lately: our 2nd anniversary!

The hubs and I celebrated our 2nd year anniversary not too long ago! {we got married on October 6th, 2012} 

He planned a wonderful weekend full of camping, hiking and wine tasting – here’s a glimpse into our adventures; I hope you enjoy!

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lately: annapolis!

Labor Day weekend was a weekend full of fun, adventure, and ANNAPOLIS! We were lucky enough to spend time with one of my closest friends – and in true form, it far exceeded any sort of expectations we could have set. From crab cakes to cocktails, water taxis to rickshaws, explorations to excitement, it was a trip for the books.

Friday night was a drive through of the city, touring gorgeous homes and of course…starting the weekend with some seafood!

Saturday saw an early morning exercise session, followed by brunch and exploring. A boat tour {on the  yacht from Wedding Crashers!} was a fabulous 2 hours spent. ‘Twisted History’ was the majority of the evening – think scandalous history lessons told table side at historic bars – it was so neat!

Sunday led us to bottomless mimosas at brunch, followed by a bar hop of some of the coolest spots we could have hoped to experience.

Here’s a peak at some of the shenanigans…enjoy!

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crab dip baked into a brioche roll started us off at dinner Friday night

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gazpacho topped with crab and drizzled with finishing oil and fresh herbs…with a side of amazing blue cheese coleslaw

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a power breakfast omelet after an early Saturday morning workout

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signs at the Boatyard Saturday morning…and $2 mimosas before 10am!

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the hubs and Rick, tour guide and party planner extraordinaire

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sharing a smooch on the yacht Saturday afternoon

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future magazine cover, am i right?

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some of the brunch spread at Blackwall Hitch on Sunday morning

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could not get enough of the decor at Blackwall

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nautical details abound

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specialty cocktails at Level – one of our Sunday bar hop stops

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stopping in for some whisky and bourbon at Dry 85…another Sunday stop

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Dry 85

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Red Red Wine {bar}

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painkillers at PUSSER’S!

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the hubs is making the best face. ever.

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keeping the fun rolling on the yacht!

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1/2 lb. crabcake at Chick & Ruth’s on Sunday morning…so amazingly tasty

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champagne, yacht style!

 

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a view into the kitchen at Chick & Ruth’s…talk about a well-oiled machine!

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how amazing is this view!?

award: the wonderful team readership award

What an honor to be nominated!

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I have been nominated for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award by none other than sweet Linda from La Petite Paniere. What draws me back to her wonderful blog, time and time again, is the colorful and descriptive language. You can immediately recognize her passion for being in the kitchen; truly a beautiful thing!

I am so grateful to her for the nomination, and wish to pass along the same pleasure to the following blogs! Be sure to check them out!

Butter Basil & Breadcrumbs

Sweet Caroline’s Cooking

A Whisk and A Spoon

Beery & Whisky Brothers

Cottage Grove House

Clean Eating Chelsey

Chase n Chance Ranch

Cooking Diary by Shruti

Detox Mama

Food to Glow

Hello to Fit

News Anchor to Homemaker

Shivaay Delights

Spontaneous Tomato

If you choose to participate, you must: Include an image of the award {feel free to use the one above}, mention the person who nominated you, and nominate at least 14 other bloggers for this award.

Congrats to all my fellow nominees!

& a big thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far on my journey of blogging. It’s been a pleasure to connect with so many great people, and your constant encouragement, comments, and thoughts mean the world to me. 

lately: memorial day weekend

The hubs and I spent a lovely weekend camping for the long Memorial Day weekend. Blessed with beautiful weather, a gorgeous campsite, and one-on-one time together, it was a great way to reconnect and get ourselves refreshed for the whirlwind of trips that the upcoming summer holds. Friday evening was spent lounging at the site, Saturday was full of nature hikes and sunbathing, followed by a cozy evening by the campfire…magical all around. Here’s a look into how our time was spent – xoxo.

