Scenes from last weekend

My cousin got married last weekend in Virginia Beach, so we made the pilgrimage to the East Coast. Dramatic much? Growing up, I drove to Virginia and then New York at least once a year, so the route was familiar— the experience not so much. Let me just say that parents who travelled pre-apple products and pre-dvd players should be granted nobel peace prizes or guaranteed social security regardless of whatever becomes of the program. Traveling with children is so much easier now, especially if the only time your child is ever allowed to touch your ipad is when you are traveling :) Oh and one thing we try to do is to find a place like Chick-fil-a where W can run around for 20 minutes or so to stretch her legs and get out some energy.

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We broke up the trip into 2 days, stopping at T’s grandparents house in South Carolina for the night before arriving in Virginia Beach Friday afternoon.  

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Selfies in South Carolina 

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Since she didn’t nap on the second day, she fell asleep while we were checking in the hotel.

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Here are some of the women in our family surrounding our newest member, the bride!

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After the wedding on the beach, we headed to the reception.FullSizeRender-1

Who doesn’t love a good photo booth?

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T and his fan club

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Happy Honeymooning!

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After the reception, we hopped into the car with the goal to make it to Nashville- setting the bar high :)

We stopped in Charlottesville for dinner.

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And made it to nashville around 3 AM!

After a few hours of sleep, we checked out and explored a bit before heading home.

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While we have still never been on a family vacation, just the three of us— all the driving last week made it almost seem like we were on one. We all decided that we like traveling together and are looking forward to that time, whenever it may be! 

Thai Lettuce cups with spicy peanut sauce

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Anyone observe meatless mondays? If so, this would be a great dish to add to the rotation. I promise that as you take your first bite you will think to yourself, meatless? what?! This is light enough for the warm oppressive days of summer while  also being hearty enough when the chill in the air calls for something a little more hearty. This recipe also leaves room for creativity, if you are feeling one veggie over another, you can always substitute one for another. 

Inspired by Veggie and the Beast

Ingredients:

Thai Lettuce Cups

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, mined
  • 1/2  red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 5 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, shredded (food processor works great, here!)

Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the peppers, mushrooms, and carrots, and squeeze on the lime, soy sauce, and half the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes.
  2. Pour in the shredded cauliflower and remaining salt (to taste), and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. For the sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and boil for 3-5 minutes, until thickened.
  4. Serve with bibb lettuce leaves, crushed peanuts, minced green onions, cilantro, the spicy peanut sauce, and extra sriracha.

This recipe can easily be made celiac friendly by substituting Tamari for the Soy sauce. 

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I usually serve this with edamame, spicy haricot verts, and/or dumplings. 

Scenes from Our Weekend

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my blog and obviously, not a lot of time writing on it. I am not a tech savy person and not a photographer {unless iphone 6 snaps count?} and those two factors have kept me from sharing things I’ve eaten and adventures we’ve undertaken. I am officially making the switch to being a lifestyle blogger with a heavy dose of all things edible. What better way to jump in feet first than by sharing a recap of the holiday weekend.

Friday started off with our usual morning walk with two unusual occurrences sub 50 temps at the end of May and a baby bird sighting and rescue.

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Afterwards, donuts for T+W. We tried out this new flavor in honor of Uncle Lance.

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That evening we had T’s brothers and their families over for a BBQ.

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Saturday I selected and ordered a bridesmaid dress for a wedding I am in this Fall. Not sharing those photos quite yet! Later that afternoon, we attended a wedding.

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After the reception, we raced downtown, to the River for the last ever Sunset Symphony. The weather was perfect-o and we had great seats! Too bad I can’t keep my eyes open when bright flashes go off, this would’ve been a great photo!

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Any idea where the inability originated? #genetics

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It also happened to be the anniversary of our first date

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 Sunday I missed a graduation party due to an Allen Wrench in my tire and we later missed member’s night at the Zoo due to it being rained out.

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Monday we celebrated Memorial Day by a trip to Lowes. We are about to begin a bathroom remodel which I have mixed feelings about— I don’t mix very well with construction.

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Some outside play

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And celebrated T’s birthday!

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I am pretty sure she thought it was her birthday.

