Every Sunday afternoon, before I make my weekly trek to the grocery store, I ask Robert what he wants to eat that week. And every Sunday afternoon, Robert tells me the same three things: stuffed mushrooms, Salad with fish on top, That stuff in a bowl. 9 times out of 10, I take exactly 0 of those three suggestions. Why? Well for starters, Robert doesn’t really like my stuffed mushrooms. He forgets this, and then when reminded he admits that “yeah, he isn’t really sure why he always suggests them, they are just the first thing that pop into his head.” I burnt both of us out on salads with grilled fish on top last summer, so that is usually out too.
His saving grace, when it comes to meal suggestions, is definitely “that stuff in a bowl”. It is MUCH tastier than my stuffed mushrooms and Robert truly does love it, so it makes a somewhat regular appearance on our dinner table during the cooler months. It has a few too many ingredients to come up with a comprehensive name, so we’ll go with savory fall hash…unless of course you want to just call it “that stuff in a bowl”. Whatever works.
The recipe itself is quite easy, but there is a lot of prep work involved. Chopping, chopping, chopping. You could buy pre-cooked and crumbled sausage, already diced onions and pre-chopped butternut squash and make your life much easier. Or maybe you’re one of those people that finds chopping vegetables cathartic and prefer to do it all yourself. I’m not really into veggie chopping for relaxation but I’ll remain a DIY girl until my local Publix figures out the pre-diced squash bit. Whatever you fancy, the end result really is worth it.
And just like that it’s almost August! Summer, where have you gone? Anyone have any tips for prolonging these next few weeks? If so I’m all ears. Besides being the first week of August, next week is also my last official week of summer break. True to style, we have packed a lot into it already. Robert has an end of the summer party with his tennis buddies on Sunday, my mother and sister are tentatively coming for a few days of girl time Tues-Thurs and then we leave for North Carolina to spend the weekend with my grandparents. On top of all of that (in just the first week!) we also celebrate my birthday and the anniversary of our engagement in August Robert and I got engaged in Las Vegas while on vacation with my family and it was hands down the best few days of my life. Our wedding was absolutely amazing, but getting engaged in Vegas was SO MUCH FUN! I’ll be sure to recap that fabulous trip next.
It probably isn’t traditional to celebrate the anniversary of your engagement, but Robert surprised me last year and I sure hope it becomes a yearly tradition (hint hint). He set his alarm to wake me up after he left for work and I found a sweet card by the bed telling me to get up and get ready because he was on his way home to pick me up for a breakfast date! There aren’t many things I love more than a breakfast date, and the fact that Robert took an hour away from a busy work morning meant the world.
It was such a sweet surprise and a nice low key way to celebrate the best “yes” I’ve ever given.
As summer winds down, I hope everyone is taking advantage of all the yummy produce it has to offer. I guess technically asparagus is a Spring vegetable but whatever, we’re still enjoying it in this neck of the woods. Full disclosure, I used to dislike asparagus. It’s got a pretty distinct flavor, it definitely makes your trips to the bathroom more fragrant and getting a thick, not quite done stalk is quite unfortunate. Luckily, as my taste buds have matured and as I’ve been exposed to fresh, well prepared asparagus, I’ve developed a new appreciation for the pointy green little guys.
Happy Friday! Renly and I just got in from a humid mid-morning walk and are cooling off on the couch, dreaming about smoked salmon spaghetti squash carbonara. Or at least I am….Renly is probably dreaming about chasing all his doggy friends and rolling around in the dirt.
I love Friday afternoons. Everyone is in a good mood, the weekend is just around the corner, what could be better! Robert and I have a few fun weekend plans already in the works including dinner with our friends Ben and Annie (and baby Cooper!) tonight and an early morning 5k with our neighbors Mark and Lindsay. Mark’s company is helping put together a 5k to benefit the families of the 9 victims of the shooting that took place at the AME Church in Charleston last month. Such a horrible, senseless tragedy. I will never understand racism or how people can live with such hatred in their hearts towards entire groups of people they’ve never even met. The race is sure to be HOT, but well worth it to support these beautiful families who reacted to pure hatred with such grace and love. Theirs is the faith I want to have.
Mark and Lindsay are not only our fellow runners, neighbors and good friends, but they also inspired the recipe I am sharing today! Remember when we celebrated their wedding back in March?
