Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Following Week was Much the Same ~Home Brew is Ready ~House Chores ~College Football ~Picnic in the Park

Hubby built himself a Bar in his Man Cave.
It was the perfect setting for his first taste of that Home Brew. 

Like the rest of you, we stay busy with those everyday House Chores.
Hubby uses his Lawn and Leaf Blower every single day.
While he’s cleaning up the yard, I’m using my Bissel in the house.

It was time to store away the games we played
when the family was here…

…along with the Booster Seat,

And all the Art Supplies.

Of course we watched some Bison Football,
and enjoyed some Football Food.
This week Monte Cristo Sliders were on the Homegating Menu.

This is perhaps Hubby’s favorite Sandwich.

We took advantage of what’s left of our Summer-like weather
and joined our friends out at Wylie Park.

Chuck and Wendy grilled our Burgers.
Dennis and Patty brought some Salads.
We were in charge of dessert.

It was a beautiful evening to be outdoors.

Ice Cream in a Waffle Cone was the perfect ending
to a perfect picnic
on a perfect autumn evening.

Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, September 26, 2021

How These Empty Nesters Spent that First Week ~Garden Produce ~Home Brew Progress ~Bison Game & Football Food ~Visiting Good Friends ~First Day of School

You all remember that our family all pitches in to help
Great Grandma with her big garden.
Two boxes of tomatoes were ripe and ready.

Our annual Fall Tradition is to make a huge pot of Spaghetti Sauce.
On day one, we blanch and peel the tomatoes.
Then they are simmered all afternoon with peppers, onions, and garlic.
On day two, I add the ground beef, Italian sausage,
mushrooms, fresh herbs, and other flavorings.

After simmering most of the second afternoon, I package it for the freezer.
This year’s yield? 18 Baggies!
It’s a lot of work, but so worth it.

You might also remember that Hubby and our Son in Law
brewed a batch of beer together.
After hanging out a couple of weeks
in that big bucket, it was ready to be bottled.

The bottles are sanitized before adding the sugar tablet,
beer, and is capped. Also a lot of work, but worth it.

A highlight of our week was a Farm to Table Event with Friends.
Held at Centennial Village, the table decorations were a perfect touch.
Sixteen different Producers set up displays along the boardwalk.

Check out this menu. We could visit with the Farmers, Producers, and Sponsors,
and pick up a Small plate at each table.
We grazed our way through the evening, enjoying all the tasty bites.
Thank you Chuck and Wendy for getting our tickets,
I’d love to go again next year!

The next morning, we got up early for a little trip out of town.

We were given the opportunity to purchase tickets for a Bison Game.
These were great seats.

We were close to the field
with a good view of the Marching Band…

…and all the scoring action.

Post game Football Food, Walleye Fingers,
along with a visit to catch up with good college friends.

On our way home we stopped to visit these special friends,
and enjoyed Brunch prepared on Alan’s new griddle.

After a quick kitchen cleanup, we took a little tour
around town and the University Campus.
Perfect timing, as we caught the parade of motorcycles
and emergency vehicles.
The ride was in remembrance of all those that lost their lives
on September 11th, twenty years ago.

Do you know who else would have loved this parade?

This guy!
But as you can see, he was home,
getting ready for his first day of school.

Take care,
~Natalie

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Happy Fall, Y’All ~Return to the Empty Nest ~How we have Spent our Time ~Homegating with Stromboli

Then just like that,
this Papa and Gigi were Empty Nesters again.
We thoroughly enjoyed having everyone home,
but we all know that the goal of parenting is to
launch your children out into the world.

So we really enjoy the daily text messages,
photos, and occasional FaceTime calls.

Our first weekend alone was the opening of College Football Season,
so Hubby set up the computer and TV in the Man Cave.

Our Furocious Fan claimed her seat at the Bar.

I stayed busy in the kitchen prepping our Football Food.
Using my favorite Pizza Crust recipe, I rolled it into a rectangle,
and added layers of Turkey, Ham, Swiss, Provolone, and Pepperoni.

Then I topped that with Parmesan, Fresh Basil, and Oregano.

Next, roll it up like Cinnamon Rolls and
cut slits in the top to let steam escape.

Be patient while it is in the oven.

The egg wash helps it bake to a golden brown color.

Serve Pizza Sauce on the side for dipping.
It is so tasty and easy to eat
when cheering for your favorite football team!

How are you all welcoming the Fall Season?
Sweaters, Football, Autumn Decor, and Garden Produce…
I was a little sad to say goodbye to Summer, as it is my favorite season,
but change is good and we look forward to pumpkins, mums,
colorful leaves, apples, scarves, and more football food!

Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Family Visit ~For the Finale ~New Restaurant Downtown ~The Three 22 ~Activity in the ManCave

 
The Eve of Departure.
Jake and Emily insisted on treating us to a night out,
as a Thank You for Hosting the Family for two weeks.

On My Bucket List was The Three 22,
recently opened on our Main Street.
Jake and Emily ordered from their specialty cocktail menu.
Check out Jake’s Smoked Manhattan.
We sat at the bar and watched the preparation…
wood chips in a little smoker, then smoke is piped into the covered glass.
The Patron has the pleasure of lifting the lid to experience the smoky aroma.

We were missing Henry and Jack and their parents.
Playing toys with those little guys was a bright spot in our morning.
However, we understood that they had to get home for work…

…and Jack’s Orientation at his School.

Back to our evening at the Three22 Kitchen & Cocktails.

Meet Chef Jacob Collins, he’s the General Manager.

I got to know him through our Culinary Program at School.
He was in our department once a week.

His weekly visit was during my Planning Period,
so I frequently stopped over to see what was on the menu.

He was so patient with the students.
I really enjoyed getting to know him, so that’s why
I really wanted to visit his new restaurant.

Speaking of The Menu,
there were many delicious sounding options at Three22
so we went with several Small Plates.
This is the Korean Pot Stickers.

The Walleye Strips are served with Lemon Caper Tartar Sauce.

When you order the Bruschetta Board,
you can choose three different toppings.

Several varieties of Street Tacos are on the menu,
these are the Cajun Walleye.
Somehow I missed getting a photo of the SoDak Chislic
and the Down East Crab Cakes.
I guess we were too busy noshing on the first tasty bites.

Back in the ManCave…
Emily had convinced her dad to set up his trap set.
Lizzie wasn’t sure what to think of that new noise.

Jake played drums with his Praise Band
while he was in High School.
It had been years since he had picked up some sticks.

Of course, we finished off the night
with a couple of games of darts.
Our Family Tournament Defending Champs,
Nick & Amy, had gone home a week ago,
so it was Game On to find a new champion!

I surprised even myself by throwing a Bullseye.

It was good fun competition…

…and Jake and Emily were declared the winners.

The next morning I mixed up some Banana Oatmeal Muffins.
The last batch had gone home with Jack and Henry.

Emily was busy packing and loading their vehicle
while Jake finished a work deadline.

And then, it was time for Hugs and Waves.
“Bye-Bye”
We can’t wait to see you again, soon.
After all, we left three unfinished items on the Bucket List!

Take care,
~Natalie

Celebrating our Youngest Grandchild ~This Little Princess is now Two

This little girl had family and friends around her to celebrate her special day. After swimming, a little naptime, and a nice dinner, she op...