Herbs…

I love summer! As I sit here curled up in my big yellow chair, the smell of my herb garden is flowing through my house. I keep my herbs by the bay windows in my sun room and I love to fiddle with them. I have loved watching my tiny little seedlings grow and flourish this summer. Some of them I grew from seeds and others were tiny seedlings when I rescued them from Lowe’s (they were severely dehydrated…it was a close call).

This year I grew a few new herbs… Lavender, Parsley, Citronella; along with a few of my favorites: Lemon Balm, Basil, Purple Basil, Sweet Mint and Rosemary.

South Carolina heat can be a beast in the summer..and my poor little purple basil got fried. Whoops…

But! I had three full harvests of my regular basil so plenty stored for winter this year. My citronella plant took off! I highly recommend planting that bad boy in a planter…he took over the box.

One afternoon, I was looking around the internet for a fun way to use my fresh herbs and stumbled upon this recipe by SARA MOULTON. I had several events to go to the past few weeks and hosted a few get togethers at my house, so I tried it out! It was so easy to make and everyone loves chatting over cheese and crackers!

Roasted-Garlic-Herb-Cream-Cheese_Boursin

 

FRESH HERBED YOGURT CHEESE

Start to finish: 2 1/2 days plus 20 minutes (20 active)

17.6 ounce container (about 2 cups) Greek yogurt, full-fat or low-fat, your choice

3 tablespoons minced shallot

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

 —–

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper

Toasted baguette slices or crackers

—–

Line a large strainer with a triple layer of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth and set the strainer over a larger bowl. Pile the yogurt into the strainer, spreading it out. Cover with plastic wrap, top with a plate and a weight such as a can of tomatoes and let the yogurt drain in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

Transfer the drained yogurt to a bowl and stir in the next 7 ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. If time permits, cover and chill the cheese for up to 8 hours (to develop the flavor). Shape the cheese into logs or rounds and serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers. Makes a little over 2 cups.

—–

Nutrition information per 2-ounce serving: 76 calories; 43 calories from fat; 5 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 4 mg cholesterol; 56 mg sodium; 3 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 5 g protein.

— recipe by SARA MOULTON —

 

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

XoXo,

One Cheese Loving Lemon

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4 and Counting…

Well my lovelies…I’ve done it!! I have finally navigated my way past the first date, the tricky second date & post-second date freakout (him this time not me!!), the tricky third date and the OMG I’m on a 4th date!!

But that means date number 5 is looming!! What! I’m in shock…holy cannolies…

I did it…

So what have we done so far?

Date #1 – Waffles at 1am – A bit unconventional for a first date I admit, but when you can’t sleep and you’ve been talking on the phone for three hours and he says … hey so random idea…do you wanna be crazy and grab some waffles? (I mean they’re only my second favorite food!) I may have been already in my pjs, curled up in my bed, but you’re only young once so I said why not! It was crazy fun! I took Montana to our local hole-in-the-wall restaurant. We laughed and talked until about 3am. I got to meet his dog Koda who had been curled up asleep in his truck while we were eating. She loved me what can I say I’m a crazy dog lady…lol. We hugged and parted ways.

Date #2 – Read all about that in Weekend Wrap Up: A little Baseball & Brisket.

Date #3 – Read All about that in Weekend Wrap Up: Captain America & Slushies!

Date #4 – Read all about that in Weekend Wrap Up: Sunday Suprises

Date #5! I am really excited about this date :) I LOOOOOOVE drive-in movie theaters. Both Montana and I have lived in small rural towns that had one and when I mentioned we had one about 45mts away he jumped right on that for our next date. (See guys..girls are REALLY simple…you just have to listen and plan the dates accordingly!)

Weekend Wrap Up

Hi Lovelies!

Mmmmm…it’s a dreary Monday here. I’m sitting here in my bright yellow chair listening to the rain hit my windows. I love that tink tink tink sound! It’s so soothing.

