Fun At The Football Game!

Hey, you win some…you lose some!

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Despite a disappointing loss from my Jets yesterday, our crew still managed to have a good time. 🙂

The ride down to the stadium encouraged the opening of the TJ’s peanut butter pretzels I’ve been holding onto for almost a month and a half now

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I don’t anticipate these being around much longer now…HOLY YUM-O! 😛

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Once we got down to the game, the weather was still dry so we hung out and did a little tailgating (my favorite!)

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I promise Joe & Kate…I mean that in the BEST way possible! 😉

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Normally when my family goes down to Jets games, we like to really get into the tailgating; coolers packed, snacks stashed, and the grill smokin’! Unfortunately, since the forecast was calling for bad weather, we decided to keep things simple by packing some snacks and picking up some subs on the way.

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These chip’ins popcorn chips from Popcorn Indiana may seriously be one of my new favorite snacks. I already loved their kettle corn, but after picking these up at the store, I think they may take the cake. They’re light, salty, and totally unique in texture. Two thumbs up from me! 🙂

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I also ordered a bomb-diggity sub of honey smoked turkey & provolone with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles & honey mustard. YUM!

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And of course, what December 12th football tailgating would be complete without some Christmas cookies? I munched on two of my M&M chocolate chip cookies while chatting away.

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Unfortunately, the longer we were sitting outside, the wind started to pick up and it started to get rather chilly. I noticed my Raynaud’s disease kickin’ in…

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…so I decided to start with the layering! The general consensus after all layering was complete was that I looked like a linebacker. Hey, you think they’ll hire me?

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About an hour and a half before game time, we made our way up and into the stadium. I must say, the new Jets stadium is pretty impressive!

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To ensure that my poor little fingers were toasty warm, I made sure to pack up all my hand warmers I’ve acquired over the years; hand warmers make great stocking stuffers for me! 😉

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They worked like a charm!

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Luckily, it didn’t rain for the entire game – probably only about half of it. We all agreed that the weather definitely could have been worse, and that we all had a great time…even if only two out of four of us could claim “victory.” 😉

I’m pretty excited for tonight…I’m going to be heading over to my parents’ house to “borrow” their kitchen so I can “host” my Nasoya “Wrappy Hour” party!

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A couple months ago, I was chosen as one of the lucky hostesses from Nasoya and was given a goody bag of some great products to use.

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I’ve never ventured into using anything with won ton wrappers or anything like that, so it should be interesting!

But for now, I’m off to work! Hope you all have a Marvelous Monday ahead of you!!

Question for the Day:

What foods would you like to try eating or preparing that you have yet to try?

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Christmas Cookie Baking #2 & Some Girl Time

‘Twas two weeks before Christmas, when all through Mom’s kitchen,

Batches upon batches of cookies were bakin’! 😀

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Mom and I definitely worked just as hard the second time around on our marathon cookie baking. We both accomplished double batches of Mexican Wedding Cookies,

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and Christmas M&M Cookies. 😛

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I actually used the same chocolate chip recipe that I use for my Chewy Chocolate Chip Heath Bar Cookies; I simply substituted M&M’s for Heath bars, and they turned out awesome!

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Mom also made up another batch of cookies that absolutely knocked my socks off…

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Chocolate & Black Raspberry Filled Shortbread…HOLY DELICIOUSNESS! 😯

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Once again, with cookie baking comes copious amounts of cookie eating. I did manage, however, to keep things somewhat under control and didn’t end up leaving in a sugar coma. YAY for small victories! 😉

Besides, I couldn’t load myself up too much, I had a dinner date with my favorite gals to get to!

We had a great time chatting, catching up, and just enjoying each others’ company. We don’t get to get together nearly as often as we’d like, so these meet-ups are always special. 🙂

I attempted to take a picture of dinner…

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But obviously that wasn’t happening. 😳 Grrrrr. I will tell you that it was a delicious mixed greens salad, topped with oven roasted pears, dried cranberries, almonds and a toasted brie crostini, served with a honey vinaigrette dressing (which I ordered on the side). It was super tasty, but for the amount of food, I’m not sure if it was quite worth the price. I was still hungry after!

