Dinner Club – Taste of Italy

Back in 2009 a group of friends and I decided to start what we called Dinner Club. I have mentioned this a few times I know. It was a lot of fun. At that time we had a few “rules,” 

  1. A non-chain restaurant
  2. Local – within about an hours drive or so
  3. The dress was business casual or dressier

That was about it. Business casual consisted of the ladies in dresses of some sort and the guys in khakis and at least a polo or button-down. We had a few dinners where the guys wore suits. This is why my husband owns a suit. Although he never wore it to a dinner club.

Side story:

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Friendsgiving 2019

Friends giving tends to be a newer concept. One that I really only remember hearing about maybe 10 years ago or so now. It’s quite interesting though that it has caught on. I mean truthfully a lot of people celebrated this long before it had a name/concept.

This year we decided to start our first ever Friendsgiving. After the interesting year we’ve had, why not. While the outcome of the year might not be what we all expected, we still have a lot of things to be thankful for.

We started a Facebook group to see who was bringing what. I kind of waited until everyone else picked an item before I spoke up with what I was going to make. At first, I thought I’d make bacon-wrapped green beans, but then I decided to go with the Green Bean Casserole. I found a recipe online to make it all completely from scratch. I didn’t get my green beans thoroughly cooked though, so they were just okay.

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Loss for Words

You will teach them to fly, 
But they will not fly your flight.

You will teach them to dream,
But they will not dream your dream.

You will teach them to live, 
But they will not live your life.

Never the less, in every flight,
in every life, in every dream,
the print of the way you
taught them will remain

                       ~Mother Theresa

I truly am at a loss for words. The person who has spent most of her life talking about something… or so I get teased. And while I was shy as a kid, if I knew you, I’d talk your leg off. I’m still shy but I’ll still talk your leg off. Don’t worry.

I have spent the last few days engulfed in a man and his family. It’s hard to believe this man was only in my life for 6 years. 

7 years ago January, my husband and I got the chance to try SCUBA diving. Honestly, I was so apprehensive that first day that I almost didn’t go. I thought it was a special thing that some friends were doing because of their family and that we were just inviting ourselves in. Turns out, it wasn’t that at all. We had so much fun that first time, we went the next month to try it again.

In June that year, we wound up going to the lake and helping out during one of their Underwater Safari Hunts. Of course, we weren’t certified SCUBA divers, so we could only help on land, but we jumped in no matter what and helped when/where we could. The next week we were signed up for classes. 2 classroom classes, 2 pool classes, and 2 days in the lake and we were officially certified SCUBA divers. (more…)

4th of July Photo Journal – Dive Club

I saw a meme on Facebook the other day saying something to the effect, 4th of July is over, it’s now time to get your Halloween costumes, your Thanksgiving menu, Christmas Presents, and we’re basically at the New Year, Happy 2020. Truthfully I might have giggled a little too much because… the way this year has been flying by, that almost seems real! Here we are 5 days past the 4th of July. Hello, July 9. We’re quickly approaching the dawg days of summer. It is finally getting hot and humid in Missouri. Yes, we have humidity. Yes, it’s horrible. You walk out of your house and feel like you’ve just walked out of the shower. It’s nuts.

Spring has been crazy around here. Tornadoes on top of tornadoes. Rain and flooding. Cooler temperatures… you name it, we’ve probably seen it. Except for a Hurricane. If we see a hurricane in Missouri, we have real problems. Did you know I’m only just a few hours away from the dead middle point of the U.S.? It’s up on the Kansas border near Nebraska. I’ve never been there although that’s on my list of things to do someday. Why not… 

I actually live in a part of Missouri where within 30 minutes you can be further into Missouri, into Oklahoma or Kansas or Arkansas. And there is a point over near here where you can be standing on the border of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. 3 states in one swoop. Honestly, I’ve never been there either although I’ve always been within a mile or so of it. Why I never stop I have no idea.

This year because the 4th of July fell when it did, we got to celebrate twice. Once with our diver friends and again with my husband’s extended family. I overheard that some people think the 4th of July is only about bbq’s, fireworks, and spending time with family. That’s totally inaccurate. It’s about the birthday of our country. On July 4th, 1776 our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence freeing us from British control. It was only after a horrific battle called the Revolutionary War was fought and won. Just thought I’d throw that very broad, basic explanation out there for anyone who might be confused. Do they not teach that in schools anymore? Although the person who made the previous claim is closer to my age than not. I’m really confused.