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Family Selfie

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A child’s favorite part of a birthday cake, right?

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Triple layer carrot cake cake as requested by the birthday boy.

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Let me know what you think of my new format, I am excited about writing this way. Thanks for sticking around all these years! Here is to the next chapter of My Edible Bucket List!

-Laura

Cherry on top

If you know me well you then you know that I have two sides… Ask my poor family. If I am in a city where I have heard of a restaurant or a particular must-eat item, I will go to great lengths to try that item or hunt down that restaurant. I can be very particular with certain things like the amount of ice in my water (I know, crazy!) And don’t even get me started on my cereal to milk ratio and the temperature of the milk itself. On the other hand, nothing is quite as satisfying as to me as avocado toast or a chocolate-dipped cone from McDonalds. Both are incredibly simple and low-key. I can go either way when it comes to food– extremely complex and finicky dishes or easy peasy. It is truly funny how with the flip of a switch I can be at either end of the spectrum at any moment. 

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I stumbled across this recipe in the latest issue of Rachael Ray and it immediately caught my eye. It was so simple, but it utilized fresh cherries- something I had never thought about before. 

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Since I read the recipe, I have made this bark 3 times :) It is so simple, yet so satisfying. The Dark chocolate counter acts the cherries and the toasted pecans add a nice crunch. The fresh cherries are mind-blowing and the sea salt ties it all together. 

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I cannot put into words the simplicity of this dessert, I needed to share it because something this amazing cannot be kept to myself. So for all of you I saw this week and told you about this recipe, here it is. Do yourself a favor, make this bark this weekend and you will not regret it. It will be the least complex thing you do all weekend, but with out a doubt the best thing you will eat! Sometimes  Often, simple is best.

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Note: True to my aforementioned tendencies, I used basic semi-sweet chocolate chips that I simply melted in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. Once the bark was spread unto my silpat, I sprinkled the top with my favorite Maldon sea salt flakes

Sharing is caring

For years I have heard of “Adrienne’s Thai pizza” and have been wanting to try it for myself. At my nephews 1st birthday party in May, I finally was able to try it! My sister-in-law also served a Thai Salad along with the pizza. 

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My friends and family will tell you that I love pizza, but not your typical cheese, pepperoni, etc. I like non-tradtional toppings and sauces and this Thai pizza perfectly fits the bill. The pizza lived up to all of its hype Tonight, I picked up some pizza dough from Whole Foods (my favorite place to buy it- they have white and wheat) and we had pizza and salad tonight.

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T got a smoker for his birthday this year, so instead of cooking chicken as the recipes directed, I just added shredded smoked chicken to both the salad and the pizza. 

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These recipes are comforting enough for a Friday night, but appealing enough to impress company for a dinner party. Delicious, easy, and unique this dinner needs to be shared!

Pizza by Rachael Ray & Salad by Pampered Chef 

Summer 2013: A round up of the best things I ate last Summer

 

I am currently on summer vacation, though summer is still weeks away and today the high was only 71. Unlike, most people, I do not have a favorite season. Each season has it’s advantages and disadvantages. In Memphis, Summer involves high temps and an insane amount of humidity— but with it comes some great food (and usually more time to create.)  I thought that in anticipation of what is to come, I would look back on all of the delicious bites that filled the 90 days of Summer 2013. Hang in there, this is a long post, but oh so worth it!

These corn fritters that I posted about here are alternately stacked with tomatoes and avocado before being drizzled with a honey-chiptole vinaigrette. My husband says that this is one of the best things I have ever made.

 

 

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Pimento Cheese toast: It’s as simple as it sounds. Spread your favorite pimento cheese over a horizontally-sliced baguette and broil until you are pleased with the browning level. Enjoy with caution, cheese holds heat really well!

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T and I met some friends at our favorite Italian restaurant in Memphis, Pasta Italia. I got the sampler platter and each corner held a delicious surprise. YUM!

 
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Another meeting with friends occurred at Jerry’s Sno Cones and I had my first Jerry’s burger. Two words: LIFE CHANGER. Forget the sno-cones and go for lunch or dinner!

 
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A Grilled Donut topped with berries, ice cream, and whipped cream is my new favorite dessert and that is from a girl who only likes Krispy Kreme when the hot light is on.

