>Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust

>Today was the girls’ “friends” birthday party – with a Never Never Land theme.  I love this age – you set up a few activities, especially involving glitter glue and a kiddie pool, and it kind of runs itself…although you’re never quite sure.  All I know is that with our sitter friend Caitlin, we could do anything!  Or better put, I couldn’t do anything without her!

After finishing the goody treasure chests this morning at 1am, I headed to bed, knowing that I had my first attempt at overnight oats waiting for me in the a.m.

I woke up this morning to rendezvous with our friend Jenn Sullivan who makes the most amazing cakes!  You have to email her to get some photos of different cakes, but she is the new favorite cake maestra!  The cake was a healthy pumpkin carrot cake, and was to die for.  Seriously, one of the best cakes, and the coolest looking, I have ever had!

She is a Perfectionista as well – mom of three handsome boys – and clearly talented!
The kids couldn’t wait to get their hands on the cake! 
Beautiful Fairies…
I love that our cousins (well, Jason’s really, but I’m psyched to claim them too!) have kids the same ages as ours…birthday parties are the perfect excuse for some good together time!
Treasure time!
I have to give Beppo some props on his Caprese Salad for Sean & Jessica’s cookout today.  After all, he looked at me and said, “I want to make the blog.  Take a picture of this masterpiece!”
This was dinner for me – over a half grilled chicken breast with some salad.  
With all of the tomatoes from Springdell Farms, this seems to be the go-to cookout dish this weekend.  
What is your ‘go-to’ cookout dish?

>Busy Mom = Easy Dinner

>Got up early this morning to do some work before a morning meeting in Worcester…definitely needed this:

I let the dog out to do his thing, and poor Murphy…he’s getting old I think, and he’s starting to wander.  He’s usually really good about going out to the back or side yard, doing his thing, and coming right back.  Today, in the rain and my jammies, at 6:15, I had to search the neighborhood for him.  He was next door rallying their pug.  Very neighborly of us, Murph.  
When I got back inside, this is what I found:
“Good morning.  I’m doing your work, Mommy.”  

Coming home from work tonight, I was planning on stopping to get some fish for dinner.  But it was cold, rainy, and really, I just wanted to see the girls, put on my sweats, and start cooking.  My goal was to have everyone in bed early…its 9:40 and I think its finally quiet…

Ah, yes, the best laid plans…

But, for not planning this dinner, I have to say, it was delish!

Nonna went out to dinner with her friend from St. Clement’s in Somerville, Terry.  So it was Beppo and us Websters for dinner.

When I took a peek in the fridge, I found 2 left over hamburgers, one left over sausage, some baby spinach, some broccoli florets…all of which seemed like they would saute nicely with some olive oil and an onion.  I put them over soba noodles, and guess what?  They DID work well together.  No leftovers 🙂  Kid and Beppo approved!!!

So, as a wise funny insightful man told me today (or was it yesterday?)…that I need to learn to just accept it.  I guess tonight, “it” was a random, unplanned dinner.  And, what do you know…it was still really good 🙂

>Bring the Boats to Dinner…

>I knew on Sunday that this week would be a long one, so I pre-empted my stress with some cooking!  We had tons of veggies from our Springdell Farms share, so I set out to use them early in the week (we pick up on Fridays).

This was part of Sunday night’s feast.  I say feast because it usually involves the 4 Websters, Nonna, Beppo, Sean (my brother, often referred to as Uncle Sean) and his girlfriend, Jessica (aka Auntie Jessica) — which it did this week.  So there is usually a huge Italian meal made by my mom, or I cook and its really a toss up.  This week was a toss up…
My dish: Zuke Boats and Stuffed Peppers
The boats are ready for stuffing!  I used 4 large peppers and 3 cute little jingle bell peppers.  So cute!
The stuffing was Kashi 7 Grain Pilaf, goat cheese, scallions, sun dried tomatoes, the zucchini insides, and fresh purple basil mixed with about 1T of olive oil.  I had made the Kashi on Saturday so that I had it to use when the time came.  Big thanks to Jody Adams, Chef and Owner of Rialto for introducing me to Kashi 7 Grain Pilaf.  It is super useful and sooooo good for you!
Big Peppa…
itsy bitsy peppa…
The big peppa was even better the next day, Monday, for lunch.  The microwave at work softened the grains I think I crisped a bit too much in the oven.
Question of the day…

What is your favorite whole grain and how do you use it?

