We had A TON of candy leftover from Halloween. This was our first Halloween in our new house, and we had no idea that only one group of kids would ring our doorbell for candy. Two weeks later and we still have bags of candy in our cupboards. So when I was assembling a s’mores bar for a party we had this weekend, an idea hit me: candybar s’mores! The mini Hershey’s bars are obviously perfect for this, but I also added peanut butter cups, Crunch bars and Kit Kats.
I completely failed to take any pictures at our party, but here are a few pre-party shots of the set-up. I think the Reese’s peanut butter cups were the party favorite. We’ll definitely be trying this again … especially since we still haven’t eaten all of our candy.
In addition to the farm-to-table style dinner with Outstanding in the Field, our recent trip to the west coast included a meal at The French Laundry, one of three restaurants owned by Thomas Keller in Yountville, CA. Just across the street from the restaurant is a large organic garden, which supplies many of the vegetables featured on the menu.
Last night I returned from my ‘culinary adventure’ with my close friend Tara. Over the course of 5 days, we visited Napa, San Francisco and the Santa Cruz area, eating and drinking quite a bit along the way. My favorite meal was a farm-to-table style dinner at the Everett Family Farm organized by Outstanding in the Field.
Here are a few scenes from our evening touring the farm and enjoying an amazing dinner prepared by local chef, Santos Majano.
I tried my Kitchenaid ice cream maker for the first time last week, and I have a feeling we’re going to be enjoying lots of ice cream this summer. My first batch was vanilla ice cream and then I moved on to sorbet. My favorite was definitely the sorbet, which I made with a mix of watermelon and peach. Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 1/2 small watermelon, cubed
- 2 large peaches, chopped
I started by mixing the sugar, water and lime over medium heat until the sugar was completely dissolved. I pureed the watermelon and peaches together in a blender. I removed the water mixture from the heat and let it cool slightly, then I added the fruit mixture. I placed this in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Next, I blended and froze the mixture using a Kitchenaid ice cream attachment and placed in the freezer for a couple of hours before eating.
Schools ends this week, which means the summer season is about to begin. This summer feels different than ones in the past. When the kids were younger, they spent most of their time at home, so the transition from spring to summer went by nearly unnoticed. This year, Jason attended kindergarten and Jenna was in pre-K, so they are about to experience their first “summer break.”
I want to start things off right, so in my usual planning ways, I decided to make a list of activities I definitely don’t want to forget. I also asked everyone in the family to come up with their own lists, which resulted in varying degrees of success. The conversation with Jason, for example, ended with him asking to visit the Louvre.
Here’s what made my list:
- Make homemade ice cream: As of this weekend, I can check this one off my list. Although now that I know how easy it is, I’ll be making more and more!
- Attend a concert in the park: The Fort Worth Botanical Garden hosts a series with the FW Symphony. Last year we attended a Beatles performance, but this year, we’ve got our sights on the Star Wars Laser Show.
- Have an outdoor movie night: This will likely also be an “epic” Star Wars event, to use an adjective my son has recently learned.
- Go to a (good) farmer’s market: We have a nearby farmer’s market that we’ve visited a few times. The produce selection is always so-so and the highlight is a Dallas bakery that makes the rounds to the markets-in-the-suburbs. There is something wrong about visiting the farmer’s market and only walking away with cookies and a loaf of bread, no?
- Help Jenna publish her first book: Jenna has been asking a lot of questions about how books are “colored” and has even mentioned wanted to make her own “real book,” so I’m hoping to publish a collection of her drawings this summer.
Anyone else making a list of summer not-to-miss activities?
I’ve been in full-on vacation planning mode the past few days. In less than two weeks, I’m heading out on what has been dubbed a ‘wine and culinary adventure’ with my great friend, Tara. The trip includes stops in Napa, San Francisco and Santa Cruz, but planning the Napa portion has been my focus this week. I can’t wait! Here are a few spots on our itinerary:
The French Laundry / Oakville Grocery / Silver Oak / Kara’s Cupcakes / Hotel Yountville / Cakebread
Happy Food Revolution Day! In celebration of real food, I thought I would share a few summer recipes that I’m hoping to try soon:
Recipes 01 / 02 / 03 / 04
It was a bit of a whirlwind week for us, and I was disappointed that, aside from making Valentine’s for J+J’s school parties, we didn’t have a chance to celebrate Valentine’s Day. In fact, I don’t even remember what we had for Valentine’s Day dinner, but I do recall very distinctly that I had wanted to bake a cake or cookies and never found the time. So on Friday night, I decided it was never too late for cake, not even a heart-shaped cake. And on Saturday morning, we had the best-ever pound cake made from this recipe that I shared a few weeks ago when we made cake pops. Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!
I tried a new recipe for veggie burgers this weekend, and since I had extra beets on hand, I decided to try to dye some dry pasta pink. It wasn’t as easy as I expected, but here’s how it went down:
I started by cutting one large beet into cubes. I put the beets in a pot of water, brought it to a boil and then added the whole wheat pasta bows. Once the pasta was almost al dente, I turned off the heat and let the beets and bows soak for just over an hour. At first I didn’t think the pasta was ever going to absorb the beet color, but after giving up and going to the park, I returned and found a pot full of vibrantly colored bows.
Recent Instagram Pics: Barn doors at the Fort Worth Stockyards, Pencil and ruler heart spotted in the Bishop Arts District, Sunshine in Keller, Nutella Swirl Pound Cake
It’s been a pretty low-key week around here, with the exception of Jason’s very first field trip. His kindergarten class visited the Fort Worth Stock Show, something we’ve never done in the 5 years of living in DFW. I tagged along and have to say, I don’t think I’ll be heading back anytime soon. Guess I’m not much of a farm girl. Based on our conversation later, I don’t think Jason is eager to return either. He cited the egg juggling act and the bus ride as his favorite parts of the trip, with extra emphasis on the bus ride.
A few other favorites from my week: