30 June 2010

Here's the plan

This 4th of July weekend is going to be all about ice cream.  Hopefully, the weather will cooperate.  But as a friend recently reminded me, Seattleites are used to eating ice cream in 55 degree weather wearing a fleece if they must.  Summer must go on!

Why the ice cream theme?  Well, I recently procured an old fashioned ice cream maker -- you know, the kind you put ice and rock salt in -- at a neighborhood estate sale.  I've been wanting to try it out and haven't had the chance yet. 

Plus, today, I purchased a cookbook that I've been admiring for some time.  "The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz.  (In case you're interested, he has a lovely blog and an iphone app that I like too.) Now I'm totally set. 

First on the list . . . a basic vanilla -- a simple version made with vanilla beans, milk, and cream.  Then I think we'll try strawberry and chocolate ice cream.  After that, we'll likely branch out to maple walnut or toasted coconut.  Then again, we could always try a sorbet.  Not sure yet. 

In any case, I'll take pictures and keep you apprised of what we like best.  This is going to be fun!

28 June 2010

A Shower for Darcy

My posts have been few and far between lately.  Hopefully, now that the traveling, moving, and unpacking is slowing a bit, I can get back to posting about life in real time.  We'll see.

To catch up a bit -- this month we've had our first house guests and hosted our first party.  Now it feels like we live here.

The weekend of June 19, my dear friend Bonnie came out from Washington D.C. to spend the weekend and help throw a baby shower for our mutual friend Darcy.  It was a small but very fun shower with lots of family and law school friends.  Darcy had family come to the shower from as far away at New York State, Vermont, and Montana.

She received lots of nice gifts for the little boy that she and Ryan are expecting in August.

And the menu was a hit.  We served hashbrown casserole, scrambled eggs, cinnamon swirl coffee cake, blanched asparagus with mustard vinaigrette, spinach dip with baguette, a fruit platter, granola, yogurt and honey, and Kahlua cake.

Honestly, everyone liked the Kahlua cake best of all.  It's the perfect cake for a shower -- in fact I got the receipe from my friends Diane and DeLona, who made it for a wedding shower they hosted for me like 17 years ago.  Anyway, don't be surprised if you don't have leftovers.

Kahlua Cake
from my friend Di

1 box chocolate cake mix (Devilsfood or deep chocolate work well)
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
2 cups sour cream (sometimes I use half sour cream half plain yogurt)
3/4 cup canola oil

Mix the above ingredients together.  Then stir in the Kahlua and chocolate chips.

1/3 cup Kahlua
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Bake in a buttered and floured bundt pan at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.
When cool, remove from the pan.  Garnish with powdered sugar to serve.

14 June 2010

Photos from Montreal

Our quick trip afforded a day of sightseeing for Byron and me.  Here's a bit of what we saw in downtown, District Chinoise, the old Port of Montreal, and Phillips Square, where we stayed.

08 June 2010

Montreal: our 15-month journey ends

I haven't posted much at all about the process we've been going through to immigrate my father-in-law from Canada to the U.S.  It started in March of 2009 and brought us to the U.S. consulate here in Montreal on Sunday as the final step in the immigrant visa process.  I'm pleased to report that 15 months since we started, the final interview is complete and he has been granted a visa!

The trip from Vancouver B.C. to Montreal went without a hitch thanks to a nonstop flight and special assistance by the airline.  I had always wanted to whisk through the airport and go to the head of the security line on one of those beeping golf cart like vehicles.  Pretty slick.

Once here we had a set back when my father-in-law twisted his knee and suddenly couldn't walk.  But luckily the hotel has a wheel chair and we bought him a cane so we made it to the interview with the State Dept today and should make it back to B.C. just fine.  Considering that my father-in-law is turning 86 next week, he's doing well.

The interview this morning was short and went smoothly. Aside from having to do his finger prints twice, it was a breeze.

We travel back to B.C. Tonight. We'll figure it out from there.  Hopefully, we'll have him moved down to Seattle by the end of August.

Thus, another adventure begins.

Sent from my iPhone

01 June 2010

Our terrific holiday

We just returned from a wonderfully restful and rejuvenating weekend in the bay area with Jill, Mark, and Sadie -- a belated birthday celebration for Byron, and one of our best visits ever.

Maybe I liked it so much because of all the great food -- fish tacos on the patio, Persian food at a local favorite restaurant, homemade pancakes and fresh fruit, Italian dinner and a good movie . . . Or maybe it was being somewhere where I never had the feeling that I had "things to do."  Or maybe it was the long walks and hikes we went on each day.  Or the farmer's market . . .  Or the 80 degree days and an afternoon by the local pool.  Of course, there was the swell company, good conversation, and the ability to just "hang out" and not do anything . . . it was all just what I needed.

I came home with a little sun on my shoulders, lots of dirty laundry, a partially finished novel, and a much improved outlook on life.  Byron managed to actually accomplish a few things, including carving out some quality time for writing and a new personal best time at the go-cart track.

My only actual souviner was a recipe -- a salad that I made out of one of Jill's cookbooks.  It went great with fish tacos, and it's definitely a salad I will keep in my repertoire.  I think this salad is kind of like our weekend -- fresh, easy, tasty, and great to share with dear friends.

Jicima Salad
my version

1 1/2 lbs. jicima, peeled and jullienned
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
4-6 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together and chill before serving.