Date Night at Home: Perfect Steamed Crab legs

Happy Hump Day! This is the view I awoke to on this glorious Wednesday…

 Human Dog 2

Renly officially thinks he is a human. He usually falls asleep right between us with his head on the pillow like a real person, but this is his typical relaxing posture. Need further proof that he thinks he is a person? This is how he rides in the boat….

 Human Dog

Goodness I love that anthropomorphic furball.

In case it isn’t obvious, I  have certainly been spending a lot of quality time with Renly this summer, but I’ve made sure to enjoy a few special date nights with the other most important man in my life… you know, the one that is actually a human Winking smile  When Robert and I were completing our pre-marriage counseling, our pastor stressed the importance of “date night” repeatedly. Now that we have been married for a year, I see just how right he was. Life gets busy and its crucial to make time to reconnect with your spouse. Dinner is an important time for me to spend with Robert each day, not only because I love preparing our meals, but also because that’s sometimes the only time during the week that we truly get to sit down and talk. Every few weeks, it’s nice to have a date night and make that dinner time together extra special. Robert and I both enjoy treating ourselves to a meal out, but sometimes I’ll splurge at the grocery store so we can enjoy a date night at home. Crab Legs are not only one of my favorite date night splurges but they also scream SUMMER.

 Crab Legs

The first time I ever remember eating crab legs was on vacation with my family at the beach when I was little. My younger sister Haley was only a toddler at the time and she must have enjoyed the crab legs even more than we realized. As we were leaving the restaurant, one of the restaurants wooden crab mallets fell out of her pants right in front of the hostess stand! She cried and explained to my parents that she had wanted to take it home as a souvenir, which the restaurant was kind enough to let her do (maybe because it had already been in her pants). She kept the mallet in her room for years and we still laugh about it to this day.

      The cutest thief you’ve ever seen

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A “Different” Date Night & Tips From a Chef

Happy Thanksgiving! I woke up this morning thankful for the smell of breakfast casserole wafting upstairs and even more so to have my husband in Chattanooga finally! Poor Robert had 3 or 4 flight delays to deal with yesterday before he finally made it to Tennessee. We held dinner for him so we were equally as hungry as we were happy to see him when he finally arrived around 9:00 pm. Renly most of all Smile One of the best parts of having a dog has got to be how excited they are to see you after an absence. In Renly’s case an absence can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 weeks. Sometimes I get the full “You’re home!I love you!Pet me!Pick me up!please please please” jumping barrage after a trip to the mailbox. Sweet (simple) boy.


Despite Renly’s doggy daddy withdrawals, we have had a great few days at home. Renly has had a ball playing with my parents dogs, and running laps around their huge yard. I have enjoyed catching up with friends over lunch, eating cheap tacos at my favorite local Mexican restaurant, doing a little shopping and spending time with my sweet grandparents.  I also got to spend most of Tuesday with my mama who treated me to a great mother-daughter date night. Last year my sister bought my mom and dad a gift certificate to Mia Cucina, a gourmet kitchen retail store who also hosts weekly cooking classes. As so often happens with gift certificates, my parents didn’t use it right away and therefore promptly forgot about it. When it was recently discovered (and about to expire!) my mom signed us up for Tuesday’s class. Classes are offered nightly, each with a different theme. Our class was titled “Recipes From Restaurants We Love” and consisted of four courses, each from a different local restaurant.

Corn Chowder 2
Poblano Corn Chowder


Spare Ribs and Shrimp and Grits
Molasses Braised Beef Short Ribs and Shrimp and Jack Cheese Grits with Tomato Ragout


Lava Cake
Dark Chocolate Lava Cake


Classes are BYOB and are either “hands on” or “demonstration”. In a hands on class, you actually make your own meal under instruction from a chef. A demonstration class, which is what ours was, consists more of watching and learning. I think a hands on class would be a blast but the demonstration was a lot of fun. We sat around the kitchen and sipped wine and beer while watching our chef, Hannah, prepare the meal. Hannah talked through each step and answered questions and offered helpful cooking tips along the way. Two assistants served each course to the crowd as it was ready.  The food was delicious and plentiful, one round was enough to have me feeling stuffed but seconds of each course were offered to those with larger appetites. You are also provided with a copy of each recipe and pens before the class begins so you can take notes and later prepare the dishes at home. I noticed that everyone dutifully took notes at the beginning of the class but after a few courses (and glasses of wine) the eating took center stage and the note taking became less diligent Smile Continue reading