Food Fest Part 2: A Weekend Full of Recipes

Before I launch into a slew of amazing recipes, I want to say that the food wasn’t the only reason my last trip up to Virginia was so good.  Last weekend was an amazing visit for so many reasons.  I got to spend a lot of time with my parents, help and attend my twin sister’s baby shower, get my hair done (cut and highlights…thanks, Mom!), see my little sister, hang out with Aunt Barb and Uncle Ray, go shopping in Target for a full hour ALONE, have a glass of wine or beer each night, bond with Sidney by herself, watch some fun and sweet YouTube videos (lip dub proposal…best thing ever…I cried ever time I watched it!), eat Bruster’s Ice Cream, stop at Sheetz, drink lots of coffee, and relax and unwind for a little while.  Really, I just loved having three and a half days to spend with my family.  Plus, I am so excited for my sister, and this was my last chance to hang out with her before the babies come.  She looked amazing with her big belly, and I even got to feel a baby kick.  I cannot wait to be an aunt!  Oh, man, am I excited for her and CE. Thinking about the twins makes me want to squeal.

Of course, I missed Shawn, Riley, and Adrian, but we really did have a wonderful weekend, and I think Shawn enjoyed his daddy time with the big kids.

So thank you, Mom, Dad, Allison, Aunt Barb, Uncle Ray, Claire, and Sidney for everything.

Now, onto the food!

1.  Banana Bread Cobbler.  This dessert is amazing.  We had it in Virginia with Bruster’s banana chocolate chip ice cream.  So, so good!  I could probably eat the whole thing. It was so good that I made it when I got home for Shawn and the kids.  It was so good then that Shawn said it was one of his favorite desserts I have ever made.  That means it’s up there!  At home, I didn’t have as much butter as the recipe called for, so I cut the butter from the batter and just used a little cup of applesauce.  In the topping, I cut the butter by a third.  Seriously, I couldn’t taste the difference!  I just figured I could eat more!

2.  Hawaiian Ham Party Sandwiches.  Okay, I could eat a whole pan of these without even thinking about it.  And I did eat five before 11am on the drive home.  For this, we cut the topping in half (which means half the butter).  We also used different cheese (Munster, Provolone, and Cheddar).  They melt in your mouth.

3.  Bundles of Joy.  I found these on Pinterest, and we made them for Allison’s shower.  They were a big hit and really easy to make.

I found these Windy City Crescent Rolls on Claire Bidwell Smith’s blog through Pinterest.

4.  Paula Dean Red Velvet Cupcakes.  I am not a huge cupcake person.  Usually, I find them to be a little dry.  Or a lot dry.  Not these ones.  I don’t think I have ever had better cupcakes.  Even the next day, they were delicious.  And they should have been.  We even sifted the dry ingredients.

5.  Sweet Potato Casserole from Taste of Home.  I loved this.  My aunt made this my first night with meatloaf.  I love meatloaf.  But Shawn doesn’t.  And my aunt is a great cook!  This casserole was amazing.  I seriously kept wanting to eat more and more.  And then I finished it Sunday night.  Prior to having Banana Bread Cobbler.


My Extended Village

The month of May has been a friends and family fest.  First, I spent two weeks in Virginia with my parents and sisters.  Then Shawn and I took the gang to PA for a tour of friend visits.  We caught up with the Fords, Omans, Harmons, Sukowskis, and Pinchots.  We spent over thirty hours in the car in the course of our travels, telling stories, sleeping, and reading.  But I also had plenty of time to reflect on how fortunate I am to have such a close and wonderful family and good, good friends.  Though our visits were too quick, our time together always, always too short, it was enough to remind me how fortunate I am to have such a strong and extended village of people who care about me, Shawn, and our kids.  It was enough to fill me with generosity, kindness, and thoughtfulness.  When we returned home last week, I felt overwhelmingly grateful for three weeks worth of wonderful moments.  And I wanted to take a moment to say thank you.

Thank you for…

spoiling my children with hugs, clothes, books, cars, and art projects.

Primanti Bros.

egg-cellent breakfasts.

sweet and spicy peppers.

intro to Game of Thrones and iPad envy.

cookouts and coffee.

muffins and confetti cake.

beaver dam walks and front yard swimming.

many, many Settlers of Catan matches.

Amish bread and master bedroom displacement.

back yard barbecues and patio parties.

diaper changes.

chalk and bubbles.

an Elmo birthday party.

children’s museum and playground trips.

Girl’s Weekend.

little people and train sets.

mini bottles of Moscado.

big bottles of red.

catch-up conversations.

laughter.  Lots of laughter.

We love you.  Thank you for loving us and being part of our lives.