9.29.2007

Savory Saturday "French Creamed Chicken Noodle Soup"

This is my very favorite soup recipe. It's great this time of year.


French Creamed Chicken and Noodle Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 leek, including 1-inch of green, cleaned and finely diced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons Calvados ( If you don't have calvados you can substitute with any fruity brandy, I've used Kirsch, a cherry brandy) It really gives it a nice flavor.
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup apple cider
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cups fine egg noodles (dry) (I used the pasta that looks like pennies, I forget the name. It makes it hardy)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Gruyere (optional) (the cheese really makes the dish)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Snipped chives, for garnish

Heat butter in a saucepan. Add leeks and Granny Smith apple, cover and simmer until tender, for about 5 minutes. Add the Calvados and reduce until almost evaporated. Stir in the cider vinegar, broth, apple cider and bring to a simmer.
Add the chicken and egg noodles to the broth, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Skim off any fat which is floating to the surface, stir in the heavy cream, optional Gruyere and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives.

9.28.2007

Just Living our Lives

Not too much has been going on at the Tait household this week. Jason has been working hard, I've been busy working at the gym, cutting and coloring new clients hair and trying to be a good mom and wife. Saturday we are going to babysit for my sister Suzie's twin girls, Molly and Katie, while the rest of them attend my sister's husbands brothers wedding. (that was a mouthful) We are staying overnight and we plan to rent some fun movies and order pizza (I'm very excited about the pizza, I haven't had any in a long time and I'm sick of eating healthy) Then in the morning on our way home we plan on stopping off at my parents house to visit for a bit. That's all I have to report for now. Hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend. Off... to take a nice long bath and paint my nails!

Henry Dancing to "friends" Song

video

Henry Walking at the Gym

video

9.24.2007

The weekend

This past weekend we headed down south to Brockton. Saturday we had my niece and nephew's birthday party then sunday my family went to a memorial mass to honor my great grandparents, then to our traditional breakfast with my whole family. It was nice seeing everyone again. After breakfast we went to my nephew Matt's midget football game. It was a great weekend.
The Birthday party



At the football game. My nieces... from the left, Maggie, Katie, Kerrin and Molly

Henry and his Uncle Michael and Uncle Thomas in the backround

I had to post this picture....One of Matt's team-mate's (he has a mustache and he's only 13!!!!! Isn't that funny!!!!!

My niece Katie

My niece Maggie

Henry loves to pose for pictures!!!!


9.23.2007

Sunday Sweet "Chocolate Chip Cookies"


Today's Sunday Sweet is good ole Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I got this recipe from Martha Stewart.

Ingredients


* 2 cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined; mix in vanilla.
3. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; mix until just incorporated. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips.
4. Drop 1/4-cup mounds of dough onto ungreased baking sheets, at least 4 inches apart and away from edges of pan. (You will fit about 4 cookies to a sheet; bake in two batches, using two baking sheets per batch.) Bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets front to back and from top to bottom of oven halfway through.
5. Cool 1 to 2 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.

9.22.2007

Savory Saturday "Mushroom Ravioli with Parmesan-Chive Sauce

Hi everyone. I haven't tried this recipe yet, I might make it some time this week. If anyone makes it let me know how it comes out.
I got this recipe from my Cooking Light Magazine.

Mushroom Ravioli with Parmesan-Chive Sauce

Ravioli:
1/2 (8-ounce) package button mushrooms
1/2 (6-ounce) package presliced portobello mushrooms
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/8 teaspoon salt
14 wonton wrappers
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Sauce:
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper

Remaining ingredient:
Fresh chives (optional)
Preparation
To prepare ravioli, place mushrooms in food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook 5 minutes or until moisture evaporates, stirring occasionally.

Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep them from drying), spoon about 2 teaspoons mushroom mixture into center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water; bring 2 opposite corners together. Pinch edges together to seal, forming a triangle. Place ravioli on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch.

To prepare sauce, combine milk and flour in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; stir with a whisk. Cook 4 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, 1 tablespoon chives, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Set aside; keep warm.

Cook ravioli in boiling water 2 minutes or until tender. Drain. Serve with sauce. Garnish with fresh chives, if desired.
Yield

9.20.2007

Some pics

Henry was taking a bath, stood up in the tub and slipped and hit his forehead. Can you see the bump between his eyes? the poor little booboo.

Henry loves to eat.

And eat.

