Plenty of Fun

The hours seem to go by slow but the years, they fly by.

Now we found ourselves at the end of the school year.

So long first and fourth grade.

We jumped right into summer break by visiting the trampoline park.

And then….no and then.

We went to the beach.

Which, let me tell you is so disappointing after Mexico, sigh. The water here is cold, I couldn’t find one person offering adult beverages, you guys, we are doing it wrong!

At least the pool water temp was better.

My baby K bear.

She may catch up to my tan soon.

We also went to the movie theaters for the first time in ages. We saw Spirit Untamed. It was good, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Popcorn, candy and some tears!

Last but not least, we put out a slippin’ slide.

Jess and I used to spend the majority of our summers making up dance routines on these things. However we never took it to the next level and used soap. (why Jess, why?)

Probably because we were too busy using tanning oil and Sun-In and working on our dance moves, ha ha.

If someone can provide video of us, I dare you!

It’s nice to gather with friends and family that we have missed so much. Almost as good as getting my hands on some great local wine. If you haven’t been to Edwards Vineyards in Ramona, you need to make it a priority.

It’s officially summer.

The mornings are overcast but the days are warm and sunny. Plenty of fun to come!

Nerve Endings

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.

If you are one of those “I don’t like mushrooms” then I am sorry because this recipe was so DELICIOUS.

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!

The one with all the Pictures

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?

2020….How it started

How it’s going

Is it still 2020?

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.

Posting with only reins on her third lesson. #offthehorn #champ

There were a lot of pool days.

We had a couple of taco Tuesdays, with the children.

And without.

There were a many nights of singing, actually, I don’t think a day goes by life without music.

#justmixtheminmydrink

Let’s not forget the food that we made.

Lasagna
Tzatziki
Chile oil noodles
Grilled peach with burrata and prosciutto

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.

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Feta

The combination of these ingredients is possibly the best thing to happen to summer dinners. It’s one of those dishes that I could eat everyday until it makes me sick and then I never want it again. So far so good.

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Ingredients 

1/3 cup extra virgin Olive oil

3 Tbs fresh lemon juice

2 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp Tabasco

Pepper to taste

Seedless watermelon cut into 1 inch cubes, chilled (10 cups)

Feta cheese, crumbled (2 cups)

1 small sweet onion, diced

1 cup fresh mint, chopped

 

Directions

Whisk the first five ingredients in a big bowl until combined. Add the watermelon, feta, onion and toss gently. Sprinkle with chopped mint and dive in.

 

 

 

January Wrap up

Everyone was saying how long January seemed, but to me, February came out of nowhere. On January 10th, Averi turned 5 and a half. On the girls half birthday they get to choose what/were they want to eat for dinner. Averi chose Chuck E Cheese, last year it was Islands for mac n cheese, so she is par for course of her dining choices. For someone who can go all day with her shoes on the wrong feet she sure is picky about her food intake.

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The girls have also been getting better on skates. We are trying to urge them outside after homework to practice their skating so the next time we go to the rink, they will be more independent.

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I took advantage of San Diego restaurant week (SDRW) and although each year I am less and less impressed with the choices, I was pleasantly surprised this time. Brian and I went to WaterBar in Pacific Beach for lunch and the view wasn’t the only thing that was sumptuous.

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The fish sandwich I had was truly deliciously messy. Our waiter said that the chef put the sandwich solely on the restaurant week menu but I would purposely go back there just for that sandwich.

Shawna and I also took advantage of the SDRW and had another spectacular meal. You guys, these are so far and few between for me that it’s worth writing about. There was crispy pork belly in a brown sugar maple glaze served with a fuji apple salad. We had crispy octopus with salsa verde and the absolute best dish of the night was the pan seared scallops with coconut black rice in a Thai red curry sauce. This dish was so incredible that I went ahead and tried to make it at home a week later.

Please disregard my awful plating and, imagine how good this was. You guys, so good!

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We also made whole roasted fish bathed in garlic, olive oil, jalapeños and lemons.

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I fed us for a week with this crustless mushroom and spinach frittata.

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The Santa Ana winds stopped for a visit and gave us a couple of 80 degree days. We all took advantage of the warm sunshine.

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And last but not least my baby lost her first tooth.

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Now it’s February and we marching towards more birthdays! Can’t wait to share the fun that is in store!

 

 

Ajo Blanco

 

IMG_2919To say it’s been warm here in sunny San Diego is an understatement. In the words of my four year old, it’s been a “fiery furnace” outside. As the weather cooled down to a nice 78 degrees I flashed back to a memory of sitting along the ocean eating charred octopus. The octopus, perfectly cooked was sitting on a silky bed of Ajo Blanco. It was delicious, lick the plate delicious.

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Ajo Blanco, a popular cold Spanish soup is made with a base of bread, grapes, garlic, almonds and olive oil. Perfect for a hot summer day, beachside or not.

*Recipe from Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 cups crustless day old white bread, cubed
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar plus more for serving
  •  black pepper
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

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Combine apple, garlic, bread, grapes, blanched almonds, milk, and 2 cups water in a medium bowl; season with salt. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Transfer soup base to a blender and purée, adding water by tablespoonfuls if too thick, until smooth. With motor running, gradually add ¾ cup oil and 3 Tbsp. vinegar and blend until soup is smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Strain soup through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; cover and chill until very cold, about 2 hours.

Toast your sliced almonds in the oven or stovetop until golden brown, let cool.

Divide soup among bowls or bowl, drizzle olive oil and toasted almonds. Enjoy

 

Keeping Busy

Kaili has two more weeks at her school and then she is out for summer. I finished her Kinder paperwork which I have been procrastinating on. She is up to date with her school vaccinations but she still needs to have a doctor fill out a medical record and apparently they want the same done with her dentist.Two things that are easy to want to push aside, but I finally made appointments to get it done.

We have been watching a lot of soccer with the Copa America going on. Kaili picked out a new shirt to wear for our viewing pleasure.

How do you like that garden back there? We have been eating a lot of sweet tomatoes, plenty of  zucchini and we have six baby artichokes on the way.

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I have been taking Averi to the park in the mornings without K so I can focus on playing one on one with her. She is not as adventurous as her sister was but slowly she is starting to test her fear.

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Can you believe she is going to be two in less than a month? Ya, me either. She looks up to her sister, has to do whatever it is Kaili is doing, eating, watching you name it. It’s what I always wanted with siblings but it’s also very draining.

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The girls were  invited to a birthday party out in Ramona last weekend. The land you can have out there is attractive to me but then again you are out in Ramona which isn’t attractive at all, to me.

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We try to stop at a winery or two when we are out there. This time we tried one that had recently opened. It had a great outside area, live music and luckily some decent wine. The girls  spent most of their time chasing the dog around. The little winery Chihuahua was the hit until she stole Averi’s chocolate chip cookie and booked it across the lot. Averi was more stunned than upset and I was more worried about the tiny dog eating a whole cookie, but the owners weren’t phased. Must happen often.

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A Week in Photos

Is it really September? Somehow the the past few weeks have been a blur and I find myself looking forward to Fall. I am sure I will regret that statement by NovemBRRR.

Kaili has spent the past week in the water, swimming in our neighbors pool or the hot tub. She has stayed up late playing with friends and making pizza. We had our neighborhood block party and Kaili  had her “real” first day of school. When watching her play, the three things I know she is picking up from school are, the months of the year, that Jesus loves her, and you go to time out for hitting.

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