Laughing at ourselves one meal at a time.

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Friends.

This time of year always gets me thinking about friends.

The school year is drawing to a close for the Sassy Lassy. She is definitely ready to put the school year (and second grade) behind her and is very much looking forward to attending summer camp. Many of the kids she will be attending with are kids she saw daily in daycare and preschool and who have now moved on to different schools. She is a funny kid. She loves people but gives her heart over to friendship very carefully. And then, of course, you are a friend of hers for life.  

Mr. Mister is in transition. In just a couple of short weeks he moves to his new classroom and they have been making daily visits to get to know his new teachers.  He will be there for the summer and then he starts preschool in the fall. We recently broke the news that his best buddy will be moving into a different classroom. And he took the news in stride. For Mr. Mister meeting someone new is always an opportunity to make new friends. And as a bonus. he also has an imaginary friend, named Mason, to keep him entertained.

And for me? My 25th high school reunion is coming up this year. I am still trying to decide if I will attend the reunion of the high school I did not graduate from in addition to the one I did. I have many friends from grade school and junior high that I would enjoy catching up with. And I have already been to all the other reunions my high school has had. And since I am, and always have been, a “the-more-the-merrier”  kind of gal maybe I will go to both of them.

Friendships are an important part of our lives. In some ways, even more so today than ever before. In this ever-advancing techno age, I think those personal connections go a long towards teaching lessons, building memories and having fun.

Our Wacky Wednesday meal will honor friends by combining foods you simply CAN’T imagine without the other.  You know, like cereal & milk.  But friendships are often more than just two people so we’ll also combine a bunch of foods that are perfectly yummy on their own but are even better when they are combined. You know, like Chilli.

Black Bean/Corn Quesedillas

Chips & Dip (guacamole)

Fruit Salad

Carrots & Ranch Dressing

Ice Cream &  Cone

And we will continue the ongoing conversations about friends: about treasuring old ones and making new ones.  

 

 

Anniversaries & Family

This week we’ll be celebrating my family and my parent’s wedding anniversary for Wacky Wednesday.

My parents were married 43 years ago tomorrow but their marriage license records today as their wedding date. Over the years, both of my parents have asserted that it means they aren’t *really* married. But after all those years, two kids, four grandkids and running a business together they are pretty much stuck with each other I think.

I always thought my parent’s love story was a romantic one. They met as teenagers on the shores of Lake Michigan. Both were at the beach with friends and my mom got horribly sunburned. She was only 15 and didn’t drive yet so my Dad gave her a ride home. And here we are 43 years later!

And so tonight we will have Wacky Wednesday and will eat foods from my childhood. And we will talk about my Mom & Dad and tell funny stories about them. Maybe we’ll call them, too. But they may not pick up as they are off on a romantic get-away.

 

 

 

 

Ta Da!

And here is the creation the kids dreamed up last night for dessert. It was officially dubbed the Wacky Wednesday Shake and it included Peanut Butter/Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream, milk, maraschino cherries, whipped cream and a rolled up hunk of Fruit By the Foot:

And here is the real proof that someone enjoyed the experience:

 

 

Siblings.

I am pretty sure that my Wacky Wednesday posts will be migrating over to another blog that I started before starting this one. Honestly, two blogs is too much. And while this blog originally provided a nice deadline and inspiration each week, it has been hard to maintain the past few months. Yes, we do still do Wacky Wednesday and some of them are really fun and I want to share them. But sometimes I’d rather just write about what else is going on in our lives. Partly to share with other people. But mostly writing about it helps me chew on my thoughts and feelings about it. And while I could use a pen and paper this is just so much easier. And when you are a busy working Mom something has to give. Details to come as that unfolds…

So, back to Wacky Wednesday:

I have enjoyed taking ECFE since my kids were babies. A program unique to Minnesota it focuses on children ages birth to 5 years of age and provides a structured environment for kids and parents to explore education and parenting and the range of topics in between. Parents are kid’s first educators. It is a big job. And it is wonderful to explore it in a place where there are both laughter and tears flow easily in a supportive and understanding environment.

And I swear I this is all relevant to Wacky Wednesday…

This week’s ECFE topic was siblings.

The parent class shared some ideas about how to build good relationships between your kids. Things like taking pictures of one another playing together and creating shared experiences and creating opportunities for them to make something together.

And so that IS what I am thinking about for Wacky Wednesday this week!

