Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The other Fall Pie: Cushaw Pie


In working on today's Tasty Tuesday post I have learned that the Cushaw is a native heirloom squash variety to Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi. You know I love a good heirloom. Doesn't it make you feel fancy?


So last year on our annual trip to Carver's Apple Orchard the sweetest old Appalachian lady told my hubs that cushaw were better than pumpkin in pies and that was all it took. We had a cushaw in our car before I realized it. I was not excited at all. Well, maybe a little...but not much. I mean when you see these squash you think, "Oh, look at that weird gourd. That would look pretty on my porch." Little did I know people cooked these things. But, like most seemingly crazy things my husband suggests, I did enjoy this new adventure. And cushaw pies are quite good!


To prepare my cushaw I cut the squash in half, cleaned the squash out like you would a pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes. I then placed the cubed cushaw on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer and roasted for 40-60min (or until tender). Let the cushaw cool at least 10 min before placing it into a food processor (just put about one cup of cushaw in the food processor at a time to blend evenly). Once you have 2 cups of pureed squash you are all set!

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large mixing bowl then add the eggs and vanilla and wisk together. Add the heavy cream last and stir to combine. Pour equal amounts into unbaked pastry crust and bake for 50-60 minutes in a 375 degree oven on the lowest rack. I prefer the pie at room temperature but only because the consistency is more like a typical pumpkin pie. Eating it warm out of the oven is yummy too. And I'll share the perfect whipped topping to serve alongside this slice of Fall next week!

Many thanks to the Pretend Texas Farmer for the yummy recipe.

-Alison

Friday, September 26, 2014

TGIF: Thank Goodness I Found Sangria & Cognac...




...no, not the alcohol...though it is the weekend and both sangria and cognac would be appropriate for fall. Libations aside, we are talking about the Pantone colors for fall. Alison and I picked our favorites-sangria and cognac! I love the richness of both hues and how fall-appropriate they are. 

-Laurie & Alison

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Backyard Birthday Inspiration



This weekend my hubby turns the big 4-0 and we are having a backyard get-together. I didn't want to do anything tacky and "over the hill"...I'll save that for ten more years...so I decided to still go with the expected black but use black and white or red and white gingham. I plan on lighting up the backyard with torches and string lights throughout our trees and blankets on the ground. We're having a picnic, so I ordered some carriers and lots of little cups and containers for my dad's Boston Butt , slaw, potato salad, rolls and Greek chips. I've collected wine bottles and spray painted them to use for a lawn bowling lane, complete with a little pumpkin as the bowling ball. We are looking forward to spending the evening with friends and family to celebrate!
-Laurie

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: A look ahead and back to Fall





On this lovely first day of Fall I am excited and annoyed. Excited for all that is to come with this wonderful season and annoyed with my stupid technical difficulty that is preventing me from sharing a new recipe with you today. Don't worry, I will share it next week!

However, in light of this lovely new season I would love to remind you or share with you some of my favorite fall Tasty Tuesday posts we have done in the past.

First up: Stock your pot and your kitchen as we enter into soup season with some homemade stock. Simmer your afternoon away to make some liquid gold that will make your soups sing.


Second: Butternut squash goodness in a bowl. This is one of those dishes you must try. The hardest part is peeling the squash. Oh, and not having leftovers because your guests will be licking their bowls clean.

Last but not least: Because you have to have a little sweet bite after you clean your bowls. These fig cookies are much better than what you can find in the store. While they may be a little sticky and messy the end result is so worth it.


Happy First Day of Fall!!

-Alison

Friday, September 19, 2014

TGIF: Thank Goodness I Found Fall Coziness!





It's no secret that Alison and I love fall. I know it's not quite fall yet, but next Tuesday it officially will be! The crisp mornings and evenings are my favorite. I got my first pumpkin spice latte of the season this morning and left my windows rolled down so I could feel the cool air. I just love it! I can't wait for the leaves to start their change and it to be cool enough for indulgent hearty soups and cozying up by the fire for the evening. Check out our Pinterest for more inspiration! 

-Laurie & Alison

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rehearsal Dinner, the Charleston way



My second brother-in-law is married off and my mother-in-law is now done with rehearsal dinners. Each of the three was unique and perfect; the McQuain girls were treated like queens when they entered this family.

