Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Simple Recipe - Summery Pesto

I planted my very first herb garden this summer at our new house.  I have a black thumb and have killed literally every plant I have ever gotten my hands on.  But, by some miracle, my herbs are still alive.  Not only that - they are thriving!  So, we have on hand a TON of fresh basil.  When I got sick of the tomato caprese salads and tomato and basil sauce, I decided to try pesto.

The great thing about pesto is that it seems so fancy, yet it is so very simple.

Simple Summer Pesto

2  fresh basil leaves (packed)
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped garlic
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Serve with pasta, toasted baguettes or freeze.

Of course, my baby girl freaked out when I started up the food processor, so mine didn't go exactly as planned in the recipe.  Everything got tossed in at once (except for the olive oil) and pulsed very quickly.  Added the olive oil and voila - Simple Summer Pesto.  I'll be serving some pasta with pesto and fresh tomatoes along side my herb marinated Pork Tenderloin.  Pictures up tonight.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Recipe - Key Lime Cheesecake

Since Sunday's and Tuesdays are really the only two days that I have time to cook - my plan is to try a new recipe and share it here!  Tonight we are heading over to my parents house for dinner (my little brother is making the trek from North Beach to cook for us).  After being inspired by Pinterest, I decided on  trying my hand at a dessert.  So, today's recipe is for Key Lime Cheesecake.

I found Key Limes at my local Safeway, and everything I've ever heard about Key Lime Pie, is that it's the limes, the limes, the limes that make it so good!!

Easy Key Lime Cheesecake

what you need

3 pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened

3/4 cup  sugar

1 tsp.  grated lime zest

1/4 cup key lime juice
3 eggs

1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)

Whipped Cream topping

Make It

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar, peel, juice with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix just until blended. 
POUR into crust.

BAKE 45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Top with whipped topping just before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

21 Creative Consequences | iMOM

21 Creative Consequences | iMOM

Being the Perfect Woman

When I was dreaming about being a mom, I always pictured myself with a little boy.  Momma's little guy, ready to play sports, dig in the dirt, climb trees and be tough.  So, when the ultrasound tech said "it's a female", I'm not ashamed to admit it, I started sobbing.  I just didn't know if I could handle raising a little girl.  After all, I was one and I knew all that came with girls.  The hormones and the rolling eyes.  The boys.  Oh god, the boys.  And the mean girls.  Oh, hell. What was I going to do??

I refused to buy anything pink.  I painted Gabriella's room yellow with teal accents.  I refused to buy newborn dresses and hair bows.  I told my sister "HELL NO" when she offered up her daughter's pricess dresses.   I am determined to not raise a princess.   I started reading this article about how most 6 year old girls want to be sexy.

"Across-the-board, girls chose the "sexy" doll most often. The results were significant in two categories: 68 percent of the girls said the doll looked how she wanted to look, and 72 percent said she was more popular than the non-sexy doll.

"It's very possible that girls wanted to look like the sexy doll because they believe sexiness leads to popularity, which comes with many social advantages," explained lead researcher Christy Starr, who was particularly surprised at how many 6- to 7-year-old girls chose the sexualized doll as their ideal self."

Time magazine's article on this study pointed out that "Interestingly, media consumption did not seem to play a role in the doll they picked. But a mother’s self-image did. Those girls with moms who reported self-objectifying tendencies, like worrying about their clothes and appearance many times a day, were more likely to pick the sexy doll."  Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2012/07/30/the-tyranny-of-the-sexy-mom/?hpt=hp_t2#ixzz24OhAjw00

It's my job as her mother to make sure she has a positive self image.  Not anyone else. I'm determined to make sure to tell her often that she is smart, kind, strong and funny.   How do I do that? By watching how I talk about myself and other women.  

The world is a big scary place for a little girl. And I have to teach her about being a strong, independant woman really is.  Women these days are so pressured to be everything.  Martha Stewart meets Kim Kardashian meets Hillary Clinton.  The perfect hostess, party planner, gourmet cook, athlete, model, celebrity, fashionista.  Frankly, I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

This past weekend I took her for her first photo shoot.  Now, with a little girl this pretty - teaching her that looks aren't everything shouldn't be too tough - right?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

For Her, For Me

In 2006, after I got married, I felt let down. The party, the details, the world that I had been living in for 2 years was over...and there I was, a old married lady.   So depressed and yet obsessed with my own wedding, I took my 10 years of corporate event knowledge - grabbed one of my best friends and hastily started a wedding planning business - Simply Sparkling Events.   We kept those day jobs, and even though it was hard working almost 7 days a week - we were good at wedding planning, it was fun and creative.  And hard.  Dealing with other people's weddings, difficult mothers, even more difficult maid of honors, drunk best men - ugh.  That could be  blog all on it's own.

In any case, in 2009 my husband and I decided to get pregnant.  Knowing that I couldn't possibly juggle a full time job, a part-time business and motherhood, I told my best friend and business partner I was out of the wedding planning game.

2 years later, after months of tears, doctor appointments and words like "unexplained infertility", "IVF" and "IUI" - we still weren't pregnant. I had given up on my business for nothing, my day job was getting unbearable and my marriage was showing signs of strain. 

I started seriously thinking about what my life would be like without children.  Would I stay living in the suburbs?  Should I start another business? What could possibly fill that hole in my heart where my love for my child would be.

Then, a miracle.  2 years, and over $10,000 later - in the month that we were "taking off, we got pregnant.    And now, I'm the proud mother of my beautiful baby girl, Gabriella.

This blog is for her, for me and for all those women struggling right now with feeling that emptiness that infertility brings into your life.  And, oh yeah  - some event planning too.