It’s been over a year of not going to a park, playground or anywhere inside for that matter. Spending most warm weekends at the beach, the girls have finally realized that when we tell them that the ocean water is cold, they tend to believe us. Our pool finally opened and although we warned them that the water is going to be ice, they wanted to go with the boogie boards instead of the beach. Fast forward an hour, both Kaili and Averi were shivering while Shayne was still swimming and at that moment we wished for a playmate that also didn’t have nerve endings.
April 12th will go down in the books as the best day of 2021 as all of the girls finally went back on to campus for school. Almost 400 days you guys, sigh!
We celebrated back to school night with a mushroom galette and sticky rice with mango.
For dessert, I made sticky rice with mango. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like this dish, do you?
If you can, I suggest trying New York Times recipe but they are picky with what content they give out without an account…sigh. Otherwise, just grab a recipe and make sure you have ripe mango’s, coconut milk and the right glutinous rice. Then you are set!
I am currently simmering a Tikka Masala, stay tuned!
There is a bit of prep but it comes together quickly. I found the fresh noodles at the Ranch 99 market. In addition to the ingredients listed, I also added some toasted sesame oil (about 1 tsp.) and a dash of Shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine) to give it a little more Asian flare. We mayyybe went overboard on the serrano, it was spiiicy, but so good!
A few weeks back we decided to try a new wine bar. When we were checking in Shawna says to me “the man we met in Puerto Vallarta is sitting outside.” We had met him in the pool and spent the day chatting, he works in travel and we still have his card on our calendar. She went outside and asked if he remembered us. After refreshing his memory he said he did, I don’t don’t think he did. He and his friend invited us to sit with them and we had a nice time, the wine was also good. For dinner we went had French.
We took the girls out to lunch in Old town with the promise of churros as a treat.
We also made the mistake of taking them to mini golf. Kaili was complaining before we even got out of the car. ” I don’t want to golf.” Then they saw the go carts and asked to do that. They complained about the weather, about being thirsty and about who went first and so on. Fun suckers, that is what they were that day.
I will say that out of the three of them, Averi showed the most promise for a future in golf.
Every holiday we all paint. We brainstorm what we are going to paint ahead of time and then we put music on and go for it. It’s a family favorite, there isn’t any fighting, little complaining and the girls look forward to it every time.
During dinner time we always ask the girls “what did you learn? And, what is something kind that you did for someone else?”
You guys….homeschooling was not part of my birth plan.
Aside from working, school, homeschooling, refereeing, cooking, working out and binging Bon Appétit, I took time to open a few of my cookbooks while I rearranged them.
Seared Duck Breast with Orange Glaze
The first two recipes are from Chrissy Teigen and I love her palate but….Unless you are Keto, the parm eggs are very rich. Very good but you wouldn’t want to eat it with carbs unless you are super hungover, you know what I am saying? Her scallop linguine was so good, but another recipe where I wouldn’t necessarily bread scallops, sometimes less is more.
We did discover, late I am sure, the produce market to the local chefs. It was there that I decided you can lay my ashes once I pass. They had IT ALL. It was like a Farm Fresh box but literally the entire building. I discovered types of citrus I didn’t know existed and mushrooms I have never seen. They also had pantry items such as high end olive oils, all sorts of curry pastes and they also had meat, duck, waygu beef and lamb. Literally mind blowing. That is where we got the duck breasts, I pan seared it and then made an orange glaze along side and served it with roasted acorn squash. Now I am thinking that I could have found my curry leaves there, shit, I will have to go back and check.
After countless hours of watching the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen I finally decided to make one of the recipes that caught my eye. I ordered Priya’s cookbook Indian(-ish), mostly to just browse through since we can find all of the BA recipes off of their website. She has a lot of recipes worth trying but this one is a crowd pleaser. I struggled to find a couple of the ingredients. I dragged the girls through HMart looking for fresh curry leaves and black mustard seed with no luck but I did grab some fresh lime leaves as a back up. Then I dragged them through an international market which is stocked mostly with Mediterranean items but I did find the mustard seeds there. I used the lime leaves in place of the curry leaves and also added some fresh basil to try and mimic the same flavor. Next time I need to locate all of the ingredients without children.
This is a perfect recipe for leftover rice if that happens at your home. Our rice gets eaten up by children so I don’t normally have leftover rice, but if I did. Next time I make this I will use more spice, my serranos were very mild. This is a really good dish and will go so well with BA’s crispy honey garlic chicken thighs, or tandoori chicken, or palak paneer and naan, actually anything or nothing.
