Happy Pi Day! 3-14

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Happy Pi Day Everyone!!! 3-14-16

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In honor of Pi Day here is a link to my Banana Cream Pie!!!  I hope you check it out and what Pie will you be eating today!! LOL!!🙂

https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2012/06/17/banana-cream-pie-for-fathers-day/

Apple Banana pie 012

National Chocolate Cake Day!!!

17 Comments

So yesterday was National Chocolate Cake Day, and I got the itch to make a
Chocolate Cake and I brought it in for the office today!!!  

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I know they will happy, since this is the second thing I made this week, on Monday
I made a Cinnamon and Walnut Coffee Cake and they all loved that!!🙂

So I didn’t have my usual ingredients at the house that I have used in my Chocolate cakes before, like
buttermilk or sour cream those things make my cakes moist and I like using them.

So I just followed the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder can.

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The only thing I did differently was two things:
1. I used 1 cup of cocoa powder, instead of what it said, (I can’t remember LOL)
2. I used Hot Strong Coffee instead of Hot Water.

I also made it in a bundt pan🙂 Bake for about 40-50 mins, just until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

The I made Cream Cheese Frosting and that recipe is below🙂

Adding the chocolate to the cream cheese, butter and sugar (sorry i didn’t take better pictures)

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whipped up altogether🙂

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frosting!!

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Done🙂

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now Enjoy!!!

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Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

2 – 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
2 stick of butter, softened
1 3/4 – 2 cups powdered sugar
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup half and half

In a double boiler add chocolate and half and half, stir until chocolate has melted and mixture has before like a thick paste.  Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl mix cream cheese until fluffy, then add butter and mix until combined and fluffy.
Then add powdered sugar, I only used 1 3/4 cup but if you like it sweeter add more, mix until combined.

The mix in chocolate and continue to mix until all in combined and fluffy.

This recipe covered the bundt cake and I had about 2 cups left over.

Store cake in the refrigerator, let set at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.

YUMMY!!! Enjoy!!

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Happy 2016!! How about some Soup!!

19 Comments

Yes I am still Alive!!!😛

I know, I know I have not blogged in forever, but I have been very busy with work and other things.

Plus I don’t cook up a ton of things for me on a daily basis, and when I do cook for my family I am so busy doing multiple things that I forget to take pictures, and if I do I don’t often have a lot of time to blog it all out.  So I am sorry for those who care, and I will try harder this upcoming year!!

So this would be something I would not blog about since its just something plan I would come up with, but I thought I just better share this to let everyone know I am still kickin🙂 LOL

So yesterday on my day off I thought okay you have stuff in the fridge you need to use, so I made Soup.

I call it “Winter Soup” or “What else can I put in this” Soup🙂 LOL

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I also had gotten a four pack of bone-in chicken breast out of the freezer to make some room😛

Okay so I don’t have a recipe here because really it was a what can I throw into this pot kind of soup.

And I think that is what we all need to think more of when we have things in our fridges that need to be used. Or your pantry, heck if you have can veggies do it, or cans of tomatoes or sauce, what about pasta or rice, your options are endless!!!

So this is what I started with, cabbage, zucchini, carrots and beans.

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Chopped it all up and I added about 2 cups of chicken broth(had some left in the fridge), I cooked it in the oven on 325 degrees for 2 hours

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then I added about 4 more cups of broth, I love using “better than bullion” soup base, so I had a little beef flavor left scraped that in there and then some Turkey.  Just mix that up with 4 cups of hot water added a onion power and dill.  I love dill in soup, and I love using the tube herbs, I just don’t use fresh herbs quick enough so I do buy some of those tube herbs you can find in your produce dept.  So whisked all that up and poured it right on in.

Cooked at 350 degrees now for about 1 hour, then I added the beans about 4 cups, not that whole jar, mixed, then check for seasonings, I add some crushed celery seed, more tube dill, kosher salt and white pepper.  Back in the oven for 30 minutes.

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adding the celery seed and my tube dill🙂

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Like I said I had chicken breast, so I just bought a new kitchen gadget, it was my Christmas present to myself…

Table Top Halogen Oven

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Now I love it, the first thing I cooked in it was a Steak, a Frozen Steak!!!   Steak (bone-in rib eye) was about 1 inch thick, I took it out of the freezer, salted and peppered each side, and in 25 minutes I had the most perfect medium rare steak…It was delish!!!

