Gobble Gobble Until You Wobble…

Happy Thanksgiving 2015! Man, where has the year gone already. I am sure many of you are happy the year has gone by quick and then there are those who are sad that it has flown by. It was another great dinner at my parents house; lots of laughs, good food and as always ate way to much.

Here are some fun photos from the day!

We had a fun time at home. On Friday, as we head back home we always stop to hang out with Carl’s parents. His dad- Papa M. had to work this time but we made sure to pay him a visit, Arie too! I dropped our rings off so they could be cleaned up, checked out and we wanted to get Carl’s buffed. When we got them back, they looked brand new, thanks Papa M.!!! We had a wonderful lunch with Carl’s mom and got to meet one of her jam session members, which was nice. We left his parents with an apple pie, some mulled wine, amish pocket pies and farm fresh eggs! It almost felt like Christmas!

Then home james as my Pa says.

Happy Thanksgiving- but remember to be thankful every day not just REALLY thankful one day out of the year!


Mulled Wine

When my family gets together for Thanksgiving, it is given that you are to bring something to pass or share as long as you live on your own and not a broke college student. —> Little sister, you are the exception for now! 🙂 So this year, I was on pie duty! A friend I work with made a bunch of pies and t0 sell. She said why would she make all the mess of making pies for only few pies. I agreed and I benefited from it. I bought 4 pies (2 pumpkin, 1 apple and 1 cherry) for our Thanksgiving dinner, Carl got 1 blueberry pie and his parents an apple pie.

I wanted to bring something else and I thought sangria sounded good. Carl crinkled his face and said isn’t that for summer. I told him I just saw sangria on Bobby Flay’s Thanksgiving special episode. (I had been watching the Food Network all morning) I decided how about Mulled Wine; I have never made it before and sounds good for the holidays.

I found two recipes; one from Ina Garten Mulled Wine and one from Williams Sonoma Mulled Wine, I combined the two. I used the measurements of Ina’s recipe minus the anise, we don’t like the black licorice taste. I used 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon which was good. I used the lemon from the Williams Sonoma recipe. I really like the cider spice taste of this wine. When I tested it on Sunday it was delicious and it was great even the days after. I added some brandy for a zip as well, I read that in the reviews.

We got to my parents house on Wednesday night so I could make my batch a head of time and it could sit over night. For some reason, it did not taste the same as it did when I first made it. I made it in bulk, 4 bottles of cheaper wine so that could have been it, I didn’t use as much apple cider because I didn’t want the wine watered down. I didn’t bring my brandy and my parents were out so I had to use bourbon instead. My family said it was good and they liked it; however, I was disappointed and Carl even said it tasted different. UGH! I will make it for the three christmas gatherings we have this next month but I will do it in single batches then combine and go for the better wine.

Learned my lesson-cheap wine isn’t always the best. 🙂 BUT mulled wine is awesome!

Holiday Cheers!



Sippin Wine in the Sun…

Two weekends ago, Carl and I drove south to go meet some friends to check out their new house they built. We wanted to see the house as we have been going back and forth with house stuff during our search. We had fun seeng their house and visiting.

When we were done we hit up a few of the local wineries around there. We went to Chankaska Creek Winery, we have never been there before and they served lunch so we wanted to check it out. Carl had the pizza and said it was good, I had a cheese plate. I must say, they need to add more gluten free options. Then we drove to the Next Chapter Winery, to meet a friend. I have been to this winery a few times. Our friend that we met had her future daughter-in-law’s bridal shower there and I tried a red blend wine that was awesome. I wanted more of that wine, they were having a November sale on wine. So when we walked in I asked for a glass of it, she said they were out, I said out of bottles too, she said yes. I was so bummed because that was the whole reason for being there. I wanted the wine for Thanksgiving. Instead we drove to a nearby town and stopped at the liquor store where I bought 3 bottles of Dashing Groom-the name of the wine. Yum!


