This weekend was the perfect blend of relaxation, productivity and family.  Saturday we had my husband’s nephew over for lunch.  I was so happy to have company over after not having company for months (well, other than my Momma  – hi Mom!) that I only took one picture!  I made homemade cheezy beef sandwiches, and homemade potato chips.  And well, since the fryer was there, decided to make some beer battered jalapenos on the side.

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Chris stayed for a couple hours and it was nice to catch up.  We ate kind of a late lunch, so when I asked Tony what he felt like for dinner, he couldn’t think of anything and I said “what about a cheese, meat and fruit plate?”  Done!  I could easily eat this every day and never get sick of it, well, other than the lack of nutrition except for the fruit!

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Tony and I both love procuitto – what I don’t like is the $14.99 price tag!  Check out and see if your deli has what are called proscuitto ends.  I got this one for less than $3.00.  I put it in the freezer before 10 minutes before slicing so I can get nice thin shaved slices – it pairs so well with cantaloupe!

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Tony left for Mayo Clinic yesterday.  He has his check up and tests with the cardiologist, and while I wish I could be there with him, since I only have one vacation day for the rest of the year before I get unpaid time off, we decided he should make the trip by himself.  So he left around 11:30 yesterday morning and I, or course, like any football Sunday, got bizzy in my kitchen.  I made a batch of granola for my co-workers birthday, zucchini coconut muffins, strawberry sauce for parfaits, and then I made another recipe for a recipe contest.  I decided my odds of winning recipe contests would increase the more I enter!  Sebastiani Vineyards is sponsoring a “Pizza My Way” pizza contest.  You just have to make the dough and sauce from scratch.  I entered my Mexican Pizza.  Next week I am going to make my Reuben Pizza.  Janine, you make tons of good pizzas – you should enter too – first prize is $10,000!

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Before I knew it, it was time to head to my Mom’s house.  Hannah and her boyfriend were meeting me there.  I got there about an hour before.  Mom and I sat outside, enjoyed a glass of wine and some of the bruschetta spread I made.  There’s no real recipe for my spread.  I just seeded and threw some tomatoes in my food processor with basil, garlic, olive oil, splash of balsamic, salt, pepper and fresh Parmesan cheese – I threw the cheese in whole, didn’t grate it, so it had little chunks of Parmesan cheese in it.  The crostini was just French bread sliced thin, brushed with olive oil, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, baked at 350 for 12-15 minutes until crisp.

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I ended up grilled a whole chicken.  Just washed, rubbed dry, then brushed with melted butter, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  My Mom has a two burner gas grill, so I grilled it indirectly – once side off (the side the chicken is on) and had the other burner on high.  This 5 pound chicken (well, before I cut out the back) took about an hour to cook.

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I made a giant batch of my homemade mac n cheese, because Hannah loves it.  She loves the tiny shells, as she’s convinced that the shaped pasta has more flavor – this was the only picture I had of it!  It has diced black forest ham in it.  I took it to my Mom’s and baked it at 350 for about 20 minutes just to heat through.  Then I mixed 1/2 a cup of Italian style panko bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter and put that over the top and finish it up under the broiler until the top is nice and brown and crispy.  Hannah didn’t give the chicken a second look once she set her eyes on the mac n cheese!

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For dessert, I decided to make a Salted Caramel Apple Pie.  When I make my granola, I boil the sugar and brown sugar until it gets a caramel color before mixing it with the dry ingredients.  I wondered if I could do the same for the apple pie, so threw caution to the wind and decided to give it a go.  I used my favorite pie crust recipe here.


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The secret to a good pie is to try to get all the apples the same size.  Also, Fuji apple is my go to apple for any baked apple – plus they are Tony’s favorite to eat.

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It was dark by the time we ate it, so there are no pics of the finished product, but boy was this insulin worthy!  I served it with a side of vanilla bean ice cream.  We had such a good time, Mom put out lots of candles.  We had wine with dinner and coffee with dessert.  Lots of laughs!

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PicMonkey Collage - kiss

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Hannah is quite a bit taller than my Mom, I love how she bends down to hug her!  It was a nice evening – happy belated birthday dinner Momma!

Well, time to get this show on the road.  Have to put together all the food I made for the birthday girl in the office.  She’s now my age, so I can’t really call her old now, can I?! Open-mouthed smile

I have my follow up with my doctor at lunch to let me know if in fact I have a torn meniscus or not.  Fingers crossed it’s nothing serious.  Send good thoughts Tony’s way for a good check up this morning.  Make it a great day!