The final rehearsal dinner was held in the upstairs room of Magnolia's in downtown Charleston. The setting was elegant with hints of military and seaside living and the food was absolutely perfect. The menu wouldn't have been complete without shellfish over grits and "sweet biscuits" and berries for dessert. I loved the black and white stripes paired with the gold. Lavender was the bride's color of choice for the big day so it accented everything all weekend. I just loved this head table. So perfect. And Branch Design Studio did an incredible job with the florals.

Just beautiful.

-Alison



 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hump Day Pun!


Ok guys. When we were in Fremont, a Seattle neighborhood, we popped in a little store with some art that I am still kicking myself for not buying. I love everything about Frida Clements' work. Just love it. Not only do I hope to have a small collection of her Pun work, I also hope to gift her work to others. Consider this a virtual gift.

So, on this hump day I hope to bring a little smile to your face and chuckle to your belly. Not to mention a little encouragement...don't worry about fitting in. You are so awesome just as you are! Laurie and I are quite "fawned" of you.

And check out Frida Clements!

-Alison


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Mom's Sweet Potato Apple Casserole



As with most situations in life, I turned to my mom to fix a problem. The problem was that I had a Tasty Tuesday post coming up for something fall-related and had no time to cook or come up with anything because I a) procrastinated b) was busy with multiple piddly projects that took up all my time over the weekend c) had a doctor's appointment to, lo and behold, find out I had stinkin' asthma...the correct answer is d) all of the above.
So, naturally, I turned to my mom. She promptly came up with something and was already on the way to the grocery store to buy the ingredients and make a fabulous fall casserole for dinner. When in doubt or despair, ask Mom. Not only did she whip up something that I am now craving (and I've never even had it!), she styled this magazine-worthy shot too.
I know it was good because my dad said so. Morale of the story: just ask your mom, she can do it better.
Thanks, Mom!
-Laurie


Ingredients
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 cooking apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar plus 1/4 cup divided
1 t cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup melted butter
Chopped pecans

Place sweet potatoes in a saucepan covered with water. 
Bring to a boil and cook 25 minutes or until tender. Drain, cool and slice. 
Preheat oven to 350. Arrange sliced sweet potato and apple alternating. Sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg. Mix flour, remaining brown sugar, butter. Sprinkle over the sweet potatoes and apples. Top with pecans. Bake for 30 minutes.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's Fall, Y'all!



This weekend made my fall loving heart very happy. I wore boots and a cardigan and kept the windows open...ah, fall bliss. It's fall, y'all! I know the calendar says it's still summer but I say pish-posh (by the way I never say pish-posh in real life). I had to tell myself to wait on the mums twice this weekend. Lowe's had adorable baby mums and Kroger had the mum color combo I'm going for this year! I definitely want a beautiful dark purple mum and a light purple one as well. I'm thinking of pairing those with either the orange rusty color like above or doing a moody burgundy...I think I'm feeling the moody burgundy. I don't have a big front porch, so I have to have a lot of impact with very few items. While I am loving this mood board, I'm also inspired by these Pinterest images as well. David and I are planning on making some pumpkins that look like our cats!
-Laurie





Friday, September 12, 2014

TGIF: Thank Goodness I Found the Farm Life!






Fall is so close! I broke out my boots today and am loving the cooler temps that we have all of a sudden. This week Alison and I were inspired by the farm. The simple farm life is always appealing this time of year when the leaves change and the sweaters start to come out. Also, how cute is that baby goat?!

-Laurie & Alison

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bridal Luncheon, the Charleston Way


A wedding in Charleston is only a dream for a lot of girls. Not for my sister-in-law! This Charleston girl by way of Tennessee fell in love with a Tennessee boy studying at the Citadel and it was only natural for them to celebrate their nuptials in this classic southern city. The start of the wedding celebrations was a lovely bridal luncheon hosted by our mother-in-law's closest friends. These ladies are pros.

Katherine's wedding colors were lavender and ivory. This past winter was a bit rough on plants like lavender but the ladies were able to find a farm in East Tennessee that had a few surviving plants for the picking. Anne Marie's helped fill in the gaps with some Larkspur stems. Pier 1 and Hobby Lobby had a few items to help with finishing touches.

The Harbour Club provided the perfect setting and a delicious southerners brunch of chicken and waffles. It was so good! We even had a custom lavender brunchy cocktail!

-Alison





The hostesses with the mostess, our mother-in-law and the bride!


Sisters!! Will they hate me for the photo on the left? Maybe. Lots of sisterly jabs to catch up on. 

