diapers, budgets & paint

stay-at-home mommy by day
program manager by night
children's painter somewhere in between


day 12: in the mood to eat

thanks for all the recent crafty kudos, ladies! yes, em's recent photos have shown her sporting some kiddie clips, and yes, i did design those birthday party invites! i do so adore photoshop and would probably curl up under the bed if i ever lost my copy. between that and the nifty printing services of vistaprint, we're usually set for party time. since this is emmy's last solo birthday year, i figured i might as well make use of my "extra" time to design something fun. i'm just thrilled that she picked the bug theme herself; i'm guessing the era of pink and princessy parties is right around the corner so i'm enjoying the gender neutral goodness. next up: baking and decorating the caterpillar cake, to be modeled after our famous hungry literary friend. (i found some good pics online as inspiration and will post photos after the party!)

speaking of food, today's cold, rainy weather has me craving warm soups and giant hunks of crusty bread. unfortunately, our cupboard is bare until i drag our butts to the store - which i usually save for em's preschool time. instead, i've decided to share one of my all-time fave soup recipes today. i have no time for cooking anymore but this rachael ray recipe is super EASY and pretty quick; the most time consuming part is just getting to the store for the fresh seafood. i also skip the celery and occasionally an herb or two (or even the mussels), based on what we have on hand or what's in season. it's an amazing crowd pleaser and i can't wait to make it for my little seafood eater. enjoy!

Seafood Cioppino


1/4 cup (3 turns around the pan in a slow stream) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 to 3 flat fillets of anchovies, drained
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup good quality dry white wine
1 (14-ounce) container chicken stock
1 (32-ounce) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed (about 1 tablespoon)
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 pounds cod, cut into 2-inch chunks
Salt and pepper
8 large shrimp, ask for deveined easy-peel or peel and devein
8 sea scallops
16 to 20 raw mussels, scrubbed
A loaf of fresh, crusty bread, for mopping

In a large pot over moderate heat combine oil, crushed pepper, anchovies, garlic, and bay. Let anchovies melt into oil. The anchovies act as a natural salt, the pepper flakes will infuse the oil, providing heat.

Chop celery and onion near stove and add to the pot as you work. Saute vegetables for a few minutes to begin to soften and add wine to the pot. Reduce wine a minute, then add chicken stock, tomatoes, thyme, and parsley. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to medium low.

Season fish chunks with salt and pepper. Add fish and simmer 5 minutes, giving the pot a shake now and then. Do not stir your soup with a spoon after the addition of fish or you will break it up. Add shrimp, scallops, and mussels and cover pot. Cook 10 minutes, giving the pot a good shake now and again.

Remove the lid and discard any mussels that do not open. Carefully ladle stew into shallow bowls and pass bread at the table.

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5 Responses to “day 12: in the mood to eat”

  1. # Blogger halfmama

    Love the invites! Em must LUHRV them too.

    Okay, that looks so good... I could eat it out of the picture.  

  2. # Blogger Rachel

    The recipe looks awesome. Can't wait to try it!  

  3. # Blogger Mama Nabi

    oh man, that looks and sounds yummy.  

  4. # Anonymous sarah

    And here's Cadence sporting some nifty Kiddie Clips too:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierraromeo/tags/kiddieclips/  

  5. # Blogger kim

    Thanks for that link, Sarah - Cadence is super cute, as always!  

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