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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Girlie Day

Jordyn, Kath and Grandma want out today for "Girlie Day" The went shopping, had lunch, and Jordyn had pictures taken. Here are a few shots of the princess.






Saturday, August 23, 2008

This should be a group project

I am pretty proficient at cooking very nice high-end meals and with them usually comes a fair amount of time and money. It would be fun to eat like that everyday, but it would make us the best fed people living on the street. What I seem to be having a lot of trouble with is coming up with those meals that can be eaten on the weeknights, where the time between dinner and bed is shortest and the fatigue factor is highest. This is where all of you visiting to read my miscellaneous ramblings can help me out. If you would respond to me with one meal that you prepare on a weeknight for your family, I will come up with a 30 day meal plan, if you want a copy of it, I will gladly share. I just need help, my professional training is limiting my practical execution! Each meal should include a salad or veg, starch and protein.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Dance

Have you ever had a day when you felt like this?


video

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rascally Camera

We bought a new digital camera a couple of years ago to replace an old bulky antique one, but for several months have been having trouble getting the pictures from the camera to the computer via the included printer/port. So today Jordyn and I went to Wal-Mart and bought a cable to bypass the silly printer/port that doesn't want to talk to the computer anymore. I now have almost 200 pictures to look at, don't be scared I will not post most of them, but a few of the cute ones.





Hunter 1st day of second grade


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fresh Garden Salsa

I love to make salsa almost as much as I like to eat salsa, it is fun to cut all the veggies into perfect small dices and see the mosaic of colors collect in the bowl, but if I could have my salsa without the effort, I would take it and a bag of tortilla chips, any day. Now for those that have gardens you have many of the ingredients within arms reach right now. I don't have an exact recipe, that isn't how I cook, but I will give you a close approximation and you can adjust it to you tastes. Add other veggies to the mix, the whole salsa thing was to use what was available to you and shouldn't be rigid with the ingredients.

Tom’s Salsa - 1 Gallon

2 lbs Roma Tomatoes – small dice (any tomato will work)

1 bunch Fresh Cilantro leaves (no stems)

12 Jalepenos – seeded/deveined (hold veins to the side) – small dice (wear gloves)

12 Tomatillos – small dice

¼ cup Fresh Lime Juice (lemon juice ok)

2 tsp Kosher Salt

1 White Onion – small dice

8-10 cloves – Fresh Garlic – small dice

Mix all ingredients in a large non-reactive (stainless steel or glass) bowl. Adjust heat by adding small-diced Jalepeno veins into the salsa. Add additional salt if needed.

For those that are in a hurry or don't like spending hours cutting veggies, use a food processor, don't puree them, just pulse it a couple of times until they are chunked up, process each veggie separately or some will be mush and other almost whole.

For those that have cucumbers in your garden also, you can peel, seed and small dice a cucumber or two and add that in also, they will take on the flavors surrounding them.

Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours or overnight,

Have a bag of chips handy for "tasting" to ensure proper goodness.

If you make too much, you can share it with your neighbors.

Should stay good for 10 days.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

We made it through the first week of school

Hunter just finished his first week of second grade and we all survived it. We had been readjusting his schedule for the past month, albeit unsuccessfully most nights, so the 6am wake-up was a shock all week for all of us. He is taking the bus to and from school this year so he has to be to the bus stop down the street by 6:30am or we have to drive him to school which is 15 miles away. Now you must realize that no matter what time we wake him, it typically takes him all the time alloted and then some for him to get out the door. He has to get dressed, brush his teeth, shoes on and tied and then he makes his lunch (he's been making his own lunch for over a year) mom or dad's job is to keep him focused on the task at hand and moving toward the ultimate goal of getting him out the door. Now anyone that noticed that breakfast wasn't included in the schedule, Hunter takes after his dad and doesn't like breakfast when he first wakes up, so he takes a granola bar or something to go. So the first week was a challenge to be sure, there was the prodding, coaching, yelling, and threatening to achieve that ultimate goal.

