Monthly Archives: September 2010

happy place.

last weekend we took advantage of our passes and the light(er) crowds at disneyland. j is nearly 40″ tall now, so we were able to get him on one of the big kids ride, soaring over california. he loved it. we also (sort of) watched the world of color show. apparently i need to work on my fire picture-taking skills. that’s j sitting on the mister’s shoulders in case you couldn’t make it out.

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everyday beauty.

 

i buy flowers on a weekly basis. call it a need, but it’s a must for me to surround myself with beauty (a libra quality, thank you very much). at the market last week, as i was picking out flowers, my little guy insisted on buying an extra bunch. “for my room, ” he says. why not? i thought. later, he walked into his room for a toy and i heard, “thank you, mommy!” i had forgotten i had put flowers in his room at that point so had no idea what he was talking about. “for what?” i asked. “for my flowers! i love them!”

so…it’s a small investment, but one well worth a little bit of happiness, no?

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it’s really, really hot.

 

{image via martha. have you seen her fall homekeeping ideas? i wish i had time for all this…}

don’t get me wrong. i love, love, love hot weather. summer is my favorite season, but we’re now heading into october and it’s close to 100 degrees. definitely doesn’t put one in the mood for “fall” activities, and frankly i cannot read another blog post on my favorite blogs about the crisp fall air and beautiful colors. ha, ha. i’ve been  having a really hard time figuring out activities to do where there is air conditioning.

we’ve just been getting into the swing of things with school and are now comfortable in our routines. this last weekend the little guy and i started decorating for halloween, not because i was in the fall mood, but because i needed to distract him from the questions about santa and his desire to put up the christmas tree NOW…

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this boy loves his dogs.

 

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Filed under family, mommyhood, things that delight me

arroz verde.

This recipe is adapted from here. Not many changes other than I add more cilantro. It is the yummiest rice, and J’s current favorite. Not to mention it’s a great way to add spinach to his diet since he’s not fond of eating “leaves” yet. We love to eat this rice on taco nights.

 Arroz Verde

  •  3/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro 
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh stemmed spinach leaves (about 1 1/2 oz.)
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I use vegetable)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 1/4 cup finely minced onions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

 

Put the cilantro, spinach and chicken stock in a blender and blend until finely pureed.  Add the milk and salt and blend just until everything is blended. Set aside.

In a 3 qt saucepan with a good lid, heat the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the rice and saute until it just begins to brown (3 minutes). Add the onion and garlic and cook another minute, stirring.

Add the contents of the blender, stir well, bring the mixture to a boil, then put the lid on and turn the heat to low. Allow to cook at least 20 minutes. Stir the rice very carefully with a fork, then cover and let it cook another 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the rice steam, covered, for about 10 minutes before serving.

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squash gratin.

 

 

 

 

We’re still getting squash in, and I’m actually not sick of it yet. This recipe from 101 cookbooks is a great side dish, but also makes a lovely, hearty main dish for veggies like me.

Squash Gratin

zest of one lemon
1 1/2 pounds summer squash or zucchini, cut into 1/6th-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 pound waxy potatoes, sliced transparently thin

3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese, grated on a box grater (or feta might be good!)

Preheat oven to 400F degrees and place a rack in the middle. Rub a 9×9 gratin pan (or equivalent baking dish) with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with lemon zest, and set aside.

Place the zucchini slices into a colander placed over a sink, toss with the sea salt and set aside for 10-15 minutes (to drain a bit) and go on to prepare the oregano sauce and bread crumbs.

Make the sauce by pureeing the oregano, parsley, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a food processor or using a hand blender. Set aside.

Make the breadcrumbs by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until the butter is wonderfully fragrant, and has turned brown. Wait two minutes, then stir the breadcrumbs into the browned butter.

Transfer the squash to a large mixing bowl. Add the potatoes and two-thirds of the oregano sauce. Toss until everything is well coated. Add the cheese and half of the bread crumbs and toss again. Taste one of the zucchini pieces and add more seasoning (salt or red pepper) if needed.

Transfer the squash to the lemon-zested pan, top with the remaining crumbs, and bake for somewhere between 40 and 50 minutes – it will really depend on how thinly you sliced the squash and potatoes – and how much moisture was still in them. You don’t want the zucchini to go to mush, but you need to be sure the potatoes are fully baked. If the breadcrumbs start to get a little dark, take a fork and rake them just a bit, that will uncover some of the blonder bits. Remove from oven, and drizzle with the remaining oregano sauce.

Serves about 8 as a side.

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