Sisters, State Fairs, and Scrambled Eggs

Hey there! How are you?

Did you have a good weekend?

I definitely did!

This past weekend was all about driving up to see E and making our second annual pilgrimage to the state fair. What made this weekend even more fun is that our best friend T (who is basically our sister in every way but blood) joined in on the fun. Watching T excitedly texting on our drive up late Friday night hinted that this weekend was going to be filled with good times (and hopefully some good eats!).

Our weekend started on Saturday morning with a big fuel-up brunch.

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Scrambled eggs (E’s specialty), sausage, bagels, english muffins, fruit salad, and homemade pumpkin bread (recipe coming soon) gave us enough energy and protein so we could conquer the fair (and not stuff our faces with everything in sight).

But that doesn’t mean that we didn’t eat.

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E and T dug into homemade macaroni and cheese studded with broccoli, bacon, and fresh garlic. They said it was delicious. (since I don’t eat cheese, I had to take their word on it)

My fair food of choice was a baked potato.

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A baked potato loaded with butter, bacon bits, and chives. I thought I was going to die from happiness.

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E and T got their baked potato with melted cheese, sour cream, and bacon bits, which looked also looked awesome.

But we didn’t only eat savory food… we ate some sweet stuff too!

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Like these amazing, WARM apple cider donuts.

Breakfast (and snack and dessert) nirvana.

After our big outing at the fair, we decided that a quiet night in parked in front of Netflix would be the best end to a busy day.

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So while we binged watch a comedy series, we dug into homemade turkey meatballs and mountains of salad (because we needed to balance out the day a bit). And drank some wine – because sister hang outs must include wine (it’s written in some sister manual somewhere).

After crashing at about 10:30PM, we woke up nice and late on Sunday morning… which meant that we would need to get moving if we wanted to make sure we got on the road at a decent time. But then we decided that T couldn’t visit E without going to the fabulous, old-school donut shop that is down the road from her house…

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… it would have been so a travesty if she had to miss out on this.

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They looked beautiful on our brunch table… and tasted pretty wonderful too!

 

It was a perfect weekend full of family, food, and so much fun! We were able to have 48 hours of girl time – no work, no stress, no problems – just the three of us hanging out, making memories, and eating fabulous food. Who wouldn’t be happy?

So, kiddos, what do you like to do with your siblings? Let me know!

oxox,

A Big Sister

A Sentimental Saturday Thought

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Last week, I went back to the town where I went to graduate school to meet up with my graduate school friends. All our reunions are fun and restorative, but this one was truly special – one of our friends is expecting her first baby and we helped her family shower her with good wishes and gifts.

As I was flipping through my photos on my camera, I came across this slightly out-of-focus picture and it made me think all about my graduate school journey and the amazing women who joined me on it.

When I see the amazingly sweet peanut butter rice crispy treat, I remember the desserts we would snack on during potluck dinners, during Super Bowl parties, and during birthday celebrations. When I see the bright orange napkin, I remember the bright fall days at by the lake, the highlighted pages of multiple thesis revisions, and the big, day-long party we had on Match Day.

When I look at this picture, I remember that this all started (the blog, these friendships) when we all came together three years ago and took a leap into a new world/career path together.

When I look at this picture, I remember the amazing times we had together as Grad School Foodies and look forward to the times ahead (especially with our newest addition!).

 

Your sentimental friend,

C

#TBT… the New Camera Edition

So it’s been officially two weeks since I had my new camera and it’s been so much fun playing around with it (and frustrating my parents, The YIA, and The Cat by taking numerous photos of them ALL THE TIME).

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But seriously…

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I think they are loving the attention!

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(especially The Cat!).

Oh and I might have taken some pictures of food too…

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(this is a photo of a special project coming soon!)

 

It’s been a fun couple of weeks with the camera… now what should I photograph next?

Your shutterbug friend,

C

Breakfast Thief

Going through my camera this morning (I’m on a huge cleaning binge right now) and I stumbled upon these two photos that I snapped of The Cat at breakfast this past weekend (because who doesn’t love an adorable animal photo)…

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Clearly someone loves Challah French Toast as much as the rest of us do! (clearly I found the situation funny enough to snap photos instead of stopping her – my mom had to lay down the law).

