Sunday, July 29, 2012

i love...

[taking boba to his favorite fountain for a mid-walk dip]

[animal crackers..a light snack to spice up lunchtime sandwiches]

[this photo...solo was so small not too long ago! now you'd be hard-pressed to hold him like this]

[this amber vase, perfect for holding a fresh batch of sangria]

[harry the grasshopper. i first thought he would be a friendly neighbor to our basil but have quickly found out he has been the one munching away at it...this is war harry!]

[adding summertime fruits to ice cream. yumm.]

Friday, July 27, 2012

adventures in okie-homa

a couple of weeks ago i had the itching idea to take a trip to explore a peach festival in the small town of stratford, oklahoma. i had gone to another similar to it when i was little and thought it was time to check out this one too. with my idea in mind, i asked my friend laun if she would go with me under the presumption we would have an adventure much like James and the Giant Peach ;)

so we set out last saturday to hopefully beat some of the 100+ degree heat hitting oklahoma and learn how to properly pick a peach straight from the tree!

first rolling into town, we grabbed lunch at a little diner featuring the local mascot where they had freshly-made peach milkshakes..

after the diner, we drove up a ways to the festival but, found the heat too be a little too much as there weren't many covered areas to take a breather from the sunny rays. so we high-tailed it out feeling unsuccessful until, we saw this mom n' pop shop featuring peaches from their orchard across the road!

and while we never got to actually pick these peaches, we got yummy samples of our soon-to-be tasty treats...

(this photo was snapped right after laun asked the owner if the crates of peaches were for sale to which he replied, of course! i love how excited she looks!)

heading out with all the peaches we could walk away with, we started to drive back when we saw this peach orchard on the side of the road! and i must admit that i've never been to or even seen a peach orchard/peaches growing on trees...

had i not been sweating like crazy or nervous of getting in trouble, i had my eye on this peach and every intention of picking it...mmm, another time peach. another time.

but the same can't be said for this peach :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


a few weeks ago T and i took the pups for some swim time at lake thunderbird. it was a great day with lots of sun, swimming and rolling around in red mud...for the pups at least and boy, did they get gross ;)

(i love this photo because you can see solo swimming after his big brother!)

even T ventured into the water to play with the pups...

remember when our little polar bear of a pup was white? sigh, not so much right now..that's okay, it's pup day right?! the inner cleaner within kept trying to remember this and not think about how long it would take to get all the red mud off him in his bath later :)

as the day started to roll to a close, the pups started to give these looks..
hey mom, can we stay here forever?

ya mom, please?! the only thing that would make this better would be dinner time! wait, can it be dinner time already? it's not dinner time and no we can't stay forever. but we will be back soon! 

until next time, happy almost hump day!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

the wooden spoon: pastitsio

pastitsio. yum! ever heard of it though? until i had decided to crack open one of my old cookbooks (passed down from my mom), i hadn't either. it's basically a greek version of lasagna which crazy enough when finished, looks like hamburger helper - weird! so without further a-do...

here's what you'll need:
a cast-iron skillet or dutch oven
1 lb of ground beef or lamb (i used beef since it was cheaper than lamb)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
6 medium-sized cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
3 cups of chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1, 8oz package of elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon of cornstarch
1 cup of pecorino romano cheese (i used parmesan since i didn't have any pecorino on hand)

first heat your cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat until warmed up; then add in your ground meat and cook throughly until nice and brown.

once browned, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the meat and set aside for later use. do not discard the juice left behind! (preheat your oven to 475 degree)

now add in the onions, cinnamon, nutmeg and cook until well-mixed and tender, about 5-7 minutes.

once tender, add in the garlic, oregano and tomato paste until fragrant, about a minute.

quickly add in your chicken broth, 1/2 cup of cream, cooked meat, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the uncooked macaroni noodles and cook until simmering. pasta should be nice and tender at about the 10+ minutes...make sure at this step to stir constantly or you will have stuck/uncooked noodles!

stir together in a small measuring cup your 1/2 cup of cream remaining and cornstarch until completely mixed through. quickly add this to your mixture and stir throughly.

now take your skillet off comes the best part!

sprinkle the cheese on top of your skillet mixture so you get a yummy layer of deliciousness and place in the oven for about 5-10 minutes or until the top is light brown.

take out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, serve up and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the living kitchen

last friday, T and i met up with my family for an amazing dinner at the living kitchen. if you haven't heard of it, it's a sweet little self-sustaining farm in the small town of depew, ok. during the summer and fall seasons, they host several dinners featuring live produce grown from their own farm...this was so amazing i have to reiterate that all products used in their creations from the cheese, to the creamer, to the veggies, to the meats, etc are from either their farm or local farms nearby. what!

sadly, due to inclement weather we weren't able to tour the farm to meet all the goats and chickens but, we did have something equally if not more awesome...greeters!

our farm greeters were four of the coop guard pups who i absolutely loved! what better way to come to a farm than to be properly greeted by it's protectors?!

this one had a crush on me i think - as he loved following me everywhere as i took photos ;)

from the entrance of the farm we drove up a little ways to the cabin where the dinner was held where we were properly greeted by their very friendly kitty. and even though i am crazy allergic, i did think it was cute how happy she was to see us. i decided to name her mr. socks...and yes, i know it's a strange name that starts with mr but it seemed just right. as all impromtu names do :)

my mom said, "ooo, let's do prom pics!", so of course T and i goofed it up with cheesy faces and a thumbs-up..goofs

heading into the cabin, we were greeted with apertifs made from cucumber-infused vodka...yum! (i've got to make a batch of my own for the remaining part of the summer...)

out on the enclosed patio with a background of rainfall was where we enjoyed quite possibly the most amazing and creative dinner i've ever had. lots of laughter, storytelling and great conversation filled the gaps of the intensely flavored a word, it was perfect from start to finish.

what added to the cozy feelings of the night was mr socks playing games with my mom's feet as well as trying to get close by jumping from lap to lap..including mine! fortunately my brother's girlfriend took mr socks from my lap so that i could be saved from troublesome allergies..thanks again!

how cute is this photo? mr socks caught me trying to take snapshots and decided i needed an up close shot.

as the night and courses progressed, our brightly lit patio turned into a warmly illuminated dinner with only lanterns and twinkly lights to guide our way through the experience. after the dinner ended we walked back out to our cars to see a full night sky and the guard pups to send us off. sigh, a lovely night to always remember and i hope to return back soon.

happy tuesday everyone!

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