Life Lately

It's a been a busy week! On Saturday, Adam and I went out for a pre-Lent/early Valentine's Day date. We are giving up meat and dessert for Lent, so our goals were to get steak and chocolate cake. Adam's company has this discount card that offers buy-one-get-one-free entrees at lots of restaurants in the Seattle area, so we picked off that list and ended up at a little steak place on Lake Union. We had dessert at Hot Cakes, a fun shop in Ballard that specializes in molten chocolate cakes. Seriously so delicious! Although we also tried the butter beer and that was a little weird.

Date Night

On Fat Tuesday, we had Adam's new office mate and his wife over for dinner and board games. Who do you turn to for a guaranteed over-the-top Fat Tuesday meal? The Pioneer Woman of course! I made her fried chicken and "knock you naked" brownies. It was my first time frying chicken and, as to be expected, it was kind of burnt, though not every piece was as browned as the one below. I tried to be a good hostess and took the most crispy piece.

Fried Chicken

On Ash Wednesday, we broke our fast with lentil soup {get it?!} and soft pretzels.  Did you know pretzels are actually a Lenten tradition? The story goes that a monk was preparing the usual spartan Lenten bread of water, salt, and flour and decided to bake it into the shape of crossed arms, to remind everyone that Lent is a time of prayer. 

Soft Pretzels

Soft Pretzels

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda

1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast, brown sugar and salt in one and a half cups warm water.  
2. Stir in flour and knead dough  for about eight minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover and let rise for one hour.
3. Combine two cups warm water and baking soda in an eight-inch square pan.
4. After dough has risen, cut into twelve pieces.  Roll each piece into a three-foot rope, pencil thin or thinner.  Twist into a pretzel shape and dip into the baking soda solution pan.  Place on parchment covered cookie sheets, and let rise for 20 minutes.
5. Bake at 450 for eight to ten minutes or until golden brown.  Brush with a little melted butter and top with a sprinkle of coarse salt, garlic salt, or cinnamon sugar. 

After dinner, we got our ashes and Claire was probably the most behaved at Mass since she was a newborn. I think it had something to do with the really, really long nap that lasted until 5:30 pm. You know, one of those ones were you start to wonder if they're still alive?  

For Valentine's Day, we continued our tradition of making cards for Claire's grandparents. They weren't my best work, but they'll do. 

Valentine Cards

Valentine Cards

Claire wore her cute Valentine's outfit from Grandma B. Her cousin, Estelle, had a matching one. If only we could have got them together!

Valentine's Day

The grown-ups found pistachios and some fancy chocolates {which are eagerly saving for Sunday} in our Valentine's goodie buckets {from the Target dollar spot.} Claire found something she's been anticipating for a while - her very own spoons to feed herself. She is thrilled with this new-found independence, but I am not feeling quite the same enthusiasm for the huge mess that it results in.

Valentine's Day

Well, we are off to the parish fish fry and stations of the cross! I hope your Lent is off to a good start!


  1. Try the Barefoot Contessa's Oven Fried Chicken. You fry it, but finish it in the oven. Marinate overnight. Crazy delicious!

  2. How was Claire for the sitter this time? And hooray for office friends! And super cute Valentines gifts Momma!


You are awesome.