Saturday, June 24, 2017

Something Saturdays (6/24/17)

Now that the secret's out I can finally be fully honest with you guys in these posts! Hooray! (In case you missed it, I announced on Wednesday that I am pregnant!) However...this week forreals was boring. I've just gotten stuff done. I did get dinner with Michael to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary, but other than that it's just been work stuff and getting things done around the house. I also officially joined a parish near us and got all the info I need for baptism for the baby (which is semi-complicated because my brother is going to be the godfather but is in Hawaii with the airforce so I have to plan it around when he's in town). This weekend Michael and I have a couple projects to work on and hopefully can hang out and just enjoy some time together too :) 

Posts from this week 
Bake with Love Until 12.15.17...

Recipes from the blog that I made this week

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Orange is the New Black-Just finished the new season and I really liked it but...man. What a sad ending. And it sucks because Tasty really did eff it up for everyone.

Instagram Latel(a few highlights from this week on Instagram)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bake with Love Until 12.15.17...


SURPRISE!!!

...It's probably not that big of a surprise, is it? If anyone's been paying attention around here the past few months you've probably noticed I have been SEVERELY slacking off. And if you know anything about the first trimester of pregnancy, you probably know it can take it out of you. And that food is sort of super unappealing (which, as a person who loves food, has been tortuous). But anyway...I've been having a hard time keeping up with work and keeping my house fairly cleaned and feeding myself-everything else has sort of had to take a back seat during this crazy time. Even poor Michael has only been eating fast food or like...canned soup. (Although, now that I'm in my 2nd trimester this is getting better.) So-sorry I've been MIA. This is the reason!

A BABYYYY!

Michael and I have always wanted a whole bunch of kids, and he finally is graduating with his Master's degree in December so here we are! It's due December 15 (so I'm just over 14 weeks along), and we are SO EXCITED! (and TMI but, for those of you interested, the only thing we used to help with the whole "getting preggers process" was the Ovia fertility tracker app.)

I'll probably occasionally post baby updates on here-if that's at all interesting to you guys, cool. If not, no big-just skip 'em lol. It's funny because I'm still not showing much, and I actually haven't gained any weight yet, but when you see comparison pics you can definitely see that my body is changing!

How did we find out?
It was our first month of trying and I was a week late so we decided it was time to take a test. Neither of us could sleep all night with the anticipation and then in the morning I took 3 tests (Clearblue and EPT if you're interested). They all came up quickly with a very definitive YES. I told Michael and he cried and hugged me. And then we were so excited we had to tell our parents and siblings immediately (but I also went in for blood work to confirm I was definitely pregnant.)

How's the pregnancy been so far?
I'm not going to lie, the first trimester hit me harder than I thought it would. My mom had always said how easy her pregnancies were and I sort of just in the back of my mind thought I'd be the same. And, honestly, compared to many women I suppose it hasn't been bad. But it was hard for me. I got so fatigued and, worst of all, food had very little appeal for me. And I felt faintly nauseated all the time (no throwing up, and not even extreme nausea, just a little hint of it--unless I smelled something I found offensive, then it really got ramped up). I also had a lot of neck pain and trouble sleeping. Luckily, all of those things have gotten much better now that I'm in my second trimester. I still don't feel like...normal. But I have enough energy to do things, the nausea is gone, and food is more appealing (I'm still kinda meh on meat usually, though, which is weird because I'm generally such a carnivore), and I'm sleeping better (although definitely I need more sleep than I did pre-pregnancy, which I needed 8 hours before so now I aim for 9...10 if I'm lucky although that rarely happens.)

We've already got a crib for the nursery and I created a baby registry and have a pregnancy journal-so yeah, we've been making some progress! We don't get to find out the gender until our ultrasound that we have in August (if the baby cooperates)-and it is driving me crazy lol. I so want to know what it is!

And yeah. That's pretty much it. Yesterday was mine and Michael's 2 year wedding anniversary so we shared about the baby on social media which means I get to share with all of you! Thanks for hanging in there with me on this ride!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Something Saturdays (6/17/17)

Hihihi, I've been feeling slightly more productive this week. Which means I might have a new recipe for you coming soon (depends on how well I can edit the photos because ugh the light was not my friend-first it was too bright outside so that made the pics dark then it was overcast so...the pics were too dark. Ughhh).  I got my copy of Beauty and the Beast in the mail-woooo! So Michael and I watched it and it still makes me feel all the feelings.

Today I'm working a wedding so I'll be busy busy busy and tomorrow is Father's Day! So we'll be seeing Michael's dad.

