Nonna and Grandpa Come to Visit

Despite having an awful weather weekend (40s and rain), it was a GREAT weekend. Why? Because my parents (Nonna and Grandpa to FW) came to visit.

Friday, they got in earlyish, so they were able to join me for daycare pickup! We picked up FW and then got some pizza from our favorite place, Marotta’s.

FW even ate a whole slice!

Then it was time for some reading and relaxing before they put him to bed. I love how when my parents come to visit, they take the lead on most diaper changes and bedtime. 

Saturday morning, we hit up the Zoo and Rainforest! It was cruddy and cold and wet, so we spent most of the time indoors.

FW probably watched this baby orangutan for at least 5 minutes.  It was playing around with its mom and swinging around. 

We then met up with B for lunch at a local deli/diner. I got some GREAT matzo ball soup and a HUGE corned beef sandwich. 

This was the half sandwich. There was like 5 lb of meat on here.

That afternoon, while FW napped, my mom and I got pedicures!

Then, it was time for more reading.

Sunday was pretty low key. We enjoyed some breakfast at Luna with my parents before they got on the road back to NY.

My go-to at Luna…love their yogurt and granola!

And then in the afternoon, we did some work on the house (it’s never ending!). By we, I mean B did, while I entertained FW.

Oh, and FW took a nap in HIS BED, which never happens so I was pretty happy with that. He loves napping in the stroller and in the car, but barely in his bed (especially since he can just get up and get out of it, which is what he did at first).

AND while FW slept, the CAVS won! I’m hoping we get another great series in this year with a better ending than last season. Who’s with me?

That night we enjoyed dinner with B’s family. FW got in some good cousin time, as usual. I love that he loves hanging out with them!

Some questions for you:

  • Was it cold near you again? Or did it feel like spring?
  • Do you like matzo ball soup?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

A Weekend of Celebrations

This weekend – though cold and snowy – was a fun-filled weekend of celebrations. From my sister-in-law’s swearing in as a U.S. citizen to my friend Nicole’s baby shower, we had a a few fun reasons.

Friday started with the swearing in ceremony. More than 50 people were sworn in as citizens in the ceremony, including my sister-in-law, who is from Finland. It was a pretty cool ceremony to be able to see, and it was amazing to feel part of so many people’s emotional journeys.

The ceremony lasted a little over two hours, and B and I had taken the day off, so afterwards, we went out to lunch – just the two of us. We don’t get to do that often, and it was nice to have a relaxed grown up meal and drinks (or a sip for me).

We were planning on going to the movies after lunch, but we were both so full and in a semi-food coma, we decided to go for a walk instead. We visited the Towpath for a 4+ mile walk in the snow. The path was paved, so it was at least pretty.

We then spent some time reading and warming up in a coffee shop. These are all things we used to do all the time before FW, so it was nice to get out and do them once again.

Then, it was time for the first celebration- off to a bar for my sister-in-law’s celebration in honor of her new citizenship! We hung out for about an hour with FW before it was time to head out.

AND we picked up my favorite local pizza on the way!

Even FW ended up having a few bites (he is picky and hasn’t been liking pizza).

Saturday ended up being a pretty low-key, yet productive day. It included some cleaning, reading, piano playing, and baking.

baking – buckeyes!

And a quick stop to our favorite local chocolate shop for some goodies before dinner. Fun fact- chocolate covered pretzels are pretty much my FAVORITE.

For dinner, B made us homemade pasta with potatoes. I made the pesto. It came out SO good!

FW had grilled cheese – but also a peanut butter macaron for dessert! It was his first macaron and he wouldn’t put it down.

Sunday morning started with my friend Nicole’s baby shower! She’s due a little before me with her first and it was fun to celebrate with her. Isn’t she adorable?

She is also part of my Ladies Craft Beer Society – so naturally, we did a craft at her shower!

That afternoon, despite the snow and cold, the sun was out, so we got in a short walk with FW in the backpack.

And then it was time to go out to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. We went out for Italian food to celebrate.

And that was it – 3 celebrations in one weekend 🙂 Some questions for you:

  • Is it still snowy near you?
  • Do you like chocolate covered pretzels? Or what’s your favorite chocolate treat?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Meatless Monday: Zoodles with Spinach Basil Pesto

I love my spiralizer. Have I told you that lately? Okay, I did just last week … But seriously, I’ve even written an ode to my spiralizer.

