I had such a fun weekend.   Tony’s nephew and his wife and two kids stopped by on Saturday for a visit.  They were visiting from Tennessee and I am just so happy that they carved out some time to meet me – because it’s the first time meeting their daughter and only the second time I’ve met their son. 

PicMonkey Collage - HB

It’s nice that Tony’s extended family hasn’t forgotten about me now that he’s passed away.  Although Tony used to joke that if we ever got divorced he said that all his friends and family would stay on my side after the divorce!  Can you get over those baby lips, tiny toes and that smile?  The dogs did great.  I was  bit worried and had them in the bedroom with the door shut.  I wasn’t worried about the dogs so much, but I wasn’t sure how their son was around dogs, and being that they were both little, I thought it might be a bit scary for him, but he loved them.  Even had to get away a couple times when Roman wanted to lick his ears when he was on the floor!  And Roman was also very interested in the baby – it was all so cute.   It was a great afternoon spent catching up and I hope to plan a road trip down to the Nashville area when it gets nicer out, so I’ll be the one to come visit.  Izzy and I could do some damage in her kitchen! 

Saturday night also marked the second annual Ruth’s Chris birthday dinner for Jacob.  He turned 24 yesterday.  While Jacob and I both woke up dreaming about their awesome beef, Hannah was a bit apprehensive.  Last year she got a salad and onion rings, and while the onion rings were outstanding, the salad was just okay for her.  But it’s the equivalent of ordering lasagna in an Irish pub!   I was so proud that she actually ordered a shrimp dish, and declared it the best shrimp she’s ever tasted.  Jacob got the 22 ounce bone-in Cowboy ribeye, and I got the petite ribeye, which wasn’t even that petite at 16 ounces.  I brought over half of it home.  But I took one bite of Jacob’s beef and declared it would have been worth the extra $8 to get the 22 ounce ribeye.

PicMonkey Collage RC

Hannah and I need to find a recipe for their cremini mushrooms – the sauce maybe has cognac in it?  All I know is that we were all fighting over those mushrooms.  It was a fun evening out.

The only bad part of having your birthday on Easter is that a lot of places were closed for the day.  He originally wanted to have a Chinese fest, but the two best Chinese restaurants were closed for the day.  I knew it wasn’t going to be too bad weather wise outside, and asked if there was anything he wanted to have for dinner that was grilled.  Ribs!   Jacob’s Mom picked up country ribs and came over and popped those in my oven, while I made pork spare ribs – mainly because Hannah is picky about ribs and I knew she’d like the “skinnier” ribs.  I made a batch of my Rudy’s copycat BBQ sauce,  and we baked our ribs for three hours in the oven at 250 degrees, and I finished them off on the Weber.  I had a hell of a time starting the coals because it was raining by the time I started to grill, but I got it to work.

PicMonkey Collage Weber

I love my copper colored Weber grill I got last year.  And I love how Jacob’s Mom cooks like I do – buying enough food for 10 people, even though we were only cooking for five!  And Roman was trying to sway my Mom into giving any leftovers off her plate, you know, just in case she didn’t want it anymore.

I am up early today because I am actually headed downtown for the State finals for a High School Culinary Competition at Kendall College.  I was there back in early February when I was a guest judge and spending that day around chefs, and the cooking college –   it basically was the turning point in me deciding that I didn’t want to work at my job anymore.   And here we are and I’ve been off of work for a month, I spent 11 days of that month in Austin, and I get to do things like being a judge at a culinary competition without having to worry about work, or if someone else requested the day off, etc.  I am thankful every day that my husband and I were smart enough to buy life insurance – I urge anyone who’s married, even if you are young, to buy it, because you just don’t know if and when you’ll ever need it.

You can follow me along on Instagram (mybizzykitchen) until my next post on Wednesday.  Time to go catch the train to Chicago – hope you had an amazing weekend.  Make it a great day!