OK, so I feel a little bit like a Rihanna song lately - wherrreee havee you beeeen?! I wish I could say I have been doing lots of fun things (well ok...a little bit), but I have mostly been held up at home......studying. This whole masters degree thing is really testing me. One more month left until I can officially call myself a master, but until then...its work, work, work!
But let me catch you up a bit on the little fun that I have been having lately.
Besides studying, Brad and I managed to make it out for a fun double date with good friends in Boston a few weekends ago. We went to City Table where Restaurant Week Boston was still going on. Three course dinner for 38 bucks? Don't mind if we do! The food was amazing. Sometime restaurants get sketchy about portion sizes and service during this time, however City Table was on its game. City Table is located inside the Lenox Hotel in Boston and it is quite swanky inside. My friends and I dined on steak, salmon, oysters, and giant pieces of dark german chocolate cake. YUM. Overall = great meal with great friends.
My good friend Jill and myself at City Table!
After a fun night out, Brad and I awoke to SPRING weather. Oh spring, I thought you would never come. So we headed out for a little hike in F. Gilbert State Forest located about 10 minutes from our house.
Such a beautiful day!
Brad playing around with his GoPro!
we are so lucky to have this little gem in our backyard!
~(Insert more studying here)~
And.....back to another much needed weekend! This past weekend we had another amazing dinner out with good friends at the Beehive
. Brad and I have been blessed with some of the best friends in the world. Our close friends Gauravi and Gautham are getting married this summer and it was great to catch up with them on all their wedding planning! Company makes the meal....but it sure does not hurt to have amazing food on top of that (Beehive was delicious by the way).
Brad and I started our night at the upstairs bar where the bartender let us sample some beverages before we ordered them - always a nice touch. Brad ordered the standard hendricks and tonic with a cucumber and I went with white wine. We moved downstairs for dinner where there is live jazz music. Our group started with the calamari and lamb spring rolls - both delicious. For our entrees G&G ordered the chicken and potatoes and eggplant parmesan. Brad being Brad...travelled outside his comfort zone and ordered the duck - he liked it, but sadly found out that duck just really is not his thing. I played it safe with the greek salmon of course.....it was beyond amazing! We topped off the evening with an order of the maple bread pudding to share. It was really good and tasted like a huge piece of maple french toast.
If you have not yet visited the Beehive – make a reservation tonight!
Brad and I with G&G at the Beehive - love these guys!
Our weekend was sadly coming to an end....but on a very good note! Brad and I spent Saturday night in his hometown of Shrewsbury, MA to support the charity Be Like Brit
. Be Like Brit is charity in honor of Britney Gengel, a young women who lost her life during the devasting Haiti earthquake. Before Britney died, she told her parents about her passion for Haiti, in particular the Haitian orphanage that she was working in at the time. Her parents decided to honor Britney by building a brand new orphanage in Haiti!
Brad, myself and his parents attended the chairty event on Saturday at a local bowling ally in Shrewsbury. It was a great evening for an even greater cause. To find out more, visit www.BeLikeBrit.org
What a stud bowler I am married to!
I love weddings. There are those who hate weddings; love weddings but hate planning their own; enjoy planning their own but hate other weddings; those who are indifferent; and then there's me - I just love em'. Planning my own wedding was one of the best years of my life. Yes, it was stressful at times but I wouldn't have changed a thing! Be sure to scroll all the way down for a few pictures of my wedding :) Hard to believe I am coming up on three years this August!
This past weekend, my new sister E (in t-minus 8 months) invited my mum and I along with her and her younger sister (also the maid of honor) to go wedding dress shopping. Like I said, I love weddings, but I especially fall in love with weddings when it is a close family member who is tying the knot.
We started the day with an appointment at La Reine in Waltham, MA
. To be completely honest, I wasn't impressed. For starters, we were brought to a room to browse through gowns. We were ordered to select 5 and move into another room. What kind of bugged me was that there was no dressing room. Whether you are a free spirit or not, every girl should have an option of getting changed in a dressing room, especially if you are bringing a large group with you. Perhaps we got a dud room, but even so.
