Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Month 2012 Highlights

"Today is an ephemeral ghost...
A strange amazing day that comes only once every four years.
For the rest of the time it does not 'exist.'"
(Vera Nazarian)

More from The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration:
In mundane terms, it marks a 'leap' in time, when the calendar is adjusted to make up for extra seconds accumulated over the preceding three years due to the rotation of the earth. A day of temporal tune up!
But this day holds another secret -- it contains one of those truly rare moments of delightful transience and light uncertainty that only exist on the razor edge of things, along a buzzing plane of quantum probability...
A day of unlocked potential.
Will you or won't you? Should you or shouldn't you?
Use this day to do something daring, extraordinary and unlike yourself. Take a chance and shape a different pattern in your personal cloud of probability!
Gioachino Rossini's 220th Birthday/Leap Year (Image: Google)

Below are some February photos and recipe links.

Cranberry Orange Loaf and Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Cauliflower & Corn

Since my nephew Peter first started eating solid foods, he's enjoyed my baked goods, from the carrot cake whoopie pies and chocolate chip pumpkin bread featured in my first blog post, to the banana walnut bread and key lime pie we shared over Labor Day weekend, and more. He loves pretend-cooking and being a little helper in the kitchen.

I made the following dishes for him over the first weekend of February, which I spent with him while both my sister and brother-in-law were on call. He ate some of the Cranberry Orange Loaf for breakfast on Saturday, but he devoured the Alton Brown Baked Macaroni and Cheese all weekend! It was kid-friendly, auntie-approved, since I surreptitiously mixed in some similar-colored veggies to make it a little more nutritious.

Lots of fresh OJ and cranberries
4 mini loaves
Hidden veggies for mac and cheese
Bubbling in oven
Rich and comforting, whether you're 2 or... older

Queso Blanco Dip

Super Bowl XLVI was on Sunday, February 5 (New York Giants 21-New England Patriots 17). I had planned to make a warm cheese dip and buffalo chicken for a party, but because I had gotten very little sleep all weekend -- not so much due to watching Peter, but to staying out all night on Friday celebrating friends' birthdays -- I ended up watching the game alone at home, which was perfect. I still made the Queso Dip from Two Peas & Their Pod, a cooking blog my future sister-in-law introduced me to, but gave it to my sister and brother-in-law to bring to their friend's house.

Peppers, onion, cheeses, tomato, cilantro, milk
Hot, cheesy, kicky

 Valentine's Day and Boo the Dog

I received a beautiful flower delivery from my fiancĂ© on Valentine's Day: red, pink, and white tulips in a red glass vase. The next week, a mysterious shipment came to my office. Guess who?

Valentine's Day tulips
Boo the Dog!

I also celebrated more birthdays of friends and family, attended Esther's lovely bridal shower, began the Lenten season, and have been very busy at work. March comes tomorrow and I'm looking forward to a smooth transition to spring, and managing an unprecedentedly eventful next few months!

In case you would like to learn more about leap year, the Tiny Prints Blog posted some fun facts.

Monday, February 20, 2012

First Dance

"Now you're here like you've been before
And you know just what I need
It took some time for me to see
That you give good love to me baby"
(Whitney Houston)

The lyrics above are from "You Give Good Love" on Whitney Houston's first album, released in 1985. Before she unexpectedly passed away last weekend, I had put together a song list to be played at our wedding and this was on it. I know that after "I Will Always Love You" came out, many people used that as their wedding song, which is an odd choice since it's about losing your love; but I love it and The Bodyguard, and if anyone has not seen that movie, go watch it. Another Whitney song on my list is "My Love Is Your Love." Love Whitney.

Music is very important to us -- both for the ceremony and the reception -- but on the topic of wedding music, we have had differing opinions on which song to go with for our first dance. In alphabetical order by artist's last name, the options are: 1) "Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones, 2) "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson, and 3) "Lucky" by Jason Mraz featuring Colbie Caillat. Below are YouTube videos of each song.

Come Away With Me

This is a really lovely, romantic, classy song and my favorite from Norah Jones. I saw her in concert in March 2010 and posted a video this past October of her performing this song.

The Way I Am

I first heard this song on an Old Navy commercial a few years ago. It's sweet and quirky, like the adorable video below ("ohs no!").


This song grew in popularity from Glee, but I liked it before and the lyrics are fitting for a long distance relationship. (Press play and then click on link to view.)

It's meaningful to me to add personal touches wherever possible to reflect our styles and personalities, and music is one easy way to do so. Check out the songs and let me know what you think!