Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In the Kitchen: Pimento Mac and Cheese

Easiest recipe ever!
I actually feel a bit silly posting the directions for it but it won rave reviews so I decided to add it to my growing list of blog recipes.

This was my inspiration, it popped up on my pinterest feed a few weeks ago.  From there I decided noodles+pimento cheese sounds good but noodles+pimento cheese+bacon = best wife ever award.

Except I used (gasp!) store bought pimento cheese, it's a weekday dish people!  I searched until I found one made with cheddar instead of American cheese.  I love most things American, but cheese sure isn't one of them.  I also didn't have macaroni noodles so I used ziti...and you know what?  I'd do it again.

1 box shaped pasta - ziti representin' in the above photo.
4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
1 container of pre-made pimento cheese
1/3 block cheese shredded - I used colby

Ready for the directions.  Cook the noodles, drain.  Stir in the pimento cheese and bacon crumbles.  Pour in a baking dish and top with more cheese.  Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.

We don't often eat something this heavy and decadent during the week so this was a real treat.  And R tore it up and has already requested that it make a repeat appearance in our meal rotation.  I served ours with a simple green bean almondine.  I may experiment with it next time, maybe add a crunchy topping or even doing the grunt work to make my own pimento cheese.  Perhaps I can sneak in a vegetable or three - it's probably very versatile to fit any one's taste preferences.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Birthday Fiesta

It's the end of our birthday month and I still haven't shared a recap of our 30th Birthday fiesta.  Here is our joint dirty thirty in pictures.  
 It was a great celebration with close friends and family. We had our taco bar catered by Moes, picked up a pony keg from a nearby brewery, and our cake from a local bakery. Those last two photos are not from the actual party - we celebrated R's birthday with his favorite blue cheese covered steak and double baked potatoes and I received tulips from my coworkers on my birthday.

We used this invitation from Wedding Paper Divas
We were gifted with so many goodies from family and friends. Wine, champs, flowers, gift cards...oh my!
I also received the teacups for my Sophie Conran for Portmeirion china which completes my casual set and 2 sets of my Kate Spade Library Lane formal china.  I absolutely love the Kate Spade frame that my sister in law picked out for us!  I also received two charms for my bracelet and a new pair of Toms wedges.  A dear friend gifted us a personalized galvanized party tub from Pottery Barn which we can't wait to use at our next gathering!  R received gift cards for new clothes and a new fishing pole as well as the Vineyard Vines fish hook belt he'd been wanting and some new grilling tools.

 It was a fantastic party and a great birthday month.  We've celebrated with little treats for the past few weeks.  I love that we are able to share these little milestones together.
30 is going to be a great year!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday

Holding it down a few more hours before the weekend begins.  Until then I'm sharing my favorite five with the girls over at :

I purchased this beauty for the tiny area in our entry.  I needed something a bit taller than most tables and I didn't want wood.  I love it and the tray comes off for easy serving if you have company.

Yum!  I rep recently treated a group of us to PDQ chicken tenders, salad, and fruit dip.  Oh the fruit dip!  Cream cheese and toffee pieces that you dip apple slices into.  TOFFEE PEOPLE!  It's amazing and I want to recreate it at home.  I cannot stop thinking about that dang ol' delicious dip!  I need to treat R to some PDQ soon.

I love this new FX show!  R had never seen the movie so we caught it on netflix before the series premiere.  If you like ironic, dark comedy then you'll be thrilled.  If that's not your genre then you'd probably like it based on the actors and special appearances alone.


Explanation not needed.


We are planting an herb garden this weekend.  I realize it's a bit late in the season to do it but it's been so rainy, dreary and cool here.  We had to bring our plants inside a couple of nights just last week!  I think the temperature fluctuations are more stable now so we can get on this project.  We are going to lump them into one container, except for mint -  mint will have it's own separate playground. We already have a small mint plant that we are attached to that has produced several delicious mojitos.

Happy weekend to all!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

Here are a few scenes of our Easter Sunday.  We started the morning with breakfast - sausage and egg croissant wreath.  A bit retro and incredibly delicious!  Next time I hope I have time to make a quick fruit salad to go along with it.
 The Easter bunny left me something special!  I got the vase I wanted from the white and color collection from Target and some yummy chocolate.
 That sneaky bunny left something for R too!  His favorite Chimay, olives, and the Q&A journal that I read about on a favorite blog.  I had never heard of a couples journal but I thought R would love it.
 We tried out a new church and we were surprised that they didn't offer a sunrise service (which is why we had to throw breakfast together in a hurry).  We are hoping that our search for a church home is over.  This church has the sweetest welcome program and we even got a small loaf of fresh bread.  I absolutely can make a decision based on bribery with baked goods.
 Hubs driving in his Easter best.
 Ha!  My attempt at an Easter Look of the Day.  My white JCrew dress from last year's rehearsal dinner made an appearance.  I'm glancing down because my heels were getting stuck in the wet ground.  The shoes were a practical choice since I wasn't sure how far we would have to walk on Easter morning...and hose y'all!  I pulled up the lycra because I am so scary pale right now.  
It's not your traditional holiday meal but it was a perfect Easter dinner for us.  Crab and shrimp, potatoes, and asparagus...oh and that yummy loaf of bread toasted nicely as a side dish.  
I hope everyone had a happy  Easter.  We were certainly able to share our blessings, especially our most important one...everlasting life through Christ.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thirty By Thirty Update

