Happy Sunday TKW Family! It’s time for another weekly menu. So how was your past week? Mine was really good though lonely at times. See last week I had to travel for work and was gone from Easter day to Saturday which meant 6 days apart from Mr. Fantabulous. Now to some that may not seem like much but for me (and him) it was a lifetime. We’re never apart and as of late I’ve been traveling a bit for work. And since I’m kinda sweet on the big fella, I missed him when I was back at the hotel or out to dinner. Thankfully we live in an age where technology is making it easier on us. Between cell phones, Facetime and Skype it’s sort of the next best thing. While it’s not quite the same thing, it sure is so much better than nothing at all. But it’s true what they say though as absence does make the heart grow fonder because when I saw his car pull into the rental car parking lot I started to bounce up and down, smile from ear to ear and get tears in my eyes. Simply put, I missed him.
While my days were unbelievably stressful and seriously put me on information overload (like I honestly didn’t think my brain could house anymore knowledge before it exploded) my evenings were awesome. I’m truly lucky to not only work with great people in my home office but the folks at our other offices are amazing! I was worried when I first took this job that I wouldn’t find another ‘family’ like I had at my old one. While those folks can never be replaced I’ve been truly blessed to make some amazing new friendships that span multiple offices. And what even makes it better is I found out that I have TKW Family there now too! Easter night, nothing was open restaurant-wise and to be honest I was in a fair bit of pain from driving. So I decided to head down to the hotel “bistro” to get some dinner. While waiting on my dinner I was working on my laptop updating my site when the girl working behind the counter sees my site (I’m working on a future post later this week). She then says “Is that The Kitchen Whisperer’s site? I LOVE her! You have got to try her stuff! She makes this bacon wrapped sriracha onion ring that is to die for!”
Now I’m sitting there in my 2Xl t-shirt that comes to my knees (I refuse to get rid of this shirt as it’s so comfy and ginormous), my lounge pants, zero make up and tired. I just get the biggest smile and can feel my cheeks start to blush. Before I could say anything she gave me an odd look then it hit her as her eyes got as big as silver dollars. I extended my hand and said “Hi, I’m Lori – The Kitchen Whisperer and thank you. That really means a lot to me. Happy Easter! What’s your name?”
Folks Kiera pretty much jumped over the counter to hug me however she stopped and said “Wait, your shoulder! How are you? Do you need ice? Can I still hug you?” Seriously she so made my day. So we sat there and chatted for a good hour. The best part of it all, besides meeting her, was to hear her say “You know Lori it’s so cool to meet you. You’re even more beautiful than I thought you would be but honestly.. you’re real. You’re exactly the same in person as you are online. It’s like we’ve been besties for years.” It’s just so humbling to hear that as honestly while I don’t think I do anything out of the ordinary it’s still awesome to hear stuff like this. However that wasn’t my only TKW Family meeting.
See last time I was at the other office I posted a picture on Facebook about how it was -17F there. Well I got a message from a fellow TKW Sister saying she lived there and if we worked for the same company. After many chats we made plans that the next time I was up at the office we’d go out to dinner. Now what’s funny is for 3 days up to our going out to dinner it was hectic trying to figure out where. See she knows, as you all do, that I’m not one for chain-restaurants. Most of the stuff is pre-packaged and not so fresh. I’m more of a Mom & Pop’s kinda girl. Whether it’s a dive bar, a strip mall cubbyhole restaurant or some road side diner I don’t care just as long as the food is awesome. Sure I’m a food snob BUT it’s all about price-to-quality. If I’m paying $25 for a burger (which I would never EVER do in the first place) you best be serving me one of the most amazing burgers I’ve ever had AND Channing Tatum, Vin Diesel and Mark Wahlberg are waiting on me hand and foot…shirtless <sorry honey, love you!> Normally those off the beaten path type of places are lower in price and have some of the best hometown foods! Thankfully Laura, my TKW Sister, decided for us on this local pizza place whose menu was off the hook! So much to choose from and it all looked amazing! But wait, let me back up a minute … I have to tell you just how awesome Laura is! Literally when we met she gave me the biggest hug (while minding my shoulder). Her smile just lit up her beautiful face and honestly it was like seeing an old friend I hadn’t seen in 20 years.
We got a table and while we tried to read the menu we were like two old wash women down at the creek chatting up a storm. The poor waitress had to come back a good 3-4 times to see if we were ready to order. We talked about everything and anything sharing a lot of laughs, a few tears (told you all I’m a huge sap) and just had such a great time. For me hearing her talk about my site, recipes and more so how I am “real” with you all. I can’t put into words what that means to me. It’s so humbling to hear. I just reiterated that while I’m not the best grammar person as I am the lover of ellipses (…) that I write from the heart. I write as if you, that person 10 miles or 1,000 miles away, is sitting across the table from me in my kitchen. We’re just sitting there chatting like 2 life long friends about everything anything. For me it has never been about how many followers, likes or shares but more so about the quality of people. To know that someone trusts in me enough to go buy ingredients with money they work so hard for to make a recipe that some stranger, some chick on the internet (me), says that this recipe is amazing and that you really should make it, is priceless. It’s an honor and honestly the best reward I could ever ask for.
I’d say after 3 or so hours and some killer food (seriously my pizza steak sub was awesome!) we decided to call it a night as we both had to get up early for work. As we were walking to our cars she said she had a gift for me. Now you all know me and presents, I’m like a 5 year old on Christmas morning. Seriously you could wrap up every stick of gum in a single package and I would be thrilled! I love unwrapping stuff. LOL As she handed me the bag there were 3 items in it. This, THIS, honestly I bawled as I drove home, touched my heart. Laura was out and saw some things that immediately made her think of me. Again, this food blogger on the internet, was thought of. And the fact that she saw these things and bought them for me… family folks. She found this drawer pull of a PIG!!! LOL So super cute! But the best… OMG the BEST is she found… are you ready for this???
She found 2 pairs of gutchies – one that said “Shakin Bacon” on the butt! I know, right! And the other was a pig face on the butt with EARS that fold up along the band! YES, PIG EARS!!! You HAVE to check out the pic!!! I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVED the gifts! The thing is, this is so me! That’s how I know that the folks that ‘follow me’ actually listen and do consider us family – we pay attention to our likes, when we have ups and downs. We talk about more than just food!
And with that I’m going to sign off as I have a buttload (yes, that’s a technical term) of laundry to get done and I’m sooooooooooo far behind on posts for the week. Here’s to you all having one fantabulous week!
Best Kitchen Wishes!
♥ Monday – Summer Garden Pasta
♥ Tuesday- Mom’s Ground Beef Stroganoff
♥ Wednesday – Savory Summery Tomato & Zucchini Tart
♥ Thursday – Gnocchi in a Vodka Cream Sauce
♥ Friday – World’s Best Grilled Chicken Salad
♥ Saturday – Roasted Veggie French Bread Pizzas
♥ Sunday – Bacon BBQ Pulled Pork Rolls
♥ Dessert of the week – Baked Apple Cider Donuts with Maple Bourbon Glaze