Archive for food


Spring, Ice Cream and Dirt

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I have this little ritual.  I think I’ve been doing this since I was able to drive.  As soon as I see that Dairy Queen has opened for the season, I have to get on the phone and yell that it is, in fact, open.  Back when I was sixteen, and cell phones were thousands of dollars and almost as big as my car, I drove home first.  Now, I have my handy dandy iPhone.

So, it was St. Patrick’s Day and I went to get our personal taxes done started.  It was a beautiful day.  Sunny and warm.  Tony caught me on my cell just as I was leaving the accountant.  He needed some supplies for the bar…could I stop somewhere?  No problem.  I headed to Wal-Fart, which meant I had to pass the DQ.  (Now that I live out in the ‘burbs, I don’t drive past a DQ very often).  It was open!  I got right back on that cell and screamed to Tony “DAIRY QUEEN IS OPEN!!!!”  I never seem to stop on that very first day I see that it’s open.  I save it.  I plan for it.

The days passed.  We had fantastic weather.  There was bike riding, chalk drawing, basketball, roller skating, swings, bubbles.  All that good stuff.  Well, yesterday I made the plan.  I told the girls that we could head to DQ after dinner.  Ice Cream?  Sprinkles?  They were in.  As we were getting ready to head out, I looked at them.

Oh my gosh.  To put it nicely, it looked like they had a fun day.  Becca had a gigantic splash of mud on the back of her shirt from throwing various objects into the sandbox-that-is-now-a-science-experiment-because-it’s-filled-with-water.  She had biker shorts on. Both of their hair?  Mess.  Chloe had on some hand me down flowered corduroys that were too short.  I made her change her pants, brushed some hair, and had them cover up with some hoodies.  Becca looked at me and said “Mom!  Why do we have to look nice?  We’re going to get ice cream, not to a wedding!”

Smart ass.  She’s never even been to a wedding.

We had a great night, got to the DQ before there was a long line, and headed to the park for a couple of hours.  Chloe passed out on the couch as soon as we got home.  Slept in her outfit all night.

Sure beats what was happening a month ago…more than two feet of snow and being stuck in the house for a week.  Glad that’s a distant memory!

Enjoy whatever weather YOU have!!!!


Oh So Thankful

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Well, lots of things are just going just peachy here.  It’s been two weeks since I’ve had a cigarette.  Do I still want one?  Yes, every day.  In fact, I want one right now at this exact moment.  Being at the restaurant is the hardest…everybody here smokes.

I’ve also been very good about going to the gym and exercising.  And even though I couldn’t go to the gym yesterday, I still exercised.  I did some disco abs thingie on Comcast OnDemand.  Chloe did it with me.  It was quite comical.

I don’t want to gain any weight because of the whole no smoking thing.  I know that if I stepped on a scale and saw that I GAINED five pounds, I would get my fat ass in the car and drive down to the convenience store for cigarettes.  Plain and simple.  So, I’ve also joined Weight Watchers online (just for three months…then I’m going to cancel.  In fact, ‘cancel Weight Watchers’ is already in my to-do list for February).  I didn’t realize how much CRAP (well, not crap in the literal sense.  But crappy food.) I shove in my mouth.  Especially after getting those two bags of Halloween candy for half off.  The Heath bars?  Long gone.  But I still have the Mounds.  I’m thinking I should just finish off the bag and delay Weight Watchers for a few days.  :)

Because my timing is always so perfect, it just so happens that Thanksgiving falls this week.  So, I’ll be eating a ton of food that day.  Oh well.  At least I don’t really have to cook anything.  I still have my sister in laws convinced that I can’t cook.  Which is just fine with me.  My assignment for Thanksgiving dinner?  Celery stuffed with cream cheese and peanut butter.  I almost got found out a couple of months ago, and my sister in law Anita found out that I make a mean ham.  I have since sworn her to secrecy.  Since she’s not actual Downey blood, I think I’ll be OK.  I’ll probably get found out right now…but hopefully they think that I’m lying right now and that I really can’t cook.

Kristina – you just roll with me here.  Don’t tell your aunts.  But that’s why you got stuck making pies. Because they know you can.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Categories : exercise, food, life
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Eat Up!

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Well, yesterday we held the Sloppy Joe Showdown at Downey’s House.  It was fantastic!  It turned out to be a super family friendly event, and we’re going to make it an annual thing.  You can see all of the pictures on our blog, but here are the family photos and stories.

First off, there was a kids jello eating contest.  Becca and Chloe were ready for the action.  Chloe was talking some trash!  She eyed Julia (her cousin) up as her biggest competition.  She told her that she’d be eating her jello “all in one bite.”  Turns out that her other cousin, Rachael, won.  Chloe just very methodically scooped small amounts of jello into her mouth with her hand.  And kept on eating, even after the contest was finished.

