I can't believe nearly a month has flown by without me posting here! It was a very busy four weeks leading up to today though, we "got" a nephew nephew, brought the (almost) 4-year old nephew home to stay for three weeks, took said nephew and the dog on a 400+ mile road trip back to his home, then on another 200-ish mile trip (just the two of us) to visit our nephew (and his parents) on my boyfriend's side of our little family unit, then it was back to Central Oregon for several days and an early Christmas with my family (we stayed in a hotel with the dog)! Our month-long "adventure" came to a close yesterday with another 400+ mile trip home with the dog. I brought photos home to share though!
We didn't stay long when we dropped him off at home, we pretty much said hello, dropped off the kid, dog, and all of the Christmas "stuff" and got back on the road! It is a 7 to 8 hour drive to my Mother's house and another 2 to 3 hours past that to his brother's house...it was a long day in the car! We were greeted with the best low-carb meal I think I have ever eaten (until the next day when he did it again)! My other half's brother is an amazing chef! He graduated from Western Culinary Institute with the highest of grades, did his externship at the Playboy Mansion, and has recently (2 weeks ago) opened his own restaurant in Eugene Oregon! But, back to the dinner he made for us when we arrived! He roasted a piece of beef (I believe..) and to go with it made Roasted Parsnips (Okay, not a really low-carb veg, but he tried and they were amazing!), and Cauliflower (again, I believe he pan-roasted these, but I stayed in the living room playing with our 2-year old nephew). The meal was so good! He cooked the meat to more of a medium-well, which was awesome for the two of us since we like our meat "done" rather than pink, but he spent the rest of the trip wishing he hadn't "over-cooked" it! We only stayed for two nights, but the food was so amazingly good! The next night it was Pork (roast) with a Turnip and Carrot Mash (again, higher on the carb count than what I make at home, but he tried to cook as low-carb as his French training would let him) that I could have inhaled all of, and Brussels Sprouts with Curry powder, Coconut Milk, and a few other things! As always, everything tasted amazing! I will be attempting to mimic the Brussels Sprouts, but I will be eliminating the little bit of sugar he put in them (I think I can do that without ruining the dish). I should have taken photos, but I was too busy inhaling my food!
Koho Bistro) for a cup of the coffee we had heard so much about! It's Wood-Roasted, something I had never heard of doing with coffee before. It smelled so good when it came out!
After a packet of Splenda and a little cream, I got my first sip... Oh My! That first sip hits you with just a hint of wood smoke in it! We love our coffee and spent a large part of the week drinking it by what seems the gallon, but this little cup is the best cup of coffee I believe I have ever had (Cafe Pacori, wood roasted coffee)! It is well-worth stopping in for just the cup of coffee! While we didn't get to eat "at" Koho Bistro, we did spend two days enjoying the creations made by the executive chef/owner! He has amazing talent, especially with food! The Brussels Sprouts I mentioned we had for dinner are actually on the menu too! Go drool over the menus in the link up there, and then go in for a visit! Even us low-carbers can get away with a few things...or just go "cheat" on the diet...it's worth it! I have more photos of the restaurant, but those will have to wait a few days (while I get them off the other half's phone).
In fact, Nephew #2 got Lego's from just about everyone this year! We gave him a 231-piece set, he got a 1600-piece set to split with his older brother, a huge Lego City set from his Grandparents on the other side (the fire station set), a Police truck from the City set, and a few smaller sets as well as one of those "sort and store" heads! He actually has so many Lego's now, they fill the head! There are specific pieces that require stickers these days...I don't remember having to add stickers to the pieces when I was a kid, they came pre-printed! But, since they had to be added (and because the sets are so huge and I wanted to make sure all the pieces were there), I actually spent several hours over the course of two days "playing" with the Lego's to put them together and get the stickers on the right pieces. This turned out to be a good idea too, since the huge City set (priced higher than I would ever spend on Lego's) is actually missing a key piece!
With "Christmas" over for our households, we had a few days left to kill before heading home on the morning of the 24th. While my Mom and I did some "post/pre-Christmas shopping", my other half took the oldest two boys swimming at the hotel. See all that sunshine out the open slider? It was supposed to be 55 degrees on the 24th, the weather was awesome while we were there! However, the weather here at home is cold and white...at least it waited until we were almost home to turn to snow!
Right now, I have a pot of "Slow-Cooker Tomato Soup" cooking (that I "Marcy-ized") for Lunch today...it smells great and is making my hungry! Dinner tonight is something with Hamburger (because everything else in the freezer will take a few days to thaw). Tomorrow though...Christmas 2012 shopping begins! I'll be out and about looking for those great after-Christmas sales! My plans include hitting up the fabric stores too...I want to get several yards of materials for some craft projects that I have been mulling over in my head (adult-sized aprons, bags for the boys to keep their toys in, new stockings for my house....). I also need wrapping paper! Besides running out this year, we got one of those nifty wrapping paper storage tubs as a gift...need to fill it up now! Jo-Ann's, Micheal's, Wal Mart, and World Market are on my list tomorrow...also a few clothing stores that are having good deals!