Showing posts with label Sisters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sisters. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Weekly Coos

When I started this blog I wanted to tie together my love of food and family and put all this love in one place.  The title "Kitchie Coo" encapsulates these two loves...Kitchie for my obvious love of all things happening in my kitchen; and Coo for the soft coos that escape my lips from that deep place of love and contentment inside of me and the sweet baby coos that have emanated our house since Anna came into our lives.  I feel like thus far, I've done okay at intertwining the two, and that Kitchie Coo has a good flow that doesn't feel disjointed or off topic.

Kitchie Coo has been a place for me to express my fervent love for food and family.  It has been a place for me to explore and get a feel for writing in my own words.  It has been a creative outlet and extricated a creative side of me that I didn't even know existed.  I have learned to write creatively, write from my heart, write humorously and write seriously.  I have learned bits and pieces of photography and I am thirsty to learn more in regards to food styling and getting that perfect shot of the ever-moving child.  I have learned to search deep into my heart for feelings and turn them into words.  I have learned to search deep for new ways to challenge myself in the kitchen and have turned out some mighty fine creations I am very proud of.

I love everything that I have learned through this experience, writing to anyone who wants to listen, without expectation.  Sure, I get excited when a recipe I posted gets featured on a major website, but I am learning what's most important is just getting thoughts, recipes, ideas, photos, love, friendship out there and hoping somewhere along the line I inspire someone to try a new recipe, or touch someone with the love of family and friendship.

But, all of this said...the way Kitchie Coo has changed me from the inside out...I haven't been writing here as regularly as I would like.    The word "coo" brings a vision to my mind of peacefulness, contentedness, well-being, love, joy and goodness.  And I definitely find a place for that in my life each day, whether its a moment, an hour or a whole day, I need some good cooing on a regular basis to keep my anxiety at bay and my heart full.  So, I am going to try to commit myself to some weekly cooing.  A post of coos, about our life, our girls, our kitchen, our life in general.  A post to encapsulate and summarize what's happening in our tiny little cooing corner of the world.  A post to keep my mind and my writing fresh.  These posts may be wandering and full of pictures and few words, or they may be hitting on a subject weighing on my mind that week, but they'll all come back to the ever important "coo".  To finding the peace, contentment and good that drives those guttural coos from my lips and reminds me just how good this life can be.

And with that, I present to you my first Weekly Coo:

And what a perfect week to start my cooing...My sister Tessa graced us with a visit this weekend, and I got to spend a whole lot of time gushing over the sweetness of life as I witnessed things like this:

If there is one thing that Anna already knows deep in her heart, its knowing who her family is. There were no moments of her being shy or needing to warm up to Tessa.  It was this kind of love immediately.  So much love.

One of the things I didn't anticipate about motherhood, and it gets my heart every time, is how awesome it is to watch the people I love loving on my girl.

We all walked into this weekend without any expectation but just being together.  There is something about just going with the flow and not making too many plans, that makes the days melt away into an easy peacefulness.

We rode the Carousel...

We strolled around the Market (sampling goodies whenever possible)...

We, three apron clad ladies, baked what are probably the world's best cookies (there's a small lie in there, because Anna was actually sleeping while we baked, but she still wanted to be part of our apron gang, and you know I couldn't resist that request)...

We made the Cornflake Crunch cookies out of the Momofuku Milk Bar book.  If you haven't checked this book out yet, do it!  Christina Tosi is my girl baker crush, she is amazing.  You can tell how amazing these are by the crazed joy on Tessa's face...

We ventured to the perfect fall event, on a perfect fall day...the Missoula Maze.  Petting zoo, pumpkin patch, and a very genuine hay/corn maze...that took an hour to get through.  An hour. It was fun, but a tad too long...we were hungry and thirsty and almost starved to death because we didn't have any provisions.  We weren't sure we were ever going to make it out.  We emerged parched, dazed and confused (um, again, maybe embellishing just a tad), but we did it.  We solved the maze! And, okay, we had a little fun in the process.

Wandering blindly and unsuspecting into the Maze.

We got the best family photo action shot ever: Anna cheerfully throwing a pumpkin at my face and Mace trying (unsuccessfully) to stop it.

Anna thought it was important to make direct eye contact with this sheep, but the sheep refused.

I can't believe this kid already knows how to humor her mother.  I mean, she is clearly bored out of her mind and only stuck her hands and head in here for my amusement.  This picture makes me nearly hysterical with laughter every time I look at it.  

Every night Anna chose Auntie Tessa to read her bedtime stories, after which, Tessa would descend downstairs and we'd spend the rest of our evening hours snuggling and gabbing on the couch.  Hours of consolidated gabbing time that had me bursting and craving more and more. Craving being near to my sister, craving these heart-to-hearts that happen too sporadically. Distance is so hard on the heart. But, I always feel like we make the best of our time on our visits and milk them for every single minute they give us.

