Georgia Aquarium - Fearless Baby in awe!This giveaway is now CLOSED + the winner was selected using Congratulations to commenter #36, Ally – I’ll email you with details! aquarium-winner

I am a HUGE fan of aquariums. As a Boston-raised child, the New England Aquarium was one of my favorite places to visit, and as I have grown up, I’ve continued to enjoy exploring aquariums all over the country. So, when the folks at the Georgia Aquarium invited me, my husband, and Fearless Baby to come visit, I was SO excited. So, we loaded up the car and headed down to Atlanta (Baby’s first roadtrip!) to check it out. And y’all, this is an AMAZING aquarium – I’m so excited to share some of the highlights of our visit. The above picture of Fearless Baby was taken while she stared in utter awe at the creatures swimming in front of her. Neat, huh?!

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Spring Vegetable PastaSpring Vegetable Pasta (ingredients)I’m so excited to share this beautiful pasta dish with y’all today 1) because it’s delicious and 2) because it uses really neat cooking techniques. First, this recipe interestingly uses *every part* of the vegetables. The usually-discarded parts, like the stalky asparagus ends and tough leek ends, are utilized to make a super-flavorful enriched vegetable broth that cooks the pasta, risotto-style. Cool, huh? Then, all the edible veggies are cooked individually in stages, to ensure that each is perfectly crisp-tender – no mushy veggies here!

This dish is truly a perfect combination of flavors and textures. The pasta tastes delightfully nutty from being toasted and since it’s cooked risotto-style, the sauce becomes creamy and lush. The vegetables are perfectly cooked and the herb/lemon mixture added at the end lends tons of bright flavor. The result is truly one of the most delicious, balanced pasta dishes I’ve ever had. I served this with extra parmesan cheese, buttery bread and a crisp salad, and my husband + I both agreed that it was one of the tastiest dishes we’ve had in a long time. Add this to your must-try list, friends!

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Simple Homemade Dinner Rolls

by amy on 25 May 2014

Homemade DInner Rolls

Today, I’m participating in a fun blogger event — the Secret Recipe Club. How does it work? Every blogger is secretly assigned another blog + chooses a recipe from that blog to make. On reveal day (today!), all of our posts go up at the same time, + everyone gets to see who was assigned to their blog, which recipe they chose, + how it turned out. Fun, huh?

I was assigned Angels Homestead, a wonderful blog full of awesome homestyle recipes, crafts, menu plans and more! After reading through lots of April’s fabulous recipes, I stumbled across her post about fluffy dinner rolls. They looked and sounded SO amazing that I knew I had to give ‘em a try. I gathered up the ingredients and was super pleased at how quickly + easily they came together. And the final result? SO awesome – these rolls are perfectly soft, fluffy, sweet, and seriously addictive. As you can see from the pictures below, they absolutely got Fearless Baby’s stamp of approval! =)

Thank you to April for introducing me to these incredibly wonderful dinner rolls + to the Secret Recipe Club for connecting me, yet again, with fantastic bloggers + amazing recipes! For all my previous Secret Recipe Club recipes, click here – there are TONS of awesome ones!

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Spicy Peanut and Sesame Noodles

by amy on 21 May 2014

Spicy Peanut and Sesame NoodlesIf I had to choose only one type of food to eat for the rest of my life, it would unquestionably be pasta. It is absolutely, undoubtedly my favorite food. While most of my pasta posts tend to be either Italian-inspired or American comfort food, I do also have a major weakness for Asian noodles – especially peanut noodles, noodle soups (like pho and ramen) and curried noodles. Last week, I made my Slow-Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken (which is SO good!) + since it’s a dish with Asian-inspired flavors, I decided to try out a new side dish to accompany it – these Spicy Peanut and Sesame Noodles. And y’all, they turned out SO tasty!

They’ve got a great balance of flavors, between the rich peanut butter, the bright ginger/cilantro/lime, the sweet honey, the salty soy, and the spicy bite from the sriracha. And the textures balance beautifully, too – the creamy peanut butter against the crisp, thinly-sliced veggies and the crunchy sesame seed/peanut topping. These noodles are also fab because of their versatility – they can be a vegetarian-friendly main dish, or, they make a awesome side dish alongside an Asian-inspired chicken, pork, or tofu entree. Serve ‘em hot, at room temperature, or even cold straight out of the fridge – they truly taste delicious all three ways!

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Fruit Salad With Lime-Mint Dressing

by amy on 14 May 2014

Fruit Salad with Lime-Mint DressingI’m a huge fan of fruit salad when it’s made well. The stuff from a can? Yuck. But a homemade version full of fresh, ripe fruit and brightened up with a homemade lime-mint simple syrup? Heavenly! Last year, after Fearless Baby was born, a bunch of friends generously brought us meals and snacks. Our friend Beth brought a lime-mint fruit salad and it was so wonderfully delicious that I asked her for her recipe straightaway – it’s now my go-to fruit salad for parties, potlucks, and picnics. The fresh, juicy fruit is complemented perfectly by the slightly tart, bright, citrusy lime-mint dressing.

This salad is particularly fab because you can customize it depending on your favorite fruits and what is in season locally. I choose pineapple because it’s my husband’s favorite fruit, and strawberries and blueberries because they’re starting to appear locally at the farmers markets, and that combination turned out beautifully. Peaches will be in season here soon, and they would be a fabulous addition to this salad. As long as you keep the ratio of fruit to the lime-mint syrup the same, you can experiment endlessly with different flavor and texture combinations. So give this awesome fruit salad a try, and do report back what fantastic combinations you come up with!

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