Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sushi Love

Last night, some of us girls went out for a fabulous evening of Sushi and fun!  We had the best time, and ate WAY too much.  It was my first time visiting Sushi Love, and I had the California Roll (my fave) and the Crunchy Shrimp Roll.  I have to say, I was very happy with the sushi, AND, apparently it is always 2 for 1 sushi rolls!  AMAZING!

Our HUGE boat of Sushi -- I should have posted an "after" picture....there were hardly any rolls left over!
All the girls!
Me, Whit, and Katie

Becca, Emma, and me.

We were stuffed from dinner, but just HAD to check out the brand new Local Yogurt that opened next door.   So yummy!!  No pictures from that....too excited about eating :)

Spaghetti and Meatballs

As some of you know, Hubs and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary this week!!  We actually really celebrated our anniversary in Charleston at the beginning of the month, but I was able to whip up a delicious meal for a nice dinner at home on Monday.  His schedule is insaaaaane right now, and I hardly ever see him, so I thought it would be nice to enjoy some quality time in the cozy abode, instead of at a restaurant with lots of other peeps.

So, after much thought and inspiration, I decided to try Pioneer Woman's spaghetti and meatballs, and they were a HIT!  John LOVES all Italian food, so I knew he would be very pleased.  I served it w/ french bread, salad, and then made individual berry/banana pudding trifles for dessert -- yummmmmo.
I would definitely recommend this recipe -- it's a little tedious, because you are making the meatballs and sauce from scratch, but it's not hard at all.  

Pioneer Woman's Spaghetti and Meatballs 

serves 8 
(i adapted her recipe a little bit,  and cut it in half)


  • Meatballs:
  • ¾ pounds Ground Beef
  • ¾ pounds Ground Pork
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ¾ cups Fine Bread Crumbs
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • ¾ cups Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • ¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Splash Of Milk
  • ½ cups Olive Oil
  • Sauce:
  • 1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole (28-ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes
  • 1 whole 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes ( I just used the crushed, not the whole)
  • ½ cups White Or Red Wine 
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
  • 8 whole Fresh Basil Leaves, Chiffonade (optional)
  • 2 pounds Spaghetti, Cooked To Al Dente


To make the meatballs, combine meat, garlic, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and a splash of milk in a mixing bowl. Mix together well with hands. Roll into 25 1 1/2-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up.
To brown the meatballs, heat olive oil in a heavy pot or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs 8 at a time, turning to brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel after each batch. Set meatballs aside.
In the same pot, add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes, or until translucent. Pour in whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and wine, if using. Add salt, pepper, sugar, and parsley. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Add meatballs to pot and stir in gently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring very gently a couple of times during the simmer.
Just before serving, stir in basil if using.
Serve over cooked spaghetti. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan.

(Some pics from my cooking adventure)


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chimney Rocking

On the way home from our wonderful trip to Asheville (2 weeks ago), John and I stopped at the Chimney Rock State Park, so we could enjoy a little bit of hiking and scenery before heading back home.  It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm.  
We weren't able to do the Chimney Rock hike,  but we did find a few others, our favorite was the Hickory Nut Trail that led to a beautiful waterfall. 
Enjoy the pics!

Next, we found the cutest lunch place which was right on the river, and we had the best time enjoying the beauty of the area.  It was so nice to relax and to spend time together outside...I love Spring!

Best 3 years

To the joy and love of my life, 

Happy 3rd Anniversary, sweetie!  I am the luckiest girl in the world to have you by my side.  You are my everything and you make me see life and love in a way that I never dreamed of. 

7 years together, and 3 as your wife, I still thank God every day for giving me the most amazing man to be my husband.  
Thank you for loving me and being my rock.  
3 down, forever to go! 
I love you with my whole heart.

(seven years of pics...)

engaged!  2007

wedding - 2008

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Adventures in Asheville

John and I spent the 2nd week of his spring break exploring the wonderful city of Asheville, NC.  And to make it even better, two of our BEST couple friends from Memphis joined us for our 4 day adventure in the mountains!  We arrived Monday afternoon, and got all settled into our adorable little cabin. 
We rented it through Asheville Cottages - and I would highly recommend them. 

We hung out for awhile, caught up, and then headed out for a delicious dinner at the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company.

The next day's forecast was a bit gloomy, so we spent our morning/afternoon checking out the gorgeous Biltmore mansion and gardens.  It was breathtaking and so incredible to hear the history of this house and the Vanderbilt family.  (It is the largest home in America!)

Next up was relaxing and lounging back at the cabins, and as always a few fun games!

We stayed in for the evening and all cooked an amazing meal!  Grilled chicken, salad, sweet potato fries, baked beans....

And S'MORES!  

So yummy!!

Wednesday, we headed out for one of Asheville's famous breakfast hot spots....Tupelo Honey Cafe
With all this blogging about seems like that's all we did!!

Check out Jenny and Courtney's MASSIVE sweet potato pancakes!!

Everyone LOVED their meals and this restaurant -- I would definitely recommend it!!

After breakfast, we burned off some calories by exploring downtown Asheville, and walking around all kinds of cute shops.  We also drove around some of the neighboring villages which were so cute and quaint!

The girls back at the cabin, all ready to go out for our last dinner!
Love you girls and miss you sooooo much already!!

Dinner at the amazing Nona Mia.  It is Italian food at it's best ---- sooooooooo good.

Group pic!!

We had the best time!!
On the way home, John and I stopped at Chimney Rock State Park, and hiked all through it, and even found a beautiful waterfall....will post pics from that next!!

Hope you enjoyed the pics --- my mouth sure is watering after reminiscing about all of these amazing meals! :)