 

Happy Wednesday, kiddos!

Love,

Human who takes photos of their cat trying to eat french toast

 

 

 

S’mores and Flashcards

Happy Tuesday, kiddos!

This weekend was epic because it combined some of my favorite things in a short 48-hour time frame. Who doesn’t love when that happens?

The most important/fun thing that happened this weekend was that I got to see cousins from both sides of the family.

First off, we had one of my cousins visiting from North Carolina for a few days leading up to the weekend. A is an awesomely wonderful person/lawyer/lover of camping, spelunking, and hiking/owner of a super cute English long-haired dachshund. We haven’t seen each other in person in a while, so it was nice to have him here for a visit. Come back soon, A!! (and bring that adorable puppy of yours too!)

Then, another set of cousins from my dad side descended upon our house for a visit and to sort through some of my YIA C’s things. It was so nice to be together and have a quiet family BBQ.

Which involved the second thing that made this weekend epic…

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S’mores!

Seriously, who doesn’t love the melty, crunchy, chocolately goodness that is a s’more? Perfectly toasted (or in my cousin M’s case, charred) marshmallows sandwiched between pieces of chocolate and graham crackers… summer dessert nirvana.

In celebration of me passing the RD exam, my dad set up an activity that really pushed my weekend over the edge.

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We had a Flashcard Burning.

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Yep, that’s the sight of 638 flashcards burning…

It was pretty awesome and a great way to start my life as a RD and not feel weighed down by all the notes and pre-test anxiety!

 

It was a pretty fabulous weekend around here – how was yours?

Love,

Your s’more obsessed friend, C

Easter 2015 Recap

Hey, kiddos! How’s it going?

How was your weekend? Did you do anything awesome?!

My weekend was all about Greek Easter, celebrating (and eating) with my family.

My parents were actually out of state for a wedding, making it back just in time for dinner. But that doesn’t mean that I forgot my mom’s tradition of a big Easter brunch.

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The YIA and my aunt came over and we had tsoureki (a Greek sweet bread), hard boiled eggs, and (not pictured) BACON! Hello, animal products… you have been missed. We topped our celebration off with mimosas and a long Skype session with E. It was a perfect holiday.

 

I had a work-from-home day yesterday, which meant that my family and I could truly go and break our Vegetarianism 3.0 fast…

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Burgers from our favorite local joint fit the bill. Perfectly cooked and topped with mountains of fresh brined pickles and one perfect onion ring. A treat after 40 days of meat-free cooking.

I had a great weekend and I hope you did too!

Your Easter celebratin’, burger obsessed friend,

C

 

Vegetarianism 3.0: Week 1

Happy Saturday, everyone!

I cannot believe that it is officially the end of my first week in my 40-day journey of vegetarianism. And what a week it has been!

As it has been for the past two years, the night before involves a big meat-centric supper. A last supper, if you will…

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We had a big traditional roasted chicken. So long, chicken wings… see you in 2 months!

But no meat doesn’t mean that we haven’t been eating well.

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We ate farro salad studded with kidney beans, haricot vert, and red pepper (delicious!).

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And spinach/feta cheese quiche (divine!).

Snacks were also big hits this week.

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Tex-Mex Bruschetta Dip is delicious and colorful and hearty enough to be a lighter dinner if you want.

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And sometimes you need to munch on popcorn while you watch TV – it’s a whole grain, low-cal, vegan snack that always satisfies.

It has been a great week – I can’t wait to see what my family thinks up our next week of dinners!

So, kiddos, what do YOU think I should make this coming week? Any recipe you want me to try? Let me know.

Your (temporary) vegetarian friend,

C

It’s A Three-pete! Vegetarianism 3.0

It’s that time of year again!

As many of you know, for the past two years I have gone vegetarian for Lent… which makes this the third year I will be purging my diet of all things meat-related (goodbye, bacon!).

I will be embarking on my annual journey of meat-free meals tomorrow (different calendars) and to be honest, I am both excited and very apprehensive at the same time.

