Sunday, April 26, 2009


To start off the week, I thought I'd share a favorite recipe that is delicious and easy.  I found it on the Food Network website in 2007 and it's from the lovely Giada De Laurentiis.  We made it again a couple days ago:

1 lb. spaghetti
4 Tbsp. Meyer lemon olive oil (look online)**
2 large red onions, cut into 1/4-in. thick rings
2 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram
8 oz. feta cheese, cubed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

** this really makes the dish so don't skimp and use regular olive oil :)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the spaghetti and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute until tender and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes adding salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir in the marjoram, and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the cooked pasta and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and toss with enough reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten.  Toss with the feta cheese.  Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste.  Transfer to bowls and serve.

Cookin' the Weekend

This weekend's highlight was watching Burbank on Parade two blocks from our house.  This parade is a Burbank tradition going back to WWII.  It has a very small town feel to it -- float sponsors included the local senior citizen center, realty offices, and the karate place up the street. Parade "celebrity" participants included Ronald McDonald, Bugs Bunny, and Santa Claus (see I wasn't kidding about the "small town" thing).  I loved the marching bands.  There were lots of free handouts from people in the parade to people sitting along the street - stuff like bottles of water, food, stickers, etc.  I thought we were on a prime corner for some free goodies but no. Then, at the last minute, a young guy on a scooter, came up to Lee and said "here you go, mister" as he handed him 3-4 postcards that said:

Lee wasn't too happy with his stack of Dr. Wall postcards but, hey, now we can't say we didn't get anything at the parade.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just To Make You....


Earth Day

Somebody gave me this tree kit as a belated baby gift and it only seems fitting that I'd put it together on Earth Day.  I emptied the soil, seeds, and pebbles into the plastic container, then after adding a little water, I stuck it in the frig for 20 days to "imitate nature in a process called cold stratification" (quoting the directions).  So here's hoping I remember to take our mini-greenhouse out of the frig in May and that I don't lose the directions!

Other Earth Day observations:
1) I'm sad that there aren't more recycle containers out for the trash pickup tomorrow.  Our next door neighbor never puts his out so I guess that means he never recycles.  Boo, hiss!
2) On our mid-day walk, I was really surprised by how many houses had their sprinklers on at noon.  Yes, right in the mid-day sun.  Most of that water evaporated in the sun's heat so not only did all of those lawns not get a good drink, those people will have a high water bill for nothing.
3) I turned off the computer this morning and this is the first time I turned it on -- tried to conserve a little energy.
4) I'll admit it -- I wash dishes with the tap running.  It's a giant waste of water, I know.  I feel very bad about it.  But for the last week I have made an effort to be more water-conscience -- I now clean all of the dishes with the tap off and then rinse them.  

Happy Earth Day to you all!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Garden Update

1. We have strawberries!  There are 2 big ones that are turning red very quickly (must be the heat).  That means 1 a piece for Lee and I.  Yum.  We'll pretend it's the final bite of strawberry shortcake.

2. I planted sunflower seeds everywhere and they've kinda taken over the planter.  No blooms yet but lots of greenery.  

3. We need to buy some beer for our snail friends so they'll stop eating eating leaves of the above-mentioned sunflowers and tomato plants....of course, they won't be our friends once they drown in the beer.  But they'll at least be happy little guys.

4. RIP rosemary.  We hardly knew ye.

5. The oregano and mint have grown so much, they are co-mingling.  So if you come over for some Italian food or ice tea, expect some weird flavors....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Clown in Aisle Five

Apparently clowns shop at the Vons near my house.  
I wish I could have gotten a picture of her from the front but she was walking fast and I was fumbling to find my camera (you can click on the pic to make it bigger and get a better view of her, um, lovely dress).  This was not your usual birthday party clown -- she looked too good (and a little scary).  Ringling Brothers Circus, perhaps??  I was in a hurry so I took this picture and went on my merry way into the market.  But now I realize I missed the best picture of all -- watching her put her groceries into one of those tiny clown cars.  Darn!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Why I Shouldn't Search The Web