3cups cooked basmati rice (from about 1 cup dry rice)
2Tbsp. (or more) fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1tsp. (or more) kosher salt
½cup ghee or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1Tbsp. black mustard seeds
10fresh curry leaves
1cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
1medium onion, sliced into thin strips
2small Indian green chiles or serrano chiles, halved lengthwise (no need to stem them)
2Tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves with tender stems
Combine rice, lime juice, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
Heat ¼ cup ghee in a shallow medium pan over medium. Once ghee melts (or oil begins to shimmer), add mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to pop and dance around in the ghee, which should be within seconds, remove pan from heat. Add curry leaves, making sure they get fully coated in ghee (there may be more popping and splattering, and that’s okay!). The leaves should immediately crisp up in the residual heat.
Return pan to medium-low heat and add peanuts. Cook, stirring, until peanuts turn a medium shade of brown and become fragrant, 5–8 minutes. Pour peanut mixture over reserved rice mixture and toss gently to
Heat remaining ¼ cup ghee in same pan over medium. Once ghee melts (or oil begins to shimmer), add onion and chiles, spreading in an even layer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned and starting to caramelize, 5–7 minutes. Stir onion mixture into rice. Taste and add more salt and lime juice, if needed. Garnish with cilantro before serving.
Homeschooling is really sucking the life out of me and then the teachers went and added musical instruments, shame. Sorry, but those flutes are hidden for the rest of the week.
The girls have made friends with a group of the neighborhood kids and it has been AHmazing. They are eager to get off their zooms and go outside to play. They have been playing outside until the sun goes down and have been introduced to the game Ghosts in the Graveyard We have been at the tail end of our summer weather and we have definitely taken advantage of it.
Now that the weather is cooling down we thought it’s time to decorate for Halloween.
Fall cooking has been sparse, it’s been a lot of easy throw togethers, salads, Amy’s enchiladas and anything that could go on the grill.
I did make this recipe for roasted rack of lamb and with glass of cab and a dollop of mint jelly, it was delish.
I also made a divine chocolate mousse that hales from Waters Catering here in San Diego. So rich and soooo good.
Mummies were also on the menu one night.
The pumpkin patch was a slight let down, we tried a new one and although the girls were happy with it, there wont be a repeat visit. I think they would go back and just sit in the petting zoo the entire time.
But first, the hair.
They all decided they would rather paint theirs instead of carving. SO much easier.
To round out the Halloween fun, the girls had crazy hat day for their after school zoom.
There is no shortage of things to do, it’s just wanting to do them. I really hope 2021 brings more normalcy, ya know what I’m saying?
I was flipping through Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook and this recipe for Spoonable Ricotta caught my eye. It would make the perfect centerpiece for any easy charcuterie plate. Aka, a quick dinner to throw together for a night of playing catch-up on some of our favorite shows. Gouda bookmarked the page for me while I ran to the market.
This is hardly a recipe that needs explaining. Basically you throw some shallots, lemon juice and any herbs that you want into some whole milk ricotta. I used the last lemon from my tree in this and wished I had another one, so it’s all about what YOU like. I highly recommend using tarragon in this. Oh and don’t go cheap on the Olive oil you use, go big!
I served this with crackers and homemade crostini.
2 cups whole-milk ricotta, drained if there’s liquid
1 large lemon, or more to taste
3 tablespoonsminced shallots, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon GOODextra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 teaspoonfleur de sel if you have it, or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 pinch freshly ground pepper ( I used 2)
1/3 cup minced mixed fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley, tarragon, thyme, cilantro and/or basil.
Put the ricotta in a medium bowl. Finely grate the zest of the lemon over it, then halve and squeeze the lemon and blend in the juice. Stir in the shallots, scallions, olive oil, salt and a healthy pinch of pepper. Taste for salt and pepper, then stir in the herbs. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before adjusting for salt, pepper and lemon juice and serving.
News is, is that our city may be heading backwards in terms of Covid cases. Mother nature is doing her 2020 thing and then we have the political part, long story short, it’s looking grim. With that, I thought I would shine some light on the last month or so that we’ve had.
Before stay in place school started back up, we spent some long days at the beach.
The girls (with a little help) whipped up a strawberry shortcake for Shawna’s half birthday…from scratch!
Did I mention Kaili started horseback riding lessons? I will say that I was blown away with her natural ability to ride. I have no doubt she will be a fantastic rider like her grandmother.
There were a lot of pool days.
We had a couple of taco Tuesdays, with the children.
There were a many nights of singing, actually, I don’t think a day goes by life without music.
Let’s not forget the food that we made.
Finally, the first week of school arrived. All of us were less than thrilled…including the cat.
I hope everyone is doing well and is keeping healthy.