Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Hunt

And I thought this would be the easy part. Hah!

I know my posts have been few and far between. I have been extremely busy with… VENUE HUNTING! It has been an interesting process, to say the least. My free time is used by by Googling and searching and emailing and obsessing.

You may not know this about me, but I’m an obsesser. I call my condition Obsessive Brain Disorder. The task at hand must be complete before the next one can be started. My current task is to find the perfect place to marry my best friend next fall without totally breaking the bank.

Slow and steady it goes. We’ve gone to look at four, with about five more on the docket in the next week or two. Hopefully one of them is “The One.” I know, I know. I’ll be marrying the love of my life, who cares when/where/how? The truth is, I’d be happy to jaunt on down to the nearest courthouse on our next mutual day off, but I think a lot of people would be prettttty upset with us. And I’d probably regret it in a few years. Not because I’d be sorry I married him, duh. But because this is going to be an awesome day and I sort of can’t wait, and I’ve hardly started planning yet.

Onward and upward.


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Filed under Try it and See, Wedding

Wait, What?

I’m a little behind. I know, I know… I’m sure you’re all really wondering what’s been happening in my life lately.

Well, I had a birthday, went on a mini vacation, and got engaged!

Wait, what?

Yes! I have so much to tell. So, so much, and so little time it seems. This blog just may take a turn from mostly food-based to mostly wedding-based. I promise to still try and include some great recipes, but I have been hard pressed for time lately – and the planning has hardly started. It’s gonna be a long and awesome year.

So back to that little tidbit of information. Remember back in July, when I wrote about my best friend getting engaged? Well, apparently our boyfriends (fiances?) were on the same wave length.

Here’s a little background information. Dan and I have been together for four years (this week!), and I won’t lie – I’ve been waiting for this for a while. Dan told me after a really fun and romantic trip to Colorado that he didn’t propose then because, “that would be too predictable.” Well, seeing as our anniversary is three days after my birthday, I was 100% not expecting it now – after all, that’s pretty predictable, D.

Tickle me tricked – I was so surprised. I guess telling someone not to expect something makes it easier to surprise them. He proposed on my birthday right before we left for dinner with a group of my closest friends. I couldn’t have been happier or any more surprised. The whole thing was perfect – timing, setting, ring, after party. Speaking of the ring, can I show it off yet? Pretty please? Okay thanks 🙂

I know this picture makes it look blue – it’s not. I have some slightly better ones, but I’m too lazy to upload them from the real camera and my phone just died, so this will have to do. It. Is. Perfect. I’m pretty much the luckiest girl, ever.

So, all gushing aside, it’s been a pretty busy week. We worked the first few days of the week, took two days off to go to the Outer Banks with Katie’s family (thanks Bontragers!), and had a little get together with Dan’s family. I’ve started looking into some venues and things, and I have so much to write about, but for now I will leave you hanging. Don’t worry – I’ll keep you posted.

This is the ultimate try it and see adventure. So. Excited.

Oh yeah – love you D. 🙂


Filed under Try it and See, Wedding

Hello Kitchen, I’ve Missed You

I’ve been in a bit of a slump. Not just a blogging slump, but also a cooking slump. Which probably partially explains the blogging slump. But I’m back, baby!

Enter Shrimp Burgers with Chipotle Cream and Peach Salsa. From where else? One of my favorite blogs, How Sweet Eats. Seriously, if this girl knew how often I re-blogged her recipes she would either (a) hug me or (b) sue me. I can’t decide. I hope she knows I give credit where credit is due – this is all her genius. I’m just a copy cat!

This meal. This meal was so good. And pretty easy. A tiny bit time consuming, but I have a great Sous Chef. (Thanks D!)

Without further ado. Shrimp Burgers with Chipotle Cream and Peach Salsa.

For The Burgers

What You Need:

makes 6 burgers

  • 1 pound raw, peeled and de-veined shrimp
  • 2/3 cup seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I used regular yellow because I didn’t have Dijon)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 whole wheat buns, toasted
  • 1 avocado, sliced for topping

For the Chipotle Cream:

  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

What You Do:

Add shrimp to a food processor and pulse until chopped. (Mine kind of got pureed, but it still worked out.) Transfer to a bowl and add egg, panko, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and basil. Mix until combined, then form shrimp into patties (form tightly with your hands, trying to prevent cracking). Heat a skillet oven medium heat and add half of the olive oil, then cook patties until golden on each side, about 3-4 minutes. Repeat with remaining burgers.

In a bowl, stir together sour cream, chipotle sauce, lime juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread on top of burgers, then layer with avocado and peach salsa!

For the Coconut Peach Salsa

What You Need:

  • 2 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • salt + pepper to taste

What You Do:

Stir ingredients together and serves on top of burgers. This originally called for toasted coconut, but Dan hates coconut so I was going to put it just on mine. I ended up forgetting and it was still amazing.

Thanks, Jessica!


Filed under Cooking, Recipes, Try it and See

And Sometimes, Shit Just Happens

Wise words from my momma.

We went to go visit my parents in Nelson County (outside of Charlottesville) this past weekend. Well, it was supposed to be for the weekend. It ended up being about 8 hours on Saturday, and then a long drive home. I guess that’s where the story ends. Here’s where it starts.

I had an awesome riding lesson on Saturday morning at 9 am. Two cross-country jump courses, on a super fast, but fun, pony. I had such a blast. Then, Dan, Jameson and I packed up the car and headed down to Charlottesville. It was a nice three hour drive, but Jameson doesn’t love car trips and he was a little stressed the whole time. We got in and spent some time on the porch with momma, and walked around my dad’s beautiful garden and took some pictures.

This is where things turn sour. We decided to go to dinner at Wild Wolf, which is usually really great food and service. Long story short, it was not that this night. It took us almost an hour to be seated (after a 20-25 minute quoted wait time), and then at least another hour to see food (which we ended up getting to-go). Jameson was acting up in a lot of ways, and was barking his little puppy head off. Lots of things went wrong, so we just went home, only to find out that about half our food didn’t get made. The restaurant manager was really nice, and my mom called and said what we were missing and they delivered the extra food to us, which was super nice of them.

Finally, it’s bed time. But guess what? Jameson refuses to sleep. My parents’ house isn’t just a house, it’s a bed and breakfast, which means Jameson can’t get away with crying and barking all night. Dan and I decided early on that if Jameson wouldn’t calm down and sleep (this isn’t the first time this has happened), we were just going to cut our losses and go home. So, that’s exactly what we did. 11:30 pm, packed up the car and drove home the almost three hours.

Like Mom says, “Sometimes, shit just happens.”

It ended up being probably for the best. We did get a good night’s sleep, and spent some quality time doing chores, grocery shopping, and watching the Olympics. (Side note – Dan and I started dating the first day of the Olympics four years ago, so we really love watching them this year. How far we have come :))

Except, two days later, on Monday night when I went to take pictures of my dinner so I could blog about it, I found out something ELSE terrible that happened Saturday night… during one of Jameson’s… well, not-so-strong moments, I had a mom-like reflex to kneel down really fast. I happened to be holding the Nikon D-80 DSLR that Dan so graciously let me borrow and I thought I felt it hit the pavement, but in the heat of the moment, I didn’t think to check it. Well… turns out I cracked and shattered the lens. I am so lucky to have such a forgiving, understanding, and loving man. I promised I would replace it and apologized profusely, but he just keeps telling me it’s okay. Man, I love him.

I guess sometimes shit really does just happen. Here’s to dealing with it gracefully, and moving on the best we can.

Mom – I promise next time will be better. And we’ll leave Jameson at home from now on.


Filed under Puppies, Try it and See