Category Archives: Brunch

Buffets and Engagement Parties

It was a pretty leisurely weekend over here. I ate a lot. It’s a good thing I have still been seeing Gillian and have two appointments with her this week (I will post an update about that because I have been making some progress!).

On Friday Evan and I had a romantic date night at Chef India, an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet…

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I had read that there was an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet near me and Evan thought it sounded too good to be true and that such deliciousness couldn’t possibly exist, so I had to prove it. They had quite an ample selection. But all-you-can-eat Indian is really just one plate (but a big plate) for me because Indian food is very filling. I was dying after that plate. We came back to my place after and watched the 6th Harry Potter movie and were asleep by 11pm. Pretty good night.

And we had some more all-you-can-eat buffet action at the Golden Griddle on Sunday morning.

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It reminded me of hungover breakfasts in my college days. I haven’t been to Golden Griddle in years! Anyway, stuffed my face once again and afterwards went back to Evan’s and promptly had a two-hour nap.

On Sunday night Evan made me dinner, and it was significantly more healthy than the rest of our meals this weekend. To start he made one of his grandma’s famous soups that has these dumplings made with egg, cream of wheat, and parmesan cheese in the broth…

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Interesting combination, but it was heavenly

And then he grilled steak while I cut vegetables for salad (I’m very helpful).

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Evan tossed the salad though, since he is an oil and vinegar dressing pro. Everything was delicious.

Saturday was the most exciting day of my weekend. My oldest friend Emily recently got engaged to her longtime lover Corey (as you may know), and Emily’s parents hosted an engagement party for them.

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Such lovers. They just warm my heart. And isn’t Corey handsome? We always tell him that he is classically handsome like George Clooney.

The party was at Emily’s childhood home, out in the boonies near where I gew up!

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It should be noted that this was Winnie’s birthplace 20 years ago. She lived in that barn at the very back of the picture until I got her as a young kitty when she was old enough to leave her mom. Barn cats are sturdy, let me tell you. 20 years later and she is still a spry minx!

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I did just find out from the vet yesterday that she has Stage 2 (out of 4) kidney disease, but apparently it’s not as bad as it sounds and it’s manageable (I have ordered her special food). The vet says it’s possible for Winnie to live for several more healthy years. Fingers crossed. And that’s the only health issue she’s really ever had, so she is a lucky kitty. She reminds me of my Nana.

Anyway, back to engagement activities. All my best pals from high school were in attendance.

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Except for Crystal because she lives in Calgary, but Emily had printed her photo and brought it around for pictures, so it was almost like she was there.

And the lads were present as well, including Evan.

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He liked to wear my nametag in addition to his own.

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I’m pretty sure he is just going to have to take my last name. If his last  name was Lindseyoff I would be all over that!

The party was outdoors and luckily it was a beautifully sunny day. It was pretty nice in the sunshine, but since it has become fall overnight it was COLD in the shade, and even colder when the sun went down. But by then there was a bonfire, so that was a good time.

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I have discovered where Emily gets her party hosting skills from.

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The picture clothesline was a nice touch

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There was even a DJ who played karaoke. I am pretty sure he was the only one who sang, but he sang beautifully. By that point it was nearly dark so we were all over by the fire.

It was a fun night with fun people!

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I love Emily’s parents. They are just a good time. Her dad is especially hilarious and asked Evan and I if we would be sleeping over so we could break into the whiskey with him. Sadly we had to leave that night, but next time. Next time for sure because I have a feeling I will be a part of a lot of wedding shenanigans. Emily asked me to be a bridesmaid! She gave all her bridesmaids a Ring Pop and a wedding themed movie with a little note that said “Now it’s my turn to pop the question, will you be my bridesmaid?” It was really cute.

I am so happy for these two and I can’t wait to be a part of their big day. And the fun activities leading up to it.

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Ah, young love.

Painting + Brunching + Leisuring

On Friday night, we made the trip once again up to Evan’s cottage to finish all the work we had started last weekend. Thankfully the floors were now done, so all that was left was painting. We had the same painting crew as last weekend, plus Brotherman’s fiancée Kelly, so with all of us and our brushes the time flew by and we are done everything except the bathrooms and kitchen. Including the popcorn ceiling in the living/dining room (the most annoying I would say). Success.

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Yep, we paint with beer. It makes it way more fun, like a painting party. We were happy painters.

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Just happy painters all around.

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Oh wait.