Different things I've read on the internet lately led me to believe that we were falling behind in introducing Nate to larger, chunkier foods.  Women have blogged or commented on various sites saying their children started eating finger foods at 8 months.....we're still on Stage 2 pureed food at almost 9 months.  So today, I put about a dozen cooked peas on Nate's highchair tray.  First off, the poor guy isn't really tall enough to see them on the tray  or reach them easily so that was the first struggle. He didn't know how to grasp them so they ran all over the floor -- no big deal; I knew this was an experiment.  So I gave up on that and moved on to his normal dinner of pureed sweet potatoes and rice/chicken combo.  But that nagging voice in my head spoke up again - "he should be eating chunkier food." On the spur of the moment I mashing some of the cooked peas and fed him a tiny bite.  His little face was classic -- utter disgust.  Then he gagged.  Then he gagged a lot.  Then he threw up all of the sweet potatoes and rice/chicken combo.  Moral of this tale: don't compare yourself to other moms and kids on the internet.  We'll be continuing with our slow and gradual introduction of foods, thank you very much.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Weekend Highlights

Saturday morning we went on a family field trip to The Americana (for those of you not living here, it's like Main Street at Disneyland with trendy shops).  We browsed the books at Barnes & Noble and watched TONS of kids wait in line to have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny and participate in an egg hunt.  Our little man couldn't have handled such a long line.     

Lee and Nate at the Americana fountain.  

Easter afternoon at Grandma's house.  LOVE Nate and Lee in this picture.  I, on the other hand, look a little drunk (I'm not, promise).

Nate and his Easter goodies.

Just for fun -- Eric and Nikki, Easter 1976.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

We may be entering new territory with Nate.  There were a couple "firsts" today -- 

After his bath, I put him in the pack n play so I could prepare his last bottle.  The moment I stepped out of the room he had a giant meltdown.  I rushed around the kitchen and got back to him as quickly as possible but by then he was a blob of tears and snot.  Poor guy took several minutes to calm down.  Separation anxiety?  It appears so.

He also made a big fuss when I took something away from him.  That's never happened before.

I'm hoping that his antics this week are the by-product of a tooth or two coming in but maybe not.  Looks like we have a real live wire on our hands.  Oy vey....


Now He Knows What that Big White Thing Does

Nathan Cook - future Maytag Repairman

Getting Older -- Severely Lacking in Fun

Here are a few things I wanted for my birthday when I was young:
  1. any Olivia Newton John record
  2. Bonnie Bell Lipsmackers
  3. Sweet Valley High books
  4. roller skates
  5. Mrs. Grossmann stickers (preferably with a unicorn or rainbow on them)
  6. ribbon barrettes

Now, check out my 2009 birthday wish list:
  1. dust pans - 1 for inside, 1 for outside
  2. coupon holder
  3. glass or BPA-free tupperware
  4. dutch oven
  5. burgundy bath mat
Depressing, isn't it?

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Mom is SUCH a Dork

Nate's thinking: Seriously?  How interesting is a picture of me in a Vons shopping cart??  I hope nobody is watching us.  

Didn't These Things Cost a Dime When We Were Little??

Nate and Shaggy, I mean, Lee outside Big Lots after church (we really know how to rock a Sunday afternoon, don't we?)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'm the King of the World (hiccup!)

When we went to Old Town Pasadena a couple weekends ago, Lee and I spent the remaining balance on a Sur La Table giftcard.  It was fun to look around and decide what we wanted to buy.  In the end, we settled on a couple kitchen gadgets and for fun we bought a very special ice cube tray -- the label on the package said "Gin and Titonic."  Yes, the ice cubes are shaped like little icebergs and mini Titanics.  And, yes, we have had then in a glass of Gin.  Very tasty and refreshing for us.  Not so much for the poor people on the Titanic.

The Room of .....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Venus Vs. Mars - Architecturally Speaking

Lee and I have explored our neighborhood extensively while out on walks with Nate.  This week I discovered my favorite pocket down by the Rancho area -- the houses are sweet, immaculate, and charming.  Lee picked out his dream house the very first week we moved here.  I took a picture of it today, as well as a house I adore in the Rancho.  Can you tell which is which??  And, no, this is not an April Fool's joke.