Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pie!

With the fourth of July coming up, I wanted to make a special dessert to bring up to the cabin. After spending time searching around for the perfect summer- red, white and blue dessert, I came across a recipe for a fruit pie called "Berry Lover's Delight". It has a special treat at the bottom of the berries, white chocolate! This is my first attempt at making a pie and I think it turned out pretty great!
I bought a pre-made pie crust and cooked it in the oven until the crust started to turn a lovely golden color. The recipe called for three cups of strawberries. When I was at the grocery store, I thought it asked for three pounds, so I bought three pounds of strawberries and cut them up until I realized how many I actually needed! It was a good mistake though because I ended up eating more than I should have! When I put the berries into the pie crust, I wasn't quite sure what was going to keep the berries together...there was no filling! Well, I took the left over strawberries, added some sugar and water and boiled the mixture while crushing the berries and it made a delicious strawberry glaze that I poured over the strawberries. I did the same with the left over blue berries and made a blue berry glaze. Finally I topped the pie off with some white chocolate shavings and some pie crust that I baked and topped with powdered sugar! I hope that this pie makes it up to the cabin in one piece so the family can see how pretty it is. I just pray that it tastes as good as it looks!

Have a safe, fun and warm 4th of July!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Foot Loose

A couple weeks ago I started getting a horrible pain in my left foot, thinking it was just from all the walking to and from work, one mile each way, I thought nothing of it. The day before I left for Miami I was playing volleyball and the pain was really bad, and someone went up for a hit and landed smack in the middle of my foot, where the pain was the worse. When I woke up the next day there was some swelling and as the trip went on, the swelling got worse. It could of been a combination of the heat, humidity, not resting my foot, etc. All I know is I was in pain and the swelling was just getting worse so yesterday I went to the doctor, he sent me to get some xrays and today he called with the results...sprain...I was hoping that it would be something like a fracture so they could do something about the pain. All I can do now is RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate). I had to miss my volleyball game tonight and have been spending the last three days after work, stuck on my couch/bed with my poor foot up with a bag of vegetables on it, yes, vegetables, I don't have any ice trays yet. Guess that will be my next investment. I just hope that this pain and swelling goes away soon so I can enjoy the fourth of July next week up at the lake, playing in the water.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm in Miami B*tch!

This past weekend I went to Miami with Nikki and Ben and some friends for their bachelor/bachelorette party and it was AMAZING! We started the trip on Thursday by meeting everyone at the lightrail with mimosas!
(Ali, Annie, Nikki, Jen, Timmy, Curt, Ben waiting at the lightrail with mimosas at 6:30AM)

We stayed at the Z Ocean Hotel in South Beach on Ocean Drive in a Rooftop suite that had it's own hot tub, bed, table, wet bar and ipod adapter!
(Z Ocean Hotel)
(Rooftop Suite PH14)
The first night, the girls planned a night out for the group. We had the guys over to our rooftop to play flip cup, have some cocktails.
(Nate, Jen, Curt, Annie, Gregory, Ben, Jason, Josh, Nikki, Ali, Timmy playing flip cup on our rooftop)
Nikki got the girls matching shirts, and Ben got the guys matching shirts. It made for a fun night! After cocktails on the rooftop, we surprised the guys with a party bus where we toured South Beach and went to a couple of bars. The first stop was Wet Willies where they have all slushie drinks that are so delicous!

(Nate, Ali, Annie, Nikki at Wet Willies)
Our last stop on the bus was the Fontainebleau Hotel which was so beautiful, however ridiculously expensive! I ordered a drink for myself and the bachelorette and it was over $40! However, totally worth it. When we were walking into the Fontainebleau there were hundreds of people dressed in white shirts, jeans and cowboy hats. The bar tender said there was a Spanish rodeo in town and there were 1,500 people staying at the hotel for the rodeo.

Day two started out with lunch at the Front Porch Cafe which is the restaurant at the Z Ocean Hotel, then a little beach time!

(The beach)
The beach was so gorgeous and the water was so clear and warm. I thought the caribbean beaches were amazing, turns out I don't have to travel too far to see such a gorgeous place! Since day two was the official bachelor/bachelorette party day, we had a little party on the rooftop for Nikki with cocktails, games and gifts. We went to dinner at an amazing Tapas restaurant, Maya Tapas where we had a pitcher of Mojitos, cheese platter and delicious meals. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up before we headed to the club. We went to Mansion and did bottle service.

