Friday, September 20, 2019

Friday Favorites (Cast List Edition)

All I have to say is.......

This has been a long...hard week!  Rob has been in training all week in PA and flies home tonight- we missed him but we rallied- I am kinda proud of us- of support from my Father In Law AND my awesome boss...(Thank God) but I am raising the "Praise God" hands today and ready to exhale and celebrate Friday and Newport Weekend!

Linking up with the ladies, per usual, HERE

Here are some faves from your week

Nutcracker 2019!

The girls both tried out for the Nutcracker last Sunday...we have been on pins and needles until the cast list came out yesterday.  We are so excited for them.  Diana will be playing a Party Girl and an Angel and Eva will be playing a Baby Doll- we are so excited....these are exciting years for sure....Diana is hoping to get that dream role Clara over the next few is the American Dream isn't it?  Ahhh......

The Tryouts

Waiting for the Cast List this week (pretending that we are not though)

and celebrating their roles!

Anniversary Party Videos

Was able to get a couple anyway...and wanted to share them here...first we have Rob and Eva's "Jitterbug" before anyone arrived...second we have the big surprise and third we have my Dad doing one of his all time faves AND the theme song of our Boston Red Sox "Sweet Caroline" ....enjoy!

TJ's Fall Haul

On Wednesday, I shared my TJ's Fall Haul HERE
The Fall Harvest Salsa has already become a FAVE!

A Few Fave MEMEs from the Week

 Newport Fashion Prep

I have been planning my outfits for the weekend for the past month- ha!
Love love love wearing Lilly and happy colors this excited!  This dress is one of my options for the big event on Saturday

 That's a wrap...if you need know where I will be....on the ocean pretty much...ahhhh pure bliss!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Lobster Fra Diavlo

So last weekend,  I hosted some besties for dinner.  We were celebrating two birthdays- Jeanine's and Laurel's.  We had such a great night catching up...laughing (lots) and eating of course.  I got inspired to whip up a Lobster Fra Diavlo.  It is essentially lobster and pasta in a spicy tomato sauce.

Last year, I had shared my Seafood Fra Diavlo HERE

This dish is daunting but I have to tell you, it came together easily and I enjoyed the process.  My tip?  Having your lobsters steamed right at the grocery store so all you have to do is crack them open and chop them once they come home- makes it easy peasy and oh so much less messy!

I doubled the recipe (because I wanted to be safe AND us Italians never think we have enough- it is in our blood)  This recipe serves 4.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 (1 1/4-lb.) lobsters, cleaned, tails cut into 6 pieces, claws cracked open, bodies reserved for garnish
  • 2 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1⁄2 cup cognac or brandy (I used brandy)
  • 1 cup seafood or fish stock
  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. pasta, cooked (I used linguine)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Here is how you put this beautiful dish together:

Crack open your lobsters and cut into smaller pieces (I only used the tails and claws and had plenty of meat!)

 To a pan, add olive oil, chile flakes, oregano, and garlic and cook until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. 

Add tomato paste; cook until lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add brandy; cook until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. 

Add stock, tomatoes, and bay leaf; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, partially covered, until thickened, about 30 minutes. 

Add Lobster and toss
Add pasta; toss with sauce. Transfer to a large serving platter; sprinkle with parsley. 

I also added pieces from a lobster body for garnish! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Trader Joe's Fall Haul

I know we all love TJ's any time of year but thought I would share some recent finds when I did a "Fall Haul" at TJ's....who knew they could make so many things with pumpkin?  Ha!  There are so many yummy and healthy options and for some reason they are so much more fun this time of year...let's take a peek.....

Pumpkin Butter

 I snagged a jar of this and plan on holding onto it until I make a batch of pumpkin squares- my favorite brands of pumpkin butter include TJ's, Williams Sonoma and Stonewall Kitchen :)

Fall Harvest Salsa

Friends?  This bad boy is SO ADDICTIVE....if you are a salsa lover AND  love a taste of fall then this salsa is for you- mild- savory- so delish and packed full of flavor...I couldn't stop!  (I am packing a jar for Newport this weekend too!)

Harvest Spice Trek Mix

This is another snack I grabbed for Newport- stay tuned!

Apricot Cherry Cranberry Goat Cheese

Another snack for Newport- I promise to come back after with some reviews!

and yes another one for Newport.....

Toscano Cheese dusted with Cinnamon

and to go with that harvest salsa.....

