Monday, March 23, 2009

Celebrations all around.

I celebrated a 'work free' Monday today. It was grand. Lots done - lots of doing nothing. 

Yesterday was a celebration for Haraya, my newest niece. It was a fantastic day. Up early, home late - but lots of lovely stuff in between. I got to spend some time with me nephews which is always so much fun. They are growing up so fast - Connor is getting so tall. We had a short, but sweet visit with my Uncle Ern and Aunt Marcia - it was good to see them. They have been doing a lot of renos on their place, and it is looking great. Marcia donated a great gift for Jack's Silent Auction - thanks Marcia!!

Then it was off to the Baptism - I have been calling it a Christening. I'm not sure if there is a difference really. It was a nice service. I got to see cousin Marsha - we behaved during the service, there was not too much laughing. Babs was there too - always so great to see her. And the rest of the family. And I finally got to meet and have a little cuddle with Haraya. She is a little angel. So beautiful. I think that she looks a lot like her dad and a lot like her big brother.

Then it was off to Sharon's mom's house where we had a great visit and lots of incredible food. Sharon's aunts always do a grand Philippine feast. I got to meet new baby Kate and see Claire, Sam and Mitch - it's always such a treat to catch up. 

Then home. Easy ferry ride. Home at a decent time. Home to a grumpy Chris. Sorry, let me re-phrase that - home to a tired Chris. Whatever. When Chris is tired, he's grumpy. We hung for about 5 minutes and he was off to bed. 

Monday: hello sleep in - well except for the 5:30 AM wake up call and then the 7:00 AM wake up call by the one and only Mr. Magnum. Ok, well I slept in until 8 - when he woke me again. I am pretty much convinced that he 'does' mornings. Most people don't like to 'do' mornings, he does. Jozie, in bed 'til noon, when we woke her to go for a walk. I tackled the downstairs bathroom and set it all up - new towels, new shower curtain - who is going to come and stay with us? We need for someone to come so that they can have a stay in our suite. 

Dinner tonight - was made in between the season finale of 'Jon and Kate Plus 8' - I LOVE that show. I don't watch it religiously - honestly - but it was on during the day - and they kept saying 'season finale' - so I needed to watch it. I am just amazed at a couple that can have 8 kids - 6 all at the same time. Normally I get all emotional when watching all of the kids - I'm an emotional person - I can't help it. Not tonight - it was just all cute. 

So back to dinner - it was supposed to start off as gumbo - but I realized that I didn't have an onion, so I needed to switch it up a bit. Well, maybe it is still Chicken Gumbo sans the gumbo - not that you need an onion in gumbo - but it makes for a good rue. Hello fancy cooking word.  

Chicken Gumbo without the Gumbo
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 cup of chicken stock
2 red peppers - diced
1 large zucchini - diced
4 stalks of celery - sliced
1 can of navy beans - rinsed
2 cloves of garlic - minced
5 italian sausages - I broil them for about 5 minutes each side - then cut in thick slices
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs - cut into 4 pieces for each piece
2/3 cup orzo
Smoked Paprika
Kosher and pepper

In large pot, heat oil and add flour. Stir to make your rue - add some kosher salt and cracked pepper - add tomatoes. Stir to mix everything together - add stock. Then add all of your vegetables, garlic and chicken. Season with paprika and anything else you like to add. I didn't have any chili flakes - but I would have liked to have added those for heat. Simmer at a low heat for about 30 minutes.

When the chicken is almost cooked through, add the orzo, and keep the heat on low, and stir continuously to ensure orzo doesn't stick to the bottom of your pan. Cook for about another 10 minutes. And that's it! Serve hot in a nice big bowl. 

Chris rated this a 5! There is a lot left over - lunches are made - and hopefully even dinner for tomorrow. 

Tomorrow is running day. Oh my. What have I done this week. NOTHING. No running. I am going to be grounded for not doing my homework. I need to make better choices - plan my week better - do what I say and I want to do. I need to stick to my schedule - more than just the one night a week run. I was doing really well - and now, well, I am doing what needs to be done. I will do better this week. 

So, that's that for tonight. I am prepping myself for back to work tomorrow - back to normal. 16 more days and we will be in paradise, and there will be NO normal around there. 

Night friends.


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