RSS

Tag Archives: family

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.

Advertisements
 
9 Comments

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

 

Tags: , , , ,

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

 

Tags: , , , ,

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

 

Tags: , , ,

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

he puts the happi in our ness

I have noticed a few bloggers participating in the Project Marriage and since father’s day is fast approaching I thought I would participate.

We are not the most conventional family, nor did we meet in a conventional way. We have been through more in six years than most will go through in 50 years of marriage. But through all that we have been through; laughter, tears, death, love, birth, and stumbling more than a few times along the way, I would not trade what we have for the world.

 

 

I love that this man can make me laugh when I am at my lowest. 

His smile lights up the room and my world.

He is silly, stubborn, fun, forgetful, is always running late, makes the best egg burritos in the universe, knows how to fix just about anything, gives the best hugs and makes our kids giggle like no one else can. (He will even go on rides that spin and go in circles,50 times in a row, because he is that kind of dad)  We don’t always see eye to eye, and we argue over the silliest things but we always make it a point to say I love you at the end of the day.

 

,

 
15 Comments

Posted by on pmpFri, 03 Jun 2011 13:33:02 +000033Friday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

Dim Sum and then some…

Asia or Bust part 2

On the menu today: Pork Dumplings and Ginger – Curry Sweet Potato Fries.

My new  bamboo steamer cooked the dumplings perfectly. I researched how to get the best results when making dumplings, and the one consistent piece of advice I found, was that I should line the steamer with something. This “something” could be any number of things from damp tea towels to banana leaves. I decided to use parchment.

I found a website that sells steamer liners, and basically all they are is parchment circles with a lot of little holes to allow steam through.  Using a wooden skewer, I was able to achieve proper “air flow”. The liners worked really well, and made cleaning the steamer so simple. I highly recommend using them.

What a great way to end our “tour” of Asia!

 Pork Dumplings

Ingredients

14 ounces ground pork
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry or orange juice – a great sherry substitute
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 egg white, lightly beaten
4  teaspoons cornstarch
24 wonton skins

Directions

     Place the ground pork, scallions, soy sauce, sherry or juice, sesame oil, sugar and beaten egg white in a large mixing bowl and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Stir in the cornstarch, mixing until thoroughly incorporated with the other ingredients.

Spread out the wonton skins on work surface. Place a spoonful of pork mixture in the center of each wonton skin and lightly brush edges with water.

Bring sides of skins together in the center of the filling, pinching firmly together (it’ll look like a little purse).

Line  steamer with parchment and arrange wontons inside.

Cover and steam for 5-7 minutes, until dim sum are cooked through.
Serve immediately.

Dipping Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

2 tablespoons Spicy Sambal 

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

In a small bowl combine the sambal, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Mix until well combined.

Ginger – Curry Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon garam masala

2 teaspoons ginger powder

2 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Trim 1/4 inch from the ends of each potato, then shave the sides to make rough rectangular shapes. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/2 – inch-wide slices. Stack the slices and cut into 1/2 -inch – wide fries.

In a large bowl, combine the oils, masala, ginger and scallions. Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and toss well.

Place heavy sheet pan in the oven and heat to 400 degrees. Remove pan, dump fries onto it, and using a spatula, seperate the potatoes. (The potatoes should sizzle when they touch the pan, if they don’t, remove them from the pan, return it to the oven, and continue to heat it for a few minutes. Then return potatoes to pan)

Bake the potatoes until golden brown, 10 -15 mins. Checking periodically to make sure the potatoes are not browning to quickly.

Turn the potatoes and cook an additional 10-15 mins. until crisp outside, soft inside.

And here you have the 4 – year – olds version of an Asian dinner :

 
6 Comments

Posted by on pmpFri, 20 May 2011 21:21:40 +000021Friday 4 , 2011 in Culinary trek around the globe, Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Asia or bust…

(a culinary trek around the globe with a 4 year old foodie)

This week’s culinary travel pick was….Asia. Yes, I know there are many places within Asia that we could have explored, but when a 4 year old is doing the selecting, we get what we get.

We started our “travels” with a trip to the Asian District. There is a market there that is out of this world. Every time we go there I feel like an Andrew Zimmern roadie. The place is packed floor to ceiling with foreign delights and freakiness. Which only ads to the charm. You can select your own live fish which will then be beheaded right before your eyes, (we usually steer clear of this section). On our latest visit we found an item labeled “Ground Cucumber” – a giant, brown earth grub. Cucumber? Hmmm. The fresh produce is amazing, with so many choices at reasonable costs, it is hard to leave without some exotic perishable.

I bought a new bamboo steamer (for only $8.99) and ingredients to make fresh dim sum, peanut noodles, and array of other “staples” to have on hand. I am most excited to use the steamer. Dim Sum is one of my all time favorites.

We then went to the library and took out some books about Asia, and Kiki’s Delivery Service, a movie by Hayao Miyazaki  

One of the books we took out was The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale by Ying Chang Compestine which after reading, Isaac said “Wow mommy, that was a good book, I thought it was going to be lame”. Lame? Where did he pick up THAT word? At least he used it in the right context.

An astonishing fact about Asia: the majority of Muslims reside in South Asia instead of Middle East, which is essentially known for its Muslim population.

I did not know this. Did you?

The first thing we made was Sesame Peanut Noodles.

Ingredients

16 oz noodles (you can use spaghetti, linguine, or fresh wheat flour noodles – really any noodle of choice) I used fresh wheat flour noodles:

1 bunch of green onions

2 Tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves minced

2/3 cup all natural no sugar added peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup hot water

1 Tablespoon cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)

1 teaspoon white sugar

Directions

Cook pasta according to directions on package.

Meanwhile, combine oil and onions in a skillet. Saute over medium heat until tender. Add ginger and garlic, cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes.

Mix in peanut butter, soy sauce, water, vinegar and  sugar. Remove from heat.

Toss noodles with sauce, and serve either hot or cold.

お食事をお楽しみ下さい

O shokuji o o tanoshimi kudasai

 
9 Comments

Posted by on pmpWed, 18 May 2011 19:58:33 +000058Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Culinary trek around the globe, Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: