Friday, April 30, 2010

I Hope You Dance

My girls are in dance.  My oldest celebrates her 10th year in dance this year, so it's sorta a big deal.  She's in 3 separate dances, all jazz/hip-hop.  My middle and younger daughter are both in 2 dances: one jazz and one tap.  I think this has been on of my favorite years for dance, if for no other reason that my oldest didn't have to have her hair curled.  I thinking 
Here are their dance pictures.  My oldest in her Cowboy Casanova costume:
And her Boom Boom Pow costume:
And her Tilt Ya Head Back costume:
My middle daughter in  Hit Me Up (tap) costume (this one was one of my favorites!):
And her Sharp Dressed Man (NOTHING like a little ZZ eh?):
And finally Beanie in It Keeps Getting Better(tap):
And her jazz dance Someone Like You: don't want to know what I spend each year on costumes.  But it will all be worth it tomorrow seeing them dance, just because they love to dance.  And I will continue to remind them, for years to come, that when given the choice to sit it out or dance...I hope they dance.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

When the Kids are Away....

the parents eat good!  Oh, I TRY to get my kids to eat what I want to fix and sometimes they're good about eating, but mostly it's a struggle.  EWWWW...asparagus...are those *horror* TOMATOES?   And you don't want to know the hornets nest stirred if I DARE to even WAVE a mushroom in front of a dish.  I'll spare you the gory details.

So, Tuesday my girls had their dance recital rehearsal and I packed them lunches but decided to cook for just my husband and I.  Wanna see what I made?  Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus and Pancetta:
This was the cover shot from the May edition of Bon Appetit and you'll have to take my word for it, my dish looked exactly like it.  The husband (ever the carnivore) asked that I increase the amount of pancetta.  Until I explained to him exactly how expensive pancetta is.  Maybe next time I'll use bacon.  And in case you are wondering, it was just as yummy as it looked.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When it Resonates

Have you ever read something that seemed to reach down and touch your soul?  A friend of mine posted this on her facebook page and it was just too special not to share. 

The Sin of Omission

It isn't the thing you do, dear,
Its the thing you leave undone
That gives you a bit of a heartache
At setting of the sun.
The tender work forgotten,
The letter you did not write,
The flowers you did not send, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts at night.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of a brother's way;
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
The gentle, winning tone
Which you had no time nor thought for
With troubles enough of your own.

Those little acts of kindness
So easily out of mind,
Those chances to be angels
Which we poor mortals find
They come in night and silence,
Each sad, reproachful wraith,
When hope is faint and flagging,
And a chill has fallen on faith.

For life is all too short, dear,
And sorrow is all to great,
To suffer our slow compassion
That tarries until too late:
And it isn't the thing you do, dear,
It's the thing you leave undone
Which gives you a bit of heartache
At the setting of the sun.

Margaret E. Sangster 
I'm off to find more of Ms. Sangster's writings.  I've also, this late in my life, started to (re)acquaint myself with some of Mark Twain's writings.  I'm going to spend next month sharing some of my favorites.  Hopefully they'll touch you as they've touched me.  

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Food P0rn

I first heard the at term at Notes from the Trenches and I fell in love with the term.  I haven't really had the opportunity to use it until today.  Today's subject DEFINITELY falls under the category of food p0rn. (yes...I did that on purpose).

I spent a great deal of my formative years in Maryland, where I learned at an early age to love seafood.  Oh, it took me well into my 20s to learn to love ALL kinds of seafood but I still recall being around 10 and my parents taking us into DC for my birthday and ordering a huge platter of shrimp.

From Maryland, we moved to upstate NY where seafood, while being a bit harder to come by, wasn't IMPOSSIBLE to find fresh.  From there it was onto California and , well, you know...CALIFORNIA.  Then back to Maryland.  Then...Minnesota. (If there were sound effects, you'd hear the sound of a needle screeching across an LP and you'd be thinking to yourself...she's RUINED!)

Well, what I learned in Minnesota is that...where there is a will, there is most definitely a way.  My will...NOT to live without fresh seafood.  The way?  Well, let me tell you about it.

Within the first 6 months of moving to Minnesota I learned that there is a company that on an every 3-4 week basis, ships fresh seafood (which ranges from shrimp (always) to crab, oysters, snapper) up to Minnesota on ice and sells out of trucks at various locations around the Twin Cities area.  I don't always meet up with the truck every 3 weeks but usually 3-5 times each season (usually from April through November).

The "shrimp truck" made it's first visit of 2010 to the Twin Cities this weekend.  And I partook.

I bought 3 lbs of jumbo shrimp.  Define jumbo shrimp? about a picture?

There were 15/lb so figure 15 x3.  Not sure what that looks like?

That's 3 lbs.  Cleaned and deveined and butterflied.  Still not sure exactly how much that will yield?

And when they are cooked?  Will they shrink to nothing? yummy.  With homemade cocktail sauce.  Never made your own?  It's EASY PEASY...just take ketchup (or catsup...however you want to spell it), add FRESH horseradish sauce, worchestershire sauce, Franks Red Hot sauce and the juice of a lemon and mix well (do to taste...we love horseradish so I make it "hot").  Then dive in...

