Tuesday, September 04, 2012


We moved to California when I was in 10th grade.   I remember looking out of the plane window as we approached and being struck by the fact that it seemed like every house had a pool in the backyard.  This was unusual to me.  Where I grew up, almost no one had a pool in their backyard. 

This made sense, given that a pool wouldn't be of much use for about half the year.  Instead summers were spent gathered around the community pool, or running through sprinklers in the backyard.

So when we got an invitation to a backyard sprinkler party from The Horse Whisperer, I immediately sent back my RSVP with a resounding YES!

Thatbaby wasn't too sure what to make of the sprinkler.  He didn't seem to hate it, but he didn't really love it either.  I think he viewed it as a necessary evil that stood between him and what he really wanted - a ball.  This kid loves balls.

The adults gathered around, eating homemade tamales and drinking beer and margaritas as we watched the little ones.  I'm so impressed that The Horse Whisperer makes her own tamales and I think I've convinced her to give me a lesson or two.  (And she sent us home with some extras.  I'm very lucky)

Never one to be left out of new food experiences, Thatbaby was introduced to yogurt covered pretzels.  He was a fan.

So much so, that the yogurt pretzels weren't safe on anyone's plate.

In my quest to make the most of summer produce, I brought home a bunch of zucchini and yellow squash from the supermarket.  And I'd had this recipe starred to make for a little bit now.  It's the perfect use for squash!  The Chinese 5 spice, along with the sugar, make this a surprisingly sweet dish. And the soy sauce balances that out.

Summer Squash Rice with Sausage (adapted from Bookcase Foodie)
6oz chicken sausage, sliced
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups chopped summer squash
1 1/2 cups cauliflower broken into small florets
4 scallions, snipped
3/4 red pepper, chopped
1/4 green pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon 5 spice Chinese seasoning
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Brown sausage and remove from heat.
  2. Place all the cauliflower in the pan and cook until tender crisp.
  3. Place remaining vegetables in with the cauliflower.  Cook until tender.
  4. Combine the soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, Chinese seasoning, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Pour over vegetables.
  5. Stir rice and sausage into vegetables.  Heat through and serve. 


  1. I spent so many of my summers running around in my aunt's sprinkler! Loved it. That was before my parents got a pool. The simpler days. :)

  2. Absolutely delicious. What beautiful kids.