 
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When I was in Palm Springs last August, we ate at a random restaurant before hitting up the amazing outlets and when we saw these “nachos” on the menu, we knew we needed to start with these! What a great concept, Nachos with waffles fries as the base!

 

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I LOVE BRUSSELS SPROUTS! And these are, by a landslide, the BEST sprouts I have ever eaten. Despite the fact that these are made with bacon, I am already planning on ordering these again when we are back on the West Coast later this year.

 

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WOOHOO! I had my first cronut and I loved it, every sugary bite!

 
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This idea was so cool to me, I mean every one knows about donut holes, but bagel holes- genius!

 

 

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Obviously, I went to California last summer… A trip to the West Coast is not complete with out a stop at In-and-Out. 1 cheese burger animal style, por favor.

 

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I shared the recipe to these last year and I think I may make them in a few weeks for Memorial Day!

 
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When the weather is rainy or dips a few degrees, shrimp primavera over spicy cheddar grits can be comforting and the perfect evening meal.

 

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Costco had the best peaches last summer. One of my friends and myself would text each other every time we got our latest box and how great they were. MMM!

 

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A yummy gelato affogato with my sisters and mother in Nashville, my then 9 month old drank most of it :)

 

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My favorite meal from last summer was simple…. a freshly squeezed juice and a hummus plate. Check out those veggies!

 

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And Lastly, yes… Summer provides a new array of food and more time to brainstorm on a menu, but sometimes the best bit of summer is the lingering, the extra time with those you love.

 

My 8 year old cousin, who lives in Los Angeles proudly assisted me in making this blackberry cobbler. This cobbler was nothing special, but I will never forget to joy that beamed from her eyes as we measured sugar, butter, and milk. What a sweet girl and what a sweet Summer.

 

Summer 2014, I am ready for you!

 

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Blog lovin’

Sometimes, when I have a few minutes to spare I will pull out my ipad to catch with some of my favorite bloggers via bloglovin. It is
 
a great app that keeps a record of all your favorite bloggers and their latest posts.
 
 
 
Last week (when I was making dinner), Deb’s latest post for double chocolate banana bread caught my eye. Deb is one of my
 
favorite bloggers because she is adventurous while being a realist and though she is very well-known, she remains unpretentious.
 
She is a miracle worker in her teenie-tiny 42 square foot NYC kitchen.

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Before I knew it, my kitchen aid was creaming butter, sugar, and over-ripe bananas. {Hey, I had found a way to utilize them!} I
 
have loved everything that I have made from Deb’s website, so I am not sure why I was so impressed when I took my first bite of this
 
“bread.” Since my discovery of this banana bread, I have made it four different times and given it away to several people.
 
Everyone has, after their first bite, texted me requesting that I share the recipe. My own mother deemed it, “ridiculous!” I have
 
made it in both muffin and loaf form.  The muffin is perfect as a snack and the loaf is great as is or served as dessert with fresh
 
cream and berries.
 
 
 
 

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I always play around with the fat in recipes, because believe it or not— I do not prefer solely butter in quick breads or cakes. I
 
usually substitute part of the butter for oil, apple sauce, and/or yogurt for extra moisture. I have made this recipe to a T and played
 
around with the other three times. It is delicious any way and I suggest that you be your own chef! Choose your shape, your source
 
of fat, and even your mix ins! Try adding toasted pecans, dried cherries, or white chocolate chips to mix it up.
 
 
 
My 17 month old will take it any way that she can get it!
 
 
 
 

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Thank you, Deb for this fabulous recipe and thank you, Blog lovin’ for allowing me to keep in touch with my favorite bloggers on my
 
own time.
 
 

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

By: Smitten Kitchen

3 medium-to-large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with a nonstick baking spray.

 

Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl. (You’ll have a little over 1 cup mashed banana total.) Whisk in melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Place baking soda, salt, cinnamon (if using), flour and cocoa powder in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and sift over wet ingredients. Mix the dry and wet ingredients with a ntil just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips.

 

Pour into prepared pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. (A melted chocolate chip smear is expected, however.) Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

 

One last photo of my tiny sous chef/taste tester
 
 

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