Currently. {april 2018}

 

Eating / Sun Basket dinners.  They have seriously made my life so much easier (and delicious) these past several weeks.

Drinking / my coffee in a Corksicle glass.  If I don’t, it’s cold by the time I get to it.  #momlife

Practicing / Moms On Call.  Y’all, I’m determined to get this girl sleeping through the night  in the next month or so.

Mastering / the art of doing everything with one hand.

Trying / to make all the recipes in this cookbook.

Playing / Rack-O.  I played over Easter weekend with my momma and now I’m obsessed.  I need to just pull the trigger and buy it off Amazon.

Finishing / writing “Thank You” notes with my beautiful stationary.

Reading / books that my sister-in-law passed along to me from Book of the Month.  

Remembering / that BG is only little once.  I’m trying to savor every day, week and month with her because it’s flying by.

Wearing / BRIGHT clothes.  Spring is here!  And while I don’t need one piece of clothing this year, I’m obsessed with this, this and this.

Cooking / on the weekends!  Life has been hectic but thankfully we’ve made time for cooking the weekends.  I’m ready to be back in the kitchen during the week.  And this is totally happening very, very soon.

Working / out.  Two days a week I’m teaching and the other days I’m squeezing in a workout either at 5:15am or during a nap time.  I’m excited to start teaching a 5am and a 5:30p again, though.

Traveling / No where far.  Yet.  But we do have a lot of “local” weekend trips planned.

Wanting / to make my own vanilla.

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a blogging break

Guess what?  I can’t do it all.  My “free” time is few and far between these days and unfortunately, I think it’s time to take a break from the blog for a little bit.  I’m not going away forever and I’m not taking down the blog but I didn’t want to simply go silent.

These days I would rather spend my “moments of silence” reading and sipping tea or fixing dinner with Big Guy or simply catching up with a  friend on the phone.

But don’t worry, I still plan on cooking – I actually plan on getting into the kitchen more now that BG is getting a little older and a little (I mean, a little) bit more predictable.  And while I might not be here sharing all my recipes, please know that I share so much of what goes on in my kitchen on Instagram and I also link up ALL recipes I make on Pinterest.  Simply click here and follow me.

I may be back in a week but I may take a few months off to enjoy the finer things in life – like my little baby (that’s only a baby once), my husband (our time together is precious to me) and our loved ones.  Thank you for following my antics and supporting me!

Until next time:  CHEERS!

Friday Favorites {on Thursday}

Good morning!  It’s a long weekend in our household and I’m so looking forward to a few days without Big Guy working.  We’ll also be seeing lots of family – many of them haven’t met Blakely Gray (who was 2 months!!! yesterday) – so it should be a fun Easter weekend.  Since I know I’ll be silent on here starting now, I thought I’d share some of my favorites today.  I pray you all have a lovely weekend.

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Favorite Mail Day:  The Pretty Dish.  This gorgeous cookbook from one of my favorite bloggers arrived in the mail yesterday.  Not only is she hosting a book club but so is Gaby.  Be prepared to see lots of recipes from this book.

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Favorite Flavor:  Lemon Cream Hummus.  I’m lemon obsessed.  Not only do I love the addition of that to hummus but she also added cream cheese.  Count me in!

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Favorite Mouthful:  Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  I love a chewy cookie.

Favorite Sweat:  Go-To Strength + HIIT At-Home Workout.  Totally trying this workout next week while all my clients are on spring break.

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Favorite Spring Appetizer:  French Onion Deviled Eggs.  What are you making this weekend?  These may make an appearance on Sunday.

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Favorite Twist:  Lasagna Verde.  Curry, raisins and homemade lasagna noodles.  Sounds like a fun Sunday project to me.

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Favorite Craving:  Sesame Falafel with Ginger Tahini and Jalapeño Sauce.  I have falafel on my brain apparently.  I had several recipes saved to mention on Friday Favorites and they were all falafel…

And while there weren’t any cocktails that made me wild this week, I’m obsessed with some of the drinks in my new cookbook.  And I’m also pretty pumped to open a bottle or two of rosé this weekend.

Cheers!!!

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Mushroom Lasagna

As I mentioned yesterday, on Sunday I was able to spend some time in the kitchen preparing a delicious Sunday supper.  I have had a craving for lasagna for weeks (perhaps months) and I figured this weekend was as good as any to whip up a dish of hearty layers which the weather is still a little chilly.  I reached for one of my cookbooks that I don’t use enough by Rachael Ray and found a recipe for mushroom lasagna that sounded incredible.  Here is a recipe I found on her website for a different mushroom lasagna.

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I was really excited about mushroom lasagna because it gave me an excuse to open up one of my favorite wines – Iron Horse Pinot Noir.  With a glass in hand, I began prepping all the layers.  I made a white sauce, sautéed the mushrooms, mixed up the ricotta layer and tossed together the three cheeses.  Then it was time to start layering.  No-boil noodles were used and it’s such a time saver!  The Barilla brand is my (and Rachael’s) favorite.

We strayed a little from the recipe adding spinach to the ricotta mixture and adding in some homemade Italian sausage.  I highly recommend adding in the sausage – it was the perfect compliment to the mushrooms.

mushroomlasagna

I was drooling when this bad boy came out of the oven.  How pretty is that dish of lasagna?

Big Guy and I LOVED this dinner and surprisingly, Big Guy claimed he liked this better than ANY pizza we’ve ever made.  I’m not sure I would go that far but it was a killer dinner.

And everyone knows that the best part of lasagna is the leftovers.

