Tomato-Basil Crab Bisque

It's been soup week at our house.  Here's another super easy recipe worth trying out. 

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Tomato-Basil Crab Bisque

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBLspoon butter
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 3 cloves freshly pressed garlic
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 organic chicken broth
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cooked crab meat
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves as garnish
  • optional parmesan cheese as garnish

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in medium saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic around the last minute. 
  2. Add tomato soup, half and half, crab meat, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring just to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover tightly and simmer 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Basil and cheese before serving. 

{serves  about 4}

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Delicious! 

Xo, e

Shrimp Bisque + Apple and Pear Vinaigrette Dressing

Soup is my favorite.  I really like this easy shrimp bisque recipe. I served it with a salad. Not necessarily a perfect flavor pairing, but I just fix what I like. :) 

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Shrimp Bisque

Ingredients:

  • 1lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 TBLspoons butter
  • 2 (14oz each) cans organic chicken broth
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can Stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup half and half

Directions:

  1. Cut shrimp into small pieces; set aside.  In a large saucepan, cook onion, celery, and carrot in butter until onion is tender.
  2. Add shrimp; cook 1 min.  Add broth, tomatoes, and thyme; simmer 10 mins.  Ladle 1/3 of soup into blender or food processor. 
  3. Cover and blend until soup. Repeat with remaining soup. (if you have a vitamin, this can be down in larger amounts and faster) Return to saucepan. 
  4. Add half and half. Heat through. DO NOT BOIL.  I like to garnish with parmesan and parsley. 
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Apple and Pear Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 4 TBLspoons olive oil
  • 2 TBLspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBLspoons maple syrup
  • juice from a lemon
  • 1 red apple, cored
  • 1 pear, cored
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in Vitamix and blend away! 

 

My goal is to use less bottled dressing this year.  This recipe was delicious.  Since it's pink, you should use it for your Valentine (if you don't demand someone else cook for you on Valentine's)

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I prepared a romaine salad with blueberries, pear, honey goat cheese (the best), and a side of bacon. The salt of the bacon is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the fruit. 

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And there you have it! 

Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season! 

Xo, e

Diva's Bomb Onion and Spinach Dip

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I love dip. This one is super addictive. Would be a great app to bring to holiday gatherings. Your friends and family will thank you. 

Diva's Bomb Onion and Spinach Dip

Ingredients:

  • 8oz light cream cheese
  • 1 cup light mayo
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated cheese (I like Gouda)
  • 1 large Vidalia Onion finely chopped (about 1 cup. more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon  ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper  - plus one more dash :)
  • 1 package frozen spinach thawed and water squeezed out

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. Spray a 10" square baking dish (or one similar) with Pam
  3. In large bowl, mix all ingredients except about 1/2 cup of grated cheese
  4. Smooth mixture out in dish. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. 

Best served immediately.  Serve with pita chips, pretzel thins, carrots sticks. etc.  Y'all know I like recipes that can't be messed up, and this one is no exception! Hope you try it! 

 

We've been continuing to enjoy the fall weather at the beach.  

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Since Huddy doesn't wake until around 10am, Oscar and I enjoy some beach time by ourselves. Good for the soul. Yes, those are fox soxs.

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Look at this Funyons/potato stick looking beach debris

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Mr. Hudson is 2 going on 22

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He's a perfect lunch date.

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How cute is this Herschel Supply Co backpack?! 

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Mr. Hudson's vest, gingham shirt, and this lion t-shirt are all from Fitz & Emme in Rosemary Beach.

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Sting rays moving along the coast. 

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Last week, a contractor was renting the house next door. He built this bomb sand pyramid.  The beach looks so empty since the rain washed it away. 

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Have a dashing weekend.

Xo, e

Taco Soup

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This hearty soup is delicious and easy.  It is one of our favorites. 

Taco Soup

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Water

1 package El Paso low sodium taco seasoning

1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix 

1 can white shoe peg corn, drained

1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies

1  can diced tomatoes 

1 can black beans, drained

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 can pinto beans, drained

1 medium onion, chopped

1lb lean ground beef, ground turkey, or chicken (meat from one rotisserie chicken works too)

Avocado (optional) garnish

Sour cream/greek yogurt (optional) garnish

Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional) garnish

Shredded mexican blend cheese (optional) garnish

Pickled jalapeños (optional) garnish

Directions:

1. Brown meat. Once meat is mostly cooked through, add chopped onion and cook until tender. 

2. While meat is browning, add all other ingredients to pot. 

3. Drain grease from meat then add to soup. Stir.

5. Bring soup to boil then reduce heat to simmer for about 1 hour. 

6. Add garnish 

 

This recipe is really fool proof.  I've served as quickly as 30 minutes and it is still great.  The ingredients can be easily doubled to serve larger crowds.  Beans can be swapped out to what you have on hand or flavor you prefer. I usually add black eyed peas.  I like to serve with tortilla chips. 

Enjoy!

