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Thursday, September 25, 2008

A First Taste of Spaghetti


I think he liked it.  :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Awww, come ON!

You might tell me I'm out of my mind, but I got immediately crabby when I pulled up the weather for this week and saw that it's supposed to be in the 80's until Friday.  

GEEZ. 

Even Google has gone Fall on me today, why can't I be wearing jeans and enjoying my down comforter??  

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sam attempts to dribble

video
I love his throaty, wild chuckle as he tries to bounce the ball.  What fun these sweet days are!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Arboretum

Thought this moth was strikingly pretty when we were enjoying a gorgeous day at the Arboretum with our cousins.  That's all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Delicious Taste of Paris at the French Market

I bit into a pain au chocolat at the French Market on Saturday and was completely transported back to the streets of Paris.  This croissant was The. Same.  Just as good as anything we'd ever had in France, and loads better then any others here in the States.  Flakey, buttery layers that dissolve on your tongue and a fascinating chocolate "goo" in the inside that you just can't get enough of.
Ironically enough, it's one of the cheaper treats at the market, made by french nuns (not even kidding) at a bakery out of Elmhurst, I believe.  Only $2.35 for this baby.  Stop by their booth in the southern row of the French Market some Saturday morning and treat yourself to a taste of heaven.  

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Fall, from our house

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am in full FALL mode here.  We've had multiple evenings in the 40's now and you know what that means....fires in the fireplace!

Yeah, you know you wish you were here, cuddled up on the couch with a glass of red wine in your hand.

What would you do with 150 individually wrapped Snickerdoodles?

My little friend Eva is running for 8th grade class president.  Sam and I thought we'd aid her efforts with a blatantly devious plan to bribe the junior highers with food.  We'll know later today if it worked.  

Snickerdoodles (adapted from Gale Gand's recipe)

For the topping: 3 TB sugar & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon or your own cinnamon sugar, to taste

3 1/2 cups flour
1 TB. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 TB. light corn syrup
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

To make cookie dough, stir together the dry ingredients.  In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, cream the butter.  Add the sugar and continue to mix, adding the eggs one at a time and blending well.  Add corn syrup and vanilla.  Gently mix in the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.  Chill the dough for 1 hour.  

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll balls of dough into the size of a walnut and then roll them in cinnamon sugar a few times until well coated.  Place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 8-9 minutes, rotating tray halfway through baking.  

You can also form the balls, roll them in cinnamon sugar and place on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze until hard.  Then place all the balls in a ziplock bag and keep in the freezer, baking them normally, just out of the freezer as you need them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

CSA #7

This week we got the best tomato I've ever eaten (on a whole wheat toasted bagel, smeared with organic cream cheese, kosher salt and pepper), asian pears, peppers, an acorn squash, kohlrabi, greens and more kale.  Oh, and a garlic too.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Thankful

I am so thankful today.  Thankful that everyone is safe, except for the poor man who decided that life wasn't worth living anymore.

Thankful for golf, that kept Scott out of the office yesterday when a gunman disarmed a cop, ran into Wheaton Bank and took all 12 of the employees and a few customers in the lobby hostage.  From 1:30 pm until about 4:45 pm the whole city held its breath, waiting and watching to see what he would do.  Swat teams from the FBI and the County, strange looking green tanks and helicopters descended around the building.  All trains were shut down coming to and from Wheaton.

Thankful for Ruth Carlson, another senior commercial lender in the bank with Scott, who courageously and fearlessly talked the gunman into letting people go one by one, until he was left with just two, my cousin Christian and another woman named Kim.

Thankful for the incredible chain of prayer that started almost immediately...we and our family were receiving calls, emails and facebook messages from people all over the globe saying that they were praying right then.  

Thankful that everyone got out safe and unharmed, and that no one had to witness that final shot.

Thankful that day is over.  

Please pray for the family of Mr. Long, he had two little children (4 and 2) and a wife who are left to pick up the pieces.  And for the employees who lived through this ordeal and have to go back to work on Tuesday.

Yes, that is Scott up there in this photo from today's Chicago Tribune, and my cousin Christian is hugging Ruth, after finally making it out of there.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ahem.

Confession time.  

It's a rainy day out here, gray skies and a high of 64 degrees.  Good thing I pulled out all our fall decorations back on August 21st, so I was READY.

But I'm standing on a slippery slope here.  After getting home from Bible Study today I put Nat King Cole on our iPod and let it pick out songs from everything he's done.  The first five ones were from his Christmas Song album.  

And I?  I did not turn it off.  In fact I can still hear it from here, "silent night, holy night..."

How can something so wrong feel so right?  

Don't tell anyone but I may even make a fire tonight for when Scott comes home.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sweet and Sour Tempura Chicken

Ok folks, just got up from a super easy, SUPER delicious dinner tonight and I had to tell someone.  

Trader Joe's makes Tempura Chicken with a pineapple sweet and sour sauce in their frozen section.  For $6.99 (the bag easily fed two of us) it was BETTER then the PF Chang's we had last night.  Insanely good.  Crispy, flavorful, chicken breast that baked up on a cookie sheet, and then the sauce was finger-lickin' good.  

I paired it with Trader Joe's Asian Salad mix (mandarin oranges, wontons, spring greens and almonds) and it was divine.  You could just as easily toss the chicken with pineapple chunks and bell peppers and serve it atop some jasmine rice.

Had to share the love.  This may be my new favorite meal.  Scott also asked that it be added to the rotation.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A Future Interior Designer?

So the other day, I pulled out all our fall decorations during Sam's morning nap.  His eyes were like saucers when he woke up and saw all the various pumpkins, gourds, leaves and candles strewn about the house.  I knew we'd run into issues the first time he wanted to play with them, of course, so I was ready to calmly explain that these were not toys and that he needed to be gentle with them.

For about the next half hour Sam would pick up a pumpkin, bring it over to me in the kitchen, and show it to me, like, "Look what I found!!"  I told him to go put it back, and that it wasn't a toy.  

It wasn't until later when I saw how he'd neatly arranged them.  It cracked me up for some reason.