Well as a wedding gift, Mark’s sister bought them a CSA box for a year. AWESOME gift idea by the way if you know of a couple who loves to cook. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and typically means that for a reasonable set price, you receive a weekly (or bi-weekly) box filled with local produce. It’s a great way to support local farmers and benefit from fresh healthy produce. Win-win! You never know what types of produce you will receive as it changes weekly based on what is in season and being grown around you. I love this as it encourages you to try new vegetables that you may not have bought at the store. Lindsay has been kind enough to share some of the veggies with Robert and I when she doesn’t think they will be able to finish them all. The produce is always fresh and delicious, and usually significantly smaller than what I see at the grocery store which makes you wonder… did nature really intend spaghetti squash and eggplants to be the size of your head…I’m going to guess no. I’m going to look into signing Robert and I up to receive our own box, or maybe Lindsay and Mark would like to split one once their subscription runs out. If your area offers a CSA box program, check it out!
Last week Lindsay shared several lovely little eggplants, an onion and a few types of squash with us, one of which was a spaghetti squash the PERFECT size for two. After enjoying eggplant rollatini for dinner, I wanted to try something new with the spaghetti squash. My mother had also left a pack of smoked salmon in my fridge from her 4th of July visit. I LOVE smoked salmon and realized I had all the ingredients to incorporate it into a carbonara dish already on hand.
I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! I loved visiting with my parents and we all had a fabulous 4th!
After spending the day roaming around town with my parents on Friday, we grilled out at home for dinner and then took the boat to get ice cream with Robert’s whole family. On Saturday we had a fantastic cookout on his sister’s new porch and watched the annual neighborhood 4th of July golf cart parade. All the kids in the neighborhood decorate their bikes, scooters golf carts and then caravan around the neighborhood and throw out candy while everyone watches from their lawns. This was my first year experiencing it but I thought it was such a cute tradition!
It rained Saturday evening which was kind of a bust and delayed a lot of the fireworks, but we did manage to catch a few and enjoyed our time together nonetheless.
On Sunday my parents and I took a day trip to Savannah to celebrate my dad’s birthday in one of his favorite cities. He used to travel to Savannah often for work so he toured us around the city and then we came home and met Robert for a casual dinner out. Happy 61st Dad!
I am missing my parents already but I am happy to do a bit of detoxing after a weekend full of barbeque, birthday margaritas and red white and blue desserts. Fun, delicious and oh so worth it, but it IS nice to get back on track.
Remember those herb pots my mother was bringing down, aren’t they great looking?
She had my dad make these cute wine cork labels, which I thought were adorable and will probably be replicating in the future.
Happy Friday! Hope everyone is having a wonderful last weekday and has fun (or relaxing!) weekend plans. Lately, Robert and I have had weekends that seemed just as chock full of plans as did our weeks, and between weddings and travel, we have quite a few more busy ones on the horizon. This weekend is completely plan free (so far!) and I’m determined to keep it that way…well almost…we DO have a planned stop by the hospital right after work today. Before you get too worried, this is a HAPPY hospital stop! Remember when I threw this baby shower for our sweet friends Ben and Annie?!?
Well I am happy to announce that their darling baby girl was born yesterday afternoon! I know they will be the BEST parents and Robert and I can not wait to meet sweet baby Cooper later today! I have already let them know that we are on call to babysit for their first date night so we can check out this parenting thing for ourselves
Speaking of babies, I got a call from the opposite of one yesterday, my grandfather! Was that the weirdest segue ever or what? Sorry. Back to that phone call, I love talking to my grandparents and try to call them weekly to catch up. These phone calls typically take place during my commute which my grandma seems fine with but the second my grandpa gets on the phone and finds out I’m driving he ends the conversation as quickly as possible. Always worried about my safety, that one. So sweet. Anyway, I was excited and surprised to hear from him yesterday while I was preparing dinner. Even though I was safely in front of my stove rather than behind the wheel, he kept the conversation brief and let me know that he was only calling to let me know that it was time to dig up my potatoes.
My grandfather has the greenest thumb around and often shares plants and goodies from his garden with me. Last time he came to visit, he brought me a seed potato. To me, said “seed potato” looked exactly like every other small red potato I’ve ever seen in the grocery store, but what do I know. It must have been special because it proceeded to sprout into a lovely green plant….or at least I think it did….i could very well be seeing tall weeds growing in the pot with it, guess I’ll find out tonight when I dig it (them?) up!
This phone call couldn’t have come at a better time as I was literally in the process of marinating a flank steak for tonight’s dinner when the phone rang. By Friday, my fridge is looking a little bare and I was thinking I would probably have to make a trip to the grocery store after work today to find something to accompany our flank steak and broccoli. I mean really, what’s a steak dinner with no starchy side?