Thursday, June 30, 2011

Margherita Pizza

Remember I told you about my little garden's basil takeover. Well, it is getting out of control! I'm about to start throwing basil in everything...whether it makes sense or not, its getting thrown in the pot. Earlier this week I made a Margherita Pizza that was quick, easy, delicious, and most importantly called for basil.

Here are the ingredients and the steps I followed:

For the base of the pizza, follow the instructions on the Pillsbury Pizza Dough label.
Next add 1/2 cup of sauce and start slicing. Try to cut the tomatoes and cheese no thicker than 1/4 inch.
Arrange the cheese and tomatoes on the pizza and liberally salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with dried oregano and top with about a 1/2 cup of shredded basil leaves.

Bake according to package instructions. Then, top it with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
Yum! I used some of the leftover basil and mozzarella to throw in a side salad. I will be making this one again soon...since, you know, I have a basil farm in my backyard.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Knee Deep: Orange Beach, Alabama

On the last post, I talked about the rocky start to our vacation, but now I want to share the fun parts. Our days consisted of sleeping late (no alarms), having breakfast on the balcony, soaking up the sun, and drinking fruity beach drinks. Our goal was to relax and be as lazy as we could stand. As you can tell from these pictures, we definitely accomplished that goal!

This is the only picture we took together. (We are bad about that!) That's our condo in the background.

We planted ourselves on the beach for most of the trip.

Like I said, we didn't really move.

Oh look, a rare action shot... to cool down so he could lay in the sun some more. :)
At night we did venture out to listen to some live music and to eat a ridiculous amount of delicious, fresh seafood. Well, I enjoyed the seafood. Brian is allergic to shellfish. I know - it makes me very sad for him. Don't worry, he enjoyed a ridiculous amount of every other type of food.

LuLu's had a great Jimmy Buffett cover band and their fried green tomatoes were amazing!

Watching the band and the intoxicated moms and dads breaking it down at The Hangout.  
I don't know why, but Brian and I seem to attract natural disasters. A wildfire broke out at Gulf State Park the day before we came home. Thankfully, from what I have read, most of the fire has been contained.

 This is a view from the back balcony.
This vacation was exactly what we were needing. A chance to completely disconnect from the world and relax. In closing, I will leave you with the theme song of our Summer Vacation 2011, Zac Brown Band's 'Knee Deep'. I think I'll hit play, close my eyes, and pretend we are still there.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Now We Really Need a Vacation

Last week, Brian and I spent a few days in Orange Beach, AL for some much needed rest and relaxation. We had such an amazing time. However, the first day of our vacation did not go as all.

Poor Carl (Not a typo - that's his name.)

Before any trip, there are always a million things to do. To avoid the headache of Walmart or the Nissan dealership, I decided to get my oil changed at a local 10-Minute service shop the day before we left. BIG MISTAKE.

After driving for about 5 hours, my car started making a strange noise and the check engine lights started blinking. Luckily, we were right outside the town of Bay Minette, and we were able to pull over at a Walmart Tire & Lube Express. Apparently, the car had been leaking oil for over 300 miles and no longer would hold any oil at all. We called a tow service and hitched a ride with tow truck driver Ken to the closest Nissan dealership about 30 miles away. Turns out, the guys who changed our oil before we left town, did not install the new oil filter correctly. Of course, we were annoyed with this experience. We were out about $150 and lost a half day at the beach, but it really could have been so much worse. What if we broke down on the interstate? Or in the middle of no where? What if we had to replace the entire engine?

All of the car drama was soon forgotten when we arrived in Orange Beach. We immediately changed into our swim suits, packed a cooler, and headed down to the beach to watch the sunset. After the stressful travel day we endured, trust me, we earned this vacation!

We earned these too.

My Happy Place!

I will post some of our vacation pictures later this week!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thirty Years and Counting...

Today I would like to wish my parents a Happy Anniversary! They have been married for THIRTY years!  Look how pretty they are.

Mom and Dad's Wedding Day - June 20, 1981

My dad gave my mom a bracelet that he made in Boy Scouts when they were 12 years old, and he said he knew from then on that he would marry my mom (Aw!). They have taught me to believe in marriage and to understand that wedding vows are not just something you recite on your wedding day.

High school sweethearts on a date at the Rendezvous in Memphis. Love this one.

They have a love that truly lasts a lifetime.

Love you, Mom and Dad!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Garden Fresh Pesto Pasta

Remember the little garden I planted a couple of weeks ago? I am happy to report that I have managed to keep it alive long enough to make my first meal out of something home grown. Since the basil is growing like crazy, I decided to make Pesto Pasta inspired by this recipe.

Pretty, green, and tasty

I wish I could say that the tomatoes I used came from the garden as well, but as you can see, I'm still waiting for their grand entrance.

Yep. I grew that. :)

Toasted pine nuts, basil, and parmesan

I loved this meal. Not only was it delicious, it took less than 15 minutes from start to finish to prepare. When I made the sauce, I used skim milk instead of cream and only used one tablespoon of butter. The pesto is pretty rich with all of the extra virgin olive oil, so I really didn't miss the extra butter and cream. But to be completely honest, in a perfect world, where calories and fat grams don't exist, I would have totally used butter and cream. Even if you are like Brian and pasta isn't your thing (weirdo), this sauce would also be great served over grilled chicken.

Seriously, if I get any more domestic, I might not be able to stand myself much longer. :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Memphis Iced Tea

This weekend I found a new drink that I had to share! I can't believe I love it as much as I do. It contains my alcohol enemy... whiskey. Seriously, I can't do all. However, this recipe just might have changed my attitude.


In an attempt to save a few calories, I used unsweet tea with two Splenda packets per individual drink. I also used Coke Zero instead of the real deal. A shot of Jack Daniel's (1oz) has about 65 calories, so I figure our drinks were about 100 calories a piece. (This is way better than those tiny 100 calorie packs - just sayin!)

My sister Ellen - my favorite little whiskey girl

Below is a performance clip of Lynyrd Skynyrd's, 'Whiskey Rock-a-Roller'. This song will have you craving some Memphis Iced Tea in no time! There are a lot of good whiskey songs out there, but this one is my all time favorite.

This footage is from 1976 - the year my parents graduated high school. I like to pretend that's Donna and Rob jammin' at the 33 second mark. Ha!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Love is the Master Key

Last night I started to feel a little restless. I don't know why. Maybe its because there was nothing on TV. Maybe its because the work week seems to be dragging (It's only Wednesday, people.) Or maybe its because my sister is coming to visit this weekend, and I'm just ready for her to get here! Whatever the reason, I decided to distract myself with a little DIY decorating.

Recently, I saw this post on Design*Sponge, and I knew I had to give it a try. During our last move, I found several keys in various bags and drawers that I have no clue what they open. This adorable project is a great way to use those mystery keys and to clean out your jewelry box.

Here is what I did:

(1) First, I went through my jewelry and pulled out some of the older and/or broken pieces. Since I tend to hoard the extra buttons that come with dress pants and shirts, I finally had an excuse to use some of these as well. (I don't even know how to sew a button on a pair of pants, so don't ask me why I do this.)

(2) Next, I spray painted all the little knick-knacks black.

(3) After the paint dried, I arranged the items in a key shape on a piece of scrapbook paper and took a picture to use as a guide.

(4) Finally, I broke out the glue gun. After I framed the picture, I added a little place card that says, "Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Eventually, this will go into our middle bedroom, which right now is a glorified storage room. Until then, I found a home for it in the guest bathroom.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This Will Make You Smile

This video was all over the Internet this week. What a sweet proposal! If you have not seen this, you need to hit play.

Instant smile, right?

My next thought after "Aww!" was "Oh, that poor guy has no idea how high he just set the bar." If Brian proposed to me like this, after every major life event, I'd be like, "Honey...yeah...this card is nice...but...where the hell is my MURAL?!" Kidding, kidding (kind of).

Seriously, it is nice to see those hopeless romantics out there doing their thing - even if it makes the rest of us look bad.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Five Summer Essentials

This Memorial Day weekend was the perfect mix of relaxation and productivity. It seemed like everything we did was an essential summer activity.

(1) Lounge by the Pool (with Sunscreen) - Brian had to work Saturday, and I spent the entire day laying out by the pool. I am 25 years old, and I am STILL in denial about my skin's sun burning abilities. I used a little sunscreen at the beginning of the day, but then proceeded to bake myself with tanning oil until I was a nice shade of tomato-red. I spent the rest of the weekend looking absolutely ridiculous! New summer motto: Lindsey, get over yourself, put down the tanning oil, and pick up the freaking sunscreen.


(2) Eat a Popsicle - This huge box of Pop Ice brings back so many good memories. When I was little, my grandma Diebold ALWAYS had these in her freezer. Considering I just bought 100 of them, I am going to have these in mine for a while too.

Pink and blue are my two favs
 (3) Start a DIY Project - When we left Lowe's on Sunday, we showcased our creative loading techniques. Brian bought a new handsaw and could not wait to use it. I guess he wanted to get the maximum benefit from the thing because he refused to let the Lowe's employees cut down the 14 feet boards. Ha! He built an awesome work bench for the garage that I'll write about soon. 

Like my man Tim Gunn says, "Make it work."

Got the Ranger loaded down!
(4) Plant a Vegetable Garden- When it comes to plants, I have a terrible track record. Earlier this year, Brian's sweet mamaw gave me a blue hydrangea bush she promised was impossible to kill. It put up a good fight, but the poor little plant was doomed from the beginning. It died a slow, painful death, and sadly, it never made it to the new house.

While we were at Lowe's, I decided to take baby steps in developing my green thumb. I bought a large planter, 2 big bags of potting soil, a small tomato plant, a little bunch of basil, and some cilantro. I love the idea of fresh garden tomatoes and herbs, but my lethal gardening skills are going to have to improve.
Please don't die..please don't die..

(5) Go to a Baseball game - Monday night we went to a Huntsville Stars baseball game with some friends, and it was the perfect way to end the weekend. Nothing says summer like ball park hot dogs and ice cold beer. Oh yeah, and watching the baseball game. :)