Easter Sunday Happiness

Happy Easter! We don’t celebrate this holiday so this is just a nice Sunday of a long weekend for us. My little one woke up early, and after playing for a little while snuck into our bedroom, poked me in the shoulder, and said “Can you get up now? I’m hungry.” Of course, I drag myself out of bed, even though I was not prepared to start my day. My little one loves being in the kitchen with me, and as I start to prep pancakes for breakfast he pulls up a chair and asks to help me cook. Together we make pancakes for breakfast, and he is so proud to call his big brother to the breakfast he helped prepare.

Now that the boys are dressed and fed, I am feeling productive. I decide to get started on making tonight’s dinner. I figure that if I have the time consuming part finished then I can throw the rest of dinner together quickly when we all get hungry. Dinner tonight is meatballs and sauce. I start by grinding the beef, this has made a huge difference in my food, and is worth the effort if you have the opportinity to grind your own meat. I get the meatballs and sauce made, and take the boys to the playground to play. It’s a beautiful day and getting my dinner made early means I get to spend some quality time having fun with the kids. 

Then my sister asks me to go to Manhattan with her to hang out for the afternoon. I quickly get ready and off I go for some sister time in the city. When I get home we have dinner ready quickly and now the boys are watching Harry Potter before bed. One decision, to make dinner early, changed my day entirely. I didn’t procrastinate, and my family was taken care of, and I had some time for myself as well. Lazy Sundays are special in their own way, but days like today remind me how full and fulfilling my life can be. 

  
MEATBALLS AND SAUCE (adapted from Ina Garten http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/real-meatballs-and-spaghetti-recipe.html )

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb ground veal
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs 
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan 
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic minced 
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock 
  • Olive oil, and vegetable oil

Combine the meat, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, water, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Heat equal amounts of olive oil and vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Make meatballs, approximately 2″, and brown on all sides in the skillet. Set them aside when they are done. Discard oil, do not wipe pan clean. Add some olive oil, and heat over medium heat. Add onions, and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute. Add chicken stock, and scrape browned bits off bottom of pan. Bring to a simmer. Add crushed tomatoes and stir in 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Return meatballs to skillet, cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes. 

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Project Sue

This is a two-part experiment in providing some accountability for myself as I explore activities that I enjoy. I am not claiming that I will uncover an amazing hidden talent lying under years of neglect. I don’t know if anyone will be interested in my personal journey to experience the things I enjoy and to learn or if, in essence, I’m just talking to myself. Like I said, this is an experiment, so here goes…

Part 1: Drawing

I went to a small, liberal arts college and in an attempt to produce well-rounded individuals in the span of 4 years, all students were required to take an art class. Well, knowing (from 10 years of piano lesson and singing in school choruses) that music wasn’t an artistic option for myself, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and take a drawing class. I was a fish out of water, a biology/psychology major taking a drawing class in a very artsy school, and I loved it! I loved my art classes in high school (shh… don’t tell anyone) and this college art course really introduced me to techniques that I felt I could do, and I didn’t think turned out half bad. In this part of my journey, I’m going to work through “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards. I am hoping that at the end of this, I will have honed my skills enough to enjoy drawing as a hobby and perhaps feel confident enough to share my drawings with other without making their eyes bleed.

Part 2: Cooking

I love to cook! I love making something delicious and sharing it with people that I love (I know, how cheesy does that sound?). I am a die-hard fan of “Top Chef”, I never miss an episode. I have collected a small collection of various cook books, mostly as gifts from family and friends encouraging me to continue cooking, that I have read from cover to cover, but have not made the recipes within. What a waste! To read recipes, study the pictures, and then put it on the shelf without attempting to make it? No more! I am going to start cooking those recipes that I’ve collected in the “someday” folder. I’m going to keep track of what I make, how I like it, and perhaps even reviews I get from my family.

Now, I need to go and find that first, perfect recipe with which to start my journey of self-discovery… Bon appetit!