Boy + Dog + Dad = Thrilled

There is a lot of my childhood I do not remember. Since my parents are no longer around it is hard to know what I was truly like as a baby, toddler, or even as I got older. Was I quiet, or sassy? Did I talk a lot? What was I like with my parents? Did I like to cuddle? I think about all of these things as I begin to think about the little boy who is going to join our family in around 10 weeks.

I have no idea if I got excited to see my parents when they came home from being away. I do remember we had three large picture windows in our front room (filled with plants) but still giving me access to look out the window at the trash truck, or my dad’s pickup truck arriving home. This video I found recently brought a huge smile to my face. While my house is not designed for a visible window/door to the driveway/garage, I hope regardless my son gets just as excited to see me.

x

Such a greeting would make your day, right?

Random Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares

I can be very salty — you know in that sassy kind of way. Yet, I also have a sweet side. Maybe that is why I am so into things salty and sweet. Take brunch for example, while we do not do it often, there are times when I want to order a sweet dish like french toast or pancakes, and pair it with an egg dish and then split it with Chris. Then I want it on the same plate and so a little bit of the syrup oozes into the eggs and bacon. Why not, right?

Recently we found this easy peasy recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares. All good salty and sweet things combined. A nice treat or snack that hits the spot.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares [Adapted from King Arthur Flour]

Prep time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hr 30 mins

Crust
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup ground pretzels (measure only after grinding them)
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter

Filling
2 cups chocolate chips (we used semisweet)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup chopped pretzels to sprinkle on top

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with parchment paper. Use enough paper to line the sides for removing later.
2) To make the crust, combine the flour, ground pretzels, and sugar. Mix with your hands. Add the melted butter and mix again until you have a dough.
3) Press the dough into the pan and bake for 12 minutes.
4) To make the filling, melt the chocolate chips in a double broiler. Stir in the creamy peanut butter until completely mixed. Pour the filling over the crust.
5) Sprinkle chopped pretzels on top.
6) Cool in the freezer for about an hour. Remove from the pan by lifting the parchment paper. Slice into your preferred size. Serve cold for best result.

Have you seen: “Grace and Frankie?”

Netflix has really been putting out compelling programming lately. We were already addicted to “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” Due to the fact that Netflix releases an entire season at once, Chris can be a binge watcher and wants to keep watching since it is all available right away. I am more of let the ice cream melt mentality. What does ice cream have to do with watching Netflix? As a kid we did not have desserts or sweets very often. Mostly just when we spent time with my grandma. On rare occasions when we would have ice cream, I would often eat it so slowly that the last half of my bowl was runny and soup-like. I was trying everything I could to let it last longer and longer — even to go to such lengths as using a smaller spoon to eat tiny bites. It was such a treat I wanted it to last longer.

I want the same for when I watch a good show. So while I do not want to wait a week to see the next episode, I might only want to watch 1-2 a night and then let it all soak in and start again the next night. Recently we happened across a new show called: “Grace and Frankie.” We watched it like I used to eat ice cream. Enjoying it along the way. We watched the last episode on Saturday and I have to say that I am a bit bummed that we are done with the first season. The show is about two couples, and well…I do not want to give away what happens with these couples, so you will have to watch. Just know that the two couples are played by Martin Sheen, Sam Waterson, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin. Having just finished watching “Newsroom” with Jane Fonda and Sam Waterson, and having loved West Wing, we were hooked. The first episode is a little slow, but it gets better. I also relate to one of the daughters, Brianna, as she is the sassy one.

The episodes are thirty minutes so it is a quick season to watch. I hope it does well for Netflix because I would like to see Season 2. This weekend, we get to start watching the next season of “Orange is the New Black.” Better make sure we have ice cream.

Charlie’s First Birthday

I can hardly believe that a year has gone by since my niece was born. I am an addicted aunt. She was walking around nine months, already knows how to clap, blow kisses, and is the silliest of kids (most likely thanks to her fun daddy). If only we lived closer.

To Charlie: “We would come and play with you, and take out your favorite red car (stroller), so you can babble and wave to everyone you pass. We would play the synthesizer together, and build with blocks, and make sure there are fun rides on your new cow (toy). Aunt Tami would be loud and make lots of noise to get you to laugh, and Uncle Chris would be the mellow man that he is and sit and play with you (quietly, unlike Aunt Tami).

You have a heart filled with so much love. I know it after hearing the stories about how you hug other kids and do not want to let go. You are so loved — we can tell from your day care pictures of all the kids surrounding you and calling you Char Char. Never a dull moment in your life. You love your cats, and mommy’s iPad and iPhone. Last but not least you are a sassy little one, just like your Aunt. We could never ask for anything more.

Happy 1st Birthday Charlie!”

Here are a few of my favorite photos of the year. You can see how much she has grown. Charlie, cannot wait to see what your next year will bring!

Savor

SAVOR. I have been thinking a lot lately about the word. Memories of amazing food come to mind. Such as goat cheese ravioli from a Portland restaurant called Lucy’s Table that is no longer in operation. When we knew it was closing we went and agonized over our very last serving of their goat cheese ravioli. They closed just three years ago and there is not a day that goes by that I do not remember the amazingness of that appetizer. If only I could recreate it at home.
.
I can think of a plethora of other items that I savor. French fries (gosh, am I addicted to non fast-food french fries). Eggs benedict with fried green tomatoes or on corn cakes instead of english muffins (thank you, Daily Cafe). The King’s Choice at Veritable Quandary. Yum. Apologies for all the Portland references, but I have my little addictions. Noble Rot fries + burger. Decarli’s salted caramel cheesecake. Crab Rangoon from Shing Yee in West Newton, MA. The “Bill’s Seoul Show” sandwich at Hi Rise Bakery in Cambridge, MA. Okay, I guess I will stop, I could go on.
.
I love the word savor. There is something downright sassy about it. To me it is anything that you mull over in your thought, crave, or cannot wait to consume. It is not just a word I associate with food. Maybe you savor the idea of a person, a spouse, or friend, or someone who just gets your brain juices going each day. Maybe you appreciate how creative and out-of-the box a colleague is and how that ups your game. You savor a collaborative relationship.
.
If only I could have a meal of goat cheese ravioli, crab Rangoon, Bill’s Seoul Show sandwich, french fries, a great drink, and salted caramel cheesecake for dessert. Just the perfect meal for my taste buds. Oh, and some time with the people I savor in life.
X