Wednesday, January 27, 2010

El Gaucho

As many of you probably know, Erik and I *love* El Gaucho!  It’s always our go-to restaurant, whether we’re celebrating a special occasion or we’re just looking for a great spot for dinner out without the kiddos :) 

Back in December, a good friend of mine organized a wonderful auction and dinner to benefit the families of the four police officers killed in Lakewood, WA on November 29th.  As we sat at the benefit enjoying a yummy dinner and great music we were excited to see that one of the live auction items was a private dinner for 6 at El Gaucho Tacoma.  I’ve never even been to a live auction, not to mention participating in one, but when the time came to bid on the private dinner Erik gave me our number and told me to start bidding!

The bidding went back and forth for a while between me and another gal in the back of the room…and let me just say that these live auctioneers were GOOD at their jobs!!  I’m happy to say that after all the heart-pounding excitement of the bidding ‘war’, we were the proud winners of the dinner! 

This past Saturday we headed off to El Gaucho with the girls, my parents, and my sister & David.  We were shown to the beautiful Vineyard room and got set up for a fun (and delicious) evening! 


Addison was thrilled to be wearing a ‘pretty dress’ and to be drinking out of a fancy big girl glass :)


Rather than ordering her standard milk we decided to get her first Shirley Temple, which was always a favorite of mine when I was growing up!  Since Addison has never had soda she’s not a big fan of carbonation…and unfortunately she did NOT like her drink!!   DSC00305

Although she was a huge fan of the maraschino cherries! DSC00306

We started out with some great appetizers (Dungeness crab cakes and Wicked Shrimp)…and then enjoyed the famous El Gaucho Tableside Caesar.  Before our main course we were able to take a few more pictures :)

   DSC00309The Bagleys

  DSC00311Sophie hanging out with Grandpa 

Pretty soon they brought out our main course which included:
Chateaubriand with grilled portobello mushrooms, Gaucho baked potatoes,  asparagus, broiled tomatoes topped with parmesan cheese, and wild mushroom risotto.  Oh, can’t forget the Gaucho mac and cheese for Miss Addison :)  As you can imagine, we were way too busy enjoying all that food to take any pictures!

After dinner they started to set up for dessert…bananas foster which is flambĂ©ed tableside. 

DSC00316David was just fascinated with the fire…haha :)

For a special treat, Addison got some vanilla ice cream topped with some more of her new favorite…maraschino cherries!DSC00314

Even Sophie got to try some ice cream!

It was a really fun night and we’re so glad we were able to enjoy it as a family.  Although many people thought we were nuts for bringing the girls, I have to say that they were both amazingly well-behaved, especially considering the fact that it was a 2 1/2 hour dinner.  


We were so honored to do our small part to help out the families of the officers lost on November 29th.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Last weekend we packed up the kids and headed over to my parents to make homemade ravioli.  We used my Great Grandma Jessie’s recipe (along with her ravioli rolling pin) and got to work bright and early…after our Starbucks, of course :)

Ravioli Dough

This homemade ravioli is one of my all-time favorites but, as you can imagine, it’s an all day process to make it!  This was the first time my sister and I have been there to help my mom make it - it was such a fun day and we learned a lot!

I have many wonderful memories of my Great-Grandma and I wish that Erik and the girls had been able to meet her.

Here’s a picture of me and Tricia with Grandma Jessie from 1991.  scan0004

And also an old one of Grandma cookingscan0019

We started by making the pastry dough…

Ravioli Making 001

and the ravioli filling                                                                    (hamburger, sausage, spinach, ricotta, parmesan, garlic, celery)DSC00276

Then we rolled the dough out, spread the filling on top, and covered it with another piece of doughDSC00268


Then we rolled over it with the ravioli pinRavioli Making 004

And then used a pastry sealer and cutter to separate the ravioliRavioli Making 005

Addison had a blast ‘helping’ us tooDSC00279DSC00278 Yes…she’s wearing dress up clothes.  It’s been impossible to get her to wear ‘regular’ clothes for the past few weeks!

DSC00282 Erik even got in on the fun :)


While we were all working hard in the kitchen my dad was on Grandpa duty with Sophie.  They had fun catching up on reality TV…Ravioli Making 003

and taking a nap.  Oh wait, that was just Grandpa sleeping…who’s watching Sophie??? :)

Either way, Sophie had a fun day too!

That night we enjoyed our ravioli for dinner - and we were able to bag and freeze a ton to enjoy the rest of the year :)  Of course Erik and I have already eaten the stash we brought home…but we were able to share it with Erik’s parents, Dave and Denise, who were up for a visit this week. 

I’m so glad I was able to learn to make this special family recipe.  And thanks to Erik, I’m now the proud owner of my very own ravioli pin … I guess that means he wants me to make ravioli more often?? :)

I’ll end with a quick video of Addison making her ‘ravioli’.  Like many other things she says, she has a special way to pronounce it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas 2009 (Part 1)

Ok…time to play catch up!  It’s so hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone!  We spent so much time talking about it this year since it was the first year that Addison was really excited ahead of time!!  One of the best parts of the weeks leading up to Christmas was the ever-effective threat that she better be a good girl if she wanted Santa to bring her presents!  Unfortunately (for us parents…) that threat doesn’t work nearly as well when Christmas is a year away.  I wonder if threats about the Easter bunny would work??

On December 18th we headed down to Camp Sherman, Oregon to be with Erik’s family.  Sophie is NOT a fan of being in the car so I have to admit that I was completely dreading the long drive down.  If we make good time with minimal stops we’re usually in the car 5 1/2 to 6 hours which is a loooooooong time to listen to an unhappy baby!  Someone seemed to be looking out for us since we made it in exactly 5 hours including stops for gas, lunch, etc!  I’m pretty sure it was our fastest trip in the 5 1/2 years we’ve been driving there!

Unfortunately we didn’t see any snow when we got there, but Sophie got right into the spirit!


Sophie also took a liking to Clementines while we were visiting.  I think they felt good on her gums :)



While Sophie was chewing on oranges, Addison was attached to Papa’s hip.  Here she is enjoying her lesson on hot-tub chemistry :)


Wherever the boys were…Addison was never far behind!


She also had tons of fun decorating cupcakes with Nana & Allie.  I’m pretty sure she ate more than she decorated though…


Since we were heading back home on the morning of the 24th we opened gifts on the 23rd.  The girls had so much fun!  Here they are with Nana before the madness started.IMG_1776

You mean this is for me???IMG_1784

You got me tissue paper??  I LOVE it!!!IMG_1792

Enjoying Christmas a little early :)IMG_1797

Our familyIMG_1778

We had a wonderful and relaxing trip to Camp Sherman!  Addison stayed very busy visiting Chloe (Nana’s horse), going to the dump with Papa, hanging out with Uncle Jordan and Auntie Allie, and generally being spoiled beyond belief.  Erik got to spend lots of quality time with his dad and brother…and I was even lucky enough to spend an afternoon at Shibui - the most relaxing spa I’ve ever been to.  I try to go whenever we’re visiting but this time was a complete surprise arranged by Erik :)

It was a great way to start off our Christmas holiday!!