Sunday, January 23, 2011

my favorites~

My favorite things:
  • Danny walking in the door after being gone THE WHOLE WEEK!  He was in New Orleans from Sunday morning to the following Saturday evening.  That was too long!

  • I enjoyed cooking a few things...but ate leftovers and In-n-Out the other nights.  The few things I made:

pizza with fresh mozzarella and spinach
black bean enchiladas with corn
(enchiladas: red sauce, yellow corn tortillas, black beans, & med. sharp cheddar corn:sauteed with olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, sea salt & a quick dash of chili powder)
potato soup with grilled asparagus (I could eat grilled asparagus every day.)
(Danny's grandma's soup: 7 boullion cubes, 1/2 onion chopped finely, butter, flour, 7 potatoes, 7 cups of water, half & half  asparagus:recipe here)

  • practicing for guitar lessons again-I pushed myself SO MUCH more than I would have on my own.  It was great for my girls to see me push through it too...they aren't the only ones tortured with difficult things to learn.
  • Grandma's 89th birthday celebration!  YAY!
  • thanks to Kelly I have been eating A LOT more raw fruits and vegetables...especially salads for lunch and an apple for a snack!  Thanks Kelly!!!!  Your meeting was great!
  • my girl's coming home on Wednesday, so excited about what they had learned about Martin Luther King.  I was happy that they knew about Rosa Parks...and Ellie told Kate about Harriet Tubman because of a book she previously read.  It warmed my heart!

  • the book we are reading together on the couch.
  • eating sushi at the Happy Sumo with people we love!
  • this new work out video...ummm I had to walk very slowly for two days (I was so sore!) after my first workout but now I am rocking it!   (I shouldn't have started with 5lb. weights on my first day)

  • $19 pants I found at Anthropologie!  They are so comfortable and I LOVE THEM!  I bought a dress too---that wasn't $19. :)
  • sitting with Sophie (who is a newly turned four year old) at church yesterday...I told her how much I loved her bright eyes and her cheerful smile...and she responded, "I know.  That boy was staring at me." "that boy" is FOURTEEN and wasn't staring at her!
  • that I picked up my camera this week...and my girls wanted me to :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

on my table

One of my goals this year is to have a meal plan each week.  I really loved doing this during part of last year.  I hope I stick to it through out the year.  The recipes I choose are simple, but it is so nice to have an idea when 4 and 5 o'clock come around!

I look for meals that are higher in vegetables, very little (if any meat) and are from whole/real ingredients.  I am not perfect at any of it---but I enjoy trying.
I am also a cook book buying addict!  It's time to start cracking a few of them!
I used Barefoot Contessa's "How Easy Is That?" cook book for quite a bit of what I chose for this week.  Last year I set each meal to a day...this time I will be more flexible.

This week's menu:

clam chowder, roasted broccoli with Italian puglese bread
clam chowder was a combination of recipes: celery, onion, red potatoes, mini clams, butter, flour, milk, cream, and dashes of Tabasco, salt, pepper and fresh parsley
roasted broccoli:  see here   made mine with out pine nuts and basil...but the lemon, olive oil and Parmesan is amazing!

butternut squash ravioli with balsamic brown butter sauce with celery Parmesan salad, and roasted pear & apple sauce
ravioli: Costco
sauce:  see recipe here
salad:  Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? Cookbook

spaghetti aglio e olio with sauteed spinach and french bread
spaghetti:  same cookbook (I also found a similar recipe posted here)

creamy polenta, roasted butternut squash, salad with fresh ranch
polenta:  Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? Cookbook
squash:  see recipe here 
dressing:   Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? Cookbook

asparagus pizza & green salad with fresh ranch
pizza sauce:  see recipe here
dough:  20 minutes a day rustic bread pizza dough
with fresh mozzarella and thinly sliced asparagus
topped with fresh Romano cheese

What are you cooking!?
Any favorite cooking websites or blogs!?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday on the couch

You sat down and talked.
I was on the couch reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.
You said, "The book I am reading made me cry.  Charlie cried too."
You have been reading "Meet Addy."  
It is a book from the American Girl series.
It came in a set with a doll.  
I love that you chose Addy out of all of the other historical dolls that were available that day.
She is an African American character fighting for freedom with her family to escape slavery.

You talked and talked and talked,
sharing every detail you remembered of what you have read so far.
You love the book~
and I love that you care, that you were reading to Charlie, that you cried and that you shared it with me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

love is~

They couldn't be more beautiful people...both inside and out.
It was a special day.
What a wonderful way to begin a new year.
There will be fireworks and celebrations every year for their anniversary.
Danny and I were so grateful to be part of their special day.
Their friends...who we count now as our own friends...
were beautiful, gracious, supportive, and enthusiastic,
truly wonderful people!

The bride and groom were married in NYC.
They wanted pictures on the Brooklyn Bridge.
There were people everywhere...
they were celebrating with us~
taking their pictures, cheering and congratulating the bride and groom.
It was absolutely perfect!

 her mother's pearl earrings

 a letter for the groom

 a letter from the groom

her smile

 poised~ on the Brooklyn Bridge

"Just Married!"  a celebration~

evening twilight

We are so happy to have Whitney as part of our family~
I am grateful to have her as a sister.
We love you both!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

a new year

Next to Halloween, New Years Eve is my least favorite holiday.  I have to say that ringing in 2011 was my favorite New Years to date!!  Danny and I traveled to NYC for a few days.  We were there for Rob & Whitney's wedding.  What a fun city to enjoy the holiday!  We stayed away from Time Square and rang in the new year on the Brooklyn Bridge!  I LOVED IT!  The weather was comfortable, the people- enthusiastic, and the sights spectacular! 

Although the holiday itself isn't usually my favorite...I do love the new year and new goals!
My 2011 I hope will be the best yet!  My new resolutions:

family meal time:  
We are pretty good at this but I can do better!  I am going to plan weekly menus again.  This was so fun for me I am going to try again.  I will try to post them here too!   I hope to utilize a few of the cookbooks I love to collect and try one new recipe a week!

for health and $:  
Eat out no more than once a week....this includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

early to bed:
early to bed (10 p.m.) early to rise (5:00 a.m.)
This is completely against my nature...but I know of it's usefulness!
I am going to try...REALLY REALLY HARD!

I love music...but especially the homegrown variety!  I am going to start guitar lessons again (my first lesson is Monday!) and I couldn't be more excited about my new guitar teacher!!!!!!!  I also want to learn to sing harmony/alto.  This is a weakness for me.  My vocal range is more comfortable as an alto but I only hear the melody.  My mom is really good at it.  She told me she learned in the church choir.  That's where I am headed this year---church choir, alto section!  Wish me (or them) luck!

Do you know that Danny writes in his journal every night?  With out fail.  Even on vacation.  There is something wonderful about slowing down and writing in a journal.  I am dedicated.  I am going to do it.  Every night.  With out fail.  Even on vacation.  (gulp...that was hard to type)

i love you rituals:  
I love this book.  Have you read it?  As humans we need physical contact.  I will give my girls foot rubs on the couch as we chat and read.  I will give Danny more back rubs.   I have small hands...and I am not very strong...but it is nice and the scales have been tipped in my favor for too long.  :)   Taking time to sit and talk and give time to those I love~  It is nice.

That's it!  Those are my goals! 
Thanks Rob, Whitney, Tyler, John and Blakely! 
Danny and I couldn't have enjoyed a more delightful New Years anywhere!
We will always remember the walk on the bridge with wonderful people!
A few more pictures: