Monday, May 31, 2010

Dancing Queen

Hannah has worked so hard at dance this year. (As you can see by the big yawn in the corner picture. She wasn't bored, she was exhausted!) She really has blossomed into a beautiful dancer. I'm so proud of her. Dance has been a part of her life since she was 3 years old. She's come a long way since performing to Shirley Temple's Animal Crackers In My Soup at her very first recital. I'm pretty sure that I still remember all the dance steps as well as the words to that song! The dances have become too advanced for me to remember, but the songs were memorable this year. The Beatles provided music for jazz with Here Comes The Sun and her tap number was to It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing. (Recital pics to come)

It takes an athlete to dance,
but an artist to be a dancer.
-Shanna LaFleur
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Happy Memorial Day

And I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me.

-Lee Greenwood

(Yes, the photos are a little old, but they are some of my faves!)

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Holy Guacamole!

On May 5th I planned a fabulous Mexican feast to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. On the menu were beef enchiladas with red sauce, corn on the cob and homemade guacamole with chips. My mouth had been watering all day for that guacamole. I can't tell you my disappointment when I cut into my avocado and it was no good! So we celebrated Ocho de Mayo instead of Cinco de Mayo with some delicious guacamole. If Chad Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals can officially change his name to Ocho Cinco then we can change our Mexican Fiesta to May 8th! (Personally I think Ocho Cinco is mucho loco, but who am I to judge?)

There is a bit of a story that goes along with the guac. recipe. To my knowledge I had never even had this tasty avocado treat until about 10 years go when I went to New Mexico with my cousin. We traveled there for her cousin's wedding. The bride's mother and step father hosted a pre-wedding party in their home the night we arrived. Their home was a gorgeous adobe set in the hills of Santa Fe. As I enjoyed my guac. and chips in a colorful southwest style kitchen, the chef that provided all the food for the occasion asked if I liked the guac. I gave my compliments to the chef and he replied "Julia Child told me it's the best she's ever had." Coming from most people this would totally be a joke. People, HE WASN'T JOKING! The man had cooked for Julia Child! Needless to say I was more than a little impressed. I wish I'd asked for a cooking lesson or at least a tip or two.

Every trip I take I bring home a cookbook as a souvenir. As I was skimming my new Santa Fe cookbook, The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook, I realized that the chef I had met at the party was in a picture in the book. He teaches at the Santa Fe School of Cooking and , wait for it....the guacamole recipe was in the book! Mucho Bueno! I would love to share it with you so you will be ready for the next Cinco de Mayo, Ocho de Mayo or Cinco de Juno, whenever you feel like a fiesta! French probably doesn't fit this story, but since this is Julia Child's favorite guacamole, BON APPETIT!

Julia's Favorite Guacamole

3 ripe avocados

3/4 cup finely diced white onion

3/4 cup diced ripe plum tomatoes

2-3 tablespoons finely chopped serrano chiles, to taste

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 teaspoons coarse salt, to taste

1. Cut each avocado in half and remove the pit. Cut the halves in half and carefully peel off the skin.

2. Cut the quarters into chunks and place in a medium bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork and stir in the onion, tomatoes, chiles, and cilantro. Season the mixture with lime juice and salt. Keep covered with plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the guacamole until ready to serve.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Celebration of Excellence

This morning our school held their Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony. Students were recognized for their accomplishments in last year's state testing. The awards are motivation for them to strive to do their best on this year's testing. Awards are presented to those that received proficient or distinguished scores. Hannah earned distinguished honors in all three areas of testing, math, science and reading. Mike and I couldn't be more proud of our honor student! Way to go Hannah!
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