Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Dinner

So when Mimi said she was coming over last Friday night, I got excited. I love cozy Friday nights and I love sharing them with those I love most.

I got all inspired and decided to whip up a fall meal. I knew my mom would love it (which was my goal) but I was also excited for Zack to come home after football starving and for Rob to come home after his gig in the same condition. I accomplished two out of here it goes.

I made a Martha Stewart recipe that I had made my mom and grandmother years ago (during my short and first marriage).....Pork Chops with Shallots and mom had never stopped talking about that meal and for the longest time, I could not find the recipe. Thanks to I was put back in touch with this culinary classic and I got the reaction I was looking for from my mom.

To accompany the pork, I went to my favorite "boy chef" Tyler Florence and pulled one of his recipes- Overstuffed Pumpkin with Sausage, Apple and Cornbread Stuffing. The stuffing recipe included several of the same ingredients that were in the pork and the tastes seemed to blend together well.

I also included my wild green and goat cheese salad to finish up the main course.

At the last minute, I decided, even though my mom probably will be mad that I am even serving dessert (as she avoids wheat and sugar), I have to put something out. So I whipped up one of her faves, gingerbread...this of course, took me the least amount of time. I frosted half of it with the "Funfetti Halloween" frosting that Betty Crocker puts out.

I was actually proud of myself and even more pleased when my mom complemented the meal and indulged!

I was so excited for Zack to come home and eat and when he walked in the door...all sweaty, I pounced! I made him a big plate of pork and stuffing...when I checked back in a little bit, I saw he ate one pork chop (not impressive) and really didn't care for the stuffing. He did, however, eat 3/4 of the pan of gingerbread and couldn't get enough...became completely obsessed.

Well..that is my unpredictable and keeping me on my toes!

My husband and my biggest fan, loved every last bite of everything but he knows what I am going to say here. My mom whipped up a batch of her famous molasses macaroon cookies (she has been making them since I was little) and Rob pretty much ate the entire plate...with some help from Zack. ;)

The highlight of our night, too, was not the food (believe it or not all of you Italians) was Diana! She took four steps to Mimi and me! She was trying to face her fears* (story below) and walk at the same time and she accomplished both!

*While at Old Orchard Beach this summer, I exercised each morning by jogging down the beach and walking back through town. Most mornings Ally Bean accompanied me. On this particular morning, Ally decided to sleep in so Papa Pete and Rob agreed to come with me and we would bring the baby...we skipped the jogging part but walked up and back instead.

While walking through town, we met up with my mom, who was running back. She would never stop running before she was a grandmother but one quick glimpse of baby Diana and her workout could be interrupted! ha ha...Anyway my mom "Mimi" suggested we check out a few of the cute little jewelry shops and so we did. In one shop, a woman who could barely speak English took a liking to Diana. She then handed my Dad "Papa Pete" a stuffed monkey for her. When my Dad asked, "do you want us to give you some money for this?" The woman merely shook her head. We thought, "how nice!"

Well Papa Pete, gets outside with Diana and realizes there is a pull-string to the monkey and by pulling it, the monkey vibrates and so he made it vibrate. Did Diana like it? Oh no! She was completely scared to death...cringing, crying and tossing the monkey as far as she could. We laughed so hard, we were crying.

When we finally composed ourselves and started to head back, my mom showed us the earrings she picked up in the store. She was also reviewing her receipt and guess what? The woman charged her $8 for the freakin stuffed monkey that the baby hated!

Well that sent us into another laughing fit and it took us forever to get back to the house.

Anyway, the kids now, will occasionally pull the string and scare Diana. On Friday night, we did the same and although she was afraid at first, the monkey was the thing to make her curious enough to walk to Mama!!! My mom and I joked and laughed and said that this monkey was meant to be!


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