Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March Madness

This past month has been quite the whirlwind!

First and foremost, my daughter has finally recovered from her 2-week long kidney infection ordeal. (Read this and this to catch up on the chaos). In short - she risked her kidneys to fulfill her goal of competing in the IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) Zones Championships. This Friday, she along with her team, fly to Pamona, CA to compete. Ah, youth - what's a kidney when there's horses to be ridden?!

The next step for Elizabeth and Ian's new kitchen is meeting with their contractor. I'm anxious to see what he has to say about the various layout options. One involves knocking out all or a portion of a wall. It's most likely load-bearing, so yep - more money! Fortunately we have narrowed down the possibilities and have good options should they decide not to remove the wall.

Elizabeth's next assignment is to supply me with a list of ALL of the items she plans to store in her kitchen. Everything from her huge stock pot to her spices will need a 'home'. It's my job to make sure we're designing and building in sufficient and efficient storage and organizing systems. 

Remember my "large, looming desk of guilt"? Gotta be honest - I've not done a thing towards getting that project off the ground. I won't bore you with my excuses other than to say my past few weeks have been a bit stressful! But I have a plan, I just need time to focus. I'll write more once this project moves to the front burner. 

And to top off the busy month, my home-goods products web site Raw Materials Design launched as a part of BeItEverSoHumble!  It's been an exciting journey and a dream come true. A friend asked if I felt as if "I'd just given birth"? I responded with a resounding YES! 

A HUGE thank you to all you who so kindly visited the site as well as those who purchased our products. Our giving program The Ties That Bind is growing daily. I can't wait until the end of April when we are able to send our donation to Share our Strength. I have a few calendars left. They are now half price and all of the profits will go Share our Strength as well.

Through all of the hubub this past month, I was able to tackle an organizing project that I've been meaning to accomplish. My master bath cabinet is once again functioning well. As I cleaned and sorted, I re-worked my system to include 3 small Lazy Susan organizers. Now my husband and I each have one of our own that holds the items we use daily. The third contains various medicines and first-aid supplies. It works like a dream!

Finally - as many of you know - 'me time' is often spent in the kitchen. I tie on my apron, pour a glass of wine and get busy. Here are a few recipes - new and familiar that we enjoyed this past month. 

Cooking Light's Mushroom and Sausage Ragu with Polenta was fast, easy and fabulous. I'll definitely make this one again.

Another Cooking Light recipe - Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallots is a family favorite. I make it when I'm really busy. It is so good and quick - you've got to give it a try.

Friday is my 'night off'. We have nibbles like olives, good cheese and crusty bread along with and a glass of wine - or two! I had some peppers, gorgonzola and basil left from the weeks groceries so made this Ina Garten recipe. I've made it twice now - it is sinfully delicious!

The Chicken Scarpariello from a back issue of Food and Wine magazine is good enough to serve to company! It's an easy, all-in-one pan meal that tastes as if you spent an afternoon in the kitchen.

I hope you enjoyed your March as much as I have. Spring is here - I'm heading to the garden!

1 comment: