Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Cooking

Hello ladies.  I have been a bit AWOL from the blog world, but I do assure you I am alive and well and enjoying spending every minute of summer vacation with my boys.  Well let me rephrase that, I am enjoying spending the minutes the three of them get along, and refrain from fighting, arguing, and teasing each other.  Those minutes seem to be few and far between on some days.  :)

I definitely enjoyed the leisurely pace to my days this past week.  My oldest had FB(that would be football not facebook) conditioning Mon and Wed mornings for an hour.  He also had two nights of BB practice.  The oldest two had golf camp Friday morning.  Having one thing to do during the morning is perfect.  It gets us out of the house, but doesn't overwhelm our schedule.

I have had lots of time to cook more elaborate breakfasts than we normally have.  The favorite of the boys seems to be ham and cheese scrambled egg with bacon on the side.  We had that one morning and another morning we had the same type of eggs with sausage on the side. 

I have been stocking up on all sorts of fresh produce.  We have had watermelon, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and grapes.  The boys like to make fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits.  I always have fresh limes and lemons for cooking, slicing up to flavor water, salad dressing, or baking.

I have purchased many fresh veggies for salads, lunches, and snacking.  Staples in my fridge/pantry are lettuce, cucumber, tomato, avocado (I know that is really a fruit, but I treat it like a veggie), broccoli slaw, organic carrots, celery, peppers, onions.  I haven't bought mushrooms, but those are a typical staple.

We like to keep a variety of potatoes on hand:  baking, red,  and yukon gold.  I also like to have yellow(vidalia when in season), white, and red onions for cooking, salsas or pico, and salads.

I have been craving Gazpacho for awhile now and made the linked recipe last night.  I cut it in half (good thing as it still leaked out of my cuisinart).  I did not use the three herbs suggested, but added half a chopped jalapeno (no seeds), and lots of fresh cilantro.  I have to say I was not dissapointed in the results.  It was delicious as well as fresh tasting and refreshing.

We have a very extensive herb garden that we plant every year.  So far I have been mainly using the chives and basil, but there are several herb I plan on incorporating into recipes. 

I made these delicious Nectarine Muffins the other morning.  I have made this recipe before and it never fails.  I always just use nectarines.  The other day I think I used three and then had enough batter to make 12 regular sized muffins.  These are some seriously fabulous muffins and I highly recommend you try out the recipe.

I tend to a lot of sandwiches and salads for lunch for myself.  One fabulous sandwich that I recently discovered and made several times this week, was an Arnold Sandwich thin round, ham, fresh sliced mozarrella (must some in the liquid), tomato, and basil with salt and pepper.  This is so yummy and fresh tasting with the basil picked fresh.  A side salad that I ALWAYS have the ingredients for is my Broccoli Slaw.  I take that and add 1 T sunflower seeds, balsamic vinegar, and garlic olive oil with salt and pepper.  I seriosusly never get sick of this and it's a great way to eat a veggie.  We get all our olive oils and vinegars from The Oilerie.  I cannot recommend them enough.  I use the garlic olive oil ALL THE TIME!  We usually hit the store in Fish Creek when we in Door County for a weekend, but we also can just go to the store in Brookfield.  I use their balsamic vinegar too.  We have many different flavors of both vinegar and olive oil.

We have been making a ton of different flavors of homemade ice cream, but I will do a separate post on that next week.  I hope you are all being able to enjoy that fabulous produce available this time of year (we relish summer produce in WI).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summertime Organization

Things have been very quiet on this blog due to the end of the school year.  There has been lots of drama and tragedy at school, but I will not bore you with the details.  Suffice to say that I am THRILLED to pieces that my summer break has finally arrived.  Today is officially Day 1 of my break (not counting weekends) and I am definitely going to make the most of my time of to refresh, rejuvenate, and declutter.

We have been busy around the house (well mostly my husband Greg has been).  A few weeks ago he painted the den.  Here is a link to my other blog with photos.  Just to prove we I haven't been a total slacker.  I can't take credit for the painting, other than choosing the color which matches our accent wall in the living room.

Greg has also been busy trying to throw out all the useless crap delcutter and organize the basement.  We are hosting his family reunion/50th anniversary party for his parents this August so we have a ginormous to do list for the summer and most of it must be done prior to the party.  The good news is the house will look awesome with more rooms being painted, the bad news is all the work it will entail.

This week is kind of a transition week for me because the boys are attending VBS and our church is 40 min away so that involves lots of travel.  Fortunately they can spend some time at my parents (who live 12 min from church), but we still have BB games they need to be home for.

I have set a goal for myself that I will spend 60 min daily organizing.  This 60 min will not go toward normal cleaning/laundry, but will involve working on something that I have overlooked for a LONG time.  My first areas of business will be the master bedroom, closets, and the office.  Today I am attacking Mt Washmore so I will spend the 60 min challenge time going through things that have accumulated in our master bedroom (damn that large seating area that is just a clutter magnet these days).

I do plan on revitlazing this blog.  Thanks for all of you that have been hanging on.  I have been getting my life organized, I just haven't had time to blog about it while teaching full time.  Gotta love summer break.