Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I know what we ate last summer

I sure hope no one out there mistakes this for a food blog anymore. I have been completely slack in the cooking and recipe-noting department this summer. So, here is another round of What We've Been Eating:

Roasted Okra with Parmesan. Make your Eww Faces all you want, I love okra:

Chris's birthday eggs benedict (with tomato). Key West left me with an unshakeable "bennie" addiction:

Grilled eggplant and mozzarella stacks with a quick tomato, parmesan and basil sauce:

Grilled buffalo chicken with blue cheese potato salad:

And this? Just the scary charred remnants of our first attempt at cedar plank salmon on the grill. The fish itself was delicious (and will be revisited, hopefully blogged about in more depth), but the board did not make out as well:

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What have you been eating this summer? Any good ideas for what to make this fall? As a much as I hate to see summer fade, I am looking forward to a kitchen that doesn't turn in to a fiery inferno when I innocently try to saute onions.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The sixth anniversary is *sugar* not torrential rain, you guys.

As I mentioned, the Peanut's 2nd birthday was Tuesday. But what I didn't mention, because the whole wide world and all of its related media did, was that the DC area was rocked by a 5.9 earthquake that very day. I won't bore you with my earthquake survival story (it ended with a happy hour and a commute home that was only slightly inconvenient) but I do want to point out that our sixth wedding anniversary also occurs this week, today in fact, cleverly corresponding with the track of Hurricane Irene.

I don't know what we've done to encourage the wrath of a Greater Power, but evidently s/he enjoys smiting us with natural disaster on or around major dates of celebration. Hurricane Katrina struck within 12 hours of our wedding day. My mom's chihuahua lost an eye to a well-aimed mule kick (that sounds like a euphemism, but I assure you it's not) the day after Colin was born. Maybe it's just the month of August, which bears so many of our celebrations, that is cursed. Maybe it's us. Do I owe everyone on the East Coast an apology?

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May you be safe and avoid aggressive mules, or at least their hind ends, today and through the month of August.

And P.S.: the photo on the wall is thisaone, taken six years ago today.

Happy anniversary, honey. And since you're out of town at a bachelor party - you may have champagne to celebrate but you may not have the Champagne Room. Also, as soon as you left, our ice machine broke. So did the machine that takes out all the trash on trash day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Two much fun

One day:

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One year:

(Photos by Stacey at Labor of Love Photography)

TWO years!

A very Happy Birthday to the sweetest, cuddliest, goofiest, cutest Peanut I have ever, ever met. You're my favorite and I love you so.



Friday, August 19, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just beachy

What was that? I'm sorry? Oh, it's been how long since I posted a photo of my adorable child in his ridiculously cute hat on the beach? My apologies.

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Whoo! I feel so much better now! In case you hadn't guessed, we spent another weekend soaking up sun and getting sand in strange places on the shore. It was a pretty low key weekend, we ate in a lot and dodged many thunder showers.

And when it rained, we practiced walking the dog, undeterred by obstacles like chairs or kibble.

(And WOW, what a difference a few feet in ceiling height can make when you're bouncing a flash!)

When it wasn't raining, the beach was absolutely perfect. We have a secret little spot (no, I'm not going to tell you) that is rather unpopulated anyway, but the tricky weather scared away more folks than usual. The sun skipped in and out of clouds, a nice breeze was blowing, and the Peanut splashed and splashed and splashed.

(This could explain the filthy state of my lens for the rest of the trip).

We are doing our best to embrace what little of summer remains.

Also, cupcakes. We are also embracing cupcakes. But that's more of a general philosophy and not season specific.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

No, YOU'RE obsessed.

Lovely afternoon walk with view of Washington Monument:

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Could only be improved by one thing:

A perfect little clump of police ponies. They are tiny, but I promise they're there in all their uniformed glory.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In all Fairness

Every year we hit the fair for some good old fashioned family fun, or a "super happy fun family adventure" as Chris prefers to call it. And it was his birthday afterall, so despite the 90 someGodawful degrees and scattered showers, we headed out for some sweaty farm animal fun. Chris got to watch pig races and I enjoyed my annual corn dog and cherry-dipped soft serve cone (Separately, of course. I'm not really in to mutant fried abominations. I'm a fair food purist).

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The Peanut had a grand old time, of course. He had fun last year taking in the sights, but this year was even better, thanks in part to his unique vantage point:

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Also, he is really in to tractors right now. So, all those lame displays of expensive yard equipment? SUPER FUN.

For the big kids too, I guess:

In addition to the food, I go for the goats. I love goats. There is not a single thing in this world cuter than a baby Pygmy goat. Please don't send me your baby pictures. I will just break your heart right now and tell you that your kid is not as cute as these kids (particularly the one on the right):

Plus, with a little slight of hand, you can make them talk to passers by:

We happened to visit on some sort of driving/draft horse day. I could have watched these big lovable lumps jingle around the ring for hours.

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But there was still more to do! Like cheer for the Ravens marching band:

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And then, there's this. I have no idea what this is. Both awesome and inappropriate at the same time. And supposedly edible.

We even managed to pause long enough for a sweaty family photo (though not long enough to stop cramming Cheerios into our mouth):

Brave the heat and visit your county fair! And bring me back a corndog while you're at it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday bliss: Nutella chocolate chip cookies

Need I say more?

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I'm just going to point you over to Culinary Concoctions by Peabody for the original recipe. I doubled it and used regular chocolate chips instead of mini. Mine spread like crazy on the pan, so I'd caution you to space them well. Delicious all the same.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Living beyond our means

Well, not really. Just hob-nobbing with folks above our tax bracket. Once or twice each summer, we like to take advantage of Twilight Polo at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia. It's a great opportunity to get the polo experience. Especially because it's arena polo, which means the matches are shorter and in a smaller, closer space than regular field polo (you know, from Pretty Woman). Plus, there's tailgating. And really, all we need is the tailgating part. The general rules of polo are fairly simple, but the fouls are mind-boggling, so wine is helpful.

We skipped last summer, probably something to do with raising an infant blah blah blah, so the last time we were at Great Meadow was literally the day before the Peanut was born. Lucky for me, he waited a good 24 hours and let Mommy have one more day to waddle the streets of nearby Middleburg, eat at The Red Fox and at the end of the day enjoy a fancy fizzy soda on the arena sidelines.

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Getting ready to hog all Mommy's duck breast at Forlano's Market

Needless to say, toddler Peanut had a blast. I figured as much.  I mean, there's fast horses and whacking mallets and balls and cute little blonde girls in Lily Pulitzer dresses. Plus, all the crackers your grandmother can feed you (although his favorite picnic basket treat was one only my mom would bring - sardines with dijon mustard. And my kid had four.)

The excitement of the match was almost too much to handle.

Proudly representing the MD in VA.

He was not thrilled that posing for this picture interrupted his pony watching.

Mel the Fox hitched along for the piggy back rides.


Ringside seat.

(Photo credit to Chris for at least half these. But I would get them in the divorce, so let's just call them mine.)