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Friday, August 21, 2015

"It's Official"!!!

The first week of school is never really complete without our back-to-school celebration. That is where we get to hear all about everyone's thoughts on their new teachers, classes, etc. We always did this with our girls and the tradition continues with our grand children.

This year we have all been so busy that we didn't overdo as we usually do, but the kids still had fun. Our dinner consisted of mostly new to me recipes. I made a baked chicken Parmesan, Parmesan orzo, LOTS of broccoli (I have truly never seen any children who love broccoli as much as these three), a big tossed salad, bread and butter (for our little bread and butter monster) and apple pie cake with ice cream for dessert. The chicken was a winner but I don't think I will do the orzo again.

This is a Chef John Video Recipe. It was good (I am told because I don't eat chicken) and a much easier version of chicken Parmesan than the norm. I will say it looked and smelled delicious!

I love orzo , Parmesan cheese and basil so I thought this would be a sure fire hit but it left a bit to be desired in my opinion. I have way better recipes for orzo that I will use next time.

Since we have been doing this tradition for so many years, we have pretty much already tried all of the best ideas so this year we went simple. We made bookmarks, a banner (which we never actually finished) and these painted Mason jar pencil holders.

Most of the decorations also served as favors for the kids to take home after our party.

So, the apple pie cake was "interesting". It is truly just a spring-form pan full of fresh, sliced Granny Smith apples, a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar, a "quick bread" kind of cake recipe poured over the top and allowed to sink in and then another sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. Everyone else loved it but I think if I ever make it again, I will tweak the flavorings. It kind of confused my palate as I expected it to feel and taste like an apple pie but the texture was a bit more cake-ish. I love apple pie so if I am going to go to all of the trouble of peeling and slicing 8 apples, I might as well go the distance and make a pie instead-especially, for me, the crust is my favorite part and this cake has no crust-although the kids were ALL OVER that crispy sugar layer on top!

So, these three are officially back in school and loving it so far! It is so much fun to hear all of their thoughts on teachers, classmates, etc. Next week our other four start their new school years...and so it goes! Way too fast if you ask me!!

We have had a super busy week-doctors and dentist, 2 days with daughter #2 and family seeing Han's new apartment and getting Morgan her class schedule for this year, back-to-school party and today, a girl's outing with daughter #3. Looking forward to a downtown lunch at one of our favorite spots and hearing all about her new projects as her design business really takes off.

And, tomorrow can't come fast enough as I look forward to starting my autumn decorating. By Sunday evening, my blood pressure should be down 20 points! Ahhhh. I can feel it now. Stay tuned.

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