Monday, July 30, 2012

just beachy

We are just back from a very full two weeks in Hilton Head.  I've been going there for 20 years, and what is amazing is that we are still having fun "firsts" along with all of our old favorites.  My favorite part was my morning bike rides with Nati, but other highlights include finding sand dollars right under our feet in the ocean, fresh and yummy sushi date with M followed by gelato, Ben finding a (fake) pirate coin in the playground sand, a night time walk with M on the Harbourtown golf course, the petting zoo at Lawton Stables, the sweet smell of salty air, and Hallie turning 2!
We decided to bring the best parts of home with us on the trip (smile)... Thank you Christin for meeting and helping me for a few days! So glad you could come and hang!  My poor Dad only got to spend the weekends with us as he was working in Charlotte, but we had fun together while he was there! The last night there I took the best nap I've had in a very long time with baby while Dad took the kids to putt putt and dinner. And we always have a great time when the whole Hagood clan is together. M's brothers and Dad got to play some golf one morning, we had some amazing dinners (a big thanks needs to go out to Philip, Nathan, and Gigi for waiting in line an hour and a half so we could eat some Sea Shack!),  and then as always we totally beached it up!  Last but not least Cara's family was there and we got in a bit of time together walking, getting our nails done, and they all got to come for Hallie's low key birthday party. We used to come to Hilton Head together back when we were teenagers, so it was fun to be there together again all these years later although it was not in any way the same as it was back then- back then we had energy...and sleep.  But we have amazing husbands and kids now, and that makes vacation even sweeter.







Saturday, July 14, 2012

meringue and Daddy's girl

I was raving about meringues a few posts ago and thought it was rather rude to not include a recipe.
3 egg whites (room temp.)
1/4 tsp. cream of tarter
1/3 cup sugar
drop of orange extract (or whatever extract you like) or freshly grates orange peel
-whip eggs and c of t until soft peaks form, gradually sprinkle in the sugar, gently fold in peel or extract
-drop large spoonfuls of batter on baking sheet lined with parchment ( I use aluminum foil in a pinch but it sticks, still yummy though!)
-bake in oven preheated to 225 for an hour and a half then let cool in oven for another hour
Then enjoy and try not to eat them all yourself.  And if you really feel inspired I highly recommend this recipe I made for Hallie's birthday last year from Southern Living...
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pavlova-with-lemon-cream-berries-10000001981704/


Now on to our littlest girl.  She has seriously stolen her daddy's heart.  She will often wake up about an hour before we want to, so I'll bring her in our bed and she nestles right up to her sweet Daddy, falls asleep...and kicks him...repeatedly.  He gets annoyed and wakes up.  Then she wakes up, looks up at him, and smiles big, and his heart melts.  She greets him at the door with big hugs and lots of excitement, and we both eat it up b/c we know this age doesn't last forever.

Friday, July 13, 2012

some more yum

I've been in a bit of a cooking rut the past few weeks, but I hit the recipe jackpot on Pinterest this week.  I made these great black bean fritters last night, and served them with the leftover dressing I made for the salad a few days ago. http://www.miasdomain.com/2011/12/crispy-black-bean-fritters-with-creamy.html
Then I had half of a cream cheese block and happened to have the rest of the ingredients on hand to make these yummy mini cheesecakes. I subbed orange extract for the vanilla b/c I was out, so that was a fun flavor to try too! http://bakingbites.com/2011/08/chocolate-chip-mini-cheesecakes/#more-11078
Then Natalie and I went for a long walk in the rain last night, and this song came on my shuffle.  Every time I hear this song it speaks to me- love it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mmgV6mPvb0
Okay! Enjoy! I hope you're inspired!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

relief

And, yes, I'm talking about relief from the heat.  I woke up to an overcast morning with light rain.  Summer rain is bliss.  So I went out for my semi-daily walk/run with a renewed vigor.  I mean really I felt like a gazelle (although I'm laughing because I know I did not look like one in any way).  My adorable Asian neighbor Sue was taking her daily walk at the same time, and she threw up her hand (well hand b/c the other was holding an umbrella) and said, "Ohhh, you need help from the rain".  I was like are you kidding?!?!  I said something in reply about how amazing this feels and how I've been waiting for some relief for weeks.  So yes my day started with me getting soaking wet but ridiculously happy in the process.
So okay I have a new salad recipe that I made last night for the first time, and I think it's really good.  I tried it out on some friends, so thank goodness it turned out okay.  The dressing is pretty thick and a bit hard to spread around, but it works out if you are patient with it.
http://www.greensnchocolate.com/2012/04/southwestern-chopped-chicken-salad.html
And I've found a great new summer song....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCBSSwgtg4
And here are some photos from the weekend....



Friday, July 6, 2012

brave and yum

I am very happy to report that the little girl who, in first grade, wrapped herself around my legs every morning from August to December in the school cafeteria, and pleaded with me not to leave her is now not such a little girl and a graduate of sleep away camp.  I'm so proud that she's brave enough to go off to camp with one friend and about one hundred relative strangers, and then come back to me dirty but happy and drama free.  She's even talking about camp next year already!


Two weeks before that we all did (the kids went and I volunteered in Ben's class) VBS, and sadly the next few weeks after that have landed Hallie and I with a stomach virus, cold, and a toe infection (Hallie on that last one).  BUT this has given me time to do some laid back things at home like a few new crafts (like this fun photo magnet play tray for Hallie, found the cookie tray at the dollar store!), (I'm embarrassed to admit) watching the Bachelorette, puzzling with Ben, and finding new recipes.
So without further ado friends I will introduce you to the yummiest dessert I could find on the world wide web- some call it gooey cake, some call it crack pie, and I've even heard Neiman Marcus brownies (fancy), but I'm going with the chess bar title because it sounds the most appetizing.
http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dessert/chess-squares.html
I also have been waxing poetic about meringue cookies.  I had three egg whites left over from making key lime pie, and while I could have saved them for an egg white omelet I decided to whip them up with 1/3 cup of sugar and a drop of orange extract.  Amazing. AH MAZ ING.  How, HOOWWW, can yucky clear sticky liquid whip up into crispy on the outside and sweet, chewy on the inside deliciousness?? It truly is the incredible edible egg.