Simple Fall Brunch

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Food is such a part of my story, that I love sharing it with others.

I remember the meal my husband cooked for me during my “year of vegetarian” when we met, dated, got engaged, and got married – he cooked the meal before he asked me to marry him.

There are food stories I have that bring a smile to my face and ones that bring me to tears – either because they bring sadness or deep hurt.

Weight has always been a part of my story as I have been heavy most of my life.  I wasn’t even the skinny ballerina during my one year of ballet in Kindergarten, and I probably had a plus size tutu for clogging in 4th grade.  I loved clogging.  And I still remember some of the steps.  And it still is a part of my story.  I remember specific life events and the weight I was when those events happened.  I’ve lost weight and gained weight so many times I’ve lost count.

But today, I got to share my love of food with new friends.  Being in the creative industry gives us a common ground, being mamas is another line of commonality, but today, we also got to enjoy loving food together.  And I enjoyed putting it all together.

One of my favorite things to do is be in the kitchen together with friends.  So, today, I still had to put this quiche together (go run by leeks and make this tonight for dinner).  And my friend jumped right in and helped.  We talked, photographed food, and made food together.  Food is one of the only things in life that every human has in common.  We all have food.

So, food is a wonderful joiner.  Hopefully.  Today, we joined over conversation about our motherhood journeys, food, creative business, weddings, travel, and community.

Having some friends over for brunch should not be hard.  And we through in a toddler too!  I just picked a few things to make – a quiche, fruit and cheese tray, and cookies.  I made the cookies yesterday.  The board is super easy with just some fresh fruit, cheese, and little danishes from the Publix bakery.

The quiche was made during the preparation this morning and my friend helped.  Don’t be afraid of help.  Allow friends (and family, including littles) to join you in the kitchen.  And y’all, even though I know how to make a crust, I always use Pillsbury rolled doughs.  So easy and yummy.

And the cookies, I just made them yesterday as I was home and the recipe said they would be better the next day.  Reading recipes is super important.  And I didn’t have dirty dishes from baking this morning.

And here’s a little hint: my floor hadn’t been swept, but for the most part my home was picked up.  Two things: having people over regularly keeps your home clean.  And if you pick up a little every day and have a husband and kids that help – it makes cleaning easier.  And you know what, your friends shouldn’t care if your home is super clean or not.  But, I think it is good stewardship of your home to keep it tidy.

The Fall – perfect time to bring people in, hear their stories, share yours, enjoy good food, and live life with other people.  And Hannah Anderson, who launched a new book yesterday, also wrote a piece today in CT about doing community with broken people (hint: we are all broken).  Go read it!

 

Finding Lovely

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Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone.  My weekend is pretty typical – although my older is out of school and my husband gets off at 6 instead of 8.  Don’t know what we are going to do tomorrow to have some fun, but will think of something.

Last night we went to Athens on a double date (we rarely have double dates) and enjoyed eating good Southern food here and walking around UGA’s campus and playing In a Pickle.  I won – not that I’m competitive or anything.

Everyone has to have a good reason to make this sauce and these muffins.

And this is when Oreos just got better.

I think I may eat this every day.

Go listen to this podcast

I have an old gold frame like this one and want to do this.

He is easily one of my favorite artists – and we sang one of his songs in church today.  Loved hearing him live in Little Rock a few years ago.

 

Finding Lovely

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IPC Church Savannah

We are more than halfway through 2016 and rushing headlong into 2017.  So, what are you thinking about, looking forward to, and anticipating for the remainder of the year?

The Fall is always busy for us as we have the holidays but also our anniversary and our two little boys both have Fall birthdays.  There is never a dull moment and I sorta like it that way.

I do love downtime – and really the only downtime that I absolutely love is downtime with my mister.  Whether it is a date night out in the city, a date night in, or just watching Netflix – that is always my favorite part of the day.

I’m usually not a slipper kind of girl – I really just love barefeet – but these are super cute, and super expensive (so they will just stay cute on someone else’s feet)

Love lettering and stuff for your home, and was just introduced to this little Etsy shop

Music is something super important to me.  And it is also the most painful to me at times.  Love this discussion with David Mathis and Bob Kauflin

These would be super tasty on a cloudy afternoon – I think maybe even better with blueberries.  Perfect for Sundays when you serve brinner.

 

Finding Lovely

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Finding Lovely

Happy Friday everyone.

I love just giving you a quick glance into our little world – and what things actually make me giddy.  I love holding my littles hands (when I’m doing it for fun, not for discipline because they ran away), I love friends who are great accountability partners and share their lives with me, I love celebrating friends who excel in their hobbies, I love sticking my feet in the sand at a beach.

Here are some lovelies around the internet that might make you Friday just a bit brighter, too.

If you love Alaska, love adventure, love a story of a father and daughter taking risks, learning about each other, and all the emotions that go with it – you will love James Campbell’s new book Braving It.  Parenting isn’t easy.  And the Alaska wilderness with a teenager isn’t easy.  But, this story holds truths about love and the nature of relationships that most will find compelling.

Trying to fit in more salads on our table – so this post was not only pretty but also inspiring.

I love Pinch of Yum food and also this post: about soaking up summer in all of its glory.  Summer looks different than I thought it would with kids and a working husband.  My mister always reminds me to change my expectations.

This has summer written all over it: and I want to eat it right now!  Maybe I’ll make some rosemary olive bread this wknd

Thanks to Blogging for Books for Braving It – all opinions are my own

 

 

 

Kid-Friendly Ham & Cheese Rolls

Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups

I wouldn’t say my kids are picky, but they just aren’t the most well-rounded eaters.  They could eat fruit and most veggies all the time – but to get them to eat meat is another matter all together.  They eat breads and most pastas, and definitely baked goods, but anything outside of chicken nuggets (and those even occasionally) or maybe a cheeseburger (if they eat half of one) is harder to get them to eat.

What’s a Mom to do?

Look to other moms and try things that might or might not work, and hope they work.  My friend Jeni that I interviewed a few weeks ago has a great blog full of tasty and healthy recipes and she cooks for her 4 kids a lot.  So, this week when I have sworn off fast food I needed some quick go-to meals for them.

She recommended some crescent ham and cheese rolls that she makes for her daughter.  My kids will eat anything they can dip: broccoli in ranch dressing, fruit in just about anything including CFA sauce, and these they ate right up when I gave them some honey mustard to dip these rolls into.  Never underestimate the power of dipping sauce.

Kid-Friendly Ham & Cheese Rolls
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch
Cuisine: Kid Lunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Easy quick ham and cheese roll ups
Ingredients
  • 1 roll refrigerated crescent rolls
  • about 4 slices honey ham
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven according to rolls pkg directions.
  2. Pull apart ham slices and put a little ham and cheese in each crescent roll.
  3. Roll up and place on ungreased baking pan.
  4. Top with a little salt and pepper for extra savory seasonings.
  5. Bake according to directions.
  6. Let cool. The inside filling will be too hot for most kids right out of the oven.
  7. Serve with their favorite fruits and vegetables and of course dipping sauce.
 

Coffee with: Jeni of Barefoot in the Kitchen

Jeni of Barefoot in the Kitchen

The Atlanta Zoo is a crazy place.  And we were in the petting zoo one afternoon and tons of kids were around and the smell of animals was around too.  All of a sudden, I hear my name.  But, I didn’t recognize anyone.  So, I figured my name is pretty popular so maybe it was for someone else.  But, then she was looking at me, knew my son’s name, and said “don’t worry you don’t know me.”

And that, dear readers, is how I was introduced to Jeni of Barefoot in the Kitchen.  We have one friend in common – and that one friend is a pretty strong tie.  Since that day in the zoo, we have had a play date, and cooked together, and I got to be in her home and her kitchen, learning from her on many fronts.  You will definitely want to check out her recipes and kitchen advice, as she has had some recipes published – she’s my someone famous that I know!

Yall, meet Jeni.

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Jeni is a SAHM of kiddos ranging from high school to preschool.  She married a twin, lives near Athens, GA, in a small southern town, and declares it was love at first sight with her now husband.  She has a bright sunny home and kids all around, and she makes healthy meals for her family.  It can be done, yall!  This was great encouragement to my heart as it is one of my struggles (getting things cooked and having two preschoolers).

Growing up, Jeni’s mom helped her learn all things in the kitchen.  Her mom made things from scratch and encouraged Jeni to do the same.  She wanted to experiment with foods and spices!  When she was first pregnant, she wanted to make sure her baby got all the nutrients she needed so she wanted to make every calorie count.  She then ended up making her own baby food along the way, making sure her babies got healthy food in their growing tummies.  She has wanted and made a healthy family atmosphere, both in food and spiritual content.  She has set her mind to something, worked hard at it, persevered, and the Lord has blessed her endeavors.

Some of Jeni’s inspiration comes from familiar names: Pioneer Woman, Sara Moulton (I love her too), Rachael Ray, Southern Living (of course, who doesn’t).  She also does something that I like to do, she asks her family what food they want.  Of course there is pizza, spaghetti, and tacos.  But, instead of getting all of these take out, she takes the time to make these at home, making them healthier for her family.

I asked Jeni what her favorite kitchen tools are (and I agree with these, and I’ve already bought some of the towels she recommended and I love them):

Five Kitchen Tools:
1. Every cook needs a good all-purpose knife! Wustof and Henckels are both solid choices for price and quality.

2. Stand Mixer – I’m not sure how I truly lived before my sweetie pie surprised me with a Kitchen Aid for Christmas one year. Cookie dough, whipped cream, pizza dough, bread/rolls … life changing, I tell you.

3. Blender/Food Processor – With picky children, this is an invaluable tool to use for hiding fruits and veggies. Homemade marinara, soups, smoothies … I use mine all the time.

4. Silicone Spatulas – The best all-purpose tool aside from your hands. They’re heat-proof and super durable for use on the stovetop or for just mixing together ingredients.

