Cousin Weekend – One Sentence Per Photo Style

It was another cold weekend in Cleveland, filled with plenty of fun indoor activities to keep us busy. Here are some of the highlights – and let’s see if I can keep it to one sentence per photos.

First, FW started a new daycare – he enjoyed snacktime as you can see!

We did some baking this weekend – starting with cookies. 

And of course some more spinach muffins; this time they had zucchini.

Some Vietnamese food takeout for dinner.

Out to breakfast Saturday morning!

FW’s cousin came up from Columbus, so we seen some time indoors. 

The Natural History Museum was a great place for two toddlers to run around and scream/growl at dinosaur bones.

And look at lots of big animals!

And yes, we did play a little bit outside. 

Sunday was a little “warm” (36 degrees!) so it included a mid-morning walk – we went to the bakery and FW fell asleep.

We picked up lunch and brought it over to Celia’s house, where FW played with the new baby Maura. 

And of course, we watched the Super Bowl – but it mostly meant FW got to hang out and play with his cousins (yes, more cousins!).

And, that’s a wrap! Another winter weekend is in the books. Can’t believe it’s February – 2018 is flying by. I hate when time goes by fast, but I wouldn’t mind warmer weather soon!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you watch the Super Bowl for the game or the commercials?
  • What do you do if you need to spend time indoors? Where do you go to stay entertained?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Three-Day Weekends Are Better Than Two-Day Ones

This is the OMG IT’S A THREE-DAY WEEKEND?! face.

Okay, maybe not – this was his face when we went out to breakfast, because that’s how our weekend started. With pancakes! I got the lemon ricotta pancake because it’s truly the best. It’s custardy and I pretty much am in love with anyone and everything lemon that’s sweet. I also don’t typically put butter or syrup on them either, because they’re just so good.

Friday started out with 58 degrees and rain (and a run in short sleeves!) – and then it ended up with sleet and then snow. The weather actually got so bad that my Friday night plans had to change. I was originally supposed to have a girls night with my sisters-in-law and go to the art museum to see their new Jazz Age exhibit, but due to the weather, the museum closed early!

Luckily, our dinner plans didn’t fall through and we were able to have some french food at L’Albtross.  We started with cheese …

And after our main course, ended with dessert!

Saturday was pretty good too. The day included some surprise chocolates from B — Mitchell’s has some great chocolates near me, and I love their pretzels and chocolate covered ginger.

The day also included a 2+ hour car nap for FW!

While he napped, I baked some zucchini breakfast cookies for FW to hopefully enjoy. They weren’t that sweet, but I’m hoping FW will want to eat them for breakfast. 

After the nap, we headed to the art museum to finally catch the Jazz Age exhibit. Since the museum was closed early Fri. night, we were able to exchange our tickets and go Saturday.  All of us ladies couldn’t all schedule the same time, but

I was able to go with B and FW – and Katie – instead.

The exhibit was great! It had so many cool parts and pieces – jewelry, textiles, cars, dresses, and more.

After the art museum, we went to Little Italy for some pizza and dessert.

It was a cold night but we had to walk to get some pastries, too!

Chocolate cannoli and rainbow cookies. My favorite!

Sunday morning started off with some ME time! B and FW went outside to brave the cold and get in some sleighing, while I stayed home. I was able to get in a short run and walk.

I was also able to start some cookies (and do some laundry,  but that’s not as exciting 🙂 ) – so that means I baked TWICE this weekend!

We finished off Sunday with a trip to visit our friends’ new baby girl (she is so sweet!!!). I brought some of the cookies over and B made some homemade chicken soup to bring as well.

And then it was time for a Polish-inspired dinner with B’s family, where FW enjoyed playing with his cousins. Pretty much perfect comfort food for a COLD weekend!

FW’s daycare is closed tomorrow, so I’m spending the day with him. Thus, the three-day weekend! Some questions for you:

  • Any tips for keeping a toddler entertained when it’s cold and snowy/icy outside?
  • Do you like Polish food?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Why Can’t Weekends Last Forever?

Why can’t weekends last forever? But seriously – shouldn’t they be even at least a little longer? Can someone figure out a way to make that happen? Because some weekends – like this past one – are just pretty great.

Friday started with going out to breakfast with B and FW. We got some fruit and eggs for FW and some amazing lemon ricotta pancakes for me. FW actually ended up eating most of my pancakes – he loved them!

That night, I was in the mood for some Vietnamese food. So, after little outing to my favorite Asian grocery store (we picked up some more Vietnamese coffee and canned jackfruit), we grabbed some dinner at Superior Pho. I got some bun with an egg roll – it was amazing!