(Ali, Annie, Jen, Nikki at Mansion Nightlub)
There was a bunny dancing around...
(Bunny dancing at Mansion Nightclub)
We mingled...

(My new Australian friend Bash "RAWR!")
and just had an all around great time!

Day three we met the guys for lunch and Annie and I spent another day on the beach, until the heat was too much to handle. This night the guys had planned the events for the night. Ben and Curt picked us up in a Taxi van and we drove to a restaurant that was closed. Turns out, they had the wrong address, so we walked across the street and met the rest of the guys at another closed restaurant that was for lease. The plan then, was to walk down the street and we would just eat at the next restaurant we passed so we walked into this great Italian restaurant and SURPRISE the guys had a table all set with wine and poured champagne! The next surprise, they took us to Miami where we took a boat tour in the bay of the city lights. It was a beautiful night, seeing as how, while we were eating dinner it started to down pour, the only rain we had during the whole trip. After the boat cruise, they surprised us once again with bottle service at Louis Lounge at the Gansevoort. We danced, we took shots and once again, had an amazing night!

(Jen, Nikki, Ali, Annie at the Gansevoort Hotel waiting for our VIP table at Louis Lounge)
Day four was a very sad day as it was out last day in South Beach. Checkout time was 11:00 AM so we left our bags at the front desk and spent the afternoon under the palm trees at Lummus Park which was right across the street from our hotel.

(Sitting under the palm trees at Lummus Park)
Four o'clock rolled around and we changed from our shorts, into our jeans since it was 95 in SOBE and only 65 degrees when we landed in Minneapolis. We met the guys at the airport and took the not so long 3 hour flight home. I was so sad to leave and I cannot wait to visit SOBE again. I have so many memories and stories that I will share and cherish for a lifetime!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Leaving on an airplane

Only one more hour to go until I am officially on vacation for the next four days! I was so happy when I got the email this morning letting me know that I could check in to my flight in the morning!

Monday Nikki and I got manicures and pedicures, Tuesday I dropped Miley and Trixie off at mom and dad's, and tonight I have a volleyball game. It's been nice to stay busy at work and in the evening. It's really helped pass the time. I got my packing done last night, but before I put anything in the suite case I had to try it on first, why? I have no idea, it's just what I do!

I can't wait to share stories and pictures of our amazing trip to South Beach!

I will leave you with this lovely quote from my fortune cookie last night from Pings: "For humans love is a necessity like food and shelter".

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

R&R

Kari and I headed up to the cabin on Friday night, and since mom and dad had a food show in Chicago, this was the first time we have been up there without parents and were able to invite friends. Friday, we dropped off the dogs at the cabin and headed over to Howl at the Moon for dinner. There's never been more than four people in there whenever I have gone there. Kevin was bar tending and warmed up to us once we told him who our parents are and that I was the girl that came in this winter and passed out on the bar. He gave us a spice blend that a guy named Bernie makes, who's a local, the spice is called Bernies Butt Blend, sounds delicious, eh? As we were leaving he asked what our names were, when Kari told him her name, he said, "Oh, kind of like kara-mara? Next time you go to one of those fancy seafood restaurants down there in the city, ask for kara-mara, I think it's squid or something?" I was pretty intrigued by this kara-mara, I had never heard of it before. Once the door to the bar closed, Kari just started cracking up, a little confused as to why, I asked her what was so funny? She said, "Kara-mara? Ali! He meant calamari!" Oh gosh, that was a good one!

Ben and Nikki came up on Saturday afternoon. We gave them the tour of the cabin and went on a little boat ride. It was a little chilly on the boat with the clouds coming and going so we just drive over to the Kotoski's to show them the cabin we spent our child hood summers at, and then drove through the sand bar and headed back. We went to Whisky Joe's for dinner that night. They have an interesting happy hour deal. Happy hour runs from 4-6, but instead of just having specials, you have to try your luck with a pull tab and you either get, 1/2 off, $.50 off, or full price. Heck, even a full price beer is only between $2-$4, so if you had to pay full price, it wasn't the end of the world. There is a separate room with some games and a beer pong table so we headed back and played a game. We decided we'd better head back to the cabin before no one could drive us back. We started a fire and had some snacks and drinks. When it got chilly, we headed inside and listened to some music, had some more drinks and chatted and played with the dogs.

