Jeremy, Jake, Naomi, & Amelie

Fondu for us! May 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — jephotography @ 3:08 pm

Since Jonathan grew up in France and I lived there a short while, we occasionally have to re-live some fantastic French food moments. This means Crepes, Raclette, Boeuf Bourguignon, Cuisses de Canard and now Fondu Savoyarde make cameo appearances in our dinner menus. Last night we were delighted to find Comte and Beaufort  (Frenchy Cheeses) at Sam’s club, they make the meal authentic. We kinda sorta waaaay over estimated the amount of cheese we would need, we were wishing some grandparents could show up on the scene and help us out, but alas they live far far away. Our kids ate a lot though, Jacob gave it “thumb’s up” Naomi said “Ya know, I just want more and more” Jeremy asked “can we have this every night?” and Amelie made the sign for “more”.  I think the French gene transfer is now complete. Magnifique! We will definitely do it again, and we’ll plan a little better how much we make….or maybe we’ll just have a party and let some others experience this gut busting delicious way to eat cheese. Seriously only the French can get away with eating Cheese dip in such an elegant way!

Here is the recipe we used (next time we will cut it in half)

400g Comte

400g Beaufort

400g Guyere

1/2 litre dry white wine

1/2 litre water (this was because we have small children)

8g Cornstarch

1 Glove garlic

3 baguettes or thick bread sliced or cubed

1. Cut garlic and rub inside of fondu pot for flavoring, discard clove.

2. Grate cheeses and keep separate ***this can be hazardous to your finger tips, and J found out 😦

3. Add Wine and water (reserving a small glass) and heat on Medium

4. Slowly add cheese one handful at a time and stir in a figure 8. Allow them to melt, and continue adding

5. While adding cheeses, mix cornstarch in glass of WARMED water/wine  and add to pot

6. Continue to stir slowly in figure 8 until smooth, creamy and emulsified.

7. If too thick, add water or wine. If too thin add more cheese or cornstarch and warmed wine/water.

Serve immediately placed over sterno gel flame. Enjoy! This recipe feeds 6 super hungry adults, or 8 moderately hungry.

Serve with  plate of Fresh fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew) to cut the richness and refresh.

Bon Appetit!

These photos were all done on my iphone because that was all we had at home at the time.

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Long time no see. May 13, 2011

Filed under: Family Outing,Real Life,The Dogwood Festival — jephotography @ 5:32 pm

I know its been forever since I updated this blog. I’m not going to go on and on about it. I’m just going to try to do better 🙂

We HAVE been taking lots and lots of photos of the kids, and I thought that I would just start with something fun. A few weeks ago we went to the Dogwood festival. Every year our town throws a Spring festival, called the Dogwood. There are loads of booths selling everything from delicious eats to quirky crafts. We always get Kettle Corn. With four kids, we could drop a lot at the festival, so we decided to pick one thing that we could all enjoy together. We really enjoy family days, and want to try to keep it, NOT all about getting and buying fun, but enjoying the time we get to hang out together. I’m quite proud of this family date, I think I did well.

We got the biggest bag of Kettle Corn they have ($5.00) and then stroll through the sea of people and check out all the booths. It was sunny on Friday, and didn’t rain until the last day. Usually it rains more during the Dogwood. Hopefully it was a success to all the patrons that came in and set up their goods.

After seeing all we could, we took the kids out to get ice cream. I had a gift card so it only cost us 34 cents for 4 scoops of Ice cream!!  Grand total= $5.34 Not too shabby I think.

They have grown so much since the last post, and have such funny personalities. We are so blessed and really enjoy them a lot. Here are some fun pictures of our mini family day. Enjoy!


 

Amelie turns 1 August 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jephotography @ 11:00 pm

Our Sweet Amelie Claire turned 1 on Saturday! She is such a happy baby, it has been an awesome year with her. We went river rafting down the Illinois and then had cupcakes. I will post some pics of the rafting, that’s a whole other ordeal on it’s own. Amelie really tore into her cupcake, like she new what she was doing. She has brought us a lot to smile and laugh about this year! Here are some of my faves. Enjoy!

Want some?

