happy weekend!

It's gonna be that kind of weekend.

two girls weekends in a row!

My mom and sister came to visit this weekend! Brian went out of town for a guys weekend a the cabin with his brother and dad as part of his birthday celebration. They went to this new zip line course that recently opened in Asheville.
Llyod, Brian & Evan
Look how pretty the leaves are!
When my mom found out I would be in town alone this weekend, she said she would come up for a visit! She drove to Gainesville to pick up Nat, and they got here late Friday night. It had been since 3 months since we had seen each other, so I'm so glad it worked out!

My mom helped me make Magu's famous manicotti for B's belated birthday dinner. This dish is quite a task- it's a day's work, or in our case, a very late night's work. We were up until 2 am, but it was so worth it. This dish is a delicacy in the O'Steen house!
We had lunch at the Highland Bakery. One of my new favorite spots!

Thanks for coming! A relaxing weekend of shopping, trying new restaurants, cooking together, and watching movies was just what we all needed. I am so thankful to have such wonderful family. I wish we lived CLOSER!!! One day!

Happy Birthday Brian!

I met Brian when he was 17. Today he is 27. It's hard to remember what life was like without him. He is a much better person than me... One of the most patient, even-tempered human beings. He makes life happier. I am so glad I married him. I love you, Brian! Happy birthday!!

"Food without ambiance isn't really food now is it?"

I love brunch. It's the happiest meal at the perfect time of day. This past weekend with the girls, we had one brunch in and one brunch out. I tried two new recipes out on Saturday and they turned out quite well! We had mini frittatas and pumpkin muffins. This was my third pumpkin recipe to try out this fall, and it was my most favorite!

Our brunch at home

mini frittatas! adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' recipe
cooking spray
8 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz thinly sliced ham, chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 TB chopped green onion

Spray 12 muffin tins with cooking spray. Whisk the eggs, milk, pepper, and salt in a large bowl to blend well. Stir in the ham, cheese, and green onions. Fill prepared muffin cups almost to the top with the egg mixture. Bake until the egg mixture puffs and is just set in the center, about 15-20 minutes (I didn't watch the time, so I'm not exactly sure how long they cooked). Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittatas from the muffin cups and slide onto platter. Serve immediately.

pumpkin muffins- [recipe from Smitten Kitchen]

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
1 1/4 cups plus 1 TB sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°. Put liners in muffin cups. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 TB sugar in another bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.

The next day we had brunch at Park Cafe, a European influenced Southern bistro in downtown Duluth. It is a charming little restaurant with a fabulous atmosphere. Deciding what to order was a challenge... Bananas fosters french toast, sweet potato pancakes, crab cake benedict, shrimp and grits- Everything looked amazing. And it tasted amazing.
fried green tomatoes with brie, candied pecans, and bacon balsamic emulsion
fried green tomato benedict with hollandaise
crab cake sandwich with country slaw
dill chicken salad on croissant

Girls Weekend in Atlanta

This past weekend my very best friends in the entire world came to visit. It was perfect. We had no real agenda, we just wanted to spend time together. Lots of eating, (recipes on a different post!), lots of talking, a little shopping, some city time, some outdoors time, some snuggle time, and a LOT of laughing! Perfection. I wish we lived closer, but I'm so thankful that we live close enough to do weekend visits. Love you girls! I'm a little sad now that you left. I think I will go watch Gilmore Girls on the couch until bedtime. Sounds like a good plan to me. :)

Craft Weekend at the Cabin

When my in-laws retired at their cabin in NC this summer, my sister-in-law, Joy Lynne thought it would be so fun to have a craft/sewing weekend in the fall. So she, her boys, and I drove up to the Asheville area, dropped off Truett with the Gosey's, and made it to the cabin for our relaxing weekend. I married into quite the crafty family. Lloyd and Susan can make anything. ANYTHING. Handmade quilts, furniture, pottery, clothes, the list goes on... When Brian and I moved into our apartment, Lloyd whipped out his tools and made us a box spring for our bed. I never doubt their ability to get things done. I am not nearly as crafty as my in-laws, but I do love to be creative, and Susan always has little projects in mind for me which I love. This weekend it was a wool project that was really fun to make!

Stopping for dinner on the way. Jack is covered in peas!
Jack hanging out in the sewing room with the girls
The wool project I made.. I plan to frame it and turn either hang it or turn it into some sort of tray.
We're hoping to make this an annual event!
Thanks, Susan for the wonderful meals and for your teaching us new projects! And thanks Lloyd for watching Jack so we could have a girls weekend!