Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Ren in chair

This is the face of a dog who doesn’t really like to pee in the cold and would rather cuddle upside down in daddy’s chair.

Ren face

This is also the face of a dog that could care less that he isn’t supposed to be in said chair. “Busted! But look how cute I am mom!” – Renly

Winter came to South Carolina this week, whether or not it’s actually here to stay remains to be seen. It has not been abnormal to have the temperature fluctuate from 40-70 from one day to the next this year. For now, I’m happy to finally be able to wear sweaters and boots without sweating…whether or not that attitude will last also remains to be seen.


One undeniable winter positive is the fact that I can now make as many stews, roasts and “hearty” dishes as my little heart desires. One of my first orders of business is this delicious roasted vegetable lasagna.

Finished Lasagna

Last year was the first Christmas I spent with Robert’s family and although it was wonderful, nearly everyone got the stomach bug leading up to the holiday. Since no one felt well enough to cook, his aunt’s sweet best friend brought over some delicious vegetable lasagnas for our Christmas Eve meal. They were warm and cheesy and full of healthy veggies so of course everyone was instantly cured!

Ricotta Egg

Ok, so maybe they weren’t miracle medicinal lasagnas, but they sure were yummy and since I magically avoided the bug, I helped myself to seconds and thirds 🙂

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Savory Fall Hash

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.

Kale and Onions


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.

Apples and Rice

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Creamy Chimi Churri & A Celebrity Encounter

Happy Friday to all! We are completing state wide testing at work this week.… not typically part of my job description but one of my schools is currently short staffed so I am helping out and BOY is it ever stressful! I remember testing at the beginning and end of the school year only when I was this age, but times have changed and our poor kids seem to be testing 5-6 times a year! Helping this week has given me a new appreciation for how trying testing can be from the teachers perspective as well, I think it is harder on them than the students! I think treating myself to a pedicure this afternoon will be the perfect reward after this long week Smile

So remember a few weeks ago when I had Adult Spring Break 2015 (ASB2k15)? Oh how I miss it already in all it’s oat-y, egg-y, smoothie-y breakfast glory? On the final Saturday of my break I drove up to Nashville to retrieve Robert from the airport so that we could attend a wedding that evening. We stayed with our sweet friends Tyler and Meredith who graciously welcomed us into their adorable home. Living at the beach we tend to get a lot of visitors, and I like to think I’m a pretty good hostess but I think Meredith put me to shame. Check out the adorable bedside table set-up in their guest room:


Totally stealing this idea next time I have guests!

Tyler and Meredith were not attending the wedding so the four of us decided to catch up over lunch before it was time to get ready for the wedding. They took us to Burger Up, a trendy restaurant serving you guessed it! Burgers and beer! I have a feeling they chose this restaurant with Robert in mind since cheeseburgers are his absolute favorite. I’m not normally a burger girl but a kale salad didn’t seem like a substantial enough choice for a wedding that was sure to include drinking later that evening, so I went with the mushroom and swiss burger with truffle mayo. Wow. I haven’t yet mastered the art of photographing my food in public when anyone other than Robert is around, so there’s no photo, but I’m pretty sure this is the most delicious burger I’ve ever had in my entire life. EVER. If you are in Nashville I highly recommend this place (and the truffle mayo…nom). Not only was our food delicious, but Burger Up also supplied me with my first ever real life celebrity sighting!


In case you can’t tell who that tall, blurry person is (don’t quit your day job to become a paparazzo Robert) it’s Vince Vaughn!

 Vince Close Up

We were seated right next to the hostess stand at Burger Up and I literally looked up from my delicious lunch to find he and his beautiful wife and friends standing 3 feet from our table, waiting to be seated. I have always wondered how I would react to meeting a celebrity and unfortunately, I now know just how uncool I will play it. I just stared at him with my mouth wide open, completely star struck and unable to even get a hello out…womp womp. He was extremely tall and much thinner than I would have thought, and when he saw us staring awkwardly at him notice him he walked the few feet over to our table and said hello and shook hands with Robert and Tyler. He  seemed very nice and took pictures with anyone who asked while he waited to be seated. Very gracious of him but man, can you imagine being hounded for pictures every time you step out your door, even just to get a burger? No thanks. We chose to play it cool (finally) and sneak our picture from across the restaurant as he was making his way to his seat.

fish salad 2
Mmmm… all the green things

The rest of our stay in Nashville, as well as the wedding we attended was absolutely lovely. We spent all of Sunday in the car and arrived back home semi ready to re-enter the real world. Since the end of ASB2k15 was a little indulgent, Robert and I both wanted to get back on track with lighter, healthier meals this week.  Since I promised to share my creamy chimi churri sauce recipe during Easter I decided to whip up a batch to go with our weekly meals.

 ingredients 2

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Easter Weekend & Artichoke Salsa

I meant to get this post written Sunday/Monday but you know…life. It happens.

