Picture perfect

We had a lovely weekend & were super excited to use our brand new, fancy pants, Canon 5D MarkII camera! We enjoyed a lovely dinner out with friends on Friday at Melange (&, bonus, it was Restaurant Week in Ann Arbor), took a trip out to Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday & then watched the World Cup U.S. vs. Ghana game & ended the day with a nice cookout with friends.

Here are several more photos we took over the weekend with our fancy new camera – it’s so awesome!

by Valerie | 06.27.10 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | 1 Comment »

Sautéed Asparagi and Pesto Pasta

The basil in our garden was out of control so we decided to tame it a bit by using a good amount of fresh basil to make a tasty pesto; here is a quick summery dish to help you get rid of all of your overgrown basil that is waiting to fill your belly.

basil (about 2 handfuls of it)
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice (or about half a lemon)
parmesan reggiano (about 1 teaspoon or so)
salt and pepper to taste

Sautéed Asparagus:
about 1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
1 shallot
1-2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste

1 box of bow tie pasta

This recipe is pretty easy. For the pesto, start by putting the pine nuts, garlic, and basil in a food processor or blender, add some olive oil and lemon juice and blend. You don’t need to add all of the olive oil and lemon juice just enough to get things to form a nice paste, you can add the rest in as it blends to get it to the consistency of your liking. Add some salt and pepper for extra taste.

The asparagus is also easy, start by heating some olive oil up in a pan on medium heat. Sweat the shallots and the garlic for a few minutes then add the asparagus. If you have any lemon juice left toss it on there as the asparagus cooks. Once things are nice an caramelized and the asparagus is cooked to your liking (I like it to have a little crunch) sprinkle on some good sea salt (I used a blend that has flowers in it) and some course ground black pepper.

Toss the pesto with the pasta, serve it in a bowl, and top with the asparagus. For an added bonus sprinkle on some more parmesan and enjoy.

by Ryan | 06.27.10 | Recipes | 1 Comment »

Shake Shack

Although this is a photo from the movie Grease (which I love, by the way!), this post has nothing to do with the delightful, 1978 film starring John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – it has to do with the “Shake Shack”, sort of… There was an earthquake in Canada today & apparently the seismic waves were felt here in Ann Arbor, MI just before 2:00pm today; although, I have to say, I didn’t feel anything & I was sitting right in my office – I feel like I missed out on something.

by Valerie | 06.23.10 | Around town | 1 Comment »

Let the sun shine in!

Today is the Summer Solstice – so, let the sun shine in & enjoy the longest day of sunlight for the year!

by Valerie | 06.21.10 | For Funsies | No Comments »

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day, we love you so very much Dad!

by Valerie | 06.20.10 | Holidaze | No Comments »

Honeymoon Picnic

In January 2001, Ryan & I enjoyed a fabulous honeymoon in California; we visited Sonoma & Napa Valley, as well as Bodega Bay, & had an amazing time. One of my favorite memories of our trip was when we visited the Benziger Winery & enjoyed a delicious picnic there, along with a bottle of their amazing Pinot Noir of course!

We stopped at a little market on the way & picked up a fresh baguette, Genoa salami, medium/sharp cheddar cheese, fresh strawberries, & a big slice of chocolate cake to share. It sounds simple, I know, & it was…but it was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten & to this day I have a soft spot for this meal in my heart. We topped the salami & cheese sandwiches with a sprinkle of salt & pepper, opened the bottle of wine, finished it off with fresh strawberries & chocolate cake, & enjoyed it all immensely; we’ve called them “Honeymoon Sandwiches” ever since & as I was feeling nostalgic today we decided to recreate the meal – we might not be in the middle of a gorgeous vineyard in California, but it was still just as tasty as I remember!

by Valerie | 06.20.10 | For Funsies, Recipes | 2 Comments »


I love fruit, just about any type, but I have to say that my favorite fruit is definitely the strawberry! I can’t get enough of strawberries. They’re so cute, red, sweet & tart at the same time, & they just make me happy. And, as it turns out, I live in Michigan where we have an amazing crop of fresh, locally grown strawberries (including the ones we grow in pots on our front patio) every summer. There were lots of strawberries available at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market last Saturday & I know we’ll be lucky enough to have them around & readily available for a while still.

I’m hoping to make a trip out to Spicer Orchards soon to pick my own basket of them to enjoy, before strawberry season is over. Yum!

by Valerie | 06.14.10 | Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

How does our garden grow?

We planted our garden at the end of May & I’m happy to report that it’s doing really great so far; we were away the first week in June & when we returned it had grown quite a lot in such a short period of time – I’m sure all the rain we had that week didn’t hurt either!

We were excited to pick & eat our first strawberry, from one of our two strawberry pots we have planted, this last weekend. We also had the pleasure of picking & eating some of the lettuce, arugula, nasturtium, parsley, orange mint, & basil we planted as well this past week. I can’t wait until we are able to harvest our tomatoes, peppers (bell pepper, poblano, & jalapeno), limes, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, red onions, raspberries, etc. Here are some more photos I took of our garden this last weekend…

by Valerie | 06.14.10 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden | No Comments »

Texas high

We traveled to Texas last week & took a trip to Guadalupe Mountains National Park on Memorial Day while we were there. It was hot (when we got in the car to leave, the temp outside was reading at over 100 degrees!) & sunny, but the scenery was beautiful! In the afternoon, a storm blew in & we missed the rain while we were outside, which was good; it just rained on our drive home a bit, which we didn’t mind at all. Ryan hiked to the top of Guadalupe Peak, which happens to be the highest point in Texas!

On our way back home, we got stuck in El Paso on the runway, due to bad weather, & had a layover in Dallas for the night before we could make it back to Detroit the next morning. It wasn’t pleasant being stuck in a plane & on the runway, in 100+ degree weather in El Paso, for almost 4 hours; but, I have to admit that once we took off it was worth it – the weather we saw on our way out of El Paso, in the air, was absolutely breathtaking! There was a dark, stormy sky with a rainbow cutting through it right down the middle on one side of the plane & on the other side of the plane was the most amazing sunset I think I’ve ever seen, with the mountains as a backdrop; the sky literally looked like it was on fire. On the flight to Dallas, we cut in & out between storm clouds & saw some pretty impressive lightning in the distance. And on the flight home to Detroit the next day, it was nothing but blue skies & lovely, fluffy white clouds.

For more photos from our trip, check out my flickr set here.

by Valerie | 06.09.10 | Holidaze, Travel | No Comments »

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