Oh, and if I were you I'd keep my eye on the blog on Wednesday. I might have an important post coming up.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Something Saturdays (On a Sunday) (6/11/17)

So I totally forgot to post this yesterday and I am so sorry! But I'm here now with my little weekly check in! Honestly, not much to report on my end. We planted flowers, I went to some garage sales with my mom, Michael started his internship (which means he's essentially working 25 hours a week on top of his normal full time job sooo....I miss him lol), and we've just been working and such.

Now, I promise, very soon I will have some info to share, like in just over a week. So sit tight!

Recipes from the blog that I made this week

Recent links bookmarked (visit my Pinterest for more)
S'mores Doughnuts (A Cozy Kitchen)

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Married at First Sight-Just gotta say, I'm loving this season. I really feel like all 3 couples have the potential of working and I reeeeally want them too. Also, Anthony reminds me a lot of Michael so that's fun lol.

Instagram Latel(a few highlights from this week on Instagram)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Something Saturdays (6/3/17)

Wooo...this week feels like it's been super busy. With all the insanity (but fun) of family times for Memorial Day weekend, then Tuesday I went to a venue walk-through with my July 1st bride.  And last night we had dinner with friends and their daughter. Other than that I've just been working and being generally boring. I'm sorry I'm so lame lately, guys.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-June (No Bake/No Cook)

June-main

It's almost June! Which means summer! Which means warm weather--which means we may not want to turn on our ovens. Which is why every recipe in this month's plan is no bake and no cook-yayyyy!

This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Something Saturdays (5/27/17)

Happy Memorial Day weekend!!!

Last weekend the wedding I helped coordinate went great (the ceremony was in the middle of the woods!) Then Sunday I worked and then celebrated my 17 year old cousin's birthday and played games with the family. Monday Michael and I ran a couple errands. Tuesday I had dinner with my dad and grandparents. And then I just worked Wednesday and Thursday. Yesterday I hung out with my cousin and then my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Today I work and then we're going to Youngstown to see one of Michael's cousin's who is in town (he is getting his master's degree in Wales).


Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Jane the Virgin-Yay Ro&Xo! And all the Michael feels. (And ew Tyler Posey is Adam?? He's so young to me. NO. I VOTE RAFAEL.)

Law & Order: SVU-That was a rough one.

Instagram Latel(a few highlights from this week on Instagram)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Something Saturdays (5/20/17)

We had a fun, but busy weekend last week, followed by a fairly uneventful week. It's been pretty boring, actually. The highlight was checking out an ice cream place near us that we ended up really liking! Today, I'm working a wedding so I'll be busy busy busy. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Salted Caramel Pots de Crème

Salted Caramel Pots de Crème
PSA-if, while making these and filling up the pan with the hot water bath, you accidentally get some water in one of your pots de creme, it will still come out pretty tasty, if just a bit thinner in texture. Glad I could do that bit of research for you. Totally intentionally, not at all accidentally.
Salted Caramel Pots de Crème
Smooth, creamy, rich, decadent, PERFECTION. These pots de creme (which are essentially little custards/puddings) are so insanely full of salted caramel flavor (...even the one that had some water get into it before being baked...) and they're sort of kind of MIND BLOWING. And they actually aren't even hard to make. So there's no reason not to have them in your life.
Salted Caramel Pots de Crème
I feel like this is a dessert to impress, it's the kind of thing you serve guests and sound fancy when you offer them their pot de crème and they ooh and ahh over the little single servings of custardy goodness with the pretty flecks of sea salt on top. It's going to make you the coolest person around, really. That's why I'm not cool, I just haven't thrown the right dinner party yet...ha.

But seriously...I loved digging into these while sitting on my couch in my pajamas, so they're appropriate for all occasions, really.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Something Saturdays (5/13/17)

I'm slacking. I know. I'm sorry. I have no excuse for you. :(

But let's chit chat.

Last Sunday I was with Perfectly Planned at a bridal show-super fun but I was exhaaausted afterward. Monday-Wednesday I sort of just hung out and got stuff done. Thursday I had a doctor's appointment and worked. Yesterday I worked. Today I work and then Michael's dad and stepmom are coming over for a late dinner. And tomorrow is Mother's Day! I'm making lunch for my mom and then we're going to Youngstown with Michael's mom to see her side of the family. Do you have any fun plans?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Something Saturdays (5/6/17)

Woo! What a week! Last Saturday I helped coordinate a beautiful wedding (for an amazing couple) at Gervasi Vineyard and everything went amazing. Sunday I enjoyed a day off, and got some food at Table 6 with the hubby. Monday I just relaxed at home. Tuesday I watched a dress rehearsal of my old high school's play (Dracula) and gave them some notes. On Wednesday, Perfectly Planned put together a completely amazing styled shoot that I am SO EXCITED about. I worked on Thursday (and I'm working today). Yesterday, I did an Escape Room with my family. My mom and aunt and grandma and some other "adults" from my family did one room while me and my teenaged cousins/their s.o.'s did another. We got out and the elder group didn't, teehee. 

