Archive for the ‘Parties’ Category

Early Easter Dinner

This weekend we headed up to my parents house in Chagrin Falls for some quality family time. They were coming back from Mexico and my papa and aunt and uncle were in town visiting my cousin and her husband (who are having a baby in June).

The projects of the weekend included getting the baby room ready (putting up crown molding, etc) and planning the shower (Sunday, April 19th). It was a productive weekend and included a feast for Saturday night dinner.

Since my parents were not planning on hosting 12 people for dinner approximately 45 min. after returning from their vacay in paradise, I had to take charge. My cousin Cindy and I did the menu – the goals were:

  1. easy and quick
  2. healthy and colorful
  3. low in sugar for Papa
  4. prepped before leaving for the airport

Place setting:


All goals were met with this meal:

  • Grilled Veggies on Kabobs (onions, sweet peppers, mushrooms, zuc. with balsamic vinagrette)
  • Rosemary balsamic turkey tenderloin
  • Roasted asparagus with parmasean quinoa
  • Salad


Grilled Veggies:


Rosemary Balsamic Turkey Tenderloin


Roasted Asparagus with Parm. Quinoa (Recipe posted!)




The Sisterhood: My mom (in the middle) and my Aunt Marilyn on the left, Aunt Sharon on the right.


Papa, my mom and I


My dad (on the left) and Uncle Jim


The Mom and Dad to Be (in June)! Cindy (my cousin and her husband) Tom

A weird picture of Brady and I


Today was spent prepping for the baby shower – it’s in two weeks! I will post pictures soon! We have a great centerpiece planned and some wonderful food!


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Tonight’s book club was not so much about our past book, The American Wife, and more about celebrating Jody’s baby (who will be here in May!!). We had of the party essentials, including favors, cupcakes and a healthy dinner.

The table.



Cookies made by Jen and I!!


Trying to tie the book club into the shower.


Napkins and hidden underneath the cute pink baby…


Happy Easter! 🙂 hehe




Lots of sweets for Baby Addison


Back to the healthy part of this…

My black bean/kidney bean dip with fresh veggies!


Sarah’s warm wheat flatbread with parm and feta – AMAZING!


Kate’s Strawberry Salad


Natalie’s Apple Almond Butter with whole wheat tortillas – Great Idea!


And somehow I missed the grilled chicken we made. Brady did a great job with the grilling and the simple/sweet marinate was perfect on it.

Balsamic Marinade

  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey
  • salt
  • pepper


I have a LOT of baby showers coming up so if anyone has any good ideas for hosting, let me know!!


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When you go out on Saturday night with people you don’t see all of the time, it is sometimes hard to actually catch up!  There are lots of people and it’s loud so you can’t really find out what is going on!  This is what happened on Saturday!  We met a few friends from college out at a newer bar in Columbus called Martini Park to celebrate Danielle’s birthday.  It was fun but we didn’t have a chance to chat and find out about a certain someone’s new love interest.  🙂  So we planned to do dinner at our house on Sunday night!

Since I was already making cookies for Brady’s sister, I decided to make some for the girls!!





Kelly brought over an appetizer of light Brie cheese wrapped with with love, as she says!  It was delicious!!

For our dinner, I wanted something filling and healthy that felt like a Sunday Night Dinner! After sending a text to the girls asking them to choose between turkey lasagna, salmon or chicken.  Salmon was decided!  I did my Asian ginger/soy glaze and broiled the salmon.  I served it over wheat bulgar and a made up Asian veggie mix:  lentils ( I boiled for possibly too long!)  chickpeas, mixed veggies, water chestnuts and edamame.



Dessert was also pretty thrown together and SUPER EASY!!

Berry Trifle (not served in a trifle dish because I have candles in BOTH of mine!)

  • 1 angel food cake prepared as box suggests
  • 1 packet of lemon pudding mix (I used sugar free)
  • 2 c. skim milk
  • leftover cranberry pineapple relish I made last week
  • lots of frozen berries!
  1. Make cake as directed.
  2. Make pudding as directed.
  3. Layer pieces of cake, berries and pudding.  I did two layers of each!
  4. ENJOY!!

More proof that Sunday Dinners are GREAT!

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All growing up and all through college, even now, my family has always had Sunday Night Dinner.  It is a time when anyone home (friends and family) is able to share dinner,  tell funny stories and  teach my mom something new (and sometimes inappropriate – Cindy!!).   It always worked well in my house because my dad traveled during the week, my mom worked late  some nights and we always had some sort of weeknight activity or sport.  At all college breaks and during summer we would look forward to Sunday Night Dinner with everyone, the more the merrier!

Since we can not partake in the Sunday Night Dinners when we are not in Cleveland, we often have our own!  Sometimes we have friends over, sometimes we go to Brady’s parents, sometimes we just make something cozy at home and get prepped for the week.

