Autumn Travels

Autumn always seems to be a busy time for us. Mike goes back to school ( to teach) and until recently I would go back as well to study.Now traveling has been added to our fall activities list! These are short trips but trips nonetheless.  Earlier in September we traveled to Madison for Megan and Bryan’s wedding.

Last weekend we went up to Minnesota to visit my family. It was so nice to see them! Even if it was only for one full day 😦  We spent most of the time eating my Mom’s delicious food and catching up on each other’s lives. Andre’s girlfriend Sam stopped by Sat night with her friend Jessica and joined us for dinner. I have enjoyed getting to know her  a little better with each visit to MN 🙂

Next weekend I am heading to Door County for the annual girls trip. All the women in Mike’s family go to Door County, WI every October for a weekend of shopping and food! This will be my 4th year going, I already have my list of stores I want to go to and ingredients I need to bring. I am planning on making 3 dishes that weekend and I thought I’d share the recipes with you here. Two I found on blogs I follow and one I got from my Mom. They are great for group gatherings and have already given me many happy memories with my loved ones. Enjoy!

Fruit Salsa w/ Homemade Cinnamon & Sugar Chips

1 fuji apple, peeled, cored, diced

1 cup sliced strawberries

2 kiwis, peeled and diced

2 bananas, peeled and sliced

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 tbsp white sugar

1 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp fruit preserves, any flavor

In a medium bowl, mix together fruit, lime juice, white & brown sugar, fruit preserves. Cover & chill in the refrigerator approx. 20 min. Preheat oven to 375. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven 8-10 min. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approx. 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Overnight Pecan French Toast

1 loaf cinnamon bread, sliced

6 eggs

1 & 1/2 cups milk

1 & 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

Topping~

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

Arrange bread in a lightly greased 13×9 pan, set aside. In a bowl, beat together eggs, milk, half-and half, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and cinnamon, pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, combine the topping mixture, pour over toast. Bake at a preheated 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Hot Dip

2lb lean ground beef

2 rolls Jimmy Dean Sausage ( 1 regular, 1 hot)

1 can Jalapenos

1 can green chiles

1 small can tomato paste

1 large can tomato sauce ( Hunt’s or another thinner plain style)

2 lb Velveeta Cheese

Brown meats. Add all other ingredients except cheese. Mix well and let simmer a bit. Add cheese ( cut up into small pieces) and mix over heat until cheese is melted. Serve in small crock pot to keep warm.

Happy Birthday to my Joyful Hubby

Mike turned 29 this Thursday making this his  GOLDEN Birthday! It is hard to believe how fast this past year has gone! Time flies when you are living a life of love and happiness with your best friend 🙂 I feel like the luckiest girl to be married to my best friend! I thank God for him everyday! He brings so much JOY into my life. It is a reason I wanted to spend my days with him when I was only twenty years old years old, and is a reason why I look forward to spending the rest of our days together. He is always optimistic and making me laugh.

I love that he brings joy both in our home and wherever he goes.
And I love that I get to spend the rest of my life with joyful hubby 🙂

It is fitting that Michael’s golden birthday is in 2011 because 11 is his lucky number. So far in 2011 the Packers won the Super Bowl, I graduated from UW-Milwaukee and Mike got his Special Ed teaching licence, we got married, went to Mexico, started new jobs, and the Brewers won the division. Needless to say 2011 has been treating us well!

Since his birthday was on a Thursday, we turned it into a week-long celebration of several festivities starting with the last Brewer’s game of the season on Wed. Our Brother- in- law Kurt got us 4 tickets to go to the game and we invited our friends Ty and Casey.  We had a great time with them cheering our Brew Crew onto another win!
Mike with Ty and Casey

Thursday night I was planning on taking Mike out to dinner at his favorite restaurant La Fuente. Mexican food is his favorite and they had recently opened another one near our house. Unfortunately the power went out in our neighborhood that day from a storm and the restaurant was closed.

Instead we went to another one of his favs Bigg’s Road House.Later that night I made him Golden Graham Smore’s Bars.

  1. Grease 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. Heat syrup, butter and morsels to boiling stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.
  4. Pour over cereal in bowl, toss until coated.
  5. Fold in marshmallows 1 cup at a time.
  6. Press into pan with buttered back of spoon.
  7. Let stand 1 hour.
  8. Cut into 2 inch squares.
  9. Store at room temperature.

Friday night we went to a concert at the Riverside Theater with Ty and Casey and ran into so many of our friends! It was so fun to have everyone together seeing live music 🙂 Tonight we are watching the Wisconsin vs. Nebraska college football game and tomorrow we are going to game two of the Brewer’s post season! Happy Birthday love! Te amo meu amor, parabens!