Saturday morning started off with a run with my friend Nicole. We used to run together all the time when we both lived downtown and it was great to run together. I should’ve taken a selfie of us together like I used to! Instead, just a selfie of me.

Then, there was some time to hang out with FW. Which meant a few books were read – the little guy loves reading.

That afternoon, some friends came into town and they went to B’s high school football game. FW went too (and was dressed for the part to root for Ignatius).

While they were gone, I was busy! And it was all great stuff. I watched part of a chick flick – the Holiday! It’s not quite the holiday season yet, but the movie is great all year long in my opinion.

Without a baby and husband, I made meatballs (well, sorta – B had already gotten the meat ready – I just balled them all up and cooked them ) …

I also did a bit of baking. I baked some chocolate cake and some buckeye bars. 

Saturday afternoon included hanging out with some friends from out of town (unpictured) and eating said delicious meatballs.

Sunday morning started with a short walk with FW to pick up some pastries to enjoy with our out-of-town guests. FW enjoys cinnamon croissants 🙂

The day also included some housework – cleaning and raking. 

That afternoon, we decided to check out a little street fair happening not to far from our house. It was fun to be able to walk to it!

We decided to stop by the local bookstore and pick up  few items. Including a hedgehog book for FW!

I hope he likes hedgehogs as much as I do 🙂

The night ended with some homemade pizza. I love B’s pizza!

So yeah, it was a pretty great weekend. Can we do it all over again?

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your go-to Vietnamese order?
  • When was the last time you baked?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Fresh Cherry and Double Chocolate Almond Scones

Do you like fruit? I love fruit. Fresh, juicy fruit is something I crave pretty much year-round. When I was pregnant last year, I couldn’t get enough fruit. And now, FW is a fruit fiend. He’ll eat pretty much any fruit!

This time of year especially, I can’t get enough stone fruit. Nectarines. Peaches. Cherries. So, when Northwest Cherries reached out and asked if I’d like to try some of their cherries, I of course said yes.

The Northwest U.S. is actually known for seven varieties of cherries, including Bing cherries, the most popular cherry in North America, and Rainiers. You can typically spot the sweet cherries by their darker red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter.

So, while I’ve been enjoying eating cherries by the handful (and spitting out the seeds … so ladylike), I’ve also been enjoying testing out different recipes using my delicious bounty. In addition to making these cherry pie bars, I have also been dabbling in the scone game (or should I say Game of Scones? #nerdhumor).

These scones are a great way to use some fresh cherries, but also just great in general. The combination of cherry and almond is great, and the dark and white chocolate picks up on the cherries’ sweetness.

The only part about this recipe I don’t like? Chopping and seeding the cherries. But, if you can get past that, then I highly recommend you make these.

Luckily, B decided that he doesn’t mind chopping and seeding cherries, so I see more cherry recipes in my future. If you don’t have yourself a B to chop the cherries, I suggest you wear clothes you don’t care about and be prepared to have deep red cherry hands for a little while!

Fresh Cherry and Double Chocolate Almond Scones

Makes about 12 scones

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups cold butter, sliced into pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup of your favorite chocolate chopped up or chips – I used 1/2 cup semisweet and 1/2 cup of white chocolate chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. Using your fingers or a fork, cut in butter until the batter resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add in coconut milk and almond extract. Combine until batter is wet and sticky.
  4. Fold in cherries and chocolate. Combine with a spatula or spoon until dough is evenly mixed.
  5. Divide dough in half and pat down into two even circles about 1 inch high.  Cut into 6 triangles.
  6. Bake on an oven sheet lined with foil or parchment paper for 12-14 minutes. Enjoy!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite fruit?
  • Do you like fruit desserts?

Disclosure: Northwest Cherries provided me some cherries to sample. All reviews and opinions are my own.

Scenes from a July Weekend in Cleveland 

Wow, the weekend flew by. Guess when your last weekend was 5 days, 2 days seems too fast!

This weekend included some walks,  runs and working on our new house!!! (More to come on that)

Some of the highlights:

Finding these old newspapers. When your house is built in the 1920s, I guess you’ll find some cool things,  including newspapers from the 1950s.

Going for walks with this dude.  I am loving our BOB stroller,  it takes bumpy sidewalks so well!!

There were also sweet cherries this weekend. Northwest Cherry Growers sent me a lot of cherries to try out, and I mean LOTS of cherries. Which meant removing lots of pits and stems. Thankfully B didn’t mind 😁

Walks with Grandma. FW still isn’t walking on his own,  but he’s close. 

Pizza. Yes we have pizza pretty much every weekend.

