Thursday, March 25, 2010


This week was a huge hit with three new recipes. The Fontina-Stuffed Potato Skins and Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples pictured to the left accompanying a rather delicious grilled pork tenderloin were absolutely outstanding. I can't take much credit for the pork other than grilling it to perfection as I bought it packaged in marinade (I figured if I was focusing on side dishes, I could slack a little on the meat!) And while the pleasant noises all around were proof of an awesome meal, the best compliment I could have asked for was when Brendan cleaned his plate and said sweetly, "oh mommy, thank you so much for making such a good dinner for me... oh that was SO yummy!"

It was the Grilled Chicken Salad that really had our mouths watering. Not necessarily a favorite among the kids (although not at all understandably so, as I figured the sweet background flavors would have won them over...) It was Joe and I who had to restrain ourselves from licking the bowl clean and arguing who would get the leftovers. Served with greek flat bread and a side of fresh strawberries... Joe turned to me and said "this one's a keeper!"

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Chocolate? Yum... Hazelnuts? Yum... Put 'em together and these cookies are outstanding. So much fun for Brendan to help with too. He loved rolling the balls in hazelnuts and his tiny little thumbs made the best little thumbprints. I omitted the espresso since I wanted Brendan to be able to have one without bouncing off the walls. And I reinforced the thumbprints with a measuring spoon after removing them from the oven so they would hold a little more filling. This recipe? Definitely a keeper!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pizza Party

So I've been slacking in the recipe department and not for lack of good outcomes! I've simply been falling behind on blogging and hope to get back up to speed.
While my mom was visiting, I took the opportunity to make homemade pizza which I have only ever done a handful of times. This recipe sounded delicious and tasted even more so. But even more enjoyable was the effort that Brendan was able to put forth in helping. Such an easy task for kids, spreading ingredients, sprinkling toppings. It was worth the huge smile that accompanied his excitement as he exclaimed "daddy!! I made pizza for dinner!!" Paired with a simple salad, this one got thumbs up all around.

Birthday Cake Tradition

As you all may know (from last year's birthday post), my wonderful husband and I have created a tradition that involves the one and only time each year that I allow him to step foot in my kitchen. I like to call it the Birthday Cake Bake-Off. I choose a recipe, I buy the ingredients and he creates a masterpiece. Years past have included Angel Food (from scratch of course, involving a dozen beaten egg whites...), German Chocolate and Red Velvet. While I narrowed my choice down to 5 options, I had to go with what sounded the best and I was in the mood for strawberries! So, Strawberry Angel Cake was the winner this year in every sense of the word. My only requirement was that he make the cake from scratch (the recipe, included as a link within the text, calls for a purchased Angel Food Cake.) Because, if you've ever tasted the difference, you know that nothing compares to Angel Food made from scratch.

He took the day off from work, made me a wonderful breakfast, chatted over coffee, went shopping with me and the kids, worked with Brendan on the wonderful cake, went on a family bike ride, then hired a sitter and took me out to dinner. We spent an amazing evening over dinner and coffee then returned to enjoy the cake. And every bite I took reminded me how blessed these first 30 years of my life have been. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday.

But while I appreciated the efforts of the magnificent cake-off... his presence in the kitchen never fails to produce crazy outcomes. An adverse result to not "supervising" the process??? He uses the salt from the salt shaker, fails to put the lid back on completely, and I pour half a shaker of salt onto my much looked forward to Chicken Parmigiana the next night... fortunately for both of us, we laughed it off but he'll never live it down :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Getting Older

Yup... I turned 30 yesterday. And while I received many cards with simple platitudes, this one had me cracking up (and had Joe wishing he had found it himself!) Inside it simply read "Happy 30th" but was accompanied by a sweet message from a very special friend... I think I'll keep her... she makes me smile :)

Beach Kids

This is the Oregon coast folks... we wear coats and jeans and it's most often cloudy... but you just can't resist... it's the ocean afterall!

Astoria 2010

Joe had an army officer's convention in Seaside this past weekend so the kids and I seized the opportunity to use it as a getaway for us too. Hotels were cheaper in Astoria and, since it's only 20 minutes from Seaside, it seemed like a feasible option. The 5 hour drive from Bend was nothing short of miserable, especially since we woke the kids early and got on the road by 7:00. We shopped and hung out while Joe did army things and then spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning together as a family. The weather left a little to be desired but the sun peaked out every now and then (and you can't expect much from the Oregon coast in March!)

I found my BO BO!!

Can it get any cuter???
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15 months!!

Although a little late in posting this (a little late in posting ANYTHING for that matter...) our baby girl is officially 15 months old (going on 16!) She's transitioned from a baby into a toddler and is growing so fast before our eyes. She's discovered her "bo bo" (belly button) and will show it to anyone who asks. She follows her brother around with her "kissy face" and won't stop until he gives her one. She'd rather walk than be carried and wants to do everything her big brother does. She's such a lover. Taking time out of her busy playing to give out hugs and kisses. She's looking more and more like her mommy. My baby girl for sure. And just when we think we can't handle her attitude, she turns on the charm and we fall in love all over again.
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