Today I'm working then going back for another hangout night with the fam (we have a cousin in from out of town). What are you doing?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-May (BBQ/Memorial Day)

043017 Monthly Meal Plan May-main

It's already almost May! Yay! And we have some recipes that are perfect for summer weather and barbecues. ALSO if you scroll past the food, you'll find a giveaway (that is perfect for Father's Day!)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Something Saturdays (4/29/17)

Hey guys, sorry for being pretty absent. I've not been feeling too well lately and I've been somewhat busy as well. Forgive me?

Last week's wedding went well! Today I have another one at a vineyard nearby that should be lovely (although I'm hoping it doesn't rain all day). The rest of the week I got things done and worked. Tuesday was a monthly meeting of creative professionals that I attended with my wedding planning boss, and then we had tacos afterward (well I had fried ice cream but you get the idea)! Fun fun fun. 

What was the best part of your week?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

6th Blogiversary

6 years ago today I started this little blog!!! It's hard to believe it's already been that long, but it also feels like I've been blogging forever lol.

All I can say is THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to all of you who are reading this, and anyone who has ever read this blog or come to it for a good recipe or a laugh. I hope to continue to provide the tasty and the fun for a long long time. <3


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Something Saturdays (4/22/17)

First off--sorry no recipe this week. Things have been crazy. So sorry!

Anyway, if you celebrate--how was your Easter weekend? Saturday Michael and I met up with a few of his cousins and hung out and played games, which is always fun. Sunday we had lunch with his stepmom's side of the family then dinner with his mom's. It was nice, as always :) Michael had Monday off from work so we kind of just relaxed and hung out. Then I just did stuff around the house and ran a couple errands on Tuesday. On Wednesday, my boss and I had a meeting with our July 1st bride. Thursday I worked. Friday I babysat my cousin's baby all day. Today is the official beginning of wedding season for Perfectly Planned this year--we have our first wedding! I'm so excited :) And tomorrow we are having belated Easter with my mom's side of the family. Funsies funsies. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Something Saturdays (4/15/17)

It's Easter weekend (for those of you who celebrate)! Doing anything fun??

Tomorrow we're having 2 Easter meals, one with Michael's stepmom's family and one with his mom. My mom's side of the family is doing theirs next weekend (my grandma and mom are both in the Bahamas right now and coming back next week).

Last weekend the weather finally got nice and stayed that way, so Michael and I got some dinner at Main Street Grille again, which was really nice. Sunday we spent a bit of time with Michael's mom and siblings. Other than that I've pretty much been just dealing with some stuff and working this week :) We did have dinner with Michael's dad and stepmom on Tuesday (they left for Florida on Thursday so we won't be seeing them tomorrow) which was super nice. But yeah...that's pretty much it lol.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sweet & Salty Kitchen Sink Cookies {Panera Copycat}

Sweet & Salty Kitchen Sink Cookies {Panera Copycat}
These are the best cookies I've made in awhile. Like...can't get enough of them. Which makes sense because they're modeled after another cookie I couldn't get out of my head: the kitchen sink cookies at Panera.
Sweet & Salty Kitchen Sink Cookies {Panera Copycat}
At one of our meetings with a bride, my boss and I had a couple kitchen sink cookies at Panera. And I knew I needed to recreate them. They were HUGE (like...bigger than these ones. For the first time in my life I struggled with making cookies big enough!) And had pretzels and little bits of caramel and chocolate chips and...of course...there was sea salt on top. So-pretty simple to recreate actually. I amped up the flavor an extra notch by using one of my favorite browned butter cookie bases, because--why wouldn't I?
Sweet & Salty Kitchen Sink Cookies {Panera Copycat}
I think my version might be even better. They're sturdy but chewy and full of so many fantastic textures-crunchy pretzels, gooey caramel, melty chocolate. They're so so good. Addictive to the max. They also freeze really well if you-like me-can't be trusted with an entire batch. I froze some and then just pulled out when I needed a special treat ;). 

They're also great for sharing with new friends to endear yourself to them-hence why I brought along some for my "girl-date" with my boss/friend, Val and our new friend, Evie. They both loved them. Of course!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Something Saturdays (4/8/17)

My obsession with the new Beauty and the Beast movie is still going strong, in case you were wondering. Particularly with Dan Stevens (who plays Beast) and I keep listening to Evermore on loop (but without the Beast voice effects, because I enjoy Dan Stevens) and crying.