Sun Basket {a review}

Good morning, friends!  How was your weekend?  Ours was absolutely wonderful and I we had the best Sunday that has left me feeling ready to tackle the {short} week ahead.  On Saturday, Big Guy’s parents came into town and we were able to have our first real date night.  We had such a great time and it was truly rejuvenating.  A BIG “thank you” to Sweetie and Grandaddy for letting us have an evening out.  And on Sunday it was all about spending time as a family.  We had a delicious brunch and I got to spend some time in the kitchen cooking a comforting dinner.  And don’t worry – I got plenty of baby snuggles which really warms the heart.  I went to bed last night looking forward to the week ahead – such a great feeling.

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Anyways, last week we tried something new, Sun Basket, a meal kit delivery.  I’ve always been skeptical but after having a baby and not having the time to go to multiple grocery stores, I wanted to give it a try.  I chose Sun Basket over all the other delivery companies (Hello Fresh, Plated, etc.) because honestly I thought their meals sounded more like what Big Guy and I like – not too simple.  I didn’t try Sun Basket because I don’t like to cook, I tried Sun Basket because I LOVE to cook and I just don’t have the time to gather high quality ingredients anymore.  With Sun Basket, you can chose a 2 meal or a 3 meal weekly plan with the option to skip weeks anytime.  In fact, we skipped this week because I knew we would have leftovers and someone is bringing us dinner tomorrow night.  You also can choose the menu that suits your diet – gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, etc.  I went with “chef’s selection” because we don’t have any dietary restrictions and I felt like it gave me the best selection to choose from.  Each week you browse through over 15 meals and you pick what YOU want.

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Last week, three meal kits were delivered on Tuesday:

  • salmon in parchment with mushrooms and a mango-cucumber salad
  • shaking beef
  • shanghai wings

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I picked the salmon dish because Big Guy was going to be out of town and salmon isn’t his favorite.  Fish is one of the main reasons I wanted to try Sun Basket – it’s really hard to find good seafood in our town and I rarely cook seafood but yet I love it.  My only complaint about this meal was the parchment paper they provided was low-quality and the fish ended up sticking.  But the fact that they provided parchment paper is amazing because I’m sure there are a lot of people that don’t have parchment paper in their kitchen.  My favorite part of this meal was the salad – the mango was perfectly ripe and it’s not something I typically cook with.

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On Thursday we enjoyed the shaking beef dinner.  This was my favorite meal of the three (though all of them were delicious).  The portion sizes were huge for each meal.  The flavors were outstanding in this dinner and both of us were incredibly satisfied.  The watercress was better quality than any watercress I’ve ever been able to find here.

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And our final meal was shanghai wings.  Another cool option about Sun Basket is that you have the option to upgrade your meats.  For example, I could have requested organic chicken wings for a little extra or in our beef dinner I could have upgraded to tenderloin.  I didn’t upgrade for either of our meals but I think it’s a great option and would totally take advantage of it in the future.  The slaw and the wings were a big hit and once again we were impressed with the portion size.

Overall we were extremely happy with our experience with Sun Basket.  I don’t think I’ll order every single week because I still enjoy picking out recipes and going to the grocery store but I think it’s something we’ll do a couple weeks a month.

So there you have it – my thoughts on Sun Basket. If you want to try it for yourself, here’s a link for $40 off.  

Irish Cream Brownies

Once again, a recipe that is intended for St. Patty’s Day but is totally delicious any day of the year.  Since we used Guinness in the pretzels, I only found it appropriate to use Irish cream in our dessert.  (Sorry, I didn’t use whiskey in anything.)  We happen to have a few bottles of Bailey’s and I’m thinking they’re from early morning tailgates in the fall when spiking your coffee is the only way to drink when it’s freezing outside and 7am on a Saturday.  What’s funny is I ended up making these brownies at 6am on a Saturday because that was the only time I had a free moment to bake.

These brownies are absolutely delicious and I found that they paired beautifully with a piping hot cup of coffee – kind of like spiking your coffee but a little more refined.  Y’all know I love a fudgy brownie and these do not disappoint – so don’t overcook them!  The recipe is insanely simple and much better than any boxed brownie (though I’m not judging if you go that route!).  If you want to make getting the brownies out of the pan even easier, line it with parchment paper so you can just lift the baked and cooled brownies out of the pan.

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And almost a week later, I think I’m done recapping our St. Patty’s Day menu.  Now to start thinking about our next holiday – Easter!

 

Spiced Guinness Pretzels with Irish Cheddar Fondue

It doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day for you to enjoy these delicious homemade pretzels.   Don’t get me wrong, it was the perfect way to celebrate on Saturday but I could devour these soft pretzels any weekend.  The pretzels are different from the other pretzels we’ve made at home in that there’s beer in the dough (Guinness) along with cinnamon in a non-sweet kind of way.  The cinnamon pairs perfectly with the Guinness and saltiness.  Don’t be intimidated by making pretzels at home.  The dough rises like any other dough and then you portion it out and form into a pretzel shape – or you could even make little nuggets (which is probably what I would do next time).  The dough is boiled in water with baking soda for 30 seconds and then brushed with an egg wash and baked until beautifully browned.

The pretzels are served alongside a cheese sauce but would be equally delicious with a little spicy mustard on the side.

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And for dinner, slow cooker beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots.  This “corned” beef is by far the BEST I’ve ever made or tasted and will definitely be a repeat for years to come.  The only change I made to the recipe was roasting the carrots and potatoes instead of boiling them for more texture.

Did you celebrate St. Patty’s Day?  Our celebration was definitely low-key but it was quite delicious.