Saturday, June 27, 2009

Told 'ya it'd look pretty. =)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pretty things warm my heart

There are a variety of things that make me smile and warm my heart.

The sound that goes along with this -

The way a really good belly laugh lights up a room...

The smell of chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven...

The relief of a friend's voice across a phone line on a really tough day...

The way family feels...

And new gadgets for my kitchen!

I have had a catalog from Sur La Table taunting me from my kitchen counter all week. I've left it unopened and untouched knowing that there are treats inside that would call my name if I were to flip through the pages.

Tonight when the weeone and I returned home from an evening of laughing and smiling and movies and friends, she went to bed and I started picking up some things around the house. I picked up the catalog from Sur La Table. Then I sat down on the couch. Next? Yep, you guessed it. I opened the catalog and began to look through it.

Oh the wonders.

There are these double old-fashioned glasses that are screaming my name. I just think that a vodka and soda with a slice of lime would look at home and beautiful in the green ones....or the red ones....or even the blue ones.

And then this soup pot. I think the Kiwi color would really make soup taste better. Don't you agree?

I always say I should make my own stock. And maybe, just maybe I would actually do it in a stockpot that looked as pretty as these.

Oh, there are many other things that warm my heart (like ice cream and puppies and summer vacation), but tonight it's these delightful little treasures in the Sur La Table catalog.

Why, oh why couldn't I have just tossed that catalog in the recycling bin and never opened the cover?

Recipe Swaps...

I received an email from a friend the other day inviting me to participate in a recipe swap. It was basically a chain letter of the old days, just in email form. The idea is simple. You send your favorite easy, great recipe to the first of two names/email addresses in the email and then move your name to the 2nd position, move the sender's info to the first position and send the invite on to as many friends as you'd like. Then you start receiving recipes from people you probably don't know.

I did it.
I did.
I know, I know, but it's recipes!!!

Keep in mind that I'm also the person who is first in line to buy a church or community cookbook. I always operate on the premise that people only submit their BEST recipe to these things. They don't want to be known for that bad recipe - they want to be remembered for the great one. So it only makes sense that the same premise would hold in this situation.

So, I've begun receiving recipes. It's sort of fun to see who sends them and where they're from. It's also interesting to see what other people eat. I'm a bit of food voyeur I suppose.

Somehow in this process, I ended up receiving a recipe from my mom! I guess someone I sent the email to then sent it to her. I was very happy to see that the recipe she sent me is one that I LOVE, but don't have. It's a recipe she makes every now and then, usually for potlucks or barbeques.

I love it so much I thought I'd share it. However, let me warn you - this is good....lick the bowl good and you're liable to get addicted. And it's really simple to whip up whenever the mood happens to strike you. So be prepared with a 12 step program to get you to step away from the Broccoli Salad!!!



4 cups small broccoli florets (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes, halved

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup raisins

1/4 cup salted sunflower seed kernels

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon white vinegar


Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture, and toss well. Chill for 1 hour.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Once upon a time a long time ago... mother was born. =) Sorry Mom, but I just couldn't resist. Anyway, my mother's birthday is tomorrow. June 15th. We have many birthdays on the 15th of different months in my family. Is that odd? Last night my parents celebrated Mom's 131st birthday by hosting a little dinner soiree. Every dinner needs a dessert, right? Mom asked me to make her a cake and being the perfect daughter that I am (ha!) I obliged. She had 3 requests - 1) french vanilla cake, 2) purple icing, and 3) flowers.

I think I covered all her requests with this one!

I know it's not really until tomorrow, but Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope this year is your best one yet!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pasta Swimming with Yumminess!

Tonight will be night numero uno of the weeone and I getting to "dine" at the pool. There will be no cloth napkins and beautiful silver. In our universe it's more like plastic forks and paper towels! I wanted to make something light, but also something that would stick with us and be filling. I found a pasta salad that I thought fit the bill beautifully. I didn't follow an exact recipe, so I'm going to give you the rundown of what's in it and what it looks like, but other than that - you're on your own!

