NYC or My Evening with Adam Levine

I thought that title might pull a few of you in…..to be honest, I visited NYC for work last week and Maroon 5 was the featured event at the conference I attended.   I really did get to spend the evening with Adam it just happened to be along with about 5000 of the other conference attendees.  Since I had never been to New York City before, I had my hubby tag along so we could take in a few of the sites together.

Our first stop was a visit to the 911 Memorial which was worth the entire trip in itself.  We paid for a guided tour of the memorial and visited the museum on our own.  It is a very humbling experience and meant to be a remembrance and place of quiet reflection.  At one point I saw a guard stop a lady who was jogging through the park and told her she could only walk through the memorial.

911-Memorial

The memorial itself consists of two square pools on the site where the twin towers stood.  Names of the victims from that day and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing are inscribed in the border around the pools in what is described as “meaningful adjacencies.”  Our tour guide told us that meant people with connections to each other had their names close together.  As we walked around the pools our guide told us personal stories of victims and their families from that day.  He also pointed out that on a victims birthday a white rose is placed in their name.  It was an extremely overwhelming and emotional tour.

White-Rose

The museum is seventy feet underground and includes many, many artifacts from the day such as burned out firetrucks, pieces of papers found in the ruins, pictures of all the victims, 911 calls and many pieces of twisted metal from the buildings.  The picture below is a piece of metal from the initial entry of the plane into the north tower.

 

Twisted-metal

Another favorite stop of mine in NYC was the Chelsea Market, taking up an entire block in the Manhattan Meat Packing District.  It is an indoor food court and specialty shopping mall.

Chelsea-Market-directory The shops were amazing and I could have spent an entire day there.   There are artisanal cheese makers, multiple bakeries, a donutery and a chocolate shop selling a weakness of mine, peanut clusters for $38 per pound.  I may or may not have bought just a couple.

chocolate

In addition there was a spice vendor, a german sausage maker, craft beer vendors and way too many more to list.  One in particular I could just not get my thoughts around, Takumi- Japenese Inspired Mexican, say what????

Chelsea-Market-2

Our hotel, the Intercontinenal, was right in the middle of Times Square and all I can say to that is I have never seen so many people in my life.  The sidewalks were packed at 7:00 a.m. and at midnight.   It was sure fun to people-watch though and boy did we see some interesting things.  There was a large police presence everywhere you looked with MANY carrying large rifles.

Times Square

And of course I cannot forget to share a few pics of Adam…..

AL

AL-with-background

New York City is a must on your travel list, so many things to do.  However, it made me really appreciate my little hometown of Lee’s Summit, Missouri!

 

The Cookbook Club

Many of you followed our groups adventures in the ABC Dinner club where we ate our way through the alphabet at restaurants in Kansas City.  That club came to a close a few months ago when we finally (after 5 years) made it to the letter Z.  One of our club members had a friend who was part of a cookbook club and suggested we try that for our next adventure.

I have read about cookbook clubs in the past and there seem to be as many versions of these types of clubs as there are cookbooks themselves.  Basically it is like any other book club, you get together with friends to eat, drink and discuss the book.  The difference is that in a cookbook club each person cooks a recipe from the selected book and brings it to share with the other members.

cookbooks

Here are the guidelines for our version of the Cookbook Club:

  1. Each member of the group will have a turn selecting a cookbook.
  2. We will meet monthly to share and discuss prepared recipes.
  3. Husbands are welcome (and encouraged) to assist with the recipe selection and cooking.
  4. Each member will select a recipe from the cookbook for that month’s meeting. The monthly meeting does not need to be a meal with complimentary dishes selected.  It can just be a tasting of random recipes.
  5. We will continue making recipes out of the book until we have a good feel for it and decide we are ready to move to the next cookbook.
  6. We can change these guideline whenever the heck we want to…

The first cookbook selected is Pioneer Woman Cooks – Food From my Frontier by Ree Drummond.  Below are selections from our first meeting on April 30, 2016.

cookbook cover

 

Corn Casserole with Peppers – easy to make, would be great in summer when corn is cheap.  Discussed buying corn during the summer in bulk, cutting off the cob and freezing.  Tasted great!

