Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Soup mode

I have been trying my talents (?) at soup making and seemed to have succeeded. Carl recently had surgery in his mouth and is still on a liquid diet but I won't let that hold me back from trying new things! I made a trip to Sloughhouse and watched in awe as my sweet corn was dumped from the truck, into my bag, into my car, all 24 ears! I came home and made Fresh Corn Soup Topped with Roasted Corn Guacamole, ahhh a little bowl of heaven.

Another soup dish that was incredible (inspired by Chef Angel!) was Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Red Pepper Purée. If possible this was better then the first, if you make it, do not omit the pepper puree.

A family favorite (pre-surgery) was Sesame Noodles with Chicken, with a side of baby bok choy, this I plan on making often.

I am interested in all of your soup recipes...anyone?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pineapples and Pork

Last February our family went to Phoenix to celebrate a big B-day. We all went out to a Traditional Brazillian Steak House (which I never experienced). I had grilled pineapples that literally melted in my mouth, ahhhh. I have had a craving for them over the past few days and decided to try to grill them on my own. Tonight is Grilled Ginger-Sesame Pork Chops with Pineapple & Scallions. This is the sweet and sour yin and yang of food. If it turns out as well as I think it will, I will post the recipe tomorrow.

Have you had a recent craving?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blueberry Shortcakes and Dinner Tonight

Cooking is my therapy and probably just as expensive if not more. I get a secret thrill when friends and family marvel at my meals and it can make or break my day. I love tasting my friends creations and swapping recipes. At a recent auction for my son's school, Carl and I and 2 other couples decided to bid on a 7 course dinner with wine and dessert, by a well known chef. It went for about $1,000.00 but was worth every penny. Photos and course descriptions in a future post.

Dinner Tonight is Southwestern Shrimp Soft Tacos.

Recipe for Blueberry Shortcakes (absolutely divine).

For the biscuits:
8-1⁄2 oz. (2 cups) sifted all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder, sifted to remove lumps
3⁄4 tsp. table salt
3 Tbs. sugar; more for the glaze
1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
1⁄2 tsp. freshly grated (or ground) nutmeg
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1 cup buttermilk; more for the glaze

For the blueberries:
6 cups (about 2 lb.) blueberries, picked over, rinsed, and patted dry
1⁄4 cup sugar; more to taste
1 Tbs. water
1⁄2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1⁄4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Fresh lemon juice to taste

For the whipped cream:
1-1⁄2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Make the biscuits:
Set a rack in the center of the oven; heat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease it with shortening or cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, lemon zest, and nutmeg. With a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently stir in the buttermilk until the dough just holds together with no large, dry lumps. Spoon the dough onto the baking sheet in six equal mounds. Brush the tops with buttermilk; sprinkle with sugar. Bake until the peaks have begun to brown and the bottoms are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack. While still slightly warm, slice them open with a serrated knife.

Make the blueberry filling:
Set aside 2 cups of the berries. In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, combine the remaining 4 cups of blueberries, sugar, water, lemon zest, and nutmeg (if using). Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently until very soft and juicy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and add lemon juice and more sugar, if necessary. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat the blueberry sauce until very warm and stir in the reserved blueberries.

Whip the cream and assemble the shortcakes:

Chill a mixing bowl and beaters for 30 minutes. In the bowl, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until medium peaks form and the beaters leave tracks on top of the cream.

Put the bottom half of each biscuit on a plate. Spoon on about 1/2 cup of the blueberry mixture and a few dollops of cream. Cover with the biscuit top. Spoon on more blueberries and top with another dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately, passing any remaining blueberry mixture at the table.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to the original reason I started

Guess what movie I saw? Julie and Julia, excellent, which made me decided to start blogging about cooking again. So hopefully I haven't lost all my readers by taking such a long break but will be ready to roll soon.

I leave you with this recent dessert I made. Untill dinner tomorrow........

Sunday, May 3, 2009


As many of you know, I am absolutely in love with my son's present (and daughter's former)school. I have been on a mission to recruit new families to our school, specifically from our neighborhood. I have had much success, yesterday was the 6th family since the beginning of the year. This is not to be taken lightly, especially the tuition but it is worth every penny.

Yesterday was our May Faire and it was rainy. But, everyone was there! It was incredibly packed and afterwards was a open house. I met a family who lives not far from me and spent a good hour talking to them about the school. They have two children and had the Grandparents with them as well. We pretty much sealed the deal. They loved the community, the diversity and most importantly the small classroom size.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Earth Day has come and gone but.....

....we can make every day Earth Day. What can you do?

• buy creative playthings for our children made of natural, sustainable materials
• plant a tree
• reduce, reuse, recycle
• conserve energy in your home
• use filtered tap water rather than bottled water
• replace the light bulbs in your home with energy efficient ones
• buy locally produced, organic foods
• build a compost
• use public transportation or carpool
• purchase previously loved/used items from thrift shops
• participate in an area cleanup
• plant a garden
• conserve water

Although we do most of these most of the time, we are a planning a American River clean up day as well.

what are you doing to be more 'green'?

Monday, January 19, 2009

I love Sunny California Weather

We have been having the most beautiful weather in Sacramento for the last several days. Alexia starts back to school tomorrow and will transfer after this semester. It won't be too bad riding Paratransit in the sunshine.

Aden continues to love school and has the best friends that any mom could hope for. His teacher is over-the-top in excellence and wants nothing more then the best for these kids. Once again, I am counting my blessings for everything surrounding this school, I really couldn't ask for much more.

I have helped bring a 10 month old in from the Republic of Kyrgyz. He has a complicated congenital heart defect and Dr. Mainwaring is doing surgery on him this Thursday. Obviously this is a donated surgery and the baby should be fixed after this. I love doing these types of things.

The building that Carl's Art Studio/Gallery caught on fire on New Years Eve. Fortunatley non of our stuff was damaged other then smoke damage but now we have everything in our house untill the building is renovated. Needless to say we are a little cramped.

I am aching to see some movies, I am so far behind it is not funny. anybody need a movie partner?

Random photos to follow:

Andrea and I at Taro's By Mikuni

Aden and I at the state Capital with my Aunt and Uncle

Alexia and her Grey's Anatomy cake

A piece by my husband, love this one!

May Faire Music

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Post Holidays and Birthdays

Our lives have been so full but stress free, which is what I like.

Alexia had an excellent semester pulling in A's and B's with one C in a Biology Lab. She met some wonderful friends in a Psych class she took and continues to take on the educational world! She will be turning 23 tomorrow (incredible isn't it)and is having a party with her friends at Taro's tomorrow night. She also was one of our major donor's at the Hearts of Hope Holiday party. We had a local non-profit provide dinner and outstanding gifts for the Heart children, Alexia stepped up at provided for the siblings. It was a memorable evening.

Aden turned 8 on Christmas Day and we had a party for him a couple weeks prior at a local roller skating rink. 25 children were there roller skating and having a great time. Two women baked his cake, their blog is The Cake Stand. The photos of the Indiana Jones Lego Cake are below, incredible! Aden's 2nd grade class was also part of the CWS Winter Concert. The class performed two songs in Swedish that are part of the tradition for Santa Lucia Day. This class continues to amaze me! When they perform I become transfixed and cannot take my eyes off of them. We are so lucky to have the teacher we have that brings so much to these children!

Christmas was awesome with way too many gifts but spread out from Christmas Eve through Christmas night was not too overwhelming. Christmas Day we served Frokust, which is a Danish tradition meaning "Cold Table". This stems from Carl's Danish background and has become an important part of out family.

My Aunt and Uncle from Pittsburgh, PA will be here on Wednesday and we will be spending much quality time with them. No doubt, tons of food!

Enjoy the photos:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Advent Spiral

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Apple Crisp with Pecans & Orange

Wanna knock your friends and families socks off? Make this. It is TO DIE FOR! Want the recipe send me a email or post in the comment will NOT be disappointed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On the mend!

So I am officially "on the mend" and doing great! The only draw back to my surgery was a few days of no cooking and my first Soup Night at my house was postponed untill later this month. On an occasional Saturday, during the Fall/Winter, I like to make a huge pot of soup, make some bread and invite friends over to eat and visit. It is a huge amount of fun!

We have been thrust into the Holidays with high 70's weather and I feel like I am in Phoenix. This past Friday night, me and some other Heart mom's had a Mom's Night Out at Piatti's, with lots of wine, food and dessert (you should have seen our bill!). But we had such an awesome time!

Winter school stuff is upon us and we will be busy with so many celebrations. But this is stuff I absolutely love. Stay tuned.

PS: Many people have asked where I got this beautiful header (the Hummingbird) at the top of my blog...well, tis' a painting my husband has done.