Due to the designers that they carry at La Reine, we were not allowed to take any pictures. HMM...I guess I get that, but the designers are La Reine are the same at other salons, where I have taken pictures of the bride in the gowns she
has tried on. But OK, perhaps that is true, but still - no fun! Lastly, the salon employees were not extremely knowledgeable. When my mum asked about what kind of lace was on a particular dress, we got a umm..not sure...for an answer. Really?
I am not one to be cruel, but I have to give my honest opinion. Perhaps we came on an off day, but I do not believe we will be returning.
After striking out at La Reine, we headed to Vows in Watertown
. Vows sells off the rack designer gowns at reduced prices, with some gowns having the option to be ordered.
Right off the bat, our experience was much better. Friendly, bubbly staff who were more than willing to help you sort through the hundreds of gowns to choose from. More or less, it felt like an experience you see on TV, similar to Say Yes to the Dress. After E made her selections, we were brought back to a dressing room (hooray), where our assistant (she was amazing) helped E suit up. It was a wonderful experience and Vows was more than accommodating. Did E find THE dress? I guess we will have to wait and see :)
I can't really post any pictures of the dresses E tried on....we want to keep that a secret until the big day! :)
For me, this summer is already jammed packed with weddings, bridal showers, bachelorette parties....and I for one, cannot wait! It brings back memories of my own wedding day. Brad and I got married in August of 2010. Our reception was held at the Four Seasons Boston Hotel. We had THE best wedding planner at the hotel - Jim. Oh Jim, he helped us avoid a lot of unwanted stress and I am forever grateful! All of my vendors, with the exception of one, were fantastic and I highly recommend them.
My wedding vendors:
Flowers: Lotus Designs
Photography: Stacie Kirkwood
Reception and Food: Four Seasons Hotel Boston
Band: Entertainment Specialists (ask for Steve)
Video: Digital Imaging company of Cape Cod (DO NOT recommend - they edited while they shot the video resulting in poor work. But to be positive, which I keep telling myself everyday to do since my wedding, at least I do have footage).
Wedding Dress: Lea Ann Belter Bridal
Bridesmaid: Vera Wang (Purchased at Lelite boutique on Newbury Street
I will never forget what I was feeling in this moment...pure happiness. Photo by: Stacie Kirkwood
My and the MOB Photo by: Stacie Kirkwood
Inside the Four Season Staircase
My bridal party on Boston Common!
It is no secret that my absolute favorite activity in the winter is skiing and snowboarding. I have been skiing my whole life and snowboarding for the past few years. I love them both equally - I am sort of a true Roxy
girl at heart. I grew up skiing at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire
. In the winter, Loon has really become my third home away from home. My whole family loves to ski, so much so, that my parents eventually bought a small slopeside condo where everyone could gather for weekend ski getaways.
This past weekend, the whole Spencer gang gathered in the Boston's north end for dinner where we fueld up on yummy italian food at the restaurant Al Dente
- followed by a few limoncello shots and vanilla cupcakes at Lulu's Sweet Shoppe
- before jetting off to the mountains. (Between - Al Dente has some of the best Italian food in the city of Boston. The eggplant parm is outrageously big and awesome and the service makes you feel apart of their big Itlaian family! I highly recommend trying it out!)
Brad and my mom cheering to a great weekend ahead with the limoncello they deliver free after your meal!
The next day, we woke up early to hit the slopes for first tracks. Waking up on the early side is easy when the sun is shining, the temperatures are unsually mild and everyone is in an incredibly good mood. I had one of those really good feelings where I knew we had swiped up the best day for skiing all winter.
Me, mom and dad ready to go!
Brad...the bad boy of boardin' in the fam..
The two harvard kids...my younger brother Alexander and his girl Gretchen!
The newly engaged couple!
Headed up in the gondola to the top of the Loon. Amazing view!
