Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dinner minus 1 Tooth.

Last night we enjoyed a casual dinner with some friends and their daughter Miss O, the young foodie pictured above. She lost her tooth while munching on this yummy Wild Mushroom, Tarragon and Goat Cheese Crostini. This toothless wonder has quite a nice palate!

We enjoyed a nice Spinach and Apricot Pork Tenderloin, White Bean and Rosemary Puree, Seared Scallops and Shrimp with Romesco Sauce and Crispy Prosciutto, and Zucchini and Green Beans with Sauce Vert. Emma and one of her besties, Belle, even set up a carpet picnic before learning a new dance in the living room! It was a most enjoyable evening to say the least.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bounty.

For the next two weeks I am lucky enough to take over vacationing friend's organic produce co-op slot. Today, I met farmer Dan from Plymouth, WI for the first time and just look at what he gave me!
Everything is fresh from the farm gorgeous and I am especially anxious to work with the quirky carrots, aromatic lemon basil and hearty white cucumbers!
Time to get cooking.

Barefoot Soccer...

Finn and his friend Hank have been meeting to play soccer in the park this week for 90 minutes and this morning they opted to play a small sided game of barefoot soccer. Finn almost got the concept, but only made it so far as to play stocking foot soccer. Can you say, hello bleach? Seriously though, I think a little extra laundry effort is worth all the happiness playing brought Finn today!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Goal!

With Finn's ongoing love of soccer and new found love of fishing I thought this was too cute not to share!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back in Tact

I pride myself on being a relatively patient person, but nothing on this great earth of ours could make this week-end arrive fast enough for me! We were FINALLY able to retrieve Emma from her month long stay at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp yesterday!
After making one of these little cabins her home for so long I was fairly certain that Emma would have a list of requests upon picking her up and I was right! On the list: a Frappuccino, a hot shower, a comfy bed, a bubble bath, a movie night, and welcome home dinners including ribs, tacos, baked potatoes, and roast chicken! Beyond missing a few creature comforts, however, it was abundantly clear Emma had a wonderful camp experience and reveled in her dance training! She appreciated every moment of her unique summer experience, made many new friends, and appreciated every care package and letter folks sent her. She loved her time there and was ready to come home! Sounds pretty close to perfect if you ask me!


Prior to getting her that Frappuccino and hauling her weary bones home this morning, we were invited to watch two evenings of ballet ensemble performances. It was easy to tell these dancers were pushed during their four weeks of study and the small group of 23 dancers put on a diverse show! I was particularly impressed Emma and her fellow academy dancers more than held their own in the group made up of high school students!



Emma's instuctors praised her ability to accept criticism and pick-up choreography. They also complimented her willingness to ask questions, tireless work ethic, and her exuberant personality. We are exceedingly proud of our Emma Grace and delighted to have the Elsmo Four back in tact.
I have to go...it is time for family dinner!
Four plates are ready for Emma's favorite ribs!

Friday, July 23, 2010

On the Fringe...

I was just tickled to discover my little food blog mentioned on Urban Fringe, a new blog, whose goal is to unite west side bloggers. I think this is a fantastic concept and I am flattered to be among the posts on the site! I'd keep an eye on Urban Fringe and be sure to send along any other local blogs for inclusion in this growing community!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Put me here!

My friend Angela often features inspiring living spaces on Pfour and they are always some of my favorite posts. While Leif and I were vacationing in Door County, we thought of her when we happened across this incredible home on the shores of Lake Michigan in Jacksonport.
Both Leif and I immediately fell in love with this property and decided all that was missing from this picture was us! I would just die to see the inside!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick Camping

My neighbor has spend every summer since she was a girl camping in Wilmington, IL and she and her aunt have been asking me to take a trip out there for as long as I have lived in this house. I figured it was about time I ventured out there and Finn and I took Patty up on her most recent offer! Yesterday we hit her campsite to enjoy boating, fishing, swimming and a roaring campfire! We had a fantastic time and Finn FINALLY caught a fish!





Thanks for including us Patty!
We loved visiting your special vacation hide away!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Letter from Emma

Dear Mom & Dad,

I miss you both so much!!! I cannot wait to see you next Friday/Saturday! The performance is going to be really good. :o)

We met all of our new teachers and they are all really really nice. My favorite, by far, is Cory!! Conditioning class was so much fun. Save for the fact he kept kicking me in the stomach during plank. :o) I am already REALLY sore! He made us do "ups and downs" and "tens," which hurt like heck!! I can show you what they are when I see you. Cory isn't doing a piece, but it is just really nice to have him as a teacher again.

