Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spring Risotto

I thought I'd share a new recipe we tried this evening. We had fresh squash and zucchini we got at the Farmer's Market last Saturday that we need to use, and when I saw this recipe in Southern Lady magazine, I thought it sounded good (and it was). Just be warned that it is kind of labor intensive, since you basically have to stir it for 30 minutes.

Spring Risotto
Serves 6

4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup green or yellow onion
1 3/4 cups Arborio rice
1 1/2 quarts hot vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup diced yellow squash
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 6oz. bag baby spinach, steamed and chopped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon thyme

In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp. butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add rice and cook until lightly browned (about 2 to 3 minutes), stirring constantly. Add hot broth 1/4 cup at a time, allowing liquid to be absorbed after each addition, stirring constantly. Repeat until broth is gone (about 30 minutes). Add squash, zucchini, carrot, salt and pepper, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and add spinach, cheese and thyme and the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter.

Dare Devil

If someone told me two weeks ago that Georgie would be diving and doing cannonballs off the high dive I would have laughed in their face. Anyone who knows Georgie knows that water was not one of her strong points. This child has fought and cried about having her hair washed since she was one because she didn't want to get her head wet. Well, fast forward to now. It is like a light switch was turned on and there is no stopping her now. She will jump off the high dive as many times as her teachers will let her. She is so excited every morning when she wakes up because she can't wait to go to swim lessons. She loves it so much that she begged me to let her take another session. I am so proud of her progress!!

Our Little Friend

Now I know this is going to seem a little strange, but this little green lizard comes to our kitchen window everyday and watches us inside the house. When he first started coming, I thought he was just sitting there to catch flies and gnats, but now I really am convinced he comes to watch us. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen (it's actually where I paint), and almost every time I am in there for more than a few minutes, he appears. He just looks in the window at us. The kids love to sit on the counter and watch him. He just sits there and looks back at them. They will get inches away from him and he never acts scared or intimidated. I guess he is intrigued by all the "activity" that goes on in the Butler house. Anyway, I like the little guy and think we need to come up with a name for him. Any suggestions??

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Camp Butler: Week Three - Alabama

Next week I am planning for us to learn about The United States since the Fourth of July weekend is approaching. This past week it was a natural fit for us to learn about the state of Alabama.

We learned about the state bird: the yellowhammer

And the state flower: the camellia
I printed off camellia coloring pages.
We also did a craft project and made the state flag.

We took an afternoon to visit downtown Montgomery and the Capitol. We were going to take a tour of the Capitol building, but decided the kids might not be ready for that just yet (nor are the tour guides ready for us just yet). Instead we decided to go after 5:00 when the working crowd had gone home and it wasn't as hot.

Michael and the kids in front of the Flame of Freedom. You can also see The Little White House of the Confederacy behind them.

Georgia Anne was so excited to find her name twice.....
One on the base of a statue of Jefferson Davis...

and in front of the Capitol where all fifty of the state flags are displayed. It is here that Jack started crying because he wanted to be named after a state too. Hee Hee!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Swim Lessons

Georgia Anne completed her first week of swim lessons. Wow! She has come so far in just one week! She is totally swimming by herself, can do a correct dive, has really improved on her strokes, can touch the bottom in the deep end, can pick up objects off the bottom at about 4' and jumps off the diving board.

And today, she jumped off the high dive.....TWICE!! I am so proud of her!

Jack and Daniel have been so proud of Sissy. They cheer her on the entire time.

The boys have had so much fun swimming in the baby pool.
Jack, Georgia Anne and her swimming buddy, Will

I can't wait to see how she improves in week two. Go Georgie go!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!

Georgia Anne, Jack, Daniel and I are so proud to call Michael "Daddy." He is a wonderful husband and father and I think we are so lucky to have him as our own!

Happy Father's Day to our Dads too!

Me and Daddy - Spring 1975

Michael and Steve (at the radio station) - Spring 1973

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Camp Butler: Week Two - Cooking

The second week of Camp Butler was devoted to cooking. Georgie and Jack went to Nana and Papa's church for Vacation Bible School this week, and their theme was "Shake It Up." It was a natural fit for us to learn about cooking since they were already learning about cooking at VBS.

Jack, Georgie and Elizabeth with Mrs. Heidi (Mrs. Heinie as Georgie called her...HA) on the first day of VBS.

Chef Jack

They made these darling refrigerator magnets.

Chef Georgia Anne

We also went back to the library and checked out more books pertaining to cooking. We found this neat little book about the foods that were served at the White House when Abraham Lincoln was president.
We decided to try out this recipe...
which was very good. We also learned a little history about this dish (which is basic fried chicken with a yummy gravy). President Lincoln was not much of a meat eater and for their first ball at the White House, he requested this chicken dish be served. It was the only meat dish he liked. We also learned that their two sons were sick with typhoid fever upstairs in the White House while the ball was going on.

We also baked a homemade cake for Michael for Father's Day. They really enjoyed this, especially the icing. Georgie was in charge of spreading the icing, while Daniel and Jack were in charge of licking everything in sight. (One thing is for sure, I don't think I could in good consciousness offer a piece to anyone other than us after all the licking.)