Blog Archives for category Food & Cooking

Marshmallow selfies and drawing by the fire

   

  
 

We grilled steak for dinner and Maggie got this…

She was thrilled!!

   
    

Happy 45th Tom!

Tom got a half day off work so we celebrated his birthday in style at our first local Diners, Drive-ins and Dives restaurant: The Shanty. I started with Pineapple Sangria…

Then we tried one of the dishes they showcased on the show: Whiskey Shrimp. It was delish.

 

And another dish they profiled in DD&D: Blackened Conch Filet. Super yummy.

 
  

And a free birthday dessert!

 

Then we went to check out the Costco in Wisconsin—just a few miles away! 

Facebook, friends, and scallops—oh my!

I had a major kitchen crisis (nothing fits anywhere and I was losing my mind) and jokingly asked on Facebook if anyone wanted to come help me figure it out…

And Jami volunteered! And then was serious! (She lives about 1:30 away so it wasn’t completely insane.)

She’s an amaaaaazing cook and has bragged about her perfect scallops so, since I LOVE SCALLOPS, she brought them to teach me how to do it! So I learned how to make perfect scallops with a saffron wine sauce on fresh spinach Fettuccini. It was divine!! Of course, she also brought snacks and wine…and a cast iron pan and avocado cooking oil and cream because my kitchen isn’t up to par yet.

They were so beautiful they really deserve a full-size shot:

She had brought cookies to Owen and Katie. When she handed them out, age called them by name. Katie asked how she knew her name and I said she knew her from the day she was born. (I had told the kids previously that Jami was from the same group of friends as Uncle Eddy, Aunt Sheryl, Miss Nancy, and the whole group of people that came to our house a few times). 

Owen waited on his cookie, but Katie was all in. 



Owen being silly after tasting other desserts.


Then we played with makeup a bit, did an unplanned Facebook Live video, she bought two new lip colors and a blush, and we drank wine.

I had to get creative since we forgot to keep it chilled. Yes, that plastic ice cube is from a boo-boo bunny. 


Oh yes, we did also get some kitchen stuff figured out (also with Linda’s help).

Dinner, wine, and s’mores with the neighbors. 

Our two next door neighbors could not be more welcoming. Aside from letting our kids play together all the time, this happened tonight…

Stacey came to collect her kids and I happened to mention that Tom was gone so I was ready to pop the wine and she said her husband was going to be really late so we should do a patio dinner. Yes, please! She would do hot dogs and pizza sticks and I’d bring wine and fruit. She even had frozen peaches for the wine! The middle neighbor, Ines, joined us and felt guilty for not bringing anything, so she offered s’mores at their house after! Yes, please!!

Our first Illinois dinner outside!

It pays to know the owner. 

Shopping before the store opens…the benefits of being related to the owner. We brought home 18 packs of brats!!

   

The smell and taste of my childhood.

We made plans to pick up some of our favorite sausage before the Len Summer Christmas started. My family has been getting the amazing smoked and fresh sausage here for 60 years! It’s the smell and taste of my childhood! 💕

 

   

The emptiest my freezer has been since we got it. 

I couldn’t quite get it emptied before we moved but I came pretty close. It’s my new goal to get both freezers fully emptied before buying anything new. It’s been fun coming up with meals!

 

I think I’m going to call them spicies from now on. 

  

Celebrating Katie’s birthday with the neighborhood gang.

  

  

Because I have nothing else to do at 9:45 the night before the packers arrive.

I don’t like Katie’s birthday during move week. 😐

  

I may have just fried a piece of chicken skin that came out of the freezer. 

And shall I add that it was cooked in bacon grease?!

Yum.

 

10# of lobster

As a thank you to the grandparents for watching the kids, we bought four lobster—two insanely huge ones (probably 3.5# each) and two regular-sized ones.

  

We don’t have official lobster implements…but these worked fine.

   
   

Katie’s attempts at getting a picture of our huge lobster tails. 

The lobsters were so huge that one claw was the size of a regular lobster’s tail! Neither of us could finish the whole thing.

Throwback to 2003: 

  

And of course, sushi. 

