Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Meal Planning

Let me start off by saying I'm 100% sure we wont stick to this meal plan this week. I'm feeling a little ornery. Which means I'm likely to change my mind at the last moment. And it's gorgeous out. Which means I'm likely to change my mind at the last moment. And I know it's the girls and I for a few nights this week which means I'm apt to eat this salad while the girls eat grilled chicken and fruit. Like every night. Bear with me..

Tuesday: Lime Garlic Marinade for Grilled Chicken.

Wednesday: Jim's Famous Burgers

Thursday: Korean Beef Rice Bowl

Friday: Pizza Delivery???!!! DO IT. I'm gonna.

Saturday: Cajun Chicken Pasta

Sunday: Turkey, Strawberry and Brie Panini and Cucumber Yogurt Salad

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, May 30, 2011

The Beginning...

of summer. It means mornings drinking coffee on the screened in porch. Driving into town for warm cinnamon sugar donuts. Yummy breakfast sandwiches with local adirondack hot sauce. Boat trips that turn rainy. Big, warm sweatshirts. Freezing cold lakes. Babies that don't have a care in the world and big sisters who look on in awe. Balloon helicopters, bouncy balls, shiny rocks in small purple pouches. Chicken wings so hot you break a sweat and cold pitchers of Saranac. Canoes, kayaks, laughing with friends you haven't seen in 9 months. Garage sales, soft serve, fireworks by the pond and peepers peeping so loud you can barely hear yourself think.

It's gonna be a great year...

(Back where she belongs, driving a boat)

(The L-Man)

(9 months is a long time to be away from your best friend)

(Chicken wing nirvana)

(water temp: about 55 degrees - brrrrr)

(Nick's Lake in the Black River Wild Forest)

(Sweetest pup in the history of pups)

Happy Memorial Day! Happy Summer!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Garden {post #2}

My allergies are kicking my ass today. At one point I actually thought I was going to puke from the pain in my face. I spent a few HOURS on my butt on the sofa w/ the Big One while the Little One napped and felt crazy sorry for myself. Thankfully the Zyrtec and Advil kicked in just when the UPS dude arrived with the last (almost last) of my plants! HURRAY! So the three of us went out and planted some stuff.

Here's the final list of what we planted:

Burpless Hybrid Cucumbers
Burpee Pickle Cucumbers
Diva Cucumbers
Bush Pickle Cucumbers
Pole Beans
Crookneck Squash
Eight-Ball Zucchini
Ichabod Eggplant
Black Beauty Eggplant
Serrano Peppers
Sweet Pickle Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers
Hot Cherry Peppers
Orange and Green Bell Pepper
Jerusalem Artichoke

The Tomatoes:

Amish Rose
Black Brandywine
Early Girl
Violet Jasper
Mortgage Lifter
French Marmara

PHEW! We're waiting on some Yellow Taxi and Wild Cherry tomatoes..but for now, we're done!

Come on beauties. Grow!

Happy Gardening!


Salad Woes...

I have a little problem. I can't stop eating salads. Glorious, fruit and cheese filled salads. The problem is that I cover them, douse them really, with Trader Joe's Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette. Well, it's not a problem unless I run out of the dressing. Which doesn't happen anymore because I've been buying two bottles at a time. This dressing is glorious. A little spicy, a little sweet, and perfect for summer salads. This one below is my favorite...so far.

Baby Arugula
Pea Shoots
Some mixed greens
Blue Cheese


(I heart this bowl with all my heart. It's a pyrex nesting bowl. It was my grandma's and it makes me smile.)

The dressing is in the refrigerator section with the produce. It's drool worthy. 

And if you don't have a Trader Joe's, I'm sorry. Truly and deeply sorry. 

Happy Thursday!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Meal Planning - is it Friday yet????

Morning, peeps. The sun was out on Saturday for about 3/4 of the day. That was all. Now it's in hiding again. Which is exactly what I'm going to do if it doesn't make itself known again soon. Go into hiding. In the meantime, we all have to eat! Besides, this weekend is Memorial Day Weekend. Which means it's time to open up the cabin!!

My In Laws own a Cabin in Old Forge, NY. In the Adirondacks. But, since they live in Florida, we get to enjoy it all summer and fall. It's one of my favorite places on earth. And while the 4 or 5 hour drive is a slight turn off, (Are we there YET??!!!) the girls and I plan on staying up there for a good portion of the summer. Bonus, we're getting cable/cable modem this summer. Which is both good and bad. Bad because it means a working TV. Good because it means a working TV. Bad because it means internet access. Good because it means internet access. It's a double edged sword. I can't wait to sip my coffee on the porch. Ahhh. So lets whip up some yummy meals to get me/us through this week. Plus, a delicious Memorial Day feast!

Monday: Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork

Tuesday: Coconut Peanut Sauce Beef

Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie

Thursday: Spinach and Potato Breakfast Hash - 'cause you know breakfast for dinner is awesome.

Friday: Chicken Sausage with Apple Slaw

Saturday: Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken

Sunday: Tequila Lime Steak Fajitas

Memorial Day: Hurray!
To drinkPorch Crawlers. I will admit it, I love any drink in a mason jar. 
To eat: Have you tried Ree, The Pioneer Woman's, Jalapeno Poppers?? DO IT! Just wear gloves. And she's right, make twice as much as you think you'll need. They're so insanely delicious.

Herbed Turkey Burgers 
Blue Cheese Burgers 
Warm Potato Salad with Goat Cheese
Devil Dogs
Strawberry Shortcake

Happy Monday! Lets do this thing..


Friday, May 20, 2011

"She said what???!" - Nail Clippers

Me: {frantically searching for nail clippers} "Ugh! Where are my nail clippers??!!"

Me to the Big One: "Have you seen my nail clippers?"

Big One: "No, Are you sure you looked everywhere?"

Me: "Yes!"

two minutes later...

Me: "I found them!!"

Big One: "Good Job, Mama! I guess you didn't look everywhere..."

My work here is done.

Just plugging along..

We're just trying to stay sane around these parts. The sun never shines (OK, it did for like 2 hours yesterday- it was glorious!) my husband is gone till Sunday, my children are losing their minds, ditto. I haven't made anything cool or cooked anything really awesome. What a bummer, huh? But today we're meeting up with a friend and her little one at the Maritime Aquarium, which the girls and I love. And then over to the infamous Burger Bar for lunch. So, that's a good thing. And I think we'll skip the pizza tonight and go straight to this Mac and Cheese. I definitely think baked goods are in order for the weekend. And maybe, just maybe I'll finally buy the ice cream maker I've been wanting and start churning. And if I'm getting the ice cream maker I obviously will have to get David Lebovitz's book, The Perfect Scoop. But then I know myself and I'm going to have to have these adorable insulated ice cream tubs to keep all my glorious ice cream in. It's a vicious cycle. 

OH! And I'm considering putting this recipe for Beet Risotto with Goat Cheese on the menu for the weekend. Because, yum. 

Happy Friday! 


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The World is Ending {might as well go out with a bang}

Have you heard the news? The whole world is ending this Saturday, May 21st! At 6 pm. I'm not sure if that's EST or what, lets just go with yes. This, according to Reverend Harold Camping, a preacher from Oakland, California. I guess at 6 pm (again, EST, PST?) 2 percent of the population is going up to Heaven and the rest to HELL! This is bothersome for a few reasons. One is that my husband is going to be driving up from Florida with his dad at the time. So while I'm about 99% sure that he and the girls would be going upward, I'm about 99% sure I wouldn't be. So not only is there no time for a last minute make out sesh, I'm not sure he's got the girls drill down pat. I guess he'll make it up as he goes along. Plus my mom will probably be up there to help. 

