What’s Been on My Plate

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Happy Monday! (Just say it with a smile and you’ll believe it!) I realized that these past few weeks I haven’t been creating too many recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a full dishwasher every day, but most of the cooking/baking I’ve been doing are things I’ve already posted.

For example, I made brookies when my good friend Nicole visited from NY this week and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup cookies for my close friend Emily’s Kentucky Derby themed birthday boat cruise (yes, I had a blast rocking an oversized hat!), and cheddar poke eggs with hash browns for Hubby and I on Saturday morning.

Other than that? I’ve been doing a lot of eating. I’m really good at eating. Hopefully, you follow me on Twitter or have liked That’s SO Jenn on Facebook so you can see all the pics I post when I go out to eat! (A special thanks to my supportive family and friends who know the drill, love me anyway, and patiently wait to touch their food until I’ve captured it for all to see.)

Hubby has been getting home from work around 10, 11 or even midnight sometimes so although I try to wait for him to eat together as often as possible, on the nights he’s back realllly late I usually just grab something quick for myself. Then, I make him a lighter meal so he doesn’t go to sleep on a full stomach. Not very blogworthy. (Although he did enjoy my paella at 11:30pm!)

So you can imagine how excited I was when he got home at 7:30pm last Wednesday and we had an impromptu mid-week date night! The best kind! We went to Colony Grill in town for their famous hot oil pizza and shared a pitcher of Dogfishhead 60-minute IPA before heading to Dairy Queen for our first blizzards of the season. Doesn’t casual food really hit the spot sometimes?

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It ended up being a pizza-themed week! We enjoyed our cauliflower crust together on Tuesday and then that Friday we went out with our good friends Chris and Lauren for a bruschetta pizza as well as a breaded chicken cutlet, goat cheese and hot cherry pepper pie at Tomato & Basil (you may remember my restaurant review!).

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And in more food related news…

We enjoyed a delicious family dinner of Greek fare for my mom’s birthday a few weeks ago at Oceanos (mediterranean spreads, oysters rockefeller, mussels lyonnaise, horiatiki, surf and turf, dry boat scallops…)

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Last weekend Hubby and I had a painting party at our house when my in-laws graciously helped us revamp our curb appeal just in time for spring…and brought sweet treats that I can’t stop thinking about. The four of us worked together on different projects, giving the wooden foundation leading up to our walkway a rich chocolate hued stain, painted a much-needed fresh coat of cream onto the railing and lattices and for fun, updated the steps and front landing with a contrasting dark charcoal.

It really pops next to the bright green grass and our gorgeous pink cherry tree (that is slowly turning its leaves as we speak…wish it would stay forever!) Then inside, we added a grey accent wall over our fireplace and gave the living and dining rooms a face lift with a splash of silky white that really brightens up the space, helping both our burgundy accent wall and black/white damask place mats stand out!

Anyway, as excited as I am about our upgrades, the best memory I have of the weekend is the in-between times when the four of us sat on our deck with mugs of coffee and dove into the boxes of pastries they brought us from two of their favorite little bakeries, Bread and Chocolate and Marjolaine’s. I’m talking flaky chocolate peanut butter croissants (whaat??!) that just barely melted in the subtle heat, raspberry swirled chocolate scones dancing with granules of sugar that glistened in the sun and a just-baked olive oil ciabatta loaf sprinkled with sea salt. Omigod.

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Of course, they also brought all of us Hubby’s favorite chocolate mice from Marjolaine’s, these insanely decadent ganache, almond eclair type bites of heaven, with little white chocolate faces and almond ears. I love hearing the story of when Hubby was about 9 years old and worked in the back of the shop for a few hours. His family frequented the place so often that he was curious to learn the behind the scenes. When the owner offered to pay him, he asked if he could have a chocolate mouse (yes, I’m saying mouse, not mousse) as his compensation instead. A man after my own heart, choosing chocolate as his reward. (Really wouldn’t fly with our mortgage payments these days, but adorable for a kid!)

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Anyway, you are now pretty up to date, bringing us to this past weekend. Yesterday, we met up with our dear friends Jorge and Erin in Mysitc, CT to celebrate Erin’s birthday and their first wedding anniversary. We had a great time at the aquarium and then in and out of the little shops in Mystic Village. Of course we found Extra Virgin, a quaint little store offering tastings of gourmet olive oils and vinegars. We also checked out another cute place that lured us in by the heavenly aroma of roasted pecans. Luckily, they gave us samples of them, along with handmade cheeses (the horseradish cheddar was my absolute favorite!) and varieties of fudge. We had a blast exploring the various candy and ice cream shops, asking for little bites along the way.

Eventually, we went to the center of town and restaurant hopped from place to place. Italian tapas and wine at Azu, New Orleans gumbo, award-winning crawfish chowder, cornbread and beer at Voodoo Grill and eventually a Cinco de Mayo celebration at Margaritas with tomato/garlic nachos, fried ice cream and well…margaritas.

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Now, I’m getting ready to host our 3rd annual Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday! Of course, I have an exciting menu planned and look forward to sharing it with you once I start cooking. More recipes to come tomorrow!

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