{2 years}

4

Life’s a long and winding ride
Better have the right one by your side
Happiness don’t drag its feet
And time moves faster than you think

(Kip Moore, Hey Pretty Girl)

Happy Anniversary, Big Guy.

The past two years have been nothing less than amazing.

I love you.

Friday Favorites

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Hello Friday!  OH, and hello to all you guys.  Can you believe that this weekend marks our 2 year anniversary?  Craziness.  Some day’s if feels as if it happened yesterday and other day’s it feels like decades ago.  But every day it feels pretty amazing to be married to someone that makes you laugh every.single.day.  Anyways, we’re celebrating our anniversary all weekend long with sunshine and sand but we did follow the “cotton” tradition when it came to gifts.  I got amazing new curtains for our living room makeover and he got new bath towels (hah!).

I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend and I think I’m going to go find a mojito.  See ya next week!

Favorite Lust:  I’m dying (in a good and bad way) over the print.  I simply can’t justify that amount for a piece of cloth that is going to get sandy and ultimately end up at the bottom of my beach bag.  Hey, Tory, why don’t you make a line just for Target.  (If you know me, you know I’m being incredibly sarcastic.)

Favorite Lessons:  5 Things I Learned from Working in  at Test Kitchen.  My dream job.

Favorite Wake-Up:  Havarti Breakfast Biscuits with Jalapeno, Bacon and Arugula.   This is SO happening in my house.  Preferably with a mimosa on the side.

Favorite Indulge:  Crispy Avocado Fries with Melty Cheese Dip.  Avocados are so healthy, why not trash ’em up?

Favorite Travel:  Spain is slowing inching it’s way up my list of “Travel the World” – especially after reading this article.  

Favorite Slice:  “Hot and Honey” Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  I know I’ve made pizza similar to this before but I just love pizza so much.

Favorite Flavors:  Sliders with Jalapeno Burger Sauce.  With homemade potato buns?  Stop it.

Favorite Fashion:  I’m kind of obsessing over this tank.

Favorite Sweet:  Banoffee Pie.  Just don’t tell Big Guy it’s vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free.

Favorite Buzz:  Champagne Mojito.  Weekends are meant to be celebrated and mojitos are meant for warmer weather.

Cheers.

Dijon-Herb Chicken Thighs

You have no idea how happy this plate of food made me and Big Guy.

Not only is it a fuss-free dinner but Big Guy got to fire up the grill and I was able to use herbs from the garden.

Soon enough I’ll be able to whip up salads like this with veggies from our backyard.

The Dijon-Herb Chicken Thighs start with a quick marinade of olive oil, parsley, chives, Dijon mustard (I used a sweet balsamic dijon mustard that I brought home from Sonoma), and garlic.  And while the chicken doesn’t require any marinade time – I decided to put it all in a large zip-lock bag about an hour before it was time to throw them on the grill.  A little infusion of flavors is always a good thing.

And for the salad, I simply sliced up a handful or two of grape tomatoes and quartered cucumber slices before dressing them with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Before serving, I chopped up some of our purple basil and sweet basil to complete the salad.

 

chicken

 

 

The marinade would be great on any cut of chicken, pork chops or fish.  But you know I love a good chicken thigh.

And while the chicken could totally be cooked in the kitchen, it’s grilling season.

And if Big Guy grills outside, my kitchen stays a lot cleaner.

Sweet and Hot Pepper Open-Faced Egg Sandwich (plus a sneak peek)

This super simple meatless dinner (or breakfast or lunch) is from the latest issue of Cooking Light.  

And it’s seriously “superfast!”

This dinner is not fancy by any means.  It’s simply toast with scrambled eggs and veggies. The eggs are mixed with a little bit of mozzarella.  And the veggies are a mix of red bell pepper, red onion, jalapenos (I wanted a little heat) and garlic. I sauteed the veggies first and then while the eggs were scrambling, I toasted up the bread.

 

It was the perfect dinner after a crazy start to the week (aka – preparing the house for all the new furniture!).

