— 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.)
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
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
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.
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.
Blueberry Cheese Danish
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
When I first met the other half of WE, he had a serious dislike for mushrooms. I have since, successfully converted him. I actually caught him, tonight, eating the mushroom ragout with a spoon. (ahh…the small victories)
The ragout works well with a number of meats and cuts. Lamb chops, steaks, tenderloin, as well as chicken.
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 shallots, diced
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
8 ounces white mushrooms, quartered
8 ounces oyster mushrooms, torn into pieces (note: if you can’t find oyster mushrooms, you can use 12 ounces each of the shiitake and white, the flavor is still amazing)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bottle of dry red wine
8 cups of beef broth
1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add oil, and the shallots. Saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and saute about 4 minutes. Add the wine, broth and thyme. Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture has reduced and is sauce-like. About 60 – 90 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
You can use this immediately or store in fridge until ready to serve – bring to a boil to re-heat. Will keep in fridge for 3 days.
My mother used to make these for my sister and I when we were little. They are the BEST popsicles ever, and so simple to make. You can make them in any flavor.
Ingredients – makes about 18
1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid drink mix
1 (3 ounce) boxJello gelatin
3/4 cupgranulated sugar
2 cups boiling water
2 cupscold water