4th of July

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I Baked an Angel Food Cake (The Kitchen)

Woohooo… go me, right? Oh… but… here’s where I mention that I baked an Angel Food Cake IN. MY. OWN. KITCHEN. WHAT!!??!!??

Yes! You read that correctly. I baked a cake in my kitchen. In my oven. So super exciting if you ask me!! Today I think I’ll focus on said kitchen. Then the next post will be about said Angel Food Cake. Deal?

The Original Kitchen

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Pigu {Italian Gougères}

Here while back, I came across a recipe for Pigu. What the heck is Pigu I wondered? Well, basically it is a little dough like thing filled with romano cheese. You start out by making the dough much like noodles, but I almost think it comes out tasting more like bread than a noodle dough. Basically, it is like an Italian Gougères.

Okay, I’ll bite (for you)… what is a Gougères? It is a choux pastry flavored with cheese (usually Gruyère), then usually filled with a savory filling.

So, we have dough, check.

We have cheese, check.

Well, it’s like an Italian Gougères, correct? We’re going to go with it and run! (more…)

Smoke on the Border

The big shindig… also known as… Smoke on the Border in Gravette, Arkansas. So, we made it. The boys signed up, we hauled everything down, and bam, we were entered. I say we loosely. I helped when they said they needed it or by washing their dishes, but this was all them!

Saturday was the People’s Choice event. Basically, people were allowed to come and walk through the 2 streets blocked off for the event. If people had samples, obviously they could sample it. Samples were cut off around like 2 maybe. Then, the People’s Choice meat was dropped off to the church around the corner at 5 pm. People could buy wrist bands for $10 and they basically got all you can eat meat plus possible sides. Sunday was the main event. So they had the option of entering in 4 categories… pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and/or chicken. The awards were held at the Methodist Church as were all things turned in. And bam, it was all over but the cleanup. (more…)

Smoke off Prep

I’m pretty sure these days I meet myself coming and going. I try not to but dang. Anyway, last week I mentioned something about a BBQ/Smoked meats thing. Well here are the details… FINALLY! 

So we started hanging out with our dive friends in 2013 when we met them. It wasn’t an immediate BAM, we’re friends, but pretty darn close. So throughout the last couple of years, hubby and Jared have been smoking different types of meats for different events. Events include just a night in with friends to dive club meetings to events for the Red Coaters at Chiefs Stadium. The big leagues… in our books anyway.

They have been honing in on our their meat preparations. Wow, that sounds weird. ha! Anyway, last fall they went to Kansas City to a Chiefs game and actually cooked for 60+ Red Coaters and family. Then the leftover meats, they tried passing out to passer byes. A lot of people around our hangouts really like their brisket and pulled pork and chicken, etc, so they told them they needed to start entering contests. (more…)

Just Retired Tiered Cake (Vanilla)

Just Retired Tiered Vanilla Cake

I sure hope you didn’t try to come to my blog last week. I woke up on Wednesday and would have sworn it was April Fool’s Day (by the way, I hate that day). When I came to the blog, it redirected me to some weird website.

It was trying to get me to click on a button to back up my Window’s machine. Well joke’s on them because I don’t have a window’s machine. But whatever. Anyway…

Over the weekend, I was able to knock 2 things off my Baking/Cooking Bucket List. I made a tiered cake which I haven’t done since I took cake decorating classes. And 2, I made a mirror glaze cake.

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Triple Chocolate Cake

We’ve been working on our house, it feels like non-stop. Some days walking in there is so… almost depressing, but some days it feels like nothing is happening. It is… but it’s happening up in the attic where you just don’t see results other than more lights are popping up as well as electrical plugins. Oh… and an HVAC system. Heat… let there be heat!!

And I swear, our friends are the absolute BEST. We’ve had so much help from our dear, darling, beloved friends. There truly are NO WORDS to describe them! So, when I found out Shelby’s 21st birthday was yesterday, I knew I had to make her a cake!! (She’s newer to this bunch, this is why it was a new find of her birthday!)

Triple Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Homemade Strawberry Jam, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Chocolate Ganache

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