Xo, e

 

Game Day Fashion + other

This weekend my pledge sisters and I are doing our annual reunion tailgate.  We had a group of 12 girlfriends that were really close throughout college. Several years ago we decided to do an annual tailgate reunion as a way to keep up with each other.  We had to come up with a name for our tent, and  "Twelvegate" was born.  I look forward to it every year!  

I love Auburn football, and I've been lucky enough to have been in the stadium for what will probably be some of the most infamous games in Auburn history.  Nothing quite like pulling out miraculous victories!! 

When it comes to game day fashion I am all over the map. For most events I dress in whatever I am feeling the best in at that moment. Game day is no exception.  

In the past,

I've gone with a casual blue jean look {Au vs Ole Miss 2011}, and this silk Tucker maxi dress {2011} 

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Last year I wore this neoprene Clover Canyon dress. I still love that dress. 

And for one of those times where I look back and laugh at my outfit, there's this little mini skirt, turtleneck, heinous wrestling belt number..... my interview at Hooters was later in the day. (jokes.) No seriously, the belt is to support my back back from the weight of my top half. 

This year I am going to be rocking' an orange and blue tiger print jumper, knee high boots, and my navy fringe jacket. Theme dressing in the best way!

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Top Shop fringe jacket //Parker romper// Michael Michael Kors boots purchased last year. Similar ones here  

Every year we have cups made for our tailgate. Auburn University is asking everyone to wear orange for the game against LSU. In honor of THE BEST SHOW EVER, and our school's wardrobe color suggestion, K made these bomb cups. 

Speaking of Parker Rompers, I ordered this one from Revolveclothing.com and it is fantastic. Unfortunately, it's too small in the bust. damn boobs again.  Parker's beaded clothing is simply the best. 

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Now that it's October, Alabama might actually get some sweater weather. 

I ordered from Zara.com for the first time. Really loving some of the sweaters I purchased. There are dozens of things on their website that I love. If you've never checked Zara out you should. Reasonably priced and free shipping and returns. These are just a few of the things I'm obsessing over.

I couldn't resist this oversized beauty in my favorite color.  

( Clutch - Prada, Glitter pumps - Louboutin, Pants - Minnie Pant from J. Crew )

{yes, I am taking  outfit selfies in my bedroom. the air conditioning won over scenery today. whatevs. focus on the sweater!}

I love the back detail.

I adore this pastel color block sweater. So beautiful with mint, blush, and cream.  It has a relaxed fit. Cant wait to wear this one.  

 Color block sweater - $79

Transient

This is fabulously cozy.

Intarsia Poncho Cardigan - $79

Transient

Totally loving my moth scarf. I love bugs. Purchased from Anthropologie.

 (fox pendant is Carmen Diaz Jewelry)

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I have worn these practically every day for two weeks. Steven by Steve Madden Wonderr espadrilles  - $66.99

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This pork recipe is a winner. A favorite among my Twelvegate girlfriends.  The pan sauce will make you want to lick the pan. Easy to cook. Delicious. 

 

Cookware a little lacking at the beach house. Thanks to whomever bought this bread dish, and left it at the house. :)

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I hit the lottery when it comes to parents.  Two of the most loving people you will ever meet. I hope Hudson will one day think of Mr. Fox and me the way I think of my parents.  My mom and dad celebrated their 42nd anniversary on September 23.  My dad makes my mom breakfast every morning. That could be the key to their long marriage.  And the fact that he likes to buy her jewelry.  It's probably the jewels not the toast. #winwin

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My parents met at Auburn. My mom loves to tell the story on how she accidentally stood my dad up on their first date. He was to pick her up at her dorm early in the morning. She over slept. No cell phones, no way in the dorm, dad was out of luck!  When it comes to my love of sleeping, I get it from my momma!  

This photo was taken at my mom's graduation from Auburn. 

Loving Auburn is a family tradition.

For a little more random, this basket makes me laugh. I love to decorate for Halloween. I started pulling my things out this week.

I miss the beach the second I leave. 

We celebrate our fifth anniversary this month. 

Girl talk with a view.

I absolutely love it when I see people in their Fox Den style purchases! How great does D look in her  white poncho and B in her fab booties?!! LOOKING GOOD LADIES! 

{That's B'sFantastic house all decorated for W's baby shower.}

Huddy is currently in to all things truck.  I got him a plastic tool set, and immediately regretted showing him how to use a hammer. 

That's a whole lotta random for one post! Go to Zara and order some sweaters, cook some pork, and WAR EAGLE!!

Xo, e

Sunday Quick Picks + Sunset Cocktails

Beauty Review

I love the way my hair looks when I've been on the beach all day. I have found this product, Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, to be the closest to recreating that texture and wave. I really love the results! It works great on wet or dry hair. If using it on wet hair, I spray it on just out of the shower, scrunch, then let it air dry.  I use the Conair Styling Wand to do any touch ups. On dry hair, the surf spray does a great job to give some volume and texture to next day hair.  These two things are a staple in my hair routine.  If you haven't tried them already, you should! 

