Thursday, February 11, 2021

Things I Love Thursday // 2.11.21

Happy Thursday! 

Here's a quick list of delights since my last post. Enjoy!

Pilot Cove

Thanks to one of the few opportunities to socialize lately: the soccer sideline, Pilot Cove came on our radar. This little gem is about 2 hours from us in Charlotte, just outside Asheville, in the tiny town of Brevard. Our family is familiar with Brevard because the girls attend summer camp there. However, we've never visited during the winter and we were overdue for a getaway. Happily, a last-minute cancelation on someone else's part resulted in our being able to book a spontaneous 3-night stay. While Pilot Cove is literally walking distance to the convenience of big retailers and groceries, it sits on the edge of the Pisgah National Forest and boasts hiking trailheads right on property. The way the "cabins" are situated, you feel nestled in the treetops. Each unit has a well-appointed kitchen, spacious balcony, and thoughtful extras. We hiked, ate well, read a ton, slept in, watched the Super Bowl, enjoyed the snowfall, and recharged our batteries. Before we departed, we booked another stay for the summer.

family posing on Looking Glass Rock

Tammy and Greg

mom and 2 teen girls hugging on a hike

snowy evening view from the balcony Pilot Cove

teen sitting in the sun

book: The Vanishing Half in the snow

Beast Slippers

While shopping around adorable downtown Brevard, I immediately fell in love with these slippers. Greg could tell from the look on my face that I was in love. Without any hesitation he asked, "Do they have your size?" They did. You too could have an amazing pair! These are very similar. Don't hold back.

giant brown fuzzy slippers against an ice chest

Milk Street Magazine's Harissa-Spiced Beef

This recipe ticks all the boxes. It's quick, flavorful, and prepared simply. Most of the ingredients we had on-hand. Harissa can be found in the international aisle (in a jar). It's nice to have in the fridge, as it mixes with hummus for a little kick and can be used to dip grilled meats, or spread on a sandwich for an extra bite. Don't skip the dried fruit. I had dates but the golden raisins would have been very nice too. The savory, sweet, spicy, and briney olives all come together like magic. You should definitely consider subscribing to the magazine (it's ad-free!). In the meantime, here's the recipe from the March-April 2021 issue, not available online (skip ahead if you're not interested): 1 1/4 cups couscous, 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided), 3 tablespoons harissa (divided), 1 1/4 cups boiling water, 1 bunch green onions (thinly sliced, whites and green separated), 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 pound 80% lean ground beef (or lamb), 3/4 cup pitted dates (roughly chopped or golden raisins), garnishes: fresh cilantro, pitted green olives, pistachio nuts, and lemon wedges. In a large bowl, stir together the couscous, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 tablespoons each oil and harissa. Stir in the boiling water; cover and let stand while you prepare the beef. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, green onion whites, and cumin, stirring, until the green onions brown. Add the beef, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons harissa, dates, 3/4 cup water and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Simmer and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally while breaking up the meat, until the mixture is saucy. Stir in the green onion tops and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh cilantro, chopped pistachios, chopped pitted green olives and/or lemon wedges.

harissa-spiced beef over couscous in a bowl

Leopard Cardigan

I found this cozy cardigan at a little boutique in Charlotte several weeks ago. I love it. It pairs nicely with jeans, a black dress (not that I'm wearing one anywhere), leggings, and even pajamas. Ha! Mine is beige. While looking around to see if I could link the sweater for you, I discovered that it's also available in grey. You can find them both (on sale) using the links under the photos.

Mouse Pad

I guess big cats are trending and I'm all about it. It started with the tiger rug. Now I have the sweater and this adorable cheetah mouse pad. Have you examined your mouse pad lately? Ours was pretty gross. What started out as a lovely white and grey marble design ended up stained and discolored. I decided a darker color would be much better... I found this new beauty on Etsy. There are so many great designs!

cheetah mouse pad

starting a new puzzle

I love starting a new puzzle --and I'm not sure why I don't have one going at all times. I intended to get started on a puzzle during the holidays, as that is a typical tradition for me, but somehow got too caught up with other things --so I was definitely overdue. I received several new puzzles for Christmas and my January birthday. This one I just started is a favorite! Do you puzzle? Anything over 1000 pieces is a non-starter for me. I think 750 is my sweet-spot but those are a little harder to come by.

puzzle box: plants, dogs, posters

puzzle pieces on a folding table

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