Friday, September 28, 2012


I have had the busiest and most stressful month at work in my career. However, I'm very happy to report that the month is ending with the biggest success/accomplishment of my career. And so the Potter's are taking a 4 day weekend mini vacation in Portland. Chris had to come up for a CLE anyway so I took a few vacation days and we are enjoying lots of R and R at my in laws. Yesterday included lunch out in the City, showing Margot off to my Mother-in-laws co-workers, and IKEA. Today Margot and I are enjoying a relaxing morning in. Then we are going to venture out to Powell's. Tomorrow we are going to take Margot pants to the Zoo! So here's to some much needed down time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Margot 10 Months Old

Margot Pants,

You are 10 months old! Here you are at 10 months. You have really grown this month. You are longer, leaner and you have learned so much. This has been a very exciting month for you. 
Most notably you started crawling several weeks ago. You are a very methodical crawler. However you are now quite capable of moving around on your own. You crawl all over the place as long as Mommy and Daddy are with you.

Crawling quickly turned to pulling yourself up and cruising. You are so thrilled to be able to pull yourself up. You love to stand and walk (with someone helping you). I fear you will be walking in no time.
With your new found mobility you are getting into all sorts of things. You especially love to pull all of the magazines out of the coffee table shelf. You seem to share our love of national geographic. You spend a good deal of time turning the pages and looking at the pictures.

You have become attached to this little doll, Francie. You squeal with excitement when you get her and you have the sweetest way of hugging her.
You got to do lots of fun things this month. We took you to Wild Life Safari where you got to ride on an old school bus which you LOVED. You were so excited on that bus. Then we took you to Grampa and Nonna's where you loved riding on the tractor with Daddy. 
We also took you to the beach this month. You loved the sand, the fish house and the hike through old growth cedar trees.
You have really loved your books this month. You love to sit with a pile of books and turn the pages and look at pictures. We took you to the book store to buy more board books and you were thrilled to look at so many books. Your favorite book seems to be Good Night Moon and My World
You have also started to say Ma Ma and Daddy in context this month as well as "uh oh". You learned to drink out of your sippy cup unassisted. You are learning so much every day. You are happy as a clam and you just love to spend time at Grammy's, play with your little baby friends, and go to new places.

We love you so much Margot Pants!
Mommy and Daddy

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our Weekend in Recipes

This weekend we ate A LOT. Saturday I made crab cakes. But as soon as I'd mixed up the lump crab meat with all of the ingredientsI realized it was going to be way to much food for us. So we had an impromptu fancy pants dinner party.
We decided that crab cakes were worthy of the "nice" dishes, candles, crystal and even a gold table cloth.
Our crab cakes were topped with a fresh corn and tomato relish and to go along
 with our crab cakes we had several small plates. Beets with fresh marjoram and a balsamic glaze...
 Baked eggplant...

and carrots with butter and thyme...
 We even drank our beer in these crystal glasses...
 Margot decided that she loves fancy dinner parties!
 And if all of that wasn't enough culinary excitement for one weekend we spent Sunday afternoon making my Dad Indian food.
Our menu: Chicken saag, southern Indian dahl with fresh vegetables, tomato chutney, rice, naan and mango lassi

 The stand out was the chicken saag.
And now for some recipes:

Crab cakes with tomato corn relish*
3 eggs
one small onion diced
2 TB Dijon mustard
1 bunch cilantro chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp lemon zest
2 cups fresh lump crab meat
salt and pepper to taste
2 TB butter
Mix all ingredients except butter. Form into cakes. Melt butter in skillet at medium heat. Saute crab cakes 2-3 minutes per side.

For corn relish: mix 1 cup frozen corn, or 1 cup fresh off the Cob (blanched) corn, 1 cup fresh tomatoes chopped, 1/4 cup chopped onion, one garlic clove chopped, 1 fresh red chili with seeds chopped, 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.
*crab cake recipe is adapted from Nourishing Traditions. Corn relish is my own recipe.

Beets with marjoram and balsamic
4 beets scrubbed, ends trimmed
1 Tb butter
1 tsp fresh marjoram
1 TB good quality balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
place beets in small pot. cover with water, bring to boil, cook for 30-45 minutes until tender. remove beets and rub off the peel, cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Melt butter in small pot and add beets. season with salt and pepper. Add vinegar and let cook one minute to reduce. Add fresh marjoram.

