cute cousins

Back from visiting my lovely new niece. Still feeling awful, but don't these two make you feel better?


on babies

Everyone knows that babies are the most miraculous, amazing, and wonderful beings imaginable. Even if you don't have or want your own, try looking at a newborn and not being overwhelmed that you're staring at a real, tangible miracle.

I was invited to a beautiful baby shower on the beach, pictured above, a little while back, for one such miracle who will make her debut in September.

I'm on my way tomorrow morning to visit my brand new niece for a few days, and get in some of those newborn looks and cuddles.

And we have another little bundle of wonderfulness on the way ourselves - the next little Grahamlet has a nice strong heartbeat and is due on my birthday, at the end of March. After the last time, it's harder to be excited without worry, but as long as I'm feeling completely uninspired, exhausted, nauseous, and disgusted by just about everything, I think things are going well.


recipe-a-week #27: MIL's summer pasta salad

This is one of those sweet & sour pasta salads with that tomatoe-y and vinegar-y sauce. It's a fantastic sugary treat, especially as a side dish with some yummy summer food, such as corn on the cob or barbequed anything. And it couldn't be simpler to make. Mmmm.

Mother-in-law's Summer Pasta Salad

2 cups rotini (measure before cooking)
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 onion (Spanish or red), sliced and separated into rings
1/4 cucumber, sliced

1/8 cup oil
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup vinegar (or a bit less, if you prefer)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all dressing ingredients (in a lidded jar works best) and shake until thoroughly blended and sugar is dissolved. Pour over cooked pasta and vegetables and serve. It's best if the dressing sits on the pasta and onions for a few hours before adding tomato and cucumber.

We have the in-laws with us for a few days (they brought Hurricane Bill with them), so I thought that this would be a fitting recipe for today. We've spent the morning lazing around doing nothing but checking the weather out the window every now and then. Really, the storm is missing us, for which we are both thankful and lucky. My tomoatoes might survive! Hope you're having a lovely weekend!


recipe-a-week #26: JOC's Blueberry Crunch Coffeecake

Somewhere in there, buried under the clouds of whipped cream (be still my heart! oh wait, it will be still if I keep eating so much whipped cream) and freshly picked organic blueberries from my aunt and uncle's farm, is a piece of cake. Heavenly, perfectly-crumbly coffee cake. The recipe is from The Joy of Cooking, and here it is, minus the extra info, and with my comments in parentheses:

Blueberry Crunch Coffeecake
from The Joy of Cooking

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat to 350. Grease a 6 cup loaf pan. (I didn't grease mine well enough and the topping came apart and made a mess.) Combine and sprinkle in the bottom of the pan:
1/4 cup sliced almonds (I sliced whole almonds with a knife. It was tricky!)
1/4 cup brown sugar

Whisk together thoroughly in large bowl:
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (I skipped the salt and used salted butter)
1/4 tsp nutmeg

5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Do not allow the butter to melt or form a paste. (I'm not sure what you're supposed to do if it does. Panic? Call the police? Stick it in the fridge, maybe?) Whisk together in another bowl:
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Pour over the flour mixture and stir until about three-quarters of the dry ingredients are moistened. Add:
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Fold just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the berries are distributed. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean; 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes. Loosen edges and invert onto the rack. Serve warm or, for the crunchiest topping, let cool before serving.

This was SO delicious. Was, as in, I barely got that picture of the last piece tonight, and we made it last night when we had some friends over. So now you have something to do with a few of those blueberries.

It's been a week since I've posted - what is the world coming to? This whole taking-summer-seriously thing is great. We have been playing hard and having a fantastic time. The painters came today, so major progress is being made on the house-painting front. No more pee-yellow and poo-brown paint! Exciting times.

Most exciting of all, I'm an aunt! My sister had a baby girl last week, and she's terribly cute. I'll be going to visit them next week, and I can't wait to deliver some auntie kisses and goodies from Frenchy's for her. Surely I'll post again before I leave, though... maybe.