But no worries; us ladies knew how to solve that…

Enter: Friendly’s Ice Cream 😛

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Now THAT, my friends, is what I call quality “girl time.” 😉

I went with a favorite combo of cookie dough ice cream + caramel + brownie bites.

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I guess it’s a good thing I fit in a sweaty treadmill run this morning! 😯

Mmmm Mmmmm GOOD!

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On a side note, some of you asked yesterday how I got my sugar cookies to look so pretty (thank you, by the way!)…

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Well, here’s my secret:

Betty Crocker Cookie Icing

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This icing is the easiest stuff to decorate with. All you need to do is outline the shape of your cookie, then just fill in about 85% of the middle. Eventually, the icing just fills in any gaps on its own. It’s amazing! 🙂

Today, Jay and I, along with our friends Joe & Kate, are packing up our rain gear and heading down to the JETS vs. Miami game!

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Joe & Kate are Miami fans, while Jay and I (as you know) are total Jets fans, so it should make for a fun day. It would be nice, however, if it wasn’t expected to look like this all day…

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100% chance of rain today. ALL day. Oooof. 🙄 Good thing we’ve got our ponchos ready!

J-E-T-S, Jets Jets JETS!

Have a great (dry) Sunday everyone!! 😀

Big + Mini Purchases = Combat the Sunday Blues

Another Sunday…

Another day of football and delicious snacks!

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Sometimes I wonder what it is that I do with myself on Sunday’s when it’s not football season? 😉

Today’s football festivities brought Jay and I over to my parents’ house for some good laughs and good eats. Of course, they had the Jets gear out and ready to go!

HOORAYYYY for a Jets win today!! 😀

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Mom made one of my favorite “snackies” of hers today…Garbage Bread!

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I go NUTS over the peppers + onions + sausage combo! She also makes a pretty mean pepperoni bread, but I’m pretty partial to my peppers and onions. I had to restrain myself from dominating the entire bread. 😳

Luckily, I knew there was some delicious dessert waiting to be had…

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My Apple Crisp!! I’m still shocked that I never ended up breaking into it yesterday after baking it…but it was soooo well worth the wait!

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I topped off each of our portions with a little slow-churned french vanilla ice cream + a drizzling of caramel. My spoon may or may not have accidentally fallen back into the pan once or twice more after eating my portion…I cannot tell a lie. 😉

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I’m going to have the recipe coming your way tomorrow, I promise! 🙂

After enjoying a good few hours with my parents, Jay and I set out on a mission, which I must say, was accomplished rather smoothly and I am beyond excited…

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WE FINALLY BOUGHT A TREADMILL!!!

We’re going to pick it up tomorrow, and I can.not.wait. It will be so nice to be able to get a run in in the morning now (since, a- I don’t like to run outside when it’s cold, and b- I don’t like to run outside when it’s dark). WOO HOO!!

So I guess between our new big purchase, and my mini purchase here…

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I’d say I’ve done a pretty good job of battling the Sunday Blues.

Time to go relax with some Real Simple and my boys…hope you all had a GREAT weekend!!

Our 2nd Annual Fall Festival!

Today was a day I’ve been looking forward to for months

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Fall Festival!

Last year, a small group of us got together to start what we later deemed as our “First Annual Fall Festival Weekend.” Last year’s FF included lots of fun things, like apple picking, pumpkin carving, and other fun festivities.

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While we couldn’t seem to workout an entire weekend for this year, we were all still able to get together, plus a few new additions to the group! 😀 Thanks to Sarah & Jeff hosting us all of the day, and some well-thought out planning by the ladies of the group ( 😉 ) the day included tons of goodies and pretty fall decor.

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FYI: Caramel Apple Hershey Kisses are phenomenal. They really do taste like caramel apples…SO good! 😯

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Lots of snacks & football around a cozy fire. 🙂

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Does this cheese look familiar to you? You may remember when I first tried this amazing Apple Harvest Cheddar with Cinnamon a few weeks ago. I was psyched when Sarah told me she picked it up for our Fall Fest. 😀

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Punkin’ Bread

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Cider Donuts!

