Saturday, September 21, 2019

Saying Goodbye

This photo says everything about my Dad.  The last few years of his life were not easy, but he did everything with strength and grace as the caregiver for my Mom who is in late stage Alzheimer’s.  When my daughter told him about her upcoming marriage, he said all he wanted was to dance with her at the wedding. And he did.

He fought to be there and be an example for his family.  He lived his marriage vows.  We will miss him greatly.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Sausage, Spinach and Tomato Breakfast Casserole

If you read my last post, you already know that I had company to cook for recently and it worked out perfectly that before we went on our Tiki Bar Hop by boat, we had plenty of time to have a relaxing morning at home with a homemade brunch.  I wanted to make it easy and prepare an egg casserole that could be made in advance the night before, so my morning would be a little easier.  My daughters are fans of spinach in everything, so when I saw this recipe with spinach and tomatoes, it sounded perfect.  The recipe does not call for it, but I used zesty sausage, for a bit of a kick.

This dish went together quickly, even late at night when one can be tired from the long day and it looked beautiful when it came out of the oven. It got rave reviews from my family and I was told in no uncertain terms that I must make it again.  I served it with a pretty bowl of fruit, the giant bagels I buy at an Amish market (yes there are Amish in Florida - who knew?) and Bloody Mary’s, made just like I prefer with a bit of spice and a lot of celery salt.

We left the house full, happy and ready for a birthday adventure on the water. Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Surprise Birthday Weekend

After what my husband planned for my 60th in June, I knew I needed to plan something equally as special for his.  He is a low key kind of guy when in comes to birthdays, but you have to celebrate life’s big occasions and I knew all he would really want was to have our family together here in Florida - so that’s what I did.

He had no idea our daughters, son in law and Melissa’s boyfriend were flying in and his reaction was priceless when they rang the doorbell and he answered.  It took a lot of planning and secrets to pull it off, but we did it and it was so worth it.

Friday afternoon was spent at Siesta Key beach, then pitchers of margaritas at The Hub in Siesta Key Village, home to shower and then dinner at Sharky's in Venice.  There was live music and it’s always the perfect, relaxing spot to take visitors from the north on their first night in Florida.

Saturday morning started bright and early with a trip to the Farmer’s Market with Megan for fresh gulf shrimp and then home to serve brunch and Bloody Mary’s before the main event of the day.  I booked a Tiki Bar Hop on a boat and it was so much fun.  We cruised the Intercoastal Waterway from Venice to Sarasota, stopping at three bars ( Pop’s, Evie’s and Marina Jack’s ) along the way.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, but comfortable on the water and we even had a visit from a pod of dolphins, right next to the boat.  My husband loved it and it was so fun to just all be together on the water.

That night, after a day in the sun, we were happy to stay home and watch our Spartans win big in football.  I had put together a big spread of football watching food and we celebrated the birthday boy with a chocolate ice cream cake and key lime pie.

The next morning we were up early for golf and my husband was thrilled to be on the golf course again with his daughters.  After our round, we headed to a favorite spot on the water for lunch and one more round of pina coladas, then a few hours at the pool before it was time to head to the airport.

It was a weekend to remember and I’m not sure I will ever attempt to surprise my husband like that again, but I’m very glad this one made him so happy.

Happy Birthday (today) to my hubby!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cake

Of course it’s not very fall like in Florida yet and really never will be, but a Midwest girl can dream, right? There are no cozy sweaters or boots to be seen in my wardrobe, but one thing I can do to bring in a little fall, is cook with fall ingredients.  So many of my favorite recipes include either apples or pumpkin and while I like to save the pumpkin flavors for later in the fall, now is the perfect time to enjoy all that apple goodness. (If you type apple into my search bar, you will find all the apple recipes)

I always have a bowl of apples on my kitchen counter for a healthy snack, so whipping up something delicious was easy.  Since I’m a diabetic, dessert is not my friend, so I usually satisfy my sweet tooth with something sweet rather than savory for breakfast.  This Apple Cinnamon Breakfast  Cake is the perfect little portion to have for breakfast and really, it is almost like a breakfast bar, but better.  It’s dense and filled with apple pieces and cinnamon flavor.  You could add a crumble topping or cream cheese frosting, but to cut the sugar, I lightly drizzled the top with a bit of powdered sugar, mixed with low-fat milk.  Raisins or nuts would also be good additions.

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cake

1/2 stick butter,  melted
1 cup sugar (can use Splenda equivalent)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon 
2 cups apple, peeled and chopped

For glaze:  2 tablespoons powdered sugar, whisked with a splash or 2 of low-fat milk 

Spray 8x8 pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together wet ingredients in order given.  Stir together dry ingredients.  Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Stir in chopped apple.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  When cool, drizzle glaze on the top.  Enjoy!

Cake for breakfast is my new favorite.  Happy September!

Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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