Wednesday, July 30, 2014

3 Birthdays, Gardening, & Part 2 of July

We have been so excited over our garden!  I can't help but take photos of Tom & I with our veggies because we are so proud of our crops!  We have so far eaten tomatoes, cucumbers, & eggplant that we've grown ourselves.  

My eggplant Parmesan came out so good tonight!  My mom used to press the eggplant under a pile of dishes to get the bitterness out, but I learned from my school's custodian (who was also an awesome cook) to salt the eggplant.  I promise it is the sweetest eggplant you will ever eat if you try it!  Salt each slice and put it in a strainer for 30 minutes.  The bitterness will "cry" off the eggplant.  Then rinse well and dry the slices before frying.  Yummy, eggplant Parmesan!  My dad had dinner with us tonight and we all loved our home grown eggplant! 
5 steps to Italian deliciousness!

Some other things I've been cooking...
I made a yummy chicken primavera with white wine, trying to replicate Tom's favorite meal from a local Italian restaurant.  

I made a salad, minus lettuce today with carrots, broccoli, celery, and garden grown cucumbers & tomatoes.  Then, I drizzled red wine vinegar dressing on the top, it was so yummy and easy!

I used our garden zucchini to make some zucchini fries! Tasty & fairly healthy!

Tom and I used our mason jar mugs from my co-worker Karen to have some ice-tea/lemonade!

I also attempted to use the BBQ (Tom's usually our griller) and made chicken wings.  I have decided grilling is a great way to cook!

 Tom and I celebrated the 5th year since our first date this past July 18th. Every year we go back to the Sonoma Grill, where we had our infamous "Are you Tom?"  "Are you Jamie?" moment...  We also wear our "first date" outfits too, Tom is so good to play along with me.  I hope they always fit us, even when we are seniors! This was our first time going to the new location, but I am glad it is still around!

I also had some fun girl time.  I got to see my old neighbors from when I lived at home.  Can you believe these 4 girls are the reason I wanted to become a teacher?  They used to be so little!

And I hosted a "Girls Night" filled with appetizers, desserts, prizes, and so much fun!

Tom and I also had a great time at the beach in Jamesport.  He used to have a boat there when he was younger so it is a favorite beach of his.  So pretty there!  

Maybe someday?

We celebrated 3 birthdays for three very special kids in my life.  Stevi's daughter Juliet turned 1.  I was the party photographer and had a blast!  

 And my nephew's turned 4 & 7.  I had so much fun making their cakes this year, monster trucks & dinos!  I hope to make their cakes every year!


Tom really liked these chainsaws they got.

 Lastly, so much has gone on regarding the Crochet Sale.  This year, for our 7th sale it will be "Crocheting, Crafting, & Cooking for a Cure."  The cookbook is at the publisher and is supposed to be here by the sale. I can't wait to see it in print and I am so appreciative of everyone who submitted a recipe.

I have decided that this year, instead of donating the money raised to the American Cancer Society, that I want to help real families.  I went to a really sad wake this past week.  My first Kindergarten aide's daughter passed away at only 39 years old, after battling cancer for 7 years.  She has 2 young boys and it was just devastating.  I haven't been able to stop thinking about them, so this year the money raised will go to families who have children under the age of 18 with a parent who has cancer or who has passed away from cancer.  They will be sponsored for a "Day of Fun", where they can have an awesome day, all expenses covered and get a break from cancer.  I am so proud of the thousands we've donated to the ACS, but now I am ready to help real families here on Long Island.  If you would like to nominate a family, reach out and let me know about them.  And please say a little prayer for Melanie's family...

The sale will be:

Saturday, September 13th from 10-5 at Hallockville Museum Farm: 6038 Sound Avenue Riverhead

They will be having a huge country fair and I am so happy and excited that I found out today they accepted my application!!  We are going to do it big this year mom....I love you!

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