Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Welcome to the first installment of a new series that I hope you'll look forward to reading as much as I'm looking to creating: Brunch Your Way Through the SEC.

During each of Texas A&M's conference games, I'll be posting a brunch recipe and complementary cocktail for us all to enjoy. The recipes won't be your typical tailgate fare. I'm classing these up to bring a little extra fancy to our everyday lives. And really what's not to love? Brunch and cocktails is pretty much the best combination around. Get a group of friends together & celebrate your weekend!

This Thursday, Texas A&M will take on South Carolina in the first ever match on the SEC Network. It's going to be a tough game, for sure. I can't stop thinking about it & have been driving myself crazy with excitement.

This dish is inspired by the state fruit of South Carolina - peaches - and the breakfast food of the south - grits. It's a fairly easy recipe to put together and it can all be done in less than 30 minutes. May I suggest pouring yourself a Summer Peach Punch before pulling the pots & pans out? That way you'll be ready for a second cocktail before brunch is even served. At least that's what I do...

Summer Peach Punch

{ View the recipe on Fueled by Cocktails }

A simple and smooth blend of peaches, grapefruit vodka and rum. It goes down smooth and leaves you wanting another.

What you need to make it: Peaches. Rum. Triple Sec. Cranberry Juice. Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka. And honey.

Tools needed: Muddler. Mixing glass. Hawthorne Strainer. Crushed Ice.


  • 1/2 peach, peeled & cut into small pieces
  • 1 oz. Rum
  • 3/4 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • 1 oz. Ruby Red Vodka
  • Honey, to taste

Serves 1


In a mixing glass, muddle peaches until mushy. Add rum & stir. Fill glass with ice and add remaining ingredients. Stir until chilled & strain into your drinking vessel. The more fun the glass, the better.

Use the honey to taste. If your peaches aren't quite ripe or sweet enough, add more honey. But try & let the peaches do the talking. It'll be better that way, I promise.

Thyme Polenta & Peach Chutney

While this is the south, I decided to switch out the more traditional choice of grits with polenta . This is for a variety of reasons, but polenta is just easier to elevate. When I make grits all I want is cheddar cheese & a stick of butter in it. With this polenta, instead, there's actually no use of fat in it. So while it's still corn, it's not terrible for you. The peach chutney, on the other hand, is as decadent as can be. The two balance each other out nicely. And the poached egg is just the runny yolk needed to make it a complete brunch dish.


  • 3 Peaches, Peeled & Cored
  • 1 TBS Butter
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1/4 c. Honey
  • 1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Polenta
  • 1 TBS Fresh Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. Arugula

Serves 4


Step 1: Make Your Peach Chutney

Melt butter in a pan on high heat until browned & add red onions. Stir for 5-10 minutes until translucent. Add peaches and mix until warmed. Add honey, apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper & salt to taste. Mix until fully combined and let simmer for 20 minutes on medium heat.

Step 2: Make Your Polenta

When the chutney has about 10 minutes to go, boil 3 cups water in a pot. Add polenta and stir slowly for about 5 minutes. Add thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Take off the heat & let cool slightly. You want it to set otherwise this will turn into a porridge meal. And where's the class in that?

Step 3: Poach Your Eggs

When the chutney & polenta are done, then you can poach your eggs. Don't be tempted to do this earlier. The eggs will get cold. That chutney & polenta will not. So be patiend and wait until now.

If you don't have a handy egg poacher like I do, here's a great tutorial on how to poach eggs.

Step 4: Put it all Together

On four plates, evenly distribute the arugula. Carefully and artfully spoon polenta onto plates. (This is where you can impress your friends and make fun designs. I stuck with circles because that's the extent of my culinary scultping. But you can make it into whatever shape you'd like!) Add the peach chutney to the plate. And then top with your egg.

Cheers! Here's to a great football season. And lots of amazing brunches in our future!!

View the gallery below to see even more pictures....

Monday, August 25, 2014

To say my heart turned away from this space for awhile is an obvious statement. Posts stopped coming naturally and after a few forced attempts at posting, I gave up. For the first time in over three years, blogging just wasn't a priority of mine.

That reality stung. I was heart broken from the loss of a passion. But I stepped back, knowing that forcing it wasn't making it any better. So I escaped into other projects. I escaped into the woods. And I escaped to Seattle. I allowed my mind to see daily occurences as memories and not just blog posts. It was so....nice. Being in one place without imaging how to recreate it allowed my inner creative self to get the rest it needed.

I sat in a coffee shop in Seattle, watching the business casual hipsters on their way to work, while I sipped a fabulous latte & enjoyed the cool breeze coming up from the lake just down the hill. And words suddenly had meaning again. I could see how writing and creating blog posts would fit back into my life. I wrote out a plan and have made it happen. I couldn't be more thrilled.

So that's where I've been. Resting. Experiencing. Dreaming.

So where am I going? That's something I've been trying to answer for a few months now. The first stop was a literal move in blogging platforms. I've been with Blogger since the start, but it wasn't where I wanted to be anymore. I wanted to control my own space and I wanted all my websites to be as streamlined as possible. So, I moved my blog into Drupal, which is what Fueled by Cocktails & my portfolio website are also on. The sites can "talk" to each other more, and I'm able to make each site mirror each other for a more cohesive online presence. (I'm still working on the other two sites...) So with the change in platforms came a little facelift for this blog. Hope you like it.

(PS: There's a Random button. Over on the sidebar there's a "Random" button. When pressed, it brings up one old post from my past. It's a fun way to jump around my site & get a feel for this blog. I've been obsessively pressing it and am always delighted by its results.)

I'll also be writing more about food & cocktails. Fueled by Cocktails is my passion project & I really want to share more of that passion with you. I originally intended to blog over at Fueled by Cocktails, but decided I wanted to keep all of my writing in one place. The Fueled by Cocktail website will be my recipe index, and this will be its story.

Finally, in the the attempt to allow my creative self the rest it needs (and to accomodate for the freelance gigs I've started to take on), I will be writing here a little less. But that will mean better quality posts, which is what we all want anyway.

So to those who have made it through the journey with me, you're the best! There's so much more to come & I hope you'll stick around.

Much love,
Amy xoxo

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I've been slowly falling into the world of podcasts. It started innocently enough a few years ago with This American Life. It was popular, easy to access, referenced everywhere and something C really loved. Then I subscribed to The Moth, a direct result of listening to This American Life. And then came Democracy Now, which I listened to on my drive home, but I always tended to miss it so I just decided to bypass the radio altogether.

Podcasts bridge that gap between the times I can't focus on reading, but don't feel like listening to music. It fills moments with other's thoughts and words. They challenge me, intrigue me, frustrate me; make me laugh and make me cry. I've spent hours upon hours listening to podcasts and then even more hours talking to C about what we've heard.

Podcasts keep me up to date with current events and modern thought. They broaden my view of the world, by bringing stories from Afghanistan, reporters from Switzerland, interviews with Julian Assange and fictional tales from David Sedaris.

They've become the filler in my commute. The connection between me & the larger world.

After spending nearly a week in the car over the past two, I've listened through all my podcast subscriptions & decided to dive deeper into this world... and I went on a subscription spree. I added some popular, some informative, some sexy & flirtatious, some super specific to only a small crowd and some meant for everyone. It was really fun!

So now I have an iPhone full of podcasts and ears ready to listen. I'm looking forward to opening this little world up even more & seeing what I can find.

Are you a podcast listener? What's you're favorite? Tell me! ♥

Comments | Tags: my life
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Five Year Anniversary

Today, I'm the happiest I've ever been with C. It's not a happiness that is frivolous or naive, as it was during the early stages of our marriage, but one that is fought for and the result of a lot of hard, dedicated work.

Over the past year we've opened up to each other in a way I never dreamed possible. I hear older couples saying that at 10 years, 25 years, 40 years, they are more in love than they ever were. I always thought they were crazy for saying that. At year one, I didn't know how that was possible. And at year five, I now know the best is ahead of us, and this is a journey that has only begun.

Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary

Part of this new found security is the result of growing more secure in who I am as an individual. I've spent the better part of two years now really diving into me. This blog, my interests, my passions and priorities all shifted into something deeper, more intentional and with the long game in mind. I love myself - my mind, my personality, my body - more now than I ever have. I'm secure in who I am, and doubt myself less. I'm proud of who I am and what I'm capable of doing. And now, when I move forward into new things, it's from a place of inspiration and motivation instead of insecurity, boredom or complacency.

Part of our new security is that we are both in better places outside of the home. I'm in a job right now that is challenging and fulfilling. I'm constantly growing professionally, in an actual career, instead of just wasting my day away answering phones or filing expense reports. Discovering the world of web design & development fit so perfectly into my personality and abilities it's a wonder I didn't discover it sooner. (I can't get enough of it! Which is why I began freelance work.) C was able to get into a grad program, something he's been talking & dreaming about for years. Now it's here & he's attacking life with so much purpose and vigor.

Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary

To celebrate this deeper, more secure and much more fun relationship, as well as our five year anniversary, we decided to take a different approach than our usual downtown, late night partying. (Though that's still fun.) This year, we rented a cabin outside of Ruston, Louisiana. Home of Louisiana Tech and pretty much nothing else. It was a cabin with no internet, no TV and barely any phone service. It had a gas stove, gas oven, no dishwasher, a bed, some chairs, giant tub and was literally surrounded by a Louisiana moat. We had to drive my little car over a little bridge and it was quite the way to start our weekend of freedom.

We brought books, played games, cooked great food and talked like we never had before. It was a quiet, slow moving few days where we shard intimate secrets and reveled in this life we've been able to build for ourselves. It was magical. And at the end of it all, instead of wishing to be back to the comforts of our usual lives, we were even more desperate and hungry to know each other more, to dive even deeper than we had before.

Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary

Alas, not all get aways can last. We drove back home, went back to work, gave our dog belly rubs and went back to life. But today our house is different than last week. I can feel the difference. I can see how needed a weekend away was, and see how beneficial acknowledging our hard work and dedication to each other is.

It was a weekend of freedom. A weekend of love. A weekend of remembering.

I hope it's one weekend in the midst of many others like this that we'll get to experience together. ♥

Five Year Anniversary

Thursday, July 10, 2014

And just for fun.... us in high school. Nine years ago.
We're hitting that 10 year mark pretty soon. I can't wait ♥

My dearest, as we're embarking on another year of being us, I had to take some time to reflect on years past....

Year one was about settling in, enjoying ourselves and getting over the shock of what we'd done. We were so young, so poor, so naive. It was beautiful. It's easy to romanticize that time, so I'll admit it wasn't easy, but it was the start to something beautiful. And you have to start somewhere!

Year two was fun. We were transitioning out of college, playing with our growing nephew, experimenting with just living life as "adults". We were a little less young, a little less poor and a little less naive. I started this blog (yikes) and you jumped in right behind me to support my crazy. We went through vegetarian and vegan phases, lemon cayenne detox weeks and the Four Hour Body (you were right about that one, by the way). We kept busy, worked a ton of jobs, and just squeezed by... I'm so glad we kept up the hard work.

Year three was about growing as individuals. We were past college, finding our way in the world, through new jobs, new interests, new friends & a new house. We kept ourselves going one day, one weekend, one month at a time. But against the odds, we made it through. Older & more ready to take on another year.

Year four was about growing as a couple. We added a dog to our little clan, settled into new routines and developed new plans. We also settled even more into each other, learning to trust & love in a way that wasn't possible even a year ago. I love how much we've grown and matured over the past 12 months. The way you talk to me, look at me, rest with me is a blessing. I hope you feel the same.

Happy five years to us. I can't wait to see where we're at 365 days from now ♥

To see our marriage evolve over the years, here's all of my marriage posts. And year two, three & four.


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