Aden's Fort Building

Alexia's cool new ride!

Mom's Night Out

Chicken Stew!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A little better

She is feeling a little better,but she is still sleeping a lot and dealing with the side effects of the Darvocet,which are basically headaches and extreme nausea.Has drunk some broth again and a little apple juice so she is drinking some fluids and she is able to keep them down.

A few Hours later...

Well she is up brushing her teeth right now and she has eaten a bowl of applesauce and she says that it tasted good.She discovered that Benedryl works very well for her nausea and the headache is not as severe as it was earlier.

Hopefully she will feel even better tomorow.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting Rest

At about 6:45pm she managed to wake up and eat some broth from the soup that she made yesterday.She was also able to hold a conversation with myself,Aden and Dad for about a half an hour.She was feeling some pain so she took a perscription painkiller that her primary doctor had perscribed for her and was sound asleep pretty soon after that.Hopefully she will be in less pain tomorrow and hopefully she won't try and do too much(But we all know that she tends to push herself.)

Thank you to Andrea for bringing us dinner tonight it was very much appreciated.

Coming Home

She is finally coming home as I write this.She had an episode of nausea right before they were about to release her,so they kept her in recovery until it was gone.She is pretty sleepy right now,but that is of course a result of the anesthesia.

I will keep you updated on her progress and how she is doing because I doubt she will be on the computer today.

And the Surprises Keep Coming

She is done!!!

Everything went very well and she is now in the recovery room.She will only be in there for about 30 minutes and then she will be on her way home.This procedure went off perfectly.


My mom was just wheeled into the OR two hours ahead of schedule.Now I see why they wanted her in early just in case this happened.Being ahead of schedule is good.

Will let you know how it goes once I find out.

Today's The Day

This is Valerie's daughter updating her blog while she goes in for the procedure.I asked her if she wanted me to keep people updated and she said yes so whenever I hear something from my dad I will definitely update all of you.They left for the Surgery Center about fifteen minutes ago.The doctor wanted my mother there at 1:00pm even though the procedure isn't scheduled to begin until 3:30.Anyone else find this even slightly odd considering this is an outpatient procedure?

More updates later as I hear them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More stuff

So, it turns out, that my surgery is this Friday. Fun, fun, fun. At least I was able to fully enjoy the Presidential Election. Know what my biggest worry is about Friday? Nothing to eat or drink after Midnight, which means NO AM COFFEE!! Ughhh.

Well, untill I return, last night's dinner in honor of our new President and a group photo from Lorraine's Halloween bash.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Such business...

We have had such full days, I haven't had a chance to post anything!

Let's get to the important health stuff first. Alexia had her 6 month appointment with her Cardiologist. She had a EKG and a Echo and both were great! We will go back in April. I had my appointment and am having surgery in the next couple weeks. It is out-patient and fairly simple although they will use general anesthesia. I will update with a date when I know.

We have done several things with my friend Lorraine and her children. Apple Hill, Protected Path and of course her Halloween Bash, that is "the party to be at". Did I ever tell you how much I love this school?

Our house has been painted and now on to a kitchen and bathroom remodel, hmmmm wonder why we are doing this......

I recently was nominated into the Sutter Children's Center Advisory Board. I decided to go ahead and take a seat because it truley is an honor to be asked. We had our first Board Meeting this past Friday and I was surrounded by some high powered people. I am tickled! We are focusing on the new Women and Children's hospital being built as we speak.

Yesterday, Carl and I had a date. We went to see Religulous and had dinner at the 33rd Street Bistro. We loved both and I highly recommend seeing the movie.

Below are some random photos from the past month...enjoy and I love you all!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bloggy Giveaways Time and last nights dinner

It is that time again and I am excited to participate in the Quarterly Bloggy Giveaways! I will be giving away, to a Random Winner, a jar of my "famous" candied walnuts and a Fall Leaf bracelet. All you have to do is leave a comment about your favorite Fall tradition. Winner will be announced on Saturday, November 1st.

Good Luck!

I wanted to share a dinner I made last night. We recently were gifted a twice monthly delivery of farm fresh organic veggies and fruit (can you say heaven?!). Friday, early morning, we received as huge box including kale and butternut squash. So tonight we had roasted butternut with shallots and fresh rosemary, sauteed, garlic kale and balsamic porkchops with carmalized onions, yummy!