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Weekend Dinner Party

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Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a fabulous weekend!

We were expecting a lot more snow on Friday and while we did get continuous flakes, it was pretty light the entire day. Not knowing how the roads would be, I got all my errands done ahead of time and spend the day cooking!

A few weeks ago some friends invited us over for dinner so it was our turn to return the favor. When we first bought the house in September we had planned to have some sort of housewarming party, but with all the painting and various other move-in projects it just got pushed to the wayside. So this was the first time we’ve actually entertained in the new house! Better late than never huh?

And it all started with some massive tears as I chopped up onion. I kid you not, once my eyes get onion-irritated we’re talking a good hour before things are back to normal.

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When you’re cooking from friends and only know a bit about their food likes and dislikes, it can be challening to find something everyone will love. Knowing how they were huge taco fans, I made one of my family’s favorite meals: Taco Bake. It’s not baked at all – it’s simmered over the stove for several hours – but one of us kids named it a “bake” and now the name has stuck. It’s really a glorious cross between a taco and chili.

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We serve it over rice with all your usual taco toppings.

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And while my sauce is simmering away, I made one of Ben’s favorite desserts: cream cheese bars!

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These are super easy so I’ll post the recipe this week for you guys.

My dinner plate:

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Tons of yummy flavors and veggies.

Ben’s plate:

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(Apparently the tomatoes and onions in the sauce were “enough” vegetables)

And as I dashed around cooking, cleaning, and dancing to music… Ben grabbed my camera to document my dancing craziness

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We keep it classy folks.

And then he went on to take random pictures…

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The dinner party was a success and our friends both went back for seconds – a sure sign of culinary triumph! 🙂

Saturday was a free “bring a friend” day at the gym so I coaxed Ben into joining me for Body Pump. He’s used to fewer heavy reps so the lighter cardio aspect was new and different for him – he did great! Then he wandered around the gym while I did half of Body Combat. I was a tired, sweaty mess at the end.

We had a gift certificate for a restaurant we’d never tried before and decided Saturday night would be a good time to try. It was a ways across town so we packed up and headed over only to find out it was a tiny place and we needed to have reservations. Wow! After scanning the GPS for other restaurants nearby, we settled for a pizza place only to find out there was absolutely no parking anywhere. After driving around the block a few times hoping a spot would open up, our rumbling tummies decided to head home and stop at the next random place we’d find. We ended up at a supper club type place. It was really quiet – only two other tables were there – but the back room with the bar was absolutely packed. I was happy for the peace and quiet though. It’s nice to be at a place and not feel rushed or overly stimulated by the people and noise.

After an online search, we went with the general recommendation for the chicken

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Way too much food! That was a whole half chicken! The chicken was excellent but the fries were a bit disappointing. The chicken was piping hot but the fries were luke-warm and obviously from a bag. Oh well.

Sunday brought the usual morning breakfast and grocery shopping and then I met my pal Mel to see “Safe Haven”. I’ll admit, I’m not really a Julianne Hough fan. She’s a great dancer but a horrible actress and this movie only served to confirm that. However, if you can get past that, it’s very much a cross between “Sleeping with the Enemy” and the “Sixth Sense”.

We grabbed some eats at QDoba and caught up on the latest news and what nots.

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And the temps were over 40! Seriously folks, this girl is DYING for Spring! Bring it!!!

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5 Responses

  1. Sounds like a great weekend! I love having people over for dinner – it’s so much fun, although when you have a wide range of palates, it can be a challenge!

    • I get paranoid I’ll make something and no one will want to eat it. Since we’re kinda picky (no fish or seafood) I get a little nervous when people have us over too – but I know I’d eat anything served with a smile.

  2. One of the things that I have learned this past week, while watching many, many (many) episodes of Take Home Chef on Netflix…
    In order to bypass the onion tears… You need a really sharp knife.
    Apparently if you have a dull knife, instead of just slicing through the onion you kind of crush it, which causes the onion to release the enzymes and causes the tears. The sharp knife will just slice through the onion, reducing the release of the enzymes.
    Thank you, Curtis Stone.

    • That makes a lot of sense. My mom used to take a plastic bag and put it over her head, tucked under her glasses to protect her eyes when she diced tons of onions. (Kids, don’t try this at home!) lol 🙂

  3. I can’t wait for the recipe for the cream cheese bars. Those are right up my alley!!

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