Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday Tips - Buttermilk Emergency

Whenever I forget to buy buttermilk (or don't thaw it the night before) I just make it myself!

Simply add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk.  Mix the two ingredients and let stand for 5-10 minutes until the milk has curdled. 

Works like a charm in a pinch!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Movie Mondays - August Rush

Please tell me you've already seen this!!!

If not, this movie revolves around a young orphan who has a passion and true talent for music. His birth parents, also talented musicians, are unaware of his existence but through several twists of fate they begin searching for him in a unique way. 

I love Keri Russell (Felicity anyone?) and will gladly see anything that she is a part of.  That being said, the music in this movie is breathtaking and I found myself thinking a lot about the sounds that surround me day in and day out.  Bonus: Robin Williams!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Five on Friday

This post is happening thanks to good girlfriends and the YMCA pool. We went this morning with our buddies and had so much fun. BG hasn't been sleeping well the past couple of weeks so hopefully the hot sun and splashing around will give him a nice long nap. 


I made my second ever full cheesecake this past week for Father's Day. My husband is a HUGE peanut butter fan so I thought a PB chocolate cheesecake would be ideal. 

I used Reese's Oreos for the crust - chocolate cheesecake - peanut butter cheesecake - chocolate ganache - then finished it with some chopped up Reese's cups. 

Honestly? It was way too rich for all of us. I ended up sharing a good bit of it with friends because we just couldn't eat it anymore. 


Something happened to my poor zucchini plant the other night. Either the wind from our storm or just the sheer weight of it made it topple over. We still had luck picking though! 


It's been a long week for us but it just reminded me of how lucky I am to have some really great girlfriends. Three nights this week someone had us for dinner and it was just so much fun to break up the monotony of our week. During one dinner  I learned a new "sauce" trick for chicken and pork. Basically you pour vinegar in a small dish with minced garlic and cracked pepper. It turns any protein into salt and vinegar dipped deliciousness. I've tried my best to capture it but it always ends up looking like a science experiment. I promise it tastes amazing though and it's whole30 compliant!


Looking good while shopping for a baby gift.* He's loving his babiators and wears them constantly. I'm hoping he's used to wearing them by the time we get to the beach. If you're on the fence about buying babiators just know that they replace them if they are lost or broken. Yes, you can lose them and they will send you a new pair FOR FREE! 

*Babies are popping up everywhere! One of our close friends found out she's having a boy so we had to find a few of BGs favorite things to spoil her new bambino. All kinds of friends are now having their second babies AND almost all of them are opposite genders from their older sibling. So much fun for all!


I'm considering making my own laundry detergent lately. I love the smell of clothes washed in Tide and Downy as much as the next gal but I just keep thinking about all of those chemicals. We use Kirkland unscented organic blah blah blah now for all of our clothes but I keep feeling the itch to make my own.  I found a powder mix recipe that I'm thisclose to trying. Anyone have a positive experience doing this?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday Tips - Buttermilk

If you're anything like me you never can get through the entire container of buttermilk.  If a recipe calls for buttermilk it always seems to be 1/4 cup or so - nothing close to the smallest of the containers you can purchase.  At times I use this as an opportunity to make buttermilk ranch dressing or to stock up on the dough for scones but other times I just don't want to fool with it.  So...I freeze it! 

At first I pour the buttermilk into ice cube trays to freeze, then I pop them into a gallon baggie and take out "pucks" as needed.  Two pucks equals 1/4 cup from my trays.  When I need a bit of buttermilk I just pull the amount of pucks out the night before and thaw in the fridge overnight.

Need buttermilk in a pinch? Stay tuned for next week!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Movie Mondays - Philomena

I've decided to resurrect this little idea of mine.  My mom has been here this past week and we've watched so many great movies once BG's down for the night.  I actually started a list of my favorites to share with you over the next few weeks.  I hope they bring you as much pleasure as they've brought our family!

I started hearing about Philomena before it was released.  I was raised on British television and movies so when the buzz of this film began I hoped it would be one that I enjoyed.

Philomena is based on the TRUE story of an Irish teen who is forced to let her son be adopted by the convent where she gave birth.  Decades later, a well known BBC reporter learns of her story and decides to help her find her son!

