Thursday, June 30, 2011

bridal shower recipes

when i put together a party i try to mix some purchased items with some homemade items.  for my sister's bridal shower i did just that.  
things we bought to save on time and hassle:
mini quiches from smart n final
salad kit was from costco
mini red velvet cupcakes from a bakery
things we made to save money and to make it our way:
the chicken salad.
assembled the skewers.
mini muffin spinach dip.
brownies, but i used a mix
mother-in-law made the lemon squares, that were lovely and yummy.
dipped our own strawberries in chocolate.
i wanted to share some of the recipes that i made for lunch.
chicken and cranberry salad
2 c. rotisserie chicken diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 c. red onion, diced
1/4 c. dried cranberries
2 tbsp. light mayonnaise, more if desired
1 tbsp. dijion mustard
i don't actually measure when i make this recipe.  i just add and mix until i get the right flavor, so use my measurements cautiously.  mix everything together and spread onto the croissants or dinner rolls.  you can also replace the cranberries with dried apricots.

3rd time i've used this photo, but it's so pretty.
mozzarella, tomato and basil skewers
 this is a super easy, but yummy appetizer.
marinated mozzarella mini balls
grape, sugar plum or cherry tomatoes
fresh basil leaves
start with the tooth pick add a mozzarella ball, then a tomato and finally a basil leaf.  not too difficult.
variations:  i have made these with sundried tomatoes instead of the fresh.  you can use the plain mozzarella balls and then drizzle the assembled skewers with balsamic vineagar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

mini spinach dip bites
recipe from picky palate
1 13.2 container of pillsbury refrigerated french bread dough
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups baby spinach, light chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 oz. of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
preheat oven to 350 degrees.  spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.  cut the dough into 10 slices and then cut those slices in half. 
form those slices into rounds that will fit into the muffin tins.  leaving a well in the middle.
heat oil in a skillet. add spinach and stir until wilted.  add garlic and cook for an additional minute.  remove from heat.
mix together the cream cheese and next 6 ingredients. add spinach and garlic to the mixture.
put a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture into each bread bowl.  top evenly with mozzarella cheese.
bake for 15-17 minutes until brown. 
mine came out pretty stuffed and the cheese was brown and yummy.
hope you enjoy these as much as i do.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

you're invited

please join us for a "look" at a very special bridal shower in honor of my sister gaby.

date: saturday, june 27
time:11:30 am (lunch will be served at noon)
place:  my parents' backyard (always a lovely place for a party)

please be prepared for very hot weather.  hotter than we anticipated. 
make sure to put your favorite recipe into the cookbook that we will give to the bride.  it's always important to have the best recipes on hand.
find a place at the table decorated in yellow and white.
don't worry we didn't rent dishes or linens.  my sister-in-law and i have a large party inventory and were able to put it all together.  the only thing we rented were the chairs.
when you arrive enjoy a refreshing drink.  with this heat, you will need a glass with plenty of ice. ice tea, lemonade and "spa" water with cucumbers, lemon and lime slices.
or enjoy a crisp glass of riesling or prosecco.  for a little delight, add some prosecco to a glass of lemonade for a bubbly, lemony mimosa.
lunch will consist of mozzarella, mini tomatoes and basil skewers.
mini spinach dip muffins (that will be a party favorite).
chicken and cranberry salad on croissants.
mini quiches and costco parisian salad to fill up your plate.
enjoy some time with family and friends. and maybe meet a few new people.
we will of course play games like bridal bouquet toss.
love bingo.
guess who said what correctly and you could get a bingo.
and pass the gift.  which is a fun way to get to know each other.
there will be touching speeches
laughter and maybe a tear or two.
for dessert you will enjoy mini red velvet cupcakes, mini brownies, lemon bars and white chocolate covered strawberries.
we will shower the bride with lots of gifts.
before you go, please take home this token as a thank you for being a part of this special day.
this shower was given with love by sandy, jennifer, adriana, my mom (not pictured) and me.
eta: thanks for letting me share some of your pictures as well.
i wish we could have had you all there, but i hope i captured what a wonderful day it was.

Monday, June 27, 2011

weekly menu:: week 26

this weekend was lovely.
this weekend was full of happiness.
this weekend was hot.
this weekend was exhausting but so good.
this weekend has come and gone.

now we are looking ahead to a good week.  this is what's for dinner.

monday  -   chicken tostadas, i'm making salsa today
tuesday  -  goat cheese and herb frittata, salad
wednesday - lemony salmon with yogurt dill sauce, mozzarella and tomato salad
thursday - bbq chicken salad
friday - pizza
saturday - bbq with the family
sunday - eat out

the kids haven't been much help in the kitchen so far.  mostly because we have been a bit rushed with lots to do.  so we're starting with something fun.  i want to try this recipe and i think the kids will enjoy making, and eating, popsicles.

i'm hoping to post the recipes i made for the shower this week.  let me know if you have any recipes you'd like to see or if you have questions about menu planning and cooking.

Friday, June 24, 2011

five on friday :: happiness

1. essie nail polish in master plan.
i am a little obsessed with all things grey.  this nail polish is the perfect neutral shade.  i painted my toes with it and i really want to paint my fingernails too.

2. this skirt from old navy
actually the skirt i got is grey and white.  but i couldn't find a picture online.  i can see myself wearing it with yellow, navy, green.  so many options.  i want to wear more skirts this summer.  maybe even make a few.

3. fiber one 90 calorie brownies.
i've never had much of a sweet tooth.  but lately, after dinner, i find myself searching for a little something.  this just hits the spot.  i don't like eating prepackaged foods, but i love that these live in my pantry, pre-portioned and ready to go.
4. graduations
went to my nephews middle school graduation last night.  he was given the spirit award for exemplifying all that the school stands for.  he also sang and played the guitar.  it was very emotional. this morning we will attend my nephew/godson's 5th grade graduation.  he will be giving a speech and i can already feel the tears coming on.

5. finding these two things on pinterest

Source: via Gioconda on Pinterest

when i saw that first one i nearly fell out of my chair.  i will focus on the happy for sure this weekend.

have a great one filled with love.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

thoughts on a thursday

i want to show you pictures of the party favors for my sister's shower...but i can't.  they are cute though.
i want to show you the outfit i'm wearing for the shower... but i don't have it yet.
i want to share a recipe that i love... but i can't decide which one.
i want to share videos that the kids have made... but we can't upload them to the computer for some reason.
i want to tell you about the book i just finished and absolutely loved ... but i don't want you to make fun of me. (i've been reading it since march.)
i want to share an updated photo of my project life album . . . but i haven't taken any yet.
i want to write something funny/inspiring/creative... but i'm not feeling it.
i would love to tell you that everything's done for the shower and i'm just relaxing... but i'm not. but i'm also not stressing.  it's all under control.

i will share a picture of andrew and some of his classmates from a boat tour they took at channel islands yesterday.

i do have a picture of bobby's father's day breakfast.
i do want to tell you that my sister's shower was inspired by this.

and this .

i also know that she will love it.

i do know that good things are around the corner for our little family.  i'm trying to stay cautiously optimistic but i'm feeling a little more optimistic and a little less cautious.

i found out that blogging takes a lot more work during the summer.  we are not on a schedule at all.

i am fighting with 3 other people for computer time.

i am having a hard time coming up with things to blog about. any suggestions?

i am hoping you will still check in and say hi.

that's all i have for you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

around here

today is officially the first day of summer.  at least that's what my calendar says.  we've been in summer mode for a week.  this is life around here.

  • we're sleeping in til 8.  feels so nice.
  • i hope to get up earlier and hit the gym before everyone else gets up.
  • i missed the csa delivery this week.  but will start it next week.  looking forward to some yummy, fresh produce.
  • the exterior of our house is painted and looks great.  such a nice change for us.
  • we are needing to work on the landscaping, front and back.  
  • i am putting together a scrapbook on the road for our trip to san luis obispo next month.  
  • i am finishing the one from palm springs.
  • we are hoping to make jam with grandma. strawberry, peach, any kind will do.
  • wanting to get this popsicle maker for the kids, ok,  i'm the impatient one.
  • we spent $5.50 at the ice cream truck for three treats. what happened  to .50 popsicles?
  • that popsicle maker is starting to sound like a bargain.
  • the kids have appointments with the eye doctor and dentist next week. 
  • they could also use a haircut.
  • i am thinking of recipes for the alaskan salmon that will soon be in my freezer.
  • i am hearing and seeing many legos being built.
  • i am working on favors, grocery lists, and little details for the shower this weekend.
  • we have 2 graduations this week and 2 kids' birthday parties this weekend, along with my sister's shower.  
  • i could use a closet full of gifts.
  • it feels calm and easy going here.
  • we know that will change in the next few weeks when we start swim team, getting ready for the weddings, and start on summer reading and workbooks for school.
  • life is good.
happy first day of summer!

