Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekly Gratitude

Instagram- a wonderful app on my hubby's iPhone- makes pix look old fashioned and there are several styles to choose from- see Exhibit A above ;)

Summer fun for Diana and me with my BFF and her girls- fun that reminded us so much of our childhoods...giggles of little girls running around outside...jumping through sprinklers....

The love and excitement of a new job and a feeling of true accomplishment at the end of the day

Diana getting kicked out of a dance class for a few minutes this week- gave us some entertainment and confirmed that we have our hands full!

Dance Moms- their friendship and being able to vent to people who completely understand what I am going through!  I bow to them :)

Beautiful summer weather and spending much time at the beach

Experiencing Diana's joy at Canobie Lake...and watching my stepkids take such great care of her and share in her excitement <3

Our garden that is producing real veggies-still can't believe it!

My stepson's philosophy to life and love

Having bronchitis because it meant that I had to go to the pharmacy for my meds and I actually successfully recruited our pharmacist- woohoo!  (I know I am crazy)

life rearranged

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dance Moms Night Out!

We met at Brookstone Grill...and we really enjoyed some great drinks "Mango-Ritas" and some yummy food...chicken fingers and oh yeah we split some chocolate cake for dessert...but nothing compared to the funny stories...can't wait to see that movie "Babies" Girls!




Barley and Corn Salad with Arugula and Green Beans

 Barley and Corn Salad with Arugula and Green Beans



Thanks to Mel for putting this together over at  The Larson Lingo
My contribution is a salad I make several times a year- it is hardy- it is a meal in itself and I hope you enjoy!  Please share your favorite salad recipes with me- I would be most grateful!








2/3 cup pearl barley
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 1 large ear)
4 large bunches arugula (about 4 ounces total)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 3 1/2-ounce package soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), crumbled

Cook barley in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain; cool. Transfer to large bowl.

Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Transfer beans to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well. Pat beans dry with paper towels. Cut half of beans into 2-inch pieces. Transfer to bowl with barley. Mix in corn kernels. Coarsely chop 2 bunches arugula; add to bowl with barley mixture.

Whisk olive oil, vinegar, shallots, thyme and Dijon mustard in small bowl to blend. Pour enough dressing over barley mixture to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange remaining 2 bunches arugula around edge of large platter. Arrange remaining whole beans in spoke pattern atop arugula. Mound salad in center of platter. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Drizzle any remaining dressing over arugula and beans and serve.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Beautiful Day at the Beach- This was our Entertainment (Don't forget to pause the music player on the right before playing these) :)

Diana's 1st Trip to Canobie Lake Park!

We all enjoyed watching Diana have a ball at Canobie Lake Park last night. She was in awe when we first walked in!

First stop? Tea Cups! (not really a kiddie ride but we thought it would be harmless because Diana braved the tea cups in Storyland last summer with Daddy and Papa Pete AND Ally and Zack would be with her) She started out happy?

Then was a bit skeptical

and downright scared at the end...her first words to Rob and me coming off the ride were "I was scared...I went on these when I was a little baby with Papa Pete and Daddy" We could not believe she remembered something a year ago when she wasn't even 2 yet! She was so adorable. She didn't let that stop her either...she was immediately ready for some more rides!
We toned it down a bit and hit the kiddie rides and she was thrilled :)









Then it was time to let Ally and Zack get on one of their rides...dare devil rides as I call them..there is a new roller coaster called Untamed there and it was the scariest ride I have ever seen...it went straight up in the air only to have it drop straight down and go upside down...pure terrifying...Diana was patient waiting for the kids (and because we got her a slush) and then we watched them and snapped some pix...they loved it of course










Time to look at some animals

and then a drive in the old fashion cars!


and then on the way out, Diana spotted Michael Jackson and was enthralled...she must have stared at him for 10 minutes...precious...great night!

Random Saturday Randomness

The mint on the deck is past its peak....so use it or lose it....time to make homemade raspberry mojitos before it is too late...and so we did!

Here is the recipe for all of you summer cocktail lovers
Raspberry Mojito
8-10 fresh mint leaves
6-8 fresh raspberries
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh lime juice (juice of one lime)
2-oz light rum
club soda (approx 6-oz)
ice

Later Rob picked some more zucchini from our garden (can you tell we are proud?)....I made a delicious side dish for our bbq dinner- stuffed zucchini

another recipe...definitely worth the work!
* 4 medium zucchini
* 1 medium onion, minced
* 1 (7 ounce) can roasted red peppers, chopped
* 1/2 green pepper, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves
* 1 egg, beaten
* 2 thyme, sprigs
* 1/4-1/2 teaspoon oregano
* salt and pepper
* 3/4 lb ground beef (or chicken, turkey, fish, 1 can of tuna, or other veggies...you get the idea)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 8 slices cheese (any kind really, we use Gouda or Gruyere, though this really is a matter of personal preference)
Change Measurements: US | Metric
Directions:

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 55 mins 1. 1 Wash zucchini, and put in a pot of cold water (do not remove ends).
2. 2 Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes, maybe a little longer depending on the size of your zucchini.
3. 3 Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a fairly large skillet.
4. 4 Saute garlic first, then add onions, green pepper, thyme, and oregano.
5. 5 When the veggies begin to soften, add ground
meat (or whatever you are using), season with salt and pepper, and brown until cooked through.
6. 6 Drain off any excess grease.
7. 7 Set aside to cool slightly.
8. 8 When the zucchini have cooked through, remove from water, and allow to cool enough to handle.
9. 9 Slice cooled zucchini lengthwise, and scoop out center, leaving a little veggie flesh to form a"boat.
10. 10 "Mix ground meat mixture with the red peppers, and the scooped out zucchini (chopped), and the egg.
11. 11 Fill the zucchini boats with the mixture, and top each with a slice of cheese.
12. 12 Bake in a 375ºF oven for 20-30 minutes, until heated through, and cheese begins to bubble and brown.
13. 13 Serve hot.

I also got a present yesterday...celebrating the new job! We finally got a wine fridge that can store both of my reds and whites- so exciting! We later opened a bottle of wine that my old boss gave me 10 years ago! He told me to "save it for a special occasion!" So we did- thanks again Earl!




Dinner time and time to enjoy our summer supper...Diana is psyched....so psyched that she stuck a plastic fork in her hair? She was just getting crazy because she knew where we were going after supper...yep Canobie Lake Park! This was her first trip...separate post coming soon! :)



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rest In Peace Amy Winehouse

So young- such a talent- love her music (pause the music player on the right before playing this video)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hot Summer Night at the Fournier's and Oh What Fun We Had!

The pictures? They are really self-explanatory..thanks Cass..love you!





















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