Monday, March 14, 2011

Talia's Yoga Birthday Party

Talia's yoga birthday party at Blackbird Family Yoga was a great success! The yoga class was fantastic-- the kids really enjoyed it and Amanda, the owner, kept their attention perfectly! I brought a picture frame (I spray painted it pink - and the garage floor, oooops!) and a few props and the kids really hammed it up. The homemade cupcakes were a total hit. I used this recipe for the cupcake and this one for the buttercream frosting. It really isn't that hard to make cupcakes if you send the kids away and they are not climbing all over you. And if you have a Kitchen-Aid mixer. I'm glad this birthday extravaganza is over. I have two months until Alex's 4th birthday and then we are done for a while. Now getting Talia to write her thank you notes will be another story... We've set a goal of three per day. It should be easier than last year, right?

One thing to note-- this past summer I was watching a video of my own birthday party, I'm not sure if I was 6 or 7, but I recall watching myself reading the birthday cards out loud and I noticed that I read them as well as if I were reading them now, at age 37. I was a bit mortified thinking that Talia's reading skills were not up to par. Lo and behold, she read her birthday cards with the same ease I read mine. What a difference a half a year can make! I'm so proud of her!
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tuscan Salad

Must share... This is a really delicious and impressive salad. Sometimes salads don't seem to be enough for a main dish but this one is substantial enough for sure. The crunchy romaine (I'm into romaine these days after years of shunning it for darker greens...), the meaty white beans, the bite of the red onions and olives and the fresh, perfectly al dente green beans combine with a super tangy lemon dressing and salty parmesan. Sound good enough for you? Here it is...

Giada's Tuscan Salad

8 ounces green beans, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 head Romaine lettuce, torn
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1/2 red onion, cut into slivers
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce shaved Parmesan (about 1/2 cup)

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until beans are slightly tender. Transfer the cooked green beans to a bowl of ice water and let cool for 3 minutes. Drain the green beans.
In a large bowl, combine the green beans with the lettuce, cannellini beans, olives, and red onion. Toss to combine. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Top with shaved Parmesan and serve.
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Look who's turning 7 tomorrow!

We have a packed weekend! Talia turns SEVEN tomorrow! She is performing in the talent show at school and having a yoga birthday party this weekend. Anyone have any suggestions for egg free treats I can bring into school tomorrow?
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