My One Day

During the camp season, I get ONE day off and only one (ok, some years its 2). This year, my one day off for the 4th of July holiday was today! How did I spend said day off?

Let’s see…  I slept in until *gasp* 8:00 a.m! It was the first morning since school let out that I didn’t wake up with a stuffy nose and/or sore throat, so that put a great tone on my day. I wrote my post about last night (Congrats again Adam!), and then headed out to my local farmers’ market.

I’ve lived in this area almost 3 years, and I’d never been! The main reason? Well, it’s only on Friday mornings! I’m so rarely off on Friday mornings, so I took advantage. I’m so glad I did! It is a lovely, albeit small, market full of local produce, baked goods, flowers, and even dog treats! There were a lot of stands with this:

DSCN3288Only one with these lovely (and quite pricey!) Ranier cherries. They’re my sister’s favorite!

DSCN3289And a couple with these amazing red cherries. I ended up getting 2 pints of dark sweet cherries, and one pint of tart cherries for my mom.

DSCN3291DSCN3290 

I learned something while at the farmers market! There’s a winery in a suburb right near where I work! There was a very nice guy from the winery at the market, and he let me taste (at 10 a.m.!) a few of their wines and blends. I wanted to get something fun for our BBQ tomorrow, so I selected this delicious sangria:

DSCN3292Also, since I so rarely remember to do this for myself, I bought 3 beautiful bunches of gladiolas to have in the house. Fresh flowers make me happy! There were so many stems, I had to divide them between 2 vases… ok, one vase and one ginormous beer mug.

DSCN3293 While I was trimming the stems on the flowers, I heard a ruckus outside near the mailbox. Since there’s a carnival going on down the street, there’s a lot of people around, so I went to check it out. The ruckus was the mail carrier! She was trying to get a small package into the box! What was it? Anyone recognize this?

DSCN3294I was so excited!!! It was a package of 6 of the most delicious and amazing raw macaroons from Gina!!!!!! I seriously couldn’t even wait to finish opening the rest of my mail before I tried one two.

DSCN3295Please ignore the freakishly long hand and pay attention to the gorgeous coconutty goodness! Thanks SO MUCH GINA!!!

The rest of the day (literally, from the time I ate the macaroon until we left for dinner) was spent cleaning the house. We rented a Rug Doctor and steam cleaned the carpets, vacuumed, cleaned the bathrooms, scrubbed the kitchen… it’s so nice to have a clean house! We were FAMISHED after the cleaning marathon, so we decided to have a traditional Sushi Friday!

We started with asparagus goma-ae. Usually, this is made with spinach, but this was a new menu item so we decided to try it. It was delicious, but we much prefer the spinach version. The 2 sauces are different colors of sesame seeds mixed with various other ingredients.

IMG00022-20090703-1953Adam decided to get hot food as opposed to sushi, so he got tonkatsu (a crispy pork cutlet) on top of Japanese style spaghetti. So beyond delicious!

IMG00026-20090703-2007I opted for sushi. I got a crazy roll (a huge roll with salmon, tuna, yellowtail, scallion, lettuce, avocado, cucumber, and masago fish eggs), a haru maki (a delicious crunchy spicy tuna roll), and Adam got a tamago (omelet on rice). Doesn’t that big roll look like my Blogroll button over there —> ????

IMG00027-20090703-2009 The cleaning will continue this evening as we scrub the kitchen in preparation for the BBQ tomorrow! Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a patriotic Cute Food Saturday!!! Have a great Friday night everyone!

 

Posted in Asian, dinner out, sushi | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

TWO Teachers???

Sorry for the lack of post last night… Adam and I were out celebrating!

Celebrating what, you might ask?