Not to mention I haven't seen Bridesmaids yet! And I'm pretty sure they're not gonna play it down below. I'm sure I'll be made to watch Andie MacDowell on loop. "Is it raining? I hadn't noticed." 

Am I the only one who's considering drinking all the really good wine this week? Might as well right, not to mention I'm really digging Game of Thrones (The incest, the blood!!! It's all too much) and was looking forward to it Sunday night. Ho-Hum. Plus, who's gonna win Idol??!!!!! Couldn't the world wait to end in like 6 weeks? I need to enjoy at least one of my heirloom tomatoes!


Bright side, I'm pretty sure I need a root canal, hurray for missing out on that one!

I gotta go, this bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 20 year is not gonna drink itself.

Happy End of the World Wednesday!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Triple Rant (you've been warned!)

I gotta get this off of my chest. All of it. I'm not a ranter by nature, at least out loud or in public, or when sober, but the weather is craptastic and what better time to spew my guts, right? Right.

1. Wildlife. Yuck. I know we live in the "Country", but come on! Maybe we've been lucky these past three years. I guess we have been. But ticks and mice suck. Who wants to rip ticks out of their 4 year olds hairline? Not me. I know we live in a super tick-ish area but I was sort of hoping we wouldn't have to deal with it. Naive, I realize. The yard has now been treated. Lets hope we get away without anyone getting Lyme Disease. I've been crazily searching the kid for the dreaded bulls eye and haven't seen anything yet. Fingers crossed.

Mice. Yuck. I hate rodents. Always have. I even sort of hated my own hamster. Sorry, Sebastian. You freaked me out. In the past few weeks we've had one alive mouse, one very dead mouse (it was like Animal CSI up this place) and one slightly dead mouse. Thanks, Suki! (our 18 lb Maine Coon) I had a little coronary last night when the cat climbed into bed with us, I was sure he was bringing me a present. CHILLS. I swear I keep seeing things move out of the corner of my eye. I'm such a baby.

2. This friggin' weather. Is it raining where you live? No? Lucky. It's been crap here since Sat. afternoon. With no letting up in sight. So, that sucks. I'm trying to not let it get the best of me. I made a mug of tea (Trader Joe's Duchess Grey Tea) in my favorite mug (Target), added some honey we got on our recent trip, and sat down to write this post..

and then I spilled it on myself and all over the newly washed sofa cushions. Seriously? Thankfully I had also made popcorn with butter and truffle salt. 

(edited to add that I made myself ANOTHER cup and spilled it yet again. Win.)

3. Chill out, people. Everyone needs to breathe a little more and bitch a little less. Wait, aren't I doing that right now? Yes, kind of. So I guess I need to listen to myself. Regardless, I know a million (ok, maybe like 50) moms that need to start cutting themselves some slack for f's sake! And the people around them that are making them feel less-than, need to grow up! It's not a contest. It's not a race. It's life. Not every kid is potty trained by 15 months. Not every kid walks at 9 months. Not every mom is back into her pre-pregnancy jeans at 2 months postpartum. And it's ok. Breathe, make some brownies, go for a run, whatever. Do something to make yourself and your family feel good. I know I'm guilty of it too, but I'm really trying to stop. It's pointless. When we try to do it all we end up doing a half ass job. And what's the point of that? 

And now I'm going to make myself a third cup of tea and watch Lady and Tramp with the Big One. Nothing like dogs eating spaghetti to cheer a chick up.

Happy Tuesday! Breathe.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Meal Planning

I'm trying something new out this week. I'm cooking from the freezer (well that's not new) but instead of giving you a specific recipe for each day, I'm giving you a few different recipes for a few different types of dishes.

So here we go:

Monday: Skirt Steak. I found this lovely tutorial with a few yummy looking recipes over on Tasty Kitchen.

Tuesday: Pork Chops. This recipe for Pork Chops with Dijon Sauce looks really good. And I know that these Pork Chop with Mushroom Bourbon Cream Sauce are insanely good.

Wednesday: Ground Beef. Wanna know how to Shape Perfect Hamburger Patties? How about Mushroom and Swiss Sliders with Spicy Fry Sauce? Or Mini Meatball Sandwiches? I think these Italian Style Mini-Meatloaves look awesome.

Thursday: Flat-Iron Steak. I love Flat Iron steak. It's also sometimes called Top Blade steak. It's perfect for quick grilling and doesn't need a lot of time marinating to make it tender or to give it a lot of flavor. And it's relatively inexpensive. Bonus. All it really needs is a good sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper and a quick time on the grill. So instead of giving you a recipe for the steak, I'm giving you yummy recipes to go on the steak!

I love Chimichurri Sauce on steak. It's has a ton of flavor. Have you ever had Radish Truffle Butter? Granted, I love radishes and could eat them everyday, but it's so different and delicious on steaks. I've raved this Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce before, but I can't help it. It's so flippin' good!

Friday: Pizza. I love having Pizza on Fridays. It's a fun start to the weekend. Wanna learn how to grill a pizza? Here's a great tutorial from Simply Recipes. These are a few of our favorites. Fig Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula,  Caramelized Onion, Sausage and Basil Pizza,  Apple, Bacon and Onion Pizza and Margherita Pizza.

Saturday: Chicken BreastsChipotle Honey Grilled Chicken. Sweet and Spicy, yum. More Chipotles, more chicken. Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Sunday: PastaMac + Cheese (Lottie + Doof Style), there's Marscapone in this!! DROOL. Slurptastic Herb Noodles. Slurptastic is my new favorite word. Ramp Pesto!! I'm so excited about this recipe. I got the most delicious ramp pesto from the farmers market a few weeks ago. Can't wait to try this.

And a cocktail for good measure. Coconut Margarita with Salted + Toasted Coconut.


Happy Monday!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Banana Crumb Muffins {drooooool}

Do you have three, slightly questionable, bananas in your kitchen right now? Good, make these muffins. No? Go to the store, buy a bunch of bananas, set three aside to ripen, and then make these muffins. Just promise me you'll make them. This is my friend, Lesa's recipe. It's insanely good. The smell wafting through your house is outrageous. Just make them soon! 

Thanks, Lesa!!! We love your muffins ;) 

Lesa's Banana Crumb Muffins


1 1/2 Cup(s) plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 Teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon(s) salt
1 Teaspoon(s) baking powder
3 mashed banana
3/4 Cup(s) sugar
1 lightly beaten egg
1/3 Cup(s) melted plus 1 tablespoon butter
1/3 Cup(s) brown sugar
1/8 Teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Night Away

The husband surprised me with a little mini-break this weekend. A night at The Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI. Hurray for a night away! Friends said we should stop at the Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, CT on the way up. Twist my arm...

Jonathan Edwards Winery, North Stonington, CT

Connecticut Chardonnay. 

Perfect weather. 

The man surveying the land. He really does have a thing for stone walls. He can't help himself. 

Anyone know the name of the plant with the yellow flowers? Pretty please?

The Ocean House, Watch Hill, RI. Are you kidding me with this place?? Amazing. The original hotel was built in 1868. It was closed in 2003 and reopened last summer after an incredible renovation. 

My perfect bathroom. I love a huge soaking tub. I took three baths in less than 24 hours. 

I was seriously considering stealing this painting. I loves it. Look at that light!!! Not that I condone stealing of things from hotels. Except for Molton Brown bath products. And technically that's not stealing, right? Right??

What's with the tongue? I think this is a family trait. I do it, my husband does it, the girls do it. We concentrate and stick out the tongue. Weird. It's better than the other family trait which is to open our mouths REALLY wide when we get our picture taken. Close your mouth, Erin. 

Cigar on the dunes.

I honestly think every Saturday morning should start with room service. And french press coffee. I forget how much I love it. I used to make it all the time. I think a new french press might be in order. 