Loving this new gopro camera...I wanna go back!
me at the top of Loon...oh and Brad's shadow.
Brad playing around with the gopro on the chairlift.
Oh Hey Erin!
After a full day of skiing, we were all ready to unwind which brings me to my personal favorite part of any ski day - Apres ski! Nothing, and I mean nothing, feels as good as the moment when you unbuckle your 50 pound ski boots, slip into some sweatpants and curl up on the couch with a big glass of wine. Because the weather was so nice out, we were able to enjoy our drinks and snacks on the balcony which almost never happens in New England during this time.
cozyin' up after a long day of skiing!
favorite part of the day - cocktail time. we earned it right?
Beautiful view, beautiful couple!
Another great picture on the balcony...so nice out!
After indulging in a little apres ski, we headed out to dinner at Common Man restaurant in Lincoln
. We have been going to the Common Man as a family for the past 25 years. It is such a cozy, warm eatery that never fails to deliver the best comfort food. From macNcheese, steak and fries to chicken pot pie - we all feasted and topped it off with a few warm baked apples with maple syrup.
me and erin (with our knockaround sunglasses) acting firece after a few glasses of wine!
brad and his common man brew!
It turned out to be the perfect skiing weekend. We topped off our travels with a visit to Flapjacks
(yes, they have pretty darn good flapjacks!) in downtown Lincoln for breakfast the next morning. It's hard to believe that was our last skiing weekend of the winter :( I can't wait to visit Loon in the summer for some hiking and a trip to the famous Polly's Pancakes!! Until next year!
Happy Friday! The fact that it is almost the weekend nums the pain of this cold weather that has settled into New England, leaving me to search frantically this morning for my hat and gloves which I thought (hoped, wished, pleaded!)
I put away for good! ....(Hello spring...its me Courtney, where did you go??)
Nevertheless, it is Friday and I am feeling quite green - green for St. Paddy's day! I am a wee bit Irish, and I fully intend to celebrate what small percentage I am this weekend. Brad and I plan to celebrate early tonight by partaking in some green beer and whiskey flavored favorites down at our local pub.
Speaking of yummy food, I wanted to share a short movie all about delicious food straight from the foodie captial of the U.S. - NYC. My older brother Jonathan is an amazing filmmaker (#humblesiblingbrag) and shot some film of him and his fiances recent weekend getaway to New York where they shopped, ate, drank and sampled just about all of NYC favs!
Jonathan is off to Africa today (welp a whole 23 hours away) on a work-related video shoot and we all miss him already! He has promised me another great movie that I will be posting here! Small warning - this film WILL make you hungry, especially the shot of the warm berry crisp from the award-winning resturant Marcelleria.
Jonathan claims that this particular berry crisp is the. best. ever.
My life has been quite the ride over the last few weeks. I have been a bit MIA, but for good reason! Brad and I are both getting our graduate degrees at the same time – which I think makes us certifiably insane. I, of course, procrastinated a bit on a major assignment and it ended catching up with me big time. The good news is that we will both graduate this
May – hip-hip-FINALLY! Double the party!
I did however manage to squeeze in a few fun days throughout the school work craziness. I should mention that you can always keep updated with me 24/7 on Instagram, username Cjansson12 and Twitter - @courtneysimply
Okay now, let’s see – where to begin?
Last Saturday night I went to dinner with Brad’s family out in Providence, RI. Surprisingly, Brad and I do not venture out to Providence often which is sad because it is only 25 minutes from our home. Providence is known for having some of the best restaurants in the country and the spot we hit a few Saturdays ago did not disappoint!
The Providence Oyster Bar - trying out the GoPro camera!
We went to a restaurant in the Federal Hill district called the Providence Oyster Bar.
If you are guessing it probably has
really good oysters –you are getting warm. Not only are the oysters amazing (I don’t eat oysters, but I take Brad’s word for it), but the seafood dishes are equally delectable.
Unfortunately we were trying out Brad’s new GoPro camera and the pictures did not come out as good as we thought, but I captured what I could!
inside at the fish bar!
