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A Surprise Anniversary Celebration

by Courtney on January 4, 2011

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I’ll admit: Having no kitchen to come home to doesn’t always make the thought of dinners all that exciting. Sure, the occasional crockpot meal or panini sandwich are always delicious,

but I miss the real cooking…like, with a stove. :oops:

I wish there was a part of me had the drive and desire to attempt to create fabulous, no-cook meals, but let’s get real…

I work a full-time teaching job, my kitchen is currently in boxes spread throughout three rooms in my house, and I have a picky (although super amazing!!) hubby who isn’t a fan of too many “weird foods.”

Ahh well…I guess we can’t all be rockstars at everything, right?


So when life hands you an empty kitchen…take all the dinner invites you can! :-D

Tonight, Jay and I quickly took up an offer for dinner at my in-laws house. It wasn’t until we got there that I realized what a treat I was in for.

Homemade Chili and Cornbread!


Before the main course, however, we started off with a simple salad. Extra veggies are ALWAYS welcome in my book – especially when their lightly dressed in balsamic vinaigrette. ;)



When it comes to the chili, Jay’s dad is the one who deserves props.


Believe it or not, after 11 years, this was my first time trying it. I’ve really been missing out! Jay and I both agree that his dad and our friend Mal should have a chili cook-off…the two of them can really hold their own! ;)


The cornbread was a scratch recipe made by my MIL and it was absolutely incredible.


Super moist, full of flavor…definitely a winner! :-P

I also had half of a Mastroianni roll (one of my favorite local bread bakers!). The rolls are pretty big, so half was plenty.


And as if the delicious dinner wasn’t enough, we were greeted shortly afterward with another sweet surprise celebration…anniversary ice cream pie! :shock:


The ice cream pie came from The Lighthouse, which we‘ve had ice cream cakes from before. Usually, I can take or leave an ice cream cake, but these babies are awesome.

You can only imagine my delight when I noticed not only the thick, gooey brownie fudge crust, but it was also strictly vanilla! (Call me crazy, but I really do not like chocolate ice cream.)


Mmmmmm! Its always fun extending a celebration a little longer. :)


After a couple hours, we were on our merry way back home…but certainly not empty handed!

My MIL reads the blog quite frequently and noticed the anniversary present that I got for Jay, so she decided to add a little something to help us out on our adventures:

An atlas!


Thank you, thank you for the atlas…and the leftovers! :shock:


Yowzahs! I can’t wait to dig back into that cornbread…


Ahhhh, evil ice cream pie staring back at me…you are certainly not helping my sugar addiction…


Friends! Family! C’mon over and share some ice cream pie with us. We’ve still got more Anniversary Cake in the fridge too, and I do not want to be held responsible for eating everything. ;)

It’s past my bedtime…time to hit the hay…g’night!!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy B @ Second City Randomness January 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I’m glad you had such a great celebration! :)

The chili looks so great. I think this may be the weekend I make more for myself. Or next weekend… I’m horrible at procrastinating!
Amy B @ Second City Randomness recently posted..Smug Omelet


2 Doris Beardsley January 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Happy Anniversary!! Your page is wonderful, and you are so terrific. We love you. xoxo


3 Katy (The Singing Runner) January 4, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Such a nice surprise!!! :) And the food looks GREAT! :)

I’m not much of a chocolate ice cream girl either! Vanilla all the way! :)
Katy (The Singing Runner) recently posted..Perfectionist


4 Jess@atasteofconfidence January 5, 2011 at 12:05 am

I always just eat the vanilla ice cream in ice cream cake- so much better!
Jess@atasteofconfidence recently posted..Favorites of 2010


5 erica @ fashionmeetsfood January 5, 2011 at 9:34 am

Your chili looks absolutely divine. Looks like a fabulous celebration. You always have some delicious recipes!



6 stefanie January 5, 2011 at 10:28 am

Courtney, I wasnt sure how to ask you a question so I decided to just do it on a post! But I was wondering if you eat or drink anything Pre-Workout in the morning? I notice you usually have a full breakfast post workout, so do you do your early morning workouts on an empty stomach?


7 Courtney January 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Hey Stefanie!
On an early morning workout (around 5:30am) I typically do not eat or drink anything before (besides some water). There are occasional days where I do feel hunger upon waking, so I might eat half a granola bar or a handful of Quaker Oatmeal Squares. I keep it pretty small though, because otherwise I’ll cramp up.
If my morning workout is a little later, however (say, 8-9am) I’m usually hungry enough to have a snack first – anything from a piece of toast with peanut butter or a granola bar. I just pay attention to how my body is feeling!


8 Shanna, like Banana January 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

I looove chili! So tasty, so easy! Especially with big chunks of bread to dip inside.

And I’m with you…chocolate ice cream is not for me!
Shanna, like Banana recently posted..Pumpkin Salsa Soup and Beer Bread


9 Holly January 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

that is one GREAT looking anniversary meal! LOVE LOVE LOVE the homemade cornbread- that’s my favorite :) And to top it with an ice cream cake?! puurrrrrfect!!
Holly recently posted..Dinner with the RAVENS &amp Visit to the National Aquarium


10 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine January 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Ahhh that is a seriously awesome surprise. Cake and cornbread sound like heaven anytime!!
Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine recently posted..Foiled


11 Emma January 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Aaawwww….looks like you had a lovely time :-) The pie looks yummy! I would totally be tempted to pick bits of the crust off when nobody was looking ;-) I used to pinch all the cherries from the top of our annual new years gateaux….mum used to kill me! x x x
Emma recently posted..Broccoli stuffed tomatoes and first day back


12 Mallory January 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I will totally participate in a chili cookoff : )


13 Thetreadmilldiaries January 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Happy anniversary and that cornbread looks AMAZING.
Thetreadmilldiaries recently posted..Mission Complete! 30 Days of Breakfast Challenge


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