NYE Shenanigans

We had a couple of friends who hosted New Year’s Eve parties so we didn’t end up having our own party. Jay and Becca invited us to Sumo the day of but we were already committed. I think this was one of the few times that we didn’t ring in the New Year with the Dills.

Anyway, Jen and Armando hosted a fabulous NYE party with lots of amazing food. Click left and right on the photo above to see some of the dishes we enjoyed that night.

As much as we wanted to stay, we eventually had to bail after a couple of hours to attend the Elrond’s NYE house party, which was actually the first NYE party invitation that we accepted. It’s just a shame that we could not squeeze in all three NYE celebrations that night.

It was Elrond’s first party at his place so it was like a house warming party of sorts. It just so happened to fall on NYE. Anyway, he gave us a grand tour of the place. It’s actually very nice.

The house is in College Hill but it’s been renovated quite nicely. The kitchen has been updated with granite counter tops. Despite all of the improvements and updates throughout the house, which were well done by the way, the house still maintains it College Hill charm. It’s a really cool and perfect for someone like Elrond for sure!

Elrond who’s still getting settled in his new place had this large frame resting on the fireplace mantle. Brian was like, “Someone stole your picture!” In reality Elrond just hadn’t decided what painting to frame. Yes, ladies, this guy paints, makes furniture, lives a healthy/active lifestyle, and has a good job.

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Before the rest of this blog post turns into an online dating ad, I wanted to share a photo that we took with the frame because it was just begging to be played with. LOL. Brian and I bailed around a little before eleven thirty so we could be home in time to ring in the New Year at home our own way. We have a “special” tradition.

As we were saying goodbye to everyone, Melissa asked if we were bailing to go to party #3. I explained that we had to be home before midnight.

She came to my Zumba class this morning and told me about all the shenanigans that happened after we left. Sounds like we missed a great time. She did say that Andrea explained our “tradition” or why we had to leave.

I really wish we could have stayed because it looked like the fun started after midnight (based on the Facebook photos, anyhow). I guess we could have left and then come back, but Brian and I didn’t want to stay out too late either because we also have a tradition of getting up early and putting in a few hours of work on New Year’s Day.

On the bright side, Elrond had such a blast that he’s decided to host a house party every month. Sounds good to me. I love parties! And the best part is that we won’t have to bail early next time.

All American Diner

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All American Diner on Urbanspoon

We got to try All American Diner when we were in Oklahoma last Saturday. It was a beautiful day for a drive. Temperatures almost reached 60.

All American Diner offers great value for the price, but it’s definitely no Livingston’s. I can relate to the mixed reviews on Urbanspoon. I had the chicken fried chicken meal and it was just okay and my sweet tea tasted a little odd. Although, it’s good food relative to the price so you get excellent value.

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After lunch we went to check out CHEF’STORE, where Brian found this giant immersion blender. We also stocked up on mixers. That place is awesome!

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While we may not be going back for All American Diner, we’ll definitely be going back to CHEF’STORE to pick up some supplies! LOL.

Breakfast with Grandma

Brian and I took grandma to breakfast at Livingston’s Diner last weekend. It was her first time there. She got the Mickey Mouse breakfast, which she seemed to enjoy.

My favorite thing to get there is their corned beef hash.

There’s not many restaurants or diners here in town that serve it.

Livingston's Diner on Urbanspoon

Mmmm… Homemade biscuits and gravy.

I didn’t get any pictures of our cinnamon roll because we annihilated it. The cinnamon roll disappeared from our table almost as soon as it arrived. How can you pass up their yummy cinnamon rolls, though? I would eat a dozen of them in one sitting if I could.

We got grandma a cinnamon roll to go also so she could have some at home later that day also. I think she really liked Livingston’s Diner. At least I hope she did. It’s probably one of my most favorite places to eat breakfast here in town.

Bruff’s in Emporia

We had our department holiday luncheon last week at Bruff’s in Emporia.

We all got smartphone gloves for Christmas. I love, love, love mine!

I have to post a couple of pictures of food, of course.

Bruff's on Urbanspoon

We have teammates from all over, mostly Topeka and Wichita, so we decided to cut the difference and have our holiday luncheon in Emporia. There are not many restaurants to choose from in Emporia so we ended up at Bruff’s. The place is kind of out of the way and weird. I think they used to be located downtown, but there was a fire and they had to move. Now the restaurant is housed in a metal building. Don’t let the unusual exterior fool you, though. The restaurant has an extensive menu and I’ve heard their burgers are pretty darn good. I think that’s what I should have ordered. Instead I ordered a salmon, which was just okay. My mashed potatoes and green beans were just okay too.

Bruff’s was a good choice for our team but I’m not sure that I’d actually go out of my way to go there. And, if do, I’m probably getting a burger next time instead.

First Time at N & J Café

Pictures from our first time at N & J Café…

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Yanila and Paul both had the crazy strong coffee.

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This is a photo of my chicken and artichoke wrap with a double side of hummus.

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Brian had the chicken shawarma. Another thing we got to try from their menu is the Mediterranean chicken wings appetizer. It was yummy. Thank you to Carla and Paul for ordering it and sharing.

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This is Christina’s tabouli and large plate of hummus.

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I think this is the mixed grill.

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I had flan for dessert. I just couldn’t pass it up.

