Thursday, March 31, 2011

One of my favorite things...

Thursday might be my favorite day of the week.  I don't have to work at either job, I get time to sleep in (ahhhhhh), run errands, get the house in order, cook or bake if I feel like doing so, and I finally end up at Thursdays at the Cake!!! I guess I should explain this phenomenon habit of mine, since Thursdays at the cake is just something I made up.

For the past few years, I have been going to the bar at Cheesecake Factory, Huntington on Thursdays.  I have friends who bartend there and they always work Thursday night.  I have made a few new friends who are "regulars".  It feels a little like the show "Cheers", because it's true; "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name..."  I usually go early for Happy hour, and sit and visit with the guys for a while, and with some of the regular Thursday people. Marc has class on Thursdays, so he rarely gets to join me, but when he's free, he comes along as well.  It's definitely a "more the merrier" crowd.  I enjoy the food and WINE (shocker, right?) and having time to relax.  Once or twice, I've been sick or not able to make it in and had one of the bartenders (John & Eric) call to ask where I am!
So tonight I will continue my self-made tradition and go and enjoy some delicious Cabernet Sauvignon with the guys at the cake.  Now you all know what I mean by Thursdays at the cake, and if you're ever here in NY with me, I'll take you along for an evening of wine, food & fun!!!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Back to life, back to reality...

So today I went back to work after being off for more than 2 weeks.  I have to say, I didn't miss it! I thoroughly enjoyed "retirement" and wish I could afford to not work.  I know probably everyone feels like that, but it sure was nice to travel and not have to worry about being up early to go to the office.  A girl really could get used to not working.  I'm sure I can find plenty of things to occupy my time; which brings me to my next point.  What would you choose to do if you didn't have to work?  Marc and I like to plan daydream about what we would do when if we are lucky enough to win the lottery.  Here's the short list:

*Pay off all of the bills for ourselves and our families
*Build our dream home
*Travel to all of the places we're never seen
*Contribute time and money to Justin's scholarship fund
*Volunteer time and money with a worthwhile charity, Like St. Jude's or something equally as awesome
*Be involved in our future children's lives, rather than needing Daycare or to have both parents work
*Go to lots of Razorback football games
*Have land and horses

It's fun to dream, but reality always comes crashing back in...We both work and will continue to do so. Even if we won the lottery, Marc says he would continue to work, and I would stay home with kids. I guess we're kinda traditional like that.  I hope we're able to do that when the time comes for us to have kids, we'll just be on a budget, rather than having millions in the bank :)

What are your dreams, or fantasies about the lottery??


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chocolate chip & bacon cookies

I know it sounds odd, but these are amazing.  Salty and sweet are two things that are great on the palate.  I saw a lot of things with bacon and chocolate going around lately, so I decided to make these.  They're delicious.

The recipe, you ask??
ok, I suppose I can share.

Chocolate Chip & Bacon Cookies

Preheat oven to 375

In a small bowl, mix together
2 1/4 c. flour
1tsp. salt
1tsp. baking soda
set aside

into your mixing bowl, add
1 cube butter (softened)
8 Tbsp. bacon grease
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1tsp. vanilla extract

cream together the butter, bacon grease, and sugars.  add the eggs, one at a time. add the vanilla. once thoroughly blended, add the dry mixture above to the wet, about a third at a time.  once the cookie dough is ready, add 1 bag of chocolate ships (I use semi-sweet) and about 10 strips of cooked and crumbled bacon.  drop by rounded teaspoonful onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for about 12-14 minutes. Enjoy!!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Been a while...

So, It's been a while, huh?!?!
I guess I got busy and forgot about this blog.  Marc and I just got back from an amazing Mediterranean cruise with my good friend Leslie, and her husband Charles.  It was FABULOUS!  We flew into Rome, then got on the boat and sailed north to Savona.  We took an excursion to Monte Carlo, Monaco for our first day out.  It was really beautiful there, and I won $50 in the casino!

The next day we were at sea all day, so I got a fantastic massage in the spa.  When the Masseuse came in, I thought there was NO WAY this teeny-tiny little girl was going to be able to get the knots out of my shoulders, but she really worked me over got the job done.  It was amazing.

 Day 3 took us to Katakalon, Greece.  We took an excursion to Olympia and saw the birthplace of the olympics! I am a sucker for old ruins, and I love architecture pictures, so this was right up my alley.  The weather was great, and I had some very delicious Baklava.

 Day 4 we were once again at sea, so Leslie and I took our Kindles and snagged a couple of chairs by one of the pools and we relaxed and read.  The guys were doing homework and studying.

Day 5 had us arriving in Israel at the port of Ashdod.  From there, we climbed aboard a tour bus and went into the desert of Israel to the Fortress of Masada, which was built by King Herod some years before Christ, and then onto the Dead Sea.  For those who are unaware, the Dead sea is about 40% salinity. You don't swim, but float.  In only inches of water, I was floating. Pretty neat, but the water leaves behind a strange oily residue on the skin that I didn't care for at all.  Supposedly, it's great for the skin.  They're gonna have to find a new way to administer it for me to be a convert!

On Day 6, we arrived at the port of Haifa, Israel.  We got on our trusty tour bus and went to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.  We were required to have 2 different tour guides for this day, as Israeli nationals are not allowed into Bethlehem.  We had to stop at the border to Bethlehem and drop off our original tour guide and pick up a Palestinian guide.  We went to the Church of the Nativity, which was erected over the site where Christ was born.  The manger he was laid in is also there, on loan from the Vatican.  

We went next into Jerusalem into the Old city.  We entered through the Jaffa gate into the Christian Quarter.  We went to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which was built over the site of the hill of Golgotha and also the site of the tomb where Christ was buried.  The church has many mosaics depicting the last 5 stations of the Cross.

We went up on the Mount of Olives to get a nice panorama of the skyline of Jerusalem before heading back to the boat to continue on our journey.

Day 7 we got to rest and relax again at sea as we sailed for Turkey. Lots of reading, napping, and finding which Ice Cream machine was open.

Day 8 saw us arriving in the Port of Izmir, Turkey.  I think this was our favorite day of all.  Turkey was nothing like I imagined it would be.  It is in Asia Minor.  I always had visions of Turkey being mostly desert for the terrain.  Boy, was I wrong.  It was lush and green, the people were so friendly and hospitable also.  We took our bus from the port into Ephesus...Yes, Ephesus like the people to whom the Apostle Paul wrote in the bible.  The ruins at Ephesus are some of the most intact in the world.  It was breathtaking! The time we spent there definitely made us hungry to see the rest of the country.

Turkey also had some of the funniest signs for restrooms!

We spent day 9 at sea again, and relaxed all day.

Day 10, we arrived in Athens, Greece.  It was CRAZY windy all day, but still so cool to see the ruins of the Acropolis.

From Athens, we took the bus along the coast of Greece to Cape Sounion to see the ruins of Poseidon's Temple.  It was a GORGEOUS drive and a beautiful coast.  We were on the Ionian sea.

It was cold and windy, contrary to what these pictures look like.
Day 11, we spent relaxing at sea and packing our bags.  We saw a beautiful sunset over the Ionian sea and set sail back to Rome.

Day 12 we arrived back in Rome, disembarked and headed to the airport to fly back to New York.  It was an amazing trip with great friends.  We'll never forget it!

Apologies for this being so long, but it was a 12 day cruise, and I didn't want to forget anything.  I have TONS more pictures, and they're all on Facebook.  I hope you enjoyed reading out our Mediterranean cruise! I'll  try to be a better blogger from now in and keep up with our lives on here!