Now I know the haters are going to hate, I NOT telling you buy it, this just works for me and I like it🙂

So I put two of the chicken breast in it and let it go, yes can I use the oven, of course, but I like this and wanted to use it, I can see it cooking and like the easiness🙂

So here’s my chicken cooking, of course once it was done again I forgot to take pictures…sorry, but it they looked great.

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So I shredded some of the chicken

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and added it to the soup, and it was done and ready to eat.

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I have soup for the next week and I frozen half of it too, I like doing this so its easy to bring out and heat out when you need something quick.

So what do you have in your fridge right now that you can throw into a pot and make your own

“Winter Soup”

Enjoy everyone!!

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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer!!

18 Comments

So are you one of those people that CANNOT wait till fall hits so you can get your
Pumpkin Spice Latte on!!😛

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As you know most of the coffee shops only have this Pumpkin Spice Syrup during the fall and maybe into the winter???

I don’t know because I am not one of those people😛

But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to get on the “Band Wagon” and make my own…LOL!!

So many recipes have been flying around the internet, so I decided I would give it a try…

And let me tell you it turned out DELICIOUS!!!!!!!

I kind of shock myself…LOL😛

So of course I dug into my spices to find the hidden Pumpkin Pie Spice in the back from the fall before LOL and finally can open one of the two large can of pumpkin pure, again from the fall before😦

Okay so what else…I found some sweetened condensed milk and now I just needed cream, but I didn’t want to use cream, so I settled for half n half.

Okay I think I am ready to go and this is how it all went.

Ingredients

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in a saucepan, pumpkin, milk and spice

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stir that up, then stir in the half n half

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cook on med-high
okay I will confess, I had in on med-high, but I was trying to do other things as well, and I may not have been stirring it the whole time…hence it started to burn on the bottom, when I went back to it, and started whisking like a mad women, black bits started to surface.  I may have cursed that this time, but I turned it down to low and kept on whisking until it thickened a little, then I let it cool for 5 minutes

Once I tried it was AWESOME!! It tasted like Toasted Pumpkin Marshmallow🙂
I thought Holy Crap I just added another flavor dimension…WOOO HOOOO!!!!! LOL🙂

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It does get a little darker as it thickens

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now you have strain this through a fine mesh strainer,
and take the back of a spatula and force the mixture through the
strainer by moving the spatula back and forth

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this is what you will have left in the strainer

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after I let the mixture cool in the fridge,
I poured it into 2 little mason jars

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This will keep in your fridge up to 2 weeks
if it last that long🙂 LOL

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My Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino

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I added to my mug, about 2 Tbsp. pumpkin mixture
2 Tbsp. creamer and stir it up

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Then I frothed that

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Then I add my espresso

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and to finish it off I sprinkle a little
Pumpkin Pie Spice on top…it was just Yumm!!!

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Now you can just mix it into your regular coffee,
as I did at the office this morning🙂

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As I talk to some of the ladies this morning, I started coming up
all kinds ideas to do with this mixture besides to put in your
coffee…oh a can wait to get back in the kitchen…stay tune!!!

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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer

  • Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup half n’ half, or cream or whole milk

Whisk everything together in a saucepan, cook over med-high, whisk until mixture thickens
and darkens a little.  Like I said above, let it burn a little and it will give it a toasted flavored, I felt
like that added such good flavor.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer, take a spatula and force mixture through the strainer by going back and forth.  Pour mixture into a jar or container and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks if it last that long…LOL  Mind didn’t😛

Add as much or as little to your coffee or tea and sit back and enjoy!!

 

Eggplant Parmesan…my way!!

20 Comments

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As I have mentioned in a recent post my Dad has a garden and so another vegetable that has been a plenty is Eggplants.
Most of the summer, I would grill them or just roast them in the oven, and a couple of times I made Eggplant Parmesan.  I would post my pictures on facebook and of course my friends say tell me the recipe.

So this last time I tried to remember as making it to take pictures of the process and what I do🙂

First I used my homemade tomato sauce that I made out of the tomatoes from my Dad’s garden and I love using Fresh Mozzarella🙂

So enjoy!!

