Sunday, September 5, 2010

season: summer

Sarah and I decided that we were going to cook an extravagant meal for Nathan and Daron each season. Last Fall we had an amazing feast, which included beef stew, jalapeno cheese biscuits, and homemade individual apple pies (in the shape of an apple of course). Well, to continue our cooking, we decided to make a summer meal that included pasta with fresh farmers market tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, and for some green veggies, we added broccoli. For our cocktail of the night we juiced a watermelon and added some Bacardi Rum. For dessert we had fresh from scratch nectarine cupcakes. They were to die for!!! Fall is coming up in a few short weeks and we are totally excited about our next meal for them!

Tomato, Basil Pasta Recipe:


Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 pound cooked and drained short pasta (such as campanelle)
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese
  • Small basil leaves


  1. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Toss in cooked and drained pasta. Tear tomatoes and cheese; scatter over pasta. Garnish with basil leaves, and sprinkle with pepper.

Nectarine Cupcakes:


Makes 1 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 medium nectarines, peeled, halved, pitted, and finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 medium nectarine, halved, pitted, and very thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cupcakes: Sift together flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir together milk and vanilla.
  2. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating twice with milk mixture.
  3. Line a standard muffin tin with baking cups. Fill each with 1 tablespoon batter, 1 heaping tablespoon chopped nectarines, and an additional 2 tablespoons batter. Bake until edges begin to turn golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool in tin.
  4. Make the topping: Whisk together cream, sour cream, and sugar to medium peaks. Top cupcakes with a dollop of cream and nectarine slices.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Arrington Vineyards

I was blessed enough to spend a Friday afternoon with my love at Arrington Vineyards. He didn't have to work that day and school had not yet started for me. We drove out to Arrington Vineyards which is a little bit south of Nashville, with a delicious picnic in tow. We arrived there about 2:00pm and spent about 4 hours together enjoying the first taste of Fall weather. We tasted 4 wines and chose a semi-sweet white wine. It is days like this that make me realize how blessed I am to be with my best friend and also remind me that it isn't money that makes you happy. We both work in a school and have days off at the same time which allows us to enjoy days like this together.
I mean, he is one sexy guy!

skirt making party!!!

A couple of weeks ago, some girls (Brittany, Kayla, Julia, Robin, and myself) met each other at Textile Fabrics. We all chose a few fabrics that we adored...I could have left with a thousand dollars in fabric. This store is absolutely amazing. And since blogs are about not holding anything back, I am excited about having a child (whenever that may come) just so that I can make absolutely adorable clothing for him/her. Now back to skirt making....we all chose some fabrics and came back to our house and made a few skirts, aprons, and even a dress! It was a totally successful day; we all were a little bit frustrated at one point or another, we all learned something...well, a LOT of things about sewing, and made a ton of mistakes, but it was one of the best days...EVER! I was driving home from the fabric store and I could have cried I was so thankful to have these girls as friends. Here are some results:

school pictures

Precious pre-school photos and some of our outdoor classroom - more to come of course!
(just no kid pics - sorry)

first day of school

Today was the first day of school without the parents, just the children and the teachers. It's days like this that make me so grateful that I am a teacher. My partner and I had the most amazing day; she actually cried at one point because our class is so precious. Only one parent came into the room with their child this morning which is a pretty amazing complement as a pre-school teacher that the children feel that comfortable with us after having only met us one time for 30 minutes. The first week of school in a pre-k classroom has a lot of instruction and talking. Some of you may not know that we are teaching them how to stand in a line, which may not seem like a big deal to you all but asking 16 3 1/2 year olds to stand in a line is quite a task. We have to show them how to hold a pencil, sit in a circle. speak in a friendly voice, ask for a turn, all the while teaching them pre-reading skills, number recognition, simple addition and subtraction, and all of the social skills to prepare them for kindergarten. This day was long and many of the kids needed constant reminding and redirection, but several of the children said some things that made me certain that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

Precious comment #1:
Student:"Ms. Davies, I remember you."
Me: "Oh, you do. From summer camp?"
Student: "Yes, you were there to help me when I got hurt of the teeter-totter."

Precious comment #2:
Student:"Ms. Davies, I love school, and I love you and Ms. Biter."

Precious comment #3:
Student: "Ms. Davies, I am really excited that I am in the Purple Room with you this year!"

...I can not WAIT until Tuesday for day 2!