Monday, April 28, 2014

Laura's Birthday Weekend

It was girls weekend for Laura's birthday.

Larry and I drove together to Boston on Thursday and we hung out for awhile at Laura's until Michael called and said he was home and then Larry went over there to spend the weekend since it was Michael's birthday the following week.  How convenient that Laura and Michael have birthdays a week apart and live less than 3 miles apart.

On Friday Nadine arrived and we went into Boston happy that the construction was done.  We went to Joe's American Bar & Grill for lunch and wandered around.
Laura had a phone call to make for some project she was in charge of and set up her office outside of Crate & Barrel.
Friday night we all went to Michael's for dinner where he and Doris put on a feast and Karen and Meg were there too. A bonus to the weekend to have everyone together.
We celebrated Michael's May 5, Larry's May 18 and Laura's April 27 birthdays
I don't remember what we did on Saturday because I don't have any pictures and I'm writing this more than a month after the date, but we got takeout for dinner and took a bunch of silly pictures of ourselves.
On Sunday morning we got up bright and early and were at the Wegmans grand opening in Chestnut Hill by 7:15 AM.

We ran into Colleen Wegman and mentioned to her that it was Laura's birthday.
She later found Laura and gave her a birthday cupcake.  How super special was that?
And of course we had to have some coffee and a snack at the food court which is located at the front of the store.
Greta arrived in the afternoon and for Laura's birthday we went into Boston to Temazcal for dinner.
Their menus were on iPads.  And their food and drinks were yum!!  I was full after the margarita and chips and guacamole but managed to do justice to my dinner.
Previous generation sisters
All the sisters
Back at home we had birthday desserts that we had gotten earlier at Wegmans

These cards have to be preserved here too.

Note:  Tucker's card is still in that great hole in the sky with Larry's keys and some other things we mentioned over this past weekend at Greta's (6/13/14)

And some final pictures before everyone left the next day.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy 7

Today is our 7th anniversary.  It turned out to be a beautiful day after a few cooler ones.
We played golf this afternoon and in spite of not having played since last year and my hip hurting me when we started out I survived and didn't do too bad either.  I tested different positions to hold my leg so that it wouldn't strain but by the end of 9 holes I was able to keep it in it's normal position.
 A selfie

A photoshop

Then at night we went to Sogo Japanese Steakhouse in Webster and got the "Lover Boat for 2" which was a combination of Sushi and Sashimi.  It was so huge that we ate as much as we could and took the rest of it home.  Dinner for tomorrow!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Toys

I've been talking about wanting a kayak for ages and finally I decided to get one when Dick's had a sale this past week.  The most surprising thing was that Larry got one too.  I hope he likes it and it doesn't bother his back because it will be so much fun just paddling around on the bay on those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

We will have to take them off the deck and them in the water.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Almond Fudge Banana Cake

This was my dessert for bridge on Thursday.
Served with ice cream of course!

4 extra-ripe, medium DOLE® Bananas, divided
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 egg(s)
3 tbsp amaretto liqueur or 1 tsp almond extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted and ground
1 square (1 oz) semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  • Quarter 4 bananas in blender or food processor container. Cover; blend until smooth (2 cups).
  • Beat sugar and margarine or butter in large bowl, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and liqueur. 
  • Stir together flour, cocoa powder, soda, salt and almonds in medium bowl.
  • Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture alternately with 1-1/2 cups blended bananas, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into greased 10-inch bundt pan.
  • Bake at 350ºF., 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and cake pulls away from sides of pan.
  • Cool 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan to wire rack to cool completely.
  • Mix together remaining 1/2 cup blended banana with melted chocolate, in small bowl. 
  • Drizzle glaze over top and down sides of cake.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spinach Salad

This has become my favorite spinach salad dressing now that I'm into using bacon grease, as long as I don't make it too often. The basic salad recipe excluding the dressing depends on what I have in the house, but this is what I like to include.  I put in amounts for a salad for 4 but use whatever you have in the amounts you like.

8-10 oz baby spinach
1/4  cup chopped onions, red, sweet or green
sliced white mushrooms
2 large eggs
8 pieces crisp bacon, chopped (save grease)

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

To make the dressing save 3 tblsp bacon grease after cooking the bacon.  That's usually all the grease you get, or if you don't get that much that's OK too.  Heat the grease in a small pan and whisk in the other ingredients.  Pour over salad ingredients and toss.
The original recipe is from -->

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Carnival Cruise March 31-April 6

Just back from our first Carnival Cruise and although Carnival has had it's share of bad press we had a wonderful time and will go on another. We did have to skip Freeport because of engine problems that reduced our cruising speed but that was OK with us. And for the inconvenience, Carnival issued everyone a $50 credit and 25% discount on another cruise and of course credited us for the port charges we wouldn't be spending.

