Monday, September 21, 2009

Sweden Summer 2009

So, as I mentioned during my last entry, we are indeed a few months behind on our blog entries in relation to when it actually happened.
On July 25th I got on a plane in Montreal (after a week in Hali and an evening in Montreal) heading to Europe. On the same day, The Frog did the same, but departing from SFO. Destination: the motherland and mothertown of Gothenburg.
As always, I try to make this trip every year to see family and catch up, however this year's trip was more centered on my brother Magnus' wedding (see upcoming post). A couple of days after arriving I caught a really horrible cold, so not that much got done during the week, other than lots of coffee drinking and tv watching. We did manage to squeeze in some tasty dinners with mom and Leif as well as dad and Anneke, who also were in Sweden for the wedding, naturally.
Below are some of the few pics we managed to take that were non-wedding related.

Where the Monkey grew up

More snaps of the ol' hood

Dangerous gangstas from the ol' hood

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Joof!

A birthday shout-out to my little brother Jeff! Here's to you and a brand new year ahead! We are thinking of you and wish you nothing but the best. As you would say, miss you heaps! Cheers!

Note: this is an older pic of my brother and me on his birthday...or maybe it was my birthday (which is also coming up, so one should note that there are not many shopping days left.) I am not quite sure when this was taken, but based on the bad bangs and high-waisted shorts, I am going to say it was the late 80s. Oh the 80s.....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

I have been threatening to make an attempt at homemade pasta from scratch for a while now, and finally dug deep for some inspiration.  It actually wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, although I do have a new appreciation for the perfectly prepared pasta seen in the store, not to mention my Kitchen Aid mixer!  After some brief collaboration, P. was officially in charge of the Carbonara sauce.  It was fantastic!  How can you really go wrong with garlic, cream, and pancetta?  Next up:  ravioli.  

Rolling out the dough

Cutting the spaghetti

In the pot for 2 minutes

Back in the pan to absorb the pancetta goodness before adding the sauce

Adding the sauce, being careful not to scramble the eggs

Final product paired with a glass of Flowers Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast.  Divine. 
(Note:  poor quality picture does not even do it justice, but I didn't want it to get cold!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I smell Wombats!

The weather is getting warmer, the streets are becoming less crowded with tourists, and Tom Jones actually had enough potatoes at the chicken truck! Yep, bocce season is here! It was a great turnout for the season opener, and we were anxious to meet the new team Frarness Kraun. This team has caused quite a controversy in the league, and I won't bore you with the details, but the rumor is, that the captain of this team, his great great grandfather invented bocce ball, and he has been trying to get into the Sausalito league for 10 years. It has also been said that that this captain has never even washed his bright orange lucky bocce socks. (The story only got better with increased amounts of wine.)

In an attempt to look like we came to win, we decided to go with team uniforms. Not having our act together to come through with t-shirts, we opted for the next best thing, which of course, were sweatbands. I thought we looked like champions, and they must have made a difference since we won our first game! Here's to a great season!

On the way to the game

T. with her game face

The Nielsen Trophy for Bocce Ball Champions with some special touches by last season's champions: The Wombats.
They have officially set the bar and now we want the trophy even more!

A couple of  Balloon Knots.
I think Devon just realized she was going to have to tell Rob they lost.
Brittany clearly in denial. Clearly.

And the Van Emsts definitely brought their A-game

The sun was setting and the fog was rolling in on the walk home

Friday, September 11, 2009

Going back to Hali, Hali, Hali

So as many of you have discovered we are running a little behind with our blog entries. Our explanation is simple, we've simply been traveling and having way too much fun to post any new blogs. The best part is that the majority of all the traveling has been for pure pleasure, which is always a bonus. As such we have a couple of months of posts to catch up on.

As most of you may know we headed over to Europe in July. However, before that, I made a stop in my old stomping grounds of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Sadly I discovered that next time I come for a visit I need more than a week to really do and see all the people I want to. Alas, some of you were not graced by my presence and for that I apologize.

However, in my short time there I was able to squeeze in some quality time with some of my oldest and best friends. It was all capped off with perhaps one of my favourite places in the world, Stefan's cottage, which is where all the pictures were taken. Good times, good times. Still hard to beat summers in Hali. I'll be back next year, for an extended visit. Thanks for the memories.

Colin, Andy, Stefan and Mike T in from TO
Aaargh, she's a beauty
Andy enjoying the combined tranquility of the ocean and texting
The Captain (Jr., the real Captain is Paul, as we all know)

Darren and Glen sippin' on some grape juice in fine crystal
Vortex of happiness and debauchery in the distance



Monday, September 7, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

Okay, so we have been home from the Motherland for a few weeks, but we still haven't really quite caught our breath. There have been trips to Denver, LA, San Diego, an attempt in mastering the art of making a perfect margarita, drinking wine in Russian River, and even an attempt to channel our inner child by jumping rope in Petaluma. The end of the summer flew by in a blur, although, as far as summer weather goes, in our neck of the woods, it is really just the beginning......

The 4th of July came and went way too fast. We had a fantastic time and it was definitely one of the highlights of our summer. We couldn't let any more time pass without a mention of it here, and posting a few Kodak moments. The Keeleys came to town (my sister and her husband) and we started out with a trip to the city via ferryboat for a Giants game.

Peen and Peter walking to the ferry

Heading across the Bay

A glimpse of the Ferry Building

Walking to AT&T Park.
This is the spot where Tony Bennett supposedly left his heart in San Francisco.

Sisters at the ball park.
Fireworks after the game.

P and T heading back home in the cab.

After a great time at the Giants game and one too many handfuls of garlic fries, the next day we headed out for our annual 4th o' July sail in San Francisco Bay. This has become somewhat of a tradition and we were thrilled that the Keeleys were in town for it this year! Also on deck were the Fenirattys, who came equipped with a barrel of laughs and gourmet sandwiches of course, and Joey and Erica were also able to join us. With our trusty captain and a cooler full of cold beer, we were off to set sail.

Our captain making his final checks

Lucas girls ready to go

Rob, gourmet chef, and avid sailor

Joey and Devon don't look like they are going to have any fun at all


Our captain having to make a few last minute adjustments MacGyver style

Rob at the helm

The Keeleys
T and Devon

Joey and Erica taking it in

The crew

T. putting her back into it

Pedro and The Fenirattys

P. always happy to be out on the water

Peen on the lookout

Nielsens and Fenirattys

Monkey and The Frog at sea

Although our day had come to an end on the water, things were just getting started back at Chez Nielsen. We had a little BBQ and a handful of people stopped by for some fun and fireworks. The evening ended in polyester, some Euro-trash beats, and a super-model walk-off. Definitely off the hook, and will be tough to top next year!

Boats starting to accumulate for the fireworks

Jamie taking in the view from our deck

LP getting after the prosciutto, goat cheese and fig crisps. Mmmmm.....

Peen and Devon a little uncertain about the leftover tequila/watermelon juice

Devon's cheesecake we affectionately referred to as 'the flag'

Somehow Michael ended up in my one piece polyester number from a previous party.
Work it Michael. Work it.

And the Shaws proceeded to get the dance party started.

Peanut sandwich
Kelly, Christina, and LP. Cheers, girls!

T. at her post in the kitchen.

Until next year.....