Wednesday, September 25, 2013

RECIPE: Grilled Pizza 3 Ways

One of my favorite things about living in a house instead of an apartment is that we can grill (easily!) any time we want. At the apartment we had to gather all of our food, utensils, etc. and walk across the parking lot to the playground/picnic area to grill. Here, I can stand in the kitchen and prepare the food while Brandon cooks it up just outside. Ahh, this is the life.

Ever since girls' night last month I've been obsessed with grilling pizzas. It didn't take much to convince Brandon to try them out and we've already made 3 different combinations and I can't wait to try even more! Here's the list of ingredients and prep instructions for each pizza followed by cooking instructions at the end. Let me know if there are any other recipes out there that we should try!


GOAT CHEESE & PESTO PIZZA
1 regular pre-made pizza crust
5 oz goat cheese
8 oz jar pesto
2 roma tomatoes
red onion
basil leaves

Spread goat cheese evenly on the crust. Spoon desired amount of pesto (it won't take anywhere near the entire jar) over cheese and spread evenly. Top with thinly sliced tomato and red onion and spread basil leaves over everything.


BUFFALO CHICKEN PIZZA
1 regular pre-made pizza crust
1/2-2/4 lb cooked + shredded chicken breasts
1.5 c shredded mozzarella
1/2 c prepared pizza sauce
5 T Frank's Red Hot Sauce (or similar hot sauce)
red onion
2 green onions
1/4 c crumbled blue cheese

Mix pizza sauce with 1 T hot sauce and spread over crust. Heat shredded chicken with remaining hot sauce over medium heat until warm. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over crust. Top with chicken, then thinly sliced red onion, chopped green onion, and crumbled blue cheese.


SWEET POTATO, BALSAMIC ONION, SOPPRESSATA PIZZA
1 regular pre-made pizza crust
15 oz can sweet potatoes
milk or cream
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 large white onion
1/4 c + 2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T dried oregano
1.5 c shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz soppressata

Melt butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add very thinly sliced onion and oregano and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water and continue to cook for 10 minutes, until onions begin to caramelize. Add balsamic vinegar and continue to cook for 10 minutes, until vinegar has evaporated. Season onions with salt + pepper. While onions are cooking, drain syrup from sweet potatoes and mash, adding a tablespoon or two of milk or cream until you achieve a smooth consistency. Spread over pizza crust, followed by mozzarella cheese. Top with balsamic onions and sliced soppressata. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of dried oregano.


COOKING PIZZAS ON THE GRILL
Brandon and I cook our pizzas on a charcoal grill and this is the method we've found to be effective: Lightly brush pizza crust with olive oil and place on the grill, flipping once so both sides are warm and slightly toasty. Add all toppings. Place back on the grill, cover, and allow to cook - checking every few minutes - until cheese is melted and veggies begin to look soft. Be careful not to let the bottom of your crust burn!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Truth About Hate

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Let's all pretend this great quote doesn't have a typo in it. ;)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Procrastination + Why Macklemore is my Celebrity Boyfriend

Brandon and I are leaving tomorrow for a vacation on the NC coast. Though I was all kinds of excited for our cruise earlier this year, I'm approaching this vacation in a different way. I need this vacation. I need to disconnect from the stress of my job and our every day routine. I need to spend a few days just having fun. I'm looking forward to walks on the beach searching for sea glass, nights in the hot tub, fresh seafood, mini golf, movies, and time with my husband and parents.


... What I'm really here to say is that I'm procrastinating. I'm supposed to be packing our bags for the trip but I'm having a terrible time. I keep getting distracted by: Schmidt, lunch, laundry, Gossip Girl, and Macklemore. Oh, Macklemore. He is my new celebrity boyfriend. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll remember that Darren Criss was my old celebrity boyfriend. Sorry, Darren, but you've been replaced. And my husband even approves! We both love Macklemore.

Ben Haggerty (don't worry, his real name isn't Macklemore) came on my radar when Thrift Shop blew up the radio and I didn't think much about him other than the fact that he had a really catchy song. I liked his second single as well, but still never bothered to look up any of his other music or anything about his history. Then I saw his performance at the MTV Video Music Awards last month and I was blown away.

I am impressed how Macklemore and his creative partner Ryan Lewis tackle the issue of marriage equality in "Same Love." I've been listening to it on repeat for weeks now and it just doesn't get old. What do you think?


After getting hooked on "Same Love" I snatched up the full album The Heist and I love every other track on it as well! Ben is the obvious choice for my new celebrity boyfriend.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Yup, I'm Lame

The idea for this blog post comes from Neely over at A Complete Waste of Makeup, who I am currently sponsoring. Yesterday she posted about being lame and I completely identified with everything she said! I am definitely lame by today's standards. Luckily, my husband, family and friends don't seem to mind.

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Here's why I'm the lamest of them all:

1. I find crowds highly annoying. I don't like being around a lot of people. Brandon and I drove to the farmers market last weekend without realizing there was a big wine festival going on. When we saw all the cars and people we turned around and drove home.

2. I don't want to have children. Though I love my sweet six year old stepdaughter, I don't want to have any kids of my own. Not only do most people find this lame, they find it down right weird. To each her own, ok?

3. I'd rather be at home. All the time. Every day. I like my house and have worked hard to make it a home, therefore I like spending time in it. I'm not interested in going out to a bar or a club when I am perfectly capable of making my own drinks with our bar at home.

4. I love Disney World. Though it contradicts everything else on the list so far, I love Disney World and would rather go there than just about any other place on the planet. Definitely lame.

