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Looks fancy, but it’s all for show. WICKED EASY ravioli dish that you’ll want to make tonight!  Your ingredients include: 1 lb of ravioli (we like the circle ravioli in our house), 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 small can of black sliced olives, 3-20 cloves of garlic (depending on how ITALIAN you are) fresh basil, shaved asiago cheese, salt, pepper, olive oil.  DO THIS: Toss a few tablespoons of olive oil into a skillet or frying pan over low/med heat. Thinly slice your desired amount of garlic–or chop it, I don’t care, and add those to the hot olive oil.  Once they start to sizzle, throw in the can of tomatoes and the can of olives (small can).  Roughly chop your basil leaves (I did 5) and sprinkle them into your mix.  Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and let simmer.  Cook the raviolis like the package tells you to, and once they’re done, pour your “sauce” over the pound. You’re sauce will be done by the time the raviolis are–because it literally takes 10 minutes to simmer and to taste fabulous.   Chop extra basil for the top of the raviolis and shave some asiago or sharp provolone over the top (any Italian stinky cheese will do!). It’ll look like the picture above and your friends will think you’re cool. I made it for Penelope and I for lunch and we were fighting for the last ravi. That’s short for ravioli. Duh. 

…and she thinks I’m cool. Hopefully that lasts a few more years.

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So we are coming right along as a family of four–and Penelope is as terrific as ever…and by ‘terrific’ I mean terrible, and by “as ever” I mean “always”. ALWAYS TERRIBLE. No, no…I kid. HOWEVER, she DID bite her baby brother’s toe yesterday.  So, there’s that.  Here’s how it went down. She came over to us on the couch holding a pink polka dot blanket.  I thought it was far too sweet that she chose that blanket especially for her brother to use, without having some evil plan lurking in her head.  Sure enough, my instincts were ON POINT.  As I held him, she came over and covered his feet with the blanket, and put her head down–looking like she was cuddling him. Just like that Oliver let out a SCREAM, that could only mean one thing–HE’D BEEN BITTEN. Lifting up her head she had the blanket clenched between her teeth and I wanted to scream.  I did what any Italian mom would do and…I went  cookoo. “NO WAY! ABSOLUTELY NOT! PENELOPE VIOLET THAT IS A BADDDDD GIRL. NO! UGGGGHHH. NAUGHTY–SO BAD…NO BITING!! DON’T YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN!” and then I casually left the playroom calling her every applicable obscenity possible under my breath.  Really?! At least wait ’til Ollie has teeth so he can defend himself. Poor innocent Son of mine. OY. The funniest part about her biting, is that it’s NEVER done in anger.  Always just for fun–for the hell of it!  HOW ABOUT trying to draw a picture, using play-doh, building a block castle–FOR THE HELL OF IT.  Don’t just bite someone–it’s mean, and it hurts. Like REALLY hurts. 

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Poor little toes. Ya almost lost one, there Buddy!

I think I’m much happier with two.  Even though I joke about getting driven to insanity on a daily basis, I like having two gremlins–I mean kids.  For some ODD reason unknown to man, I’ve become more organized and clean with two. Is it because I have no other choice?  It would not be humane to live like my former sloppy piggish self, and share that with another child–now would it?!  I find myself cleaning out closets and cupboards more often, vacuuming twice as much, and generally, being neater.  Maybe If I have a third I’ll be an official clean freak. Third. HA. My husband wants to KILLLLLL me every time I mention the “T” word. We’ll see in 2 years if I feel the same.  I told him, as long as I have a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (specifically Oyster Bay or Kim Crawford) on a weekly basis, I’ll be HAPPY AS HELL. Throw in both kids asleep simultaneously and a back massage and BOOM!–EUPHORIC.

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Just popping out from behind the curtain to “pet” him.

“I touch him, MOMMY!” she yells from across the house and I cringe while running toward the bassinet. “You sure do, Penel” I tell her in the most sarcastic tone I own. Baby brother cringes too…I just know it.  Constantly has his fists clench–always playin’ defense, that kid.

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little pink box.

This was hilarious to open, and adorable all at once. This bangle–if you can’t read the above picture, says “YOU ARE BETTER THAN UNICORNS AND SPARKLES COMBINED AND YOU’RE PRETTIER THAN A SUPERSTAR” Friggan hilarious, and all lies.  Mother’s Day gift from my sis. Check out the Bando website. Awesome quirky little gifts. http://www.shopbando.com/

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Garlic-Lime Shrimp Marinade:

For Mother’s Day we decided to do ‘pickies’ and grill some skewers of shrimp and chicken, wine, cheese, crackers, dips, etc.  I whipped up a super easy marinade for the shrimp that will be great this summer when friends come by.

All you need is lime juice, garlic, sea salt, cracked black pepper, parsley, olive oil.  I’d say for 50 shrimp, use about a 1-1 1/2 cups of lime juice, half a cup of olive oil, handful of parsley, 5-7 cloves of garlic (smashed with backside of knife) and  salt and pepper to taste. Throw all ingredients in a Ziploc freezer bag to marinate for the day with the thawed shrimp.  We let them marinate for 4 hours or so, but the longer the better for these, guys.  We stuck 4 on each skewer and cooked them over a low heated grill for about 2 minutes on each side–or until pink and plump! We put our leftovers over a salad (as seen in the picture above) and added organic spring mix, yellow tomatoes, chopped beets, banana peppers, crumbled feta cheese, chopped cucumbers, pumpernickel croutons, and of course, my homemade balsamic dressing (with a touch of maple syrup).  Two meals in one!

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fist bump.