family visit

Mom and Josh are here visiting!

(So happy to have them here, but I swear!  I can’t catch a break this summer…it’s just one crazy day after another!  When am I supposed to have that ‘down time’ I’ve been waiting for?)

We picked them up at the airport at 9:30 and went straight to church, where we heard Jim and Jill Kelly talk about her new book and their struggles and faith–very neat to see them and loved hearing their testimonies.

Then we headed to Elmwood to get some Saigon Cafe Thai for lunch before walking around and popping into different shops.  Scored a major find at reimagine, a trendy consignment home-goods place–some small retro Pyrex/Corning saucers that match the teal-rimmed ones I found at Goodwill in Ohio!  We also started eyeing this amazing black-and-wood two-tone long table for our new house…

We (well, more like Josh and I) wanted some ice cream and after seeing the wait at Watson’s, Andrew announced that he was taking us to Condrell’s, a local long-established ice cream and chocolate shop.  We enjoyed sundaes and sodas before heading home to rescue the puppy (who’d been cooped up for 7 hours–thank you to Mom and Dad Layer for giving him a comfort break once during that time!) and start marinating dinner.

After a walk and a quick female-only trip to Target, we all settled in to watch This Means War (cute, but super predictable and a bit more risque than I anticipated), before turning in after midnight…

Andrew’s already off to work, I’ve been up since 5:30 working on an article and doing my morning thing, and our two visitors are still asleep!  Although Josh did open his eyes and speak coherently for a bit while I was up putzing in the kitchen.

We’re off to the gym later this morning, then meeting Andrew for lunch at the Bar Bill for wings, then seeing our new house (!), followed by an afternoon in East Aurora.  Sigh…I’m happy.

magnificent dinner and Amazon rocks

This is what I made for dinner last night:

I roasted farmer’s market asparagus in the toaster oven (something I did at home a ton), made barley and added my own frozen herbs from last years’ garden and grilled steak on my grill pan.  I see the grill pan getting A LOT of use this summer in the kitchenette.  I drizzled my all-in-Italian balsamic syrup over the steaks.  Served them up with the last of the Fingerlakes Riesling our friends JD and Sara gave us a bit ago.  Again, not bad for a kitchenette.

A moment on photography:  I suck.  Seriously.  I do not know how to use Andrew’s camera to save my life.  The above photo was taken in the kitchenette on the “no flash” setting.

This one was taken by the window:

I don’t really like either of them.  I realize natural light is better, I just don’t think I used it properly.

Amazon to the rescue!

I found Anna Pump’s newest cookbook, Summer on a Plate, on Amazon for $9 yesterday, and because she is Ina’s (a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa) best friend and partial inspiration, I knew this was one I had to have in my collection the moment I first saw it a month or so ago.  (Thank you Susy, for showing me it’s OK to have a gazillion cookbooks–they are both beautiful AND functional!)

ANYWAY, in order to get free shipping we all know you have to spend $25…so I called Andrew to see if there was anything he had been eyeing on Amazon.  No luck.  I put it in my cart and logged off.  And then I remembered…

…Pioneer Woman’s macaron and photography weekend at the Lodge!  No, of course I didn’t win.  I never win anything from her…might be because 60 THOUSAND other people want to win, too.  Helene, from Tartlette, just came out with a food styling and photography book, Plate to Pixel, and PW was raving about it (and was included in her weekend prize package), so I decided to take a peek on Amazon to see how much her book was.

Wouldn’t you know it was only $16???

Needless to say, both of those goodies will be arriving on my in-laws’ doorstep in just a few days.