Friday, April 30, 2010

Operator error

Okay, so my mom makes the most amazing homemade hot fudge sauce for hot fudge sundaes. If you've been around my parents for any extended period of time, you've surely had it at least one --- it is a frequently requested dessert.

So many, many months back, I decided to make it myself. I pulled out her recipe, got it going... noticed it looked a little gritty, but figured it would even itself out - which it never did. I was so mad - I figured I just didn't boil the milk and sugar together long enough to get it to incorporate.

Flash forward to 2 weeks ago, my brother, sis-in-law and some friends came over for dinner. Mike had decided to make mom's hot fudge for the occasion - got everything together - and the same thing happened to him. I was like "whew - maybe I'm not the only idiot that can't make this stuff." We had
done everything right! I thought that maybe my dark Calphalon saucepan (which I had also used the time prior) just gets too hot too quickly. Luckily I had another can of sweetened condensed milk and package of unsweet chocolate - so we tried again in a different pan.

Same result.

Two pots of hot fudge down the trash. One big glob of gritty chocolate.

We called my mom and yelled at her. "You probably wrote the recipe down wrong on purpose so no one makes it as good as you do! How rude!" She insisted that the recipe was correct.

The next night at dinner, my sister said "I think I know what you a
ll did wrong. Did you use sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk?"

Ummm, yeah. We totally did. All three times I've tried (unsuccessfully) to make it. I was for sure that it was written down wrong in my mom's recipe book she gave us... but sure 'nuff, it says evaporated milk. And I know the difference between to two! They are just so easy to mix up when you buy 'em.

So this:

Not the same as this:
So tonight I'm trying one more time. We're having a group of fri
ends over for dessert and coffee (answer: yes, we've entertained in our house every weekend since moving in) - and I'm trying the hot fudge one more time. If this doesn't work - I give up.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Foyer

Our little foyer still has some work to be done. But here's what we have so far...

We bought this little table and mirror from a local antique store.
I love this mirror - it used to be a picture frame!
Sorry for the shadow - I took it at a different time of day.

And I like to keep Scripture verses around the house. And this is one of my favorites - and so appropriate for an entry into our home.
And notice my Archipelago candle. Best candles in the world. If you don't have any, go buy some now. I need to get at least a little buffet lamp to put on this table. Y'all keep an eye out for me and send me note if you find one you think I'd like!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Avocado soup review

So last night I whipped up some homemade avocado soup. My only change? I added a bunch of fresh lime juice and lime zest in with the soup. Avocado+cilantro+lime are one of the holy trinities of cooking. You can't have just two of these ingredients and not the third. It's sacrilegious.

Oh, the soup? It was pretty. And tasty. And pretty tasty.


I love eating bright green things. (Also: say hi to my pretty roses in the background - straight out of our yard! Our hot pink knockouts are doing fabulously!)

Even Chad really liked it - which I was concerned about because passing off a meatless soup as dinner is no easy feat. I added a little cheddar (fresh grated - not that awful store-bought shredded) on top though, which tends to pacify him.


One thing of note: as delicious as the flavors of this soup were, I couldn't help but think this soup would be better served chilled. Avocado and cilantro are such bright and fresh flavors, eating them warm seemed a bit odd to me.

So to test it, I made a little bowl to bring to work today to eat right out of the refrigerator. Anyone who works with avocado knows that it turns brown very easily - so I was worried about how it would keep overnight. However, it appears the abundance of lime juice kept it from over-ripening. I definitely don't think it would have kept longer than a day though.

But I decided I prefer this as a cold soup! A little bowl of this, along with some of my doctored up black beans, made quite a delicious, healthy and filling lunch!

Stress

CNBC just named 2010's 10 Most Stressful Jobs in America.


My lovely field of public relations weighed in at #8 on the list...

10. Real Estate Agent
9. Advertising Executive
8. PR Officer
7. Highway Patrol Officer
6. Commercial Pilot
5. Police Officer
4. Surgeon
3. Taxi Driver
2. Corporate Executive
1. Firefighter

Maybe that's why at my old PR agency we had a yoga teacher come in for office yoga days. Namaste.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Recipe Review

Saturday night we had two of our closest friends over for dinner... during which time I choose to debut the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sauteed Pork Chops and Apple.


