July 28, 2014

Stuffed Bell Peppers

This weekend we did a bunch of cooking, baking and grilling. There wasn't one break in my kitchen. Bill was either marinating steak for the bobs or I was baking a cake or frying some bacon. Put it this way, I was Julia Child's and Bill was Guy Fieri. Just without the accent and the spiked bleach blonde hair.

Saturday night I wanted to cook another dish I had never done before. I searched Pinterest and came across a stuffed green bell pepper recipe. And instead of going by that recipe, I would make a recipe of my own. It just gave me an idea of what I should do.



Behold my own little creation! Only one of these on my plate was all I needed and I was seriously stuffed to the gills. It had everything you possibly needed out the four basic food groups. Properly portioned. Now I will have to come up with different kinds of stuffed peppers to do. It was THAT good!

Ingredients:
1 cup of cooked white or brown rice. Whichever you choose. I used white rice.
4 good, BIG size green bell peppers with the top cap cut off and diced, set aside and the seeds removed.
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp + 1 tsp olive oil
8 oz. of sweet Italian sausage
1/2 tsp of everglades seasoning
1/2 tsp of oregano
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375*. Cook rice according to directions and set aside. I was a bit frugal this weekend and got the boil in a bag kind. Plus whenever I like to try out a new recipe, I need to make it simple as possible. The next time I will more than likely cook from scratch.

Cut the tops of the bell peppers and clean out the seeds. Dice up the tops of the bell peppers and set them aside. You will need those later. Set the empty peppers in a dish and set aside.



Next, heat up a skillet with the 2 tsp of olive oil and sauté the diced bell pepper tops and onion along with the everglades seasoning and oregano. Season to taste with the salt and pepper and set aside.



Heat up the 1 tsp of olive oil and then brown the Italian sausage.



After it has thoroughly cooked, take the peppers, onions, cooked rice, and Parmesan cheese and mix well.



Now here is where it got tricky for me. Because I am a clutz in the kitchen at times. And Saturday just so happened to be my day. Aye. Scoop some of the mixture into the empty bell peppers. Be very careful and not BURN YOURSELF! And burn yourself multiple times! Do that to all 4 of them, filling them to the brim.



Sprinkle the tops with the shredded mozzarella. I like cheese so I pretty much loaded mine up. They melt down into the mixture too. Making it even yummier!



Place them in the center rack of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.



There you have it! Let stand for about a good 5-10 minutes. These things are pretty hot when they come out.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! I would like your feedback! And what did you cook this weekend?

July 26, 2014

The Knife



The other night Bill and I went out to get ice cream. He had been using the truck to take to work. He had an old mix CD in the player and this song came on. I had no clue who they were. And I really liked it. So enjoy it with me!

On another note, I wanted to update everyone about my blog name and URL. Vie Insouciante was just not me. I decided to go with just my name. It's straight to the point.

I still don't have a twitter, so that hasn't changed. My instagram is now @imnatalieblair. The first username I ever used. My blog email is natalieblairblog@gmail.com. I already contacted Bloglovin and everything is squared away and switched over. The only thing is my google friend connect. I am not too worried about that because I don't even use it so don't worry about that. But if you still use your blogger dashboard you can always unfollow and then refollow to correct the broken links.

Anything else you need? Just hover my social media in my sidebar and go from there!

Have a great weekend!

July 24, 2014

A Blogger Template Giveaway


image source: google; edited by me in photoshop.

I have been wanting to put together a little giveaway for awhile now. And it's not just your typical giveaway either. It's not a dress, or ad space or PayPal cash... It's for a blogger template from my shop. I will be picking two bloggers to win a nice little blog makeover/pick-me-up.

View my templates below:


Reason for this? Well, there isn't technically a reason to be honest. I was just feeling generous and I'd like to get some of my designs out there! Every blogger deserves a pretty blog design. Don't you think?

The rules are very simple. It's not too much. I promise :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway lasts a whole week. And remember... I am picking not one but TWO people for a fresh new look! Have fun and good luck!

**When the giveaway is over, I will be contacting the winners via email with instructions on what to do. The winner has 48 hours to respond or I choose a runner up.

