Bubbas and Baby Nuggets (Or New Baby Gift Baskets)

I’m writing again — and not just on my blog. I’m back to figuring out the story points of my novel. Outlining is the tedious, necessary part I don’t always love, but you can’t build a house without a floorpan any more than you can write a decent story without figuring out its structure first.

So there’s that….

There’s also this:

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The Bubba made a gift basket for his Auntie Nicole.

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Okay, I did most of the work.

He doesn’t have opposable thumbs after all.

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But he took most of the credit.

(Like boys do.)

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In his defense, he did help with the clean up… of chicken scraps on the floor.

He excels at eating meat off of all surfaces (even linoleum).

Wanna see why he we made the basket?

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Because Albus has a new nugget of a cousin.

She is divine.

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And I got to hold her.

Because new moms have their hands full with breastfeeding, diaper changes, and watching nuggets sleep, I figured I should feed Nicole.

I made two kinds of tuna salad, a chicken salad, pasta bolognese, and buckeyes. (I don’t approve of anything that could be construed as pro-Ohio — particularly when I’m making a gift basket for a fellow Michigan alum, but peanut butter is just meant for chocolate — so I rationalized that Wolverines devouring Buckeyes is metaphorical… or something.)

Recipe links are here:

Green Goddess Tuna Salad (I omitted the tarragon because we don’t get along terribly well.)

Tuna and Artichoke Cooler Pressed Sandwiches (Meaghan and I used this recipe for Katy’s baby shower years ago. It’s divine.)

Pasta Bolognese (Full disclosure: I skipped the veal and used 3/4 lb of ground pork and 3/4 lb of ground beef because veal makes me cry — and because bolognese needs extra meat.)

Buckeyes (There are millions of variations of this recipe. The key is using some Crisco in the chocolate to help it melt evenly.)

I’ll do a proper post on the curry chicken salad another time, as it is my mummy’s recipe and can’t be found online.

Tim and I ate the rest of it for lunch on Monday. (It was a hit. #likeduh)

Now, it’s time to get back to my outlining. (Barf)

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Drunk in Love (Or Nicole’s Wedding Shower)

Last weekend the greatest thing happened.

My favorite girls got together for a wedding shower to celebrate Charcole*, and it was a festival of amazing.

See?

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Best bridey ever. (Duh)

We had everything.

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Glitter… and bubbles….

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Kisses…

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And sassy gifts for Sauce**.

We even a charcoal pencil drawing for Fifi***.

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From me, obviously.

The shower could not have been more Nicole if she had planned it herself.

The girls thought of everything right down to the favors.

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Every day is a Bacardi Party with our Pirate****.

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And it was perfect we got to take it on the road with us.

Even the games were fun.

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I won. (Obviously)

I’m not sure I can (or need to) caption the rest of the photos, but here they are anyway.

#drunkinlove

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#surfboard #surfboard

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#thanksbeyonce

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The most gorgeous bridey with the best legs who ever lived. 

Okay, Im off to pack for Ann Arbor where I’ll get to see my panda and my Brazilian Goddess, Ang, again.

#ilovemylife

*Charcole = Charlie + Nicole

**Sauce is short for Sister Boss — Nicole’s sisters’ nickname for her.

***Nicole’s mumma calls her Fifi because she says she’s as particular as a poodle.

****I call Nicole my pirate because of an infamous boat party we had for her birthday many years ago. (Don’t ask.)

It should be noted: the best people have the most nicknames.

 

Too Tired to Write Up a Real Recipe (Or How to Make a Mojito)

Today my apartment and I are recovering from a midsized dinner party. This basically means my dishwasher and I are working overtime to remove the remnants of pork carnitas from the plates while listening to Patsy Cline and fantasizing about naps.

I promise I’ll post the recipes for the salsa verde, the slow cooker cola carnitas, and the guacamole next week, but I’m just not ready to do it now. See, I was so busy mixing drinks, frosting cupcakes, making rice, and talking and whatnot that I totally forgot to photograph the food I served. (Oops!) I’m going to repeat the menu for another dinner party on Friday (different dinner guests, obviously), so I’ll have a second shot at a food photo shoot then.

So anyway, today I’m going to tell you how I made the mojitos — partly because I’m just too tired to get into anything more elaborate and partly because a few of my friends asked for the recipe. If you’re wondering why I’m so particularly tired today it’s probably because I didn’t go to bed until well after midnight and then a certain impetuous puppy woke me up at 6 am to take him out…. He has no regard for my exhaustion because he sleeps all day long. Well, that is when he’s not trying to crawl into the lap of an unsuspecting dinner guest, pretending he’s a 65-pound lap dog. (I digress.)

Back to the mojitos. Mojitos are possibly my favorite thing ever, but they can go so terribly wrong that I rarely order them in restaurants and I NEVER order them in Vegas because I swear they make them with Sprite there. This is why I had to figure out how to make them on my own. (Note: the proper method does not involve Sprite. Lemons do not belong anywhere near a mojito. Ever.)

There are two ways I make them, and I outline them both below. I personally prefer the powdered sugar method, but that’s just me. I think the slight grittiness of the sugar helps to release the juice from the mint during the muddling process, and the increased surface area (compared with regular sugar) aids in the proper absorption into the drink. Enough with the chemistry lesson, though, and on with the drinking. The recipe is below.

Mojito Recipe

10 large mint leaves
2 T of powdered sugar (or 2 T of simple syrup)
2 ounces of fresh lime juice (from one medium lime)
8 ounces of soda water (1 cup)
3 ounces of white rum

Tear the mint leaves in half. Place them in the bottom of a sturdy glass or a cocktail shaker. Add either 2 T of simple syrup or 2 T of powdered sugar. Using a muddler (or the end of a wooden spoon), muddle/smash the mint leaves to release the flavor.

Squeeze the fresh lime juice into the glass. Add rum. Pour in soda water. Place ice cubes in a serving glass, and pour the contents of the cocktail shaker (or mixing glass) into the serving glass.

Drink. Smile. Repeat.

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*Simple Syrup Recipe

1 C water

1 C sugar

Pour the sugar and water into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. Cool.