Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Food: Fish Delish

It's been quite some time since we've eaten fish. I'd been having a hankering for some too. So, I bought a nice big halibut fillet for tonight's dinner. Max and I prepared dinner together, something we enjoy doing but don't get a chance to do very often. We cracked open a tasty bottle of sake, toasted to good times and got to work. Max made a scrumptious side of soba noodles with a "Max Concoction Sauce", can't really tell you exactly what went into was a combo of soy sauce, mirin, sesame seed oil and lemon.

I made this Roasted Halibut with Walnut Crust that was absolutely heavenly. I found the recipe over at one of my favorite online recipe sights. If you're ever at a loss for what to cook, this is a great sight to check out. You can type in your main ingredient and a great deal of recipes will magically appear for your picking. Most of the recipes are rated by users along with reviews of the recipe and more often than not, there will be a photo of the dish as well (something I always enjoy, I like to see what it's suppose to look like). This recipe definitely deserved the 4 fork rating, it was simple, quick and delish! If you're having a hankering for fish as I was, this is a good one...enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What We Like Wednesday: Stomp That Rocket!

With Spring here and the weather getting nicer (when we aren't having spring showers that is) I like to encourage my boys to play outside as much as possible. What better way to do that than with some outdoor toys. One that we just pulled out again is this Stomp Rocket. This is one we've had for awhile but my boys don't seem to tire of it. That's what I call a first-rate toy, one that just keeps the fun coming.

The nature of this toy, is that only one person at a time can use it. Of course we've had some struggles with this. I do think it's a great way for them to learn about cooperating in a group activity, as they wait for their turn. We've taken this with us to the park and there's always been other kids who have approached us and wanted a try, so it's also been a nice lesson in sharing with others. If you're looking for some outdoor fun, give this one a try.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Signs of Spring

We've enjoyed a beautiful Spring weekend here. The flowers are beginning to bloom in our yard, lilys, fuchsias, and the wonderful aromatic jasmine. I have to say the jasmine is my favorite. It's creeping up our deck, when it's in full bloom you can smell it's scent creeping in the back door. Most exciting is our little meyer lemon tree, we got this 2 years ago and we're finally going to reap it's fruit. These are all just precious signs of Spring we are enjoying right now.

Today we went up the hill and enjoyed some time with friends at one of our local redwood parks. We went for a short hike, and explored the redwoods. We all enjoyed the fabulous weather and the beauty of mother nature. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Spring weekend as well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Artful Thursday: Some Earth Day Goodness

A little earth day fun today for Artful Thursday. With Mother's day around the corner, I made a small gift using recycled/ repurposed goods. This set of note cards came together with just a few things I dug up out of my stash. I must add, it feels good to use some of those things I've been hoarding hanging on to. This is what I started with, some small scraps of vintage fabrics that I'd been treasuring (I love old fabric) but unsure what I was going to do with. Some of these pieces were from old flour sack and a few pieces selvaged from old aprons. I also had a few stray vintage buttons, some vintage organza ribbon, cardstock and some white blank cards and envelopes.

With some pinking shears and spray adhesive, I cut squares of fabrics, matted them with a coordinating cardstock, then attached them to a blank note card. I attached a vintage button laced with organza ribbon using a glue dot and there you have it a set of 4 little note cards, perfect for a thank you, a thinking of you, or just a little hello.

Some other things I did today to honor earth day, I cleaned out our medicine cabinet and took the old medications to a medication disposal site. I found one at Pharmaca (BTW love this pharmacy). Doing my part in keeping our meds out of our groundwater, streams etc. Here's a place where you can read about proper med disposal.
The other thing I did today was purchase a reusable water bottle. I had returned my old water bottle (SIGG) when I found out it was lined with BPA and had not replaced it yet. Just a few small steps to living green.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What We Like Wednesday: Gardening Tot

It never fails, every time I purchase a bundle of herbs, whether it be cilantro, basil, or thyme, I can never use the entire bunch before it turns into some stinky black mess, yuck! Because of this, I finally decided to plant my own herb garden so I can just snip what I need. I bought a few plants, some soil and dug out a hodge podge of containers from our basement. With a few handy helpers, I was able to set up an herb garden on our back deck in a jiffy.

