Monday, November 26, 2007

Post Thanksgiving Day Blues

So, JB and I hosted the big family event this year at our new house. We had my whole family over and a few friends too. We rounded off our brand new dining room table with nine people for the festivities. The house looked fantastic. JB worked his little butt getting things ready for the dinner and overnight guests. He finally finished the tile in the bathroom and it looks fantastic. I will have to post a picture of his excellent job just so I can brag again that it is finished. It only took six months of discussion and a little bit of nagging but he finally finished. I am happy.

But I digress... he also finished the baseboards on the first floor, mowed the lawn, painted the ceilings and finished a few other things that I can't think of right at this moment. I baked pies, prepped for dinner, made beds, vaccumed, washed the dogs, and generally picked up around the house enough to have my mother over for the night and not feel uncomfortable about it. At one point JB and I hugged, sighed and looked around at our accomplishments. It really is beginning to feel like our house. After only a few months we have unpacked all our boxes and are truly settled in.

The dinner was fantastic. I used a few recipes I found on the Williams Sonoma website and everything turned out yummy. We had a sage-rubbed butterball turkey, sage & sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed corn, rolls, green bean casserole, acorn squash, pumpkin pie, banana cream pie & french silk pie. We ate really late because we were sharing the holiday with my brother's girlfriend's family but everything turned out okay. It was nice not to have to get up and put the turkey in at 6AM. I can honestly say I'm not complaining about having the additional time in the day. We played a new game I found at called The Thanksgiving Box of Questions. It was a great way to entice conversation at the dinner table as well as get a feeling of what people were thankful for this holiday season. We also played on my parent's Wii during the night. Everyone took turns playing the different games on the big screen and my house was miraculously cleaned after dinner by my brothers and friends. God Bless great manners!

So, all in all the dinner was a success! I fell into bed after a rousing game of Five Crowns at around midnight. I was super tired and thrilled that everything had come together and everyone seemed to have had a good time. The next morning I got up and had coffee with everyone, then jumped into making pumpkin waffles. They took a bit of time but were worth it. I highly recommend trying them too. I will post recipes later when I have more time to post.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving~!

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Splendid Night Out

JB had a fairly good weekend at work. If you don't know, he currently has a consistant schedule of working graveyard shift at a local bar down the street from our house. He likes having the consistency of a shift and a graveyard schedule really isn't terrible for the relationship department. We may not get to sleep next to each other but at least we can have dinner and watch a movie at night. We still get some solid snuggle time in but instead of sharing the bed all night he leaves at 11.30 and I head straight into sleepy-time snuggled next to our hound dogs.

So, he had a couple of fairly good tipping nights from his regular gamers. Growing up in Las Vegas you would think I would have a better understanding of the whole industry and it's unspoken rules but until JB came into my life I had no idea. For example, did you know that you should tip at least 10% of any winnings from the slot machine to your bartender? I'm told this is an industry standard and bartenders actually get kind of mad if you don't. Apparently it is for the free drinks and extra attention they may give you whether you win or lose. Also, many of his regulars he actually sees come in to sit and play the machines 1-3 times a week or more depending on the player. That floors me! I can't imagine wanting to go in and sit down in the smokey bar and play video poker that much. I don't think I even play bubble breaker on my phone that often and I love that game (plus it's free). Ha.

Anyway, he had a couple of players hit on his shift and he was able to come home with some much needed cash. Yippee!

In order to celebrate this unexpected bonus we agreed that a decent dinner out was in order. We grabbed our entertainment book to look for a coupon and ended up at The Melting Pot. JB had never been and luckily we were starving because no matter how you slice it, 4 courses is a lot of food... We tried a few new yummy things that were on the specials list and one course just pops out above the rest: The Mediterranean Cheese Fondue. It was oh-so-lick-your-fingers-and-order-a-second-helping-good. I think if I can't find a recipe online I am going to try to recreate it. They make the dish at the table so I think I have most of it down. They start with a cup of dry white wine, followed with chopped garlic, shallots and dates, then added fontina and gruyere cheese and finished it all off with truffle oil. Mmm Mmm, just thinking about that mixture makes me hungry. I HIGHLY recommend making that little fondue at home if you get the chance or at least heading to the restaurant bar for their version.

Sigh. I love cheesey goodness.