Thursday, January 27, 2011

date night

Check out our first date night of 2011 :)

During the Snowpocalypse (see previous post), I saw an offer on either twitter or facebook about 2 for 1 tickets to Peter Pan. We jumped on the chance and got 2 tickets for $50. Not bad! Ryan had a gift card to Ruth's Chris which was within walking distance to the theatre tent, and I had free parking because of my employer. If you can't tell, this year we are really trying to save!

The performance was truly amazing. The entire canopy of the tent transformed into a 360 degree screen where they projected images for each scene. My favorite part (and probably everyone in the tent if I heard all the gasping correctly) was when Peter Pan and the Darling children fly out of the nursery all over England. Not only did you see England zooming by right over your head, but the actors actually interacted with some of the monuments flying by, which was both wonderful and hilarious. The performance also had some very poignant moments, and I being the emotional girl that I am, totally teared up! It's been years since I've seen any Peter Pan movie, and watching it as a "grown-up" really brought the story to another level. I highly recommend seeing it! Another plus is that Ryan was thoroughly entertained and didn't fall asleep :) So, it's good for guys to see!

Look at how much taller I am than Tinkerbell! ;) She was my favorite character - they gave her a lot of spunk and attitude in this version.

It's playing through March 20th so catch it while you can! Think it goes to Chicago next.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

cooking along, singing a song

So if you know us, we love food! One of our resolutions for 2011 is to limit eating out to once a week. We tried this last year but didn't quite stick to it. It just costs so much to eat out, plus eating in gives you more control over nutrition. And both of us could stand to lose a few pounds.

So here are a few of our most recent successes, thanks to!

First...we had a humongous butternut squash and I wanted to make a soup with it. But I didn't want to do just a plain ol' butternut squash soup. I did a little fishing around on and found Ina Garten's butternut squash and apple soup.

Pros: So wholesome! And pretty much vegetarian (there was 2 tbsp butter, no meat broth or stock). I love the combination of apples, curry, onions, and butternut squash. It really had a meaty, hearty flavor, and Ryan was surprised when I told him there wasn't any chicken broth in it!
Cons: The recipe tells you to break down the squash before cooking it. This was a lot harder than it sounded and greatly increased the prep time. Peeling the squash near the part where it curves was really difficult and so was cutting it up into manageable cubes (did I mention that the squash was humongous?). My technique for this was to throw the knife into the squash, then pick it up with the knife stuck in it and bang it against the counter until the knife reached the other side. Very professional :) I eventually got it all cubed though! Next time I might roast the squash first and break it down when it's all soft and easy to work with.

One step I cut out from the recipe was transferring to a food processer after cooking. I just used Ryan's handy immersion blender and blended it right in the pot! I think it worked just as well :)

So we ended up having this soup along with some hummus & pitas, salsa & chips, and broccoli. All to kick off another New Year's resolution, Meatless Mondays! I first heard about this initiative from Mario Batali. Though I don't see us ever becoming vegetarians, Meatless Monday is a definite welcome & creative break from our usual meat + 2 veggie dinners. This week, we did another Meatless Monday, this time with salad, lima beans, corn cakes (delicious leftovers from Ryan's mom mmm), and quinoa. I kind of cheated with the quinoa and used chicken stock to cook it. But, it was still in the right spirit and the stock only has 20 calories per cup!

Another recipe we tried was Tyler Florence's chicken enchiladas with roasted tomatillo salsa. We were inspired to make our own tomatillo salsa after buying some from Trader Joe's. Don't get me wrong - the Trader Joe's version is pretty good! But, we are curious people. So, I bought tomatillos for the first time in my life, roasted them with onions & jalapenos in the oven, and processed them with some other delicious ingredients into the best tomatillo salsa I've ever had in my life!

The best part is that it just gets spicier with time. I had some of the leftovers last night, and wow!! Spicy. The chicken filling was also pretty easy to make.

