Archive for August, 2010

The Precious

I didn’t let myself down this weekend. I cooked. I really did. Not nearly as much as I would have liked, but I definitely cooked.

I was only sidelined briefly by the allure of pepperoni and mushroom pizza. I made up for it by making a fantastic red wine and rosemary mushroom sauce. I may have put it on a piece of medium steak. 

I’ll share the pictures and the recipes this week. For sure. Now, though, I’m going to share a simply picture I ripped off the interwebs. 

“Why?” you ask. 

“Because,” I respond before pressing ‘upload.’

The Precious

I post this because this little lovely recently made its way onto our wedding registry. I didn’t tell anyone because, well, no one was around for me to tell. But now I’m telling you. I did it. I put it on our registry. The one gift I have been saying will be on our registry is now on our registry. It was a moment, I’m telling you. A real moment. 

It feels almost as if I have the slim chance of being reunited with my long-lost twin sister. If we receive nothing else but this mixer, life will still be glorious and wonderful and beautiful. 

It really is my version of the One Ring. Scary, isn’t it?


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I will be married in October. I will point out that this eight months ahead of the date that we originally scheduled our wedding.

Before you ask, I do not have a bun in the oven. Thanks goes to my 92-year-old grandma, for reminding me that there was a practical reason for a quick wedding in the 1930s. Of course she did so with a wink and a laugh. This is the woman who reminded me that you never know where you’ll meet your “special someone” since she met my grandfather in a pub. At the time, he was visiting Milwaukee from St. Louis. A few short years later, he moved her from Milwaukee to “Hell” as she affectionately called St. Louis in the dead of summer. Now that’s a love story.

After a lot of soul-searching and some conversations about practical long-term plans, Shannon and I decided we’d much rather spend our money throwing a backyard BBQ reception for 200 of our closest friends and family than on a fancy wedding with bridesmaids and finery that would require us to cut people from our guest list.

Total wedding budget then? $4,000. Total wedding budget now? $1500. Happiness level then? Happy. Happiness level now? SUPER happy.

We’ll get married in October. The first weekend in November, our guests will join us at my parents’ rural home for a backyard BBQ and bonfire reception. The decor – fall foliage – and the attire – comfortable and causal – make me quite happy. The food makes me even more so. My mom and I will be cooking for our guests. I will be able to make my own cupcakes. My dad is going to build me a custom cupcake stand. My reception, in my head, is already perfect. Once the love of all our family and friends is added, it will outshine anything I’d imagined.

I am so excited.

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Sometimes I forget I have a life that exists beyond work. It’s the beginning of another school year, and I’m in the midst of the thrill of the first week of classes at the moment. This means I’m at work from 8am – 11pm some days.

I do not exaggerate when it comes to the length of the days.

Last night, I fell into bed at 8pm to watch a new episode of “Ghost Hunters.” I woke up when Shannon called me an hour later. Good thing I have a DVR. I started off this morning by oversleeping. My alarm went off at 6am. I woke up at 6:53am. Uh oh. I digress.

Vegetable Fritatta and Steamed Vanilla Milk at Roux Lafayette

The point of all of this is to remind myself that I have been a poor blogger lately. It’s also to remind myself that I have failed to cook anything creative in quite a while. All of you who read (or past tense “read”) before my long leave of work and craziness already realize these things. If you didn’t, I’d be surprised.

Spicy Blonde Microbrew at Square One Brewery

I promised myself when I started this most recent food adventure that I wouldn’t be “that blogger” again. I feel, in some ways, as if I’ve failed. I’ve tried to remind myself that it’s really because work has been so crazy that I haven’t felt like cooking. I’ve also tried to remind myself that I have plenty of chances to start cooking again coming up after Labor Day weekend. All that being said, I still feel like I need to get back on track. In reality, I’m at home in my kitchen. It’s my zen location. It’s where I work off stress and whip up goodies. The fact that they longest I’ve been in it recently is to heat up some pre-grilled chicken I purchased at Trader Joe’s makes me sad.

With that being said, I promise things will get back to normal shortly. Food will be cooked. Photos will be taken. Words will be shared.

Nachos at Square One Brewery

I plan on starting these things on Saturday. Originally, we were talking about going out to dinner and seeing a movie. Instead, I might see if the soon-to-be-hubby wants to spend the day at home. It sounds a bit more up my alley for this time of the year. A bit more relaxing. Even though restaurants have been the bright spots in long, long weeks recently, a glass of wine at my patio sounds like something I’d prefer to the hustle this weekend.

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Re-Thinking a Wedding

Shannon and I have been doing a lot of soul-searching and discussing about our wedding in the last few days. We’ve been talking money, we’ve been talking venues, we’ve been talking stress. We’ve also been talking where we go from “I do.” We’ve been talking about starting a family. We’ve been talking about where we’d buy a house.

Really, we’ve been talking a five-year plan. So, it makes sense that we’re re-thinking some things. Being practical. Being pragmatic. Being true to what our gut is telling us to do.

For now, that’s as much as I’ll say. We haven’t made any hard and fast decisions. We have, however, put contracting with the caterer on hold until next week. Let that say what it will, right?

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…you know it’s going to be a good day.

Sunday was a great day. We got up fairly early and made our way to a local cafe for breakfast. We hit the local farmers market (closed on Sunday, oops!). We found the Bittersweet Bakery for a lunch of ridiculously decadent desserts. And all before we made our way to the local art museum for an exhibit on mourning.

Did I mention that we rounded out the day with a picnic lunch on the living room floor while we watched Kick Ass? No? Well, we did.

Although the whole day was wonderful, the focal point was really the dessert lunch we had at Bittersweet. Let me tell you, this place was phenomenal. The selection of cookies (Lavender Shortbread, anyone?) and biscotti (Double Chocolate Chip) was unbelievable. And the bread pudding? Absolutely sinful in every way.

Just look at it!

I was also a huge fan of Shannon’s Black Walnut Brownie ice cream cone. Can you blame me?

Between the two of us, we ingested enough sugar to put a diabetic into shock. It was so, so worth it, though. So worth it. It was so worth it that I didn’t mind not eating much of anything for the remainder of the day. Who needed to after having half of that bread pudding? Surely not me!

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