Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Weeknight Dinner Made Easy: Baked Ziti and Avocado Caesar Salad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KitchenCraftedItalian #MichaelAngelosMeals #CollectiveBias

This time of year always has us going in about ten different directions every night.  Whether I have a work event, we're playing tennis, or out with friends, we always try to make it a point to eat dinner together.  Even when we don't have a lot of time, we obviously always want delicious meals with homemade taste and simple, clear ingredients.  Michael Angelo's is one of our new go-tos.  Their line of premium, slowly crafted authentic Italian meals has something for everyone.  Our current favorite is their Family Size Baked Ziti with Meatballs, and to go with it, I always like making a little something from scratch.  My avocado caesar salad is both fresh and delicious.
Avocado Caesar Salad Ingredients:
For dressing:
- 1 avocado, mashed
-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 anchovy fillets, mashed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For salad:
- 1 heart of romaine
- croutons
- grilled chicken, sliced
I shopped for all of my fresh produce and Michael Angelo's meal at my local Walmart, in the freezer section.  Not only do they make one-step meals like the baked ziti we enjoyed last week, but also meal starters like lemon chicken and shrimp scampi as well as calzones and family-sized dinners!
1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until smooth.
2. In a large bowl, tear apart the romaine heart into small pieces.  Toss with dressing.
3. Add in croutons and top with grilled chicken.
These Michael Angelo's meals are easy, family-favorite and single-serve meals in minutes, and pair perfectly with warm garlic bread or a fresh salad, just like my avocado caesar.
Make sure you visit this link for even more Michael Angelo's-inspired meal time inspiration, and when you go shopping, click here to earn cash back on Michael Angelo's products with Ibotta!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

October Review

Well, it's midway through November, so it seems about right to finally recap October, right?!  Looking back, writing this review just makes me tired.  I have no idea how, over the course of 7 weekends through September and October, we were gone for 6 of them (the seventh being Hurricane Flo).  Needless to say, when we got back about halfway through the month of October, we did all of... nothing.  And it was magical.

My birthday started the month, and Mike definitely made the big 3-0 special.  We met up with friends for happy hour, then he drove me all around downtown Charleston in circles to surprise me for dinner.  Well, apparently he was giving time for our friends at the happy hour to get to dinner, and a whole bunch of additional friends were waiting for my favorite - hibachi!  He also made me a delicious cake, themed with my favorite movie: 13 Going On 30.  He's a good one :)
The next two weekends we were in Minneapolis and Cape Cod for our final two weddings of the year.  They were both absolutely beautiful, and Mike was a very handsome best man for the second time this year!  
Spending time in New England is always my favorite this time of year, but when we got back, I could not wait to relax (aka not leave my house for like 2 weeks straight - haha).  I made my favorite soup, and when we got stir-crazy enough, we walked around Charleston to see all of the pretty fall decor!
There's nothing better than fall treats, and October always gets me.  Halloween candy is still flowing at our house, Second State has the best candy corn latte, and I can never pass up a festive donut!  Plus, Kelley hosted a super fun cookie decorating class with Emy.  If you are in the area and looking for the most beautiful (and delicious) cookies - definitely look her up!
And now, we are already almost at Thanksgiving!  I can't wait for my family to get into town this weekend and to eat ALL of the delicious food!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Fall at The Cape

Last month, Mike and I were in Massachusetts for his best friend's wedding and spent time in one of the quintessential New England areas, just north of Cape Cod.  There are so many cute seaside towns between the Cape and Boston, and with the changing leaves and fall decorations, it could not have been a better time to visit. 

