I’m 24! And other updates :)

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Last Thursday, I turned 24, which means I am dangerously close to being a quarter of a century old. To celebrate, Caroline made me a fabulous chocolate espresso cake that had espresso buttercream between the layers and a dark chocolate ganache on top. Maybe if you’re nice to her she will tell you the recipe. Or better yet, make you one, too!

Fun Fact: Back in high school I made a list of all the fun things I thought I should do before I turned 25. As if after that, my youth would be over, and I would automatically turn into a “real adult.” According to my high school self, I have one more year to go sky diving, run a marathon, travel to every continent, and some other crazy things I can’t remember right now. I’m pretty sure getting married was not on the list– that was supposed to happen sometime between 25 and 30– but here I am anyway. I wonder what 16-year-old me would think…

Other Updates:

1. We celebrated my white coat ceremony last Saturday. I passed my first semester of physical therapy school, and I have an official Emory School of Medicine coat to prove it!2. As part of his marathon training, Chip ran “only 11 miles” before my ceremony of Friday. My ultramarathon running classmate was delighted to hear someone else say the word “only” before “running 11 miles” while everyone else rolled their eyes ;). This weekend, Chip will run a 16 miler, his furthest distance yet! I promise I will make him write a post about his running soon.

3. I had my first physiology test this morning. It was mostly essay questions, and it took me the entire 2 hours that were allotted. It was fair test, but it covered a ton of material. After the test, I learned that the teacher considers this test to be more like a “quiz,” and the midterm will be comprehensive and 4 hours long. What have I gotten myself into?

4. Well, I guess I do like PT school most of the time. This afternoon, we got to play with lasers in interventions lab (they can be used to reduce inflammation and promote healing) and then we got to touch and examine a human brain in neuroscience lab. Tomorrow, one of the professors is bringing in her toddler age twins, and we are assessing their motor skills. If only PT school was all labs…

5. Mom and I met with a wedding photographer last Sunday, and we have now officially booked them! Engagement photos are included, so expect to see some of those in the near future. So we now have the venue, the wedding dress, and the photographer. Next up: a band, bridesmaid dresses, save the dates/invitations. Can we just skip to cake tasting? 😛

*UPDATE* I made a last minute appointment to look at a trunk show for bridesmaid dresses, and dragged Caroline along to model. We found the ones we wanted within 30 minutes. Bridesmaids dresses -> check!

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Labor Day Cooking with Fresh Summer Tomatoes

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oh yes

Organic local cherry tomatoes- I can eat these like candy. While I am looking forward to fall, I will miss summer produce. Especially tomatoes. Since Labor Day symbolically marks the end of summer, I decided to incorporate my favorite summer produce into two different meals this weekend.

Meal #1: Grass-fed Burgers with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Roasted Okra, Bell Pepper, and Tomatoes

I decided to take advantage of the one day grass-fed beef sale at Whole Foods on Friday and make some blue cheese burgers. The burgers turned out just fine, but the real highlight of the meal was the veggies. Even Chip raved about them. Now, I kind of took a risk and decided to roast the vegetables without adding any oil. Not that I have anything against oil necessarily (warm sourdough bread dipped in a good olive oil = divine!), but I feel like it just adds a lot of calories without a lot of flavor when I oven roast vegetables. There had to be a better way, I figured.

So I threw a garlic clove, about 1/4 cup of balsamic, 1/4 cup of water, and a squirt of dijon mustard into my magic blender and whirled away. Then, I tossed the veggies in about half of the marinade and cooked them in the oven at 400 for about 30 minutes. When I removed the veggies, they seemed a little dry, so I tossed them in some of the leftover marinade and sprinkled on some salt and pepper. After that, they were perfect! Flavorful, oil free, roasted summer veggies. I was very pleased :).

Meal #2: Wild Coho Salmon with Cheddar Grits and Sauteed Kale and Tomatoes

This meal was inspired by one of my favorite restaurant dishes: the salmon and grits from the Last Resort Grill in Athens, GA. Last Resort’s version comes with white “charlestonian” grits covered in a caper cream sauce, but I don’t know how to make that. I think that any attempts to exactly replicate the dish would disappoint, so I decided to put my own spin on it.

For the salmon, I baked some wild coho salmon with tequila lime seasoning from Whole Foods (one of my favorite seasonings!) at 350 for about 15 minutes. For the grits, I used Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits and added a generous amount of shredded New Zealand sharp grass-fed cheese and some salt and pepper to taste. The kale and tomatoes were cooked in a large saute pan with a little butter, some water, salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. I covered the pan, and let it cook for about 5 minutes. The dinner was fantastic!

We cooked this dinner while dog sitting at my parents’ house this weekend (hence the nicer china and granite counter tops, which we definitely do not have in our apartment, in the above picture). My friend Alison came over to join us, and had a wonderful Sunday night dinner party :).

