We have definitely seen many showers here in the midwest, and for that I am completely grateful. The grass is green, the flowers are starting to bloom, and you know what that means? Commence the daily Allegra.
When it comes to making dinner for my family, there are days where I just want to prepare something fast and not do a ton of prep or cleanup.
Brian had seconds, which means it was good.
Now that I have my feet wet, I’m ready to dive into some Indian cooking. It look like I will have to start trying recipes in my fellow ChicagoNow blogger, Anupy Singla’s book, Indian as Apple Pie.
Last month, I finished painting and organizing the family room. Since finishing this project, I have taken on a few other things, and completely forgot to post photos for you to see our freshly painted room.
Here is the after:
Once we finished painting, we completed the furniture switch, we sorted the toys, and created a better play area for the kids.
I also moved the craft table. Having it near the ledge near the stairs allows us to store buckets of crayons, coloring books and supplies.
Finally I created little area near the fire place for reading stories and set up Coco’s dollhouse for her to have a separate place for her to play on her own.
A few months ago, we made our way to Goodwill to look for lamps. While we were unsuccessful with the lamps, we did find some puzzles and books. We were able to find a book of Nursery Rhymes for Caroline, The Encyclopedia of Horses and Ponies for George, and this awesome 3D Globe Puzzle for Russell.
Yesterday, I was trying to find something to do for Earth Day with the kids, when Russell suggested we do the earth puzzle since we hadn’t tried it yet. ‘What a great idea!’ I thought. I mean what better way to celebrate Earth Day than with a reused puzzle of the Earth. Russell is a genius.
While I realized that this puzzle was kind of difficult for the age range of my kids (540 pieces), they were extremely helpful by taking the pieces out, flipping them all over, and then they sorted the puzzle by the numbers printed on the back of each piece into groups. (NOTE: If you’ve never done a 3D Puzzle before, they are often numbered as they must be put together in a certain order so they do not collapse).
My favorite part of doing the puzzle was talking about Earth Day with the kids. When George asked about it, I said that it is a day where we celebrate our planet. We then talked about things that we could do help keep the Earth happy and healthy. This activity was perfect for opening up the conversation. Which I will say doing any kind of simple with my kids lends it self to conversation.
We started after lunch, and worked on it all afternoon taking breaks to play outside and take naps. We were able to finish before bedtime.
They were so excited.
What did you do with your family mark Earth Day?
With the week that we have all had, I thought it might be nice to remember there is good in this world. Sometimes, we just need a reminder.
A few months ago, Russell turned 5. As part of his birthday celebration, he asked to collect glasses for those that cannot get glasses themselves. You can read more about Russell’s birthday and collecting glasses here.
Over the past few months we have been collecting glasses from everyone we know. We got the word out to our parish in the city, and even the kids’ babysitter asked her sorority sisters to help out. Meema was able to gather quite a few pairs from her friends.
Well, over the course of 4 months, Russell (with the help of our wonderful family and friends) was able to collect hundreds of pairs of glasses (if I could guess it would be in the 200 to 300 pair range). Every time we wanted to send them on there way, people would give us more and more glasses. It was amazing to us how many people wanted to help. It was also so wonderful to see Russell get so excited to put the glasses in the box every time he received a pair.
A few weeks ago, we thought it would be a good time to box them all up and get them ready to send to New Eyes for the Needy.
The kids were so happy to help.
The kids very carefully put them in some boxes with bubble wrap.
These two HUGE boxes are ready to go, and give so many people the opportunity to see.
I’m so proud of my children I cannot even explain. I am always proud of them and their accomplishments in school, sports, and as they achieve developmental and personal milestones, but I have to say to see my kids willingly and excitedly showing compassion and wanting to help people has been the most rewarding accomplishment of all.
Sometimes we just need a reminder of all the good there is in this world.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write about what has happened in Boston. While I am having a hard time gathering my thoughts regarding this horrific tragedy, I, quite honestly, don’t think I can write about much else today.
I have been running since I was 13 years old. Running with my Dad. I was a member of both my high school cross country and track teams. I continued running through college, and into adulthood. I have done countless 5K and 10K races, and have even completed a marathon in my lifetime.
I love running.
When I think about running, I know my times are slow, and sometimes the road is rough for me, my focus is always on moving forward. In that moment in a race when I am through the worst, and I see those I love cheering for me, my mind goes to a place of complete peace.
When I was thinking about those in Boston, I know that healing, grieving are slow processes and the journey ahead for those affected will be rough. With the help of all of us, I hope we can help those affected somehow find peace.
You are in my heart, Boston.
There seem to be few things that can take you to the past like food. While I agree, old photographs and mementos can remind of you certain moments of you life. The smells and tastes of certain foods can immediately take you back in time to experiencing a moment again.
Sometimes, I like to think of food as a time machine.
There are certain recipes that I make to remind me of certain people. There are recipes in my family that come to be known by the person’s name, simply because it reminds us of them.
We have a recipe for baked chicken that has come to be known as Nano’s Chicken. My Grandma Nano made it quite a bit. While it is a common recipe and can be found pretty easily, I make it from memory and think of eating dinner with my family at her house.
I have been trying to master zucchini frittata for years, as it reminds Brian of his own grandmother. When I first made it for him, he immediately started telling stories of sleepovers and stopping by his Grandma’s house after work.
A few weeks ago, my cousin emailed and asked if I had any old recipes. I am so glad she did. I asked my Mom and one of my Aunts if they had anything, and they had a few things for me.
After sending them to my cousin, I cannot wait to try some of them.
Perhaps, I will be transported back in time.
What are your favorite family recipes? What do they make you think of?
Home Everyday continues to send concern and thoughts to those affected by the events at yesterday’s Boston Marathon.
Party Favors are something that I kind of have a love/hate relationship with.
The girly side of me loves all the ideas on Pinterest with beautiful gift bags filled with pretty little things.
But the practical side of me thinks that party favors are pretty pointless unless they are a.) food or b.) something I need.
While I understand that a favor is something that says Thank You to your guests, I sometimes feel that isn’t the party, entertainment, appetizers, meal, and dessert kind of a Thank You too?
So, when planning a party, I try to have a little something for my guests to take with them, but I always do something food related or practical.
A few weeks ago, with the help of some friends, we threw a small baby shower. I had thought about doing Sprinkles Cupcakes because c’mon, who doesn’t like cupcakes, but then suddenly a wonderful idea came upon me: Champagne Favors!
In our wonderful world of technology, there are no more phone trees to get the news out of a baby’s arrival. With a few clicks or swipes on a smartphone, people can send notice of the baby’s safe arrival, that Mom is doing alright, and a picture of the new baby hours… or even minutes old.
With that, I thought it would be awesome if all of our friends could be toasting to the new baby at the same time. While we couldn’t all be together for the arrival of the baby, we could all be sharing a sip of something bubbly and sending good wishes to the new family.
I wrote a short poem, printed it out using PicMonkey, and then tied them with ribbon to splits of bubbly.
The favor cost less than even cupcakes, and seriously, what’s more practical than champagne?
Last week was my George’s 4th Birthday! When your kids’ birthdays fall around holidays like my kids, a lot of celebrating happens. We celebrated a little bit with all of our extended families on Easter Sunday, but on his actual birthday, we tried to make the day special.
This past weekend, our friends invited us over for dinner. It was wonderful. There is nothing better than good conversation, great food, and happy kids playing for hours.
I asked if I could bring something, and thought maybe this would be a good time to try something new. I wanted to go beyond a traditional baked dessert of pie, cake, brownies, or cookies. Also, since I only had to bring dessert, I thought it might be fun to try something that was a little bit more labor intensive.
I stared digging through my cookbooks, and in Giada De Laurentiis ‘s Everyday Italian I saw this recipe for Chocolate Zabaglione.
Zabaglione is traditionally an Italian vanilla cream custard that is served with fruit. To Brian, it isn’t dessert unless it is chocolate, so I thought this would be perfect. Also, it gave me a chance to use my new double boiler.
I did make a few changes to the recipe based on what I had on hand. For example, I used a very dry white wine that I had on hand instead of a Marsala wine. Also, I did not have the large eggs that the recipe calls for, so I used 9 egg yolks instead of 8. Finally, the kids love all kinds of berries, so instead of using just strawberries, I used a mixture of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Everyone LOVED it!
Chocolate Zabaglione adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
8 large or 9 medium egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup dry white wine
pinch of salt
1 pint strawberries hulled and sliced
1 6 oz container of raspberries
1 6 oz container of blackberries
In a small sauce pan, gently heat cream and chocolate chips stirring constantly until smooth. Set aside, but keep warm stirring occasionally.
In the top part of a double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, wine, and salt. Then carefully set over the bottom part of the double boiler with simmering water (NOTE: Don’t let the water touch the bottom of your double boiler). Whisk the mixture constantly while over the heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until it reaches 160 degrees.
Remove from heat, and then carefully fold in the chocolate mixture.
You can serve warm over berries, or let cool for 6-8 hours in the fridge before serving. It is important to note you cannot reheat this recipe.
We enjoyed it cold.