Saturday night started with Katie & I decked out in our RED Valentines best...
...and had a FUN Valentines Ladies Night with NonaJ
And what made it even MORE special was getting to celebrate at my cousin's NEW RESTAURANT, Mafalda's, right in the heart of Hamilton, NJ at 3681 Nottingham Way (near the old Cookie Cottage)!
Mafalda's is named after one of my most VERY FAVORITE people of all time, my Aunt Mattie, who had both a heart of gold and a WICKEDLY funny sense of humor. I'm not even gonna mention the time she told me her husband was the greatest lover she ever had till the day he died.
Oh yeah...did I mention I was 10 when she told me this??
God, I love herJ She was the BEST!!!!! (she's the one in the green shirt in the center...while my Grandmom is the beauiful lady in the purple dress on the endJ)
So we were so excited to honor her memory and enjoy a WONDERFUL dinner, knowing full well she was smiling down on all of usJ (and probably saying a curse word or two...did I mention that wicked sense of humor??J)
We got to the beautiful dining room...
...and were quickly met with some warm, crunchy bread and garlic dipping sauce. Which, obviously, Katie enjoyed thoroughlyJ
Next up was a spring salad with beets, tomatoes & little heavenly pearls of goat cheese...
...and the lightly battered calamari...
...which were tasty & tender enough for even the tiniest teeth to enjoyJ
And for my main dish, I had a REALLLLLLLY tough time narrowing it down (as I had been eyeing their pizza from their Facebook page for 2 days!), but in the end, I HAD to go with the Crepe manicotti since not only do I love manicotti...
...but found out my Aunt had made them homemadeJ I might be biased, but trust me when I say they were PHENOMENAL! The light & airy crepe wrapping was bursting with savory ricotta and covered in PERFECT gravy = divine.
We finished off the night with some Italian dessert delights of chocolate covered cannoli and tartuffo (chocolate covered ice cream, don't cha know??)
If you want a dinner where you can taste the L-O-V-E that goes into the food, you must try out MAFALDA'S! The most cozy, family dining experience you can have!
Oh and I thought you'd all like to see that as I was flipping through my photos to post, I had stumbled on a picture of Katie's plate that she must have taken!
Junior blogger in the making alreadyJ
The rest of the weekend kept up the Valentines theme starting with a Sunday morning breakfast of Red Velvet Pancakes...
Made with pre-made pancake mix, a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa power, 2 tablespoons of sugar & a few drops of red food coloring.
And topped with a quick whip of cream cheese, maple syrup and a little powdered sugar...YUM! Great way to kick of VALENTINES WEEK!
And it must be the strong memories of our Valentines day at White Manna, but it seems like EVERY February, I just CRAVE sliders! This recipe never fail to make perfectly steamed & cheesy sliders.
And we ended the weekend with a little MORE Red VelvetJ I had been wishing for a good old fashioned bakery cupcake complete with red jimmies and a plastic cupid decoration on top, but these little bad bears had to win outJ
Oh yeah...and back to that 'potential public humiliation' I mentioned on Friday....which = me, along with my fellow Jammers, performing a Body Jam demonstration in the VERY CENTER of the mall...(can ya find me in the pic??)
It was one of those things I agreed to VERY QUICKLY and just as quickly, descended into PANIC as the day got closerJ But by the time we were done our 30 minute dance, we were ALL super sweaty and REALLY happy from having SO. MUCH. FUN!!!
Not to mention it was MUCH easier to feel confident when you're Jamming alongside a GREAT group of ladiesJ
Check us out on both the Quaker Bridge Mall AND RWJ Hospital Facebook (I look particularly confused in this oneJ) to see us in action...hahahahaJ And come try out Body Jam on Wednesday at 5:30, would ya?? Ya won't regret itJ (other days times here, here & here)
Alright...better get this week startedJ Have a good oneJ