Thursday, June 28, 2012

Peach, Cherry, and Blueberry Crisp

Another thing I did last weekend was whip up an awesome summer crisp for Greg and I on Sunday.  I actually was going to make just cherry almond crisp, but didn't have enough cherries, and had just stalked up on peaches and blueberries, so I decided to wing it with those added and see how it went.  The flavor combination was so good.  I definitely think these summer fruits belong together!

Peach, Cherry, and Blueberry Crisp (adapted from Cooking Light).

  • 2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
  • Four peaches, pitted and chopped into small pieces (skin on)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Combine fruit with granulated sugar, flour, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  2. Pour the cherry mixture into a baking dish coated with cooking spray. 
  3. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until thick and bubbly.
  4. While fruit bakes, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, almonds, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine butter and almond extract in a small bowl, and drizzle over oat mixture, stirring until moist clumps form.
  5. Remove fruit mixture from oven, and sprinkle evenly with the streusel topping. 
  6. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until streusel is golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes; serve warm, with yogurt, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.

The almond flavor also really stands out in this, so if you love almonds like I do, you will love this.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In The Past Week...

Hey all!  I've been pretty busy lately, traveling, working, and jumping from one outing with friends to the next.

Last week I was in DC for a few days for work.  I also got to play a bit though and saw my good friends Alison and Michelle.  We had dinner at Carlyle in Shirlington, one of my favorites in the area.

When I got back to Charlotte, I made plans with Erin to get froyo.  We haven't seen each other much lately, and my heart was broken for her when she lost her sweet pup, Emma.  You know froyo cures broken hearts right?

I got a mix of white chocolate mousse and coconut with mostly chocolatety toppings.

I think it was just what both of us needed.   I also got to meet her new puppy Lucy.  She's basically a ball of golden fur.

How cute is she??

Friday night I headed to Lindsay's baby shower.  I'm really happy for Lindsay.  She's been been through some major struggles in trying to have a baby, like I have, and totally deserves this :)  Gives me hope too!

Her husband made ALL the food for the event!  Amazing.  I really want to send Greg over for cooking lessons.

Saturday involved some much needed house cleaning, a little shopping, and a trip to Earthfare for some groceries.  It was a pretty low-key day and I ended it with a viewing of the Notebook.  It was just one of those nights, you know?

Sunday we got lucky and Greg's trip got dropped, so he actually got to come home a couple days before he was supposed to- rare!  We took the opportunity to get lunch out at Kennedy's with Clyde.  I love that it's dog friendly and they also have fans and misters on the deck to try to keep you cooler in the heat.

I went all out and got a cheddar burger and sweet potato fries.  Delicious.

Luckily we had plans to walk off some of this meal.  We went to Freedom Park after lunch.  You might recognize some of the scenery from this season's Bachelorette.  They've filmed in this park a bunch.

We had a really nice day together, I'm glad Greg was able to come home early.  Hope you guys are having a good week too.  It sucks to be back at work!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Good Food, Great Friends

I have such a great group of friends in Charlotte.  Sometimes Greg and I talk about the possibility of moving to Houston since he is based there, but one of the main things keeping me in Charlotte are my friends.  They are awesome.  For the past 3 years or so, my "running group friends" (hardly any of us go anymore, but most of us met there)  have kept me happy and entertained, which means a lot to me with a husband that is away all the time.  We're always exchanging emails and texts, every other week or so, organizing our next dinner or brunch.  Saturday night we met up at Kelly's house, which is becoming sort of a regular thing since they like to entertain and it's sort of centrally located.

I arrived to Kelly prepping some strawberry pudding in the kitchen.

The dinner was my friend Gibson's idea and was potluck.  I contemplated bringing pasta salad, but then decided to step out of my comfort zone a little and do Bobby Flay's potato salad instead.  I actually don't think I have EVER made potato salad!  

