Archive for April 2011

Friends are the family you choose for yourself

April 27, 2011

Easter 2011
 Holidays are difficult around here. I don't have a single (biological) family member within a thousand mile radius. I loved holidays with my family, so it's always hard to go without. Tears are usually shed at least once.
It does help however, to have supportive friends who know how it feels to be so far from home and who make sure you feel like an integrated part of their family. I spent my very first holiday alone in FL (Thanksgiving 2006) with the Gills, and they continue to make us feel welcome to this day. It's very hard to be sad when you're in the company of this family :)
We had a great Easter dinner after church on Sunday, everyone brought something and it was quite the spread. I made The Pioneer Woman's Macaroni and there was also Honey Baked Ham, green bean casserole, deviled eggs (my favorite!), roasted asparagus, and bisquits. For dessert we had Carvel Ice Cream Birthday Cake and Apple Pie! We played Men vs. Women Pictionary and the girls won by a landslide. It's pretty bad when the boys are looking at the girls drawings to try and guess what their teammate is drawing :)

Bedroom Makeover

April 18, 2011
I have this favorite little restaurant over in Palm Beach. The decor is very Breakfast at Tiffanys, with aqua walls and black and white paintings. I tried a few years ago to translate that over to bedroom decor.

But something got lost in translation and it just didn't turn out right. I had the black and white, and the aqua walls, but the room always felt dark to me. I want my bedroom to be a relaxing place. Light, airy and I just wasn't getting that with all the black. I decided it was time for a change. To get the light and airy feeling I swapped the dark curtains and bedspread for white. Then I added some accent pillows to tie in the tan ceiling and the aqua walls. The overall effect is much more relaxing.

Dan and I are in disagreement about the wall behind the bed. He wants to leave the black and white painting there. To me, the painting is cold and impersonal. It's beautiful, but its a bare tree standing in fog and snow. Great for the winter, but it's now spring and summer is on the way. I bought a groupon for a large photo canvas and I would like to hang one of these pictures there:
first kiss as husband and wife
the ocean outside our hotel room at the Cheeca

Any opinions? What do you all think?

Another Great Salad

Strawberry Fields Forever Salad

diced strawberries
toasted almond slivers
grated parmesan
lettuce of choice
breannes poppyseed dressing

MPM: April 18th - 24th

Have I mentioned lately how lazy I am this time of year? Here's what we're eating this week, some of which we never got around to making last week.

Monday: Roasted Chicken with red potatoes and veggies
Tuesday: Pan Fried Pork Chops with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob
Wednesday: Pizza rolls
Thursday: Steak with sweet potato fries and corn on the cob
Friday: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Easter dinner with friends, I'm bringing baked mac n cheese!

Happy Holy week everyone!

Almost Summer

April 11, 2011
It's almost summer which means:
a) The refreshing low 70s are gone and oppressive heat has taken their place
b) school teachers across the country are burnt out
c) parks are out and the pool is in
d) dinner should not require the oven

If my meal plans look a little uncreative for the next few months, you'll know why.

Monday: Burgers on the grill, onion rings, corn on the cob
Tuesday: Sausage and Peppers on the grill with roasted red potatoes 
Wednesday: Roasted Whole Chicken with red pepper risotto
Thursday: Steaks on the grill with sweet potato fries, candied walnut Gorgonzola salad
Friday: Pizza night
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Diana's Party Salad (recipe coming soon!)

Diana's Party Salad

April 9, 2011
I have fond college memories of eating this gorgeous salad at Student Activities Committee Parties, usually held at Diana's Martha Stewart like house. I sent her a message a few weeks back asking if she remembered it and still had the recipe and to my delight she did! It's perfect as a side dish at a holiday party or a get together with friends. Add some chicken and it's a great main course.

Field Greens, Butter Lettuce, Red Lettuce (whatever kind you like)
Dried Cranberries
Candied Walnuts or Almonds
Red Onion cut in half and then sliced thin
Granny Smith apple with peel diced
*Boursin Cheese (this comes in a wheel that you open and kind of shred with a fork into the salad)
Dressing: Brianna's Poppy Seed
Optional: Chicken slices

Toss all ingredient and enjoy!

*I can find Boursin cheese at my local Publix in the fine cheese area, but I used to be able to only find it at Sams Club.

MPM: April 4 - 10th

April 4, 2011
I fell off the wagon a little last week, but I'm back!

Monday: Leftovers, Dan's working
Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Dan's Cooking!
Thursday: Grilled Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini's, macaroni salad
Friday: pan fried pork chops, candied walnut Gorgonzola Salad
Saturday: Leftovers, Dan's Working
Sunday: White Chicken Chili

The Year Old Cake (and some new cake too!)

April 3, 2011
This past Sunday was our very 1st anniversary as a married couple. That meant it was time to take out the top tier of our wedding cake that has been sitting in our freezer since our wedding. If you ever need to preserve a cake, pay attention. My mom did a phenomenal job.

The cake has been taking up a quarter of our already small freezer for a year now, and we were very excited to not only eat it, but have some more freezer space as well. I took it out of the freezer about 6 hours before we had planned to eat it to allow it to thaw.

The box was wrapped in a coat of syran wrap and when I got that off and got the box opened I found this
Four Layers of Plastic Bags. Once I got all those open and the cake out

about ten more layers of syran wrap.

The frosting was a little smushed, but otherwise it held up well! Of course it doesn't matter so much how it looks but whether it still tastes good.

The verdict - seriously just as delicious as the night of our wedding. Not a hint of staleness or bad taste. Guess all those layers of syran wrap and ziplock bags did their job!

A week later we were eating more wedding cake at the wedding of Lauren and Yuri. It was a beautiful ceremony at a church in Coral Springs.
I get a little teary whenever I see brides and dads

The new Mr & Mrs!
And a rockin party at the Gallery One in Fort Lauderdale!

 I'm going to go ahead and admit that I don't remember anything between dancing at 11pm and waking up in my own bed at 7am. This has never happened to me before but my husband informed me that it involved crying, throwing up, banging my own head on the stairs, and showering. I have no idea how I showered without realizing it.  Thank goodness my husband takes such good care of me. Happy Anniversary Babe!