Evan and I actually had to leave  around 4pm on Saturday because we had my good friend Emily’s 30th birthday barbecue to attend. So we got all cleaned up and headed over to that, and it was the most fun break of all time. More on that later though, because it needs a separate post.

On Sunday morning we were back at the cottage for more leisurely shenanigans. And it was actually a nice day! Surprise! We also had a couple of things to celebrate, Brotherman and Kelly’s impending nuptials (yayyyy lovers!), and also Kelly’s birthday.

So we all headed to the Victoria Inn in Gores Landing to get our celebration brunch on.

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It was so nice. Just the cutest little inn ever. The eight of us sat on the gorgeous back patio, which had a very nice view of the lake.

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Well, if that tree wasn’t in the way it would.

It was a big party of lovers. We had Kelly and Michael (Brotherman), the guests of honour…

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Evan’s cousin Barb and her husband Brian…

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Don’t Barb and Evan look alike? I think they do!

Evan and I…

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With our mimosas.

And the ultimate lovers, Evan’s Uncle Gino and Auntie Eedie.

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Who are great. Uncle Gino makes me laugh hard.

Nearly all of us ordered the sweet potato soup and the pan-fried Cajun pickerel.

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No regrets here. Both were delicious. My dad used to make the most amazing pickerel ever (breaded with Cornflakes!) and it didn’t quite compare to that, but it was still really good and I enjoyed it.

Kelly’s vegetarian plate looked pretty great as well.

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I had apple crisp with ice cream for dessert, but I accidentally deleted my picture of it, so here’s Barb’s blue cheese dessert plate with ice wine.

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I thought that blue cheese was the only kind of cheese I didn’t like but oh boy was I wrong. I think I just don’t like it in sauce form, because I loved that blue cheese!

It was a really great brunch, with lots of toasting to Brotherman and Kelly.

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I should mention that almost Evan’s entire family (and his friends) call him The Porpoise, or Porpy, or Porp because he was such a graceful swimmer when he was younger. Aww, haha. It is a funny nickname, and I am pretty much the only one who calls him Evan. It’s also funny because my parents used to call me Mermaid because I liked swimming so much (no one said I was graceful).

Anyway, after brunch we headed back to the cottage for some leisuring. I immediately set up shop in that hammock, right by the lake.

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So super comfy. Uncle Gino brought over a second hammock and set it up so I had some company…

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And this was my view as I drifted off to sleep.

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Perfect. It may have been the best nap of my life.

It was just an excellent weekend all around. And I’m hoping the nicer weather is finally here to stay.

The Bestie Weekend

I have been looking forward to this past weekend  for months. My very best friend (since Grade 3!) Lisa was visiting from Calgary!

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Reunited

I have talked about Lisa many times before, and I most recently saw her around Halloween when she was last in town (which was too long ago!). She was only here for the weekend, and I feel like I just got to see her and then she had to leave again, but it was great to catch up even for a short time. And I know I’ll see her this summer, so this thought consoles me.

Her mom (who I would consider my second mom) dropped her off at my pad Saturday afternoon so we could have a little bestie catch-up time before the rest of our friends arrived later. Lisa and I seem to go through the same major life events around the same time, even though we are so far apart. We both lost our jobs around the same time, started new jobs around the same time, left those new jobs around the same time, and started newer jobs around the same time. We even ended our past long-term relationships around the same time, and started dating our current lovers around the same time. All without even talking to each other about it until after it was happening. It’s weird, but somehow we are very in sync. And I could talk to her for hours and hours about the most random things.

My friend Emily arrived a couple hours later, after some drama downtown. I guess she was on a bus and a fight broke out, so she had to get off. I got a random text from her saying “There was a fight on the bus so I got off. I’m getting a ride there,” which may have been the most random text I’ve ever received as she didn’t mention who was giving her a ride here. Lisa and I were wondering if maybe she was getting a ride from the winner of the fight? Anyway, I didn’t know how to respond to that. It turned out she got a ride with her boyfriend’s friend though, who happened to be downtown, so it was all good.

After she arrived safely, the three of us went out for sushi.

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We went to Echo Sushi, which I recently visited (and blogged about), and it was just as good as the first time. That brown rice sushi is my favourite! I didn’t eat quite as much as the last time I was there, but I still left feeling pretty full.

We waddled back to my apartment just in time to meet up with the rest of the girls for a night on the town. It seems to be the theme whenever Lisa is visiting. Or even when I am visiting her.

