Sunday, September 30, 2012

Turkey Sausage, Mushrooms & Peas Pasta

I was home this weekend and my mom, Allie and I whipped up a delicious Giada de Laurentis recipe.  Pretty light for pasta and extremely delicious!  I recommend trying it.  If anyone thinks it looks appealing, let me know and I'll invite you over for dinner -- Josh won't eat it since it has mushrooms.  We only made a few modifications to the original recipe, all noted below.

1/2 c. olive oil
1 lb. Italian turkey sausage, casing removed (we used HOT)
10 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
6 oz. white button mushrooms, sliced (we added these to have mix of shrooms)
3/4 t. sea salt, + more to taste
3/4 t. fresh ground pepper, + more to taste
1 10 oz. package frozen peas, defrosted slightly
1/2 lb. pasta of your choice (Giada calls for bow-tie, but we used whole wheat rotini -- she also calls for a lb., but my mom wisely cut in half so we had more "toppings" and less pasta)
1/2. c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Zest from one lemon (mom's addition)

Clean mushrooms off with a dry cloth and slice them (we probably did in 4ths)

Heat 2 T olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Brown turkey sausage, breaking up any big clumps.

Take out of pan with slotted spoon and set aside on plate.

Heat 2 more T of olive oil in the same pan and add the mushrooms, salt and pepper.  Saute until all the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.  

Then my mom added lemon zest to "brighten the flavor" (her words!).

Add the peas and saute 2 minutes.  Then return the sausage to the pan and saute until warm all the way through, allowing flavors to blend -- about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente.  Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 c. of the pasta water.  Add the toppings to the pasta and add in about 4 big spoonfuls of pasta water to ensure it is not dry.  Add Parmesan cheese and toss in serving bowl. 

We served along side a light Caesar salad and with wheat baguette.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

You're invited...

Next Thursday I'm hosting a Stella & Dot Trunk Show at my house.  Anyone and everyone is welcome to come by -- no pressure to buy, just a fun girls night with some apps and vino!  Please stop by and say hello anytime between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

If you cannot make it in person (mom!), then feel free to shop online at this link:

I'm coveting these beauties:

Hope to see you next Thursday!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Photo recap of Sept happenings

A little catch up photo montage of what we've been up to in Sept.  

We headed to Topsail for a few days with my family -- it was perfect.  In my opinion, it's tough to beat September at the beach.

Tried this Ranch Oyster Cracker recipe from Pinterest and they were a tasty snack.

Attended some State games.  I promise Carolina is still #1 in my heart.

I went to VA for work and stayed with the Monroes in their gorgeous new home.  I also got to visit with my cousin, Reu, but sadly didn't get a pic!

Went to Wrightsville with the Wootens.

Sadly, one of my very dearest friends lost her mom to cancer.  What a sweet and strong woman I'll never forget.  Continuing to pray for all her friends and family as they grieve this tremendous loss.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lucite Love

Overall our house is pretty traditional, but I definitely don't want it looking like an old granny lives here, so I'm trying to add in some fun pieces.

I was in a meeting in VA week before last and my cell phone buzzed, I glanced down to see it was a picture text from one of my best friend's (Caroline) mom (who happens to be one of my mom's best friends).  Here is what she found:

That sweet Nancy came over a few weeks ago and remembered me saying I wanted a lucite chair to go at my desk in the butler's pantry.  She found it at a shop on Oak Island.  Luckily for me, my mom was heading to the beach with Nancy that weekend and picked it up.  Also lucky - my sis was in Charlotte that weekend so she then delivered it to me in Raleigh.  Thanks Nancy, mom & Bay!

I am in love!

Lots of "styling" still to be done in here.  Beverage fridge to go in that hole to left of desk.

Have any personal shopper requests for Nancy?  She has quite the eye!

We are off to the State game today -- never ever thought I'd be so excited.  UNC is still #1 in my heart, but State does know how to tailgate!
Retro State game pic


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Exterior House Progress

For the benefit of out-of-town readers, my mom requested that I update some pics of the exterior of the house -- I updated the pic on the sidebar and thought I'd show you the transformation the home has taken from the outside.

By the way, did I ever tell you how we put an offer on a house down the street last year and our Realtor accidentally put the wrong house number -- 2012 -- how serendipitous that we'd end up in 2012 in 2012!  Don't you think it was meant to be?

We (Josh, his sweet brother - Landon, and I) have spent a lot of time working on landscaping, but we have a LONG way to go.

And our dog spent many hours supervising.  She may literally think she is a squirrel now...

Screen porch side

Backyard -- as you can see, still lots to of work to fill our weekends.  Not quite like Josh's dream of Augusta yet! ;)

Side of garage & shed

Front of hobby shop, now garage

We look forward to the decades ahead of making this our home.  The work & projects will be never ending and that will surely keep it exciting.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicken Pistachio Salad

Last night I had a few high school friends who live in Raleigh over to celebrate Kiki's birthday.  I decided to make this chicken pistachio salad -- an old favorite my mom used to make.  I hadn't made it in ages and forgot just how delicious it really is for dinner!  In fact, I may or may not be making Josh eat it again tonight!

Chicken Pistachio Salad
1/2 c. shelled pistachios, finely chopped or ground
1/4 c. plain bread crumbs
2 big boneless skinless chicken breasts
1-2 egg(s)
2 T olive oil
1/2 - 1 c. diced sweet onion (I did 1/2 c. last night, but wished I'd had more!)
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1 t. diced sweet onion
1 lg ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
3 T olive oil
3 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1 T water

Preheat the oven to 375.  Chop up head of romaine lettuce and put in fridge to chill while preparing meal.  Mix the nuts and bread crumbs with some salt and pepper and spread out on a plate.  Roll the chicken in egg and then press the nut / bread crumb mixture on all sides of the breasts.

Heat 1 T of oil in a skillet and cook the coated chicken breasts for about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

Heat 1 T of olive oil in skillet over medium heat.  Saute diced onion with a little salt and pepper until brown.

Dressing: puree onion, avocado, oil, lime juice and water in food processor or blender.  The dressing ends up similar to a guacamole.

Divide romaine lettuce among 4 plates or bowls.  Slice the chicken breasts and arrange one on top of each bed of lettuce.  Top with browned onion and dressing.

We also enjoyed some spinach dip for an app (thanks, Jetton) and homemade cupcakes by Caroline.

Happy birthday, Kathryn!!