Open for Business!

Hello again! I’d like to start this post with a big CONGRATULATIONS to the newly weds, Mr. and Mrs. Matt McCalley!  It was such an honor to be a part of their special day.  Audrey and I were college roommates and friends.  Tyler and I traveled to Charleston last weekend for their wedding festivities.  Highs of the weekend:  Bridesmaid/Groomsmen dance-off, gouda mac n cheese, and seeing long lost friends!  

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One of my favorite visits was with Mrs. Britt McCrea, my friend teaching in China!  She’s been there for a year, and will be there for 4 more because her husband has landed a great job there as well!  So blessed to know her!  Tyler and I hope to be able to visit Britt and Pat while they are there.

In other news, Tyler and I moved into our first home this week!  It is painted, cleaned, and unpacked!  Through the process,  it’s become apparent that God has blessed us with some pretty stellar friends in Nashville.  We had help moving and unpacking, along with a sweet house warming basket.  The basket was filled with things from markets and shops in our new neighborhood.  So thoughtful!  Our guest bedroom is officially open for business, so COME VISIT US in Nashville!

To give myself motivation to get house things done this weekend, I decided to invite our small group from church over for brunch yesterday.  Minus the fact that I almost burnt down our new house with an oven I’m not used to (oops 🙂 ), it was very successful and I have a new recipe for you.  It’s called Vegetable Quiche.  It’s basically a combination of items I had in my fridge that I whipped together to save myself from another trip to the store!

Vegetable Quiche:

1 frozen pie crust

4 eggs

1 small onion (chopped)

1 small yellow or orange bell pepper (chopped)

1 small package of sliced mushrooms

1 small package of fresh spinach, (roughly chopped)

1/2 cup of milk (or creme)

1 tbsp of butter

Directions:  

-Heat butter in a pan and saute onions, peppers, mushrooms

-Combine saute mixture and all other ingredients in a bowl

-pour into pie crust, bake at 425 for 40-45 min. 

SO EASY and DELICIOUS!

I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of this lovely brunch dish, but it was all gone before I could take a pic!

That’s all for now…take care folks!

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Vacation Part III: Blueberry Cobbler

Last but not least on our southeastern tour, Tyler and I went to Savannah to visit his family and some more of our friends.  Our first stop was Tybee Island, where Tyler’s dad and stepmom rented a beach house for her birthday.  Happy Birthday, Maureen!  This was my first time on Tybee.  Cute, quaint, country beach town!  We ate some great local seafood and did some night-time beach walking.  (This was the first time we’d been on the beach our whole vacation when it wasn’t raining!).

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After Tybee, we headed to a cute little part of Savannah called Thunderbolt (T-bolt for short) where Tyler’s mom (Kay) and stepdad (Ed) live.  We got to spend some good quality time catching up.  Kay and Ed are great party planners, and threw a little get together with some family and old friends!  It was so great getting to see everyone!

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Before we headed back to Nashville, we made a stop at Tyler’s Grandparents house to visit.  His grandfather has a couple of huge blueberry bushes.  We were lucky enough to get to pick some and bring fresh blueberries back with us!

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So what do you do with a bunch of fresh blueberries?  You make blueberry cobbler, of course!  Unfortunately I do not have pictures of my blueberry cobbler.  It was made in a rush for my girls bible study this week.  But it was SO GOOD…and so easy to make!  To get the recipe, see my Peach Cobbler post, and sub blueberries for peaches.  The only other difference is I mixed a cup of sugar with the blueberries and brought them to a boil in a skillet before I added them to the cobbler.  Served with vanilla ice cream!

***Disclaimer:  I only make these super unhealthy recipes (you know, the ones that call for a whole stick of butter) when I’m hostessing.  I mean, I want people to come to my house and really enjoy what they eat!  No shame in that, right? 🙂

B.V.E.  That stands for Best Vacation Ever.  It wasn’t necessarily relaxing and refreshing, but we had so much fun spending time with each other and our family and friends.  While on vacation, we learned that I received a position at Vanderbilt as a Research Assistant for a special education research project.  This is a HUGE blessing for us.  The position will give me a stipend and waive my tuition for my first year of grad school.  THANK YOU JESUS!  It felt so good to go home with a plan for the fall.  And…no more Mary Poppins for me!  Can’t wait for this new adventure.  Tyler also found out this week that he will no longer be traveling for work.  We are so excited because when he first took this job, we were told he would be traveling 4 days a week every week.  Woo Hoo!  

