Friday, June 27, 2014

Dinner: The Playbook - Turkey Parm Meatballs

Meal two of the Playbook Challenge: Chicken Turkey parmesan meatballs. (With a photobombing basset < probably my favorite part of this cooking venture.)

These were a total hit! I thought they were good, but normal good, to be honest. My husband thought they were incredible! Jenny's recipe is actually for chicken parm meatballs, but I wanted to try turkey instead. They turned out great!

It was a hands-on recipe, but I kind of enjoyed that. :)

They were truly, very easy and plenty filling. I did my usual olive oil-roasted broccoli for a side. I'd love to make these as a snack for a party.

The hubs really loved them that much. (And see the fat basset in the back?)

And one more...

Last Playbook challenge meal tonight! Asian slaw with chicken.

Sounds like the perfect summer meal.

Are you afraid of heights?


Have any of you seen these photos? My heart literally starts to beat irregularly when I look at some of these. I've never considered myself afraid of heights (and I still don't) but I'm definitely afraid of falling. And most of these have a seriously long fall. But they are pretty amazing.

I did a bungee jump/swing once and to this day, I have no clue how I mustered the courage for it. Have you every done something like that or like these pictures?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dinner: The Playbook - Baked Potato Bar

So, this week, I'm participating in the Dinner: The Playbook challenge. I'm cooking three new meals from Jenny Rosenstrach's upcoming cookbook, Dinner: The Playbook.

Last night was my first meal and I choose to do the baked potato bar. I have to be honest, I tend to look for the easiest meal (but really, what's wrong with that?) and this one looked pretty fail-proof. I put a whole bunch of potatoes in the the oven - even tried a couple sweet potatoes (they were delicious but I over cooked them) - got all the toppings together and voila! Dinner was done. 

Everyone loaded their baked potato with what they wanted. My husband, being the South African that he is, added all sorts of sauces to his; so I think he won the most colorful award. This meal was super easy, delicious, and nutritious. I loved that everyone could "customize" their potato how they wanted and the recipe gave me the chance to use things up in the fridge (hello 3/4 of a green pepper). I mostly appreciate having another simple recipe to add to my dinner repertoire. 

Up next: chicken parm meatballs!

PS - Sorry for the delay in this post and the lack of post so far, this week. If you didn't know, we just moved back to the U.S. from South Africa and are till getting settled. Thanks for understanding. :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Welcome to America!

Pre-travel photo. I wish I looked that good after 30 hours of flying.

Well, we're here!

Back in the U.S. of A! :) After 30-ish hours of traveling, we arrived in Miami this past Wednesday. Dog and all. We are adjusting (all three of us). It is so wonderful to be back home but still an adjustment. (I could barely handle choosing a shampoo at Target…too many choices and I couldn't figure out what was expensive and what was cheap…we'll get there.) And hello hot!? We have been so excited to be in summer but it is seriously HOT and humid. Yay for tans and flip-flops (and queso and salsa…I am in heaven)!

Here are just a few pictures of the craziness that ensued in the days before we left (not including me getting terribly ill with something close to pneumonia).

Rolo was so helpful.

As we're easing into life here (aka, getting cell phones asap) and I'm getting back into the blogging, I'll be participating in The Playbook Challenge with Dinner: A Love Story! I'm so excited! If you saw on my Instagram, I received an advanced copy of Jenny's new book, Dinner: The Playbook, coming out in August. I'll be cooking three meals this week from the book and sharing it here and everywhere! You can follow #DinnerPlaybook to see and hear about all the adventures. I hope you do. :)

From the sunny, hot, Northern Hemisphere,


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Things I'm going to miss about South Africa, Part 3

Just a few more...

Chocolate covered marshmallow eggs. I don't know if we have these in the States...they're not anything exotic, just a marshmallow coated in chocolate...but they are SO GOOD. I honestly could eat a whole box. And even if this kind of thing does exist in the US, Woolworths does not and Woolies' ones are the best. (It's not normal for them to have Hello Kitty on the packaging, just FYI.)

Fresh fruit juice, fruits, veggies, and free range everything. Sugar is just not added so much here, nor are GMO's as common as in the US. I know you can get organic, free-range food in the States, but it's still fairly expensive right? Here, fresh is just the way it is.

Typical/generic African "things". I know this is cliche and very American, but I don't care. I love African prints. I love seeing women carry massive amounts of stuff on their heads. I love hearing music like (this). African culture truly is one that is raw, vibrant, and infectious.

Painting our house before we moved in.

About to turn our first TV on, for the first time. I know, silly, newly married things.

Planting flowers in our garden. 

Our first home. South Africa is where my husband and I met. It's where we got to know each other, began to build a friendship and a life, and where we had our first home. It's nothing big: a small cottage with a living room, a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and small garden. But it's been perfect. We've bought a few things that were big purchases for us, but a lot of our stuff has been second hand. It's been so much to paint our house, rearrange furniture, cook together, and just start off our life in this little cottage. I know one day we may look back and wonder how we lived in such a small place (especially when kids come along), but I will truly always cherish our time here.

Love South Africa.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Two years ago today

Two years ago today, my amazing husband proposed to me. It was such an exciting, nerve-racking, romantic time, and the most wonderful start to the rest of our lives. I love looking back on our pictures of the actual proposal but especially our engagement pictures - which I realized I never shared much of on the blog.

We choose our photographers, Carolien and Ben, because of how they utilize natural night. But the day we scheduled our engagement photos, it ended up being extremely cloudy, rainy, and cold. We figured we'd find a cute umbrella as a prop and just go with it. But as we drove to the field where we did the shoot, the sky cleared and the sun light shown so beautifully - really, Carolien said it was probably some of the best of her career. So, here are a handful of the shots if you'd like to see.

It's been an incredible adventure so far and I can't believe we're embarking on the next big one, next week. Here's to many more years! Love you, sweety.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Weekly links & The first of the farewells

Happy Friday, all! Tomorrow is my last day of work and this afternoon, the serious packing/de- constructing of home begins. Lots going on. So, here are few links from the web this brain just needs to veg.


LOVE this top! A must for the summer that we're heading into.

Beautiful wedding inspiration that I enjoyed just staring at this week. (And this one. So stunning!)

A DIY I'm dying to try!

Stained wood wall inspiration for when we finally get our own place again!

Another DIY we're going to do in the US, to keep the African influence around. :)

And because life is all about the move right now, here's a great article on how to make big moves a little easier.

PS - Thank you to our weekly, bible discussion group for the extremely sweet farewell last night. The tears have started. We love you guys.