Monday, June 20, 2011

weekly menu:: week 25

had a wonderful weekend with lots of wonderful food.  hit the food truck festival on friday with some out of town guests.  it really is becoming a busy place around here.
saturday night we went to tapas for the first time.  i enjoyed a fruity sangria and crostini with goat cheese and honey.
any guesses on what this might be?
i am looking forward to coming back and trying out more dishes.  then we went to one of my favorite italian restaurants, carolina's for an authentic italian dinner.

yesterday we celebrated father's day with my family.  burgers, hot dogs and pasta salad, just chillin' and being together.  seriously is there anything better than that?
another week of menus that will end in a weekend of bridal showers and birthday parties.  looking forward to it.  i think we're having dinner with my in-laws this week.  they're home from alaska and will be sharing some of the fish they caught with us.  not sure what day but we'll rearrange the schedule to fit that in.

monday (andrew) -   trader joe's chinese food: chicken shu mai, orange chicken, won ton soup (back on the menu cause we never made it last week.)
tuesday (jordan) -  turkey burgers, sweet potato fries
wednesday - harvest grain salad with chicken sausages
thursday - let's assume tonight is dinner with the in-laws.
friday (sofia)- doing shower stuff, so we'll make pizza
saturday - my sister's shower and then a birthday party
sunday - a birthday party

Friday, June 17, 2011

five on friday :: daddy love

i asked the kids to tell me five great things about their dad.  here's what we came up with.
1. he's smart
no seriously smart.  like history and geography and movie smart.  he knows the definition of any word we can think of.  he remembers things he learned about in 4th grade math.  he never had to study for a test and would still ace it. he remembers names and dates and where we were when he read something.  he calls it trivial, we think it's cool.
2. he's playful
not just because he plays halo or legos or baseball with the kids.  yes, the kids play halo, but that's another blog post.  but he is a playful person at heart. he likes to be a part of the fun.  he likes to get involved and get his hands dirty.  he likes having a good time.
3. he's funny
the first thing that i noticed about him was his sense of humor.  he makes voices when he reads books.  he thinks of great jokes. he finds humor in any situation, sometimes even the serious ones.  it is one of his greatest qualities.
4. he's generous
with his time, his patience, his love.  he always believes in giving a helping hand to someone in need.  whether he's giving blood or giving up his weekend to help a friend.  he is the most generous person i know.
5. he's kind
gentle, loving, and honest. he is compassionate, forgiving and understanding.  he is amazing.

and we are so lucky to get to be a part of his life.  happy father's bobby.

with all our love!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

five people twelve times:: 5.11

may seems like such a long time ago.  i guess because we are halfway through june. or because it was such a hectic month that i have put it at the back of my mind.  i had to look through pictures and review my calendar to remind me of what we did.
started playing softball again and hasn't injured himself yet. i hope i didn't just jinx it.
has gotten so much great feedback on his work.  
is working that much harder to make his dream come true.
got to go rafting for the first time this season.  easy stuff, but he had a huge smile on his face.
finally beat me at words with friends.
is writing the ceremony for his cousin's wedding.
realized her dream to go to chicago.
sat in the front row of the 5th to the last oprah show.  she will never forget it.
spent quality time with her sister.
worked hard on the ancient worlds festival for the boys' school.
went to 2 showers for 2 upcoming weddings.
finally ordered her dress for her sister's wedding.
made new friendships.
went on a weeklong trip to yosemite.
appreciated nature a little more.
crawled through a very narrow hallow tree.
reminded me that he has a heart of gold.
got a bad cold that kept him home for the final middle school dance.
he wasn't too upset about that.
celebrated his 9th birthday.
was very understanding about the whole chicago thing.
had a baseball party with his family and friends.
went away for the first time to science camp.
had a great time and pretended not to miss us.
really got into showing off what he knew about the mayan culture at the ancient worlds festival.
brought her mom and all 3 grandmas to preschool.
loved being the only one at home while her brothers were away.
couldn't wait for her brothers to get home.
stopped at the swing everyday on her way out of school.
is so ready for kindergarten.
is not ready to say goodbye to her preschool.

i hope you are enjoying these posts as much as i am.