Homemade sauce night was a success. Matt made a huge pot of meat marinara and a small pot of vegetarian sauce for me using our usual recipe. We had enough sauce for dinner last night with 5 adults and 3 kids, plus about 5 canning jars worth of leftovers to store in the freezer for another night.
I was hoping to try the sauce in a crockpot this time as part of the crockpot challenge, but we didn't get home from grocery shopping until 2:00 and that's just not enough hours for sauce to do magic in the slow cooker. The stove top version turned out just as good as always, though.
I didn't snap a picture of my plate, but you can bet it was filled with rigatoni and red sauce, salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette and fresh garlic bread. A glass of cabernet was sipped on the side as well. This is always a favorite meal of mine, but it's so much better shared with friends or family. Thankfully we had a group of pals to join us!
Our friends Matt, Chris and Karla all came over with their kids, which was great. It's not always easy to get a babysitter, so having Saturday night play dates is a good way for us all to get to hang out without leaving the kiddos at home. Having friends come over also means there will probably be dessert. ;-)
Karla brought a strawberry, banana chocolate cake from Baldanza's Bakery near their house. So good.
After dinner the boys rough housed with the kids, who all took turns getting rides in Riker's play truck. That thing was a hit last night.
This morning we woke up and got right to showering and heading out for the day. A few days ago my friend Lauren called and asked if we were up for an impromptu little reunion of sorts. For several years, Matt and I took part in an annual Presidents Day weekend trip to the Adirondacks with a fun group of friends from college, including a few of my sorority sisters, his fraternity brothers and my roommates from when I lived in DC for grad school. We skied, went sledding, rode snowmobiles, drank cheap beer and played card games by the fireplace; there were usually about 20 of us, and I always loved those weekends. The trip didn't get planned this year, but Lauren wanted to get us all together anyway so hosted a mini friends weekend at her house complete with wine tasting, a hockey game and a Sunday brunch. We couldn't take Riker wine tasting obviously, and didn't want to leave him home since we already left him Friday night, but Sunday brunch with the whole family sounded like a great idea.
Lauren put out a spread, and everyone brought goodies to share as well. I made a batch of banana muffins, and made sure to eat one of those as well as a pancake, some scrambled eggs and a bunch of fruit.
Mimosas are always on the menu at brunch with this group, but champagne tends to give me a headache so I stuck with my morning coffee. My friend Robyn brought a treat for us all to try, though - Rum Chata - and when she said it tasted like the milk leftover from a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I had to give it a taste.
And she was right, it was so so good. I think it would be awesome blended up with ice for a summer poolside drink.
We spent a good part of the day hanging out chatting at Lauren's house, and it was so fun catching up with some of the girls I hadn't seen in literally almost a year. I think everyone is getting together again for St. Patty's Day, so hopefully another year won't go by before I see them again!
We just got back home and I need to rustle up some dinner for this crew. Hope you had a great weekend!