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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

White "Corner View"

Almond Butter Tort
2 eggs
1 stick of butter
1 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract
1 cup of sugar and some for sprinkling over top
1/2 cup of slivered almonds and sugar
In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together then add extract, eggs, and then flour. Spread mixture on a greased and parchment lined spring form pan-but can use regular cake pan. Sprinkle slivered almonds on top along with a dusting of sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done in center and light brown on top. This cake is my secret weapon. It is so easy to make and so elegant. Want to make it even more fantastic serve it over top your favorite fruit puree and serve with a dollop of whip cream. This cake is always a crowd winner. My dear friend made this for me ten years ago when I had my first baby, and I have been making it ever since. Little fact about our family is that we drink 6 gallons of milk a week that makes a little over a gallon per person. We love the white stuff and obviously can't get enough. "Got Milk?" To see more corner views visit Jane at Spain Daily located under blog roll on the left side.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

The Historian


The Historian is perfect fall reading with Halloween around the corner. Not like you really care what I am reading, but since I did spend time reading its 642 pages I thought I would share a little about this book. What is nice is that this story is more grown up than the other vampire series that is so popular right now. So wonderful not to read page after page of Bella whining. While in general this subject is not my most favorite it was interesting to read a fictional book with true historical folklore tales. While normally I devoure a book in a night or two, this one took me a month to read because there is so much historical detail. I think it is worth reading!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chicken Al a King


I think Chicken Al a King has to be one of my favorite meals and one of my children's favorite meals except they do not like the mushrooms. I think I could eat it just about every night, but we don't.

Ingredients
3 chicken breast
3 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 medium onion
1 small jar of diced pimentos
1 small can of sliced mushrooms
1 cup of chicken broth
1/8 cup flour
1 tea of thyme
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
2 celery stalks diced
1 cup of cream
rice to serve it over
Chop chicken into bite size pieces and in a Ziploc bag toss with 1/8 cup of flour. In a large skillet in 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil saute onions and celery until onion is translucent and celery is soft. Remove from pan and add 2 Tablespoon of oil and chicken. Cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked all the way through will take about 6 minutes. Make sure to stir. Return to pan onions, celery, then add garlic, salt and pepper, thyme, jar of pimentos and can of mushrooms. Add cup of chicken broth and cream and cook for an additional minute or two until sauce begins to thicken. Serve over rice . Rather use fresh just replace can of mushrooms for fresh ones and replace jar of pimentos with diced red pepper. Enjoy! BTW I have tried using 1/2 and 1/2 instead of cream but it is just not the same. It will seperate and therefore you will not get a creamy sauce.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Love Happens

Last night, my sweet husband gave me the night off. However, having the night off in my house means not getting a night off because there is always someone who wants a drink of water, or a sweet adorable two year old who climbs out of bed. You get my point. Anyway, I went to the movies. I was actually surprised at how good this movie was because I am not a huge Jennifer Aniston fan. She always seems a little hard. She is also great at funny movies, but I don't feel like she has a huge range of emotion. The movie was sweet and tender without being too cheesy or sappy. It was also a tribute to the city of Seattle. Jenna if you read this you need to watch this movie. It will prepare you for your move in the spring. Anyway, I love Seattle. It is where I met and fell in love with my husband, so if you are looking for something to go see. This one is a pretty good choice.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Corner View "Out the Car Window"

The view as we leave our house
The miles of traffic that lines the streets from 6a-9a
The cutest 2 year old passenger
to see more corner views visit
Jane at Spain Daily just go to the left under my blog roll.
We are off to play group.
Have a fantastic Day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Book Reviews

My children have never been big readers. Even as babies they really didn't enjoy sitting on my lap while I read to them. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I would just read to them as they played quietly on the floor. I haven't given up. I still make them read. Someday they will thank me. Harris loves futuristic books like Farworld or Fablehaven. Harris is currently reading Snake by Jeff Stone which is book number three of The five Ancestors series. Winston loves Scooby Doo, Pokemon, or Baklagan. Roman is loving all the Eric Carle books. When I was at the book store the other day, I saw this book and remembered how much I loved Beverly Cleary books as a child. This book didn't disappoint and my 7 year old even enjoyed too! Henry finds a dog and convinces is parents to let him keep it. However, Ribsy isn't your typical dog. He is always doing something he shouldn't. Wait a minute maybe my boys are related to Ribsy? The book is very funny. We can't wait to read the others!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Party Time!

This weekend we had a party to celebrate my 38Th birthday. Heck, why should one have to wait till their 40Th to celebrate. Despite the almost hurricane rains earlier in the day, we still had the party outside. It only sprinkled at the end around dessert time and then still the guest wanted to sit outside. The menu was delicious with Pacific Salmon with rosemary and caper butter, grilled pork tenderloin, Orzo sun dried pasta with Kalamata olives and Feta cheese, Capresse Salad, rolls, white bean dip with multi grain pita chips, Brazilian lemonade, and for dessert peach sorbet, homemade vanilla bean ice cream and vanilla cupcakes with pink frosting. The best part was that I was surrounded by my friends.



