Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Talk

Since my entire family (save my brother) was in Utah, we had our Thanksgiving feast last Sunday. It was a low-key meal with the most important staples (stuffing!) and none of the stress-inducing extras (store-bought rolls instead of homemade). And we continued the tradition of going around the table stating what things fill us with thanks. And so today was very much not like a holiday. We had a fancy breakfast-- eaten at lunchtime-- of eggs, hash browns, bacon, and pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Bria even dipped her bacon in the cream cheese frosting-- that girl knows where it's at.
I talked with Sam several times today, who ate dinner at his brother's house. He enjoyed a traditional feast (in the company of a certain football player) and a to-the-point round of expressing Thanks. Apparently most people don't give lengthy orations on their gratitude? We McPhies are known talkers as well as dramatics-- a recipe for lengthy Thanks speeches.
It has been an understated holiday, but a joyous one at that.
My Top Ten Thankful list for 2010:
1. I will be reunited with Sam on Tuesday!
2. Cafe Rio
3. My patient mom who helped me undo a messed-up sewing project today
4. Bria, who finally learned to sleep well in her pack-n-play in Whitney's closet
5. Rolos in my parents pantry to bribe Bria to nap
6. Whitney, my (sometimes) Utah bedmate, who doesn't complain when I hog the sheets
7. Elisa, who drove to SLC last night so we could go see Harry Potter
8. My parents' impressive collection of Disney classics on VHS
9. Lindsay, who hasn't complained that I've flaked out on her a couple times since I've been here in Utah, and who I can't wait to play with tomorrow
10. Sam in general. It's not enough to just be thankful I'll see him on Tuesday. He's my favorite person in the whole world. (cheese, cheese, cheese.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

change of plans

Well, instead of romping around DC with my mom, I pulled a switcheroo and traveled to Utah instead. Unfortunately, my grandpa passed away, so Bria and I came for the funeral, but fortunately, my entire family was here! It's been so great to lounge around and enjoy the mass chaos that is my nieces and nephews. For a few short hours the original McPhie cast was back together-- my brother stayed about 12 hours total-- but the remaining time has been spent laughing hysterically with my sisters. True bliss, I tell you. Plus, I've already eaten Cafe Rio three times. I'll be here another week before heading back to the balmier Virginia (rain, sleet, snow, AND hail in Utah today!), but it's nice to soak up this family-togetherness for now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mama K

My mom is coming to town on Wednesday! And you want to know what she is bringing us in her carry-on? You better believe it.

Last month my mom and dad went to Japan, and they sent this picture. The first thing I noticed-- I think my mom is wearing jeggings. How should I feel about my mom being more fashionable than I am?

I'm not going to think about it.

While she's here, I think we're going to hit up 7th hill pizza or 2 Amy's, sneak in a little Shenandoah action, shop in Georgetown . . . pretty much everything we couldn't do last time she came because it was too freezing to leave the house.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

peter, peter, pumpkin eater

Yesterday I went to a church activity, and, long story short, I ended up with a gallon-sized ziploc bag of raw, cubed pumpkin in my fridge. I was originally going to just bake it, puree it, and freeze it, but then I remembered a curry recipe my sister sent me in January that would be easily adapted* to accommodate the pumpkin.

So, let's not dilly-dally, shall we?

Pumpkin Curry

1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 small chunk fresh ginger, grated
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t red curry paste
1 t yellow curry powder
1 t cinnamon
2 cans coconut milk
3 T fish sauce
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c water
1 c cubed pumpkin
1/2 c cubed potato
2 carrots, cut into small pieces

Microwave the potato and pumpkin for 4-5 minutes, until it's about half-way cooked, then set aside.
First saute the onion until it just starts to soften. Then, add the ginger, garlic, curry paste, curry powder, and cinnamon. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, and water.
Simmer for about 10 minutes or so, then check the seasonings and add more, as needed.
Add the potato, pumpkin, and carrots and simmer until the veggies are cooked through.
If it's too thick, add more water, just make sure it doesn't dilute the spices too much. If you do need to add more spices, make sure to simmer for a couple minutes to give them time to infuse their flavor into the liquid.
Serve over jasmine rice.

*The recipe my sister sent uses kabocha squash, chicken, red bell pepper, and peas instead of the veggies I used, but that is the beauty of curry: you can really adapt it according to whatever you have in your fridge.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bria Spills the Beans

This was actually one of the best Halloweens yet. As predicted, holidays are infinitely more exciting when you get to see your child enjoying the festivities.
Bria was killing the crowds with cuteness as she pranced around saying "I'm the banderina in the whole world!" (She forgot that cutest or prettiest or other superlative part to the statement.)

And, due to trick-or-treating and TWO trunk-or-treats, we are set up on candy for life. The day after our last trunk-or-treat, I thought I was going to die I felt so sick from all the sugar. I'm still not sure if it was worth it. And even though we have candy coming out of our ears, I still made brownies and pumpkin frozen custard last night. What is wrong with me?

Another highlight of the second trunk-or-treat? Bria walking around saying "My dad is the cleaner." And once she got the hang of it, "Mr. Clean is my dad." (Which just sounds a little different from "My dad is Mr. Clean.")