This weekend has been crazy! But so good :) My heart is full and my cup runeth over. Friday was such a fun day! Several of my friends and I are doing a bible study called Keep It Shut. I must confess learning to zip my lip is becoming quite a challenge. I’ve discovered there is some icky stuff in my heart I’ve gotta get rid of. I’ve also discovered the less rested I am, the “witchier” I get. Note to self, sleep more, talk less.

Friday night was crazy! My dad and I installed my washer and dryer at my house :) It took us a minute but we finally got the hot and cold water figured out. No thanks to the contractor who put two blue knobs on the water lines…Dear sir, hot water line should be red always!! But alas…we figured it out by process of elimination.

We ran to Hibachi to grab some dinner because no one felt like cooking. It was a nice dinner with my parents. And I seldom say no when sushi is involved :) Afterwards, we ran into Lowe’s and of course my mom found some poor plants on the brink of death that she thought she could revive..and sent three home with me. I’ve got a darling little baby peace lily that has spruced up since I started watering it. A dear friend told me I should put it in an aquarium with a Betta fish (WHICH I LOVE!!!! I had one for 4 years..and my sister may have killed it…but we won’t go there..). I think I might go fish shopping after work tonight…

Saturday was fun! Matt and I met up with his sister and her fella (aka Matt’s best friend!) for breakfast at one of my favorite breakfast spots. Can I just say how much I treasure this sweet guy? He picked me up again, and I love it. I absolutely love it. I can’t begin to explain how much little stuff like that means to me. It’s absolutely amazing. I ordered my usual blueberry waffle with an egg. I know..I’m boring. But have you had a Belgian waffle with fresh blueberries? Ummm…delicious!

Breakfast was fun! I was nervous but his sister put me right at ease. Meeting the sister is always a tricky thing to me. I am a sister, I know how scary we sisters can be to the “new girlfriend”. Sometimes we’re secretly plotting your demise..sometimes we’re sweet…it’s a delicate thing. It was hilarious to watch Matt during breakfast. I think he turned seven shades of pink and red…too cute :)

After breakfast we ran back to my house for a quick study session with one of my MBA classmates. Then Matt suggested we go pick up my mirror since it was on sale and hit the thrift shop. (BE STILL MY BEATING HEART!!) A guy that loves thrift stores…this is bliss. We tooled around the thrift store and stumbled across some vintage cameras. I thought he was going to have to drag me away. I found a Brownie Hawkeye in working condition :)

il_570xN.97680470-480x384

Little nerd history about the Hawkeye! It was introduced by Kodak in May of 1949 and was discontinued in July of 1961. The 1950-61 models have an amazing flash attachment that connects to the outer left side with the HUGE bulb bowl.

It’s by far one of the most popular cameras ever made. Still fairly popular with photographers because of the unique image size 2.25×2.25..hummm kind of like Instagram…The one I bought is in great shape. I ordered some film from B&H and we’re gonna try this baby out soon :)

While we were thrifting, my mom called. We had a family emergence situation and I had to leave. Matt was so sweet :) I started apologizing for having to cut our day short and he simply said, Family comes first. Ahhhh….It’s so nice to have a special guy who completely understands that and lives by that.

My mom and I headed to Charleston to help. It was a hard weekend, but one that held a lot of healing and love. We came back Sunday night and I went over to Matt’s to spend time with his sister and her fella while cooking for the Super Bowl. We made Buffalo Chicken dip and Spinach Artichoke Bites (my all time fav!). MB’s sister made a really yummy salsa dip too! Matt brought us all a treat from work. He worked a double again this weekend, but thankfully they cut him early Sunday so I got to spend a few more hours with him.

He works at Longhorn Steakhouse on the weekends and they have the most amazing dessert called a Chocolate Stampede. Now I can’t really explain how awesome it is without a visual…

chocolate-stampede

Sheer bliss….

To tell you how awesome it is…they sell over 1 million of these babies each year. It’s that good folks :) I found a recipe for it this weekend. Whether I’ll be able to make it and it taste the same remains to be seen, but I’m always up for a culinary challenge.

