An Anniversary Trip Down Memory Lane

A wedding anniversary is ‘kind of’ a big deal.  It isn’t necessarily a time for elaborate gifts or extravagant celebrations, but it deserves a pause from this hectic thing called life to take a trip down memory lane.

Things have been a little hectic for me lately,  I have a lot of irons in the fire and have a been  juggling a lot of responsibilities, so it was welcome relief and appreciation when I received a simple e-mail from Dear Hubby that invited me for a “date” on Saturday night to celebrate our Anniversary.  I usually take the lead on planning for these sorts of things, but I think this year he sensed that my resources were low, so he took charge.

I did not know what he had planned but he told me I could dress casually, so I did.  Of course, I did have some tiny concerns about whether I was dressed appropriately because it’s a bummer to show up at the prom dressed in your picnic clothes, but I decided to trust him and just went with it.  As it turns out, he was correct.

He took me to Cusanelli’s,, which is a restaurant in the area near where we grew up and began dating.  In fact, we had some of our very first dates here stopping in after a movie.

Cusanelli's Restaurant
A quick phone shot of one portion of the famous mural.

Tonight I had the cannelloni with 1/2 red and 1/2 white sauce and Curt had some kind of a steak.  The food was not fancy but tasted good.  The crowd gathered there was casual and it was clear that this place is still popular with the locals.  They have great pizza, and although we were stuffed like a Christmas turkey when we left, we could smell the pizza as we walked to our car and we both agreed that it smelled delicious, even though we were far from hungry.

I did not realize this place had such a rich heritage when we were younger and dropping in on a date.  Cusanelli’s has been in business for 55 years, but prior to the birth of this Italian/American eatery, the structure itself was an Inn that dates back to the Spanish occupation west of the Mississippi.  Much later, in 1939, it was determined by a survey done during road construction to be exactly 8 miles from the courthouse at Market & Broadway, so the name 8-mile house still sticks even today.  Read more about this establishment’s fascinating history on their website.  There were a number of famous people who visited, including one individual who still has an outstanding bar tab.  They also have a facebook page.

The structure’s history is all cool, but our self-absorbed memory of this place has more to do with two teenagers with stars in their eyes who eventually fell in love and raised a family.  Now that’s a historical memory that has some real value.

Nostalgically yours………….DebraJ

I did not receive any compensation or receive any free gifts when I created this post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.

Mexican Tamale Casserole

Mexican Tamale Casserole
This is a "once in a while" pleasure with a crunchy corn bread topper...
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup of onion, chopped
  • 1 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (or lean ground turkey)
  • 2 - 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 12 ounces whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sliced ripe olives
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons Chili powder
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup yellow corn meal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  1. Warm the onion and green pepper in hot cooking oil until tender.
  2. Add the lean ground meat and brown lightly.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients for the casserole except the cheddar cheese.
  4. Simmer 20-25 minutes until thick. (Yummy smells)
  5. Add the shredded cheese and stir until melted.
  6. Pour into a greased 9X9X2 inch square baking dish.
  7. Cover with corn meal topper
  1. Stir corn meal and salt in cold water until thick.
  2. Add butter and mix well.
  3. Spoon over Mexican tamale meat mixture.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
This is one of our "oldies" and I have been using it since I still had kiddos at the dinner table asking me to cut their meat. There are a variety of versions of this recipe in many books and all over the internet, this just happens to be the one I have used for a number of years.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 Calories: 505 Fat: 30 Carbohydrates: 34 Sodium: 1283 Protein: 26 Cholesterol: 92.3

Tamale later…………..DebraJ

I have not received any compensation or free gifts for creating this post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.

Now this is the way to see a movie!

We love it when the Oscars roll around every year, and we try to see as many of the movies as possible before the event.  Usually we don’t meet that lofty goal, and this year is no different, but we thought we’d take in one this past Friday night so we could at least see half of them (okay, really only 3).  One of our local theaters recently converted to a Dine-In Theatre, so we decided to give it a try. 

ARGO has been at the top of our list so we decided to see the movie and the new dining set-up all at the same time.  I purchased the ticket through the website and was excited to see that we could select our seats in advance.  When we arrived at the theater we skipped the ticket line and went directly to the area where kiosks were set up for advance purchases.  There were a lot of them so it was very convenient.  One swipe of the credit card that purchased the tickets led to the immediate production of the tickets.  No questions to answer and now buttons to push!  Easy!

We were greeted by very friendly staff and shown to our seats.   WOW!   Now this is the way to see a movie!  (I hope I don’t fall asleep in this cozy comfy chair).  We sat in plush and roomy recliner style chairs with a pull over table.  The chair reclined in various stages so everyone can find that sweet spot where perfection is achieved.

The waiter came to us immediatly and explained how things would work and offered us some water while we perused the menu.  Yes!  I was thirsty after all this excitement.


After looking at the menu several times and playing with all the buttons on the chair, we finally ordered.  As frequently happens, even with about 50 items on the menu, we ordered the same thing.  Exactly. the. same. thing.  The Thai Bang Shrimp Tacos and a Woodchuck Cider.  Everything on the menu looked good, but I would like to see a few more healthful choices added (hint, hint).

BB_2013_Feb_ARGO.2  BB_2013_February_ ARGO

Yummy, yummy and  a lot of crunching while violating our low-calorie, low-fat diet.

The movie was great and I loved the suspense.  I had recall of many of the events surrounding this time period, but the movie did a great job of putting the viewer in the shoes of those people who took some courageous risks.  I was shaking at the end.  Ben Affleck has certainly evolved from an actor into other roles now that show he has talent.  Plus he still has that frown that tends to melt every female in the room.  I looked around the theater to see if it had the same effect on everyone, and I think it did, but it was hard to tell with everyone sitting in recliners with their feet up (I think a couple of people had dozed off, and I was just glad it wasn’t me).


We love going to the movies, and this is definitely flying first class.

Until Later — DebraJ

NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation or free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions were my own.