Monday, March 28, 2011

Menu

We all contributed food to the bridal shower. So, here are the recipes for the dishes I contributed.


Arugula Salad with Almonds and Parmesan
Ingredients:
1/3 c toasted natural almonds
3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 bunch arugula (1/2 lb) trimmed
1/3 c shaved Parmesan


Directions:
In a large bowl, combine almonds, oil, lemon juice and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Add arugula and Parmesan and toss to coat. Serve topped with more Parmesan. (NOTE: I have to mention I throw the arugula, almonds and Parmesan in a bowl and mix the other ingredients in a container with a tight lid. I mix the dressing and then toss to coat before serving.) I love this because it's such a simple, quick salad.


This next recipe is one that I got from a friend. Online, there are many similar variations. This one is a funny salad because if you describe it, many people will turn up their noses, but it's super tasty.


Chinese Salad
Ingredients:
2 large bags of cole slaw OR 2 heads Napa or Bok Choy cabbage
6 green onions
2 (3 oz) pkg of ramen noodles with Oriental Seasoning packages
1 (6 oz) pkg slivered almonds
2 TBS sesame seeds
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c sugar
6 TBS white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt


Directions:
Slice the green onions. Crumble the ramen noodles into a broiler pan, add the almonds and sesame seeds, and broil for 2 minutes, being careful not to scorch. In a jar with a tight lid, combine the oil, sugar, vinegar, and salt with the contents of the ramen seasoning packets. Cover the jar and shake. Refrigerate. (NOTE: I make this ahead and keep the cabbage, noodle mixture and dressing separate and combine right before serving.)


The next recipe is a beverage. It's almost all alcohol so it won't work, obviously, if you don't drink alcohol.

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
Ingredients:
3 TBS sugar
1 c pomegranate juice
2 (750-mL) bottles sparkling wine, chilled
3/4 c late-harvest white wine, such as late-harvest Riesling, chilled
2 oranges, thinly sliced crosswise
1 c diced fresh pineapple (1/2 inch)
1/4 c pomegranate seeds
Ice cubes, for serving


Directions:
In a punch bowl, dissolve the sugar in the pomegranate juice, stirring vigorously. Add the sparkling wine and late-harvest white wine, then add the orange slices, diced pineapple and pomegranate seeds. Serve the sparkling pomegranate punch over ice cubes.  (NOTE:  um, funny story.  When I made this recipe originally, I thought it said 3/4 of a bottle of Riesling so I just added the entire bottle.  I've been making this recipe revised with 2 bottles of sparkling wine and 1 bottle of Riesling.  It's super delicious.  We doubled the recipe for 20 people on Saturday and it went in a blink of an eye.  I didn't add all the fruit, just sliced oranges.)

Weekend Update - Bridal Fun!

As I may have mentioned before, Little Miss and I are in a wedding in May. This past weekend was the surprise bridal shower and surprise bachelorette party.

The theme of the bridal shower was nesting dolls. It started with the invitations and extended to the cake, favors and prizes during the shower. The cookies above were the favors, and they were absolutely adorable. I am not lying when I tell you that half of the pictures I took over the weekend were of the cookies. The cupcakes are below. One of the bridesmaids did a fantastic job of arranging and decorating. I know I couldn't have done as good of a job.
Although, the shower was a surprise, the bride knew she'd be getting a shower. So, in preparation, she had her fiance bring a gift for Little Miss. The Little People bridal set was a great gift. Little Miss plays with it often already. You can't see it in the picture, but Little Miss is also wearing a t-shirt that says "I'm the cutest Flower Girl ever". She'll be wearing it some more so I'll have to take a picture of it before the whole journey is over.
Last, but not least, here is a photo of the bride with her bow bouquet. After the shower, we all kidnapped the bride for a surprise bachelorette party. We had a nice dinner in the city, went around the city and then spent the night. We had a lovely brunch the next month to cap off a fun weekend. It was a fantastic weekend, but I'm looking forward to lying low this weekend! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Pledge of Allegiance

The video speaks for itself.  I'm very impressed that Little Miss has learned the pledge throughout the school year, and it's absolutely adorable.  I love how the one word she's always had correct is "indivisible" and absolutely love how she says "America".


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weekend Update - No News is Not Necessarily Good News

I did no Weekend Update last weekend or the weekend before. This is mostly due to the fact that I did nothing. The weekend before I had the beginnings of a cold. So, I spent most of the weekend in bed or on the couch. I did small errands, but essentially the weekend was lost.


Last weekend, Husband had a friend over on Saturday to watch sports. On Sunday, I cleaned a portion of the apartment with the rest of the apartment in the schedule over the next week or two.


So, that's my exciting life. Don't be too jealous.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book News

A friend of mine has a book coming out. First, all the details - The book is called Her Own Best Enemy by Cynthia Justlin. You can buy it from the following sites: Barnes & Noble for the nook, Amazon for the Kindle, and Smashwords for the ePub file. I mean, the book is only $2.99 - why not treat yourself to a nice, Tuesday morning treat?

