Friday, February 27, 2015

For the Love of Ladurée

A Ladurée email featuring these Pucci Gift Boxes filled with Lemon Rose Macarons caught my eye...

Some of their other pastries look délicieux aussi...
Praline Millefeuille

Passionfruit & Raspberry Tart

Rose & Raspberry Religieuse

Chocolate Carre

Lemon Tart

And now I'm dreaming of Paris and Ladurée where the kind gentleman helping us gave my children macarons because he was so thrilled to hear them order in French!  They ate them up right after they said, Merci!

We saved a few for a Louvre power snack!

We clearly need to return since the Champs Élysées house was undergoing a massive renovation while we were visiting in 2012...

And of course because Paris is always a good idea!

Bon Weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday

A little TBT to What's the Scoop Wednesday...

The Juice Bar, Nantucket, MA 

 Ice Cream Machine, Cumberland, RI

Four Seas Ice Cream, Centerville, MA

Peaceful Meadows, Whitman, MA

Richardson's Ice Cream, Middleton, MA

Ono Gelato Company, Maui, HI

Bedford Farms Ice Cream, Bedford, MA

These were just a few of the places we visited for What's the Scoop Wednesday.  The kids and I had so much fun finding and trying new places.  We still love our ice cream and don't mind going out of the way for the homemade variety!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's Cooking Wednesday

Spanakopita Turkey Burgers
adapted from Rachael Ray

I am exactly 12.5% Greek and proud of it!  I love when I meet someone Greek, I may as well be 100% Greek, sharing family history and my burning desire to visit the homeland.  

If I have a chance to cook or bake something slightly Greek, I'm on it!  So when I found this recipe a few years ago, I was thrilled.  I tweaked it a bit and made it mine!

20 oz package ground turkey breast (99% fat free)
10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed or 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup feta crumbles

1.  Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix by hand.

2.  Form 4-5 patties with turkey mixture.

3.  Coat a skillet with non-stick spray or drizzle with EVOO, heat to medium-high and cook patties 5-7 minutes on each side. (I finish them off in the oven at 300 degrees just to make sure they're cooked throughout)

4.  Serve with buns, salad, fries sprinkled with oregano...whatever strikes your fancy.  Rachael includes an easy tzatziki recipe for the burgers too!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Ramblings

Have I mentioned the snow?  We have 2-5" forecasted for this evening...great!  We had some melting on Sunday with temps near 40, that was fantastic until it refroze forming an ice rink in front of my mailbox!

Since it's so cold and snowy out there, I'm getting lots done around the house!  I tackled my "laundry closet" this morning.  It's tucked away in our downstairs bath.  I'm always nervous that guests are going to peek in and see this disaster...
I know, not pretty!  I grabbed some contact paper for the shelves, a free printable that I found on Pinterest and some old crates from my college days and voila...
So much better and now I may even leave the closet doors open for my guests to admire!  This then spurred all sorts of organizing, the hallway closet got some love and attention as did under the kitchen sink.  I feel so accomplished!

I then decided to whip up some cookies for the kiddos, I love Two Peas & Their Pod for healthy and delicious recipes.  I made their Chocolate Nutella Cookies and plan to serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream tonight.  They look so dark and fudgy, I can't wait!

Alright that's it for now, I'll be back tomorrow with a recipe!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Menu Monday

Rowan and I are off to a Montessori school visit this morning, trying to decide if it might be a good fit.  Our older two were in full-time daycare preschool since I was still working at the time, but now we have some options.  Any Montessori fans out there?  I would love to hear your experiences...

So I'm popping in quickly with our weekly menu which I actually still need to shop for today!

Monday-  leftovers (clean out the freezer)
Tuesday- Applegate Turkey Dogs, Homemade Cole Slaw & Baked Beans
Wednesday- Spinach, Tomato & Provolone Stromboli with Salad
Thursday- Chicken & Veggie Enchiladas with Mexican Rice
Friday- Spinach and Tomato Mac n' Cheese
Saturday- out, Chinese New Year Party
Sunday- dinner @Mom & Dad's

Have a great day!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thinking Summer

Believe it or not once February rolls around I really do start thinking about summer.  Not just because I'm longing for warmer temps or because retailers start rolling out shorts and bathing suits, but more because summer activity registrations start opening up.

