Thursday, April 28, 2011

Roasted Sweet Corn and Summer Squash Chowder


I don't know about you, but I've been feeling sugared out after all the jelly beans, mini eggs and chocolate bunnies I've consumed since Easter.  We need more fresh veggies incorporated into our menu.  I found a recipe that sounded good, and then reworked it a little to use ingredients our family prefers and to simply make it my own.  Here it is, finally, a recipe that is not a repost.


Roasted Sweet Corn and Summer Squash Chowder


Ingredients:


1 T.  olive oil
1/4 of a medium white or sweet onion, chopped
3 medium summer squash, diced
3 t. fresh parsley, minced
2 C. chicken broth
1/4 t. Kosher salt
2 ears of sweet corn, shucked and cleaned
3/4 C. Mozzarella cheese, shredded


Instructions:


1.) Soak the sweet corn in water for 30 minutes.
2.) Preheat oven to 425.
3.) Heat oil in a large, high-sided, skillet, over medium heat, add onion and cook for 1 minute, add squash and 1 t. parsley.  Cook until most of the squash is translucent.  Add salt and chicken broth and let simmer until the squash is completely translucent.  Transfer to a blender, or use an immersion blender, to puree into soup. Return to saucepan or pot and let simmer on low.
4.) Wrap the soaking ears of corn in aluminum foil, bake for 20 minutes, and then let cool.
5.) Cut corn from the ears and add to the soup.  Add 1/2 C. of the cheese and stir to melt.
6.) Serve, garnishing with remaining cheese and parsley.


*Notes: Double the recipe if you're making this for more than three people.  This served the three of us pretty well, but that's it.











Monday, April 25, 2011

It's my birthday and I'll blog if I want to.

Remember last year when I blogged about that amazing birthday Tony planned for me?  It came about because of the disaster of a birthday I had the year before.  I don't know why I threw such a fit that year, I was just nuts about it being this perfect birthday and it wasn't and I was so mad about it.  So-Tony made it up to me when I turned 27 and then this year...I honestly didn't care so much.  I think I either must be maturing or have better self esteem.  I had so many friends reach out to me, call, visit, send gifts, text or FB messaged, that I felt so special and loved all day, the next day and really all weekend.  Now on to the food, cause for me, that's what celebrating is all about.


Remember last year when I requested cinnamon rolls?  Well-a good friend of mine remembered and brought some over for me Wednesday night.  They were the perfect birthday breakfast, and I am not exaggerating when I say, the best cinnamon rolls I've ever had.  They were a little crispy on the bottom and doughy on the inside.  PW's recipe, surprise!





My sister texted/text (how are you supposed to say that?), she sent me a text, telling me she was taking me somewhere "really different," for lunch.  I almost responded with "as long as it's not Japanese."


Guess what it was?  


Japanese


And it was awesome.


You see, when I turned let's see, it must have been 18, I wanted to go out to dinner with my friends and I wanted to go somewhere different than all the regular places we always went.  I wanted to try this Japanese place.   I wanted to be adventurous so I ordered something with a lot of tofu in it.  I don't remember the name of the dish or the restaurant, but it was nasty.  I tried to pretend I liked it, but it was totally gross.  I wished we'd just gone somewhere we're we could have had chicken fingers and ranch. ;)


So, I was anxious about being at another Japanese place...but seriously...it was so good.  That probably had to do with the lack of tofu (I'm sure it's good prepared the right way) and that almost everything I ordered was fried. Those people at Shiro know that we like our food fried, even if we're trying to be cultural and try something new.  It was so nice being out with my sister, at an adult restaurant, where we could talk and not have to "foo" (the sound your mouth makes when you cool off a child's food by blowing on it) anyone else's food.   They even had my favorite dessert...Crème brûlée.  If you're ever in Novi, I definitely recommend it.





After our leisurely lunch, I went home and found the best babysitter and my best daughter had colored me some birthday signs and hung them up around the apartment.  Lucy and I spent the afternoon relaxing until Tony came home.  We went to 5 Guys for dinner and then to the park to try to use up a few of the excess calories.  How many do you think I burned sitting on the bench?  


Once we got home, it was time for dessert.  I made one of my favorites, Raspberry Rhubarb Crunch.  It's divine.  If you like tart desserts, which I do.  You can find the recipe on AllRecipes, and serve it with Vanilla ice cream.  Mmmm...



The night concluded with a little TV and maybe some more ice cream.  I can't be sure. 


