Friday, April 29, 2011

French Friday episode 2

Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak

The Start:

The Finish:

The verdict:
Well... here's the thing, my new French Friday friends will think I'm some sort of complainer that doesn't like anything!  It is definitely true that I have a very high bar when cooking for myself, and this one didn't quite do it.  It was ok, but I'm not sure I'd reach for this one again.  I made it last Sunday and have been thinking for awhile why our family didn't love it when we definitely should have, and here's what I've come up with: 

1.  I've been a vegetarian for over 2 years.  Yeah, that's probably a big reason why I didn't like it!  I eat fish, and use dairy.  And, I do have bacon once in awhile (I'm weak for it) and steak 1-2 times per year (because I also love it).  And there are times when I eat meat for politeness (i.e. eating turtle in Japan was necessary).  But, it (meat) just doesn't taste as good to me anymore.  except maybe bacon.

2.  When I do prepare meat I've become super picky about what I buy.  So, these are grassfed local steaks.  The kids were so *excited* about having steak for dinner!  But, then they didn't really like it.  And I think it was because it wasn't the cornfed stuff we've all become accustomed to.  I also think my family has gotten very used to grilled steak, me included, so the pan fried version was not the steak we know and love.

As a side note I also made potatoes from the book (essentially au gratin).

The start:
The finish:

I really liked the garlic flavor (huh, how did that not get in the photo!), if I made them again I would definitely lighten up on the cream. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Family bonding

OK, there is no photo for this one... partly because the youngest one always does this activity in his underwear, and partly because the oldest one would kill me if I photodocumented it.

This is how wierd we are... we are doing this every night at littleT's bedtime.  all together in the upstairs hallway.

Why? Why would we be doing this?

Well... when I learned that my fitness-crazed father-in-law did 100 pushups on his 70th birthday I was stunned.  One of the reasons for my dazed reaction was because I didn't even think I could do 5.  I got motivated to do better.

However, I like to tease the kids that we are in training so mama can wear a bikini on our cruise next year (little T in particular is bothered by that idea).

I doubt we'll make it to the end of the training (and I'm certain I won't make it into a bikini).  But for now (the end of week 2), everyone is into it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter, photo'd badly

The sun finally came out!  

 Our place is perfect for an Easter Egg hunt, so we gave it a go (with my 2 sons, and 5 nieces and nephews).  While I have not done a stellar job with the photodocumentation, you can see how busy we have been chopping wood.  If it ever stops raining (and snowing) maybe we will actually get it split and stacked...
 They were on the go!  making photos tough to get.
 Of course, the photos may have been tough to get because I was enjoying holiday morning beverages.

All the males in this family are ball players, so there was a lot of driveway hoops

 While the ladies tended to hang in the house with the newest family additions

AND, as it finally warmed up, I got to wear my new skirt!  my first attempt at something to wear... and now I've got a serious bug to do more!  as in I've already made a second one, and bought patterns and fabric for two dresses.

But, maybe before more sewing I should invest some time in getting my photo mojo back.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Appropriate end to this particular week

OK, the grownups liked the French Friday cook-along (too mustardy for the boys).

The start (puff pastry, mustard, egg, poppy seeds):

The finish:

The soup was really not-so-good.

The family fight at the end of the meal was particularly bad.

Hopefully the sun comes back out tomorrow!

French Fridays!

At New Years I had good intentions of starting this with my friend Maya:

I was a loser, I didn't get the book, she started... I didn't.

Yesterday I finally bought the book.  It is fantastic.  I LOVE it without making anything in it yet!  

Viva la France!

This afternoon, assuming NO MORE WORK CRISES, I will be making the mustard batons to go with the roasted eggplant and red pepper soup I had already planned.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Maybe it is going to snow today.  Ok, it looks like it is definitely going to snow today.

I've had this picture on my desktop for a week.  It may be snowing in April, but June is really not that far away.  Even though the quality of this photo is really crappy there is something about it that makes me feel summer. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hana prefers a pencil

It was not such a boycentric house last night!

My good friend Maya was defending her Masters thesis yesterday afternoon (yeah Maya!), which meant I got to spend a couple of hours with the very cute Ms. Hana. She was not super-sure about leaving daycare with me, but she did (without tears). Once at home, and armed with a snack of golden grahams and craisins she was a chatterbug. We had fun watching the birds at the feeder, and coloring.

(OK, I have futzed forever trying to get the video to play, but it won't, sorry 'bout that.  the gist is she's supercute, knows her colors, and preferred drawing with a pencil)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The porch

I did not expect it to be my favorite part of the house. But it is. Not that there aren't other parts that I love, but this is the best. When I am sitting out here I rarely think "I really should go do ------". Somewhat surprising as it looks out onto a very untame mess that could use some attention. But instead, it just feels like vacation.

The previous owners left us three rather worn wicker chairs, two kinda lame side tables, and a too narrow coffee table. Last spring I added two red Ikea Poang chairs.

... and a new rug and new cushions for the wicker chairs. This spring we've added a small tv to watch baseball on in the evenings.

It could be nicer, but I don't want it to be. I like it just the way it is. (well, it could use a heat lamp to extend our season... next year!).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Screw the elbow

So, sewing is fast, and frustrating, and unforgiving (maybe those last two things are related?).

But knitting remains my love. I've been finishing up old projects like mad. When I get finishitis I usually think it means I'm going to die. It's like nesting in reverse! I'm pretty sure finishitis is not an inherited trait (that's a little loving jab at my mother, hi mom!). Anyway, I've got it (finishitis that is).

This is my latest FO. Moderne Baby Blanket, in Plymouth Encore. it was made for the new tiny Nelson, Myles. Here with his cousins. These boys melt my heart.

Monday, April 11, 2011

This is what happens

When you spend all day at a computer, and all night Christmas knitting:

You decide that even though you hate sewing, it won't hurt your elbow.

And your husband says, we could use some pillows.

Really?? You're suggesting that I make something? That's awesome, I'll sew!

But, I still won't like it.

Fabric: Ty Pennington
Patchwork pattern: Amy Butler

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What happened?

It started with this. The Elf on the Shelf. A lovely pre-Christmas daily hide-n-seek tradition for the children. But, every year, when the Elf comes out things get a bit nutty with all the shopping and wrapping and cooking and prepping.

(and now that I really see this picture, goodness is that dirty. is it less bothersome if you know it is the really high-up windows that you can only reach with a tall ladder or standing tiptoe on the back of a couch?)

Well, it didn't stay dirty for long. Because the Christmas mayhem was immediately followed by the ice dam drama (the elf ledge was more than a little flooded). Then a birthday, and a death day, and FIVE grant submissions, another birthday, and most of a basketball season.

and, WHAT?? it's April?? and we've been in the house a YEAR?

Still love the house. Despite all its drama.

(hi Jen, thanks for the nudge).