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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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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Summer Cooking Class Series!!

16 Comments

Yes I know I have been a little “MIA” lately!!!

But this summer has been busy and I can’t believe its JULY!!!! 
I have my hand in so many different little things that I am just so busy and it’s been hard to find the time to blog.  Plus I have not been cooking anything really good for myself, so hence no blogs.

But I did finish a couple weeks ago a cooking class series that I did in 3 of our stores 🙂

They all turned out great, a lot of grilling and a few out of the box recipes, beer sampling with one too!!

Here are a few pictures of the dishes and the crowds, it was a great time and I had a LOT of help from some of GREAT co-workers.

I hope you enjoy!!!

Grilled Fruit Pizza – naan bread, Camembert cheese, blackberries, strawberries, basil and balsamic glaze

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Grilled Asian Corn with peanuts

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Grilled Watermelon with arugula, feta and balsamic glaze

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Crowd pic

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Veggie Pizza – Garlic naan bread, red pepper hummus, grilled veggies topped with goat cheese

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Grilled pound cake and pineapple

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Grilled German Potato Salad

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Grilled veggies with garlic couscous topped with basil

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crowd pics

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Zucchini & tomato salad with ricotta, Parmesan and pesto

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Hawaiian Rice – cooked in coconut milk, golden raisin, macadamia nuts and green onions

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Mango & pineapple salsa

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Crowd Pics

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Grilled romaine with mango vinaigrette, shredded jicama, pineapple, red pepper and black sesame seeds

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Me – having fun with the microphone….I love being on the Microphone 😛 

Chef Amy

One Lovely Blog Award!!

10 Comments

Recently I was nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award” by Ka@My Uni Kitchen

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Ka has a terffic blog, he has amazing Recipes, How to Guides and Cooking Tips, so please go over to his
blog and check out all those good things he has to offer 🙂

There are few rules to accepting the award you must tell everyone 7 things about yourself and nominate 15 blogs
for the award.

So here we go 🙂

1. I worked on a cruise ship for 6 1/2 years

2. My first career was in Theater Costuming before going into Culinary

4. I love Hockey

5. I worked for our home town Hockey Team by sewing names and numbers on their jerseys

6.  During the baseball season, I am on call for the Cincinnati Reds and the away teams
      that come into town and play the Reds, to sew their uniforms (sewing names & numbers),
      for any last minute call ups.

7.  The most I was ever paid for sewing 1 single uniform for an away team was $100.00
and 
that was for 1 hour of work, that included the call, me driving to the ball park
(i live very close) 
getting in there sewing the name and number and then 
      back in my car.  🙂  

Bonus – here’s the picture 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed the few things that most of you did not know about me 🙂

 

Here are the blogs that I think are fantastic and I give the “One Lovely Blog Award” too

Suzanne@apuginthekitchen

Gretchen@Feeding My 3 Sons

Ginger@Ginger&Bread

Loretta@Safari of the Mind

Angie@The Novice Gardner

Julie@Hostess At Heart

Michelle@Giraffes Can Bake

Suzi@Beach Blanket Bacon

Jhuls@The Not So Creative Cook

Coco@Crafty Little Coco

Lili@Lili’s Cakes

Max@Dante’s Kitchen

Linda@La Petite Paniere

Ms. Frau@Frugal Hausfrau

Petra@Food Eat Love

Vidya and Chitra I added you as well
I know Ka added you to his blog
but I wanted to let you know I love
your blogs too, so you can consider mine
with his 🙂

Vidya@Traditionally Modern Food

Chitra@Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen

Thank you everyone for checking out my blog!!!

 

 

 

Quinoa Burger!!!

7 Comments

Oh its just SOOOO GOOD!!!!

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Yes is really is 🙂  Back in December when I needed to come up with a “Theme” or “product” for my cooking class, one thing came to mind…Quinoa!!

Quinoa I feel is something that people heard of??? But not sure what it is, or what to do with it let alone know how to pronounce it 🙂

Most the time you see a recipe for Quinoa it is in some sort of salad and I just wanted to do more with it.
I’ll say its funny because just a few days before my class and her now a week after I have seen more recipes with Qunioa in it I just had to laugh.