Brazilian Lemonade
1 large drinking pitcher
1 12oz can of Minute Maid Limeade
1/2 can of condensed milk
1 bottle of sprakeling water
and additional water to fill the pitcher to the top.
Add all ingredients to the pitcher, stir, and enjoy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs


Yesterday, the boys and I went to see Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs with our long time friends Yvette and Arrigo Then we went out for Pizza. This movie was absolutely fantastic! At one point in the movie, I glanced over at my children and they had huge smiles on their faces. It was fun listening to the children in the audience giggle. My sons favorite part was when Sam the girl put the monkey translator on Flint Lockwoods dad, so that the two of them could communicate with one another. Movie critics only gave this movie a B, but in my book it got an A. The movie did not have crude jokes or bathroom humor and it even had a good message. That it is OK to be different. It is OK to be smart, and even when we can't understand our parents they really do love us. Going to the movie theater really enhanced this movie because of the wide screen. You felt like you were a part of the movie.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Corner View September Is

September is cooler temperatures and fall fashion. The leaves turning on the trees and big golden orbs called pumpkins. Yellow, orange, brown, plum, rust, and wine. Cardiology visits for my son Roman. Remembering September 11Th, but most important my birthday. Happy Birthday to Me! For more Corner Views, head over to Jane at Spain Daily by clicking on left hand side of my blog listed under My Blog List. p.s. everything is ok with my son. He doesn't need to go back for another six months. Just a routine check-up.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nashville Rocks!

Nashville Rocks that is to country western music. It is the home of the Grand Ole Opry and today the Country Western Music Awards. Throughout the city are even speakers that play country music throughout the day. A little hilly, but totally walkable Nashville is a quaint city with old brick buildings and tree lined street. A little quiet during the day the city lights up at night. The city is really trying to bring life back into the city by renovating their historical buildings and converting them into lofts. Thanks so much Sandy for letting us come visit you and your adorable family. We can't wait to come and see you again!!!!

downtown Nashville
The Grand Ole Opry Hotel
This hotel is worth taking a look at. It is pretty amazing. It has every flair of a big Las Vegas Hotel with it's spas, atrium, water boat ride, and restaurants galore. You wouldn't even have to leave the hotel if you stay there. My children kept asking me why we couldn't stay there. We even had a chance to see part of the National Clogging contest when we were checking it out. That was pretty cool in and of itself.
Belle Meade Plantation
While we didn't have time for the full tour, we still wanted to stop by and take a look at this famous plantation. If you have ever seen the movie Sea Biscuit this is where he was born along with other great horse legends. On our next visit I would like to go back and take the full tour. They even offer a story hour for children, but not on a daily basis. http://www.bellemeadeplantation.com/
While Cock of the Walk was not the best food I have ever had. My children thought it was pretty cool. The waiters wore costumes and the food is served on tin plates and cups. We did not leave the restaurant hungry because the portions are generous. http://www.cockofthewalkrestaurant.com/home.cfm

Cock of the Walk Restaurant

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cheekwood Gardens, Nashville

The Cheekwood Gardens was a little disappointing for me. Somehow, the website did not match up to the reality of the Gardens. You can not complain about the price it was very reasonable; however, while the property is very well groomed, I thought the gardens lacked something. I still haven't really put my finger on it yet. Maybe the pond needed Koi fish, or maybe they needed some play equipment for the children. Without the parade of Scarecrows there would have been nothing to hold my children's attention. The only excitement the children had was when my oldest got to close to the edge of the pond to get a better look at a frog and fell in. Not really the kind of excitement I was looking for when I had a 4 1/2 hour drive back to Atlanta. This was after we went into the museum thank goodness. I liked their contemporary collection called From Washington to Warhol:Americana redefined. The museum also has on loan a collection of Faberge eggs. It was nice getting another opportunity to see these eggs again after 20 years. I saw them in Russia. I also enjoyed the collection of stone sculptures by William Edmondson. William was a free slave and his work shows some of the very best of African American artistry. The building that houses the art is also beautiful. , and just getting to the museum was a treat because you drive through the West End and Belle Meade section of Nashville. The streets are lined with beautiful estates and mansions that bring you back in time of over a hundred years ago. One more thing to be fair, if you do stop at the visitors center you can pick up the Museum Bingo and Garden Bingo worksheets for the children.



The Hermitage

I hadn't originally planned on going to the Hermitage when we visited Nashville, Tennessee this past weekend; however, after asking a friend of mine who lived in Nashville for years where she would go I took her advice. It was well worth every dollar that we paid. The weather was perfect warm but not too warm. The tour starts out with a very well produced movie that gives a general history of Andrew Jackson's life(he is the guy on the $20 bill), but short enough the children did not get bored. Headsets were included in the price of admission. Another good thing to keep the children busy, and I would suggest listening to the children's program. Strollers were not allowed in the mansion, but my mom and I traded of so we all got to see the house. The workers dressed in period costumes. Plenty of open space for the children to walk, skip, and wiggle about. It was a perfect day!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Franklin Tennessee