We met a new friend for lunch—one of my very first internet friends Rachel (from pre-wedding days) Facebook-introduced me to Amy, a friend of hers who lives where we will be living… And she also has a 5yo girl starting kindergarten this fall! I can’t believe I forgot to take a pic of us… But I remembered the sushi!

 

Guess which dessert was yummy and which was not. 

 

Yeah. I had high hopes for the candy bar… But it sucked. Too much fake bacon taste, not even enough bacon, and very little chip flavor. 

Texas brisket BBQ and a warm pretzel!

We’re enjoying finding good places to eat!!

    

Adulting with Jami.

Since we planned on drinking, we took a Lyft to the restaurant, and since it was a chocolate restaurant (The Chocolate Sanctuary), I obviously had to start with the German Chocolate Cake martini…Vodka, Amaretto, cream of coconut, chocolate, caramel, and toasted coconut. 

Then Jami took over on the pictures.

  • Chicken and Goat Cheese Wrapped in Cocoa-Candied Bacon with Cocoa-cranberry sauce. 
  • Cocoa Pan-Seared Scallops with Zucchini chips, truffle mash potatoes, miso beurre blanc
  • The Sanctuary Chopped Salad: Romaine, field greens, sweet corn, avocado, cocoa-candied bacon, tomatoes, hearts of palm, cheddar cheese, herb-parmesan croutons, chocolate vinaigrette

Elderflower Aperitif: Sparkling Moscato D’Asti, St. Germain, and fresh raspberry

Beignets! Light and airy chocolate filled doughnuts served with mixed berry compote and crème anglaise

We will definitely visit again and bring out of town guests…

Partisan Pig Feast + More!

A Tivo-peep/Michigan friend, Therese, was in town for a conference, so we threw together a last-minute dinner downtown at The Partisan (I was thrilled to go there because that’s a dinner we recently missed when Tom had to be in Chicago for work).

The menu changes daily (and I forgot to take a picture of it—I’m slacking in my old age) so I checked their website hoping for tonight’s selection…but it wasn’t meant to be. That said, most of the items were still listed. I’m fairly sure you will be able to tell which descriptions are from the actual menu I found. (I also didn’t take pictures of the dishes like I normally would—so all the food pictures below (minus one) are all from TCF peep friend Jonathon.) As is usual practice, we all ordered a bunch of stuff then shared everything.

Three of us ordered this (which means everyone got to try it all). Unfortunately, none of the courses were listed so I’m going by memory:

– Lamb Koobideh Kebab, Doner Spice, Sumac Onions, Coriander Yogurt, Mint

– Beef Fat Fries, Roasted Garlic, Rosemary, Ranch Aioli
– “Head shoulders knees and toes” taquitos (Pig Feast course #1)

– Seared Scallops, & Morcilla [blood] Sausage, Adobo Cream, Lardo, Agave (ordered off menu but it was also Pig Feast course #3 so we had double portions!)
– Dan Dan Noodles with Beef Cheek

– Prosciutto and asparagus (Pig Feast course #2)

– Pasta with pig face ragout (Pig Feast course #4)

– Pork tenderloin with fava beans, polenta, and arugula (Pig Feast course #5)

It was at this point that Tom said “Well, I think that’s it!” And then the waiter brought out two more dishes! :)

– Rotissi-fried Chicken, Honey Hot Sauce

– Chocolate Cake Donut Holes, Chocolate Pudding, Chocolate Crunch Pearls

And the only food pic I took myself—my share of the dessert plate:

Goodbye selfie:

A great day and night with great friends!

Nancy was helping me with a Jamberry manicure and Ken decided he wanted a few nails done as well.

Nancy and I tried to recruit two friends to the wonderful LipSense world today…and I introduced them to my infamous (?!) stairwell shooting location. 😊

Tammy and Amy helping me roll bread balls for garlic bread bites.

The whole group!

Uncle Eddy!

We need a bigger table!

The dessert table! Eddy helped me make a cheese flan (with a caramelized top) in the instant pot (far right) and it turned out great! And Amy brought three cakes from Juniors Cheesecakes!

This is why we need better outdoor space! This is where everyone always wants to congregate and we only have eight chairs with barely enough space to hold them!

The party mostly died out by about 11 and just a handful of us stayed talking to about midnight. It was a great night with great friends…