Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I’m feeling much more inspired by the internet this week.  I think it has something to do with the 70 degree weather here and it feeling like Spring.  Y’all know my aversion to winter. (shutter)  We’re having our usual low-key Friday night with dinner + DVR.  I teach on Saturday morning and then I’m hoping Big Guy will join me on a long walk.  I’m not quite sure what Saturday will hold but my sister, brother-in-law and the three kiddos will be here Saturday evening and I’m so excited to see them all.  It’ll be pizza for the kids and then a fun dinner for the adults.  Sunday is supposed to be a little cooler but I know we’ll enjoy our “day of rest” after having breakfast with our overnight guests (I’ve promised them cinnamon rolls and bacon!).  Have the best weekend ever and I’ll see you Monday!

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Favorite Bag Lady:  Hat Attack Embroidered Clutch in Cocktail.  Ummm, how adorable is this?

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Favorite From Scratch:  Peanut Butter Oreos.  I’m all about that peanut butter cream filling.  Whether it’s sandwiched between two chocolate cookies or eaten straight off the spoon.

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Favorite Lunch:  Brussels and Chickpea Salad in a Jar with Artichokes, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Asiago.  Totally happening next week.

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Favorite Shop:  Lulu & Georgia.  How am I just finding this online home decor store?  I’ll take this, and this, and this.

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Favorite Weeknight:  Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado Lime Crema.  We haven’t had enchiladas in awhile…

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Favorite DIY:  2 Easy Anti-Anging Face Masks Made with Grapes.   All ages can benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties, lightening agents, and sun damage reversal provided by grapes. BRING.IT.ON.

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Favorite Remedy:  Cold Chasers.  Y’all.  There is so much sickness going around right now. I plan on keeping this recipe in my back pocket for the next time I feel a little icky.

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Favorite Brunchy Bite:  French Toast Shooters.  Who wants to have a brunch party??!?!!

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Favorite Fashion:  Painted Stripe Maxi Dress.  I’m so over winter clothes.  Bring on the dresses and shorts and sandals.

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Favorite Intrigued:  Avocado and Lime Margarita.  A guacamole inspired drink – sign me up! (p.s. did anyone celebrate National Margarita Day on Wednesday?)

Cheers!

Friday Favorites

Hey friends!  I hope you all had a great week.  I’m so excited that my parents are coming to visit us this weekend.  We have some fun meals planned for them and my mom and I will be doing a few “arts and crafts” for my sister-in-laws upcoming baby shower.  Being the oldest of four, it’s rare to get one-on-one time with your parents for more than a few hours so I really cherish the moments when they make the trip east to see us.  I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I’ll see you next week!

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Favorite Unexpected:   Creamy Polenta with Roasted Beets.  What a fun combination of flavors and colors!  I could totally see us having this for a low-key Friday night dinner.

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Favorite Snack Attack:  Healthy No-Bake Cookie Dough Bites.  I actually have all the ingredients for these little nuggets in the kitchen right this moment…

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Favorite Southern Sunday:  Buttermilk Fried Chicken.   It’s been over two years since we last made fried chicken and I’m starting to get the itch to fry up another batch of crispy, crunchy goodness.

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Favorite Non-Food Item:  Milo Bubble Vase.  Like I said last week, the WWW has been quite uninspiring this month.  BUT I do love this vase.  I find it hard to put just a few flowers into a large mouth vase and this one is perfect. (p.s. it’s really affordable, too)

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Favorite Girls Night:  Poke Bowls with Sesame-Soy Almonds.    I could not pay Big Guy to eat this meal with me.  However, I have a friend or two who would devour this deliciousness right alongside me.

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Favorite Small Bite:  Rosemary Pineapple Mozzarella Bites.  I feel like this appetizer would be perfect for so many occasions.  Cocktail hour…baby shower..a plate by yourself…

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Favorite Breakfast:  Banana Bread Smoothie.  I’m so ready for warmer weather so I can bring back my smoothie bowls!

