Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Thoughts on Making Marriage Work, Jane's First Day of School, and a Whole Lot of GIVEAWAYS!!

Yesterday, I contributed a post on the New Orleans Moms Blog about making marriage work (even after baby) that I hope you find interesting.  You can find it HERE.  I'd love to hear what your secrets are to keeping a happy marriage!!!

Also, the NOMB has some AMAZING giveaways going on right now.  You can find out more about how you can enter to win HERE!!

Today was Jane's first day of the new school year.  Every year on our first day of school, my parents would take us to our favorite donut shop for a treat.  It was something I looked forward to each and every year.  Since Jane loves croissants, I took her to our favorite local bakery for a delicious flaky pastry.

She's still in Pre-K1, but she's in the older ones this year.  When we arrived today, her friend Charlotte ran up to her and hugged her and said, "Hi, Jane! Hi, Jane!"  Talk about getting all teary eyed!  It was soooo sweet.  Jane was so excited to see her too.  It made me feel good all day to know she was happy and secure and in a place where she loves to be.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tasty Tuesdays: Nectarine, Basil, and Jalapeño Salsa

I have mentioned the Hollygrove Market and Farm a few times, but I seriously cannot say how much I love this amazing New Orleans community.  One of my favorite parts of the week is checking their website to see "What's in the Box?" for that week.  Sometimes I run out of ideas for creating new dishes, but when I read their list of locally grown produce, I find myself desiring to try to things and new flavor combinations.  

Yesterday, when we stopped in to get our box which included, pecans, okra, creole tomatoes, shitake mushrooms, apples, arugula, and fresh herbs.  They also had some beautifully ripe nectarines.  I grab a handful and added them to my box.  

I originally planned to snack on them at work, but remembering how messy that can get, I thought I might search around for some other uses for them.  That is when I ran across an amazing looking recipe for a Nectarine Basil Salsa.  In its ingredients list were most of the things I had picked up from the market and a few I had left over from the week before. 

We chose to serve the salsa over grilled chicken and mixed greens.  It was a perfectly delicious and flavorful meal!!

Nectarine, Basil, and Jalapeño Salsa
as Adapted by me from Pinch of Yum

Prep time:  

Total time:  4
Serves: 2-4

  • 3 ripe, juicy nectarines
  • 2½ tablespoons very finely diced red onion
  • 1½ teaspoons minced jalapeno (seeds and ribs removed)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 8 fresh basil leaves

Dice the nectarines into cubes.
Stir in jalapeno and red onions until well mixed.
Add lemon juice and sugar.
Cut 6 large basil leaves into thin ribbons and add to mixture.
Refrigerate for thirty minutes.

This salsa would pair well with chicken, pork, or fish. 

I strained the salsa over a fine mesh sieve.  To the juice, I added a dash of champagne vinegar and two tablespoons of olive oil.  It made a delicious, bright, and slightly vinaigrette that we used to top the salad greens.

This was one of the best meals we have made in a long time.  It helped me conquer my fear of cooking with jalapeños!!  I hope you can find some perfectly ripe nectarines and give this a try.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I Wish We All Could Be California Girls

We spent the last week in sunny California for a family wedding.  We spent the first four days at a house my husband's family rented.  It is the kind of house you dream of spending time in.  It was 6,000 square feet of luxury and included the most spectacular infinity pool and a hot tub.  

I have always been more of a pool than beach lover.  And let me tell you, I loved this pool.  We spent most of our time in it or lounging around it.  For someone like me who has trouble relaxing, who finds her mind racing most of the day, I struggle with laid back vacations.  I always want to get out and do something new or see something different, but for the first time in a long time, I felt at peace with nothing but a warm pool, cool breeze, and good family around me.  There were moments where I couldn't imagine a life outside of this peaceful respite.  And when we left, I found the only thing better was to spend three days with just Mark and Jane at the Hotel Del Coronado.

It's the kind of vacation you don't want to end.  But, aren't those the best ones?  I always feel solemn at the end of a vacation. It's the same feeling I have on New Years Eve. That feeling that you just aren't ready for things to come to an end.  That these events mark the timeline of our lives and its all just moving so fast. On our next summer vacation, Jane will be one year older, as will we. On this trip, she stills showed signs of being my sweet baby girl.  She still raises her arms at me when she falls in the sand.  She still looks to me for my excited approval when she splashes her tiny feet in the pool.  But, next summer, she'll be a big girl. Knowing that, the end of this trip made me long for the seemingly endless days of summer to slow down just a little.  Just so I can watch her play in the sand with the naive bliss of a toddler who finds it infinitely amusing to watch it spill through her tiny little hands.  


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