Sunday, June 29, 2008

Concerts and Cooking

Friday night was great! My brother, friends and I had a fantastic time at the concert. We were there a few hours before it started because we weren't sure how many people would be there. They weren't letting people into the outdoor stage area yet, so we hung out upstairs in the bar/restaurant area just catching up and discussing plans for Jambo (another huge 4 day concert event we are going to next month). We meandered around on the deck and after a little while we decided to head outside since the first of three acts was starting.

Now coming from a small town you never know who you are going to run into, but its pretty safe to say that chances are pretty good we were going to run into someone we know and did we! See this kid in the middle of the picture?

He's my friends little brother. I hadnt seen him in ages and still think of him as a "little kid." Yeah he's no so little anymore and he was the one carding people to determine if they got an over or under 21 band. Talk about feeling old! I remember when he was born!

After getting over the shock of seeing friends little brother. We proceeded to hang out, talk with people we knew and enjoyed the sounds of the opening groups. The first guy was pretty decent and is making a name for himself in the Pittsburgh/Columbus area. I have absolutely no recollection of the second band. After that I started drinking water because after all the third act was why we were all there -- Eric Church!

Eric Church put on a great show and we rocked it out to "Sinners Like Me", "How Bout You" and "All My Friends Say." The crowd was energetic and everyone had a lot of fun.

Saturday after recovering from a hangover sleeping in late, I decided to venture into typically uncharted territory for me --the kitchen. After weeks of drooling over RebeccaC's blog, I decided to try to cook. Now, I am a connoisseur of microwave cuisine. I can bust up a mean peanut brittle and have also gotten several blue ribbons on my chocolate peanut butter fudge--both made in the microwave. But cooking, like with a stove and more than three ingredients is slightly intimidating for me. RebeccaC is my cooking blog guru. She uses phrases like "hint of orange" and "saute till slightly fragrant" with ease. After reading most of her posts, I want to go to the store get the ingredients and make what she wrote about because her pictures make it all look sooo good.

I decided to start with her "Fast French Loaves" recipe because she said it was so easy even I could do it. She said it on her blog, so it has to be true right? Guess what?!? It was!! After I got over the disappointment of learning that we don't own a dough hook in my house and I had to mix all the ingredients together by hand, it was so easy! And can I just tell you, while its baking it smelled AMAZING!! While it was in the oven, the family started circling. "What's that?" "Something smells really good." I had planned on taking pictures but I didn't want to miss out on a piece of the bread. It was DE-LIC-IOUS! The praise was highest coming from my brother, "I can't believe you made this, like, from scratch."

After the bread went so well, I broke out the big guns and made Chicken Stuffed Shells. Its not a RebeccaC recipe but one of my aunts. I needed something to feed a lot of people since on most weekends our house becomes the wayward home for people seeking food and fun times. We never know who might stop by and since I had never stuffed a shell in my life, it seemed like a good thing to try. They were a hit too! I did it! I cooked two different things on Saturday AND they were good AND completely edible! WOOHOO!

I cannot wait to try RebeccaC's crabmeat rolls and potato salad later this week. Moral of the story: if you don't notmally cook and you see something on RebeccaC's blog that look goods (which is everything), try it! If I can do it, anyone can! I am tapping into my inner chef and even glanced through my latest Taste of Home magazine to see what else I could make. Fan-tab-ulous!! And my family is excited too especially since when I cook its usually something like mac and cheese with hot dogs.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!!


Nikki said...

Sounds fun! My saturday morning was spent similarly to yours- ugh :S And yes, I will be blogging from the DR! Hopefully every day if I can get the time, I love having it as a memory-

Andy said...

Hahaha! I need to learn how to cook ASAP! I'm leaving in a year and my cooking skills aren't that good, and I'm not settling for fast food!

Trina G. said...

what's wrong with Mac 'N Cheese????

You're making me sooooo hungry. Good for you on your recent culinary skill improvement.

Sorry about the hangover:(

MeLaNiE said...

Sounds fun! I love to cook, but just never take the time! I love living with my parents, haha :)

Veronica said...

hey sounds like you had a great weekend! Rachel tried a recipe tonight from RebeccaC's blog (which I haven't read, but I'm definitely going to now!) and it was deelish! =)

Mandy said...

Nikki--cant wait to read about your time in the DR.

Andy--fast food sucks

Sissy--I love mac and cheese but need to expand my horizons.

Melanie--yes, living at home is great, except when no one goes to the store and there is no food in
the house.

Veronica--sounds like you had a fun Friday night too. Irish Car Bombs ROCK!! What did Rachel make?

Bayjb said...

Yeah I work with RebeccaC and she always brings in treats and saves one for me. She's awesome like that. And yes everything she makes is amazing. Looks like you had a lot of fun this weekend!

Mandy said...

babyjb--geez, a blogger meet up in Chicago AND treats from RebeccaC--you my friend are very lucky!

Unknown said...

Can you tell I'm BEHIND this week!!??

Just got the bread news flash. I'm so proud of you. And see I TOLD you that bread was easy!

If I were still single I suspect a favorite 3rd date trick would be inviting a guy over to watch a moving and then just non-chalantly pull the bread from the oven.

Keep me posted on the potato salad. And a word of advice -- watch the potatoes carefully. They go from raw to mush kind of quickly so don't be afraid to pull one out of the pot and slice it open now and then until they look "right". You'll know!