And it was de-lish-ious.

A few things to note:

1) Making gnocchi takes forever. Reading the recipe makes you think this is something that could easily be done after work one night in time for dinner. Not the case, my friends. I remember as a child begging my mom to make her homemade gnocchi (which she only did on very special and rare occasions) - and she would always say it's just a pain because of how long it takes. So true. It was a labor of love.

2) I fudged the portions a bit. I used two large sweet potatoes - but needed more than 2 cups of flour. I used at least 3. Start with 2 cups though, and keep adding in enough to keep the dough from sticking to your hands when you knead it. If it is too doughy, it's impossible to roll out. So don't be scared if you're putting a lot more flour in than the recipe called for. Sweet potatoes can vary so much in size, that you just have to play around with your potato-to-flour ratio. Needless to say, I had a TON of dough.

3) Speaking of which - leftover dough. After I made a whole cookie sheet full, I couldn't bare to throw the rest of the dough away. So I made another full tray - froze the gnocchis on a cookie sheet until they were cold and hard, and then transferred them to a ziploc bag for later. Then whenever I feel like it, I can just boil the leftovers and enjoy for a quick dinner. I might actually do this more often - make a large quantity during the weekend, freeze individual portions, and heat-up as needed. I'm all about a quick (and healthy and delicious) weeknight meal.

4) I tweaked the recipe a bit too. In the gnocchi dough, in addition to flour, egg and potato - I also added salt, nutmeg and a little bit of cinnamon. I was going to use those flavors later in the sauce, but I like to have the additional flavor in the little dumplings themselves.

5) Instead of just tossing the cookie gnocchis into the oil/spice mixture - I also melted a large pad of butter and let it brown a bit. A little brown butter gives it a bit of nuttiness - and another layer of flavor. Same with the sauteed apples. Remember: butter makes it better.

6) As delish as this meal was, it needed a green veggie. It isn't the most colorful plate without it. Luckily my friend made and brought some wonderful asparagus... which worked perfect with the rest of the dinner.

Tonight: avocado soup is on the agenda. I'll let you know how it goes!

And as long as we're talking food - two of my favorite shows are merging together for one night of amazingness. The cast of "Modern Family" will be on this week's "Top Chef Masters."

pic @via
recipe @via - visit Broke and Healthy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A reminder

It has not been my best week. I've been pretty emotional - and am just battling some demons right now.

But, I got a pretty wonderful mother-in-law who sent me an email earlier in the week with just two sentences:

God is faithful.
I love you.

And not that I didn't know that, but I needed to read it... again and again and again. And I have - every day.

And my own Mama. She's pretty wonderful too. A few months ago she left a note for me - about the same issue.

Psalm 13 (NIV)
1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

I also enjoyed reading verses 5-6 in The Message translation:

5-6 I've thrown myself headlong into your arms—
I'm celebrating your rescue.
I'm singing at the top of my lungs,
I'm so full of answered prayers.

I don't know. Just thought that maybe I'm not the only one who needed to read that today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Funnies

Huffington Post put up some of the most absurd break-up letters of all time here.
And please do me a favor and listen to the "dramatic reading" of this teenage email break-up letter NOW.

Good for a giggle on a Thursday afternoon.

SATC2

Like every other woman between the ages of 23-50, I am so super pumped for the upcoming "Sex and the City 2." It will be in theaters May 27th... and I'm sooo excited!

I'm ready to sneak some champagne into the theater with my girlfriends and check it out!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's on the menu?

Okay, so I wouldn't say I'm in a cooking slump... since I've been cooking every night at home... and Chad even commented the other night:

"You're making some goooood food in this new kitchen."

But I guess you can say I haven't been particularly inspired. I've been in a recipe rut - relying on whatever Chad asks me to make and mom's old recipes (not that I'm hating on mom's recipes... she's the best cook I know.) But I have been wanting some new recipes to jump out at me and scream "COOK ME!"


