Nonna and Grandpa Come to Visit

Despite having an awful weather weekend (40s and rain), it was a GREAT weekend. Why? Because my parents (Nonna and Grandpa to FW) came to visit.

Friday, they got in earlyish, so they were able to join me for daycare pickup! We picked up FW and then got some pizza from our favorite place, Marotta’s.

FW even ate a whole slice!

Then it was time for some reading and relaxing before they put him to bed. I love how when my parents come to visit, they take the lead on most diaper changes and bedtime. 

Saturday morning, we hit up the Zoo and Rainforest! It was cruddy and cold and wet, so we spent most of the time indoors.

FW probably watched this baby orangutan for at least 5 minutes.  It was playing around with its mom and swinging around. 

We then met up with B for lunch at a local deli/diner. I got some GREAT matzo ball soup and a HUGE corned beef sandwich. 

This was the half sandwich. There was like 5 lb of meat on here.

That afternoon, while FW napped, my mom and I got pedicures!

Then, it was time for more reading.

Sunday was pretty low key. We enjoyed some breakfast at Luna with my parents before they got on the road back to NY.

My go-to at Luna…love their yogurt and granola!

And then in the afternoon, we did some work on the house (it’s never ending!). By we, I mean B did, while I entertained FW.

Oh, and FW took a nap in HIS BED, which never happens so I was pretty happy with that. He loves napping in the stroller and in the car, but barely in his bed (especially since he can just get up and get out of it, which is what he did at first).

AND while FW slept, the CAVS won! I’m hoping we get another great series in this year with a better ending than last season. Who’s with me?

That night we enjoyed dinner with B’s family. FW got in some good cousin time, as usual. I love that he loves hanging out with them!

Some questions for you:

  • Was it cold near you again? Or did it feel like spring?
  • Do you like matzo ball soup?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

A Weekend of Celebrations

This weekend – though cold and snowy – was a fun-filled weekend of celebrations. From my sister-in-law’s swearing in as a U.S. citizen to my friend Nicole’s baby shower, we had a a few fun reasons.

Friday started with the swearing in ceremony. More than 50 people were sworn in as citizens in the ceremony, including my sister-in-law, who is from Finland. It was a pretty cool ceremony to be able to see, and it was amazing to feel part of so many people’s emotional journeys.

The ceremony lasted a little over two hours, and B and I had taken the day off, so afterwards, we went out to lunch – just the two of us. We don’t get to do that often, and it was nice to have a relaxed grown up meal and drinks (or a sip for me).

We were planning on going to the movies after lunch, but we were both so full and in a semi-food coma, we decided to go for a walk instead. We visited the Towpath for a 4+ mile walk in the snow. The path was paved, so it was at least pretty.

We then spent some time reading and warming up in a coffee shop. These are all things we used to do all the time before FW, so it was nice to get out and do them once again.

Then, it was time for the first celebration- off to a bar for my sister-in-law’s celebration in honor of her new citizenship! We hung out for about an hour with FW before it was time to head out.

AND we picked up my favorite local pizza on the way!

Even FW ended up having a few bites (he is picky and hasn’t been liking pizza).

Saturday ended up being a pretty low-key, yet productive day. It included some cleaning, reading, piano playing, and baking.

baking – buckeyes!

And a quick stop to our favorite local chocolate shop for some goodies before dinner. Fun fact- chocolate covered pretzels are pretty much my FAVORITE.

For dinner, B made us homemade pasta with potatoes. I made the pesto. It came out SO good!

FW had grilled cheese – but also a peanut butter macaron for dessert! It was his first macaron and he wouldn’t put it down.

Sunday morning started with my friend Nicole’s baby shower! She’s due a little before me with her first and it was fun to celebrate with her. Isn’t she adorable?

She is also part of my Ladies Craft Beer Society – so naturally, we did a craft at her shower!

That afternoon, despite the snow and cold, the sun was out, so we got in a short walk with FW in the backpack.

And then it was time to go out to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. We went out for Italian food to celebrate.

And that was it – 3 celebrations in one weekend 🙂 Some questions for you:

  • Is it still snowy near you?
  • Do you like chocolate covered pretzels? Or what’s your favorite chocolate treat?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes

Do you like scary movies? I don’t really. I don’t like being scared. Sometimes after watching the TV series Sherlock I have to go on Instagram or watch Gossip Girl just so I can sleep without nightmares. Yup. I’m a baby. Which is why when we invited our friends Dave and Anson over for a scary movie night to celebrate the upcoming Halloween holiday, I was less than excited. Excited for the pizza from Crust we’d be eating? Yes. Excited for a scary movie? Not really. But I knew I’d suck it up and enjoy it – same as last year when I barely made it through Paranormal Activity. And if I didn’t? Well, at least I’d enjoy the baked goods!

