Friday, June 28, 2013

Fun Facts Friday

1. I surpassed the 200 blog post mark. Thanks for reading!

2. I have turned into an insomniac this week. So many thoughts running through my head. If you need someone to talk to in the middle of the night let me know. My mom and I used to have regular 3am text conversations when she was planning my sister's wedding and I was trying to figure out what to do after graduation.

3. I have also self diagnosed myself with acid reflux thanks to webMD and stress.

4. Have you ever heard of Wine Down Wednesday at Whole Foods? For $5 you get to sample 5 wines and small plates. I highly recommend that you check it out.
5. Trader Joe's was out of the nonfat yogurt I normally buy, so I bought the 2% kind. I'm not sure I will be able to go back.

6. How good does this Parmesan Garlic Quinoa look? Served with a side of roasted broccoli. Yum.
7. This video is for all you T-Swift fans or haters. Enjoy.

8. Buzzfeed did it again with this article and this one (make sure you listen to the suggested soundtrack while you view).

9. I have some big news that I can't wait to share next week!

10. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Office Field Trip

On Monday, we took an office field trip to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to scope out a venue. No trip to the Eastern Shore would be complete without eating some crab, so our first stop was The Crab Claw in St. Michaels. You can't beat fresh crab and lots of Old Bay.
After our delicious lunch, we wandered around the town before heading to Osprey Point in Royal Oak. 
If you are looking for a place to hold a small retreat, I highly recommend Osprey Point. It has everything you need, including a gorgeous view. I'm pretty sure we could have spent the entire afternoon sitting on the dock had it not been sweltering. Regardless, it was the perfect way to spend a Monday.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Easy Taco Skillet

From Our Kitchen To Yours
After being gone for the weekend and spending yesterday on the Eastern Shore for work, I wanted something that was quick and easy to make for dinner. Since I had most of the ingredients on hand, I decided to give Sweet Treats and More Simple Turkey Taco Skillet a try. The dish came together in no time and was quite tasty. I'm already looking forward to the leftovers tonight!
Easy Taco Skillet
Recipe adapted from Sweet Treats and More


1/2 lb lean ground turkey
1 heaping tablespoon taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chunky salsa - I used Trader Joe's Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa (my new fav)
1 ear of corn - cut off the cob
1 packet of Trader Joe's Frozen Organic Brown Rice
Mexican cheese
Romaine Lettuce
Toppings of choice: sour cream, gauc, more salsa, tortilla chips
  • Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet until cooked through. Drain if needed.
  • Stir in taco seasoning, water, salsa, and corn and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. While this is simmering, cook the rice according to the package directions. 
  • Add cooked rice to the skillet and stir to combine. Sprinkle with cheese and cover to let the cheese melt.
  • Serve on a bed of lettuce with your favorite Mexican toppings. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Friday Five

1. What I'm Reading:
From Amazon: A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts. It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seven-year-old has a brisk business at her lemonade stand. But the little girl’s pretty yellow dress can’t quite hide the ugly scar on her chest. Her latest customer, a bearded stranger, drains his cup and heads to his car, his mind on a boat he's restoring at a nearby lake. The stranger understands more about the scar than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives. Before it's over, they'll both know there are painful reasons why crickets cry . . . and that miracles lurk around unexpected corners.

2. What I'm Eating:
I've been eating Sweet Treats and More's BBQ Chopped Chicken, Bacon, and Apple Salad for lunch everyday this week. It is a nice change from my usual salad and really filling.

3. What I'm Listening to:
I randomly woke up with this song in my head. 

4. What Recipe I'm Bookmarking:
from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

5. Things I'm Loving:

I don't know why I thought this was so funny!
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Veggie Rice Bowl

From Our Kitchen To Yours
I'm excited to be linking up today with Charlotte from Laws in the Lowcountry to share a recipe! Charlotte is a good friend who moved to Beaufort not too long ago. It was so fun going over to her house for dinner while I was home. You can check out details of that dinner on her blog: pasta recipe, table setting, and dessert. I would highly recommend both the pasta and dessert! Now on to my recipe...

I have a confession to make: I've been sitting on this recipe for months. My mom cleaned out her recipe binder a while ago and sent me a whole bunch of recipes she thought I would enjoy.
I love getting fun things in the mail!
One of the recipes was Cooking Light's Summer Veggie Rice Bowl. I made a huge thing of it and was set for the week. It is a complete meal but you can easily add grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp for more protein.

1 1/3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled to room temperature
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped zucchini
1/2 ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved

  • Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, and toss until well blended. 
  • Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add zucchini; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Add zucchini and remaining 2 tablespoons oil to rice mixture; toss. 
  • Top with shaved Parmesan cheese and serve.

Monday, June 17, 2013

What I Baked on Sunday

Arugula and Goat Cheese Edition

I have been on a huge arugula kick lately, using it in salads and mixing it with pasta. I bought some goat cheese recently and decided to mix the two together. These are my two favorite combinations to date.

Pasta with Goat Cheese, Roasted Broccoli and Arugula
I couldn't decide if I wanted to make Eat Live Run's Roasted Broccoli and Goat Cheese Pasta or Martha Stewart's Lemony Pasta with Goat Cheese so I combined the two recipes. I added in sautéed red onions and subbed arugula for the spinach. The melted goat cheese made a delicious creamy sauce that was very light, especially with the lemon juice and zest. This might be my new go to pasta dish for summer. 

