Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day...

Yesterday was my baby's first day of Preschool. He got to ride the bus & everything! But, he is in the afternoon class, which means no more nap time (THE.HORROR.)
Preschool is hard...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's a Keeper...

Back to school also means quick weeknight meals. Tuesday, before open house, I tried this recipe based on the fact that I already had these exact ingredients on hand, &, they ALL ate it. My hubby & Rachel even went for seconds, & Natalie (Ms. Picky-Pants) told me it was a keeper. Who knew?

Anyway, I refer to it as my own Semi-Homemade, 30-Minute Meal creation...

P.S. Tonight is Taco Lasagna from my friend Morgan's Mom. I'll let you know how it goes, but, they all eat actual tacos. So, it should be fine...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to School...

That's right state of Michigan, my kids are already back to school today! With that comes classroom birthdays. Also, my daughter has a September birthday, so this is my chance to start a precedent. In the onslought of paperwork we received last night at open house was a copy of the classroom rules. Regarding birthday celebrations they requested that nonedible treats be brought in. i.e. pencils, erasers, stickers & the like. Having a child with a food allergy, I was elated! Finally, a school activity of sorts that is not surrounded by food. So, my question to you, oh creative internet minds (particularly Julie) is what should I send in that the entire class would enjoy? Boys & girls alike. Keep in mind, we are dealing with 7/8 year olds.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Holland, MI Dining Experiences Part II...

Our second night in Holland was more amazing. We rented a speed boat & chilled on Lake Michigan for 3 hours. Then, we got cleaned up for dinner. We were recommended The Piper by the general manager at our hotel. Let me just say how great it was. Different than anything we've been to in Toledo. We had a view of Lake Macatawa, the sun was setting, & the food was like something straight from the Food Network!

We started with salads. James tried the summer stack without much success. He got a rotten tomato slice. I had the bruschetta toss. It was edible, but nothing fantastic. The white cheese on top is mozzarella di bufala. It was completely unrememberable.
The entrees were much better. James tried the evening steak special. Beef tenderloin & prawn skewers. This was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! It had color, height, & was VERY flavorful. I was truly impressed...
I tried the artichoke ravioli. It was o.k. But, a bit too much vinagrette on top. It was overkill. But again, presentation was very nice...Finally, it's not vacation without dessert. I am a sucker for tiramasu. Whenever I see it, I have to try it. This had an added bonus of being made with mascarpone. Now, I've heard of this numerous times on the Food Network, & if it's good enough for Bobby Flay to use, it's good enough for me to try. It was amazing. Lighter than regular sour cream. There was a frangelica hazelnut cream sauce on the side too, & it was bursting with light flavor, adding tremendous layers of enjoyment!All & all, it was a great experience made better by the fact that I didn't have to cut up anyone else's dinner, or use the powder room while my meal was still hot & fresh!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Holland, MI Dining Experiences Part I...

We started our evening at a local favorite. The Crazy Horse Steakhouse & Saloon. James could get a steak, & I could try something new...

Appetizers anyone? These are PRETZEL crusted mozzarella sticks. Very nice crunch. Something different from run of the mill mozzarella sticks.

SHOCK! James tried the Cowboy Ribeye. Essentially a steak with a baked potatoe & fried onions on top. He said it was very well prepared, but honestly, he grills a good ribeye at home too.

Now, I tried the South by Southwest Tilapia. I chose veggies & smashed red potatoes (yummy) for the sides. See that dollup in the middle of the fish? That's chipotle-lime butter, & it is AWESOME! Overall a very elegant dish & the flavors blended very well together. The butter helped calm some of the heat on the fish making it more enjoyable to eat.

That's it for this installment. The next entry is a more "up" scale establishment...

Friday, August 1, 2008

And the Winners Are...

This is the finalized "block party" playlist (alphabetically by song title, because I'm THAT anal about some things, in order to mix up genres):

All Night Long (All Night) : Lionel Richie
Dancing In the Streets: David Bowie & Mick Jagger
Down On the Corner: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Jenny from the Block: Jennifer Lopez
Our House: Madness
Saturday In the Park: Chicago
Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting): Elton John
Summer Nights: John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
Summer Nights: Van Halen
Summer of '69: Bryan Adams
Summertime: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Summertime: Kenny Chesney
Summertime: New Kids on the Block
Summertime Blues: Alan Jackson
When the Sun Goes Down: Kenny Chesney

My biggest disappointment was the fact the Kid Rock's "All Summer Long" was not available on iTunes. That is the song that started this entire search. Plus, it was a VERY narrow search. They had to be songs that involved streets, summer, or Saturdays since this is for a BLOCK party, in the STREET, during the SUMMER, on a SATURDAY night.

I know. I can get weird sometimes.

Well, I'm on vacation all next week, so don't party too much while I'm gone. I will be checking in after Wednesday...