Luckily, my friend in-and-out-of-the-kitchen Han has come to the rescue - sending me new cooking blog after new cooking blog. I now have a list of new recipes to try... all of which I will probably make next week.

Take a looksie:


Broke and Healthy's Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sauteed Pork Chops and Apple:


Chad hearts pork chops. I heart gnocchi. Done.

Cookin' Canuck's Brie Cheese and Balsamic Caramelized Onion Whole Wheat Flatbread:


Truth: I can eat sauteed caramelized onions as a side dish. And I have. And brought Chad down with me.

Broke and Healthy's Super Good Avocado Soup:


More truth: Avocado is the reason I wake up in the morning. Let's keep that between us.

Laylita's Asparagus Risotto:


I may need to work the man a little bit on this one. I don't think I can pass rice and asparagus off as a meal without him noticing.

Well if these recipes don't get me out of my recipe slump, I don't know what will. I'll report back next week the success of said dishes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thankful

I didn't have the best day yesterday. In fact it started downright awful with lots of tears. But then I pull into the driveway Monday after work.

And Chad is standing on the front porch waiting to give me a big hug.

So I'm thankful for that. He's a keeper.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blooming!

So I woke up Saturday morning bright eyed and bushy tailed - ready to plant a little herb garden. I had talked to Chad about planting a vegtable garden several weeks ago, but he told me that we should probably wait a year. We have too much else to do around the house.

So we go to Lowes to get a few gardening supplies, and I pick out the herbs I want to start with - sweet basil, curly parsley, cilantro and dill. Then I see Chad walking to the cart with a tomato, red chili pepper and cucumber plant.

The garden bug got him. And me too. Next thing you know, we hav
e two big pull carts full of plants, herbs, soils, fertilizers, shovels, spades and more! Then we head to the plywood section so Chad can get the proper materials to make a raised garden bed.

And he did so good.


Chad is so handy. I wouldn't have known where to begin - but Chad had a vision in his head and we made it happen. Take a look!

In our garden to start we have better boy tomatoes, sweet 100 tomatoes, cucumbe
rs, squash, zucchini, green bell pepper, orange bell pepper, red chili peppers, leeks and radishes! I want to pick out a few other things at the farmer's market this weekend.
We went back to Lowes to get some pretty stone to line the garden walls with, but our wallets couldn't bear any more for the day. We decided to put it on hold - since there is a good chance that the veggie vines will overtake it anyway.

Sidenote: Pleaseeeee grass grow. You can't tell from the above picture but we do have some areas around the backyard where some grass is finally sprouting. We need a couple more good rains (since we haven't had any in like 2 weeks), to get it gonig.

In our separate herb garden we have the basil, parsley, cilantro and dill. I still need to get Italian parsley, tarragon and thyme... and probably more basil and cilantro. I use a lot of basil and cilantro.



We also bought two flats of petunias to line the front walkway. I think it looks so bright and cheerful.



After three weeks of barricading myself inside due to horrible allergies- I'm glad I decided to throw caution to the wind and spend ALL weekend outside getting my hands dirty with my husband. We had so much fun accomplishing this big task together.

Then, as a reward for my husband's handywork and letting us plant a garden even when we had a billion other things to do - I decided to make him PW's Lasagna. And it is a man-lasagna if I've ever seen one.

Here it is before putting it in the oven.


Here is what my kitchen REALLY looks like in the midst of my cooking. Don't ask about the random chair and flipflops. This is why Chad stays out of the kitchen - he is OCD with cleaniness and would have a hissy fit if he saw it like this.



The finished product.

If you have a meat-loving man in your life, make this lasagna. As PW says in her cookbook: her husband tells her: "If it wasn't for your bronzed skin (she is a pale red head) and cattle herding abilities (she doesn't herd cattle), I'd marry you for your lasagna." In other words, he married her for her lasagna.

Thirty-One Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner!!!

The winner of her own cute Thirty-One thermal or lunch tote is...















.... HEATHER!

heather said...

I'm in need of a summer bag, and the Peony Bloom Boardwalk bag looks perfect!

