A Reason to Cook

I gazpacho you a recipe. I’ve been holding out of you. I found the best recipe for gazpacho, seriously. It’s from Food and Wine and it’s called Gazpacho on Fire. Basically you throw all the veg on a roasting pan and once it’s nice and charred you peel, seed and throw it in a food processor with a few other goodies.

IMG_9381

It really is one of the best I have had and perfect for these hot days.

IMG_9386

We’ve been beating the heat by heading to the bay early in the morning. The playground has sand and the sprinklers are on providing perfect sand castle material.

IMG_9673

IMG_9670

IMG_9675

We had a low key weekend which was really nice but Kaili is getting stir crazy. I thought that since her first day of school was before Labor day that she was starting early, but  compared to other kids in CA she is one of the last…and I’m jealous. I’m ready, she’s ready and I think even Averi’s ready.

IMG_9686

 

Long Time No See

It’s been forever since I blogged huh? I just don’t seem to have the time now that Kaili is out of school, or should I say my free time at night is spent watching trashy reality shows? I mean, how good is Bachelor in Paradise? And it just started.

Last I left off Averi had turned two years old. She had her doctor visit and she is perfect, a little small in the weight department but this girl eats so I am not concerned. We’ve been through this with Kaili already, it’s so much easier on the mind the second time around. About four days after that doctor visit Averi came down with a fever that lasted three days followed by a rash. Turns out she had Roseola and I am sure she caught it at the office.

I had been having a hell of time with her at night. She would cry and cry for hours before finally giving in and going to sleep. I was all set to move Kaili out of the room and go big, letting her cry it out without going in there at all, per her Pediatrician’s advice. But after her bout with that nasty virus, she went back to her old self and no more crying at night. Who knows what that was about, hopefully we are good now, because I was about to lose my mind.

We’ve been busy spending time at my parents house in OC. The girls have been swimming, to the petting zoo, playing at the parks and splashgrounds.

Our good friends came out for a visit from Arizona and of course the first stop was breakfast at World Famous on the beach.

Averi doesn’t dig the beach, just like Kaili wasn’t fond of it. Luckily Kristi and I got a chance to head to the beach sans kids and it was magical. We  laid in the sun and played in the water without any worries.

We also had our sitter come and watch the girls while we spent the day in Ramona wine tasting! The girls had fun, we had fun, everyone wins.

Kaili has another month until Kinder starts and soon after that we head to Rio. I will try to be better about writing but I promise I will be blogging the Paralympics and our trip to Brazil!

IMG_9649

BAE is TWO

I can not believe that Averi just turned TWO years old,  I also can not believe that it’s been two years since she came home. It’s hard to imagine life without her and it’s hard to believe I haven’t spent a night away from her.

DSC_2199

We didn’t have a big party and  I haven’t finished going through all the photos, so this will be a short post.

DSC_2232

But a bragging post about how much this child is loved. My heart is full and I hope she understands one day how my heart aches for her.

DSC_2207

She is a perfect half girly girl and a perfect half dare devil!

She is TWO!

DSC_2238

Keeping Busy

Kaili has two more weeks at her school and then she is out for summer. I finished her Kinder paperwork which I have been procrastinating on. She is up to date with her school vaccinations but she still needs to have a doctor fill out a medical record and apparently they want the same done with her dentist.Two things that are easy to want to push aside, but I finally made appointments to get it done.

We have been watching a lot of soccer with the Copa America going on. Kaili picked out a new shirt to wear for our viewing pleasure.

How do you like that garden back there? We have been eating a lot of sweet tomatoes, plenty of  zucchini and we have six baby artichokes on the way.

FullSizeRender

I have been taking Averi to the park in the mornings without K so I can focus on playing one on one with her. She is not as adventurous as her sister was but slowly she is starting to test her fear.