Corn-Cassarole-with-Peppers

Buttered Rosemary Rolls – these rolls are excellent and easy to prepare since you start with frozen unbaked dinner rolls.  The coarse salt and fresh rosemary make all the difference in taste, the butter probably does not hurt either.

Rosemary-Rolls

Spicy Caesar Salad with Homemade Cornbread Croutons – the addition of chipotle peppers kicks this salad up a notch from a normal Caesar. For those of you that care (like me) there are raw eggs in the dressing which is also normal for Caesar dressing.  The croutons were good but if made in the future would probably just buy croutons instead of going to the trouble of making from scratch.

Spicy-Caesar-Salad

BBQ Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas – easy to make and tasted great.  Serve with sour cream, salsa and a pineapple wedge on top.

Barbeque-Chicken-and-Pineapple-Quesidilla

Tangy Tomato Brisket – if you have six or seven hours to let this cook on a low temperature there is nothing better.  Easy to prepare and boy does it make your house smell good all day.  Turned out moist and tender which I can say is not always the case with brisket.

Tangy-Tomato-Brisket-2

Knock You Naked Brownies – delicious but very rich.  The recipe is a little more complex than simple brownies but good for a special occasion. Wish I would have taken a picture of the gooey caramel and chocolate on the inside which is the star in this dish.

Knock-you-Naked-Brownies

Let me know if you are or have ever been in a cookbook club.  I would love to hear how other’s operate.

 

 

The End of the ABC Dinner Club

Four years and ten months after starting the ABC Dinner club we finally reached the letter Z. To read about our final dinner, “Z is for Zocalo” click here.  If you have been following along you know the story.

guys

We are a group of twelve who have known each other  for twenty-five plus years and raised our children together.  We have been eating out together since the kids were in high chairs.

group1

Almost five years ago we decided to put some structure to our eating out adventures and use the letters of the alphabet to decide where to eat.  We are all amazed that it took five years to get this done.

The rules of our club were simple, we tried to find restaurants  where none of us had eaten before,  but that was much easier said than done given how long we have all lived in this city and how often we eat out.  A few in the group would research the next letter and put an email out asking for votes.  We also tried to find a date where all of us could make the dinner.

Overall we are a pretty easy group to please, in short we all love to eat out.   We definitely found a few new favorite restaurants and also a few where we will never return.   It would be virtually impossible to list our favorite  out of the twenty-six we visited but I did try to poll the group to see if we could at least get a list of our top five.  I am actually listing six  that we all loved since a few received the same number of votes.   These are not in any particular order.

Q39

Q39

Osteria Il Centro

Osteria Il Centro

Anthony’s

Anthonys

 

Beer Kitchen

beer kitchen

Tavern @ Mission Farms

Tavern @ Mission Farms

Yard House

Roasted-Turkey-Pot-Pie

On the flip side, we also voted on our least favorite places.

Domo Sushi and Grill

Ixtapa Mexican

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and Grill

Unk’s Burgers

Extra Virgin

The ABC Dinner club has been a fun way to try new restaurants and get out of our same old place rut. Hopefully we have also been able to guide some of you to try some new places in Kansas City.  Let me know if you decide to try your own version of the ABC Dinner Club, we would love to hear where you go!

What’s next for our dinner club?  We have a few ideas……stay tuned to find out!

A designer before my time…..

The Novogratz design family posted the upper left photo in this collage on facebook this week and I immediately thought about my bedroom when I was 16 years old back in the 70’s.    I begged my parents to let me pick the colors and paint all by myself.  I am pretty sure the carpet which was the exact color of the walls (dark navy blue) was never the same.  These photos are VERY old so the quality is not very good but I sure had a good laugh when I looked at them.  Notice the yellow princess phone and the matching yellow pillow.  One of those pictures is my little nephew who is not so little these days and another is my parents. And yes, that is my sixteen year old self with a friend….some of you may recognize that guy!!!  Wow…look at those fancy pants I have on.  Thanks Novogratz for the memories!