Yes, it's true...I only have eyes for Brad :)
My father in–law and I were on the same food channel that night because we both ordered the sea bass with edamame and shitake risotto with a scallion salad. Mushrooms are not my favorite food by any means, but these were masked pretty well. The flavors were Asian and a surprise coming from a restaurant with more traditional New England seafood grub. Needless to say, I had no problem cleaning my plate. I washed everything down with a cool glass of Covey Run Reisling wine - if you are a reisling wine fan, or just a fan of wine, then I highly recommend trying it!
My sea bass with risotto - so delicious!
Other dishes sampled included the steak frites (p.s. the fries were absolutely some of the best I have ever had and it had me wishing that I had ordered that for myself), salmon with lentils and a variety of sushi.
quite possibly the best fries. drizzled in truffle oil and parsely. melt. in. your. mouth. good. Brad did not notice, but I was able to swipe quite a few off his plate.
The food was delicious and the service on par. The space inside is small, but cozy – perfect for a small group or date night :) I already have future plans in the works to visit their sister restaurant Providence Prime
Me and Brad with our family!
After that delicious dinner it was time to get back to work. I give major kudos to anyone who is working and going to graduate school at the same time - it really is no fun. The only saving grace for me is that it is still cold outside; summers are the worst to be stuck inside doing homework. However, I got a break in the middle of the week for Brad's sister's birthday dinner down the Cape. If your thinking by Cape...I mean Cape Cod...you would be right on! Ironically, Brad and I's families both own summer homes on Cape Cod, so it is not unusual for us to travel there for special events. The hour plus drive from our home is usually worth it to see family and more importantly, get our seafood fix on.
We dined at the Hyannis Yacht Club
located on the water. Membership is required to eat there, so it helps to know a
member :) I ordered the tradional breadcrumb baked scrod with mash and veggie. It was outstanding. Perhaps I was extra hungry from the long drive, but my meal hit the spot. There is nothing better than buttered bread crumbs, scrod and creamy mash; it really is the best comfort food. Brad enjoyed his scallops and lobster risotto. Although our stomachs were bursting, we left a little room for birthday cake that came all the way from the Cake Boss himself
-literally! Brad's mom had the cake, red velvet with white cream cheese frosting, shipped in special. It was great to spend time with family and enjoy a mid-week break on the water...it made me crave summer that much more.
The food at the club was so good - Brad and I wondered if we should become members ourselves! Apologies for the lack of pictures again - I was on such a sugar low, that all I could concentrate on was eating the food!
Stay tuned for pictures from my skiing adventure in New Hampshire - xo!
Day two of our Florida getaway started with a cool, crisp morning walk along the Jacksonville riverfront. The air was still chilly for Florida - 35 degrees - but the sun was shining!
Brad and I headed to breakfast at the Omni Hotel
. Their breakfast spread was tasty and wholesome, packed with homemade jams, butters and fresh omelets. We quickly fueled up in anticipation of another packed wedding planning day!
Brad at the Jacksonville Landing.
chilly by the river, but nice to feel that Florida sun!
Brad and I met up with the gang - my brother and the future mrs. spencer's amazing family - and headed to a venue called Casa Marina
. Casa Marina is a small hotel and restaurant located on Jax's Beach.
Brad heading into the Casa Marina.
The hotel has an old world Spain vibe to it. The best part of the venue was by far the rooftop bar and lounge which we all headed to for drinks after our tour.
Brad with his best man - my brother!
Me and the hubs on the rooftop bar!
View of Jax's Beach from the Casa Marina rooftop!...and yes the sky was really that color!
My brother and his beautiful bride to be!
After enjoying a wonderful tour of the Casa Marina property and cocktails on the rooftop, we jetted off to make our dinner reservation at the Bonefish Grill in Jacksonville Beach.
The Bonefish Grill is an upscale seafood chain that serves up yummy classics along with a few surprises including the "bang bang shrimp!"
