Best Laid Plans

We had another Romanian recipe planned for today. Only it didn’t turn out very well. In fact, it didn’t turn out at all. You know how that goes sometimes, you have everything all laid out – your plans for the day, the recipe, the ingredients and then somehow time sneaks up on you, you’re in a rush, the recipe goes completely haywire and all you have are some prep pictures and no finished result. This is when I take a deep breath and am reminded of that old saying, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.”

But that’s life isn’t it…it’s gunna throw stuff at us. It’s full of uncertainty, and sometimes it’s okay to just throw your hands-up and move on. Now even though we pushed this recipe aside for today, we do plan on trying it again. You could say that it’s become a personal challenge of sorts. I will figure this one out! Until then, we thought we’d share this simple Watermelon-Ginger Salad that we whipped up to go with Mr. N’s birthday meal a few weeks ago. It’s simple, it’s fresh, is a great summer side, and most importantly it’s no fail! Continue reading

From Sesame Street to Sesame Chicken

I mentioned in the last post that this was Mr. N’s special week. So for the next few posts we’ll be setting Romania aside to bring you Mr. N’s birthday meal of choice. Gone are the days of kicking back and watching Sesame Street with my favorite little boy. He’s eight now and rolls his eyes at the sight of anything Sesame Street related. Now he’s into LEGO’s, reading mystery books and running around with his friends (without his mom). While I miss the days of carrying him around everywhere with me (Man, did he love to be carried!), it’s such a joy watching him grow and develop such an active imagination, gentle nature and terrific sense of humor.

Mr. N’s 1st Birthday

So what did Mr. N request for his birthday? Sesame Chicken. Well, actually he told me he wanted some kind of Chinese chicken. When I asked what kind, he requested I pull something up on the internet. So I Googled “Chinese chicken” images and passed him the computer. He browsed through a page or two of pictures and then said, “This one. I want this one.” And so today, Mr. N — who’s writing this along side of me and rather embarrassed at the moment with his mom’s mushiness — bring you a lighter version of the popular Sesame Chicken which we adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. Incidentally it’s also a really easy recipe which gave me more time to work on the dessert that we’ll share soon. Alright…take it away Mr. N.  Continue reading

Overcoming Some Fears

This weekend has been a whirlwind! We left town Thursday night for St. Louis. Dad had a conference to attend on Friday and Mr. N, Miss A and I were tagging along to enjoy a little change of scenery and visit the City Museum. The weekend wasn’t without its challenges – Miss A caught a cold, the conference hotel left a little to be desired and the wi-fi didn’t work (gasp!).  That said, we did squeak out some good times – dinner with an old friend, a visit to Union Station, lots of pillow fights, giggles and a few winery stops.

But my favorite part of the weekend, by far, was the three hours Mr. N and I spent at the City Museum. With Miss A under the weather, she and Dad stayed back at the hotel. Fortunately at 2-1/2 years old hotels are still a major novelty – elevators, fluffy bedding, escalators – it’s a virtual kids museum in its own right. As for Mr. N and I, we kept busy climbing through tunnels, shooting out slides, caving, crawling in cages suspended high above the ground, and descending 10-story slides! As a sufferer of a fear of heights and a claustrophobic, this was both a death-defying and positively exhilarating experience for me. It was a thrill to overcome some mild fears and truly explore with the wonder of a child again. Needless to say Mr. N had the time of his life, and often tried stuff first to make sure it was safe for me! So, if you ever visit St. Louis – it’s a definite must-see for children and adults alike.

So that brings us to this evening. Continue reading

Good Fortune and Chopsticks

Now that everyone has had a chance to select a location, it’s Mr. N’s turn again and this time he’s taking us to China. Both he and Miss A enjoy Chinese food – especially with Nana and Papa who often take them out for Chinese. So for Mr. N’s first recipe selection we’re going with Kung Pao Chicken served over jasmine rice. This promised to be a quick and tasty meal – just what we needed before heading out to a St. Baldrick’s fundraiser (excellent cause by the way).

Miss A was responsible for measuring and pouring tonight. She began with the sesame oil for the stir fry. Mr. N in the meantime got to try out the potato peeler on some fresh ginger. He seemed a bit nervous at first, but quickly got the hang of it. Dad took care of cutting the chicken and I tended to cooking the initial ingredients at the stove.  Continue reading