Miya and Gabe's Birthday

Yesterday was my Godchild and niece Miya's Birthday who turned 4!!!!! Happy Birthday my special girl! And today is My newphew Gabe's 1st Birthday. They are having a combined birthday party saturday afternoon. I love you guys!
Birthday kids

My special girl Miya

Birthday boy Gabe

Making Money

I know, I know.... I've been slacking. But I didn't think anyone would ever notice. I think the only people that read my blog is my Mom, Mary, Liz and Cass. (thanks guys, by the way for the comments). The past couple days have been pretty non eventful here. Just living our lives..... I'm still working at the gym and cutting hair. Not really selling any "Sweet Baby Cakes", I have to get on top of that. I very excited. One of my clients belong to the Mother's Club in Newburyport and she posted my "Kara's Kitchen Cuts" in their daily newsletter. hopefully I will get more clients. I think about 2000 moms get the newsletter everyday. Well, I got a call yesterday from one of the moms and I'm coloring and cutting her hair sunday evening! Yeah for me!
New for Jason >> he's applying for more jobs outside newspaper journalism. One is at Boston University, working for the department that produces college publications. The other is with the state government, working as a media relations spokesman for the office of campaign finance. He would write press releases and assist newspaper reporters and the public with getting information about campaign finances. Wish us luck.

9.17.2007

Our Baby Boy Is Growing Up

Today is the day that Henry finally realized that it is easier to walk than crawl around. He is walking all over the place. It is so exciting watching him grow into a little boy. He thinks he's such a big deal. He starts to laugh everytime he gets up and walks. I wish everyone could see him. I'll try to post a video if I ever figure it out. Hope everyone has a great week.

9.16.2007

Sunday Night Bath



Sunday Trip To The Zoo

Henry Feeding the sheep at the Stone Zoo



Jason and Henry at the Zoo

Not a very good shot of Kara and Henry at the Zoo

Sunday Sweet "Candy Apples"



Thought this recipe is perfect for this time of year when it starts to get cool and everyone is getting ready for the fall.
I got this recipe from Martha Stewart

CANDY APPLES

12 lady apples, washed and stemmed
2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, peeled, and chopped
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

Insert a 5-inch dowel or ice pop stick into the top of each apple. Place hazelnuts in a small bowl.
Place sugar, corn syrup, cream, and butter in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until the temperature registers 245 degrees.on a candy thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Remove saucepan from heat, and briefly plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking. Dip one apple into the caramel, coat the top and sides using a spoon, and roll the bottom in the nuts. Transfer to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining apples.
Makes 12 apples

Second picture Recipe for Candy Apples

* Unsalted butter, for parchment paper
* 2 cups sugar
* 3/4 cup water
* 1/2 cup light corn syrup
* 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring, (optional)
* 6 medium apples, or 12 lady apples

Directions

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; butter parchment, and set aside. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar, 3/4 cup water, corn syrup, and food coloring, if using. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-high. Insert candy thermometer and continue to boil until temperature reaches between 300 degrees and 310 degrees (hard crack stage), about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, insert a wooden stick into the top of each apple, pushing about halfway through; set aside. When mixture reaches temperature, immediately remove from heat. Working quickly, dip apples in sugar mixture until completely coated. Transfer to prepared baking sheet; allow to cool.

Makes 6 medium apples or 12 mini

9.15.2007

What's going On With Us.....

Jason and Henry on our way downtown

Henry at the waterfront park

Today started rainy and gloomy and ended up being a perfect day. Jason went to Stephen's to watch the CMU football game while Henry and I were at home (Henry was sleeping) after Henry woke up the two of us joined Jason at Stephen's house. After hanging out for a short while we went to the library to pick up our tickets to the zoo. The library has several tickets to the zoo and other museums and such, you just have to call ahead of time to request them. We are going tomorrow after church. It should be a fun day. I think Henry will love the animals. After our library visit I headed off to Walmart and Joann's Fabric while Jason Stephen and Henry walked around downtown. Then Jason and Henry went to feed the ducks. On my way home I picked my boys up and we went off food shopping. How exciting. Later this evening I made the "Baked Potato Soup" that I posted today for my Savory Saturday recipe. It was delicious! Very filling though. Now it's 9:22pm and Henry is sleeping and Jason and I are getting ready to watch a movie called "Idiocracy". Hope everyone has a beautiful Sunday.

Biggest Loser Update -4 lbs!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPENCER!!!!!!

Happy Birthday to our newphew Spencer! We hope you enjoy your first birthday in Kentucky!
WE LOVE YOU BUDDY!!!