Pros: Surprisingly easy to make even though everything is from scratch! Basically just roast & process for the salsa. The filling is cooked all in one pan - I love one dish recipes, easy to clean up! The recipe suggest using a rotisserie chicken from the store, but we used chicken breasts. I'd imagine using the deli chicken would save even more time.
Cons: I don't think there really were any cons. So I'll use this space to talk about improvements. When it gets warmer, I think I'll try roasting the tomatillos etc on the grill to get a more smokey flavor. Could be interesting! Also, I found these half flour half corn tortillas at Publix, so we used those instead of all flour tortillas. I want to say they were Don Pablo's...Don Juan's...I don't know. And, I ended up making a double batch of salsa (I accidentally bought too many tomatillos), but I'm glad I did so we could have extra to dip chips in!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's 2011! And it's been quite exciting so far :)

We rang in 2011 in Las Vegas. One of Ryan's best friends, Ryan Russell, has been living and working out there. We decided we needed to visit him before he moved back to GA, and what better time to go than NYE? One of my good friends, Lauren, came with us. It was quite the adventure. As they say...what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Well, we didn't do anything TOO crazy, but we certainly have some funny stories to tell!

We came home and went back to work for a week, and then...the great Snowpocalypse! I ended up working from home all week. Ryan was not so lucky since we live only a mile away from his office. He ended up working 3 days out of the week with early hours.

Everything is pretty much back to normal now, although there is still some lingering snow patches here and there. I'll leave y'all with a hilarious video of our attempts at sledding:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

reception - farewell!

Time to say goodbye :( The whole day & night went by so fast, a total blur. I couldn't believe it was time to go already! At least we had sparklers - I was very adamant about having sparklers to send us off!

My mom wanted to be the last person I said goodbye to:

Well...that's about it folks! It took us a year to finish, but I think it was worth the wait. It was fun remembering everything :) As we celebrate our 1 year anniversary today, we look back on 8/29/09 with such joy and love. Thank you for celebrating with us!

reception - singing, tossing, dancing

As the evening drew to a close, we had a few more festivities to enjoy. My Alpha Gamma Delta sisters surrounded me with a song. It was a special moment that I will always remember. These girls mean so much to me, and my sorority played a huge role in making the woman I am today.

Bouquet toss!

Do NOT mess with the West girls. They take bouquet tosses very, very seriously! I will say that all three caught it and got a good chunk of it :)

Garter toss!

First time Ryan threw, it went into some foliage behind all the guys. Second time, one of Ryan's groomsmen, Jon, caught it.

The last dances of the evening :)

reception - cake & toast

The first time I saw the cake, I thought, perfect! Exactly what I wanted.

And then we cut into it...

Thankfully, Lauren didn't catch any pictures of surprise. Our cake was the wrong flavor!!! Of course, on the scale of bad things that could have happened, this doesn't compare to having the swine flu. But, I had wanted a chocolate wedding cake ever since I can remember...yes, even as a little girl! So, I was disappointed. I had ordered chocolate & strawberry and got vanilla. Oh well. It was pretty and I heard that it was tasty. After Ryan & I fed each other a bite, we didn't eat any more so I'm not really sure! I will save the story for what we did with the top layer for another day :)

Around this time, we also had toasts from Matt & Holly. Holly prepared something short & sweet, basically congratulating me on finding my prince :)

Then Matt toasted and had some hilarious stories to tell. He talked about Ryan hitting him with a golf club and having him hold onto a moving garage door growing up. You know, brotherly love and all that. My favorite part is when he said Ryan was marrying me for my Braves tickets. We enjoyed his toast!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

reception - dances

If you know me, you know I LOVE to dance. One of my coworkers is getting married soon and she's smartly seating us right next to the dance floor. Hooray!

Ryan and I danced our first dance to Pat Green's "Lucky Ones." Early in our relationship, we went to a Pat Green concert and we both love this song! One thing I wish we had done beforehand was practice dancing to it or even learn a dance. At first we just laughed and talked, but then when we really got into the song we just kinda moved around. I don't know if that was boring to watch or what, but oh well! We had fun :)

The lucky ones for a moment or two get to fall in love with somebody like you

Daddy-daughter dance: Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman
What can I say about this song...Cinderella has been a favorite of mine since I was a toddler basically! When I first heard this song on the radio, I said, that's it. Daddy-daughter dance. Like it was written for me! :) Again, you will see how much my Dad LOVES high fives!

Mother-daughter dance: I Am Your Child by Barry Manilow

Anniversary dance: When I Fall in Love by Nat King Cole
I love this dance...married couples out on the dance floor according to how long they'd be married. First out - Mary Lou & Lenny Fischer. They'd been married over 50 years! Sadly, this is one of the last times we saw Lenny. He passed away in July. But we still look at this picture with so much joy in remembering their amazing marriage and his life.

I hope everyone had as good a time as I did dancing!