Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Falling on Magnolias

Every once in awhile, we get to enjoy a "snow day" down South.  School closed early yesterday and by nightfall, this is what our yard had transformed into:
The kiddos squealed with delight to see how much snow had accumulated before bed.
In the morning, we went out to explore....
we searched for friends......
and were thrilled when a sweet neighbor let us borrow a sled.
(that we quickly wiped out on - fortunately to squeals of delight and not cries)
It was all fun and games until the wee one got his hands wet
(nice socks huh??  Left his gloves at school - grrr!)
So we settled in for some hot chocolate
out of our Polar Express mugs
and then had a Pirate Picnic while watching Return to Neverland.
It has been a fun day but my thoughts are with my friends in Atlanta.  My home town has endured some pretty horrific traffic and reports of folks who left work at 1pm yesterday are JUST NOW getting home!  A friend took this picture at 1:30 AM after being stuck behind this bus for 12 hours and not moving an inch!!!  I am grateful for businesses that stayed open to allow shelter for stranded motorists. 
Stay warm and safe!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday Supper - Strip Steak with Cornmeal Onion Rings and Spinach, Pesto & Pea Salad

I think this picture speaks for itself..........

Sunday Supper was in honor of the hubby who spent his birthday last week at a National Sales Conference in Connecticut.  He has been eyeing the steak and onion rings recipe from Barefoot Contessa at Home, which worked out great since we had two strip steaks in the freezer.  The recipe calls for rib eye - but hey - use what you have. Are you starting to realize why I keep getting these cookbooks for presents???  He's a great taste tester and I am starting to think he is really buying them for himself.

I paired it with the Spinach, Pesto and Pea salad also featured in the cookbook.  It was amazing and my favorite part of the meal, which is saying a lot because it is hard to top steak and onion rings.  You toast up some pine nuts and mix it with spinach, peas, parmesan cheese and pepper.  To.Die.For.Yummsie.

You can get most of these recipes from Food Network. 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Soup and Sandwiches

We are continuing to eat our way through my new Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook this weekend.  The hubs got home last night from a week in Connecticut.  With a  5pm flight and an hour drive home, I knew he would want to unwind a bit before sitting down.  And since it was a whopping 20 degrees when he arrived, I thought a yummy soup simmering on the stove would be the perfect way to welcome him home.

We opted for this Mexican Soup.  The flavors were amazing but I will probably use a little less chicken stock, more chicken and maybe even add a drained can of black beans and a drained can of mexicorn next time - just to up the texture.  

Then, this afternoon we enjoyed this super yummy goat cheese and red pepper sandwich.  I pulled the ultimate "Lee" move and didn't read the recipe when making the shopping list.  This recipe calls for the peppers to soak in the marinade for a few hours - so I altered it a bit.  I also don't like red onion on my sandwiches so here's how I tweaked the recipe:

I poured the Balsamic Vinegar in a bowl with some pepper, garlic powder and chopped basil.  I then sautéed some spinach to add to the sandwich.

Prep Station
Grilled Ciabatta Bread on my Grill Pan
Balsamic Spread
The wilted spinach and roasted red peppers helped to melt the goat cheese.
Try these recipes today - so yummy!

Friday, January 24, 2014

5 on Friday

Links I Love 
I am stealing this idea from Katie at The Perks and the bloggers below - enjoy!
Calling all Pre-School teachers!!!!  How adorable is this idea for a classroom?  You can get the print from HKL Designs and then just get your kiddos thumb print and write their names below.  Love it.
Do you follow Classy Girls Wear Pearls?  You should.  I stumbled across her on Pinterest last week as I was researching a vacation for me and the hubs 10th wedding anniversary. I only want everything in her closet.....oh, and I'll take her closet too!  Anyhoo - this was posted on her site yesterday and after a full week of work (Yes - I worked on Monday), the hubs being gone all week, kids crawling over my office, oh - and the fact that it is currently 52 degrees in my house (need a new heater) - I need this installed.  STAT!
Speaking of Pinterest - my latest obsession is Freezer Meals to get me through the work week. has great ideas. 
How hysterical is this?  I know I can get my boys to help me plant my garden if I let them use this!
With that - happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Festival of Brian

Today is my sweet husband's birthday.  And sadly, he is in New York for work all week.  So we've stretched his birthday out into what I have jokingly been referring to as "The Festival of Brian".  We celebrated last weekend, we will celebrate this weekend and we will enjoy a get away here once it warms up a tad.  And for the record, I am officially an idiot.  Our first get away without children in over two years and I take him fishing?!?!?!  Way to think it through...............oh well.  It WILL be fun. 

