Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Meal prep nesting

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I must be nesting big-time because in the last few days I have had a burst of energy and got a lot done.  And none too soon!!  I have been a little freaked out because I have absolutely NOTHING done in preparation for the new baby to come in August.  No tiny onsies washed, no car seat ready, nada. 
That needed to change!  And being that this is baby #3, there will be two other little people for me to take care of when I’m adjusting to a new little one in the household, so I was hoping to get some meals in the freezer ahead of time for those postpartum weeks of chaos.  Our local Rainbow Foods was having a good sale on chicken last week so I picked some up along with a book called Don’t Panic, Dinner’s in the Freezer from the library.  
Today, I spent about one and a half hours making 4 different recipes out of the book and I am so super excited to have 6 meals all ready to pull out of the freezer when I need them.  I have never made anything out of the books before so I hope the recipes are good (they seemed like they would be), but they were super easy so my time was well spent. 
It just makes me a little giddy to see all these meals ready for the day I will need them!
I plan to copy down the recipes that I have used so that if they are great I will have them for future cooking.  I did write very brief cooking instructions on the bags although that is probably mostly unnecessary.  One never knows though, I may be in such a sleep-deprived haze I may need them!!
I have some pork in the fridge I plan to do the same thing with.  Yay!
This nesting urge is definitely taking over my life!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our little getaway to Le Chateau

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A couple weeks ago my husband and I took a little weekend vacation sans children (well, except for the latest little bean which we just couldn’t leave behind!).  It was lovely.  We try to get away for a couple nights by ourselves every year which can be tricky, but this year in spite of our almost 2 year old getting sick the day before we left, it worked out. 
We went to a larger town a few hours away which was the perfect distance.  It didn’t require hours and hours of driving and it was in many ways very different from where we live. 
The first night we dined at a most interesting restaurant.  It is called Le Chateau and this is what you see when you pull up:
Isn’t it gorgeous?
This French restaurant is housed in a historic mansion and is run by two chefs, who are actually husband and wife.  The wife has a most exquisite French accent and is a most gracious hostess.  Her pronunciation of my husband’s name on the voicemail confirming our reservations is something worthy of imitation.  He agrees.  : ) 
The food is wonderful.  The menu is rather small, but what they do, they do well.  We started off our meal with an amuse-bouche of chilled asparagus veloute.  It was delicious;  I liked it better than my husband who is a bit skeptical of cold soup however.  Although I had heard of the term before, I thought our server told us that this was “Amish brew” when she brought it out to us and I had her repeat it.  I was wondering what on earth Amish brew was!!!
Then we got a platter of bread, whipped butter, and olive oil for dipping.  The bread was amazing!  There was the traditional French baguette and then a more flavorful foccaccia-type bread that was delicious dipped in olive oil. 
I ordered a salad as I was very very hungry.  It again was wonderful.  The flavors were not too intense yet were definitely not your average variety.  I love balsamic vinaigrette and it was perfect on this asparagus, tomato confit, snow pea, and spring green mix. 
(My husband is trying to decide what he should order!)
I ordered a pasta dish with scallops and was not disappointed.  Yum!!!!  The scallops were so succulent, and they went well with the fettucine and roasted red peppers.
So, so delicious and full of flavor.
My husband got the little neck clams with a wine sauce and angel hair pasta.  It was also delicious but being a scallop lover I, of course, preferred mine. 
His main dish came with a bowl of lemon water for finger cleansing:
I almost forgot!!!  Our surroundings!!  We had requested the Peacock Room and it did not disappoint.  What was especially lovely was that we had this room all to ourselves for most of our meal!!
IMG_4537 (Look at that floor!)
Behold the peacock:

Every touch was perfection.  This house was restored with great care.
I wish I had taken a picture of the ladies’ restroom!  It also was beautiful.
For our final course I chose a Pear Champagne sorbet.  I devoured it before I even took a picture.  It was so refreshing and delicate, just what I wanted after the meal.  My husband ordered a pear tart and it was also good, but just didn’t hit the spot like the sorbet did. 
We had excellent French pressed coffee with our dessert and my husband got all fancy and tried the brown sugar lumps. 
I enjoyed the meal!
We had a wonderful weekend, and this meal was one of the main highlights for me.  What fun!  I hope to go again. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

And then there was light!

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Lightness on the walls and ceiling, that is.  Oh, and we are allllmmooosst ready to put up the pendants, yay!
Our kitchen is looking different!
(Pardon my photography which makes this look completely crooked!)
(And the lack of cupboard doors which makes it look completely messy!)  :-)
The ceiling is painted, the walls are ready for painting (after 2.5 big tubs of drywall compound…I think I may have overdone it…and my husband who had to sand it due to my pregnant condition is sure I did!!).  All drawers are in, and I am in the process of finishing the doors too. 
We’re getting to the fun part!! 
But not quite yet.  (SAD face.)
We still have a little ways to go before the makeup can go on. 
But I can still look at the drawers and get a little fix of what is to come!
(Love these drawer pulls, and we got them for a great deal!!)

Aren’t they pretty??
I’m patiently perusing Craigslist, waiting for the perfect bar stools to come along.  They have to be a certain height, not swivel, and have backs (I don’t want the little ones falling off!).  I have all sorts of storage ideas too that are percolating in my brain.  We plan to put a built-in pantry on the far wall which will probably take forever to get built so until then I need to really consolidate my kitchen stuff.
It doesn’t help that I got a food processor (brand new!) and a food strainer while I was garage saling this weekend!! 
Now back to painting the doors…