Friday, August 15, 2014

The Joy of Cooking -Focaccia and a Book Review

Hi!  You still there?  I am still here!  Didn't intend to be gone for so long, but I have had some problems with my computer and it is still in the shop.  So, here I am on my sons computer because I can't stand to be away for so long.  The break while not intentional was well needed.  My well is kind of dry.  I don't know if I mentioned, but my father moved  just around the corner from me a couple of weeks ago.  I am his only child and he is getting older.  So if you can read between the lines than you know that means, I have been very busy.  First it was helping him set up a new household as he left most of his furniture behind due to the expense of moving it!  Then it was getting him medical attention for some aches and pains that are ailing him and then it was straightening out his finances.  The reason why he had to move here was his girl friend of 3 years stole about 65 thousands dollars from him and he had to sell his home to pay the debts.  Today, I spent a lovely day on the phone (can you hear the sarcasm in this sentence) with the bank trying to get information on his accounts so that we can try to get some of the money back and report her to the police.  All I got was the run around and switched from one department to another.  Thankfully, I do have power of attorney now over both his medical and financial well being.  I just feel so bad for him because he has the biggest heart and would not hurt a fly.  She totally took advantage of him!  While I was gone, I did find the time to read this great book called My Berlin Kitchen, and I totally loved it!

The book besides being an easy read takes you on a journey of life, food, and love.  Doesn't that sound like a good book.  Luisa's story is so similar to mine minus that I got married at a younger age than her and did not work in the book publishing industry; however, we both blog, we both love to cook, and we live with our hearts divided between two places.  While I have never lived in Europe for more than 4 months at a time upon departing I always seem to leave a part of my heart there, and even harder is the loss of not being closer to my husbands family.  Do you know that we have never spent a Christmas with my husbands family after having children.  I dream of my children spending at least one Christmas with his family and seeing Germany in the winter and the Christmas markets.  The book is not only a great read, but has some pretty good recipes in it too.  I tried the first recipe with is an omelet with jam in the middle.  Sounds strange doesn't it?  It was so good.  The perfect combination between salty and sweet!  Last week we made the focaccia recipe from her blog.  It was pretty good.  A little to crispy, but that could be just me.  I need to try making it a second time.  It was like being on Elba for a minute eating the perfect focaccia while on the beach watching the children play.

Well, it is very late!  I better get to bed as I have to get up in a few hours to get the children off to school.  I hope you have a fantastic weekend.  Do you have any plans for the weekend?  I am hoping to go to a movie or Stone Mountain for the laser show and firework show.  On Saturday, we are going to a baptism of a friend of ours daughter.  I need to not forget that I volunteered to bring a dessert.  Happy Weekend!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Avery makes a Video Debut

You would never guess that this child hated the pool only weeks ago!  Look at her now!  She loves the pool and we have to be careful to make sure she has her water wings on before we even go into the pool area because she will just jump right on in!  Can't believe she has been with is now for almost 7 months.  She is changing so fast.  The other day at physical therapy they said she was doing so well that they thought she is almost ready to end her treatment.  She now is a proud owner of an American social security number and a passport which she will get to use for her birthday.  Spain here we come!  She is starting to count.  I love when I say one she will automatically say two and then will repeat the numbers after me or fill in the number that comes next.  I love how sometimes she automatically skips to 20!  She loves the song "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Ring around the Rosie".  She cracks me up with how excited she gets when she sees a dog, but if they come to close it is like the world is going to end.  Both girls are pretty scared of them, but even more strange is how they had no problems petting the goats at the zoo the other day.  She still has a love hate relationship with her sister.  Addy is the first thing she ask for in the morning, but she isn't too thrilled to have her in her face all day long.  She is pretty sweet though and will often give up something she has to make her sister happy.  She has a truly giving heart.  She is the first to make sure you are OK if you are hurt and will kiss your boo boo.  Love this girl!  So happy she came to our family!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Winston Goes to Philedelphia

The last two days photos have been streaming into my e-mail account.  Frank and Winston are in Philadelphia this week.  Frank has a conference for his work there and Winston tagged along.  Winston loves to travel.  He loves history, so it was only natural that he was the one to be picked to go along. Winston has this crazy ability to remember details of history that no one else does.  He is a great travel companion because he wants to see it all.  Yesterday the two went after lunch to see Independence Hall the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed, saw the Liberty Bell, and then made videos of themselves running up and down the stairs where Sylvester Stallone ran up in the movie Rocky.  Today they went to Hersey, Pennsylvania the home of Hersey Chocolate and Hersey Park.  I am sure they are screaming their heads off as they ride the roller coasters.  Hersey Park is actually my favorite amusement park here in America because it has something for everyone, and if you get too hot they have a great water park inside to beat the heat.  The smell of chocolate in the air isn't too shabby either.

Happy 17th Anniversary to my amazing husband!
Love you more with each day!