Any way for my class yes I made a burger, I also put it in Minestrone Soup, as a breakfast dish like oatmeal, of course a salad 🙂 and cookies, yes cookies 🙂 with only 4 ingredients 😉

When I make my quinoa, I do 3 to 1, 3 parts water (liquid) to 1 part dry quinoa.  I rinse it really well till the water runs clear, oh and make sure you have fine mesh strainer, you don’t want that tiny seed going down your drain 🙂

I then add it to my pan with the water, I turn it on med-high, uncovered and bring it to a boil.  Once it starts to boil, depending on what I am doing with it, I will then add some flavoring, broth base or seasonings.  I then stir that in reduce the heat to low, cover it and let it go for at least 20 – 30 minutes, again depends on the quantity of quinoa that I use.  The more I have the more time I let it cook, I like mind to kind of get sticky, a little like sticky rice, for my burger I may let it go for a little longer.
Then you just go from there with whatever you are making 🙂

So of course I did not get to take any pictures of my food at my class, I got some picture of the people that came but once I starting cooking it was a little hard 😛 LOL

About my burger, you can make this any flavor you want, once you have the mix add what ever seasonings you want, so the last night when I got home from work I made them 🙂

Of course at the same time I was trying to cook up some things for the week, I made Lentil Soup and a pork tenderloin.  Of course my mind was everywhere and I forgot the beans…yes beans 🙂

So here we go…

Ingredients  – Ouinoa, onion, seasonings,
beef base (optional) and cannellini beans(not pictured)

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I rinsed my quinoa

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Make sure it drained

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I add it to the pan with my water

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Once it boils

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I then add some beef base and cover

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This is almost done

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As you can see the quinoa expand’s and get’s thicker

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At this point I put it on a plate to cool
(if its cool, it’s easier to handle)

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Now the onion in a skillet with a little oil

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Saute up

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add the quinoa, onions, seasonings and beans

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mix together

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then add the cheese

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now make your burgers
Put them in the fridge for a least 2 hours to
help firm up.

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Then cook for about 5 minutes on Medium to Med. High

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Flip it

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add cheese and let melt

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Get you bun ready, of course I toasted my
whole wheat bun added some fresh spinach
and horseradish

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Done and Delicious!!!

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Quinoa Burger

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

8 regular size burgers

1 cup quinoa (red or white)
3 cups water
1 tsp. Better than bullion beef base (optional)
4 tsp. seasoning (I used Grillmates Worcestershire Pub Burger)
1 large onion, chopped and sauteed
1 cup Cannellini beans, drained, rinsed and blended in food processor (you could use the whole can)
1 cup cheese, fancy shredded (any flavor)

Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer until water runs clear, drain, add to med sauce pan with 3 cups water, cook on med-high uncovered.  Once it comes to a boil add beef base, stir and cover, reduce heat to low, cook for 30 minutes or until water is almost gone and quinoa has expanded and is thick, give a few stirs to make sure all water is gone.

Pour out on to a plate and let cool, once cooled, add sauteed onions, blended beans and seasonings, mix very well to blend.  Taste, add more seasonings if needed, then fold in cheese.  Form your burgers and place them on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, put in the fridge for at least 2 hours or longer.

Add oil to skillet add your burgers, cook over med to med-high for about 5 minutes, burger should have a nice brown color like a burger would have 🙂

Flip and then add some cheese on top if you want, cook another 5 minutes or so, add to your bun and dressing with your favorite toppings.  Enjoy!!

At my class I did a BBQ Bacon Cheddar with crispy onion straws 🙂

They all enjoyed it for sure 🙂

Here they are at the class and the crowd that came 🙂

I had to make the burgers in batches, so many came 🙂

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Tailgate Steak Taco!!!

14 Comments

It is that time again, football tailgating season and the die-hard fans are out there supporting their teams 🙂

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This recipe is something that very easy to make, you prep almost all of it the night before and the day of you can just grill it up, slice and serve 🙂

I love cilantro so this has a lot of cilantro in it, but I use angel hair cabbage and made a slaw, then use creamy goat cheese which just made this taco delicious!!