As a mother this movie really struck a chord with me.  Although a lot of sadness surrounds the story of Philomena, Judy Dench truly brings a lightness and (dare I say) comedy to the film! Although the story is not a perfectly happy one (how could it be with such a gut-wrenching premise?) it still manages to brings a sense of peace to all of the viewers following along.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Five on Friday


On Saturday we went blueberry picking, despite the hot temps, at our favorite fruit farm, Bush-N-Vine

The boys cooled off in the car every 30 minutes or so - BG had the best time sitting in the front touching all of the buttons. Sadly, our strawberries are already gone and the blueberries are not long for this world either. Time to go back!


I've made several tasty treats with our buckets of blueberries...one being a lemon blueberry cheesecake another being this blueberry pie. So sad, right? My crusts always burn. Need to work on that. Thankfully I was able to trim it off and the rest was oh so very good. 

My first attempt at a full cheesecake seems to be a smashing success!


We're big fans of this cereal line in our house. BG loves the flavors and I love the short ingredient lists! We find all different kinds of flavors at Trader Joes, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods and Target.


My life seems like one big game of peek-a-boo these days. Can you find BG?


We're having Indian food tonight. I can hear the paneer and naan calling my name already....whole30 starts again on Monday though. Eeep! I'm actually looking forward to it this time around!

Happy weekend...and happy celebrating to all the Dad's out there!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday Tips - Pantyhose

This tip comes from years of watching my mom in her own garden. 

Do you have a garden?

Do you have tights that have seen better days?

Don't throw them away! Use them in your garden!!

Cut small strips from the legs of your tights to help tie plants to stakes. 

The nylon stretches with the plants so you don't have to worry about cutting off the plants nutrients as they continue to grow. 

Your plants with love the extra support they receive and who doesn't love a little repurposing?!?!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tuesday Tips - Watermelon

I'm not sure if I'm alone in this but I despise cutting watermelon. LOVE eating it. Can't stand the sticky mess from cutting it. Soooo I would buy it precut to avoid the headache. Then my aunt found this video of a physical therapist cutting it a different way and I was forever changed. Now I cut and clean an entire watermelon in less then five minutes! 

Please excuse the quality of these pictures - I'm not sure how food bloggers manage to make every step of a recipe look so beautiful with their hands a sticky mess!

Cut your watermelon in half from top to bottom. 

Slice both of the sides (two to three times depending how large your melon is or how big you want your chunks). Do not cut all the way around! Leave at least three inches on top and bottom. 

Slice from top to bottom. 

Slice from side to side. 

Use your knife to "carve" all the way around the pink part cutting/separating it from the white portion as far down as your knife can reach. 

Stick the end of your melon in a gallon baggie. Pick it up and SHAKE that fruit right out. 

Zip and toss that empty rind!

Hope it helps anyone else that can't stand watermelon juice all over their counters, floors and toes! Ha!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Five on Friday


This week was a toughie for all of us. On Saturday BG ended up needing to visit the ER for the first (and hopefully last!) time with a leg injury. It scared us all but thankfully by Monday afternoon we had answers and he is already up and making his way around. He's a tough cookie, that BG. 


We had breakfast for dinner this week because all of us just needed a pick me up. These hit the spot!


After days of little sleep, emotional exhaustion and keeping BG immobile I realized I had a "party" to throw. Thankfully hosting bunco really just means providing a space for everyone to play and a few snacks. I'd been dreaming up a cheese board for well over a month and talking about it nonstop with my fellow cheese loving girlfriends. It came out better than I'd expected and was really quite simple. Although I was completely focused on it while two of my girlfriends set up the rest of the food and drinks...so maybe it was more complicated than I realized?!?

(Thank you again, Faith, for the picture. I can't believe I wouldn't have any record of it if it weren't for you!)


Between yesterday and today I got to have some honest-to-goodness girlfriend time. Nothing rejuvenates me quite like sincere conversations at the kitchen counter or swapping stories over coffee and donuts. I consider myself very lucky to have loyal and comical girls in my life. They put up with my shenanigans and really push me to get out of my comfort zone. 


Random? Yes. Buuuuuut. These are so good...salty and sweet and crunchy...perfection! 

Here's hoping the week ahead is calmer! I have a great Tuesday tip coming for my fellow watermelon lovers!