Then to lift my spirits I just watch the transformation scene and swoon. Then, on Tuesday, I went and saw it again. I had to.

LOOK AT THE EXPRESSION ON HIS FACE

Anyway...

This week Michael went back to work and school-boo. But, while still on break, on Saturday we had a nice dinner out with my boss, Val, and her husband, Darrin, at Table 6-which was SO GOOD. As always. Monday-Wednesday mostly I just wallowed in my BATB obsession, although I did meet up with one of the brides whose weddings is this month at her venue with some other vendors. Other than that this week has just been boringness and work. And BATB obsessing. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Creamy Chicken Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pasta
I've been doing a lot more experimenting in the kitchen these days when it comes to cooking. Less recipes and more throwing things together. It's a little bit freeing! But...when you throw together the same recipe again and again and you love it and you realize...this recipe must be shared....then you write it down. And take pictures. And share it on your blog. This is what everyone does, right?
Creamy Chicken Pasta
Naming recipes is hard. I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but it is. Trying to succinctly but accurately sum up what the recipe is like is SUPER tough! Like this...you pan fry chicken. Then you add the sauce ingredients into the same skillet (thusly using the delicious flavor left over from the chicken) and make a creamy sauce. And you eat it with the cooked pasta and chicken. And it's like...what do you call it? I feel pretty good about Creamy Chicken Pasta, but I don't know-what do you think?
Creamy Chicken Pasta
It's really just comfort food. Like super flavorful creamy pasta and crisp chicken...it's a feel-good kind of meal. And I mean...feel free to mix some veggies in if you are so inclined. Personally that sounds terrible to me but I have an unfortunately strained relationship with the vegetables, and if you are one of the lucky people who likes them then I am envious and encourage you to enjoy them in this. Or not. Either way (as long as you like chicken) make it. It's gonna become a new favorite of yours like it is a new favorite of mine!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Something Saturdays (4/1/17)

Happy April Fool's Day! Michael's favorite day and the day I am suspicious of everything lol.

This week has been SO NICE. I love having Michael home!

Last weekend we enjoyed the beautiful weather on Saturday by checking out the patio on a new-to-us restaurant nearby, The Main Street Grille--we loved it and will definitely be back! Then we watched Moana and spent the rest of this week having all the songs in our head.

Monday and Tuesday we went down to Marietta, OH (the oldest city in the state, a super cute small river town). Michael was helping with some trainings for work so I spent my days exploring. I spent most of my time at Front Street, Marietta's downtown. I started with lunch at Boathouse BBQ, a spot right on the river-it was pretty tasty but the view was definitely the selling point. Then I checked out some local shops (SP Curated and The Cook's Shop are a blogger's DREAM!) I also grabbed dessert at The Buckley House and had a chocolate caramel mousse that was TO DIE FOR. When Michael was done with work we had dinner, and he had a beer, at Marietta Brewing Co. (Michael loved their milk stout and grilled chicken sandwich, and I really liked the Brewhouse pizza-it had braised ribs, turkey, bacon, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and bruschetta...OMG). The next day I had a few chocolates from Putnam Chocolates (I actually wasn't a fan), did some more shopping (Whit & Whimsy was my favorite of the day!), enjoyed the park and saw some steamboats. Before we headed home we got dinner at The Levee House where we both loved our appetizer (fried ravioli and spinach artichoke dip that came with salsa) but were both meh about our entrees (burger and root beer pork). Wednesday, back home, Michael and I spent the whole day shopping/running errands and then had dinner with his family. Thursday his friend David came over and they hung out and also hung up some paintings in our living room. Friday we saw Beauty and the Beast (EEEE!) and did some more shopping. Today we're having dinner with my boss Val and her hubby, and then showing them our house! Fun fun!

Also....we're attempting to decorate and are terrible at it. We like simple, clean, modern decor and it's ridiculously difficult to find what we want apparently. If you have places to shop let me know!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Raspberry Pie

