Terrific Tacos + Sweet Sundays

I am kind of convinced that Shauna Niequist is my spirit animal (can another human BE another human's spirit animal?!) She said, "If the home is the body, the table is the heart, the beating center, the sustainer of life and health." If you think about it, where does MOST of your household's laughter come from? Sure, there are sweet family walks, backyard sports, board games, and if you're anything like mine--the tickle parties that ensue nightly; but truly, isn't most of it around the table? I am blessed to have married a man who not only loves to cook, but one who loves to bless PEOPLE by his cooking. This particular Sunday we declared a taco night, and had some amazing friends over to enjoy the meal with us.

Do you see the darling table runner in these photos? Our 9-year old niece Lily who lives in Rhode Island made it by hand for us!!! She even embroidered a sweet little message on the back of it. Maybe you've made a table runner before (for an 8-foot table?) but I haven't, so I'm clearly very impressed. 

We've known Kris and Lisa for a long time, and Lisa even used to babysit the kids for quite a long time! They were the ones who introduced us to our new church, and I am so glad that we all go there. The kids loved playing games and showing them their new rooms, Sundays like this one make me so happy! 

Tim made the carnitas (pulled pork) and it was delicious. We had guacamole, bean dip, salsa, and lots of chips, obviously ;) Team work makes the dream work, and that's always so evident on these get-togethers! 

In today's devotion that I read, Shauna writes: "When we consider how many stories in the Bible involve food, perhaps its not something to be treated so lightly as we often do." Reclaim the table. Invite others in. Laugh, talk, and enjoy being real with the people you love. Gather. And tell me all about it. You can comment below your favorite mealtime memories or send me an e-mail. I'm so thankful not only for the people locally I have relationships with, but also here in this space. You all make what I do SO much better, and I believe community happens everywhere--not just where you live. 



Valentine's Day with Bertolli®: More than Just Dinner

The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and ConAgra Brands. All opinions are mine alone. #MangiaTonight #CollectiveBias

Valentine's Day was yesterday and guys, I think you'll be proud of me. I surprised my sweet husband (who usually does ALL the cooking) with such a great dish. And the best part? Bertolli® Frozen Meals at Kroger created more than just dinner for us; it was the memory and moment we had together that I am now cherishing! Using one of his very own own signature appetizers, I had so much fun bringing the Italian lifestyle to the table with the help of Bertolli®.

Now that we have two kiddos, Valentine's Day looks fairly different from our earlier years of marriage. We usually try to have them eat with us every night, but both of us were looking for a little extra quiet yesterday. I knew that making this meal 'for two,' instead of the four of us, would be just fine in my husband's book. While he helped with their baths, I prepped the appetizer: a caprese baguette with a divine balsamic reduction. This pairs SO well with Italian food and served with Bertolli® Chicken Alfredo & Penne, it did NOT disappoint.

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is while writing this and I just had this meal! Let me share with you how to create this yummy dish:

1. Slice the baguette on a diagonal in about 1-inch slices.

2.Mix together 2-Tbsp of olive oil, 1-tsp garlic powder, and 1-tsp red pepper flakes with 1-tsp salt. Brush each piece of bread with the olive oil and herb mix. Broil under high heat until golden brown.

3. Slice plum tomatoes and fresh mozzerella into thin slices.

4. Top each piece of bread with a slice of mozzarella and a plum tomato slice. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar has reduced by half. Remove the vinegar from the heat and cool COMPLETELY.

5. Top the baguette, cheese, and tomato with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Five easy steps, y'all, for SUCH a great appetizer that paired perfectly with our Bertolli Chicken + Penne Alfredo dish. And the best part? My husband was SO proud that I handled this all on my own. It's not that I *can't* cook (obviously!), it's just that this is HIS calling; but man did it bless his heart for a night off!

We sat and made a toast--to eight years of marriage, nine of celebrating Valentine's Day, and for a quiet night in, JUST the two of us. I am so thankful to Bertolli for bringing excitement to an everyday meal such as this one. (Fun fact: Bertolli's 'Mangia" motto means 'to eat' in Italian!) And as much as this couple loves to eat, (can I get an amen?) we also love creating simple yet intimate moments and memories such as this.

Here are some helpful photos so that you can easily find this Bertolli dish at YOUR local Kroger store:

And here for the baguette we used:

What's your favorite way to spend a date night at home? If you want to try out these Bertolli Meals for Two, be sure to pick them up at your local Kroger Banner store in February to get them at the lowest price possible! You can't beat this deal and you will not be disappointed after cooking this dish. Give the caprese baguette a try too; you can never go wrong with bread and pasta! 


Bertolli® is a registered trademark of R&B Foods, Inc., used under license.