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N & J Cafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon

The highlight of the evening had to be the dancer. I had no idea that they had dancers perform at the restaurant every Saturday night.

The dancer is actually a good friend of my friend Christina so she came by our table several times during dinner. She bantered with Paul quite a bit and actually got him to dance with her. I’m so glad that Paul has a lucrative career because he definitely cannot dance for a living. LOL.

Dinner was actually a lot of fun. Brian and I still like MIF Deli better, but the food there is pretty good and the live entertainment is a bonus. I would return to N & J again. Thank you so much to Christina for organizing dinner. Had it not been for her we wouldn’t have had reason to try N & J Café.

Being Bad with Brian

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Brian and I had brunch at Livingston’s Diner last Saturday. There’s very few places in town that serve corned beef hash and that’s one thing that I really like about Livingston’s. They’re also known for their delicious cinnamon rolls. They don’t skimp on the icing either.

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Livingston's Diner on Urbanspoon

The one thing that isn’t pictured is my hot chocolate with whipped cream. The hot chocolate itself was just okay but the whipped cream was amazing. They make it themselves so it’s “real” whipped cream. It’s the most delicious whipped cream I’ve had in a while. It was so good that I was tempted to ask for a cupful of it. Seriously.

Livingston’s Diner has been and will always be one of my favorite places to eat breakfast; hands down. If I’m going to be bad and eat unhealthy food, I’m going to Livingston’s.

Thanksgiving 2013

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Brian’s parents who normally host Thanksgiving moved to Oklahoma during the week of Thanksgiving so we ended up hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year. Neither Brian nor I really cook so we went the easy route and ordered our holiday dinner from Fresh Market. It was a good move because the meal was delicious!

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We had both ham and turkey, whipped potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn soufflé, green beans, cranberry relish, and yeast rolls. Chad made scalloped potatoes and deviled eggs. Mom made lumpia. Brian made chocolate cobbler and we didn’t burn them this time. LOL. Everything was really good but the corn soufflé was clearly the star of the show. I’m not much into corn bread, but the corn soufflé was sweet and cake-like. I’m never eating corn bread ever again. Corn soufflé all the way. LOL.

Oh, and Brian’s mom left her buffet servers so after reheating everything in the oven we use the buffet servers to keep them warm. It worked out perfect. I’m thinking we may use these again come Christmas time. Speaking of, time to start planning the menu but, knowing us, we’ll probably just end up going through Fresh Market again.

Birthday Lunch with Becca

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We finally got a chance to catch up with our buys pals, the Dills, last week. We met Jay, Becca, Addi, and Mama Dill for a late lunch at Red Robin.

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It was a real treat seeing Addi. We played a few rounds of Go Fish.

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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers on Urbanspoon

She is such a cutie. Oh, and we are both hooked on the freckled lemonade. LOL.

It’s been a few years since Brian and I have eaten at Red Robbin. It’s just not conducive to dieting. I mean, how can you resist the bottomless fries and the free refills on freckled lemonade. I can never get out of there without consuming at least a few thousand calories.

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We were finally able to give Jay and Becca their housewarming present which we’d had for several weeks but hadn’t been able to give to them because we couldn’t find a good time to get together. Anyway, it ended up doubling as a birthday present. I joked that if we waited just a few more weeks it could be their Christmas present as well. LOL. Yup. Just in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a cheapskate. Not quite as bad as bad as the people on the Extreme Cheapskates TV show on TLC but I do have some miserly ways.

Farewell Dinner at Longhorn

Brian’s parents treated us to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse on Sunday night. It actually should have been the other way around but they insisted.

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Brian and I had never been to Longhorn before. This was our first trip. They were off to a rocky start when they asked us to wait to be seated when there were several vacant tables throughout the restaurant. I’m not sure what was going on there.

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We had some of their pretzels with the beer infused cheese dip while we waited for our entrees. It was pretty good. What I liked most about them is that they were super salty so I didn’t need to salt them.

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I can’t remember what this salad is called. It had apple chips and bacon and a tangy dressing. It was decent, but I don’t think Brian liked it.

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I took a picture of the bread because I take pictures of everything, specially if it’s a restaurant that I’ve never tried before.

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We should have stopped at the salads. Alas, eating healthy was not meant to be.

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Brian and I decided to keep the calories and cost down by sharing an entree.

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He had the filet and the baked potato while I had the lobster and shrimp mac and cheese portion of the entree. I had a bite Brian’s steak which I thought was good, but he was unimpressed.

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LongHorn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

The food was just okay over all. If we’d been there before, I don’t think I would have picked it. It’s just not the kind of restaurant that I would go out of my way to dine at. I do think it’s better than Outback, but I wouldn’t eat at Outback either. LOL.

At least our server Damian was great. He was friendly and attentive. His service elevated our dining experience. If we ever go back, I’m asking for his section.

Leftover Stew

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One of the dinners Donna made while she and David were staying with us was beef stew. She made a ton so we had plenty of leftovers. I was starving after I got home from my Sunday morning workout with Val so I rummaged through the fridge and decided to heat up some of the left over beef stew. While I was rummaging through the fridge I also found our leftover shrimp so I went ahead and tossed it in there. Voila! Leftover stew. It was actually really good. I wouldn’t mind having it again.

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