Thanksgiving in June

Turkey + Mashed Potatoes + Green Bean Casserole + Caramelized Sweet Potatoes + Hot Weather = Thanksgiving in June

With the World Cup game on in the background, we bustled around the house to make a yummy Thankgiving dinner in the middle of June.


When Ryan’ grandma and her boyfriend arrived at Ryan’s mom’s house, we shared Brie and crackers, served with an adorable mouse-adorned knife.

Cheese & Crackers


After munching on cheese ‘n’ crackers and hanging out for a while, we were ready to dig into the big meal.

Everyone piled their plates with Thanksgiving staples.

My Plate

I gotta say, Ryan’s mom and grandma sure can cook! I loaded up my plate and went back for seconds of almost everything.

Ryan’s mom followed Emeril’s recipe for caramelized sweet potatoes and they tasted like dessert.


Though the sweet potaotes tasted like dessert, we still had to enjoy an actual dessert: lemon cake with vanilla ice cream.

Lemon Cake + Vanilla Ice Cream

Oh so sweet and oh so good.

I think Thanksgiving in June should be a tradition!

Portobello Pizzas

Since Ryan had jury duty downtown today, when he got off in the late afternoon we were able to meet up for a super-speedy date at Mochi.


Looks like frozen yogurt Friday came a bit early!

I knew we had to go today because word on the street was that they had red velvet *my favorite* fro yo on tap today. Who could say no?

Ryan and I shared a small cup of a swirl of red velvet and cheesecake soft serve with rainbow sprinkles, naturally. 😉

I was still a little full from lunch, so when we were making our bowl I kept our portion on the smaller side. Since the bowl was polished off in approximately 2.5 seconds, I think I could’ve handled a little more. We are seriously ice cream machines.

I get my love for ice cream from my dad. The two of us can do some serious damage to a carton of chocolate marshmallow ice cream. (That flavor is hard to find, by the way). Ryan is the only other person I’ve met that can hold a candle to our ice cream-eating abilities. And that is why I’m marrying him. 😉


At the farmer’s market on Sunday, I nabbed several fresh portobello mushroom caps. I wanted to use them before they got all slimy and gross in the fridge so I decided to get a little creative in the kitchen.

Gooey cheese and savory marinara sauce sounded like a great combination to me tonight, so I figured I could incorporate both of them into my evening meal in a personal portobello pizza.

I used the mushroom caps as the pizza crust, and let them bake at 350 for 8 minutes or so after spraying them lightly with cooking spray.

I then topped the caps with sauce, cheese and olives and threw them back in the oven until the cheese was melted and slightly browned.

Portobello Pizza

I paired the portobello pizzas with a side of roasted zucchini.


All Together Now


After dinner, Ryan, Ross and I were in the mood for something sweet, so I whipped up a batch of flourless peanut butter cookies for us to nibble on while watching Jeopardy!

Three Ingredients... That's It!

Guess who had which cookie?

R + J + R

Just FYI

I added a link on my Q & A page for those of you who would like to ask me a question but are feeling a little bashful about emailing me directly. I know I love learning more about you guys, though I sometimes feel a little shy asking the questions I have for ya!

The link on the Q & A page will take you to a form that you can fill out anonymously. I’ll try to address your questions in a comprehensive post once a month or so… That is if there’s anything you guys want to ask that you don’t already know about me. 🙂

For those of you who are new to the ol’ blog, I did a series of Ask Me Anything posts a couple of months ago (You know, when everyone else was doing it? I’m such a bandwagon-rider. 😉 )… Anyway, here are links to those posts:

Of course, if you’re hoping for a fast or personal response to any of your questions, email ( is always the best way to go!

Julie in Jax

Hellooooo Jacksonville! 



When I got off work yesterday, I hopped in the car and drove straight to Jacksonville to meet up with my family for the weekend. 

As you may know, my mom had surgery at the MayoClinic on Tuesday and my family booked a hotel room through the weekend, assuming she would be in the hospital for several days following her surgery. 

However, yesterday we got some good news! My mom was discharged early from the hospital. 😀 She will be staying with us in a hotel near the hospital rather than in a room at the MayoClinic. 

She looks fantastic considering she just underwent a pretty intense surgery. Though she is out of the hospital, we’re going to be taking it easy this weekend since she’s not exactly in “top form” at the moment. 


When I arrived in Jacksonville, I was hungry! Luckily, my mom had some snacks to nibble on in the hotel room and I calmed my tummy with Animal Crackers (I love those things) and some grapes. 

After catching up for a bit, my sister and I headed out to pick up some food to bring back to our room. 

We were determined to order dinner from a traditional Jacksonville joint, not a chain restaurant that we could try anywhere. When we saw the Landshark Cafe, it appeared to be exactly what we were looking for. 

We headed in, sat up at the bar and perused the menu. We both really liked the feel of the place and it was definitely unique to Jax. 

Leslie and I decided to order the grilled fish tacos, which were really tasty. 