Sunday was a normal day. We all got up rather early and Ben and Nikki left around 11. Kari and I stayed up and raked the weeds out of the lake, worked on the shore, and picked up the cabin.

I leave for Miami in one day and I can't wait! Mom and dad get home from Chicago tonight, so I am bringing Trixie and Miley over to their house. Thursday morning, bright and early I will be on my way to hot, sunny, MIAMI!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sun, Swim, Fish, Fire

Over the weekend I headed up to the cabin with Kayla, Joe, Porter and Miley, mom and dad met us up there Friday evening. It was the most perfect weekend to be at the cabin, well, except for the May Flies that were hatching each evening. On Friday when we got to the cabin, the door was wide open and the key was in the door, the pontoon's ties and snapped so it was barely hanging on to the deck and the two chairs that we keep at the end of the dock were somewhere in the lake! We have had contractors at the cabin working on adding a deck above the bunker and for some reason or another they left in a hurry and forgot to lock up the cabin!

Saturday was such a beautiful day! We all got up about 8:30 and enjoyed a few cups of coffee while sitting outside on the dock. The sun was shining brightly and the temperature was starting to rise. By 9:30 Joe, Kayla and myself were in the fishing boat heading out for the first trip of the day. I didn't catch anything all day except for a really bad sun burn! Who knew the sun was so strong in the morning? We went back to the cabin around 11:00 and I started raking up the weeds in the lake. It's pretty much just leaves and such that was on the ice this winter. Around noon, Grandma and Grandpa came to visit and have lunch. We all sat on the deck and mom made a cold noodle pasta dish, fruit and key lime pie. Grandma and Grandpa stayed for a few hours and chatted with mom and dad while Kayla, Joe and I went out and tried our luck at fishing again.  My fishing luck didn't turn around until Sunday morning. We went out before we headed back home and right away I caught two decent bass! I'm getting better and touching the fish and pulling out the hooks. I learned that we have 'dog fish' in our lake and people are catching them off the dock. I really hope I don't catch one, because if I do, you can bet that I'm going to throw my rod into the lake. Those fish are nasty!

Heading up to the lake tonight with Kari. Nikki and Ben are going to meet us up there in the morning. It's supposed to be a wash as far as the weather goes. High's in the 50's and cloudy/rainy, so we are planning on going to Whisky Joes to play some beer pong and hang out with the locals!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memorial Weekend

This was the first Memorial Weekend we have spent at our cabin and it was perfect! Four Farnham's, two Byers, and three dogs were all able to make it for the long weekend. Kari and I arrived about two hours before the rest of the crew came up so we had some time to check out the construction that dad has been working on. There is now a third bedroom, a bigger living room and the kitchen faces out towards the lake! This week a contractor is starting construction on the bunker. He is going to flatten the roof and build a deck on top that will connect to the existing deck. When the deck is done, we will no longer be looking out the kitchen window to the peak of the bunker roof!
The weather was pretty great considering we thought we would be washed out. It sprinkled here and there, but for the most part it was partly sunny and warm. I even got a sun burn!

Joe took me, Kayla and Kari out fishing every day. For Christmas Joe and Kayla got the family some fishing equipment and poles. Kari and I both got fishing licenses for the summer and it's a good thing we did. The fish were really biting! I learned a lot about fishing over the weekend. The first fish I cought it was just me and Kari and she made me touch the fish and take the hook out myself. After that I just wanted to cast and reel, I didn't want to touch any more fish.
On Saturday Mr. and Mrs. Byers cooked us all an amazingly delicisous dinner of pulled pork tacos with salsa and guacamole. Joe had the pork cooking on the grill almost all day. It was so delicious!

One night I said I was going to go buy $50 worth of fireworks. I didn't think it would get me much, but I couldn't find enough fireworks that I actually wanted to buy. We ended up with a couple of fun shows.
I'm looking forward to the 4th of July where more family members/friends will buy fireworks. I think we'll have quite the show.
One thing my family always makes sure we have is an American flag. Dad gave me the job of puting together the flag/pole and finding the right spot to hang it.

Happy Memorial Weekend 2011!

Thank you to all who served and who are currently serving our country.