Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey, ouzo, and sweet pumpkins

Another year, another day of feasting and swearing that you won't eat again for at least two more days. This year I managed to skip one meal post-Thanksgiving before I gave in and decided that it just wasn't right to deprive my body when it was screaming for leftover stuffing and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving for the sweet pumpkins and pumpkin parents was spent in Connecticut with the Hatzis side. It was great to see the extended family as we just don't make it up here often enough. There was ouzo, there was football, and there were plenty of recycled jokes to pass the evening by.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Lauren!

My younger sister Lauren turns 19 today. Given our age difference I often find myself worrying about Lauren as a mother would. So I'm happy every time I get to hear her voice and know that she is doing okay. I am quickly finding out how hard it is to see someone who is still just a child in your mind get her driver's license, do her own laundry, and go off to college. I mean, who is going to make sure that she eats three balanced meals a day, who is going to get her up for class, and who is going to make sure she isn't taken advantage of? Yeah, I know, she is old enough to do all of those things for herself but I'm having a hard time accepting it. But today I will celebrate Lauren turning a year older and a step closer to reaching adulthood in my mind. Happy Birthday Lauren!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Adventures in cooking- apple pie

A few years ago I began a tradition of making Chris a dessert from scratch for his birthday. One year it was an orange dreamsicle cake (akin to one of the layers of our wedding cake) and the other years, well, maybe this is only the second year I have made something from scratch. And while I would love to support the local bakeries around here and just purchase something handmade by them- you wouldn't want your husband to have to tell his mom that he didn't have someone painstakingly prepare a dessert for his birthday. So, this year it was apple pie- because I thought that was Chris' favorite dessert (until this conversation):
Erin: "I thought I would make you an apple pie for your birthday with all those delicious apples that your wonderful children picked from the tree for you. While picking the apples they told me how much they loved their dad and that they would like to use these apples to make daddy his favorite dessert, apple pie."
Chris: "Apple pie is my favorite dessert? Hmmm, I don't know if I would say that."
Erin: silence, no words. just a really, really dirty glare
*Chris please note, apple pie IS your favorite dessert when your wife is making it for your birthday. You've got the whole rest of the year before your next birthday to change your mind and convince me of what your favorite dessert really is.

Well, on to the pie. I decided to make the crust from scratch too even though I am perfectly happy with store-bought crust. But if I'm going to become a true domestic diva then I should probably learn how to make crust. I used Martha Stewart's recipe for a pate brisee ( made mostly in the food processor and it should have been really easy. But, my food processor is super small (3 cups!) and I couldn't fit the whole crust in there. So I tried cutting the butter into the flour by hand (with a fork) and that was pretty unsuccessful so then I made the crust in batches. In the end it got overworked and formed too much gluten. The inside turned out well though and the apples we picked last weekend in the mountains were delicious inside the chewy and flaky crust. It looked fairly pretty too so I am not too ashamed of the finished product. But Santa please note, my Amazon wish list now reflects the food processor that I would love for Christmas!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Thanks for spending another year of your life with us!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's the little things

This past weekend Conner, Elizabeth and I got to spend some quality time with Auntie Megan while Daddy was at a conference in San Diego. At first I thought that I would be totally bitter that my husband was in San Diego while I was back home with the kids but funny thing, I wasn't one bit jealous. Probably because we had such a great weekend! We decided to take the kids and head up to Asheville for the weekend. Between my sister (who is a vegan) and myself (practicing vegetarian), Asheville was food heaven for us! There are so many restaurants that provide non-meat, non-dairy options that at times I was wishing to become a cow so that I would have some extra stomachs to load up with all the available goodness. Plus the kids would really have gotten a kick out of their mom turning into a cow, one of their favorite animals these days!

Amazing food aside, the weekend was wonderful because of the little things. Seeing Conner and Elizabeth running around, exploring the nature around them was incredible. They are at such a great age where they can identify the things they have read about in books by pointing them out by name when they see them in the environment around them. Sitting in front of the fireplace each night without any way to communicate with the outside world was more refreshing than I ever would have thought. And of course, getting to share the weekend with my kids and my sister was the best part of all. Whether it was stuffing as many apples as we could into Megan's coat pockets and hood, watching the kids dance to music being played by a creepy old guy, or reading Goodnight Moon for the 145th time, a great weekend was had- but we did miss Daddy!
Enjoying apples picked fresh from the treeLizzie running down the hill Conner making leaf angels with Auntie Meg