I love my zoodler.

It makes cooking so much fun.

I feel like a kid.

There you have it – my haiku to my spiralizer. There’s just something about it that makes cooking so much fun and reminds me of when I was a kid playing with play dough and making mystery meals … you know what I mean? Now that that’s off my chest (#awkward), here’s a quick and easy recipe that I made last week for St. Patrick’s Day- a super green, yet healthy, vegan dish for B and me. Sorry, I’m Italian and we had already had corned beef on Sunday  – so for the holiday it was super green noodles.

zoodles and pesto

Zoodles with Spinach Basil Pesto

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 medium-to-large zucchini
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • a large bunch of basil – about 3/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped or slivered almonds (toasting them brings out a nutty flavor)
  • 3-5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (depending on how thin you like your pesto – I like mine a little thicker so I use less olive oil)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Using your zoodler (okay, or spiralizer) cut your zucchini into fun noodle-like pieces. When done, I put my zoodles in a pile on the cutting board and like to cut them in 1/3s or 1/2s so the pieces aren’t so large. Set aside.
  2.  Add garlic, basil and spinach to blender or food processor. I use my food processor and it works just fine. Mix well.
  3. Add in toasted almonds, continue to blend until a thick paste forms.
  4. Add in olive oil, one tablespoonful at a time and continue to blend until paste becomes somewhat creamy. Add in any extra salt, garlic, basil or olive oil to taste, as necessary. Mine makes about 1/3 cup pesto, which is perfect for this recipe. You could probably use a little less pesto but I like my zoodles coated!
  5. In a pan over medium heat, toss zoodles with pesto and heat for about 3-5 minutes or until just tossed and warm. Enjoy! Makes two healthy dinner portions.

Top with any of your favorite toppings – I like mine with parmesan cheese (not vegan), diced tomato, more fresh basil and even sometimes sautéed onions.

I’ll definitely be sharing more zoodle recipes soon – I’ve already made shrimp zoodle scampi, zoodles with homemade tomato sauce … and even used my spiralizer on sweet potatoes to make curly sweet potato fries!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s the next Meatless Monday recipe you have planned? I’m joining with this MM linkup and of course checking out MeatlessMonday.com for ideas!
  • Zoodler fans – what zoodle recipe should I make next? This is my second one shared in a week.
  • How do you make your pesto? I typically use basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese and pignoli nuts, so this is a different version for me! 

Meatless Monday: Cilantro Garlic Scape Pesto

B is one of those people who doesn’t like cilantro. He doesn’t mind it in moderation (as in 1-2 sprigs in a salad or guacamole), but that’s it. So when we received a few bunches of cilantro in our Fresh Fork summer share, I knew I’d have to make something pretty amazing that would help us use the cilantro fast. And then when I only ended up using half our garlic scapes in a stir fry one night the idea came to me – cilantro garlic scape pesto.

Looking online, I was surprised to find quite a few pesto recipes featuring cilantro, garlic scapes, and other CSA-friendly ingredients. I chose/created this one because these were the ingredients I had on hand. It’d certainly be delicious with another type of nut and an added sprinkle (or two) of parmesan!

Cilantro Garlic Scape Pesto

Cilantro Garlic Scape Pesto

Here’s what you need:

  • 10 garlic scapes
  • 1 bunch cilantro (roughly about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped or slivered almonds
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cut up garlic scapes into 1-2 inch pieces. Add sliced scapes and cilantro to blender. Mix well.
  2. Add in slivered almonds, continue to blend until a thick paste forms.
  3. Add in olive oil, one tablespoonful at a time and continue to blend until paste becomes somewhat creamy. Add in extra salt, scapes, cilantro or oil to taste, as necessary.
  4. Enjoy! Makes about 1/3 cup pesto- perfect on top of some pasta, zoodles, or even chicken (for a non-meatless dish).

Cilantro Garlic Scape Pesto

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have a CSA? What’s the strangest ingredient you’ve gotten?
  • What’s your favorite pesto recipe use? I love the basic pesto with pignoli nuts and basil. 
  • Are you a cilantro fan? Yes I am! Love it on chicken, salsa, seafood (especially raw seafood – hello ceviche!), and more.