Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Parade....

This morning I took the little kids to go see my boy's Halloween parade at school. It was a crisp and sunny morning. The parade was lead by the school mascot.

Logan as "Hulk"

The little kiddos watching the parade march on.

I thought this little girl was adorable :)


Another little cutie!

Some of these teachers got creative with their costumes.

My little Miss and her festive headband.

Jakey as "Spiderman"

Logan's class

Nate's class

Nathan as some sort of "biker skull" dude

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wedding Day......

My cousin's wedding was this past weekend and I had the pleasure of taking pictures of their beautiful day. I had taken well over 200 photos and these are just a few that I wanted to post up. Don't they make a "purdy" couple?
Congratulations Alan & Caterina!

© CatsEyeView 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Traditions & Sauce......

Traditions are so wonderful to have in your family. This week my son has been working on projects about our family traditions. That got me inspired to carry on a tradition my grandmother, (Nonna), has done every year during tomato season........Making fresh pasta sauce! I remember as a kid every August going to her house with all the other family members and spending two days making sauce enough to feed about 5 families for the year. Boxes and boxes of tomato's stacked in the backyard waiting to go through all the different steps. When I was younger I was in charge of cleaning them in 5 gallon buckets. Then when I was older I got to be in charge of the machine that separated the juice from the skin and seeds. The aroma in that house was so incredible when the tomato's would be cooking over the stove. And then of course there was the end product.........So delicious and earthy over a bed of pasta!
This lady here is my Nonna with Kady just days after she was born. I am thankful for her and the many wonderful traditions she has brought to our family. I can't wait until the day I teach my children and for them to carry it on.

I bought a box of these lovelies at a farm stand. I love how you can just smell how fresh and earthy they are. First step is to wash them and cut the stem or any bad areas off.

Then you slice them almost all the way in half and place them in a big pot with about an inch of water. Turn burner on med-high and let them boil for about 20 minutes or so until tomato's are very soft....stirring occasionally.

Mmmmm....Two pots full of these babies!

Here's a pic to show when they are just about ready to be drained.

*Watch out...steamy picture ahead*
Drain tomato's a little at a time until as much liquid, (water and such), are gone. This may be a process you do a few times over until most liquid is eliminated.

The next process will require a food mill. Pour the tomato's a little at a time and keep on turning until most of the moisture is out of the tomato's. This will be tedious......I just put on one of my tv shows while I turned and turned ;)

Next, you prepare your pot to put the sauce in . I put olive oil, enough to coat almost the whole bottom. Then I put in a heaping teaspoon of crushed garlic, (my favorite). I also chopped up half of a yellow onion. Salt a pepper and let simmer a bit until onions become soft.

Once onions and garlic have simmered a bit, throw in your sauce. Again, salt and pepper to taste and add mix of Italian seasoning. You can also add a couple leaves of fresh basil. (secret ingredient I throw in to cut some of the acidity...a teaspoon of sugar). Keep on low with a lid and let simmer for 30 minutes or so. The longer it sits on low, the longer all the flavors blend beautifully. Ahhhh......this smell will fill the air and and make you smile. It took me back to my Nonna's house. You always knew if she had a pot of sauce going on the stove the second you stepped foot in her house.

Enjoy over any shaped pasta noodle. You can even make a large batch and freeze it if you don't want to jar it. My kids loved it and couldn't believe the box of tomato's we bought from the farm turned into dinner!

Pony "stub"....

Let's face it, her hair is growing s.l.o.w.l.y and this is all I can do to it. She tries to pull it out occasionally. Headbands would work too, but she rips those out as well.
(Such a squish in this picture....she is giggling at something daddy is doing)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Farm.....

It was time yet again to take the kids to pick out pumpkins! I always try to find a farm nearby with charm with fun things to do like hay and corn mazes, animals, etc. vs buying your pumpkins at a parking lot or grocery store. The kids love it and it makes for a perfect family outing.

This corn maze was short, but sweet :)

Kady loves stomping around the grounds.

She also got excited about the animals!

I wanted to take this baby moo-moo home with me ;)

The boys loved running and racing each other around this hay maze.

There was also an educational section with Indian huts that the boys thought was cool. I can't remember the name of the Indians, but they lived locally in the area in these "recreated" huts along the riverbank from when the delta was there. The huts were bent branches of blackberry and grapevines that was layered with reeds into a dome shape.

They also had a musical show in the barn. I thought the corn garland was awesome!

Kady clapped her hands to the music as did Logan. The other two boys didn't really care so much about it...hahaha.

And there was our entertainer....

I don't know why there was a chicken, but Jess thought Kady might like a closer look until she started crying.

Pumpkin pickin' time!

Everyone happy with their picks and waiting for the tractor ride back to the car.Driving home I snapped this pic......the clouds that day were so pretty. It was a good day!