Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Steal My Meal

Lucky for me, I don't have to do much cooking this week! Check out what's going on in the Carroll Cafe...

Sunday - Shrimp in lemon-garlic sauce w/ Asparagus and crusty French Bread. Funny thing, I totally forgot to make the asparagus. It was possibly the most unbalanced meal we've ever had.

Meatless Monday – Stuffed Sweet Potatoes w/ Pancetta and Broccoli Rabe (this time I’m subbing bacon for the pancetta and kale for broccoli rabe) I LOVE THIS RECIPE! Sean? Well, not so much... http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/stuffed-sweet-potatoes-with-pancetta-and-broccoli-rabe-recipe/index.html

Tuesday – Curried Chicken and Quinoa w/ Citrus glazed carrots

Cheat night Wednesday –Trivia at Pueblo Real, which means mucho mucho Mexican food.

Spoiled Thursday – Pork chops courtesy of my mama

Friday – Cocoa-rubbed steak w/ Bacon-Whiskey Gravy and Green Beans. I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds sooo good! I also noticed Bacon is on the menu twice this week. I must REALLY love my husband ;)  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/cocoa-rubbed-steak-with-bacon-whiskey-gravy-recipe/index.html.

Saturday – Sunset picnic at Arrington Vineyards w/ Friends. I made it mandatory that Sherri bring her chicken salad.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Update: Making [different] Plans

Now that we've reached the end of Q1, I figured I should provide y'all with an official update to my original 2012 "Making Plans" post as seen here.

- The New Master Bath:  Other than one shot at tile browsing, we haven't made any progress. I have to admit though, as much as I enjoyed my Sunday night soak in the tub, it would've been so much nicer to be surrounded with updated fixtures, tiles and a luxurious vanity. I'm keeping this project at the top of our renovation list.

- More yoga: Um, riiiight. I haven't been more than a few times this year, but it's not for lack of desire. The last 2 classes I joined left me feeling completely ill. So ill, in fact, that I had to excuse myself from class early. It was mortifying (more on this later).

- More flying for Sean: Well, at least ONE of us is sticking to their extracurricular activities. Sean has been up in the air as much as his schedule and the weather will allow. Just yesterday he flew Trevor out to East Tennessee to visit Knoxville.
- Stacey turns 30: Oh yes, this is still happening. But instead of a trip to Vegas, I'm afraid I'll be taking a trip to the hospital...to have a baby. [...one moment please while I temporarily pass out...] Okay, I'm back. I don't even know what to say about this. Some/most of you have probably heard the news. If you haven't, well, it doesn't mean that we don't love you. It simply means that I don't really like talking about it.  I'm still trying to cope with the idea of being pregnant and becoming a mother. I haven't made much of a connection to the baby yet, but I'm working on that. It will happen. In the meantime, I'll take a preemptive stab at answering your questions: Yes, I'm feeling fine. Due September 24. Yes, we will find out the sex of the baby (what? you think we're idiots or something?) No, we don't have names picked out. No, we haven't started to decorate the nursery. And when we DO decorate the nursery it will not be pink or blue, and it will not have anything cartoon-y like Precious Moments or Winnie the Poo or anything baby-ish like that. And no, you haven't seen anything on Facebook because my kid won't be allowed on FB until it's 13 years old, and hopefully FB will be gone by then. I think that covers everything.

- More travel: Again, all travel will be limited to the hospital this fall.

- Staying matched with my Little Sister: after much deliberation, I decided to fulfill my 12 month commitment to my Little and leave it at that. She's simply not responding to the program or bonding with me like we'd all hoped. This really doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I'm pregnant [...sorry, passed out again...]. I gave her all that I could, but it's quite simply not worth my time and effort. I still believe in the benefits of the program, and I'd very much like to be a Big Sister again in the future.

- Using the stand mixer: I'm proud to say that I have been using it, but unfortunately, I'm just no good at baking. I've screwed up everything that I make in the stand mixer, including homemade bread. I will keep trying! (mostly because I like to turn on jazz music while I'm in the kitchen and pretend like I have my own Food Network show.)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Old Fashioned Saturday

I picked up my "Little" this morning for our first Saturday visit in a LONG time. We've been meeting on Tuesday nights due to her family's schedule. It's fine, but it limits our ability to get outside, go to festivals and pretty much enjoy anything. Tuesday visits are usually dinner and homework, so I was excited about this Saturday.

The weather was gorgeous this morning and I knew exactly where I wanted to go - the Franklin Farmers Market. The market is open year round, but we tend to stay away during the winter months. (even though it's technically still winter as I type this...and 80 degrees...) Oh, it was PERFECT. I came away with ground lamb for Shepherd's pie, new potatoes, kale...and of course, ELLIE'S OLD FASHIONED DOUGHNUTS!!! AHHHHH!!! These doughnuts are the best Best BEST. Fresh from the fryer, warm, light and fluffy...it's pure bliss. Never mind that I already had scrambled eggs, homemade biscuits and pork tenderloin for breakfast. I was getting a doughnut come hell or high water.

My little and I savored our sugary treat while we walked through the market and enjoyed tunes from a little bluegrass band. 

Meanwhile, Sean was busy logging some volunteer time at the Heritage Foundation office. Tonight is the annual St. Patrick's Day Brewefest on Main Street, and Sean was able to score a free ticket by answering phones at their office this morning.

Despite some scattered thunderstorms, the rest of the weekend should still be really enjoyable. The festival tonight is rain or shine, and we're excited about hanging out with all our friends and family. Trevor, Meghan and Emily will be there, along with the rest of our "gang." Somewhere in between all the fun I plan on making the Shepherd's Pie, baking fresh bread, finishing laundry and updating our closets with seasonal clothes. Hello, Springtime!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Steal my Meal

I haven't posted anything about my cooking in quite some time. And, even though I'm no Ina Garten, I thought my meal planning for the week ahead might inspire some of you. Happy cooking, y'all!

Sunday (meatless) - Baked Barley Risotto w/ Butternut Squash (realsimple.com)
Monday - Honey-Chili glazed Salmon w/ Roasted Asparagus
Tuesday (Kid friendly) - Homemade chicken tenders and sweet potato fries
Wednesday - FREE PASS! We're planning on joining friends for trivia at our favorite neighborhood Mexican restaurant Pueblo Real. Pollo Verde, here I come!
Thursday - Pesto pork tenderloin w/ polenta cakes and sauteed spinach
Friday (meatless) - Mexican hash w/ corn and bell peppers topped with a fried egg
Saturday (St. Patrick's day!) - I'm going to try my hand at Shepherd's Pie. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 9, 2012

She's in love with the boy.

Wednesday evening I returned home from a 3 day business trip to Michigan. (I've heard folks talk about Michigan being beautiful...haven't been lucky enough to see those parts.) The 3 day trip felt more like 5, and boy, was I glad to be back in Nashville. There's no place like home, right?

When you land in Nashville and your feet reach the end of the jet bridge, you'll hear live music streaming throughout the airport terminal. For me it's like being greeted with a big hug.

Wednesday evening the weather was perfect - 70 degrees and sunny. Rush hour traffic was almost non-existent. I was driving down the interstate with my window rolled down listening to country music on the radio. I love my home! Trisha Yearwood's first single "She's in love with the boy" started playing.

"What an ancient song!" I thought to myself as I sang along with the lyrics. And then I remembered...this is the demo tape that Trisha played for my Girl Scout Troop circa 1989!!! How funny is that? I was about 7 years old, and this no-name woman came to sit with us and play a song we'd never heard before. Our troop met in the Berry's Chapel multi-purpose gymnasium, and we sat at cafeteria style lunch tables while Trisha busted out her TAPE PLAYER. We listened to the demo, and that was the end of that. I didn't give two flips about it. Sure, it was super sweet of her to come visit us...but at the time none of us grasped the concept of "Music Row" or "demo tapes" or trying to "make it" in country music. I'm sure some of the girls politely asked her questions about becoming a country music artist.

I smiled as I finished listening to the song on the radio. I'm thankful for my fun memory of meeting Trisha Yearwood at Girl Scouts. That is soooo Nashville.

Occasionally when out-of-towners learn I'm from Nashville they'll say, "I guess you see famous people all over the place!"  The truth is..."famous" people are everywhere, but I don't know them when I see them. Most of us don't recognize them because they're record execs, producers, songwriters, musicians...but they are here. You can feel it in the air. Passion. Excitement. The buzz of a star sighting or a new up and coming artist. It's quite fun.

I've only bumped into a few of the "real" stars in my lifetime - Trisha, Wynona, Naomi, Vince, Kix, Jack White and Ben Folds. Sean's star sighting takes the cake - he almost hit Miley Cyrus with his car while she was crossing the street.