We enjoyed splitting our chocolate stampedes while lamenting over the ending of the Super Bowl. For you Patriots fans…yeah yeah…congrats or whatever. For those of us pulling for Seattle…what was that last pass? Hello…

It was a really fun night getting to know Matt’s sister and watching the two of them interact. Too precious :)

So that’s a wrap of my weekend!

What was your favorite weekend moment?

XoXo,

One Chocolate Stuffed Lemon

High Five for Friday..not feeling it today..

It’s Friday..whew..I made it. This week has been a struggle my lovelies. I’ve had to apologize to multiple people for my attitude and rudeness. I’m tired, I’m stressed out, I’m broken..yep broken. I feel like I fell off of a cliff and smashed into the water.

These past six weeks of talking with James have been amazing..I was finally beginning to think that maybe..just maybe..I had finally stumbled upon a man who knew how to treat a lady. We’ve been on several dates now..Last weekend we went to dinner and I have never had more fun or been treated as nicely as I was that night. All week he had been excitedly talking to me and counting down the days until he got to see me. FYI: we live 2.5 hours apart. He picked me up, he opened the car door, he opened the restaurant door, he guided me with a hand on my lower back..all the little things that make my heart skip beats. I wore my favorite dress, I had on wedges (which he loved) and  he made me feel like I was the only girl in the room. He looked so dashing in his button down shirt and dark jeans.

Dinner was wonderful :) He took me to a quaint restaurant off the beaten path that only locals go to. It was once an old post office and is now a refurbished post office turned restaurant. He had made a reservation, we had a wonderful table..it was the stuff a girl dreams about. We ate dinner by candle light..and I must say it was probably the most romantic dinner date I’ve ever gone on in my life. We ordered our dinner and chatted the night away. After dinner, he said he wasn’t ready for the night to end so we simply drove around Charleston looking at the lights and talking. He dropped me off with a goodnight beautiful and a kiss.

Sunday morning I woke up to a text message from James asking me if I was awake..at 5am. I replied back that I was and he said good, throw your hair up in that messy thing you do and let’s go eat waffles. At first I wanted to respond and say I really need a shower and time to fix my makeup/hair..but then I realized something…I’m a messy bun kinda girl. If my sister and I were going to breakfast at 5am, I would have done just that..thrown my hair up, put a hoodie on and rolled out the door. So that’s exactly what I did :) Put my hair up, pulled on a hoodie and said alright let’s go. There is something wonderful about a guy who lets you be yourself..the girl that likes to dress up and go to fancy restaurants and the girl who loves waffles and eggs at 5am. Breakfast was crazy fun. Really relaxed.. James took me to another hole-in-the-wall place and we laughed and had the best time over syrupy waffles and eggs (waffles are the way to my heart..). We talked until it was time for me to go help my sister move into CSU (she’s a big senior this year!) and I didn’t think anything was amiss. He hugged me, said he couldn’t wait to see me again, kissed me and said he’d call me later that night.

That was five days ago..not a text, not a call, nothing since. So all of these feelings of doubt and insecurity have come sweeping back in. What did I do wrong, how did I mess it up, why am I so stupid when it comes to boys..and the list goes on. It’s hard..hard to realize that someone might not feel the same way about you that you do about them (this girl is in pretty crazy like of this handsome Marine). I was so careful..careful to guard my little heart because it was afraid of this very thing..being trampled on again. I thought maybe this time it would be different. He’s older, more mature, has his life together..but I guess I was wrong…

I’m okay with a guy changing his mind about how he feels about you..but I’d like the courtesy of an acknowledgement about it. Please just politely call a girl and say..hey, these past few weeks have been great, but I don’t think this relationship is something I’d like to pursue. To me that is painful to hear, but I respect a man who shows a woman such  courtesy. Instead of blowing her off like she’s nothing…because I am not nothing…I am something.

