Tuesday, July 31, 2012

welcome to the lake!

blakey & i whisked away to the porters' lake house this weekend!  the quick but amazing trip was a wonderful celebration of dave's 60th birthday.  & blakey's 29th too.

 {the birthday boys!!
& their delicious brownies by cara!}

we absolutely love the lake.  lazy mornings with coffee, afternoons floating & boat riding, & beautiful evenings on the porch.  all with our wonderful family.  it was seriously a great weekend.  

 {boy golf outing}

{girl porch time}

the porters redid the kitchen, dining room, living room, screened in porch, & back patio this spring.  it is gorgeous.  black leathered granite, banquette seating, & two fridges!  i look forward to preparing many meals in that kitchen with lisa.

 {the beautiful kitchen!}

{love having two fridges.  genius.}

{stephanie & bryan & little kaizer!}

we did enjoy an evening in the screened in porch...

 {my love!}

 {porters x4}
{we missed you, justin & peyton!}

the sunset at the lake is quite possibly the most gorgeous sunset of all...

 {beaubie, brybie, & blakey}

{the porter crew!}
{ps how did i miss the memo we were taking a group picture?!
come on, kendall!}

a marvelous two days of sleeping, eating, relaxing, & hanging out with the fam.

{of course, little guy was so excited we were home}

love love,

Monday, July 30, 2012

veggie cooking with julie byrd!

while julie was in town, we had to cook together!  she was, after all, the one who got me cooking.  fiance dinners at harvey lofts, christmas candy parties, & "really gross pasta salad".  thanks, julie byrd!!

to find out what it is my sister eats these days, i took a look at her pinterest food boards.  pinterest really is so fabulous, isn't it?

for our main course, we made black bean burgers with avocado, havarti, & arugula.  {original recipe: HERE}  they were quite tasty.  cilantro & avocado & havarti, i always believe in you.

while paroozing julie's pinterest boards, i came across a most intriguing dish:  roasted grape, goat cheese, & honey stuffed sweet potatoes.  {original recipe: HERE}  this is right up julie's alley.  let's do it!

roasted grape, goat cheese, & honey twice-baked potatoes!

3 sweet potatoes
2 c red seedless grapes
1 tsp canola oil
salt & pepper
4 oz goat cheese, divided
5 green onions, chopped
2 T honey + more for drizzling
pinches of cinnamon & nutmeg & cayenne pepper

1.  poke holes in sweet potatoes with a fork & wrap tightly with aluminum foil.  bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes or until a little bit squishy.  unwrap foil, cut in half, & let cool.

2. spread grapes on a baking sheet & drizzle with canola oil & a pinch of salt & pepper.  toss to coat.  roast at 450 for 20-25 minutes or until the grapes begin to burst in joy.  at this point they will smell & taste a lot like cherries.  who knew you could roast grapes??  remove from oven & let cool.

3. once you can handle holding the sweet potatoes, cut each in half & gently remove the inner potato into a bowl.  remember potato boats??  same idea!  leave a little "boat" of skin & just take out the insides.  add 3 oz goat cheese, spices, green onions, & honey to the potato inners.  mash 'em up.

4. once it tastes delicious, add the potato mixture back to the boats.  if you did this part in advance or let your potato inners cool, this is a good time to warm them back up in the oven.  375 for about 15 minutes or so will do.

5. once the potatoes are deliciously warm, sprinkle the remaining ounce of goat cheese on top.  add the grapes & drizzle with a little honey.  delicious sweet potato boats for you!!  so interesting & so tasty.  even blake liked them.  whoa.

& to finish our meal, we enjoyed my favorite summer savory watermelon salad.  watermelon, cucumber, red onion, sugar, salt & pepper, a little balsamic vinegar & olive oil.  also strange.  also very addicting.

{the boys were a big help}

love love,

Friday, July 27, 2012

hey, hay hay!!

haley came to birmy to see us too!!  we hadn't seen haley since our wedding TWO years ago.  how crazy is that??  wow, time flies.  but we will surely see her & bubba too before another two years is up.

so we did food with julie & wine with dad, so beer time with haley it is!  we got to show off our favorite alabama brewery, avondale brewing company, to mrs honey.