We sampled just about everything - including one or two - okay probably more than our fair share of cocktails!
My salmon was cooked perfectly and came with a side of cilantro seasoned rice and asparagus. Brad sampled the fish tacos, and while nothing can compare to the fish tacos out in Colorado, these were quite tasty. Other dishes ordered included the corn chowda and bacon scallops.
My favorite part of any meal - the bread - came out warm, soft and with a tiny, delicious crunch. We all scrafed down the bread to continue to get more. It was a smart move, especially knowing we all needed something extra to soak up all the booze!
Scallop wrapped in bacon anyone?
Brad caught red handed.
the classic "wives club" picture. This is about the time where the cocktails began to kick. (I spy AK's hand).
The groom and his head groomsmen!
I have a feeling this is going to be a fun wedding!
AK don't play.
We all had a ball and it was a great way to end a celebratory weekend for the new bride and groom! For me, its the company that always makes the best meal! Thank you Bonefish Grill for a fabulous time!
Our mini weekend getaway to Florida continued with an evening out to "Jax's Beach". After our wonderful lunch and tour of TPC Sawgrass
, Brad and I headed back to our hotel on the Jacksonville riverfront to relax and get ready for an evening out at One Ocean Resort.
We had been anxiously awaiting this dinner all week and so looked forward to finally celebrating our valentine's day together!
After a longer drive than anticipated, mainly guided by our GPS, we finally arrived! The resort was beautiful with a cheeky, stylish, Miami south beach vibe.
Inside One Ocean Resort.
We dined at the hotel restaurant Azurea.
The restaurant Azurea
has stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Although it was too dark by the time we sat for dinner, just knowing that we were surrounded by the ocean added to the romantic ambience. The menu at Azurea has a playful mix of European, Caribbean and American influences.
I am a sucker for a good bread basket. For me, its the best part of any meal and this basket did not disappoint. Three different kinds of bread with even more dipping's to choose from including salted butter, pesto, olive oil and marinated apple.
Yummy bread basket and dipping sauces.
Salad appetizer. Mixed spring greens, apples, blackberries and crunch walnuts dressed in creamy raspberry.
The anticipation of our main entrees was finally put to rest after our waiter set down our plates in front of us. The first few bites melted in our mouths - literally. This was some of the best seafood we have ever had. The creamy brussel sprouts made me wonder why I ever disliked them as a child. We had to keep reminding ourselves to take slow bites. We ordered a side of mashed potatoes which were equally as fluffy, creamy and melt in your mouthable as our fish.
My dinner - Carolina Rockfish with melted leeks and creamy brussels sprouts.
Brad's tuna cooked on the raw side. He is somewhat of a tuna connoisseur and said this was by far one of the best.
yummy mashed potatoes to share.
Our main entrees ended to quickly and while we were absolutely stuffed, we just had to check out the dessert menu. After going back and forth between chocolate and fruit - we settled on the apple crisp. Growing up in New England, apple crisps are a dessert staple and I was interested in seeing what it would be like in Florida.
Our waiter delivered us a deconstructed apple crisp, playfully plated and it looked/tasted amazing. It came topped with a butterscotch streusel, accompanied with a warm cider and cold buttermilk ice cream. While this is not what I am use to up north, it definitely hit the spot.
Deconstructed apple crisp.
Dinner was a success!
What a great way to end a perfect first day in Florida! Thank you Azuera for a wonderful dinner - we will be back!
Phew - what a whirlwind I have been on for the past few days. From Valentine's Day to Florida and then back to work which hit me smack in the face with a rather large "to-do by Friday" pile. It has been rather hectic but more so.... amazingly fun, yummy and unforgettable :)
I have said it before - I am a huge fan of Valentine's Day! Everyone seems to be in a better mood. The usual glooms day train ride to work was filled with more smiles of those knowing they are leaving work early to surprise their Valentine. Walking into the office, I was showered with the smell of fresh flower deliveries. Growing up, my mum always encouraged my brothers and I to wear red or pink on Valentine's Day and I have yet to break that tradition.