Well, when Adam got laid off in October, he spent months looking for work to no avail thanks to this lovely economy. About 3 months ago, he really started thinking about what he wanted to do… and came to the conclusion that another corporate/office job was not what he wanted to do with his life. So what to do? The immediate answer was “be a teacher.” Apparently, it was originally what he had thought about doing, but went to college for business instead. After getting information about what he needed to do to get into a teacher education program, Adam registered for a 5-hour test that Illinois requires to GET IN to a teacher education program. He took the test on June 6.

He got the results yesterday.

HE PASSED!!! Starting in the fall, he’ll be taking classes to become a teacher, and this will become a 2-teacher household! I can’t even imagine the number of red pens and papers to grade in this house once he’s teaching full time… but I’m SO proud of him and beyond excited that he’ll be doing what he wants to do with his life. I love you, Adam!!

Needless to say, we had celebrating to do, and what better way than with food? There’s a seafood place near us that used to be a Joe’s Crab Shack but got sold… so now it’s Moe’s Crab Shack. They have a similar menu, no cheesy rolls (a good thing) and slightly smaller portions (also a good thing.) My camera and phone were both battery drained from camp, so Adam did the photography on his G1 phone.

Now, let me tell you all… we almost didn’t take a picture of our appetizer. It is not the usual thing we eat. But, part of this blog is accountability, so yes. We got crab balls (no, not THAT part of the crab… balls made OUT of crab) that came with fries. And they were delicious. And fried.

Yup. SO not good for us

Yup. SO not good for us

Then, we each got the same steamed dinner to counteract (ok, faulty logic but whatever) the friedness of the appetizer. Each of us had a SteamPot full of 2 kinds of crab legs, peel-and-eat shrimp, red potatoes, corn, and one small piece of Andouille sausage.

It was a lot of work to eat!

It was a lot of work to eat!

The whole thing was dusted with Old Bay (which immediately made me think of Rose) and all the hand-washing and wet naps in the world couldn’t get the smell out! I think I finally smell normal this morning.

Today, I’m actually off from camp, but I know you LOVE the camper quotes so much, so here ya go, as said by a 4-year-old while watching Ice Age 3 yesterday: “Hey Mara! If I draw faces on the eggs in my fridge, will they turn into dinosaurs too? Cuz that would be scary and cool!”

I’m off to the Farmer’s Market now (my first time to my town’s market!) and then Adam and I are in for a marathon cleaning session! There’s sure to be a post tonight, Cute Food Saturday tomorrow, and a BBQ recap Sunday morning.

Have a great Friday!


Posted in dinner out, family, fish or seafood | Tagged , | 22 Comments

My Hero!

This is going to be short and sweet, because well, as usual, I’m beat! Today, we headed to Miller Park in Milwaukee for the Brewers vs. Mets game.

DSCN3279

Miller Park has a retractable dome

1.5 hours in a school bus each way, a game with 2 teams that I really don’t care about, and 6 adorable 4-year-olds? It was definitely a good time!

My campers zipped themselves (2 of them at a time) into my sweatshirt.

Faces have been obscured to protect the adorable

Faces have been obscured to protect the adorable

Over 2 gallons of nacho cheese was spilled by various campers, somehow finding its way onto pants, jackets, faces, fingers and hair.

I hung out with these guys (co-directors, friends, and bosses for the last 10 years)

Good Times Camp directors

Good Times Camp directors

But, who’s my hero? Why Adam of course! I came home to this deliciousness:

SUBWAY!

SUBWAY!

It had loads of veggies on it, as well as turkey… much needed nutrition after my ball park bratwurst today!

YUM!

YUM!

Toldja, short and sweet! Have a great evening and a fabulous Thursday!

Posted in dinner out, friends | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Steps to a Great Tuesday

Step 1: Start out the day with sunshine and cool temperatures, cool enough in fact, for a sweatshirt.

Step 2: Keep the temperatures cool enough so that a chalk drawing contest could produce this masterpiece without the threat of a water fight:

DSCN3257Step 3: Be taken, due to the temperatures, to a movie instead of swimming!

Step 4: Treat 5 campers to popcorn and watch their eyes light up.