Even on overcast days, it's still gorgeous. And ginormous. 

This place is awesome. It's tiny and right across the street from the beach. 

Hot Butter Lobster Roll + Chowder. 

I took approximately 200 pictures of this guy in 24 hours. Poor thing. 
What's up eyebrow? He did good. I think I'll keep him...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Not Really Wordless Wednesday - The Garden

It might not look like much right now but come July....

Planted: Purple Vesper Tomato, Early Girl Tomato, Mortgage Lifter Tomato, Pink Brandywine Tomato, JalapeƱo Pepper, Cherry Pepper, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, Eight Ball Zucchini, Jerusalem Artichoke, Kohlrabi, Diva Cucumbers, Kirby Cucumbers, Bush Cucumbers. 

Waiting on 6 more varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes, Serrano Peppers, Cranberry Beans, and Green Beans. And I have 12 different herbs in pots already planted on the deck. 

So, what else should I plant? I'll still have two rows to fill. I'm all ears!!

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, May 9, 2011

The "Perfect" Weekend

Obviously nothing in life is ever perfect. But every once in awhile we all have those days or weekends or whatever that fit into the category of "perfect". Blue skies, Farmers Markets, Antique Shows..ect. This weekend was just that. Complete with forgotten diapers and major temper tantrum throw-downs in the middle of picturesque Herb Farms. We still pulled it off. 

I loved this blue shelf. It almost came home with me. Almost. 

This Little One is getting so big. And is afraid of Carpenter Bees. 

I call this one, "Sasquatch."

This awesome tool caddy did come home with me.

Breakfast radishes from the farmers market. 

Siberian Iris from the nursery.

Bleeding Heart.

We went to Gilbertie's Herb Farm on Sunday. This place is insane! I almost dropped to the ground when we walked into the herb greenhouse. Name an herb. They have it. And chances are if you buy any interesting or exotic herbs in the Northeast, they come from Gilbertie's

The vegetable greenhouse! We ordered a bunch of heirloom tomatoes and a few other things online but picked up the rest of our veggies here. Kohlrabi, Eight Ball Zucchini, Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes, all manner of cucumbers ect. ect. It's gonna be a tasty summer around here. 

Burger Bar and Bistro in SoNo, CT for lunch. I love this place for many reasons. It's kid friendly without being for kids. The burgers are yummy, the disco fries are ridiculous and the sangria comes in a mason jar.  

Fishy Face.

A photography lesson. I'm not entirely sure what happened in this pic. See how I'm in focus? See my crows feet? Don't look at them. See how the babe is out of focus? I gave my lovely husband the camera to snap some pics. Clearly I should have set the camera on auto (sorry, babe it's true) but instead gave him the benefit of the doubt and set it on Aperture Priority Mode. I set the aperture to around f/4. I have no idea what the iso ("film"speed) was or the shutter speed. Bad idea. If I had been behind the camera I would've seen that when the baby leaned forward, she was not in the same focal plane as I was and I would've adjusted to compensate. Because a small f stop means a wide open aperture and a shallow depth of field. Only a small portion of the picture is in focus. Normally I love this. Because I dig a photo of a person who is in focus with lovely Bokeh (that blurry background look you see in pics). Of course it also could've been because the shutter speed wasn't fast enough to capture her movement. Actually that probably was the case now that I'm really looking at it. Which I would've also seen had I been looking at the screen. All I know is, I'm setting the camera on auto mode for him from now on. And buying a gallon of eye cream. 

My half eaten burger and sangria. I meant to take a pic of the whole thing but I was too hungry. 

Disco Fries. Brie and Truffle Oil. Yes. 

I mean seriously? These two are obviously cut from the same cloth.

and done....clearly.

It was an awesome weekend. Dirty diapers and tantrums and burgers and all. I feel refueled and ready to tackle the week. I also wish I had some more disco fries.