Stuffed Vegas

For mom's birthday we wanted to get her something creative so I started searching pinterest for ideas. I came across a pin that I had pinned a while ago. I hadn't really thought twice about it because it wasn't a cheap gift but this was a great opportunity to get it for her. She has stuffed animal huskies (Shadow), beagles (Snoopy), boxers (Tyson) and can never find any that actually look like Vegas because she doesn't look like the "typical" Pit Bull since she is brindle. 

The website, Shelter Pups, has you send in pictures of your dog and the custom make a stuffed dog to match it! It was super easy, you pay a deposit, submit pictures and then they create it. I think it took about 2 weeks and then we got an email saying that she was ready. I was SO excited when I saw the pictures that they posted of her being done:

I went on, paid the rest of the fee and she got put in the mail the next day. This weekend we gave mom her gift and she loves it, Vegas is now sitting on her kitchen table for the time being :) If they were cheaper I would have one for Tyson, Snoopy & Shadow made! Love it!!

Produce Box

We signed up for the Produce Box, a local company that delivers NC fresh fruits and veggies to your door every week. Since one box may be a lot for just me and Trey, my parents split it with us also. It has been nice to have fresh yummy produce every week.

We also wanted to broaden our horizons and eat whatever they put in the box, like eggplant! We had never tried it before but it was in our first box so we decided to figure out what to do with it... we grilled it and it was actually very good! A lot like squash or zucchini. 

It is typically about $24 for the box but you can add things, swap items out or get different specialty boxes each week. I haven't tried any of the specialty boxes yet, I've been enjoying my default box so far!

Enchilada Casserole

I found this recipe through a blog that I randomly clicked on... it was actually really delicious! I didn't actually take any pictures but thought I would share the recipe anyways. 

What You Need:
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups (1 jar) salsa
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing 
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
4 flour tortillas
1 can mexican corn, drained
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

For topping/optional:
shredded lettuce
chopped tomato
fresh cilantro

What You Do: 
Cook beef and onion over medium heat until beef is browned. Drain. Stir in salsa, beans, dressing, sour cream, corn, taco seasoning and cumin. Mix well. 

In a 2 quart baking dish spoon 1/3 of the meat mixture, top with grated cheese. Place a flour tortilla layer on top of cheese. Layer with 1/3 meat mixture, top with cheese and another layer of tortillas. Add last 1/3 of meat mixture and top with a good heaping of cheese. 

Cover with foil. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes. 

Let stand for 5 minutes, top with lettuce, tomato, olives, cilantro. Enjoy!

Makes 8 servings. 

Family Time in the Mountains

This past weekend we went to the mountains with my parents, Nana, my aunt & uncle and my cousin to their mountain house. We originally planned this trip to go see the Perseids meteor shower. Last year they just happened to be up there and see the meteors so we decided to go back since out in the middle of no where with very little light around is the best view. However, it was cloudy all weekend so we weren't able to see any meteors :( We still had a great time though.

Friday, Trey and I headed up after work. We all got up there kind of late and just enjoyed lounging around.

Tyson was very antsy to get up the next morning and go play... he loves running around on all of the land up there and playing frisbee. 

 Trey, Patrick & I went tubing down the river. We went down a ways and hopped in, then floated back to right in front of the house. Tyson was there to greet us.

 After tubing, the boys wanted to go golfing on a nearby Par 3 course so I was their golf cart driver. It was a pretty course with a neat lay out. They played for a while then the rain started to pick up so we had to bail out early.

 After changing in to dry clothes, mom and dad joined us for a beer at the Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone.
We went from the brewery to meet Jackie, Tom & Nana at the Canyons for dinner with a view. 

 After dinner we came back to the house to celebrate the many summer birthdays. Trey and I opened a new beer, Mango Magnifico. It was interesting to say the least. Starts out very sweet and you can taste the mango but then the jalapeno gets you!

 Birthday celebration:
 Sunday morning the dogs enjoyed their favorite activity, running in the yard:

 Trey and I were curious to try Sunday Brunch at the 1861 Farmhouse just down the road. Mom, Dad and Nana joined us. It is an old, large house that has quite a history in Valle Crucis (at one time was the post office) and has now been restored and turned in to a restaurant & winery. Brunch was very good!
 After brunch we walked across the street to the Mast General Store. We also walked down the Annex (where the Candy Barrel is) and Trey got some shorts on sale and we got some candy!
 Back to the cabin to enjoy the porch and frisbee playing again before heading home

 Gorgeous day:

On the way home we hit traffic because of a wreck but luckily we got to see this pretty rainbow for a while because of it!

Cute babies were so worn out, they snuggled the whole way home:

Summer is coming to an end

Summer is almost over so we've been enjoying my last few weeks of freedom:

 Dinner at Cowfish for Mariah's birthday

 Out with friends

 Cornhole in the Brier Creek parking lot

 This surprise birthday gift showed up.. a donation to the SPCA :)

 Mom's birthday dinner at The Pit

 Our first Produce Box!

 We made a lemon icebox pie! YUMMM

 The dogs were very happy to see Nana
(and even happier that she shared her nuggets!)

 We have cucumbers growing like crazy!

We cooked our eggplant and yellow peppers from our produce box

Fun night with the dogs

And I finally put up my ECU diploma!

Lemon Icebox Pie

This recipe comes from my mother in law... it is SO GOOD. I could eat the whole pie myself.

What You Need:
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp sugar (separated into 4 and 2)
1 stick of butter (melted)
3 large eggs
2 cans condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup lemon juice (or more, to taste... I probably used just under 1 cup)

What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 350. In deep dish pie plate, mix 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs and 4 tbsp sugar.

Add melted butter and press to pie shape.
Place in oven for approximately 10 minutes and remove.
(of course, if you're lazy you can skip this step by buying a pie crust!)

Combine condensed mix and 2 egg yolks (save the whites in a separate bowl), add lemon juice and stir (taste it, you can add more lemon juice if you want).

Stir by hand and pour into completed crust.

In a glass bowl, mix on high, 3 egg whites until fluffy.

Add 2 Tbsps of sugar. Beat until glossy. Add 1 tsp vanilla and mix.

Spread over filling and place in the oven on low broil until brown.

Chill for 2 hours!