Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Art Camp...

Last week…
We held an art camp..
We indulged in so many projects...
 The paper mache puppets…
And block printing were my own favorites…
I loved watching each child find so completely their own way of doing things...
What a fun, busy week it was…

                                                                               ~ Marica

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lunch bits and dinner bits...

Summer eggplant dip with garlic, basil and a dash of cream to bite the bitterness...
Ahi and salmon, rubbed and ready to go in the oven...
 My first time at crab cakes… Ooo, I can't wait to make them again...
And a pitcher of Sangria for a little overly warm evening...

                                                            Happy Summer Cooking ~ Marica

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Nimble fingers...

After being given a very wonderful gift of an embroidery set for her birthday...
 This new to being nine-year-old, decided to try out her fresh materials...
 I've always found embroidery a little tricky...
But I didn't worry her with my past experiences...
 It was so exciting to watch her nimble fingers take so easily to this kind of project...
 I can't wait to show you all her finished project.

                                           ~ Marica

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In the kitchen...

Late summer afternoons, or what could also be called early evenings...
Are one of my favorite times in the kitchen...
The light seeps through, low and textured...
Once in a while it is a Mojito night. I like to make them with tequila though...
Sometimes there is something sweet…
 This night it was flan...
 And then when morning comes, if we are lucky, there are leftovers that can be eaten for breakfast...


                                                        ~ Marica






Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A wee summer dittie...

I am not an amusement-park-going sort of person. I am not thrilled to be in large crowds smelling
 the strong wafts of sunscreen mixed with sweat. I don't like noise that echos from concrete 
grounds as too many busy souls are all trying to get the most out of the same place at the same
 time… But with all those pre-notions stated, I was thrilled with my mother and my trip to the
 San Diego Wild Animal Park and the very well renown Sea World. We had so much fun. My Mother and I took the kids for two days, three nights to places
 where we could see thing you just don't see everyday. It was lovely!!
For different reasons I liked both places. Sea World was a wild mess of crowds and noise…
The animals there were in confined areas being bombarded by human after human seeking to
 touch and witness these great creatures of the sea… But having the chance to see dolphins and
  orcas, bat rays and sea lions was…
Truly amazing!!! 
The animal park so very was different...The animals there had wide open spaces...
The vegetation was an experience in its self...
And the crowds seemed appreciative and polite. If I lived close by I would go there often; 
each penny spent there helps support the park and the programs they have to reintroduce
 endangered species back into the wild. It was a worth while cause, and though every single tiny thing was drastically over priced, 
at least there was the piece of mind that it was all for a good reason. 

                                                     Happy July ~ Marica




P.S.  And I loved the bathrooms at the animal park… 
The whole room was beautiful slate...





Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's been nine years . . .

Since this sweet little baby was born . . .
This fast growing, happy weed of a girl . . .
Who makes me feel so connected to my own time of being a child . . .
Happy nine times around the sun . . .
And all that it brings . . .
  Happy birthday . . .
 And . . .
 I love you!!!

                                                                         Cheers ~ Marica





Friday, July 6, 2012

Little Big Things

A couple of weeks ago my six-year-old asked me if I would help 
him get a small table and chair that he could draw at.
I said yes, thinking before too long I would find something to suit.
Well the next morning while I was driving with my mom, out from the passenger side window,
there sat a perfect little table; just the right size for a six-year-old who loves to draw.
Hurray for such random perfections!

                                                               ~Marica

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sweet foods from yesterday...

Well as it was the 4th of July, and we did have a barbecue… 
All by our selves that is, but the food was so good!!
I marinated chicken thighs in barbecue sauce and marmalade. I highly recommend it...
I also happened to tasted one of the BEST things I have EVER tasted:
I was making French apple pie, but I had no refined sugar only raw sugar and coconut sugar. 
I decided that the only solution was to melt the sugar up a bit, to smooth it out enough, to not leave my pie gritty. I melted 1/2 cup coconut sugar, 1/2 cup raw sugar with the 6 tablespoons butter I had. I  carefully mixed enough so it didn't burn. Just as it was becoming perfect, I drizzled in about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of half & half. Gently I stirred and then I tasted it. Then I tasted it again. Then I had to once more. At that moment I was on the phone with my mother in law and I stopped our conversation to let her know I had just tasted one of the best things I had EVER tasted. Unfortunately, it is not something you could pour into a bowl and spoon up into you mouth in endless delight. It is just too ridiculously rich. But goodness, I will have to make it again just to satisfy my now forever ruined tongue. Nothing beats melting buttery coconut sugar with cream. It was close to caramel but so much more intense. 
Eventually that magical swirl you see in the picture above, was combined with the eggs, vanilla and flour that needed to be poured over the apples so my pies could get into the oven where they belonged. 
Good-bye sweet, rich, thing that could never be eaten on its own. And cheers to French apple pie; just the thing for after dinner on such a gung ho American holiday.

                                                                                             ~ Marica