Baked eggplant
1 eggplant
1 cup whole milk
1.5 cups bread crumbs
3 Tb melted butter
salt and pepper
preheat oven to 350. slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. season bread crumbs with salt and pepper. dredge each slice of eggplant into the milk and then into the bread crumbs to coat. place onto baking dish. drizzle melted butter over eggplant slices. bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. raise temperature to 375 and bake for additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The era of mobility and other tidbits

1. It's official our child is mobile. Margot started crawling last Friday and now she is proficient at getting into pretty much anything and pulling herself up on all the furniture. She hasn't mastered cruising yet but I fear it won't be long. It's both hilarious and terrifying to watch her explore her ever growing world.

2. I am loving convention season, both for the spectacular political commentary and the excellent material it provides Colbert.

3. I am trying to work on routines. Over the past two or three months Margot has really settled into a routine (it only took her 7 months). Becoming aware of her routines and being forced to follow them has led me to notice my complete and utter lack of routines. My morning routine is basically get out the door as close to on time as possible while looking the best I can with the smallest amount of effort. There is ZERO consistency. And my bedtime is just as bad. Usually I decide I'm utterly exhausted and must go to bed this very instant forget flossing or washing off my make up. Not only is this just silly but I believe it's bad for my skin. So for the next week I'm going to make myself fulfill a semi-proper bed time routine: jams, brush teeth, floss and wash my face at least with a baby wipe. Baby wipe is at least an improvement, no?

4. This weekend we are attending our first children's birthday party. One of Margot's birth to three friends is turning 1. I don't know what to get a one year old boy for their birthday. I'm thinking picture book, safe?

5. I was recently looking through some ladies home journal magazines from the 1950's. Besides excellent decorating they have spectacular ads. I was particularly drawn to the ads for Ponds cold cream. Now I want to use Ponds cold cream. But do they still make Ponds cold cream? what is it? what do you use it for? I suppose I should know this but I honestly have no idea. However, I'm very interested in incorporating Ponds cold cream into my newly established bed time routine. Does anyone use this stuff?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bit by bit

Chris and I bought our house a year and a half ago. We are making progress on it bit by bit. You can see the original house posts here and our move in photos here.

Over the past year we have been focusing on decorating with what we have plus a few pieces of new furniture to fill the house out and a few other modest upgrades. In the short term we are trying to focus as much of our financial resources as possible to pay off law school loans. Once we have paid those off we do plan to do a little bit of remodeling to the bathrooms, pull up the carpet and put down new flooring and do some landscaping outside. We also have some big plans to improve storage in our house which is pretty limited.

So far we've really only made progress in three rooms, our bedroom, Margot's room and the family room. These rooms still aren't complete but I thought I'd share some updates we've made to our room.

Here is our room when we moved in. It's a pretty small room and it has a very awkward master bath which you can see in the link above. 

 As you can see it's very bland. Between white walls, neutral carpet and tan bedding/curtains it was very blah. We wanted to add more color but weren't ready to add wall color. Here's what it looks like now:

We love the iron bedstead. It's classic yet modern. I like how it reminds you of the "olden days" without feeling country. It's also not too big which was necessary in our very small room. We replaced the night stands with these smaller black ones. They are simple and give added contrast against the white walls. We added colorful bedding and accent pillows which add a lot of color to the space. Raising the curtain rod and adding longer lighter weight curtains makes the room feel larger and lighter.*

This space still needs a lot of TLC. I'd like to add something to the wall above the bed and matching bedside lamps. In the long term we will probably paint this room. We also have long term plans to redo the master bath and add closet space. And when we redo the floors down the road we will add some great area rugs.

While we still have lots to do here I do really like this space. It's calm and relaxing as all bedrooms should be. I also like having projects to get to.

*The total cost of this redo was $360 and 3 trips to ikea.  The bed, night stands, bedding, curtains and accent pillows all came from ikea.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday night dinner: Barley Risotto with Corn and Basil

I still haven't printed a single photo of Margot. I have taken over 1500, aahhhhh! Over the weekend I started the process of sorting through them. I am trying to sort them onto two discs, one of photos I want to print and the second of all the others that I just can't bring myself to delete. Then I can print photos and store the discs. In the process I realized that I have a number of great weeknight recipes that I never got around to blogging about. I am afraid I have neglected my Tuesday night dinner series. Le sigh...I will try to do better.

This recipe is wonderful for summer. It uses corn and basil both of which I seem to have in abundance right now. It's also much easier than a traditional risotto but really yummy. You can find the original recipe here. I used homemade chicken stock and fresh corn off the cob. I served this with fresh spinach sauteed with bacon and garlic whistles. This would be a great dish for entertaining vegetarians. Made with vegetable stock and served alongside a green salad and chilled white wine it would be a delightful summer meal. It did take slightly longer than 30 minutes clocking in at 50 but since it was pretty hands off once it started cooking I was able to fold laundry and play with Margot. A big win for a weeknight.