Tag Archives: Friendship

Cooking Like the French Do!

3 Oct

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When we were planning this trip, one of the very second things we decided to do, after running a marathon and drinking the champagne of course!, was to take a cooking class. I mean…really…how could I not?!

One thing that we knew we absolutely HAD to do in Paris was take a cooking class! Now, I love to bake but I’m pretty plain Jane when it comes to actual cooking grown up food. I enjoy reading recipes and thinking I’ll make some more fancy stuff, but I never do. This would be a chance to learn some new stuff that I’d hopefully be able to use.

Eydie thought I might want to do something related to baking but real food seemed to be the way to go (though, trust me, there were a lot of baking offerings as well!!)

We registered in advance and on our final day in Paris got up early for breakfast and headed out to meet the rest of our group at an outdoor market. The plan is that you shop for your ingredients then head back to the school to do the actual prep and cooking. And EATING!!

As a side note, to continue a recurring theme of this trip, our chef/teacher was from…yes, you guessed it….Texas 🙂

After deliberation, we selected to make scallops (the other options were lamb and veal, which BLECH!). We shopped for our scallops – in the shells still mind you! – as well as some veggies to roast, some cheese and berries for dessert.

It was really interesting to learn about some different and new (to me) veggies as well as hearing about how cheeses are made and aged and what makes them different.

Once back at the school we unpacked our goodies and started the prep work. With 8 of us things went pretty quick and it wasn’t long before we sat down to enjoy our scallops and roasted veg. We were also able to enjoy some nice wine.

The scallops were cooked very simply – salt and pepper and seared in a hot pan. The veggies were tossed with olive oil, some herbs and salt and pepper and stuck in a hot oven while we did the work on the scallops All of this was served with a really delicious, and surprisingly easy, hollandaise sauce – all plated in  a very lovely manner…

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A stack of veggies in the middle with my three scallops…notice the artful “smear” of sauce…

Remember the scallops were in their shells? Well…you know we had to clean those suckers ourselves!! I seemed to be the only one having trouble even getting the darn thing open! I got some help with that and was soon cleaning away with everyone else.

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Our main course was followed with the cheese plate that we had put together in the market and also our berries with whipped cream. One thing that made the whipped cream really tasty was that we added lime zest when whipping. By hand.

Once lunch ended and we said goodbye to our new friends, and took the mandatory medal selfie,

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And medal shot….

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Eydie and I headed back to E. Dehillerin so I could pick up a Staub coquette – I had gone in looking for Le Crueset but really liked the simple black Staub. And, bonus, we had a coupon from the cooking school so once again, my procrastination and indecisiveness paid off! And I also decided to get a set of grown-up tongs!

 

After wandering around a bit (okay, I got us a little lost!) and found this park….

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we headed back to the room. I still needed to get some Eiffel Tower medal shots. E was tired so stayed in and I headed out once again making a stop at M. Georges for some macaroons for Phred’s babysitter (and, who am I kidding, me!) and of course the kouignettes which totally lived up to the reviews!!

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This is a pastry that is Right up my alley — slightly crispy puffy pasty with chewy gooey caramely goodness

Once I’d stocked up I wandered to Le Tour…where I hung around long enough to see them lighting it up for the night!

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The medal visits the Eiffel Tower

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I am not smiling because I have to leave tomorrow…

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There’s a great light show that ends with this!!

I didn’t hang out too long, since I still needed to finish packing and get some sleep – the shuttle was coming pretty early in the morning and after our trip FROM the airport, we were prepared for a very long ride out!

Up next, my final (sob) Paris post – really a wrap-up and recap along with some extra pictures that will hopefully make you smile!!!

I would HIGHLY recommend finding a way to take some sort of class on YOUR next trip to Paris! I know that I plan on it!!

 

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!!

 

Singalong Saturday! The Disney Edition

22 Feb

Okay…Genie was on the course today and now I cannot get this out of my head!!

You’re welcome 🙂

Oh heck — here’s more Disney Friendship!!

Hope you’re having a Magical Day!!

Looking Ahead!

2 Feb

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So, it’s Sunday and I’m going to do something new.  I’m going to plan my week ahead of time – I’m gonna MAKE things happen and not just let them happen TO me!! Or something like that 😉

Anyway, tonight is a big night on TV – lots of great new commercials that we’ve all seen on YouTube and Facebook this week will ‘premier’ during a football game. The game itself is supposed to kick off at 6:30 but I imagine coverage will start sometime around 11 tonight…But, our favorite Puppy Bowl starts earlier and runs all day!

I’ve picked up my Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred and let me tell you, I don’t want to EVER go so long without working out again. She is KILLING ME!! But … I’m not dead yet! So my plan this week is to do her Level 1 workout Monday Tuesday and Wednesday morning after taking the Phred for a walk.

This week I’m also going to head back down to Texas for a few days — a couple with my dad and then, over the weekend, a reunion with a few of my sorority sisters! So really excited for this!! I just saw Susie last year when I was in Disneyland for the #DumboDoubleDar and it’s probably been over a year since I’ve seen Ann (who happens to live in Houston so that’s crazy!!) and I haven’t seen Janet since back when Duran Duran were really hot! Unfortunately a couple of the other girls can’t make it but we’ll be doing this again for sure!

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Letters from jpgreek.com

So today is a day for packing and cleaning and getting ready for the week! And enjoying the spring-like weather outside – though our friend Phil in Punxsutawney says we have 6 more weeks of winter. Some of us say Yay!! Some of us…well, we don’t!

