My little buddy Lucy has been asking me for some time to make a lemon meringue pie with her. So I thought it would be a perfect way to introduce a webisode. We did it on Saturday so we could BBQ, and relax while the pie cooled. It was so much fun to cook and bake with them in the kitchen. I can’t wait til Oliver is a little older and can do the same. I highly recommend cooking or baking with kids , it’s so much fun!!!!Ingredients for pie crust : 1 1/8 cup flour 1 stick unsalted butter, or 1/2 cup 1T sugar 1/4 cup ice cold water In a cuisinart , or this can also be done by hand. Add flour, butter in cubes, sugar and a pinch of salt. Blend, until butter looks the size of peas. Next slowly add in your water. You may need less or more, that’s why it’s important to add a little at a time. You want your dough to seem more dry, you don’t want it sticky or wet. Wrap in cellophane and put in frig for an hour. Preheat oven to 350. Take out crust, and roll out on clean surface that has been floured. Crimp your edges, add parchment paper to to pie, and then pie weights. Bake for 25 minutes, take pie out and remove weights and parchment paper. Place pie back in the oven and bake for another 25 minutes or so. Let crust cool. Ingredients for lemon filling: 1 cup suagr 1 1/2 cup water 2 T flour 3 T cornstartch 2 lemons 2 T unsalted butter 4 egg yolks beaten Add your water, flour, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and juice of two lemons to a sauce pan. Cook til it almost boils. Take off the heat and add your butter. Put back on stove and bring to boil. Next you want to add a little of the hot mixture to your egg mixture. This is called tempering the eggs. Once it looks like it’s incorporate then add the rest to the egg mixture. Place it back on the stove and wait for it to come to a boil. Once it starts bubbling, pour it into the pie crust. Let it cool it the frig for 2 hours. Ingredients for meringue: 4 egg whites 6 T sugar Pre heat oven to 350 . To get the perfect egg whites whipped it’s best to use a whisk attach then to your mixer. Add whites, and then slowly add in the sugar. Once the sugar is incorporated, mix on high speed. Once it looks soft a fluffy stop. To add meringue to pie you can pipe it or can smooth it on a make peaks. Once you’ve put the meringue on the pie, bake for 10 minutes. Serve after it’s cooled. Enjoy!!
I had some time on my hands while being back in New Jersey. I came out to visit my family about 10 days before Jonathan joined me. So while my mom and dad were entertaining Oliver, I got to cook and bake. Some were treats for the beach house, and others just dinner for my folks.
My parents decided to get a beach house this summer in Ocean City, New Jersey. Of course we were excited. I was really excited to share this with Oliver and Jonathan. My dad wants to do this every year now, so Oliver will have something to look forward to every summer as he gets older!!
You can smell the ocean as you get closer the beach. It’s about a 45 minute drive from my parents house. I hadn’t spent anytime at the beach in NJ probably since I moved to LA. This past May was my sixteenth year living here. So needless to say it’s been a long time. You smell salt in the air, and you can feel it on your skin. It all comes back, the family drive to the beach when I was kid. My dad would load us all in his MG, with the top down. Normally my best friend Jayme was with us. My sister would sit on my moms lap in the front, and Jayme, my brother and I in the back. Can you imagine that today…..crazy right. They would pop in a Genesis tape, and by the time it was done we were there. My mom would always make fried chicken, and we would eat it cold on the beach after swimming for hours. And by the time the sun was setting we were back in the MG on our way back to Wenonah. Sometimes we would stay the weekend sometimes it was just for the day.
Being able to spend this trip with my now family was even more special. To create my own memories with them. And to relive some of my old memories is just priceless.
The beach was great. I’ve taken Oliver to the beach a few times, to Santa Monica. While he loves the beach he was not always fond of the water. This kid loves the pool, the hot tub, and of course the tub, but not the ocean. So I was worried about spending everyday day at the beach. But to my surprise the first day we were there he wasn’t really afraid of it. By the third day he was in the ocean and laughing. It was priceless. So see him giggle at the water, just awesome!!! I’m not sure what it was, maybe watching his cousin play in the ocean, or maybe just being with both of us. Who knows but it’s was so nice to see him enjoy it. I know we will be spending a lot more time at the beach here as the summer moves on. Going on rides with Oliver was so sweet. My mom was telling me she rode the same Dumbo ride with me when I was 7 months old. How cool is that, I got to do the same with Ollie!!
