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Family Visit (Easter 2013)

Posted Apr 23 2013 9:16pm

Way back in March, my family (minus one brother), came to visit me and the hubby for the first time since we moved to Ohio six months earlier. After a 10 hour drive from Iowa, they arrived safely late Thursday night.  After a quick tour of the place and lots of hugs, we hit the sack.  I made sure to have a delicious breakfast waiting for them when they woke up the next morning.  Is there anything better than huevos rancheros with avocado!  Uhhh, no.  No there is not.   IMG_2416

Unless you count fresh sushi for lunch?  Then you might be on to something!IMG_2417The boys all went to the Football Hall of Fame for the afternoon and me and my mom opted out for a shopping date and sushi.  It was a win-win for all ;) IMG_2419

We were driving around the area searching for a quick lunch stop (a foodie who rarely eats out in the new area = no idea where the “good” restaurants are).  My mom pointed out , “look- a sushi restaurant!” I slammed on the brakes and made a sharp right turn into the parking lot. Nobody was hurt in the hunt for the sushi joint! IMG_2420

Later that night we went back to my place to relax while me and my youngest bro (aka my little aspiring cook!) got to work in the kitchen.

IMG_2424 IMG_2426

Lemony, spinach and shrimp pasta with crusty garlic bread + lots of wine.  Pasta without wine on a Friday night is a travesty.  The whole wheat pasta paired perfectly with the light shrimp and the savory, lemony (with a hint of spice) sauce.  Quick and painless to make, too! IMG_2434 Everyone had full and satisfied bellies afterwards!  Cooking and eating with your family in comfy clothes with a couple of drinks trumps the fanciest restaurant any night of the week.   IMG_2437 If the Friday night pasta wasn’t enough, waking up to the smell of coffee and bacon the next morning will do ya! Michael and I made our way to the kitchen before everyone rose and got to work making the world’s greatest breakfast sandwiches to date.  Whole wheat english muffins, avocado, bacon and fried eggs (and smothered in hot sauce if it floats your boat) are what magic is made of.  The ‘loup was nice, too.  ha!  IMG_2448 We made our way to the local market, gave the family a tour of our town, and stopped to pick up some cheap protein bars.  My dad was stookkeeeeddd!  IMG_2449 I really, really wanted to show my family the park that I run/hike at a lot during their visit and was on cloud 9 during our entire 2 hour hike!  So happy that we were able to fit it in during their short stay.  IMG_2456 Family pic in the park. IMG_0740 Attempting to do yoga on the designated “tree of life”  IMG_2458 For dinner Saturday night we took my family to one of our favorite local wings pub.   IMG_2522 I went with my usual- grilled chicken basted in the world’s greatest spicy garlic sauce, a side of blue cheese and steamed broccoli.  Annnd another side of spicy garlic sauce.  Letsbehonest.   IMG_2469 We ended up going to the grocery store after dinner and buying a big ol’ tub of ice cream.  It’s the mentality of “wellllll, if we’re going to get ice cream we might as well get the biggest bang for our buck and buy an entire tub vs just a scoop”.  We can’t be the only ones who do this! IMG_2479

I made sure to have some oven baked french toast hot and ready for everyone to eat while we all got ready for Sunday morning Easter mass.  IMG_2481 Fresh, cold berries over some warm, crusty cinnamon bake and a scoop of almond butter held me over for a few hours.  IMG_2484 Trader Joe’s almond butter at that! Do we even need to debate that it’s the best AB around?  Okay, I’m glad we can agree.  IMG_2488 After mass, we came back to my place and I set out some snacks for everyone to munch on – spinach and artichoke dip (made with greek yogurt) and 2 different types of hummus with homemade pita chips.  IMG_2503 After an impromptu run to the movies in the afternoon (we saw Argo, which was incredible!), I went to work on our holiday Sunday night meal.  IMG_2515 Herbed salmon, sauteed sugar snap peas, goat cheese potato bake, and balsamic mushrooms.  I know we technically just ate a ton of fish over the last few weeks, but I just love my salmon.  I think it’s so elegant to serve plus it’s the quickest dish to make!  10x easier than ham or turkey. Plus the health benefits are always an attractive thing for me ;) IMG_2521

It’s not easy living 10 hours away from my family, but doing so makes me appreciate every single minute that I get to spend with them.  Next time I think we should head to Cedar Point in northern Ohio and see what Cleveland has to offer?  Thinking out loud over here….

Overall, it was the perfect long weekend spent with great company, great food and now, great memories. Cheers!


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