Now this was also an adjustment week for Jordyn, she has had her best friend and brother to play and conspire with all summer and now she is alone with dad, she and I had to adjust to day times without the cruise director and find ways for her and I to get along and have some fun along the way. Each day includes breakfast, lunch and numerous snack times as needed. Their is also a constant concert from the little star. She loves singing, so she will sing selections from whatever was playing in the car recently, this has included the soundtracks to Wicked, Annie, Mama Mia, the music of Lisa Kelly or Idina Menzel or whatever is on the radio. She is a good singer and is pretty close to dead on with the tunes and makes up whatever words she can't pronounce or doesn't remember. Now she is even choreographing her singing and needs a microphone to properly perform. (audiences are optional.)

All in all it has been a full week of fun and as the school year progresses we will get adjusted and then it will be summer all over again.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Where did the summer go?

I can't believe summer is over and Hunter starts 2nd grade on Monday. Tonight we are going to meet the teacher night. I'm not sure where summer went, I thought it was dragging and would never end, now it is over. I was lucky to get to stay home with the kids this summer and just hang out with them. What were the questions that my kids asked most often this summer? Dad, can we have a snack? Dad, can we have something to eat? and Dad, when is mommy coming home so we can have dinner? We had a great summer over-all, we didn't travel this summer, we went to California for a week in the late spring instead.

I hope all of you had a great summer!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Substitute your salt

I love salty foods, potato chips, French fries and popcorn, I add salt to most dishes others think is salty enough, this isn't healthy but I don't drink, smoke or hang out with fast woman, so I accept this as my vice. But for those of you that are more conscious of what you eat or do to health issues can't have a lot of salt in your diet here is some information from my culinary toolbox.

Seasoning Without Salt
Many herbs and spices do not contain salt and can be used to season foods. Listed below are seasoning suggestions for various foods.

Beef: bay leaf, dry mustard, green pepper, marjoram, fresh mushrooms, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme.

Chicken: green pepper, lemon juice, marjoram, fresh mushrooms, paprika, parsley, poultry seasoning, sage, thyme.

Fish: bay leaf, curry powder, dry mustard, green pepper, lemon juice, marjoram, paprika.

Lamb: curry powder, garlic, mint, mint jelly, pineapple, rosemary.

Pork: apple, applesauce, garlic, onion, sage, raspberry jam, jalapeno peppers.

Veal: apricot, bay leaf, curry powder, ginger, marjoram, oregano.

Muffins: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger.

Breads: cinnamon, cloves, dill, poppy seed.

Pasta: basil, caraway seed, garlic, oregano, poppy seed.

Rice: chives, green pepper, saffron, onion.

Asparagus: garlic, lemon juice, onion, vinegar.

Broccoli: lemon juice, garlic.

Cucumbers: chives, dill, garlic, onion, vinegar.

Green Beans: dill, lemon juice, nutmeg, marjoram.

Greens: onion, pepper, vinegar.

Peas: green pepper, mint, parsley, onion, fresh mushrooms.

Potatoes: green pepper, mace, onion, paprika, parsley.

Squash: cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, ginger.

Tomatoes: basil, marjoram, onion and oregano.

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's true you can't teach an old dog new tricks...

It's very early Monday morning, I made that same wonderful mistake as I make too many Sundays, I took a nap, not a long 3 hour nap, just an hour or so, it feels so good at the time that it almost makes the consequences worth it. Almost, but not as I sit here in my current state... wide awake at oh-dark-thirty, wishing for sleep to overtake me, I tried to count sheep, they were already sleeping. So my mind started thinking through all that was happening or scheduled to happen this week and well, here I sit paying for an hours nap, three hours past bed-time.

The worst part about it is, I knew when I went to take a nap this would happen, it happens every Sunday night/Monday morning. I just forget how miserable I am while paying for the luxury and sheer joy that the afternoon nap provides. Maybe next Sunday I'll remember, but I doubt it.

I hope you all slept well