Remember that time I said good-bye to zucchini for the year? Yeah….about that. When you spend your Saturday morning playing catch-up on your blog posts, you come across something that’s been sitting in the queue for…months. And then you make a liar out of yourself from previous blogposts. But that’s okay! I’m sure you’ll forgive me. This was actually one of the better squash recipes we have tried, probably due to the amount of other ingredients that are involved – particularly cheese. (Cheese makes everything better). So before you get burned out on zucchini/squash this coming summer, try this recipe to make sure that you’re giving it a decent chance before you overeat it! The variety of tomatoes involved balances the zucchini out nicely and at points, you almost forget the zucchini is there between the general pasta-dish feel you get from the meal. Overall, worth a shot!

Croque Monsieur

Posted by Megan | Lunch, Pork

We have officially reached adulthood. I have decided this. Last night, we went to the Verizon store to upgrade Will’s phone and did all the adult things: picked out the phone he wanted (not necessarily whatever was cheapest), avoided the lure of the “EDGE” monthly payment “deal” on our bill (which any “deals” make me suspicious), avoided the overpriced case, tempered glass screen and car charger. We managed to simply leave with the new phone, appropriate case and even got money off for turning in Will’s “old” but still working fine, phone. And we paid upfront (not scheme-y monthly deals) like it was no big thing. But it was a big thing! We did the adult things and it feels so good. It’s certainly not like we’re made of money, but having planned and anticipated for a couple months that we would be doing this, we had set aside the money in our budget (fellow 20-somethings: does the word budget scare you?) to allow for the upgrade at the beginning of February. How adult is that?!?!?! Sorry folks, just had to humblebrag that we have stumbled through what was truly our first year of adulthood since we got married and I became legit-employed, and have now come out on the other side with lessons learned, money saved and a feeling of conquering adult decisions. It’s comforting to have finally made it here.

Serious question, people of the blogosphere world: do you read the intros to blog posts? And if so, do you prefer if the food is talked about or if there are anecdotes from every day life? When I sit down and brainstorm writing an intro to a blogpost, I often wonder what people are looking for and if they’re even reading along. Will swears by the fact that he clicks on a recipe because of the title and/or picture, and then just scrolls down to the recipe, skipping all the fluff. Depending on the blog, I sometimes do the same. But other blogs pull me in with their bits of every day life and their stories – blogs like Sally’s Baking Addiction, Pinch of Yum and Smitten Kitchen.  It’s not necessarily what they’re writing that’s profound, but instead I’m impressed by the simple act of finding tidbits from their everyday lives that they craft into interesting stories for their audiences to read. So I ask you as readers: do you care what is written in this portion and if so, what’s your preference? I want to be challenged as a writer, but also reach the audience that I am speaking to. Leave some comments below to let me know (if you even are reading this) what your thoughts are!

What a long weekend it has been! We feel like we’ve barely seen each other, since I’ve been out of the house for seemingly the entire time. I began my weekend on Saturday morning with a conference call for an alumni affinity group I’m president of, which was quickly followed by heading to a Williamsburg Symphonia concert that I had served on the planning committee for. When I got to the performance location, we were trying to pull off all set-up/rehearsal/concert in one day, between 8AM and the start of the concert at 8PM. The staging/sound/lights was probably the most challenging part and thankfully I didn’t have much to do with that – I got to set tables,  tend to musicians needs and then sit back and enjoy the show! The committee did a great job and the whole thing was wonderful-start to finish.

After being out of the office for a week, comes the inevitable return to reality. Being in Seattle (!!) for a conference, attending an all-day retreat then having a three-day weekend, caused this Tuesday hit harder than a Monday typically does. Especially since it’s a bright, sunshine-y, cool winters day out and there’s nothing more I want to do then spend the day baking, going for a run with my imaginary dog, then laying in the sun with the cats. But reality is less exciting, though I do at least get to look out the window at other people running with their real dogs, enjoying the perfect winter weather. If only life could be as carefree as a run on a cold day! Anywho, enough about daydreaming – how about a new recipe??

