Grilled Eggplant with Mozzarella and Basil Vinaigrette from Belle Meadow Farm

In case you missed it, I’m partnering with Andrew and Laurie Beth from Belle Meadow Farm to bring you recipes featuring their delicious, local-grown, chemical-free produce!  The other day I made Rosemary Sweet Potato Stacks, and my husband hasn’t stopped talking about how fresh the potatoes were and how much he loved them.  I’d say that’s a pretty good sign!

eggplant-on-cutting-board

And today I’m using this beautiful eggplant to make Grilled Eggplant with Mozzarella and Basil Vinaigrette!  Did you know that eggplant is actually a fruit?  True story according to my 2nd grade science textbook.  Fruits have their seeds on the inside and that accurately describes an eggplant… so it’s a fruit!

Trust me when I say that Belle Meadow Farm is the best place in Tuscaloosa to get fresh produce.  I could swear, the eggplant is so fresh it’s like they picked them three minutes before I got them!  You really have got to try and see for yourself.

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Rosemary Sweet Potato Stacks from Belle Meadow Farm

I am so very excited to tell you all that I’ve partnered with Andrew and Laurie Beth from Belle Meadow Farm to bring you some seriously delicious recipes using their vegetables!

belle meadow farm

Belle Meadow Farm is right here in Tuscaloosa, and Andrew and Laurie Beth set up to sell at the local farmers markets around here.  On Thursdays, they’re at the Homegrown Alabama market on the University of Alabama’s campus (but only until the end of October!).  And on Saturdays, they’re at the Tuscaloosa Farmer’s Market at the River Market.  Seriously, Belle Meadow Farm has the BEST vegetables and sometimes even flowers!

 

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Steal My Sources

There are two things that people will, without fail, ask me about when they first visit our home.  And since I’m in a generous mood today, I’m giving you all of my sources.  Well, sort of.  Since most things in my house were found, painted, or glued together, it should be no surprise that these two pieces follow that pattern.

The first thing people ask about?

foyer table makeover

This dresser.  It’s the very first thing you see when you walk in our house and is currently holding the place of entry table (you can see more of it here).  Everyone wants to know where I got it.  I’ve told the story before but here it is in a nutshell — it was my daddy’s dresser when he was growing up, and then it was my dresser when I was growing up.  Then I painted it white, and it was my sister’s dresser in college.  Then I painted it Halcyon Green, and it became my TV stand in my “bachelorette apartment”.  Just before we moved into our house, my now-husband told me he hated it, so I started sanding it thinking I would paint it back white.  That didn’t quite pan out and after hand-sanding for an hour or so, voila!  It is what it is now and I’m not going back.  (And now my husband thinks it’s cool…)

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more issues than Vogue coffee mug

New Shop Goodies!

This morning was truly a beautiful morning.  It’s the first official day of Autumn which is my favorite season of all, and I didn’t have to go into my “real job” until 9 (instead of the usual 8 am), so I had some time to sit and enjoy the cool air and sunshine.  And to enjoy some new goodies that are popping up in the fiftyfive18 shop!

more issues than Vogue coffee mug

There is a lot of sneak peek-y goodness in this picture!  My new favorite thing?  This “more issues than VOGUE” mug that is Made in the USA from start to finish!  It is available in the Shop NOW, and let me just say, it truly is the perfect size for the coffee that makes me a happy morning person.

Let’s play a little game of I-spy, shall we?

I spy a new design on a notepad that may or may not also show up on some seriously awesome other products…  And on that notepad I spy a to-do list of new products that launch October 6th (Merry Christmas, anyone??) and possibly a chance to meet me and shop fiftyfive18 in person (if you live in or around Tuscaloosa)!  I also spy a new Little notepad and a whole lot of fabulous Kate Spade gold bow paperclips and the coolest wooden coaster.

Keep those eyes spying for these new goodies (and more fun mugs!) to hit the shop in the next few weeks.  Perfect timing for a little Christmas shopping, don’t you think?

 

IF Britney can get through 2007 you can get through today

If Britney Can Get Through 2007

Y’all.  These past few weeks have been nothing short of crazy!  Between work getting busy (I work at the University bookstore… This time of the year is seriously like Black Friday on steroids!), getting ready for my best friend to marry my husband’s best friend (and we were the matchmakers!), and the million and one little things that pop up in between, it has been hectic for sure. And I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon!  So here’s a little motivation for you if you’re as go-go-go as I am right now! IF Britney can get through 2007 you can get through today   I said this to some of our student workers the other day, and I thought I would share it with you all.  Here’s a link to the free printable — I know I’m hanging a copy above my desk first thing tomorrow!

Pinterest Finds

Oh my at the amount of time I’ve spent on Pinterest lately!  It’s been my stress reliever for sure.  And of course, I always gravitate toward the “dream home” pins and the recipes.

These are the recipes on my to-make-soon list.

Blueberry Muffins with Crystalized Sugar Topping

Jumbo blueberry muffins with sugar on top.  These look amazing and my blueberry muffin recipe is hit or miss (aka: I forgot to buy the mix at the grocery store).

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas sheet cake.  My mom used to make a cake similar to this and I can’t wait to see if this recipe stacks up.

Beer Bacon Mac and Cheese

Beer bacon mac and cheese.  I’m sure this is a whole day’s worth of calories in one serving but it would be so worth it!

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

After all that mac n cheese, I think we need something healthy.  Enter frozen strawberry yogurt.  I can definitely get on board with this snack!

Pina Colada Bars

And while I’m pinning away all of these massively unhealthy recipes, my friend Heather posts things like this… Paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free pina colada bars… Yep, when you hear what they are, they sound terrible.  But that picture looks so good that I’m going to have to try these!

Obviously I’m stuck on sweets and carbs right now.  I know it happens this time of year, when work gets stressful and it’s hotter than hot.  What are you pinning lately?  I probably need some more variety right now!

Friendship

I am so excited to have my sweet friend Catherine guest blogging for me while I am in Ohio for a work conference! Take it away, C!

photoIt’s easy to have a good friend in the good times….sharing in your joys, successes and happiness. A good friend is also easy to have in the times of need, sadness and the challenges that come our way. The power of a friend to me is having confidence, in that someone who is going to listen when you talk and be a listener when they need to talk. To not let a friend be there for you is not letting them be the hands and feet of Christ.

This is the challenge for all of us, especially for us women. Let us be intentional in our desire to have these friendships as they are examples of being the hands and feet of Christ to one another. I am thankful for all of my wonderful grilfriends who love me and allow me to love them.

Thank you Ashleigh for letting me be apart!

Love,

Catherine