Celebrating Us

Monday, August 20, 2012 | | 15 comments
Today is our special day ...

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I feel so fortunate to fill my days and share my life with this magnificent man !

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My guy is ...


My sweet husband surprised me with an early anniversary celebration while we were in San Francisco earlier this month. Our accommodations during our stay were fabulous. To add to the excitement he researched and made reservations at an amazing restaurant with such a touching sentiment.

He is so sweet and romantic!

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We had an incredible evening and it was topped off with an unexpected appearance from Hubert Keller!

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Yep, he's a keeper! ;)

Happy Anniversary Sweetie! 
I'm looking forward to spending many more loving years together.

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Going Home

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 | | 10 comments

It doesn't matter how old you are, going home is a peaceful and comforting trip.

My entire family is in Michigan. Well, with the exception of one cousin. He didn't get very far though, he and his family live in Illinois. I'm the adventurer of our family ... moved all the way to the east coast! :)

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Is it wrong that one of the highlights of my trip were the gas prices? I snapped this with my phone and sent it to my friends in Connecticut. I can't tell you the last time {if ever} we paid such low gas prices. Not only were they all jealous of my bargain, they asked me to bring some home to them :) 

I probably haven't shared this before but I am gifted. Not necessarily in a good way, but gifted nonetheless. We call it L****(insert last name) Law. If there is a way for something odd or extreme to go wrong, it will happen to me. Nope, I've never ever prospered from this gift. 

Upon arrival to my brother's home he informed me that the compressor in his central air had just bit the dust. No problem, it's only 98 and humid! Michigan was in the middle of a heat wave and it wasn't due to break in the near future. 

Are you catching on to my so called "gift?" UGH! 

I had a continuous "glow" my entire visit ... it wasn't pretty.

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Like the fan? :) It was a cool 95!

My brother Henry, with his two girls Mia and Molly, my son Nicholas, and me.  Kelly was taking the photo and Will was off spending the night with a friend {who had air conditioning ... I almost invited myself to join the fun}

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Fresh seafood isn't readily available in Michigan so I brought a New England feast home. We had lobsters, mussels, and oysters. I really, really, really don't like oysters.  However, my brother roasted them on the grill, drained them, and then put a little sauteed garlic and butter on them and served them in the half shell. They were amazing!

PicMonkey Collage
These sweet little ladies are my cousin's children. I spend a delightful day in Belleville with my Aunt and a few cousins. This is the worst part of living so far away ... I miss out on all the little things in life that add up to so much! Little Francesca {being held by her big sister Sophia) was born two weeks before I came to town. She is a total sweetheart at a whopping 6lbs at 16 days old ~ I was afraid she would break in my arms :)  

The last photo cracks me up! Out of nowhere came this adorable little firefighter. My cousin Michael, her daddy, is a fireman so she comes by the costume naturally.  I felt very safe knowing she was there to rescue us at a moments notice!

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Nicholas was on his way out of town but made the time to stop in for a brief visit. This was completely his idea. No pressure or prompting from his mom!  I love that family is important to him and makes the time to connect even when he's on a tight schedule. 

Please take note pf my stellar photography skills ... put the subjects in direct sunlight so they have to squint!  

Nonetheless, I still like the photo of Nicholas and my Aunt Rose. After my mom passed away she quietly stepped into my life offering support even when I didn't know I need it ~ bless her!

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My cousin Jackie and I {love the squinting!} Can you believe she just had a baby?! It was great to catch up with her. We are working on a girls trip out here next summer. I'm already giddy with excitement! My husband may need to find a place to stay with all the estrogen! Ha.

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One afternoon we went to the farmer's market for some fresh dinner items. I love the faces on my brother and Mia!  Clearly she is begging and he is giving the infamous NO :)  I'm not sure where the rest of the family wandered off to. 

Our dinner was amazing with fresh veggies, meat, cheeses, and fruit! I miss having the market in my backyard.

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I will miss these girlies SO much. During my visit we did crafts, hung out at the MAC and University Club, cooked, shopped and lunched! My favorite time together was late at night when we all climbed into my bed and just talked! 

Mia, the oldest, is not only bright but an amazing soccer player. She has such grace and beauty both inside and out. What I love most about her is that she is completely unaware of her gifts.  Miss Molly makes the most out of each and every day. She has a natural talent of spinning the negative into a positive. We could all learn a lesson from her. Will wanted no part of photos. He ducked and dived and in the end rode off with his friends. No worries, we'll get him in photos next time when he isn't expecting it! :)

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Friday Night Favorite

Saturday, August 4, 2012 | | 11 comments

I am so far behind in posting and catching up with you!

It's been a busy, but fun, summer so far. Rather than trying to "catch up," I'm just going to start from this point and work backwards.

So, here we go ...

We love pizza on the grill and caesar salad so this is the best of both worlds! 

There is something about the ability to linger a littler longer over dinner on a Friday night ... and enjoy a second glass of wine ;)

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I don't measure ingredients when it comes to making pizza. It's all done by sight and how hungry we are.

I make my own pizza dough but store bought works just as well.

Tonight's toppings ~
*grilled chicken {marinade at bottom}
*garlic and herb cheese spread
* parmesan cheese
*fontina cheese
*chopped romaine lettuce
*olive oil with pepper flakes

Heat your grill to a low temperature.

Brush olive oil on the grill to prevent sticking ~ don't skip or you'll be scrapping your dinner off ~ not very eye appealing or tasty!

Stretch out your dough to desired thickness {the thinner side works best} and place on grill. Grill only until slightly browned and flip over carefully ~ mine had a little accident along the way. Oops.

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Now you're ready to load on the goodies!

*brush on a very thin layer of olive oil
*spread on the garlic and herb cheese
*sprinkle on the fontina
*layer the grilled chicken

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Put the lid down and wait for the cheese to melt {yummy!} and the pizza dough to finish baking. 

Don't venture far the grill at this point because you don't want it to burn.

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Pull the pizza off the grill, top it with the caesar salad {I dress mine before I take it out to the grill} and sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese.

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Come and get it hot off the grill!

I promise you'll love this ... call me when it's ready; I'll be right over!

Salad dressing

* 2 {or more if you really like garlic ~ we do!} garlic cloves grated
* 1 juicy lemon ~ you could use two if they aren't providing enough
* 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
* 1 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste ~ this is the deal breaker for the dressing so don't skip
* 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
* 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil

* 1 large or a couple small heads of romaine lettuce

This recipe makes more dressing than you'll need for the pizza so you'll have enough to enjoy for a couple of days.

Chicken marinade
Adapted from Wolfgang Puck

* 2 large chicken breasts {use 1 for the pizza and save the other to put on salads for lunch}
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
* 2 large jalapeno peppers seed and finely chopped {I used hot peppers from my garden this time}
* 3 cloves garlic finely chopped {use less if you'd like}
* 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
* pinch of kosher salt

Marinate for at least 1 1/2 hours so it has time to absorb the flavors.

I've used this marinade for chicken skewers as well.

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