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Eventually it was time to round up the troops for a delicious Fall Festival meal…

Homemade chili in bread bowls!

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Mal probably makes the best chili I’ve ever tasted. I was feeling pretty confident about my first chili attempt…but she definitely leaves me in the dust! 😳

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I don’t know if I’ll ever want to eat chili that is not in a bread bowl. It’s just the absolute perfect combination! 😛

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Our 2nd Annual Fall Festival Crew! You may see some familiar faces gathered ‘round this table. It almost felt like we were all sitting down for a Thanksgiving meal! 🙂

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After stuffing our faces with chili and carbs, it was time to get crackin’ on some PUMPKIN CARVING!

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Brook enjoying his punkin’ guts!

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I had to laugh at this photo after I realized that I had one very similar from last year’s FF!

DSCN3038Everybody was hard at work!

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Surprisingly, it didn’t take me long to pick out a pattern to carve, so I was ready to get down to business.

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Just gettin’ started…

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Halfway there…

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TA-DA!! 😀

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Didn’t everyone do such a great job?? 🙂

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While carving our ‘punks, we all worked up enough room in the bellies to enjoy a little dessert, courtesy of yours truly. 😉

Fall Funfetti Cookies with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

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Recipe to come soon! 🙂

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Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

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Pumpkin Mousse with Pecan Streusel Topping

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This stuff is addicting!

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Don’t worry, I have a recipe comin’ your way for this too! 😉

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And thanks to our pumpkins, we toasted up some Cinnamon Spiced Pumpkin seeds, which were actually quite tasty! I’d never had them before, but I really enjoyed them! Thanks to Sarah for cookin’ these babies up…I’ll have the recipe for these soon too.

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It was definitely a GREAT Fall Festival with great friends! (And my Jets even won too, WOO HOO!) I had been looking forward to it for so long, it was kinda sad to see it end so soon. 😦

Ahh well, you know what they say…all good things must come to an end!

So before I go crawl into my nice warm bed for the evening, let me leave you all with a pretty picture of mine & Jay’s handy pumpkin carving skills:

Jay’s

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Courtney’s

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Pretty fun, huh?? 🙂

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Happy Fall to Ya’ll!! Hope you all had as fun a weekend as I did! 😀

Question for the Evening:

What were some of the highlights from YOUR weekend??

Sundays Are For Football…and New Recipes!

Another Sunday, another day of food, football & friends. 🙂

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Although we have a smaller crew today we’re still having a great time…and we definitely didn’t skimp on the food!

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Jay & I always have such a fun time with Joe & Kate!

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Oh and of course, we can’t forget about Cody!

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C’mon Mom, really? Just let me watch the game…”

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So like I said, we definitely didn’t skimp in the food department. Here’s a look at some of the spread:

Fresh veggies – who says football food has to be unhealthy?

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CHEESE! (FYI: This cheese was absolutely PHENOMENAL.)

Kate brought over this block of Maple Leaf Apple Harvest Cheddar Cheese with Cinnamon that she found at Price Chopper yesterday to share…and I was SO GLAD that she did. The cheese just screamed FALL; the perfect flavor of cinnamon, tiny chunks of apple, and subtle cheddar flavor, this cheese was amazing.

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Sassy Spinach Cream Cheese dip – also courtesy of Kate 🙂

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Buffalo Chicken Dip, done completely by Jay. He was so proud. 🙂 It may not photograph well, but we all know how fantastic buffalo chicken dip is!

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Tomato, Mozz, & Basil Bruschetta 🙂

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To make: I simply cut up some of the Italian bread I picked up at the Farmers Market yesterday, lightly toasted it, and topped it with a bruschetta dip mix I had in the pantry, some diced tomatoes, fresh basil, and a little mozzarella cheese. Then I lightly drizzled a little EVOO & balsamic vinegar, popped ‘em under the broiler until the cheese was melted, and VOILA…bruschetta!