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lately: charleston

The hubs and I were lucky enough to spend a long weekend with my youngest sister not too long ago. A weekend full of fun and fabulous adventures, relaxing time on the beach, wonderful food…and the best part, sissy time. It never ceases to amaze me how the bond between my sisters and myself continues to grow, and I cannot be more thankful for that.

Here are some snippets of our weekend adventures – enjoy!

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< 3 you Katie!

liebster award

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The Breakfast Drama Queen commented on my blog to let me know that I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award. If you’d never heard of this before, according to Skinny Muffin:

This award is an award to spread blog love and draw attention to blogs with few followers

Needless to say, I was very touched when I saw this. What makes it even more fun is that I get to answer some questions to let you all know a little bit more random & interesting things about me. I’ll be passing this on, along with some new questions, for blogs that I will nominate – yay!

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

  1. What is your favorite movie?…this one is tough for me! ‘The Little Mermaid’ will forever have a special place in my heart, as it was the first movie  I saw as a young girl with my dad. I am also a huge fan of most comedies (Bridesmaids, etc)…and I am a huge sucker for Moulin Rouge. I definitely don’t discriminate!
  2. What is your biggest fear?…somewhat cliche, but the fear of someone close to me being hurt or injured, or worse, is what scares me the most.
  3. What food would you request as your last meal?…anything my mom cooks, hands down. Homemade pizza, her chicken casserole, or chicken divan come right to mind. Dessert would be her apple pie with walnut streusel.
  4. What is one cooking utensil you have always wanted but have never bought?…oh man, there are numerous things that come to mind. As simple as it sounds, I am dying for a French-style rolling pin. I’d also love a nice set of pie weights, a pasta roller…you name it, I’m sure I would love to have it :)
  5. Coffee or tea? Coffee!
  6. What do you do in your free time?…aside from loving to spend time with my husband (whether it’s hiking, camping, walking our sweet Lab), I love to work out, do yoga, read, and enjoy arts and crafts.
  7. What is your favorite thing to cook?…anything that I can get my hands on. I often times find that the more involved a recipe is, the more I love it. Cooking for me has always been therapeutic, so there really isn’t anything I don’t like cooking.
  8. What is your dream car?…Range Rover, or a BMW.
  9. What was the last dream you had that you can remember?…it was about work. I find that I often have a hard time leaving that at the office!
  10. If calories didn’t exist for a day, what would you eat?…ice cream, cheese and crackers, Thai food…probably a funky salad of sorts. I really don’t discriminate and I love all types of food. Everything in moderation, after all :)

Now for the random facts about me:

  • What is your favorite meal of the day?…I love dinner, because I get to enjoy it at home with my husband.
  • If you won $150 million in the lottery, what would be the first thing that you would buy?…a new house with an amazing kitchen (that I would design, as that is what I do for a living – I am a kitchen & bath designer), a beautiful yard for Lane to play in, and a really fun garage with lots of gadgets for my husband to have fun with (he’s an engineer). & plenty of room for our future family.
  • Would you consider yourself a materialistic person?…I certainly enjoy having nice things, but at the end of the day it’s the memories I create with friends and family that mean the most.
  • Pasta, rice or quinoa?…toss up! I love them all.
  • What’s your favorite country in the world? Or is that question too hard?…I am the proud daughter of a US Marine (Semper Fi!) so I have a lot of American pride. I am dying to travel the world, though!
  • If you could be eating anything right now, what would you have?…an ice cream treat from a local ice cream shop down the road from our house.
  • What’s your favorite holiday?…I love Christmas! I have always enjoyed buying gifts for people, and the meaning behind the holiday is important to me.
  • How often do you watch TV?…probably too much, honestly. But the majority of the time it is Food Channel, or I have it on for background noise (it’s on at the moment!).
  • What’s your favorite cookie flavor?…oatmeal chocolate chip, all the way!
  • Why did you start your blog?…to me, it’s like having a scrapbook, a way to keep track of all the delicious (and sometimes fails!) that come out of my kitchen. Cooking has always been a huge passion of mine, and spreading love with food and sharing that with people is one of my biggest joys. By starting my blog, I am able to share stories of what food means to me, what it represents to my family, and helping people develop an appreciation for it as well!

