May 20, 2010

Hi Ho Cherry-O

Look what we found....
Yes it's a Cherry our yard!!!!  We have lived in our house for 4 years now and this is the first year we have seen fruit on this tree.  I was soooo excited because not only do I love cherries, but love having it in my front yard for FREE!!!  So I did some research to make sure they were safe to eat and waited about a week for them to grow and turn the deep red color....

Can you see my blue bowl at the bottom???  I woke up at 6 am and decided since I was up so early I would start picking!!  I had three neighbors stop and ask if they were really cherries and one asked if she could bring her kids this weekend to pick some.  If you live in the Raleigh area feel free to come by....there are more than we could ever eat.  Ryan told me I should pick several pounds and sell them in our front yard...haha could you imagine.  It does take time to individually pick the cherries off the tree, wash and pick out the "bad ones".
I have big plans for these cherries:)  Stay tuned for what I create!  For now I will just eat them as a snack...
But we need to hurry because other creatures like cherries too....

May 19, 2010


Since we have actually had a decent spring this year (normally it goes from really cold to 90 degrees in one week) we have been taking advantage and grilling out.  Ryan makes a MEAN rack of ribs...I am still trying to get the recipe from him so I can post it for you all.  Last time he made ribs I decided to make collards as a side.  We found them at the farmers market for really cheap so I thought I would give it a try.
Most important thing is to first wash your collards.  I fill up the sink with cold water and place all the collards in the sink and move them around in the water.  This allows all the dirt to fall to the bottom of the sink.  I then take the collards out and place them on paper towels to drain.

Now cut the middle stem off, place several large leaves on top of each other, roll and cut your collards into strips.
 Now in a large pot, place the cubed pancetta and some olive oil. Cook for a few minutes until they start to brown.
 Now add water and seasonings to pot and bring to a boil.
Add the greens and cook down until they turn a dark/deep green color and most of the water has evaporated.
Now just pair with some meat fresh off the grill!

May 11, 2010

The Final Countdown!!!

The 1 Year countdown to Ryan finishing school is finally here!!  That's right, in 1 year Ryan will be a Dentist!!  I know a year may sound like a long time, but we have waited 5 years to get to this point and are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  I can not tell you how unbelievably proud I am of Ryan.  Ryan is the most dedicated and motivated person I know.  He always gives 110% and its so rewarding to see his efforts paying off.  I constantly find myself bragging about him because even though he has so many accomplishments, he is extremely humble.  Ryan-I love you, am so proud of you and cannot wait to start making plans for our future!!!
Speaking of Ryan we celebrated his birthday in Charlotte this past weekend with a New Orleans/Spanish style dinner with his family.
The meal included Craw fish...which we had never had and loved (except for Miriam...not a big seafood eater).
Jared and Miriam made a paella....those two make a great team because it was soooo good.
After a huge success with the Fat Pants Cake for Jared's birthday, Ryan asked me to make a healthy version of German Chocolate Cake.  I used this recipe.  To my surprise it also turned out great (surprised because I am not a baker).  It actually got better each day...if you make a cake like this, make it the day before so the coconut layer can soak into the top of the cake.
We also celebrated Mothers Day with Miriam this past weekend.  Not only do I have a mom, but I have been so blessed to have two amazing extra women in my life over the past 7 years.  First, my bonus mom Michelle.  She stepped in my brothers life when they needed a mom the most and for that I am so grateful.  She has such a big heart to take on our large family and treat us all like her own.
The second is my MIL-Miriam.  Miriam and I do not have the typical Mother/Daughter-in-law relationship.  I have learned so much about how to cook, decorate/run a household, be a good wife, and most recently garden.  I am so thankful that God put these women in my life.
On Saturday Miriam and I celebrated Mothers Day by attending a DIY day at their church and took three stroke painting, cooking-pan searing technique, and cake decorating.  We both enjoyed the cake decorating class the most.  Here are our cakes...remember we are beginners! 
We kept joking that mine looked like a 4-year old birthday cake and hers looked like something they sell for $30 at Dean and Deluca
What a wonderful way to spend some one-on-one time with such a wonderful mother:)
Ok this is the longest post EVER...good night!

May 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Ryan

Today is Ryan's birthday!!  Happy Birthday Hubby!! He has had the past two weeks off and has a great weekend planned with friends and family in Charlotte.  During the past two weeks he has played a lot of golf and went to a golf tournament...can't think of a better way for him to spend his birthdayweek:)
Here is the newest Charlottean MJ practicing some puts at the Quail Hollow Pro-Am. 
He also got to play 4 rounds of golf in two days with Andy in Pinehurst including the famed Pinehurst #2 and #4...thanks Andy!... he is still talking about how much fun he had.  They even took a few pictures!!
Love you Ryan and hope you have a great weekend:)