Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cooking: Salmon Rushdie

Remember when Salman Rushdie was in hiding in the 1990's for writing The Satanic Verses?
I read the book and actually loved it. Funny how people got so worked up about a book they probably did not even read. 

On that note, I made the most delicious dinner tonight. I raved. Steve raved. Delaney inhaled it (Delaney inhales everything these days with two sports being played right now..). Ellie balked. 
It was a huge hit. 

I should have taken photos, but I was too busy shoveling it into my mouth.
Here's the recipe I altered and made my own...enjoy!

Salmon Florentine (A la Tanya )

  • 2 cups spinach, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (6 oz each), rinsed and patted dry (salted and peppered)
Heat oven to 350°. de. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions; cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more. Add spinach, tomatoes, salt, pepper flakes and pepper; cook, stirring, 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; let cool about 15 minutes. Add ricotta; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pack  spinach mixture on top of each fillet, matching the shape of the fillet. Place fillets on a rimmed baking sheet or in a glass baking dish; bake until cooked through about 15 minutes. 
Cupcakes I am making for my daughter's Halloween party on Saturday
Halloween Bloodshot Eye Cupcakes

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Whatever: Give me a book shout out

I am in a book lull...
I have read a few fluff books lately and need a good one I can sink my teeth into.

Something high brow, maybe a classic.
This summer I read The Great Gatsby again. The fire was lit.
Now I need something else to follow the funny books I have been Tina Fey (Bossy Pants) and Mindy Kaling ( Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?). Both were really well written, funny, insightful books about and and very funny women.

Book People, send me some ideas.

Library of Congress

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cooking:'s what's for dinner

Now that my super fun, super busy weekend of three whole days is over...


Back to my great job. The routine of kid shuttle and dinners cooked.

I have to say, my fit on Friday was self imposed misery. No one is expecting a clean house

My husband has  been a trooper and has done most of the grocery shopping lately, which I secretly think he likes. At least he has done the meat part of it

This week's menu is meat centric thanks to him.

Casa Swann Menu of Meat.
  • Crockpot tomato soup with homemade meatballs
  • Salmon with spinach, tomatoes and feta/ crispy sweet potatoes with parmesan
  • Pesto grilled chicken legs/kale quinoa salad/ spicy sweet potatoes
  • Kale white bean soup with pancetta

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dirt: Am I a Martyr or a Mother

Betcha thought I was gone. Off the radar or the reservation. One last sappy blog post about my husband and then...POOF.

Wrong! I have just been really overwhelmed. And I finally had a big fit on Friday. Not big by my historical (or hysterical) standards, but big in the sense of things need to change. 

I have started working almost 40 hours every week.  The work is there and I am trying to make it work so that part of it gets done at home. I have been working 8-3ish at the office. However, my kids schedules involve a pick up every day at 5:30, with the exception of Tuesdays. Then I pick one kid up at 5:30 take her somewhere else and drop her off at 6:15, then head right back to school and pick the second one up at 6:30. Back to pick up again at 8. Yep, we get home pretty much at 6 everyday thanks to traffic.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gratituesday: Marriage

*Gratituesday was yesterday and I was remiss in posting this on time*

A  couple that we are friends friends with are going through a divorce. 
I cannot say whether it is messy or just a divorce, as I have no experience in these matters other than my parents and I don't remember that.

The sadness that envelopes my heart when I speak to her is really heavy. He is not interested in sharing with us, and that is perfectly fine. I am not exactly comfortable with being in the middle, so to speak. But she is one of my best friends and so I am a listening ear and hopefully a comforting hand.

Steve and I like all couples, go through patches of not communicating well and not listening well. 
We are sometimes ships in the night, passing and leading our own separate lives. I can see how easy it would be to veer off course, away from each other.

Marriage is hard. 

However, we made a pact before we got married that we would work at being married. 
As children of divorce, both of us knew that it would be a hard road. That has been the beacon that has carried us through a lot of stress, arguments, tears and misunderstandings. 
The beacon is our love and our dedication to each other. The reality that we are in it together. We chose this path, hard or easy. That carries us through. 