Congratulations Heather! Contact me at myprettylittlethoughts@gmail.com for more info. And again, thanks to Whitney for sponsoring this giveaway. Make sure to check out Whitney's Thirty-One site at www.mythirtyone.com/wrodgers/ for more cute gift ideas.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A night in the life...

So Chad and I frequently have heated arguments over pointless trivia.

Last night - Frozen pizza was the heart of our battle. We were fighting over what the biggest (not necessarily best) brands of frozen pizza were. The most well known. I said, Digorno and Tombstone. Chad said, Digorno and Red Baron. I argued that yes, while Red Baron is far superior than Tombstone, it is not as well known. Tombstone has been around making nasty pizzas forever. We were obviously not going to come to a concensus on our own.


We decided that we'd ask 10 people at work the next day their thoughts. But then we had an ever better idea.

We'd text 10 (actually 11 - in the event someone didn't respond... which turned out to be the case - eh hem STEPHEN) friends to gauge their response. As is usual with Chad and I, we debated on which 10 friends we would ask (according to Chad, they had to be a random assortment) and the wording of the actual text message.

So the message that went out was this:

Me and Chad are having a debate. What are the first two frozen pizza brands that come to your mind. Don't think, just respond. This text is going to 10 of you. (I lied - it went to 11.)

The results came pouring in - of course "my" friends were the first 5 to respond. "Chad's friends" were the late responders. BTW - We have all the same friends but I classify them as mine (friends that were originally mine, or stemmed from my friends) and Chad's (friends that were originally Chad's or stemmed from Chad's) - only when its convenient for me, of course.

Here's some highlights:

My sis-in-law, Mol, the first to respond - like a champion. "Digorno and Freschetta."
Chad quickly retorted: "She would say Freschetta. She went to Meredith (private girls college for you non-NC readers)."

My good friend Sarah: "Digorno and Tony's." And then a follow-up text of "And that was the best text I got all day. I can see you two have this debate." (she obviously knows us well)

David "The Fabulous Mr." Fox: "Digorno and Red Baron." Dang. First vote for Chad's Red Baron. Oh - why do I claim Foxy as "my" friend when he's closer friends to Chad? He's next door neighbors with my parents. Point in my column.

My bff Han: "Digorno and Tombstone." i.e.: What I said. We're soul sistas.

My bro Kev: "California Pizza Kitchen and Digorno."
To which I quickly retorted: "Kev doesn't count. He was probably drunk when he sent that." (Which is what we say to almost every text message from Kevin. Poor Kev. Being a frat guy gets you a bad rep.)

My brother Mikey: "Digorno and Tombstone. Chad said Red Baron didn't he?" (+2 for Mike for agreeing with me, AND anticipating Chad's answer. Bravo MB.)

My bff Kel: "It's not delivery, it's Digorno! And California Pizza Kitchen." Nice work from Kel for adding in the slogan. And she added some cred to Kev's CPK vote.

(lapse of text messages waiting for "Chad's" friends. Weak sauce. Next time, I expect quicker responses.)

Jamie: "Digorno and Totinos." Whaaaat? Who eats Totinos. Get outta here.

David: "Digorno and Red Baron." Damn Chad's friends eating his same types of pizza.

Now friends, notice that we had all nine responders (and then Chad and I) say Digorno as one of our two guesses. They obviously do a fabulous marketing job because their pizza still sucks - yet we all thought of them. Since it was now bedtime, and we hadn't heard from two straggler responders, I send out the recap text (requested by most of my subjects):

The results are in. Digorno:9. Tombstone: 2. CPK: 2. Red Baron: 2. Freschetta 1. Tony's: 1. Totinos: 1. Thanks for participating.

So I went to bed with some pride knowing that Chad and my answer tied. Even though I really thought there'd be more Tombstone votes. Unforunately, I woke up to a late tie-breaker text message from Zak.

Zak: "Totinos and Red Baron. Totinos is most often eaten by pedophiles."

Which made me laugh so hard I almost cried at 6:30 this morning. So even though Chad has now officially won with Zak's late Red Baron vote, we all are really the winners because none of us eat Totinos in the company of pedophiles.

Don't you wish you were friends with us? You could have this kind of excitment in your life. Chad and I decided this may or may not be a weekly thing for us. Random debate to be decided by text message death battle. Let me know if you want in.

Have you entered yet?

You have until Sunday at midnight - Eastern time - to enter the Thirty-One lunch tote giveaway! Don't forget to enter.


More info and entry instructions here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Living room - final

Okay, this room is battling it out with the dining room to be my favorite room in the house.

I love the living room. It's so cozy.

Hey Chad's toolbox sitting in front of the fireplace. Way to ruin a great picture!

And for now, I've convinced Chad to let this room be a formal living room - ie: NO TELEVISION! I love that. We have all our TV nonsense upstairs, and this room is strictly for sitting with guests and chatting. You don't realize how much having a TV on all the time takes away from conversation! I've loved having this bright open room to receive guests.
Now do y'all remember our friend, my little antique find?


Well I'm so glad I didn't mess with it. It looks perfect, as is, just like the majority of you voted.

I need to get some drapes for this room. I was planning on doing plantation shutters, but I can't bare to give up this natural light! This room is so sunny and cheerful - it seems sinful to cover it up. Hopefully I'll get some breezy drapes like this that will provide some depth to the room while still letting the sunshine in!

PS: I'm curious of how observant some of you were to see that I took pictures on two different days. The big differences: Substituted flowers with a coffee table book, we changed out the bigger end table with a lighter colored one, I removed Chad's dang tool box, and some where taken in the morning and some in the evening. If you picked up on all that, I'll give you a cookie.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cereal Killer

Do you know what I want to blog about today. Cereal. Do you have a problem with that?

I didn't think so. Because you probably love cereal, too. In fact, all good an
d wonderful people love cereal. Cereal makes the world go round.

Cereal. Cereal. Cereal.

Do you want to know something? When you start to type cereal several times in a row, it looks really weird - like you're spelling it wrong. And then you google it to make sure you're not an idiot that doesn't know how to spell cereal. But then you learn that you are super smart after all, and it's just a funny looking word. Try it yourself. Type cereal five times in a row and tell me your mind doesn't play tricks on you!

Anyway. Let's continue. I love cereal. All kinds.

Like Crispix. Give me Crispix or give me death.



And Raisin Bran. What? Am I 70? Whatever. Don't judge.


Frosted Mini Wheats original.

And then Strawberry Delight Frosted Mini Wheats. Buying my fir
st box of Strawberry Delight Frosted Mini Wheats was right up there with marrying Chad as one of the best decisions of my life.


And then I have cereals that I buy to change it up from my old faithfuls above.

Special K Red Berries. But it kinda confuses me. I'm pretty sure there are only strawberries in there. Why not just call it Special K Strawberries. Does anyone know the answer? It keeps me awake at night.


Oh's. The first time I bought Oh's with Chad he said something to the effect of, "I always wondered who bought that cereal." Answer: Me.


And... guilty pleasure... Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch. Or "Captain Razor Blades" as Chad calls it because it tears up the roof of your mouth. You Captain Crunch eaters know what I'm talking about.


I also love good ol' Cheerios. If eating a bowl of Cheerios doesn't make you feel proud to be American, I don't know what does. They might as well put a big American Flag on the box.


So am I the only cereal freak? Does this post make you want to run home and pour self a nice little bowl of cereal?

So, what's your fave?

-----------------------------

PS: Don't forget to enter the Thirty-One Lunch Tote giveway here.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thirty-One Giveaway! Enter NOW!

Have you heard of Thirty-One yet?

Super cute gifts - bags, totes, towels, baskets and more - all with customized monogramming options. Because who doesn't love monograms? I actually picture the monograms of my unborn children to make sure it would look nice embroidered. What, just me? Is that weird?

Anyway, so for today's giveaway, Thirty-One consultant extraordinaire Whitney has offered to give one lucky MPLT reader your choice of 1) Thermal lunch tote or 2) Small lunch tote. You get to choose the fabric for your new tote - located on page 39 here and your customized monogram - located on page 43 here.