5. I only want one margarita. I asked my friend Courtney why I am lame and this was her answer: "the fact that you will only drink ONE margarita instead of 2...or 3...? That doesn't really make you lame though. it just makes you judge everyone else." It's true, though. I have no desire to get tipsy or drunk. Ever.

6. I only use one Instagram filter. This drives my friends crazy, but it's true. I will only use 1 Instagram filter (Nashville) for all of my photos. It was the first one I ever used and I liked it. Why change a good thing? ;)

I am sure there are many other reasons why I'm lame, but that's all I have time for now! It's time to get ready for the day and go to work (I usually go in an hour early every day... just because. Lame.)! Comment and tell me what makes YOU lame!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

RECIPE: Dill Dip

I wanted to bring a side dish to our girls' night pizza grilling party a few weeks ago and settled on fresh veggies and dip. If you're eating veggies it makes you feel a little better about eating pizza, right? I'm not a big fan of grocery store veggie dips, so I decided to to make my own with some spices I had on hand. It's really easy to throw together and was definitely a crowd pleaser!


DILL DIP
16 oz sour cream
1 C mayo
2 T dill weed
1 t seasoning salt
2 T dried onion flakes

Are you ready for how easy this is? Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until time to serve. This dip is great with fresh veggies, potato chips, and tortilla chips! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

RECIPE: Tomato & Avocado Salad

The final days of summer are quickly fading, so I wanted to be sure to post this tomato & avocado salad while it's still a good seasonal dish! I threw it together last weekend when my in-laws came to visit. It was a nice, fresh accompaniment to my favorite chicken casserole!


TOMATO & AVOCADO SALAD (serves 4)
2 lb heirloom tomatoes
1 avocado
3 T light olive oil
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t salt
1 T lemon juice
sugar to taste
1/2 c chopped basil
goat cheese crumbles (optional)

Cut tomatoes into chunks. Peel avocado, remove the center, and cut into chunks. Place tomato and avocado pieces in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, pepper, salt, lemon juice, and sugar. Pour over tomato and avocado chunks and stir to combine. Add in chopped basil.

Serve chilled with goat cheese crumbles on the side.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Adventures

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I wish I had the time and money to go on all of the adventures that live inside my head!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Afternoon in Old Salem

I was born and (mostly) raised in Winston-Salem, NC and it's still one of my favorite places. Old Salem, a historic Moravian settlement, is the biggest 'tourist attraction' around and though I've visited many times, my dad's office is located there, and I got married there last year I haven't actually toured the buildings since I was a kid.

A couple of Saturdays ago I invited my friend Jennifer to meet up, grab some lunch at the Tavern, and explore Old Salem. We had a great time!


This was the first time I had dined at the Tavern since it was closed for extensive renovations last year. I was impressed! I loved the atmosphere and the food was great. I can't wait to go back for a date night with Brandon. After a bite to eat, we started our tour. It was a lot of fun seeing Old Salem as a tourist!

There are many historic buildings open to tour, with attendees in period costumes to tell you stories of Old Salem and its Moravian inhabitants. When I was a kid I attended their 5 Yesterdays summer program each year, so I already knew a lot about the history of the settlement. It's such a unique place!


If you're in the Winston-Salem area, take a few hours (a leisurely afternoon, perhaps) to visit Old Salem. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children and there are many special events throughout the year that are a lot of fun! I'm hoping to visit again during the Christmas season!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chalk Disaster

After seeing numerous gorgeous photos of chalked hair all over the Internet, I finally decided to experiment on myself over the long weekend. Judging by the name of the post, you can imagine how it went...


It was gorgeous for about 10 minutes. I used pink, blue, green, yellow and purple chalk and followed directions from The Beauty Department. My plan was to sweep it up in a bun (pictured above), then style my hair the next day to show off the colors! Because I did this late on a Sunday night, Schmidt was the only one lucky enough to see it. Brandon didn't notice a difference when he got home and the next morning when I took a shower, all of the color washed away. It was supposed to last few a through shampoos! It left my hair feeling terrible, even after a wash.

Has anyone else tried to chalk their hair before? Were you successful or was it a disaster? I need some tips if I'm ever going to try it again!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

RECIPE: Neon Margarita

Mexican food is by far my favorite cuisine and my favorite local place is Poblanos. They sent me a coupon for a free appetizer when I moved to town and I was sold instantly! I love their chicken fajitas and queso dip and have been known to eat at Poblanos two days back to back. Yum! After trying their Neon Margarita earlier this summer I started making it at home! Here's the recipe I found on the Island Oasis site. It make one nice big drink.


NEON MARGARITA
9 oz margarita mix (I use Jose Cuervo)
2.5 oz gold tequila
1 oz blue curacao
1 oz Midori
lime slice

Mix ingredients together and pour over ice. Garnish with a lime slice.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

I Feel Fall


I know we're still 20 days away from the 'official' start of Fall, but I can't help it. Today is September 2nd and my mind has already turned to sweaters, pumpkin bread, crisp air, and gorgeous leaves. Never mind the fact that it's nearly 90 degrees outside. Fall is my favorite season of the year because there's so much to do! Here's ten things I'm looking forward to this season:

1. Visiting the Farmers Market
2. Making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (along with any other pumpkin recipe I find)
3. A trip to Topsail Beach with my family followed by a night in Wilmington with my man
4. The Dixie Classic Fair coming to town
5. Buying new boots
6. Celebrating the birthdays of my two best friends
7. The Renaissance Festival
8. Apple cider
9. Carowinds with my co-workers
10. Halloween!

What is your favorite thing to do during the fall? I'm sure I could have doubled this list, but I'm out of time!