Bumble and Bumble has this to say about their product:  "This styling spray adds volume and texture to the hair to create a sexy, wind-blown feel. Its salt-infused formula adds fullness, hold, and a cool, matte finish."

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Transient
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I was given this Kai body buffer as a gift and I became totally hooked to the scent. It's a light, clean scent that isn't overpowering and smells just plain FRESH.  I wear the lotion daily. The scent is great for those times when you want a little something extra, but not necessarily a concentrated perfume.  The body buffer is awesome, and it leaves you feeling like you just left a spa! Exfoliation is key to healthy skin. This buffer will do the trick! Kai fragrance is sold in plenty of retail and online places, but I usually stock up when I see it on Gilt.com.  (Do you shop on gilt.com?? If you don't, you're missing great deals. It is my go to sale site.)

From Kaifragrance.com:  description : a light blend of exotic perfumes and natural essences, including palm, coconut and olive oil, infused in a hypo-allergenic sponge to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize the skin. packaged in a set of two sponges that release kai scented foaming bubbles when wet. set of two, approximately 30 uses 

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Next up is my favorite cocktail to keep the endless summer feeling alive! I named it the Cabana Boy. {I have no idea if this is a legit, named cocktail.}

I promise you'll love it!

Cabana Boy:

Mint

Malibu Rum (or your favorite coconut rum)

1/2 Cranberry + 1/2 Water

Splash of Sprite Zero (I like for fizz. can be omitted)

Lime

 

Served best at sunset!

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Speaking of cocktails, how incredibly awesome are Ashley Longshore's cocktail rings?! Nobody pulls off oversized statement jewelry better. 

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Keep chasing summer with beach hair and sunset cocktails! 

Xo, e

Pinterest Recipe Testing

Have you ever seen recipes on Pinterest and wondered if they were any good? Or, if any of the last 50 pinners has ever actually cooked the dish?? I have. all.the.time. I am always starving when I am looking up recipes so I end up pinning entirely too much. Plus, it seems every dish is described as the BEST, most delectable, mouth-watering, SLAP YO MOMMA AMAZING, most incredible dish ever. How is a gal to choose? I thought it might be fun to become a "Pinterest test kitchen," if you will, to review the hits and misses pinned on our boards. 

We tested out several new recipes this week. We've been at the beach and I think I am more inspired in a kitchen with a view! :) 

First up:

"Melt-in-your-mouth chicken breasts"

This recipe was described as the "best chicken you've ever put in your mouth" and I saw several versions of it on Pinterest. There were very few ingredients and it was a cinch to make. Verdict: It was good. Not going to win any culinary awards, but it was so easy that it gets a passing grade in our kitchen.  

Fox Den Tip: You can substitute mayo with greek yogurt usually at a 1:1 ratio. The mayo does brown better and provide a crispier coating. 

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Just mix the mayo, cheese, and seasoning then bake for about 45 minutes!

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I served the chicken breasts with the most amazing BAG SALAD, and asparagus.

I just toss the asparagus in a little EVOO, sprinkle some sea salt, and parmesan cheese then put in oven with chicken for about 15 min. EASY dinner. 

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 Thai Coconut Soup

Next up was "10 minute Thai Coconut Soup."  This was delicious! I took me a little longer than 10 minutes, but I was also cooking other things. I doubled the mushrooms.  This recipe was also extremely easy and I would definitely cook this again. Surprise bonus was that Hudson LOVED it!  

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We throughly enjoyed this bottle of wine that my brother and his girlfriend gave my hubs for his birthday. 

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I think both of these recipes are worth testing in your own kitchen. Next, I'll review a fab dip and a pork tenderloin recipe. 

The Gulf has been especially pretty this week. The sunsets are starting to move back over the water to where we can get a really beautiful view.  Mr. Hudson loves getting to spend more time with dada, as do I.  It's hard to have a bad day at the beach! 

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Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend! 

Xo, e

Easy Weeknight Dinner

Cheese Tortellini 

With many of you sending little ones off to school this week, I am sure fixin' dinner *cue the southern drawl* is just another thing on the mile long to-do list. I thought I'd share this recipe that we love, and it is an EASY, one pot, filling, and nutritious dish.  Serve with a baguette and you're good to go! At least one thing on your list can be a no-brainer! 

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{I originally found this via @paigeknudson on Instagram. She sourced the recipe from www.lifeingraceblog.com.}

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 1/2 boxes of chicken stock (10 cups)
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 large bag or two small bags of cheese tortellini (our grocery store has it in the dairy section)
  • 1 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes (you can use another brand but these make the BEST soup)
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2  T. honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • {always add salt along the way and don’t wait until the end}

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Saute the onions, celery and carrots in olive oil for 5-7 min or until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the diced garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock, tortellini, tomatoes,  spinach, vinegar and honey.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is tender.
  • Serve with grated parmesan cheese and crusty bread!


Read more at http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2011/08/cheese-tortellini-soup-for-caiti/#fiuOBwipsEWrdxHo.99

I always add more spinach.  I also added rotisserie chicken.

The recipe IS even better the next day!

Enjoy!

Xo, e