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A Family Weekend Away

12 Aug

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So maybe they aren’t family, but they’re darn close!!

Most summers, my friend Kathy and I (along with Earnest Phred) take a trip to visit friends in Pennsylvania. Usually it’s a quick QUICK trip – Friday afternoon to Monday morning – but this year we extended by a day!

Of course the drive was super super exciting* and it took us a bit longer than expected to get there (Thank you NY State Road Works team). NB: I will never in all my life EVER understand how traffic can come to a full and complete stop on a highway. For half hours at a time!! But, I digress!

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*not actually exciting at all!

When we got to Harrisburg, our friends were at a neighborhood block party so we joined them at their neighbor’s house for burgers and dogs. Okay, technically just a burger (half a bun, thankyouverymuch!). Then we headed back to Jenn and Mark’s house to unwind on their porch.

We had no real plans for Saturday so after moseying around the house for a bit, we went out to a local farm and picked blueberries. Ya’ll! I haven’t ever seen such big berries before!! And so many of them!

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And that would be my fabulously blueberry stained hand there…

And then we came home and baked a gluten-free pie!

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And by “we” I mean Jennifer…

 

Which was quite tasty!

It was a lazy stay in night and we ordered up some pizza.

Got up Sunday morning and when Jennifer asked about my training run scheduled for the weekend I was truthful and said 3 miles – so we laced up and headed out. It was really a nice run, and not too hot and not terribly humid (though sweat *did* happen!) Got in a bit over 3 and had a decent pace – I think Jenn’s long legs helped with that!

That evening, as always seems to happen, it started to rain while we were getting ready to head to dinner and then Hershey Park (to ride the rides you don’t want to take a 3 year-old on!). But we got to see this on the way to the restaurant so – bright side!

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Dinner was great! And naturally by the time we were ready to head to the park the weather cleared and we were able to get on a few coasters before the rain started again. While it was raining, Jennifer kicked some butts in air hockey.

Headed home because Monday was going to be our full park day!! All the roller coaster-y fun is recapped here! We ended the day with the family picture above, but then I had to get a picture with my other main man — Sorry Goofy

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After a stop at Chocolate World to see the singing cows

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it was definitely time for home and getting ready for the drive home on Tuesday! And I can’t wait to get back to Hershey Park in October!!

Tuesday we decided to take a different route home, hoping to avoid all of the road “work” that was going on when we drove over Friday. This led us to a little place called Kitchen Kettle Village and did some browsing and tasting. Quite a bit of tasting actually!! And, of course a little picture taking 🙂

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Phred seems a little unsure of that big cookie!

 

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OMG!!! He was there in person!!! (I’m holding Phred mainly so he doesn’t try to pee on the big cookie…cause…he might…)

Then it was straight on to home, which was a much MUCH nicer trip than on the way over!

Heading back in October for the Hershey Half Marathon and more fun with friends – and I can’t WAIT!!

 

O Christmas Tree

22 Dec

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One of my favorite parts of Christmas is the tree, but this year I kind of slacked off and only put up the tree. There are only 2 ornaments on it. And one of them was in the box with the tree so…

But this has always been one of my favorites 🙂 No, really, it IS safe to say that they are all my favorites.

Today, finishing up some baking – cookies that have been properly refrigerated so that they turn out perfect! My cranberry noels from the first day and these Chewy Brown Sugar cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction! I’m also going to bake Ina Garten’s Pound Cake. The weather is not at all conducive to trying out the Divinity again so that might have to wait until after Christmas!

I made a kind of last minute decision to go to my Dad’s for Christmas so can bring some of these down to him. I feel like Christmas just came way too fast this year so not as much baking, decorating or shipping off packages of goodies took place.

But there’s always New Year’s, right?!

Let’s Step Into Christmas, Mkay?!!

19 Dec

Absolutely one of my top five  favorite (secular) Christmas songs!!

 

Busy work day … time to relax in the kitchen!

 

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Hippos and Divinity.

18 Dec

When I was in college, one of my sorority sisters just LOVED Hippopatamusses…Hippopatami? She loved them! So whenever Christmas rolls around and I hear this song it makes me think of Sharon!

 

In the baking / candy making arena, I’ve had two failed attempts at divinity. It’s very frustrating since it’s the same recipe I’ve used my whole life! I think my candy thermometer is off so will try a new one (after buying more supplies!). I hate to think of trying a new recipe but that might be my next step if Try Number Three doesn’t work out!

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Emeril’s Divinity

It’s The Holiday Season!!

16 Dec

Christmas Wreaths

In addition to starting the Working From Home part of my job – for real this time! – today was also a big Christmas prep day. And that means MUSIC! Today’s song is one that I love to listen to, no matter who is singing it!

The version I’m sharing today is by the fabulous Harry Belafonte and gets to the real point of the Christmas season.

I managed to make some meringue cookies today – one batch had cherries and pecans and another was a chocolate meringue . I had to test them and I approve! 🙂  Also mixed up some sugar cookies for decorating and will probably bake those this weekend.

I’m on the hunt for my mom’s peppermint cookie recipe …it’s in here somewhere!! Its’s a very crumbly cookie with chopped pecans and a filling of crushed up peppermints! 

And, oh yeah, that running thing? I think I’m almost ready to get back on the road and I cannot WAIT!!

Holiday Singalong – Day 2!!

15 Dec
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Maybe about 5-6 inches?

So last night we got a big ol’ snow storm (well, a medium ol’ snow storm anyway!). And I also got the tree up and after a VERY much delayed start to my holiday celebrating/baking/decorating I am FINALLY jumping right on it.

After shoveling out today (or, maybe I had someone do it for me…) I ran a couple of errands and now it’s time to settle in and let the smell of chocolate and butter and sugar and nuts and all kinds of other goodies take over the house for the next week.

And when I do my Christmas baking, I like to crank some really random music. Today’s selection includes:

On the “menu” for today is some quick and easy fudge, some not so quick and easy divinity (that I have been wanting to make for the last year at least!) and mixing up some cranberry noel cookies – I first made these a few years ago and they have become a favorite of mine for sure! They are most excellent with coffee any time of day!!

Today’s apron is a favorite from my college roommate –

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As you can see, I am not terribly consistent with my apron ironing…

So what do you have left to do to get ready for Christmas??!

Singalong Saturday!!!

14 Dec

And because ’tis the Season…

And of course the part that sticks in my head ALL DAY is “hey Santa (hey Santa)!” so…

We may have to do a singalong for the next 11 days! And beyond!! I have a super special one for New Year’s Eve!!

Winter is coming in early – we’re getting a snow “storm” today (I live in the 6″-8″ band)

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Thank you Darren Sweeney at NBC Connecticut for the graphic!

which will hopefully give me the motivation to FINALLY put up my beloved Christmas tree and some lights lights lights!! Also. Baking 🙂

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