Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year in Perspective

2010 was a year of many trials, tribulations and yes, even happiness.

It was the year I was not working, which was heartbreaking for me but in the end a good rest of sorts.

A year that I got the most amazing job that has the potential for me to have my dream job and get me where I would like to be in life.

The year that I let go and really let my children be who they want to be and not care what everyone thinks - they are children and let them have their style.  It's only clothes, bracelets and hair for pete's sake.

The year I really explored my creativity and was not afraid to use it.

The year I made some life decisions and hopefully I can follow through with them.

Taught and gave examples to my children on how to help others less fortunate than we are.

Went through a week's vacation without fighting with my mom!  (That's a biggie)

Made some really awesome friends, ones I really would like to keep and build great friendships with.

Connected more with my temple and the community surrounding it.

The year hubby got a really great job and is finally happy with himself and looking forward to being with this new company.

Watched my daughter, completely on her own, donate her hair for "sick children" who don't have hair (her words).

Got a new camera

Hosted a joint family event that went really well (I do love having everyone around)

There are others I am sure but I do know that these here did come to mind first.  I feel like I did different sorts of growing this year and for that I am grateful.

I see from some of my blogging friends that it is okay to get away for a while with your girlfriends and I intend on doing that.  So, in the new year I plan to get away with my friends a little bit.  Starting next month.  This year is my big 4-0 and my philosophy is birthday week, month, etc.  Lots of friends are turning 40 so it should be a great year!  I am very excited.

I also made a bucket list.  It only has one thing on it but it is a start.  I want to live abroad for some time in my life.  I need to figure that one out.

I want everyone to have a wonderful, happy, safe and festive New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Blizz of 2010

Hey, haven't been feeling to great lately and actually coming out of my fog (been sick).

We have been hit with the Blizzard of 2010!

Quite crazy actually.

Snowed all day and night.

Looks like a winter wonderland now.

Took the kids sledding today.  They lasted quite a lot longer than I expected.  Now we are inside, nice and warm.

 Get them kids to do a little work

 Then some snow angel from the original angel

 Ready, set, go!

Momma it's cold out there

Now I am off get warm in front of the fireplace.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Long Time

I keep telling myself how to get on the stick and I don't follow through.  So, the week I am off from school I will set myself straight.

It's been crazy busy times here as of late.

Last week I had the massive party here and it went great.  We made the St. Peter's Fish and Israeli Cous Cous, actually my hubby and my dad made it and EVERYONE loved it.  They truly are wonderful cooks.

One thing about entertaining, I over prepare stuff.  Not over cook but over buy, over feed and ultimately have tons of left overs.

We didn't cook the 5 flatbreads I purchased, the spinach/artichoke dip and lord knows what else.  Hey it made for easy meal planning this week.

The kids had a blast and that is what counts.  I won a Fire Pit for our backyard in the gift exchange, yay me!

The recipes for the food were as follows (dad gave me a cheater method to speed things along).

St Peter's Fish
1 lb of fish (I use Salmon - you can use swordfish, halibut any hearty fish)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
small jar of capers
olive oil

In a 5 1/2 quart pot,  saute the onions and garlic until translucent (season with salt and pepper).  Add sauce to onions and garlic, simmer on low for 10 minutes then add about half a jar of capers. Add the fish to pot.  (if you do lots of fish you can transfer to a roasting pan and cook in the oven - it can bee cooked stovetop or in the oven).  My dad cooks it for 10-15 minutes but he likes his fish not fully cooked so I would say it took about 30 minutes to fully cook.  Plate up and serve with chopped cilantro on top. Serves 4 people.

Israeli Cous Cous with Mushrooms

1 cup Israeli Cous Cous (also called pearled cous cous)
I use the box variety, it is plain so I follow the directions on preparation on the box)
1 pint (small container) shitake mushrooms (you can use any type)
1/2 shallot
olive oil

Chop the mushrooms and saute in pot with chopped shallots, season with salt and pepper.  Add in Cous Cous to flavor it up.  Add the water and cook as per box instructions.  Serve with fish or any dish you desire.

I am sorry some of my recipes are not super technical and "perfect"  they are recipes we do at home and sometimes off the cuff so to speak.  They are tasty.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rainy Days and Sundays...

I know it's not the song but close enough, however I am not down just busy.

Today we will have both of our families over today for the holidays.  We couldn't do it last week since Maya was in the Nutcracker all weekend.  With Hubby's family we are 15 and I asked my parents and brother to come and then my other brother in law asked if his brother could come since he lives not too far from us.  Sure, the more the merrier!

I was out all day shopping with Maya.  It was nice to have a little time with just one, not schlepping two kids and no fighting in the car.  We also had a nice dinner out as a family.

Today I will be making St Peters Fish.  It is a Moroccan dish that my dad's family has made forever and my aunt actually makes it the best!  I have to convince my dad to make israeli cous cous with mushrooms.

We have some fabulous appetizers and desserts!  So it's a busy day.

Also in my shopping yesterday I got a new chandelier for my dining room, which today is actually our sitting room.  I am so happy to finally get that in (my brother in law is coming early to put that in).

I can't wait for everyone to come over but I have to get busy.

Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

8 Festive Nights

I am so happy this year with Hanukkah.

With my son going to Hebrew school and learning the traditions of our religion his motto or saying for this year's holiday was, "it's not about the presents."  I am so happy that he was able to realize this this year.

We even used a whole box of the candles, actually 2 boxes!  We did our candles every night, said our prayers and yes, gave gifts.

It was very nice for all of us to gather around our menorahs, say the prayers, light the candles and even sing songs.

This is what religion is all about to me.  The Traditions.  Like Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof, "Tradition!"

When we were getting married the cantor, the one who sings along with the rabbi during services asked my beloved and I if we were religious the two of us basically scoffed at the idea.  She had asked us seriously what we felt about religion.  The two of us being on the same page said we didn't like how religion, all of them basically told you what you needed to believe in and practice in such a such way.  We wanted to (and still do) want to teach our children about the traditions, the history behind our religion and let them decide how much or how little they choose to practice.

We by no means are very strict with our religion but our beliefs are in the right place.  We want our children to know where we come from and how to be good people.  I think that is what we all strive for, to be good people.

So, this holiday, this year my child showed a true interest in the holiday and what it truly meant and that is the greatest gift of all.

I wish each and ever y one of you a very happy holiday season - Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Something Spontaneous

Life is so busy sometimes and we really tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all. As you can see that's where I have been lately and not posting. I feel like my work is sucking the life out of me and my blogging. I want to do so much more but in the end I don't do it. So I have been thinking about where I want to take my blog.

I love my cooking, I want to do more decorating and I want to do my crafting. So I am going to take time each day to do a little something. Like this year was the first year that I actually made the potato latkes for my kids (one kid and the rest of the family said they loved them, then the other kid tells me that they were terrible because he could taste the very tiny bit of onion in it).

I am SWAMPED this weekend with The Nutcracker. My little girl is an angel in the show this year so it is a Nutcracker weekend.

So, hopefully in the next few weeks I will be sharing more with you what I am doing around this place and my crafts!
I need to get back to making the things I love.

So here's to a busy weekend and trying to do something spontaneous. Oh, I did do something spontaneous this weekend, on Friday a friend called me after 10 pm and asked me to come over for wine and cheese with some other ladies, I told her I was in bed. She said, come in your pjs and another friend has already poured your wine. So, I did and you know what? I had a great time and stayed until 1 am just hanging out with the ladies. AND I tried this awesome cheese I think it was pecorino and truffles (two of my favorites!). You know that will be served at our Hanukkah party next week.