These feeling of insecurity have been a battle this week. It’s something I have to work hard at. Being confident, strong and independent take work for me. I never want to be the “victim”..I was one once..and I never want to be in that dark place again…but this feels a whole lot like it…I was talking with my best friend Payden about it the other night..and he said something very profound: “Sounds like he’s not interested.” It hit me like a wall of brick. It hurt..I’ve invested 6 weeks of meaningful, personal conversation and several dates. But I realized I had two choices..I could be devastated about this..which I kind of am…or I can remember that I’ve lived 26 years of my life without this man in it and I was just fine.

Now, if I’m wrong..someone comment back and let me know…But for now, I’ll take 5 days of absolutely no contact as his way of saying: “I’m not interested”. To answer the question of have I shown interest, yes, I have. However, I have been letting James initiate conversation. He’s been texting first, he’s been calling… I want to be pursued..I am not going to chase a man.

On top of dealing with all of these feelings of insecurity, which anger me, everyday I have to make myself look in the mirror (which I hate) and remember that I am a very accomplished 26 yr old female. I graduated from high school early with two diplomas, graduated from college with honors and two diplomas, have traveled the world, speak multiple languages..but at the end of the day…I’m still a lonely little girl hiding from the world between the pages of a book. I’ve been to counseling, I’ve tried joining new groups, making new friends, filling every hour of my day with something…but it still doesn’t take this cloak of loneliness away.

I have all these feelings running through my head and my heart 24/7..it’s like a bad dream you can’t wake up from..and the stress eating away at me. Work has been insane..I’ve felt like I couldn’t breathe all week. I love my job, I couldn’t ask for a better one..but this week it’s been a challenge to pull into work and put on a happy face. I don’t feel happy. I don’t want to act happy. I don’t want people to ask me how I am..because they really don’t care..they don’t. Have you ever noticed that if someone asks you how you are and you say you’re ok..they say that’s good and keep on walking? NO ONE CARES. I’ve sat in my office for five days, working extremely hard to get things done on time, coming in early and leaving late, listening to my music wishing for 5pm to get here faster. For the most part it’s like I live in a bubble for 8+ hours a day. It’s just me and music. There’s no one to eat lunch with because after being rejected invitation after invitation, I just stopped asking people. So I run. A lot. So hard that I can’t feel my legs. For an hour each day..it’s just me and my Nike’s killing pavement. Because it’s the only time I don’t feel alone…I feel alive.

Compound the stress of remodeling a house, packing to move, the whole James thing, loneliness and add graduate school onto it. Grad school has started and I’m loving/hating it all at the same time. I’m thankful I have an amazing best friend going through the program with me. He’s going to be my saving grace and I’m very well going to be his. I love Payden because he’s real. What you see is what you get. He took me to dinner after class Wednesday night so we could work on homework and looked at me. When I asked him why he was looking at me, he said tell me what’s wrong. He’s the only person this week that’s realized something was going on. It was refreshing to just talk. We talked until they kicked us out of the restaurant and then just sat in the parking lot talking and working on homework.

They should call grad school “sleep deprivation for the next two years of your life”. I have no idea how some of the people in my class do this. They have families, little children and full-time jobs. I’m single, have no kids (except a furry one), work full-time, coach and it’s kicking my butt. I fell asleep on my laptop the other night. I haven’t gone to bed until 1 or 2am every night trying to stay caught up on my homework and get ahead. Some nights I feel as if I’m reading Greek..but so far I’ve made all A’s on my assignments. So that’s been a positive this week.

All this to say..I’m having a really bad Friday and don’t want to give it a high five..but I’m going to make myself…here goes..

1 – I’m excited I’m actually finally in the MBA program. That in itself was a pretty big accomplishment for me :)

2 – I’m thankful I finally had one romantic dinner date.

3 – I’m excited that I finally get to move into my house this weekend :)

4 – I’m thankful for a brother that helps his sister paint her new house into the late hours of the night and helps her with accounting homework. One who forgives her when she takes out her anger at life out on him..one who hugs her and tells her she’s got this.

5 – I’m thankful that I have Monday off and can sleep all day if I want to.

 

So high-five for Friday finally being here :) What are you up to this holiday weekend my lovelies?

 

XoXo,

One Teary Eyed Lemon