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Favorite Side Dish:  Cucumbers in Garlic Sauce.  We are a pickle-obsessed household.  And these cucumbers look amazing!

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Favorite Slice:  Super Fudgy Mocha Layer Cake.  Oh my.  I might need to bake a cake soon.

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Favorite Brunch:  Pineapple Mint Prosecco Punch.  What a fun combination!  A little departure from the usual brunch drink.

Cheers!

Homemade Ciabatta Bread

I think I’ve found the way to Big Guy’s heart:  homemade bread.  Every since we started making homemade pasta, it seems that new kitchen adventures don’t seem quite as intimidating.  So this past Sunday we decided to give homemade ciabatta bread a try.  You do have to start the recipe the day before but that part of the process is super easy.  You make a “sponge” by combining some yeast, flour and water in a bowl and wrapping it tight and just letting it hang out until the next day.  The recipe I used does an incredible job of explaining each step.  The dough is incredibly sticky and I can’t stress the importance of following the timing of each step (especially the amount of time the dough is mixed in the mixer).

When we finally got to the final step – cooking! – we could not wait to see our final result.  The house smelled absolutely amazing.  When we took the bread out of the oven, we were a little worried – it was rock hard.  BUT as the recipe instructed, let it rest for an hour.  And miraculously the bread softened up and was perfection.  And while we had plans to turn the bread into pizza we couldn’t resist cutting an end off and enjoying the homemade bread in it’s purest form.

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Once the bread had completely cooled, it was time to turn one of the loafs into pizza.  Imagine a french bead pizza but with ciabatta bread.

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We picked up a local marinara sauce from The Raleigh Wine Shop and then loaded on the cheeeeeese.  We used fontina, provolone, mozzarella and after cooking a nice sprinkle of parmesan.  We also added some pepperoni and fresh herbs.

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Happy Valentines Day!

Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

Last week I had the privilege to take dinner to a friend that just had a baby.  I absolutely love being able to share my love of cooking with others and am that girl that takes “orders” when it’s my turn to deliver.  This particular mom requested something healthy so I made a quinoa casserole that I knew would feed them for a few meals as well as keep the calories in check while still being delicious.  Since it was a casserole and only one dish, instead of dessert I made her some breakfast/snack cookies.  I honestly had no intention of sharing this recipe but after getting a text message claiming she was going to have to hide them from her toddler, I knew they were worth sharing.  Big Guy also ate these cookies for breakfast last week – he liked to warm them in the microwave and add some cashew butter on top.

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The cookies are absolutely full of good-for-you ingredients.  If you don’t have a lot of these ingredients on hand, I recommend heading to Trader Joes.  They have everything on the ingredient list and they’re priced much better than say Harris Teeter or Whole Foods.

In the mix (plus a few other ingredients)…

Coconut Oil – it doesn’t give the cookies a coconut flavor, so don’t be scared!
Coconut Sugar (I actually bought this at Walmart)
Banana – naturally sweetens the cookies
Flaxseed Meal – great source of Omega 3 and fiber
Cinnamon – not only does it taste delicious, it’s helps regulate hunger
Rolled Oats – a whole grain and full of fiber
Chia Seeds – a powerhouse ingredient!
Blueberries – full of good for you vitamins and fiber
Walnuts – sign me up for their antioxidant properties

They taste like a blueberry muffin and I promise you’ll love them!

 

Mortadella Pizza + Pear, Date and Burrata Pizza with Crispy Sage

On Friday I said that the week had flown by.  And here I am on Monday telling you that the weekend flew by even faster.  Why does that happen?  On Saturday I taught before we headed to get pedicures.  That’s right, Big Guy requested we get pedicures and they were awesome.  We had plans in Raleigh on Saturday evening and we headed that way early afternoon.  Before heading to dinner, we had a little happy hour at Vivace complete with wine and a delicious cheese plate.  We had the best time hanging out.

