I love the idea of sending things like roasted miso eggplant or smashed sweet potatoes and goat cheese for the boys to eat. However, my boys would cry and complain and probably try to form a rebellion if I sent anything that remotely looked like the photo above.
Finding the house quiet after the constant energy that our Summer brought has left me feeling a little bit adrift. So, I have decided to take an online art class. I feel like it's time for me to be creative again. :)
I also started reading Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman. What a gift it has been. I feel like it is my story. Like those are my words, written by the hand of a stranger. If your interested you can read the first chapter here.
What does your Friday look like? Do you have any fun plans for the holiday weekend?
After several years of a very tight budget which didn't allow for any home-improvements/repairs. I am finally able to have a small decorating budget. Yay!
So many things need to be worked on in this 70 year old house that it's overwhelming to know where to start!
One of my husbands customers is a contractor and we have already talked with him about remodeling the bathrooms. I will post pictures of before/after shots when we get started with everything. Although I'm not sure if I want the "before" shots out there so to speak. The interior is so shabby/ugly that it still amazes me that we have lived this way for three years. :)
One thing we want to do in the master bedroom is buy a smaller bed. I LOVE our king bed but it is way too much for our tiny space! Buying a new bed does get me excited about new linens, pillows, curtains...
Our youngest is graduating from Kindergarten tonight.
He woke us up at 6:45 this morning yelling "Graduation! Graduation! It's my graduation day!"
I love his joy and exuberance and passion for life...everything he does is with an exclamation mark!
I asked him what he wanted for graduation and he said a big chocolate cake!
So, I've been up to my elbows in chocolate today (not a bad place to be).
I have been could eat this frosting with a spoon. :)
1/2 c. butter melted
2/3 c. cocoa powder
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla
mix melted butter and cocoa powder together in a big mixing bowel. gradually add the sugar and milk alternating between the two until it's a good spreading consistency. add the vanilla. spread over a chocolate cake to indulge your kindergarten graduate!
Do you have any graduates at your house this year?
We had a great time visiting friends in Dallas over the weekend. My only complaint is that it wasn't long enough. But they will be coming here in a few months to stay with us. Their oldest son will be starting college in the fall and he wants to look at the U of A.
It seems like just yesterday I was starting my first semester at the U of A. College was so fun and exciting and so full of possibilities!
Luckily, I won't have to worry about college for my two for several more years. The most pressing thought on their minds is what are we going to eat for supper!
Today was spent unpacking and putting away with very little thought to what I might feed my family. It's times like this that I like to make simple, healthy meals with only 5 or 6 ingredients.
Rigatoni with Roasted Red Pepper and Black Olives (inspired by this recipe)
1 Ib. Rigatoni pasta
3 c. garlic-flavored croutons (just buy your favorite)
1/4 c. slivered almonds, toasted
1 c. thinly sliced roasted red bell peppers
1/4 c. black olives, sliced
3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
Add the pasta to a big pot of boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl.
Place the croutons and the almonds in a food processor and pulse until it is combined and you have fine crumbs. Add the crouton mixture to the cooked pasta and stir until the pasta is well coated. Add the roasted red peppers, black olives and the olive oil. Toss and serve.
I was on the computer the other night trying to find a recipe for strawberry trifle...different recipes kept catching my eye and I would click on them.
Before you know it I was sliding down a virtual rabbit hole and this is what I found at the other end:
Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons and Parsley Brown Butter (I would love to give credit but can't remember where I got it)
1 pound store bought gnocchi
2 Tbs butter
2 medium shallots
3 zucchini (cut into thin ribbons)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 c. chopped parsley
Put butter into large pan on medium heat. when butter is melted add shallots and cook until they are soft and translucent then add zucchini ribbons, salt, and nutmeg. at this point I added a few Tbs. of water and put the lid on the pan to steam the zucchini this will take about 5-6 minutes. add tomatoes and keep on heat until they start to burst (about 1-2 minutes). add Parmesan and parsley and take off the heat.
In the meantime, get a large pot of boiling water ready for the gnocchi. it will only take a few minutes for the pasta to cook. when they float to the top they are done.
Add gnocchi to the zucchini mixture and be prepared to wow your husband. :) Spencer was so impressed with this dish that he couldn't stop talking about how delicious it was!
This is a little about the philosophy of Meiji in Chef Darwin Beyer's own words:
Meiji is a small restaurant. That allows me to focus on bringing you the highest quality food. The fish at Meiji is sashimi-grade, and some of the freshest you'll find in Northwest Arkansas. Our sauces are all made from scratch in our kitchen. Vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers are purchased from local farms within a few miles of our front door. I’m proud to offer fish selections that you won’t see at other local restaurants. We cater to people who love sushi, but I also love to introduce sushi to those who are trying it for the first time. I invite you to try Meiji. I hope you will find our atmosphere to be elegant without being stuffy, and the food to be the best you’ve ever tried.
Elegant without being stuffy...I love that!!
We all shared the spicy crab salad and the Shoyu Nama Ramen soup. Spencer and I shared a couple different rolls and we got a bento box with salmon for our son. :)
The first roll we ate was the "Daikon" roll. Daikon is a Japanese radish that is marinate and then cut very thinly so it can be used as the wrap for this roll. It was filled with an assortment of fish ranging from tuna, salmon, and yellow tail, as well as several savory herbs and veggies.
This roll is amazingly light and delicious and just bursting with flavor.
Our second roll was the "Cobalt" roll. This is a shrimp tempura and salmon combined with cucumber and avacado and topped with eel sauce. I've had many eel sauces but this one takes the cake, but the real flavor kick of this roll is the fact that these are incredibly thin lemon slice between each piece of roll. They are sliced with the rind still on them. This seems strange until you take that first bite. Then the bright, clean explosion of lemon hits you and blows you away.
Everything was light and fresh and delicious. They also had fresh wasabi (which was a first for me and I loved it)! Not that regular intense green paste but actually fresh chopped wasabi that you could spoon on each bite and savor.
What a perfect day. The only thing missing was our older son who had to go to school and did NOT understand why he had to miss all the fun!
Meiji Japanese Cuisine is my favorite new restaurant.
Question of the Day:
Do you like sushi? Where is your favorite place to eat out?
Three more weeks until our trip to Dallas to visit our friends!! I love to go on trips, don't you?
They live in Frisco TX and I have been online all mornings obsessing over where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. I LOVE google. :)
I did take a lunch-time break to make a salad for myself. I loaded it up with veggies and fried and egg for on top. I made my homemade honey mustard dressing and also fried a circle of parmesan cheese.
Have you ever fried cheese before?
It's so easy!
Put a medium sized pan on medium heat and sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese into a circle cookie cutter (or just free form) onto your pan. When it starts to bubble up and brown flip it over and let it brown on the other side.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, diced
11/2 c. orzo
1/2 c. dry white wine (more to drink) ;)
3 c. vegetable stock
1 c. green peas
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. cashew cream
1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
salt and pepper to taste
in a medium sized pan saute diced onion in olive oil until soft and translucent. add orzo and toast for about two minutes. slowly add the vegetable broth, stirring and adding until the liquid is almost gone and the pasta is al dente (this should only take about 10-15 minutes).
take off the heat and add the remaining ingredients. add salt and pepper to taste.