For Christmas this year, my in-laws took G and I on a weekend trip to the Windy City. Only two hours away from our quiet little country town, Chicago is a quick drive to experience city-life every now and then. It was a quick weekend full of memories and festive attractions. A big thanks to “Ma and Pa G” for this great Christmas present! It allowed G and I to get out of the house, away from work, and spend precious moments with his parents. We are incredibly blessed.
If you are visiting Chicago for a weekend around Christmastime, there are a lot of places to visit and things to do in the city. Though we couldn’t squeeze every attraction into our schedule, here is what we were able to see and do:
Continue reading “Christmas In Chicago”
G and I had a great Thanksgiving break. We traveled down to Indy and spent the day with G’s family. Our brother and sister-in-law also came from Iowa with our four-month-old nephew, and we were both in heaven. We absolutely love that little turkey, and any text/Snapchat/minute we’re able to have with him is a treasure. There is quite a bit to be thankful for this year, but little Z is definitely at the top of our list.
Another big blessing this year is our new home. With all our in-progress improvements, we decided to host an intimate Friendsgiving and game night. I love hosting these kinds of parties, but could only handle a small gathering this year with everything else happening. So we asked four of our friends to join us in a night of great food and better fellowship — and our hopes were over-filled! I’ll share our full menu in a future post, but I have to share this new and awesome recipe with you, friends. It is the perfect holiday appetizer, and makes a great breakfast too — trust me, I’m munching on it right now as G and I enjoy our pre-church coffee. Mmmm…
Continue reading “Savory Sundays: Goat Cheese Holiday Truffles”
August is right around the corner and that means my favorite fresh fruit season is about to strike in Michigan: blueberry season! I have grown up eating pounds and pounds of those delectable little berries, and as I’ve gotten older and “more mature” in my palate, I look for various ways to incorporate my favorite fruit into different recipes.
Today’s Savory Sunday is a simple one. But it is also a top contender on my healthy summer meal plan. Dark green spinach, plump blueberries, sharp red onions, crunchy and salty almonds, and rich feta cheese all mixed together for a happy, healthy meal. This salad is packed with lots of nutrients and antioxidants! Plus my homemade dressing adds just enough tang to make you wanting more once your bowl is gone.
Continue reading “Savory Sundays: Blueberry Almond Salad With Feta”
Anyone remember me mentioning all those supplies I bought for mosquito repellent candles in my Lemon Rosemary Chicken recipe? How about my goal to eat less grains in my post with the Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes? Well, here is a dish that makes the most of both! The left over limes from my would-be candles and low-carb zucchini noodles make this recipe healthy and satisfying. Two things I love to pair together!
G was craving some shrimp this week and scampi sounded good to me. However, I wanted to use up some ingredients I already had in the fridge and pantry. I also didn’t want to go full out Cheat Meal mid-week by throwing the buttery shrimpers on top of some noodles. So I improvised and wooh-la! Another meal to find permanent residence in our cook book.
Continue reading “Savory Sundays: Cilantro Lime Shrimp Scampi”
I am not eating many grains so I am limiting my consumption of breads, pastas, and rices, as well as staying away from white potatoes. That means I am attempting to be as crafty as possible when it comes to carb-infused and starchy foods. Cue the riced cauliflower, zucchini noodles, and sweet potatoes!
This particular recipe caused some hesitation with me. I love buffalo chicken and I love sweet potatoes, but I am not a fan of mixed foods. (I’m that person who cannot have her food touch. I even have a special separating tray at my aunt’s house to use at holiday gatherings. Ha!) So contemplating eating this slow cooker buffalo chicken inside a sweet potato had me debating my life choices.
Then I tried a bite and my world changed.
This recipe is unbelievably tasty. The spiciness from the hot sauce and the sweetness of the potato make for a dynamite flavor! G and I already looking forward to the next time this little dish is made for dinner.
Continue reading “Savory Sundays: Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes”
The day before our wedding I went to the local grocery store and purchased a bag full of lemons, limes, and fresh rosemary sprigs. My plan was to make my own mosquito repellent candles in canning jars to sit on the guests’ tables during the reception. Not only would this have added some more color to table decor, but also been useful in fighting the hungry little varmints throughout the evening.
Of course, I forgot all these ingredients as soon as I placed them in the fridge drawer.