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Last night I enjoyed a lovely dinner by the pool with my good friend Lucy, her sister, her children, and my children.  The food was amazing.  I tried out a new pasta recipe and boy was it fantastic. I also made roasted chicken with French herbs and a triple berry lemonade. The children had so much fun playing and swimming together.  One more week and school starts!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Scout Camp 2014

I love that my boys have the opportunity to participate in the Boy Scout program because they get to have so many wonderful opportunities to do fun things that they would otherwise get to experience.  I also like that it is not just about camping, but that they work on developing the child as a whole individual. Last week Harris and Winston had the opportunity to attend Boy Scout Camp.  They had a blast!  They went to the capitol and met with leaders from our state and local governments, the went to the federal reserve, they went to Georgia Tech were they did a morning workshop on building robots, then traveled north where they slept out in tents and learned how to build bridges and cook.  The first night was ruff as it rained all night and they were soaking wet.  They even saw a baby black bear!  Then it was to Lake Lanier where they went water skiing and Kayaking.  I am so grateful for all the dads who give up a week of their vacation to make this happen.  Boy Scouts Rocks!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dreaming of Spain

So did I tell you that we are going to Spain? Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, didn't she write it was going to be a while before they were going to be able to travel overseas????  I did write that and what I meant is with all the children.  If you have been following me for a while, than you know we go over to Europe to live for the summer every couple of years.  Prior to going to Williamsburg, Frank and I had been talking about going to Munich next summer with all the children.  Roman hasn't had an opportunity to go to school in Europe and his German is pretty much non-existent.  The girls also don't speak except for a few words.  That idea is on hold.  Anyway, Frank has a business trip in Spain in September. Avery and I are going to tag along. I would love to leave Avery at home, but it is still to early to leave her behind.  Anyway, we are so excited to go!  I have wanted to go to Spain for ages, but it just has never worked out.  We were suppose to go the year Roman was born, but we had to cancel the trip due to Roman's heart surgery.

Food is a big element of a trip.  Today I thought I would give the children a taste of Spain in their own backyard.  The Spanish Tortilla can  be found throughout Spain.It is mainly found in two variations of either potato and egg or potato,egg, and onion. You can find even less common variations of Tortilla that include sausage, or peppers.  I made a Tortilla made with red pepper and caramelized onion.  5 out of 7 people in the family liked.  I consider that a hit.

To make a Tortilla you need 10 eggs whisked with a dash of cream, a red pepper,1 onion, salt and pepper, olive oil an four potatoes.  First peel your potatoes and slice them thin.  Then slice your onion and in a pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of sugar cook onions until light brown.  Remove them from the pan and add the potatoes with another couple tablespoons of oil. and cook for about 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.  Add the onion back to the pan and add one sliced red pepper, salt and pepper to taste and add the egg. Cook until the eggs begin to pull away from the side and are light brown on the bottom. Cooking on medium to low heat.  Then flip tortilla and cook on the other side until the eggs are cooked all the way through.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Learning from the Best

Harris has been interested in computers and engineering type activities since he was very little.  He didn't really like to play with toys except for maybe Legos or games, but he would gravitate towards pulling things apart and examining things.  He also learned how to operate the computer at a much younger age than the other children. Last week he had the opportunity to attend a camp at Georgia Tech on how do make Apps. Just like Winston this camp was pretty hard to get into and you had to have letters of recommendations from your teachers at school.  He had a blast!!!!!

Moving onto the World Cup, Frank was so thrilled last week when Germany won! He was over the moon and wore his shirt to work one day.  Just to gloat a little he sent out this picture to all his colleagues.

The last picture was taken of Frank on a recent scuba diving trip. It has been a busy but yet slow kind of summer.  Not such a bad thing.  Roman's arm has really slowed us down from exploring and going swimming.  Today he and his friends are going to see the Disney movie Firetrucks and Planes.  He is so excited.  Afterwards, we are going to purchase our school supplies.  School starts in two weeks. The bigger boys are at Scout Camp this week, and my dad arrived from Arizona on Friday.  He is moving here permanently. We are busy looking for an apartment for him.  How about you?  How has your summer been? Do you have any big plans for the last few weeks of summer?  Well, I am off to the gym.  Have a great day!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Round 2 Broken Arm

As promised, here is a photo of Roman with his broken arm.  This makes the 2nd broken arm.  He broke his arm three years ago when he was 4 wrestling with his older brother Harris.  This time he was wrestling with Winston.  When is he going to learn that he is no match for his older brothers. It is OK Roman because I broke my arm 2 times too!  I was 5 when I broke my arm.  The first was when I was running over to the neighbors house and I tripped over their flower pot.  The second was just a week after I got my cast off and was in the same neighbors yard. I was trying to roller skate. I fell on the driveway and broke it again. Roman broke both bones closer up by his elbow this time.  The first time was closer to his wrist.  He has to wear the cast for at least three more weeks.  When we went to the doctor on Friday, the bones in his arm has shifted by 16 degrees and they had to reset his arm.  Poor kid!  He is so sad.  He can't really play and he can't go swimming.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Corner View "Inner Child"

I love children.  They live so in the moment.  No worries, carefree where simple things matter the most.  Take my daughters begin just about every day with the request to paint.  It starts off on paper than moves to the table and then all over them.  They don't care how they look.  Who needs a fancy meal when you can make pizza.  Tuna with potato chips brings out the inner child in me.  Crazy combination!  Not sure who in my family invented it, but I love it.  No tomato for me just add the chips pretty please.  Blowing bubbles, swinging on the swing, squishing your feet in mud these all bring back happy moments for me and so every once in a while I will jump on the swing and pump my legs back and forth until I get so high I feel like I can fly touching the sky.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade

Does anything say summer better than lemonade and even better strawberry lemonade?  Over the years I have been working on the perfecting of this recipe.  It is so simple!  2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of frozen strawberries pureed  and cold water.  While it would be easier to use unfrozen strawberries, I like to use frozen because you won't have to add ice cubes to the mixture and therefore you won't dilute your lemonade.  When you puree your strawberries just use water that you would otherwise add to your pitcher.  Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy!  So perfect for a hot summer day.  Perfect when you want to serve something a little fancy without alcohol.  You could also use sparkling water instead of tap water.  So refreshing!  Happy Summer!