Birthday Boy

Savory Saturday "Baked Potato Soup"

Hi All. Today is a cold rainy day in Newburyport, and I was thinking that today would be a perfect day to make some soup. I love a nice warm soup on a gloomy rainy day. I found this recipe in my Cooking Light Magazine. (I find a lot of my recipes from there) and thought I would share it with all of you. I'll let you know how it comes out.

Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients
4 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces)
6 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extrasharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400°.
Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 8 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons onions, and about 1 tablespoon bacon. Garnish with cracked pepper, if desired.

9.13.2007

Mugged

Nothing that exciting has been going on around here. Today, Henry and I hung out at home until I had to go to work at 3:30.
He's still not feeling all that great so I just wanted him to relax because he had to go to work with me. Jason picked him up from my work at 5pm so Henry did'nt have to stay with me the whole time.
On another note, some of you know Jason's boss, Bill Cantwell. His daughter Jen was mugged in downtown Haverhill early this morning (1am). She was in a parking lot with friends and a man with a flesh-eating disease tried snatching their purses. He punched the girls and everything, but they fought him off. The police ended up arresting him. Now they are worried that Jen caught the disease. Let's hope she's clean.
Anyways. Hope everyone is well. If you have a story to tell, plese do. Just post a comment!

9.12.2007

Fun Pictures

Today my parents came to visit. It was a gorgeous day. We enjoyed our 25cent hotdogs from Richdale's on the boardwalk.

Henry and Kara on the boardwalk in Newburyport

Henry and his Mommy playing around with the camera

Henry and his Grandma and Pops on the boardwalk in Newburyport

The Never Ending Battle

Weight Loss....... I hate it. So, today was supposed to be my first weigh in after a week of working hard to lose weight. Well, I'm going to postpone my weigh in for another week..... If your a women you will know why. I feel pretty good. I'm thinking I lost a couple pounds, but I just don't want to chance it stepping on the scale and not seeing any kind of weight loss. I might change my weigh in days for friday. We'll see. Did anyone watch The Biggest loser last night? Big Brother? It was a good night for tv. I really want Danielle to win Big Brother, she's a good competitor.

9.10.2007

Gloomy and Cold Monday

Not too much going on here. It's monday night around 8:30pm and we just finished eating a late dinner... salad with chicken and corn-on-the-cob. Jason worked late so I figured I'd wait for him to eat. Henry is still sick. The poor little booboo. He's felling a little better but still has a stuffy nose a cough and his voice is horse. He sounds so cute. I worked today and Jason stayed home with Henry. I didn't want Henry to have to go to work with me, it would have been too much for him.
It's gloomy outside, cold around 60 and sprinkling. It's nice that it rained yesterday.... we really need the rain. Everyones grass is brown and the leaves are turning brown and falling already. That makes me sad because I love when the leaves change. The fall is my favorite time of the year. It is very romantic to me, I also feel that way when it snows. That's all I really want to report. Anyone want to tell me their favorite time of the year. Just leave a comment!

9.09.2007

Weekend

Yesterday was a hot day in Newburyport. Jason Henry Stephen and I went to the beach. It was so hot in the sun and the water was very cold, bone chilling cold. I did jump in several times to cool off. Henry loved playing in the sand and eating it. Jason would dig him huge holes and fill it with water so Henry could splash around. Later that evening I made cookies. (I posted the recipe today for Sunday Sweet) We went for our evening walk downtown and listened to Live Irish music in the square and danced around. Then we just hung out and watched a movie. We only got through 20 minutes of it then passed out for the evening. Around 12:30am Henry woke up with a runny nose and high temperature. My heart broke for him. He never gets sick. So I had Jason sleep in the living room and Henry and slept in our bed with me. I was up until 3:55 taking care of him then Jason took over and slept until 6am when Henry woke up. I went to the Pharmacy to get medicine for Henry. He has been doing a little better this afternoon. Still sneezing and lots of snots hanging out of his nose. He tries to lick them. It's nasty. This morning I made fresh bagels. They were so good. Stephen came over and ate one, and I sent one home for Linsey as she recovers from a hang over from last night. (I must be nice being young and having no responsibilities) Anyways, sorry for blabbing on and on. Just wanted to keep you all updated.



Sunday Sweet "Lemon Fat Boy Pill Cookies"

Yeah. I have no clue what the name of these cookies are, so I made one up. My mother has always called them kaka cookies. Jason and I came up with the name, Lemon Fat Boy Pill Cookies. They are a doughy dense cookie that looks like a blob of angel crap. Maybe that's why my mom has always called them kaka cookies.
They are delicious!!! If anyone knows the real name for these, please let me know.
Hope you enjoy!!!

I got this recipe from my mother who got it from our next door neighbor 30 years ago.

3 1/2 - 4 cups flour
3 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2T vanilla
1T lemon extract or whatever you want for flavoring
put together all dry ingredients except the sugar into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of this mix and then add everything else starting with sugar then the wet stuff. Beat this together. Mix will be very heavy. If mix is runny add more flour. Now, knead this dough either with your dough hook or by hand until soft. You can roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick then cut into strips and then tie into bow knots or you can take a tablespoon of mix and roll into a ball . Do not grease the pan but lightly dust the cookie sheet with flour. Bake 375 for 10 - 13 minutes . Cool and then frost.

Glaze
3 cups of confectionery sugar
water ( how ever much you want the texture to be ) more for thin glaze less for thicker glaze.
Lemon juice

9.08.2007

Savory Saturday "Swedish Meatball Burgers"

The summer is almost gone and the burgers are slowly dying off. I thought this is a great recipe to celebrate summers end.

I got this recipe from my August 2007 Cooking Light Magazine


SWEDISH MEATBALL BURGERS

1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 pounds ground veal (I substitute the veal for ground beef)
Cooking spray
6 (2-ounce) potato sandwich rolls (such as Cobblestone Mill), split (or any type you'd like)
6 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
Preparation
Prepare grill.

Combine first 9 ingredients. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.

Place patties on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer registers 160°. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes.

Place rolls, cut sides down, on grill rack; grill 1 minute or until toasted. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each roll; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream and top half of roll.

9.07.2007

My Husband Is A Pervert

Jason told me that he requested a book at the library with my library card. So, I get a phone call from the librarian that the book is in and that I can come and pick it up. So after I leave work I stop off at the library to pick up the book for Jason so he would be surprised when I got home. I have no clue what the name of the book is or any other information. I tell the librarian that I have a book on hold that I'm coming to pick up, she asks for my card then she proceeds to the back room and retrieves the book for me. To my surprise, the librarian comes back and hands me this book and I'm just speechless because I felt like a dirty person that likes to read raunchy books. At first I said to her, "I don't think this is the book" then I said. "well, it's for my husband" then I thought to myself "now she thinks my husband is a pervert" so I just ran out with the book in my hands.

9.05.2007

I can't believe it's Wednesday already

So, today was my big weigh in for my Biggest Loser Challenge. Every wednesday I will posting my weight loss. I'm giving myself until the end of the year to lose 30lbs. So far, no one has wanted to join me. If you feel inspired, we can motivate eachother and exchange healthy recipes and such.
Jason meet our Governor Deval Patrick and Senator Steve Baddour today for a bridge opening in Haverhill.
Henry and I went for a long walk. It was a beautiful day here in Newburyport. No hotter than 70 degrees.
Henry fell off his Little Tikes scotter car thingy. He got a huge bump on the corner of his eye. The poor little booboo.
Hope everyone had a nice day. Feel free to comment about your day if you'd like!
SENATOR STEVE BADDOUR, PULITZER PRIZE WINNING JOURNALIST JASON TAIT AND GOVEROR DEVAL PATRICK

HENRY EATING HIS CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE AND BUMP ON HIS EYE

9.04.2007

ANYONE WANT TO JOIN ME????

I'm very excited for September sweeps on tv. I am watching the season premiere of The Biggest Loser. I love that show. I always get pumped up to work out and lose weight while I watch it. It's so amazing to me how much weight these people lose. I get so choked up when they lose weight each week. Starting today my goal is to lose 30lbs by the years end. I will keep everyone updated on how much I lose each week .I will weigh myself at the gym tomorrow and I'll let Jason know how much I weigh
(I'm too embarrassed to tell everyone my weight) and he will be my witness. Each wednesday I will update everyone on my weight loss. I need a partner.
Anyone want to join me??????

9.03.2007

Labor Day Weekend

What a beautiful labor day weekend we had here in Newburyport. Yesterday we spent most of the day hanging out downtown people watching. We went to the beach, Plum Island. It's less than a 10 minute drive down the street. It was hot in the sun, Henry and Jason sat under the beach umbrella while I baked in the sun. I'm paying for it now! The water was ice cold, but we managed to go in. Here are a couple pictures from the beach.... Sorry, I don't want to scare my family and friends with a picture of me in a bathing suit so it's just Henry and Jason. Hope everyone had a enjoyable weekend.