Moonlight Movies

Sometimes, I feel like I spend every waking moment inside four walls. But one night a week, I experience the relief of real air and green things when we run through downtown Greenville’s parks. On one of these recent runs, we decided to take advantage of the cooling weather and downtown’s Moonlight Movies.

After the run, we went to spread our blankets and claim our spots.

We unpacked all sorts of picnic goodies…

And tried to snap a few photos before it turned dark.

We settled in for what we thought was the Nutty Professor (the original, folks) but what turned into the Wizard of Oz. No wonder there were a MILLION children running around WAY past their bedtimes.

I thought we could make it through the movie, but we ended up having to say goodbye to Shannon and Daniel because we just got tooooooo sleepy.

I wish that Greenvile hosted the Moonlight Movies throughout the summer, but I suppose it is dreadfully hot some nights. Looking forward to hopefully making it through an entire film next year…


Veggie Enchiladas with Roasted Salsa Verde

After Shannon and Daniel were so nice to have us over, we decided to return the favor and have them over for dinner + game night. Daniel is a vegetarian, so I knew I wouldn’t be cooking any meat (thank the Lord). Still, I couldn’t decide what to make. West, however, begged me to make veggie enchiladas, which has recently become a favorite in our small household, and I caved.

This recipe is incredibly basic / easy, but chopping the veggies and sauteing them separately to ensure equal cooking could drive some insane.

Veggie Enchiladas with Roasted Salsa Verde

Servings: 14 Enchiladas (our group of four ate approximately 10)

Taco seasoning
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 baby mushrooms, sliced
2 yellow squash, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, minced
1 cob of corn, kernels removed and blanched
1 potato, chopped and boiled until just soft
1 C shredded cheese
1 C World Table’s Roasted Salsa Verde
14 corn tortillas

The first thing to do is gather your ingredients.

Those not pictured were already in the pan! As you cook each batch, make sure to sprinkle it with taco seasoning and DO NOT overcook to mush. Keep ’em a little crisp.

The ideal way to cook the veggies would be on a flattop grill. Since we don’t have one of those, I cook them in batches, starting with the onions, garlic and mushrooms in a little oil. After that, I do the peppers, throwing the potatoes in toward the end so they get crispy. And finally, I throw in the squash with the corn. Every time I switch the veggies out, I put in a nearby bowl and mix.

I warm / brown my tortillas in a pan, misted with olive oil. The very first time I made these, I fried them. Way too much work! Also, the end product fell apart.

Fill each tortilla in a way that still allows you to fold the two sides into a neat roll.

Then, coat in World Table’s Roasted Salsa Verde. The last time I bought this, it was gone in two.days. It is seriously the best salsa ever. Go buy it now.

Sprinkle with cheese, cover with foil, and stick in the oven for 20 minutes on 350.

When you serve them, offer your guests the leftover salsa with a side of sour cream – the creaminess of the sour cream + the acidity of the salsa is pure heaven. I promise.

For dessert, Shannon brought cupcakes with lavender scented frosting (Is that right, Shannon?!). They were so delicious.

Daniel and Shannon also taught us how to play Munchkin!

There are many rules to remember your first time playing, but it was still fun.

Shannon beat us all.

She looks like she is scheming, doesn’t she? She was. She had like an obscene amount of levels. We were doomed.

I just realized that this is the recipe post I’ve done in FOREVER. Oh well. Maybe more to come soon? 🙂

Married Friends.

Over a month ago now (I’m a little behind.), Shannon and Daniel invited us over to their house for dinner and a night of card playing. We brought the bread because my husband is a baker 🙂

We got to meet all their babies:

Smeagle really liked West from the start.

They also have the cutest greyhound EVER.

Shannon made us pasta in cream sauce. mmmmm.

She also made a cherry pie from scratch, and it was the BEST cherry pie I have ever had.

Lovely crust and luscious filling…

And here is the pie expert herself!

We love hanging out with Shannon and Daniel; it is nice to have friends who are at a similar stage of life as you. Now, to convince Rachel and Brandon to move back . . .