5. Flour Sack Towels – I bought a huge package of them and use them for everything! Drying dishes or produce or hands, mopping up spills, covering yeast dough, whatever. Wash and bleach ’em and they’re ready to go again!
These are some of her favorite recipes:
Jeni’s Summer Cake (this would be fabulous at any summer bbq with friends)
Italian Heritage Casserole – One of my mom’s favorite go-to special occasion meals. (Note, I made this recently and it is super yummy and easily whole30 compliant and perfect for meat and potato eaters)
Scalloped Potatoes w/ Ham & Leeks – It would be more efficient to paste this directly to your hips. But totally worth it.
Lasagna Rolls – I made this dish for Leah when Georgie Girl was born.  My mom made a podcast recording of me making it for a project when earning her Master’s Degree.
Here are the two she has had published by Taste of Home:
Thai Chicken Pasta (This won 3rd place in a healthy cooking contest.)
And like any good host, she had yummy stuff waiting for us, and we definitely like this Blueberry-Orange Quick Bread.

Easter Leftovers Recipe Roundup

posted in: The Charming South Kitchen | 0

Easter Leftovers Recipe Roundup

Here we are, another holiday come and gone.  Easter is such a special one because the Resurrection of Christ is really all that life hinges on!  And spring is usually close by so the weather is somewhat good – depending on the year and when Easter falls.  I love being around my misters.  And we always cook.  I usually cook a lot more than what I did – but I wanted to share with you some recipes from around the internet that will help you know what to do with those Easter dinner leftovers – or you might just want to cook them anyway because they are super yummy!

 

Leftover Lamb:

Here is a slow cooker stew that you can use – and then spend all your time in the outdoors soaking up the spring air.

Because everything can go in tacos!

I always think of gyros when I think of lamb – and here is a pita pocket recipe you can easily make at home.

 

Leftover Ham:

Fettucini is amazing – and ham in it is a wonderful choice – you can always through in leftover vegetables in here too.

Baked potato night is a regular monthly night in our house (or more).  Ham is such a delicious topping.

These are perfect if you have little hands.  I am hoping my boys will go for these.

 

Leftover Hard-Boiled Eggs:

I could eat this with a spoon or on top of a salad.

This isn’t a recipe – but you need to go here if you are in the Triangle part of Carolina.  So good.

Throw them on salads like the one I had for lunch today

Salad with egg, avocado, and bacon

 

Leftover Candy:

These truffles may have to be made soon (oh, wait, there goes my diet)

I started making these when I hung out with the admins at Providence.  So good – chocolate!

I love blondies – and these can be quite colorful!

Pinterest For Your Weekend

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Pinterest for your Weekend

Pinterest is a go- to for me.

When I have time to kill in the car, when I have time to kill somewhere else, when I’m trying to fall asleep but I can’t.  I usually turn to this mega camp for all things everything for food and lettering and boy stuff.  It is fun and usually gives me fresh ideas.  Here’s some for you:

What are you go-to Pinterest places and who do you love to follow?

These pretty ranunculus (and a good vegan recipe)

This dress would be a perfect goal dress when I lose the rest of my weight and when a friend takes new headshots for me – or maybe just for Easter.

To do this for an area in the new house we are renting.  I need more counter space!

Want to do this to the remaining one bookshelf we have – I think it will be down in our office anyway

My husband drinks coffee every day, we love making coffee drinks, and we love tea!  All things pretty.  Wouldn’t it be fun to create a little area in the corner of a dining room or kitchen!

A friend and I were just talking about herbs yesterday and this is such a great idea – especially for tea lovers!

Just found this one and am going to make it next week.  hopefully the boys will love it!

This one will be filling and I know the boys will love it!

I like taking photos I’ve taken and turning them into cards to mail to people!

May make these for a boy party on Easter that is a possibility!  How fun would this be!

Because its spring and you need these cookies – and they make great favors for any showers you may be hosting in the near future.

How do you teach gratitude to your children – even when its not Thanksgiving.

This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

Gardenia

I’ve learned this weekend that when it is cold outside – I want warmth to eat – and I’m doing a juice/smoothie fast – for the most part – and all I want is warm anything.  But, pressing on!  Until tomorrow night!

The other exciting thing for the home is coming this week for 7 days.  The boys and her son will love that.  So, I’m cooking a bit for that.  I’m taking a little trip so I like to leave my family well-stocked with what they will love while I’m gone.

Baked Ziti PW style.  I’m actually doing this in two batches so I can freeze one of them.

Emeril’s Tuna Tetrazzini – because tuna and noodles and cheese and chips – what’s not to love?

Taste of Home Blueberry Muffins – such a perfect quick thing for breakfast or a snack – good thing TJ had a huge thing of blueberries today!

Brisket – my first time making it – and will have it on top of a sweet potato and tacos!

My husband loves chewy ginger molasses cookies and I’ll be baking him these

A big breakfast of homemade biscuits, eggs (three different ways), double cream gouda grits (recipe coming soon), and bacon

And these pretty cupcakes as an awesome start to celebrate Valentine’s Day with Oma.