We spent time at the boardwalk. Went on rides. Ate ice cream. Homemade family dinners. Walks on the beach. Watched fireworks. Made delicious beer cocktails (thanks for that Jen). Ahhhhhh seafood, delicious seafood. Cape May brewing company. Beautiful sunsets. Played cards against humanity….so funny with your parents. Some how my mom was winning. Who knew she had such a warped sense of humor. It was a great trip. I’m so happy I got to introduce a little bit of my childhood to my sweet sweet boy.
Okay here’s the yummy granola recipe I promised. I made this for the house. It was perfect in the mornings with yogurt!!! This recipes based on Marge granola.
6 cups rolled oats
2 cups nuts of choice chopped if you want
1 cup grade b maple syrup
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
These are optional
1 cup dried fruit
1 1/2 cups coconut shavings
1 cup dark chocolate chopped
Preheat oven to 300. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Put all dry ingredients in a bowl. Next pore in wet ingredients. Add salt. Mix together. Bake for about 40 minutes checking every 15 minutes. Take once it’s golden brown. You can add basically anything you want to granola, if you want to add dried fruit or dark chocolate to it, add after baking. But if want to add coconut definitely add to ingredients to bake.
It’s been some time since I last posted. I know I promise and promise that I will post more. But life happens, and that’s really my only excuse. But I am and will post more, because there is so much to tell, and so many yummy things to share.
Oliver turned one on the 29th of May. Everyone warns you how fast life will happen with a child. And trust me they were not exaggerating. I found myself the week of his birthday going through all of his photos from the first year. I could still take myself back go the whole event of him being born. Me driving myself to Santa Monica from Mount Washington, because my water broke (at the time I was not aware my water had actually broke). If your not from LA, it’s from one end of the city to the other. The doctors telling us my water in fact did break, and that our son would be joining us lot earlier then we had expected. First we had to go over how the c-section would go, and then we had to talk to the head of the NICU. All scary stuff. But it happened, and happened fast. And before we knew it he was out. Hearing him cry for the first time was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. Even today when he cries, my heart hurts. It actually hurts (or feels heavy, but whatever it’s a metaphor). But I remember it all. The first time I held him. The first time the nurse said “he wants his mama”, and I realized she was talking about me. Leaving the NICU, and bringing him home. Learning how to exist with another living person in your home, that you don’t really know yet, but you love that person with all your heart and soul. Not sleeping for weeks for fear that your baby may die. We would sleep but so light. I would wake up every 15 minutes and check his breathing, I’m not joking. Coo coo I know!! Having your friends and family meet him. Especially when my mom met him, I think that was the most special. But more so because I just wanted my mom and I wanted her to take care of me. And she did, and she took care of the baby so I could shut my eyes, if even for a minute.
This first year has been the best of my life. I would say my second best year was probably the year after we got married. We traveled and had so much fun!! But this year has been different in a better way. I get to see my husband in a different light. It’s amazing how much I changed and so did he after Oliver came into our lives. Jonathan has far exceeded what I visioned as a husband and a father. I now feel a different kind of love then I’ve ever known. I think that same goes for Jonathan.
Watching Oliver grow is has been so rewarding. He changes daily. To me of course I think he has the best personality. Like right now he does this thing. He will be talking to you or baby babble, and he will put his hand on your shoulder and tilt his head and come closer to your face. Like he’s saying “do you hear me, I’m talking, so what do your think mom?” I can already tell this kid is going to have such a full heart, and be kind, sensitive, and extremely out going. He loves people, babies, kids, all animals, music. But the best the best is how cuddly he is. He is such a cuddle bug. I’m not looking forward to the day he will no longer let me cuddle him. But for now he loves being cuddled, and loves to cuddle back. We’ve got some serious love going on here!!
For his first birthday we did plan a lot. I’m sure his other birthdays will be different. But this one was special, and we wanted to make it so. Oliver was surrounded by family and fiends who love him. It was so special. I’m so glad we got to share it with our favorite people. We had a camp themed birthday party. Boy Scouts meets Moonrise Kingdom. We pulled it off with help from my in-laws. It was an emotional day to say the least. No one tells you that your child’s first birthday brings up so many emotions. It did at least for me, but in a great way.
Photos courtesy of Nancy Waters
I leave you with the recipe for the cake I made him for his first birthday. Strawberry cake, with a cream icing. It’s easy breezy.
1 cup room temp butter (2 sticks)
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup puréed strawberries
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 – 8″ baking pans
Preheat oven to 325. Whip butter for about 3 minutes. So it’s ribbon like. Slowly add sugar. Next add one egg at a time. Scrap all the ingredients down. Put all the dry ingredients together, and all the wet. Starting with the dry and ending with the dry, start slowly adding dry then wet, dry then wet. Grease pans and coat with flour. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. I would start checking them around 33 minutes.
