Monday, October 05, 2009

Raspberry Patience

Those are the steps to my attic. Sitting on them are 3 different batches of boozy goodness - Raspberry Liqueur, Double Raspberry Treat and Righteous Raspberry. The kitchen counter has a few small stains and a couple of wooden spoons and towels were sacrificed (no worse than making jam) but the process was simple and so far everything is going smoothly. I have to swirl Righteous for 20 seconds on Wednesday. On Friday I need to strain the Liqueur into their final bottles. This is all marked on my calendar. The most difficult part is waiting a month before it's all ready to drink and share.

Here's WFR eating lunch!

Friday, September 04, 2009

the easy road

I have to admit that I am a teeny tiny bit jealous of Pillsbury Bake-Off winners' monetary prizes and kick ass ovens. Also, that I usually pride myself on making things from "scratch".

This past week I picked up a copy of their book from the library and found it had 2 raspberry recipes. Did you know that I am scouring the internet and cookery shelves for raspberry recipes? Lucky me it had TWO! And they both included canned bread!?!?! I thought to myself...Can I really serve something that I popped out of a cardboard tube? Well, when you have no more than 5 minutes in a row to do anything I decided to go for it and honestly they were delicious.

It's a shame really. Should I be amazed that I was able to "bake" twice this week? Or should I be disgusted with myself for selling out and embracing the Dough Boy? Could I be over analyzing? Maybe, but when I get a compliment I feel guilty and a almost embarrassed. I am compelled to blurt out "I didn't really bake them, the crusts are biscuits from a can". Like, no they're not really THAT good, they can't be! Then I wish I had made that Lemon Bundt, the one with the zest of 6 lemons from Cooks' Illustrated. Now there's a cake to be proud of but I probably would have to hire a babysitter to make it during the week.

These are really good and I might make them again....

raspberry-nut dreams

1/2 c. macadamia nuts
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c. frozen raspberries, thawed, drained and liquid reserved
1 can (16.3 oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 16 regular-sized muffin cups with cooking spray. In food processor, pulse macadamia nuts until coarsely chopped. Add brown sugar; process till combined. Place in small bowl and set aside.

2. In same food processor, process cream cheese, 2 Tbs nut mixture and 2 Tbs raspberry liquid till smooth.

3. Separate dough into 8 biscuits; separate each into 2 layers, making a total of 16 rounds. Lightly press each round in bottom and up side of muffin cup. Spoon about 1/2 Tbs cream cheese mixture into each dough lined cup. Top each evenly with raspberries and 1 Tbs remaining nut mixture.

4. Bake 14-22 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nice week

Last week my sister-in-law and 2 nieces came into town from Colorado. We had a great time visiting with them. Many trips were made to Starbucks and the ice cream stand. We all helped my mother-in-law get ready for the Brooklyn Heights Garage Sale on Friday and did the selling on Saturday. Unfortunately, it was SUPER HOT and there were not many customers.

Then on Sunday my parents took WFR and I to the Valley City Frog Jumping Contest. It is some good, clean family fun! It was also SUPER HOT that day so we walked around a little then went back to their house to sit in the a/c.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pack the moving truck

We have a new tenat on our front porch but it took her a few days to choose btwn the left and right units. I'm afraid to water the hanging baskets so they're turning a yellowish brown color and looking quite crispy. The neighbors probably think that I've just been negleting my plants (which is normally the case) but I am actually trying to save her nest. And I figure if I've stopped watering one, I might as well have a matching pair of dead baskets. Maybe something else will move into the other one. The rent is cheap!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

busy week

We have a TON of stuff going on this week which is exhausting me. So much, that I played hookie from WFR's swim class last night and fell asleep on the couch by 9pm.

Tomorrow I am taking our new teenage babysitter (and her little sis) on an outing to get to know WFR a little better. I want her to come over and see the apartment and we can discuss his bedtime routine. Which is not much more than read "Goodnight Moon" while he drinks some milk, put him in the crib, shut the door and ignore anything else that happens until after 6a.m. Oh, and don't forget to turn the sound machine on! We were supposed to go to the zoo but if it rains I'm not sure what we're going to do.

Sunday we are going to the Cleveland Food Rocks Rock 'n' Roll BBQ. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it. They are pretty vague on the details...bbq from "famous" Cleveland restaurants and music at the Beachland. This group is a non-profit that are raising funds to help promote the city's good eats." I don't know what that really means. But...I haven't been to anything food related in so long, I didn't want to miss out on something that could be cool. More info can be found here. Let's hope it's worth the admission!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

mile markers

We had a very long drive but a nice visit. I wished we could have stayed in NJ another day. WFR was a trooper and did pretty well in the car and sleeping in the pack-n-play. Saturday we went to a playground, farmers market , Jersey City for dosa and IKEA. In the evening we had a family dinner full of carbs and stories from India and Vietnam. The stories amaze me and make me feel very grateful for what I have.

Why does Pennsylvania have a mile marker every 1/10th of a mile on 80? That is a lot of signs.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Road trip!

Tomorrow we are leaving for New Jersey to see a set of WFR's grandparents. We've made a similar trip once before but I am not remembering it that clearly (except the part where we were driving around in the dark, lost, looking for a hotel where we were supposed to meet his parents). So, it was either so bad that I've blocked it out completely or a piece of cake!

I finished all the laundry yesterday and the house is in pretty good shape. Today I collect and pack items for the drive and our bags. Not sure what time we're leaving tomorrow, it all depends on when Ian is able to leave work.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

25 things I've done so far this summer...

  1. worked chat reference a ton, earned the title of biggest "answerer" in May!
  2. celebrated lots of birthdays - parties, cake and ice cream :)
  3. met up with some old friends via Facebook
  4. already paid for our zoo pass in visits
  5. had a Mother's Day pedicure
  6. went on a picnic
  7. ate a Monte Cristo at Melt
  8. became a little obsessed with Crocs
  9. attended baseball games - Indian's and the kids' coach pitched
  10. ate tons at a Father's day breakfast and then a bbq
  11. got a Sam's Club membership
  12. taking a quilt class at Stitch Cleveland (still not finished!)
  13. met our possible future neighbors at a West Clinton Block Club meeting
  14. look forward to Tuesday story time and swim lessons
  15. applied for temporary health insurance
  16. cut carbs from our diet, lost 12lbs!
  17. kissed WFR after he hit his head on a driveway/sidewalk
  18. let my locks grow long and become very frizzy
  19. put up with terrible tenants for too long
  20. spent money at the Tremont Yard Sale and Farmer's Market
  21. put a few miles on the stroller by walking the neighborhood
  22. feel like I go to Giant Eagle almost every day
  23. felt under dressed at a City of Cleveland Architecture Review Board meeting
  24. Roller Derby!
  25. finally replanted the jade plant

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday William!

An entire year has gone by in a flash. On one had I can barely remember WFR as a newborn, it seems so long ago. On the other I can't believe he's already walking, starting to talk and getting into a lot of trouble. On to the birthday....
Since our apartment is pretty small we only were able to invite our families. This ended up being about 20 adults and 6 kids - the place was packed!

The menu:

BBQ and Carolina Pulled Pork - I used this Baking Bites recipe for the BBQ and referenced these 2 for the Carolina. Both turned out really good!

Four Cheese Macaroni from I have never made mac and cheese from scratch before so I just picked the recipe that had received the best reviews. Everyone seemed to like it but I wouldn't make it again. I think I would go with a recipe that started with a bechamel sauce so it would be creamier.

My mom brought coleslaw and my mother-in-law brought her manderine orange salad. I also made a huge tray of tater tots - the kids (and I) love them.

I kept going back and forth about making or buying a cake. There are so many places that sell delicious cakes!!! But my mother guilt kicked in and I decided to bake one. Martha Stewart to the rescue! I made a practice cake the week before to make sure it wouldn't be a total disaster. The cake is what started the monkey theme - then came the invites, few strings of bunting to decorate the house, and his monkey shirt.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gasparilla Weekend

We left our cold, snowy, Cleveland last Friday. The three of us hopped on a plane and went to Tampa to visit the sun and the Schweiterman Family. They are great hosts!

Friday - Got up early to make our 8:50am flight. WFR refused to nap and was a little cranky on the plane. Gregg picked us up and the boys quickly got the car seat installed. We went to their house, regrouped, did some prep work for the Boat Parade on Saturday and had a late Mexican lunch out. The college roommates stayed up way too late and had a bit too much fun. I know it's hard to believe but Baby Caiden is cuter in person than she is in her pictures!

Saturday - Cleaned ourselves up and headed to the Gasparilla Boat Parade. It took a few tries to get onto Davis Island but we made it! Lots of boats and people to look at. Left the parade and headed toward the after party at the SS Schwieterman. The small gathering turned into a pretty big get together. We ate Low Country Boil and watched babies play. Lovely company.

Sunday - Ian, WFR and I took a trip to Clearwater Beach. We had lunch at Crabby Bill's, walked on the boardwalk and then strolled down the beach. It was cool but sunny. I was amazed by how many people were laying out and how tanned they were in February.

Monday - The Schwietermans rented a cabana (aka Chickees) for us at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. We loaded up the babies, bags of toys and the sunscreen for a day of relaxation. We lived like rock stars for a few hours and loved every minute of it. I only wished it was a cabana boy instead of a cabana girl. The pool was heated but still wasn't warm enough to take a dip... the temperature didn't seem to bother WFR who loved splashing and kicking in the water. We took him out when he started shivering!

The weekend was really great. We had a wonderful time visiting with Liz, Gregg and Caiden. We talked for hours - about the past, how our lives have changed and the future. They are really great friends.