Here is the blurb:
Desperate to track down her ex-husband who disappeared along with their son, Grace Stevens delves into his past and uncovers evidence of a shocking dual life. The man she thought was an ordinary computer consultant is in fact a former high-ranking Special Forces officer with unique skills in military intelligence. With nowhere to turn she is forced to plead for help from Keith King, the one man she hoped to never see again. Against her better judgment she’ll have to put her child’s fate into his hands.

Keith has officially hit rock bottom. Framed for the theft of deadly missile components, the cynical Special Forces officer is in danger of losing the only thing he can count on: his career. His one shot at clearing his name lies in locating Grace’s ex, who was working with Keith on a secret mission to take down a cutthroat military traitor. But to team up with Grace he’ll need to spend 24/7 with a woman who has every reason to hate him. Out to use each other for their own agenda, desperate mother and disillusioned soldier find they must work together to stay alive, and in the process discover that sometimes even the best of enemies fall in love.

You can also read the first chapter if you click here.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree (or Preview to the Teen Years)

Because Little Miss has been very sick this week, I bought her a giant Princess balloon to raise her spirits and for being such a trooper. The balloon came with a clothespin to weigh it down as well as to attach it so it won't fly away. Little Miss evidently pinched Husband with the clothespin. When she asked me if she could pinch me, I said no. She rain from the room to Husband and whined, "That's not fair!"


It's only partially amusing because it was such a normal reaction, but it's also scary because I know somewhere my mom is laughing her butt off at karma's cruel joke.


Usually, when this happens, Little Miss runs to husband and says, "Daddy, talk to Mommy!" She hasn't figured out that her daddy is not the boss of me.

March Madness

Cartoon by Andrew Toos
Husband was doing his favorite routine today - watching tv. He's been watching college basketball and yelling at somebody. I ignore him most of the time (if not all of the time). After he yells, he usually turns to Little Miss to assure her that he's not mad at her or yelling at her though, to be honest, she barely bats an eye when he yells either. Tonight, he turned to her and explained he was just yelling at basketball. She looked at him and exclaimed, "Again?!"

Lullabye and Good - wait, a minute!

The other day, Husband went to pick up Little Miss. After a rough day, she was sleeping when she got home so he carried her upstairs with his briefcase and her bags. It is quite a struggle to carry everything and then unlock the door, but he does it. He gets her inside and put her in bed. After all the jostling and shifting, Little Miss stays sleeping until her little head hits the pillow. At that point, she opens her eyes, looks at Husband and says "It's not night night time, Daddy!" She then sits up, gets out of bed and runs around the apartment. Husband, I imagine (as I wasn't home) just heaved a big sigh.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Weekend Update

Last weekend was super busy. Husband was out of town last week for business. On Friday, I went to bed gloriously early.


On Saturday, my poor nephew was sick so his mommy and I couldn't go to the movies, but I equally enjoyed watching cartoons in my jammies with Little Miss. After lunch, we drove to the airport to pick up Husband. She enjoyed watching the planes land and take off. She ran to Husband when he exited the gate and then went to pick up his bags from the baggage carousel. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home, and she took a pretty long nap when we got home. We had a nice dinner and then Husband went to a friend's birthday celebration at a nearby bar.


On Sunday, we got up and went into the city for brunch with Husband's current and former co-workers. It was a lot of fun. I may have had too many mimosas which gave me a hangover (without the buzz) later in the day. We took a little nap after brunch before heading to Sister's house to celebrate Mom's birthday. We bought Mom Unbroken and a basket of flowers. We also made shrimp cocktail, stuffed tomatoes, arugula salad and cupcakes. Sister made Crab and Corn Chowder and bought yummy cheesy bread. We came home to watch the Oscars. It was good fun that left us exhausted. It's now Tuesday and we're still recovering.

Movies Watched in February 2011


  1. Ramona and Beezus
  2. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
  3. Red
  4. The Social Network
  5. Queer as Folk
  6. The Dresden Files
First, I should mention that you may have remembered that I saw The Social Network already. I rewatched on DVD. Second, the last two are TV on DVD. I watched the first disc of both series and am continuing with them. I’ve already seen most, if not all, of Queer as Folk and I’m watching The Dresden Files for the first time (I read the first book on which the series was based).

Books Read in February 2011

  1. One Day by David Nicholls
  2. Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb (NOTE: This is book #32 of the In Death series. The order can be found here.)
  3. Promises by Marie Sexton (NOTE: This is part of a loose series though the author writes you can read the books out of order. You can find more information on her website.)
  4. Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning (NOTE: This is part of the Sinners on Tour series. You can find the upcoming order here.)
I was a bit distracted this month so not a ton of reading. Just wanted to note that the second to last book is male/male romance and the last is an erotica book so stay clear if you’re not into that type of thing.