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Aaaaand, a NEW recipe! Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip.

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I’ve had an eggplant sitting in the fridge for a few days now, and it was time to put it to use. After browsing the Eating Well website for a while, I came across this recipe that sounded like it could possibly be a winner. I made a couple minor changes, but followed the recipe for the most part.

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Let me tell you…it was definitely a winner! Not only was it suuuuper easy to make, but the flavors in this dip were amazing. Even Jay liked it, and he “does not do eggplant.”

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I served my dip along with some parmesan & herb pita chips…and may have possibly eaten my body weight in it all. 😉

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Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip

(Original recipe can be found here)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant, (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of sugar

Directions:

  1. Position oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source; preheat broiler.
  2. Line a baking pan with foil. Place eggplant in the pan and poke a few holes all over it to vent steam. Broil the eggplant, turning with tongs every 5 minutes, until the skin is charred and a knife inserted into the dense flesh near the stem goes in easily, 14 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board until cool enough to handle.
  3. Put lemon juice in a medium bowl. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scrape the flesh into the bowl, tossing with the lemon juice to help prevent discoloring. Add oil and stir with a fork until the oil is absorbed. (It should be a little chunky.) Stir in feta, onion, bell pepper, basil, parsley, chili powder and salt. Taste and add sugar if needed.
  4. Serve with pita chips and ENJOY! 🙂

Time to watch the Jets game!! Keeping my fingers crossed for a better showing than last week. 🙄

Carba Nada, I Love You

Are ya ready for some footballlll,

A Monday night partayyyy…”

I don’t know about you, but I’M READY for some Monday Night Football…especially because my JETS are playing! :mrgreen:

Hopefully my boy Mark comes through for me tonight. 🙂

In order to make sure we were ready for the start of the game, dinner had to be a quick one…and it was all ready in less than 15 minutes. Love it!

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I had my first encounter with the Carba Nada pasta that I picked up over the weekend, and I must say…I think I’m hooked! This stuff is just like the real deal. If only the price tag was little more “real” for my budget. 🙄

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I topped my noodles with some microwave-steamed broccoli, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and some Newman’s Own Marinara. Behind my mom’s homemade sauce, this one’s definitely my favorite. ‘Twas a delicious bowl. 😛

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I also enjoyed devoured a piece of homemade Dill Wheat bread (with a little I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light) that Kate graciously offered to me yesterday. Kate has a bread machine…I’m jealous. ‘Nuff said.

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Time to go get ready… J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets! 😀

Question for the Night:

Have you ever been to a professional sports game?

I sure have! And Jay and I are headed down to watch our Jets play again this year with our friends Joe & Kate…in December! 😯 I’m already stocking up on hand and foot warmers…

It’s Football Season!

Today had all the components of a great gathering: food, friends, football…and cookie bars. 😉

Our crew gathered at Joe & Kate’s apartment this week to kick off our Football Sunday Rotation. We have such a great group!

The Host & Hostess 🙂

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Brian & Mal

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Dan & Meg (my brother is such a ham…)

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Me & Jay 🙂 Yes, I know the Jets weren’t playing today…we just like to support our team no matter what. We’re already getting ready for tomorrow Monday Night Football!!

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Along with friends, there was definitely more than enough food to go around…

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Healthified Guacamole (Jay actually took care of making this from start to finish! He did a great job on it…and he made sure everyone knew it, too.) 😉

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Buffalo Chicken Dip – made by my brother, which I must say…was more than impressive! It was addictive to say the least.

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Muddy Buddies! One of our Mal’s many specialties! 🙂

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Pizza & wings…because really, what else goes better with the first Sunday of football season?

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Well, Heath Bar Crunch cookie bars go pretty darn well. I’m just sayin’… 😉

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I definitely had my fair share of good food today, and now I’m completely exhausted and ready for bed. I can barely keep my eyes open. 😯 G’Night!

Question for the Night:

What’s the best thing you ate today???