So this meant I had quite a few fresh produce items to make recipes with once G and I returned from our honeymoon. Thus came this recipe for lemon rosemary chicken which I pulled out of thin air. I warned G prior to eating this meal that we may be ordered take out. I am personally not a big fan of lemon, so I was hesitant to sample this dish. It was a pleasant surprise though! The rosemary was not overwhelming, and the lemon flavors only intensify the other flavors happening in the mix (and the lemon is especially good with the sweet potatoes.) I will definitely be making this again in the future, especially since we still have a healthy amount of citrus and rosemary.
Continue reading “Savory Sundays: Lemon Rosemary Chicken”
Throwing myself back into cooking as soon as we finally had all our luggage unpacked, laundry washed, and wedding gift organization completed meant a fun recipe had to be tested. Thankfully, one of our favorite couples is celebrating each of their birthdays this weekend (a “dirty thirty” yesterday and her husband today.) Plus, G is an Independence Baby with his own “dirty thirty” on the 4th. So the four of us went on a double date to a local restaurant and competed in a few board games last night while enjoying this tasty dessert.
I found the original recipe on Domestically Blissful and opted for a few switches to the recipe to attempt in making it a bit “healthier.” For those of you health-conscious, though, still stay clear — it is definitely not the healthiest option out there! But for those who aren’t afraid to splurge every now and again, this recipe was a HUGE hit among everyone and will be taking a permanent place in my own cook book for future use.
Continue reading “Savory Sundays: Blackberry Cheesecake Oreo Brownie Bars”
I’m here. Physically, but not really mentally. Mentally I am still in beautiful Tennessee, sitting in a rocking chair with G beside me as we look out over the Smokies from our remote cabin. It has been four days since we left our humble honeymoon abode, and I’m still pining after the memories of that perfect cabin and even more perfect vacation with my husband. (Eek! I cannot get enough of saying that word!)
Luckily, work missed me so much that I have had plenty of projects to keep me grounded in Michigan upon my return. Following work I’ve been getting into the swing of your typical duo-working married life at home: chores, dinner, working out, time together, somewhat early bedtime to start it all over again. I’m finally catching my breath after putting away all our wedding gifts and unpacking from the trip in order to send out a little note to the blogosphere.
I’m excited to begin posts again. Next week I’ll be continuing with Savory Sundays as well as beginning Wedding Wednesdays, which will be posts specifically geared towards all things weddings. I’ll catch up on some topics I wasn’t able to capture before June 16th as well as touch on some things I’m starting to realize now that my wedding is complete. Otherwise, Uncorking Peonies is about to begin writing on some new material never before ventured upon by me: newlywed life. Be it a look at how to maneuver this new way of living, budget-friendly do-it-yourself projects, or methods to better my life, I’m looking forward to sharing more Lifestyle posts with you all!
So with all that joining the mess already going on in my brain — those darn mountains are constantly trying to push all other thoughts out — I say cheers to the future and a thank you for continuing to follow me along this journey.
You’re all the best,
I am seriously becoming little Susie Homemaker over here. G and I are loving our time spent cooking and grilling at our little abode this summer, and are so excited to begin married life. As we slowly move him into the apartment, we use our time together making dinner and chatting at the dining table. I think we are going to enjoy this whole spouse thing…
Enough with the mushy talk though and onto this week’s recipe! Chicken is our weekly meat-of-choice and do I have a winner for you today: Russian Chicken. YUM! You always need a couple of staple meals to rely on when you have company over for dinner, or just want a easy, hassle-free dish after a long day at work. This Russian Chicken is that recipe for me. It is the dish my mother always makes as a “ministry meal” due to being a huge crowd-pleaser. It even made the team recipe book back when I played volleyball in high school — all the girls on my team loved this on team bonding nights!
Perhaps you’ve already made this before, or maybe you’ve never heard of it – but let me tell you, it is SO easy and really good. Four ingredients in a 9×13 baking dish, bake for 45 minutes to an hour and serve over instant rice. Easiest. Dinner. Ever. My high school volleyball girls still talk about this chicken when I run into them, and G has become a huge fan. If you’ve never tried it before, give it a shot. You won’t be sorry!
Continue reading “Savory Sundays: Russian Chicken”