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Visiting Ohio and Spending Time with Ohio Family

28 Feb

Last week I was sent to Cleveland for a work trip and so I took the opportunity to travel south of Cleveland for the weekend to Cincinnati to visit family.

Technically they are my family-in-law, they are the husbands close cousins who I happen to love. And thank goodness they love me too because they treated us like we were on vacation.

My friend Rochelle, who also happens to work with me agreed to come with me and stay with the Jarvis clan. Rochelle and I drove down from Cleveland Friday and stopped in Columbus to visit the German Village. We ate at this adorable German restaurant called Schmidts. We walked around downtown Columbus, well I think it was down town – it reminded me of Columbus’ version of Nob Hill.

We made our way to Cincinnati where we were greeted with family, food and margaritas! We were treated to home cooked breakfasts (with mimosas) every morning. We watched a 4th grade championship game, hit up Skyline and Montgomery Inn and most importantly we spent time with family!

Rochelle and I drinking German beer at Schmidts in Columbus

Rochelle and I drinking German beer at Schmidts in Columbus

We saw these Dukin Diva's win their championship game after an undefeated season!

We saw these Dukin Diva’s win their championship game after an undefeated season!

4-Way with beans!

4-Way with beans!

IMG_4210

This just makes me happy!

This just makes me happy!

Ohio Family

Ohio Family

Montgomery Inn with the family!

Montgomery Inn with the family!

Like Father Like Son

Like Father Like Son

11th Date of Christmas

17 Jan

Ok sorry this is getting drawn out but I don’t want to leave you hanging and I am almost done.

So although nothing could top the 10th date of Christmas I took Shane on our 11th Date of Christmas which was my morning date. We both wanted to do this but I scheduled it first!

The Zoo in Albuquerque is awesome! And every year around the holidays they give some of the animals presents with food and toys in them so they can open them. They even open the Zoo early so it’s more of a special event.

I took Shane to the Zoo to watch the animals open presents!  We got there super early so we could see all the animals (gorillas, orangutans, cats and elephants got presents) but it was so cold only the cats got the presents.

Next year we won’t get up so early to go unless it’s unseasonably warm. They won’t let the gorillas and orangutans out unless it’s above freezing.

The cats were fun to watch open presents but not as fun as the gorillas and orangutans! Those gorillas LOVED the presents . They had popcorn balls and paper and other fun treats for them on the inside. One gorilla would eat all the popcorn, then throw it up in her hand and eat it again! It was like the never-ending treat!! And sooo gross.

If you live in Albuquerque I highly suggest you visit the animals when they get presents next year.

After the Zoo we had brunch at the cutest most delicious restaurant! It’s called Farm and Table. And everything they make they grow or get locally! Even the milk! It was delicious! And we were lucky enough to run into a friend from high school who gave us a free treat!

Shane had  the Farmers’ Quiche – Made with seasonal vegetables, local eggs, and cheese, served with breakfast potatoes and bacon. I had the Poached eggs over grilled baguette and we split a cinnamon roll. We got a free Churro from our friend Joe.

Yumm so tasty!

gorillas

gorilla enjoying some Christmas popcorn

gorilla enjoying some Christmas popcorn

gorillas

Orangutans - see the baby at the bottom?! So cute!!

Orangutans – see the baby at the bottom?! So cute!!

Orangutans

Cinnamon roll at Farm and Table

Cinnamon roll at Farm and Table

Churro

Churro

Farmers’ Quiche - Made with seasonal vegetables, local eggs, and cheese, served with breakfast potatoes and bacon

Farmers’ Quiche – Made with seasonal vegetables, local eggs, and cheese, served with breakfast potatoes and bacon

Poached eggs over grilled baguette

Poached eggs over grilled baguette

Farm and Table

7th Date of Christmas

20 Dec

On the 7th date of Christmas Shane made me dinner and we watched the best Christmas movie EVER!

We watched Home Alone which is one of the best Christmas movies EVER! Now don’t get me wrong White Christmas will always be my favorite Christmas movie but Home Alone is second!

And every time I watch home alone I always crave a cheese pizza and mac cheese! Which is exactly what Shane made me.

Now you have to understand that Shane makes the best mac cheese EVER! And my wonderful friend Michelle gave me some penguin pasta so Shane made mac cheese with penguin pasta.  Then we had ice cream!

Best night ever!!!

Click here are some fun trivia facts you might not have known about Home Alone

Penguin Pasta! Thanks Michelle!

Penguin Pasta! Thanks Michelle!

Penguin Pasta

My very own cheese pizza - and mac cheese!

My very own cheese pizza – and mac cheese!

Home Alone and Ice Cream

Rhonda is waiting for Shane to drop something. She is not allowed in the kitchen when we cook so she is waiting just outside. . . .

Rhonda is waiting for Shane to drop something. She is not allowed in the kitchen when we cook so she is waiting just outside. . . .

 

 

2nd Date of Christmas

30 Nov

On the 2Nd date of Christmas, Shane took me to the Open Space Visitor Center. I had always heard about this place but never knew where it was.  And let me just say, this place is beautiful and awesome!