I love peanut butter and chocolate. Especially during Halloween – who doesn’t like a good Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? (Ok, I know a few people who don’t) Which is why when I saw this recipe for White Chocolate Candy Corn Buckeyes, I knew I had to make some Halloween themed Buckeyes. Aren’t they cute? And if you haven’t guessed from my previous recipe (Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars), candy corn and peanut butter actually go well together. Who would’ve thought?

Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes - i crashed the web

Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes (an update to my traditional Buckeye recipe)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tspvanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup candy corn, about 3/4 of it chopped up
  • 1-12 oz. bag chocolate candy coating wafers (I use the Wilton Candy Melts)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar. Mix well (I use my KitchenAid) until it forms a stiff dough. Add in chopped candy corn.
  3. Shape dough into balls, about one inch or 2 tsp wide.
  4. Place on baking sheet and place peanut butter dough balls in refrigerator for 1 hour, or freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Melt chocolate coating wafers according to package directions. I usually nuke in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Stir occasionally until smooth.
  6. Time to coat the Buckeyes! Remove peanut butter balls from freezer. Insert a toothpick into a ball, and dip into the melted chocolate. Return to wax paper or aluminum foil chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. For eyeball-themed buckeye, add a Candy Corn M&M on the exposed peanut butter area. For the plain candy corn buckeyes, coat entire peanut butter ball and immediately after removing from chocolate add a whole candy corn to top of ball while chocolate dries. Repeat with remaining balls.
  7. Refrigerate Buckeyes for 30 min to 1 hour to set.
Spooky Eyeball Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes - i crashed the web

Top with M&Ms to make spooky eyeballs

Or just top with candy corn and enjoy!

Or just top with candy corn and enjoy!

A few questions for you:

  • Do you like scary movies? Not really. But I really do enjoy reading the Wikipedia pages to get a snapshot of the plot for them!
  • What’s your favorite scary movie? Saw. It scares the heck out of me but is SO interesting! The rest of the Saws don’t seem as good. I haven’t actually seen them – but reading their Wikipedia plot brings me to that conclusion. I also like Scream. That counts right? I went through a phase in high school where I was obsessed with the names Sydney and Tatum for girls.
  • What’s your favorite Halloween treat?

How can you not like this?!

After watching that I need to go flip through Instagram again. Spooky!

Peanut Butter + Chocolate = Homemade Buckeyes

Each year for B’s  birthday I make him a favorite treat, Buckeyes.

What are Buckeyes?

If you had asked me a few years ago, I would’ve just looked at you crazily. Buckeyes? I have no idea? I would’ve said.

Now, being an Ohioan for five years (can you believe that?) – of course I know what Buckeyes are! Not only do I know what they are – but I LOVE eating them and making them! Peanut butter? PLUS chocolate? How could they go wrong? So to all my East Coast and West Coast friends  and family – Buckeyes are basically a glorified and homemade peanut butter cup that are made to look like the state tree of Ohio’s “fruit/nut” and are super delicious:

A real deal Buckeye – not one I made

actual homemade buckeyes

So each year, sometime around September 13 (B’s birthday) … or a month later if I’ve been busy … I cook (without the oven, of course) up some Buckeyes and B is a happy camper. And now, you too, can make some perfect Buckeyes – oven free – with this recipe:

Perfect Homemade Buckeyes

Here’s what you need:

For the amazing peanut butter filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

For the chocolate outer coating:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2ish tablespoons of Crisco or shortening

Here’s what you do:

    1. Line a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper
    2. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar. Mix well (I use my KitchenAid) until it forms a stiff dough.
    3. Shape dough into balls, about one inch or 2 tsp wide.
    4. Place on prepared pan, and place peanut butter dough balls in refrigerator for 1 hour, or freezer for 30 minutes.
    5. Now it’s time to make the chocolate coating! Melt shortening and chocolate together in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Stir occasionally until smooth.
    6. Time to coat the Buckeyes! Remove  peanut butter balls from freezer. Insert a toothpick into a ball, and dip into the melted chocolate chip/Crisco mixture. Return to wax paper or aluminum foil chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls.
    7. Refrigerate chocolate coated peanut butter balls (or Buckeyes!) for 30 min to 1 hour to set.

peanut butter chocolate buckeyes