Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017: From Babies to Beets

Happy Valentine's Day!  (Or morning after, as the case may be.)  I'm actually not with my own sweetheart right now because my heart has been stolen by this little man.

Welcome to the world, Anders Rhys Wilhoit!  This sweet guy was born February 3rd, weighing in a whopping six pounds, seven ounces.   I'd forgotten how tiny they come!   This picture is practically life size.  With blond hair and an easy-going personality, Little Man is a charmer.

Eila Kay is a proud big sister...

...and adorable as can be all on her own.

 Yesterday we had fun making sugar cookies to celebrate heart-day.

She liked cutting out the dough, but as we all know, eating it was even better.

The rest of the Wilhoit family is doing well, too.  As the oldest, most experienced daughter, Zoe is fairly unconcerned with Anders (although she did initiate him to the family yesterday with a good face wash.)  The new hardwood floors, on the other hand, are much more unpopular with this gal, but she's adjusting.  Sort of.
As for Callie, she has been doing amazing.  I think she is pretty astonished to discover how much easier her recovery has been this time around.  Eila arrived via C-section after 29 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing, so skipping straight to the C-section with Anders made everything a breeze in comparison.  My job is simply to remind her that even though we all know she is superwoman, every new mama deserves to take it easy and get a little TLC. 

Adam is already an expert at showering love on his little gal while snuggling his little man.  It's heartening to know this world is full of great fathers.

Speaking of great fathers, Jason has been tremendous in helping to run the family behind the scenes.  He's getting first-hand experience of what it's like to be executive director both at work and at home.  Even with Susie and Charles watching Annika in Hyde Park, I know it's not been easy.  Still, he juggles it all with grace and love.  Thank you, mi amor!

And of course, I'm missing my munchkins this Valentine's season.  Just an hour before my flight, we hosted our traditional Cupid's Crazy Café.  Every year gets better as the kids become more involved in making this celebration their own.  This year Brooklyn and Talia took all the orders and dished everything up. 
 They made the menus and even decorated the fronts with a paint stencil that Jason helped them create.

Experience has taught that pre-plating everything makes serving much simpler.  But boy, does it create a lot of dishes for after!

On the menu: Lovin', Kissin', Cuddlin', Huggin', Squeezin', Snugglin', Squishin', and Smoochin'.  Otherwise translated as burritos, Mexican rice, refried beans, chips and salsa, horchata, green salad, red velvet beet soup, and frog eye salad (in your honor, Papa Kay).

Over the years, I've learned that it's best to keep the menu simple since ordering at Cupid's Café is so crazy.  I opted for reheating frozen burritos and used refried beans from a can.  The one dish we really splurged on was our red velvet beet soup, made in a pressure cooker for RSBC 2017.  Delicious!  Truly, this recipe is a keeper.  We were in a huge rush, so the pressure cooker was fantastic for cutting down on cooking time.   Leaving the house, I felt grateful that we'd managed to celebrate Valentine's Day, make soup in a pressure cooker, and finally use up the delicious garden beets that Susie and Charles gave us months ago.
I also felt tremendously guilty for leaving my hubby with Mount Everest of mess.  Sorry about that, Peanut Butter!  Happy Valentine's Day?  I'll do my best to make it up to you when I get home.  :)

And so, it is with a grateful heart  I wish everyone a happy [belated] Valentine's Day.  An especially big hug to Susie and Charles for watching our Annie Mae and a giant smooch to my hubby for holding down the fort in Salt Lake.  I love you all!

For the RSBC record, I ran 23 more miles this week, swam once, and still haven't biked a lick.  Also, here's the recipe for our Red Velvet Beet Soup from Letty's Kitchen.  Definitely worth trying!
Red Velvet Beet Soup
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings.
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 beets, well-scrubbed, ends and root hairs trimmed, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons dark miso (or Real Salt to taste)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
  1. Wash and drain the lentils. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker or soup pot over medium flame. Add the onion, sauté for 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  2. Stir in the lentils, carrots, beets, bay leaves and thyme, along with the vegetable stock. Bring to pressure in the pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes. Quick-release the pressure under cold running water.
  3. Alternatively, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook for an hour on very low heat. You want the vegetables to be very soft.
  4. Remove the bay leaves. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, or if you don’t have one, puree in batches in the blender. (Once, in a rush to get dinner on the table, I neglected to take out the bay leaves. I had to painstakingly strain it to get back the soups velvet texture. Whoops--not good.)
  5. When the soup is smooth and velvety, dissolve the miso in warm water. Add it to the soup. Heat gently but do not boil.
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley. If dairy is in your diet finish with a swirl of sour cream.
Be sure to remove the bay leaf before pureeing the soup. Once, in a rush to get dinner on the table, I neglected to take out the bay leaves. I had to painstakingly strain it all through a sieve. Whoops.


Anonymous said...

Anders is such a cute little tike. Sure glad he's here safe and sound . It is wonderful that you are able to share this time with your sister Kara.

Susie said...

Jason shared some of the soup with us. I Loved the soup! Plus it is so pretty to look at.