish (matte or shiny) of the flatware you’d be interested in!

One week from today, I’ll use a random generator to select a winner — and we’ll get in contact so I can forward your information to the folks at Knork, who will promptly send your flatware set!

I honestly can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday with you via Sweetsonian. Good luck!

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Chicken Marsala for two

2 cups chicken broth
1 shallot, minced
5 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 package cremini mushrooms, sliced
A few sprigs of fresh sage, leaves julienned
All-purpose flour, for dredging
4 thin-sliced chicken breast halves (or two breasts pounded thin with a hammer)
3/4 cup dry Marsala wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
Juice from 1 lemon

In a small saucepan, bring your chicken broth to a boil. Let it reduce to about half it’s original volume.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat, and melt about 3 tablespoons of the butter. Then, saute the minced shallot until brown — this should take just a minute or two. Add mushrooms, and sprinkle with sage, salt, and pepper for seasoning. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, letting the mushrooms sweat a bit to give some liquid to the pan. It should take about 10 minutes for the mushrooms to brown. Once they do, transfer the contents of the skillet to a bowl and set aside.

Pat the chicken breasts dry, season with salt and pepper, and then dredge in flour. You don’t need a lot of flour — just a light coating is sufficient. Heat a tablespoon of butter in the skillet, and saute the chicken. Do not crowd the pan, or else the chicken will not brown. Flip the chicken once, when it turns golden and is clear that it’s cooked halfway through. Repeat with each side and each slice of chicken.

Once cooked, remove each slice of chicken and set aside.

Then, add about 1/2 cup of the Marsala wine to the skillet and bring to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Then, add your broth, mushrooms, shallots, and heavy cream. Stir occasionally and let the broth thicken a little — it should only take a few minutes. Then, stir in the remainder of the wine, and a few squeezes of juice from a lemon.

Plate your chicken, and generously top with your mushrooms and marsala sauce. Garnish with remaining sage.