It was good, but I actually used less of the chipotle sauce and cayenne than was recommended in the recipe. A few years ago I made a Bobby Flay chili and it was pretty much the hottest thing I've ever had, so I tend to tone it down when it comes to his spice recommendations now.  I think I should have made it a little bit hotter though, it was pretty tame.  

Other featured items were:

Brad and Kelly's goat cheese and pepper jelly crostini.

And their prosciutto and cantaloupe skewers.

Plus Josie's veggies and ranch, and a goat cheese log with crackers.

I missed pictures of a few more of the individual items, but Gibson brought bacon cheeseburger and brisket sliders, Josh brought Moroccan meatballs, Brad made a batch of pimento cheese, and Casey brought roasted veggies, all of which are on this plate.

I also did something I haven't done in a while.  I made my blueberry pie, which is famous among bloggers!

All but one slice, which I managed to save for Greg, were eaten.  I literally pulled it out of the oven 10 minutes before I left, so it was even still warm when we ate it.  I really need to make blueberry pie more often.  I forgot how delicious it is...

Anyway, it was another fun night with my good friends.  Good food, and great company.  

Sunday I hit the road for DC.  It was a long drive, but I made it here safely and have been enjoying catching up with some DC friends while I'm here for a brief couple days for work.

Catch you guys on the flip side :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Metro CrossFit

Wednesday night I went to a free CrossFit preview class at Metro Fitness in their new location.  Jen had sent out an email letting us know they had the classes going on this week and I thought it would be fun to mix up my workout, so I went on Wednesday night after work.  The last time I did a CrossFit class was when the original Metro location opened with a bunch of my blogger friends, so it's obviously been a while.

When I arrived, the gym was pretty empty and I was early for class, so I took the opportunity to get some pictures of the new gym, while checking out the equipment and layout.

Like Metro's other location, they have a big AstroTurf area.  There are also a line of treadmills and row machines, plus lots of other equipment.

By the time we got started, our group was quite huge.  We started our workout with a light jog out and back on the Astro Turf, then moving into high knees and butt kicks in different laps.  We also sashayed out and back and did like an inch-worm move to get our heart rates going.  Next we did some arm circles.

Once warmed up, we moved into a demo of each cross fit station.  Our WOD (workout of the day) was:
  • Bear crawls up and down the Astro Turf
  • Ball Slams
  • Barbell Snatches (I think that's what they're called)
  • Rowing machine
Because we had such a large group, we ended up just doing each station timed for a minute with 15 seconds to rotate in between, and a minute to rest/hydrate at the end of each round of four, which we did 3 or 4 times.

I thought the barbell exercises were the hardest.  I've actually been doing more strength training in the last couple months, so I think that helped me, but even still, I thought it was tough.

I liked the ball slams and the row machines the best.  I should do more row machine workouts.  Good times.

The work out was great.  I was sweaty, but actually not too sore the next day, which made me happy and feel like the strength training I've been doing lately is actually helping.  I'm not sure when my next CrossFit workout will be, but I definitely enjoyed this one.  Thanks for having me Metro!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Life In iPhone Pics

I think I kind of have writer's block lately.  I just feel like I don't really have a lot to say.  I still take pictures and live my life kind of the same as I always do, but it just doesn't seem worthy of a post sometimes.  Anyway, I was looking through my phone and I have a plethora of iPhone pictures, so this is "my life lately in iPhone pics".

This is the front of a Coast Guard boat I got to go on a couple weeks ago.

Sweet Potato pasta I bought in Seattle, served with a sauce made of cream cheese, walnuts, garlic, butter, and parmesan cheese.  Decadent.

Probably kind of hard to tell from this picture, but I burned the crap out of my fingers with the flat iron one day.

One of a gazillion photos I sent to Greg while he was travelling in the last couple weeks.

Clyde and I chillin on the deck reading 50 Shades of Grey together.

Grilled cheddar, apples, and spinach.  Do it.