Quiche Lorraine

Posted by Megan | Breakfast, Pork

This weekend we’re celebrating Oscar’s adoptiversary! It’s hard to believe we’ve had our pal for four years now; we can’t imagine our lives without him. He proves to be simultaneously the sweetest and rudest cat there is, purring and cuddling with his mommy one minute and then running in terror from his daddy when he so much as looks at him, the next (for the record, Will has never done anything to cause this, Oscar just woke up one day and decided Will was scary). In our time together, Oscar has moved from Virginia to Florida and back, gained his obnoxious little sister Emma, made a lifelong friend named Socks (now Lox, who lives in Richmond), had multiple health scares, eats a gourmet diet consisting of three different foods just to keep him alive, and enjoys cuddling every night in bed (but only in the winter). He hates car rides but loves Grandma Kay’s house, where he can sit on the bed alllll day and summon humans to come pet him. He pretends he’s starving at exactly 6:30 AM and 4:30 PM, every day, just in case we forget to feed him (we never do). He loves all his cat sitters (Aunt Courtney, Jill, Alexis and Kristi), though is referenced as the “mean kitty” by a sweet two-and-a-half-year-old, only because he never comes out to play when Emma does. He secretly enjoys playing feather, but always defers to Emma because it’s now “her” toy, despite being the first thing that ever drew him out of his shy personality. His favorite places to nap are in the sun, in his “house” and in the closet under mommy’s clothes. Basically, our lives wouldn’t be the same without this persnickety brown/black/white fluff of fur and we are so happy he’s accepted his fate of living with us the last four years!

Hello there! Apologies for falling off the face of the earth for another week, but it’s because this past week we were in…Seattle! I had a conference to attend, so I brought Will along for the fun, since he had never visited before. We had a great time exploring during our limited daylight hours when I wasn’t conferencing. We also got to see some old college friends, one of whom we hadn’t seen in at least five years. The entire experience was absolutely lovely – we enjoyed lots of different types of foods including Russian baked goods, lots of seafood and a good amount of Asian-inspired dishes. We also tried local beer and wine both in Seattle and on the nearby Bainbridge Island. Despite not having enough time to fit everything in, we had a blast and would happily return at any time!

My mother loves themes. And to be quite honest, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. As much crap as I like to give my mother about theming everything (yes, I just admitted to the great big internet that I give my mother a hard time), at heart, I’m cut from the same cloth. There’s something comforting about pulling together a meal where all the pieces fit together and belong together. When my mother first approached Will and I about what theme to have for Christmas this year, we were unprepared and little less than polite. She threw out Downton Abbey or medieval feast as the themes, and not wanting to play nice, we shot them down. Then we spotted our Virginia Hospitality cookbook on our shelf and the three of us started exploring it. After coming across a recipe requiring the cook to “light a chicken on fire then carry it to the table while still flaming,” we decided to pass on classic Virginia recipes, but felt inspired to do a “classic foods” theme.

So um, happy new year (again) everyone! We hit the road last Friday and haven’t had a moment to check in since then. We had a great drive back from Arkansas, a lovely anniversary weekend in Charlottesville and I am now back at work this week. Apparently when you don’t check in on your blog for five days, some pretty crazy things can happen. Like this and this. I.e.: getting featured on a Buzzfeed post and on Imgur (from the Buzzfeed post). As in having one of your recipes on websites that more than just you, your family and your friends look at. As in websites that thousands, if not millions, of people check in on every day/week. How can I say this lightly? WHOLLY GUACAMOLE BATMAN. Is this considered the first step to making it? I doubt it, but to see a multi-hundred a day page traffic spike on the blog when we usually have just over one hundred views a day? Kind of astounding. So welcome new friends who are here trolling for bacon recipes and are disappointed that Maple Bacon Buttermilk Doughnuts are one of my only bacon recipes on the blog. Make sure to find us on Facebook and Pinterest to learn more about this little blog!

Happy New Year, friends! It’s hard to believe that 2015 has arrived – it seems like 2014 flew by, though maybe we’re just getting older so years seem shorter. 2014 was a big year for us, kicking off with our wedding and followed by job changes, academic challenges, a summer internship, travel and so much more! As we’re approaching the end of our early 20s and transitioning more into the mid-20s range, we are ready and excited to tackle the new challenges that will come with 2015. We predict 2015 will be a year of even more changes than 2014, and we’re already looking forward to 2016 – the year we hope to have minimal changes, no moves, no job changes, etc. Check back with us in a year to see how that’s looking! Hah!