Monday, January 28, 2013

Life, turkey sandwiches and so much more

Life has a habit of throwing you a curve ball just when you least expect it. Last year life decided to not only catch me off guard but to knock me on the head too. Several times. Two deaths, one pregnancy, one car theft, and many broken necessary and costly items to replace just to begin with. As much as I love being able to share things on this blog I just had to set it and a few other things aside and deal with life. I have thought many times about how much I would love to get back to writing here but I just needed some time. I am happy to be back and although this is not much of a food post (there are two short and simple recipes at the end) I wanted to share some of what life has brought me. I have several posts planned, including the dressing that Carol says she is addicted to, and look forward to sharing them.

One of the big things our family has done, is welcome a new member.  My daughter Tara was pregnant so a baby shower was in order. She was due on January 10, 2013, but with holidays coming up and I decided to have the shower in November. It was decided that the shower would be Jungle themed and in order to eliminate the need to transport food and gifts (I wasn't sure I would have a vehicle yet) that we would do it in our home.

We kept it simple and served pesto turkey and provolone sandwiches, macaroni salad, fresh fruit, cucumber bites with hummus, caprice salad bites, spinach and artichoke dip with pita chips and olive Tapenade on toasted baguette slices.

We had these cute glass bottles with striped paper straws with a paper leaf on twine for everyone to write their name and hang around the neck of the bottle.  We served a bubbly apple drink much like sparkling cider.

We had two cupcake flavors.  Chocolate with chocolate frosting topped with a sugar sheet green leaf and vanilla bean with vanilla butter cream frosting topped with a dried pineapple flower.

Two dear friends, Jezebel and Kathleen, came over early and helped set up and prepare and plate some of the food.  My sister Lisha, brother Adam and sister in law Marie also arrived early and helped by putting the sandwiches together which allowed me to actually go upstairs and change and even put on a little make up.  I don't know what I would have done without them.  They were amazing!

There were so many kind people who supported my daughter and wanted to be included and I am thankful that many understood that our space is limited. We are so thankful to be surrounded by them and we appreciate them so much.  In the end we had over 40 people in my living room and dining room, it was definitely a full house.

Tara had several trips to the hospital with early contractions. Luckily he decided to allow mommy to finish her finals and arrived four days later. She gave birth to my first grandchild, August Ira Huang on December 16, 2012.  He arrived almost four weeks early but already weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 19-3/4 inches long.  I think he may the most perfect child I have seen since my kids were born, but I may be the slightest bit biased.  Babies have a way of making life better and August definitely has made all our lives better. 

As for the recipes, like I said they are short and sweet this time. The sandwiches were a hit and part of the reason is the pesto sauce.  I bought some soft Torta rolls from Costco, and we put thick sliced turkey breast, a slice of provolone cheese, romaine lettuce and tomatoes on the sandwich with the pesto sauce on one of the side of the roll.  It makes for a quick and easy lunch that looks like you went to more trouble that you really did.  We wrapped the sandwiches in parchment paper. put a toothpick in both halves and sliced them in half.  You could also tie them with bakers twine.

Pesto Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup prepared pesto sauce

Combine the mayonnaise and pesto sauce.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Sparkling cider
This drink is much like the bottled sparkling apple cider but possibly better.

2 cans frozen apple cider concentrate
1 - 2 liter bottle club soda

Keep both the cider concentrate and club soda cold.  Pour cider concentrate into a pitcher, punch bowl or dispenser.  Add the club soda and mix just enough to combine completely if needed.  Stirring pops the bubbles so it is best not to stir or stir very minimally if needed.  I usually pour the club soda in while moving the bottle in a circular motion so it mixes as it is poured in.

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