This is a true story today…


I am sure I will pay for the fun we had last night for the next 2 days!!  I posted about a week ago the man of the house had turned 50.  What I did not say was I was planning a surprise party for him!!  Last night was the party and YES!!  I pulled it off.  He had no idea!

My very good friend is also turning 40 next week.  We told Rob the party was for her.   She is the person you call on to plan a party.  She is fabulous and has such a talent for pulling off great parties.  SOOOO…..we concocted a plan to tell her we were planning a party for the man and needed her help.  Little did she know we were planning the party to surprise her too for her 40th.

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After the initial surprise to Rob we let things settle down for a few minutes and then all of the guest for Julie came through the door with her cake to surprise her.  It was AWESOME!!  Although she has told me she is mad at me, she did find humor in the fact she planned and set up her own party!!

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We held the party at a local fisherman club right on the river.  photo 3-2 photo 4-2

The kids had a great time.

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The cakes were beautiful and delicious from two different bakeries in our area and the food was delicious.

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And a great time was had by all.



Birthday Dinner (cooking strip steaks)


This past Tuesday was the man of the house’s birthday.  It was a big one (50!!) and the kids were very excited to have a wonderful grilled strip steak dinner along with the potatoes they harvested and a chocolate chip cookie cake for dessert.

He works in the medical field and had a first case at 6:30 a.m. and a late case that started at 6:30 p.m. so the kids had to contain themselves until he was finally home.

I am not a master on the grill.  As a matter of fact, I probably shouldn’t be allowed to use that thing!!  But use it I did and I think I did a great job on our steaks.

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When cooking any type of steak I always rinse it first.  I season it with Montreal Steak seasoning which has all the wonderful spices you need such as garlic, black pepper, salt, onion powder etc.  I let that sit for 1/2 hour and then before grilling I put a few pats of butter on the side that will be face up on the grill letting it melt and season the meat as it cooks.

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For perfect steaks you should always cook them on high heat quick.  We like ours medium rare so it does not take long for the outside to get browned while the inside stays light pink and juicy.

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The potatoes were grown in containers this year (see post here on how we grew potatoes).  I steamed them in a little garlic oil and water and seasoned them with freshly ground sea salt.

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A side of corn and a tad of sour cream with chopped chives finished our plates.  It was delicious.


The kids were finally happy to sing to their dad!!



Grandpa’s Birthday

May is filled with birthday’s in our family.  It’s funny as the girls (my daughter, myself and my stepdaughter) are all born in May and ironically in the Chinese year of the horse.  The boys (Dad and son) were both born in September.  So tonight, May 1st kicks off the May birthdays with paternal Grandpa turning 83 today. 

We met for dinner at a restaurant in Lackawanna, New York to celebrate with Grandpa.  Grandpa is German but somehow it turned out to be an Italian restaurant which was great for us as we normally eat the “gravy” on Thursdays with my Italian background.  The restaurant boasted homemade pastas which turned out to be gnocchi and ravioli that were homemade.  They also push their “baseball sized” meatballs which truly were that size. 

Everyone liked their food, but it’s not a place I would go out of my way to eat at again.  I ordered a special which was goat cheese and walnut ravioli and of course I had to have a side order meatball.  The ravioli looked pretty but was sitting a thick buttery, oily sauce.  A drizzle of the sauce would have been great.  This way was overpowering and while greasy was not very tasty.  I removed the ravioli to a separate plate and it was ok, not fabulous.  The meatball was true to size but again a disappointment.  My son did not even eat half of his.  It was salty and the sauce was very sweet.  The meat was overrun with breadcrumbs and garlic.

All in all, Grandpa had a nice time and we are thankful to have a special dinner with him!!