Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How To Make Pesto

Pesto is a staple in my house...we eat it on sandwiches, in eggs, on burgers, on fingers, on toes.

Seriously...it's that good!

It helps if you have a basil plant but if you don't...buy some at the market.  No problema!  You'll also need pine nuts (I buy 'em already toasted at Trader Joe's because...well, why not?), grated parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil.

Dump everything, except for the olive oil, into a food processor.  Or, if you want to buff up your arms you can use a mortar and pestle.

Me?  I like wimpy arms.


Pulse it all together.

Take a sip of Sangria.

(ok...you don't HAVE to do this step, but at the time I felt it was necessary for my emotional well being.)


Add olive oil and pulse again.


3 cups basil
1/2 cup grated parmesan (the good stuff)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted 
2 garlic cloves
pinch of salt
3/4 cup olive oil
Throw everything but olive oil into a food processor.  Pulse together until chunky.  Add olive oil and pulse again.  Store in the fridge for up to a week.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Lime Truck

I've talked a few hundred times about food trucks and especially about our favorite food truck of all...The Lime Truck.  Run by super cool guys, Daniel and Jason, their food is absolutely amazing...you'd never guess that you were eating 'truck' food.

(The Lime Truck)
Lately we had noticed that the menu was staying the same and while still great, that little spark that makes the Lime Truck the Lime Truck was missing...as were  our favorite guys.
(Blueberry Pomegranate Water)
 Turns out, they are missing because they (along with another bright green truck) are on the east coast with Tyler Florence filming the Great American Food Truck Race.  How absolutely cool is THAT?
(Crispy Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce)
 The fun news is that filming is well under way and they are still. not. home.  The show doesn't air until mid-August so it'll be awhile before we really know how well they do, but we are so very, very excited for them!
(Kale Salad with Walnut Dressing)
 Plus, we miss them here.  Selfish, I know, but they are really fun guys.
(Ahi Poke)
Go, Lime Truck, Go!!


On a different note, are these pictures too big for this post?  I just updated to the new blogger and love that I can choose my picture size, but is bigger necessarily better or do they take too long to load?

Thank you!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fun Week

My oldest shrub moved home last week but is really only storing his things here...for his 7th and final summer he will be spending his days, nights and everything in between playing a mellophone on a football field. His drum and bugle corps will travel 12,000 miles on a bus...actually 3 buses and two semi's, one of which is a complete kitchen on wheels that will feed 175 people 3 meals a day every day for close to two months.

Crazy, but he loves it.

I spent Monday with family...Michelle brought my Aunt and Uncle down for a visit and I loved every minute of the day.

It was fun to show them around my neck of the woods (and celebrate my Aunt Joyce's birthday!) and spend a day laughing at every little thing.

A great day indeed.


We played around Balboa Island and Newport Beach and then came back to my little house on my little street. Let me just say...I love my people.


And I loved sharing my part of the planet with them.

Also fun...catching a sweet moment between brothers. I love watching how their relationships are changing, though I will admit that soon after I took this picture chaos erupted and checkers flew.

We're still missing one.

Also this week...a late night rendevous at Maggiano's. My recommendation...the beef medallions with extra sauce and a side of broccolini to share. You'll thank me.

Saturday I climbed into my car and went on a mini road trip to celebrate my nephew's graduation. My cousin and his family live just under 3 hours away and so I turned on Pandora to the Mama's and Papa's station and sang my heart out to 70's tunes for most of the trip. Along the way, half way in between our houses I found it...the land of milk and honey. Green hills on all sides, blue sky and fluffy white clouds (where the 15 and the 395 meet up, if you live in SoCal)...one of the most beautiful sights I've seen.


The party was fun...especially spending time with family that I love so much. More importantly, they loved my dad and as the anniversary of his death approaches next week, it was nice to talk about (and remember) the good...and forget the bad. I will forever have to deal with the fact that I was not a good enough daughter (but at the same time I was trying to be a good wife and mother...that has to count for something?) and I'm wondering...does the grieving ever really end?
I loved being in the desert...miles and miles of land and nothingness. Compared to the hustle and bustle of Orange County (which I also love) it was so calming and beautiful. I spent close to an hour on this two lane road and this is what I saw....if it weren't for the gusty wind, it would have been eerily quiet.

Good food. Family. Pandora radio.

A perfect little getaway.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Clothes Everywhere.

Clothes in the family room.

(for the record, he says he 'didn't mean to' and that he 'doesn't remember undressing in the middle of the family room in the middle of the night' and 'my roommates don't care.')

Guess what?
I am your roommate now.

Clothes on the bathroom floor.