Raspberry Pie
Michael loves pie. Like...on ultimate Pi day, a couple years ago, he was sincerely upset that I hadn't made him pie (oops). He particularly likes fruit pies...which is tricky because I don't really dig fruit pies. So I only make them for him on occasion. Thusly, it's a special event when I do.
Raspberry Pie
Sometimes Michael sits around and questions why certain pies don't exist...and then I tell him they do exist. One time that was grape pie (although admittedly it sounds weird, it apparently exists). And then another time he questioned raspberry pie. Before looking it up, I knew that it wouldn't be difficult-it should be the same premise as blueberry or blackberry pie, and of course I was right and I found various recipes online. So I was a nice lady and made him some raspberry pie. And right before this year's Pi day, so he finally got his Pi day pie. 
Raspberry Pie
It's actually fitting that I share this recipe today, because I'm spending the whole week with Michael while he's on spring break (and he took off from work today-Friday). I so rarely get to spend this much time with him, between work and school (and the fact that on the weekends I am usually working) so this is a special treat! Just like pie :D
Raspberry Pie
Anyway, more about this actual pie. It's my first time making a lattice top crust-I thought it turned out pretty well! You do not have to do a lattice, you can kind of do whatever you'd like. The lattice is so evocative of a classic berry pie though, you know? And I used my favorite butter pie crust recipe which was flaky and delicious. The filling has a pleasant tartness and lots of pure raspberry flavor-I mean the ingredient list for the filling is beautifully short. It's essentially just raspberries, sugar, and cornstarch. I love that, it really let's the raspberries true flavor shine through. Michael was super super happy about this pie, and I bet you will too!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-April (Easter/Spring)

032617 Monthly Meal Plan April-main

Wheeeere did March go?? How is it almost gone?! It's already time to prepare for April, which is exciting because April means SPRING! I am so ready and these recipes are here to get us all even more ready!

This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Something Saturdays (3/25/17)

HOORAY! Today marks the first day of Michael's spring break! I'm so excited to spend lots and lots of time together and hopefully get some stuff done. Yippee! But today I just want to enjoy the nice weather that we're having :)

Rewinding, what did you guys do this week? Monday I took our taxes to Michael's friend (who is also an accountant). Tuesday I got some stuff done and then had a meeting with my boss Val and a wedding photographer whose work we love. Then I had dinner with my mom, which was nice. Wednesday I had another girl date with my boss Val and our friend/fellow wedding professional, Evie--which is way too much fun, always! Everything else this week was fairly chill. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Half-Fried Chicken and Gravy

Half-Fried Chicken and Gravy
The original title of this post was Fried Chicken and Gravy. BUT...it's only kind of fried. It's fried and then baked. And it doesn't taste exactly like straight up fried chicken so...I changed the name to better represent what we're working with here.

Whatever you call it, I will admit that it wasn't quite as crisp as I wanted and...I don't know. The chicken itself wasn't my favorite (but that's just me, goodness knows I'm particular)--but the GRAVY. Oh mama the gravy is goooood.
Half-Fried Chicken and Gravy
The gravy is rich, and creamy, and so perfectly flavorful. And when you serve it with chicken and over some mashed potatoes, you are in comfort food heaven. Rainy or cold day? Make some of this. Had a fight with someone you care about? Make some of this. A beloved character on a TV show you love dies? DEFINITELY make some of this!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Something Saturdays (3/18/17)

Happy day after Saint Patty's day! Are you all feeling ok? I hope so! 

I don't really do St. Patrick's Day, but power to all you green-wearing peeps.

So, I did a good amount of work this week-blah. But I also was in the kitchen a fair amount-yay! Michael was out of town for a work conference for a couple days (he left Wednesday night and got back last night) so I missed him a bunch :( To keep my mind off it, on Wednesday I had lunch with my boss/friend, Val, and our new friend and fellow wedding professional (she's an amazing calligrapher-check out Pine Calligraphy on etsy!), Evie, at Sarah's Vineyard. We ate deeeelicious food and had so much fun chatting. Then I went to my friend Kevin's house and played with his sweet spaniel puppers, Tali and Atlas (Tali is a couple years old, Atlas is a new little pup!) Thursday and Friday I just worked, and then I got to be reunited with my Michael on Friday night! Today I'm working and tomorrow I'm also working, but then we're going to a 2 year old's birthday party, yay!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Whole Wheat Burger Buns

Whole Wheat Burger Buns
I'm going to start off by saying...mmm...these aren't the bestest burger buns. They're delicious bread and they'll work as buns but Michael will attest that they're not very...bun-like. If that makes sense? But he's picky. I know I'd love to eat a sammie on these, and I think you should consider them!
Whole Wheat Burger Buns
In the scheme of bread recipes, this is pretty standard-not terribly difficult, and not too much rise time. The whole thing should take less than 3 hours. And the rolls are lovely and have a nice balance of whole wheat flavor, without being overwhelming, and a perfect, chewy texture.

I mean...Michael said it was tasty bread. He just wants processed store-bought white buns. *sigh*

Send help.
Whole Wheat Burger Buns
I want to hear from the masses--what do you think? Would you want to serve your burgers on these buns? If you make them, tell me what you think!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Something Saturdays (3/11/17)

Hiya! It's been a pretty great week. Let's chit chat.

