My Current Grocery Essentials

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I’m fascinated with the food people keep in their kitchen. The enjoyment I receive from watching grocery hauls on YouTube is a bit silly. Haha. While grocery shopping last week, I found myself thinking about what I consider to be absolute necessities. Essentially, if I don’t have these specific items in my fridge I begin to panic. A few days later I ran across this article on Cup of Jo: What Are 5 Things In Your Kitchen You’d Never Be Caught Without? Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks about the contents of their friends’ fridges!

Some items Jordan and I can deplete and live without until our next scheduled grocery run, but if the following five items are even nearing the end, we have to make an emergency trip to the market!

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Valentine’s Bagels

Proper Bagel Nashville

Jordan and I have had our fair share of interesting Valentine’s Days together. Some of which included car wrecks, mono and stomach bugs. Thankfully, most of the 11 Valentine’s we’ve spent as a couple have been amazing and don’t involve doctors! For many years our go-to dates centered around Chicagoland with delicious bowls of pasta and tiramisu filling our bellies.

This year we kept our day simple with coffee and cream cheese.

While driving around our neighborhood a few weeks ago, a sign for a new restaurant called Proper Bagel stuck out to me. I immediately made a mental note to visit once it opened. Flash forward to Valentine’s Day week and Jordan and I were battling a cold, so a low-key day was on the docket. Instead of going out to dinner we thought Valentine’s Day would be the perfect time to eat at Proper Bagel.
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Weekend Links / / Branching Out

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It’s becoming a tradition for Jordan and I to try one new restaurant on Sundays. At least on the Sundays I’m off from work. Nashville is bursting with flavor outside of traditional southern fare and while we still eat primarily at home, we don’t want to miss out on the many great offerings available in our city. After a late morning photoshoot last weekend, we were starving and chose to eat at Epice, a Lebanese restaurant in our neighborhood. We hadn’t heard much about the restaurant despite passing it all of the time. I’m glad we took a gamble because our meals did not disappoint! Our neighborhood continues to surprise me.

Nashville is experiencing a legit snow day today. 8+ inches of snow has fallen, covering the streets and creating a beautiful winter wonderland. I hope you are safe and warm wherever you find yourself on this Friday.

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Weekend Links / / LeBlanc & Friends

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Nashville is experiencing a mini polar vortex. Currently, it’s 19° but the windchill makes it feel like 9°. Locals don’t quite know how to handle it. 🙂 One of my favorite aspects about winter is the abundance of citrus fruit available: clementines and grapefruits are always stocked in our fridge. Not only do they look bright and cheery, I actually feel bright and awake after eating them!

/ / Abby reviewed Lena Dunham’s memoir and it’s on point with exactly how I felt while reading Not That Kind of Girl (I actually still have a few chapters left). She compared and contrasted it to Amy Poehler’s memoir, Yes, Please. Which reminds me, I still need to buy it!

What is everyone reading? I need a good novel to dive into.

/ / Erin’s quick breakfast tostado is one of those go-to meals I like to make on busy nights. Breakfast for dinner regularly happens in our house. Put an egg on it, is what I always say.

/ / I enjoyed following Anne’s fall capsule wardrobe and I’m glad she is continuing into winter. Winter is a hard season to be creative. All I want to wear is giant sweaters and fuzzy socks!

/ / Emily shared a few observations on living in the south, which were very similar to my own. I’m not sure when “y’all” will become my greeting. “You, guys” just comes far too naturally!

/ / The amount of television Jordan and I watch has drastically decreased ever since we got rid of cable. It’s impossible to keep track week to week without a DVR, so we utilize our libraries DVD selection a lot. We enjoy watching a show together, but after finishing the entire run of, How I Met Your Mother nothing clicked.

That is until we began watching Episodes. The show follows two show runners of a British sitcom after they move to LA to create an american version. It stars Matt LeBlanc as a fictitious version of himself, which is very fitting since Friends was recently released on Netflix. I love the witty banter and gentle industry mocking.