Make this a great Sunday and don’t forget to get out there and

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One Day (or a Few!) at a Time!

10 Dec

Lots of catching up to do…but first, because I love the random YouTube embed that gets a song stuck in your head 😉

So, we had Thanksgiving and I’ve started a new job –

Travel Day went okay – slight glitch when my flight out of Cleveland was canceled but United Airlines got me re-booked before I was even able to get to the gate to complain!! I had great baking and working plans for when I got to Dad’s house.

So I did get a decent day’s work in (I’m still waiting to be fully set up to work remotely so not a WHOLE lot  I can do!) and me and pop’s went out for dinner.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is always a day I go to my brother’s and do the baking for Thursday. Once upon a time my nephews helped out. Now they’re teenagers. Just kidding, my oldest boy was a great help to me this year!!

And then this happened — Yummmmmm!!!

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Apple Pie – possibly the best I’ve ever made!

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Pumpkin Pie — YUM!!

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Chocolate ganache topping for the chocolate cheesecake…Super Yummy!!

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Chocolate cheesecake – a first time recipe that turned out quite nice!

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Tasty orange jello dessert – of course in the south we call it a Salad 😉

And then, unfortunately, THIS happened……

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“What is the dog got to the apple pie, Alex?”

Which caused this to  happen……

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He looks kind of remorseful, doesn’t he?

Turkey day went off without a hitch as usual. My brother makes a mean turkey – this year the brine was a new spicier version than usual and the stuffing was rice. I made home made rolls for the first time in MANY years..

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It would probably have been good to take a picture of the BAKED rolls!!

All in all, it seemed like a much lighter meal than usual which left plenty of room for pie!!

It has recently become a tradition to go to the Texas Renaissance Faire on the Friday after Thanksgiving but this year I had to bow out – I was planning to go to a rosary for my oldest friend’s mom who passed away that week but ended up feeling kind of sick so slept instead.

Saturday I *did* feel better and went to Freddie’s funeral – it was the first one I’d been to since my own mom’s a few years ago and I handled it much better than I thought.

Afterwards, we were meeting at her house which is in the neighborhood where I grew up. So before heading over, I took a tour.

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It’s hard to see behind the big tree, but this is the house I grew up in.

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These are pictures of the parking lot where I first learned to avoid running in PE class 🙂

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4 laps was a mile — and it would take me the whole class to get through it!!

Funny how things seem closer and smaller when we get bigger.

Eydie and I spent a few hours talking about a lot of stuff. Just a little bit of history here – we met in first grade and I can’t remember a time when we weren’t friends. And as hard as it is, I am so glad I was able to be there for her.

Thanksgiving this year really reminded me how much I have to be thankful for. I got to spend some great time with my dad and family and some really quality time with one of my dearest friends. Even when I get cranky, I’m still happy to be there!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and got to spend time with those who are most important to you!!

Thank you for Being a Friend :)

21 Nov

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Today, I am thankful for my Internet Friends.

Years ago I discovered the world of internet forums (forae? Fori?) and over time have made some great friends. Most of them I’ve actually met in person and some that I still hope to meet.

Running opened a whole new world of friends to meet. Running at Disney even more. Love to bake? Yep! Crafty? I’m not but love reading about your stuff!

When I need advice, I tend to turn to you, my invisible friends, for a first cut at it. When I have good news to share, who hears it first? Well..usually my dad… THEN my internet friends 🙂 Bad news? Eh…I tend to keep that to myself!!

I love that I can run into you at Walt Disney World and you immediately know who I am! And, that I know who you are. Though, I feel a little like a stalker at some times…but don’t we all!! (At the Wine and Dine weekend my friends (also, actually, internet friends!) were surprised that there were people outside of our group who knew who I was!! And that I knew people well enough to hug them in public!!)

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I love that the internet makes the world a little smaller and opens so many doors. And I am thankful for that. I am thankful that I am able to hear different viewpoints and understand why you think that way. I am also thankful to hear people who share my viewpoint and know that I’m not alone.

Thanks to the interwebs, I’m not the only one who thinks that, or feels that, or wants that. I’m thankful for the people the internet has brought into my life, for whatever reason they’re there.

And, the internet has let me get back together with people from my past – family and friends. I am thankful that the internet keeps me up to date on what goes on in their lives. So, while technically they aren’t “Internet Friends” they are still friends I keep in touch with, or have gotten back in touch with, because of the internet.

So if you ever hear me talk about my invisible friends, or my friends in the computer now you know! They’re all my wonderful internet friends!!

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November is a big month for giving thanks, but we should stop and think every day what we are thankful for. It makes life a lot nicer!

Thank Goodness for Friends!!

26 Sep

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Today, I am really thankful for my friends.

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Quotesvalley.com

All of them. The ones I’ve met and the ones I haven’t me. And the ones that are from inside my computer!

I have a friend that I met when I was 4 years old and I have a friend I met 2 weeks ago. I have friends I met in college. And I have friends that fall somewhere in between there.

I have friends I see pretty often, and I have friends I see a couple times a year. And I have friends that I see every couple of years. And I even have friends I’ve never met in person!

Like a lot of people, I know people who are no longer friends for one reason or another. I’m not a big social butterfly kind of person. Anymore 🙂 So I’m not bothered by not having a gazillion friends to hang with.

I hang with the people who mean something to me. People who matter to me. People who make me feel good.

Friendship really does make a day better – even if you don’t get to spend time with your friends, they’re really always there.

In your heart, where they belong.

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