American Grocery

Ever have trouble balancing everything in your life? Yeah. I started a new job recently, and while it’s a blessing to finally have the hope of benefits and vacation days, it means that I’ve been just a wee bit busier (read: more overwhelmed) than usual. I’m still teaching, too. Oh, and I’m still training for my 5k, and then there’s my new husband that wants food every now and then. And then there’s that community we’d like to keep building…. The point is that I had to cut something out, so that’s why you haven’t seen any blogs 🙂

Since I can’t fathom planning a lesson right now with my brain dead head, I’m writing a post instead. Back at the end of August, Greenville hosted its Foodie Week, where several high-end restaurants in Greenville offered a three-course menu for the price of 30 dollars. I convinced West that it was necessary for us to finally try American Grocery.

American Grocery is one of the many restaurants that creates its menu based on what is available locally and seasonally. They even have a cute little grocery list as part of their menu, which highlights local farms that supply their ingredients.

I started with some type of peach + jalapeno drink, which was very tasty.

Then, I ordered the rabbit sausage with a corn maque choux. It was my favorite thing I ate that night, and I wish I could have just ordered ten of them.

For the second course, I tried the potato-crusted trout served with a red pea ragout and green tomato chow chow. This was good, but the sausage was better.

Maybe you’re wondering what West ordered for his first and second courses. I wish I could show you, but he is highly embarrassed that I take pictures of my food in public, which means he won’t let me snap any more than I absolutely have to. Oh well. I did snap a pic of his dessert: Krispy Kreme bread pudding.

He definitely ordered the winning dessert because my chocolate – raspberry creme brulee with a peanut butter mousse just had too much going on to be good. 😦

We had a fun night out, though, and even caught some fireworks on the way home!

If you had some money to drop on food, I would definitely recommend American Grocery. We’ve tried a few of the nicer places in Greenville, and this ranks high on our list.

Now, I can’t wait until Restaurant Week in January, so I can finally try Devereaux’s. Time to start saving…

Saving Labor Day

For the past five or so years (maybe even longer), my immediate family (and sometimes extra friends) spends Labor Day weekend together, and at some point over the weekend, we go hiking. This tradition becomes increasingly hard to keep when we are all in different places, and while Charity and Hope managed to spend the weekend at home, West had a show in Georgia that kept us from crossing the NC state line.

We did, however, plan to still meet up for a hike in Asheville, but a little tropical storm ruined that. 😦 We managed to save Labor Day by meeting for a sweet lil’ lunch at:

Before we got to Asheville, though, West and I took a pit stop at Sky Top Orchard.

But it was rainy and there were like no apples, which made me feel worse for cheating on my go-to apple supplier, Apple Hill Orchard. Looks like we will be heading to my parent’s house soon to go apple picking!

I made West make this sad face for no apples, but I think he was actually fighting a smile.

After that fruitless (ha-ha) side trip, we headed up the mountain to meet my parents. Charity had to drive back to Raleigh, and our little Hopey was already bogged down in school work.

Once seated, we were greeted with warm biscuits, blueberry jam, and apple butter.

I like the biscuits, but they are a bit more dense than I think they should be. I’m definitely more of a fan of the light & fluffy.

We were all in the mood for breakfast, ‘cept mom who ordered the tomato soup & salad combo. West got something that looked delish: Breakfast Bowl.

And I chose the Country Breakfast; however, I subbed out my meat choice so I could have the goat cheese grits (so.darn.good.) AND the country potatoes. I love carbs.

We had such a good time with the parentals and sat and talked a long while after our food was gone. It’s so fun how you get the chance to be friends with your parents as you get older. Blessing!

After lunch, we spent an hour or so at the Verizon store getting new phones (my parents are letting us get on their plan to save money), and then, we parted ways so we could get back to G-ville and they could get to their vacation.

Of course, it wouldn’t be right to see my mom and not receive tons of goodies…

Some end of harvest tomatoes and cucumbers from a sweet older man in my parent’s church.

And homemade bread, cookies, and pizzas rolls. Have you ever had a pizza roll? I don’t think my mom invented them, but man, hers are good!

We had a great Labor Day, but I really hope we get the tradition going strong again for next year. 🙂

First Time Scallops

In the past few years, West and I both discovered that we really like scallops. and oysters. and mussels. Basically, we had never had good shellfish until we hit our mid-twenties, and now that we have had it, we want to always have it. Except, that stuff is kinda expensive, so we figured we should try making it on our own.

Also, in case you were wondering, scallops are still really expensive, even when you buy them at the store. Oops.

We made creamed corn and melted leeks to go along with them, and while I would love to share the recipes of all three, they came out of here:

So you are just going to have to be inspired by the pictures 😉

Fresh corn in the pan

Leeks, waiting for West to harvest their tender insides

If you have never cleaned leeks before, this is helpful to know. Don’t worry about washing them before you cut the desired amount. After they are cut, just dump them into a bowl of water and swishes them (gently) around until all the dirt settles at the bottom.

Scallops sitting in their salt water mixture, brining.

Creaming that corn…

Blanching those leeks! This was actually the first time I’ve truly blanched anything.

After the leeks go for an ice bath, you drain them using a cooking sheet or maybe a broiling pan if you are us.

While all that craziness was going on with West’s leeks, I was searing our scallops perfectly. A few things I learned: clarified butter is a must for that lovely caramel color AND these size scallops (U7s) only take between 2-3 minutes per side to cook fully.

Back to the leeks: melting.

All plated up and pretty. If you are thinking “that seems like a lot of food,” it was. I realized that those scallops were way too big to eat three a piece. I ate them all anyway because they cost so much. But for future reference, two would have been plenty.

Everything was so delicious; however, we both agreed that everything was also VERY rich. Scallops have a natural sweetness / richness, so we decided that next time, we wanted to go a more savory / light route.

The actual scallop process wasn’t too intimidating for a newbie, so if you like them, I hope you’ll be inspired to try your own hand at them 🙂

Year of the Wedding

West and I aren’t the only couple in his family to unite this year. We attended his cousin Wimberly’s wedding last month, and his cousin Matt is getting married this month. I took pictures the weekend of Wimberly’s wedding, thinking I would share it on the blog, and here we are a month later with no pictures to be seen. Let’s change that.

His whole family (minus Amanda & Chris – missed ya’ll!) came up for the wedding, and we had them over for brunch on Saturday.

I made my first frittata, which included potatoes, bacon, spinach, and cheese among a few other things. West made our favorite cheese grits (we use a mix of stock, half-n-half, and water for the base for extra flava), and I cut some fresh berries since everything else in our meal looked like it might give you a heart attack. 🙂

The family!

Carol and Mason, I apologize that your heads are cut off. Poloriods have a very narrow shooting range. Next time, get closer. K?

Grandmama, Jack, and West

Kelly & Lisa

After brunch, the family headed back to Fountain Inn to get ready for the wedding and their wedding duties. West and lounged around and then headed up a bit later to be seated front and center.

It was a very sweet wedding! I wish I could have snapped a better photo, but Carol and West chastised me for even taking that one.

On to the reception – West had a show, so he wasn’t able to go and enjoy the delicious food and cakes. I took one for the team and stayed behind so that at least one of us was there 😉

Her aunt made her cake, and it was beautiful! The main cake was covered in hand-formed dogwood flowers.

They also had her aunt make various smaller cakes. I think I tried the butter pecan, and it was seriously one of the best cakes I have ever put in my mouth (Mom, you would have been in wedding cake heaven!).

I loved their cake table – such a great idea. Here’s a picture of the cake woman busy at work.

West’s Aunt Jan and her sweet daughter Carly about to snag some cake!

After filling up, everyone hit the dance floor. Carol and Jackson know how to cut a rug: see below.

A quick shot of Jan and Carol coming off the dance floor…

…and some of the happiest newlyweds I have seen.

Going to weddings after actually getting married is so different than before – it’s so much more special, and we’re so thankful that Nick and Wimberly let us be apart of their special day 🙂