Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pat Albert D'Amato

A month ago today my uncle Pat died. He was born April 29, 1955 and died July 25, 2010, he was 55 years old. He died of a massive heart attack at about 4:30 in the morning, he probably didn't know he had a heart condition. Fifty-five! Gosh, that seems so young to me, especially since my husband just turned 53.

Pat and I were once close, not so much in the last several years. My grandmother (Nana) was the glue that held this family together, and when she got sick and then passed, the family scattered. It really makes me sad. It's been quite a month, trying to deal with Pat's estate and get Jade ready for college. Pat loved the outdoors, was always helping someone do something. He never married or had children, his friends were his family. He was living in Carson City for the last 15 years or so but he lived in some other amazing places as well. When I was little we all lived in Mammoth and that's where his memorial service is going to be, Minaret Vista Sunday September 5th at 5:30 pm. Pat helped found the Mammoth Lakes Search and Rescue Team and there will be a reunion held at O'Harrel Canyon on Saturday September 4, starting at around 11:00 am. I know that my Uncle Pat will be very missed, may he rest in peace.

(This picture was taken in Zion National Park, March 2010)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Harder than I thought

This is way harder than I thought. Don't get me wrong I'm super excited for my daughter to be going off to college, I just didn't think (probably naive on my part) that it would be this hard. Today she said good bye to lots of people at church, people that have poured into her life, and ours and have loved her well, it was hard, hard for her, hard for me and probably hard for them. Crying sucks, it leaves you with a big fat head ache.

I feel in some ways that I'm getting a do-over. I didn't leave home on good terms and this has been a process for all of us. To get what she needs, think of all the things that may come up... a time for all of us to process. It's good, hard but good. I'm really proud of the woman that Jade has become. Right now my job is to release her into God's hands. *sigh* Easier said than done.

Life can be such a beautiful thing and yet so painful. Find some beauty this week and I'll try to do the same.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Recipe of the week: Lemon garlic dressing

I've been making this recipe for years. It tastes a lot like Caesar dressing but doesn't have raw eggs or anchovies in it. You can make it up and leave in the the refrigerator for up to a week. I usually make it several hours before I'm going to use it, so the flavors have time to develop. You can also use it as a marinade for chicken or fish. Let me know what you think. A Votre Sante!

Lemon garlic dressing

Juice of 1 large lemon (homegrown if you can get it)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tea sea salt
1/2 tea black pepper (freshly ground if possible)
1/2 to 3/4 cup safflower oil (Or 1/2 safflower 1/2 olive)

Combine lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Beating continuously with a fork, slowly add the vegetable oil in a stream. Let stand until ready to serve. (A little goes a long way)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another milestone

Well, I made it through another milestone. A week ago I turned 40. Jade threw me a surprise party with my girlfriends, which was very sweet and I had a GREAT time. One confession, she did have to tell me...three or four people invited me out for the night and I said no. Finally, on Thursday she had to tell me so I'd leave the house. She said I was being a miserable brat, she's probably right.

I had my agenda, I wanted to do my usual Sat. morning thing of going to the gym and the farmer's market, add in a pedicure for the day and I was happy. Well sort of, I'd really wanted to have a birthday party this year but with Jade leaving for college in 2 weeks and having a party this week for her I just didn't want the bother. I figured I'd have a party at some point, I mean really, I'm going to be 40 for the entire year. I am amazingly blessed! I have incredible friends, awesome kids and a wonderful husband. I especially love my GIRLFRIENDS! Thank you for a wonderful birthday...even if you weren't able to make it, your notes, thoughts, gifts and prayers, I cherish.

And now...we're having a graduation/going away party for Jade. I'm not sure what I'm wearing yet, except I know I'll have waterproof mascara on! Seems to be a regular thing lately...

I hope you've a beauty filled week.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Recipe of the week: Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Last summer I had several people give me zucchinis out of their garden, I love zucchini bread and thought what if I added chocolate? Because we all know everything is better with chocolate.  This is what I came up with  .My favorite way to eat this is with a little cream cheese    Let me know what you think. A Votre Sante!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or sliced almonds
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mix well. In separate bowl, combine sugar and eggs, beat until well blended. Add oil and vanilla; beat until combined. Stir in zucchini. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon evenly into loaf pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans; cool completely on wire rack.