Sometimes in the hectic pace of the past few months it would have been easier to skip WW entirely. Except that both of the kids look forward to it. And feel a sense of ownership in it. And it gives us all a chance to laugh at ourselves. And learn something: Like the week I made all dishes that were completely unrelated and had no theme and THAT was theme of Wacky Wednesday. Except that the kids both came up with several creative ideas that did connect the foods to one another and thus making my theme obsolete. So, every week there is a gold opportunity for me to create a shared memory for my kids.

So, one theme for Wacky Wednesday this week we are going to have foods that BOTH siblings like to eat:

  • Cucumers
  • Cheese & Black Olive Pizza
  • Cauliflower

Okay… yes, I see there is another theme going there but it is totally non-intentional.

And then we’re also going to give the kids a chance to create something together. The kids are going to make everyone dessert. Yep, by themselves. Yes, I am guessing that they will also probably make a mess. But I am betting that the memories they make will be more important.

Highlights

Last week was fun! Here are a couple of the highlights –

Strawberries cut into the shape of hearts:

And Alex devouring his homemade donut smothered in Nutella:

After a week of non-stop celebrating it is hard to even think about Wacky Wednesday. Add in one sick child (Alex came home from daycare yesterday with a fever and a cough), a Camp Reunion Night for Sophie and John’s busy season at work and we’re all thinking toning it down just a tad tonight is just fine.

So, I am going to be a short-order cook tonight. I will put on my apron and if it can be made with the ingredients we have on hand it is fair game. It will be interesting to see what everyone chooses. And since I am one of those if-you-don’t-like-what-I-cook-you-can-have-a-peanut-butter-sandwich kind of a Mom it will be a special treat.

When worlds collide

It’s a busy time of year. Last week was our busy week but this week there are several important events vying for attention on Wacky Wednesday.

The 21st has traditionally been our annual “French Night.” Before there was Wacky Wednesday, heck before there were kids, John and I celebrated December 21st by eating French food and remembering our trip to Paris in 2001. And it wasn’t just an ordinary trip; John proposed to me at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I was flabbergasted. Truly. In retrospect, of course, it makes sense why he looked so nervous riding up in the herky-jerky elevators where the only signs in English warned “Beware of Pick Pockets.”

The second is the Winter solstice. Being that today is the shortest days of the year it is ripe with opportunity.  That the days are going to start getting longer is definitely a reason to celebrate. Especially when you live in a northern climate.

Third, it is the second night of Hanukkah. We typically celebrate with family and friends over the span of the 8 days but we usually do one night at home where we fry up our own Latkes (potato pancakes) and celebrate just ourselves. Now, I don’t want to sound like a braggart but our Latke recipe is pretty darn tasty. There is nothing complicated about it. Except it is very time consuming to shred the potatoes and then fry them to crisp golden perfection. Which is why, as we’ve learned over the past few years, people do the cheater version with pre-shredded  hasbrown potatoes. No wonder they taste like soggy napkins. Trust me. It’s worth the effort.

So the challenge this week was how to incorporate ALL of these things?

Sophie suggested we make Latkes in shapes of the Eiffel Tower and the Sun. Honestly? Latkes on a weeknight kind of sound like a pain in the neck.

Instead, we’ll tune in some Caribbean music on the radio (thank goodness for satellite radio) and dine by  while we eat some of our summertime favorites flavored with the herbs we grew in the garden last summer. For Hanukkah we’ll enjoy donuts (it’s typical to eat fried foods during the “Festival of Lights”) with a french twist.

Here’s the menu:

  • Grilled Salmon
  • French Bread with Pesto & Brie
  • Corn
  • Fruit Salad
  • Donuts with Nutella “Frosting”

What are you doing for Wacky Wednesday? Or Hanukkah? Or the Winter solstice?

 

 

 

Surf & Turf

We’re back from vacation and we’re going to have a classic for dinner: Surf ‘N Turf.

We’re all trying to hold on to our vacation now that we are back to being landlocked in freezing temperatures. But it is always good to come home. So, we’ll be wearing sunglasses and cranking up the surf music while we make something that tastes like the ocean and the prairie.

One of the things Sophie got to do while we were visiting was help her Grandfather harvest the limes off his lime tree. She’d tucked them into her suitcase and we found them when we unpacked. What a fun surprise. So, I definitely want to cook with them tonight.

On the menu:

  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp
  • Steak (grilled)
  • Baked Potato
  • Green Beans
  • Fruit Salad