Yes...definitely food p0rn.  Jealous?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bon Jovi

WOW....what an awesome concert!  My SIL asked me a couple months ago if I wanted to go to Bon  Jovi and I JUMPED at the chance.  What I didn't know at the time was that she had no tickets.  Apparently, I am the ticket queen and needed to find tickets.  I put off finding the tickets and on Monday, I was resigned to not going.  I was to  volunteer today for my daughter's field trip and figured a late night would not put me in a mood conducive to dealing with 11 year olds and it was probably for the best.

Apparently not going was NOT an option (and luckily my daughter's teacher was VERY understanding, given the choice between Bon Jovi and Biztown).  So with a little direction, I went in search of tickets and lo and behold, I happened to stumble, MONDAY, upon 4 tickets...being sold at less than HALF the ticket price (even with all the fees...they were still less than half the face value).  I held my breath, paid for the tickets which included fed-ex overnight delivery.  When the tickets arrived, I thought surely there would be a giant pole in front of us blocking the stage.  No, that wasn't the case. We were on the lower level about 8 rows from the back at a direct diagonal to the stage.

So, yesterday afternoon, we (me, my SIL, my girls' dance instructor, and my oldest two's honors English teacher in 7th grade) drove into St Paul and went to Dixie's for dinner.  We found parking very close to the X-cel Energy Center and our seats were right by the door we entered.  Anyone feeling a little kismet happening here?

The warm-up band, Select Three, had already started (and we were all OK with just seeing two of their songs).  Then there was a short break and Bon Jovi came on and played for about 2.5 hours.  Wow! No...WOW!  They were awesome.  To keep up that kind of energy for that period of time.   23 songs ending with Living on a Prayer.  The only disappointment was that they did not play Have a Nice Day (or Summertime...but I wasn't really expecting them to play that...hoped they would).  Jon changed into a Minnesota Viking's shirt that someone in the audience had given him about 2/3 through the concert  which was a nice touch.  It had Bon Jovi with the #1 on the that right!

I wasn't out as late as I expected, getting home around midnight.  There were MANY women our age, but surprisingly there were lots of men too, many of whom tried to dance...bless their hearts.

And on a totally unrelated note, at AWANA's last night Beanie's car won 3rd place for all the girls  in their grand prix race, winning her a trophy.

So, a good day was had by all.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

Today was just one of those dreary days that lend itself to depression.  Instead of letting that and circumstances take control, I chose instead to turn to "comfort food".  What a great day for grilled cheese and soup right?  Ah....but not just grilled cheese and soup.  Because that would be plebeian.  No...what we're talking about is...roasted asparagus soup and bruschetta grilled cheese.  I'd love to take credit for both but I think I'm only able to really take credit for the grilled cheese.  The roasted asparagus soup is Robin Miller's from Food.tvThe only thing I did different was I added about 1 cup of half and half at the end.  The rest...right down to the asparagus tips, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese croutons...was per recipe.

The bruschetta grilled cheese I'm going to call my own.  It was fairly simple.  I used sourdough bread and spread one side with pesto sauce (I make my own...YES, I am an over achiever, but only in a limited number of areas), some chopped roma tomatoes and some  whole milk mozzarella cheeseButter on both sides and grilled till golden.  The only complaint I got was perhaps there was a bit too much cheese.  Because the cheese came in a ball and was difficult to slice into thin slices, I would suggest leaving a little area in between the cheese slices to allow for it to spread and make it thinner as it melts.  

Topped off by the first batch (this month) of chocolate chip cookies Beanie and I made yesterday, I'm not sure it gets much more "comfort food" like.

It was a perfect ending to a dreary day. 

Friday, April 2, 2010


You have no idea how hard it was to come up with that word!  I think I overthought it. the experience of two or more events that are apparently casually unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. 

Synchronicity is the subject of today's post.  It is also going to be a sorta movie related post.

Last week we had some friends over and my husband was laughing and it hit me...over the past couple months, his laugh has changed and he was sounding a little like George McFly from Back to the Future.  I happened to comment on it and our friends concurred.  That was the end of it.

Then today, I took Beanie to see Alice in Wonderland, having NO idea who was in the cast outside of Johnny Depp.  Then the knave character came on screen and my first thought was...I know him, and it didn't take me long to figure out that the actor was Crispin Glover.  Of all people the  guy who played George McFly.

So...isn't this sorta weird.  I  mean, when was the last time you saw ANYTHING Crispin Glover was in?  I think back in the 80s shortly after Back to the Future, he was in River's Edge, but I don't really recall him being in any other movies beyond a bit part where he wasn't memorable.   Or maybe that's just my not getting out (a possibility) much.  

Two seemingly random events occurring together in a meaningful manner.  I think this fits.  No, it's not earth shattering.  It's just one of those weird things that make you go....Hmmmmmmm.....