Although all the boys really enjoy helping with gardening and yard work, playing with gardening tools, shoveling, raking, watering etc. I think my most invested helper is Liam. He really enjoys being out in the yard and helping with whatever task you give him. Gardening is the perfect way to teach the kids about respecting nature, mother earth, and where our food comes from.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Food - Enjoy your Veggies and Your Red Wine

Just a fun note to remind you to enjoy your veggies, whether you just want to enjoy their beauty or in your tummy too! Look at these great containers, an assortment of flowers and swiss chard growing in half wine barrels! How fun is that!? You can find these near Pier 39 in San Francisco. I just thought this was a great way to grow some veggies at home while enjoying their beauty too!

Max and I do enjoy our red wine and often have a glass with dinner. Max stocked our wine rack this time around and picked up this bottle just for fun.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What We Like Wednesday - Trucks, Trucks, and More Trucks

The hot topic in our house right now is cars and trucks. The boys especially love all sorts of work trucks and construction machinery. So much so, that every time we're on the road the boys keep an eye out for big trucks and shout out to everyone when one is spotted. Especially Liam, who is obsessed with bulldozers..we'll be driving down the road when suddenly from behind I'll here him shouting "look, look a bulldozer, it's a yellow bulldozer!" or "I saw a crane mama, did you see it!" and garbage day is always a thrill, you'll find Miles and Liam standing at our front window watching as the trucks make their way up our street.

So with trucks in mind, our most recent favorite book is The Little Dump Truck. This book is full of colorful eye-catching illustrations and is written in a fun rhyming verse. We like to read this to the tune of "I'm a Little Tea Pot". Check it out. If your a truck lover, I'm sure you'll love it too!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Break

I haven't forgotten about you dear blog.... I know a week has gone by without even a quick note. So sorry for the absence, but we've been enjoying ourselves here during our spring break. Time goes by so quickly when you're having a good time, that it seems I never even had a chance to visit.

It was a week of house guests and dinner guests, with fun trips to our favorite parks, to the zoo, our favorite kid friendly restaurants and a little shopping. Boys enjoyed their stomp rocket, tried out their new parachute guys (the Easter bunny brought them) played with friends and shared special moments with family.
We ended Spring Break with a bang. Saturday we had friends over who we hadn't seen in awhile. I prepared a fiesta meal: Seared skirt steak with chipotle, tomatillo and garlic sauce, honey lime shrimp, carnitas, a mango papaya salsa, guacamole and a pepper jack- black bean nachos. MMMMmmmm we ate like champs. Sunday we had take out Chinese food from one of our favorite locals.

Cheers to you all. Hope you all have been enjoying yourselves as well. It's time to get back on track. We'll see you soon.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy Easter. Wishing you a fun filled day with your loved ones.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Food- A Quick One

When you don't have very much time but want a hot meal and you don't want a lot of dirty dishes to clean up afterward, how about trying a casserole. Here's a quick and yummy one - Chicken Tamale Casserole

1 cup of preshredded Mexican blend cheese
1/3 cup low fat milk
1 egg
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground rep pepper such as New Mexico chile
1 can cream-style corn (14 3/4 oz)
1 small box of corn muffin mix ( I use the Jiffy 8.5 oz size)
1 can chopped green chiles, drained (4oz)
1 can red enchilada sauce (10 oz)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
sour cream
cooking spray

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. in a large bowl mix just until moist, 1/4 cup of the cheese with the next 7 ingredients (up to chiles). Pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, Then pierce entire surface with fork.

4. Pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken, sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes . Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
Ready to serve with a dollop of sour cream and some cilantro sprinkled on top.

It's also possible to make this without chicken. You can substitute the chicken with black beans and that would be delicious too. You can serve this with a side salad and whaaaa lhaaa a yum fulfilling meal with leftovers for tomorrows lunch. My boys won't eat this so I usually make them chicken quesadillas while the adults enjoys this yummy dish.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Artful Thursday: A Sweet Bunny Gift

I've been preparing for Aidan's classroom Easter party..making cupcakes, treat bags, getting craft supplies together and making my Artful Thursday project which happens to be Aidan's kindergarten teacher's Easter gift.

It's a box of See's chocolates, yummmmm who can resist chocolates....not I! Anyways, I've had my share of Easter chocolates already and it's not even Easter yet, yikes!! We won't talk about that anymore (wink!) So back to the project, I wrapped the box of chocolates with a pink woodgrain patterned paper from Martha Stewart that I first trimmed with a scalloped edge. I then wrapped a piece of pink raffia around the box and embellished the box with this sweet easter egg I made using vintage sheet music, paper ribbon, pink raffia, bunny stamp and a fun ticket embellishment that I wrote "Happy Easter" on. It was a pretty simple project and I'm really pleased with the way it came out.

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