Monday, April 1, 2013

Family Cooking

Well we're back in the Jerz! The rest of our Vermont weekend was spent enjoying family and good food.

Homemade vegetable soup filled with turnip and escarole graced our dinner table Saturday night...

Which my mom insisted looked better with chicken and white beans, which the non-vegetarians were eating. I have to admit, she's right.

Yesterday after waking up we actually spent the morning at the ER since Riker was acting really fussy and we didn't know what was wrong. Thankfully it was nothing serious and he was back to normal by the afternoon, so we were able to go visit my dad and my brother Doug, his wife Angie and their cutie Riley.

I haven't seen him since he was first born, and he's growing so quickly. Cousins!

After visiting with my dad and brother, it was back to my mom's house for a white trash cocktail party.

Kidding. When Riker went down for a nap we stole some time to relax and play cards, nibble on shrimp cocktail and sip white wine. My mom, grandma and I were all cracking up at how un-classy this picture looks - shrimp cocktail with no lettuce garnish and a Tupperware container of cocktail sauce (gasp! it really is a horror for my formal-loving gram), dice and wine glasses with plastic ice cubes. We're oh so classy. ;-)

Dinner on the other hand, was fit for a king. Or queen.

I loved this meal because every single family member helped cook it. We all took various jobs and busied ourselves in the kitchen together, which is always so much fun. I helped prep the crab cakes with avocado spread, which Matt then cooked. My mom made mushroom rice and a kale and goat cheese "casserole", which was really tasty and a fun new way to eat kale.

My stepdad Bruce roasted the asparagus, and my grandma made shrimp cocktail. I prepped the scallops for searing, which Matt cooked as well. It was a seafood feast.

We had a light dessert of strawberries and whipped cream while watching Silver Linings Playbook. My brother-in-law gave us an "editor's cut" version of the movie (his brother's in the movie industry and got a DVD before it officially comes out), and it was great. The perfect combination of funny and crazy.


This morning we wanted to get on the road early, so we were up at 6:30 packing up the car to head out. I made yogurt/banana/hazelnut cups for the road so we could eat on the go.

My yogurt bowl kept me full for a good 4 hours, but by the time we hit New York we were all hungry for lunch and ready to stretch our legs. We originally planned to stop for the salad bar at our usual spot, The Log Jam in Lake George, but we were making good time and actually hit Lake George too early for lunch, so kept trucking down until I spotted a sign for Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. I've never really spent time in Saratoga but have heard great things about it, and I can usually count on a college town to offer up some good eats. It didn't disappoint! The town was super cute, and we found a unique restaurant called Circus Cafe - normally I wouldn't venture into a circus-themed eatery, but the reviews on Foursquare said they had the best salads in town.

Yum! Matt and I both ordered salads - his with flank steak, and mine with jumbo grilled shrimp. They came over beds of mesclun greens, green apples, cranberries, walnuts and goat cheese with a raspberry coulis and balsamic vinegar. So good.

There was a great looking coffee shop next door called Uncommon Grounds, and the smell of coffee called to me as we were leaving our lunch spot. I grabbed a cup of joe for the road, and it was so good that Matt ran back in for a whole bag of their house-roasted beans so we could enjoy it at home.

The rest of our drive went by fairly quickly and we after stopping at my in-laws to pick up Butters, we arrived back home around dinnertime. Matt unloaded the car while I made a simple dinner of coconut cod and steamed broccoli.

It doesn't look too pretty, but it was tasty. I cooked the cod in coconut oil in my cast iron skillet, and topped it with garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, homemade toasted coconut and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. I'm a sucker for sweet & salty. After dinner Riker got his belated Easter basket...

Holy bananas we created a Raisinet monster. And you can bet I stole one of his Reese's eggs for dessert. A one year old doesn't need a basket full of those things.

Gah these are probably my favorite candy in the whole world. I can't be trusted around 'em!

And with that, this chick is off to bed. Back to the grind tomorrow!

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