Sunday, August 22, 2010

Neighbor's Cats: A Movie

I made another movie based on real, actual, events of the R. Family. So, we got a new neighbor, and she has cats, and they like to spy on us. So, one day, I thought I would play a practical joke and when they were in the window, I put Kaya in her window seat, but it kind of backfired on me...

Friday, August 20, 2010

more vegas

Here are a few pics from our Vegas trip that I nabbed off my sister's blog:Here's the whole gang... there's my long-time friend L on the right, one of my many friends who procreated this summer. Three month old baby and she's the hottest mamma in town!
And here we sample deep-fried twinkies and oreos before heading to the airport the last day. A perhaps misguided choice. I'm "pretending" to have a heart attack. They were at once delicious and inedible.

Here's the website for the Golden Nugget pool, I don't seem to have a good shot of the pool (with sharks!).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New hat

I got a new hat.
I'm ready for fall. And a spy caper.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day Two in Vegas

The second day in Vegas we spent the morning/early afternoon at the pool, where C and L reserved a nice cabana to shelter us from the (did I mention this?) ONE HUNDRED AND NINE DEGREE weather. A Las Vegan came by to tell us they were actually having a "cool down" and it was normally one hundred and nineteen degrees at that time of year. It seems to me that you would just burst into flames at a certain point...

My sister, M & I had appointments at the spa in the afternoon, which was lovely, and then we went to their vow renewal ceremony, which was unexpectedly emotional and lovely. Not a dry eye in the house. That night we went to dinner and a couple (a couple three, as my dad would say) bars.
Experiencing the "Fremont Street Experience"
newly re-married

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vegas, Baby

Over the weekend, we went to Vegas to celebrate my sister and brother-in-law's remarriage (to each other). It was a great time and a fun party. We all stayed at the Golden Nugget in "old" Vegas, where I'd never been before. The hotel was pretty sweet, and, I must tell you, that there were friggin' sharks in a tank in the middle of the pool. So, like, when you're swimming, there are friggin' sharks swimming next to you. Also, there's a clear slide that goes through the middle of the (friggin') shark tank. So.

The first night we went to the Fireside Lounge at the Peppermill. Although it was ONE HUNDRED AND NINE DEGREES in Vegas, the Fireside Lounge was chilled to no more than 47 degrees. Despite the cold, we enjoyed some tropical drinks.That drink was huge, C's straw is actually 2 feet long!
M & K huddle for warmth.

Come back tomorrow for Day Two in Vegas!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Freezer corn

When we were in Indiana last weekend we stopped at our favorite vegetable stand and bought (a mere) two dozen ears. They had a "Freezer Corn Special" for $3-something a dozen if you got 10 dozen, but that's a lot (even for us!)

M's granny gave us her recipe, which I'll recap here. (I posted about this in the bygone days of aught-eight, and just had another laugh at my dad's comment!)
  • Slice the kernels off 16-24 ears.
  • Melt one stick of butter in a heavy saucepan.
  • Mix in corn with approx. 1 cup water.
  • Cook for approx. 20 minutes.
The trick to slicing the kernels off the ear is to put a small bowl upside down in a large bowl. Put the ear on the up-turned bowl and slice down with your knife.

Then, hold your knife perpendicular to the corn and drag it down the ear. This is called "milking" the corn.
It's really easy to make and ten-thousand times better than (dare I say it?) canned corn. I can't wait to eat it at Thanksgiving! In fact, we couldn't wait to even get it in the freezer, we had corn for dinner that night!

Friday, August 13, 2010


One of our favorite summer dishes is the Italian treat, panzanella. We first had it at my fave Chicago restaurant, Ante Prima. In our little family, we have bruscetta one day, and panzanella the next, with the leftover bread from the day before. Sometimes we buy lots of bread to make sure we'll have left-overs! You can put just about anything in it, but I like:
  • Stale baguette, cubed
  • fresh tomatoes
  • cubed cucumbers
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • Balsamic vineger and olive oil vinaigrette
Throw the whole lot into a bowl and toss. Eat immediately. You won't want to wait, anyway!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Bruschetta is a frequent summer favorite on our family table. Everyone has their own method of making it, but M & I do ours like this:
Start with a good baguette (I get mine at Bennison's Bakery), slice diagonally and brush with olive oil, then turn them all upside down on the pan and pour olive oil over the other side. Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, chop up your tomato nice and small, as well as basil. (That's the fun part for us because it all comes out of the garden.) Liberally salt (kosher salt is best, I think.)

When the toasts are done, rub with a garlic clove, then spoon on the tomatoes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

more tomatoes

Another favorite summer recipe is this one, which I'm pretty sure I saw on the food channel but can't seem to find a source. It's really simple and a really nice, light dish and a great way to use your fresh tomatoes.

So, you cook pasta, I prefer gemelli or some twisty pasta. In the last minute or so, throw some chopped broccoli into the pasta water and then drain when it's al dente. Meanwhile, in a big bowl, dump a thingy of ricotta and mix with 1/2 cup of pasta water. Whisk. Zest some lemon in there. Something amazing happens with the ricotta and water and it makes a nice creamy sauce for your pasta. Mix in the pasta and broccoli and top with cherry tomatoes. You won't BELIEVE how good it tastes. Oh, you can grate parm on top too.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

what to do with tomatoes

I made a lovely little appetizer with our cherry tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella - it was as delicious as it was lovely to look at.

Sunday, August 08, 2010


This weekend M & I went to Indiana to visit family and go to M's HS reunion. The reunion was fun and I got to meet some of his old HS pals. Not surprisingly, all of them have like 3.2 kids and we were treated to many a speech about how having kids "changes you, man" and "it just changes everything, forever." Oh, really? Being fully responsible for a helpless human being's emotional and physical well-being has an impact on your life? I hope so! I find it amusing albeit slightly tiresome when a new or old parent decides to drop some knowledge on me about how "you just can't believe how much it changes you."

In non-parenting news, but tiresomely self-congratulatory, I bring you Garden Fresh Week, where I'll drop some knowledge of my own, mainly what we're doing with our absolutely fabulous tomato haul. So, stay tuned for some easy and fabulous recipes!

Here's me and M, either going to his reunion or off to a yacht party - you decide!

and here's Adorable Nephew the Second watering the flowers with an obscure reference to a de Chirico painting in the background.