The hubs had graduate school on Valentine's night, so we saved our dinner out to the weekend. But the hubs, being sneaky and sweet as usual, woke up early to make me coffee with a side of red roses. I made us breakfast - cheesy
egg sandwhiches - what can I say, I tend to get "cheesy" on this day.
red roses to greet me in the morning.
I am one lucky gal ;)
Dad and mum took me out to dinner at our favorite local Italian restaurant - Tutto Bene
. I ordered my absolute favorite Italian meal of all time - chicken cacciatorie - a must order at Tutto. Keeping with tradition, mum gave me a valentine bag filled with goodies and dad bought us both a box of Hillards
dark chocolates which I kindly shared with the husband when he got home. All in all it was the best valentine's day a girl could ask for.
Shortly after V-day, and still wide awake from my chocolate high, the hubs and I departed Boston to Florida for a wedding planning weekend with my brother and his wonderful bride to-be. We landed in Jacksonville and headed straight to TPC Sawgrass
to check out wedding venue #1. We wasted no time in getting down to the best part of wedding planning - trying all the yummy food and wine!
The hubs in front of the main clubhouse at TPC.
Pretty flower displays inside the clubhouse.
Such an elegant setting with an old rich history feel. every inch was decorated to perfection!
What this picture of me is not saying is how cold it was out! I was dressed for Florida but the temps were in the 30s. It was still beautiful regardless!
Coming from a golfing family, the history inside the club was spectacular- from old clubs and pictures of the game's great players. Wedding guests would so enjoy walking the property to see it. Double bonus of holding a wedding reception here.
Brad on the outside patio overlooking the greens.
After a tour of the property, our appetites began to kick into full gear. Our vacation mode mindset was switched to on and we headed to the TPC clubhouse restaurant called Nineteen
, open to the public, for an afternoon snack and cocktail.
A cool glass of sweet riesling - don't mind if I do!
A beer at TPC was a must for the hubs who sampled a local draft.
The hubs savoring the local flavor, that, and the taste of finally being away on a mini vacation :)
The drinks were delicious and held us over while we anticipated what the food would taste like. The ambience inside the club dining room was elegant yet casual with golfers pouring in and out from the course to families and couples enjoying a relaxing afternoon meal together. The menu was simple yet creative in the offering choices. Every dish was made from scratch using seasonal and fresh ingredients.
I ordered the "berry salad" with grilled chicken, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, goat cheese and sliced almonds. It came with a light raspberry dressing. It was beyond delicious.
Brad ordered the "oyster poboy" sandwich with tobasco aioli, pickles and crisp chips.
With our bellies full and our minds stuffed full of wedding information, we headed back to our hotel to regroup and get ready for the evening ahead. I will post soon on the second half of our mini getaway, including pictures from one of the best dining experiences we have ever had. Prepare to get hungry!
I recently came home after a particularly long day at work to find my hubs waiting for me with dinner in the oven and a glass of wine in hand. My long, draining day was suddenly given new life. I snapped a picture to remember the moment, a moment that I could seriously get use to (night after night!)
Warm sourdough bread and a silky white bean dip was staring me down on the counter. This guy is good. Dinner - a combination of all my favorites - included penne pasta, lots of veggies, feta cheese and special turkey meatballs handmade from Whole Foods.
Brad greeting me with wine and dinner in hand.
The food was overly delicious. I am extremely lucky to be married to a man who knows his way around a kitchen. However, the kicker of the night came before and after the meal. Wine, in particular white riesling wine, is my absolute favorite, go-to, party time, I have had a looong day....kinda drink! And what's better than one bottle of wine, but three!
'Wine flights' are perfect for date nights, special occasions....or if you are just simply in the mood for a lil' something different.
It's a fun escape from the typical wine experience, keeping you guessing while you are sipping! (It's more fun not to know the variety of grape until you have tried them all!) On this particular night, Brad purchased three different riesling wines from different areas in the U.S. - Washington, Oregon and the Finger Lakes. Each location produces a slightly different tasting grape! Coming home from a long day to a personalized wine flight was just what I needed.
