Zucchini, okra, amazingly spicy jalapeños (you can tell by the stress marks), and this interesting white eggplant - it tastes soooooo much better than a purple eggplant! Domenico slices it and prepares it in olive oil, salt, and pepper in a skillet. It is so delicious!!!
It is just so remarkable to have our own garden. I thought it would be difficult, but it's surprisingly easy and the kids love it!
Just add dirt, water, and LOVE!
The moment it really wowed me was when I wanted to make a shiitake mushroom/tofu/vegetable soup and listed the ingredients to Domenico - "I need one jalapeño." "Eve, go to the garden and pick some fresh jalapeños." "Oh! OK!" LOL I came back with like 20+ jalapeños tucked in my shirt. Whoa!!!!!
This 14" zucchini seriously wowed me too! We are also growing carrots, watermelons, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and corn. Plus, I found herbs at whole foods for 2 for $5. Mint, lavender, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, green onion, and dill. Lovely!
Another "wow" moment I had the other day - I laughed at myself because I wanted to make my grandma's Spanish rice and thought I was missing two ingredients - cilantro and tomatoes. Oh my goodness, I have them in the jardin!!! So awesome.
It's so amazing to have a garden. What a lovely gift Domenico gave us! Thank you, Domenico!
When the boys have been quietly entertaining themselves, I've been real busy working on numerous marketing projects for the restaurant - new menus, promoting the cooking classes, web site, etc. So much to do! It's been great when Domenico takes the boys to the restaurant to give me some free time, or when my mom comes over to help.
Anyway, I came across this cute picture I took recently - Domenico took the five kids to the restaurant, including our boys, so I could attend a friend's baby shower. The second one is my favorite! Snapped a great shot of everyone holding hands! (Raymond, Dolores, Gloria, Vittorio, Luca, and Daddy). Cute!
Cristi! She had her baby boy July 12!
Someone at the restaurant gave Nico and Luca some Glamour Barbie stickers....much fun was had. Even mommy and daddy ended up wearing the stickers. Ha ha!
Me: "Domenico, you have Barbie stickers on your butt."
Domenico: "VITTORIO!!!" "By the way, you have Barbie stickers on your butt too."
Nico's reaction when I ordered gyozas for him! LOL
Yummy miso soup, gyozas, shrimp tempura, and SUSHI!
I really enjoy making miso soup at home (thanks to Dana Dark for showing me how easy it is!). I like the following recipe - we just add mushrooms and ginger. The boys love it too.
KID PAINT! Wow, the yogurt is an awesome paint for the kids. It dries up real thick and nice on card stock. I'm not too crazy about using commercial food coloring, but I experimented with it anyway. It was really cool up until Luca covered his face in the green yogurt. I held him up in the mirror so he could see himself and he burst out into giggles. Yeah, I have a picture but I'm not posting it. LOL
Considering I try to avoid anything with red dye #40, that didn't work out too well. I checked Whole Foods for natural vegetable based food coloring, but it was crazy expensive for $20. Now I am looking into natural food coloring like hibiscus tea for red, turmeric for yellow, old blackberries for purple, etc. I'm looking forward to trying it out!
Anyway, these pictures are yogurt mixed with commercial food coloring. I still have a lot of yogurt, but at least the kids and I will have fun with it. :)
Anyway, Cara belongs to Nonna, but from time to time, she escapes and hightails it over to our house crying and scratching the door. Cara has adopted us now. I think she is a nice companion for the boys. They take really good care of her. Nico will check and refill her food and water and play ball with her. Luca will find the leash for her, hand it to me and say "walk. Cara. outside." So cute.
Cara is really sweet, loving, and pretty too!
They play so well together!
Aww, Dolores and Luca were holding hands so sweetly, but I missed the shot. She is so sweet and protective with Luca, just like with her little sister.
Much to my dismay, Little Luca figured out how to get on my desk. I snapped a quick picture before he destroyed my laptop. I'm even more freaked out now because I have a brand new laptop!! It's terribly annoying to have to put the chair down when I step away from the computer, but he is a determined little boy - he'll even use the laundry baskets or boxes or pots to try to get on my desk. If my mom accidentally leaves the chair up, boy he hightails it giggling straight to the computer FAST! Jeez, little boy. ;) He needs his own computer!
I'm ready for my office now, Domenico! lol Very slowly, but surely we've been working on the third bedroom as an office, which I really need. Domenico painted the room a really nice green color (Green Tea) and the sunlight looks so warm, lovely, and inviting in the room. Even Cara enjoys basking in the warm ray of light in the room. Right now it's actually become a playroom for the boys, which is really nice too, especially for all their toys. It's awesome when they play in there together to give me a moment to do something.
So, I'm torn - playroom or office? :) We need a bigger house!
Nico really enjoyed feeding the ducks. We weren't really prepared for the park that day, but fortunately Nico reminded me about the water crackers he put in his bag and wanted to share with the ducks. It was fun to spend the day with Nico and nice of Domenico to take Luca to the restaurant. Thankfully, Luca fared really well sans mommy for a few hours, so we are looking forward to doing it again.
When we arrived at the restaurant, Luca was with daddy and looked so cute in his apron. :)
Nico and I had a great afternoon together! We really needed some Mommy and Nico time. Even Nico said, "It was nice of Daddy to take Luca to the restaurant so you and I can spend time together." Awww, Nico.
We visited a nearby Mexican restaurant for lunch (actually, the restaurant I designed their to go menus for - I wish I could re-design their restaurant menu!). Wow, they have really great food. Much to my surprise, Nico really enjoyed the mildly spicy salsa and chips. Afterward, we visited the art studio, but we were both disappointed it was closed for a private party. Nico was majorly bummed, so I took him to the playground and he had a blast. He also really enjoyed feeding the ducks (cute pictures I'll post later). It was a really fun day!
Wow, he is getting so big! On December 25, he will be exactly 4.5 years old. Wow. Just, wow.
Happy 19 months, Luca. I love you!!!!!
Oops, I forgot to mention (and update my profile) that Nico stopped nursing around the time of his birthday, June 25. I remember he nursed on Mother's Day in May and a few times after that, but I think 4 is time. It's been an amazing journey and I am grateful he is healthy, strong, and super smart.
What a feast! Even Nico was all smiles happy about his fresh oysters. LOL
Nico enjoying his oysters! Emily was in awe that he likes them so much.
A few pictures Domenico took of us. My camera settings were totally way off.
It's cute how Luca likes to drink water out of the espresso cups. He's quite graceful and elegant with water in a wine glass as well (under adult supervision, of course).
Nico has reached Pizziaolo status at the restaurant. I should add a new tag "Chef Nico." Domenico told me that he can make a cheese pizza all by himself! Ha ha! Nico made this one to share with Nonna and Nonno.
Tasting the sauce!
*Note to self: Remind Domenico to take Nico's apron to the restaurant. Ha ha!
Boo, Domenico forgot to get a shot of the end result. Nonna told me it was a delicious pizza. :)
Luca loves the salad bar at the restaurant....lots of vegetables including carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber and much to my surprise, he likes the garbanzo, red, and white beans in the vinegar marinade and green olives!