A Sizzlin’ Weekend

by Jenn (eating bender) on August 28, 2014

Somehow I blinked and it was almost Labor Day weekend. The inevitable end of summer is upon us, and while it has been a little crazy seeing fall decorations (and Halloween candy?!) on display already, I have to admit that I’m more than ready for my favorite season to arrive. Cooler temperatures (well, sort of), warm drinks and a reason to buy pumpkins? I’m there.

But to be fair, it has been an amazing summer. We’ve been equal parts busy and not busy, and I’ve made more of an effort to disconnect. That has also meant less blogging, which I miss, but there are plenty of good reasons, I promise.

One good reason? My best friend Sam came to visit me for a long weekend!


This is the first time Sam has been in Arizona since we moved here, so it was a lot of fun to be able to show her our still new-ish neighborhood. Of course, we did have to bring back some favorites from the last time she visited, including a Friday night at the Buffalo Chip Saloon!


We saw one successful bull rider and several adorable kids on sheep, too. Always a good time.


The next day we took a trip to the Musical Instrument Museum, which is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite museums anywhere. It displays more than 6,000 instruments from around 200 of the world’s countries and territories. There are also displays for specific people, like Elvis Presley, the Beatles and current artists such as Taylor Swift.

Many of the displays have audio and video technology that allows you to see and hear the instruments being played. Basically, you get to walk around with headphones and enjoy music for three hours. It’s awesome.

At the end of the exhibit tour there is an experience gallery, which allows you to try several of the instruments for yourself. Sam pretty much rocked the electronic theremin, which we had never heard of before but quickly became a favorite.


If you aren’t familiar with it, either, you should definitely check out her skills in this video:

Pretty awesome, right? My harp-playing abilities, on the other hand, were not quite as gifted.


We continued around the room playing xylophones, güiros and gongs. Then as we were leaving, a staff member offered to take photos of us for free. You don’t need to ask us twice.


On the last day of Sam’s trip, we decided to have a Pinterest party! After scouring the site for recipes, we narrowed it down to an appetizer, entrée and dessert. First up: Zucchini Parmesan Crisps. These are easy and tasty, and would definitely make for a great snack on a regular basis.


Our main course was grass-fed beef tacos, which we ultimately decided to make using our own “what we’re craving” recipe. They were topped with cheese, peppers, salsa, Greek yogurt “sour cream” and freshly made guacamole.


But the best was truly saved for last. After drooling over these Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction (seriously, go to that post and look at the pictures), we knew we had to give them a try. Bobby graciously agreed to be a tester.


Although our sprinkles ended up melting into the cookies, you could taste the cross between chocolate chip cookies and funfetti cake in every bite. There’s no doubt that these cookies will be added to my rotation in the future.


As always, the visit was way too short, but we packed in a lot of activity and it was really nice to be able to catch up with Sam in person. Can’t believe we are coming up on her first wedding anniversary in a month and a half!

Any big plans for Labor Day weekend?

We were in California last weekend with the nieces pieces and co., so this weekend will be a relaxing one at home. Although that said, we do have a few things on the agenda, including our (drumroll, please), first college football game of the season! Go Cats!



1 Erica August 28, 2014 at 9:56 am

Yayyyyyy college football!!! So excited. I’m never ready for summer to end though 😉 Glad you guys have had such a great summer. Lots of travel and visitors- just perfect! Those Zucchini Parmesan Crisps look SOOOOO good. Hope you all are doing well <3 <3. No crazy labor day plans- a little bbq

2 Jenn (eating bender) August 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Summer is pretty awesome, but the start of college football definitely helps ease the transition. :) Hope you have a fun Labor Day weekend!

3 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner August 28, 2014 at 10:12 am

The first thing I thought when I read this post: “Oh my gosh, denim overalls! I haven’t worn those since middle school!” Your friend Sam is rockin’ them, though. i’m headed off to a friend’s engagement party this weekend in Wauwatosa…..so excited!
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4 Jenn (eating bender) August 29, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Haha! She definitely rocks them, doesn’t she? I think they are making a comeback! Hope you have a great time at the engagement party this weekend!

5 Melissa @TryingtoHeal August 28, 2014 at 10:43 am

Ohh…fun times with Sam! Seriously, I need to go to that museum; it is right up my alley! Take me there when I come visit…sometime. LOL.

Glad you had a great time and as far as I could tell from Instagram you had a great time in SD too with the neices! It has certainly been nice in SoCal!

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6 Jenn (eating bender) August 29, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Come visit me soooooon! :) It was very nice in SoCal when we were there. Hope you are continuing to live it up in NYC!

7 Liz S. August 28, 2014 at 11:52 am

Such a fun time with a great friend!

Wishing you an early Happy Labor Day weekend!

8 Jenn (eating bender) August 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Same to you, Liz!

9 Awks Irish Girl August 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Looks like you had a great time! Do you have the recipes for those tacos? They look delish!

10 Jenn (eating bender) August 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Thank you! Here is the recipe – it’s super easy!

Ingredients (serves 2-3):
-1 pound grass-fed ground beef
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-Taco seasoning, to taste (could use a mix of cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic salt and pepper)
-1 red pepper, thinly sliced
-1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese (or other cheese of your choice)
-Guacamole, salsa and Greek yogurt to taste
-Whole wheat tortillas

We cooked the ground beef up in a skillet with olive oil and taco seasoning over medium-high heat. In a separate pan, heat up the red peppers with a bit more olive oil until they are browned. Once the beef is cooked, add it to the tortillas and top with peppers, cheese, guac, salsa and Greek yogurt “sour cream.”

I’m sure there are much fancier recipes out there, but this one is always delicious for us! :)

11 Awks Irish Girl August 30, 2014 at 9:04 am

Thank you so much, you’re the best! :)
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12 Wendi August 29, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Looks like you had a blast, girl! It’s always nice to have friends come to visit! I think I may have to steal your idea of hosting a Pinterest party the next time someone comes to stay with me. How fun!! And those cookie?! Oh. Em. YUMM!!! :)

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