Entries Tagged as 'dylan'

Thanksgiving with Damian and Vanessa

November 23rd, 2012 · 1 Comment


Damian carving the smoked turkey.


Damian’s dad, Frank, and Vanessa’s mom, Ada.


Dallas and Dylan played with the balloon.


Playing with Derek.


Dylan is 3 years old.


Playing pool and ping pong in the basement.

Damian and Vanessa moved from their condo in Chicago to a big, beautiful house in Mount Prospect about a month ago. For Thanksgiving they invited us over for a Thanksgiving celebration with a bunch of their family and friends. I’ve seen Dylan, their oldest son, a bit over the last year or so, but I was shocked at how big Derek is! Vanessa was pregnant with him at our wedding and I’d only met him once since then, when he was only a few months old. Dallas and I had fun playing with them and the other kids at the party.

For dinner we had smoked turkey. I never had Thanksgiving turkey this way and thought it was pretty good. They also had an oven turkey that they prepared. We had tons of sides and desserts. Damian also made two big pans of lasagna with homemade marinara. So good. We stuffed ourselves full!

After dinner some people went down to the basement where the previous homeowners left a pool table and ping pong table. Some of the guys got into quite a contest. And Dylan got his turns learning how to shoot too!

Thanks to Damian and Vanessa for their hospitality! We had a great Thanksgiving with their friends and family.

Oh, one more thing. Vanessa asked me to bring sweet potatoes. I wasn’t sure how to make them but when I was at Sara’s Thanksgiving party on Monday, Emily brought some delicious sweet potatoes and was nice enough to give me the recipe. Everyone at Thanksgiving loved the sweet potato casserole and I’d totally make them again. Here’s the recipe:

Sweet Potato Casserole

5-6 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Place a large pot about 3/4 full of water on stove to simmer. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into cubes. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.

In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly with little pea sized lumps. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

Emily noted that she added some cayenne and maple syrup to her potatoes and suggested you could also add some bourbon or orange juice. I added a bit of cayenne and some pumpkin pie spice. I could see how this recipe could be modified many different ways. Another good tip Emily had was to mix the eggs in at the end of the potato part so that you can taste and adjust seasonings without worrying about eating raw eggs.

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The Nerd and The Tourist

October 31st, 2012 · No Comments

Interrupting my Hawaii posts for Halloween!

For Halloween this year we dressed up as Takashi, the nerd, and a Hawaiian tourist. Dallas’s costume was part of a group. Todd, Brian and Adam all dressed as the nerds in their Lambda Lambda Lambda sweaters. Fun costumes, people were asking to take their photos with the nerds and saying “Lambda Lambda Lambda!” as they walked by.

We started off at Todd and Adam’s house and then went over to Mac’s for just one drink. Then someone decided to go downtown, which was pretty crazy. We were at Mercer 113 for a bit and then went to Tavern on Rush.

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Birthday Barbecue

September 9th, 2012 · 4 Comments

For my birthday we had a barbecue. Everyone ate too much and drank too much and had a great time!


Richard pretending to photobomb Dallas, Killian and Ed.


Jill visiting with Liz while Dallas tried to get Fiona.


Raiden is just a few months younger than Fiona. They’re both so big compared to when I last saw each of them!


Feedburners reuinite! Chris, Paul, Lisa, Kate, Rachelle. Alden shouldn’t be so late or he misses out on photo ops like this!


Dallas grilled up a ton of kalbi. We thought we had way too much but people were fighting for the last rib! We also made about five pounds of slow cooked pork with Dallas’s famous blue cheese coleslaw.


Richard and Ed stealing ribs fresh off the grill!


Kate and Brett.


Dinner!


Dylan and Quinn making forts on the couch.


Could Fiona’s eyes be bluer? Just like her mom.


Chris and Lisa brought this Achatz Handmade Pie. Grant Achatz did not make this pie, but his cousin did.


This was the crumb-topped Michigan 4-berry pie, their signature pie. They use locally grown tart cherries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. It was so delicious. Chris said pie is a family tradition. He and Lisa also gifted me a pretty pair of earrings that I wore to work on Monday. They are so nice and thoughtful friends.


Ed (chef/owner of The Baked Escape) also brought some delicious desserts – white chocolate raspberry swirl cheesecake and caramel pumpkin pound cake!


And here is Ed making Rory cry.


Killian gave me Easy Feet! I don’t know if he’s implying I’m too old to bend over and wash properly or if I have super nasty toes! According to the infomercial, “it’s like a carwash for your feet!”


Me with Andy and Katie.


And Alden!


And Trent and Loden!


Trent was digging around in the cupboard for shot glasses and I busted out laughing when I saw he was using a votive for a shot glass!!! Gotta do what you gotta do!


Loden, Kelly, Brett, Rachelle.


Time for bed!!! (Thanks, Damian for the wine and this Askinosie chocolate bar!)

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