& after a delicious brew or two, we took her next door to saw's soul kitchen.  good ole alabama bbq.  the best, really.  & she even took some sauce home to bubba!

haley was in town long enough to see julie & little aveer too!!  the tropicana college house was together again for a night.  to celebrate, we walked down to our neighborhood favorite, bottega cafe, for some delicious pizzas with wonderful friends.

{we love you, little aveer!!}

so happy to spend a few days with a fabulous friend!!  & tanky misses you too, haley!!

love love,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

thankful thursday: daddy-o!

in honor of thankful thursday, i must say i could not be more thankful for everyone who came to see us in birmy!!!   julie byrd, little aveer, dad, & haley!  you all are the best.

it was pretty darn awesome having my dad in town for a few days.  we got to show him our new home & new neighborhood, new favorite restaurants, & a little more of our sweet home alabama.

on saturday, blakey & i took my dad down to our favorite alabama winery, ozan!  we enjoyed a tasting of all their wines while looking out over their gorgeous vineyard.  it was so lovely to sit & chat & catch up with my dad.

{the peach wine was quite delicious!}

{my two guys!}

saturday night, we took my dad out to our favorite restaurant in birmingham - gianmarco's.  we drank some delicious wine & ate even more delicious food.  although i tried to branch out, the veal piccata won me over once again.  it seriously is so so good.

for brunch on sunday, we all enjoyed a meal at veranda's jazz brunch!  dad went all southern & ate the chicken & waffles.  one fabulous southern tradition.

while dad was here, he stayed at a sweet southern bed & breakfast near our house, called cobb lane b&b.

we absolutely loved having dad in town!!  now he is back home campaigning for state senate.  so here is my daughterly plug:  norman friends - vote for jack beller in the oklahoma state senate primary run-off on august 28th!!  do it :)

& i hope you can think of something today for which you are thankful.

love love,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

julie byrd & little aveer!!

{julie & little aveer!  i learned that 30 weeks pregnant is like having a cabbage in your belly.}

julie byrd & little aveer came to visit us down south in birmy!! we had so so so so so much fun.

like all good vacations & any other good times, our days revolved very much around eating.  julie got to try lots of my baked goods - maple pecan scones, peach cupcakes, buttermilk oatmeal muffins, brownies with ganache & mini chocolate chips, oatmeal raisin cookies...  she said she ate a cupcake everyday in alabama.  that is a good trip!

we also took her to some fun & delicious restaurants.  we had to make a stop by our favorite patio in birmy, moe's!

on sunday morning, we all got to enjoy the beautiful view from our front patio with coffee in hand.  i am not sure who enjoyed it the most.  blakey on his ipad... julie teaching dad about his father's day gift... dad spending time with two of his girls... tanky running around like crazy... or me with 3 of my favorite people & my favorite beverage & my favorite puppy on a gorgeous day.

{isn't my sister pretty stinkin adorable pregnant?
i certainly think so.}

{the very proud grandfather}

{always always with green man}

our typical morning...

& our typical evening...

so happy you came to see us, julie byrd & little aveer!!!  i cannot believe you are going to have a baby next time i see you!  so excited to meet him or her.  & so excited to see you & benny boo soon.

love love,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

welcome to the last year of your twenties!

our crazy week & a half of fun began with blakey's twenty-ninth birthday party!!  now, if you are going to begin your last year of your twenties with a party, this commencement better be awesome.   so party in style we did with a hipster trash river floating experience.

i must say, dressing up was quite the fun beginning.  cut off shorts & tanks, ridiculous amounts of neon, crimped, braided, or pig-tailed hair, & lots of facial hair.  pretty darn awesome.

{& mustache koozies!}

sadly, we did not take any pictures during the actual float trip.  ok, i say "sadly", but it was probably actually a very good thing.  just know: floating the river is freakin awesome.  so excited to do it again soon.

on blakey's actual birthday, we headed over to our favorite local brewery for some delicious beverages with the good uab folk!

{loving the backyard patio at avondale}

happy TWENTY-NINTH birthday, byrds!!  tanky & i love you a million.

love love,