Per usual, it’s been hectic around these parts. Next week is my spring break and my job always seems to gear up and get even more crazy busy than usual before a break. I am definitely looking forward to the time off, as I plan to spend it in Tennessee with my family. My mom is actually flying in this weekend so we can attend the funeral of a good friend’s grandmother. Not the best circumstances for a visit, but I am excited to see her and happy to have someone to make the drive home with! Not that Renly isn’t good company, but he tends to sleep a lot in the car and doesn’t really talk back much.


I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! My friend Caite got into town late Thursday night and we enjoyed a breakfast date (my favorite!) Friday morning followed by an afternoon spent in our bathing suits on a dock. It was just warm enough to be laying out and just windy enough not to be too hot, heavenly. We followed up our day in the sun with dinner at home and a late night visit to Hilton Head Ice Cream. Ice Cream is my weakness and if you are ever in HHI I suggest you give this place a try. All their flavors are homemade and chocked full of add-ins. Robert considers himself a cookies and cream connoisseur and he has deemed their Oreo ice cream “the best”. Believe it.

Oreo Cake
The birthday cake of a true Oreo lover…

Robert left us Saturday to head to his aunt’s home in Charleston. I was sad to see him go but a girls night with your best friend is certainly not something that happens every day so I didn’t stay blue for long. We took Renly on a long walk around one of my favorite neighborhoods on the water and then took ourselves shopping. That night we tried out a new restaurant in town that’s been on my to-do list, Poseidon. The food was underwhelming but the drinks were good and it was a fun excuse to get dressed up!

Green Renly
Instead of dying eggs, Renly dyed his head green with a roll in the grass

Caite left early Sunday and I had a few hours to get the house back in order before Robert got home and we headed to a late Easter dinner to celebrate my brother in law’s 40th birthday. The kids had a great time hunting eggs and it was nice to catch up with my family since I had missed them over the weekend. As Caite was leaving Sunday we discovered an Easter surprise on the front porch….

Easter Delivery Easter Delivery 2

Such a thoughtful husband I have, surprising me with wine and chocolate even when he is out of town Smile Love that man.

 Easter Basket 2

Since I knew Caite and I would be indulging this weekend I tried to make our Friday dinner at home a healthy one. I found this delicious looking recipe a few weeks ago on one of my favorite food blogs and was instantly inspired. I am not yet a grill master (summertime goal) so Robert grilled up the chicken while I made the sides, ham wrapped asparagus (the only way I like asparagus, I’ll share the non-recipe soon) and roasted carrots (yep, can’t stop, won’t stop). Grilled chicken is pretty ho hum on its own,  but a topping/sauce can make it sing. In typical indecisive fashion, I couldn’t decide between trying Kristin’s artichoke salsa or making my favorite creamy chimi churri sauce, so I went with both. They don’t call me the condiment queen for nothing! *Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I just gave myself that nickname, like right now as I was typing, but I do really love sauces so lets just go with it.

 Grilled Chicken with Artichoke Salsa

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Roasted Carrot Chip Nachos

Happy Thursday! Or for many of us who have the luxury of Good Friday off work tomorrow, Happy Friday! Aren’t long weekends just the best? My best friend from home is coming into town for the weekend and I couldn’t be more excited! Hilton Head is a pretty fun place to be when the weather is nice (which it’s predicted to be!) and visitors always give me an excuse to get out and about and be a tourist in my own city. It’s easy to take the fun shops, great restaurants and most of all, the BEACH for granted when you live here, so a fun visitor in town is a great reminder for me to appreciate this lovely resort island I call home Smile Can’t wait for you to get here Caite!

Caite & I last June 🙂

Robert and I have had A LOT going on the last few weeks so I have done a lot of batch cooking. This week we’ve had several repeat dinners of salads topped with pulled rotisserie chicken (love these in a pinch) and THIS delicious BBQ chicken chili from one of my favorite food blogs. I highly recommend this recipe as it’s both easy and so tasty in a very unique way. It’s different from any other chili recipe I’ve ever tried and is full of flavor, so if you are a chicken chili chick (hellloooo alliteration) like me, give it a go!

Since I haven’t been making anything especially unique this week, I’m sharing a recipe I made a few weeks back that got the thumbs up from Robert. I have been on a roasted carrot kick for a while now. Roasting is not only one of the easier ways to prepare vegetables (besides boiling…barf) but it also really elevates the flavor. Roasting is by and large my favorite way to eat carrots and has given me a totally new appreciation for the little orange guys. Roasting made my view of carrots go from the sad, raw alternative to pretzels/chips on the dip platter, to basically akin to french fries. Talk about a 180.

Roasted Carrots 2

At first, I was peeling and cutting up the big carrots, then I wised up and realized that although less cost effective, buying the pre-cut veggies was a HUGE time saver. Carrots in particular come in about 6 different shapes, any of which are great to roast, except maybe the shredded ones. I found that a bag of the pre-cut crinkled carrot chips was the perfect amount for Robert and I to share as a side, and also the perfect shape to dunk into yummy dips like homemade ranch or chimi churri, or ketchup if you’re Robert and you get down like that. Eating these carrots as “chips” gave me the bright idea to substitute them for actual chips and prepare some nachos. Robert and I both love Mexican food and typically eat it at least once a week so I was sure this would be a winner, and as usual, I was right Smile

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