Her newer Charleston friends...through thick and thin

Her sweet way-back friends

The uncovered rooftop that was a little blazing in July

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer>>Fall Transition




The forecast here in Nashville for today is low 90's, then starting Thursday and hopefully staying the highs are in the 70's! That is my ideal temperature! I love layering, love the crisp air and this time of year when fall teases and hints at you. I am breaking out my boots in the next few days and couldn't be happier. I know it's a little difficult when you have cool mornings and warmer afternoons then a cool evening, so of course layering is key. 
Take your simple black dress up a notch with some classy, sassy boots and an awesome fitted jacket for work. Or take a short-sleeved shirt in a fall color or motif, like the plaid and add a chunky sweater and booties to your casual look for running around. Fall is the best time for outdoor parties, picnics at vineyards or sipping cider by the campfire. Chillier weather begs for dark shades like navy in a motorcycle jacket, amazing low booties and a scarf to keep you warm and trendy-dark florals are big for the season! How are you transitioning from the 90's to the 70's?

-Laurie

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Final Days of Summer Grilling, Okra


As summer comes to an end so does the fresh summer produce. This past weekend we visited the farmers' market and picked up some of the last peaches, some okra and corn. We had the honor of cooking dinner for some friends who are expecting a new little one in a few short weeks and planned to grill steaks for a salad. Oh, and the corn as requested by the mom-to-be. While preparing everything for the hot coals I had the novel idea to throw everything on the grill. The okra, peaches, everything. We also have a ton of jalapenos right now and tossed those with a little oil, salt and pepper and threw those on.

If you have never tried grilled okra I highly recommend it! I am so sad that I have just discovered it's goodness at the end of the season! Growing up we either ate okra fried or pickled. Last Fall I learned how tasty it can be in soups and this season on the grill!

Grilled Okra
Okra
Skewers soaked in water (to help prevent burning)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Okra can make you a bit itchy when preparing it so either grab some latex gloves or work quickly and wash your hands often. I went with method two and was fine. Rinse your okra, dry and then toss in a bowl with enough olive oil for a very light coating and to have something for your seasoning to stick to. You may trim the stem without cutting into the okra; I left mine as I knew I wouldn't be eating that part anyway. Place the okra on the skewer horizontally and get as many on there as you can. Throw on the grill for 3-5 minutes per side depending on how much char you prefer. 

In preparing to grill on Saturday I found this recipe that I would love love love to try. It sounds so good! Here is another one that could help you use some of your basil. I wanted to make this sauce but didn't plan well enough. Get out there this week/weekend and experiment with the final days of summer produce and fire that grill up!

-Alison

Monday, September 8, 2014

Musical Monday: INTL

 

A portion of my love for these guys comes from nostalgia of care-free college days gone by and shows in smoke-filled rooms; kids don't even know what that is like any more. However, the majority of my love is a result of the quality artistry INTL possesses. I have just pre-ordered "Mystery" that releases on 9/16. To pre-order your copy visit this site and take a listen to two of the songs from the new record.  





Meanwhile, I've got a couple tracks for you to listen to here but please visit their site and learn a little more about these four talented Nashville-based musicians. 

10.18.14 The High Watt w/ Farewell Flight Nashville, TN 

-Alison

-P.S. Have a great Monday!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Saying Yes! at The Dress Theory {Nashville}


I am so blessed to have gotten two incredible sisters recently. And thankfully they have humored me by letting me share their wedding excitement with you! Katherine chose a dress at The Dress Theory in Nashville almost a year ago and now that the knot is tied I can finally share what she decided on!

The Dress Theory is the sweetest little shop in Houston Station near downtown. They started in Seattle and have expanded to Nashville and San Diego. Nashville is lucky to have them as some of the designers they carry cannot be found anywhere else in town (I'm fairly certain). And Camille is the sweetest.



The Dress Theory's shop is so fun and cozy. We had a great time hanging out waiting on the next option. And I'm so glad I was able to join Katherine, her mom, step-mom, our mother-in-law and her grandmother! Such a sweet day.

Hayley Paige "Sheridan"
Left: Claire Pettibone "Queen Anne's Lace" Right: Sarah Seven "Mademoiselle"

This was a crowd favorite. I love this dress!

Left: Katie May "Poipu" Right: Sarah Seven "Practically Perfect"


Claire Pettibone "Kristine"
And then Katherine tried the dress she had been dreaming about...
Winifred Bean "Tulipe"

She said yes!! It is so stunning, so unique, so chic. Wait until you see her on the wedding day!!



Thanks again to The Dress Theory for making Katherine's experience so wonderful and for putting up with her excited crowd!

-Alison
 

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