This is the perfect summer dish - very light and filling. I loved how the arugula wilted when mixed with the hot quinoa. I followed the recipe to a t and served it alongside broiled tilapia and sliced tomatoes. I'm already looking forward to having the leftovers tonight.

What's your favorite goat cheese and arugula recipe?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers Day!

And happy early birthday, Daddy-o!
Thanks for always holding my hand and walking with me.
I love you so much!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fun Facts Friday

1. Fun fact: it's National Bourbon Day. I hope you celebrate accordingly.

2. Last night we went to the Congressional Baseball Game and had our picture taken with the Presidents. Night = made.
3. I had to pull everything away from the windows in my office so they could be washed. It rocked my world having everything so close together. Thankfully everything is already back in its place.

4. Ever run into someone you never thought you would see again? I did. The world is small people.

5. After going to the Farmer's Market last weekend in Beaufort, I was really looking forward to going to one this weekend. Turns out the one closest to my house is only open on Sundays during the summer.  I am hoping I can make it by after church.

6. I am probably way behind the times on this but this song just came on Pandora and I am obsessed:
7. I've come to the realization that I am no longer a fan of Nutella. I wasn't super impressed with it on the cake I made for my birthday. Maybe it was too much of a good thing? Who knows. Please still be my friend though.

8. This week has been a great reminder of how many wonderful friends I have both near and far. I can't wait to see what all 24 has in store for me.

9. I had way more thoughts in my head when I started typing this.

10. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What I Baked at Home

One of the things I love most about going home is getting to spend time in the kitchen with my mom. She instilled my love of cooking at an early age. I remember sitting at the counter doing my homework and putting down my pencil to stir a pot or grate some cheese. Last week I took full advantage of being home and made something just about everyday.
My dad and I share a love for frozen cookie dough, so that was the first thing I made when I got home. Don't ask my why/how we started eating frozen cookie dough in the first place but it is our go to dessert. I can't remember the last time I actually baked chocolate chip cookies! 

No trip home would be complete without pimento cheese and cheese biscuits. My dad's birthday is coming up and instead of presents I decided to make some of his favorite things. By Sunday, I think his waistline was ready for me to leave. 

I knew I wanted to make pasta for my family since they have heard me talk about it so much. I carried my pasta maker attachment in my carry-on and made spaghetti noodles which we served with shrimp and a white wine reduction sauce. I can only imagine what the TSA agents thought when they x-rayed my bag!

My kitchen is pretty well stocked but there are certain things that I am missing like loaf pans and cake pans. Fortunately, mom has both. I made Anthony's Cinnamon & Walnut Zucchini Bread which was so  good. I didn't think we would make it through both loaves but we did! On Wednesday, I hung out with the kids I used to nanny for. Both girls were campers at Camp Greystone and wanted to recreate the camp's famous bread. We used this recipe and we all decided it tasted pretty close to the original. 
While I was home, I also had my first baking fail in a long time. I tried making the Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Strawberry Nutella Cake but I couldn't get the cake out of the pan. You are supposed to line the pans with parchment paper but since we didn't have any, I skipped that step. Lesson learned. Thankfully, I cut the recipe in half, so I didn't have to stack a crumbly layer on top. I ended up just serving the cake out of the pan and all my cousins raved about it. 

If only I could spend all my time in the kitchen!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I had the best time at home last week. It has been over a year since I have been home for longer than a night so I took advantage of the extra time by tackling some projects for mom, catching up with friends and family, and baking up a storm in the kitchen. Friday night, we had a small dinner party to celebrate my birthday. It was so fun to have the whole family together plus a few additional people. 
The hydrangeas were gorgeous.
Saturday morning we got up and headed straight to the farmer's market. Mom buys all her produce there and it puts the store bought stuff to shame. I need to take more advantage of them in DC.
Latte made with love.
After a walk, mom and I headed out to see my old horse who we sold my senior year of college. I wasn't planning on riding but his new owner wanted me to, so I hopped on in my workout clothes (thankfully my old trainer wasn't around because she would have killed me). It was just like old times and it made me miss riding and my horse so much.
Saturday night, we celebrated the marriage of Frances and Joe. Both the ceremony and reception were at our family farm, where my cousin got married, my sister had her reception, and my other cousin had her rehearsal dinner. It was fun to be there as a guest with no responsibilities and to see how each event is orchestrated differently.
Congrats Frances and Joe!
Sunday, we had a few visitors stop by before we headed back to Charleston. We celebrated my birthday that night at one of my favorite restaurants 39 Rue de Jean. It was the perfect ending to a perfect week!
ML's instagram bday wish to me.
This was probably taken 22 years ago!
These are just a few glimpses of my week at home. Now I am back in DC where the birthday celebrations are continuing!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Weekend Recap

Now that it is June, we have officially kicked off birthday month and I am on vacation for the next week! Friday night, I flew down to Charleston to spend the weekend with my sister. She picked me up from the airport and had this sweet surprise waiting for me at her house.
We started Saturday with an early birthday present - a facial at the Charleston Place spa.We then tooled around downtown; walking through the farmers market, shopping on King Street, and grabbing a light lunch at Black Bean Company before heading home to polish off the rest of the cupcakes.
Saturday night, I went to an engagement party for two college friends. I loved getting to see some Wofford people that I hadn't seen in two years. We had the best time catching up and enjoying the perfect summer weather. I can't wait for the weddings in the fall.
Today, I caught a ride home with a friend and am looking forward to spending the week in Beaufort.