(This picture gave me great pleasure...because of it I am no longer doing anyone's laundry but mine and that guy that I like so much. I warned every male under the age of 22 that lives in my house and they didn't believe me.)


Smelly shoes in the kitchen.

(I actually moved my shoes out of the way before taking this picture, but you can keep a secret...right?)
Welcome to my life.

One girl. Four boys. Two cats. One box of brownie mix. Zero eggs.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Weekend

Life is like an Italian beef sandwich.

Big. Glorious. Filling. Spicy. Messy.

I was actually sad that the whole rapture didn't happen...we were all home together and I didn't feel like cleaning up the kitchen or paying the bills so the timing would've been perfect.

And now I keep staring at everyone...wondering if they got left behind, too?

(just in case you are wondering, I do know better...but still...)


This weekend I did a whole lotta nothin' and let me just say this...I feel totally ok with that. The house never got cleaned (the whole rapture thing) but I did spend lots of time in the kitchen, which basically means my little house on my little street was filled with calm and happy boys.

It doesn't take much.

Full stomachs mean happy hearts.

And Tums, but we don't need to talk about that.
Geared up and ready for the week...it's going to start with a bang!

And hopefully a pedicure.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happiness on a Saturday Morn

I have been waiting for this Saturday for a long, long time.

Today, for the first time in I can't remember when, there is absolutely NOTHING written on the calendar.

Nada. Zilch. Zero. Not. A. Single. Thing.

I envisioned myself sleeping until noon and then watching hallmark channel movies all day long.

My inner alarm went off at 6:30am, so I got up and had some quiet time with God while sitting in the backyard. I love the stillness of the morning but lately have been overlooking it...my to do list is always a mile long and I feel the need to hit the ground running.

The thing is...when I do hit the ground running I feel like I never catch my breath, I think because I never took a deep breath to begin with.

And then I decided to make breakfast for my men-folk. I always laugh at the power of smell...apples and butter and cinnamon this time around and how even the sleepiest of boys can be roused from their beds. Also sweet...the fact that they have a dad who loves saturday morning cartoons more than they do.

While there are no activities to rush to today, there are jewelry orders to work on and papers to file and a floor that is so dirty that I want to wear flip flops IN the house. A bathroom or two could probably use a freshening up and the laundry...well, the laundry has taken over.

But in reality, all that stuff is on the 'soft' list...it won't matter if it carries over to tomorrow...right?
(all these pictures were taken on my iPhone...kinda fun!)

German Apple Pancake

2 apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 C butter
2 T sugar
1 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 C flour
1 C milk
1/2 C sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

*Preheat oven to 450. Melt butter in a large oven proof skillet. Add apples, 2 T sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining ingredients. Batter will be slightly lumpy and that's ok. Pour batter over hot apples and place the pan in the hot oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 375 and bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven, turn out onto a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar (or syrup). Serve warm.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Full House

Our cup floweth over.

Our house floweth over, too. With boys, that is.

We've got one boy who drinks whole milk and one who drinks 2% and one who is following the Daniel Diet (but only on alternating days) and one who eats anything put in front of him and one who doesn't like onions and one who fasts before 6pm and one who wants to eat salmon each and every day.

The one thing they have in common?

A mother who cannot remember anything unless it is written on a post it note.


There was a pile of dirty clothes on the bathroom floor (again) right next to the hamper and it caused me to reach my breaking point, which I handled it in a mature, grown-up, in control way.

I turned to that guy that I like so much and said some things along the lines of 'YOUR children' and 'slobs' and 'YOU people' and 'sick and tired and tired and sick' and 'I need to get out of here'.
His response was to take me on a drive to Balboa Island, where we parked our car and walked up and down the rows of the cute little houses.

It was cold and cloudy and the sun was setting.

And best of all?

It. Was. Quiet.
We then went to a fancy shmancy grocery store and bought treats for the boys...things like fried chicken and chocolate chip cookies because suddenly after having a little fresh air to breathe I liked all of them again and couldn't wait to get home and squeeze each and every one of them.

Call me crazy.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Never Say Never

One year ago today we were in Vatican City saying hello to the Pope.

Well...we would have said hello if we had run into him.

Can we go back now, please? I am seriously 'rome-sick'....that's the Michele version of 'home-sick'.


A little grilled bread + a little olive oil + a little garlic + a little kosher salt + a little pepper = happiness.

Trust me on this.

Have you ever said you would NEVER do something and then end up doing it after all?


Goodbye little cell phone, hello data package (which my work pays for, so I can't complain too much). Goodbye simplicity, hello Words with Friends (which I am LOVING!)!!
Now if I can only figure out how to use the thing!


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