Sunday, August 31, 2014

It’s Me, Louise; I’m Baaaccckkk!

No, the kids’ visit didn’t transform me into a bunny, lol…I just couldn’t resist making a grand entrance after being away for nearly a month:)

I may as well hop right into one of the first places we went to while they were here, The Clinton County Fair! Silly me, I didn’t realize that the heart of the fair didn’t begin until later in the day. As a matter of fact, most of the exhibits and concession stands were closed when we arrived. However, we made the best of it and had a wonderful time!

The kids even decided on a car for me, well, kinda sorta…

How has everyone been while I’ve been gone? From the looks of the few blogs I’ve gotten to visit the last couple of days, it seems I sure did miss a whole lotta deliciousness! Don’t fret, the kids and I had our own moments of yumminess too!

There was the scrumptious birthday cake that Noah baked and decorated himself. His mom’s birthday was a few days after they left but we celebrated way in advance! Noah topped it off with Oreo cookie crumbs which were just perfect!

Whenever Michele comes to visit, she bakes bread. Yes, she is the bread baker in the family. She tried to persuade me to “learn” how to bake bread but I had a fashion show to attend:)

Tabi was more than delighted to pose with the bread once the show was over.

It took us a little more time to convince Noah…

We never did get around to making eggplant parmesan, but the kids sure did love their eggplants stuffed with slivers of garlic and roasted on the barbecue. Deeeeelicious!

Yes, indeed, we had a wonderful visit. And yes, it was waaaaaayyyyyy to short. If I had to guess, I’d say the trip to New York City was the most adventurous. We did a whole lotta walking, window shopping and eating. I couldn’t even begin to cover our 17 miles of exploring in just one post so I’ll just leave you with some of my favorite highlights. (I know it was 17 miles because Michele has this bracelet thingy that keeps track of her daily foot mileage. She reset it as soon as we parked:)

We just had to go to FAO Schwarz and play the Big Piano just like in the movie, Big starring Tom Hanks. If by some chance you have never heard of the Big Piano or the movie Big, you really need to visit this link:) I took a video of the kids trying to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the piano. It came out GREAT! I figured I'd spare you, lol...

Would you believe, between all of us, we don’t have one good picture of our visit to Tiffany’s. Tabi has a few on her phone but nothing spectacular! As a matter of fact, our visit to Tiffany’s was pretty uneventful and a bit disappointing anyway. Now, don’t get me wrong, there was more than enough jewelry to choose from; one more beautiful than the other AND, there was an army of sales personnel willing to plop your item or items into that Tiffany blue bag and send you on your way. However, Tabitha was gung ho on shopping on her own and imitating that “famous” walk around the counters admiring all of the bling just like Audrey and George did. She wouldn’t even let Noah accompany her.

Her mother and I and Noah had to watch her prance from counter to counter from afar. Every now and again she would stop to “drool,” give us a quick glance and politely wait for one of the soldiers to come over and assist her. They never did. I suppose they just don’t take an almost 12 year olds shopping wishes seriously. Little did they know Grammy was waiting in the side lines with card in hand just waiting to buy her little grand-daughter whatever her little heart desired.

Our experience on the third floor was just a tad more pleasant. When Tabitha spotted an initial charm that was delicate enough for her petite frame and blingy enough for her personality, she managed to get the attention of one of the sales people long enough to ask him to show it to her. Us spectators were thrilled, as was Tabitha:) It was a short lived excitement, however. He canjoled her by telling her that nothing in Tiffany’s is less than $125.00 and that she should save her money for a future purchase. Then, he proceeded NOT to take the charm out of the show case, NOT to show her the choices of chains to hold said charm and proceeded to walk away leaving her for a group of loud, well dressed, “others.” We had enough! We left! Needless to say, I think Tiffany’s needs to reevaluate their approach to their future customers. As for Tabitha, she’s fine. A lesson of life. She’s set on once again returning to Tiffany’s when she’s 16. We’ll see:)

As we walking our way around Central Park, Noah noticed an artist sitting in his chair surrounded by some of his sketches. Noah was entranced. Noah has recently started art classes and just loves the freedom of expression. (most 10 year olds do, I suppose:) Anyway, it was such fun watching Noah and the man communicate because neither could understand the other. Noah was trying to ask the man if he would draw him holding a penguin (Noah loves penguins and baseball:) And the man kept on saying, "show picture, show picture." Of course, by this time Tabi and Michele’s phones were kaput and I hadn’t gotten my new iPhone yet so communicating with aid was also out of the question.