Happy Weekend!

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Thanksgiving in Photos

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^ Our snowy drive.

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^ My parents have Thanksgiving prep down to an exact science, but some dishes are better made the day of consumption. 🙂

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^ Luke’s first Thanksgiving! He roamed wherever he could find the space.

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^ My nieces are at the age where they enjoy helping. They were tasked with setting the table.

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^ The original place card I created when I was younger.

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^ Thanksgiving Day Family Photo!

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^ The one and only round of Bananagrams that I won. Jordan’s sisters are winning machines.

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Weekend Links / / Just Shelling Around

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Hey all! This week has been full of early mornings, afternoon naps and oatmeal raisin cookies. 🙂 My pantry is almost fully stocked; the latest addition, raisins. Stocking a kitchen is a lot of work and involves several grocery stores (Flour may come from one place, but I don’t like their peanut butter. Now I need to go across town…) I remember trying to do this when we first got married and coming home with random ingredients that didn’t quite fit our needs.

In other news, we finally finished the last season of How I Met Your Mother. I got emotional as we watched the last few episodes. The series is so good that I kind of just want to start from the beginning again. I don’t want spoil the ending for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but I’d love to discuss it with you. Email me? I have a lot of thoughts!

Let’s dive into the links, shall we?

/ / Have you watched any Marcel the Shell with Shoes On videos? Writer/actress Jenny Slate and her husband, Dean Fleischer-Camp have created a wonderful series (and children’s book) following Marcel throughout her day.  Their third Marcel video was released this week and Jordan and I are a little obsessed!

/ / As soon as our moving truck was unloaded, Jordan spent the next several weeks building his new website. I am so proud of him! It was quite the task to undertake on top of his normal work load. I love the color scheme too!

/ / I’m working through back issues of Real Simple and bookmarked this baked egg dish. Shakshuka is traditionally a turkish meal and I loved the simplicity of it. I subbed kale for spinach because I had that on hand and added peppers. We eat a lot of eggs but this feels distinctly dinner (vs. omelette’s) and is a great vegetarian meal.

/ / Learning to Thrive in the Waiting Season. This season of infertility leaves me feeling very in-between. Far too many days are spent fighting self-destructive thoughts such as, “I’m wasting good precious “fertile” years.” Katie reminded me that in all seasons it’s important to live intentionally.

Teresa beautifully shared her thoughts on being in limbo. It’s encouraging to know I’m not the only one that feels frustration during transitional phases. This has exposed my inner desire to want to be in control.

Cheers to your weekend!

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

A Recipe Swap / / Acorn Squash and Apple Frittata

To usher in fall, my sweet friend Teresa and I are swapping our favorite autumn recipes on our blogs. The weather might not have changed in south Florida, but this frittata oozes fall to me!

acorn squash and apple frittata

//Teresa lives in sunny south Florida with her husband (Ale), daughter (Grace), schnauzer (Bauer) and their growing baby bump. She has a passion for embracing and enjoying everyday adventures and writes about them on her lifestyle blog, Ale & Tere- a family blog//

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acorn squash and apple frittata

A couple of years ago, I had a friend drop off an acorn squash. Apparently, she bought one too many and thought I might want to tryout a new recipe. It was my first time making anything-squash and I thought chopping it up and roasting it would be the way to go. I cut the whole thing up, sprinkled half of it over a salad and kept the rest in the fridge.