Bank of America Stadium (where the Carolina Panthers play).  Was there for work the other day.
Brownie with Archer Farms Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel ice cream on top, plus a drizzle of caramel.

Beer consumed at The Liberty with friends.

What kind of pictures to you have in your phone?  I have about 300 more pictures of Clyde in mine.  Like I said, Greg and I like to send pictures of him back and forth to each other all. day. long.  It's an obsession, I realize this.

Hopefully I'll have something more exciting to share next time!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tomato Basil Pasta Salad

Saturday I attended my friend Sara's baby shower.  Yes, I survived, for those of you wondering.  It actually wasn't as bad as I was thinking it might be, but there were four pregnant women, three with babies, and the only other none pregnant/none mom was about 25 and not married, so this is kind of my life right now- pregnancy and babies everywhere.  It is seriously hard to avoid it.  These are my friends, so I want to see them, despite it being hard sometimes.  I do what I have to do.  I did go for beers with a bunch of the guys after work on Friday and that may become a more regular thing because that was seriously a breath of fresh air for me to be around them, even if crude jokes were told.  Hanging out with guy friends might actually be the key to escaping babyville when I need it.

Anyhoo, the shower was very cute, and Sara was all smiles opening one cute baby gift after another.

We were asked to bring an appetizer or dessert to the shower, which, in typical Brittney fashion, I forgot til the morning of the shower and was tweeting Jen to ask if we were supposed to bring something.  Also in typical- I decided to try and make something out of stuff I already had in the house, so I wouldn't have to go to the grocery store.  I remembered I have a fresh basil plant from my mom outside and noticed the large container of tomatoes I had sitting on the counter, and started brainstorming recipes around those items.  I basically came up with a tomato/basil pasta salad.

Tomato Basil Pasta Salad

1 lb your choice of pasta (I used Barilla Plus Penne)
1/3- 1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 cups of diced fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup diced marinated artichoke hearts
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 of a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
fresh mozzarella cheese/fresh parmesan cheese (optional)


Chop your tomatoes and try to soak up some of the extra juice with paper towels.  Add to a bowl with the olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning and garlic.  Cover and place in the fridge for about two hours.  Also- you can use infused olive oil if you prefer.  I used half regular, half lemon infused olive oil.

Cook your pasta to al dente.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Mix pasta with the tomato mixture, diced artichoke hearts, then add the fresh basil, squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper.  You can add the cheeses if you wish, I served mine with the cheeses on the side so they were optional.

At the baby shower, I served myself a healthy portion of pasta salad and followed that with a mouth watering chocolate cupcake.

Another bright side to baby showers- cake :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Hiking We Will Go

Monday I was off for Memorial Day and Greg and I had a rare entire day together.  Mostly, our time together consists of evenings after I get home from work, since Greg tends to usually get days off during the week and hasn't had a weekend off in a while.  We thought about what we should do together, and I suggested going for a hike at Crowder's Mountain, since we hadn't been for a while.

We decided to bring Clyde too, which we knew might be tough at certain points since it can get steep and rocky.  He did awesome though!  He was running right up parts that even Greg and I were struggling with!

It was a warm day, so we made sure to pack a lot of water for ourselves and for Clyde and take lots of water breaks.  After a while, we took a lunch break and ate some Subway subs we had carried up.

After finishing our subs and re hydrating, we headed up the rest of the mountain.

We eventually reached a summit point with a nice view.

It wasn't quite the top of the mountain- there was a little more trail left, but we could tell Clyde was panting a lot and didn't want to push him too much, so we figured this was a good place to stop.

We set our stuff down and hung around this area for a while.

Once we were cooled down and re hydrated, we headed back down the mountain.

It was kind of hot day, but it was pleasantly cooler in the woods, so not too bad.  We had a great time.  Greg and I used to do a lot more hiking when we lived in Virginia.  We were fairly close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and it used to be fun to head over there for a day and do some hiking.  We should really try to go more often here.  Plus, it was good exercise!

Are you into hiking?
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