28 May 2012

back in the habit

Pin It I had a wonderful week home.  Southern Illinois never ceases to make me happy.  Surrounded by beauty, familiarity, family... can't get much sweeter.

Just makes ya wanna kick up your feet in the grass...

Take a cruise through wine country...

Chill by the pool...

and drive past your old stomping grounds!

  This is the first house Brian and I lived in together.  It's also the house he grew up in.  FULL of memories.

Stop by campus for verification you actually graduated college a few years ago....

  Rest assured, I did!  What is it with universities holding onto your diploma???

and... AND... Check out wedding venues.  Here's a sneak peak of where we will be tying the knot next June!   I'm so beyond thrilled...

Now, I'm back in NC for a few days.  Packing and packing, running errands, seeing peeps, and keepin' my cool with a healthy amount of iced coffee.  Wish me luck cuz we're movin' to DC!

19 May 2012

homecoming

Pin It Can I just start out my saying that the weather is BEAUTIFUL today?  If it isn't gloriously nice where you are, sorry to brag.  It just almost feels like fall, like that homecoming parade, sunny but breezy weather that makes you feel like you're fifteen.

OR I'm just on cloud nine because I'm headed home to see my family (and future family!) after five months of separation.  Definitely way too long of a time to go without seeing your parents and brothers.  AND I get to see a super pregnant friend.  Today is good.  Like Dick Van Dyke dancing in his living room good.  Gahhhh!

OR like this corn and blueberry salad good.  It looks so amazing.  I can't wait to make it!  I might have a hard time twisting a certain male someone's arm into trying it, but he will thank me.  I'm convinced.


Or like this amazing sun-filled kitchen (via the fab web).  Could you imagine?  Someday my life might have half the glamour I envision.  Someday...


But, it would SO fit perfectly in this house!


And I would totally make this caprese eggs benedict for my mom for breakfast when she came to visit.  Oh, what a nice daughter I would be!  


Alright... it's time to board the plane, but wish me luck this week!  I'll be checking out wedding venues, soaking up rays by the pool, and living the good life in Southern Illinois.  I know... you feel so bad for me.






08 May 2012

going green

Pin It
Ahhhhh.... back on the juice!  I go through phases of juicing.  It's kind of like working out... once you start, you can't stop.  Adversely, once you stop, it's hard to start up again.  

I get into the mode that I think that I don't have time for my juicer.  Too much work & washing of juicer parts.  Yet, every time I juice, I remember that it's way easier than making breakfast.  And it's totally delicious.


I love making green juices because I am always amazed by the quantity of produce you can fit into a single glass.  This baby has:
1 lb spinach
1 large bunch of parsley
1 pear
1 inch piece of fresh ginger

(and I could have easily put more in there)


Parsley is my new favorite juice addition.  It's really great for your digestive system (especially kidneys & gallbladder), but also your blood vessels.  Ginger is always a good thing to add to your juices, too.  It's WAY good for immunity super power!!

Do you ever drink green juice?  I'm obsessed!

06 May 2012

If you give a boy a slice of cheesecake...

Pin It he's probably going to take two.  Or three.  Or four, depending on your idea of a normal serving size.  I should have known better than to tell Brian that he could have some of this double blueberry cheesecake before I had a chance to take pictures the next morning.  Novice mistake, I tell you.  Nov-ice.


At least I now have verification of the boy-worthiness of this baby.  As a sucker for cheesecake myself, I have to admit I also indulged in a slice.  At eleven in the morning.  True story.


With berry season in full force, you might want to make some cheesecake.  It's perfect for this scorching weather coming upon us.  Raspberry?  yeeeahh... Blackberry??  Now you're talking. 


Recipe for Double Blueberry Cheesecake


for the crust
2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

for the cheesecake
16 oz cream cheese (2 pkgs)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup heavy cream

for the blueberry sauce and swirl
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cornstarch

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375F.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until thoroughly mixed.  Press into bottom of spring form pan.

In mixer (or in bowl with handheld), beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.  Slowly add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and cream on low until the mixture is consistent and creamy.  Pour onto top of crust.

To make the blueberry sauce for our swirly action, bring blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch to a boil.  Simmer for five minutes, or until mixture begins to thicken.

With a spoon, make a few small craters in the cheesecake.  Spoon some of the blueberry sauce in and swirl around with a knife.  Reserve the rest of the blueberry mixture for serving with your cheesecake.

Bake for 45 minutes to one hour, or until cheesecake isn't too jiggly.  It should seem firm, but not cracking.  If it seems at all liquidy, keep it in the oven.  Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool slowly with the door close.  After an hour, remove and put in the fridge covered in foil.

Let chill overnight, or eight hours, before serving with extra blueberry topping.