Mother’s Day: A Dinner, Some Cake & Other Lovely Happenings!

Hey guys, happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, I know I did! I feel unfathomably and unimaginably grateful for the blessing that is my MOMMY!! She is my bestfriend and she never ceases to amaze me. She is undoubtably the strongest woman I know. My mom is loving, a fighter, a smart-ass, a medical encyclopedia and the best go-getter around. Now look, I adore Oprah as much as the next (let’s be honest…probably more than most), but my mom rivals her on a daily basis (and my mom doesn’t have multiple teams of people to help, assist or orchestrate her life and career!) She envisions, plans, works her ASS OFF, then makes her own damn dreams come true! I CAN’T hold back my tears as I write this post. She was nearly taken from my family and I, just 6 days before my 21st birthday. She had sustained fatal medical trauma, but by the grace of God, she is still here with us, being a blessing in our lives, day-in and day-out! Just months after leaving the hospital she completed her PhD and is now 1 semester away from finishing her 2nd. Master’s degree. She is a phenomenal WOMAN, mother, wife, daughter, friend, human and all the rest of the minutely significant attributes that amalgamate the person that I call Mommy! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!! 
Here is a look at the day…
ImageImageImage
My SPECIAL little helper!
ImageImageImage
 This is one of the lovely Gluten-free flours WinniE’s Bakery uses!

ImageImageImage

Round one done! Now on to round 2!

ImageImageImageImageImage

So this is the unfinished result. I made my mother a Gluten-free “‘David’s’ Strawberry Delight cake w/ Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream”. I had planned on decorating it with floral accents and lettering saying, “You’re the best, Happy Mother’s Day”, but she couldn’t wait. So, unfortunately we ate the cake in it’s more rustic form…lol!

Dinner:

ImageImage

Tonight’s players: a little garlic, thyme, wild spring mushroom, organic locally grown asparagus, locally sorced leeks and arborio rice. I decided to make Wild Spring Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto topped w/ Pan Seared Shrimp. Growing up my dad always cooked, especially for holiday’s, but as life got busier and I got older I started following in his footsteps. So now, I often cook the meals for special occasions or my dad and myself tag team the effort!

ImageImageImageImage

Almost done.

Image

Dad working his culinary magic! He is making his famous “Bruschetta Tomatoes”, a lovely accompaniment to the risotto.

ImageImage

Unfortunately, my brothers couldn’t make dinner because they have families of their own now, but that’s ok…since I am the ‘baby’ every now and again I like having my parents all to myself!

After dinner we went to visit my dad’s mom. Visiting her is always a blessing and a riot, being she is 90 years old and a firecracker, to boot! 

Image

My mom’s mother passed when I was 14. Even though it is rounding 10 years since her passing, times like this are really hard for my mom. She was as close to my Nana, as I am to her. I named my bakery after her. WinniE’s Bakery is done with love and completely in honor of her spirit and the passions she pursued during her time here on earth.

We ended the night with PRESENTS! We got her these new mosaic/art deco plates from Williams-Sonoma. And I think it’s safe to say she LOVED them. She was surprised too…which is amazing becuase she is really hard to buy for, which is why I tend to make things for her.

Image

Lol…I made her close her eyes!

ImageImageImage

Make sure you guys celebrate the deserving mother’s, women or parents in your life! I hope you guys liked it, see you tomorrow for “Wednesday’s with WinniE’s”!

P E A C E + L O V E + B A K I N G

 

E

My Weekend (Apr. 12 + 13) Fun, Friends, Family and FOOD!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I know I haven’t posted much in terms of “lifestyle” on this blog, as you can see my most avid passion in life is food, cooking and baking! But I want to take some time to refocus. I will try to post a lifestyle focused piece, each week. Like a lot of others out there, I have fought very hard in life to be where I am now. Not only emotionally and mentally, but physically and medically; I have fought very hard. I would not be where I am now without (the 3F’s) faith, family and my dearest friends.
Truth be told, my friends and family are some of my greatest sources of inspiration! They love and support me through all of my passion pursuits and dreams. I think it’s important to connect with and support them as much as possible.
My weekend may seem ordinary to some but for me, it was peaceful, beautiful, restoring, fun and most importantly shared with people I love!
So here is a look at my weekend…
Every month for about the last 7 or 8 years, my family get’s together with “The Chan Clan”…oh, I’m so cheeky! Anyway, we come together, cook delicious food and find out what been happening with everyone; since we last saw each other. This past Saturday was my family’s turn to host, as we go back and forth. I particularly enjoyed this past dinner, because my mom and I had a chance to do something we don’t often get to…BAKE together! I prepared dinner and she was my lovely baking assistant.
Saturday evening, our dinner:
ImageImage
THAT is my mom’s homemade “Spiced Apple Cake”! She wrote the recipe for it just after she finished nursing school. It has been adapted to “Gluten-Free”, since her diagnosis in 2005. It’s always a hit…even if the people proclaim they hate, don’t like or don’t eat “Gluten-Free”.
Image
All done.
Image
ImageImageImage
On the menu:
Lemon Oil infused Linguine w/ Arugula + Shrimp (Both Regular + Gluten-Free pasta) ‘Giada DiLarentiis’
Kale Salad w/ Lemon Honey Vinaigrette topped w/ Feta + Slivered Almonds
Image
This is “Gluten-Free” pasta.
ImageImage
Always feed the “little one” first.
Image
DIG IN!
ImageImageImage
My plate…Bon Appétit!
Sunday: Part 1
I started the day by joining my dad for our usual coffee. Then, I decided to go watch his youth lacrosse team play, while I was there I got some great shots of my dad doing one of the things he loves most…LACROSSE!
Image
Capturing the beauty of our ride, as we passed trees with Cherry Blossoms.
Image
“It’s just a ride, it’s just a ride, no need to run, no need to hide, it’ll take you all round, sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down, it’s just a ride, it’s just a ride, don’t be scared, now dry your eyes, it may feel surreal inside, but don’t forget enjoy the ride” JEM- Just A Ride
Image
Arrived.
Image
Dad, Steve and Nate.
Image
This tree had so much character…just incredible.
Image
Coaching.
ImageImageImageImage
Dad doing what he does best…”coaching by example”
Image
They “WON”
Image
Me taking a photo of a photographer. He was nice enough to give me some “action/sport shooting photgraphy” advice.
Sunday: Part 2
After, coming home from the lacrosse game, I wanted to continue to savor the rest of the beautiful weather we were having. My sister-in-law and I decided to take my niece to the park and then for a little ice cream and snow cones!!!
ImageImageImage
It’s so beautiful from the top!
ImageImage
As you can see, we weren’t the only ones appreciating the weather!
Image
Vollyball sands were even open.
Image
Prettiest pigeons I have ever seen…just struting around.
ImageImageImage
A little snack.
ImageImageImage
Bye-bye park.
Now off to a local staple of Spring/Summer “Cindy’s”. You can’t go wrong and who dosen’t love a tasty cold treat on a warm day.
ImageImageImageImage
Baby cone, for the “little one”!
Image
Us girls, sitting curbside and something sweet!
ImageImage
I’ll end this blog with photos of blossoms.
Fun Fact: I have spent many a warm day, layed out underneath a tree, watching petals fall and feeling then dance across my face.
I hope you all enjoyed this “mass-post” and see you on Wednesday for “Wednesday’s with WinniE’s”!
P E A C E + L O V E + B A K I N G