Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bunnies, Lambs, & Chicks

 Happy Easter!

I love celebrating holidays, and Easter is no exception!  Conor & I have been traveling like crazy, so it was quite refreshing to have a weekend at home.  Saturday afternoon was spent dying Easter eggs...one of my favorite parts of this holiday!  I feel like my 1st grade self, scouring the house for a box of crayons while dreaming up the many amazing designs that will cover this year's batch of eggs!  While I was busy hunting down some crayons, I put Conor in charge of boiling the eggs....this proved to be a terrible decision...  I returned to the kitchen to find Conor peeling hard boiled eggs!!!  I very patiently (read: furiously) asked him why he was peeling the eggs...he calmly responded, "They are so much easier to peel while they are still hot."  He took one look at my face and realized his oops!  Apparently he was so excited about making egg salad sandwiches that he completely forgot we were going to dye the eggs first!  Silly Conor!  Luckily he had only peeled about 4, so there was still plenty of eggs left to make a dip into cups of vinegar & dye.

To my surprise, I woke up to a visit from the Easter Bunny!  There was a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table right next to a basket full of treats!  Cadbury mini eggs are my favorite Easter candy, and I enjoy a Peep now & than too because I feel like it is a must.  After giving my husband lots of hugs and kisses because he is the best ever, he told me there were more surprises outside...I peeked my head out the door and spotted a few plastic eggs!  Let the Easter egg hunt begin!!!  Some of you may be thinking that I'm a little old for all these holiday shenanigans, but you would be oh so wrong.  I consider these years to be practice for when Conor & I will be playing Easter bunny for our own kids.  ;-)

Our Easter morning continued with a delicious breakfast of Champagne (of course) and bagels with lox, yummers!  With full bellies, we headed to Ocotillo Golf Course to play a round.  This was my best round of golf yet!  Conor & I had such a fun time together and hope I keep my game up, we'll see...  Maybe this will become a new Easter tradition, depending on where we live in the future.  I had full intentions of having an Easter morning walk, but by the time we got moving it was already to hot...shucks!

We ended our wonderful day with a big Easter ham!  This is one of my absolute favorite meals; I think about it months before April even arrives!  The recipe is my Mom's and I'm pretty sure I've had it for every Easter.  The recipe calls for lots & lots of cloves to be poked in the ham and than you cover it with a glaze half way through the baking process.  Last, you serve it with a raisin sauce...tons of ooey gooey goodness!  For a side dish, I decided to make an onion tart.  This month I had found an onion tart recipe in both my Bon Appetit and Cooking Light magazine.  After looking them both over, I went with the Bon Appetit recipe which actually appeared to be healthier...interesting.  It was absolutely to die for!!!  It was so flavorful & rich that it seemed more like dessert than just a side.  I cannot wait to make this little drop of heaven again!
Next post:  Pictures of an adorable 4 month old named Tommy and my trip to Kansas!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Hate That Shirt...

Okay, so I have definitely been slacking on my blogging lately.... oops!  And I really have no good excuses.  So here I am, finally catching up on April when we're already a good part of the way into May.

The weekend after our Spokane trip, Conor & I took a road trip to San Diego!  We always seem to have it in our minds that the trip only takes 4 1/2 hours (just like the Seattle to Spokane trip), but oh no, it's more like 5 to 5 1/2 hours of driving with two border control stops!  It's a bit of a jont for one weekend, but well worth all the fun we have with TJ & Erin.  And this weekend was extra special because Conor's brother, Kyle, was in town as well!

Our first night in SD, we went out in the Gas Lamp district to a bar called Maloney's.  It was a really fun bar, with great music! And since we didn't get into town untile pretty late...we closed it down!  I can't remember the last time I was actually standing on a dance floor when the lights came on (maybe at Belltown Billiards)....great night! 

The weather in San Diego was perfect, mid 70s and sunny!  This was a nice relief from AZ, where the temps were in the upper 90s.  The next morning, while I was getting ready for the day, Conor got dressed and informed everyone that he knows me soooo well and can predict exactly what I'll say when I see him.  #1.  "I hate that shirt!" #2.  "Stripes with plaid? Really?"  Unbeknownst to me,  I walk out of the bathroom and see Conor is his absolutely hideous striped polo, so of course I remind him how much "I hate that shirt!"  Everyone laughs, and I don't get it.  About 5 minutes later, I still hated his shirt and felt the need to tell him it looks even worse with his plaid shorts: "Stripes with Plaid? It looks awful!"  Once again laughter, and I finally realized Conor had told everyone how supposedly predictable I am. Only 9 months of marriage and he knows me that well....scary! 

We all had a lazy Saturday morning, enjoying breakfast and some sunshine, before heading out to Stone Brewery.  This place was incredible!  There was tons of outdoor seating among beautiful landscaping!  You would think you were at a vineyard instead of a brewery.  We stayed here for a few hours, enjoying the scenery, the food, and some wonderful beverages.  I'm sure you're thinking: "But Laura, you don't drink beer?"  Of course, I made sure I was going to be able to get my hands on some hard cider before I even stepped foot in this joint!  And those big bottles of cider were delicious! After a quick stop in the gift shop, so that Conor, TJ and Paul could get matching shirts to wear on their way out, we piled in the car and headed back to SD proper. Such a fun afternoon with friends!

After being out in the sun for hours, we were all ready to hit the pool.  Luckily, Kyle was staying at a really nice hotel right in the Gas Lamp district with a rooftop pool.  Conor & I were feeling patriotic!

Sunday morning came all too quickly.  After sleeping in, Conor & I walked down to the street to get some much needed coffee.  TJ & Erin live in a fun little neighborhood near balboa park and I love how their house is in walking distance of a couple stores, restaurants, bars, etc.  I have always wanted to live somewhere similar to this...maybe when we move to Seattle.  With coffee in hand, we went with Erin to a family owned bakery close to their place to pick up some pastries for everyone.  This bakery was an awesome little "dive-bar-esque" pastry place with so many great choices.  When you walk in the door, you grab a tray and tongs and just start choosing whatever delectable treats you want.  And these weren't  your standard doughnuts and pastries (no maple bars), but rather delicious looking things I'd never seen before.  Unless it had a filling, there were no labels telling you what they were, so we had to cross our fingers we made good picks.  I felt like a kid in a candy store!  And, they had my very favorite pastry in the whole wide world, a crispy, flakey, sugary, thing that I unfortunately have no idea what its called.  (I have heard it referred to as a dog ear, but I don't think that's right).  Back at TJ & Erin's house, we enjoyed our treats along with some mimosas.  Mmmm, what a perfect combination!  

On our way out of town, we went to the beach to get in a little more sun and some blongo.  While it was pretty chilly (especially since I've only been in the Atlantic Ocean the past two years), Conor, Kyle & I braved the waters to "cool down" a bit from the hot sun.  A nice end to another fabulous weekend with the Hansons!

During our drive back to AZ, Conor & I made a pit stop at Little Italy in Gila Bend.  An unexpected place for a Little Italy if you ask me...but it was surprisingly good and just what we needed.  There aren't many non-fast-food places to stop and eat on the drive, but this place really hit the spot!

Next up on the blog reel: Easter!