Funny side note: Chip had been looking forward to watching the new few episodes of Breaking Bad, which we order from Netflix, ALL WEEKEND. I really like the show, too, but Chip is obsessed. I made him wait until Sunday at my parents house when we could watch it together after dinner. When it was finally time to watch the show, he ran into the family room, ripped open the Netflix envelope like a kid at Christmas, and then his excited face turned to horror as he exclaimed, “PARIS, JE T’AIME!?!?! WHAT IS THIS?!??!?” For a few frantic seconds he thought that they had sent us the wrong DVD and the whole night would be ruined. Then we realized he had accidently opened my parents’ Netflix envelope, and ours was safe on the coffee next to it. Phew. Crisis averted 😉

Wedding Fun, Finally!

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When Chip proposed, I had just finished my first week of physical therapy school. I was excited and eager to start on all the fun of planning a wedding, but that had to take a back seat to studying. Now, I am finished with my first semester (!!!) and I had a short break that gave me a little time to focus on some of the fun details.

The Dress

First of all, we went dress shopping, and I found my dress! It’s a good thing we went ahead and did that too because apparently it takes 6 months for the dress to come in and then another 8 weeks for alterations. Jeez. Anyway, the dress is amazing, and I couldn’t be happier. Obviously, I cannot post a picture here because Chip is not supposed to see it until the big day!

The China

One of the other things I’m most excited about is that I have officially chosen the china and the silverware that I am going to register for. I never would have imagined that I would be so enthusiastic about this part, but I had a lot of fun picking them out, and I am so happy with the ones I found!

I had been looking at china patterns online but had yet to see any in real life. After looking around at several stores, Mom and I finally found the pattern that I had been eyeing online. And I loved it even more in person!

It’s a Villeory & Boch pattern called Anmut. It is an updated design of one of their china patterns from the 1920s. I wanted something simple and classic that could work for everyday eating and fancy dinner parties… and I think this is the one!

Also, I’m in love with the cream soup bowl:

This bowl reminds me of when I studied abroad in Austria and there was this cafe across the street from our dorms where I would go to get a cappuccino and a bowl of creamy tomato soup that was served in a cute bowl with handles JUST LIKE THIS ONE! When I saw this bowl, it definitely sealed the deal on this china pattern for me. As soon as I get these bowls, you better believe the first thing I’m going to do is make a creamy tomato soup and fantasize about Europe! Perhaps this one? Or this one?? I have a while to decide…

The Silverware

Also from Villeroy & Boch. The set is called Merlemont. I also spotted these online first, but I knew I needed to see them in person to know for sure if they were what I wanted. We found them at a china store, and they the perfect size, perfect weight, and they look great with the china.

We also looked at some pots and pans and knives, and I am definitely pumped about upgrading our kitchen tools. We also need to look at food processors, mixers, and other appliances. Basically, we need everything. I been trying to look at lists online to get an idea of what we need like this Epicurious First Kitchen Checklist, but any ideas would be appreciated! What is the kitchen tool or appliance you can’t live without?

Dinner for Two: Turkey Burgers with Marinated Feta and an Arugula Salad

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It all started with this amazing marinated feta cheese I got on sale at Whole Foods. It’s really out of this world delicious! I’m slightly obsessed. I had been eating it straight from the container smothered on toasted pita bread, which was heavenly, but I was eager to incorporate into a real meal.

So I decided I would stuff the feta cheese into turkey burgers and serve it with an arugula salad with roasted red peppers and homemade yogurt dressing. And a sweet potato on the side just because.

I imagined that the cheese would get all melty on inside, and there would be this flavor explosion in the middle of the burger. Not so much. The cheese kinda disappeared in the burger after it was cooked. We ended up just spreading it on top afterwards. Oh well…it was still tasty!

the amazing marinated feta

As you can sort of see in the background, Chip put his turkey burger on an everything bagel, which he said was really good. In case you haven’t heard, Chip is training for a marathon, and so he has been trying to add more calories to his meals to fuel his runs. When I told Chip that I wanted to start this blog, he looked at me like I was crazy for a second, but then he lit up when he realized that this could be another medium for him to talk about his marathon training. So expect a post from him soon about that :).

Anyway, this dinner was pretty easy to put together, and we were very pleased with the end result!

Turkey Burgers with Marinated Feta (makes 4 burgers)

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • marinated feta cheese
Mix everything together, except the cheese, and form 4 patties. I put some feta in the middle of each burger, but like I said, this didn’t really turn out as I imagined. I would recommend just putting the cheese on top at the end. We cooked them on medium high in a non-stick skillet, but if you have a grill, that is probably better.

[Side Note: Now I know I called this post “dinner for two,” and the recipe makes 4 burgers. That’s because you each get a burger for dinner and a burger to take to school or work the next day for lunch. Yay leftovers!]

Yogurt Dressing

  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • squirt of Dijon mustard
  • salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme to taste
Just mix everything together! Super easy and healthy. This was perfect drizzled on our arugula and roasted red pepper salad.

 

Welcome to Our Blog!

After looking at various options for wedding websites online (The Knot, Wedding Wire, etc.), I’ve decided that I would rather be cool like Jamey and Claire and start a blog instead! Here you can find all the information you need to know about the wedding plus keep up to date on our super exciting lives 😉

Thanks for stopping by!

-Tyler and Chip