Wednesday, January 30, 2013

5 x 12 | january

in 2011 i started monthly posts with a family picture and information on what we've done. i didn't make it through the year but what i did post, i love.  and now looking back wish i had continued it for 12 months.

one thing that will hopefully keep me going is my goal to take 12 family pictures this year. one a month.  it's crazy how much we change.  jordan seems to grow everyday.  andrew is getting taller as well.  sofia is looking older.  needless to say so are me and bobby (nothing a little photoshop can't fix, wink, wink.)  having these pictures will be a true sign of how our family is growing.

along with the pictures i will add a little documentation for the month - highlights if you will.

  • we rang in the new year at home, just the five of us.
  • jr turned 14.
  • we saw the space shuttle endeavour.
  • we made it through a very cold month - ok cold for california.
  • we made 2 trips to ikea for some new furnishings.
  • the boys had 2 basketball games each (2 games were rescheduled due to rain)
  • jr's team is 1-1.
  • aj's team is . . .having fun.
  • 3 great dentist appointments for the kids.
  • bobby got one ski trip in.
  • i made pasta from scratch.
  • jr advanced to the finals in the school spelling bee. (he finished 4th.)
  • jr is halfway through his high school interviews and tests. send positive thoughts his way, please.
  • sg is addicted to the suite life of zack and cody.
  • aj is showing lots of interest in revolutionary history. he loves to tell me stories about what he learned in school that day. 
  • both boys got stellar report cards. of course we gave them heck for the a-.
  • we are so happy for our family in colorado who just welcomed a new baby boy.  can't wait to meet milo.
it's been a good month for the mitas family.  hoping to share at the end of every month.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

around here: january

we are still celebrating his birthday. and the fun will continue into february when we take his friends to disneyland.

i baked cupcakes and brownies for our 1st grade bake sale.  those are roasted marshmallows on top of a chocolate cupcakes.  i forgot to add the graham cracker topping, but something tells me they were still pretty good.

the drums have arrived.  jordan made himself a nice little cove in the garage to play them.  but we have more cleaning to do before i can take a picture and share what the set up looks like. (and so far no neighbor complaints.)

we are going to a lot of basketball games.  2 yesterday, one on thursday and practices in between.  and this saturday andrew starts back at baseball.  i may need to get some help.

i am trying to get into a routine at the gym but my schedule is inconsistent.  i went back to zumba last week.  missed yoga two weeks in a row.  1/2 marathon training starts on saturday.  i'm gonna keep moving as fast as i can.

we are building things.  we loaded our dvds into binders and got rid of all of those packages.  it gives us more room to decorate.  and honestly we don't watch dvds very much.  can you say netflix?

i love that we get to share the kids clothes with family. i remember walking around with sofia in this cute coat.  now her cousin gets some use out of it and it looks good.

i adore my iPad mini.  i can take it anywhere.  get my email, calendar, internet (well if there is wi-fi) and ahem, play some solitaire while i am waiting in carpool.  coolest thing ever.

there's a lot going on all the time.  we are keeping up and trying to stay in the moment at the same time, enjoying as much as we can along the way.

Monday, January 28, 2013

2013 weekly menu: week 5

i found a few minutes today to post our menu. it's been one heck of a monday morning.

weekend eats:
saturday: january birthdays family pot luck
sunday: pizza - family reunion planning meeting

making this week:
monday: turkey burgers, baked fries
tuesday: rotisserie chicken, mac and cheese, salad
wednesday: fish tacos, rice
thursday: baked pasta, caesar salad
friday: stromboli - didn't make it last week

it's looking to be an exciting week for us as we finish off this month.  i am hoping to stay on track with this menu but am prepared for anything - well almost anything.

have a good week!

Friday, January 25, 2013

pasta making and dare #3

jennifer and i made the trip back to chez cherie for another fun cooking class.  this time we attempted the pasta making class.  we've both tried making past before but didn't have much luck.  taking a class is the perfect way to get over our fear and learn from the pros. it was one of my dares for the year.  get over your fear and learn how to do it.

chez chérie is a cooking school in la cañada. it's where we took the tapas class last year.  it's out of the way for us but we had a good time in the first class so we thought we'd do it again.

the first part of the class was lecture.  cherie showed us how to make pasta by hand  and in the food processor.  that's the way to go.
while we watched we enjoyed some salad and focaccia bread.

then it was out turn.

i tried making pasta at home once by hand.  my dough never came together so i threw it out.  this way was so much easier.  the machine does the work for you.

 a little beat of kneading and you're done.  brilliant!

a few times through the pasta machine.

and then the cutter.

voila beautiful, fresh pasta.

for dinner we had regular pasta and spinach pasta with ragu sauce made with pork and pesto, and more focaccia.

another successful class taken.  more recipes learned. and hopefully a lot of good meals to come our way.  next on the class list, the trader joe's cooking class.

dare #3: make it from scratch
i can't tell you how delicious it is to eat something made from scratch.  i'm trying to learn more recipes and incorporate them into our life.  it takes a little more effort but it's so worth it.  my challenge to you is to make it from scratch.  here are some places to start:

flour tortillas
hamburger buns - truly a favorite
english muffins - next on my list
jam - there are lots of recipes out there.  we made some over the summer and it was beyond amazing.