Eat the Jello

Now, I didn’t have too much to do with setting this thing up.  Our bartender, Tim really did it all.  So, I didn’t realize until Saturday that my brother planned on competing.  I was a little nervous for him.  Scratch that.  I was nervous for his wife.  I’m sure you can understand.  Anyway, my brother, without any preparation or practice, dove right in there and ate ten sloppy joes in eight minutes.  Third place.  The winner ate fifteen.  I was shocked, impressed, and a little worried.  Here’s his winning grin:


So, mark your calendars for next July…if you have the stomach for it!

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One Crazy Dinner

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I almost forgot about the dinner post. We (meaning about 14 of us) went to dinner on Saturday night. We had an evening of fun planned. Meet around 6:00, have dinner, and then proceed to the Carnegie Crawl. Just in case you’re not familiar with the Carnegie Crawl…you just basically bop around Carnegie bars. Safe? Not so sure anymore. But fun. So, we all meet at Papa J’s in Carnegie. We got there a little late, and everybody else was already seated.

Now, I’m pretty lenient when it comes to bad service. Really. Here we are, a table of fourteen, and our server proceeds to tell us that it’s her first night and we are her first big table. But that’s OK, we plan on taking it pretty easy on her. Most of the people (ok, maybe only 5) have worked in restaurants for a long time. We’ve been there. She gets our drink orders, and eventually brings the drinks and takes our dinner order. She’s doing OK. She’s obviously stressed, and she’s not getting ANY help from the manager. (and that is where I get all crabby). Her only real downfall is that she’s complaining about how stressed out she is. But hey…she’ll learn that the less she complains, the better her tip will be.

Anyway, the whole process is taking us forever. It’s 8:00 and we’re still there. We’ve just gotten our meals. And that was after there were a bunch of questions about our orders. And the questions came about 15 minutes after we should have been eating our dinners. But I digress….

The manager of this place completely dropped the ball. In many, many ways. Should he have given the new girl a table of 14 on a busy night? Her first night? No. Should he have been there holding her hand most of the way through this gigantic table? Yes. Did he? No. Bad, bad manager. If anything even remotely close to that ever happens at Downey’s House I think that we should just close the doors. You know, even though the food was good, I will not be heading back to Papa J’s any time soon. And not just because I never get to go out to dinner without my kids.

Oh, speaking of Downey’s House, I got a little teenie tiny website up last night. You can download an application to send to us, if you’re interested in working for us. The website is at And I started a little blog at Go check it out :)

OK, happy day! The fridge guy is coming to fix my fridge (again), and I’m taking the kids to spend the Easter money they got from my folks.

Categories : Downey's House, food
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Great Restaurant!!!

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So, the hubby and I actually got a date night on Monday. We went down to Market Square to check out a restaurant called
Ciao Baby. I love their logo/slogan. (It’s a big kiss mark, and the tag line is ‘Passionate Cuisine.’ If you can’t see the pic). I guess it’s been around for a couple of years, but we had just recently heard about it. The owner’s wife was chatting with my hubby, and suggested that we try it out. Plus, Tony (my hubby) is in a good position to send people to different restaurants, seeing that he’s a bartender at the Pittsburgh Airport Hyatt.

Anyway, we went. And even though Market Square isn’t exactly where it should be yet, the restaurant was beautiful. Marble bar, beautiful fixtures and nice colors inside. Great service…we had a bottle of Shoofly Shiraz, an eggplant appetizer (which was INCREDIBLE!!! The marinara sauce was the best EVER), and I had pasta with a vodka cream sauce, salmon and asparagus (also extremely yummy). Tony had one of the specials which was duck in a blueberry/Chambord reduction. The bite that I had was quite good. So, very good restaurant. I wish that downtown (aka dahn tahn) would become a little bit more of a hub. Not that I get the chance to go out all that much. Once a month, if I’m lucky. But I think that next month I’ll go back to Ciao Baby.

Afterwards, we headed more towards home, and stopped at Fertie’s in Carnegie. My 2 sister-in-laws used to work there when it was the IronHorse and Sammy Alexander’s. They prettied up the inside a bit…ceramic floors and a new bar…some flat screen tv’s. Of course, it was Monday night, so it wasn’t very busy. All in all, it felt a lot like it used to…which means I wasn’t extremely impressed. But it’s nice to have an OK place to stop in Carnegie other than the Pour House for a drink.


Categories : food, Pittsburgh, restaurant
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