Fall Leaf Tortilla Chips

I guess they taste just like regular ones...they just look prettier!

Autumnal Harvest Soup

Can't wait for a cold day to dip into this one :)

Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce

A perfect fall twist put on pasta sauce

Pumpkin Bisque

Another soup for the cooler weather

Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps

I snagged a couple of TJ's crackers to accompany the wonderful cheeses (yes in Newport) :)

and the 

Multigrain Pita Bite Crackers

Fall Zucchette Pasta 

to go with that wonderful creamy autumnal sauce above

and then I snagged a few random additional items that are not necessarily for fall.......

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Because duh...always need to stock up!

Bloody Mary Salsa

We never got to try this during the summer...every time I went they were always sold out so I was pleasantly surprised when it was starting at me and had to snag it- stay tuned for the reviews!

Organic Cold Pressed Juice

I have read great things about these juices so going to give them a try

Chicken Fried Rice

My best friend Lea says that her kids devour this so I am giving it a shot with my girls.  When we go to a hibachi restaurant they tend to gobble the stir fry up so I am thinking they will love this too- fingers crossed!

So that's my fall haul...would love to get your feedback and hear some of your thoughts too...I noticed a couple of my blogging pals did Trader Joe's Haul posts this week too and I love getting more ideas for when I go to stock up!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tuesday Talk: Newport Edition

It's time for another Tuesday Talk with Erika and Ashley.  Linking up with the lovely ladies HERE

This is the linkup where we can talk about anything and everything.

I picked Newport as this month's topic as we are approaching one of my favorite weekends of the year.

Each year, we attend the Annual Newport Food and Wine Festival in Newport RI with some of our closest friends.  We started going 5 years ago so this year is our FIVE YEAR NEWPORT ANNIVERSARY- can I get a what what?  Anyway...I digress.....

I am more excited this year because I didn't even know if we would be able to attend AND I feel like we will be totally exhaling now that Rob has landed a great new job.  It was a crazy summer and so far, a very busy fall and I just need a couple of days to decompress and refuel.

Here is what we have planned.......


I am taking a VACATION DAY...yeah!!  So need it...sometimes I just don't know when to stop and work has been crazy so I am going to force myself to only check my email once/hour...that will be hard for me so let's see how I do....ha ha!!  The girls and I are headed down to Newport first thing!  The plan is to meet all the ladies for lunch at one of our favorite spots "22 Bowens."  Check them out HERE

Here we are last year just after lunch...

After lunch, we walk around and go into as many of the little shops as possible...they are the quintessential New England beach town shops and oh so perfect to hit with the girls.

Later on, we will check into our inn.  We are so excited to be staying at The Pelham Court again.  We stayed their two years ago and agreed it was our favorite place.  Last year they had already booked up but our trusty pal Cass stayed on them this year until they would let her book all of our necessary rooms- we can't wait!  Check them out HERE 

The picture above is of the magical courtyard.  Oh boy did we have a fun dance party there two years ago...we may have been forced to go inside and go to bed- ha! #suburbanhousewivesthinktheyarefun

Exhibit A

This year we ended up making dinner in our suites and last year we did the same.  This year, to make it easier, we are going out for a light bite...and it gives us another excuse to dress up and put on some more cute clothes- ha ha!!


This is the day of the Grand Tasting at The Newport Wine and Food Festival- it is such an incredible event put on the by the Newport Mansions Association.  It takes place at The Marble House each year which is one of the historic mansions that sits right on the ocean.  We are under tents on the front lawn overlooking the ocean.  The event is four hours long and the first year we went I wondered how we could keep entertained for that long but friends?  The time flies by!  We taste the best wines from all around the world and eat the most delicious food while walking around the grounds of the mansion and looking out at the ocean- it couldn't be more perfect!  You can check the event out HERE 

We are always VIP at the Grand Tasting and it is a magical experience.

The past few years, after the event, we would all go to dinner BUT we agreed that after such a full day of eating and win'ing that this year, we will go back to our suites and order pizza and enjoy some music and chill.  I think it makes sense and will be even more fun!


Rob and I always head out first thing so we can get home to the girls and take them to their practices/activities and such.  They just tried out for the Nutcracker on Sunday so we are awaiting the cast list and rehearsal schedule and know our weekends will now be full through Thanksgiving!  That's why we do things like Newport...little getaways to decompress, appreciate life and spend QT with our friends.  I am so excited!
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