Happy Thursday!


on being famous

It's a rough life, being famous and married to someone who is, too. It's just work, work, work, all of the time. I'm totally kidding, of course, but we are feeling a wee bit, well, 'published' around here lately. One of Adam's pictures was selected for Photolife magazine's emerging photographer issue, which is currently on newsstands! This is a big deal. See the description on the cover? 'Best new talent' - that's Adam! I'm a teeny bit proud of him. His photo is in the middle row on the far right. Page 29, should you happen to pick up a copy. Which I highly recommend doing, by the way.
And you can also see it in the background of the picture below, where he was featured in The Vanguard, our local newspaper. For the month of August, he has a show in the lobby at Th'Yarc of some of his images. It looks fantastic. (Pssst... they're for sale, too! Snatch one up before he's really famous and snooty and they cost a fortune. Har har. He'll never be snooty.)As for me - not nearly as exciting but still very cool - one of my images is in the current issue of Enroute magazine, Air Canada's in-flight publication.It's a photo I took of some Olivier soaps I bought while in Saint John in March. It's the one I was paid for. Nifty!
And these don't really have anything to do with my newfound fame, but I did win The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen (below, right) from Make & Do, Austen's blog. Yipeee! It was my bedtime reading last night, and I'm looking forward to the rest tonight, and to making some of the recipes in it. Thanks, Austen!

Also pictured below is Handmade Home, which I am loving, despite feeling entirely uninterested in sewing, as of late. Even after scoring that great sewing machine! Too much summer fun to be had, I guess.
Happy Wednesday!


sewing and hamburgers

This is the sweet little (brand-new) sewing machine that I bought at a yard sale on the weekend for $25. I still haven't used it, being swamped with summer fun and napping, but I'm feeling inspired by Handmade Home and its lovely project ideas. You need to get your hands on that book if you haven't already. I have sewing projects lined up and some fantastic books to use, but I'm just not on that kick right now. Maybe it's more of a cold-weather-long-winter-evening kind of thing. Regardless, I've got to take her out for a spin.
This was our lunch yesterday. Adam thought it photo-worthy. Local, happy hormone-free beef with lettuce from the garden and teeny freshly picked carrots, also from the garden. Yum. We don't eat meat very often, but when we do, it's the best. And there really isn't quite anything like a summer burger on a sunny day. I just noticed that Adam's bun is upside down (it's part of his assembly routine) and that the beef looks oddly pink. It was very well done, I assure you. Our trusty instant-read thermometer is very well used and loved.

Last night, Phillip wanted me to read the Lee Valley catalogue to him before bed. So that's what we did. That's my boy.


summer fun

We took Phillip to Wedgeport's Tuna Museum last week, and met up with a friend of P's. That's a blue lobster in the touch tank. They loved it!
And P got to be the 'capitaine' (see the sign?) and steer a model boat.
Ingrid and I went to the Valley one day. One very, very hot day. No air conditioning. Hot. We had a lovely time, and this is the only picture I took.

This morning, we hit a few yard sales, which was lots of fun. I found a brand new Singer sewing machine for $25. If I like it more than my Kenmore, I'll keep it instead. I also found a bed rail for when Mr P starts sleeping in a regular bed (would you believe that he has not tried to climb out of his crib once?) and this sweet bedspread.
Oh, and these guys were at the Exhibition. How cute are they?

summer fun

We have been having so much fun enjoying the summer that I haven't taken time to post lately. These are some videos from the Exhibition, where we took Phillip for some fun. He LOVED the "merry go-around" but he insisted on holding on to me rather than the pole. These are some of the video highlights - Blogger won't let me upload my pictures, so I have a few more that I'll share in another post.


recipe-a-week #25: classic lemonade

What happened? August is here, and it totally snuck up on me. The sun has finally decided to grace us with is presence, so we've been outside and at the beach and doing things like making homemade lemonade and picking beans and raspberries in the garden. And I haven't been taking any pictures!

You know how some things aren't worth the pain of making from scratch? This completely is - it's not at all like any lemonade I have ever tasted. It's amazing. I bought a bag of 10 lemons for $2.99 last week, and decided that this was to be their fate.

I looked up Martha's Classic Lemonade recipe in this book, halved it, and whipped it up. As Ingrid says, holy yum.

Classic Lemonade
Fresh lemonade seems to be just the thing for picnics or barbecues, and making it couldn't be simpler. This perennial favorite requires just 3 ingredients: lemon juice, sugar, and water. This means it won't take much time away from a leisurely summer afternoon to mix a batch. To make 2 quarts, pour 3 cups of fresh lemon juice (from about 20 lemons) through a fine sieve into a pitcher. Add 2 cups of superfine sugar, and stir until it has dissolved. Stir in 4 cups of water and some ice, and then garnish with lemon slices.

That's it! I popped in some fresh raspberries from the garden and mashed them up a bit. Yum. I also froze some until it was slushy for a yummy treat last night. Holy yum.