Monday, October 28, 2013

If you haven't noticed....

Morning, everyone!  Hope you had an excellent weekend!  I told you this weekend was going to be wall-to-wall food and I was NOT lying!  This blog would have been food packed had I simply told you we headed to Maggiano's on Saturday night to celebrate one of my BFF's birthdays...

Maggiano's, much like Carmine's, serves HUGE portions that are split family-style.  It's such a fun place to celebrate special occasions because it just seems so HAPPYJ  I mean, how could carbs served in HUGE portions and shared amongst the table do anything BUT make you happy, right??J

I was pretty full after sampling our appetizer selection of Maggiano's salad, bruschetta & mozzarella marinara... 

But still managed to find some room to sample the chicken Parmesan, spaghetti & meatballs, fettuccine Alfredo (if you're gonna have it, might as well have it when you can have a SMALL portion and NOT as an entire entree!) and Parmesan tilapia.... 

Maggiano's food is REALLY good for being SO LARGE...and even more surprising, their LARGE desserts are surprisingly awesome!  So I still made sure I had enough room for their delectable creme brulee... 

...and the only chocolate/chocolate cake that I ever actually CRAVE (I'm not really a CHOCOLATE/CHOCOLATE fan, for the most part.  I know...) is their monster Chocolate Zuccotto cake! 
Since this thing is so big, I would swear that it would be tasteless and bland.  OH NO!  It is super moist and filled with frosting layers that are tinged with sambucaJ  I guess that'll put anyone in a good mood, huh??J  Such a fun & festive nightJ

Sunday morning kicked of Halloween week around here in appropriate style with a little sugar & spice and everything nice... 

Being whirled into PUMPKIN DOUGHNUTS! 

I halved this recipe and made 4 rather LARGE baked doughnuts (probably could have stretched out the batter to 6-8).  But either way, it was just enough for usJ 

And the last little piece de resistance??  A little roll in melted butter & a dip in some cinnamon sugar... 


Needless to say, these were a hit all aroundJ 

And because I'm a dork and love to be OVERLY festive (ya know, if you haven't noticeJ)  I have an entire week planned of FESTIVE HALLOWEEN MEALS leading up to the big day!  (cause WHY NOT, right??)  And to kick off the week, let's give it up for the adorableness of these GHOST MONTE CRISTO SANDWICHES!

A layer of cheese, ham & turkey on potato bread... 

...trimmed with a little help from my friend!  (you could try this freehand, but I ended up finding this cookie cutter yesterday in my grocery store for about $1.50) 
(ps-none of the corners went to waste as Penny was the happy recipient of all of the 'scraps.'  She gets a festive treat tooJ)

I nearly SQUEALED at the cuteness!! 
OK...who am I kidding??  I totally really DID squeal J

And since Scott was a LITTTTTLE leery about them being dipped in "French toast dip," and since we're SUCH fans of the "Hawaiian sweet roll ham & cheese sandwiches", I did the next best thing and just made both
2 sandwiches were dunked in a mix of:
  • 1 egg
  • a little 2% milk
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of nutmeg
While the others got a brush of:
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • Sprinkle of onion powder
I put a small pat of butter under the "French toast side" and cooked them on a nonstick skillet over medium low heat for about 3 minutes on each side or until the cheese was nice & melty...

Once they were cooked, I let Katie help me out by splitting the 'ghost flavors' and getting a little sample of each!

Once the above photo was taken, the ghosts were sent to their adjacent corners (errr....curves??) and the french toast got a hit of some powdered sugar...

I enjoy any excuse to break this thing out, ya know?? J 

We knew the 'savory' side with the butter & onion was going to be irresistible, but we were both surprised how good the french toast one was too!  Sweet & savory to the max!  You MUST try out both varieties because they are both SOOO good....and so DARN cute, wouldn't ya say??   (that powdered sugar really makes em extra ghostly whiteJ)

Katie liked her sandwich...but LOVEEEED the roasted broccoli.  I'm OK with this. 

And our other order of the day for Sunday was a visit from the "Great Pumpkin," who brought Katie the big Jack 'o Lanterns we were going to carve...
I had thought of this little 'tradition' before she was born (still letting her pumpkin pick her own small 'kin) and was SO excited to actually do it!  Even if she only gave the pumpkins a fleeting glance before moving on to reading her 'Alice in Wonderland' bookJ  Hahahahaha...maybe it'll be more 'magical' for her next yearJ

Then we got to business...

 Slimy hands, a paint covered 19-month old and one bath later and here were our results for the yearJ

And what better way to end the night/weekend than with some roasted pumpkin seeds rolled in a bit of melted coconut oil and a sprinkle of cinnamon & sugar!  Might as well get all the money you can outta those pumpkins, right??

PHEW!  Alright, I knew that was gonna be a lot to share!  Hope you liked our little recap and you had a fun weekend, as well!  Needless to say, I have another "festive" dinner on the horizon tonight...stay tuned & Have a great Monday!J

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