Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Festivities.

We hosted our first annual Halloween party the other night. The annual part was added towards the end of the party when Will announced that next year would be bigger and better. So there ya go-- next year, y'all just wait. The Coopers will indeed go big.

This year we just cooked up two big pots of soup and invited some of our sweet friends over. We discovered that Will is a pro at putting up cobwebs and should maybe consider set dressing if this whole camera operator doesn't work out for him. Everyone came decked out in costumes & we had a blast!

We decided to be the main characters from Moonrise Kingdom. If you haven't seen the movie, do it. Its so cute! A few pics from our party:

Captain & Coke:

Lighthouse Beer & Wine:

Freaks & Geeks:

Trying to act like our characters...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nichols family time

This past weekend we took a quick trip up to Gaithersburg, Maryland for my cousin's wedding. We enjoyed seeing all of the Nichols side of my family & visiting with all of my aunts, uncles & cousins. Will was a little under the weather, but he was a trooper. The bride is half Thai and her family owns a thai restaurant in town, so the reception was held there. There was so much food & all of it was delicious, authentic thai cuisine. YUM.

The hotel was surrounded by tons of shops & restaurants, as well as a little lake with a walking path. Will and I enjoyed the beautiful fall weather and walked around a bit during the day.

I was so happy to see all of my family there! Its rare for every single member of a large family to be at an event, but our family doesn't miss weddings so we were all there in full force.

Even Grannie made the trek up!

Sausage Corn Chowder

Y'all, it is COLD! I am already beginning my annual complaining, shivering and commentating about how I hate cold weather. I realize we live in Wilmington, but if you only knew how low my tolerance is to chilly temps. You can find me in flannel pajama pants with fluffy slippers wrapped in a blanket at all times while I'm home. Since I'm cold natured, I love anything to warm me up, especially soups. This corn chowder is one of my favorite meals & reminds me of being home. I used to beg my mom to make it for me after a frigid track practice [outside!] in the middle of winter. Toast a piece of fresh, crusty bread and enjoy!

Here's what you need:
1 lb sausage-- I like to use the "hot" kind, but if you prefer milder go for it
1 med onion
1/3 c. green pepper
1 can cream of celery
2 cans creamed corn
3 c. milk
1/2 bag of frozen hash browns [the square ones, not the shredded hash browns]
4-6 oz. cheddar cheese

Dice the onion and green pepper & begin cooking in a large pan. Add the sausage & cook until it is browned. You may want to drain the sausage if it appears to have a lot of fat. I find it does seem to help to drain it slightly, but its not a big deal if you're feeling lazy. Add cream of celery, creamed corn, hash browns & milk. Be careful when adding the milk that it doesn't curdle. Bring this to a boil and then reduce heat and let it simmer, covered, for about 20 min. Basically just until the potatoes are tender. Then add shredded cheddar cheese on top. 

This soup is hearty & will warm you right up! It even freezes well so you can save some for another cold day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Five reasons I married you

1. You smoke a pipe and act like you're 75.

2. Your sweet heart & generosity towards everyone.

3. You have incredible work ethic. There are few people that work 80 hours a week and even fewer that have manual labor jobs. (P.S. I love this picture-- probably taken at 3:30 am on a long night shoot).

4. You'll act like a food snob with me.

5. Despite little time together, you know just the way to my heart. Thankful for our little notes & that crafty keeps yogurt covered pretzels on set.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall has arrived

Temps in the 40's tonight-- fall is here! Will is at work so I'm wearing his big, toasty slippers and eating roasted red pepper tomato soup. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Weekend getaway

Will's work is so demanding and the hours are crazy (14-15 hrs a day is normal). Most weeks we only see each other long enough for a kiss and a quick update on our days. Fortunately, technology helps & texts throughout the day are the way we handle it. Will is really good about setting aside intentional time for us and planning little events for us to look forward to on hard weeks. In August, he booked tickets for a concert in Charleston on October 6th for the two of us and we planned a weekend getaway. 

We stayed in a quaint bed and breakfast called the Elliott House Inn. I got super excited that they do in fact deliver breakfast to your room so you can actually enjoy breakfast in bed. It was lovely! 

After sleeping in and grabbing lunch in Wilmington, we headed down to one of our favorite cities. We had a delicious dinner at FIG (highly recommend!) and then went to the Andrew Bird concert. He is incredibly talented & we so enjoyed listening. After a nibbling on a light breakfast provided by the inn and then falling back asleep for another hour or two, we were hungry for brunch. Brunch is pretty much our favorite thing, especially a good southern one. We ate at Poogan's Porch and enjoyed shrimp n' grits and the country breakfast with hot tea (my favorite). 

We had such a blast that we hardly took time to take any pictures, which is rare for us since Will is always snapping away... but, here are a few from Sunday brunch.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chicken & Zucchini Parmesan

Pinterest, you never fail me. I found this recipe on pinterest & decided to make it the other night. Will had mentioned that he wanted some sort of chicken dish so I thought I'd give it a whirl. You see, its rare for me to try new recipes on just the two of us. I have a horrible habit of testing out new recipes on other people...surprisingly, it hasn't failed. I'm sure the day that it does I will quit doing that. 

Anyway, we gave it a try & loved the recipe. Will really enjoyed it and I think it was pretty healthy so thats a plus. 

Heres what you need:

3-4 large chicken breasts
1 can tomato sauce
1 med zucchini
Mozzarella cheese (buy the good kind)
2-3 tsp. olive oil
fresh basil
fresh garlic

I used my Le Creuset skillet for this whole recipe & it was awesome. Basically any large skillet (with a lid) would work. 

First, I cut the chicken breasts in half. I pounded them (with a potato masher, resourceful, eh?) just once or twice to tenderize. Then I put them in the skillet with 2-3 tsp of olive oil. I added in some fresh (minced) garlic as well. Once the chicken breasts were browned, I added in the tomato sauce. **I did not drain some of the liquid from the chicken, but I would suggest draining it a little** Place the lid on & put it on low-med low and let it simmer for about 30 min. Then, add basil, sliced zucchini and mozzarella. I cut the mozzarella into slices and laid those on top of the chicken breasts. Cover and cook on low for 15 more min.

The flavor was awesome & this recipe was super easy! Had the leftovers for lunch today :)

...And a little shot from while it was cooking.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Love is in the air

We are becoming quite the wedding folks. After attending six so far this year, we can definitely say that we love weddings! The food, lovely people & yes, the dancing, even though we are awful. Last weekend we celebrated another wonderful start for our friends Mike & Elizabeth. They started dating just a month before we did so I have fond memories of discussing relationship details with Elizabeth and moving from friends to dating to the thought of marrying our men to engagement. 

The DJ had a competition to see which couple had been married the longest. We clearly didn't last too long, but we loved watching it play out. The winner were grandparents of the groom & had been married for 67 years. Incredible! We sure hope we're out on that dance floor in 67 years.

The venue (Angus Barn) was awesome, but the people were even better. Congrats to the Houstons!

Susie, Laura & me

the luce reunites

Mr. & Mrs. Houston!

love this: philip & will dancing

cheerwine in glass bottles- the BEST!