Last Saturday's charity event went great, it was a lot of work but everything went well! Sunday I worked, Monday I got some things done around the house. Also, over the weekend, my brother finally announced (I've been keeping this a secret for nearly 2 months) THAT HE GOT MARRIED. Yepp, my little brother and new sister-in-law eloped on the beach in Hawaii. It was super fast but they're adorable and great for each other and I'm so happy for them. <3 Plus they promised I could plan them a wedding here in October, so, that helps.

Tuesday was a BIG day. I drove down to Columbus to spend the day exploring and eating with my food blog pal Erin of The Spiffy Cookie. She, brilliantly, started off the fun at Katalina's with NUTELLA STUFFED PANCAKE BALLS. Which also came with delicious bacon. This was maybe my favorite thing we ate all day, they were so perfect. Our next stop was an adorable VEGAN (yes, vegan!) bakery called Pattycake Bakery where we shared a cookie and Erin brought home a slice of French toast strawberry stuffed cake. Everything looked and tasted fantastic. After that we did a little walking around/shopping to re-build our appetites, we checked out Elm & IronWholly Craft and Global Gallery. Then, of course, we combined the two by visiting the North Market. I ate a tasty cocoa nib macaron from Pistacia Vera, bought some delicious salsa from a salsa/hot sauce vendor, and Erin and I shared the BeetleCat Coconut Pie Sundae from Jeni's (with the Salty Caramel ice cream) and it was looooovely. Oh and then Erin got $2 taco-tuesday taco from Dos Hermanos and I tried a bite and it was the best taco I've had since Mexico. Amazing. Then we went back to shopping to once again try to rebuild our appetites, but this time in German village, which I'm obsessed with. We started at Helen Winnemore's and then checked out Vernacular (where Erin got a super cool dress and I bought an industrial vase that looked like it was right up my boss' alley so I had to get it for her!) Then we laid eyes on Lindey's, one of Erin's favorite restaurants, and decided to just drop in and share an appetizer of perfect arancini. I absolutely love that restaurant and intend to come back and fully enjoy a meal there on a less food-filled day. Then we spent quite a while exploring ALL of the ABSOLUTELY GIANT Book Loft. I was in awe. We both bought some books (she bought Carrie Fisher's, I bought a 6 pack of Olivia books for a friend's daughter's birthday lol). By the time we finally found our way out of there we were hungry again and finished out the day with burgers and truffle fries from The Crest. It was a perfect day full of so much fun and food! Erin was an amazing guide. (And scroll down to the Instagram highlights to see some pics from the day.)

The rest of the week I just got stuff done at home and worked. And I'm working more this weekend. Blah blah blah.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sometimes you eat a delicious (browned butter) chocolate chip cookie (with sea salt on top) and think...you know what could make this better? If there was a salted caramel inside.

And sometimes you get a bag of soft salted caramels for your housewarming. And you know what you have to do.
Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Now....in a perfect world....there would just be an even layer of caramel in the middle of the entire cookie. In my opinion. But there is something fun about the surprise of a gooey salted caramel right in the middle of your seemingly standard(ish) chocolate chip cookie.
Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
And you impress people when you give them as gifts. I love bringing little treats to my boss and my brides when I'm doing the wedding planning thing-these cookies had the honor of being a shared treat. And everyone who was gifted with them was VERYYY happy :D
Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
They're a fairly sturdy, yet chewy, browned butter chocolate chip cookie with yummy bites of chocolate and sea salt on top (NECESSARY!) and then you get a bit of that chewy, gooey, sweet and salty caramel. When they're warm? TOTAL MAGIC. Messy. But magical!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Something Saturdays (3/4/17)

Hi hi everybody! Happy March! This past week was fairly uneventful for me-I spent a little time doing some work with Perfectly Planned/hanging with my boss. AND we finally got the pictures back from the styled shoot we did. It turned out beaaautifully. You can see some highlights from the gorgeous day here. But here's a little sample:
Vendor credits for this photo: Austin & Rachel: Photographers, Perfectly Planned Wedding and Event Planning, Ashley's Floral LLC, Sitting Pretty Linens, Miller's Party Rental, The Pine Needle Calligraphy, Studio 526 
Last night Michael and I also got dinner after we were both done with work, and I always love our little dates so that was fun :) Today I'm helping my boss out with a charity event for the new Akron Children's Museum so hopefully that goes well! 