First I peeled, sliced then sprinkled slices with salt in a colander
for 30-40 minutes, then pat each slice dry with paper towel. 
(LOL of course the first picture of that I forgot to take)
Then place them on a baking sheet 

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I took panko bread crumbs and fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

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Mixed in some Sandwich Sprinkle from Penzeys
(coarse salt, garlic, black pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram)
you can add Italian seasonings as well

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Put about 2 Tbsp. on mixture on top of each slice

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with your hand press down crumb mixture

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Then I sprayed each piece with PAM – Olive oil spray
of course you could drizzle with olive oil if you wish too.

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Then bake in a 385 degree oven until tops are brown

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Sauce you can use any you like, so pick your favorite
I used my homemade sauce and I added
some of the Sandwich Sprinkle to the sauce

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I have some Fresh Sliced Mozzarella

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In a sprayed baking dish, place a eggplant down
and top with sauce

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Then top with a slice of mozzarella

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Place another piece of eggplant and repeat
with sauce and cheese

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I topped the final piece of cheese with the rest of the sauce

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I had crumb mixture leftover

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and I sprinkled some over top the entire dish
And bake at 385 degrees until brown 

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and cheese is melted and brown

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This was so good, most of the time I don’t measure anything so when
I cook unless I write it down it really just turns out to what I have 
in my pantry and such.  So when I am experimenting and it turns out good, I have to remember what I did so I can share in a blog, and then most the time I don’t take picture either😛 LOL
The last time I made this (pictures below), I did the same except I didn’t have
any crumb mixture left, so I sprinkle the final layer with a little parmesan chesse

They both turned out delicious😛 so as you make yours just make to what you like and
it will be just as Delicious!!

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Eggplant Parmesan

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1hr 45mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 medium size eggplant, peeled, sliced a 1/2- 3/4 inch thick (6 slices from each)
3 cups of tomato sauce
3 Tbsp. Penzeys Sandwich Sprinkle or Italian seasonings, divided
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh Mozzarella sliced, 2 slices for each stack
(used 1 1/2 logs for 8 stacks, so 2 logs would work for 12 stacks)
PAM Olive Oil spray

Sprinkle each slice of eggplant both sides lightly with salt, place slice in colander in the sink,
let set for 30-40 mins.  Then pat each piece with a paper towel, doing this helps draw out the bitterness that some eggplants tend to have.

In a bowl add panko, Parmesan and 2 Tbsp. seasonings; mix together.  Place slices on a baking sheet and put about 1- 1 1/2 Tbsp. of mixture on top, press mixture down with hand then spray with olive oil spray.
Crumb mixture does fly around a little that is why I press down the mixture, you can drizzle tops with olive oil if you wish.  Bake at 385 degrees until tops are brown about 25 minutes or so. 

Meanwhile get your tomato sauce ready, mix in 1 Tbsp. seasoning, have mozzarella slices ready.
Spray a baking dish that will hold the amount you are making.

Once eggplant tops have browned, place half the slice in the baking dish, top with 1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp. sauce,
then a slice of cheese, repeat again, eggplant, sauce and cheese.
At this point you can top each stack with leftover sauce and sprinkle with any left over crumb mixture, or just sprinkle some a little Parmesan cheese over top.  Bake at 385 degrees until light brown and cheese is bubbly.  

You can really make this your own, you like more sauce use more sauce, or cheese even, if you want to stack 3 high then stack 3 high.  These a great meal served with a simple salad on the side.

Enjoy!!!

 

You Say Tomato I Say Tomahto!!

25 Comments

Tomatoes, who has tomatoes…I DO!!!!!!!!
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My Dad’s garden is producing a plenty, his plants are 8 feet tall and going wild!!!

I have a few pictures here from the beginning stages, they are about 5 to almost 6 foot at this point,
my Dad here is growing, leaf lettuce, kale, peppers, cucumbers, onions, green beans, eggplants and of course Tomatoes!!!
There maybe be more he grows but I can remember, I do know he has another patch that asparagus is in and the green house that things grow too…

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but I just decided to write this blog about tomatoes last night, so I don’t have recent pictures of it🙂 these picture were about the 2nd week of June

So I have been eating a lot of tomatoes lately, but they have really only been from my Dad’s, I don’t buy them usually, but I do love when I get them from him and his garden.

