Thursday, March 29, 2012

Low-calorie margaritas! Oh, and fajitas too.

I’m a week late for this post as we are experiencing typical March weather again instead of the 70 degrees we enjoyed last week. Boo.
Last week, however, I found myself planning our meals around margaritas. If you’re anything like me, the warm weather makes you crave salty chips and a just-sweet-enough margarita.

Dinner was fajitas. I marinated three small chicken breasts (one pound) for one hour.

Mix the following in a small bowl and add chicken:
Juice of 2-3 limes (you can also use lemons)
Zest of 1 lime
2 minced garlic cloves (or use the zester/grater on the garlic cloves too - much easier than mincing)
1 t salt
½ t cumin powder
½ t chili powder
½ c olive oil
2 T finely chopped cilantro

I halved and removed the seeds of a green and red bell pepper, and quartered a small red onion. I drizzled the vegetables with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Grill the chicken on medium high for 3-5 minutes on each side depending on size. Add vegetables to the grill when chicken is cooked halfway through.

Remove meat and vegetables from the grill and allow them to cool. Slice thinly and serve with warm tortillas and salsa.

Low-calorie margarita recipe:
Fill drink glasses with ice and squeeze 1-2 juicy limes in each glass. 
Add one ounce of silver tequila - I don't pretend to know a thing about the origins and making of liquor, but the gold tequila seems to have a stronger flavor, so I prefer silver
Add ½ ounce of cointreau or triple sec (or more if you prefer a sweeter drink) 
Top with Fresca or a citrus soda of your choosing


Monday, March 26, 2012

Christian rock, really?

It’s been a long time since I attended youth group and church retreats, but when I think of Christian rock, My God Is An Awesome God is the song that comes to mind. Apparently this music genre has come a long way. I’m loving this peppy, upbeat tune.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hop on...

I’ve jumped on the Bringing Up Bebe bandwagon. This light-hearted and humorous parenting book is about the French philosophy on raising children. Of course when I tell my husband I’m reading this book, he’s like “who wants to do things like the French?" Umm…everyone, my dear, c’est tres chic.

I’m only a few chapters in, but there are some things that are resonating with me.

The second chapter deals with sleep habits and I think why do the maternity nurses make you wake your sleeping baby to eat every three hours after he/she is born if your baby is a healthy weight? Aren’t we just training the baby to wake up for nightly feedings?

And here’s a concept: when your child is playing alone with his/her toys, don’t run over and interrupt them or ask what they are doing (I am so guilty of this). There is something to be learned during solitary play.

I am still struggling with the chapter on teaching patience though. It sounds wonderful to be able to tell your child to wait while you finish a phone call or making their lunch, but we haven’t been able to do that. Maybe two is too young to understand patience. Is it possible I’m still too young?

We also tried a French Yogurt Cake recipe this week. I assisted with some of the measuring only to minimize clean up, but she added the ingredients and did all the mixing. She was so proud when she was finished and she could share her dessert with the family.
I don’t agree with every idea in the book, but it has opened my eyes to another kind of parenting. My individual philosophy has always been to trust my instincts and be present in my child’s life. And there isn’t a book that will change that.

Suggestions, please

Yesterday I realized I only have two entries for this month. I can give you all my excuses, but I’ll just say this, I will be better about posting. I have heaps of recipes and pictures that I need to get online soon.

I have been inspired by the Homies Awards done by Apartment Therapy Family (the new Oh Dee Doh). I have been working to freshen up the look of my blog. And if you can believe it, the picture at the top was taken in my backyard with my iPhone - no editing required. So, what are some things you’d like to see here? What are your favorite blogs doing?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

DVF ♥ BabyGap

When our daughter was less than a year old, I dressed her in a lot of hand-me-downs and inexpensive basics. She was growing at such a rapid pace and ruining most of her shirts with spit-up and baby food that I could never rationalize spending much on clothes.

Now that we recently celebrated her second birthday, it’s more fun to dress her. She has an opinion and actually likes being a little more girly.

One of Emmerson's first two-word phrases was “no dress.” In her defense, I don’t think it was the dress; it was tights. She likes bare feet and it’s difficult to get those things off. Thankfully, we seem to be over that phase. 

Today, was the launch of DVF for BabyGap. Maybe it’s the warm weather, but I got excited about the bright colors and bold prints and couldn’t resist buying a t-shirt dress and belted romper.
I’m hoping Emmerson will model our purchases when they arrive. Stay tune for pictures.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New York, New York

Last month, my husband and I went to New York City for my birthday weekend. We have been before and done all the usual New York sites: Times Square, Top of the Rock, a broadway show, Chinatown, Central Park, pizza in Little Italy. So this time, we wanted to relax, eat great food and shop (okay, the shopping was more  “me” than “we”).

Late Thursday night, we stood at 6 Bond Street saying “there is no way this can be it.” It didn’t look like a restaurant (recommended to us by a friend of a friend). We opened the door and Bond Street Sushi was packed. There is something about hidden restaurants that I love. Any other night, we would have walked by not knowing the great food that lie within. We had fresh shrimp and lobster sushi, chicken dumplings and green tea noodles – pricey, but all good.

Afterwards we stopped at Milk Bar and sampled the famous crack pie and blueberry cream cookie.

The following day we did some unconventional sightseeing - we looked at apartments on the Upper East Side. It may not appeal to most, but I love all things real estate. We learned about co-ops vs. condos, the neighborhoods, private schools and what your money can buy in the city (albeit not much). All in all an interesting look inside the city.

That night we had the best meal of the weekend at Gramercy Tavern.  We sat in the tavern room, but reservations can be made up to a month in advance for the dining room. The menus are slightly different in each room, but similar in style. It’s a quintessential New York restaurant - a stocked bar lined with businessmen and women, friendly wait staff, a cozy atmosphere and a menu of classic dishes perfectly prepared. We ordered the chicken and pork shoulder for dinner and a banana cream tart dessert – all absolutely wonderful.

I can’t visit New York without shopping, so we walked around SoHo and hit the Bloomingdales winter sale. And here’s some info I learned this visit – many department stores offer out of town visitors a 10% discount to be used on anything in the store. We also spent some time inside FAO Schwartz searching for the perfect birthday gift for our two-year-old.

We finished the weekend with a delicious brunch at Balthazar that left me thinking, what is in those eggs?! I didn’t even know I liked eggs until I sampled my husband’s scrambled eggs in puff pastry. And I have to mention the onion soup gratinee with caramelized onions and bubbly cheese baked on top. It was just the meal we needed to finish the fabulous weekend.

There are many things we didn’t have time to do – walk the High Line, visit Ellis Island. Oh, another time. We’ll be back.
© Lake House Effect. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.