Not to worry. The kids posed together and had their pictures drawn by the very nice, patient, talented man on the streets of Central Park as Mom, I and a few passerby's watched:)

It came out GREAT did’t it???

There are so many days I would love to share with you but alas, all good things must come to an end. The past month as been incredible. One I will always cherish and one I’m sure the kids will have a vague memory of when they get older, lol… I’m sure Noah will always remember his first pro baseball game;

And Tabitha will hopefully fondly remember the time she came to Grammy’s house and couldn’t go to her first pro baseball game because she had been rushed to the hospital two nights before burning up with fever and learning that she had strep throat! We baked cookies instead and had them waiting for Noah and his Mom and Dad for when they returned:)

Tabi suggested I share the recipe with all of you:) Notice the recipe uses only egg yolks. (those tiny specks in the cookies are from the vanilla sugar we used) Enjoy everyone and I’ll “see” you on Wednesday.

P.S. I’ll be around catching up on all your delicious blogs later today and tomorrow. Be sure and save some goodies for me!!! Louise

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cooking With Friends; Happy Friendship Day!

Happy Sunday Everyone!!! Guess what? It’s time to celebrate International Friendship Day again:) That’s right, the first Sunday in August is Friendship Day! I thought it might be fun to celebrate Friendship Day with the Cooking with Friends cookbook.

Normally, one of my favorite things about August is celebrating the History of Friendship Day with you. It’s also the day I get to thank you all for being my virtual online blogging friends and the perfect time to remind you that since 1997, that the one and only Winnie the Pooh is the Ambassador of Friendship Day. Pretty good choice don’t you think? If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Pooh, it’s that he speaks everyone’s language:)

This year I have some other news I would like to share with you. Let me warn you though, you may not be as thrilled about it as I am:) The kiddies are coming, the kiddies are coming!!!

They are arriving from Idaho tomorrow and believe me when I tell you, their arrival couldn’t have been more timely:) You may have noticed that I was MIA for the past couple of days. I’ll spare you the gory details, suffice to say everything is as back to normal as can be. However, I don’t mind saying, Marion and I sure could use some cheering up. The fact that my daughter is coming for the first time as a cancer survivor and my son-in-law is also coming just about sends both me and Marion over the top. Include the kids in all of this excitement and quite frankly, we are more than elated! We are ecstatic!!!

We don’t have too many things planned for when they arrive. Actually, as of right now, there are only two definites. My grand-daughter Tabitha has been dreaming about visiting New York City since the very first time she drove over the George Washington Bridge and saw the NYC skyline. I think she was about 5:) When she got a bit older, I introduced her to my very best ever favorite movie which just happens to be Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Wouldn’t you know it, she likes the movie too:) Now, since she is in the double digit age bracket, she would like to visit Tiffany’s while she is on the east coast:) Grammy is more than happy to oblige. (I suppose I’ll have to buy her a Tiffany’s “trinket,” lol…

As for Noah, he isn’t asking for much. He would like to go to a ball game. Oh, not any ol’ ball game, mind you. He wants to go to a Met’s game. (yes, he knows I’m a Yankee’s Fan but he doesn’t mind:) I won’t be going to the game but his dad will be arriving just in time to take him to the game with his mother and Tabi. He’s very excited:)

Michele and her family will be visiting for nearly the whole month of August. As you might have guessed, I will not be blogging during their visit. Now, don’t you worry, I’ll be sharing lots of pictures come September:) In the mean time, enjoy these recipes from Cooking with Friends written by Tennessee native Amy Lyles Wilson with recipes by American Test Kitchen editor Jack Bishop.

"See" you in September, Louise:)