Monday, December 30, 2013

Pizza Reigns at the Palace

Can you believe it?  Another holiday season has flown by.  Family members have all gone home, and I must admit, our house does seem a bit lonely.  But after hosting two family parties and making two turkey dinners, a Christmas brunch, and several potluck items, I am feeling the need to relax and take a break from our kitchen.
  

 


I am feeling the need for pizza.  Don’t tell me you didn’t have the same urge the day after Christmas…..
 

 
 
After a day of running errands, my husband and I decided to carry out our favorite local pizza from J & G Pizza Palace, located in the heart of downtown Sylvania, Ohio. 

The Palace, also known for its Greek food and gyros, has been in operation for decades with décor that has remained unchanged since its opening - I’m guessing in the 70’s. 
 

 
 

Calling it a Palace is a complete oxymoron as the restaurant is tiny and usually packed with regulars waiting in its crowded vestibule.   Sometimes we get lucky and score the one and only bench by the front window – a great place to hold hands and share a glass of Greek wine. 


Sitting in this cozy nook gives us the feeling that we are in a big city – something about the lights reflecting in the windows.
 

 
 
Now, let’s get to the pizza.  Having lived and visited cities out East where pizza became pizza, I have to say that J & G has truly something special in its recipe.  The crust is thin and crunchy, the sauce is tangy and not too sweet, and the cheese is added in slices.   And I love the unique way they cut the pie into little squares.
 

 
 
Have I mentioned the Greek salad yet?  A must have pairing with your pizza.  It’s drizzled with an olive oil and vinegar dressing with lots of oregano and spices.  And it is topped with huge chunks of feta cheese.  HUGE!
 

 
 
It is time that I say goodbye for our carry out pizza awaits. 

 

 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house;

 



Everyone was stirring, even the mouse;
 

 
 
 
The garland was hung by the chimney with care,
 

 
 
In hopes that St. Nicolas soon would be there;
 

 
 
The ladies in their gowns and men in their best,
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Just settled down for their holiday fest.
 

 
 
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
 
 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Preparations

Yesterday, my friend Gina and I were discussing how much we love decorating for Christmas and pulling all of the details together on those last few days leading up to it.


 
 
We were also laughing about how when we were young we thought our moms were crazy ladies at this time of year.  



 


All of that running around and yelling, "Don't make a mess.  I just cleaned that!"  We didn't understand what the big deal was all about.  Everything looked nice to us. 

 

 


But... as it turns out, they weren't crazy at all.  They were just trying to make the holiday special for their families, and they worked really hard to make it perfect and memorable.

 




And then we laughed harder and realized we have become those crazy ladies. 

 



So, here’s to all of the moms and crazy ladies out there.  Happy preparations!

 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Manor of Tradition

I love this time of year.  I enjoy everything about it – cozy evenings in front of the fireplace, cooking and baking, making and wrapping gifts, walking the dog on snowy evenings - all of it.

The entrance to the beautiful Manor House

As busy as pre-Christmas days can be, it’s nice to take some time out from the hustle and bustle to attend some great area events. 

We are fortunate in that our community does holiday events really well – the Thanksgiving parade, the lights at the zoo, and the ballet’s Nutcracker are just a few.

Silver and white themed tree in the living room

Last weekend my Mom and I revisited one of our community’s oldest traditions – the holiday home tour at The Manor House. 


The festive dining room with some very special guests

The Manor House, one of the area’s most iconic homes, once served as the family estate to the Robert Stranahan family.  For the past 38 years, its scenic estate buildings, horse stables and grounds have served as a community park for all to enjoy. 

Clara's bedroom 

Thanks to the many volunteers who deck its halls each year, The Manor House is a magical sight and a beloved tradition. 
 

The romantic sitting room


What favorite traditions will you observe this holiday season?



A Manor of Pride
 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

All is Merry and Bright

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I also hope you got some beauty sleep because somehow… magically… overnight, it became Christmas.  

 
 
Can you believe it? 

Yesterday was the 4th of July, right?
 

 
 
I decided to forgo the Black Friday weekend festivities to focus on holiday decorations. 
 

 
 
This year, it’s a mix of natural and traditional for me.  I’m crazy about burlap…. and so is the rest of the world from what I see out there. 
    

 
 
With fresh greens, fruits and pinecones, I’m going a little less sparkly and a little earthier – a little cozier and a little calmer.
 

 
 
Because we all know that there won’t be too much calm for any of us this month.
 

 
 
So here’s to you in finding your calm this holiday season. 
 
Happy decorating!