Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Italian Cooking Lesson and Dinner

We have a dear friend who is a coach for a local swim team (she also happens to be the grandmother of our cute neighborhood kids and the mother of our cool, hip neighbor). Every year, the swim team holds a dinner/dance/auction...you may remember from this post last year...that we came home with a scooter! Luckily, we did not come home with any motor vehicles this year! But we did buy an evening for 6 with the swim coach...for Italian cooking lessons and dinner. What an awesome night this was and we were so lucky to some great friends to share it with!!!

Here's the guys - spending more time talking about wine and politics than paying attention to their food preparation!

One of our recipes was an eggplant rollup that was absolutely delish - I don't have a pic of the finished product but here's Donna and I slicing our eggplant.

The girls are paying much more attention to the food preparation!!!

Donna and Sally enjoying the great weather, watching our lead chef fry up the eggplant.

Sally and I sharing a toast.

Part of the group enjoying wine and appetizers.

Yummy appetizers: shrimp & garlic.....

Here's our almost finished project - homemade ravioli. None of us had ever made homemade ravioli before....it was amazingly easy but messy. These happen to be stuffed with a ricotta/basil mixture. A note here: the "boys" decided the ravioli would be best if they added some red wine to the mixture....DO NOT DO THIS IN REAL LIFE!!! Those ravioli were not edible...luckily, the rest of us had made enough to feed the whole crowd!

Adding the stuffing to the dough.

Alberto's came out beautifully!

A beautiful table set with a nice, fresh Caesar salad and Pelligrino.

A good time being had by all!!!!!

Not only did we make the ravioli, we also made the homemade sauce...yummo.

Dick with our amazing hostess. Note the empty Limoncello bottle which was the cause for quite a few headaches the next day.

Hope you enjoyed a peek into our fun cooking class!!!

Sister's Visit

I am always thrilled when my sister comes to visit and recently she's been making it every year for my birthday. This year was no different. As usual, we had beautiful weather and a great time. I'll share more pics and less words in this post but before I tell you about Donna's visit, I need to share something else. My dear friend, Regina, is about the sweetest person who walks the face of the earth and I adore her. Apparently, her mom is just as sweet...I mentioned to Regina during their visit that I loved the scarves her mom had made for Regina and her friends at Christmas time. Well, lo and behold if I don't get two scarves in the mail last week. They are gorgeous, handmade and perfect for our Colorado winters. She made me a red one (I assume to match my red coat) and made me this blue one to match my eyes....isn't that just the sweetest!!!!!! Thanks Regina for mentioning and thanks Clara for your hard work and good heart.

Now I'm being lazy because my pics got uploaded in the opposite order that I wanted to talk about them but oh well, I'll have to tell the story backwards.

Here's Donna and I on Pearl Street in Boulder. It is an awesome pedestrian street with fun shops and restaurants. We did plenty of shopping then finished it off with a glass of wine at the historic Hotel Boulderado. The mall is a great place to hang out on a warm Saturday.

Here's my dear hubby and Donna giving me nice smiles for the camera.

Now this is where the story gets kind of backwards because on Friday, Donna and I woke up at the crack of dawn and headed down south to Manitou Springs. What's in Manitou Springs you ask? Well, you can take the cog railway to the summit of Pikes Peak. You may know this but Pikes Peak was the inspiration for "America the Beautiful" and it is a gorgeous ride up to the top. For 115 years, the Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway (the world's highest cog train, the highest Colorado train AND the highest train in the United States) has taken passengers to the 14,110 foot summit of Pikes Peak.

Again, these pics are backwards but bear with me. Here's Donna and I on the train coming down the mountain.

We had snowy, foggy weather riding up, but the ride down had clearer weather and we were actually able to see some of the beautiful mountains surrounding us.

Here's Donna at the summit. We had gone right through the clouds on the railway, ending up above the cloud line. What a magnificent site!

Here's our view as we were coming up through the clouds...foggy and snowy below...sunny above.

Here's the longest straight part of the ride...you can see how foggy it is, although at this point, the visibility was starting to get better. It's a 1.5 hour ride up the mountain so there's plenty of time for weather changes.

Here's the scenery lower down...no visibility so we had no idea of the beautiful scenery that inspired "America the Beautiful."

Warnings about altitude sickness...it is 14,110 feet high!!!!

Donna waiting outside the train depot for the ticket office to open...I think this is just the cutest little depot...all nestled in the mountains!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Birthday Girl

I'm getting some flack for not keeping the blog up to date. I am now completely addicted to Facebook...and there's not much going on to talk about on the blog. Today is my birthday...not important what year...but I do like to celebrate. My DH is out of town but Sally and I are heading down to Denver for a nice dinner at LaSandia. I'll let you know how it turns out....

Here's my birthday present to myself...2008 BMW 328xi (need that 4 wheel drive for our Colorado winters...LOL)

I'm becoming quite the ski instructor. Helped Regina out last week then took Sally's niece, Bonnie, up to Vail last Friday. Bonnie had skied before but it was years ago. We started on a blue run up at Lionshead...here we are enjoying the snowy day. Bonnie was quite the trooper!!!! She picked it up again quickly and we ended up having a great day...despite one yard sale fall.

I probably didn't need my helmet on this day...no real risk of running into trees but it helps keep my head warm on snowy days!!!!

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