Monday, August 13, 2007

Oh How I Love Thee Margarita

While the title of this post would indicate otherwise, I actually only had one margarita this past weekend... but a good one it was.

Speaking of good things... this past weekend marked the 6th annual girls' trek to the beach for my best friends from college, and I must say that this tradition that we've developed is the BEST. *I'd also like to say a quick thanks to some of my friends' parents who've let us take over their lovely beach homes, year after year.

This summer, Destin, Florida, and the home of the Three B's (thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Bryce!) was our destination. We all arrived (in some form or fashion, don't ask me about air travel unless you want a tirade) Wednesday afternoon or evening and settled into the house, and our traditional dinner of pizza and wine, finished off with brownies - and this year, as a special treat, low-sugar Moose Tracks (it tasted like it was "full-fat"!!!).

The next few days all followed very similar routines... a lazy wake-up to hazelnut coffee, cereal and fruit and then beach prep - bathing suits, sunscreen, towels... check! Since the "dangerous marine life" flag was flying high, we usually opted for the beach side pool but we did venture into the sand on occasion.

Having done this so many summers now, we have some favorite dinners that we make each year. This year, after our first full day, including beach time, working out, AND a quick trip to the outlets, we enjoyed fresh seasoned peel-and-eat shrimp, a delicious green salad, and garlic bread.

Friday, we decided, would be our big night out; after a full day in the sun, we all were ready for a nice meal. We headed down the road to Seaside, a very cute little area, to a fun restaurant called Bud & Alley's. Our reservations were a bit later so we spent some time walking around, window-shopping, and trying on belts.

Apparently Seaside was founded by a man who loved dachshunds so of course, I was in 7th-heaven with all of the cute dachshie paraphernalia. After feasting on delicious scallops and grits, lobster risotto, and crabcakes, on Bud & Alley's fun back-deck, we decided we should turn in for the night.

Back at the house, though... unbeknownst to Katie, we had some birthday festivities planned. Katie's 28th isn't until this Tuesday but since we were all together, we thought it a good excuse to celebrate! We surprised her with a yummy chocolate cake and two tickets to the Rascal Flatts' (her absolute favorite!) concert this coming weekend in Charlotte!

Saturday was more of the same (which didn't bother any of us in the least!)... more pool and beach time, some outlet shopping (and looking), and back to the house for a quick and easy dinner... chicken-mozzarella over Barilla Plus pasta, green salad, and more tasty garlic bread.

This is a super simple meal that always seems to be a crowd-pleaser... as usual, I have my mom to thank for this one.


skinless, boneless chicken breasts (approx one per person)
jarred spaghetti sauce (of your choice)
approx 2 cups shredded mozzarella (eyeball it)

Preheat the oven to 350-375 degrees. After cleaning the chicken breasts, place them all in the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish. *I cut each breast into about 3 pieces this time but I usually leave them whole. Pour enough spaghetti sauce over the chicken to cover completely.

Cover the casserole dish and place into the heated over for approx 45-55 minutes. Test the chicken for doneness by cutting into a piece.

Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, take the cover off the dish and sprinkle on the shredded cheese. The cheese should cover the entire layer of sauce over the chicken. Put dish back into the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted.

Serve over your choice of noodles.

Sunday, sadly, came too fast. After enjoying a delicious meal at Another Broken Egg Cafe in Baytowne Wharf and some more window-shopping, we headed back to pack our bags.

And as tradition holds, in a weekend chock full of it, as we headed toward the airport, we were already planning this Christmas' annual Secret Santa exchange and next summer's trip! I feel so lucky and unbelievably blessed to have this incredible group of friends... and while we don't know what the next year will hold, we do know that we'll find each other at the beach!!

1 comment:

  1. How fun! Our goal, post-college, is for 707 get-togethers every other month. (Four of us who lived together.)

    Not easy.

    Esp. since we're in four cities, two states, one has a baby, one has two jobs (me), one in PA school (until this month), etc. Growing up sucks sometimes! But I still love my girls.

    Glad you guys had a good time!


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