Thursday, June 25, 2009

Greek Platter Salad

I know- your mouth is watering, right? This was so yummy. Ron called it "restaurant quality" which is his highest compliment. It's so easy. I layered the following ingredients in the platter:

lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta. (I cut everything on the chunky side.)

Over top I poured this dressing:

2 tbl red wine vinegar

2 tbl lemon juice
3 tbl olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 thick slice of red onion, minced
1 tsp dried oregano

Make sure you mix the dressing up really well right before adding it because it doesn't have any ingredient (such as mustard) to help emulsify it. You don't even have to toss the salad.


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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spaghetti with Peas and Parmesan

We had such a nice time at the farmer's market last weekend that we wanted to go again. This time we tried the Westside Community Farmer's Market at the Hill Farms Department of Transportation. There is a huge difference from the big one downtown! This one was ALL business. None of the spectacle of the big one. No balloon animal guy, no hippie clothing for sale, no kids running around the capitol green blowing bubbles or playing tag. Still, there is a definite reason to go to this one too. If you need great produce and don't want to make it a whole day activity, this is your place. You can park right up to the market and be in and out in half an hour. The food seemed cheaper as well, although I can't confirm that. We bought a huge bag of shelling peas, strawberries, rhubarb and sugar snap peas. I made a big pot of spaghetti and added the blanched peas, lots of grated fresh parmesan, salt and pepper and butter. We devoured it. As a matter of fact, I went back the farmer's market today (this time at Hilldale) and bought more peas (shelled because I'm lazier on the weeknight...) and we're having it again tonight with my watermelon, tomato, feta salad.

In other news... I'm an aunt again! I'm waiting for my sister to get home from the hospital so I can share some pictures! More on that later!
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dane County Farmer's Market

This past weekend we took our first trip of the summer to the farmer's market. Madison has the best farmer's market in the world and I am willing to argue with anyone who claims otherwise. It is quite crowded by the time we get there (late!) and we kind of have to just find a spot to park ourselves near the capitol and then Ron and I take little 20 minutes trips to get what we want. We have the garden and CSA, of course, so we don't need to get too much. This weekend we got sugar snap peas (so yum) and strawberries. It was a perfect day for the farmer's market! I highly recommend Ingrid's Lunch Box for a meal-- get the farmer's crepe and you will NOT be disappointed!

We also went to the pool and had friends over for dinner. All in all a very nice weekend.

An update on Alex's experience at school. It's getting better. Today the kids were already on the playground by the time we got there so I got to drop him off (crying) on the playground, then drop Talia off and go back by the playground to see that Alex was fine and happy by the time I left.
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Alex's first week of school

So my baby goes to school now. After two years of dropping off and picking up his sissy at school it was finally his turn. The first morning went well. He seemed to understand that I was going to actually drop him off and leave. He went right in and played with the cars. I said goodbye and told him I was leaving and he nodded and I left. Easy. I called at about 1pm to check on him and they said he was doing great. After his nap, however, he woke up hysterical and cried, with heaving, for a long long time. I picked him up and he was desperate to get out of there.

The next day he cried and cried at drop off and they called an hour later saying he was totally fine and having a great day. He woke up from his nap and cried but wasn't as bad as the previous day.

The third day of school he started crying at breakfast and cried in the car. It was heart wrenching. I had to pry him off of me. They called after 10 minutes and said he was doing great. He woke up from his nap in the afternoon and was even better than the first two days.

All this weekend every time we got in the car he would say "No school!" He started crying when he saw pictures of himself at school on the computer and also when we passed the road that would take him to school. At least he's smart...

So, we're giving it some more time. He's only 2 so he certainly doesn't have to go school right now. He loves playing with other children and to tell you the truth-- I really need a break! 24/7 parenting with no break is not healthy for anyone. We rarely have babysitters here and the truth is that those three days he was in school I barely left the house. The things I want to do are at HOME. I unpacked from our last trip and got some things done from my summer list (like weeding out the kids' clothing drawers- finally!) and transitioning our mudroom from winter (there were still hats and scarves in there!) to summer. I took a little time for myself and got a much enjoyed pedicure. I weeded the garden; I went to a store BY MYSELF! I made a bunch of "business calls" that had been on my list forever-- like updating our credit card for our newspaper and Tivo service.

This deal is good for all of us because when my children were home this weekend I actually sat and read library books to them. Not just one book, but many books. For an hour at least. Just me sitting on the couch and them tucked in beside me. I played a game with Talia. I went outside with them and didn't spend every moment wishing I could go back inside and finish up whatever needed to be done.

I did consider sending Alex to school for mornings only; maybe that would be better for him. In my research I determined that once Kindergarten starts for Talia there would be no way to pick him up from school and give him a good nap before I would have to wake him up to get his sister from school. I guess I could have put him in mornings for the summer but Talia is there full days so it wouldn't make sense. Besides-- full day now or full day in three months doesn't seem to make much of a difference.

When T started school in Philadelphia she had the same issue-- crying with separation. It killed me but I stuck with it. In Philly, once you got a spot in daycare you TOOK that spot or got pushed to the bottom of the list so it was an easier decision. Talia *still* gives me crap about going to school so I guess that's just my family. I'll keep you all posted...
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The Sawyer Blanket

My previous similar baby gift went over so well that I attempted another one. This one is for Ron's cousin Allison and her new baby Sawyer. For the first time I used a stabilizer for the shirt applique and it worked out really well, especially since that fabric is so thin and pliable. I like it. Now I *really* don't have any more of that brown fabric left!
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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Quilt for Baby D

We are back from a long vacation to the East Coast. My brother Mikey grauated from MIT with TWO master's degrees-- one in Urban Planning and one in Transportation. Mazel Tov Mikey! Along the way I got to see some friends and lots of family.

I've been wanting to show a picture of this quilt for a long time. I've been working on it since January. This is a piece of fabric from Ikea (I think it's supposed to be a curtain). I hand quilted the entire thing for my soon-to-be nephew. The back is yellow flannel and the binding is red flannel. I don't have any better pictures of it right now because I forgot to photograph it at home with my SLR camera. This is taken from my point and shoot. It's a really fun quilt and I very much enjoyed the hand quilting. I was able to do it while spending time with Ron in front of the tv after the kids had gone to bed. It also came on many trips with me-- Dominican Republic, Arizona, San Diego. I will definitely continue to hand quilt.
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Friday, June 05, 2009

Buy that boy a kitty!

He almost loved it to death. I told Talia I'd buy her a kitty when we moved to Wisconsin. That was two years ago. I'm still stalling. The kids were in love though, especially Alex.
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