Sunday, March 28, 2010

Beach Fun

The rain has stopped and it is heating up around here. So we headed to the beach to have a little fun. Abbey especially loves the water and sand and being in a bathing suit so she was in heaven running on the beach.

Abbey joined these boys in their sand castle to play with all their toys until a wave came and destroyed it. And isn't it amazing how fast kids make friends.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Baked Shrimp Scampi

I want to blog about something else besides Abbey all the time but it is just so hard when she is just so darn cute. So here is my attempt to share about other things going on in our family.

I love to cook. I don't like to bake but I love to cook so I hope to introduce some of my favorite recipes now and then. The picture above does not do this dish justice but it is definitely one of our favorite shrimp recipes. Abbey is not a fan of sea food yet so she usually eats something else. Not ideal to make two meals for dinner but we love it so much it's worth it. Try it out and let me know what you think.

1 lb. large shrimp in the shell (I use about 20/lb. size)
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. dry white wine
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tsp. minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
2 tbsp. minced shallots
1 1/2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/3 cup panko
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper until combined.

Starting from the center of an oval or round baking dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer in the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Place under the broiler for 1 additional minute to brown the top. Serve with lemon wedges.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bringin Down the House

Wednesday's at 10am have been a highlight for Abbey. We go to our local record store downtown called Boo Boo's Records for music time. Heidi is the woman who runs the program. She dresses like a rock star and always wears a flower in her hair and leads kids in acting out childrens songs. She plays songs like "Wheels on the Bus" and the "fire Truck" song. Abbey loves going to Boo Boo's and so you have to imagine our sadness when Heidi tearfully said the program was ending.
At the last music time we showed up early to get a good spot. There were 75 parents plus their kids packed into the tiny back room. It was madness and Abbey seemed to take on the personality of the party like atmosphere. She was a wild woman that day; running through the crowded room, getting up and down the stage, lying down on the stage and taking music shakers from other kids. Needless to say I was excited when the last song which is always the very popular "Fire Truck" song came on. Abbey of course ran up on the stage to party. Well, on this last music time ever, on the last playing of the"Fire Truck" song ever, Abbey (accidentally) pulled the cord. The music went silent and all you hear are voices singing the song for the last 30 seconds. That's my wild child for yah, she always leaves an impression. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Johnson Ranch Hike

A recent adventure that we had has been on my mental wish list since we first moved here. A couple miles out of town there are these hills that are just gorgeous during the spring. They are electric green and it reminds me of Ireland. For years I would think how can I get back there to hike around some day. It was all private land until a couple months ago when it opened up to public use. Needless to say we packed a picnic and took an easy Saturday afternoon hike.

We had a lot of fun exploring another beautiful central coast spot. For anyone that is local the hike is called Johnson Ranch hike , off the 101 between SLO and the Avila Beach exits.

Fun after the Rain

It has been a pretty rainy winter here on the Central Coast. So, when the rain stops we take full advantage of being outside with our active two year old. Most of the time we go to the park but we have discovered an adventure right outside our door by walking up the hill that we live on.

Kevin showed Abbey how to put leaves in the run off water and watch them float away. Her favorite was putting a flower in a half of a walnut shell, calling it a "boat" and then letting it loose in the water.
She loves to watch them race done the hill until see can't see them any more. Sometimes she'll chase after the leaf and other times she'll just lie down and play in the water.
What does your family do after it rains?