Happy Friday friends! I hope you’re gearing up for a busy, fun weekend, like we are. We’ve been squeezing it all in recently, with the end of the academic year drawing to a close. I’ve been attending concerts and recitals most weekends and this one will be no exception! We’ve also been watching lots of soccer, as the BPL season comes to and end, and Will has been playing a lot as well. Plus, on top of all that, kitten season is nigh, so I have lots of adoption-related activities coming up at The Humane Society including a Kitten Shower tomorrow to garner interest in fostering kittens. On top of it all, we’ve been hosting lots of friends, now that we finally have a kitchen table that Will has completed! We had some friends from college over last weekend and are hosting our Spurs group after final games this Sunday. And then we’ve also been GOING to friends parties, including a Siete de Mayo party at Mandi and Billy’s house last weekend and are going to a Minimalist Baker-themed potluck tomorrow for a friends birthday. All the social activities!

DSC_0300Though we do not define ourselves strictly as “southerners,” there are certain things that remind us of “down-home” cooking that we not-so-secretly enjoy indulging in. In the months after we’ve moved, we’ve become increasingly more interested in cooking things from the South and expanding what we have always enjoyed about Southern cooking, into a strictly-vegetarian palate. It sounds like a contradiction, but it’s true! Not everything is chicken & waffles or BBQ. In doing so, this was one of our first ventures into pairing Southern-style foods to make a fully vegetarian meal, not lacking a meat-focused central component. This ended up being dinner AND lunch leftovers one week and while it makes a ton of servings, it certainly fills you up every single time.

We have casually been exploring Tacoma on the weekends through the means of open houses aka looking at homes we are nowhere near able to buy. As Will likes to remind me, our current house-buying budget is…$0. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t start to get the juices flowing regarding things we would be looking for in homes, neighborhoods to look at, and the very very beginning stages of looking at what the heck a mortgage is and all the steps you need to take to acquire one. After being in school for four more years (combined) after completing our undergraduate degrees, we kind of feel like we’re getting a fresh start on our early 20s, since we missed out on some of the things non-graduate students do. Full-time jobs with two real incomes in a partnership (okay, not everyone has this but WOW is it cool for us to finally be at this point), being able to buy 90% organic food without sacrificing other things, being able to go to sporting events (if it’s with a GroupOn or LivingSocial deal), walking to one of the many bars in our neighborhood to grab a beer “just because,” and the many other fun things that come with being a full-time adult. With those also come the savings priorities, which is where the open houses come in. After retirement and boosting the regular savings account, as adults…what should we be saving for??

You know what brightens up a Monday morning? A perfect muffin. A couple weeks ago, I wanted to make savory muffins using at least one herb in our “garden” (two pots of herbs – a huge downsize from previous gardens of ours) and a cheese. I searched high and low on the internet and in my cookbooks for muffins using herbs and found surprisingly few options. It’s not that there weren’t recipes available, they just weren’t “the one.” Then I came across this gem – the words goat cheese and rosemary immediately jumped out at me and I was sold. I didn’t love the ingredient list, but figured I could work around some of the features to get the most flavor bang for my buck. Boy was I right. These muffins turned out stellar and made me wonder why there wasn’t more like them on the internet! These muffins tasted so amazing and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them because their golden-brown color just glowed (it doesn’t hurt either that the sun stays bright until almost 9 PM in Tacoma and we have a great window for food photos). There’s really not much else to say about these other than everyone should try them ASAP and savor their rich, cheesy goodness. I’ll let the pictures do the talking for this recipe…

Let’s work backwards for the order of our life events that have happened, mentioned in the previous post about Homemade Chorizo & Potato Tacos. So much to catch up on, friends! We mentioned a lot about how much we’re liking Tacoma and we have both officially hit day #4 on our new jobs. Will is very pleased with his decision about the university he selected to work for and I feel very fortunate to also have the position I do on the same campus. We carpool to work and eat lunch together every day, like the disgustingly cute couple we are. Thankfully, we had a W&M Alumni event to attend last night in downtown Seattle (seeing the city emerge from the mountains on the drive in was super cool – hellooooooooo Space Needle) so we could see people other than each other and our handful of colleagues. We played trivia, ran into old friends, and even managed to run into another good friend in the same bar (a W&M alum who didn’t technically attend the same event we did). It was nice to go to Seattle for the first time since we’ve arrived in Washington and to determine it’s not too terribly far away. We look forward to visiting again soon! Oh and this morning on our way to work, Mt. Rainier just appeared. It’s got a habit of just showing up, uninvited, in the skyline, whenever it wants. It’s like “Where’s Waldo” but with a giant mountain.

As I sit here sipping on my favorite coffee, Red Rooster from Floyd, VA, I think about how perfectly tranquil Sunday mornings are. They are most often the only time of the week where we can enjoy peace and quiet, before the world starts again on Monday. In our house, Sundays are reserved for sleeping in, drinking specially prepared coffee, doing laundry, grocery shopping and then spending the evening in the kitchen preparing our food for the week. Throw in a piano lesson, rehearsal and yoga class, and you’ve got the full scope. With how busy and varied our lives can be (particularly due to the all the events, lessons and gigs I have “after hours”), Sundays are kept as our time to unwind, decompress and prepare to keep chugging along. They are probably my favorite day of the week because they mean the only sliver of relaxation that we’ve built into our busy lives.

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!

Oh don’t mind us – we’re just sitting here messing around on Buzzfeed, watching some guy serenade his cows on trombone. Too bad I don’t get this same effect with the cats when I play clarinet…Will has clearly hit that point in the semester where he can almost do no more work, as evidenced by our increase in Buzzfeed sessions. I mean really, at this point, I don’t know what he would do without it. But a week from today, one glorious week from this evening, we will be sitting on ours bums doing NOTHING (that’s right: no-things) because he will be done with class for the semester. Which is a big hoo-ray in my book, because my office is winding down for the year as well. And in two weeks, we will be on our (almost) two-week long vacation to visit family YAY!

Zucchini Bread

Posted by Megan | Bread

Tomorrow we are running our second half marathon. It has kind of snuck up on us, as our training has been lacking, at best. As I sit here and drink lots of water (it’s going to be freezing, so it’ll be easy to get dehydrated) I’m wondering where the time went between when we registered (June) and now (18 hours away from kickoff). We were so confident that we would keep up with a training schedule, despite knowing some of the major hindrances that were coming up in the fall – weddings, Homecoming, travel, etc. But after keeping up with a loose training plan this summer, we each slowly but surely started to fall off track. It’s been disappointing that time has evaporated and we haven’t trained. We know we feel so much better when we run, but the workdays are long and the academic commitments are more challenging than ever. So as we prepare to run in freezing temps tomorrow, all we can do is go in with a good attitude and laugh off whatever the hell is going to happen.

What a busy weekend it was! I was up in all parts of Northern Virginia this weekend to celebrate my best friends bridal shower, which took us from Reston to Purcellville to Leebsurg and back. We had a lovely time celebrating her upcoming nuptials with her FMIL, MOB and other family and friends. I fell in love with her FMIL’s dog, Rocky, and everyone should consider it just short of a miracle that the dog did not come home with me. After all the festivities, we went and got German food (my biffle is a huge Germany person, especially after studying abroad in Berlin) and she exposed me to the Donner Box. Genius creation and something worth driving all the way back up to Leesburg, for. Or you know, going to Germany to try.