Okay, that was a bit heavy, so the rest of this will be lighter. I thought I'd share some photos from the weekend which was a mixture of good and bad, but I plan to just share the good, as well as some random cooking tips, if you care to learn.
Friday night I had a MUCH needed girl's night out with my cousins Sarah, Rachel, and Heather. Technically Rachel and Heather are married to my cousins, so that makes them, what, cousins-in-law? Whatever. Regardless, we had so much fun, and I laughed so much, which is the best form of therapy ever. We had some delicious wine, although for a tasting, they literally mean tasting. I kept trying to tip the bottle when they were pouring, but alas, a taste is just that. A sip. Delicious though! We went to the Four Daughter's Winery. I would highly recommend it. Four cousins at four daughters. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy.
No, we were not on a double lady date, although that's sort of what it looks like. Cousins people- cousins.
That cheeseboard was delicious, but we were attempting to figure out why one cheese smelled like feet, one cracker tasted like communion. All tasty though!
Pork belly tacos. Again, delicious.
Now on Saturday evening, not to be outdone by the night before, I decided to do fancy dinner. Here are a few tips for you who want to make a fancy dinner, and make it seem hard, but it's not!
I went with rib eye steak and roasted veggies. A few surefire way to make sure your steaks are going to hold the moisture are to do the following: 1- take them out of the fridge and let them sit for a little bit so they are room temp when you fry them. 2- if you are pan frying them, put a bit of butter in the pan and turn the heat on so that the butter melts, and when you put the steaks down you get a nice sizzle. 3- Put a drop of butter on top of each steak. When you fry them, you will want to let them sizzle on each side for a couple minutes, depending on how done you want them. You will learn how to get them just right as time goes on. And so you know, you do not have to use super expensive steak. Just experiment! and 4- my last steak tip is that when they are done, take them off the pan and set them on a plate or cutting board or whatever you want, and let them rest for a few minutes. If you cut them too soon all of the juices will run out, and you will end up with dry, crappy steaks. No one wants that. Just an FYI about this picture, yes, I did use butter, but rib eye is a fattier steak, hence all of the sizzle.
Chopping veggies with my favorite knife.
Getting ready to get all roasted and delicious!
With the roasted veggies, all I did was take fresh broccoli, cute off the florets and cut up some red skin potatoes. You may want to put them in a bowl with some olive oil and a marinade such as balsamic vinegar. Take a cookie sheet and put a sheet of tin foil down and spray it with cooking spray such as Pam or even some olive oil. Take your veggies and pour them onto the pan and shake some seasoned salt on top- pop those babies in a preheated oven (400 degrees), and let them go. There are several ways you can prepare these. You can do a simple olive oil and rosemary and thyme, or you can do them plain, with an oil on them, and then grate fresh Parmesan on top. That's my fave. So good. Balsamic vinegar is popular too, I just can't get over the smell - ha.
The almost last picture I am going to share today is one from my business. My shop: The Lemon Dahlia. I love doing custom orders and getting to make things pretty or holiday themed. This is one of the Valentine's packages I sent out. I am also currently working on birthday goodies for my nieces birthday coming up, and I am working on some St. Patrick's day stuff. Any ideas? I'd love to hear them!! Let's just say I hope the lovely lady receiving this package liked hearts and girly stuff!!
Okay, my real last picture is of one of my fur babies. She has a tendency to stand right between me and the counter when I cook, and this is her trying to be subtle, while hoping I'll drop a steak on the floor for her. I love her dearly, but she does not dine on steaks. She did however get a bath today (filled with many dirty looks on her part) and she is so soft. She's been my shadow lately. Dogs truly can sense your emotions, and I think she is worried about me, but she's one of my sweet babies.