Tuesday, June 30, 2009

cool in the pool

well at least they think they are:) We upgraded our blowup elephant pool to one just a bit bigger. The boys love it!

Xavier is striking a pose.

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And if big brother does it so does little brother!

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Sometimes they even get along.

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But don't let those smiling faces fool never lasts very long:)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

a person to celebrate

I just wanted to take a moment to publicly thank and recognize the "hero" in our house. We had a weekend celebration that started Friday evening to celebrate Father's Day. Thank you for all you do for each of us honey!

I saw these very cute cupcake "burgers" on Bakerella's blog and knew exactly what we would do. We were going to have burgers for dinner and burgers for dessert. I told the boys what we were going to do a couple of days beforehand and to keep it a surprise for daddy. Every day they proceeded to tell Daddy about his secret surprise in an obvious way...telling just a little too was really funny. Steve was really trying to get the info from them too! And of course I didn't tell them about his main 2 surprises, one of which he ended up getting early as you will soon find out. Incidentally, Bakerella's are much cuter but I am sure she did not have darling 2 & 4 year old helpers. They did the condiments:)

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It was cupcake "buns" and walnut brownie "burgers".

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Our burger dinner/dessert!

Steve was supposed to wait til Sunday to actually receive his gifts....mainly because I had ordered something that wasn't in yet. On Friday, he got home early and I was watching the door like a hawk waiting for a package to be delivered. I was downstairs and thought I heard the doorbell...went racing upstairs and here Steve stood at the door with 2 packages in in hand looking guilty. "I didn't see anything" he said. Yeah. Right. It clearly said chipmunk trap on the box!!! So he got to open one of his presents early. To make a long story short, we have problem with chipmunks digging around in the mulch and yard so a live trap was the perfect gift. Steve had read about how to get rid of them and had rigged up a trap in the yard but it was unsuccessful for us to this point.

Here is the trap.

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The day we set up his new trap his rigged trap started working. We have got 5 chipmunks this week and in the new trap a bunny and squirrel. A new "hobby" of sorts:)

On Sunday Steve opened his other gifts.

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His favorite!

And a couple of gag gifts.
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After complaining about the natural peanut butter we buy... he has his very own!

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He also has his own duct tape after being in complete astonishment that with every kind of tape I have how could I NOT have any duct tape (when he was needing some for his rigged trap). What can I say??? Ummmm, I think duct tape is a "guy thing"!

We also got him a massage which he enjoyed yesterday:)

And his favorite gift of all....
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A recordable Superman Father's Day card. After about 20 takes....seriously.... both boys were able to get out Happy Father's Day. I love you dad! He loved it!

I made him dinner that night too...his choice. Alice Springs Chicken sans Outback favorite- not from Outback but our own kitchen.

It was a great weekend for a great man!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

quick black bean soup

black bean soup with cumin and jalapeno

Here is a super quick and easy recipe that can mostly be made from your pantry. This is a great go to recipe when you are short on time but need to have dinner on the table quick! Another one from

Black Bean Soup with Cumin & Jalapeno

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeño chile with seeds, divided
2 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, undrained
1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth

Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped green onions
Crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Mix in cumin and 1 teaspoon jalapeño. Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and broth; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer 3 cups of soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer soup until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon jalapeño, if desired.
Ladle soup into bowls. Pass cilantro, green onions, and feta cheese separately.

I made this pretty much as is except using veggie stock instead of chicken stock...this makes it a great vegetarian option as well. I also didn't puree any of it...too much work:) I loved the use of feta in this!!! So good! I served it with corn muffins one night and cheese quesadillas the next.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

dippin' eggs

As a special treat my husband's mom would make he and his sisters "dippin' eggs" for breakfast. This was a tradition that she also enjoyed herself as a child. On a visit to Grandma's house my boys also got to experience dippin' eggs... raising the standards on breakfast fare at our house.

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Dippin' eggs are soft boiled eggs with the top cut off, served with buttered toast strips. Sounds easy enough right???? WRONG! These things are hard to master! My mother in law even gave me an egg timer and I still failed!

One morning shortly after arriving home from MN, I offered to make the boys something special...dippin' eggs were not even on my radar but Xavier said "how 'bout dipping eggs"! Really?!? I said. You would have thought he just asked me to lay an egg from my reaction!! Are you sure you want dippin' eggs....thinking please noooo not that...anything but THAT! Well dippin' eggs it was. I was determined to master them this time. I got out my trusty red gingham Better Homes and Garden cookbook and followed these directions for soft cooked eggs:

Place eggs in a single layer in a medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to come 1 inch above eggs. Bring water to boiling and reduce heat to just below simmering (tricky part). Cover and cook 4-6 mins; drain. Fill pan with cold water and let eggs sit until cool enough to handle.

I covered and cooked for exactly 4 mins. I cooled until I could handle it. Cut off the top and much to my surprise they were PERFECT dippin' eggs! Yay me! Serve with buttered toast strips to dip in the yummy yolk. When the yolk is all soaked up run a spoon around the shell and spoon the egg white out. Do not try to peel the egg at this me you will end up with a mess!

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It was a success! These were extra special as they were made with my mom's farm fresh eggs! Thanks grandmas for a great breakfast!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

slip'nslide fun!

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what a blast from the past this was! Back in the day.... these were long, yellow and fast:) As I took it out of the box and unrolled it I thought "where in the heck is the rest of it"? It wasn't as long or fast as I remember it to be BUT they did add a second lane which is great if you have two kiddos trying to use it at the same time:) Even though I was slightly disappointed in the newest version, the boys were thrilled with it....therefore so was I!
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