Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break - Part 1

As my friends here who are teachers and parents get excited because spring break starts tomorrow on Good Friday, I'm looking back at our spring break memories from the past couple of weeks. Evidently spring break in the midwest follows a different calendar because everywhere we went (the week before Holy Week) there were hundreds of families and children enjoying time off.


I was so happy to see my family when I finally arrived after spending most of the day in airports. And Baby Sister was happy to see me. And my iPhone. She calls my phone "Old McDonald." It was a constant request while I was there—"See Old McDonald?" That's the first app I added for her. But she can zoom around that phone better than I can now, hardly slowing down for the actual Old McDonald any more.


And with this smile, I can't resist handing it to her almost every time she wants it. 


Mommy had a full calendar for my time out there. First thing on Saturday morning was the St. Patrick's Day parade—my first one ever. Baby Sister liked it all except for the "fireplace" that was too loud and made her cry. In two-year-old language, fireplace = fire truck. 


Several times she talked about the "loud fireplace that made her cry." But then she would go on to say after that then she was happy when they threw necklaces and candy to the crowd.


We also stopped by the most unique shops I've ever seen. There was a semi-circle of Airstream trailers, each housing a different business. We checked out the pie shop and the flower shop. It's so much fun to see things we don't have at home.


We did a little bit of shopping that afternoon, too. Big Sister and I got new Toms shoes. And Baby Sister picked out new glasses.


Daddy grilled his famous salmon that night and Mommy made this yummy dish for dinner on Sunday night. It was originally called a "casserole" but we renamed it a "hot dish" since Daddy doesn't eat casseroles. Whatever you call it, it's delicious. (The directions are long, but it's super simple.)

LAZY SUNDAY HOT DISH

1 (14 oz.) package turkey kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut into 3-in. pieces & split lengthwise
1 pound potatoes
1/2 pound carrots
1/2 bell pepper (red or yellow)
1 large onion
1 fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp oil
freshly cracked black pepper
1-1/2 tsp Italian herbs
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

Peel the potatoes, wash them and cut each potato in four pieces. Peel one large or two smaller onions and cut them in wedges. Remove the base and stalks of the fennel, and cut into wedges. Slice 1/2 to 1 bell pepper in strips. Place everything in a big roasting tray.

Use a big bowl to combine the oil with the Italian herbs, grated or chopped garlic, and chicken broth. Season with a generous amount of salt (kosher salt would be great) and cracked black pepper. Cover the tray with aluminum foil and pop it in a preheated oven. Bake at 450 degrees for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes the potatoes and vegetables should be fork tender. If they’re not, cover the tray with the foil and pop them back in the oven for a few more minutes. If they are fork tender, place the sausages in there and pour the balsamic vinegar all over. Place the tray back in the oven, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes. 

Take it out after 15 minutes, flip over those sausages and ladle some of the juices from the bottom of the pan all over the vegetables and sausages. Put it back in the oven for the remaining time, until everything is nice and brown. 

Check out the original recipe if you would like to use fresh sausages.



1 comment:

Robin said...

Sweet, sweet smile! You kept busy!