Monday, July 25, 2011

Feeling Veggie

My favorite, all time summer food is grilled veggies. If you serve it with a side of roasted red pepper dip, I don't need another thing. Well, maybe a glass of wine to help wash it down. I don't think I've ever shared this recipe (from an old Bon Appetit), so here goes:

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

2 large garlic gloves 1/2 cup diced drained roasted red pepper from jar (or your own roasted ones)1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 cup mayonnaise

With processor running, drop garlic through feed tube and mince. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add roasted pepper, vinegar and cayenne and process until mixture is almost a smooth purée. Add 1/4 cup mayonnaise and process using on/off turns just until combined. Transfer sauce to a small bowl; mix in remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at 30 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
Place dip in center of platter. Arrange vegetables around dip and serve. The dip is great with cold crudite or warm grilled veggies.

(If you've never grilled your own veggies, it is time to get started! Just choose some good ones, prepare by peeling, chopping or slicing, then drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper, then grill on a medium temperature grill until they have the right amount of grill marks and appear soft. Be careful with mushrooms and asparagus... they go fast!)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Robot Head: A trip to the Urgent Care

Last night we were kid-free at a friend's wedding and received a call: Gus had bumped his head (on his cousin Berik's chin) and was in the Urgent Care, headed for some repair. We soon learned that the injury merited some metal, some cool looking staples. He was there with his auntie who is a nurse, was in a great mood, eating a DQ Blizzard and giggling. We left the wedding to join them at the hospital. We found a smiling Gus, but a Gus who just might set off the metal detectors at the airport with six staples.
We've got a good gig set up with Ron's sister Gretchen and her husband Tieg. They have three kids and live a mile away and we're very close friends with them. A while back we decided to set up a regular date night exchange with them, meaning one Friday night a month, each couple gets to drop off their kids around dinner time at the other couple's house and pick them up the next morning. We try to get the dates on the calendar many months in advance, ensuring that the dates never get skipped over or pushed to the side.

As a result, the kids get along fabulously because they have sleepovers twice every month. Our kids went to their house last night and they went to a nearby lake for a swim. Berik and Gus crashed into eachother and were laughing, until they noticed the blood dripping from Berik's chin. With smiles on their faces, soon they realized that Gus, too, had an injury. Tough guys, indeed. And as for Gus, he held it all together, staples and all, until it was all over and I poked my head in the door. You're so brave, buddy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our Summer List: a pie

At the beginning of every summer, we sit down and make a list of all the activities and projects we want to do during the summer. Usually the list is long and we don't check off every item off the list, but we're going to try our best to do most this summer.

Many are making their bucket lists, but I've never fallen in love with that term. I love lists, so I make lists. If I knew how to make a button for the sidebar, I would send it out and try to get many of you to join in on sharing your summer lists. Anyone know how?

Carl wanted to spend more time going through his kid cookbook that he received for Christmas and in particular, wanted to bake a pie. We picked the black raspberries for this funky pie from our yard and added a few from the freezer to fill it out, but Carl did all the measuring, mixing, cutting, rolling and baking himself. With a scoop of vanilla icecream, it was simply amazing.

Caterpillar Love

The summer officially started for us just two days after school got out for the kids: we went camping with our original ECFE (early childhood family education) group that we've been camping with since Carl was one. We've taken two years off with newborns, but otherwise, it is a trip we look forward to sharing with old friends. The kids were delighted to find some other old friends near our site, the monarch caterpillars. After carefully taking care of them for several weeks throughout their steady diet of milkweed, climbing to the top of the critter cage and forming the "j" and then going into their chrysallis, we've been very attentive care takers. This week, the butterflies released to celebrate with us.

p.s. Did you know that caterpillar poop is called frass?

Have you raised any fun critters lately?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 4th: Welcome to our summer

Yes, I'm back. I've been mentally composing blog entry upon blog entry, even taking all the photos to share with you the fun things we've been doing so far this summer, but that's it. It is all in my brain. Until tonight.

Hope your summer is going well. Many of you are taking trips, growing things, cooking the treats growing in your gardens, sneaking out of work for inpromptu picnics, playing with your children, reading, jamming to summer concerts and loving every single moment of summer. We've been doing a lot of those things, and more!

I'll try to catch up a bit on our ins and outs, but I'll leave you with some highlights from our two days at my parents' cabin in Wisconsin.