The next day, we were ready for breakfast and I remembered about the sweet golden chopped up squash living in our fridge ready to be eaten. I quickly threw this frittata together and have not looked back since. It’s turned out to be one of our go-to fall staples. My husband LOVES it and all of the spices and aromas warm up our home for the fall season! Win win!

acorn squash and apple frittata

Ingredients

½ medium acorn squash
1 teaspoon of allspice
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of cloves
2 tablespoons of olive oil for roasting
1 granny smith apple cubed
1 tablespoon of chopped sage
2 tablespoon of butter
1 cup of fresh spinach
3 tablespoons of dried cranberries
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons of shredded gouda
salt to taste

Directions

  1. preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit
  2. cube the acorn squash and place in a roasting pan
  3. toss the squash with some olive oil, allspice, nutmeg and cloves and a pinch of salt
  4. roast for 40- 50 minutes or until the quash is tender
  5. in a medium frittata pan (set on medium high heat) add one tablespoon of butter, the apple and the sage and sauté for five minutes to soften the apple
  6. add the rest of the butter, spinach, roasted acorn squash and cranberries and cook for another 3 minutes
  7. meanwhile turn on the broiler
  8. in a medium bowl whisk the eggs and add to the pan twirling the pan to spread the egg evenly, cook for 3 minutes and transfer the pan to the oven
  9. allow the broiler to finish cooking the top of the frittata and watch it closely for about 5 minutes
  10. add the shredded gouda to the top of the frittata and return to the oven until the cheese is brown and gooey
  11. enjoy!

acorn squash and apple frittata

acorn squash and apple frittata

Granola | Going Tropical

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Below-freezing temperatures have become the norm around here and I relish any opportunity to stay warm: long hot showers, snuggling in blankets, slow-cooked meals and of course baking. On a recent day-off I baked a cake and also tried a new granola recipe.

In typical year-end fashion, I felt the need to purge my pantry of items that have been lingering around too long. We keep a tropical dried fruit mixture from Trader Joe’s to eat with nuts for a quick snack, but I misjudged and bought another package when we had two others (Making a grocery list would have solved that problem!). My mom sometimes adds pineapple to her granola so I thought, “why not go tropical for my next batch?” After searching around a little bit, this is what I ended up making.

Tropical Granola (Modified from teacheatlove)

Ingredients
1/4 c cup maple syrup (or any other sweetener)
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of flaked kosher or sea salt
3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup crushed nuts (I used almonds, original recipe called for macadamia nuts which probably would be divine)
1 – 1/4 cup dried fruit mixture (pineapple, papaya, mango, and coconut comes in my prepackaged mixture)

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine oats, chopped nuts and toss with a pinch of kosher salt. Chop dried fruit mixture to preferred side, set aside. Melt coconut oil and slowly pour, along with the vanilla, over the dry ingredients. Mix well. Spread evenly onto a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, adding dried fruit and mixing about halfway through.

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At the end I added a bit more dried pineapple for kicks. And as a suggestion, eat this with vanilla yogurt!

Enjoy!

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/ / Basic granola here

 

On Having a Brother

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It’s been about 10 years since my brothers and I lived in the same house together. That is hard to believe! Despite the distance apart, there are still aspects of me that no one else quite understands. I can relay a story to a friend but it’s not the same as the shared knowledge between siblings. Even after knowing Jordan for over a decade, we still find new information to tell one another. We are constantly filling in gaps from our childhoods (which is kinda fun).

A lot of those gaps have to do with his brother, Josh, with whom he shared a room for many years. With three sisters they had to band together and have continued to grow closer (literally and figuratively – Josh stood at Jordan’s shoulders when we got married and he is now taller!). I appreciate Josh for allowing me to take away his roommate. You’re the best!

As the baby of my family, I watched my brothers reach milestones but experienced them through a different lens. It’s been an enjoyable experience watching Jordan’s younger siblings reach important stages in their life. Now they are stages that I myself have reached (learning to drive, graduations, etc). This past weekend Jordan’s brother turned 21 and we were there to celebrate!

This was a special birthday, so a group of us gathered at Tavern on Rush in the Gold Coast for dinner Sunday evening. Jordan and I have dined there several times but only for lunch. The food was great, especially the tiramisu! We have a soft spot for that dessert.

Happy Birthday, Josh!

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