Monthly Archives: August 2014

Recipe: Summer Gazpacho

The DL Co-bloggers!

Last weekend, something exciting happened which occurs only once in a blue moon. The DL co-bloggers were reunited for a few short hours! Missy, CJ and their cutie Nola stopped in Salt Lake for the night on their way to Wisconsin. We were so excited to meet up with them for dinner. After all, it’s been over two years since Missy and I last saw each other when she and CJ were visiting Seattle. Coincidentally, it was also when they broke the news that they were expecting with Nola. :) How time flies. (if I had a nickel every time I wrote that..)

We met at the Dodo, which is a few blocks from our house. It was as if the last two years hadn’t passed and we were able to pick up right where we left off. Except now we have little ones! Watching our husbands be fathers to their little girls was both fun and endearing. It’s funny how much more “active” dinners out are when wrangling kids at the table. Gone are the days of leisurely meals for now, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Parenthood is certainly a game-changer.

Toto, we’re not in Seattle anymore. Summer in Utah is H-O-T.  We sat outside on the patio in 90 degree plus heat and honestly, the only thing that sounded good to me was something chilled. The restaurant had gazpacho on the menu and I gave it a try. It was refreshing, the perfect dish to eat in the heat. I went home and immediately made plans to try making it this week. After a few online searches, I found Ina Garten’s recipe for gazpacho which of course was simple, elegant and delicious. The only tweaks I made were to add chopped shrimp and chunks of avocado in the end to make it more of a meal (how the restaurant served theirs.) I also added a squeeze of lime to brighten the flavors. It was a great way to use the yummy summer tomatoes out now and it tasted even better the following day. I now have lunch for the rest of the week. Extra points for it being healthy too.

Chopped!

Chopped!

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Gazpacho
Recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999
Ingredients
1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.
*My note: I added chopped avocado and cooked shrimp in the end to make it more of a meal. I also recommend a squeeze of lime!

 

New Chapters

Nick's residency graduation

Nick’s residency graduation

Road trip through the Columbia River Gorge

Road trip through the Columbia River Gorge

Hello hello :)

After a summer hiatus, we are surfacing again- now, officially residents of Salt Lake City, Utah! As predicted, the months of June and July for the Wegners were a whirlwind. Nick graduated, took his boards (HUGE relief that is done), Ara got baptized, we sold our Seattle townhome to a lovely Chicago couple, and packed and moved ourselves to SLC. We are now staying in an older, but charming and updated house in the Sugar House district that is only TWO levels, which is a relief after running up and down 4 levels of stairs in our last home. With a soon-to-be-crawling baby and active dog, that living arrangement was not ideal so we are pretty happy with the change. Sugar House is south of downtown SLC, and only ten minutes away from the University hospital and Orthopedic clinic. It is a cute area, which we are still getting to know, but seems family friendly with a lot of conveniences nearby (restaurants, stores, movie theaters, etc). There’s a Whole Foods, Chipotle (YEAH!!), and a Nordstrom Rack nearby. I’m taking that as a good sign. I think we’ll be comfortable here over the next year.

Favorite day of the road trip? Picnic along the DeChutes River

Favorite day of the road trip? Picnic along the DeChutes River

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We had a few days before Nick started work to explore our neighborhood, drive up to Park City, and unpack our house. I’m itching to finally start Ara’s nursery but am aiming not to go too crazy with purchases since we’ll have to move again in a year. After starting out her first four months in a pack-and-play, we finally were able to move our girl into her own room and into an actual crib. Hallelujah. We’ll miss having her in our room but I think we will all sleep better this way! I have a few ideas for furniture and accessories for her room, and will hopefully post the completed product when it is finished.

Yayy our things have arrived!

Yayy our things have arrived!

Noo, we have to unpack!

Noo, we have to unpack!

Taking a break from unpacking boxes for a selfie

Taking a break from unpacking boxes for a selfie

Ara came out into the world already pretty alert and active and at four months old, she is a happy ball of energy.  Life got a little easier at 10 weeks when we learned how to read her cues and her personality began showing. This was also around the time when we started settling into a routine and sleep became more predictable. She has grown exponentially in the past couple months and is now smiling, laughing and engaging in the world around her. If you follow us on Instagram (knwegs or aralou325), you have a pretty good idea how much meaning and joy she has added to our life.

Now that we’re settling into our new home, I’m facing a new challenge: life as a stay-at-home mom. Like all other moms out there, I want to be able to provide as many opportunities possible for my baby to continue to develop and grow. I know that will happen anyway but I just don’t want to bore my kid at the end of the day (or myself.) Starting a new chapter in an unfamiliar area with no built-in support group or friends/family nearby is going to be a challenge at first, but one we’ll tackle a day at a time. Like Missy, I’ve discovered that being a stay-at-home mom has its own challenges and is a role that I’m not sure how I feel about quite yet. I’m so blessed to be able to take this year off to spend the time with her and want to make the most of it, however, I’m finding it to be a bit of a struggle. With a conventional office job, I was on such a predictable schedule these past 7 years. Wake up early, breakfast, go to work, come home, make dinner, repeat the next day. As someone who likes routine, that was comforting. Every day was certainly not the same, but there was a nice predictability and a sense of purpose for getting up in the morning and having a manager and team to answer to and tangible accomplishments to show for it. Now my focus is on raising Ara. Our days ahead stretch open wide and it’s my job to fill them in and give them meaning. To all the other stay-at-home moms out there, I would love your thoughts and advice on how to do this.

the beautiful and airy Children's library at the SLC Public Library

the beautiful and airy Children’s library at the SLC Public Library

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I’ve made an effort to go out with her the last few days and find things for us to do during the days to stay occupied and productive. So far we’ve found baby book hours at the local libraries, enrolled into a little weekly playgroup at the Little Gym, and I’ve joined a few mom meet-ups to begin and meet other moms. In a few weeks, my parents come into town and Nick’s parents come in Labor Day weekend for a visit. We are excited to receive visitors and to start showing them around our new home and city for the year! Come visit, and don’t be shy! We would love to have you.

Book Recommendations

Hey Friends I have a couple of books I wanted to share with you if you are looking for something to occupy your time in the evenings when you realize summer TV is really the absolute worse (mindy project please come back soon!!).  Ironically these two books are both memoirs and I can’t praise them enough!

The first book is Until I Say Good – bye, by Susan Spencer-Wendel.  Guys, this book is so moving and a book you will have on your mind for a long time after you are done reading it.  It’s about this women who was diagnosed with ALS or also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  I am amazed by this woman’s attitude to this terminal disease, her love and support from her husband, her adventurous heart and lastly her love and understanding she has towards her children when they don’t fully understand her mother won’t be with them much longer.

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The second book is Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan.  This book will make you look at your mom in a new light and really make you appreciate your mom that much more.  After college the author traveled around the world and while in Australia needed to make some extra money and decided to take a nanny gig.  As she watches these kids she realizes all the things that bothered her about her mother started to understand why she did some of those things.  In fact as she continued in life, got married and had kids of her own her love for her mom grows and she realizes she adopted a lot of traits her mom did in raising her kids.  It’s an evolution of an relationship that I could really relate to.  If you want something quick and easy to read this book is for you!

You don’t need to be mom to love these books, but if you are one it will touch your heart even more.  Please let me know if you read these books, I’d love to discu