IMG_9138

Can you believe she is going to be two in less than a month? Ya, me either. She looks up to her sister, has to do whatever it is Kaili is doing, eating, watching you name it. It’s what I always wanted with siblings but it’s also very draining.

IMG_9150

The girls were  invited to a birthday party out in Ramona last weekend. The land you can have out there is attractive to me but then again you are out in Ramona which isn’t attractive at all, to me.

IMG_0592

We try to stop at a winery or two when we are out there. This time we tried one that had recently opened. It had a great outside area, live music and luckily some decent wine. The girls  spent most of their time chasing the dog around. The little winery Chihuahua was the hit until she stole Averi’s chocolate chip cookie and booked it across the lot. Averi was more stunned than upset and I was more worried about the tiny dog eating a whole cookie, but the owners weren’t phased. Must happen often.

IMG_9169

 

TK Graduation

Kaili is officially out of transitional kindergarten and on her way to elementary school.

She has always enjoyed school and most of her teachers. Last week she “graduated” from TK and it brought all of the emotions.

IMG_9027

Saying thank you and goodbye to her 3 year old teacher, Mrs. Borck is moving back East.

IMG_9031

They handed out little diplomas, omg y’all SO CUTE!IMG_9029

Then they sang.

I was in the minority for only recording ONE of their songs, you’re welcome.

Kaili singing at graduation

She was the best, come on, you know I am right.

IMG_9059

Today was her Kindergarten orientation at our neighborhood elementary school.  It seems   most people aren’t attending  their neighborhood schools anymore. They are  lotto-ing into the local immersion programs, the “better” schools down the way, or they are coughing up the big bucks for the best private schools.

Now, don’t think we didn’t play around with the same thoughts, we did. But in the end we agreed on her attending our neighborhood school.

It’s diverse, ethnically, racially and monetary. She will meet friends that live near our streets and it’s walking distance. For me, those are all important factors I want her to know as “normal”.

Wandering around her soon to be Kinder campus I had mixed emotions. From holy shit, she is going to be in elementary school ! To holy shit, she is going to be in elementary school!

Call me biased but these are some of the best of the childhood years. We get to watch them become more independent, we get to watch them learn to read, most amazing thing ever AND we watch our littles become big- kids. They are full of confidence, accept everyone, want to help, thrive on positive reinforcement and still totally love the sh*t out of their mommy and daddy.

 

Congratulations baby girl, you’re moving on up!

 

See Food

Catalina offshore is a local seafood market. We were told about it by a neighbor and watched it make its debut on a travel channel show. I don’t know why it took us so long to make our appearance.

IMG_8730

We strolled in early on a Saturday morning side swiping the local chefs and fishermen. A cook behind an enormous stock pot was  handing out bowls of piping hot bouillabaisse while we waited for our order. We came for mussels but left with a side of snapper. I love a whole roasted fish, if it’s one the specials at a good restaurant, chances are that will be my choice.  But scaling and cleaning a whole fish and then worrying about cooking it has intimated me. But standing in front of this array of fish, I decided this was my time  to tackle the snapper.

First up, mussels. We had an amazing dish at a local seafood restaurant a few weeks back.The Mr and I love our shellfish and after 10 years I think we agreed that those mussels were indeed some of the best. I needed to replicate this dish!  After intense recipe research I chose a favorite blogger of mine and used this recipe. They turned out better than I imagined, the mussels were the plumpest and juiciest I have ever had and the coconut curry broth was drinkable, like pour in a glass and cheers!

IMG_8733

IMG_8737

Then there was the Snapper. Since I hooked it on a whim, I really had no idea what I was going to do. I chose to keep it simple and let the fish shine. I grabbed some lemon, herbs and salt. I wrapped it in foil and roasted it,  at the end I let it sunbathe under the broiler for a minute.

IMG_8780

We delightfully dug in.

IMG_8778 Along side we enjoyed caprese and grilled artichokes with an aioli, never forgetting the crusty bread.

IMG_8776IMG_8724

It was some good eating!