>Somewhere over the rainbow…


is my home…Honestly, I was so happy to be home from Vermont last week.  Nice welcome…

I love to travel.  Road trips with the kids are actually becoming fun!  But we’ve been spending a lot of time in the car, and since Jason’s shoulder surgery, I’ve been behind the wheel.  I appreciate his love for driving so much more now…
As sad as I am to see summer come to an end, the stress levels in all aspects of life (home, work, etc.) are starting to rise in anticipation of upcoming work events (Fall Start! Heart Walks!) and of course, Back To School!  Maddy starts Kindergarten this year, in a week and a half, and then the week after, Emma goes back to Montessori. This had got me in the mood…
The mood for FOOD!  
I need to get back in to my organized zone.  Back to prepping ahead, back to packing not just my lunch, but now Jason’s AND Maddy’s!  And getting used to whatever our new schedule is going to be.  
So today is Sunday.  Bring it on.  I am ready to get ready…
But first, check out yesterday’s deliciousness…
This was lunch – chicken salad made with non fat plain greek yogurt, madras curry powder, champagne grapes, celery, and leftover grilled chicken breasts from the other night.  Totally hit the spot for a quick lunch after running lots of errands with Uncle Sean!

Here is the man of the house helping with dessert prep!  That bowl there is about all the poor guy can lift during his shoulder/bicep rehab, but he can lay out one heck of a cobbler!

But before dessert…you have to eat your dinner…
Fresh out of the new Cooking Light magazine, fresh fettuccine, heirloom tomatoes from our share at Springdell Farm this week, garlic, olive oil, a dash of sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and shaved Parm Regg cheese.  
I’ve discovered that I love figuring out what to cook based on what we get in our weekly share.  We’re really moving toward being a busy family with crazy insane schedules that may actually be able to manage eating locally.  I mean, my sanity sometimes means a bit more than where our fruit came from…especially when we’re screaming for pineapple, but I’d love to make it happen!
Now, for the evening ender…peach blackberry cobbler (made with fruit from our share!!!)
Here’s how I we made it:
3T butter
3T canola oil
(melt those in a 9×13 baking dish, in a 350 degree oven, about 5-7 minutes until melted)
1C organic whole grain pastry flour
1.5t baking powder
1t sea salt
(mix together in a bowl)
Then add:
1C skim or reduced fat milk
1/2C sucanat
1t vanilla
(and mix well)
Add melted butter/oil to batter and combine.  Pour batter into the hot baking dish.
Artistically arrange sliced peaches and blackberries (or other fruit) in the batter as seen being done by the very talented Jason above!
Then bake in the 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, until its all set, crunchy on top, and a beautiful shade of brown.

We happened to enjoy ours with some Hagen Daas five vanilla ice cream and good company.  Our friend Steve stopped by on his way home from lunch with Adam Lambert.  Yeah, some of us have rough weekends…
Check out what else Steve is up to here.  If you’re in need of a good laugh, he is the perfect guy to catch on stage, or on The Batters Box, or Community Auditions… he’s everywhere.
OK – off to plan the week’s menu and next weekend’s Never Never Land (Peter Pan and Tink) Birthday party for the girls.  Perfect way to spend a rainy Sunday!

>My little D

>So, I’m taking a break from the vacation recap to share with you my amazing little nephew.  We spent some quality time in the car together today, and he is the cutest little guy I’ve ever seen…and talented.  Check this out!

That is some serious sock munching…

Then, he moved on to my food should taste good sweet potato chips.  At least he really does have good taste!

But here are the three cousins hanging out at the Trapp Family Lodge…they always seem to have fun together – thank heavens!!!

Hmmm…what did we eat today?  Do I even dare go there???  I can’t wait to be back cooking all my meals.  We need a routine, stat!
This morning I made a frittata with left over salmon, spinach and goat cheese.  I loved it.  Jason, on the other hand, not such a big fan.  Kashi was his alternative breakfast of choice.
The rest of the day was downhill in terms of eating, so we’ll just skip it and say tomorrow is a new day, one where I am back in the kitchen. 
How do you get back on track after a day like this??

>Cape Cod & Nantucket Part 2


Part 2 was our trip over to my new favorite place – Nantucket.  Our good friends the Glasers invited us to invade their vacation for a few days…and we happily obliged!  Thank goodness for kids who become friends with great kids…who have awesome parents!  Then us moms and dads get to have fun too!

