28 May 2012

Happy Memorial Day!


 Instead of Menu Monday, here are a few of my favorite Memorial Day {or any day!} cook-out recipes:

What are some of your favorites?

25 May 2012

Friday Favorites

In honor of Memorial Day weekend, I'm leaving you with my two favorite "patriotic" recipes: Ina Garten's Flag Cake and Southern Living's Memorial Day Cupcakes {always with the sprinkles, never with the jelly beans.}

They're basically the same recipe, just in different incarnations.  I highly recommend both.

Our Memorial Days almost always involve a pool party and lacrosse, but this year we'll be celebrating the wedding of some sweet friends.  What are your plans this holiday weekend?

23 May 2012

Kitchen Finds

I am seriously lacking in inspiration today, so I thought I'd take a little stroll through my Amazon cart to see what goodies are waiting for me to pull the trigger.  Not surprisingly, most of them are kitchen-related.  At the top of my list:

Despite my love of cheesecake and all of the cooking and baking that I do, I do not own a springform pan. This must be remedied.

Because making smoothies in a food processor is surprisingly difficult. 

Both of my wood cutting boards are warped and showing their age.  Proteak makes the Rolls-Royce of cutting boards.   

All of the above earned Highly Recommended status from Cook's Illustrated and, to me, that means the kitchen gods want me to buy them. 

Martha's American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation's Most Treasured Dishes, from Coast to Coast I just adore Martha and I think this cookbook would be super handy to have for summer celebrations {Memorial Day, 4th of July, cook-outs, etc}.  This would make a fantastic hostess gift if you're a guest at a casual summer soiree.

What do you think?  Do you own any of these items?  Would you recommend different ones?  What's at the top of your Amazon wishlist?

22 May 2012

Bathing Cutie

Just ordered this sweet little number from J.Crew for some upcoming trips to the water.  Did you know that all J.Crew swim sale is free shipping right now?  Here are some others I've got my eye on:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

 Which one is your favorite?

21 May 2012

Menu Monday

We had lots of yummy meals last week, plus a chocolate treat.

This was the perfect meal for the rainy weather we had last week.  The soup tasted like my grandmother's vegetable soup and the sandwich really was one of the best grilled cheeses I've had.  I made the full recipe of soup and we had lots leftover for lunches.

Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms {Real Simple October 2009}
Quick and easy to make with minimal clean-up is always a winner in my book.  Plus it was healthy {less than 300 calories per serving!} and tasty.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake {Smitten Kitchen}
Just make this.  It's incredible and took maybe 10 minutes to whip together.  M ate approximately 80% of the cake while I was gone this weekend.  So I guess I'll just have to make another one...

This was our wonderful, summery dinner from last night.  I didn't really use recipes per se.  I just referenced recipes I like and went from there.  We split a New York strip steak, cooked according to Ina.  I roasted 1.5 pints of grape tomatoes, also cooked according to Ina.  The avocado is just sliced and tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  And I sliced an Italian bread loaf, drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baked at 400 degrees for 7 minutes.  So, so good.

I'm linking up with Rachel at In No Simple Language again.

Bon appetit!

18 May 2012

Friday Favorites

I'm not the craftiest of gals, but I saw this fabulous wreath on Pinterest and realized that even I can make this.  Foam wreath form + lots of American flag toothpicks. Done and done.

I picked up these Duchess of Perfection lookalikes for $24.99 from C. Wonder! They're offering 50% off their sale selection with the promo code 50MORE.  
I'm looking forward to Sunday brunch with my parents this weekend at the Millstone Tea Room, one of my family's favorite restaurants. It's one of those places that you would drive by without a second glance, not realizing you've passed by a top notch, critically acclaimed restaurant. Which is just fine by me...I like feeling like I'm on the knowing side of a really great secret.
I just deposited a $50 check from Ebates.  Are you using it?  I can't think of any good reason why you wouldn't be.  You get paid to shop.  And joining is free!

So thankful that our sweet boy is OK! I found a scary lump on one of his hind legs and, of course, assumed the worst.  A needle biopsy determined that it was a relatively harmless cyst and that he is still a healthy dude.  I am one relieved dog mommy!

17 May 2012

Bedroom Inspiration

While perusing my latest blog crush, I came across pictures of the Seaside B&B {formerly the Inn by the Sea, Vera Bradley}.  This particular room got me very excited because it is the perfect inspiration for our master bedroom!

It's been almost a year since we moved, but since I moved less than 2 months before our wedding, I didn't get around to deciding on a "look" for our bedroom until January.  I thought I had it all planned out and then I found this gorgeous bedding.  I love our blue-and-white bedding, but it threw all of my decor plans for a loop and I've been wondering aimlessly ever since.  

The wallpaper in this room is so similar to the reverse side of our comforter.  I'm thinking some drapes and a boudoir pillow in yellow toile would be a great accent, and eventually {if we can make the space} a club chair and ottoman covered in that fabulous blue check that upholsters the bed and bedskirt.

The toile used here is Braemore Garden Toile in Yellow.  I like it, but I don't love it.  

Unfortunately the toile that I love is Thibaut La Fontaine, which is French for "not in my budget". 

Add in a series of framed botanical prints above the bed and I think we've got ourselves a bedroom!

 What do you think?

16 May 2012

Summer Sandals

1 // 2

At the beginning of the spring {OK, who am I kidding? It was more like in the bleak ickiness of February} I made a list of the wardrobe items I needed for this spring and summer.  I find that making a list keeps me from making an impulse purchase and ending up with yet another navy blue cardigan and no work pants.

On the list were new gladiator sandals.  My gold J.Crew ones from my last year of college finally bit the dust last year and I thought some tan-colored ones would be a nice addition to my shoe closet.

I found a coupon on the Target website for buy one pair of shoes, get one 50% off.  So I got both of the above shoes for less than $27!

15 May 2012

Crab Boil Party

Today you can find me guest posting for Kate over at Nautical by Nature.  Kate was sweet enough to guest post for me while I was away for our wedding, so I'm returning the favor.  The above picture is a sneak peek from my post.  Hop on over and check it out!

14 May 2012

Menu Monday

Remember when I told you how when I make a new discovery, I get a tab bit obsessed?  Yeah, I discovered Jenny's fabulous blog, Everyday Occasions, last week and it's safe to say I'm obsessed.  Two of the three recipes from last week's menu were Jenny's recipes, thus confirming Everyday Occasions' status as my new blog crush.

I loved this a little too much.  As in, I may have hoarded the leftovers and refused to share any with my husband. And I am not sorry.  

I should preface this by saying I don't like chicken pot pie.  Or at least I thought I didn't.
This was delicious.  We've had some icky, rainy weather here lately and this was the perfect, cozy dinner to warm the soul.  We each had one for dinner, and then we ate the other two for lunch the next day.  They reheated beautifully.

 Mediterranean Pizza {Curly in the City}
 I forgot to take a picture of mine.
 I loved the idea of this, but it was way too salty for me.  And I'm a girl who loves salt.  I think I could handle it with the feta OR the olives, but not both.  I made it again for lunch the next day just using tomato, cucumber, and Italian seasoning and it was yummy and refreshing.

OK, so this isn't a meal I made, but I needed to share it with you anyways.  We drove to Tennessee and back this weekend for the wedding of one of our groomsmen. On Friday night, we stopped for dinner at Due South BBQ.  It was groan-inducing. PERFECT fried green tomatoes, delicious pulled pork with all sorts of different sauces to choose from, and seriously decadent mac and cheese. I love eating at local places and this did not disappoint.  If you're ever headed south on I-81 through Virginia, it's definitely worth a stop!