is it easier to go to the market and buy a box of pasta? for sure. but fresh pasta is so much tastier.  this takes more time and a little more effort, but now i know what's in it; eggs and flour, and that feels good.  so give it a try.  spend a little time making it yourself. i dare you!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

our weekend in photos

we went to kernville this past weekend to rack the wine.  didn't get any photos of the process. but it was tasted and it was good.  this year we are making a cabernet, and everyone is happy with the progress so far.

lunch was a buffet of meats and cheeses, rolls and crackers, chips and dip and of course wine and beer.

bobby and i spent one morning at the coffee shop in town.  he had to check emails and i had to post to the school website.  free internet, coffee and a croissant make for a nice morning date.

saturday morning was the information meeting for the training group.  yep, i'm doing the santa barbara 1/2 again this year and i'm so excited.  since i missed the meeting,  i decided to motivate myself with runner's world magazine. didn't have enough energy to actually go for a run but training doesn't start for two more weeks, so i should rest up now.

sunday the kids went on a snow quad ride. she was ready to go in her snow suit and fishtail braid.

we met up with the quad crew at the green horn grill for lunch, hot chocolate and some 49ers football.

anthony is now a mountain man. (and sofia is an expert photo bomber.)

sofia and i hung out by the creek on monday and did some rock hunting.  we love finding these heart shaped rocks.

bobby took off to to alta sierra for a beautiful morning of skiing. perfect weather, no crowds and fresh powder.  he was so happy!

we pass this store all the time on our way in and out of town.  since we left early on monday we decided to stop in and check it out.  it's an old fashioned candy store, cafe and market.  some really cool finds in there.

 like these from bobby's childhood.

yay for three day weekends in kernville.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013 weekly menu: week 4

hot chocolate in the snow!
we had a great 3 day weekend in the snow, some quad riding and racking our wine.

this week i'm looking forward to taking a pasta making class.  if it goes well you will see a lot of pasta on future menus. jordan is getting his drums delivered and i have some decorating to do - working on our living room.

weekend eats:
saturday: chili cook-off and cornbread - no winners but lots of good food.
sunday: homemade pizza, salad and leftover chili
monday: leftovers

making this week:
tuesday: ravioli with marinara, salad
wednesday: salmon and spinach rolls, greek salad (didn't make this last week)
thursday: chicken tacos and rice
friday: stromboli

happy this is a 4 day week!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

feliz navidad

i thought it might be too late to post about our christmas in mexico but i realized that this was more than just a trip to celebrate the holidays.  this was a trip about tradition, family and food.  it's never too late to share that.

last summer, my dad casually mentioned spending christmas with his family in ensenada. when bobby heard that the wheels started turning, i could literally see them.  he and my dad made all of the arrangements to take the family to mexico for christmas.

we left on christmas eve and crossed into mexico early in the morning and made it to ensenada in time for lunch. i won't even tell you about trying to stop at puerto nuevo for lobster and feeling like we were being attacked by zombies.

andrew and my dad have this joke between them about calling each other gordo. and signs like this were all over the place.

then we went to my aunt and uncles house for the festivities.  i grew up spending our christmases with my grandmother here.  i have great memories of that time.  and how awesome that i got to bring my kids here to have the same experience.  i hope it's something they won't ever forget.

we were in awe of the nativity that my cousin put up.  awesome.

we had a posada which is the traditional christmas eve festivities.  singing, candle lighting, praying, and more singing.

and sparklers.  the kids were shocked that we lit these in the house.  i guess it's not a fire hazard here.

my cousins went all planning a traditional posada with song books.

then sofia was chosen to lay the baby jesus in the manger.

and afterwards we partied with "aguinaldos" - party favors filled with candy and nuts.

we ate dinner and played games.  it was fun watching bobby and the kids communicate with my cousins.  speaking spanish and english the best they can, and understanding each other pretty well.

christmas morning santa made a visit to the hotel.

we went back to my family's house for breakfast.  the best part was just sitting around the table talking, laughing and getting to know each other again.

we went to church.

and visited the port where the cruise ships dock.

the kids got to try street food.  churros filled with caramel.

and then back to the house to continue the party.  you have to have a pinata of course.

love this picture of my tiny aunt trying to tie a blindfold on 5'9" jordan.

we also got to visit a church with a room full of 100s of nativity sets.
big, small, fancy, simple, handmade and gorgeous.

and then it was present time.  we participated in the gift exchange and got some nice wine made in baja.

i gave to my cousin, cesar.

gifts for everyone.

after gifts the "kids" played a round of monigote.  it's played with a wine cork covered in wax and then set on fire.  you pass it around the circle and sell it to your neighbor.  if the flame goes out while your holding it, the person who sold it to you gets to draw on your face.  silly, but so much fun.

and a tradition from when my dad was a kid.

wednesday morning bobby and i ran the streets of ensenada.  not an easy task in a busy city.

we had a delicious breakfast.

and bought pan dulce to bring home.

and then waited in line for 3 and a half hours to cross the border.  i had to keep talking bobby out of doing some last minute shopping from the vendors.

what an amazing experience for my family, and for me.  christmas the way i remember celebrating it as a kid. time with my beloved aunt, uncle and cousins, who i adore!

and memories with my parents.  thank you for making this happen.