Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The kids had a ton of fun and when they were finished, our kitchen floor was sparkling clean. The table is easy to store and will come in handy for many rainy days this spring. Oh, how I only wish that we had it back in the boring old dead of winter...
Monday, March 30, 2009
Monday: Pork Chops and Potatoes in Mustard Sauce (made in the crock-pot) with green beans and fruit (never got around to this last week).
Tuesday: Beef & Broccoli, brown rice, fruit.
Wednesday: Leftovers from Monday.
Thursday: Working on a new recipe *top secret*.
Friday: Breakfast for dinner: eggs, toast, cheese, fruit.
Saturday: Photographing a wedding.
Sunday: Mango chicken curry cooked in the crock pot with jarred V-H Mango Curry Sauce, I think I will be pairing this with the Bombay potatoes from my best ever curry cookbook, fruit.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Time for another Fix-It Friday from i heart faces!
This is the original...
And this is the one I adjusted in Photoshop entirely with Totally Rad Actions. My recipe was: Clarie-ify x2, then Bullet Tooth, and then Warm it up, Kris!...
Have a great weekend all!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
For this particular salad, I roasted up a pan of grape tomatoes. If you have never tried roasted tomatoes, what the heck have you been waiting for? They are so sweet and intensely flavored. My faves for roasting are these little grape tomatoes or Roma's slit lengthwise. I just toss them with a bit of olive oil and salt and roasted them in a 400˚ oven for about 30-45min or until wrinkled and slightly browned.
I also used tomato pesto to keep with the tomato flavors...
While I was boiling the tortellini for this dish I tossed a handful of frozen peas and a package of frozen artichoke hearts into the past water. When the pasta was cooked, I drained it, tossed it with a touch of olive oil and let it cool. When it was cool I mixed in a tablespoon or so of pesto, the roasted tomatoes and a bit of salt and pepper. If I was going to serve it hot, I would have done exactly the same, but skipped the cooling part... but I guess that was pretty obvious...
Monday, March 23, 2009
I started pretty much the same as Clara, by slicing my peppers. I bought these three colored bell peppers at Aldi for 2.79$ so this recipe is pretty thrifty...
Instead of making our own bread we cheated and warmed up a loaf of rustic Italian bread in the oven while my olive oil and butter were heating in a pan on the stove top...
When the pan was hot, I added a few of each color of pepper to my pan and seasoned them (pretty lightly, compared to Clara and her salt shaker) with salt and pepper...
So what did I do with all the leftover peppers? I stashed them in a freezer bag and stowed them in the freezer for a later use. Peppers freeze beautifully and I like to do this so that they are always fresh, ready and on hand for a recipe...
When my peppers started to brown and soften, I added 4 scrambled eggs to the pan, reduced my heat a bit and started stirring...
We ate these for lunch with some of the bread and some olives...
This was a simple, filling, cost effective lunch and it was so yummy. The peppers were nice and sweet, and it was so good spooned over the bread, it really would make an awesome sandwich! And if you're not on a budget, or have a budget-friendly bottle or eco-friendly box of wine laying around, this would make a fantastic rustic style Italian dinner! Gotta love that Clara!
This week we did not go to a local amusement with friends and knowingly break the only two rules that were mentioned to us upon admittance. We didn't even want to use our flashes anyway and it was very easy to say, "nope, no cookies or sippies for you!", to these two little faces...
I did not have an I'm-so-tired-and-I-think-the-kids-are-trying-to-kill-me pity party at all this week, so saying I did it more than once is just ridiculous. I am always well rested and full of energy, even with a one and two year old!
I am not getting a major kick out of finally being able to say "one and two year old" without it being a lie because they are really just two one year olds.
On a similar note, I also did not enjoy being able to replace my usual "no, they are not twins" with "no, they are not twins, they are one and two" when we were out this week.
NOTE: When I just went to post this in the Mr. Linky on the My Charming Kids blog, I read about the awful situation that MckMama (the woman who organizes Not Me Monday) is currently experiencing with her youngest child, Stellan. Please keep them in your thoughts. This little guy is a fighter, but I'm sure that both him and his family could use a little positive energy right now...