I’m excited because I was really creative last year and made some amazing food. Apprehensive because this year will be a little different than last year. I am currently living at home with two other people (hey Mom and Dad!) and their tradition is to not only go vegetarian for all of Lent, but go full vegan on Wednesdays and Fridays. *gulp*

Needless to say, the next 40 days will be interesting… but as always, there will be good food and good stories.

Follow along on my Vegetarian adventures and let me know if you have any tips, tricks, or recipes!

Wish me luck!

C

A Tale of Two Hot Chocolates (Chicago Wedding Weekend)

Last night, my family and I came home after a whirlwind wedding weekend away in Chicago. My awesome cousin M married the absolutely lovely G in a fabulous ceremony downtown, which means that we got a mini family vacation! Who doesn’t love vacation?

When traveling with my family, vacation doesn’t just mean touring around the city and seeing the sights… it means that we are going to eat some good food and enjoy ourselves.

Our weekend of celebrating started with a quick breakfast with my parents after they picked me up from the airport.

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It was their first breakfast. It was my second… *burp*

Since we had many hours before the rehearsal dinner (and I needed to get a little exercise since I doubled up on breakfast), we went for a walk…

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…and took an obligatory bean family photo with my cousin and his girlfriend who we found walking around. Hi, everyone!

My cousin went off to get breakfast with his girlfriend and we decided to take a stroll around Chicago in search of the church where the wedding was going to take place. It was about a mile or so away from the Bean and by the time we got there, I know why they call it the Windy City – I was chilled to the bone from all the breezes.

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So we go hot chocolate. With real whipped cream. It was perfection in a mug and it warmed me up from my nose to my toes and fortified me for our walk back.

My sister and her boyfriend joined us in Chicago the next day and declared the moment they arrived that they were starved (I didn’t blame them… so was I!). To fuel up for the big day, we went to a nearby pancake house to get some brunch.

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And my second hot chocolate in 12 hours. With real whipped cream. Dear Chicago, I am moving ASAP so I can drink hot chocolate with whipped cream every day – Thanks and love, C.

But the hot chocolate was not the only amazing thing at this pancake house. Everything was fabulous, from the omelets to the cinnamon roll pancakes to the hash browns.

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But, my breakfast of fried chicken and candied bacon/jalapeno waffles was pretty spectacular.

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Shhhh… it was almost as good as the hot chocolate.

 

It was a fabulous weekend full of food, family, and a really amazing wedding between two really wonderful people (Congrats, M&G!). What more could a girl ask for?

Your wedding lovin’, chicken n’ waffles eatin’ friend,

C

Holiday Recap

Happy Sunday, everyone!! How was everyone’s holidays? Can you believe that New Year’s Eve is on Wednesday?! No? Good, me either!

My Christmas was really wonderful, surrounded by family and good food! This year, E had to work on Christmas… so my mom decided that we were going to have two separate dinners to celebrate!

Our first dinner (Christmas Dinner #1) was on Tuesday night, since we go to church on Christmas Eve and there really isn’t any time to have a sit down dinner. Our traditional Christmas dinner is filet mignon with all the trimmings!

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And my parents totally rocked out the roasted vegetables, onion relish, and mashed potatoes. Is there anything more holiday than mashed potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts? I think not!

The dessert of the night was the Buche de Noel.

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It was traditional Christmas Perfection!

Christmas dawned bright and crisp and fueled by bacon, eggs, and scones, E took off for her new apartment and work and a productive day.

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The Cat and I were equally productive… in nap time.

Later in the day (now that we were refreshed!), we sat down to our second holiday supper. Christmas Dinner #2 was just as spectacular as Christmas Dinner #1.

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Hello, Shrunk Chickens!!! Or Cornish Game Hens… whatever name floats your boat.

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Marinated broccoli and my grandmother’s Greek stuffing rounded out the perfect Christmas dinner.

And, of course, we had Buche de Noel for dessert.

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It tasted great and was the perfect festive end to our Christmas feasts!

 

So, how was your holiday? What did you do, eat, and see? I want to hear all about it!

Your Christmas food lovin’ friend,

C