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1700 miles in two days….

Today is the big day. Finally!!!!

Usually on long road trips we end up eating way to much fast food. And we all end up feeling like the food we have consumed: crap. So this time, I am being smart, and packing healthy, yummy things. Fresh fruit and bread. Nuts. Things of that nature.

I noticed last time we made this journey that there were a lot little farmer’s market type vendors at the small towns we stopped at to rest. I plan on taking full advantage of them. We can snack on fresh sugar snap peas, peaches, cherries and whatever other tasty things we happen to come across.

There will be plenty of pictures and stories to post when I get back. (Or maybe en-route) 30+ hours in the car should provide good material.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on ampWed, 29 Jun 2011 11:48:55 +000048Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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dog days of summer…

dog days

— pl n
1.     the hot period of the summer reckoned in ancient times from the heliacal rising of Sirius (the Dog Star)
2.     a period marked by inactivity

Today was HOT! And inactivity seemed to be the theme of the day. Other than splashing around in the pool (Second day in a row) we did not do a whole heck of a lot.

The in-laws have a new addition to their home.

Fred. The Basset Hound.

He is adorable. If we did not have two dogs already, I would seriously consider dog-napping.

I could not do a post about Fred and not include our Izzy, since I did not include her in yesterday’s post. (She even swam today, but was not very thrilled about it.)

Puppy Love

I did not bake anything today, nor did I cook. I did however, want to post a recipe, and thought a homemade dog biscuit one would be perfect.  Our dogs love these. (well, they will eat anything really, but these are good for them, and they smell good)

Even if you don’t have a dog, these make great gifts for family or friends who do.

Peanut Butter and Banana Treats

Ingredients

1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.

    Stir together the peanut butter, banana,honey and egg in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Stir in the flour and wheat germ; mix well.

Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters, place on prepared baking sheet, and brush tops with egg white.

    Bake biscuits in preheated oven until dried and golden brown, about 30 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on pmpSun, 26 Jun 2011 21:19:06 +000019Sunday 4 , 2011 in Recipes, Uncategorized

 

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hanging pool-side

At last…the pool is crystal clear. It took two months to get the in-laws pool swim-able. It seemed the day would not come when we could actually swim in it, but after a new pump and filter system, Houston we have a go! So that is where we spent this hot sunny Saturday.

Last summer Isaac discovered that the pool jets doubled as massagers. This is what he had to say about them today:

“Mommy, remember last summer when I thought those bubbles felt good on my privates? Well that is what I am doing right now”. He then gave me the thumbs-up.  Lovely. Thankfully we supplied him with fun new pool toys, so he did not spend ALL day with his bubble “friends”.

Does summer get any better than this?

Lucy even swam – (we left the other one Izzy at home, she does not like the pool)

Another day down – only three more days until we head east! Maybe I will bake something tomorrow, or maybe we will just spend all day swimming.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on pmpSat, 25 Jun 2011 19:25:54 +000025Saturday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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blueberry cheese danish

Blueberry Cheese Danish

 

Ingredients

1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry (thawed)

2  (8 ounce) packages cream cheese – room temperature

1 cup blueberries

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut pastry into 8 squares. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet.

In large bowl, or with mixer, combine cream cheese, vanilla and sugar. Mix until combined, and smooth.

Spoon 1 (generous) tablespoon of cream cheese mixture onto center of each pastry square, and top with blueberries, (you can vary the amount of blueberries to your taste)

Fold pastry over to make a triangle, pressing on edges with a fork to seal.

 

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until pastry has risen and is lightly browned.

 

While danish are baking, add 2 cups additional powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons of milk to remaining cream cheese mixture. Mix until smooth. You can use this to drizzle over danish.- You will have leftovers, which can be frozen (and thawed) and used to top cinnamon rolls, danish etc.

Note: Let danish cool at room temperature for at least 5 minutes before topping with cream cheese icing.

 

 

 

 
13 Comments

Posted by on pmpWed, 22 Jun 2011 12:23:15 +000023Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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the unconventional mother…

It has been a while since my last post. I wish I had a wonderful excuse. Sadly, I do not.

I have been busy, but not overly so.

Maybe it is the heat.  It has been in the 100s most of this week. We have all moved a little more sluggishly than normal.

Our upcoming trip to Vermont has me distracted with excitement. I have missed my family madly and my  two oldest children even more. They will spend the summer out here, in the Midwest, and are looking forward to all of the fun things we have planned. I am looking most forward to seeing their beautiful faces every day, and getting to hug them as many times as I can in the seven weeks they will be here.

When I got married at a young age, and had children, I never thought I would be added to the statistic of the “divorced“. I had dreams and hopes of raising my children in a loving family. Unfortunately this was not to be. Divorce is never a pretty thing, but mine was especially ugly, and after many a battle, we were left torn apart. Not only as a family but also as individuals. My children have always been absolutely wonderful in every sense. They have been through many changes, and somehow always smile through it all. They are brilliantly smart, artistic and well rounded. I could not have asked for more.

I met the wonderful man I am with today, while going through my emotionally and physically draining divorce, and we were blessed with a beautiful little boy.

A second chance at a family. It has never been conventional. Time share between homes for my oldest  was not always easy, but we were making it work.

And then two years ago an extremely sad event hit us all like a ton of bricks. My husband’s brother took his own life, and left us all devastated. Since his family was out here, 1700 miles from where we were at the time, we were faced with a very life changing decision.  His parents needed him near them during what was surely the hardest year any of them had ever faced. We decided to move to be closer to them for a few years, until we could figure out a better solution for everyone.

As I mentioned my divorce was a very ugly one. My Ex made the kind of money that afforded him a damn good lawyer. And since I had been a stay at home mother, I was basically on my own. Even though my children were my life, and I was the best mother I could be, a judge thought that my Ex was entitled to primary custody. His lawyer put a up a good fight, one that I, alone with no one to help me fight, did not stand a chance against. (I have always felt it came down to money, and the fact that the Judge and Lawyer were “friends” – that is another story for another day). Of course there is much more to this drawn out event in my life, but I have always struggled with the views of others regarding this matter. Because they assume that I MUST have done something to not get full custody. This is not the case.I guess in a way I have been labeled the Taboo Mother.

This was all six years ago. My children adapted much better than I. But we figured out a way to make it work.

I feel as if I am rambling, but wanted to give some background as to why my children did not move out west with us.

We talked about the move with our children for months before it happened. They were ok with what was going to happen. At the time I thought I would be ok, I knew that I would see them every few months. It is not nearly enough. Being a mother is something that has taught me so very much about love. About who I am as a person. I have learned that the only people who love you unconditionally, are the children you are blessed to bring into this world.

Life is rarely what we expect. There are surprises around every bend.

Right now, the twelve days I have to wait to see my babies, feels like a lifetime to me.

 

note: I changed the title of this post, because evidently “taboo mother” has a very alternative meaning from the one in which I was referring to. (go ahead, google it) :) And I was getting a lot of search hits for this term, and very lewd comments….so a title change was called for.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on pmpSun, 19 Jun 2011 14:36:52 +000036Sunday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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linguini with white wine clam sauce

Every time I make this dish it reminds me of my grandparents.  I don’t remember my grandfather cooking very often, but this is one dish he always helped my grandmother make. Eating it always brings me back to our kitchen, where as a little girl, I would sit and watch them work as a team to create this simple yet flavorful meal. It was always made with lots of garlic and a ton of love.

White Wine Clam Sauce – serves 4

Ingredients

1 bulb of garlic, minced

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white wine

13 ounces clams – minced (you can use fresh or canned – if using fresh you will need about 1/3 cup clam juice as well – if using canned do not drain)

4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped  – or 2 tablespoons dry

Juice from half a lemon

Directions

Bring large pot of water to a boil.

In medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine oil, white wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add garlic,clams (and clam juice) and parsley. Simmer for 15 minutes.

While sauce is cooking, cook linguini. (about 8-9 minutes for firm pasta). Drain pasta, and top with clam sauce and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on pmpMon, 13 Jun 2011 22:09:26 +000009Monday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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birthday brunch

Omelette on flatbread with fresh mozzarella, herbs&pineapple salsa

This was one of my gifts from the other half of WE. Brunch. What this man does with eggs is nothing short of amazing.  Tonight he is taking me out for Cajun food. I kind of have a crush on this man.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on pmpThu, 09 Jun 2011 17:08:02 +000008Thursday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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