Aren't they so cute?! I mean, that is so much better than the leftover Whole Foods mini bags that I bring my lunches in every day. This would also make a great gift for your mom (remember - Mother's Day is just around the corner), child or best friend!

You can check out the whole line of Thirty-One gifts and product's on Whitney's site. If you're interested in ordering any products or throwing a Thirty-One party (please, please invite me!!!), email Whitney at wrodgers@nc.rr.com. You have to live within a reasonable driving distance in NC to host a party with Whit - but MPLT readers across the universe can order online! Party hosters - you can earn tons of free stuff! And if you order something through Whitney, mention you're a loyal MPLT reader and she'll give you one of these super cute key fobs - choices on page 37 here - for free!

Here's how you enter.

1. Leave a comment on this post naming your favorite Thirty-One product.

2. You can only leave one comment - BUT if you are an MPLT follower, your entry counts double. So why aren't you following yet?! Click the little follow button on the right hand column and sign-in!

3. A winner will be randomly selected.
Deadline ends Sunday, April 18th. I'll announce the winner on Monday, April 19th.

Good luck and Happy monogramming!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chipotle Chicken Roll + Follow Me

First things first. Tomorrow I'm going to announce an exciting giveaway for MPLT readers. Here's some forewarning: you'll want to be a follower of MPLT in order to increase your likelihood of winning. So if you're not a follower of MPLT, I suggest you do so NOW. Click the follow button the right-hand side. Log in using your gmail (or other email), and presto - you're a follower.

Now, moving on to bigger and better things.

Tonight I'm making Chad's all-time favorite thing to eat - you know, for our anniversary and all. Because I'm nice like that. It is pretty tasty but kinda a pain in the butt to make since it involves phyllo dough. And any of you that bake know that phyllo dough is a testy little bugger.

But my love of Chad outweighs my hate of working with phyllo dough - so here it is, friends:

Chipotle Chicken Roll with Avocado Dipping Sauce


Ingredients:
* 1 lb ground chicken breast
* 6 green onions, thinly sliced
* 1 avocado (I bow to you, oh great avocado)
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 1/2 c reduced-fat cheddar cheese
* 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely sliced (You can find these in a can in your Mexican section of your local grocery store. I always use more than the 1 they recommend - like 2 or 3 or maybe more. I'm wild.)
* 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
* 1 pinch salt
* 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
* 1 pinch pepper
* 1 garlic clove
* 6 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted
* 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
* 3 limes, juiced

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine the ground chicken, cheese, garlic, green onion and chipotles - season with s&p. Transfer the mixture to a large Ziploc bag. Turn the bag into a homemade pastry bag by trimming about 1 inch off one of the bottom corners of the bag.

3. Arrange one layer of phyllo dough with the long side closest to you on your kitchen counter, brush liberally with the melted butter, season this with salt & pepper. Repeat three times. (Tip for working with phyllo: Leave a damp cloth over the unrolled phyllo doll layers when you’re not working with it. Phyllo dough layers are super thin and fragile – and if you leave them exposed they’ll dry out and be impossible to work with. And you'll scream obscenities at your husband like "WHY DO YOU FRIGGIN'
MAKE ME MAKE THIS!??!!?")

4. Place the trimmed end of the pastry bag 1/2 inch in from the left side & 1/2 inch up from the bottom of the phyllo sheet. Squeeze half the chicken mixture from the bag while moving along in a straight line from left to right. Roll the front edge of the phyllo sheet away from you, encasing the chicken mixture. Continue until you have completed a long roll. Tuck the ends in and brush the entire outside of the phyllo roll with more melted butter. Transfer the first roll to a rimmed cookie sheet, putting the seam side down.

5. Repeat this process to make the second roll with the remaining half of the chicken mixture.

6. Bake for 15 mins, or until the roll feel firm to the touch.

7. While the phyllo-wrapped chicken is in the oven, cut the avocado in half and remove skin and seed. Place in a food processor/blender and mix with lime juice, cilantro, course salt and about 3 Tbsp of water. Process until the avocado mixture is smooth, then stream the Olive Oil into the dressing. Spice up to taste with hot sauce.

