Saturday, July 07, 2018

Cheesy Cooking Club

Valerie, Nancy and Emily were the hostesses for this month's cooking club. Can you believe that in almost a decade of cooking clubs, we have never had a cheese theme?? What have we been doing with our lives?!

They started us off with a delicious cheese board. And homemade crackers from our friend Suzie!

Nancy brought these amazing grape balls. Grapes rolled in a Gorgonzola, cream cheese and heavy cream mixture, then rolled in toasted, chopped walnuts.

Also, a savory tomato parmesan poundcake! Beautiful!

Valerie got things started with a grilled cheese-infused vodka martini. That's right, a GRILLED CHEESE INFUSED VODKA MARTINI. With a balsamic reduction prosciutto rim, tomato juice ice cube, and cheese tomato basil skewer.

You might be wondering, how does one infuse vodka with grilled cheese? Thank you to Valerie for these behind-the-scenes photos. First, she cooked up some grilled cheese sandwiches. And filled a pitcher with vodka.

Then, she soaked the sandwiches in the vodka! Simple as that! Then she strained them and made a cocktail with the infused vodka.

This drink was bananas. I definitely wouldn't call it delicious, and I definitely wouldn't want a second one, but I did (almost) finish it. It really did taste like a chilled, alcoholic grilled cheese! Valerie went above and beyond with the innovation on this one.

To get us started on the dinner menu, Emily made tomato stacks with parmesan crisps, fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic reduction and olive oil.

These were incredible! Look at all those different kinds of fresh, local tomatoes! Mmm.

Valerie also made cups out of cheese. CUPS! Out of CHEESE!

Summer sipping from her cheese cup.


My depth perception got the best of me once again and I quickly overpoured my cheese cup.


Parmesan poundcake!

Valerie made mixed green salads with orange, mint, and seared halloumi. Love that warm, squeaky halloumi!

Val also made pierogies, stuffed with potato, mushroom and garlic. Topped with onion. They were delicious! As was the peppery, cheesy tomato parmesan poundcake.

Nancy chilling with the pets. Nancy MADE that sweater. Isn't it gorgeous!? She's so good!

Game time! We've been on a Balderdash kick. Beyond Balderdash is even better.

Lots of laughing.

For dessert, Emily served fresh peaches and cherries with mascarpone sabayon. Mmm!!! Cheesy cooking club was amazing. I can't believe it took us so long to do! Thanks, Valerie, Emily and Nancy!

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Happy Fourth of July!

This Fourth of July, Ben, Felix and I had TWO parties to attend. Lucky us! The first was swimming and euchre at Summer and J's, with flamingo, T-Rex, and swan.

Another HOT HOT HOT day!


After the pool, we headed down the road to Vana, Joe and Jasper's for a potluck. Look how handsome Farro is with his fancy paws!

Felix was looking dapper on this national holiday. It also happens to be his birthday (we decided)! Happy fifth birthday, sweet Felix!

Me, Ben, and our lil' nephew, Jasper!

Look at Jasper's little Independence Day outfit!

With Auntie Kayla!

Mmm, potluck!

Deviled eggs!


Derrick's burger looked like the burger emoji. 🍔

Jasper riding his little horsie.


He sucked on my necklace for a good 10-15 minutes.

Pretty fun!

Family photos!

Attempting serious face.

Happy Fourth of July, y'all!

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Open swim at Summer & J's!

What better way to spend a 95-degree first day of July than with OPEN SWIM!!! Michele brought baby Scott out for his very first swim of his LIFE!

Summer got him to laugh!

Michele and Scott!

Awww, mommy and baby.

Summer's suit matches her raft. 👌

Just trying to stay cool.

Baby floatie!

It's kind of hard to bother taking pictures of anything else when there is a cute baby in the pool.

Poolyball brings all the balls to the yard.


Flamingo and swan.

Aaron and Jane brought root beer floats. ROOT BEER FLOATS!

They totally hit the spot. Yay for summertime!