Monday, October 27, 2014

Flank Steak with Eggplant Couscous

I know I just blogged the other day but this Blue Apron meal the other night was ah-mazing; I felt that it needed a blog post designated for itself. 

I don't typically make steak very often at home, so this was a treat. It was called "Grains of Paradise Steak with Eggplant Couscous" or something along those lines. I had never heard of several of the ingredients, but basically, I encrusted the steaks with something that looked like black peppercorns ("grains of paradise") and salt and pepper. I tossed those in the saute pan with olive oil - just a few minutes on each side. Then the side consisted of a diced eggplant, mint, preserved lemon, toasted almonds, scallions, garlic and currants. It was a real unique, delicious dish. 

And we paired it with one of our favorite bench bends from William Hill in Napa, California. We purchased this bottle at William Hill when we went to the winery with our good friends John and Erin who live in LA.

Here are some pics of the grounds at William Hill while we were there last August for one of their dinner events.

And here is Jim getting ready to relive the evening! ;)

I'l leave you with a few randoms on how we've been spending most of our fall days...

Happy boys = Lucky mama :)


Saturday, October 25, 2014

US Capitol Tour!

A few weeks back, Jim and I were talking about how we should tour the US Capitol and the White House since we are back in DC. I didn't know how to go about doing that - but apparently all you need to do is send a letter to your Congressman/woman with your personal information. Sure enough, we received an email back with a date to go visit the Capitol - it was today, October 25, 2014. We went into the city around 9:30 this morning and our tour started around 10:30. We parked without a problem and ventured over to the Capitol Building. 

Typically, the building looks like this:

But it is currently under repair/renovation/construction, so it looks like this:

We walked into the Visitor's Center and breezed through security without a problem. It was very similar to TSA security, so I was nervous about the boys' formula and all their crap. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was and how excited the security personnel were to see Conor and Caden. Everyone LOVES twins!

Besides seeing some cool sculptures and rooms and statues, Jim and I both found this fun fact quite interesting. In the pictures below - we are both standing (separately) on the most central part of the District. Meaning, I am standing in NW, SW, NE and SE all at the same time. The city is all geographically based from the Capitol. So your address in Washington, D.C. is all centered around the Capitol building. For example, when we lived in the city in 2008, we lived in SE - if that gives anyone any perspective. 

And interestingly, right below that start is an empty tomb. George Washington was originally supposed to be buried right there under that spot - but things changed and he was buried at Mount Vernon. 

Candid shot of Daddy and Caden! The boys did great. SO many people kept saying we were troopers for bringing the boys - and others asked if they were always that good. (Between you and me - it helps when they take a nap on the way and you feed them right before). ;)

After the tour, we spent time outside on our favorite blanket. Check out the Capitol in the background!

We had such a fun time in the city - we can't wait to visit the White House next!

Happy Saturday week until Halloween aka when Chrissy and Lindsey visit!!  Here is a fun sneak peek of Conor and Caden's costumes! ;)

Shaz, Conor and Caden

Flashback photo: Here are me and Jim at the White House shortly after getting engaged in 2008.

Friday, October 17, 2014

C-Squared Experience Fall in NE

Last year at this time, I was pregnant with A and B...and I am not sure anyone knew [for certain] except my sister. It was such an exciting and fun time. I wrote one of my first blog posts "bringing fall to LA" about a bunch of different squash recipes - one of my favorites being spaghetti squash and veggies.

Now that we have fast-forwarded to fall 2014 and we are on the east coast, the boys have experienced fall in New England. Quite frankly, there is nothing like it. The foliage is gorgeous, the weather is crisp and the "extras" that come with fall are irreplaceable (scarves, boots, comfy clothes, yoga pants, PSLs, fires, etc).

So to recap, Jimmy and I drove the boys up to Saratoga, NY for a Phelan wedding at the end of September. We explored the town, had some lunch and Jim went to the wedding. The following day, we went to the post-wedding festivities which was a gorgeous BBQ lunch by the lake. We were able to introduce the boys to some family and then drove home to MA because my best friend Shayla was getting married the following Friday, 10/3! While we were in NY, Chrissy and Lindsey got engaged!!!!! Such a fun last few weeks. CONGRATS to them. Can't wait for all the fun stuff ahead.

So we stayed up north the week, while Jim flew back to DC to go to work. Shayla's wedding was an absolute blast. She was stunning and most importantly, beaming with happiness. I am so happy for her and Kyle - who by the way are currently honeymooning so I hope they are not reading this. ;) Here's a few of Shay on her big day. Oh - and "thanks again" to KT P for watching the boys while we had a fun night out!

While home in MA, we saw tons of family. We saw all our siblings, both sets of our parents, some cousins (speaking of cousins, my cousin Jodie had her baby Jared on 10/12!) and tons of friends. We celebrated Jim's 30th birthday at Keryn's house with her family and then hung out with friends at the WPI homecoming last weekend. Here are a few of my favorite Conor and Caden pics from up north.

Shaz, Conor and Caden

PS Happy 30th Birthday to this guy...John Bosch. :)