Father’s Day BBQ

Hello friends!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! This was probably the best weekend we have had in a few months :) Our families are the best and I love spending time with them.

I am going to bombard you with tons of photos, I hope you are ready for it :)

Ella and her husband :) played a LOT

Cheese :)

:) Lauren :)

My beautiful mommy :)

Lauren and her dad

Diana :) sassy :)

Lauren and Anya.. beauuuutiful :)

And the amazing food

These twice baked potatoes took a LOOOONG time to make. but they were so worth it!

CAKKEEEEE from the Swiss Bakery

I love and miss you very much daddy, I wish that you could have been there to celebrate with us, but I know that you were watching us from above.

I hope everyone had a great fathers day!

Cheers!

What did you and your dad do yesterday/this weekend?

BBQ season

Hello friends!

ITS FRIDAY!!!!! ahh the longest week of my life is finally almost over! I cannot wait for this weekend to start :) We are having a BBQ at our house tomorrow in honor of Father’s Day.  This time of year is always hard for me and my family, but we try and make the best of it.

On the menu tomorrow… Burgers

Twice Baked potatoes that Lauren is making.. yummmmmmmmmmmm

Corn on the cob :) annndddddd

this little guys I found on Pinterest.. Baked Mozz balls!

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It is going to be Epic.. Hurry up Saturday!  Tonight on my way home from work I will be stopping off at Trader Joe’s to get some stuff for homemade pizza… mmmmmmmmmm.. but I can’t decide what to get to put on the pizza.. sooo I need suggestions.. ready Go!

Have a great day!

Cheers!

But seriously.. what should I put on our pizza tonight?

Quinoa Mac & Cheese

Hello friends :)

So last night I made another Pinterest recipe, and it was pretty good.  It wasn’t as cheesy and flavorful as I had hoped it would be, but I think with a few modifications it will be better. Here is the recipe I found on this site.

Quinoa Mac & Cheese

Serving Size: Can serve 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 med. leek white and pale green parts halved and sliced (1 cup)-OR chives are fine too
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato, or red/green pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained (OR you can just use pre-cooked and cut back on the water and cooking time)
  • good pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of seasoning salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of water (or stock)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup soy milk, non-fat milk, or milk of choice
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling- NOTE: (You may find you need more cheese, BUT I use this amount to still keep the dish ‘lighter’ yet very flavorful.)
  • Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping
  • Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions (you get the picture)
Directions
  1. Heat oil in med. saucepan over med. heat. Add leek and tomatoes (or bell peppers-or any veggies you want really); cover and cook 5 mins or until tender. Stir in quinoa and garlic, and cook, uncovered, 3-4 mins, or until grains start to turn opaque.  (They will not fully be cooked yet.)
  2. Add 3 cups water (or stock) and season with salt and the Seasoning Salt (I like Lawry’s or Everyday Seasoning)Cover and reduce heat to med-low and simmer 15-20 mins or more, (depends and also what kind of quinoa you use) or until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 mins.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13×9 inch dish with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese (if you feel you need more cheese, add here.) Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt. (Will seem a little “soupy”, do not worry, it will all mold together.)
  4. Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs, add now.You can also sprinkle a bit more cheese on now if you prefer for topping. Bake 25-35 mins, (or until browned around edges.) 
  5. Now you can toss with many toppings, some ideas: salsa, scallions, sour cream,  and hot sauce!  I serve with a side of steamed broccoli or a salad and a nice slice of good hearty bread.
 Divided into 6 servings:  339 Calories per serving.
So modifications, I really think it needs more cheese, I know it won’t be as healthy, but it needs something.  We put a ton of hot sauce on top after it was done cooking, so good. Actually I think the suggesting toppings would have completed the dish, ie, sour cream, scallions, or salsa.  I think its a clever way to trick kids into eating veggies, you can add some shredded carrots in there (I used broccoli as my veggie of choice). Next time I think I will nix the broccoli and add some carrots, diced tomatoes and sauteed onions.
Going backwards in my day yesterday, I had a “preschool” lunch, chicken nuggets, and french fries from home. It was awesome.
Also yesterday I completed another one of my prints for Patti :). She is going to give it to her dad for Father’s day.
I am so happy with the new “H” I found at UVa. Ah its sooooo good! It is now framed and ready to go!
Sorry this post was sort of all over the place, I am kinda scatter brained today :)
I hope everyone has a great day!
Cheers!

Only Wednesday!?

Hello friends!

I cannot believe it is only Wednesday.. seriously, I feel like this has been the longest week already, and we are only half way through.  I guess it’s always bad when you wake up and think its Thursday.. fail…

Last night I wanted to make another quick meal, so while Erik was on his way home I marinated some chicken in Nando’s sauce

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and sauteed them in a pan while I cooked my newest obsession Trader Joe’s Chimichurri Rice

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mmm mmm mm. The veggies in this are so incredibly fresh, you wouldn’t think it was frozen.  The peas were crisp, unlike most frozen peas.  The Nando’s marinated chicken and chimichurri rice were the perfect combo, or as Erik likes to call this a “do it again meal” :)

Tonight I am trying out another version of Mac & Cheese my friend Rose found on Pinterest…

Quinoa Mac & Cheese!?!>! whaaaaa? I can’t wait!