What are you up to this weekend? 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Spinach & Artichoke Quesadillas

Spinach & Artichoke Quesadillas
I adore spinach artichoke dip. Seriously, I'm a big fan. My best friend, Alex, can claim credit for my love since she sort of forced it upon me. We used to go to TGI Friday's and she would insist that we share the spinach artichoke dip, even if I told her I wasn't a fan. She said, "No. You like it and will share with me." And I did like it, and I did share it with her. BUT I do not like to eat it with tortilla chips-I need some sort of bread or flatbread or some such to dip in it, or I'm just not about that life.
Spinach & Artichoke Quesadillas
Which is the beautiful thing about these quesadillas--you can skip the whole step of dipping. The spinach artichoke yumminess is sandwiched between 2 tortillas and it's all warm and cheesy and tortilla-y and I am a BIG FAN.
Spinach & Artichoke Quesadillas
The spinach and artichoke dip is super creamy and rich, and comes together on the stove crazy quickly. Then it's just about spreading some on a tortilla, topping with another tortilla, and heating in a skillet until everything is warm and crisp and happy-wonderful. Michael and I both give our seal of approval!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-March (St. Patrick's Day)

032617 Monthly Recipe Roundup-main

So, we're gonna change up the whole meal plan thing. Up until now we've been giving you weekly meal plans. But now, we're going to do super fun (semi-themed) monthly meal plans!! Yay!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Something Saturdays (2/25/17)

Last weekend was boring, I just worked and helped Michael with homework. Blech.

Also-we discovered a new-to-us band, called Foxy Shazam. If you've ever heard the Macklemore song, "Downtown" the dude who sings the chorus (Eric Nally) is the lead singer for this Ohio-based band and they are SO COOL! Reminiscent of Queen, but super unique and cool and their own thing. Michael and I are obsessed, and wanted to share the goodness. SO-here is one of our favorite songs of theirs (pay attention about halfway through for a killer high note). 


This week has been eventful, though! The weather has been gorgeous, getting into the 60's and even 70's on a couple days. Monday I had a day-date with my friend/boss Val. We had brunch at Flury's and then saw 50 Shades Darker (read under the Movies/TV heading for my thoughts) and then just visited for a bit and went over work stuff. Tuesday was off to a less than fun start when we realized our furnace wasn't working. Ah home-ownership. Wednesday someone came out and fixed it super quick and easy-not sure how much it's going to cost us though (it was from my dad's company and they're billing him so I get his employee pricing). Thursday I kicked the day off by going on a tour of the Harry London Chocolate Factory-which I haven't done since I was a kid. It's cool, every hour 10-4 Mondays-Thursdays they run free tours of the factory. And you get lots of free chocolate! YES. Later in the day, I visited my cousin Amber and got to meet her brand new (like 1 week and 2 days) old baby, Ava! It was so nice to visit and to cuddle that sweet little baby! Friday turned out to be a fun day, too! Michael's cousin AJ was doing business in Chagrin Falls so he invited me to have lunch since the weather was so beautiful and I love Chagrin Falls so much! We had Jeni's and then burgers at FlipSide. Then we met up with more cousins, Allison and her hubby Kyle, near our house and hung out for awhile before hanging out more at AJ's parents house. It was lots and lots of fun!

This weekend I'm working but today I'm also going to see my little cousin Brittany's school musical, and tomorrow I've got an open house event for Perfectly Planned. BUSY busy busy! What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
I don't know about you but I've noticed most peanut butter cookies are a little crisp, maybe a little crumbly. They're not all as soft and chewy as you'd like. That's where this recipe comes in. It's got a pleasant peanut butter flavor (not crazy peanut buttery, but definitely present) and they're so soft sometimes they just spontaneously break in half. It's a beautiful sacrifice in the name of chewy cookies.
Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
I made these for Michael's cousin, who needed them for a reception after a memorial service for her father-in-law. Food can be such a comfort item, and it was my pleasure to attempt to share this small bit of comfort to them. These are definitely the sort of cookie that is sure to please the masses and also make you feel happy and warm inside. Really, when has a peanut butter cookie* never not made you feel better?

Exactly.

*(Unless you have a nut allergy. In that case...condolences. Chocolate chip cookies give lots of comfort too. Don't worry!)
Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
Personally, I prefer a cookie with a stronger peanut butter flavor. But I know other people who don't like things to have that strong of flavors (particularly my cousin Chelsea, when she explained why she doesn't love Jeni's salty caramel ice cream...personally I think she's insane but ya know, whatevs.)

But I did love how soft and chewy these were, they stayed that way leftover and it was so nice. If I drsank milk, I think having a plate of these with a glass of milk would be just the ticket!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Something Saturdays (2/18/17)

Hello my friends! How did your Valentine's go?

Michael and I had a nice dinner Saturday night and generally just had fun together, as per usual :). Sunday I just worked and then Michael and I worked on school stuff for him. Then Monday I also worked but when I came home I made chocolate covered strawberries as a surprise for Michael, and he came home and surprised me with roses-d'awwww! Tuesday Michael is always gone all day at school so I ended up spending the day in Chagrin Falls with my friend Jenna-we ate yummy food (Jeni's! FlipSide!) and did some fun walking around and shopping! Wednesday I just ran some errands and got stuff done. But oh Friday was the highlight of the week!! After work, I met up with Michael's dad, stepmom, aunts and uncles, and his cousins Jessica and AJ (and Jessica's boyfriend Joe) at a restaurant near where we live. While we were waiting to order, at one point Jessica and Joe disappeared, then when they returned they had champagne and Jessica was wearing AN ENGAGEMENT RING!!! EEEE!!! So then we had lots and lots of fun celebrating, and took the party to Jessica's parents house after dinner. It was so nice, I was thrilled we were there for it!

This weekend looks to be boring, just work and helping Michael with school stuff. I hope yours is more fun!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Creamy Skillet Macaroni & Cheese {Max Brenner's Copycat}

Creamy Skillet Macaroni & Cheese {Max Brenner's Copycat}
First of all...saying this recipe is a copycat is a smidge misleading. It's not actually a copycat-it's the actual recipe via Max Brenner's website. So it's like super legit. Whenever I would go to Max Brenner's restaurant in NYC, my favorite savory item was their skillet macaroni and cheese. It's creamy and flavorful with a gorgeous, slightly crisp, crust, and there are little bites of tomatoes studded throughout. It's crazy good.
Creamy Skillet Macaroni & Cheese {Max Brenner's Copycat}
I'm having flashbacks to many many wonderful times in NYC back at Max Brenner's restaurant--with the macaroni and cheese today, and that hot chocolate I shared last week (which is the closest hot chocolate I've ever had to their Italian Thick Hot Chocolate, which is my mostest favoritest), my 2 favorite things to order there! It's like I never left. :P
Creamy Skillet Macaroni & Cheese {Max Brenner's Copycat}
The mac and cheese is super creamy and flavorful and there's yummy little bits of tomato in there and the most perfect cheesy crumby-y crust. It's just....the best macaroni and cheese in the world, guys. I'm for serious. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Something Saturdays (2/11/17)

It's Valentine's Day weekend! Are you doing anything fun?? Michael and I are going to dinner at my cousin's restaurant, Savor (they have a free chocolate fountain today!) after I'm done with work so I'm excited!

In case you were wondering, last weekend went pretty great for me! Saturday night Michael and I did a little shopping and then had dinner at a new-ish place called Twenty 20 Taphouse. Michael found his new favorite beer (a chocolate stout), had a delish steak & shrimp dinner, we shared a yummy potato app, and I had a great margherita flatbread. And we loved our waiter. It was super fun. Sunday was the styled shoot with Perfectly Planned and it turned out BEAUTIFULLY!!!! The rest of the week I sort of just fought with my allergies (I'm getting allergy tested on Monday and can't take one of my meds for a week beforehand...apparently I really need that med), worked, got stuff done, and relaxed.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Creamy & Rich Gourmet Hot Chocolate

Creamy & Rich Gourmet Hot Chocolate
THIS IS OFFICIALLY MY CURRENT FAVORITE HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPE.

Sound the alarms, this is the best hot chocolate I've had since Max Brenner's Italian Thick Hot Chocolate. Oh mannnn it is GOOD. But like...super decadent and rich and creamy. If that's not your bag-then this isn't for you. That's ok, Michael's just like you, go ahead and make your hot chocolate with a lower ratio of chocolate or even just cocoa powder. That's cool. We can disagree. BUT if you're like me (*cough*smart*cough*) then you're gonna LUUUURVE this.
Creamy & Rich Gourmet Hot Chocolate
Now...this hot chocolate is perfectly perfect on its own BUT it is next level AMAZINGNESS when you add a dollop of homemade whipped cream on top. It makes it creamier and dreamier and even more indulgent. We're not thinking about our waistlines while we drink this. We're just thinking about how warm and happy it makes us feel and how wonderful it is that we live in a world where hot chocolate this fantastic exists.
Creamy & Rich Gourmet Hot Chocolate
LOOK AT THAT WHIPPED CREAM MELTING INTO THE THICK AND CREAMY CHOCOLATEY CHOCOLATEY GOODNESS. I feel like this is the sort of hot chocolate you'd sip at a cafe on the streets of Italy or Paris. You know, where I belong. A beautiful Mediterranean European city with flavorful food. *sigh* If only I spoke Italian, I would have moved there already.
Creamy & Rich Gourmet Hot Chocolate
I worked my family and friends into a tizzy when I posted the above photo on my instagram and facebook. I ended up making this again for my cousin when she visited last week because she gave me the puppy eyes and asked oh so sweetly. Probably unnecessary...I was going to take any excuse to make this luscious drink again. Hey, do you wanna come over and have hot chocolate???
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