My Birthday Boy doing what he loves best
My boys love and want to be just like their Daddy

then again, he's a wonderful role model
Eat.Your.Heart.Out.Ladies - they are mine.
I am one lucky, blessed and happy girl.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Quick and Easy Chicken and Biscuits

I love, love, love chicken and biscuits.  Barefoot Contessa Family Style offers an awesome version that is my go to "Take Them A Meal" dish, pot luck dish or company's coming and I want a comforting meal that says "welcome- we're so glad you're here"!  BUT what in the world am I do when I want some comfort food on a Monday???  Enter this quick and easy recipe courtesy of Southern Living.

All you need is two cups of cooked chopped chicken, heat in a saucepan with a can of cream of chicken soup, half a cup of milk and a 10 ounce package of frozen veggies.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes while you are baking off some Pillsbury biscuits and season to taste with salt and pepper.  VOILA - Chicken and Biscuits on a workday - hooray!!!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken/ Egg Salad with Smoked Salmon Tartines

We enjoyed Sunday Supper on a Saturday because Brian's mother (Grammie) had us over for dinner last night.  Today is my super sweet brother-in-law's birthday and Wednesday is the hubby's birthday so who can blame a mama for wanting to fuss over her boys???  

I am currently cooking through my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks because I am just slightly obsessed with her and have three new cookbooks of hers that I need to perfect.  Hubby got me  Barefoot Contessa At Home  for Christmas and I love it because it offers some light and refreshing meals (which is good since I am trying to work off the gluttony that was Christmas/New Year's).

On Saturday night, we enjoyed her goat cheese and sun dried tomato stuffed chicken. I am not wild for sun dried tomatoes so I substituted roasted red peppers. Wow!  Just wow!  I paired it with creamy parmesan rosemary polenta and parmesan roasted cauliflower from the same cookbook.  They are all keepers!

She has a lot of really good simple salads and sandwich recipes in this book that will come in handy on the weekends.  Since we were going to Grammie's for dinner last night, I wanted a light yet fulfilling lunch and her Egg Salad with Smoked Salmon Tartines were the ticket.  I used a multigrain flatbread and it was out of this world.  I served the hubby like a normal sandwich but made the tartines for myself and gobbled those suckers down like a Hoover on high. 

We don't eat this good during the week so I can't wait to try the next few recipes this weekend!
Stay tuned!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Wee One is Three

My little one is growing so fast!  He is starting to look more like a little boy and less like a toddler, which is fun and heartbreaking at the same time.

We celebrated Spencer's third birthday between Christmas and New Year's.  Having gone back and forth (and back and forth again) on whether to host a party, we decided to hold off until next year for his first big fete.  And when I say, "we decided", I mean "I pouted for three whole days" - but in the end, I did agree with the hubs that 4 would be a good age for Spencer to start parties. We had so much going on and still have a lot going on that we didn't want to just throw something together.  I about knocked the hubby socks off when I said, "you're right"......that happens almost never in our house.  But we did fuss over him all day.  Here's a snippet of our fun.

Birthday Boy Breakfast
He had a special seat of honor at the "Big People Table"
I let the Birthday Boy(s) pick a dinner of their choice. 
With all my yummy meals, Spencer wanted hot dogs and baked beans.
Well, what the Birthday Boy wants, the Birthday Boy gets!!!

He was very excited to see what everyone sent him......
.....but was a little too slow for Big Brother's liking.

We were all excited about our new Friday Family Fun Night board game

couldn't wait to play Who Shook Hook?

Serious determination......

Happy Birthday, sweet boy!




Monday, January 13, 2014

Sunday Supper - Mussels in White Wine Sauce

Woo wee!  I thought that when the holidays were over I would be able to sit back and relax.  WRONG!  2014 has started out with a bang and I don't even want to tell  you exactly how much eye concealer I have on this morning to cover the hideous bags under my eyes.  But - so far - 2014 has been a good year.

Starting week three of the year and work is off to a great start (though very, very, VERY busy), I have scratched three items off of my 21 item TO DO list, the household budget is in place and vacations for the year are booked.  Not bad for a week and half's worth of work!

So now - back to my main New Year's Resolution - to cook through my cookbooks.  Sunday supper last night was Mussels in Wine Sauce. This was in honor of my father who would have turned 71 last Monday.  Daddy loved mussel's.  We would go to Carabba's and order the big appetizer portion for our meal, gobble those suckers up and soak the bread in the sauce.  SO GOOD and I enjoyed every bite in honor of him last night.

This version comes from Barefoot in Paris (y'all know I love Ina Garten).  You can find the recipe here.  I did opt to serve it on a bed of linguini.  Deliciousness........
Look at that yummy sauce! 
It is so good over linguini and perfect to mop up with sourdough bread.

Have a great week!