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If you haven’t noticed I am trying to keep dinners simple and quick this week. Mainly because when I get home I have been obsessed with reading a new book that my sister in law Diana bought for me for my birthday. Delirium

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If you loved the Hunger Games, I highly recommend this series!! Thanks so much Diana :) :)

I hope everyone has a great day!

Cheers!

Do you like reading?– I love it :) My goal is to read 12 books this year.. so far I have read 4… I am one book behind!

Avocado Mac and Cheese

Hello friends!

I am glad you all loved my wreath :) I am so happy with the way it turned out, I might even make another one some day…. maybe…

Soooo I was pinterest-ing yesterday and I came across this amazing recipe for Avocado Mac & Cheese and I HAD to try it…. so I made it last night for dinner.

Stovetop Avocado Mac and Cheese
Recipe from Two Peas and their pod

Yield: Serves 4-6       Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 15 minutes   Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces dry elbow macaroni
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh avocado chunks, for garnish, if desired

Directions:

  1. 1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Salt the water and add in macaroni. Stir and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. 2. While the pasta is cooking, make the avocado sauce by placing the garlic, avocados, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  3. 3. To make the cheese sauce, place butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour to create a paste. Whisk in milk until smooth. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce starts to thicken. Add in Pepper Jack cheese and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy.
  4. 4. Place macaroni in a large bowl. Pour the avocado sauce over the macaroni and stir until well coated. Add the cheese sauce and stir until macaroni is coated and creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm. Garnish with fresh avocado chunks, if desired.

Note-the lime juice keeps the avocado from browning. The mac and cheese is best eaten the first day, but it is still good the second day. The pasta may turn slightly brown, but not bad. If you want a milder flavor, you can use Monterey Jack or White Cheddar Cheese.

It was so good. Next time I think I will add in some shredded chicken to bulk up the meal.

I hope everyone has a great day!

Cheers!

Have you guys tried any new recipes that are worth sharing? Link up!

Pinterest Challenge- Summer Edition

Hello friends!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I wanted to share my Summer Pinterest Challenge with you guys today :)  Erik was in NY at our friend’s bachelor party so I was left to my own crafty devices all weekend. My sister came over each night and slept over with me, we watched movies and talked :) it was fun.  But on Saturday I was determined to make my new wreath.

Sorry my button is so lame, my paint skills aren’t fantastic. Here it is.. it took me about oh I don’t know like 3-4 hours to finish it.

:) Do you love it?! Because I do :)

What did you do this weekend?

I hope everyone has a great day!

Cheers!

Garden Talk

Hello friends!

Thanks for all of your input on my yarn wreath :) I think I am going to make either the blue one or the yellow one, it will be a game-time decision, maybe I will make both, ha.

Last night after I took Ella out for our daily stroll around the neighborhood I made some pesto chicken, green beans, and quinoa for dinner.

ah so good. I could eat that Pesto chicken from Trader Joe’s everyday if I had to, that and the quinoa. mmm mm mm.

I also walked around our yard and took some more pictures of the flowers we have growing back there. I really just love my camera and wanted to take pictures with it :)

I am actually really regretting not having a veggie garden this year :( I could go for some fresh veggies, but currently our veggie garden is overgrown with weeds. Tons and Tons of weeds. I think it would take me an entire weekend to prep the garden in order to get something to grow in there. Maybe I can recruit Luke to come over and help me pull weeds, he has expressed his love for weed pulling (not a joke, the man is crazy).  Knowing me I won’t do anything with this garden until next year.. or maybe the fall.. ah.. I am so indecisive.

Also before I sign off today, I wanted to wish my Twinsie Erin and hubby Brandon a very very very happy wedding anniversary! Married for 4 years today! Love you guys!!!!

I hope everyone has a great day!

Cheers!

Are you crazy like Luke and love to pull weeds?

Ideas for Summer Pinterest Challenge

Hello friends!

Remember back in March when Erin and I started our seasons of pinterest challenge? We made the Lima Bean wreaths

Well recently my lima beans have been falling off so  I need a new wreath, and when I started this post I wasn’t sure if I wanted another wreath, but the more I’ve been Pinteresting, the more and more I want to do this Yarn wreath…I have a LOT of unused yarn I can use for this. I would follow the Tutorial here...

Now I just have to figure out what colors I want to use…

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 I am leaning towards, light blue or yellow.. seems more summer-y.. Thoughts?

I hope everyone has a great day!

Cheers!

Company Picnic

Hello friends :)

I hope everyone had a great Monday! I am FINALLY starting to get over this stupid cold, so naturally I am in a great mood today :) Honestly I haven’t been able to smell anything in over a week, and it is finally starting to come back. I’m stoked.

I mentioned yesterday that on our way back from UVa we went to my company’s picnic. It was awesome to see everyone outside of work and have Erik meet all my work friends.  I didn’t take my camera out until later on in the event, so I don’t have pictures of everyone we hung out with :(

We had a great time, and I am so glad we went!

I hope everyone has a great day!

Cheers!

Do you guys go to your company picnics/events?

UVa Alumni Weekend

Hello friends!

Does anyone else feel like they need a weekend to recover from their weekend? I feel like that is becoming a regular theme around here. This past weekend Erik and I went down to Charlottesville for his alumni weekend.

I will let the pictures do most of the talking.  The weather was beautiful :)

I am obsessed with archways.. OBSESSED!

We drove back Sunday morning and headed straight to my company’s annual picnic.. more on that tomorrow :)

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Cheers!

What did you guys do this weekend!?

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