To continue spreading the Liebster love, here are my questions for you! I would like to nominate the following blogs:

Cooking Diary by Shruti,shannaward, Crayons and Croissants,The Healthy Apple, and Coffee Cake and Cardio!

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
  2. If you could only watch one tv show for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  3. What is your favorite meal to cook?
  4. Is there any ingredient that intimidates you? How do you plan to overcome it?
  5. If you could cook with any person, who would it be any why?
  6. What is your favorite book?
  7. Have you ever been out of the country?
  8. What is your favorite color?
  9. How do you like to spend your free time?
  10. Purses or shoes – which do you like better? 

I do hope you write back, and continue to spread the love! Have a fabulous Tuesday, and thanks for stopping by! xo

roasted spaghetti squash

I don’t know about you all, but I am a serious veggie freak. I know that if I absolutely had to, I could give up meat and be totally okay with it. #seriously.

I can’t remember the first time I read about spaghetti squash, but I can tell you for a fact that it was on one of the many food blogs that I read. Billed as the “new” alternative to pasta, I knew I just had to try it out. And boy oh boy, am I glad that I did! That very day I distinctly remember hopping into my car, driving down the street to the grocery store, and picking one up. Plans were formulating in my foodie brain, and I couldn’t be more excited.

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The thing that really excited me about trying out this new ingredient was the health benefits. As you all know, I am a huge fan of healthy cooking and eating. By all means, I love a good indulgent meal, but if I have the opportunity to get a few extra nutrients and health benefits in my meals (all without sacrificing flavor, of course!) I am all about it. In a direct comparison of spaghetti squash(SS) to pasta(P) (1 cup of each), you’ll come across the following:

-31 calories (SS) vs 371 calories (P)

-7 grams of carbohydrates (SS) vs 75 grams of carbohydrates (P)

-.6 grams of fat (SS) vs 1.5 grams of fat (P)

-120 IU of vitamin A and 2.1 mg of vitamin C (SS) vs zero of each (P)

The numbers speak for themselves. Squash, for the win. But! – moving on.

After preheating my oven to 400 degrees, I set to work cutting this gourd in half. I am well versed and confident in my knife skills, but I will say this – cutting large gourds always, always makes me nervous! I’ve read tips about heating up squash in the microwave to slightly soften the skin, but I’ve found that taking my time and making small incisions around the long sides of the gourd works just as well. Make sure that you are very careful when doing this! And remember, sharp knives are safe knives!

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Once I successfully cut it in half, long ways from top to bottom, I scooped out the interior seed pack. Side note: these are great roasted! Simply clean them off, spread out on a greased sheet pan and season with salt/pepper, herbs, or cinnamon sugar – whatever strikes your fancy! Bake at 275 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until seeds start to pop. Remove from the oven and cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 

Place the squash halves, flesh sides up, on a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle each half with olive oil, and sprinkle well with salt and pepper. Depending on the side of the squash, this can take anywhere from 60-70 minutes. I prefer to cook them on the slightly “al dente” side, especially if I’ll be using them in a casserole. Overcooked squash is just like overcooked pasta – mealy and unappetizing.

Once removed from the oven, allow the squash to cool completely. Next up, the fun part! In order to create strands of “spaghetti” you’ll use a fork to gently rake out the strands of squash. I like to do this right on the foil that I cooked the squash on. Why dirty another pan, right? Once all is shredded, transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge. I’ve found that this will typically keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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If you’re going to use this in a casserole, I definitely recommend preparing this squash ahead of time. It requires minimal effort, and if you have a low-key evening planned, might as well roast a squash, right? And don’t think that this is only good for casseroles! You can use in a stir fry, subbed into traditional spaghetti and meatballs…the possibilities are endless. Try it on top of my Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter – it’s fabulous. I’m seeing a few new plans formulating in my head…but y’all will just have to come back and find out what’s next!

Bon appetit!