So it all began with a ferry ride…

with a very loud horn…
but the excitement was too much for some to even worry about the noise!
I told Santa this was at the top of my list for this Christmas…
So, Laura and Duff are wonderful hosts – we had a blast.  The dogs got to play together, the kids didn’t stop whether it was running around the yard, catching the waves, digging in the sand, doing arts and crafts, or of course – eating ice cream at the Juice Bar.
The happy crew!
It gets better!  Nonna and Beppo took a mini vacation to Nantucket, too!  Its a small place, so we ran into each other a few times, but I don’t think we cramped their vacation.  Honestly, I think they have serious withdrawal whenever they’re not around the girls.  That makes me smile  🙂
But here is the best part.  The grown ups got to have a night out for dinner!  We went to Todd English’s Summer House.  And we ate outdoors, on the beach.  Well, right on the other side of the bushes at the beach.  Check it out!
Nice pic Jason!
Lobster corn chowder…
Shrimp cocktail…
Caprese salad…
Laura and I had saffron risotto with lobster, mussels, shrimp, and chorizo.
I’m not gonna lie, it was good, and I ate every last bite!
Jason had delicious fish tacos..
Duff was so far away on the other side of the table, I didn’t get any good shots of his food 😦  But I did have a bite of his Sesame Tuna appetizer…and it was amazing!
Here’s the best part…
Good friends…
fun times…
and time with those we love…
All in all, it was the greatest three days of our vacation – without a doubt!
Pennies at the Point.  See you next summer, ACK!
(and THANK YOU Glasers!!!)
Where is your favorite place to eat on Nantucket, and why?


>Cape Cod & Nantucket Part 1

>So, that first week back in the swing of things after vacation is over.  The pics from the new camera have been downloaded, and more importantly, the file sized reduced for uploading!!!  I am learning a ton about our new toy, but man is that thing complicated.  If you know of any good Digital SLR classes in MA, let me know!!!

Now that I have photos at my disposal, and have set the camera to take photos that are a smaller file, I am ready to blog.  I mean seriously blog.  This is also the weekend I get back on my cooking run.  I mean, really.  Although its stressful to manage cooking for a house of 6 with frequent guests, I discovered this week that it actually helps me keep the rest of my life’s stresses in check.  I missed cooking this week soooo much!!!

After I post this blog, and my oil change at Bernardi Honda is complete, I am picking up Jason at work and we’re heading to pick up our share at Springdell Farms!  Let the menu planning begin!!!

OK, so a little bit about the past 2 weeks in the Perfectionista’s life…

Remember that yummy meltaway from the last post, well, this is what the girls ate for breakfast that day at Bonatt’s in Harwich.  Blueberry Belgium Waffle with fresh blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream.  It was good.  Yes, I tried it.  I’m their mom.  I have to make sure everything is safe 🙂
This was my delish breakfast – a poached egg, dry multigrain toast, cottage cheese and fresh fruit.
I had to make myself feel better about having a bite of the meltaway and Emma’s leftovers!
Somebody had blue blueberry tongue!
This is my 5-going-on-15 year old.  Eating her grilled cheese in Chatham at Chatham Cookware.  I LOVE this place.
This is the other Diva in Training.  Man, do we have our hands full…
Nothing like a little bit of sisterly love…
Stay tuned…next post:  The ferry ride to Nantucket and 3 days of bliss on my new favorite island!!!
Let’s start the commenting – What is your favorite vacation spot?

>I am in love…


With Nantucket.  And Cape Cod.  Well, really, its vacation in general that has my heart pumping.
I have had the best time relaxing, spending some fantastic time with amazing friends, enjoying our kids, chilling at the beach, shopping, getting up early with no place to go…you name it.  If it doesn’t have a deadline, I’ve been doing it and loving it!
In the meantime, I have had the chance to break in my new camera!  My husband jokes that the food critic has arrived each time we’ve sat down to eat a meal…I think he’s embarrassed at restaurants, but one of these days, its going to pay off when the owner really thinks I am a big food critic!!! Hah!
So, here is the first of many highlights…but note: I am on vacation.  While most of what I eat sticks to my clean and/or healthy eating principles…there are some things I just can’t live without every once and a while.

Enter exhibit A:  Bonatt’s Meltaways
More to come…