Snowy Days

Let it snow! Let it snow! We have been getting hit hard by the snow here in New York and all along the east coast. I generally enjoy more the warmer months but now that we have Ale the winter has become fun again. I love experiencing all of the joy and excitement that the snow brings with him . Since it’s been cold (right now it’s 19*F !) and it’s remains cold the snow’s enchantment stays longer before it melts into brown muck. Everywhere you look its a winter wonderland.

Last weekend for we went to Massachusetts for a short escape from the city. It was just lovely. We went for long walks in the woods and Ale was able to build a snowman with Papa’s help.

So, yes- let it snow, let it snow! Let the fun and the magical beauty of winter continue.

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Tuesday’s With Ale: Berrr! Its Cold Out! Time for Lentil Soup!

Wow! What a cold Tuesday! Today New York City reached record lows with temperatures of 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Right now is a toasty 12 degrees outside. I’m cozy at home, writing this in my fluffy slippers and eating a bowl of lentil soup.

There is nothing more yummy on a winter’s day than lentil soup. Its warm and fills your belly with goodness. Ale is taking his nap so I have a moment to share with you my recipe. The way I make Lentil Soup is the way that its made in Spain.

Warning! : This is not a cooking blog so the photos are subpar and lentil soup does not photograph well! But it sure is delicious!

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Ingredients:
2 cups of lentils
1 medium size onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 potato
1 small chorizo sausage
4 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of water
3 bay leafs
4 table spoons of olive oil
salt to taste

*In a soup pot, heat the olive oil

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* Finely chop the onion and garlic and add it to the oil. Cook and stir it until the onions become translucent

* Chop about 1 inch of the choroizo and add it to the onions and garlic. Let it cook for about 5 min. Set a side the rest of the chorizo

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* Stir in the lentils and mix them well with the garlic, onion and chorizo
* Add the 4 cups of chicken broth and the bay leafs.- Cover and let it simmer on low for 30-40 min until the lentils are tender
* In the meantime chop the potato in little cubes and thinly slice the chorizo

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* Once the lentils are tender- with a hand held blender- puree the lentils a few pulses so that at least half of the mixture is puréed
* At this point add more water if the soup has become too thick
* Add the potatoes and the chorizo to the lentils and cook on low heat until the potatoes are tender- about 30 min- Stir occasionally- don’t burn the bottom of the pot!
* Add more water if necessary and add salt to taste
* Enjoy with bread and a big glass of red wine!

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Here is Ale dressed for the cold. We went out for a moment this morning.
Stay warm everyone! Bundle up!
If you live in a warm place- can we switch? Thanks!

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Tuesday’s With Ale: Snow

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New York City had its first real snow fall today. We headed out to experience the winter wonderland. Ale enjoyed stomping in it and catching it with his hands. There is nothing like a toddler to remind you of the magic that surrounds us everyday. His “Wow!” was pure joy and delight.

Tuesday’s With Ale: Winter

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This is not a blog post that I will gush about all of the fun things I did on my Tuesday off from work with my little boy, Ale. I will not talk about all of the sweet things he did and said. Why you ask? Because it’s rained all day and it’s winter in New York City. All of the great outdoor neighborhood activities we enjoyed in the warmer months are gone. My goal now with Ale is to reduce the Caillou, Thomas, Dora all day marathon by a few hours.

Unfortunately, I am not a mom who peruses Pinterest looking for amazing toddler activities. I just want a place for Ale to explore, run and shake the sillies out. The local YMCA can be a life saver with their indoor soft playground. The downside is that the entire neighborhood also has the same idea. The soft playground turns into a baby discotheque with a bouncer at the door handing out tickets. They only let in a few people when others leave to abide by the occupancy limits of the fire code. I swear there are a few nannies who run an underground YMCA ticket ring!

On Tuesday we did make it into the soft playground. Ale went wild climbing and jumping on the foam blocks. The energy of the children in the room was so frenetic that it was obvious that we all come from small living spaces. Cabin fever is truly an ailment that city kids all suffer from. Ale jumped and danced the allotted one and a half hours of free play. As the time was running out the children suddenly became tired. During the last fifteen minutes the noise of room suddenly dropped a few decibels. They started wandering off the mats to look for water and snacks. Nap/lunch time was near.

Despite my complaining I am grateful for the YMCA. We need this vital play space as the temperatures drop. Sometimes, however, I think that it’s me rather than Ale who needs to get out. The idea of being trapped indoors all day with a toddler is frightening, even if he is content to just watch Thomas and Friends. The guilt to be a better mom ultimately sets in so the urgency to run out becomes paramount. So next up… the Children’s Museaum. Here we come!

How many days to summer???