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We didn’t want to leave but we needed to head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.  We had reservations at Second Empire, an amazing restaurant that we love but haven’t been in years.  I didn’t snap in pictures at dinner because I really just wanted to enjoy my time with the husband.  It was an incredible dinner and I am so thankful for our date nights.

Sunday ended up being incredibly fun after a last minute decision to invite some friends over for pizza.  The recipe for the dough requires a little time but it ended up being a great crust.  One of the pizza was topped with mortadella, an Italian sausage that is studded with pistachios, as well as mozzarella, parmesan and a pistachio-oil drizzle.  The other pizza was full of flavor with juicy pear slices, sweet dates, creamy burrata and crispy fried sage.

The pizzas were so different but super yummy.  I will never get tired of pizza Sunday.

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And now it’s back to the grind.  This week is a busy one but I’m looking forward to a few dinners at home and a fun weekend that lies ahead.

 

Friday Favorites

This has seriously been one of the fastest weeks of my life.  How is it already Friday?  I mean, I’m not complaining.  The later part of this week has been incredibly busy so I’m excited about a sloooooow down tonight and the rest of the weekend.  Here are my favorites from the week:

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Favorite Indulge:  Red Wine Brownies.  How perfect would these be for Valentine’s Day?

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Favorite Tips:  How to Mix and Match Patterns in a Room Like a Pro.  My favorite sentence in the whole article:  “Leopard is a neutral.”  Amen.

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Favorite Trend:  Thai Beef Bowls.  I feel like I’m seeing rice bowls and noodle bowls everywhere these days.  I love this variations with the spiralized veggies.  And the peanut sauce.

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Favorite Addictive:  Brown Butter Maple Bacon Popcorn.  This stuff looks dangerous.  And would be absolutely perfect for a raining day.  Or the Super Bowl.  Or a Netflix kind of night.

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Favorite Print:  Champagne Twirl.  I’ve fallen in love with several illustrations lately.  This one is just so fun.

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Favorite Spoonful:  Turmeric Roasted Sweet Potato and Macadamia Soup. Turmeric is the spice of 2017.  I’ve seen it used in soups, in lattes, and everything in between.  I think I should make a batch and then freeze some for lunches next month.

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Favorite Football Food:  Chorizo and Avocado Nacho Potato Skins.   Y’all, planning our Super Bowl menu stresses me out juuuuust a litttttle because I want to make EVERYTHING!

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Favorite Forecast:  Predicted Paint Colors for 2017.    The hunter greens are growing on me, people.

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Favorite Brunch:  Chilaquiles Frittata Bake.  I’ve seriously been loving our new tradition of having brunch and this little number looks so dang good.

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Favorite Celebrate:  Winter Champagne Punch.  And everything is worth celebrating.

Cheers!

 

 

Sausage Potato Pie

Big Guy and I have never really been brunch people.  On the weekends we typically eat a light breakfast, light lunch and then have a killer dinner.  Until lately.

Over the past several months, I’ve truly started to love Sundays.  Gone are the days of complaining about Monday being just around the corner.  And gone are the days of not having brunch at home.

I’ve really enjoyed our slow mornings that start without an alarm clock.  After waking up, I make coffee, enjoy a cup with a small breakfast and then we go on a walk.  After we’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time for brunch.  And have I got a deliciously comforting yet incredibly easy brunch dish for you.

Sausage Potato Pie is full of potatoes (I used pre-shredded hashbrowns, oh yes I did), sausage, eggs and cheese.  A little milk helps bring it all together along with some spinach for nutrients and any seasoning you desire (I used a Savannah Summer Salt).  Simply brown the sausage and then whisk together the eggs, milk and seasonings.  Then fold in the potatoes, some of the cheese (we used a smoked gouda), spinach and cooked sausage.  Pour into the prepared pie dish, top with more cheese and bake.

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Add a mimosa on the side and you’ll really be living.

#brunchgoals