TKG Teen Bedroom

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays 2015

X is for Extra Virgin

Check out the latest chapter in the adventures of the ABC Dinner Club here, where one in our group ordered the octopus salad.  A unique and upscale experience!

oCTOPUS-SALAD

W is for Webster House

Click HERE to check out where the ABC Dinner Club recently lunched!  Definitely one of my favorites so far!  Only three more installments to go until this series comes to an end.

girlslunching

Bits and Pieces – August 2015

1.  We traveled to Houston a few weeks ago for a grandbaby fix and on the way I noticed these long thin rows of clouds.  It reminded me of perfectly spaced rows of corn, guess I have been spending too much time in Omaha!  I have no idea what these types of clouds are called, but I was in awe of these lines stretching as far as the eyes could see.

houston-7.26.15-web

 

2. Speaking of the grandbabies, these two adorable creatures were my playmates during that trip to Houston.

Levi-6.27.15-web

7.27.15-web

3. Also speaking of grandbabies, only about 4 weeks remain until my middle daughter and her husband bless us with our third grandchild which will be their first. I am so excited to see this little one, I am convinced it is a boy but we will find out soon.

Mom-to-be

4.  Look at these fun benches my brother-in-law Steve has been working on.  Wouldn’t these be perfect in an entryway or on a front porch?

greenbench2a

onesidebencha

modernbench

5.  The ABC Dinner Club is winding down with only four letters of the alphabet remaining.  Check out our “V” selection here.

sign

 

Have a good weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U is for UNK’s Burgers

006

The ABC Dinner Club is getting close to the end of the alphabet.  Check out where we dined for the letter U here.

Garage Organization

I have been thinking about doing some garage organization for a couple of years. We park our cars in the garage each night and always come in and out of the house through the garage where I am constantly subjected to this.

 

Before-1

Not my happy place for sure!  The Mr. was not enthused about this project because he had some strange idea that the garage was his domain to do as he wished.  He argued that we could always get 3 cars plus a motorcycle in the garage and that he had seen garages in much worse condition.  I agreed, but wouldn’t it be nice if everything were neat and tidy and you could always find whatever you needed I coaxed?  His reply was that he already knew where everything was.  I finally had to promise him shiny new cabinets with a new workbench to get him to reluctantly agree. Here are a few more pictures of what we started with.

 

Before-2

Before-3

Because we knew this was going to take us a few weekends (four to be exact) we had to do this in stages.  We started by moving everything off the back wall where the new cabinets would be placed and then painted the wall.  The day after we finished the new cabinets were delivered.

Cabinets-delivered

Dave spent a few days assembling the cabinets and securing them to the wall.

Assembling-cabinets

Once that was completed, the hardest part of the project for my gearhead, hoarding, tool-loving husband began.  It started with both of us going through the old cabinets and shelves, grouping like items together and deciding what to discard. For the sake of our marriage it became pretty clear that Dave needed to do this job on his own.

Not only does Dave have a fondness for tools but he also inherited many of his father’s and father-in-law’s tools which resulted in multiple’s of many items.  The beautiful white metal cabinets you see in the before pictures were actually out of his parents original home and he just did not understand why I thought those needed to go.  I must say that Dave ended up doing a great job, even willingly departing with a few items.  I also got a little satisfaction as he was sorting through cabinets and boxes, when I heard him exclaim more than once, “I have been looking for that!”

after3

After the new cabinets were filled up we proceeded with painting the other walls and hanging as many items as we could using all available wall space.

painting

after6

We also painted the steps into the house and built a couple of shelves above the garage sink.

Backentry

shelves-above-sink

One of my favorite items we did was hang two bins above our large recycle container to hold the glass items that our recyclers do not pick up and the plastic bags that we take back to the store.

recycling-bins

At one of our multiple trips to Lowe’s during this project I found some really fun tape that I needed for something, although at the time I just did not know what for.  It was Scotch Brand Tape in a chalkboard finish or a whiteboard finish.  I chose the Chalkboard finish and it came in handy when I labeled the bins.

Even though we still have a lot of “stuff” in the garage, everything has it’s own defined place to land which was exactly my goal for this project.

after4

after17

And just because I love a good before and after picture….here are a couple of more looks!

beforeafter1

Before-and-After-2

Being organized is definitely my happy place!

Linking to Wow us Wednesdays at Savy Southern Style.