 

The eggs were super fluffy and tender and I loved the little bits of mozzarella in each bite.

And well, you can’t go wrong with toasted bread because #allthecarbs .

tuesday things.

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1.  First of all, “tuesday things” was not my idea.  I got it from How Sweet It Is.  Her blog is one of my “must read daily” blogs.  And her cookbook is pretty fantastic, too.  And no, I did not get paid to say that.

2.  I tried a new yogurt on Sunday.  So good with my homemade granola.

siggis

3.  Speaking of new things, I was at Target grabbing some necessary household items last week and decided to get a hot tea at S-bucks.  I grabbed a KIND bar because it was a flavor I had never tried.  Ended up, I was “kinded” and got it for free!  How kind is that? <— see what i did there?

kind

4.  This past Friday night was Supper Club.  Unfortunately Big Guy wasn’t able to go with me because he was in London all last week for work.  But I’m so glad I didn’t not go because I had to go alone.  We really have the best friends ever.

5.  On Saturday I met my dear friend Kat for lunch in Raleigh at Coquette.  We don’t see each other enough and even though we email every.single.day it was nice to see her in person and hear all about her upcoming wedding.  We both started with a Coquette 75 which is a twist on the traditional French 75.  I loved their version of this bubbly cocktail.  Along with our cocktails, we shared Potato Croquettes which were basically fried potato and cheese balls.  So good!  And for lunch, I went on the lighter side with a Frisee aux Lardons salad.  I can’t wait to return to Coquette and try their dinner menu.

6.  It’s a 3.5 day work week for me.  And that is all I need to get me through today.

Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

On Saturday I made my first trip of the season to our local farmers market.  I absolutely love visiting the market.  And while I didn’t go with intentions of getting anything specific – though I was hoping to get my hands on some strawberries – I was excited about what I brought home.

English Cucumbers

Garlic Chives (!!!)

Kale

Butter Crunch Lettuce

Yesterday as I was menu planning for the week to come, the kale was on my mind.  I wanted to make sure to put it to good use.

I came across a pizza recipe that had a base of kale pesto and I knew immediately what we were having for dinner last night.

Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza it was.

The sausage is cooking in a cast iron skillet until browned and then removed from the pan and set to the side.  In the same pan, wilt the kale.  I did not add the water (the kale was a little damp from rinsing) or the sugar.

Once the kale wilts, it’s time to make the pesto.

Wilted Kale
Toasted Almonds
Garlic
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese

The crust was our go-to recipe from the Seriously Delish cookbook.  It’s honestly the best, no-fuss crust ever.

While I was preparing the pesto, Big Guy was rolling out the dough.

The pesto gets spread all over the crust and then topped with the sausage (I used spicy sausage instead of Italian sausage) and cheese.

Baked until all the cheese is melted and the crust is browned.

A bottle of red wine from Sonoma ended the weekend on a high note.

This 2012 Portalupi Zinfandel from the Russian River Valley was perfect with the pizza.  Big yet not overpowering with notes of red fruit and black pepper.

Pizza and wine.  Has there ever been a more perfect raining Sunday evening pairing?

Toasted Coconut and Pineapple Granola

Tropical to me means palm trees, sunshine, bikinis and coconut cocktails.

And I’m in need of somewhere tropical.

But until that weekend comes, I’ll just crunch my way through toasted coconut and pineapple granola.  

granola

Seven ingredients.  That’s it.

Not many store bought brands can say that.

Oats.
Coconut.
Almonds.
Coconut oil.
Maple syrup.
Vanilla.
Dried pineapple.  

In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut and almonds.  Heat the coconut oil (you can use vegetable or canola oil), maple syrup (I reduced the amount from 1/3 cup to 1/4 cup) and vanilla until warmed and then pour over the oat mixture.  Stir to combine.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees, stirring every 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and toss with the pineapple and allow to cool before storing.

Crunch away.

I enjoyed some of the granola over a bowl of Fage 2% Greek yogurt (the creamiest, richest, most dreamy!).

And coffee.

Because I’m not in the tropics and a mimosa before work might not be the best idea.