Everyday Life: Weeks 22-28

Here’s a little glimpse at the last 7 weeks (now how did I let THAT happen?):

Everyday Life: Weeks 22-28

May 29th made one year since we got Percy! Here she is on her adoption day anniversary.

Salmon tacos are one of my favorite types of fish taco.

I planted these pink poppies in our backyard last year, where they’d be fenced in and folks passing by our house couldn’t steal them like so many folks do with the orange poppies we’ve had growing in our front yard forever.

Pitaya bowl for dinner one night!

I turned 32 in June. This was my birthday breakfast – glazed yeasted doughnuts are my favorite.

We also went out for Mexican food. (Margarita, fish tacos AND nachos for me…and to share with the husband.)

Loved my birthday gifts… lots of fabulous cookbooks, an Instant Pot, a meyer lemon tree, a fig tree, some other not-photographed goodies. My brother and sister in law also sent the dog a present for my birthday, haha!

The day after my birthday, we hosted a sleepover birthday party for Silas (whose birthday is three days after mine). Craig set up a whole “DJ” area so Silas could play whatever music he wanted (or have a rap battle with his friends…).

Still my favorite pizza place in town! (Silas and I like to order delivery when my husband has other engagements, ha!)

The garden is a-growin’!

Ramen dinner date with the husband!

Percy having a little lavender soak in the tub!

Silas’s baseball team won the Little League Championship game.

Followed by him making the All-Stars team, extending baseball season for another month.

She’s the best.

Caprese sammiches for dinner one night, as per request!

This little guy (baby pigeons outgrow their parents before learning to fly!) fell out of his nest.

My husband deemed him “my Chicken.”

Percy’s first REAL swim in the lake (with both kids).

‘Tis the season for grilling things and I’m excited to experiment!

A little exploring not too far from our house on the 4th of July.

We took a trip to the Bay Area. Guess who likes being a lap puppy instead of riding in the back seat (even when she’s got the entire area to herself!)?

Little Percy also really, really, enjoys staying in hotels.

This sweet corn pizza from Hen House in Oakland was a delicious lunch decision! It was topped with sweet corn, scallions, garlic cream sauce, mozzarella and pecorino cheeses, plus a pimentón oil.

My mom and stepdad came out for a visit! I’ve been trying to talk them into doing so for 10 years. It was a really fun weekend of having them here, but certainly flew by.


As a kid, most of our family pictures were often just of myself, my sister, or my brothers –some conglomeration of all 4 of us. There was the occasional photo of my dad in there, or with us. Rarely did we ever have a picture of my mom. She was usually the one behind the camera. (Mamarazzi as I’ve named her.) Now, I often find myself in the same position. I spend a lot of time taking photos rather than being the subject of any photographs. I do appreciate this picture though — it’s perhaps the single photo of my mom and I together in one place, since I was about 19 years old.

Vegetarian chick’n and waffles!

Garden Cat.

Silas asked to make dinner for us and Nana last week. He made caprese grilled cheese sandwiches, a fruit salad and monkey bread for dessert.

I got Percy a lifejacket since she doesn’t particularly love the water, but will get in anyway if convinced. She seemed more confident with it on and swam more than she usually does.

We took a trip down to the coast yesterday. Decided to camp in the back of our truck. It was surprisingly comfortable and even better, we backed right up to the beach where all we heard at night was the ocean.

Sunset last night.

Beach Babe.

We stopped in Crescent City for chowder and fresh blackened black ling cod tacos before heading back to Ashland.

We also took the scenic route through the redwoods on the way back.

I saw a banana slug for the first time ever.

Bedtime cuddle puddle!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the summer!

Pearl Couscous with Zucchini, Corn and Herbs

During the summer months, corn and zucchini are always in abundance. However, in our house, zucchini is also a bottom dweller on the list of popular summer veggies available. Yet every year, I plant one or two plants, which inevitably will provide more zucchini than anyone around here wants to willingly eat.

When I saw this recipe, I knew it was one I wanted to try. I also wondered if my husband’s love of fresh summer corn would surpass his non-love of zucchini. So I gave it a try. The result was a surprisingly fresh dish bursting with flavor. Even my non-zucchini-liking husband said, “I like this salad!”

You can eat this as a salad, side dish, even a light main dish. Perfectly good hot, warm, or cold, it makes for an easy summer recipe.

Pearl Couscous with Zucchini, Corn and Herbs

Recipe slightly modified from Simple Green Suppers by Susie Middleton

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
1 cup pearl couscous, uncooked
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/4 cups of water or vegetable broth
2 cups finely diced zucchini (approximately 1/4-inch cubes)
2 cups fresh corn kernels
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped chives
ground black pepper
sea salt

Directions:

Melt one tablespoon of the oil in a medium sized pan, over medium heat. Add  half the onion (3/4-cup) and a small pinch of salt. Stir frequently, cooking until the onions soften.

Add the uncooked couscous to the onions. Raise the heat to medium-high and stir frequently until the couscous begins to lightly brown (5-7 minutes). Add 1 teaspoon of the ground coriander plus the 1 1/4 cups of water or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed by the couscous. Remove the pan from the heat, then fluff the couscous with a fork. Keep covered, off the heat until needed.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the remaining onion plus 1/2-teaspoon salt, sauté until translucent. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring often, until the zucchini slightly soften and begins browning lightly (5-7 minutes, approximately). Add the corn and 1/4-teaspoon salt, stirring often until the corn is slightly glistening (2-3 minutes). Add the minced garlic, remaining teaspoon ground coriander, stirring until well combined (1-2 minutes).

Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Add the lime juice , stirring to coat everything. Add the cooked, fluffed couscous, fresh basil, parsley and chives. Season with black pepper and salt to your liking.

Serve hot, warm, or even cold if you’d like.

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Everyday Life: Weeks 18, 19, 20 and 21

I keep saying I’ll come back to this space and share tea number of recipes…yet the days seem to escape me, and here I am, 4 weeks since the last post…

A look at the last few weeks:

The garden is a-growing!

The downside to an approaching summer is knowing that I’ll be less inclined to heat our oven to 550 degrees in order to make homemade pizza.

Tricks.

Best photo of Percy. Haha

Homemade vegan BBQ!

From around the garden :)

When you provide food for your husband’s band rehearsal, after an afternoon of Little League… dips! Baguettes! Likened accessory foods!

When our german shepherds were getting older and sicker, these washable dog diapers helped us prolong having them with us. Who knew they’d come in handy when Miss Percy wasn’t feeling well and decided it was easier to wet the bed than go outside to use the bathroom…

My favorite…blueberry pie.

Even better, blueberry pie for dinner the next night.

This has been my favorite bread to make recently – garlic rosemary!

My dad came into town for a short 3-day visit.

Playing a game with Silas that my grandma taught me 20+ years ago.

Biscuits!

We made a slightly impromptu trip to the Bay Area last weekend… Percy’s preferred car riding position (yes, please).

Both kids also came along.

Silas and I had chicken and waffles for dinner (bourbon ginger for me, strawberry lemonade for him) the first night.

Craig and I got up early the next morning to indulge in some straight-out-of-the-oven egg custard tarts in Chinatown.

This little snugglebutt is an indulgent fan of hotel room living.

Just as Silas was scanning the horizon, a handful of seals came out to play in San Francisco Bay.

Saturday morning finds in the city.

This boy is clocking in at nearly 5’7″ and 134 pounds. He’ll be 12 in just a couple weeks!

Golden Boy Pizza and a drive through the city for lunch.

Percy got to have her first beach experience. She wasn’t so sure about the water, but loved the sand-digging and running.

Vincent, Silas and Percy. The Golden Gate in the distance.

On the road home.

We brought home some Boudin Bakery sourdough…french toast was totally necessary for dinner ASAP.

While we were gone, the first of our poppies popped!

Little baby.

Homemade falafel night. With homemade hummus and tzatziki.

Sassy cat. “PET ME.”

Our gardens are coming along slowly…

How to prepare for hosting middle schoolers’ sleepovers. Ha.

Lazy bones.

My husband’s band played a fun show here in town!

That’s a wrap for now… hope you’re all well!

Everyday Life: Weeks 14, 15, 16 and 17

Oh jeez. Where did the entire month of April go? It’s been a little quiet over here… but here’s a little peek at the last four weeks:

Everyday Life: Weeks 14, 15, 16 and 17:


Wanting to be let back into the house after digging up my (still unplanted) garden.


When Silas has sleepovers here, pizza is an easy dinner option. Even easier when I just make two cheese pies – one pesto and one marinara.


Pop!


Percy’s favorite part about bath time. Post-bath snuggle.


Some days.


Vegetarian sopes!


We are in full-swing (no pun intended) with baseball season right now. That means at least 4 days a week center around practices or games.


Its also meant I have to pretend to be a morning person, which is made easier by toting hot coffee and a fat breakfast burrito to the cold baseball field at 9am.


My husband’s also had pretty regularly scheduled rehearsals… sometimes I make food. This was jalapeño mac and cheese and a kale salad with a pinot noir vinaigrette.


When you wake up to this face right in your face…


A vegetarian take on a fried chicken sandwich for dinner one night.


Easter happened sometime in the last four weeks… I made hot cross buns!


And also Easter lunchtime pizza. ;)


Double rainbow one evening when we took Percy to go play.


