The kids and I started the week off with a bang. Kyle had to leave for Chicago Wednesday morning so we spent most of the week without him. We had such beautiful weather this week. I am glad we didn't waste this in place of being somewhere "warm"...Monday we spent the day outside playing baseball, basketball and just running around. I spent a lovely two hours in the hammock while McKay took a very much needed nap. I bought this for Kyle as a Christmas gift and I think that when he is home we are going to have to find a way to share.
Tuesday the kids and I met Dad downtown for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. I am sure glad Kyle has a building to park in. With the weather and school out it was packed downtown. The kids at first weren't so sure about a parade with no candy, but then they discovered that it was all about the "beads". However, they were a little too embarrassed to put them on like every other kid. They just kept coming back and bringing them to me. Personally, I think the parade is just an excuse for a lot of young adults to drink while driving. There were alot of cups and bottles and I don't think they were drinking punch. This toilet mobile was the best.
$66.07...that is the cost to get new tires for the jeep. This is now our third set of tires for this toy. The boys loved it so much and I didn't want to get rid of it after they were done using it. I am sure glad I didn't. McKay loves it just as much as they did. Now with the new tires she is ready to go. For some reason I think they will last a little bit longer that they did with the boys. She has already put the charm on the next door neighbor to drive her around ALL OF THE TIME. I don't mind because she thinks she should drive in the street!
We enjoyed some fine cuisine at Chuck E. Cheese with friends on Wednesday. I had the salad bar...which, surprisingly, was pretty darn fresh. The kids like playing the games, but when it came time for them to "cash" in their loot, the line was long...and who wants to wait 20 minutes for kids to decide how to spend their whole 100 points (1.00!!!!). So, I told them if they would skip the line I would take them to Target and let them spend 3.00. Whatever gets me out of standing in a line with a bunch of indecisive kids!
Thursday the boys had friends over and I spent the a lot of the day reading and cooking. We also had friends over for dinner and games. If you haven't ever played either of these two games I would highly recommend them. I finally found a cornbread recipe I like. I make some pretty darn good ribs but I always find corn bread to be dry. This recipe has changed all that. We had a great time and looked for to another round of games again soon.
Friday the boys and I got to go see "Race to Witch Mountain." The boys loved it and I thought it was pretty good. I don't recall ever seeing "Escape to Witch Mountain" but I might have to find it just to compare. The kids love "The Rock" and if I would let them I think they would watch "The Game Plan" every day. It really is a cute movie..."Mine, all mine...mine, mine, mine...all mine!" Boy, doesn't that ring true with kids!
Saturday was a great day...woke up early to race to Target to buy "Twilight"...ran, played baseball, lounged on the hammock and got sunburned, fixed some Tapas plates for my friend Angie and her kids, and finally watched the movie. Yummy...the food and the eye candy!
Here are my recipes for the night:
White wine steamed artichokes
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 c. white wine
2 tbsp. EV olive oil
2 whole artichokes
Trim off top and bottom of artichoke with bread knife. Cut remaining leaf tips with kitchen shears. Put water, white wine, olive oil and seasoning in 4 qt. sauce pan. Add artichokes. Cover and simmer at medium low heat for about 25-35 minutes. Remove from pan and drizzle a little bit of simmering liquid on each one.
Prosciutto wrapped asparagus with fresh mozzarella
1 bunch thin asparagus
8 slices prosciutto
1 round fresh mozzarella, sliced
EV olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trip off ends of asparagus. Wrap three stalks of asparagus with prosciutto. Place on baking sheet lined with silpat. Drizzle with olive oil and fresh ground pepper. Spritz with water and put it oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Preheat broiler while cooking asparagus. After cooking remove from oven and top with mozzarella, return to broiler and cook until just melted. Let stand for a few minutes and then enjoy!
Grilled zucchini with feta, ricotta and basil
1/2 c. ricotta
1/4 c. feta
1 zucchini, sliced thin
EV olive oil
Prepare zucchini by slicing very thin lengthwise. If you don't have a mandoline (my favorite), this peeler will work great too. Mix ricotta and feta. For each slice of zucchini, spread a small amount of ricotta mix onto it. Add one leaf of basil in center and then roll up. Secure with toothpick. Preheat grill pan on medium high heat. Drizzle with olive oil and then grill on each side for about one minute.
Falafel coated fried buttermilk mashed potato rounds with a red wine reduction
2 c. buttermilk mashed potatoes (these should be leftover from a previous dinner)
1 c. falafel mix
2 egg whites
4 tbsp. ev olive oil
4 tbsp. butter
1 c. good red wine
2 roma tomatoes, cleaned and diced
2 tbsp. butter
Make potatoes into small flattened rounds. Put on sheet pan lined with a silpat in freezer for about 20 minutes. Remove from freezer and prepare by dipping each round in egg whites and then falafel mix. Return to freezer again for about 5 minutes. Preheat large nonstick fry pan with 2 tbsp.oil and 2 tbsp. butter over medium high heat until brown specks start to form. Add four rounds and cook on each side for about 1-2 minutes until crisp. This really should take about 1 minute. The heat needs to be hot enough to crisp up the side quickly without burning. Turn and cook on other side. Remove and return to sheet pan. Add remaining oil and butter, return to med. high heat and finish last four rounds. Return to sheet pan. Remove all but two tablespoons of oil, add wine and cook over high heat until reduced to about 1/3 cup. Add tomatoes and 2 tbsp. butter, whisking to incorporate butter. Salt and pepper as need. Top each potato round with a spoonful of wine reduction.
Sunday ended with the boys declaring, once again, that I was the best Mom in the universe. Why?
This is why....Chili Cheese Fries. Not even homemade. Schwans curly fries...$4.50. Hormel canned chili...$1.25. Colby Jack Cheese....$2.00...Best Mom in the universe...PRICELESS.
What can I say? I don't always cook from scratch. I am sure some of my friends would be really proud of this creation!