I love that Carl and I can share in the fun while wine tasting. I know he is a beer drinker so I appreciate his time with me when we go to the wineries! 🙂




Cooking with Pioneer Woman… I Wish…

I was so excited to open my birthday gifts from Carl! I got a new tea pot and the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook! I made her Chicken Milanese and Buttery Lemon Parsley Noodles! Holy Moly, the chicken turned out amazing! I used gluten free four and a gluten free seasoning- Hodgson Mill which turned out well with the whole milk and eggs. Carl couldn’t believe the flavor that the chicken had.

When I went to the store to get whole milk, I had seen this brand online and I thought I should try it. It is called fairlife– unfiltered milk! It is so good. For someone who is lactose intolerant it was nice to have milk that doesn’t give me an upset stomach. I get the fat free milk now.

I also added a picture of a wine that Carl and I really like. It is called The Dreaming Tree by Dave Matthews from DMB. We have had the crush wine- a red blend which is really good, I just saw he has a pinot noir that I would love to try. My sister gave me a new wine opener for my birthday so we had to find a bottle of wine in the wine rack to open so we could test the opener.

Happy Sunday! I am testing a Mulled Wine recipe today for Thanksgiving! I hope it turns out.



Many Thanks & Blessings

I had a fun birthday this year; more like birthday week! 🙂 My birthday is November 1st, so the Monday prior Carl planned a surprise birthday dinner with my friends, which was so much fun and completely unexpected- Surprise Birthday Dinner click the link to view that blog post. On Wednesday that week we had wine and paint with two of our friends, Friday night we went to the haunted house and Saturday-Halloween, we went to the MN Gophers game. It was a busy week. I know I say it a lot but I am really thankful and blessed for the people that are in my life. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have are fantastic! We have similar morals, values and aspirations which I feel makes us a great group of friends.

One of my friends sent this text to me and I felt it described me to a T.


I know I am not for everyone! I have a strong personalty, I hold the people in my life accountable, I call people out on their stuff and I ask they do the same for me. That isn’t always the case with the majority. Many people hide what they feel and can be passive aggressive and don’t want to deal with confrontation. Talking things out with people in a calm collected manner is not confrontation. I am the site-coordinator for our ICMS (Integrated Conflict Management System) team. This is a model or better yet,the culture that my agency is moving towards in order for staff to communicate with each other if there is conflict in the workplace. We want to make sure that we are providing a safe, productive work environment. So in this model we encourage that the people talk things out and deal with it at the lowest level. We provide conflict coaching and self mediation so they are just not going into it blind. I really like it. I have attempted to talk with others in my personal life about issues on a one on one level and that hasn’t always gone well. Again, I need to go back to I am not for everyone and neither is my personalty or my style. I do struggle with that a little but as I get older, ah who cares-my family and friends accept and love me, that is good enough! I don’t need more friends! 🙂

Anyways, my parents happened to be in town on the day of my birthday, at my brothers house. My papa got a new truck and they were bringing the other truck to my brother to see if he can sell it. So it was cool to see them. I haven’t seen my parents on my birthday in almost 11 years so it was nice to see them. My brother mixed me up a gin and tonic at maybe 11am, it’s all good!

IMG_1212Sitting in my papa’s new truck, my drinking cup and gotta get a picture with papa!

That night, Carl took me out for a really nice dinner to one of our favorite restaurants! Yum!

IMG_1207 Who doesn’t love shrimp cocktail! Yum!

IMG_1208 This was the best creme brule I have ever had and it was gluten free! Amazing! It was a party in my mouth!

12196093_10100795968007382_5213680982419625806_n Carl snapped a photo of me. Thanks for the great dinner! Also, I got the new Pioneer Woman cookbook and a new teapot! 🙂

Thank You family, friends and Carl for another good birthday! I appreciate you all and thank you for loving me and pushing me to be my best.



Food Porn…

If you have been following my blog you know, I love cooking and eating! Have you ever had the one meal that you are like holy crap that is a party in my mouth! Two weeks ago, my sister and I had a conference out of town so when we were traveling back home, I had to take my sister to one of my favorite places. When I get a chance I stop into the The Cheese Cave. I stop! I love this place for a variety of reasons: 1. They know me by name 2. They have made lots of GF recipes and goodness-Jake the cook is awesome and I love to watch him cook  3. They have good wine 4. the cheese is the bomb, its so flavorful and addicting 5. its a nice small town place which I love

So when we stopped  we obviously needed a glass of wine. I got a GF pizza with like 4 different cheeses and with a fresh lemon salad on top! I wouldn’t normally order something like that but it was so delicious, flavorful and fresh tasting. My sister got the loaded potato soup and a grilled cheese. Her soup was awesome.

