Ruggles Update

Ruggles will be 11 months old this week. He has been walking now for a couple of months and he is into everything. Including my pot and pans, the girls room, the dog food you name it he's into it. He is also a very big boy, he is around 26lbs and is as tall as his 2 year old cousin.

This is his new smile for the camera face

Favorite Elmo toy
Such a snuggle bug, very cuddly in the mornings


SNOW Is Not A Dirty Word

Last year around this time we had snow, real fluffy white snow. A foot, which to most is nothing especially if compared with the rest of the country, however here in Texas any snow is exciting. I was so disappointed because last year DH was overseas and missed everything. I thought for sure it would not happen 2 years in a row. I would say YAY I was wrong, but not only did we get snow we also got ice, 4 days of no school for the kids and high temps in the low teens. Coldest weather we have had here in 15 years.

Ruggles seeing his first snow a few days earlier

It started snowing at midnight, I happen to love snow so I drug DH outside to play. He says because he's a Yankee his blood is made of ice so he doesn't need things like shoes and a coat like us southern people. I'll just laugh when he gets a cold =)

The girls went out and played but it was really to bitter and windy to stay out for more than a few minutes. Of course what do you do when there’s 2 inches of ice out, jump on a trampoline.

Ruggles liked the snow but he did not like all the layers of clothes he had to wear. It made him off balance and he kept falling and getting wet.
I decided to paint the kitchen cabinets which I have to say turned out very well, I also had to run a heater under the kitchen sink. Even doing that it still froze, but it kept the pipes from bursting in the end.

DH taught the girls how to make there very first Snowman



Yesterday was our 5 year wedding anniversary. We met 7 years ago online, I know a terrible place to meet people right =) I read a quote that DH had posted online, and this is before the days of myspace and facebook where live-journal was the big thing. To think it was just 7 years ago when mainstream really had no idea what a "social network" was, yet I digress. So I saw a quote and had to comment on it, 3 weeks later we were as inseparable as two people can be who live an hour a apart. We met in January and moved in together 3 months later and here we are with 3 kids, 2 dogs and very busy lives 7 years down the road.
DH took me out to dinner at my favorite restaurant called The French Room. I love French cuisine, must have something to do with the time I spent as a teenager in Paris. I love this place because it's so elegant and the food is truly amazing. Our server had been there for 17 years and he was really great. Here is a copy of one of there menu's:

Petrossian Caviars
American Alverta President White Sturgeon
Royal Siberian White Sturgeon
American Royal Trans Mountainous
Tasting of our Caviars

Black Mission Fig and Baby Spinach Salad, Goat Cheese Polenta Crouton, Crispy Pancetta, Shallot Vinaigrette

House-Smoked Atlantic Salmon Carpaccio, Caviar, Pineapple Confit, Crisp Capers, Horseradish Cream, Red Pepper Coulis

Coriander Seared Ahi Tuna, Tartar, Quail Egg, Wasabi-Saffron Aioli, Micro Cilantro

Quince and Carrot Soup, Scallop Shrimp Dumpling, Curry, Coffee Oil

Dominion Farm Crisp Pork Belly, Swiss Chard, Port Wine Glaze, Pearl Onions,
Five Spice Sauce

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Lemon Grass Lobster Sauce, Tomato Jam, Mango, Curry

Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Pecan Crust, Banana Bread Toast, Quince Jam,
Cranberry Reduction, Mint Oil

Lemon-Butter Poached Maine Lobster, Cauliflower Gratin,
Vanilla Butternut Squash Purée

Main Courses
Soy Caramel Glazed Arctic Char, Butternut Squash Ravioli, Blood Orange Sauce
Branzini, Yukon Gold Potato Crust, Roasted Baby Root Vegetable, Romesco Sauce

Coconut-Crusted Nova Scotia Halibut, Baby Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Potato,
Apple and Carrot Sauce

Veal Tenderloin, Spanish Chorizo Risotto, Cipolini Onion, Chambord Sauce

Maple Leaf Farm Duck Breast, Foie Gras, Confit, Cognac Apple Brûlée,
Chestnut Marsala Sauce

Colorado Rack of Lamb, Garlic and Corn Beignet, Goat Cheese Eggplant Manicotti,
Roasted Salsify, Red Wine Thyme Sauce

Black Angus Beef Tenderloin, Bacon Truffle Potato Terrine,
Carrot and Beet Purées, Bordelaise

A Selection of Artisanal Cheeses


Apple Walnut Cake, Cinnamon Panna Cotta, Balsamic Apple Reduction

Blackberry Tart, Almond Crunch, Ginger Molasses Ice Cream

Warm Banana Bread Pudding, Pecan Praline,
Bourbon Ice Cream

Warm Chocolate S’more, Toasted Marshmallow, Banana Rum Ice Cream

French Room Soufflés

I had the Foie Gras, Duck Breast,and the Souffle for dessert which was HUGE and delish. DH had the lobster,lamb, and the Blackberry tart, which I liked almost better than the souffle because it wasn't as heavy.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love food? =) If not I love food, and I love Julia Child.

We had a wonderful dinner and then about halfway through a lovely married couple that I've known all my life and has been friends of my family since before I was born came in and sat right next to us. They were celebrating there 30th! It was a neat treat to see them. Here are a few pics of the evening.
DH gave me a beautiful gift, my pearls.


Meet Me On Monday

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meet Me on Monday is hosted by Java at Never Growing Old.
Java asks 5 question for all to answer. What a great way to get to know each other a little better.