Fish Tacos

Dos Tacos

I also had a side salad with citrus balsamic dressing and shared my mom’s sweet potato fries. Sweet potato fries are flippin’ awesome. 

After dinner, I had more Animal Crackers for dessert and used some, along with a hefty squirt of whipped cream, to spruce up a caramel Jello mousse cup

Jello Mousse + Whipped Cream + Animal Crackers


I’m about to head downstairs to enjoy the hotel’s free breakfast before heading out to make one last attempt at finding the prefect bridesmaid dress. 

Though I absolutely love the bridesmaid dress I found with my mom and sister back in April, I want to check out one more store that carries Liz Fields bridesmaid dresses (and hopefully this dress) to see if I can find something cute and a little less expensive.See ya a little later!

A Night In

Tonight Ryan and I felt like enjoying a night in. 

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a Friday night, curled up on the couch watching Say Yes to the Dress (or flipping back and forth between my wedding TV and Ryan’s basketball games). 

A New Find 

When I got off work today, we ran some errands and I found something awfully special in the check out aisle of one of the stores: 

Strawberry + PB

New strawberried peanut butter M&Ms

My friend Merri told me about these about a week or so ago and I thought I’d never find them! The flavor combination sounds kinda funky, but of course I had to try them! 


The verdict? They were delicious and the flavor definitely leaned toward the peanut butter side more than the strawberry side (which was fine by me!). 


After enjoying two small handfuls of the new M&Ms, it was dinner time! 

I went the lazy girl’s route for dinner tonight and microwaved an Amy’s frozen tofu vegetable lasagna

Amy's Tofu Vegetable Lasagna


The cheese on the top got stuck on the wrapping, but have no fear! I licked it off. 🙂 



This was one heck of a tasty frozen entree. It was about 10,000 time tastier than the Amy’s enchiladas we had for dinner last week. 


After dinner, Ryan said he was craving some cookie dough. I was in the baking mood so I took it as a sign to make some homemade oatmeal white chocolate chunk cookies. 

I followed a basic recipe for oatmeal cookies (but substituted oil for the shortening) and added chopped white chocolate candy melts. 

White Chocolate Candy Melts


Chopped White Chocolate

The dough was sweet and hit the spot! Ryan and I both ate several spoonfuls before I baked a batch of the cookies for approximately 10 minutes.  

Oatmeal Cookie Dough

Freshly Baked Cookies

The Cookie Monster Strikes Again

Nothing smells better than cookies baking in the oven. 

I actually managed to pace myself on the cookie dough and had plenty of room for a decent-sized cookie when they were done baking. Yum!

I’m off to enjoy the company of my lil’ family and rest up for Sadie’s big day at the Doggie Derby tomorrow morning.


From Paris to the ’80s

What a fun and adventurous day!

After breakfast, we visited Paris… in the form of my sister’s sorority’s Parisian mother/daughter brunch.

(Notice the Eiffel Tower in the Background)

When we arrived, we were greeted by her smiling sorority sisters who showed us to a yummy buffet of tasty sandwiches, desserts, fruit and more.

My Plate

I went back for fifths (yes, fifths) of the seven layer bar dessert squares. I flippin’ love those things!

Leslie and Me

Swinging and Smiling

After the brunch, we changed into casual clothes and headed to Do Art, an art studio nearby to paint some pottery.

I selected a chips and dip platter, while my mom and sister opted to paint mugs.

My Chips and Dip Platter

My Mom's Mug

Leslie's Mug

With Our Creations

My sister will pick up our goodies in a week. Apparently when the pottery gets fired up, the colors will really pop! I can’t wait to see the final product.


Once our pottery painting was complete, we hit the road for Orlando to pick up Ryan for a dinner at Park Plaza Gardens in Winter Park.

Park Plaza Gardens

We decided to try Park Plaza Gardens, a rather expensive restaurant usually, because they are currently offering a menu featuring items from their 1980s menu at the original 1980s prices. Score!

Before ordering, our waiter brought us a basket of bread that we devoured.

Bread Basket

Since the prices were amazing, my mom, sister and I ordered lobster while Ryan opted for the filet mignon.


We also shared a la carte sides of onion soup, asparagus and sweet potatoes.

The Dessert Lady

Dinner was delicious and we were very tempted to order dessert at Park Plaza Gardens, but we decided to hop in the car and head downtown to pay a visit to The Dessert Lady instead.

When we got there we were overwhelmed with so many decadent choices on the menu. When we spotted the sampler option our eyes lit up and we knew we had a winner.

We decided to enjoy one slice of carrot cake, bourbon pecan pie, Neapolitan cake and peanut butter pie and split them between the four of us.

The Dessert Lady's Dessert Sampler

We all agreed that the pecan pie (served with cinnamon ice cream) and the peanut butter pie were the stand outs.

Huggin' Outside the Dessert Lady

Ryan and My Sister

The Dessert-Lovin' Ladies

Today definitely ended on a sweet note! 🙂

Since today was filled with girly fun, we’re letting Ryan control the remote and are hanging out watching the NBA playoffs before heading to bed in a bit.

See ya in the mornin’!