So enjoy my food porn photos.



My Reward for the Haunted House

My reward for making it through the haunted house was the Sunday bridal shower at the winery- Next Chapter Winery! Yahoo…. A friend of ours was throwing a bridal shower for her future daughter-in-law at a winery. Well you have the attention and attendance of my sister and I. You say wine, we are front, center and on time.

It ended up being a beautiful Sunday for a drive and to be at the winery. It was a beautifully decorated shower. The food was a pasta bar and our friend was so thoughtful and asked about my gluten allergy and made sure they had GF pasta for me. It was delicious, I wish I would have gotten the name of it. They played a 3 question game at the end and the prize was wine. The last question was who has been recently married, my hand shot up and I said me, but low and behold another girl beat me! UGH! I really wanted that bottle of wine. I did buy a red wine that I really liked called Dashing Groom. Yum!

Here are a few photos.

I would say that was a good reward for being brave at the haunted house.




FOOD, FooD, Foodie…

I have tried a few new recipes the last few weeks.

I was looking for a recipe to make that was easy for when my in-laws came to visit and my friend sent me this recipe for taco cups (click the link that my friend sent me for the recipe) I used corn tortillas which wasn’t bad and a muffin pan upside down.

The next recipe I tried was oven fajitas!!!! Wow, so easy to make and not a lot of mess or clean up. I found the recipe from this Budget Bytes website. She’s got some awesome recipes and at a good budget.

I had to add the last picture in, That is what I came to a few Mondays ago at work. I think it may have been because I was still undefeated in our fantasy football league.

Happy eating, it’s the weekend!



Going to the Chapel…

Last weekend my best friend got married-Yay!

On Friday, we drove to my sisters with Arie to stay there because it was close to the reception area. Carl and I got to have a fun Friday afternoon date and ate at Washington Square. Here are some photos from the day, it was a busy long day. Carl set up the reception tables for her because there were minimal people to help that were not in the wedding in the timeframe we had, her mom and a groomsman helped him. Thanks so much Carl for what you did! I didn’t get a picture of them-oops, but they looked good. 🙂

So the last picture has a story-some of the groomsman, once they had enough liquid courage started calling me the “sexy doctor”. Then they started asking me random questions and saying I was cute. Ok, thank you! Then one of them asked if they could call me Mindy. Then I got it Mindy Kaling, I said sure you will probably never see me again and won’t remember it the next morning because you’re drunk. So I had to do a side by side photo. I guess if I have to be called anyone or look like anyone, she’s a good one to look like! 🙂

Congrats and best wishes to my friend! Thanks for throwing a great party! 😉



Last weekend…

Last weekend we had a fun filled weekend. On Saturday we went to the MN Renaissance Festival because our neighbors gave us two free tickets. We didn’t stick around too long. We got there about 11am and they had jousting that we wanted to see but we couldn’t find it on the map so we missed it. Carl got a beer and the turkey leg and I had roasted corn and sangria. As we made our way out, we stopped at a few side shows as we were walking out like “Puke and Snot”, they aren’t what they used to be. lol Then we stopped and watched an illusionist named Rhodini. He just had started as we walked up and he was picking people out of the crowd. He said “You sir there behind the lady”. Well that meant Carl got called out of the crowd, he is not a fan of that stuff he prefers to sit back and watch, now he was in the thick of it. It was fun to watch the guy get out of the shackled jacket.  As we left, traffic going to the Ren Fest was horrible and backed up for miles. It was hot and a lot of people were there.

On Sunday we met Carl’s parents for his mom’s 60th birthday! 🙂 We met in Stillwater for lunch and we ate at Dock Cafe. The food was good, I made sure to have a bloody mary and a glass of wine. However, I have had a better bloody mary at the townie bar where we eat breakfast. The weather was perfect for our outing. 🙂

What a wonderful day we had and happiest of birthdays to my mother-in-law.