Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Memorial Weekend.

Feeling a little bit in a funk as we approach the long weekend.  I'm pretty sure the main cause of this is the snow falling down outside.  Having a hard time thinking glass half full with the spring time snow.  I know the weather is ALWAYS bad on Memorial weekend, it's like a law or something, however I am always hoping this is the year it'll surprise me and we'll get to go camping and be outside for three whole days.  I guess we'll actually have to move for that kind of Memorial weekend.  The spring has been such a tease…last weekend the sun was out, sunscreen on and we were out enjoying it.  This weekend we will stay tucked inside out of the cold wind and snow.  I could totally handle it if it was just a dreary, rainy day…that is spring appropriate.  Temperatures barely reaching 40-degrees is not.  Not in my book anyways.

Enough about the weather.  Too add a little color to this grey I made a wonderfully colorful salad one night this week...
I got this recipe from my little sister...it was originally an Asian Chicken Salad, but seeing as we don't eat chicken, I have modified it.  It is fantastic with blackened salmon or without any meat as we had it this night.  I did do some lime coconut shrimp on the the side and that was a nice compliment.  Here's the recipe:
Asian Salad:
-Chop cabbage for the base.  Add sliced snap peas, any color of pepper and onion.  I had a little corn leftover so I threw that in this time too.  
-Take around 1/2 cup sliced almonds, some sesame seeds and broken pieces of dry Ramen noodles (toss the seasoning from it or use it for something else)  Spread this all out on a baking sheet and cook in a 350-degree oven for around 6 minutes.  Add to the top of the salad
FOR DRESSING:
Mix 3 tbls canola oil, 2 tbls rice vinegar, 2 tbls soy sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp sesame oil, a little black pepper.  Shake it up and pour over the salad
Enjoy!

This was a good week.  We didn't get much outside playing time but we did enjoy stuck inside type things.  It was a week where we didn't have any activities any evening of the week.  No ballet classes, no family dinner at my parents, and even Ava's soccer practice got cancelled.  What we got was some family time every night after dinner right until bedtime and it was splendid.  One night the girls set up a "store" in our room where we got to go shop and ended up in a family wrestling match…me & Layla against Matt & Ava…those are always fun (until someone inevitably starts crying…it was Layla this night), we had a game night one night and then a night of slowly meandering through the grocery store to pick up some groceries for date night (more to come on that!).  This may not seem like a fun activity, but we somehow make it one.  Browsing through the yummy cheeses in the deli, trying to find a new bottle of wine to try and getting the girls samples from the bakery while appreciating the beautiful cakes and cookies.  Just a lot of good old fashion family fun.

Yesterday Ava had early release and I wanted to do something fun with the girls for the afternoon.  We decided to set up a "spa" and I went all out...

Layla set up all the polishes for them to choose from...
I got out my old jetted foot soak (which they thought was hilarious)...
And there was lemon water in fancy glasses & soothing music in the background.  Fun was had by all...

I'm loving this trying to go without distraction and totally focusing on what I'm doing at the moment.  I tend to be the type who tries to do so many things at once and then nothing gets done well.  When you stop and focus in and not get distracted by all the little things you can really enjoy the other little things.  I feel like I was very successful with that this week and it left me feeling happy and content.

Onto this weeks date night, when I asked Matt if he had any ideas of what we should do he said let's do dueling appetizers.  Now, this instantly sounded like a competition and if you know me at all you know I love any sort of competition.  Here was the plan…we each pick an appetizer to make, cook them that night and each got a vote as to whose was best.  Matt made stuffed onions and I made bacon guacamole won tons.  (thinking if you have bacon and then wrap it and fry it I would be a shoo in)

Matt's took a little more time, I was totally impressed…he boiled the onions, hollowed them out, mixed the insides with fresh herbs, bread crumbs, cheese and dried cranberries, stuffed the onions with the mixture and then baked them.  For mine I cooked the bacon, chopped it in pieces, made some fresh guacamole (without tomatoes, but chopped onions instead), wrapped them in won tons and then fried them until they were brown and crispy.  Matt also got a bonus point for making bread.  (he topped it with ricotta, honey and basil…SO yummy!)

So….after tasting them both we declared Matt the winner.  The flavors were just so unique, sweet and rich and very good.  Mine would have totally won at a Super Bowl Party.  Next time I would use less bacon to let the guacamole flavor come out more…they were tasty little bites and would be a total crowd pleaser.

Now we are all settling in for a three day weekend.  I can't even remember the last Memorial Weekend when we didn't go someplace…camping or to the lake.  Three whole days with the family and not one. single. plan.  I am embracing it and look forward to what comes.
Happy Memorial Weekend. 

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