Marsha’s Stuffed Zucchini

Several of you have asked about the stuffed zucchini recipe – the stuffing of which was pictured in the first lot of Summer Photo Series shots. Of course I am happy to oblige.

I’m sure that this recipe could be considered anyone’s stuffed zucchini since it is so incredibly adaptable, but I got the recipe from my friend slash Realtor extraordinaire, so we’ll consider it hers.  The recipe I’ve adapted below made 2 servings.

What you’ll need:

Olive Oil

1/2 onion chopped

2 garlic cloves chopped

1 zucchini

Chopped or shredded veggies – including but not limited to: carrots, squash, red/green peppers, broccoli, etc.

Rosemary, thyme or herbs of your choice

Parmesan (fresh is best!)

Bread crumbs (I like whole wheat)

What you’ll do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Slice your zucchinis lengthwise and scrape out their innards. Discard the seeds, but keep the fleshy part for your stuffing.
  3. Season your zucchini shells with salt + pepper and set aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil on medium high heat and add the onions.
  5. Once the onions have softened a bit, add the garlic, herbs and veggies. Depending on what type of vegetables you are using, your cooking times may vary. Make sure to add the quickest cooking things in last so as not to overcook them.
  6. Add about 1/4 of bread crumbs to the veggie mixture at a time until most of the moisture is absorbed. No one likes soggy dinner. Add the parmesan.
  7. Fill the zucchini shells with the mixture and top with bread crumbs and more parmesan.
  8. Bake the shells for approximately 20 minutes or until the innards are warm and the tops are golden.

P.S. If you’re being naughty and you’re not lactose-adverse, add some delicious cheese to the bottom of the shells before you add the filing.

P.P.S. If your husband is a carnivore like mine, serve this as a main course by adding in some ground turkey or ground beef to the veggie fixins.


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Garden Harvest

The heat is still here and our garden is loving it! We are having a hard time keeping up with the harvesting and realizing that we need to pick something everyday just to keep it under control. A few days ago we spent the evening weeding and harvesting some goodies for the week. Green beans galore! Can’t wait for those ‘maters…

Happy harvesting!

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Summer Photo Series v. 1

I’m so excited to share the first installment of my Summer Photo Series, where I am taking a photo a day throughout the summer. This has been a really fun challenge thus far, especially on the days when I come home from work, hit the gym, get dinner ready and remember I need to take a picture! It’s been a great reminder for a non-photographer like myself to remember to take my camera everywhere and to really take the time to get to learn to use it. Here we go…

6.20.11 | Kicking off summer right with BBQ with the parents

6.21.11 | Serving the City with the youth group and playing with the kids from the mobile home park

6.22.11 | Pre-anniversary flowers from the husband of 3.0 years

6.24.11 | Anniversary date to Aldo’s and the beach with JB

6.25.11 | Lettuce, green beans and basil from the most recent garden harvest 

6.26.11 | A lazy Sunday afternoon at the grandparent’s pool

6.27.11 | Making stuffed zucchini for dinner

6.28.11 | Water balloon games at youth group

6.29.11 | Delivering a wedding gift (the karaoke of the evening not pictured)

6.30.11 | Summertime Margaritas

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Happy 4th!

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Anniversary Happenings

Thanks so much to everyone that wished us a happy anniversary. Three years doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but it is crazy to feel how quickly time moves when you’re a grown up – and I use that term very loosely.

We had a lovely, low key, just-the-two-of-us celebration. This is actually the first year that we have had the opportunity to celebrate on our anniversary together. The first year we were involved in a week long local service project with our church and the second, we were in the Dominican Republic with 15 teenagers, a box of face paint and a lot of bug spray. Romantic, no?

This year we went to Aldo’s a local Italian eatery, which, for those interested, is the very same restaurant we patronized before my senior prom. Although this time I forwent the floor length shiny green dress.

Everything was so delicious. Their focaccia bread introduced me to balsamic vinegar in my 17th year and flung wide the doors to culinary exploration. It is truly amazing.  Justin opted for a brick oven pizza and I had the angel hair pasta with mushrooms and prosciutto.

After dinner we took a short jaunt on the beach. It was perfect weather with lots of tourists for people watching. While we were walking on the beach, I suddenly remembered that we were on this very same beach 6.5 years ago celebrating our 3rd anniversary dating. Justin had come home from YWAM with a group from his school in Tennessee who wanted to see the oceanfront. It was January, and a lot colder, but a 3rd anniversary all the same. It’s funny how things come full circle.

I’m excited for what year number 4 has in store!

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Mr. + Mrs.

Three years ago today, Justin and I became Mr. and Mrs. Well… he was already Mr., the the Mrs. was new to me. It’s kind of crazy for me to realize that we have now been married as long as we were in school, and as long as we were doing the long-distance relationship thing. It seems a little impossible that time has flown by so quickly.

In the last three years, I have learned many things about myself, the man I’m married to,  marriage and the meaning of being a “grown-up.” In honor of this anniversary, I thought I would share a few of those things here:

A queen size bed gets a lot smaller with two people.