Pre-baseball breakfast. Strawberry banana smoothies, fluffy pancakes, cara cara oranges (my current favorite).


Silas has been pitching some again this year… fun to watch!


Our friends Janet and Ray gave us some locally caught rainbow trout. I deboned then filleted them, then turned them into tacos.


Homemade rosemary garlic bread…


To go along with salads and this creamy vegan potato leek soup.


Jumpy will walk the entire length of the fence along our backyard, then jump down and shimmy under the gate to come into the house.


Breakfast rolls. Because some Sundays just require them.


His and Hers dinners.


Definitely “hers.” MINE. Fentimans Rose Lemonade with Hendrick’s Gin. YASSS.


While he’s mainly the first baseman, Silas’s coach has put him in as catcher a few times as well. He hasn’t played that position in a couple years.


Simple shoyu saimin. Comfort food.


My husband played a gig at a local pub that specializes in pot pies. This was the pork shank pie with kale, smokey bleu cheese, and thyme. And chips because… CARBS.


Getting in our walk/run/chase.


Taco bar.


Percy’s the best snuggler in the world.


Another comfort food: fried rice. For breakfast, lunch or dinner.


Jalapeño cheddar biscuits this morning!

Hope you’ve had a lovely few weeks! I also hope I will not be so MIA… ;)

Everyday Life: Weeks 12 and 13

Here is a little peek at the last couple weeks.

Everyday Life: Weeks 12 and 13:

Homemade Indian food! Palak paneer, paneer makhani, garlic naan, steamed basmati rice and Punjabi spiced cauliflower.

The next night I experimented with leftovers and turned them into calzones, each stuffed with rice and either palak paneer or leftover paneer makhani.

We drove south to California… Forgot to check the weather for the drive… oops. Snow flurries off and on for the first two hours of driving.

Guess who else got to go on our road trip? (Note all the toys behind her.)

Craig, Silas, Silas’s mom and I went to the Bay Area at the start of Spring Break. First off, our first Golden State Warriors game. It was a lot more fun than I’d anticipated!

We stopped by Lake Merritt in Oakland to walk Percy the next morning.

Craig and I also decided to check out an international aquarium shop we drove past while also on a hunt for a good burrito. This fella caught my eye. And tried to attack my face.

Silas and his mom went to Six Flags so Craig and I ventured into San Francisco for a night.

An unplanned trek up to Coit Tower.

We walked past Liguria Bakery and I instantly thought of Tracy Shutterbean. Though I wanted some raisin focaccia, they were closed. All we found were these perma-dogs on the side of the building.

After walking all over North Beach and Chinatown in the wee morning hours, we stopped by Sam Wo near our hotel for 2AM vegetable chow fun.

The next day we met up with Silas and his mom for lunch at Mi Pueblo, which we discovered a few years ago. I ordered 3 sopes (photo is just one of the three)…little did I know they’d be big enough to leave me with two plates of food. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

After lunch, we decided to venture to the Redwoods near San Geronimo.

Silas amidst the redwoods…

You know who also enjoyed the forest and little streams.

Misadventures.

After the redwood adventure we decided to drive on to Tomales Bay. It was rainy, windy and cold when we got there, but c’est la vie. Get me near any body of water and I am happy.

I always enjoy getting back in my own kitchen when we get home. His and Hers dinner sammiches. His: tempeh bacon, tofurky, pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, garlic basil mayonnaise. Hers/MINE: thick cut roasted chicken, muenster cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce, curry vegenaise. Both on local made buttermilk bread.

I left the room for – literally 1 minute – came back and guess who’d cuddled up with my shirt? Haha

Still cold enough for soup around here… corn chowder with tempeh bacon.

Totally necessary. Puff pastry morning bun experiment.

Reunited after our road trip. They’d both freak out if they were awake, realizing they were touching each other.

I had been craving crab cakes for weeks. Soooo. I made Dungeness crab cakes, curry aioli, pink lady apple salad and a Vitamix whole fruit frozen margarita.

Surprise daffodils from the husband.

A recipe that was surprisingly good! Brown rice, Quorn chik’n skewers (marinated in a garlic ginger soy sauce), and spicy peanut sauce.

Always a staple meal around here, even when/especially when we have surprise extra kids in the house for dinner. EVERY WEEKEND: “Can I have a sleepover with __________ tonight?” Cheese enchiladas, beans, rice. These chips.

When you’re working in the yard, then realize the dog’s gotten awfully quiet for the last half hour…

Organic strawberries were on sale… so, strawberry shortcake tonight. With sweet biscuits, like how my mom would make it when I was a kid.

You’re welcome. (This is how I feel like I look when I sleep, too.)

Hope you’ve had a lovely couple of weeks!