Wednesday, October 28, 2009

good night giggles

Last night Ry's parents flew in to stay with us! Little pumpkin was so elated to see them. g & g + teddy ryan = true love

Wishing you a glass full of giggles. xoxo.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Big Riggin' the day away

This morning Teddy and I noticed a huge truck and a fun little golf cart parked outside the office. We quickly put on our shoes and headed over to take a closer look. Just as Teddy started squirming to get behind the wheel of the golf cart, an apartment manager came out and asked if he would like to drive. We said SURE! So Teddy and I got to sit behind the wheel, with our new friend in the passenger seat as we zoomed all about the community. Baby bear was in heaven! Wind in his hair, driving a funny little car on a beautiful fall day.

When we arrived back at the office our manager chum asked if Teddy would like to climb up into the big rig and take a look...of course! I thought he might be a little scared of the size and height, but nope not a bit.

Two simple little acts of sweetness on the part of the part of the manager, but they made our day! By the time we got to the big rig, I even remembered that I happened to have my camera. What luck!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

making amends

Yesterday Teddy decided it was time to make amends with the scarecrows. After being home a few days, he realized we couldn't afford to loose the few friends we have in New York. I have to admit, I agree.

Looking from a distance, thinking about going over to say hello.

Making his way over, careful not to turn his back on the unrustworthy scarecrows.

Concessions were discussed, future alliances agreed upon, and reconciliation complete with the understanding that Theodore has full rights throughout the Autumn of 09' to smell and touch the Mums or hold the pumpkins whenever he so wishes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

grub gains

Ryan and I have been teaching our wee one how to use a fork.

He's always been a determined little guy (remember when he was learning to walk!), but the ambition continues to leave me proud and surprised. I just can't get over the little grunts that escape as he tries to stab the banana!

The "giving him an entire apple" thing started yesterday when he helped himself to one in the fridge. He really manages to dig in and do some damage!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

creamy dreamy sunrise

View from our bedroom window this morning. Really, really beautiful.

Friday, October 9, 2009

a special sunday in NYC

This evening Ryan, Teddy, and I are headed home to Minnesota for a full week! Although the little guy and I have spent a lot of time there over the summer, it's been a long time since Ryan had a full week at home. He's been working so hard this summer, 18 hour days kind of hard. Up until two weeks ago, he was the only certified welding inspector at the plant. Thank goodness they now have a full-time night inspector, so Ry's hours have gone down to about 14 a day. Still very long, but better. He is in need of both R & R and Teddy time.

So that's that. But before we go, I wanted to post a few of my favorite photos from Teddy's first adventure in the Big Apple last weekend. He did marvelous! We had such a wonderful day with Diane, David, Dexter, and Dashiell. David is working in Manhattan for the next couples weeks, so Diane and the boys came out for a long weekend. How fun and memorable that we all got to spend a day in NYC together!

Excitement and anticipation for the first choo choo ride!

The Children's Museum of Manhattan

We really had such an awesome day! I absolutely love NYC and to get to spend a day there with family was such a gift.

Alright lovelies, I'm off to pack! I hear it's going to be cold in problem. yummy yummy wood stove smoke.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

everyone's (secret) favorite food

Ina Garten's Company Pot Roast photo via The Food Network

About once a week I try out an Ina Garten recipe. Ryan and I are pretty crazy about her dishes. They just have so much depth. Rich in flavor, color and texture. I love Ina's French flare. She always places an emphasis on quality ingredients, fresh produce, and complimenting wines. Dreamy and delicious. I received my Barefoot Contessa cookbook as a gift and we've honestly loved everything that's come out of it. Last week we discovered one dish that was extra special though, just so incredible, I had to share. Welcome Alcott Family Blog readers to taste bud wonderland, otherwise known as Ina Garten's Company Pot Roast:

1 (4-5 pound) prime boneless beef chuck
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
Good olive oil
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 branches fresh thyme
2 branches fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees F internally. Turn the heat down to 250 degrees F after about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer.

Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for seasonings. Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.

If anyone makes it, let me know! I would love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

life with my man

Ryan sets out his clothes for work each night before we crawl into bed. Last night I'd mentioned he forgot to lay out pants. His response, "Yea, I'm going to wear the pair on the floor." I stare down at the jeans he just took off, stiffened into a dirty, denim heap. My response, "Um Hon, those are filthy." Obviously exasperated by my ignorance, he responded (and I'm giving you a direct quote here, folks) "Sweetheart, I can't keep wearing clean jeans every single day!" Two seconds later, he was asleep. Today, as I work on laundry, I can't help but ponder the social norms inside a power plant.

Friday, October 2, 2009

opps a daisy

Our apartment community's office area has a festive autumn display out front ready to great potential residents with smiling scarecrows, pumpkins, and mums. The last couple weeks Teddy and I have been heading over to chat with the scarecrows on our walks. Conveniently, "hay" is one of the words Teddy can say so we do a lot of pointing at their hay-filled extremities while he says the word multiple times.

Three days ago he seemed to zero in on the pumpkins for the first time. I handed him a baby pepo, he loved it and giggled loudly. The excitement of holding his own pumpkin must have awakened a recessed desire to run, because he suddenly took off like a bat on Halloween down the cobblestone walk. About five steps into the gallop, he fell. His hands were holding the pumpkin, thus unavailable to help catch the spill. Sadly, his beautiful baby face was the first thing to make contact with the brick. He cried. I nearly cried. We were both so sad.

Luckily, the physical evidence is almost already gone. He had one skid mark on his forehead and one on the nose, but we did a lot of anti-bacterial ointment and they are healing well. This morning we went to visit the scarecrows again, but he wanted to keep his distance. I think he's convinced they're behind the pumpkin incident.