You can some “Roasted Hatch Chilies” I got some sent to me from my cousin’s living in Colorado, they add a wonderful smokey spicy richness to the taco 🙂

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Ingredients for streak marinade

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blend it all in the food processor

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pour all over steak, over night in fridge

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grill it up 

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slice

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Slaw ingredients

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cabbage, jalapenos, scallions and cilantro and mixed together

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 whisk together, cumin, lime juice, lime zest, mayo, milk, agave & sour cream

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pour over cabbage and mix, this can be made the night before

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serve with floured tortilla and top with goat cheese crumbles

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Tailgate Steak Taco

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Marinade

1/4 cup lime juice
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 jalapeno, seeded if you don’t want it spicy

Place all in food processor and blend, pour all over steak and let marinate in fridge 6 hour to over night.

1 Flat Iron Steak

Grilled to medium rare. that is about 6-7 minutes each side over medium high heat.  Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing, slice against the grain.

Slaw

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
juice and zest of 2 limes
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. agave or honey
1-2 tsp. ground cumin (to your taste)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 bunch scallions, tops with a little white only
1 jalapeno, minced (keep seeds if you like it spicy)
1 10-16 oz. package angel hair cabbage
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl toss cabbage, cilantro, scallions and jalapeno, set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together, mayo, sour cream, cumin, lime juice & zest, milk and agave, pour over cabbage and toss to mix, taste and add salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate up to overnight.

Small Flour tortillas
1 container crumbled goat cheese

Serve slaw on tortilla, top with streak slices and goat cheese.  You can have extra cilantro, sliced jalapeno or chiles for people to add.  Enjoy!!

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with the Roasted Hatch Chilies
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My Trip to Chicago!!

15 Comments

 

 

 

 

 

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This past weekend was my birthday and I went to Chicago to Celebrate!!

I went with a friend and we stayed with a friend of ours and her sister.  We had such a wonder time, these are only a third of the pictures I took.

The first night we stayed in and I cooked we had grilled Chicken, grilled zucchini and a grilled asparagus and tomato pasta salad, and they got this awesome Red Velvet Cake that as so so good, I brought the rest back and shared it with a friend and my parents and they all loved it so much said it was so moist and it was even 4 days later.  the picture of me with the silly hat on was funny we all took pictures with it on 🙂

Next day we drove all over, and saw many things like; U.S. Cellular field where the White Sox play, Wrigley Field where the Cubs play, I can remember everything but I tried to take many pictures.  We passed Friday and Saturday the show “Chicago Fire” filming that was really cool.  We went to Millennium Park, they had the coolest light up water feature, with peoples faces, of course we saw “the Bean”.  Downtown we visited my friend at work, she works in the costume shop at the Joffery Ballet, she was working on refurbishing “The Nutcracker” costumes, she made Clara a new skirt, they were on lunch when we popped in, they were having a party for her manager she was leaving that day on maternity leave.  That was nice seeing all the costumes and stuff, we went to Magnolia Bakery, didn’t buy anything 😦 just looked 😛

Had tea at Argo Tea Cafe, walked through Macy’s to buy the famous Frango Mints, and a must go to was Garrett Popcorn, went to Petterino’s for dinner, I had the Maryland Crab cake with roasted corn and red pepper, then I had the Parmesan crusted scallops with green beans.  Then the waitress brought me a birthday dessert and of course it was CHOCOLATE and it was so GOOD!!

Saturday we took a boat tour through the Chicago river then went out onto Lake Michigan that was tour was the best you got to see a lot stuff.  The we went over to Navy Pier and they have a stain glass museum there and then to end the day we went to a Polish restaurant “Staropolska” it was so good, I had the potato pancakes, perogies, potato dumplings and a cabbage roll.

Of course before leaving we stopped at the polish sausage shop and a perogi shop.

What a great trip and what a great way to spend my birthday,

Thank you Mary, Barbara and Mary for making it special for me 🙂

You ladies are Great Friends!!!

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I wanted to buy this ring, but I’d have to sell my house 😛

 

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Oprah lives here

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