Egg Plant Party

A couple of my friends and I take turns cooking dinner every week.  This week it was my turn.  I needed to redeem myself, and I wanted to try something new.

The last time I had them over we ate stale Boca Burgers and gross steamed veggies with no flavor, so I went for the big guns, Eggplant Parmesan!

I didn’t have a recipe, of course, so I texted my Aunt Ginny.  I got a good laugh out of her response to my text:

Oh my cooking fails…  She did send me this awesome AND EASY recipe! I will include it at the end of the post.

Mema came to dinner and the first thing she announced said is:

“I USED TO THINK I WAS A PARTY ANIMAL, BUT I’M NOT SO SURE ANYMORE.”

What? Can this be so?  The woman who has danced on tables? Beat frat boys at beer pong? And taken/served tequila shots at tailgates!?  Is this the apocalypse?

She explains her long weekend of partying from Thursday to Sunday has just worn her out, and we reassured her that she is STILL the same party animal, and it’s OK at 85 to have a few days off 😉

Oh it was great to have her in the kitchen as I chopped and prepped the food.

My problem with cooking is time management. I feel like I should be getting better at this, but I’m just not.  We always sit around waiting for things to finish cooking. That was the case tonight.  I somehow forgot about the whole putting the eggplant in the oven BEFORE putting it in the dish thing.

The dish was super easy! It smelled so good as we were waiting for it to come out, and despite my cooking fails… it turned out amazing!

I definitely recommend this one 🙂  Here is the recipe for the Eggplant Parmesan.

Half Marathoning Adventures

One of my New Years Resolutions was to run a half marathon. I’m definitely not a runner, but after breaking my foot last summer, I wanted to get into shape!

I somehow convinced my best friend Blaire to join in the fun with me. Since she lives in Georgia where we grew up, we had to keep each other motivated via texts and phone calls.

I picked her up from the airport, and we headed down to Clearwater for the Iron Girl Half! We had to deal with horrible storms. Here is the view from my car.

On the count of three, we ran as fast as we could to pick up our race packets… and we got soaked! Hooray for #482 and #475!

We decided to map out our 13.1 mile run. After getting lost quite a few times, we finally made our way around the route.

{THE BIG DAY}

We woke up at 5 in the morning and prayed that the storms would hold off for the race. There was more than 14-hundred runners, so we had to get there early.

Ready for the Iron Girl Race!

The sun started to rise and it was time to take off. Blaire is much faster than me so I let her go on.

I saw this woman in front of me who had a great pace, so I asked if I could join her. With a high five, she said come on! I ran with my new friend Mimi (who has done full marathons in Boston, New York, and San Diego) for the WHOLE race.

I seriously don’t know what I would have done without her. She gave me encouragement along the way and helped me brave the wind, rain, and BRIDGES. Those were killer.

We talked about everything. She was running for her niece Nicole, who is currently battling breast cancer. I felt SO tired, but the whole last mile I kept thinking “Run for Nicole!” I think everyone can relate to having a family member who has dealt with the disease.

What do you run for? Leave a comment and let me know!

When I crossed the finish line, Mimi gave me a huge hug! This is us right after that moment. It was such a great experience and I am so glad I could do it with my best friend and my new friend 🙂

It rained during the race, and right after it started POURING down on us. It was not the clear sky finish we were envisioning, but we will take it!

I think running a half marathon is pretty marketable, what about you?

it’s so easy, even I can make it!

Easter weekend provided many life {marketable} lessons, and this one is all about a fresh summer salad.

Brandi really trusted me over the weekend, not only did I learn how to make banana pudding, she let me make the tomato/mozzarella/basil salad! I’m really moving on up in the world!

This is the PERFECT summer salad 🙂

We chopped the tomatoes…

Cut up the mozzarella

CoCo really loved it when I dropped some of the cheese!!

I actually had some help with the basil… I wasn’t chopping fast enough…

And to top it off, italian dressing… mmmm

Thank you Bran! It was so tasty and I cannot wait to make it again! 

Tequila Talks!

Back when Mema was President of the Emertis Alumni at Florida State, she took it upon herself to boost Alumni membership.

Her idea was to make brownies and have a sign up sheet at an FSU football tailgate.

Well my Aunt had a better idea! Why don’t we do tequila shooters AND brownies and people can take their picks?!

My Aunt took care of the supplies and they hit the ground running.

They had tequila, limes, salt and brownies… winning combo.

Picture this: Mema with a table set up full of Tequila Shots, brownies, and information on the Alumni Association.

You could have seen our tailgate from a mile away. People started lining up, giving out their credit card numbers, and taking shots.

Why wouldn’t you want to take a shot with a cute gray haired foxy lady??

This one man who is a GATOR signed up for a LIFETIME membership.

Mema left with almost $2,000 dollars for the Alumni Association and went on her merry way.

You should have seen the faces of the Alumni Associations staff members on Monday morning.

She laid out the bulging envelope, and what do you know, tequila talks!

“it will get you a marriage proposal”

One of the things I love the most about Easter is being able to spend time with family.

Before the weekend arrived, my step sister Brandi told me it was my annual duty to dye the eggs for the Easter Egg hunt.  (probably one of the only things they trust me to do)

Here are some of the photos from our EGGstravaganza on Friday night, and Kirstin helped me out!  By the way, this was Kirstin’s first time dying Easter Eggs, pretty sure she was never a kid.

Saturday was the REAL becoming marketable challenge.  Brandi decided it was time to put our big girl pants on and learn how to make the Easter Dinner dessert: BANANA PUDDING.  Looks like it isn’t ONLY Mema trying to help a sister out!

This is Brandi & Kirstin’s family recipe, which is why I am not allowed to post… Brandi might kill me, but on a lighter note, she says “it will get us a marriage proposal!”

We learned all about peaks, making your own pudding (I didn’t know this was even possible, doesn’t it all come in a little box?), and how making this dessert can be a real workout.

To start we made the whipped cream… now I finally know what a Kitchen-Ade is, and I want one!

Kirstin and I are ready to take on this puddin’

Brandi tells us “just a little bit of water in the double boiler… don’t screw this up, girls!”

The double boiler is key to making the perfect pudding (apparently)

Once the whipped cream has “peaks” it is ready to be chilled!

I was in charge of the pudding stirring… they didn’t tell me this would take 45 minutes…

This was seriously a work out, and I worked up a sweat…”Sometimes cookin’ ain’t pretty!” – Brandi

Kirstin did a fabulous job of slicing the perfect banana.

Here’s our homemade puddin’ after what seemed like hours of elbow grease!

Here’s another trick Brandi taught us… If you don’t want a film on your pudding, you put saran wrap on it while it chills.

“Try to make this one pretty!”

my favorite part: licking the spoon!

Cheers! We aren’t TOTALLY helpless 🙂

Move Over Mike Martin

The baseball-loving Seminole fan has struck again.

On Sunday, Mema had the chance to be the “honorary coach of the game”

She took her duties very seriously. For starters, she baked the team cookies.  She told them “How often does #11 make yall cookies?”  I can assume Coach Martin doesn’t spend his free time mixing up home made batter!

As coach of the game, she got to throw out the first pitch! I knew this was going to be a hit because she is the cutest thing in the world!

She approached the mound seriously, reached down to the ground to pick up some dirt, spit on the ball, reared back to throw and psyched the whole crowd out and went with a roll! Now that has got to be a first!

The players lined up to give her good luck hugs… probably the cutest thing I have ever seen. Here are some of my favorite photos!

When the game started we got to go into the locker room and see Mema and Papa’s lockers!

We had such a great time at the game, and the crowd where she sits gave her a standing ovation!