A husband that cleans, does laundry and empties the dishwasher is rare. Appreciate yours if he does these things.

Desk job + delicious food = having to work your butt off at the gym to fit into your summer shorts.

Go on trips together.. even if it’s just a day trip. It’s fun and it’s good for your relationship. You can’t get to know someone better than when you’re lost and hungry.

Just because you win the argument, doesn’t mean you’re right.

You do NOT learn everything you need to know about being an adult in college.

Save your money. You will be glad you did. Growing up is expensive!

Your body is only going to get older and less attractive. Take care of it and appreciate it NOW!

You will ALWAYS be cold when he is hot. Take a sweater everywhere.

Watching your spouse do what they love is amazing and makes you love them  so much more than you ever imagined.

Justin, you are my love, my all, my best friend. I can’t thank you enough for all the dishes you washed, clothes you’ve folded and hair you’ve cleaned out of the bathroom sink. You are my favorite person to vacation with, to laugh with, to relax with and to obsess over various television dramas with. I love you!

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Inspiration Workshop v. 4

Today I am linking up with Maggie over at Gussy Sews and participating in her Inspiration Workshop. I love the idea of being inspired each and every week. I have to be honest – sitting at a desk all day is probably the BEST way to drain any inspiration you may have.

This week’s prompt was “Spend the Day Playing.” If I had a free day, how would I spend it? I thought this was such a perfect prompt to kick off the first week of summer, so I was inspired (it’s working!) to use this week’s prompt as my summertime wish / to-do list!

This summer I want to:

Pick peaches… lots and lots of peaches. I grew up eating fresh peaches all summer in cereal, ice cream or just fresh from the hot sun. I can’t wait to head down to Knott’s Island and get me some juicy peaches. 

                                                                                                                                                           Go to the LAKE! Smith Mountain Lake to be exact. This place always has me thinking deeper, playing harder and appreciating more than any other place on earth. It really deserves its own post. Mental note.

Read on the beach. This is probably my favorite part about vacation. I love lounging on the beach late into the afternoon when families are packing up and the water pools at your feet as the tide goes out… and it’s just you and your book soaking up every ounce of bliss you can. 

Bike riding! I am still hoping to take my new cruiser out on the boardwalk at the beach this summer. 

I could go on and on… and on. But these are some of my favorite summer pastimes that I am stoked about this summer.

How do you spend your day playing?

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In the summertime

Happy Summer Solstice! Make today a good day… it’s the longest one of the year.

In honor of summer, I have committed myself to a new, creative challenge. Some of you might know that Justin is in the middle of his second year of a 365 Photo project and he takes a photo every day. Some days it is something we did or saw, and other days it’s obscure or abstract. I love looking at the photos from last year and remember what we were doing and the adventures we went on. It’s one of the reasons I decided to start this blog – to document our lives for both us and the future mini versions of us. 

This summer, in my effort to embrace the season for all that it is, I have decided to take a photo a day, everyday during the summer, and post it here for your viewing pleasure. It may have something to do with summer or it may not.

I am hoping to see a marked difference in both my practical photography skills and in my creative eye for capturing the beauty of summertime life.

I will be posting my photos whenever I get around to it periodically over the summer… check back to see my summer in photos!

(P.S. The pictures in this post aren’t mine – wop, wop. Click on each image to see it’s original source.)

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Fest in the Harbor

This past weekend, Justin and I ventured down to Harbor Fest on the Waterside in Norfolk. Harbor Fest is like Greek Fest without as many gyros. Although I DID end up having a gyro for dinner. But then, who can say no to Greek food from a cart? So we meandered in and out of the crowds along the docks and snapped a few photos of boats and the water. We were hoping to stay for the fireworks but ended up leaving early because a huge thunderstorm rolled through.

Either way we had a great night listening to some music, eating good fest food and hey, it got me out of sweatpants for the evening.

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Gardening Part Deux

Remember these guys?

Well they grew… and grew. And while I was getting my act straight trying to put this post together, they grew some more. I am officially being over taken by basil. Basil and green beans. I may have gone a little crazy with the green beans. They are now officially hovering over our cucumbers and stealing all of the hot, hot sun we’ve been having lately.

Since the last post on the garden, our seedlings finally made it into the ground. Last year none of our seedlings survived, so we ended up purchasing all of our plants. This year I was determined to make at least some of them survive the transition from their cushy indoor life into the wild the backyard. I will admit to all four of you that read this blog that MOST of them died. But lo and behold – one of my tomato plants survived and is, dare I say, thriving!

As fun as it is to buy plants and nurture them until they produce fruit, it is so gratifying to plant something from seed – a teeny, tiny seed – and see it grow into an amazing plant that feeds you! We haven’t harvested much yet, besides herbs. The mixed greens were a little slow to get going, but are about time for picking. The tomatoes are still green, but getting bigger everyday. Last night I picked about 5 cups of basil and made some pesto to freeze for the upcoming weeks. I can’t wait for peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes!

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