8. Once the rolls are cooked, remove this from oven & let them cool just enough to handle. Cut each roll in half, then cut each half into 3 equal pieces. Or give your husband a roll to himself and he’ll love you forever and shower you with diamonds. Serve with dipping sauce.

This is a man-pleasing meal for some reason. All men I know LOVE this dish. Just sayin'. If you're trying to woo some man - or trying to get your hubby to buy you a new purse or something - I suggest you make it pronto!

Supposedly this is a Rachel Ray recipe. She annoys me - but if her chicken roll makes Chad happy, I'll get over it!

pic @via.

Time flies

Today is our two year anniversary.


Isn't it crazy how fast time flies? I really feel like we just got married the other day... hard to believe it's already been two years! But I'll tell you one thing - it's been the best two years of my life.

There is a lot I love about being married. It's nice to have someone to wake up with and come home to. It's nice to know that there is always someone that has your back and will take your side. It's nice to feel protected and taken care of.

But what I think I love most about being married to Chad is that we have so much fun together. There is not a day that goes by that Chad does not have me laughing my head off. We're goofy together. We play. We don't take life too seriously.

But some days, marriage is tough. Some days we don't see eye to eye. And that's okay. We get through those days knowing that they are few and far between. We never let a day go by without telling the other that we love them.

Love isn't just a feeling - love is a choice.

And we've had some tough times in year two of marriage. We've bought and sold a house. We lived with in-laws for five months. We got through a major surgery. We struggled with infertility. There's been a lot of frustration and tears - but there's no one in the world I'd rather go through it with.

Every day I choose Chad.

He's my best friend.

And I'm so blessed.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Kitchen - final

Sorry, sorry. I'm late in putting house pictures up for the week! I've been distracted! So here goes:

If the bonus room upstairs is Chad's "man room" then sure enough my kitchen is my "woman room."


I love it. It was great seeing it all come together.



Under cabinet lighting - one of our best extra expenses on the house. It casts the perfect warm glow in the evening.

Our little breakfast area. I'm desperately hoping Pottery Barn brings back their Matine Toile roman shades - because they were made for my little kitchen. If any of you is like BFF with the head designer at Pottery Barn, please pass that along for me. Please and thanks.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Weekending

Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone has lots of fun plans for the weekend.

I plan on isolating myself in my house - and wearing a mask when I'm forced to step outside into what I'm not-so-affectionately calling the pollen wonderland. Man, this is by FAR the worst year I can remember when it comes to allergies. I've been miserable for a week straight! But that's the price we have to pay to enjoy the beautiful trees and flowers we're blessed with in North Carolina. A couple weeks of pain for months of beautiful green!

Tonight we're having dinner with some close friends, and I'm inviting them back to our new house for dessert.

My little sis found The Hungry Mouse blog for me - and I love it. Like I need another cooking blog! Sigh. Just more recipes to add to my to-make list.

But I thought this Frozen Chocolate Mousse recipe sounded appealing. So I made a batch last night and have it sitting in the freezer for our guests this evening.


I'll let you know how it turns out!

pic @via.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dining Room - Final

Since y'all have been so good patiently waiting, I'm going to start giving you some final house pictures.

But I'll do them a room at a time so you don't get overwhelmed with pictures.

That and I still have some rooms to be completed. Time. I need time.

But I'll start with some pictures of probably my favorite room in the house. I painted this room myself about 5 minutes after we closed on the house. I didn't want to wait.

I love the color.

And don't you love the dining room furniture? It was Chad's grandmothers and Chad and my father-in-law have worked for months trying to spiff it up for us. It was a labor of love on their part, and I'm thankful for it. And I know it means a lot to my father-in-law that we keep it in the family.

I thought about putting window treatments up in this room, but I'm starting to reconsider because 1) I adore how the light streams through the windows. It's so cheerful. 2) I love the molding around the windows and I can't bear to cover it up.

Oh, and I made a pact with myself to always have fresh flowers in the house. So either Chad needs to get on putting in my hydrangea bushes, or else we're going to have a hefty florist bill.

Enjoy!