Runs and hugs with this guy. This photo was taken before I threw my back out, so I don’t know how much running I will be doing this week. 

More cherries. So of course my weekend included some baking. These cherry pie bars didn’t come out looking that great, but they were a great dessert for Sunday dinner with B’s family.

And I still have more cherries left! Any suggestions on what else to bake?

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever thrown out your back? How long did it take to heal?
  •  What should we do with all these cherries?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

A night out!

What a weekend. B and I finally had a laid back weekend with not much planned and it was much needed. We were able to have some fun, relax, run, be productive AND get a night out!

Friday was a good night and our night out. B and I had a babysitter (his sister) because we had plans to go out! I had an event that night – the 25 under 35 Movers and Shakers Awards where I was being recognized!

After the awards, we hung out a bit with Christy and Cari and then B and I went out for dinner!  We went to Alley Cat and had some great food – we shared some clam chowder, oysters and an amazing lobster roll.

I’m still drooling over that lobster roll. It brought me back to the East Coast – and trips to Maine and Cape Cod. YUM!

Saturday morning started out with a run, 4 total miles (3 at 9 min/mile pace). Followed by a trip to West Side Market and Gallucci’s to pick up some groceries for the week. I am trying to do better at meal planning and we have dinners for all week planned out!

both are so excited to be photographed at the market

For lunch, we hit up Boaz Cafe which may be my new favorite restaurant. B had a lamb roll up and I had a make your own bowl – chicken, baba and so many more great toppings. The food is so good and so fresh and so affordable (his lamb roll and my giant salad were $11 total!!).

Saturday afternoon I did something I haven’t done in forever- i baked cookies while B and FW napped! It was great- I made something quick (bars) but it was so nice to get back to baking. I’ve missed it!

That evening we stayed in and after FW went to bed, made some pizza and watched a movie. I love homemade pizza, especially when B is the one making it! (which is always)

We ended up watching Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, which was just an okay movie. The real reason we watched it is because I went to high school with the real Mike and Dave (Dave was my year) and I had to see what the movie was about. I know it is only loosely based on the story (the real wedding wasn’t in Hawaii – it was in NY and my friend’s sister ended up going ha) but it was still funny to watch. Would I recommend the movie? Ehh, it was okay …

Sunday morning started with 6ish miles on the treadmill and then some meal prep.

Then it was time to check out some Open Houses! FW actually was napping and we missed one of the houses but the second one was nice. I really liked the house, so we shall see … then we ran some errands – and FW sat in the grocery cart for the first time!

And I got kombucha. Yum!!

That night we spent the evening at B’s parents house for our traditional Sunday dinner but this time WE cooked for B’s mom’s birthday! We made homemade pasta, with asparagus, peas and onions. I didn’t get to snag a photo, but it was great!

And that was about it. The weekend ended and now it’s time for conquering Monday. Here we go!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you ever make homemade  pasta?  Yes, B and I make it probably about once a month or so?
  • Do you like kombucha? Yes, I’m addicted to it, especially the homemade kind from my local tea shop!

I’m linking up with Katie and the weekly wraps.

Homemade Gingersnaps

I know, I know. When was the last time I posted a recipe?! This blog used to be all about recipes – but suddenly it’s become about eating, weekends, relaxing, being a mom and running. In all honesty, I haven’t had much time to bake lately. And when I do find time to bake, finding time to write down the recipe is waaaay last on my list.

BUT when I made these gingersnaps, I knew I had to share them. They were easy and so perfect to make now – right before the holidays – and any time of year! They’re quick to make, make enough to share (mine made about 33) and the best part – they taste great! I’d never tried to make gingersnaps before because I know I can always buy them if I want; but I highly recommend you make these. I’m so excited to bake them again and try different add-ins next time – candied ginger, dried cranberries, etc.

homemade-gingersnaps-cookies-recipe

Homemade Gingersnaps

Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 3 Tablespoons for rolling
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet. (Or use a nonstick surface, I like to use my silat and they don’t need greasing)
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream shortening and 1 c. sugar. Add in egg, molasses and honey and continue to mix until combined.
  4. Slowly add in flour mixture to sugar mixture.
  5. Roll dough into small, Tablespoon-ish size balls. Dip balls into the 3 Tbs. granulated sugar and place onto baking sheet. Bake until light brown, 12-14 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
  6. Enjoy! Makes about 30-36 cookies.

homemade gingersnaps cookies

Some questions for you:

  • Are you a ginger fan? Yes! I love everything ginger. ginger tea. pickled ginger. gingersnaps. gingerbread. ginger candy. yum yum yum!
  • What’s on your holiday baking list?