As anyone knows they just taste better than you can get in the store and it’s really the only eat time I do eat them.
My Mom and Dad will freeze them, stew them, roast them, sauce them, slice them for BLT (which I think they east daily during the summer) and chop them for salads.  Plus whatever else they do with them🙂

I on the other hand I tend to eat them a little differently🙂

First I blanch them and remove the skins, I have issues with the skins, that’s all I will say🙂

Here are a few pictures of ways that I have enjoyed using my Dad’s fresh tomatoes from his garden.

I hope you will enjoy too!!!

Making sauce, in my Vitamix are tomatoes, roasted garlic, some Italian herbs, red pepper flakes and salt.
The Vitamix will also cook it too you let it run about 5-7 minutes and you have hot soup or sauce🙂

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Mixing it all up

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Freezing some for winter🙂

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Cooking some down too

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This is the cherry tomatoes, sauteed with garlic, onions and spinach
tossed with the pasta, then fold in some fresh mozzarella pearls
then a drizzle of some balsamic glaze…Delish!!!!

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My all time favorite thing in the world is
Polenta with fresh tomatoes and a poached egg!!!
This is heaven for me!!!

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another day again…YUMMY!!!

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This is my FBT…Fake bacon and tomato😛

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Ran out of the cornmeal to make polenta
So I made couscous instead…Delish too!!!

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This was last night’s dinner
tomatoes, roasted garlic tossed with pasta and some fresh mozzarella cubes
I was talking about making this a work…so ladies this is what I made…simple and quick🙂

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Oh and here is the kale and I made some kale chips…very good with a
sprinkle of kosher salt and garlic powder🙂

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Here are couple of links of 2 more of my blogs that I used tomatoes in the past
First up is my Tomato Cobbler – this turned out really really good so if you
want something a little different try this recipe.

 Second is Orzo Salad with Basil, Tomato & Feta – I made this at one
of my outdoor cooking classes last year.

Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone!!!

What’s next here hopefully sooner than later
my trip to Bourbon Country🙂
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It Was An All-Star Week!!!!

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Well if you are not a sports fan and don’t live in Cincinnati, then you may not even know what I am talking about🙂 but for a year the city has been planning for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.

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Let me say the city was crazy, I did go downtown a couple of days but if you didn’t get down there early to find a parking space, lot or garage it was nuts.  So to say the least I just drove around and then went back across the river😛

But the Home Run Derby was exciting since Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds won it this year!!!

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammate National League All-Star Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds after winning the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 554358169 ORIG FILE ID: 480626732

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with the trophy after winning the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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All and all I think Cincinnati and Northern Ky. did an outstanding job hosting this years All-Star Game.

I did take some pictures, I have some here that friends took as well, but as I say it was an “All-Star Week”

There were are couple birthdays in our family and of course I made a few things, so check out my pictures and enjoy!!!

First of the birthdays was my little niece I made cupcakes🙂

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She likes presents and bubbles🙂

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Around town they made these mustaches statues here are few of them

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download

here is the picture of all of them that they made, pretty cool🙂
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Here are few of my souvenirs

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Buskin Bakery made the cookies got to love that!!

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Here are some pictures of the Red Carpet Parade,
the players start at their hotel and end at the ball park, all on red carpet🙂
Grand Marshall – Barry Larkin

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Mr. Red and Gapper

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Rosie Red

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Some other mascots

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Todd Frazier and his family

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You can see on Todd’s hand the blisters from the Home Run Derby🙂

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Few other Players🙂

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Some of the city skyline and downtown

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yes they had a zipline too

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My All-Star Pizza, half spinach & garlic
other half was spinach, Gorgonzola cheese,
sliced almonds, sliced strawberries and
balsamic glaze…so so GOOD!!!

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The other birthday was my Mommy!!🙂

I made her cookies peanut butter with no flour🙂

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Dinner – Braised Short Ribs, butter noodles and carrots🙂

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Peach Ice Cream (I just scooped some out to take the picture)
she took the Ice Cream, cookies all home🙂

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And for actual dessert I made Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting😛

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I must say I agree is was an All-Star Week🙂

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