Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Beautiful Book

My sweet mother just gave this gorgeous cookbook to me as a gift and I LOVE it! Not only does it offer beautiful photos of tablescapes, but it also has nice quotations and elegant recipes with FEW ingredients (one of my requirements!).

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hoisin Pork and Lettuce Wraps

We have really been continuing and LOVING our Friday night family movie nights. Tonight some friends came by to show us their very cool vintage car and ended up joining us.

The adults talked and enjoyed a glass of wine while the kids watched the movie so I guess it wasn't a TRUE family movie night but everyone relaxed and had fun, nonetheless.
Hoisin Pork and Boston Lettuce Wraps


1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon water
3 cups packaged cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts
Cooking spray
3 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops, cut into 24 thin strips
12 Boston lettuce leaves

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
2. Combine coleslaw, cilantro, and peanuts; set aside.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan.
4. Arrange 3 lettuce leaves on each of 4 plates. Top each lettuce leaf with 2 slices pork, hoisin-lime sauce, and coleslaw.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Little Book

I picked this book up at the $5/ bag book sale and I really loved it!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rainy Day

Split Pea Soup
3 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
5 cups water
1 1/2 cups green split peas
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried savory (or dried sage or extra thyme)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Thyme sprigs (optional)

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat 5 minutes. Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add 5 cups water, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add peas, dried thyme, savory, and pepper to pan; bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 20 minutes. Mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Stir in salt. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Final Gifts

I loved this little book.  It is a beautiful treasure.  Written by two hospice nurses, it is a collection of stories of several patients and their families as they navigate final days before dying. I am so fortunate to not have much experience with death.  But with that comes an uncertainty, a fear of the unknown.  I have always had a strong faith and this book confirmed a lot of my thoughts.  And after reading other reviews, I think it would be a nice gift for family members of hospice patients.  A girlfriend of mine who unfortunately lost her sister to cancer was recommended this book and she loved it, too.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Fun!

After I walk the kids into school, Charlotte (our dog) and I meet my mom on the corner and walk for an hour. It has been so nice to catch up and get some exercise out of the way before I was even awake during the summer!

One morning she had to practically drag me to a fundraiser book sale but we had the best time! Each bag of books you filled was $5 and then I came home to look at all of my treasures! Three books are Christmas gifts for extended family names I drew, some are for Mary Fowler, one is for Davis, and the rest are mine!

If you look at the stack on the top, right of this photo, I have this thing for little, old, nothin' fancy church cookbooks.  They seem to have the best recipes with the fewest ingredients. You know they are the tried and true recipes.  And the small one on the ring had two recipes that mom and I have been looking for! I have always needed more specific instructions on the homeade heath bar toffee and mom wanted a particular hot, creamy crab dip recipe. What luck!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Special Weekend

My family met for a little weekend retreat at one of my favorite places, the Greenbrier, and had such a nice time! They had another special deal weekend so we got several rooms and barely made it up there with all the snow!  

My sister and her husband had a special treat planned. They went to get a 3D ultrasound of the baby, had the technician write the sex of the baby down and seal in an envelope. Then they took the sealed envelope to a bakery and had them ice the inside of the cake with pink or blue icing. We took the cake with us and cut into it the first night. It was very special- I can't believe they're having a BOY!

Luckily I had my camera handy and was able to capture the memories I really want to keep. Things like Davis and Mary Fowler just dancing (after dinner) like it was the most normal thing to do!  Big, open spaces... you just feel like you're at home- albeit a very large home- and can just relax and have a good time and just *be*. My mom said it reminded her of going home to your grandma's house. Comfortable.

One little tid-bit: When the kids and I first arrived to our room, we were greeted with a *gorgeous* coffee table book and a note from the new owner Jim Justice. The note said to please accept this as a thank you for our continued patronage. (Read: thanks for drinking and eating so much while you're here!) So, as I just tried to find an amazon picture of the lovely Greenbrier book, I came across this little book which I have never heard of and sounds very interesting! The reviewer said it would make a great movie and it sounds kind of similar to THE LOVELY BONES? (which I do not think I could read) Very Interesting...

It involves a ghost coming to the mother of a young woman (who was thought to have died from natural causes) telling her she was, in fact, murdered. Her body was exhumed, more evidence was discovered, and a court sentenced her husband to life in prison.

Monday, February 1, 2010

According to Davis

Here Davis (well, really, his backside) and his buddy are *working* on Davis' current ride- the big wheel.

Last night we knew that school was canceled but the kids were TIRED! So we had an early dinner, a long, hot shower, and we read a whole Junie B. Jones book before bed. Davis was cracking up! They really are so funny but I would get the giggles when Davis, who was kind of preoccupied with other little things, would just start belly- laughing. We'd have to stop reading until he could catch his breath. It was so funny!

And this morning he must have been thinking about the book some more because over his oatmeal, he quietly muttered that STUPID, BUTT, and POOP are bad words.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Of Big Boy Blue Jeans and Bump-Its

Oh how I love these two kids!  After a busy day, I remembered that Mary Fowler's dance class begins... tomorrow.  It was after 5pm so the dance shop was closed but I remembered someone telling me that some of the consignment stores carry gently used dance shoes... and they stay open until 8pm!!

We found a perfect pair of tap shoes ($4.50!!) and they carry brand new tights so I was thrilled!  I will probably be able to buy her a pair of ballet shoes while she is at school tomorrow.  But the best part and what I most want to remember is that Davis got his first pair of blue jeans.

As I was walking up to pay, we passed an aisle of jeans and I asked Davis if he'd like to look at them.  His eyes got huge and I got a VERY excited "YESSSSS!"  So we quickly found a precious pair of Timberland blue jeans- size 4T ($10).  He immediately started taking his shoes and pants off and put them on.  My only regret is that I did not take a picture.  C-U-T-E!!!  And he felt like such a big boy!  He just kept saying over and over how he couldn't wait to show daddy!

We still had one more stop at the drug store for Zyrtec.  And again- they kept me laughing- Mary Fowler really wanting a "Bump It" and Davis thinking I sure need the (also infomercial product) brownie baker/cutter thingy.  As my friend Lizzie says, "I can't wait for my birthday!"  Ha!  

Dinner for New Baby

When I had my babies, I thought it was so helpful and thoughtful when my friends brought dinner.  They were WAY more inventive in the kitchen than me (I had never thought to make my own salad dressing!) and some of my favorite recipes came from those dinners. The best part is that every time I make those meals, I think of the person who gave me the recipe. 

It can also be stressful- not always knowing people's taste.  This is one option I made today that hopefully my  friend and her family will enjoy.  Just be sure to make double so your family gets dinner, too ;)

Pork Tenderloin 
rubbed with Seasoned Salt

Italian chop salad (recipe below)

Rolls & Dessert (store bought) 

Italian Chopped Salad

chopped cucumbers
grape tomatoes, halved
mozzerella, diced
kalamata olives, pitted and halved
red bell pepper, chopped
bottled italian dressing