I can't help but imagine our own girls, Anna and this wild one in my tummy, five, ten, twenty years from now relishing in each other and their sisterhood.  And, eventually, relishing in each other's offspring.  Such a cool relationship to witness.

Lots of deep, guttural cooing going on in our house this past weekend.  Oh yes.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Centering a Universe

Patience is a virtue, or so they say.  And so, virtuous I am not.  I am always waiting for something. Right now, its for this little tiny baby girl growing in my tummy.  I am so anxious to meet her.  To breathe in the scent of my newborn, to nurse her, to stare in awe at her perfect little fingers and nose.  To not be pregnant anymore, and just get on with it.  Get on with life, with getting to know this little being, with moving forward and finding a family groove.

But then, there's this other little girl.

And I want time to come to a screeching halt.  I want to soak up every single second, every word, every smile, every hug, kiss and snuggle.  She's changing so much, becoming this amazing little human right before our eyes.  This little human that we focus every ounce of our energy on right now.  This time we have together right now with her, alone, is so fleeting.  Anna will become one of two pieces, that make up the center of our world.  Our time will be divided.

I can't help but feel guilty about making her share the center of the universe with someone else. But, then I remind myself that this "someone else" is her sister.  Someone she will, hopefully, love sharing the world with.  Maybe she will be as awestruck as Mace and I by the new human living in our home.  Maybe she won't even notice that the balance has shifted.  I do not remember a time before my sister, and I was 5 when she was born.  In my memory, she has always been there.  I know in my heart that the same will be true for Anna.

Still, I am scared of the transition.  I realize I am wholly relying on myself to center Anna's universe for her, and this I cannot do.  I can be there to love her, to help her recognize her feelings, to guide her.  But the rest is up to her.  It sounds ridiculous to put the weight of that on a two year-old, but I suspect the reality of it is much less dramatic than what is going on in my head.  Families make the transition from one-to-two every single day in this world with little consequence, except probably a whole lot more love and joy in their lives.

So, for now, I will embrace that so called virtue and be patient.  I will soak up our last solo months with Anna, smother her with love, and when the day arrives, I will suddenly have two beautiful girls to smother with love.  And life will still be pretty damn good.

Our family of (almost) 4.  Taken by our dear friend Hope.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Oh, how I love surprises.  I love being surprised.  But, even more than that, I love surprising!  I'd say its along the same lines as the old adage "giving is better than receiving."  Its hard to pull off a real genuine surprise these days, but I did it.  We did it.  My sister and I surprised my Momma with a visit from Anna and me this past weekend.

The story goes like this...My mom had plans to visit Tessa in San Francisco over her birthday this past weekend.  A week before, and half a bottle of wine into a date night, I proposed my crazy idea to my fantastic husband, and he said "GO!".  So, when we got home that night I booked my ticket and then emailed my sister to see if we could crash their weekend.  Backwards I know, but who could say no to this face?

Psst...Maggie!  Quit showing off your kid and get back to the story!

Tessa was all sneaky-ninja-like and told my mom that she had to pick a co-worker up from the airport to get her there.  When I walked through the doors I saw my mom staring with this confused look on her face.  Here's what she was saying:

"Does your friend look like Maggie?" and
"Your friend looks exactly like Maggie!" and finally
"Is that Maggie?"

And then the screaming.  Screaming and smiling and hugging and screaming.  It was perfect.

Moments after the big surprise!
The whole weekend was perfect.  It was filled with love and hugs and snuggles and stories and laughing and food.

I raved about my love of the Ferry Building on my last trip to San Francisco in November.  But this time was even better.  We went on Saturday morning.  Saturday morning equals Ah-Mazing Market!  Gorgeous food.  If I lived anywhere near this market I would be dead broke all the time.

I was able to find all the ingredients for the Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tart that I recently made and Saturday night's dinner was born.  And it was a hit.

The sun was shining that morning and we had a delightful breakfast on the pier while Anna took a nap.

Sunday we did a lot of San Franciscan things like: eating sour dough bread at Boudin, gazing at the Golden Gate, getting soaked at Fort Funston, avoiding hang gliders and snuggling Anna.

And then, just like that!  The weekend was over.  It was a quick trip, but every single moment was enjoyed.  Every single moment is ingrained on my heart.  My family fills my heart, and right now my saucer is full. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thankful Life

I know, I know.  This post is almost an entire week late!  I can't help it.  I go on vacation, I get lost in my family and I always fall off the virtual world.  I checked my email one time last week.  I checked Facebook one time.  Was I in a remote area with limited access to internet? No, just lost in love, food and so thankful for my beautiful life. 

I've seen a lot of food blog posts of people sharing their holidays in pictures with a few words of explanation.  I am going to follow suit here because pictures say so much and this holiday filled my heart more than words can say.

The trip started with my best girlfriend in Minnesota.  She and her cutie picked us up at the airport and we spent the day and night with them.  I hadn't seen them since last Christmas and it was so good to just hang.

We went to visit with my Grandma Mary, Anna's middle namesake.  They are buds.

Anna got to play play play with her cousins....

She got to feed the squirrels out my parents dining room window, and spent a ton of great time with Poppy and Gammy.

I got to see my husband this week!!  We have been apart for seven weeks and I have been anticipating this reunion like nothing else.  It was a short visit, but my parents surprised us with an overnight at a B&B and dinner at a very fine restaurant, The Green Room in Stillwater, MN (I highly recommend it!).  Our 3rd anniversary was coming up and it was a perfect way to celebrate.  Oh, how grateful we are for that time together.  My parents rock!  Three more weeks and Mace is home for good.  What a novelty that will be!  Oh, and Anna got her first overnight away from mama.  We both did great.

Our 3rd Anniversary.  How'd I get so lucky?!?

We got to soak in the love from my sisters, brother and extended family.  And Anna got to soak in the love from her Daddy.  

Now, let's just gaze at some of the amazing food I ate this week....

Our beautiful Thanksgiving table.
And we can't forget Dad's super awesome waffles somewhere
in there.  Delish!
I can't wait to share some of these recipes with you...especially the caramel pie and caramelized onion rolls.   Oh my!  What feasting I did the ten past days!

My heart and belly are full and overflowing.  I am truly blessed with so much love and food in my life.  Its all I need and if I have these two things I am complete.

Hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving!  Now...time to do some holiday baking!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A San Francisco Treat!

I know, with all my heart, how lucky I am to have three sisters.  These three ladies make my heart peaceful, they make me laugh so hard it comes out silent and ends with tear-streaked cheeks.  We hold each other up, cheer each other on, love with all our might.

I got to see my itty-bitty-teeny-tiniest (okay, she's the youngest) sister, Tessa, this past weekend and my heart is so full.  I feel so at home with her, so content and happy and so me.  She seriously brings out all the good parts of me.  She is such a beautiful creature from the inside out.  Man, I wish we lived closer.

Tessa lives in San Francisco with her super awesome hubby bubby, Charlie, and their undeniably cute and witty dog Kayla.

I had never been to San Fran and was super excited to do some city crawling.  We visited the beach where we let Kayla run wildly after a tennis ball, and let Anna eat her yearly quota of sand while she spied on the Golden Gate Bridge.

We rode the BART downtown and ended up in a building that was my wildest fantasy (yeah, I have really exciting fantasies).  The Ferry Building was an unbelievable marketplace full of specialty food stores.  SPECIALTY FOOD STORES!  As in, a whole building full of stores that do not exist in or anywhere near Missoula, MT and I might move to San Francisco based on this building alone.  Cheese, chocolate, a whole store dedicated to mushrooms, jams, herbs, wine, olive oil, aaahhhhhh!!  I went totally crazy imagining the dishes I could create with this resource at my fingertips.  And, I tried my very first macaron in this building.  I know, I know, how could I never have had a macaron?  But, I haven't.  I fell madly in love at first bite.  Oh, pistachio macaron, how I love thee!  Now I'm on a mission to learn how to bake thee.

Anna also showed us what Swiper has taught her and had her first shoplifting experience:

Anna fell asleep while Tessa was carrying her around Sur La Table.
About 10 minutes after we left the store we noticed she had this
little treasure in her paw.  Don't worry we took it back.

Our cousin Laura lives in the Bay Area and has a son that's a month older than Anna.  We went to their house for a delicious lunch and I finally got to meet her little guy.  It was so awesome seeing them and wish we could do it more often!

Charlie is an amazing cook and I got spoiled rotten on this trip.  I didn't have to lift one single finger and had food delivered directly to my face on a daily basis.  What a treat!

Manicotti w/homemade ricotta & caesar salad w/homemade croutons
And my personal favorite, a light and delicious lunch: brie, apple butter and arugula sandwiches.  I picked Charlie's brain during the entire meal to make sure I could replicate this at home (and share the recipe with you).  And guess what?  The apple butter was homemade too.  I am really glad my sister married this guy.

What's your favorite meal that someone else has cooked for you?  I know, those of us that love to cook sometimes have a hard time letting go and allowing someone else to cook for us.  But, when we do, it can open up our eyes to new flavor combinations and recipes like the one below. 

I am going to be very vague on amounts in this recipe because it really depends on your tastes and how much of each ingredient to put on.  So, just go with your gut, follow your tastebuds and then enjoy it!

Brie, Apple Butter & Arugula Sandwiches

Created by: Charlie

1 sturdy baguette (like sourdough)
Apple Butter

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut baguette horizontally, but do no cut all the way through so that the sandwich is "hinged".  Slather generous amounts of apple butter onto both halves of the sandwich.  Layer brie on top and put it in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Remove from oven.   Add arugula on top of the cheese and then "close" the baguette and slice into individual sandwich sized portions.

Eat it!