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All my high school lovers (minus our friend Crystal, who also lives in Calgary), plus my friend Sherrie who I went to Journalism school with.

We went to a pub called The Unicorn, which I have never been to before, and which has an actual unicorn.

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Which makes sense. If you’re going to call yourself The Unicorn, you better have a unicorn. That unicorn looked like it was having some horn issues though… I think it needs a makeover.

The Unicorn wasn’t all that busy, and probably would not have been a ton of fun had we not had the resources to make our own party. But of course, we did.

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I am clawing Lisa’s arm because obviously I don’t want her to leave.

We are quite a big fan of glasses, as you may know, and Sherrie brought a few new pairs for us all…

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I seem to have missed the tongue memo.

It was a fun time with the ladies.

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We ended our night at Philthy McNasty’s, which is basically just how it sounds…

On Sunday Lis and I slept in a little bit before meeting up with our friend Matt…

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And Evan!

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The four of us had a brunch date.

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We went to Bamburger, which I have been to for brunch at least twice before and have always been very impressed with. Not on this day. My coffee was burnt, my toast was burnt, my peameal bacon was a very sad portion, and it took forever. I did really like our server though, so that redeemed it slightly. Hopefully they were just having a bad day. But if it happens again I’m writing a letter.

And then sadly it was time for Lisa to go back to Cowtown, so Evan and I dropped her off at the airport for her 5pm flight.

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I look happy, but I am sad.

I was really excited for those two to finally meet!

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Aww, my two faves. I knew they would like each other.

And that was basically my weekend. Definitely a good one, and much too short.

How to Gain 10lbs in One Weekend

It is very, very easy. Allow me to demonstrate.

I recommend starting your weekend off right with a huge burrito bowl for lunch on Friday.


That was deeeeelicious. And don’t be fooled by the lettuce. That bowl also included rice, chicken, pinto and black beans, corn, cheese, two kinds of salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. So basically everything you can possibly put in a burrito bowl. I do not mess around.

Next, hopefully one of your friends will have a little potluck gathering pre-bar and will make an amazing dip that you can eat for hours and hours.

That was probably the best spinach and artichoke dip I have ever eaten. Huge credit to my friend Lauren for that warm and creamy deliciousness. I couldn’t get enough.

And if you are out with friends who you haven’t seen for six years and you don’t want the party to end, you should definitely hit up a 24-hour diner that serves everything imaginable. And poutine is always, ALWAYS a good idea, no matter what time it is (even at 3am).

I had some help finishing that, because right before I filled up with this:

A chocolate shake and poutine seemed like a really great combination when I spotted them both on the menu. And actually, my instincts were not wrong. No regrets here.

If it’s a beautiful day on Saturday, you should probably take advantage and sit out on a patio. And it’s hard to sit on a patio and not order food when everyone else around you is…

So that explains this:

I’m not sure if you’re supposed to share that, but I ate the entire thing.

And then when the people at the table next to you order the most ridiculous waffle you’ve ever seen and your eyes almost fall out of your head and you start salivating uncontrollably, you obviously have to order it too…

Because not ordering that would have been an absolute tragedy. I would have thought about it and regretted it for at least the next week. Possibly even the rest of my life. But I did split that with my friend Rebecca, so don’t worry, I didn’t get too crazy.

Oh, and you should also go out for brunch.

Twice.

After all, it’s the best meal of the day!

And you should probably drink.

Yeah, definitely need to drink.

Quite a lot.

(Best mojito I have ever had.)

And that should do it. I haven’t weighed myself, but if I’ve gained 10 pounds since Friday because of my gluttonous antics I would not be surprised. Though one of my goals since I moved to the city was to try out different restaurants, so I feel I made a decent dent in that this weekend.

Now please excuse me while I go and lie in my bed of shame. Ohh just kidding! I ran this morning. All good.

I hope you guys had a great weekend, filled with amazing eats. I had a really, really amazing one, so I still have some recapping I want to do. But for now, enjoy the food porn!

Island Adventuring

We had the day to kill on Saturday, as the wedding didn’t start until later, so Eric and I decided to rent bikes and explore Quadra Island.

I had grossly underestimated the size of the island. I kind of had the image in my head before we arrived of it just being the resort and a marina, with maybe some forest. But there was a small town (like four stores), and people live there (it has a population of nearly 2,500 according to Wikipedia). Even though we were biking for two hours we didn’t quite get to explore the entire thing. It was really hilly also. MAN it was hilly.