R and I both celebrated big birthdays this month.  I posted our 30 before 30 list back in September and I wanted to post our progress.  We didn't get it all done, perhaps it was a bit ambitious going into the holiday months to think we could accomplish it all but any leftover items we are hoping to cross off this year. 

  1. Attend a concert. (Eli Young Band - October 2013)
  2. Refinish an old piece of furniture.(Our deacon bench, photos coming soon)
  3. Purchase something special from a flea market.
  4. Take a long weekend away together. (Nags Head getaway, March 2014)
  5. Go on a couples bike ride together.
  6. Plan and host a party. (A Dirty Thirty, April 2014 and a Jingle Mingle, December 2013)
  7. Cook a holiday meal. (Christmas Eve 2013)
  8. Build a piece of furniture.
  9. Attend a blogger meet-up. (November 2013)
  10. Enjoy a spa day.
  11. Run a 5k.* (Autism Run, October 12)
  12. Get a new tattoo*
  13. Visit a new winery.
  14. Watch a meteor shower. (attempted but it was pouring rain)
  15. Attend a professional sporting event.
  16. Finish a scrapbook.
  17. Pick a charity for a regular donation.
  18. See an off Broadway play.  (Book of Mormon, February 2014)
  19. Brew a new beer.
  20. Add new vegan and vegetarian meals to our collection. (At least 2 new recipes each month)
  21. Play the lottery.
  22. Learn how to make our own “green” cleaning products.  (laundry detergent, but we hope to make more)
  23. Go fishing with hubs.
  24. Make my own curtains. (Technically I didn't make them, my SIL did.  But I was present.)
  25. Decorate a cake.
  26. Organize our closets. (Almost completed -  except the two upstairs)
  27. Stick to a budget. (eh, working on it)
  28. Watch a full Harry Potter marathon in a weekend. (December 2013)
  29. Try a new cocktail each week. (I get too hung up on the same 2 or 3 options...and my wine)
  30. Establish our own holiday traditions. (I think we nailed this one)

Items marked with a * are specific to my hubs.

Less than half, but I'm not upset about it.  It gives us good direction for 2014 and we already have a plan to finish off the bulk of these.  This was a fun activity that hubs and I both enjoyed.  We might make a list of goals each year...maybe 10 instead of 30.  If you like lists then I'd definitely recommend putting something like this together with a plan to complete it.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five on Friday: Easter Edition

Happy Good Friday!

It's a beautiful holiday weekend and I can't wait to finish this workday and get it started.  In preparation for all things pretty here are the top five favorites for Easter 2014.

A beautiful centerpiece - because tulips are definitely in my top three!  I might pick up a bunch to make our Easter table a bit more special.

Sunday dinner = grilled crab legs, fingerling potatoes, and probably asparagus.  This was a family tradition that I hope to continue in the future.

Sunday brunch - a wreath of sausage egg and cheese.  On a croissant.   I realize this is not mind blowing territory but R can tell you I will go far and wide for a croissant.

R and I are exchanging Easter baskets as we have done the past couple of years.  That white vase on the table under the lamp - I'm hoping that little guy will be in mine.  I can't find a very good picture of it online but there are two different styles available in stores and I love them both!

And the best thing about Easter ... God's love.  

Ready...set...link!  These girls love the company.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Three - oh

Hello All!

I had a very big birthday yesterday.  To celebrate I took the day off work and spent the morning getting a new haircut.  It's still long but I have a ton of layers and she added some color for dimension and shine.  Oh boy...is it shiny!  I had a very low key day to myself to do...whatever I wanted.  No cleaning and no work!
R took me to Busy Bee Cafe in downtown Raleigh to enjoy a curry bowl and some pecan pie.  We've eaten there a few times and I've enjoyed everything I've tried to far.

We are gearing up for our combined birthday fiesta this weekend.  I haven't had many free afternoons to blog since we have been finishing home projects and cleaning but I can't wait to share photos of our celebration next week