Tuesday, July 22, 2008


After Rafe left, we stayed at my friend Barb's for a week. We've known each other since our husbands were both in flight school in Pensacola. That's the neat thing about the military - even though you move a lot, often your friends move with you. She was at the same apartment complex in San Diego that we were and Rafe and I were at her first child's birth. Now she has 3 kids!! It really helped to have a house full of kids and lots of things to do in order to ease the transition between Rafe being with us 24/7 and him being gone.

Barb is an excellent housewife and mother! She is so darn organized. You'd think with 4 kids, aged 3 and under, and 2 adults it would be chaos. But things ran so smoothly. Her kids are really well behaved and very capable of following direction. I really picked up some wonderful tips while staying there. I always love hanging out with my friends, I always learn something new from them.

We spent a lot of time trying new recipes from a book called "Petit Appetit", recipes for babies, toddlers and young kids. They were mostly delicious, but they all needed tweaking of some sort - either an easier method to get the same result or jazzing up some flavors. Still, I really love the book because it was a great stepping stone to trying new things. Her kids loved almost everything but the shrimp dish because it was too bland. And her youngest one, 9 months old, started eating solid food while I was there and ate more than Amelia!! It was awesome.

Here are some of the dishes we tried:
Ricotta Dill Dip (with fresh lemon and mint)
Roasted Pork Loin with Blackberry Glaze
Lemon Dutch Baby Pancakes
White Cheddar Mac n Cheese with Broccoli
Shrimp Fusilli with fresh spinach
Peach Smoothies
Banana Chocolate Cookies

I hope I haven't left anything out. I also went to Connie's and we made Sun-dried Tomato Pesto and Basil Pesto with all her fresh basil growing in her garden. Those recipes turned out so absolutely perfect I am going to post them.

One day we visited a Mennonite grocery store and picked up some fresh cheese and bread and some pickled beets. I also took Amelia to the Farmer's Market where we listened to some live music (this time it was a Frank Sinatra impersonator who sang to her and it was perfect!) and picked up some fresh goat cheese spreads - one with fig and honey; one with cucumber; one with blueberries and one with lots of garlic and herbs. One evening I had a friend over and all together we had 6 kids playing peacefully at once! They were all so obedient and mannerly. We had a picnic at a local park; stopped by and saw an old friend from church and generally had a nice relaxing time at Barb's.

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