You can see Eric huffing and puffing up the hill in the background. I had to abandon my bike a few times to walk.

I’m eating like an absolute champ around here so it was nice to squeeze in something active.

We also did some general exploring around the resort, and Eric found a friend.

Eric the Eagle!

I am not sure how Eric the Eagle and Eric the Man both had nametags… Such a coincidence.

Sunday morning (Canada Day!) we woke up basically just in time to make it to brunch, and rolled ourselves out of bed and into the lodge for some food.

I saw this along the way:

And it made me laugh, because that man kind of looks like Richard Dreyfuss, and that is absolutely the shirt he let Bill Murray borrow in What About Bob.

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I saw some of our family and friends in the restaurant, so we did the ol’ “how are you feeling this morning?” thing, and regaled each other with tales of what time we eventually went to sleep after the wedding. And then I loaded up my plate with buffet goodness…

And then Eric and I waddled back to our room for a nap.

We awoke about an hour later feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. We took the water shuttle from our resort to Painter’s Lodge to see what kind of activities were going on for Canada Day.

We do actually say ‘eh’ a lot in Canada. That is one thing that is not just a stereotype. It’s when you ask a question and you want someone’s feedback, like “Wow, that’s a beautiful sunset, eh?” I don’t think there is any other word that works as well as ‘eh’ does in this context, so I fully embrace saying it. How else would I end my questions, eh?

Anyway, we immediately saw this when we docked at Painter’s Lodge.

That’s a big salmon, eh?! Campbell River is known as the salmon capital of the world (self-proclaimed, I am pretty sure), and Painter’s Lodge resort is famous for its fishing. They have these stations set up right on the dock so they can clean the fish immediately. And if you are staying there and catch a fish, the resort staff will clean it, cook it, smoke it, or freeze it for you so you can either eat it there or take it home.

We also saw a ton of seals. The salmon guts go right back into the water so the seals pretty much stalk the dock for food. I didn’t get a decent picture of them, but they were cute. They reminded me of my cat Winnie.

After Eric made another new friend…

We picked up our car and headed to downtown Campbell River to check out the Canada Day festivities.

We found a parade!

And it reminded me of the parades that used to happen in my hometown, with random vehicles decorated, and tractors.

We also came across a market on the water with tons of vendor booths selling various jewelry, pottery, and other knick-knacks. And they had a few authentic European food stations set up, so I made a beeline for the pierogies as soon as I saw them.

They weren’t quite as good as our Ukrainian Nana’s homemade pierogies, but they were still delicious. And that coleslaw was actually pretty good also, and I usually am not a fan of that stuff.

We perused the market for a bit, before continuing down the water to the historical pier.

There were a lot of boats. Boats everywhere!

So many clouds also. It was overcast and chilly. But we still wanted ice cream, so we got some from a little shop on the pier and sat down to take in the view.

And then we headed back to our car and continued along the highway for about 20 minutes to Saratoga Beach.

It was pretty, but man it was cold. I really wanted to swim in the ocean, but it was just too cold. I’m not usually afraid of cold water swimming, but I was already freezing in my jacket. I couldn’t do it. Ah, one day I will swim there.

But we had a good time walking along the beach enjoying the view and looking for crabs and shells.

When we finally got back to our resort, Eric met up with our Dad for an intense game of chess.

Please note the denim on denim. If my dad isn’t wearing a tropical shirt, he is wearing denim.

I watched them for a bit before heading to our room to leisure around. I thought maybe since the chess was life-sized it would make it more exciting to watch. I was wrong.

Later that evening, Eric and I again took the water shuttle into town to meet up with Chrissy, Allie, my aunt, and their friends for dinner at Quay West, a restaurant located right on the ocean with a beautiful patio.

We were also there to see the fireworks display, which were set to go off on the wharf right beside us.

Our reservations were on the patio (for optimal fireworks viewing), and beautiful though the patio was, it was FREEZING. We are Canadian though (eh?!) so we sucked it up. Well, after some of the boys ran home to grab a ton of sweaters to pile on us… Then I sucked it up.

I started with the seafood chowder, mainly to warm me up, but also because I wanted to try the local seafood.

This picture is not doing the chowder justice at all. It was really good, and had tons of seafood in it.

For my main I obviously had to get salmon, since I was in the salmon capital of the world.

It came topped with crab, shrimp, and cheese, alongside corn on the cob and rice. And the salmon was honestly amazing. I was not disappointed.