Right now, I try to be in the moment with him. I love him so much it hurts my heart. He is funny, caring and smoking hot. And he is my partner. 

The forethought to think marriage through before we got to it has been one of the only things we have actually planned in nearly 20 years together. Everything of our pants. 

I like to think it is my most valued possession.
For that I am grateful.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cooking: Captain Ryman had it right

"Oh my my, oh hey hey..."

We saw three great bands with two great couples last night in one great venue. Actually, THE venue, the church, the home of it all. The Ryman.
I have seen several shows and they bands last night were really good. My favorite being the middle act. 
Amazing what you could miss if you only look for the big flag waving headliners. 

My week is starting with a (tired) BANG! 
Hope yours is off and running as well.

  • BBQ crock pot chicken sandwiches/ zucchini chips/red beans
  • Grilled salmon Greek Salad
  • Chili/ Veggie Chili 
  • Grilled chicken/ tomato soup with grilled veggies

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dirt: Running is our newest tradition

Steve and I started having a Saturday morning date these past few weeks.
Both of us wanted to start getting a little variety in our exercise routines and wanted a fun way to have a date in our busy schedules of schlepping kids around and work.

We are about the same fitness level right now when it comes to trails, so that is good. Usually Steve kicks my bee-hind in most things athletic. He is a freak when it comes to fitness. There is not much I have not seen him pickup quickly, literally and figuratively. 

We have been hitting the trail so far. We live in a great town which is very close to lots of trail heads within about 20 minutes of our house. Chattanooga has more trails within 30 minutes of downtown than Boulder. Making us the king of trails. So,  no excuses. Steve and I are working our way to much harder trails. 
In the mean time, we park at Ruby Falls and run on the Guild Hardy Trail. 
The dogs, Steve and I all have a great time and it makes our busy weekend just that much easier. 
The trail run also is a great stress reducer in our marriage as well. Life is great after a run.

*This week, I stopped and smelled the roses and took some shots of the amazingness that is Chattanooga.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cooking: Karma

The menu of my week is always best made when I am hungry.
We ate very badly all weekend and I am feeling the effects of going off the tracks. 
Too much  Mexican/pretzels/donuts... I mean really bad.

Steve apparently is feeling the same way, as his request for today is kale. 
We are both so sensitive in our diets now. Old age is going to be a treat.

Ellie requested tortilla soup. Steve requested no ground beef.
I am baking two chickens ala Nigella Lawson.

Casa Swann No Ground Beef Menu
  • Tortilla soup with baked pulled chicken
  • Baked chicken/ kale quinoa salad/ roasted zucchini
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes with black beans and egg
  • Pork tenderloin/ red beans,/sauteed spinach
  • Chili or soup

Whatever: The weekend.

My sweet husband is a trooper.
He went to a game he didn't want to attend to help wrangle 6 girls Friday instead of seeing Sam Bush.
Of course, we owe him. 

The game was not won in our favor, but the girls had fun. Homecoming is always something special for adults, but the excitement is fun for kids as well. Now that we are parents of a high school student, I realize that I am counting down the days of having to go to a high school game. 

Saturday was fun, with harvest grapes at our friend's farm. Their vineyard is gorgeous and the company is really positive and uplifting. Everyone is there to help various aspects of their friends.
Us included.

Saturday was spent running around taking girls home and helping out a friend, whose daughter was doing community service and she had a time conflict. 

We ended up at 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival which was perfect. 
On the river, great music, amazing Fall weather and wonderful company. Couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gratituesday: Lunch in a park

Today, I sat in a park right by my office and ate a wonderful salad and looked at the water. 
The sun was the perfect temperature, where it feels warm on your skin, but not blazing hot. 
There were people walking their dogs and a woman being trained by her trainer. 

THAT was my Gratituesday.