Pasta Salad with Black Beans and Tomatoes

Multicolored Rotini Pasta
diced grape tomatoes
1 can sliced black olives
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
chopped cilantro
salt and pepper
balsamic vinaigrette dressing

mix, chill, serve.

That might just be the easiest meal ever!!! I probably would have added some chopped cucumbers if mine hadn't been mushy and destined for the trash.

The Gladware is filled and tucked in the refrigerator chilling out until I get home and head to the pool to meet my mom and the weeone! Yippee!!! I love summer.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Crash! Boom! Pow!

Remember in the old television live action version of Batman when there would be a fight and just as Robin threw a punch at the Joker a big POW! would appear across the screen? Well, that happened to me yesterday evening. It did! I was sitting on my bed getting ready to type a post for the blog and POW! the blue-screen-of-death appeared on my laptop. I followed the directions on the screen to restart the computer. I rebooted and just after the Dell bootup page came the CRASH! My sweet little Dell proceeded to tell me there was no bootup sequence. That was it; one little sentence on a pitch black screen. Nothing else would happen.

So I did what anyone would....I rebooted like four more times. Each time CRASH! BOOM! POW!

Next, I called Staci's husband, Rob to see if he could come save the day. He's one of those handy dandy IT guys that we all like to poke fun at right up until we desparately need them. He spent about 45 minutes trying his darnedest to make the hard drive cooperate, but to no avail. Thanks for trying, Rob!!!

This morning I posted a desparate plea on Facebook to anyone who would listen that I needed sweet little Scottish friend, Caroline, replied quickly that I should hurry up and make a date with her hot hubbie! So, tonight my hard drive rests in the capable hands of Scotsman with computer smarts.

I pray he does not hear the CRASH! BOOM! or POW! and calls me in the days to come with the promise of a gift.....of data.

Now that you've read this, please go backup your computer to an external hard drive, a DVD or an online backup system so you don't have the day I've just had. =)

UPDATED: I just wanted to add that I've heard back from Sean - the Scotsman that offered to see what he could do to help me out. The news is not bueno. The hard drive has been wiped clean....there's nothing left to recover. I don't understand, but will have to accept it. Damn.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Yes, I'm Alive!!!

I know, I know, I's been a while. Ever since that night of All Star selections our lives have been nonstop softball. The weeone had 2 hour practices every night right up until this past weekend when we headed for the tournament! I was exhausted, and I didn't even swing a bat or throw a ball!!! The experience of a softball tournament was a new thing for me. It's an amazing phenomenon and those of you who do the whole tournament ball thing year round are to be commended for your stamina alone! The girls played at 8pm Friday, noon on Saturday, 5:30pm Saturday, 8am Sunday and 9:20am Sunday....whew! It was hot and fun and crazy and fun and exciting and fun and sad when they lost for the second time and the ride was over. So the tournament is over. The girls came in 4th place which was an amazing finish for them and they had so much fun. It was kid heaven - friends, softball, hotel rooms, swimming pools, staying up late, pizza and lots of fun. Mission softball accomplished.

Here's my favorite little catcher....bless her hot little heart in all that gear!!!
(Her dad got some great photos that I'll share with you when I get them...I only took a couple as I was busy herding girls in the dugout!!!)
Here's most of the team being praised by their coach after their very last game on Sunday. That's the weeone in the back on the left with her ball bag on her back.

Now that the softball chapter is closed for a while I sort of feel like God is saying "You may now return to your regularly scheduled life!" and I'm totally jazzed about it! It's summertime and I want to play!

For our first night of freedom I thought a dinner that involved the grill would be incredibly appropriate. I mean, what screams summer better and louder than a hot sizzling grill?!?!

So I took a sirloin steak and marinaded it in my favorite marinade - some Worcestershire sauce, honey and cajun seasonings. I wish I could tell you how much of each I use, but I truly have no idea....just some. =) Then I just tossed it on a hot grill until it was beautifully medium rare. yum. I also sliced some polenta and grill those slices as well. I topped a couple of those with mozzarella for the weeone. Then when it all came off the grill the polenta was dressed up with some Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes with Basil and Garlic. yum. It tasted just like summer.

I love polenta. I really do. It should be a food group all by itself. =)