Putting the Val in Valentine’s Day, part II

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He gave me the most beautiful box of chocolates from Compartés for Valentine’s Day this year, along with two dozen Bellevue roses, and one of my gifts to him was this really adorable photo of our dog, Melody, framed by Framebridge and pictured below – I still can’t look at it with making all kinds of oh-my-gosh-that’s-so-cute sounds. Melody’s looking extra cute with her conversation heart Valentine collar, we’ll be enjoying some Honeymoon Sandwiches today next to our fireplace (we woke up to a temperature of -1, feels like -10), and listening to some fun tunes like this. Looking forward to trying this double chocolate stout from Rogue later! Hope you’re having a fantastic Valentine’s Day weekend! You can view more photos from our holiday weekend here.

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by Valerie | 02.13.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Putting the Val in Valentine’s Day

getting ready for our movie night in with the drive in by Compartes (milk chocolate + popcorn) #comparteschocolatier #compartes #abigailmurraystudio

This Sunday is Valentine’s Day and, as always, I am looking forward to this wonderful holiday that celebrates love and all things love! I’m a holiday person in general; I love them all – Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc. But a holiday that celebrates love and often involves flowers and chocolate and declarations of love in many forms…now that is something special! Of course, you don’t need a holiday to celebrate love or to buy yourself or a loved one chocolate or flowers, but it certainly can’t hurt. And, speaking of chocolate…we recently discovered our love for Compartés – it is REALLY good chocolate, it comes in lots of really interesting flavor combinations, and…bonus…the packaging is beautiful; if you believe that you eat with your eyes first, this certainly fits the bill. We’ve found it locally at Plum Market, but you can also buy it online. Here are some other fun Valentine’s Day treats:

by Valerie | 02.08.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

weekend haps

There was a big game on yesterday, which I did watch portions of; but my favorite part of Super Bowl Sunday has always been the commercials and the Puppy Bowl. Here’s one of my personal favorite commercials from this year’s big game (see above or follow this link). What were your favorites?

And in our kitchen last week, we made Tuscan Ribollita Soup with Soft-Boiled Eggs & Lacinato Kale, Creamy Lemon Linguine with Caramelized Onion, Chard & Walnuts (one of our favorites so far!), Shrimp & Pineapple Fried Rice with Toasted Cashews & Sambal Oelek, and Goat Cheese & Kale Quiches with Butter Lettuce & Chive Salad. For Super Bowl Sunday, it was guacamole and chips, oven-baked fries, and chili dogs!

Wednesday night dinner at home - cooking & listening to Italian hip hop. Tuscan Ribollita Soup #blueapron

Creamy Lemon Linguine with Caramelized Onion, Chard & Walnuts http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/KmkHUqUxEq #blueapron

Shrimp & Pineapple Fried Rice with Toasted Cashews & Sambal Oelek http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/W3lLVhQ5Aq #blueapron

Goat Cheese & Kale Quiches with Butter Lettuce & Chive Salad #blueapron

by Valerie | 02.08.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

home cooked

Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/Xffipdiupq #blueapron

Tomorrow we’ll receive our third Blue Apron shipment in the mail and we’re still really enjoying it – I still feel a bit like a kid opening presents on Christmas morning every time we get a box; as I mentioned here, it’s been fun to try new recipes at home, new ingredients (like watermelon radish), and we’ve enjoyed having all the groceries needed for the meals shipped right to our door too. Another thing I have personally loved about it is that we are spending the time it takes to make the meals together in the kitchen, listening to music (sometimes there’s dancing!), talking, laughing, and enjoying a beer or a glass of wine. Week one brought us: Butternut Squash & Poblano Chili with Toasted Pepitas & Charred Lime, Apple & Parmesan Cheese Panzanella Salad with Smashed Purple Potatoes (we altered the recipe and used Parmesan in place of blue cheese), and Cacciatore-Style Baked Eggs with Lacinato Kale & Parmesan-Garlic Toasts. Week two brought us: White Pizza with Baked Eggs & Arugula-Brussels Sprout SaladCod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts (pictured above and below), and Chicken Meatballs & Creamy Polenta with Tomato Sugo & Lacinato Kale. I’m looking forward to more culinary adventures and fun in the kitchen! Want to see more photos of our food? Take a peek here!

Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts http://dlink.blueapron.com/SPBc/Xffipdiupq #blueapron

Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts #blueapron

by Valerie | 01.29.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

drift and blow

snow

I was pleased to see these big, beautiful snowflakes falling outside this afternoon; it really is such a lovely sight to see! Watching the snow drift and blow outside, listening to this, dreaming of snuggling up by my fireplace when I get home with my loves by my side (Ryan and Melody)… I’ve used this quote before, but I love it so much I have to share it again: “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’ And when they wake up in the summer, Kitty, they dress themselves all in green, and dance about – whenever the wind blows.” — Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

by Valerie | 01.28.16 | Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

weekend haps

garden rose & ranunculus

We spent a productive weekend doing lots of cooking at home (2 more Blue Apron meals – Chicken Meatballs & Creamy Polenta with Tomato Sugo & Lacinato Kale and Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts – as well as an original tomato, roasted vegetable, and noodle soup that Ryan put together…“mmm noodle soup”), running errands, and cleaning house. And I picked up these gorgeous roses and ranunculus for myself…just because.

Pow!

Melody is looking extra cute in her Valentine’s Day collar, by the way!

my buddy and me

my buddy and me

by Valerie | 01.25.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants, Recipes | No Comments »

home cooked

Excited to try Blue Apron!

We received a free week (3 meals) of meals from Blue Apron as a Christmas gift from my brother and sister-in-law and I was excited to receive our first delivery to our doorstep yesterday. It’s pretty simple, you start by signing up for an account in which you specify your plan type (2-person, family), dietary profile (i.e. vegetarian, pescetarian, omnivore), you pick the day of the week that works best for you to receive deliveries, and you select the 3 recipes/meals you’d prefer for that week. They ship everything you need to make the meals and the printed recipes to follow. Last night, we cooked our first Blue Apron meal and it was a success! We made this salad, with a few alterations of our own to suit our tastes; we substituted Parmesan cheese for the blue cheese and used a French vinaigrette dressing in place of the creamy one it came with the ingredients for. At first, I was worried it wouldn’t be filling enough for dinner, but the portion size was more than enough and with the bread and potatoes it came with it was just right. I’m really excited to try some new things – we often eat out or order in and when we do cook it is often the same things, so it’s nice to not only cook more at home, but also get out of our cooking rut and try something new. I’m looking forward to another new recipe and a home cooked meal tonight!

Apple & Parmesan Cheese Panzanella Salad with Smashed Purple Potatoes - our first Blue Apron meal

Apple & Parmesan Cheese Panzanella Salad with Smashed Purple Potatoes - our first Blue Apron meal

by Valerie | 01.17.16 | For Funsies, Recipes | 1 Comment »

infinite happiness

Celebrating 15 years of marriage with the love of my life today - he makes me smile & he makes me laugh everyday! 💗

Today we celebrate 15 years of incredibly happy and fun marriage together; he makes me smile and he makes me laugh every day. Here’s to many more years and infinite happiness with the love of my life…

by Valerie | 01.13.16 | For Funsies | No Comments »

Ringing in the New Year

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As I mentioned in my last post, we had a wonderful Christmas with family in Texas this year – so once we arrived safely home on New Year’s Eve, it was nice to enjoy a quiet dinner out and then return home to sit beside our beautiful tree next to the fireplace and enjoy the cozy glow for the evening; after having driven for 2 full days, we were spent. I was thrilled to come home and see my amaryllis plant in full bloom though and counted myself lucky that it had done so well in my absence. Speaking of luck…did you eat your black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year’s Day? We did – Ryan had a great idea to incorporate them into a vegetarian taco mix, which turned out to be not only fast and easy to prepare, but also delicious. We are looking forward to the New Year and all the possibilities ahead for us. Wishing you happiness, health, and good luck in the New Year!

by Valerie | 01.04.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

I’ll be home for Christmas

Christmas Eve 2015

We traveled back to my hometown (Gatesville, TX) for Christmas this year and loved spending it with family at my parents house; my Aunt Connie and Uncle Phil came down from Abilene and my brother and sister-in-law drove down from Lubbock too. We had so much fun seeing everyone, celebrating Clint’s birthday on Christmas Eve, eating lots of delicious food, playing games, and just relaxing. If you’d like to see more photos from our trip, you can view them here.

Christmas 2015

Couldn't have found a better birthday gift for my little brother...

Christmas Eve 2015

Christmas time in Gatesville, TX

by Valerie | 01.01.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants, Travel | No Comments »

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