Never eat Campbell's again!!!

   Tomato Soup made from scratch:

-4/5 tomatoes, quartered
-5 cloves of peeled garlic
-2 white onions peeled and quartered
-1/4 cup of olive oil
-salt and pepper
-2 cups veggie broth
-2 tablespoons of brown sugar
-1 teaspoon of lemon juice
-wheat bread loaf 

To make croutons:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut bread loaf into inch pieces and put into a large bowl.
3. Drizzle olive oil, a heaping pinch of salt and pepper, and mix by turning with a spatula. 
4. Put the cubes onto a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning with a spatula about every 8  minutes. 


To make soup: 
1. Crank up the oven to 450. 
2. Put quartered tomatoes, onions, and whole cloves of garlic onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper (don't be scared!) 
3. Put into the oven to caramelize for 30 minutes. 

4. Get a nice Dutch oven or large pot out and put in veggie broth and roasted tomato/onion/garlic mix. 
5. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. 
6. Next is the messy part (or at least at my house)! Transfer the soup into a mixer, only small batches at a time, and blend to your desired consistency! (Tip: I always have out another small pot to put the blended soup in while I blend the other batches) 
7. Once all that tomatoey goodness is in the Dutch oven again, add in the secret ingredients: brown sugar and lemon juice, and any extra salt and pepper to taste! 
8. Garnish with those toasty homemade croutons and a grilled cheese sandwich!! YUMMY!! 

xxxx's- A


Bella Pottery: Girls Night Out!

Do you and your girlfriends ever find yourselves at girls night out sitting at the same bar, eating at the same restaurants, walking through the same park? Well E and I have good news for you!! Girls night out can still involve that favorite glass of wine and yummy treats AND you can create your own masterpiece to use time and time again! Let us introduce Bella Pottery to your reservoir of fun nights with the gals.

Check out these awesome pieces E and I made there a few nights ago...
Ashlyn's before...

Ashlyn's after!!

Check out Bella Pottery's website for upcoming classes, weekly specials, and store hours!

xxxx's, A


Trip Recap - Blowing Rock & Boone, NC

A few weekends ago Ashlyn & I went to Blowing Rock for some relaxation & fun in the sun! We had a blast walking around downtown Blowing Rock, eating out in Boone & tubing down the new river.

Heading up the mountain!

Pre-dinner cocktails at the cabin.

High-five Cobo, an excellent sushi restaurant has finally made it's way to Boone!

We lucked out with perfect weather for floating down the river!

Tubing down the New River is a perfect way to spend the afternoon. For about $10 a person you can plop your butt on a tube, tie up to your friends, and float for a few hours down the river! Don't forget your cooler (they have "cooler tubes" for your convenience) full of your drink of choice. Be sure to check out High Mountain Expeditions to help plan your adventures the next time you're in Boone!


HOMEMADE Cheesy Macaroni Hamburger Helper

This recipe was so super simple and so delicious that I will never make "box" hamburger helper again! 

1 pound of cooked noodles of your choice
1 pound of ground turkey
4 finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
2 cups milk
Garlic powder
Chili powder
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice- I used cheddar 

1. Cook noodles and leave to cool
2. Brown meat and red onions with garlic powder and chili powder for seasoning
3. Put meat on paper towel to drain after browned
4. Put milk, cheese, and small spoon of butter in pasta pot with a bit of salt and pepper, stir for about 4-5 minutes.
5. Add pasta and meat/onions to cheese mixture. Stir in green onions for color before serving! 
VOILA! Enjoy this delicious childhood meal and don't feel like you are eating processed junk! 


Avocado Jalapeño Verde Salsa

My boyfriend & I love spicy food. For him, the hotter the better and for me, well as long as my mouth isn't on fire I'm happy. This recipe is a perfect balance for us. On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd say this salsa is about a 7.5 or an 8. It's spicy enough to make you want to keep reaching for your drink ... particularly if it's a beer or margarita but not spicy enough to the point where it is intolerable. This salsa is great to make for dinner parties (especially if it's Mexican themed) and it's so addictive that your friends will be knocking at your door holding bags of tortilla chips!

10 Fresh Jalapeños
10 Pickled Jalapeños (reserve juice) 
1 White Onion
½ Bushel of Cilantro  
2 Avocados   
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Lime  
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cut & de-seed the fresh Jalapeños and rinse them off. Chop the stems off of the pickled Jalapeños, slice the avocado and roughly chop the onion.

Place all of the ingredients in the food processor. Add the juice from the pickled Jalapeños and pulse until you get your desired consistency.


We made this salsa last night to snack on while we cooked dinner and since it was just the two of us we cut the recipe in half. Enjoy!