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BBQ Sauce for a Quick, Healthy Meal


We wrote our books to save brides and grooms time on writing their thank you notes.  This post focuses on another way to save time, but it’s not for thank you note writing.  It’s for grilling!  These days, I am a super busy person!  As you may know from prior posts, my husband is currently deployed.  I am playing the role of “single” working mom while he is gone, and it’s no joke!

I am really trying to eat healthier, which I find challenging since I am the one who does all meal preparation right now.  However, this sauce is pretty quick and easy to make.  I often glaze salmon with it because salmon tastes really strong to me.  I need something to mask a little bit of the “fishy” flavor.  I’m trying to eat more fish after reading recently that fish burns fat around the abdomen.  I need this help, and this glaze really makes salmon more palatable to me.

This sauce mixes quickly on the stove:


I saved the leftover sauce and used it the following week.  I had enough left over to use on a 4-lb. bag of chicken and two pieces of salmon.  Using leftover sauce saved a lot of time by the time you factor in making the sauce and cleaning up dishes!

Salmon leftovers

To make the sauce, I used this recipe, but I omitted the ancho chile powder (I didn’t have any) and the garlic clove (I used garlic powder instead because that is what I had).  I also used slightly less maple syrup than the recipe suggested.  I’m not opposed to using store-bought sauces, but I haven’t found one that I really like.  Do any of you have suggestions for a great one I should try?




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Wedding Reception

When it comes to organizing your wedding menu, keep your personal tastes in mind.  Below are a few tips to help organize your wedding reception.
  • When choosing your wedding menu, make sure that it represents your unique style.  It’s your big day, so do what you prefer and try to forget about sticking to the “rules”.  If you prefer not to offer an appetizer, then just don’t have one! If cupcakes make you happy, offer these fun treats to your guests rather than the traditional wedding cake.  Just be reasonable and keep the comfort of your guests in mind.  For example, if you choose not to offer an appetizer, make sure guests have access to beverages and other food as soon as possible at the reception.
  • Wedding buffets offer guests remarkable variety, but a buffet may also strain your budget.  One suggestion is to serve welcome drinks and a single type of appetizer at the reception. When it comes to the buffet, have at most 2 starches, one type of meat, and a few veggie dishes and salads.  Serve your favorite dessert, and offer fruit and cheese along with it.
  • Remember to keep your wedding food as visually appealing as possible. Meals should be satisfying but also within your budget.
  • For an informal lunch or dinner, self-help stations are a must. Limiting your wedding menu to finger foods and desserts will help you save on the cost of service staff.  It may also allow you to prepare the food in advance or have family and friends prepare it, which would reduce catering costs.
  • If you prefer an alternative to the conventional sit down wedding lunch or dinner, a beautiful garden high tea is a fun idea.  This is a creative way to celebrate your big day.  Remember to include savory foods to balance all the sweets.
  • A real favorite is to opt for a selection of smaller desserts, rather than a one plate dessert.  This way your guests may enjoy more variety, and you can still follow a reasonable wedding budget.

What are your favorite wedding foods?



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Starkville, Mississippi Wedding Weekend

me, jordan, laura, thomas (2)

 Jordan and I had a wonderful weekend celebrating the wedding of our friends Laura and Thomas in Mississippi.  Jordan andThomas played sports together in high school in Columbus, Mississippi and remained friends while they attended Mississippi State University in Starkville.  Over the last couple of years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Laura and Thomas.  What a fun couple!

Jordan started off the weekend on Friday playing a round of golf with the groom and a few other guys in the wedding at the beautiful Old Waverly golf course in West Point, Mississippi.

The rehearsal (at the Chapel of Memories on the Mississippi State campus) and the rehearsal dinner  at Old Waverly) on Friday night were the perfect end to a relaxing day (relaxing for the wedding guests anyway). 

As we were visiting the local shops in Starkville on Saturday, we ran into Foley Bell Holditch, owner of one of the newest stores in downtown Starkville- Thyme.  Foley worked with Jordan in Memphis and has since moved on to opening this amazing store.  I’m sure you’re wondering “what kind of store is Thyme?”  Well, think Pottery Barn meets Williams-Sonoma.   It is a wonderful blend of kitchen and home decor items.  If we had more room in our car, I would have brought home at least one of their beautiful wreaths. 

Early Saturday evening, the wedding itself was at the Chapel of Memories on Mississippi State’s campus.  It is the perfect size for a wedding and is so simply elegant, it doesn’t call for extravangant decorations.  Following the ceremony, we moved on to the Hotel Chester for an evening of fun with friends.  It was beautifully decorated with flowers everywhere you turned.  The menu was delicious as well-the food ranged from fresh fruit to sushi to a mashed potato bar.  Of course no wedding is complete without bride’s and groom’s cake, and I sampled some of both!  The bride’s cake was a wonderfully light lemon flavored cake with buttercream icing, and the groom’s cake was a decadent chocolate cake with smooth buttercream chocolate icing.  

As the bride and groom left the reception and drove away in their limo, the crowd waved streamers made of coral, green, and white ribbon that complemented the wedding flowers and bridesmaid dresses perfectly. I have not seen streamers as a way to see off the bride and groom before, but I love the idea. It might create more work prior to the wedding than birdseed or rose petals, but the cleanup after the wedding has to be a breeze.

 While Thomas and Laura are having a blast at their all inclusive resort in the Carribbean this week, Jordan and I are busy thinking of ways to rationalize a reason why we should go back to an all inclusive resort this summer.  We had a great time at the El Dorado Royale for our honeymoon last year and wish we could go back at least twice a year. 

Below are a few other pictures from our weekend in Mississippi.

Congratulations and Best Wishes, Laura and Thomas!  We wish you nothing but the best.  

Rehearsal Dinner Invitation


Wedding Invitation


Wedding Program


Wedding Ceremony Flowers


Hotel Chester


Some of the many beautiful flower arrangements greeting guests as they arrived at the reception                                             



Bride’s Cake


Groom’s Cake


If you’re in the middle of planning a wedding, I hope some of the ideas from Laura’s and Thomas’ wedding will be helpful for you.  I’m hoping to be able to acquire a better camera soon so the pictures on the blog will show up better.  Thanks for stopping by and reading!