Archive for January, 2010


Sometimes, the fridge just won’t work for displaying Ava’s schoolwork.

Dropping in

Apparently, I am not the only one who is appreciating the recent backyard bird activity. This guy stopped in yesterday, but left without lunch.

Props to Gramma Great for the spot. (More on their recent visit soon…with pictures of the kids, too, Mom. ;-))

Good mourning

I have long believed we have a single pair of mourning doves that live in our backyard. Every once in a while, another pair will briefly join them, but our two birds were here each and every day, almost always visible in the trees or on the ground. We’ve watched this couple raise and see off many fledglings over the past summers, and I have come to think of this pair as our own.

This morning, though, I was forced to recognize that perhaps it wasn’t the same two birds we see each day. When I opened the blinds a bit early, I found no less than 26 mourning doves on the ground under the feeder.

Perhaps our birds are hosting a family reunion?

Outdoor life

Bryan has dutifully filled the bird feeders all winter, sometimes in snow that is ankle-deep, and often in only a robe and slippers. The birds have benefited, and I think maybe the squirrels have, too…

Black pepper and mustard braised short ribs

Some of the best recipes I’ve tried in the last few years have come from the Williams-Sonoma catalog. This recipe for black pepper and mustard braised short ribs is no exception.

It’s a slow cooker recipe, which always draws my eye—I love coming home to prepared dinner, and unless I decide to bring on a stay at home mom, the Crock-Pot is really my only option. My 10 year old model leaves a bit to be desired, though, with its two settings (hot and hotter) and lack of a timer. So, most recipes need to be started at noon, not at 8 am when I leave the house. So much for convenience…

This recipe, with bourbon, mustard and honey, made me decide to try braising ribs the traditional way—in the oven. I baked the ribs for two hours at 325, and they were quite tender. The pureed sauce tastes very rich, but is in fact relatively light and full of vegetables.

Give it a try!

Ava Fix

A&O Fix

The girls have had a bit of cabin fever lately. Fortunately, the sidewalks are finally melting!

Jam session

Thanks to the holiday yesterday, Ava, Olivia and I had some free time to spend with my friend Dawn and her kids. Dawn brought the ingredients for blueberry jam, a perfect project for the afternoon. As she noted, I have no idea where they are growing blueberries this time of year, but they are gorgeous. I promise to buy local come summer…

Ava Fix

Sunday night cat blogging