Monday, February 7, 2011

Sunny Sunday

This weekend was so beautiful.  Beautiful-beautiful-beautiful.  Sandals and t-shirts; soaking up lots of vitamin-D at the baseball fields; standing outside at 5:00 am in barefeet and a tank top, waiting for our pup her was glorious!  It won't last (and I'll be grateful when the rains come, I am so sensitive to drought-like conditions!) but it was amazing and wonderful to throw open all the windows, and settle into our home.  The weather dictated spring cleaning, and I obliged, in-so-much as I cared to. :)

(There was a moment, after the sun went down, when it reminded me so much of being a teen-ager, I swear...I'm going to try to describe it, but it may be particular to my own memories:  if you've been at the beach all day, and then you come home and it's not a hot summer night, it's just a regular summer evening that cools down, and then you realize that your shoulders and your cheeks are still warm from a day in the sun, and you're still wearing a beach cover up and a swimsuit with flip flops, but it's colder now, and the cool evening air only seems colder than it is, because of the salt water from the ocean drying on your sunburn...that feeling?  You know that feeling?  I totally had it last night! ~ and yes, I totally thought of my friend Tracy :)

The "teen" feeling quite stopped there, my friends, as I spent most of the morning in my kitchen!  I stocked my jars and my buckets with flour and sugar and oats and seeds.  I made pancake mix and muffin mix and corn bread mix.  And then I cooked...
 I'm pretty sure I've perfected my Laurel's Kitchen granola recipe.  We LOVE it with LOTS of nuts (this batch has walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds) and LESS wheat germ.  It is crunchy and beautiful, and absolutely perfect with Greek yogurt and a teaspoon (read: tablespoon) of honey.  One of Tommy's favorite treats is to dip a banana in honey and then roll it in granola.  He calls it 'banana pop crunch' and I am so glad to have a fresh batch.
 As I was pulling the granola out of the oven and cooling it before storing it, I was also browning some ground beef with a jar of our summer-tomato-sauce to add to the calzones (below), and I was also getting ready to rinse some assorted soup beans and cut up potato and carrots for the crockpot.  (The soup was finished for lunches today, and it was yummy!  No recipe, just throw any root veggies and dried beans you like in the crockpot with either 6 - 8 cups of chicken or beef broth ~ a mix of both, for us, because we didn't have enough of either, plus some plain water, because we really didn't have enough of either! ~ some salt and pepper and a couple of bay leaves with oregano and whatever spices you like, then cook it on low for 8 - 10 hours (9 for me!).  I added chicken sausage, heated through at the end, for Erik and we loved it.)
 My favorite pyrex bowl.  But I say that about them all...

 I used the calzone recipe from Gina, and it worked like a charm!  (If you're at all interested in learning to make for the first time, and/or expanding your bread repertoire, I highly recommend her whole series that she's been writing!  I've made the Miracle Bread too, and you better believe I'm dying to try her sweet dough and the freezing method she describes...)

 They were really just for the boys, and while they cooked, I whipped up a dressing for the grilled ahi salad Erik and I had for dinner...AND lunch.  :-/  The dressing is delish ~ just equal parts lemon juice and dijon mustard, a few tablespoons of olive oil (I guess; I don't measure), salt and pepper to taste, and some diced onion (red is better, but, theme here, we didn't have red so I used white) all whisked together.  I use the same dressing for most salads, with some added crushed garlic.  
It was the perfect meal for the sunny day.

I could have added the obligatory long-shot of my completely destroyed kitchen, as you know that I cannot cook even the simplest meal without a total catastrophe from top to bottom, but the calzones were so beautiful...let's leave it that, shall we?

Tell me...what's happening in your kitchen?  Are you enjoying your weather...whatever it looks like?!


  1. Kitchen = excellent, need to use it more. Weather = yucky. We missed school AGAIN today (11 days so far this school year) for almost no snow so now we have to go on Saturday. I'm so done with this winter. :P
    I L-O-V-E your pyrex bowl. It would be my favorite too. I have some cool ones, but that blue is just so lovely!

  2. Thanks Nancy! I would love to see pics of the new kitchen :) I'm a kitchen kind of gal. Plus, apparently, I'm nosy. Ahem. I always thought 'snow days' sounded never occurred to me that you'd have to actually MAKE THEM UP. Totally not down with that. Not at all. :-/ I would love to find more of these blue bowls, in every size, but I'm never the guy who finds them for "a dollar at a rummage sale, OMG!!!" haha