Up Next:  Audrey and Matt’s Wedding and OUR NEW HOUSE!!!!

Vacation Part II: Low Country Boil

After we left the O’Steens at Lake Blalock, we headed down to our old stompin’ grounds….Charleston.  Chucktown.  The Holy City.  There is a special place in my heart for this city.  It’s really one of the most beautiful and friendly places in the world.  I think what I love about it most, though, is all of the wonderful and sweet friends we have there. It was so fun catching up with everyone! It rained for most of our time there, but we didn’t let that get us down.  It just gave us a good excuse to constantly eat and drink! We checked out some new restaurants and visited some old favorites.  

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One of the most special parts of our week was coming together with a few other friends and celebrating Matt and Audrey with a Couples Shower!  This was one of the first showers I’d ever planned…and I enjoyed it so much.  I even got a little crafty!  Shout out to Tyler McCoy for making the floral arrangements and garland…the girl is a genius!  Here are some pics:

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America’s Birthday also landed in our vacation, and we were so happy to get to celebrate it with old friends and new!  We hung out at Tyler and Britt’s pool, and listened to my new favorite pandora station:  hip hop bbq.  That’s right.  Everyone go check it out!  We cooked a meal that sums up lowcountry living:  

The Lowcountry Boil

-Small Red Potatoes

-Old Bay Seasoning, Lemons, Onion, Garlic (the Flava!)

-Hot Keilbasa Sausage Links

-Corn on the Cob

-Fresh Shrimp

Add the ingredients into a pot of boiling water in the order in which they are listed above in increments of about 10 minutes.  Cook shrimp until they are pink.  Get a disposable table cloth and dump the drained boil on the table.  Serve with cocktail sauce and cornbread.  Warning:  There are rarely leftovers from this delicious meal.  The thing I love about it most is how social and interactive the meal is.  How fun it is to pick at a low country boil and swap stories!  Clean-up is easy too:  Just fold up the disposable table cloth and throw it away!  Lookout Nashville friends:  This Lowcountry favorite is coming to a porch near you very soon!

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Our 4th of July ended with fireworks and sparklers on the water….absolutely beautiful!

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As much fun as we had in Charleston, and as much as we miss it, I realized something while we were there.  It was hard to leave Charleston to go to Nashville: to leave our friends, our church, my job, and our comfort zone.  But had we stayed, I don’t think our marriage would be as strong as it is.  What a blessing it was to be able to get married and start fresh together:  exploring a new city together, making friends together, and having time for each other.  How wise God is.  He knows exactly what we need when we need it…even if the transition is hard.  

Up next:  the third installment of the southeastern tour!

 

Vacation Part 1: Apple Bacon Coleslaw

Hello, Blog!  Long time, no see.  It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and with good reason.  Tyler and I have been so busy with fun things.  Mainly our vacation (aka the southeastern tour).  Filling you in on vacation is going to take multiple blog posts.  Too hot for one blog post to handle!

So, I thought I’d start at the beginning.  We left Nashville on Saturday too early to talk about.  We drove to my parents new house on Lake Blalock in the upstate of SC.  I am so excited for my parents.  They have their dream lake house, and it’s pretty awesome.  I can’t help but give thanks to God for how good He’s been to our family.  Just a few short years ago, my mom was in the hospital for a massive stroke, learning to walk and talk again.  Now my parents are loving life on the lake!  They mostly spend their days taming wild lake animals, fishing, and floating.  While we were there we were able to visit with some of my family, and some of my all time favorite family friends:  The Griners.  Jenna Griner and I have been besties since DARE camp in 5th grade.  Her mom, Sue, is like my second mom.  Mainly because her and my mom are both equally a good kind of crazy.  Jenna’s dad (we’ll call him lil country) is always a good time, along with brother Charlie and pup Oliver.  

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Here are Tyler and Oliver enjoying the dock!

We had the Griners over for a summer cookout. My contribution and new favorite summer-time side dish:

APPLE BACON COLESLAW

This is a party in your mouth.  So many different flavors come together to make an out-of -this-world addition to your cookout.  

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup honey

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 cup pulp free orange juice

 juice from 1/2 fresh lemon

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 bag of pre-shredded cabbage

1/2 pack of bacon fried crispy then broken up into small pieces

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

4 firm apples, peeled, cored and shredded (or chopped)

 

Mix all ingredients together and let sit overnight.  Stir before serving.

This is what mine looked like:

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Stay tuned for more highlights of our southeastern tour!! Happy Monday!

Meredith