For most of the trip, we stayed in Scituate, just a block from the shore and a half mile from the lighthouse.  My absolute favorite part of staying in Scituate was walking out the peninsula to the lighthouse.  All of the little shore houses were so cute and the ocean views were amazing.
We also spent time in Marshfield, a little south of Scituate, for the actual wedding and rehearsal dinner.  The buoy collections are seriously one of my favorite things about New England towns.  Every fisher and lobsterman in the area decorates their buoys with their own designs to distinguish them from fellow boaters.  Inevitably, some of those buoys float away, and they end up on people's docks and beaches - hence, the collection!
And, of course, we found two adorable little coffee shops while we were in town - what else would you expect from us?!  The first was in Cohasset, Sea Bird Coffee.  We went on Friday morning, and it was "donut Friday."  I was obviously thrilled!  They get their donuts from a little bakery in Quincy and sell out almost every week.  Plus, the seasonal Brown Sugar Cardamom latte was perfect for the stormy weather.
The second coffee shop was back in Scituate, Lucky Finn Cafe, and we were so lucky to go on the best weekend of the fall.  Beach Plum Floral created the most beautiful installation and sold flowers for Alice's House.  Lucky Finn had some of the best cannolis I've had in my life and the seasonal hot, spiced apple cider was amazing!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Five Must-See Sites in Historic Charleston

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #DASANISparkling #FlavorContest #CollectiveBias

I always love getting questions from friends and readers who are visiting Charleston: Where should I go? Is Charleston walkable? How can I make the most of a weekend trip?  I've rounded up  list of my five favorite sites that comprise the perfect walk around the Holy City and took the adventure myself with my favorite go-to beverage, DASANI® Sparkling, to share everything with you!
Stop #1: Charleston City Market - The historic market has been around for more than 300 years, along four blocks in the heart of downtown Charleston.  Everyday, artisans set up booths filled with handmade sweetgrass baskets, jewelry, candles, paintings, photographs, and souvenirs for tourists to bring back home.
Before heading out to the market, I shopped at my local Harris Teeter to stock up on DASANI® Sparkling.  They have such a wide variety of flavors, my favorites right now being the White Peach and Pear Kiwi.  You can shop for DASANI® Sparkling at a Kroger store near you!

Stop #2: Pineapple Fountain - After turning down East Bay Street and onto Vendue Range, Waterfront Park greets you just before the harbor.  Exactly what you would picture, this fountain is definitely one of the most photographed spots in the city!
Stop #3: Rainbow Row - Don't forget to enjoy all of Waterfront Park before walking south to one of the wharfs back out to East Bay Street.  You cannot miss Rainbow Row with its bright colors!  Located between 79 and 107 East Bay Street, these Georgian Row houses are the longest of their kind.  They've been painted their pastel colors since the 1920s and are often repainted to keep them as vibrant as can be!
While I'm walking down to Tradd Street for the next stop on my own adventure, DASANI® Sparkling wants to join you on your next adventure.  Speaking of adventure, October 1st through November 15th, you can enter for a chance to WIN an experiential trip to Albuquerque, NM for the 2019 Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival!
   1. Take a pic of your favorite flavor of DASANI® Sparkling 
   2. Post it to Instagram or Twitter using #DasaniSparkling AND #FlavorContest 
The Grand Prize winner will win a trip to the 2019 Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival in October 2019 for the winner plus 3 guests! The prize package consists of round trip, coach-class air transportation for 4 from a major airport near the winner’s home; 3 nights' accommodations; rental car; 2 Gondola Club passes (2-day passes) to the Festival; a hot air balloon ride for winner and 1 guest; $1,000 spending money; and travel agent services. 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Legal residents of certain U.S. states and D.C., 18 years or older.  Ends 11/15/18.For rules, hashtags, alternate methods of entry, odds, prize and complete details, click here.  Void in CT, FL, IA, ME, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NY, ND, OK, PA, SD, and VT and where prohibited.

Stop #4: Church and Water streets - Zig-zagging down Tradd and Church streets, one of my favorite corners in Charleston is Church and Water.  There is the most Charlestonesque courtyard with a brick-lined street and some very Instagrammable spots.  If you follow any Charleston bloggers, you might recognize those shrub-lined steps on Church Street - make sure you take your own photo!
Stop #4: Church and Water streets - Last but not least, a walk back up Meeting Street and west on Tradd is absolutely necessary if you want to see some of my favorite homes, window boxes, shutters, doors, and door knockers in the city.  Make sure you walk all the way down to #126 to see the famous lion door knocker on the perfect peach door!
Have you been to Charleston before?  Did I hit your favorite spot?

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