Sunday, July 24, 2011

Marshall's Robot Party

It's official; he's 5
I tried my best to make time slow down but it didn't work
we had a small party at the gym to celebrate and I went with a Robot theme
The cake was chocolate with toasted marshmallow filling and vanilla frosting
I felt a little guilty walking into the gym with a large cake as people on bikes and treadmills were all around me staring and I knew I had no intention of doing any sort of physical activity that day
I think I enjoyed myself a lot more than they did
As I've mentioned before I have a small tradition that I've started with my kids for their birthday cakes
I decorate the cake and make sure they don't see it until it's completely finished
then I get a picture of their face the first time they see it
it's something that's more for me I guess.....the best payback in the world in my opinion
staying up late working on something for them and seeing the excitement and pure joy on their face at their first glance. The first one is a little out of focus but you get the idea ;)
Getting ready to make a wish
I'm realizing that in most pictures my mouth is wide open
not very attractive
I need to work on that
the kids were served pizza and I made wraps and a veggie tray for the adults
whole grain wraps, smoked turkey, provolone and swiss cheese, fresh spinach and a sun dried tomato spread
going with the silver, red and blue color scheme I wrapped an aluminum can with scrapbook paper to hold the utensils
the gym games were so much fun!
scooter races, an obstacle course and basketball
Many of the adults got in on the fun too!
The favors were slinkies, wind up robots, a stamp, a stretchy robot and candy
the bag toppers I printed for free from a cute blog that I found while searching for a little Robot inspiration
here is the link if you'd like to make some for yourself:  Robot Party Favor Bag Printable

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baptisms and Birthdays

This past weekend a friend's beautiful little boy was baptized
and I made them a cake for the occasion
vanilla cake and buttercream with raspberry filling, one of my favorite flavor combos.
While making this cake I couldn't help but be a little sad remembering my own little baby boy's baptism
and that little baby boy of mine will be 5 years old in a few days

5 years old!

I went to buy him some clothes for his birthday and had to go to an entirely different section to find 5T clothes.....the boys section. The toddler/baby section ends at 4T in the store I was in and I was so sad to have to walk the five feet across the aisle and find "big boy clothes" for my child who is now apparently a big boy now.

It's not like I didn't know this was coming, this is actually a big weekend for us;
Louis' grandmother's birthday, Louis and I's 5 year anniversary and our surprise wedding gift is now turning 5 (I obviously knew we were having Marshall, I just didn't think I'd go into labor right after getting married)

As I know every parent does when birthdays roll around,  you remember the day your child was born. You think about what you were doing, where you were at and laugh about how naive you were about just how much your entire world would change in an instant.
For us we knew that day was a big one, we just had no idea how big
I had a doctor's appointment that morning and as I was leaving he said "see you next week" 
we both had no idea that I would be in labor that same night

From that night to this very day Marshall has surprised me at every turn 
he is sweet and silly, headstrong and curious
and I am so lucky that he is ours

here's what I'm cooking this week: 
Monday: Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Zucchini
              Banana Nutella Muffins

Wednesday: Black Eyed Peas and Cornbread

Friday: Marshall's Birthday Dinner

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blueberry Citrus Quinoa Salad

Meet my new obsession:
Blueberry Citrus Quiona Salad
it's a protein packed sweet and savory salad loaded with healthy ingredients that's easy to throw together
perfect as a side or all on it's own
Since blueberries are one of the most antioxidant packed foods around and also happen to come in a sweet and delicious package I've been adding them to as many dishes as I can lately.  Keeping them raw also helps you get as much nutritional bang for your buck.
Make this before all those gorgeous summer blueberries are gone, you'll be so happy you did!

Blueberry Citrus Quinoa Salad
1/8 cup orange juice
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


2 cups cooked quinoa
2/3 cup fresh US blueberries
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1 green onion, sliced thinly

In mixing bowl whisk together orange juice, olive oil, pepper, salt and apple cider vinegar.
Add quinoa, blueberries, red bell pepper and green onion to the dressing and stir to combine. Salad can be made ahead and chilled until ready to serve or served immediately.

UPDATE:
"We just finished the final judging for the Blueberry Blogger Recipe contest you entered in July and I am pleased to let you know you have won first place ($1,000)  in the “Savory” category for your Blueberry Citrus Quinoa Salad.  It was so delicious and inventive!"  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Birthdays are a Hoot

 This weekend an adorable little princess turned one and I got to make a birthday cake for her
 Her nursery was done in an owl and woodland theme so I decided to use that as my inspiration
 Vanilla cake with Vanilla buttercream
 
 
 Here's the birthday girl ripping into her smash cake
This makes me want a smash cake for myself!
Photos are by the birthday girl's mama, a fabulous photographer. Thanks again Darsey!

On our menu for this week:
Monday: Honey Sesame Chicken Tenders with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
                Blueberry Lemon Scones

Wednesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with Garlic Bread

Friday:  Citrus Pork Chops with Yellow Rice

Friday, July 8, 2011

Italian Sausage Frittata

I am not perfect (at all) and there are days I forget things
I might forget to get the clothes out of the dryer as soon as they are done so they don't wrinkle
I might forget to water the plants occasionally (or often, depending on who you ask)
I might forget to get the mail for an entire week
but I NEVER (yes, I mean it......never) forget about dinner
I sell dinners three times a week and for the occasional party for crying out loud, it's what I DO!
but there's always a first time for everything and last night was my night 
I completely and utterly had nothing planned, thawed, marinating or prepped and by the time I realized it it was already 5:20pm
Now this would have been no big deal if I hadn't just promised Louis that I would help him loose 15 pounds and then bought an ice cream machine the very next day (and then proceeded to make the most awesome homemade cake batter ice cream that I will be sharing with you soon)
so I needed something fast, nutritious and that I could make with the random ingredients in my pantry and fridge. I checked one of my favorite food blogs, Closet Cooking and came across this recipe for
Italian Sausage Frittata
and boy was I glad I found it! It was fabulous and I can't wait to make it again even if I'm not in a 5 o'clock panic



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

White Wine Peach Sangria

Fishing, napping, cooking, reading and playing with the kids; that was the only thing on my agenda for the long holiday weekend and it was such a treat.
 Due to spotty internet service I was kind of forced to stick to my relaxation plan and not being stuck to the phone, ipad and laptop was surprisingly nice! Going to a house that we rented on the water I tried to plan ahead as much as I could, bringing all the things I thought we would need for our trip.
 Fishing poles, diapers, sunscreen and sangria.........sounds pretty essential to me!
I hope you all had a wonderful, safe and fun Fourth of July!
White Wine Peach Sangria 
1 750mL bottle Savignon Blanc
1/2 c white rum
1/4 c peach schnapps
1/2 c OJ
1 peach, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 cup grapes
1 12 oz can ginger ale

combine all ingredients in a pitcher and allow to sit in the fridge at least a couple of hours before serving

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cookie Dough Dip


I've been seeing versions of this dip all around the food blogging world lately and couldn't wait to try it out. Who doesn't love cookie dough?! 
And to be able to dip a salty pretzel into the cookie dough dip and use that as a scooper?
Count me in! 
Obviously this is not the kind of thing you would make for yourself; you need to wait until you have a party to go to so you're not left at home with no one around to keep you accountable for eating an entire batch of it by yourself and I'm so glad I had my fabulous bunco friends to share it with.
I ended up making Chocolate Chip Peanut butter, Snickerdoodle and Mint Chocolate dips and I served it with Vanilla Wafers, Animal Crackers, apple slices and pretzels
here's the recipe I used: