Friday, January 30, 2009

X's take on "advertising"...

Xavier: Will baby Audrey be advertised?
Me: What?!
Xavier: In she gonna get "advertised"? You know with water?
Me: Ah... you mean baptized. Yes, Audrey will be baptized this Sunday in church.
Xavier: Is she gonna get water on her?
Me: Yes.
Xavier: All over her or just her head?
Me: Just her head.
Xavier: Is GOD going to do it?
Me: No honey, God will not be doing it.
Xavier: will be Jesus then.
Me: No honey, Jesus will not be doing it either.
Xavier: Oh... (long pause) it must be Mary then.
Me: No sweetheart, the priest will be doing it.
Xavier: I just LOVE Mary at church.
Me: So who is going to baptize baby Audrey at Church?
Xavier: GOD is. And Jesus and Christ! Is it going to be Christ then?

It is so wonderful to be able to explain things clearly....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I do not like green....

rice and chicken! It’s not chicken boys (and yes, they had tasted it) it’s pork. Well…says Xavier, I do not like green rice. It can’t be’s green. I have NEVER had this dinner before! (I guess the boys think I am doing a good job trying new recipes….yeah, right!) Remember Green Eggs and Ham? “Try it! Try It! And you may. Try it and you may I say”!

Well they tried it and did NOT like it, but I sure did! I made Buttermilk Brined Pork Chops with Green Rice. The pork was just average and I won't make it again but the rice was good. Here is the recipe for Green Rice as it was written and I will tell you what changes I made.

Green Rice

1 small onion, peeled and quartered
2 pobalano chile peppers, deveined, seeded and quartered
1 cup fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves
2 cups chicken broth, divided
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
2 T. vegetable oil

Process onion, chile pepper, garlic, cilantro and 1 cup broth in a blender until pureed; pour through a wire mesh discarding solids. Season with salt and pepper. Saute rice in hot oil in saucepan, over medium low heat, stirring constantly, 2 mins. Add onion mixture and remaining 1 cup broth. Cover and simmer 20 mins. Let stand 10 mins. before serving.

**I used only 1 pepper, used vegetable stock and did not strain the mixture…why throw away perfectly good veggies?? I used jasmine rice so did not need to cook as long. It was good and tasted a little like the Puerto Rican sauce called sofrito. I will definitely make it again and maybe just make plain rice for the boys. This recipe was again from the Creating a Stir cookbook.

It must have made quite an impression with Xavier because the first thing he said as he sat down to breakfast was, Wow, that green rice was horrible! Needless to say, there was no dessert

last night!
Here are come pictures from our ice storm.
The first picture was taken a few days ago when I thought the falling snow was pretty. The second was taken today... same spot.
The boys could not get over all the ice on the trees.The top of our tree broke off.
Look at how thick the ice is!
Well the boys may not like green rice but I do not like ice storms and water in the basement due to a backed up sump pump, but that is an entirely different post!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Greek Burgers with Feta Aioli

We tried a new burger recipe this weekend. I got this from the Recipe Zaar website and it is originally a Cooking Light recipe. If you are doing Weight Watchers, this burger is eight points with the sourdough roll. Save some points by using a half whole wheat pita instead or just skip the bread all together!

Greek Burgers with Feta Aioli

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

5 slices red onions, 1/2 inch thick
cooking spray
1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumb
1/3 cup chopped bottled roasted red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5 sourdough rolls (1 1/2 oz.) or half pita pockets

To prepare aioli, combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor, pulse 1 minute or until smooth, cover and chill. Prepare grill or broiler. Place onion slices on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray and cook 2 minutes each side. Set onions aside.

Combine the beef and the next 9 ingredients (beef through crushed garlic) in a large bowl. Divide the beef mix into 5 equal portions, shaping each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place patties on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and cook for 6 minutes on each side or until burgers are done. Spread 1 1/2 Tbsps aioli over top half of each bun. Place patties on bottom half of each bun.

***I used fresh roasted red pepper. To do this, turn on your broiler. Place washed, whole pepper on a pan under the broiler and turn when each side get black and blistered. You should see black on the skin. Place whole roasted pepper in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit twenty mins or so to soften the skin. Remove skin and seeds and the pepper is now ready to use as you wish. Don't skip the sauce!!! It is really good!

We served these on half pita pockets and they were delish and looked pretty! Dax(who never eats vegetables without bribery and coercion) gobbled these up and asked for more! They also got approval from Grandma, Grandpa and Steve.

On a different note, we worked on my office Sunday afternoon. It was in rough shape. Even rougher than it normally is because we were ripping through boxes looking for a lost item! We put up new shelves and rearranged to make the space function better. Although it is not perfect, it is MUCH better. See the embarrassing before pictures:

And here is the after!This is the one negative thing that happened as a result of the office makeover. This is what happens when your iron has an auto turn on feature when put (or falls) in the horizontal position and NOT everyone is aware of this feature! Yikes!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

White Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I came across this recipe in the "Creating A Stir" cookbook that I had picked up a few years ago. It is published by the Lexington Medical Society Auxiliary and had a ton of great recipes in it. It also has a lot of very interesting southern history tidbits scattered throughout. Try this instead of your regular Chocolate Chip cookie recipe for something a little different.

White Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 ½ cups uncooked oats
2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 package white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter, sugar, and eggs until creamy. Add vanilla and almond extract. Mix together dry ingredients and add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in white chocolate chips. Bake for 10-12 mins.

We thought these were good and would be even better with dried cherries added. Would also look cute with the red cherries and white chips for Valentine's Day.

My official taste tester thought they were great! He couldn't get it in his mouth fast enough! "More TT's please!"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sledding in the "grass"...

Well it finally snowed enough here to go sledding!! I know that it seems funny to think that we would even attempt to go sledding in the “grass” and compared to what I grew up with, this is absolutely pathetic but…. the boys had a blast in it. We saw the snow in the am when we got up and it was all we could talk about until we got out in it.

Here the boys are going down the "big hill" in our back yard.
Of course there had be hot chocolate when we came is the best part of sledding you know!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

We live with the masked man...

and I'm not talking about Steve in his OR mask. I’m talking about Spiderman of course. Xavier EATS, LIVES and BREATHES Spiderman. He spends more hours than not in the costume….sometimes the red Spiderman, other times the black Spiderman (Venom, for those of you who don’t know and he has a reversible costume), ALWAYS both multiple times a day!

Xavier’s little obsession started when he was about 2 ½ and we were on a routine trip to Walmart in Maysville. We were shopping and out of nowhere a man dressed in street clothes but with a full Spiderman mask walked by us and “shot” a web at Xavier. It was not Halloween and I have no idea why this person was wearing a mask, but it FREAKED Xavier out. He cried and started to shake. I was calming him down saying “It’s OK honey… it was just Spiderman (like it was the most normal thing in the world to see a “superhero” in Walmart.) For some reason I thought that would be easier just to tell him it was Spiderman, than to try to explain that it was a man in a mask. How do explain what a mask is to a 2 year old? That he wasn’t “real”….heck everything is real to them…and yes, that man is probably crazy. So that day, we were introduced to Spiderman and found out that he “lives” in Walmart…..or so Xavier told everyone that he did and they looked at me like I was the crazy one.

Suddenly we saw Spiderman stuff everywhere and it has just grown from there. Xavier wanted to be Spiderman for Halloween that year. I said “Not this year, lets be something nice like Cookie Monster.” He wanted a Spiderman 3rd b-day party but mommy said “Not this year.” I felt that I have a whole string of Superhero b-days coming up so that for a 3rd b-day lets pick something “nice” like Barney or Bob the Builder. It was NO surprise that for the next Halloween that we had to search out the perfect Spiderman costume…one with “real” muscles and for 4th b-day again came the request for Spiderman and I again relented. So we spend our days shooting webs, saving people and fighting the “bad guy” a.k.a. Dax. The other day Xavier was in the sewing room with me and a long string of thread that was still attached to the spool got caught on his shirt. He looked down and saw the string and shouted “Look Mom!!! I’m FINALLY starting to shoot webs!!!"

We taped the "web" to the wall so he could "swing" from it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Buzz Lightyear still loves you...

even if you pee on him! Well at least he does according to Dax! For some reason I really thought character underwear would do the trick for him and really be the key to potty training. WRONG!

This weekend, Dax picked out brand new underwear and he was excited about it.... I don't know who was more excited about it, Dax or Mommy! We got them all washed up and today was the day to wear them.

We started off the day with Buzz. By 9:15, we were in firetrucks and dalmations, by 10:45 we were in Thomas and by 12:00 we were in diapers:) We even tried to go the the potty several times with one success. I think it is hard to tell when you go in a diaper as they are very good at their job. Dax came waddling over to me every time he just went pee so maybe there was still some value in this mornings exercise????

As we took a picture of Dax and the pile of wet pants and underwear, by each pair of underwear that were "sad" that they were wet, he said "Buzz still loves me....." on to the next pair, "Thomas still loves me", "Dalmations still loves me" and yes, honey....mommy still loves you too!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Healthy Blueberry Banana Muffins

Is this thing on????

I thought this would be a fun way to stay connected with family and friends. I think I will post photos, recipes and maybe some of my projects. One of my goals in this new year is to actually make something from the cookbooks that I have been collecting!

My good friend Shannon got me a subscription to Everyday Food, one of Martha Stewart's magazines for my b-day. Thanks Shannon! I have already made 3 things from it! On Saturday morning Xavier helped me make these muffins. It was very easy.... except for the "helping" part. Here is the recipe.

Healthy Blueberry Banana Muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (I used 1/4 cup butter & 1/4 cup canola oil)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl, whisk together flours, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, with a mixer beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, mash bananas with a fork; stir in milk and vanilla. With the mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour; mix until just combined. Fold in frozen blueberries. Divide batter among lined muffin cups. (mine made 14, I used large bananas and my helper wanted a few extra blueberries). Bake 25-28 mins. (Nutrition info. per muffin based on 12 muffins: 9.2 g fat (5.3 sat. fat);4.4 g protein; 32.3 g carb; 2.6 gram fiber) ***note by cutting the butter and replacing with canola you cut down on the amount of saturated fat. 1/2 cup butter has 58 grams of sat fat vs. 1/2 cup canola oil has only 8.5 grams sat. fat.......I bet you could make these with all canola and not really sacrifice much flavor:)

We thought these were good. Xavier ate 3 and Dax ate 2! They were not as sweet as a commercial muffin. If you like a sweet muffin, increase the sugar a tad or use super ripe bananas. Did you know you can freeze a banana in the skin? It is true... just ask my mom. They will turn really dark in the freezer but they are great for baking. I usually peel mine and put it in a bag though because I don't want to deal with the peel later.


Testing to see if it is cool enough!