Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Family Weekend Recipes

Fall is one of my favorite times of year and this season always inspires me to get in the kitchen and either cook or bake delicious recipes for family and friends. We will be heading up to a lodge for a weekend in October and I have a full list of recipes that I plan on putting together. I am looking forward to a nice hike with the fall colors as our view, curling up on the couch in front of the fireplace with a great book, and relaxing in the hot tub on the deck. Oh, how I can't wait...

I having been religiously following the Pioneer Woman's Blog and found a great selection of recipes to try. These are a few of the fall recipes that I will be making for our family weekend on the Grand Mesa:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Book Club Menu

I am getting ready to host book club next month and I can't wait to put together a delicious menu for the girls. I love hosting our book club meetings because I feel like I have the perfect set-up for our gathering... we have a huge comfy couch that sits about eight people and a great ottoman for the trays of goodies and wine glasses. Here is the delicious menu I will be preparing for our book club gathering:
  • Red Sangria - I love the combination of wine and brandy and it is so beautiful
    • Pumpkin Pie Bites - the perfect fall dessert and bite size makes them even more adorable
      I am really looking forward to discussing this month's book club selection, Those Who Save Us, with all of the girls. This book has been a great read and very thought provoking and I am anxious to see if the other girls enjoyed the book!

      Sunday, September 18, 2011

      Baby Shower Recap

      On Friday, I hosted a baby shower for two of the pregnant ladies in my office. They are both have boys and are due at the end of October, so a joint shower was the perfect idea! Part of the gifts from everyone at the office were a three tiered diaper cake for each of them with an adorable stuffed animal on top. The office pitched in and bought diapers and then I spent about 2 hours on Wednesday night putting them together. Here are few pictures of the cakes:
      One of my other co-workers (and best friends) Laura made these adorable cake pops in three different flavors: carrot cake, strawberry, and chocolate. These little pieces of heaven were a huge hit!
      The shower turned out great and both Debi and Colleen loved their gifts and diaper cakes. I can't wait to see both of their new baby boys in a few months!

      Tuesday, September 13, 2011

      Italian Recipes - Can't Wait to Try!

      Once I married an Italian man, I knew that I would need to cook amazing italian recipes at least a few times each month. With all of the fabulous blogs I watch, there is no shortage of ideas for Italian recipes. These are a few that I plan on trying this fall and winter and I am sure the hubby will be happy!
      I cannot wait to make these amazing italian recipes and surprise my husband with some great homemade italian food!

      Monday, September 12, 2011

      Dinner for the In-Laws

      Whenever we have my parents visiting from out of town and here for dinner or my in-laws coming over for dinner, I love to try and new and special recipe for the occasion. Last night I made an amazing meal from Rachael Ray's website, Smoky Salmon with Bacon Corn Couscous
      The dinner was a huge hit because everyone in our family loves salmon and my husband is especially fond of couscous. The only edit I made to the recipe was leaving out the watercress (couldn't find it at the store) and I used dried dill instead of fresh dill (again, the store didn't have any fresh dill)... and the recipe still turned out perfect! I grilled the salmon using my large skillet from Rachael Ray's collection that ironically my in-laws bought for me for Christmas... it is seriously the best skillet ever! If you have salmon lovers in your family, this is a great recipe to try. Enjoy!

      Sunday, September 11, 2011

      Remembering September 11th

      10 years ago today our country changed forever... I remember that day like it was yesterday, I was only a sophomore in high school and really had never thought of terrorism before that fateful day. I hope that every American can take a moment today to realize that our freedom is not free and that we should never take for granted our safety and security in this world. I will be saying several prayers today for all of the families that were affected by 9/11 and saying a prayer of thanks to all of country's military that are serving our country and protecting our freedoms. Take a moment today to hang the American flag outside of your home, call your loved ones and say "I Love You", and say a prayer in remembrance of September 11th... a day that changed so much for so many...

      Saturday, September 10, 2011

      Baby Shower Planning

      Next Friday I will be throwing a double baby shower for two ladies in my office that are both having boys and due 3 days apart at the end of October. The invitation for the shower was designed on Tiny Prints and the invite is shown below.
      This shower will be a lunch at the office and then a few simply shower games and of course the glowing pregnant ladies opening gifts. It is a tradition in our office to put together diaper cakes for all of the new moms and I have been designated as the 'diaper cake creator', which I love! Each person brings in a pack of diapers and then I form them into a three tiered cake wrapped in ribbon and each cake holds about 200 diapers. This is a great way to celebrate the ladies with a crafty gift and they also go home with something they can use for weeks and months to come! I will be sure to post pictures of the diaper cakes and the shower details next weekend after the baby shower!

      Thursday, September 8, 2011

      Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

      While browsing Pinterest the other night, I found this picture and recipe for these amazing looking Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
      I am always looking for ways to use up the abundance of summer zucchini that has been gifted to me by one of my friends that has an amazing garden this year, and what better way to use up zucchini than to stuff it inside brownies! I plan on making this recipe this weekend and hopefully my husband (who hates most veggies) will not even notice that a serving of veggies will be packed into this chocolate goodness!

      Wednesday, September 7, 2011

      Book Recap and Next Selection

      Tonight I finished reading 'Anne of Green Gables' just in time for our book club meeting tomorrow night. This book was very much a beginner read and was pretty quick to get through. Anne is a very playful young girl that grows up right before the reader's eyes and really makes you fall in love with her charm and imagination. This was one of those books that every young girl or woman should read to remind us all to be more playful and use our imaginations to dream! I am excited to discuss this book with the ladies tomorrow night and see if they enjoyed the book as much as I did. At our last book club meeting we chose the next two books, which means I already have "Those Who Save Us" by Jenna Blum sitting on my nightstand ready to be picked up and read. I look forward to this next book club selection which will be much more intense and emotional and I am sure it will spark interesting discussion!

      Friday, September 2, 2011

      Anne of Green Gables Update

      I have really been enjoying the current book club selection this month, Anne of Green Gables. I have heard from so many people that they have enjoyed this book and it seems to be a classic to many readers. I have read just about half way through the book and really enjoy the sweet story of Anne. The style of writing is somewhat whimsical and wildly entertaining to think of what the character Anne would be like in person today. I plan on reading the rest of the book this weekend in preparation for book club next Thursday. I have also heard great things about the movie, which means I will be adding that to my watch list. Hope you are able to carve out some reading time during this long holiday weekend!