Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tested: One-Pot Farro with tomatoes & onions

 Some days I am inspired to make 3 separate dishes for dinner, and others I just want to open a can of soup and a pack of saltines and call it a day. This recipe is perfect for those days when you've worked late or had a mind-numbing conference call and have minimal energy to cook.
 I love that you just throw everything in together at once, and let the magic of heat do it's thang. What you have left when you've simmered for 30 minutes is delicious: chewy grains, sweet tomatoes and onions, and the nice mellow flavor of baby spinach.
The hearty grains I picked up at the store are from Trader Joe's. The original recipe called for farro but I really dislike their par-boiled farro so I found a good substitute. It is a combination of Israeli couscous, orzo, split garbanzo beans, and red quinoa, and they cook so well together.
Here's a visual of how to chiffonade basil:
Stack, roll & slice! Simple as that.

:: one-pot farro with tomatoes & onions ::
Adapted from smitten kitchen
Serves: 4 as a side, 2 as a hearty main
2 cups water
1 cup Trader Joe's Harvest Grains
1/2 large onion (I usually use a white one, for mildness)
2 cloves garlic
9 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
5 ounces baby spinach (you can sub kale, swiss chard, etc)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
Up to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Few basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
Place water and grains in a medium pot. Adding each ingredient to the pot as you finish preparing it, cut onion in half again, and very thinly slice it into quarter-moons. Thinly slice garlic cloves as well. Halve or quarter tomatoes. Add salt, pepper flakes (to taste) and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, and set a timer for 30 minutes. Bring uncovered pan (no lid necessary) up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, the grains should be tender but slightly chewy, well-seasoned and the cooking water should be almost completely absorbed. If needed, cook it for 5 additional minutes.
If you're using spinach, throw this in to wilt for a minute or two. You don't really need to cook the spinach. If you use other greens like kale or swiss chard, cook that with the rest of the ingredients to get the bitter taste out.
Sprinkle basil strips over your grains and serve as a side or under a nice piece of fish. Enjoy! I also really liked this cold, with a few chunks of my favorite feta (Israeli sheep's milk from TJ's, "Pastures of Eden) and a drizzle of red wine/olive oil.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

#CM2013 {family formals}

In case you missed it, here are the past posts for 05.25.13!


Jodi + Kurt's post
Stolen Pictures
Girls getting ready
First Look
Ceremony Details  
After our ceremony, it was time to take some photos in front of our gorgeous arch!
With our officiant {he works at the law firm my grandfather started}
My Granny
My Mom's side of the family {from MA}
My Dad's side of the family {VA & CA}
Connor's family {VA, MA, NY}
Us with my family

The new in-laws

Connor's family
Our boys
How adorable was our ring bearer?

Miss M was coming over to give EM his hat because it was sunny

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend in town

 We had a great weekend here in Charlotte. The weather was beyond perfect, and we had the best time with my sister, brother in law, and "sister".

Because I was slacking last week, I never shared the birthday I went to at Nolen Kitchen. We celebrated Meredith's birthday and had a great time! The weather was a little iffy all day but it was clear and gorgeous by dinner time.

I started with French Onion soup. Yum. Can't go wrong with that.
 I ordered the mussels for my entree. I have a hard time not ordering mussels. They were pretty good!
The birthday girl!
 It was perfect out

What do you think of our pillows? I went a little overboard at Pottery Barn with the monogram. I'm just a little bit obsessed with monograms. 

On Friday, we got a special treat delivery from one of the baking labs. They finished their Summer program so they sent us home with a box of pastries each. Sinful.
That night, when they got to town, we met Connor at Queen City Q. We sat outside and enjoyed some really good pork products. I always get the veggie plate and steal a bite or two of Connor's pork that he inevitably orders.

Saturday we ate pastries for breakfast and we played with Karah's puppies. They are the sweetest and LOVE Bowser!
 Then the girls went shopping at JT Posh. I didn't end up getting anything but Karah found the most fab boots and Doran got a cute top and a sassy dress. We love that store! We found Doran and Brandon's initials on display together, so I obviously snapped a pic.
 We picked up the boys and then headed over to Sleepy Poet for lunch. Papi Queso is there on Saturdays and I knew they could not leave town without trying it.
 Love their simple packaging. You know it's good when there's a pig on the front...
Ladies & Gentlemen, may I introduce you to the Pig Mac: Macaroni & Cheese AND Pulled Pork inside a grilled cheese. Perfection. Karah and I split this with a regular grilled cheese. It was divine.
 We were all in our own zone while eating. It was so delicious.
 We then headed over to Triple C Brewery for their 1 year anniversary party. We all sampled some beer and enjoyed sitting outside.
 They had a lot going on: Sauceman's had a truck there, and a whole pig was getting cooked
 Karah and I had some popsicles from the King of Pops. She got the Watermelon Mojito and I got the Lemon basil. Both were incredible
 After we spent a couple of hours at Triple C, we headed over to NoDa Brewery. We met some friends and enjoyed MORE beer. Whoops. I got their new pumpkin beer first, called the Gordgeous. It was so yummy!
 Love our pint glass koozies!
My other favorite food truck was at NoDa, so I got some fries for the table. Check out the Herban Legend if you get the chance!
 We went next door to Bird Song as our last stop. Their Higher Ground IPA is my fave.
We listened to some sweet tunes for a while and enjoyed the last bit of sunshine.
 We headed back to our house and the boys grilled us some burgers and sausages they got at Whole Foods. It was a big night!

Sunday, we went to Sunflour for breakfast before they hit the road. We all ordered the bacon, egg & cheese on a croissant, and Doran got it on a biscuit. Yum!
After they hit the road, Connor and I did some much needed cleaning and errand running. We went to South Park to make some returns and look for tuxedo pants for him, and went to Home Depot to figure out how to clean and re-stain our deck. We will be doing that on Friday if the weather holds! Keep your fingers crossed.

I also did a few spray painting projects yesterday. I saw these at a yard sale on Saturday but didn't pick them up and regretted it. Then we drove past that house on the way to our errands and they put them on the street for trash. So I snagged them and sprayed them bright red for our front porch. Aren't they fun?

We worked hard and then sat outside and enjoyed the evening last night. It was a perfect end to a perfect weekend!

Happy Monday, hope y'all had a great weekend!

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