Whipped cream frosting:
1 pint heavy whipped cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Add ingredients to mixer. Whip until soft whipped peaks.
Having a baby is one way to get people to visit you all the time. We love visitors, and so does little man Ollie. My parents were here in August, along with Jonathan’s parents, and then my sister, her boyfriend, and their precious daughter Audrey as well. It was a busy month full of just lounging around the house, listening to music, watching old movies, dancing with my niece, and of course playing with the baby.
When you have a baby everyone wants to do things for you. This I love and will not ever complain about. Its great to have help, weather its help with laundry, food shopping. or making a sandwich. It’s so nice, and kind. Out of all the things that we ate this last month, one stands out. This delicious mile high Lemon Meringue Pie. My mom made it while on her stay here. I would have a slice after lunch, and then again after dinner. Nothing like a homemade pie…..just heaven.
I have so many things I want to write about this summer, and many other things we have made and want to post. But time just gets away from me. I’ve been working on this post for two weeks now. Where does time go? We all know where my time and mind is these days. They are on him. This child of mine, who I love so much I could burst. Its crazy how your heart can be so full from this little person.
For the pie we just used Martha’s recipe and it was really good. But for the pie crust I added 2 tablespoons of sugar to give it some sweetness.
Life has changed to say the least. Our little man Oliver Jem was born on May 29th. It seems so long ago, but then time is going by so fast I want it to stand still. Weeks go by without me even knowing it. I do cherish every moment I can with this little one. Being home with him all day has allowed me to do just that. Every cry, every smile, every little thing he observes. It’s amazing that he came from us, I still can’t believe that he is here, and he is ours. It was a long time coming, a tremendous amount of work, tears, and patience.
We have had many visitors in the last two months. Lots of friends and family. We’ve had many bring by food, and ordered a lot of takeout, and have thawed many of frozen dinners that were prepared by my mother in law. I’ve been so wanting to get in the kitchen and cook. I’ve cooked a little here and there with family and with friends. But I wanted to actually host a dinner here at the house. Maybe I was being a little ambitious, but I did it.
To me it felt great being back in the kitchen. Even though it was casual, and a low key BBQ. I loved it. We invited two couples that we love. Camille and Jason were one of the couples. They also just had a little baby girl, that they named Luella Esme. She is precious in every way…so tiny compared to Oliver. They are only two weeks apart in age….and to me he looks like a huge meatball next to her. And the other couple was Kyra and Gregg. Kyra and Gregg handled the baby thing really well with me and Camille….with us not always in the room, because of a hungry baby, a crying baby, or a baby that just needs to be changed.They were so cool and laid back about it all. Love those guys so much!!!!
So in hosting the dinner I turned to my handy new Food and Wine magazine. This issue had do with veggies. I loved it. So many delicious salads to pick from. So I picked two, and made a starter, and of course dessert. The starter, the salads, and the dessert were easy to put together, and I will definitely be making them again. All you can find in the latest issue for July, or you can just click on the links below.
The tomatoes were generously given to us from our landlord….so delicious. Almost as good as a Jersey tomato. Links below for the salads and more.
King oyster mushroom BLT
Zucchini and Buratta salad
And lastly dessert….poached peaches with ricotta cake
I’ve been with holding this news for quite some time. It’s been so hard not to share it, and keeping it secret. But we so excited that we will be having our first born this coming June. We are having a boy!!! Words can not express how overwhelmed we both are with happiness. It’s been a long journey to say the least. We are here, and more excited then ever.
I made sure before I made this post that I know my audience that is subscribed to this blog, so a few may be finding out this way, and that’s okay. Normally I post my blog posts onto Facebook, but this one is private and only for readers who subscribe.
Given our past, and many losses, I have been very guarded with this pregnancy. I wish I could be more like others, and post things on Facebook, but I can’t for many reasons. One that is personal and I know others feel that same. It hurts when you trying and working so hard to get pregnant that it seems everyone is posting a picture of an ultrasound or a pregnancy test. Well I vowed that when the time did come for us that I would not do that to my friends who are still struggling. I know that pain and would not want to inflict that on my friends.
So this past weekend we had a huge celebration for the baby. One my greatest friends Camille threw us a shower, with some help from Kyra and Wendy. Along with my mom and Jonathan’s mom helping in the baking department with me guiding them. It was beyond to say the least . I can’t or we can’t tell you how amazing it was to be surrounded by those we loved. It was a special day to say the least and one I will never ever forget. I dreamed so much of this day and it came, and it was perfect. So here are some pics from the shower…enjoy!!!!