Step 5: Spend the afternoon at a forest preserve watching said 5 campers chase butterflies and bullfrogs

Step 6: Come home to create a great dinner in 6 steps:

  1. Lay down a La Tortilla Factory foundation:

    DSCN3261

  2. Top with torn basil leaves: DSCN3262
  3. Top that with fresh sliced tomato: DSCN3263
  4. Add sauteed chicken (preferably with garlic): DSCN3264
  5. Then, top with halved fresh mozzarella balls: DSCN3265
  6. Last, wrap it up, heat in a pan, halve and enjoy! DSCN3267

I’m calling this one a Chicken Caprese Wrap (you know, because of the whole tomato, mozzarella, basil combo, then I added chicken… creative, I know!)

Step 7: Come home to a relaxing evening with my love, my pets, good food, and a comfy couch.

Tomorrow, we’re taking our entire camp up to Milwaukee for the Brewers vs. Mets game… I don’t know who to root for, being a Cubs fan! It will be a good time, no matter what though!

Today’s camper quote of the day: So, when I was really little, like before I was born, I peekeded out of mommy’s belly button because I wanted to watch Monsters, Inc. No, really! I remember! It was like a liiiiitttlllleeee tunnel.” 

Have a wonderful evening!

 

 

Posted in chicken/turkey, Italian, simple recipe | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Bistec a la Parrilla con Lima y Chile

Circle the calendar, folks! It’s Monday night and guess what?? I COOKED DINNER! While yes, camp was just as tiring as it always is, I had prepared ahead and made sure that we had enough ingredients in the house to make multiple meals this week. Granted, one of the meals this week is “just” going to be pasta with sauce, but tonight, I had a major desire to grill out. The beautiful weather helped, thats for sure!

Tonight, I made (in case you couldn’t translate the title) Grilled steak with lime and chile. I’m a HUGE fan of the chili-lime combo, and I’ve even made a chile-lime pork tenderloin but this one had a bit of a different technique. The main difference was the fresh lime juice (limes were $0.05 a piece!) and chopped garlic instead of crushed. So, here’s my recipe for:

Bistec a la Parrilla con Lima y Chile

IngredientsDSCN3242.JPG  

  • 1 1.5 lb. flank steak, trimmed
  • juice of 5 fresh limes
  • zest of one lime
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper

Directions

Combine all ingredients except the steak in a shallow pan or ziplock bag. Score the steak against the grain about 5 times on each side, then add the meat to the marinade. Allow to marinate at least 30 minutes up to 3 hours. Grill on a hot grill until cooked to your liking, though for flank steak, medium to medium-well is perfect. Slice against the grain, and serve with fresh corn tortillas.

I made some grilled red peppers to go with this delicious steak, and ate strips of peppers with the steak wrapped up in the warm tortillas. Seriously a great meal! This meat would’ve been great by itself, but these tortillas we got yesterday really made the meal. There may or may not have been was also a McD’s hot fudge sundae as dessert… it was cold, fudgy, and just what I was craving!

Now, meet our new friend, won today at Safari Land to keep us company. His name is Mr. Monkey. Say hello, Mr. Monkey!

monkey

Mr. Monkey took about 30 rounds of the game “Smokin’ Token” to win (which, has a total double entendre for its name that I JUST got… did you get it?) He kept me company on the bus ride home, and is now happily living on our sofa. Mr. Monkey, just so you know, has a “big face” and “floppy tail” and was hugged by each and every camper on their way out today. (note to self, Lysol Mr. Monkey.)

Tomorrow, dinner will take a bit of a trans-Atlantic flight to Italy… bet you can’t wait!

Camper quote convo of the day: Camper 1: “Mara, I know we just eated lunch, but can we get pizza? And cotton candy? And soda?” Camper 2: “No, silly, we don’t have enough tokens to buy that stuff! Lets just play games.” Camper 1: “Ok!”

Mara Out.


Posted in beef, grilling, simple recipe | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments