Saturday, June 13, 2015

Weekend Round Up

Weekend Round-Up 
Some of the Week's Best
Certainly for me it was Brooks and Penny's First Birthday complete with a circus theme.  They are my nephews's children.
A lot of thought and effort went into this party with some Pinterest assistance. Check out the photos for this celebration. 
fruit kabobs
Now here was the best part-Brooks and Penny each got their own personal circus cake. 
Once they realized their good fortune they dug in with gusto! Seems they've never had cake before. 
And last but not least here's a wonderful memento  to mark the occasion. Each month Brooks and Penny's mom would post their picture beside a frame. All 12 photos were assembled in this keepsake poster. 
Unexpected Things to Do With Cookie Cutters
Cake Shapes
Decorated Dip with Red and Blue Cracker Crumb Stars
See more at:

Amazon synopsis:
Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father. As she grows older, Mattie becomes more like family to Lisbeth than her own kin and the girl’s visits to the slaves’ quarters—and their lively and loving community—bring them closer together than ever. But can two women in such disparate circumstances form a bond like theirs without consequence? This deeply moving tale of unlikely love traces the journey of these very different women as each searches for freedom and dignity.

I really enjoyed this story told in a loving and heart warming manner despite the horrifying aspects of slavery that surround the two main characters who are strong and beautiful women. As the story unfolds the reader feels a lot of emotions including anger that Mattie is torn from her own family to care for Lisbeth. 
The plot revolves primarily around two things; watching Lisbeth grow up and her changing attitudes as the book progresses and life through the eyes of Mattie. The scenes are vividly written and linger on long past the end of the book. I hope there will be a sequel telling what life brings to both of these women. This is the author's first novel. 
Tortellini Salad 
Cook's notes: My first plan was a salad using tri color cheese tortellini, diced mini sweet peppers and red onions but decided it needed a Mexican Flair. It's an easy pasta salad great as a main dish or side dish. It can also be made in advance which makes it perfect for parties and potlucks! 
recipe adapted from twopeasandpods
serves 6
Mexican Tortellini Salad
For the Cilantro Vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste 
For the Tortellini Salad:
  • 19 oz. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini  or combination of cheese and spinach tortellini
  • 2 cups fresh sweet corn, charred and kernels removed from cob or frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1- 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ripe avocados, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cotija (Mexican) cheese
  • 1 cup diced mini sweet bell peppers
  • 1 cup red onions, diced
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste 

First make the Cilantro Vinaigrette. Put the shallot, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice in a blender or food processor. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pour the tortellini into a large bowl. Drizzle with half of the Cilantro Vinaigrette to keep the tortellini from sticking. Add the corn, black beans, tomatoes, peppers and avocado. Add the remaining vinaigrette and gently stir. Add the cotija cheese and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve.

1 comment:

  1. What darling babies and what a lovely first birthday party.