Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hotdish #4: Broccoli, Beef & Potato Hotdish

I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate Halloween by cooking up another Eating Well hotdish! This time I made the Broccoli, Beef and Potato Hotdish. Ta da!

LOOK! It looks just like the magazine!


Mom brought a yummy salad to have with it. Everyone agreed wholeheartedly that this one was definitely the BEST casserole so far. It was absolutely delicious!!

Here is the link to the recipe. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hotdish #3: Chili Cornbread Casserole

Tonight we had another Hotdish dinner party with Mom and Dad! This time we tried the Chili Cornbread Casserole. That's three down, three to go! It turned out GREAT!

The chili was spicy and flavorful, and the cornbread was packed with fresh cilantro.

Paired with a refreshing, crisp salad, it was a wonderful meal! I will be making this again. So far, these hotdishes are all winners.

is the link to the recipe.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

2010 Pumpkin Party

Tonight was Emily's annual pumpkin carving party. I got a huge pumpkin and decided that I would walk to Emily's carrying it. I thought that it would be okay because of that one time that Ben and I walked to a party WAY down the bike path carrying pumpkins. It turns out that a shorter distance with a bigger pumpkin does not equal a longer distance with a smaller pumpkin.

I should have gotten a picture of me holding it so that you could see the size ratio, but it was freaking HUMONGOUS. That is my foot over to the right in the above picture, if it gives you any idea. I was thinking it had to be at least thirty pounds, but other people better at spatial relations and such were telling me it was probably closer to fifteen or twenty. It was too big for me to comfortably hold, and I had to take like fifty breaks on the way to Emily's house, which is <0.3 miles from mine. My arms hurt for DAYS!!!

Maybe it would help to see Carl next to the pumpkin. SEE HOW HUGE?

Here is the full lineup of pumpkins!

That's mine on the left with the monocle and mustache.

I loved Mark's pumpkin in misery. He's so MISERABLE!!

Summer's Seaman's pumpkin was awesome!

Carl and Brad got rowdy later in the night and had a major wrestling session in the pumpkin pulp.

Boys will be boys!

I don't think there was a clear winner, but then again, EVERYONE'S a winner when you're wrestling in pumpkin!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Blennerhassett Mansion by Candlelight

Tonight I took a trip back through time to Blennerhassett Island in the year 1805. This is a special event they do annually, where they banish electricity for the night and light the island with candles. Such a picturesque scenario, and I totally forgot my camera!!! I was bummed when I realized it, but fortunately Leighanna was taking pictures that night, and said I could use hers! YAY.

Here we are on the ferry over to the island.

You can see some of the candles!

We had a harvest feast by candlelight using very futuristic styrofoam dinnerware.

The mansion was filled with candles. Look at the scary ghosts over to the left of the picture!!!!!

Inside the study.

This woman was playing the harp.

So many candles everywhere.

Waiting to go inside the mansion. The Blennerhassetts were throwing a huge party!

Here we are in front of the fireplace.



This guy was answering all sorts of history questions for us.



They were cooking huge platters of fresh gingerbread in the kitchen. Yum.

We went on a horse drawn wagon ride around the island.

Leighanna with our horses, Dolly and Sugar.

Campfire! There was a guy telling ghost stories, but they weren't very scary. It makes me think that the island probably isn't haunted. All of them went something like this: "One day, somebody heard a SOUND! Up in the attic!!! It might have been a GHOST!!! No one will ever know." or "One day somebody saw some silhouettes in one of the vacant houses on the island. It might have been people actually inside of the house but it ALSO MIGHT HAVE BEEN GHOSTS!!"

View of the mansion as we headed back to the ferry.

Within minutes of boarding the ferry, Summer somehow managed to sweet talk the captain into letting her drive the boat!!!

I love this next picture. I was just standing there GAZING at Summer, thinking to myself how it never fails - any time we go anywhere, she always manages to somehow up the fun level one special notch. It's like having VIP access to Extra Guaranteed Fun! I was thinking, "of COURSE she's driving the boat. I mean, of COURSE she is!!" and then the flash of the camera caught my reflection. Ha ha, look at me! I'm totally President of the Summer Fan Club!

And being the president certainly has its perks, because then she pulled me in and *I* got to steer the boat!!!!!!


There I am, steering us into shore.

What a great night. Thanks again to Leighanna for taking pictures!!


Ben and I went down to his dad's land this afternoon, and we almost stepped on a toad! He was so well camouflaged we almost didn't see him. Look how hard he is to spot!

Upon closer inspection, there certainly is a toad hiding in there.

I'm glad we didn't step on the little guy.