2015 will mark our fourth summer on Nantucket, we started out renting a house for week, then two weeks and eventually realized that we may as well just pay a monthly mortgage.  While Islanders refer to us as "summer people", I like to think we are winter, spring, summer and fall people.  We love to go year round, I especially enjoy the beauty of the Island off-season and of course the lack of crowds!

What I love most about summers on Nantucket is the variety of activities it affords us as a family and specifically our children...
     Surf School
Friday Tie-Dye at Children's Beach

Summer 2015 is shaping up to be our best yet!  The bigs kids are both registered for junior golf.  Riley is registered for a teen naturalist program that will eventually allow him to volunteer with the Maria Mitchell Association, he's also taking a one week sailing course after loving it at Boy Scout camp last year.  Reagan will be involved with a summer-long production of Shrek the Musical and will hopefully weave her second lightship basket.  Rowan will be my co-pilot as we shuttle the big kids around the Island!  Actually we hope to take advantage of some of the toddler programming at the Atheneum and the Nantucket Conservation Foundation FIELD Days.

In between all of these scheduled activities, we'll hit the beach, pool and bike paths!  We're also looking forward to catching up with the Tickled Pink Talk crew, without whom we would not know about many of these activities!

So the countdown is on, we'll be ACK-bound in just 4 months, hopefully the snow will be gone by then!  Are you making summer plans yet?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Surviving the Snowpocalypse

Spring may only be a month away, but it's going to be a long time before we see the ground in these parts. We are buried in snow and more is forecasted for later today.  After growing up in South Florida for 8 years, I really have never embraced winter which makes this all the more torturous.  While I enjoy the change of seasons, I'm truly a summer gal who would be content to sport Lilly and Jacks all year long!

I seriously feel like I have a "snow uniform" and unfortunately fashion is taking a backseat to warmth and practicality!  Here is one of my typical snow day ensembles...
I switch it up between J. Crew leggings and J. Crew toothpick jeans paired with either a tunic or a chunky sweater layered over a tissue t-shirt.  Then come my winter of 2015 MVP, my Sorel Tofino boots!  I top it off with the jacket below and I'm ready to roll...if I can get out of my driveway!

The only good thing about this snow is that I'm getting lots of little projects around the house done, I'm currently working on my craft area in the basement.

What's your winter weather like?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's Cooking Wednesday

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo and Mini King Cakes

Despite having never been to New Orleans (it's on the list), we enjoy a good Mardi Gras meal!  I usually go with Jambalaya, but decided to mix it up this year and try a gumbo recipe.  We had shrimp Friday night, so after scouring Pinterest I came up with chicken and sausage gumbo.  I worked from two recipes to create this one.

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats and Moms with Crock Pots 

1-1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and diced or shredded
12-16 oz package Andouille sausage, sliced
3T vegetable oil
3T flour
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup okra, sliced ( I used Goya frozen)
1 rainbow pepper pack, diced
3 cloves garlic, mined
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1.  Heat 1 T of vegetable oil in a large sauce pan and add sliced sausage.  Cook 5-7 minutes over medium-high heat. 
2.  Remove sausage from pan and set aside with cooked chicken.

3.  Add remaining 2 T of vegetable oil to pan along with the 3 T of flour, whisk together over medium heat.  Add diced vegetables and cook 5 minutes until slightly tender.  Add garlic.

4.  Slowly stir in chicken broth, paprika and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil.

5.  Turn down heat, add chicken and sausage.  Simmer for and hour.

I served it with Texmati Rice.  The recipe makes 8 healthy servings, we have leftovers in the freezer now!

We finished off with Mini King Cakes from The Virtuous Wife, these received rave reviews from the family!  I tweaked the recipe by using reduced fat crescent rolls, reduced fat cream cheese and cutting the sugar that goes into the cream cheese mixture by half...they were still super sweet because of the glaze.

Did you celebrate Mardi Gras?