Bestie's Birthday Bash

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My best friend put in her request for her birthday dinner about two months ago. She wanted the Italian feast that we did for her last year. A dinner of appetizers and all super fresh and super good. How could I say no to this? Well, I couldn't.

I had to be in LA this week from Saturday to Tuesday for work and I knew that if I didn't have any time off I would not be able to get this meal finished so I took Friday off. It was a good thing too because husband ended up getting Thursday and Friday off instead of his normal Friday and Saturday. This meant that I would have to do all of the cooking on my own on Saturday, but he could help me clean on Friday, so that's what we did. We did our shopping Thursday night and got everything we would need for the dinner and the breakfast I promised to make the next morning since she and her daughter would be staying the night.

Friday morning we got up and started to get to work. Our house was a mess! With the backyard destroyed from our plumbing disaster, the house is nothing but a dust collector for whenever the dogs come in and out of the house. We cleaned, dusted, moved furniture and organized crap that gets dropped off in a rush to do something else. Once the house was shining, we got to work on prep cooking. I baked the chocolate cake for dessert, Tate made foccacia and pesto and I made the bana calda. By the end of the day we were exhausted but well prepared for the next day.

Saturday morning came and Tate had to be off to work and I had some cooking to do. On the menu was Linguine with a tomato, mushroom and zucchini sauce, fusili with pesto, grilled shrimp in a lemon, basil and garlic marinade, caprese salad and a tomato, avocado and shrimp salad. I got to work on the tomato sauce because I knew it would have to simmer for hours to be real good. Once the sauce was cooking, I worked on getting the table set for everyone, toasting some sliced baguettes and general set up. I was ahead of schedule and things were looking good. As the day went on, I had my tomato, avocado and shrimp salad made and the caprese salad ready to go.

Around 3 o'clock I decided to finally jump in the shower and get cleaned up before the "final push" for dinner. Stepping out of the shower, I had the music blasting and was in my own world when I saw a shadow moving in the dining room. The dogs were outside and Tate wasn't due back until after 5p. "Hello?" I called out to the mystery shadow and the next thing I knew around the corner comes a laughing husband to my shock and awe. He was tickled because he scared the crap out of me. If I wasn't so happy to see him I would have killed him!!

The food was done, the table was set and I just needed the guests to arrive. Around 6pm everyone showed up. Emiley and her daughter Kelsey, and Emiley's parents Patty and Larry. It was now time to drop the pasta in the water and grill up the shrimp. The final rush was on, I was starving and my blood sugar was low from working hard all day and not eating too much so needless to say I got a little snappy at Tate when he didn't move fast enough for me in the kitchen and left me waiting. After everything was said and done, we were able to sit down to an amazing dinner. I really out did myself and we ate like kings.

Here are pictures from the dinner and the dish towels that I embroidered for her.

The next morning after a late night of lots of wine, fun movies and girl time I got up to make breakfast for everyone. I had promised to make candied bacon for Emiley and Tate since they are buddies in bacon. They both love it where I am not such a fan, but since it was for her birthday, I went ahead and did it.

Taking all of my knowledge from the many hours of food tv I have watched, I whipped up a batch of candied bacon, scrambled eggs with mushrooms and fruit salad. I got everyone up and they staggered to the table. We all sat there bleary eyed and ate our breakfast. I was told the candied bacon was evil and the best thing ever, so I figured mission accomplished! After breakfast, Tate got ready and headed off to work for the day, Emiley went back to bed and I took my coffee to the kitchen to start to tackle the never ending pile of dishes that had been created.

Em and Kels left about an hour ago and I still have dishes calling my name, but the last round is still drying on the rack so they will have to wait. We had a great time and I can't wait to do it all again!

Mi Vida Loca

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Life has been fairly crazy and hectic lately between work, home, and play we're trying to do it all and I don't think it's quite fitting in.

 Saturday was one of the busiest days we've had in a long while. I was able to get the husband up and out of bed by 9am to go for a short bike ride before we headed up to Apple Hill for the Port release at Jodar Winery. We also stopped at Jack Russell Brewery so Tate could fill up his growler with something yummy but then had to book it back down the hill to go to a birthday party at Incredible John's Pizza in Roseville for my girlfriend's daughter. Neither of us had ever been there and were so overwhelmed by all of the noises, lights and games that we didn't know what to do at first.  I then got paired with one of the kids at the party to take him around all of the games so he wouldn't get lost.  If you ever need a good workout, I can highly suggest chasing after a 5 year old at this place.  It was crazy.  I even ended up losing Tate in the process and had to call him only to find him across the parking lot at the bike shop.  (Go figure.)

After the birthday party when the sugar had worn off on all the kids and it was getting late, we headed downtown to the one year anniversary party at Whitworth Cycles. We hung out there for a bit so Tate could congratulate Whit, then headed home. I was done by that time and ended up passing out on the couch for a nice one hour nap before thinking about dinner.

Unfortunately, there was lots more stuff that we wanted to do and couldn't do it. I guess it's just the curse of the season. I'm out of town this weekend and will miss all sorts of fun events and outings that I want to do, but am excited for the 28th and making Emiley's birthday dinner extravaganza.

With our busy lifestyle lately, I have been challenged on my diet and have to say I am proud of the choices I have been making. We've been to a Chinese buffet along with the pizza buffet at Incredible John's and each time I made smart choices to help me along on my road to good health. I am happy to report that I am no longer taking my high blood pressure meds. I was having too many dizzy spells and have been keeping an eye on it. I still run a little high, but usually around 135/82 which is not terrible. I still have an issue with water retention so I'm continuing to take my water pills and I just need to keep drinking my water. My main obstacle, as always is exercise. I'm the worst about it and I know it's all my fault, but that too will be conquered!

Until the next time...

Rollin' on the River

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Last night we had the opportunity to go for a cruise on the river with our friends Mark & Selina. it was such a lovely evening and other than getting doused by a wave just as we were starting off, we had a great time. We cruised from the Sacramento marina, past Old Sac and Discovery Park, dropped anchor for a while to have some dinner and check out the wild life, then continued up the American River to the bike trail bridge. We even saw a train go by.

It was Tate's first cruise on the river, and it was just a pleasant way to spend the evening and remember that Sacramento is really a lovely place to live.

Click on the photo below to see all the pictures I took along the way.

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