We went to see a quilt display and see the birds. The quilts were unbelievable. Some of them looked like painting!

Since birds fly south for the winter, and since New Mexico is South – we saw some beautiful birds in the  the Bosque. The Open Space Visitor Center has some great views of the Bosque where the birds hang out and gossip. Well I like to think they are talking about their travels and the other birds and all that….

We saw Canadian Geese and Sandhill Cranes they were so beautiful and loud! It was really funny watching the cranes land – they are so graceful until they try and land. There were hundres of birds in the Bosque.

If you live in Albuquerque and have not been to the Open Space Visitor Center you must go!

We had brunch at the Indigo Crow Cafe in Corrales since this was our morning date. It’s such a cute restaurant and the food was amazing!

After we ate we went an art show in Corrales. The Fifth Annual Holiday Art Festival  was cute. There was one artist who had their cat just hanging out on a chair in their area. Our cats would never have allowed that. This cool cat was just napping and people watching!

The 2nd date of Christmas was fun and I am realizing that by doing these dates we are really getting to be tourists of our own city and experience places and activities we normally wouldn’t.

View of the Bosque in Albuquerque

Canadian Geese and Sandhill Cranes

Canadian Geese and Sandhill Cranes

Quilt - Changing Seasons by Marianne R. Williamson

Quilt – Changing Seasons by Marianne R. Williamson

 

Quilt - Friends by Jennifer Day

Quilt – Friends by Jennifer Day

This was a tree stump that was carved into art at the Open Space Visitor Center

This was a tree stump that was carved into art at the Open Space Visitor Center

Indigo Crow Cafe in Corrales

Indigo Crow Cafe in Corrales

Indigo Crow Cafe in Corrales

Indigo Crow Cafe in Corrales

 

1st Date of Christmas

26 Nov

We had our first date last week!

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving I took Shane on our “Something New” date. We ate dinner at a restaurant we had never been to called Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar.  It’s super cute and cozy and the food was delicious! It was crowded since it was the day before Thanksgiving and it seemed like no one wanted to cook. We only had to wait a couple minutes for a table, thank goodness because we had tickets to a concert after dinner.

We went and saw an a cappella group called Straight No Chaser. We were also lucky enough to be the first city on their tour to hear their holiday music. This group is amazing! Hopefully they come back to Albuquerque next year so we can make this a tradition.

I must say the 1st Date of Christmas was a success and fun! I can’t wait for more!!

Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar

Shane on our 1st Date of Christmas!

This is the pizza we had – Bianca – fresh mozzarella, parmigiano, ricotta, truffle oil, sage, artichoke hearts

At the concert!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

31 Oct

I love Halloween and have been busy with my costumes and Halloween plans so sorry for the lack of posts.

This year I had two costumes. One for parties and one for work. Anytime I can get away with wearing comfy clothes to work I take it so I decided to be a Ninja. And I must say it’s very fun carrying around fake swords!

My other costume is a dead bride. I have two Halloween events to go to this year so I get to wear it twice!

So everyone enjoy Halloween, dress up (you are never too old) eat candy, watch scary movies and carve some pumpkins!

Dead Bride

Ninja

Pumpkin Pi

Hedgehog

Caramel Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

26 Sep

I made these cupcakes for my friend Arantha’s birthday!

The husband helped me decorate. I had another decoration idea but it failed miserably so I am going to work on that and perfect it before I post about it. . .

This is such a great, delicious and fun treat! I LOVE LOVE LOVE caramel apples and basically anything that has caramel! And these did not disappoint.

I did a semi homemade recipe for this to save some time – but please feel free to use your favorite cake recipe.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Adapted from Something Shiny

What You Need:

1 box of yellow or spice cake mix

Two peeled and sliced up apples

1 Tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Half a lemon

35 caramels (I use the ones you can microwave and make caramel apples)

1 teaspoon heavy cream or milk

Instructions

Make the cake according to the instructions on the box.

In a small bowl combine the apples, sugar, cinnamon and lemon. Mix it well and let it rest while you make the caramel

Melt half the caramel with the heavy cream (adding the cream will make the caramel not hard when the cupcakes cool.

After you have poured the cupcakes in the cupcake tins put the apples
in the middle then spoon the caramel on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 – 22 min

Let them cool for 15 min in the cupcake tins on a cooling rack then take them out and let them cool all the way before you frost.

Use the left over frosting to decorate

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

What You Need:

4 oz (1/2 block) cream cheese, room temperature

1 stick (4 oz) butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

3-4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

Beat butter thoroughly until smooth. Scrape bowl and add 1 cup sugar beating thoroughly. Add vanilla; beat. Add remaining 2 more cups sugar and cream cheese – mix until combined.

Add heavy cream and beat on high until light and fluffy. This will take a few minutes and you’ll need to scrape the bowl a few times during the process. If the mix seems too thin, add more sugar a little at a time until it reaches piping consistency. If it’s too thick, add more cream (or milk).

Enjoy

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

Caramel Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting