Sunday, February 8, 2009

Let there be sunlight

What a great week we had in Iowa. The sun came out and it was 50 degrees two days in a row. Yahoo! (I'm not going to get sued spelling it that way, am I?) All of our kids love the outdoors. If the door is left accidentally unlocked McKay darts, regardless of what she is wearing, and is gone. One time we couldn't find her for about 10 minutes. WORST FEELING EVER! Let's just say that we are VERY careful now...door alarms on, protector on sliding glass door, deadbolts always locked, etc. Nevertheless, it was a great weekend to play outside and enjoy some seriously needed fresh air. The only bummer is that now we go to church from 1-4 so we will miss our Sunday afternoon walks! Sorry, no pictures to highlight our outdoor adventures. But I do have some great video of McKay boogieing to "I like to move it".

I found something in Williams Sonoma that I also added to my (already)overfilled kitchen. I love these! They are flexible measuring cups. So now I have flexible prep bowls and measuring cups.

This weeks cooking class was fun. The recipes were taken from the new Williams Sonoma Eat Well cookbook and they were delish! I especially loved the Warm Spinach Salad with Delicata Squash and Ricotta Salata. Delicata is sometimes called a Sweet Potato squash and if you can't find it you can substitute Butternut. Ricotta Salata is ricotta that has been salted, dried and pressed. It crumbles like feta...which you could substitute if you can't find the Ricotta Salata.


Delicata squash, 1 1/2 pounds
olive oil, 4 tbsp.
sherry vinegar, 3 tbsp.
baby spinach leaves, 8 oz.
ricotta salata, 4 oz. crumbled
toasted sliced almonds, 1/2 c.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice peeled and cored squash into 1/2 inch pieces. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and roast for 15-20 minutes until tender. Mix sherry vinegar in large bowl with 1 tsp. fleur de sel and fresh ground pepper. Whisk well. Add spinach, squash, ricotta, and almonds and toss to coat. Heat large saute pan with 3 tbsp. olive oil on medium high heat, add spinach mix slowly (oil will pop when vinegar is added) and toss quickly with tongs until spinach is lightly wilted. (About 1-2 won't take long). Serve immediately.

The forecast for tomorrow is 57 and Tuesday is 55 then it is back to reality. So, hopefully McKay and I can enjoy some time in the sun and maybe the boys can even ride their bikes to school. Yea, I know I am being hopeful but what the heck.

I hope everyone has a nice Valentine's Day. As for me, I will be making my sweetie Beef Tenderloin w/Rosemary Chocolate Sauce, Scalloped Potatoes w/Gruyere, Zucchini rollups with goat cheese and balsamic reduction and Flourless Chocolate Torte. We would go to dinner, but why deal with the crowds especially when I can cook a better meal at home.

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