 

Before/After July 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jephotography @ 12:34 am

So here is my little distraction for the afternoon. Sometimes, I need a hands on creative outlet, and need it STAT. I’m not a “crafts” person, at all. I totally stink at anything paper crafty. I admire you peeps out there who love it and are good at it. Anyhow. I love the feeling of taking something boring, and over looked and sprucing it up.  I have done this with a few pieces in my home, and sometimes fantasize of getting rid of all my furniture and starting over. It’s a sickness. It took me 3 hours total to do this. From Purchase to Photo finish.

Anyhow, here is my little Before/After **  DIY**  Why I burned Dinner…

Cute Mid-centuryish chair. I really wanted to keep the wood natural but there were to many boo boos and the wood wasn’t as pretty as I hoped.

After a good sanding/and painting and re-upholstering….Voila!

Just what I was hoping for! Happy girl, Happy Mama.

 

First fruits… June 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jephotography @ 8:17 pm

I was so excited to find some beautiful red tomatoes in my garden. FINALLY! I have been so eagerly awaiting them. I planted them mainly because I’ve been craving bruschetta forever. And last night, we ate our fill. Yummm. Plus I have a very productive basil bush happening right now.  My zucchini decided to be a late bloomer, and produce monster size squash. I’m pretty proud that I haven’t killed my garden plants…yet. Maybe it has something to do with planting it on our old compost spot. Anyway, in spite of me, my garden is growing bountifully.  Here are a couple pics.

 

Perks of a small town # 23 June 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jephotography @ 3:26 pm

THE FARMERS MARKET!!!

We headed down to the market this week to pick up some fresh produce and enjoy the cooking demo by the Cafe on Broadway. The kids loved it, it was hard to keep them from touching everything.  It was tricky to decide who to buy from. I mean, do you always buy from the same person, or do you spread the love around? I grew up in a Chicago suburb, so I’m not schooled in farmers market etiquette. I bought some fresh lettuce mix from Chaney Farms( I kinda sorta know them), and then from another guy I picked out some sweet potatoes for Amelie’s baby food, I grabbed a bunch of radishes (mmm, so good), and then bought the most delicious loaf of corn bread I have EVER eaten. We hoovered the whole thing. It was sweet and moist and melted in your mouth. Wow, I’m hungry for it now.

We watched the cooking demo of the strawberry fields salad from the Cafe and then got to sample it. Along with the cornbread I bought it was the perfect snack. Later , for lunch I made a salad with the stuff I bought, it was de-lish.

So here are some pics from the day. If you haven’t visited the Farmers Market, it is Tues/Thursday mornings, and then once a month there is a cooking demo from some local business. Go! I’ll probably be there, stalking the local produce and devouring cornbread. Have a great weekend!

Waiting for balloons!

Oh and here is what I made at home from some of my farmers market buys…yummy!

A mixed green salad with chicken, walnuts, apple and Parmesan cheese and CORNBREAD!

 

Say…Cheese(sticks) June 1, 2010

Filed under: cooking schemes — jephotography @ 4:57 pm

Our family is in love with cheese. All kinds of cheese. Jonathan is French, so it would be a capital offense if we didn’t. Last week I decided to try and make friend cheese sticks. So I found a recipe on the Pioneer Woman (who is like super woman with spurs). and gave it a whirl. It was so easy and sooo delicious. I barely had a chance to take a picture of them, because I was stuffing them in my mouth.

Here are some pictures I took of my little culinary adventure. WARNING: Make twice as many as you think you want, because they are TWICE as good as store bought!

Step 1: Get a bunch of string cheese from the store and open them without swearing.

Step 2: Cut them in half.

Step 3: get out three bowls. In one put some flour, in the second a cup of Italian bread crumbs or Panko bread crumbs (and season with italian seasonings) in the third put 2 eggs and beat with 3 tbls spoons of milk.

Then make crazy toothed smile face with said bowls. haha.

Step 4: dip each cheese stick in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Once they are all ready, heat some oil and drop those suckers in until crispy and brown.

Step 5: Drop them on some paper towel…then devour immediately. If you’re an over-achiever, which I am not,  pre make some homemade marinara sauce.

Step 6: Bribe your family to do all sorts of cleaning for one of these. They’ll totally give.

Step 7: ENJOY!

I fly by the seat of my pants on everything, and this includes recipes. For the real correct step by step go: HERE

BON APPETIT!