Our wine flights ready to go. Featured wines included: Leitz Dragonstone Riesling; 2010 Kungfu Girl Riesling; and a 2011 Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling. My favorite was the Willamette Valley made in Oregon!
After a great evening filled with yummy food, an abundance of wine
and more importantly, good company, I decided that I needed to step up my game and create an equally as amazing dinner date at home!
Now, this is the part where I talk about that 'simple ole fashioned steak dinner." Most of the recipes I create are extremely simple to make and can be altered to suit personal taste buds.
I set out to create a good ole' fashioned steak dinner for Brad and that meant one word: rib-eye. I can't speak for everyone, but there is nothing better than cutting into a juicy rib-eye - crispy on the outside and perfectly medium rare on the inside. I originally planned on grilling my meat outside, however the northeast snowstorm Nemo
snowed in that idea. My back-up plan, after realizing I did not have one, was to broil the rib-eye. Broiling rib-eye is quick, easy and a sure fire way to guarantee a juicy, tender piece of meat.
To prepare the rib-eye, make sure you begin with the meat at room temperature. Now comes the part where you can customize this hunky cut to suit your personal tastes. I seasoned my cut with olive oil, sea salt, black salt, garlic, pepper, onion powder, oregano and parsley.
Let the ingredients marinate together slightly (10-30 minutes if you want to get going!) and fire up the broiler on high. If your cut is about 1 inch thick - broil for approximately 4 minutes on each side. If your cut is about 2 inches thick, up the amount of time to about 8 minutes on each side. These times will aim to get you around a medium rare going on medium finish (temperature of 145 degrees). I recommend using a broiler pan, cast iron or a cooking pan that has a 1-2 inch depth.
I added a dallop of salted butter on top for extra flavor :) - isn't she just a beaut? To complete my ole' fashioned steak dinner, I baked simple crispy white potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper in the oven at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes. Sautéed green beans with onions and my version of a spicy chimichurri sauce
(I use cider vinegar instead of white and add in 1/4 cup of fresh oregano) finished the dish.
Brad's face with the first bite said all I needed to hear - success. He paired his hunk of heaven with a big ole' glass of red wine.
It was the perfect comfort meal to enjoy while the snow, or should I say - blizzard - fell outside our ktichen window.
Valentine's Day is almost upon us. I happen to love this day. During my single years, my girlfriends all thought I was crazy. Yes, I was one of my few single friends who actually looked forward to Valentine's Day.
To me, Valentine's Day is the best excuse to indulge, relax and enjoy a cocktail or two (okay three) - smitten or not.
My husband and I have turned Valentine's Day into a Valentine's Week. This one day excuse to eat chocolate, break out the wine and indulge in rich food has turned into a multiple day extravaganza - Life is so busy these days, sometimes it is nice to take a moment, slow down and enjoy the simple things in abundance; Valentine's Day always reminds me of that.
This year, Valentine's Day (week!) is more special than ever before. The hubby and I will be taking a three day weekend to not only celebrate our love, but my brother and his new bride-to-be's as well!
My older brother (and best bud) recently became engaged to the sweetest girl. They have invited us on a wedding planning weekend in Florida and I happily said yes :)
To help kick off the loveliest week of the year, I thought I would share a few photos of my brother's recent engagement party at my mum's house.
Dining room table setting with white winter roses and gold accents.
drink glasses with 'wedding ring' wine charms. I designed these wine charms myself by purchasing play diamond rings and beading a wire earring clip. Materials can be purchased at Michaels craft stores.
my mum and dad are the cutest. my pre-ceremony wedding photos were photographed at my parent's house. One photo was taken of me coming down the grand staircase. Notice the similarity in the two pictures- the bride and baby with a white bow :)
the hubs tending bar for the evening. mixing up classic g&g's and cape codders.
the happy groom and bride-to-be!