For Thanksgiving this year, we traveled to visit my parents and enjoy the holidays with them. It was a fun extended weekend filled with food, wine, family, laughter, and the occasional sibling fight (entertainment for the rest of us). We also were on "baby watch" nearly the whole time because my brother Raymond and his wife Mary went in for an induction on Thanksgiving night and that child of theirs waited until Saturday morning to finally show his adorable little face to the world. Joseph Raymond was born just after midnight on November 26th and weighed in at 7 lbs. 14 ounces. He's so incredibly adorable, a miracle considering he's half Raymond. But Mary's awfully pretty so that explains it.
Unfortunately, Lucy and I were fighting the beginnings of a cold and so we refrained from visiting our newest family member at the hospital. However, Matthew and Emma were both very excited to hear about Baby Joseph. They just love babies. Emma was especially bummed that we were not planning on visiting "Uncle Raymond's House" because "he's a really funny guy." When I told her that things would be a little different from now on because Uncle Raymond has a baby, she said in amazement: "WHAT? Does he even know how to take care of a baby?" Gosh, I hope so. He's had lots of practice.
In addition to waiting for news of adorable baby Joey, we just enjoyed our time together as a family. I handed my camera to Paul hoping that he would record some of these treasured family moments while I helped my Mom finish up preparing the Thanksgiving feast, but I unfortunately received some pretty pathetic shots, including a closeup of my sister Adrienne's lovely cheekbones and a few shots of television screen displaying the football game Bruce was watching. My husband is many things, but a photographer is not one of them.
Shortly before Thanksgiving, I had sent a note to Adrienne and Sophie asking them to contribute a bottle of wine to the "wine table" I was planning on setting up. Paul and I were bringing a couple bottles as well as some sparkling cider for the under-21 crowd. Well, they certainly took my suggestion to heart because we had plenty of options when it came to wine which made for a most merry occasion indeed.
The Thanksgiving meal was fantastic - my Mom made a moist turkey, my favorite sweet potatoes, her signature cinnamon-apple stuffing, and from-scratch green bean casserole. Matthew immediately requested one of the giant turkey legs for his main course and Bruce quickly followed suit and the two of them were happy little cavemen munching on their carnage for the rest of the meal. Emma politely refrained from eating most everything I served her with the exception of a roll slathered with butter and a hefty serving of jello. Lucy refused to eat any of it but did enjoy a very large serving of pie and whipped cream later in the evening. We all had a wonderful time relaxing and catching up but the best part for me was watching the kids having a blast with their cousins, aunts, and uncles. Lucy was a little clingy, but even she started to relax by the end and enjoy being spoiled by someone other than me.
|My favorite picture from the whole weekend.|
After coming home from our Thanksgiving, both Paul and I felt like we needed to eat a bit healthier. I asked Paul what he wanted for dinner during the week and his reply was...and this is quite shocking for those who know anything about Paul...SALAD.
So, we have been eating a very vegetable-based diet ever since coming home. I picked out a recipe for this Toasted Quinoa and Vegetable Soup from a recent issue of Cooking Light. I am a huge fan of quinoa and I just loved how many vegetables Amanda Freitag packs into this recipe. Plus, it features fresh chopped rosemary and neither Paul nor I can resist fresh rosemary. This is one of those soups that, while both filling and comforting, will not weigh you down or make you feel sluggish. I enjoyed mine with fresh cracked pepper and an extra handful of chopped parsley. Paul preferred a side of fresh bread for dunking. The girls boycotted the meal while Matthew finished his entire bowl and gave me the following critique: "Mom. Your soup was very delicious. But can you please add some chicken to it?"
Toasted Quinoa and Vegetable Soup
adapted slightly from Cooking Light
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup diced russet potato
1/4 cup diced, peeled sweet potato
1/4 cup diced, peeled celery root
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Spread the quinoa in a thin layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until browned, about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil. Add onion, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic; cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover and stir in the rosemary and cumin. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the stock, potatoes, celery root, and toasted quinoa. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook 12 minutes. Stir in zucchini and Brussels sprouts and cook until vegetables and quinoa are tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt to taste.