On Friday we drove to the UC, where Tony's family turned out to celebrate with me at a restaurant that I am likely never to forget.  It's called Dawn and Phil's Cafe.  It is pretty much run by Dawn and Phil.  And a bald man who they called "Baldilocks," who sang happy birthday to me, Marilyn Monroe style.  I don't think I've ever turned more red in my life.  Sadly, I did not take any pictures that night.  It was a hoot.


I did more celebrating on Saturday, and on Sunday I did have real birthday cake.  Mom totally outdid herself with this amazing raspberry cake.  Seriously, wow...again, no picture.  


I feel so blessed to have some many people in my life who are willing to go to such lengths to make me feel special and cared for on my birthday.  Thank you all for your kindness.  It was such a wonderful day.


So maybe I'll blog about Easter tomorrow...we'll see.  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fun, fun, fun and funny


Hello.

Just like Lucy, this baby is a tickler.  I wish I could see what is going on in there.  These kids of mine are silly little tricksters who like to tickle their mama.
I'm in Union City for the Easter holiday and I just wanted to tell y'all that I had an amazing birthday and am having a lot of fun here.  I have taken a lot of pictures and will probably do a longer post when we get home, or rather, Monday since we probably won't get home until Sunday night.  The only bad part of the weekend has been Tony's bad cold...he's been sick in bed the whole time we've been here.  Boo.  Having a sick husband is no fun.
You know what is fun?  Being in a commercial.

Enjoy!


video


Thursday, April 21, 2011

28

28 today.  Just a few minutes ago actually.
I have to say my 28th year has been more than I expected.  I've grown a lot, in several aspects of my life.  I've learned a lot of new things and gained a lot of self confidence.  I was reminiscing over the year and thought I'd share some of my favorite moments.  It was hard to narrow it down to just 28, but these are the best, in a somewhat chronological order. 



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Remember...

just seven or so hours ago when I was saying how happy I was that Lucy was taking after me?  Another parenting lesson we all learn is that we get to take responsibility for the good and the bad.  So, today I transplanted my baby seedlings...Lucy watched...



 
Later in the day, I walked into her room to find this:

 
When your three year old asks you where the wipes are...you find out why, immediately.

Oh, and it's my birthday tomorrow. :)

I'm rubbing off on her...

Today, Lucy asked me for a piece of lined paper, so she could, "make her own list."

You know, before I was a parent, I would think of qualities and skills I wanted my child to inherit or value and wondered how to teach them.  As I have learned, and any parent can tell you, you teach mostly by example.  One quality I'm glad Lucy is learning is thrift and resourcefulness.  We are fixers in our house.  When things break, we don't throw them away, we fix them.  The other day, Lucy found a hole in an article of clothing and she said, "that's okay, you can sew it."  I loved her response, knowing she's seen me repair articles of clothing and Tony repair countless electronics.

I think our family motto should be, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

For some hilarious fixes, check out, There, I Fixed It.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Family Wedding Photos

Hello, all!
I'm starting to feel like a normal person again after all the wedding festivities.
Lucy's fever did not end up subsiding until Sunday afternoon, but despite being under the weather, I think she did a really great job.  So-prepare yourself for photo overload.  

 We arrived Friday afternoon and were greeted by this happy boy.

 We all loved snuggling him and cooing at him and generally making fools of ourselves to see that wide grin and sparkly eyes.


No Lucy, we didn't forget you. ;) 




Gettin' Ready for the Weddin'


Thanks to Denee Michele (Tony's cousin) for the gorgeous hair. 


The best man and the flower girl.





Play-by-Play
Lucy heads down the aisle...

The closest thing to a smile we're going to see for a while.

 This is where her shoe breaks-luckily she didn't completely fall down, she recovered nicely.


 The beautiful bride and her handsome father.


This is where Lucy starts melting down.  I had forgotten to give her a dose of Tylenol before the ceremony so I think a lot of things combined against her here.  At first I was mouthing, "You're okay, stay there, be brave." Annabelle, the little girl holding her hand was so sweet and encouraging and would rub her back.  Finally Lucy had had enough and started audibly crying so she came and sat with me.

and fell asleep.



 Cute little family.

Denee Michele did an AH-MAZING job.

 Lucy perked up a bit after some Tylenol and a little dinner.

Father daughter dance. 

Self portraits are hard to take with heavy cameras! 

We had fun dancing and chatting with friends and family.  Tony did an excellent job on his best man speech.  We didn't want to push Lucy too hard so we left a little early.  I heard we didn't miss too much and they'd already cut the cake and tossed the bouquet, which I missed getting photos of.  It was a beautiful night.


Congratulations Coco and Alison!