Most of the pictures I took were of the clothes I wore so I could pack better for our next trip to the Baltics. As usual I didn't wear a lot of what I brought, unlike our trip to the Mediterranean, but we drove to Baltimore and weren't limited by having to drag suitcases as we travelled. Took lots of food pictures too.

Our favorite food item was the warm chocolate melting cake that is on every dinner dessert menu. We only got it 3 times and I could never eat the whole thing, or maybe I should say I wouldn't let myself eat the whole thing.  Click here for the recipe.
Carnival allows one bottle of wine per person to be brought on board.  Here we are having a Welcome Aboard glass.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

This picture was taken the first night
of our cruise, after eating some first
This picture was taken the last night of the cruise
notice the lack of powdered sugar, everyone must
have been ordering them and there wasn't enough
time for a dusting of sugar.  It also wasn't cooked
as much,  very decadent!

Carnival's Warm Chocolate Melting Cake
This recipe seems the most like the one direct from carnival but easier to understand
Serves: 4-5

3/4 c. (6 oz.) dark chocolate chips
3/4 c. (6 oz.) butter
4 eggs (room temperature)
3/4 c. (6 oz.) sugar
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. (2 oz.) flour


  • Preheat oven to 375-degrees. 
  • Melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan, cool 10 minutes. 
  • In the meantime, in a separate bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together. 
  • Add flour and whisk until flour is well mixed in. When chocolate has cooled stir in egg mixture.
  • Fill 7oz. ramekins about 3/4 of the way full with chocolate batter. 
  • Bake for 14 minutes. You may need to add an extra few minutes of baking time depending on your elevation.
  • The cake should be cake-like and spongy on the top but the middle of the cake should be melty and gooey-- the consistency of pudding, not too runny. 
  • Do not let it overcook--watch these babies closely! 
  • Serve with ice cream. (makes 4 servings)

Note: To make gluten free, leave out flour.

My Note: From reviews, may need to bake 10 minutes at most.

Read more: Warm Chocolate Melting Cake Recipe - Carnival Cruise Lines - CRUISIN
Copyright © 2014 CRUISIN. All Rights Reserved.

WW Points Plus = 18 (YIKES but worth it)
4/24/14 - In an email from Carnival they sent this recipe

Melting Chocolate Cake
Portions: 5 ea.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate 4.4.oz
Sweet Chocolate 4.4 oz
Butter 6 oz
Fresh Eggs 5 ea
Sugar 1.8 oz
Flour H & R 1.4 oz

• Melt both Chocolate & Butter
• Mix half egg & Sugar and whisk for few minutes & add flour (without lumps), add the balance egg and mix well until 
• Add egg mixture to the melted chocolate mixture until unified 
• Pour 4.5 oz mixture in to bowl Incline.
• Arrange 24 cups l in one large sheet tray 
•• Bake directly in the oven at 180 C°° for 20 to 25 minutes.
• Serve with vanilla ice cream in 2 oz. ramekin cups.

• Sweet Chocolate, coco soil (top of the ice cream) 
• Cocoa soil, follow the chef table recipe 
• Dust Powder sugar top of the Melting chocolate cake before serve!!!!! Serve warm …

Carnival's Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

Serves: 6

8 oz Semi-sweet Chocolate
1 c Butter
7 Eggs, divided
6 tbsp Sugar
1/2 c Flour
1 tsp Powdered Sugar, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a pan melt the chocolate and butter and cool for 10 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, mix 4 eggs with sugar. Whisk. Then add flour while continuing to whisk. Add the remaining 3 eggs and whisk. Then add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture. Pour this entire mixture into individual ramekins.
  • Bake until just done, about 15-20 minutes (interior will be melting, not set).
  • Top with powdered sugar. 
  • Serve with ice cream.

Note: To make gluten free, leave out flour.

My Note: From reviews, may need to bake 10 minutes at most.

Read more: Warm Chocolate Melting Cake Recipe - Carnival Cruise Lines - CRUISIN
Copyright © 2014 CRUISIN. All Rights Reserved.

WW Points Plus = 18 (YIKES but worth it)

Need dates

I think I'm finally getting all my scanned pictures organized.
Hopefully this book will help me finish it up.  I made a book of pictures that need some dates, at least years, associated with them.  I'm going to take it to Laura's when I go for her birthday and hopefully between us and Nadine and Greta we can figure them out.

Shutterfly photo books offer a variety of layouts and cover options to choose from.