Tonight we have a great Sunday Night Dinner.  Our close friends Jen and Duke, and Micca and Josh (and baby Reese) came over!  I wanted to make something easy, healthy and fresh.  It had to be easy and almost ready when they came because we had a 7 month old baby to play with!!  I LOVE babies!  I mean really love them!  If dinner was not almost done, we would have had to get pizza because I would have been distracted!

The menu was inspired by a Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller show I watched earlier in the week.  Here is what I did:

Tomato Basil Chicken over Italian Robusto Quinoa

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in tomato basil marinade
  • 1 c. skinless garlic
  • 1 c. quinoa
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 chicken boullion cubes
  • 1/2 c. chopped roasted red pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 c. arugula
  • 1/4 c. fresh parm.
  1. Set oven to 415 degrees and bake chicken for 30 minutes or until it is cooked in all the way through.
  2. Wrap garlic cloves in foil and bake with chicken until tender
  3. In a sauce pot, add water, boullion, and quinoa.
  4. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until quinoa is cooked.
  5. When quinoa is hot and still on the stove, add arugula, garlic, roasted red peppers, parm, and tomatoes.
  6. Stir and heat all together.
  7. Place quinoa on a serving dish and place cooked chicken on top.  Serve together.

This dish was great!  It had a lot of flavors and was very filling, thanks to all the protein and fiber from the chicken and quinoa.


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Tons of Treats

Last night we had our neighborhood holiday party! It was a great time! We started off with cold appetizers at one house, then moved to hot appetizers at another. After that the party moved to our house for dessert!!

We had a huge amount of delicious desserts!  I set up some things before the party started and people who were helping us brought stuff over.




The dessert menu included:

  • raspberry bars
  • peanut butter bars
  • brownies
  • gingerbread cake
  • key lime bars
  • fondue with pretzels, strawberries, and cookies
  • truffles
  • fudge
  • cheesecake

So….the new year of healthy eating will resume TOMORROW!!

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Brunch with the fam is always a treat!  There is always tons of delicious food and of course great company.  This particular brunch was held at my cousin Cindy and her husband Tom’s house.  They live right up the street from my parents.

On the menu:

  • French Toast Strata
  • Cheese Strata
  • Spicy Sausage with Peppers
  • Crustless Quiche with veggies
  • Salad!
  • Juice and coffee




Set up


More Set up




French Toast Strata (recipe below)


Crustless Quiche


Cheese Strata


Coffee Cake


Sausage and Peppers

French Toast Strata

•    1 loaf whole wheat bread
•    spray butter
•    1 block of light cream cheese
•    ½ c. syrup or more for more sweetness
•    ¼ c. sugar
•    12 eggs or egg white (a mix of both)
•    1 c. skim milk
•    1 tsp. cinnamon
•    1 tbsp. vanilla

1.    Spray each piece of bread with spray butter
2.    Cut all pieces into small pieces ½ inch by ½ inch.
3.    Spray a 9×13 and add bread to pan
4.    Cut the cream cheese brick into small pieces and push into the bread so it is spread throughout
5.    Crack all eggs into a bowl.
6.    Mix eggs, syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and milk together.
7.    Pour mixture onto bread and cheese.
8.    Let soak overnight .  If bread looks dry in the morning, add a few more eggs and milk.
9.    Bake at 350 for an hour.
10.    Serve with syrup!


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Yesterday we did a lot of cleaning around my parents house.  I got rid of things from middle school and we took care of our Christmas stuff that was lying around. We cleaned up to get ready for the cleaning lady, and then she canceled – bummer!!

After a 5 mile run with Brady, I had a bowl of oatmeal.  It was warm and filling with a huge scoop of almond butter!

Around 5 pm, my mom and I went to the club to take a step aerobics class that I used to do all the time in high school.  It was a great workout and between running 10 miles and step class, my legs are feeling it!  I am so glad to get back into it!  While we worked out, Brady, my dad, Kevin and my cousin’s husband Tom played paddle.

When they got home, we had a huge dinner of make your own pizza.  Our toppings included:

  • artichokes
  • spinach
  • olives
  • chicken
  • shrimp
  • mozzarella
  • feta
  • pepperoni
  • pesto sauce
  • tomato sauce
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • onions

Here are some pics!



Salad with avacado, tomato, peppers, romaine and spinach.


Whole wheat crust with veggies, feta and parm!


Pepperoni, chicken, black olives, mozzarella and tomato sauce.


White pizza with tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions.


BBQ chicken with shrimp and mozzarella


Pepperoni with veggies and mozzarella

This dinner was so delicious!  I would not recommend it with lots of company because the presentation of the pizza is a little messy when it is all cut!


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