Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Baby Number One Turning Two!

This little Puddin Toes has turned our hearts upside down and inside out. Happy Birthday Eden Elizabeth. You are the giggle in our heart, the bounce in our toes, and the smile on our face.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Cousin John Part II

I know this account of my family stay-cation is more for us and a documentation of our time together. If your interested join along as I feature the last of our highlights of this time together.
Pictured above was a little creation I came upon one night for dessert. I had planned on grilling fresh peaches, but hubby wasn't too thrilled with starting the barbecue up again...sooo.

I tried a little peach saute on the stove top. Mmmm let's call is Peaches a'la Cindy :)
2 tsp. butter(melt butter in pan)

sliced peaches (3-4) (drop in peaches as you are slicing)

1/2 cup of sugar sprinkled over peaches while sauteing on stove top

a squeeze of 1/4 of a lemon (right into the pan)

a handful of blueberries (I think raspberries would be good too as pictured above)

2 tlb. of orange marmalade (I think apricot or peach jam would work too)

Don't over cook here, just a gentle simmer, I like my peaches still fresh tasting.

At the end I stirred in about 1 1/2 tsp. of almond extract.

Served warm over vanilla ice cream. We used light vanilla frozen yogurt. It was deeee-licious! I have already served it 2x.

After Pat and Chris left us we went on a days outing to MaryHill Winery and museum.

Such beautiful vista's looking down the gorge to the Columbia River.

This is a specific appellation where they apparently can grow some Zinfandel grapes because of the warmer climate in proximity to the river.

We made one other stop on the way home to Columbia Crest which is one of our biggest state winery's. It was a beautiful building and we got to taste some great wines here.
One night for dessert I introduced my cousins to a Tim Tam Slam (click here if you don't know what that is) His approach was serious...

and his technique impeccable...

the results were satisfying :))))))))
a desert walk
As I mentioned in an earlier post we went to see the movie Julie and Julia. To my delight I was gifted with this new anniversary addition of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" from my cousin as a thank you. I can't wait for a good fall chill to hit the air and I will be making my very first Boeuf Bourguignonne.

This was John after the movie cooking dinner for us ..a la Julia Child - lol - accent included :D

Notice the moppina over the shoulder classic Italian style

This was a chicken dish with artichokes, black olives, garlic, and tomato sauce. Apparently making up dishes runs in the family. One of John's homemade specials!

One last night was spent at Tagaris with live music and a stunning Seattle chef. I had this yummy chicken with a tarragon pesto rub. And of coarse the Bison was a big hit with the guys.

Thanks for coming along my summer journey. Now a time of rest before the fall activities.

I am treasuring these last few weeks of summer. How about you?

Baby Avey Update

Our little Miss Sweet Pea is now 3 months old. She has quite the eyebrow action going on.

There is nothing like being a Nana. I could never have imagined how this season of my life would be. Just tonight we had the grands and mom and dad over for dinner. We were constantly entertained by the babies. Miss Avey is growing up way to fast. I just want to freeze frame everything. As they were leaving Eden was a little weepy to leave Nana and Papa's...( oh how I secretly adore that...hmmm guess it is no secret...hehehe) I had to tell her to come back next week and spend a day with Nana. She thought about that and said "and cheese noodles too?" Oh yes Nana will make cheese noodles and we can garden. Okay she was satisfied, cheese noodles and gardening. I am soooooooooooo in love it is ridiculous. Only thing that would make this season of my life better is more energy!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Cousin John

Part I

It started with a quick pick up from the heart was in my throat and there were tears in my eyes. Here he was my cousin John, and his lovely wife Kathy. You see when I was 12 years old we moved from all that was family from a small little town in Massachusetts. First it was N.J. then N.Y. then oh my gosh at 16 years old my father moved us clear across the country to Washington State. We never moved back. Our entire family was left on the east coast minus my parents and my one sibling. Both Chris and I married western boys, and here we have stayed. But, and that is a big but...we never forgot the days and times of all that was family and childhood. This very special visit from one very special cousin was an amazing treat for my sister and I.
I kept thinking to myself, Cindy give him a moment to breath. His younger brother Joe had just passed away and our hearts were so full of so many much to catch up much more to share. For the next ten days I had FAMILY. It was crazy how the memories came flooding back. Things I didn't even know I remembered. Long forgotten stories of a distant time came bubbling up to the surface. By the sharing of those stories about the same gatherings and the same characters we both loved and cherished, we remembered. Oh how we laughed and oh how we cried... Did I mention we are Italian. I hope that explains some of what I am trying to convey. The culture of the Boston area Italian immigrants and there families back in the days... is one of well...much love, much laughter, much joy and the crazy Italian American slang that we all knew. I can't tell you how many funny words we used this week. Probably most of them made up :)

A trip a da zeet (accompanied by the shaking of the hand) became the word of the week :) Hahaha I can't even begin to explain that one...something about an aunts stomach ???

Kathy asked me on the way to this winery (now keep in mind she is from New Hampshire) What kind of trees grew on the hills around first I was puzzled...trees...what trees? Then I realized with a chuckle, Kathy we only have sage brush...hehehe. Our terrain is not like the east coast. We belong in a John Wayne movie back drop more than anything else. More on this later.

I can't even believe how many wineries we This is our first outing to Red Mountain, to an estate winery called Terra Blanca. A very beautiful setting with a beautiful new chateau type building.

John arrived Thursday and Chris and Pat joined us on Friday night. We took everyone out to a local restaurant on the river and enjoyed a lovely walk along the river as the sun was setting.

Early the next morning I had arranged for a 5 hour boat tour up the Columbia River. My son Josh from Portland, my daughter Jenna from Seattle joined us with Meg, Ty, Ty's mom, sister Ashely and the babies...what a big day we had!

Morning lattes for the trip

Puddin Toes gets her special "treat milk" (milk with a splash of vanilia flavoring)

Getting on the boat

the aunties...Jenna and Ashley

my cousin John carrying Puddin Toes pink purse...

Sis and I with our hubbies

pushing off from shore

We went out to the Hanford Reach...the last part of the Columbia River that is free flowing (without any dam interferences) Now a national monument.
One piece of history that was pointed out to us was part of the Cariboo Trail that was used to herd cattle all the way up to the Canadian Gold mines. Apparently this trail saw more cows than it's more famous cousin the"Chisom Trail" who knew??? Like I said I think I live in the middle of a John Wayne movie :)

Puddin Toes trying to take it all in

We saw lots of wildlife, deer, 6 foot wing span white pelicans, blue herring cranes, and many, many more birds.

This place was called White Bluffs where there was a substantial Indian village at one time of the Wanapam Indians. This area later became known as the Hanford Area, where my dad worked.
Uncle Josh and P.T.

Back to the house for an Italian feast of mom's lasagna and "meat a baallls"
Jenna for one was very happy with a home cooked meal.
Afterwards there was lots of visiting, baby holding...and a very competitive game of Bocce...aheemmm Christina Marie :)

Day 3 we did a little wine tasting at Wine O'clock in Prosser and had a wonderful lunch. The salad was a homemade vinaigrette of 8 kinds of tomatoes and 6 kinds of cucumber. Then we all shared a pizza Margarite, Salumi's meat pizza, and our favorite which was pear and bacon. All topped off with a bottle of Sangiovese (an Italian grape of coarse) The food and wine were delish.

Then we popped over to the Winemakers Loft and took them to Coyote Canyon...remember our last wine tour with "John" our wine maker friend. I love the ambiance of the old world look to this place.

Good times, great days, and this was only the beginning of my week :)
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