February 25, 2010

The SCD Kids Rock my World!!

I apologize for the lack of posting this past week! I have been in Ardmore with the SCD Kids and The Crazy Lady my Mommy.

My dance kids are AMAZING!! I love them like they were all my younger siblings. Some of them I have known since they were born and others entered my life through dance alone. Whether I have known them for one year or sixteen I truly love them and would do anything for them. They are just those kinds of kids.

This past weekend they went to dance convention in Dallas. They were fantastic!! They worked hard in all of their classes and rocked in competition that evening. For those of you that don't know what dance convention is, here is a break down of the weekend. Dance Classes all day Saturday & Sunday with a competition on Saturday night.
Only our Elite kids were required to attend but most of the kids came this weekend any way! I was pumped!! They were so freaking precious and had such great attitudes! It was nice to see them all enjoying their time on the dance floor and really going for it! 

Congrats to my awesome kids!! Sorry I cannot be at the next two competitions but I am sure you will rock them as well!!

February 15, 2010

Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup

Every Sunday Stud Muffin and I cook a new dish. This Sunday just happened to be Valentine's Day and since we were going to Brunch and then to get massages we decided to cook this the night before!!

I am sure that this doesn't sound like the best soup to some people but I really enjoyed it!!

 3 tablespoons butter (or in my case soybean margarine)
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 1/4 cups peeled &; sliced carrots
2 apples
1 cup water
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled &; chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
1/4 cup orange juice

First the chopping process (which for me is painful). So, I thought that I would post Stud Muffins beautiful chopping skills. He is a fantastic prep cook and it saves me many a band-aide.

After all the chopping has been done...
In a large Dutch Oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.

Add onion and cook about 2 minutes or until tender.

Stir in carrots. Cook for 3 minutes.

Peel, core and chop one of the apples. Stir the chopped apple, broth, the water, sweet potatoes and allspice into the carrot mixture.

Bring to boiling: reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile for garnish (I apologize, I forgot to take pics of this part). Finely chop the remaining apple. In a small skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the finely chopped apple and cook about 5 minutes. Stir in orange peel. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cool soup slightly. (as you can see I skipped the cooling step) and blend until smooth. If you use a blender you will need to let the soup cool a bit and then blend in sections. I use a hand blender and leave it in the original saucepan. This just means less dishes for me later and fewer steps in the process.

Once soup is smooth add orange juice and simmer for about 5 minutes. Top each serving with apple-orange peel mixture and serve!

It was fantastic!!

Happy Valentine's Day! (a day late)

Hope everyone enjoyed their Valentine's Day yesterday!

I was so busy last week that I haven't really had a chance to blog! So sorry!

So since I missed yesterday's list of favorites... here is my list of 5 things we did yesterday that I loved!

1. Brunch!! Our favorite meal of the day!
2. Massages at Bliss!! Need I say more!
3. We watched a movie together! 500 Days of Summer. I really enjoyed it.
4. We made dinner together!!
5. Spent the entire weekend (not just the day) enjoying each others company. Nothing like spending the day with my favorite person in the world!!

February 9, 2010

Up In The Air

As many of you already know, I am in the airport as much as my own home. And the security process seems to change on a pretty regular basis. And for the most part I am very sensitive to the process.

Last Friday I posted this on my facebook page, "Okay lady, YOU may be an expert traveler but the children with you are not! You need to go through family security please." And boy did this apparently offend quite a few people!

I received all sorts of comments (and mostly through message) about how I just wouldn't understand what it was like to fly with a child. One of my dear friends told me that I should learn to have patience with the people with children. Another told me that until I have one of my own not to judge and so on and so on.

Here's the thing. I have no problem with noisy screaming children on my flight. My ears give me insane trouble and I can only imagine what it is like to not know how to pop them or express the feeling. I also don't mind when children just need a little time to play on flights. I traveled as a kid and know that I must have been the same way. I didn't mind standing behind children in the security line when it was all one big line but... now is a different story.

To expedite the security screening process, they now have 3 lines. Families & Special
Assistance, Casual Traveler & Expert Traveler. Now, when I tell you that I have patience for people traveling with children it does not mean that I have patience for the woman in front of me who got in the expert traveler lane with her 3 kids. One of which decided that taking off his shoes was not an option and had a melt down. I do think it is a bit crazy that a 2 year old must walk alone through the metal detector and present his boarding pass. I mean, at least let the kid hold Mommy's hand.

However, I stick to my statement and feelings. You have your own line now lady. I would not stare daggers into your back if you chose to go through security in the appropriate lane. While when traveling alone you may be an expert, today you are not. And just for the record, if ever I have a child, we will use the family lane when we go through security. That is why it is there.

February 8, 2010

Chunky Tomato Basil Soup with Basil Dumplings

Brian and I make soup on Sundays and this one is my favorite so far! It was delicious!!
Like last week's soup I got this recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Soup Magazine.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
Fresh Basil Sprigs (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, shallot & garlic; cook about 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently.

Add broth, carrot, celery, red pepper, lemon juice & sugar. Bring to boil, reduce heat.

Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Cool slightly. (do not drain)

Transfer 1/2 of the vegetable mixture to a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth. Repeat with remaining vegetable mixture. (I left mine in the pot as one portion and blended with a hand held blender.)

Stir in un-drained tomatoes.

Cook, uncovered, over low heat about 10 minutes. Stirring often.

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

In a small bowl, combine flour, basil, salt & baking powder.

In a separate bowl, beat 1 egg with a fork & add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Stirring until mixed.

Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, beat until a soft, sticky dough forms.

While the soup is heating, fill a dutch oven (or in my case, a saucepan) half-full with water; bring to boil. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, drop Basil Dumpling dough into boiling water.

Cook for 4 to 5 minutes (start timing after dough rises to the surface) or until a toothpick inserted into dough comes out clean.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the dumplings; drain in a colander. Rinse dumplings under cold running water; drain again.

Add 1/2 of the Basil Dumplings to soup in saucepan; heat through.

Ladle into soup bowls. Top with remaining Basil Dumplings. Add fresh basil sprigs as garnish.
We had our awesome soup with grilled cheese as well. Mmm...Mmm...Good.

And, when I tell you I am spoiled by my Stud Muffin, I am spoiled! This is a pic of him cleaning the kitchen!! Ahh....

February 7, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

This week's list of 5 things that make me happy...

  1. Mani/Pedi: I could get one of these every single day. Really. I am not too sure why but I have always been obsessed with my nails looking good. However, I think it has something to do with a scene from Gone With the Wind. The pedicure doesn't normally last too long for a dancer and I always go through a big schpeal with the lady about why I like my callused feet but that massage feels oh so good!
  2. Hot Chocolate: If you know me... you know I love hot cocoa. I normally add a little peppermint schnapps to it. And I recently discovered the chocolate candy cane by Hersheys. Use that as a stirrer and I am set.
  3. Massages: I swear if I had listened to all my teachers (my mother) when I was a teenager in dance I don't think I would hurt so bad. I was horrible to my body. I would kick my face at 8am without stretching!! Now, I can't even get out of bed with out things cracking. (I am not even 30 so this is BAD.) It is not just that I love massages, I actually NEED them!
  4. A Good Book: Give me a good book and I am a really happy girl. And, I would assume so are all the people I talk to death when I am bored!
  5. Red Red Wine: I love me so red wine. After a long day, nothing beats coming home to a nice glass of Shiraz or Pinot Nior. Mmmmm.... think I'll have some now.


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