July 23, 2014

Longboat Key Honeymoon Beach Getaway


Before I get started on this exciting post.. I wanted to share a little bit of "mom brain" with you. My mother in law texted me first thing this morning to let me know that I have been saying I am the wrong age for the past... ummm.. 3 years. I swore up and down that I was 34. I have told doctors, companies, etc that I am 34. And even giving them my birthdate as well. So it appears that these places have mom brain too. Well. Bill's mom did the math and informed me that I am actually 33 BUT I will be turning 34 this November. Am I literally that stupid? I have been adding on an extra year! I was super bummed that I was turning 35. When in reality (and proper math) I am going to be turning 34. Ain't that awesome! More like EMBARRASSING!


Okay. Now that that is all squared away, let's get to the post!

Bill and I got married in March and we haven't had a chance to go on our honeymoon because of work schedules, kids and that little thing called... money. So as a gift from our in-laws, we finally get to go on one! We will be going for 2 nights, to Longboat Key Beach. Our resort is right ON the beach. It's so adorable. It has a kitchen, a little living room and a huge king sized bed (that I made sure we got). It's just a little tiny, one bedroom apartment.

The patio is the beach. You can literally walk out the sliding glass door and see the ocean. I am packing light. I will only be wearing my bathing suit and cover up. We have also decided not to go out to eat and just bring a little bit of groceries and cook in the kitchen they provide in our little resort. It's a good way to save some money. And there's privacy. Just us two. Cooking together in the tiny kitchen.

So the whole trip will be spent on the beach, in the ocean, in the pool and in bed. The corner store to get a few groceries is walking distance. I will be sharing my adventure through my very own hashtag #grothhoneymoon. You guys can keep track and see the fun things we do if you are interested :)

I seriously can NOT wait!

July 21, 2014

Weekending | Beach Bunnies

Normally I say I hate Mondays or I have a case of the Mondays. But not this Monday. I had such a great weekend with Bill that the only thing I am feeling about Monday is I wish it was Sunday. A little melancholic if you will. Monday is also the time when we link up with Biana over at B Loved Boston for the weekending recap!



On Saturday, it was Bills morning to work for a few hours. My mother in law came and took Teagan for the day and Abby went to her friends for the weekend so I could straighten up the house and relax a bit. When Bill got home, we were still without kids. So we took advantage and went on a little coffee date and sat outside of Starbucks and talked over iced coffee. It was way too hot so we decided to go to the new Goodwill in the same shopping mall and take a look around. I found those really awesome lunch trays (the kind you ate off of in elementary school!) and I grabbed 2 for my girls. Teagan loved hers! She got the pink and Abby got the blue since it's her favorite color. The really cool thing was Goodwill was having 50% off and the trays were from Pottery Barn! Score!



On Sunday, Teagan went to the family beach house to visit Bills family. I really wasn't up for it this year and I really wanted a beach date with my husband. Now that Tea is 3 years old, we are starting to loosen the cords a bit and letting her go places without us for longer periods of time. Last year we didn't leave her side. Which, in a marriage isn't really a healthy thing to do because married couples, or couples with children in general need some alone time and dates with each other. You really do need to make time for your significant other. Being around kids 24/7 is at times rewarding, but it does take it's toll on a relationship. And Bill and I were starting to suffer because of it. No need to dig deeper in the story. I gave you the basics and if you have a partner for as long as I do, then you know what I mean.

But yes. We spent all day Sunday at Englewood beach in Manasota Key. We originally planned to go to Stump Pass but we got there too late and there was no more parking available. So down the street to the other end of the beach we go. We tanned a bit. Talked. Swam and ate. I wore SPF and got a nice little tan. Bill on the other hand got super burned.. again and it was time to leave. Afterwards we got some chocolate dipped ice cream cones.


When we got home, the kids were still gone. We cleaned up the truck from sand and took showers to clean ourselves up. Put on some comfy clothes and watched season 3 of Sons of Anarchy on our brand new Roku! I didn't have to use Abby's Xbox anymore and pay a monthly fee for Xbox live. This little tiny box is magical! So magical that I will be canceling my cable very soon!

What about you? How was your weekend? What did you do?

July 19, 2014

8 Tracks | Summer Mix




Summer (Extended) - Calvin Harris
Really Don't Care - Demi Lovato ft Cher Llyod
Chandelier - Sia
Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears
The Promise - When in Rome
You Don't Know How It Feels - Tom Petty
Stay With Me - Sam Smith
Hold My Liquor - Lorde