Monday, July 13, 2015

At Home Date Nights: Wine and Cheese

My husband and I just celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary.  Sadly, though, I can count on my hands the number of date nights we have had in the last 4 years.  Trying to balance being working parents is challenging enough.  Who has time for dates?!  That said, we really are trying to make our relationship a priority.  We don't always have the extra time or money for a nice date night out but we want to "feel" like we're on an actual date instead of spending hours discussing {ah hem, arguing} over what to watch on Netflix while gobbling down some popcorn in our sweatpants.  We want to be intentional about our time so I've come up with a few creative ways to still enjoy a romantic evening together, but at home, for less than the cost of a babysitter.  

This past weekend's after-bedtime date night: a wine and cheese tasting.  Wine - yes, please! Cheese - my husband has never met a cheese he hasn't liked.  It was a win-win.

I came up with this idea early in the week.  {Thanks, Pinterest!} Shot the husband a quick text asking if he was on board and started looking into which cheeses and wines we might like to try.  By being intentional and planning ahead it made the anticipation of the evening exciting, the same way you look forward to getting ready and out of the house on an actual date night.  

Thankfully, our Publix has an amazing selection of cheeses in the deli and they were surprisingly very affordable.  I went with a Brie, a Blue Cheese, and a smoked Gouda - mostly because they were on sale, not because I'm any type of cheese connoisseur.  It was way more than enough cheese but I got carried away.  I grabbed some guava paste, blue cheese stuffed olives, and wheat crackers.  I finished the plate off with a few slices of prosciutto.  {Ask the deli counter for a few thin slices rather than buying an entire package.  My 4 slices cost just over $1.00 and were more than enough.} 

I spent a few minutes at the grocery store on my phone trying to decide what wine to pair with the cheese.  Ultimately, I wanted to pick wines that would pair nicely, but that were affordable and that we enjoyed.  I went with a dry Riesling and a Cabernet Sauvignon.  

All that was left was to assemble the tray {again, I got carried away but I just love this stuff}. I poured the wine, turned on some music, and enjoyed some quality time with my husband.  Don't be fooled though - I was still in my sweatpants with a top knot.  

The entire spread cost me around $30 ~ less than we would pay a babysitter had we left the house.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

My Course

Two years ago, I started this blog as an outlet for myself.  I was in a dark place and needed a creative way to share those feelings.  A public blog might seem like an extreme way to express such intimate thoughts, but I honestly never expected anyone to read anything I wrote.  I had a secret hope that one day I would gather the courage to really share my story - to touch just one other person feeling the same way.  That day hasn't come yet. 

Starting this blog opened up some new opportunities for me and I've been able to share on some incredible forums.  But that comes at a price.  It's amazing what people, hidden behind their computer screens, will say to someone who is clearly sharing a piece of themselves.  I'm really an incredibly shy and private person so there's a fine line for me between opening up and over-divulging.  I took some time away and considered walking away from blogging completely.  I needed to focus on myself, my family, and my career - not what strangers thought of me.  

But something always calls me back.  I truly feel compelled to write.  To write honestly and openly.  I feel called to do this for whatever reason.  I'm going to stop resisting this pull I have.  I'm jumping back in, feet first, and I'm ready for the adventure.  Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive along the way.  I look forward to some new opportunities - whatever they may be.  He has a plan for me and I can't wait to see what it is.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Blueberry Cobbler | Nornee's Recipes

It's blueberry season in Florida!  A few weeks ago, we headed up the The X-Farms to pick our very own berries.  A big thanks to them for an awesome family day! 

Heading out to pick

Armed with about 4 pounds of berries, I scoured Pinterest for blueberry everything recipes - blueberry smoothies, blueberry pies, blueberry popsicles, blueberry lemonade... 
But for Sunday Supper, I always like to make something from my grandmother's cookbooks.  
Nornee's Recipes

With ingredients I had on hand, and putting my own twist on her old recipes, we made the most delicious blueberry cobbler ever! {and I don't even like blueberries} I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 


     3 cups of fresh blueberries
     1/2 cup + 3 tbs. of sugar 
     1/2 cup + 1 tbs. of flour
     Lemon zest and juice from 1 lemon 
     3/4 tsp. of baking soda
     Pinch of salt
     3 tbs. butter at room temperature 

Place your berries in a glass pie or baking dish.  

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tbs. of flour, and the zest and juice from the lemon.  Pour over your berries and combine well.  

Combine the remaining flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture, using your fingers to combine into a dough. 
Top the berries with the dough.  

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  

Top with whipped cream and enjoy!