Have you ever watched a movie and then thought that you would like to go to the location of where the film was made. Franklin, Tennessee is one of those places. The first time I saw the town was in a movie called Elizabeth Town with Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Though I haven't seen the second movie, I think it is also featured in Hannah Montana's Movie. It is a small charming southern town surrounded by miles and miles of rolling hill farmlands and just minutes from downtown Nashville. The town is filled with cute restaurants and boutique shops. It is a haven for people who love to go to antique shops. Had I not had a car full of children, I think I would have come home with a ton of furniture. It was lunch time and we ate at a very yummy restaurant called Puckett's Grocery http://www.puckettsgrocery.com/. The food was fantastic! It specializes in your meat and 3 plate combos, but offers just as yummy other type of plates. What is a meat and 3? It is your choice of a meat with three side dishes, and is very popular here in the south. I had the pulled pork with sweet potato fries, and one of my sons had the smoked sausage smothered in peppers with a side of onion rings.



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What is for Dinner!

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Chicken Tomatillo Soup

3 cans of chicken broth
1 cup and 1/2 of shredded chicken
1 lime
1 tablespoon cumin
6 medium tomatillo husk removed and chopped
1 chopped medium white onion
2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 medium sweet potatoes diced
1 tablespoon of oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 large can of hominy
1 16oz of salsa mild
optional: shredded cheddar cheese for garnish, sour cream, avocado, and sliced and fried corn tortillas.
In a medium to large sauce pan saute chopped onion. Add in chopped tomatillo, garlic, and sweet potato. cook about 5 minutes until potato can soften just a little. Add cumin, salt, hominy, and broth. Bring to a boil and cook another 12-15 minutes until potatoes are soft. Add in shredded chicken, salsa, and simmer just a minutes and squeeze juice of one lime over top. Then garnish with what you like best. My children loved this recipe. Their bowls were licked clean.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Frustrated!

Tonight I just got back from a trip to Nashville. I was there visiting a old friend from High School. It was fantastic seeing her after way to many years. Ok, so you are wondering what I am frustrated about? It is my children. I love them to death and would do just about anything for them. Though I am far from a perfect mom, I feel like I give them the world. Not in toys, but with my love, in visiting place, adventures, activities that I feel that will make them be well rounded. Maybe this is my problem and I give them too much. I just don't know. See the oldest and the middle child do not get along. The oldest is super competitive and the middle thinks he needs to compete because he wants to be like his older brother. It is getting to be a real problem. I would say they made about %50 of this trip a total nightmare. How?
1. Oldest child took middle child's DS game that he bought with his own money and hid it so he could play it later. Middle child cried just about all 4 hours on the trip. Only found out later that evening when older child began playing game. Middle child punched older child and mom took the DS games and players away.
2. Next day verbal fighting ensued over lose of games which made me decide to not give them back. Middle child didn't want to share with older child and older child would not move away from the subject. Day turned out to be just fine without them and children fell fast asleep in bed.
3. Went to church and then visited friend. Older son was pretty good, but middle child wanted to torment the middle child who is a girl of the other family. We left before the situation became out of control and no longer fun for anyone. Even though I would have loved to stay.
4. Day 4 we realized that we could not find one of the DS's (just in case you don't know what a DS is it is like a Game boy which is a handheld video game devise). We spend an hour searching the hotel everywhere. We took everything out of the car. We took everything out of our suitcases. Couldn't find it. Older child convinced that middle child took it and hid it. Verbal conversation ensued. Also couldn't find shoe of the youngest child. Drove back to friends house just in case items were left there and only found one shoe. Because it was so stressful, I told them no one could use remaining DS. While at the gardens oldest child feel in a pond because he was looking at a frog. Really though he didn't listen to me. I got mad because we had to drive 4 hours back and I still had one stop left.
Now it is late and oldest child is now missing one of his shoes that got wet in the pond and will need in the morning for P.E. He does not have another pair and managed to break two pairs of Crocs. Ugh! I do not know what to do to get them to work with each other. The middle loves the oldest but does not like the way his older brother treats him, so he is learning to retaliate. Any suggestions for this frazzled mom?

Update:
I just wanted to let you know, that it turns out the only thing that was lost was a tennis shoe. The other items in all the stress and drama of my children were actually stolen from my hotel room. I don't know if that should make me feel better or not. It took me a day to realize that one of my bags was stolen. Is that not crazy. If you would like to cheer me up, you can tell me your crazy stories.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Whats for Dinner!

I have no idea what the original name for this dish was, but my children love it. I found it through Martha Stewart about 7 years ago. They call it Pasta Fiesta because of all the colors. They think it looks like a party and it taste like a party in ones mouth. It is delicious!

Ingredients
5 sweet Italian Sausages chopped into bite size pieces
3 medium tomato's or 6 plum tomato's chopped
1/2 cup of frozen peas
1 tablespoon garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup of cream
1 pound of pasta
(we use whole wheat noodles)
1 sprig of sage
1 Tablespoon of rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet brown sausage meat along along with the sage sprig and the rosemary. When meat is browned remove the sage sprig and add the garlic. Add tomato's and peas. After three minutes, add the Parmesan cheese and cream. Also, you can substitute half and half if you want to cut down on the calories. Serve over cooked pasta.