And I would have gotten dessert, but Eric and I had to book it back to the resort. The fireworks started to go off around 10:20, which was bad timing for us, as we had to take the water shuttle back to our resort and the last boat was at 11. We were only able to stay for a few fireworks before we had to head back. But hey, if this was the only thing to go wrong during our island vacation, I will take it. It was great to see everyone at dinner, and I will take that over the fireworks any day.

And that was our last day at April Point.

(View of the resort from our water shuttle)

I will miss this view from our cabin patio, even with the clouds.

And I will miss these people.

But at least I took a million pictures. I had a great time! And my vacation in the west isn’t over just yet!

The next day we packed up and left for Salmon Arm (where my mom and Eric live, in the BC interior) at 5:30 am, but that is a story for another post.

Hope you guys are all having a good week! And Happy Fourth of July to all my American chums, eh?!

Date and Plate-Filled Weekend

Heyo!

First of all, I think you guys should all check out my guest post on my friend Catherine’s blog Kitten The Cat. I think you will enjoy it even if you are not a cat fan, as it is a pretty funny story about how I accidentally locked my friend Lisa’s cat in my suitcase for three days (ACCIDENTALLY). He was fine, all is well, and you can all laugh guilt-free.

But then come back here because I am not done with you yet.

Um, did Daylight Savings creep up on anyone else? I totally forgot about it until I woke up this morning pleasantly surprised that it was only 8 instead of 9. Hooray for an extra hour of sleep!

Total unhooray for it being dark at 5:30 pm now though. Kind of a bummer because I am a fan of sunshine, but I am not going to let it get to me.

Today was pretty ho-hum around here. House chores and grocery shopping took up most of my day, but I did squeeze in a little gym time – 40 minutes arc trainer + 20 minutes weight machines. It wasn’t a bad little workout, but nothing to really write about.

Mainly I want to talk about yesterday, because it was busy, fun, and packed full of eating.

First we had a little brunch party at Andrew’s parents for his older sister Sharlene’s birthday.

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If you have followed my blog for a while, you probably know that brunch at Ando’s parents is pretty much my favourite thing ever.

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Andy-pop’s family really goes to town in the brunch department. And I go to town filling up my plate.

It’s the least I can do.

New to the brunch spread is this amazing breakfast casserole type thing that Andy’s mom made. It was amazing. It’s on the left, and I don’t know the exact ingredients, but I know it included bread, eggs, cheese, and peameal bacon, so…it included heaven, basically.

And of course I loaded up my plate with the yummy as always Tortilla Orlando at Dawn (bottom of plate).

And then I loaded up with cake and ice cream.

I had to eat and run because I had an afternoon date with my friend Leah and her bridal party (which I am so happy and honoured to be a part of) to go bridesmaid dress shopping!

Edit: I have removed the photo in case we do go with the dress I was wearing, as I am pretty sure Leah wants the choice to be a surprise, and I didn’t think of that when I posted it!

We narrowed it down to three choices, so I’m not sure yet what dress it will be, but they are all beautiful and I would be happy with any of them.

And after dress shopping extravaganza, I had a girls’ date with my high school homies, where we had a ton of girl talk and ate a lot of food.

Some of the highlights:

Crackers with goat cheese, sliced tomato and basil that my friend Joanna made, which were AWESOME. I had about four of those.

Sliced apples with a delicious cream cheese and caramel dip with crumbled Skor bar (Heath bar in the States) that Joanna also made, and I was hoping it was going to make an appearance because it is so good. I need to remember to make this the next time I need an appy.

Chocolate and peanut butter chip (!!!) cookies.

And my fave…

Joanna’s mom’s KILLER apple crisp. The apple crisp I made a few weeks ago absolutely pales in comparison to this deliciousness. Remember when I said Joanna’s mom used to make this when we were in high school and send it along with Joanna to school to give to me because she knew I loved it so much? Her recipe has not changed at all, and it was just as good as I remembered. I die for this apple crisp.

I filled my plate up several times with goodies.

My friend Emily also made a really good roasted red pepper and artichoke dip that included red peppers, artichoke hearts, banana peppers and cream cheese (on the crackers to the right) that I think I will also have to recreate.

I was a bad friend and did not contribute anything to our appetizer party. Not to worry though, I will get them next time.

Definitely a weekend filled with treats, but the rest of my eats were the usual healthy fare.

I am off to watch The Walking Dead and prepare for the week ahead! Have a great night!