Monday: Orange Roughy with tomato, caper, olive and lemon sauce over brown rice, with peas and fruit for the kids, and spinach salad for us.
Tuesday: Peruvian chicken from Rachael Ray's Magazine, roasted root veggies, and fruit.
(Click on the photo to make the recipe larger)
I followed the basic recipe, up to the point of marinating it in the storage bag, and then I adapted the cooking portion of the recipe to the Crockpot by lining my crock with two small inverted ramekins, like this...
And then placing the seasoned chicken on top of the ramekins, covering with the lid and cooking on high for 5-6 hours (I've since discovered that by placing the chicken breast down in the crock, it will come out much more tender).
Wednesday: Tamale pie made with leftover chicken from Tuesday, fruit.
Thursday: Working out of the house without the kids so we will be going to a quiet dinner at our fave restaurant (Anthony's) alone. Mmmm, I can taste the wine and creme brulée already!
Friday: Pork Chops and Potatoes in Mustard Sauce (made in the crock-pot) with brussel sprouts and fruit.
Saturday & Sunday: No real plans. Depending on the weather we want to take the kids out one day and on the other day we will be eating leftovers from Friday with some veggies and fruit.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
We celebrated Milo's birthday with a simple, bright decorations, cupcakes and plenty of homemade vanilla ice cream.
We had an impossible time finding simple party hats that didn't have a character on them, so we ended up purchasing some themed hats and covering them with some cute polka dot paper that we ran off of our bubble jet printer. After they were wrapped in the new paper, we trimmed the edge with scissors and then finished it with a bit of leftover ribbon from Christmas...
For Lola's birthday we made homemade cupcakes from scratch, and they were good... but everyone actually enjoyed Milo's "cheater cupcakes" even more. To make them I prepared a box of chocolate cake mix to the package's instructions with the addition of 2 chocolate pudding cups, baked them off in cupcake cups and then topped them with Betty Crocker's Whipped Frosting in the Whipped Cream flavor. These were some seriously moist little treats...
My birthday boy enjoyed them after our simple birthday supper of Shepherd's Pie topped with cheddar garlic mashed potatoes, rustic Italian bread and Greek salad...
Monday, March 16, 2009
For my son's birthday party I did not mix pre-made pudding cups into the cheapest boxed cake mix I could find and try to pass the cupcakes off as homemade. No one would have fallen for that one, not even if they were the most deliciously moist cupcakes ever. Which they were not (but they actually were!).
I did not witness my daughter doing somersaults, screaming like a banshee or shaking it like a Polaroid picture at her brother's birthday party on Friday night. Nor did I watch helplessly as she stayed up till midnight on Saturday guzzling bottle after bottle of milk, but refusing to sleep. My daughter would never do any of these things. She is always very calm and well behaved, and is always in bed at eight o'clock on the button.
I did not get brave enough to finally give my two year old a piece of bread crust while having dinner with friends. I also did not have an immediate panic attack about the possibility of him choking and quietly snatch said piece of crust and hide it under the edge of my plate. That's just ridiculous. What kind of basket case parent wouldn't allow their two year old to have bread? Not me.
I did not get behind on my work last week and then spend most of my morning freaking out, just to realise that I really don't have that much work to begin with. I am way too organized to ever let that happen and I always know exactly what needs to be done.
Monday: Steak with red wine sauce and Gorgonzola butter, baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, fruit.
Tuesday: Homemade cranberry meatballs from the freezer, brown rice, peas, fruit.
Wednesday: Mango chicken curry cooked in the crock pot with jarred V-H Mango Curry Sauce, I think I will be pairing this with the Bombay potatoes from my best ever curry cookbook, fruit.
Thursday: Leftovers from Wednesday.
Friday: Errand day: Take out.
Saturday: Photographing a wedding.
Sunday: Stuffed talapia, brown rice, steamed mixed vegetables, fruit.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
My desk is one of the places that needed the most improvement, but this little file basket seems to have helped...