1. Do you eat Sushi?

2. What kind of bath soap do you use?

3. How often do you talk to your Mom?

4. What TV shows do you watch on a regular basis?

5. Did you start Christmas shopping yet?

My answers:


2.I like to smell like the hubby what can I say

3.Every morning between school zones =)


5. There is shopping involved?

Sunday Dinner

Sunday I felt like cooking. I love to cook but these days I just have very little time to play in my kitchen. However with no major plans on Sunday I made one of my favorite meals. Lemon Garlic roasted chicken, with lemon fingerling potatoes and a butter lettuce salad with a yummy Beurre Blanc Sauce. I actually use the recipe from Tyler Florence's book Dinner At My Place however the link from Time is the same one. For dessert I wanted to try a new recipe and make a Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread. Oh my goodness it was so delicious, I have to thank Aimée over at Under the Highchair for posting such a great recipe. I've made the cupcakes before and they are always a big hit but they just don't compare to this gooey chocolaty cake.

DH had to run a few errands and was a sweetheart so he stopped off at the store to pick up a few thing for me. So for dinner instead of having the lemon garlic chicken i had planned we had a lemon garlic turkey breast....because "they looked the same." Hey I'm not going to complain though it turned out great and I didn't have to go to the store.
Going into the oven

Beurre Blanc Sauce
Everything is better with butter
Something is wrong with my flash but here's the finished salad, those are shallots on the top
Ruggles hanging out
Usually this would be all served up fancy on white platters, however I just didn't feel like washing that many dishes.
Just about done baking, I would have taken finished product pictures however we had a slight mishap. Dh so graciously offered to help me get the loaf out of the pan......so half the loaf came out and half didn't =) no worries though all crumbled up makes a great bottom to vanilla ice cream. Next time more cooking spray and less help.


7 Months and Mobile

Just a short update on Ruggle's. He is now 7 months old and has six, yes SIX teeth. Which makes finding teething foods hard since he can break most of them. He is a very good crawler but is covered in bruises. He's at that stage where he's pulling up and standing but lacks balance so he bumps his head on everything. Below are his 6 months photos, these aren't the cutest of the ones we had taken but DH hasn't scanned the others in yet. I just want to point out that he is a strawberry, at least one of my kids inherited something from me.

The girls also had there Kinder school photos taken. Snowdrop swears that the photographer told her not to show her teeth.....hummm


I Heart My Freezer

These day's I find myself with no time and in the evenings when things are the busiest no energy to make dinner. With the kids wanting help with homework, and the baby underfoot spending time over the stove just isn't practical. Surfing the web I found a wonderful idea called Freezer cooking. It's a life saver for me, and kind of fun. Healthy to because now you can avoid those days where you are DREADING making dinner, so you give in spend money and get fast food.

Here's what you need :
a little pre- planning
2 hours time in the kitchen
box of large freezer ziplock bags
black permanent marker
14-30 yummy recipes
your favorite music in the background

If you plan to cook for 2 weeks ( 14 meals ) then you can probably shop at your local grocery store. Find one that is having a sale on meats since this tends to be the where the bulk of your money goes. If you plan on cooking more than 14 meals then I would shop at your local wholesale grocer like Sam's or my favorite Costco. If you buy in bulk then the next time around that you cook you already have a pantry full of the staples and only need to pick up the fresh things like veggies, meats and so forth. What I do is pick 7 meals and then make 2 of everything, saves time and brain power. I also write is all down on a calendar and then I never have to think about what to make I just rotate several meal plans and I have the shopping lists all ready.

What you are doing pretty much is doing all the prep work for your meals in one day. I buy a pack of 12 pork chops each ziplock bag receives 4 chops ( since I cook for 4, needless to say if you are cooking for 2 you can make several more meals with 12 chops ) I label each bag, BBQ pork, Honey baked, Orange chicken, Wine and Herb Chicken and so on. Then you either make your marinades up and pour them in or you store bought marinades. Then you freeze them, when you are ready you thaw out your bag the night before and then all you have to do is pop it in the oven and poof done. You can precook your meal like the quiche's or the meatloaf, but I like to just freeze everything and then bake it when its time to eat.

There are a few tricks and tips that I have learned the hard way. One make sure you freeze your bags with NO air in them to avoid that nasty freezer burn taste. Two make sure you freeze them flat, sometime you will have to reverse the way you lay the bags to achieve this. Three lay a paper towel in between each bag, no matter how hard you try the bags always have some moisture so when you go to pull a bag out instead of one you get all. They will all freeze together and it is no fun to separate them. Four get a friend interested, it's a lot more fun to swap recipes and do the work together. Five start by making just 2 weeks, if you begin by trying to make all 30 your first time out you might be a little overwhelmed.

Here are my fav sites for Freezer Recipes
Once A Month Cook

Frugal Mom - Chicken

Frugal Mom- Beef

Martha Stewart has several on her site that are so tasty

These two sites are great for tips
Mom's Budget
Frugal Mom - 7 steps

Now about side dishes, usually I like to serve a salad or a veggie along with meat. You can pre-make your veggies especially if you like organics, or are trying to save money. I however like to save time so I usually splurge and purchase frozen veggies that I can steam in the microwave. I try and stay away from anything canned, not only do they have that "can" taste they are also high in sodium.

Cooking this way lets me walk in the door after the girls skate practice or gymnastics or after a long day with the baby teething and all i do is pop something in the oven and put a salad in a bowl. Go grab yourself a few yummy recipes and give it shot, let me know how it goes.