Working on our new piece is very fun. Nick (a new teacher) is really nice, but not very funny. He swears quite a lot. :o/ But he does have a very distinct way of showing us what he wants us to do. I'm not quite sure I like it, but then again I haven't gotten to try it out yet. He just shows us the combination and then has us do it over and over until we have it perfect. But in the end, I think it might be one of the best dances in the show. I have a duet with a girl named Marleghy. I think that is how you spell her name. She is really nice and a lot taller than me. We get to wear long flowy skirts and it is all girls. The one guy we had in the ensemble, Connor, dropped out and didn't come back. Nobody knows why?!?!?

Everyone in the cabin is nice. I haven't really gotten to meet everyone just yet though. Jordyn is nice and I sat next to her a dinner. I miss our old cabin though and I even called this one girl Esprea by accident! I felt bad and apologized greatly.

I miss you all so much and I can't wait to see you at the performances. That is where you'll get to meet Shawn Bible! I LOVE you all so much!

-Emma

PS We get to see the same opera twice. Can't wait for that!! :o(

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Door County 2010: The Stats

Oak Park, IL to Fish Creek WI: 268.99 miles
Destination: The Quail Cottage at the Thorpe House Inn

Licence Plate Game Predictions:
Leif 19 states, Finn, 25 states, Mel 32 states
Actual Number of States found: 31

Weather: 6 days sunny/1 day rainy
Favorite Full Day
Leif: Tuesday
Ferry to Washington Island, biking, Lunch at Fiddler's Green, twilight mini-golf at the Red Putter
(click the ferry photo above to visit their website. Trust me. The jingle is epic.)

Mel: Thursday
Breakfast at Al Johnson's, golf at the Red Putter, Beach Day at the Whitefish Dunes, family night in





Finn: Friday
golf at the Red Putter, lunch at Wilson's, time at the Beach Across the Street, Charter Fishing, late night pizza







About that Red Putter:
We love love love to play mini golf on vacation and we always turn it into a tournament. Here are the results of our play on this tricky little course...
Most Improved: Finn (78 in his first round and a 52 in his 4th)
The Golden Golf Ball (best single game): Mel with a 45 (3 over par)
The Golden Putter (most hole-in-one shots): Mel (2)
The Coveted Red Jacket Award (lowest 4 game average): Leif with an average of 48!

Favorite Single Activity:
Mel: Traipsing down Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park
Leif: Golfing 9 holes with Finn at Stone Henge
Finn: Charter Fishing even though we didn't catch anything.




Dining Stats:
Meals eaten in: 11
Meals eaten out: 7
Favorite Meal:
Leif: Mel's Chicken Sandwich
(grilled chicken, piquillo peppers, mushrooms, fresh basil, sharp cheddar)

Mel: Breakfast at Al Johnson's
(Two Eggs, Swedish Meatballs, Swedish Pancakes, Lingonberries)

Finn: Wild Tomato Pizza OR Mom's Burger

*It should be noted I did not coerce these responses from my boys! They are just naturally smart and probably would like me to cook for them in the months and years to come.

Best Dialogue:
While driving home in the dark...
Mel: Oh! Deer!
Leif (swerving the car): Whoa! For a second I thought that was a person. Didn't you?
Mel: Um, Nope. That's why I said, 'oh deer.'

Best Catch Phrase:
Leif: "Respect the Trail"
*It should be noted that Leif uttered these words repeatedly while bringing up the rear on our way down a slippery, steep and rocky path on Eagle Trail. Each time he told us to "respect the trail" he almost fell down. Talk about humorous irony!
What We Have:
Fantastic memories of an incredible week with Finn and about a bazillion adorable pictures of him as evidence! Frankly, if there was ever a picture deficit because Finn was a second born we more than made up for it on this trip!!
What We Missed:
Emma Grace. duh. The good news is we were able to talk to her while we were gone and she is having a phenomenal time at camp!

Whom to Thank:
My parents. Each and every year our stay in Door county is about as perfect as a vacation can get and this year was no exception. Our annual stay at the Thorpe House is Christmas gift from my mom and dad and really we couldn't think of anything we'd rather receive.
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