It's just a wire file basket from Tar-jay filled with some pretty file folders labeled to help me organize some of my problematic pile-ables. There was enough room left over for my address book, a couple sizes of envelopes and a package of blank note cards. Plus I've been using one of the flowers as a nifty list holder.
So, I'm probably still not completely organized in my office, but when the desktop is clean, I can at least look organized. And that's good enough for me!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Anyway, it was annoying, but the change does save up quickly, so right after we had our daughter, we went to Ikea and bought this vase...
We wanted something that fit the coins with enough space to get them back out and we wanted something that was not clear. This one fit both requirements and was a pretty good deal at 9.99$.
The vase took it's rightful home of our kitchen counter (out of reach of small and sneaky hands) and has worked like a charm. I have not found a single skanky bowl full of pocket contents since we purchased it, and just look at what we've saved up after only about 11 months...
I have no clue what we are going to use the change for. We always joke that it's our Disney fund, since we know full well that we probably won't attempt that for at least another four years Whatever we use it for, I'm sure we'll have a surprising lil' amount saved up by then!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I found this recipe at Chick in the Kitchen's blog during one of our Menu Plan Mondays and was immediately intrigued. Since having the kids, I have been pretty much obsessed with any recipe than can be done in the crock pot or the oven. Who has time to stir and watch over a pot on the stove top with two babies under two running around like wild monkeys? Not me!
Dara over at Chick in the Kitchen already adapted this recipe a bit from the original, which she found at Swell Vegan. She started by leaving out the mint and instead of half regular and half smoked tofu, she changed it to only regular tofu. Both moves were good ones in my opinion, but I had to change it a bit more to suit our family.
One of my children is completely appalled by cauliflower, so that had to go, and since I don't like almond butter, I swapped it for sun butter (made from sunflower seeds in a peanut-free facility, so it was safe for my toddlers who have not yet been introduced to peanut products).
Baked Tofu in Sun Butter & Cilantro Sauce
1 large sweet potato, cut into 2-bite size pieces and microwaved until mostly tender
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained & cut into bite-sized cubes
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. pre-shredded carrot
2/3 c. sun butter
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1 heaping tsp. minced jarred garlic)
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
3/4 c. hot water
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Place sweet potato, tofu, peas and carrots in a casserole dish and set aside.
To prepare the sauce, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir until the combined (the hot water is easier to stir into the sun butter, cold will make it clumpy)
Pour the sauce over the tofu and veggies and gently toss to combine. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve over brown rice or noodles.
I served up the grown-up plates with lime wedges and Sriracha sauce for a bit of kick.
This was soooo good! In fact, the only thing that would have made it better was if my son didn't freak out every time he got the slightest fleck of cilantro on his tongue. Overall, he liked the flavors, but the cilantro just wasn't for him. My daughter, on the other hand, just plain gagged over this. She ended up eating Cheerios, cheese and a huge pile of fruit.
Monday, March 9, 2009
I did not give my kids cheese cake two days in a row for breakfast this week just because my nearly two-year-old said it so nicely. And I definitely did not try to make it look all healthy by serving it to them with fruit.
I did not get all stumped on how to handle a jumping-on-the-sofa-incident and maybe threaten to take the sofa away. That's just weird. It's my sofa and how the heck would I be able to follow through on a threat like that? I couldn't! So I would never make that threat in the first place.
I did not go for a walk outside with my husband before a dinner with friends and actually do a running jump off of a ledge and onto the squidgy defrosted grass in my heels and dress pants just so that Jason could get this ridiculous photo of someone who clearly isn't me.
And I most certainly did not get my heels stuck in the mud and almost give myself whiplash on the landing.
While we were on our walk and not covered in mud, I also may or may not have taken a series of the most god-awful photos of Jason that anyone has ever seen and then spend the rest of the weekend laughing my buttooski off at him and trying to re-enact his cheesy faces. That's just mean. So I would never do it. And I would never post those photos for anyone else to laugh at either. So don't even ask.
This is not how handsome he normally looks.
Whatever you do, don't have a great week all!