Tuesday, May 25, 2010

white chicken chili recipe

was just chatting about recipes w/ a friend and realized that i have talked about this recipe, even photographed a bowl of it, but haven’t ever posted it on here. what a shame, because it’s one of my family’s absolute favorites! i got the recipe from my betty crocker cookbook, and it’s one of the first things i ever made for dave and i after we were married. i even have the date written down next to the recipe and a smiley face, indicating we liked it. =)

i actually don’t mess with this recipe too much, so here goes… i usually make a double batch so i can freeze some and still have leftovers. it freezes really well, so it’s a nice thing to have on hand.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped (or pressed)
  • 4 cups of cooked chicken (chopped, cubed, shredded, whatever – sometimes i just throw in a couple of the cans of chicken they sell in a 6 pack at costco, if i have them on hand and don’t have any cooked chicken handy) you could also use turkey
  • 3 cups chicken broth (i generally use more… more like 3 cans, if i’m using cans)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (i probably use more – or i use the frozen cubes from trader joe’s if i don’t have fresh… but fresh is better)
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cans great northern beans, undrained (these can be tough to find – i get them at qfc and buy lots when they’re on sale. you can also get dry beans and prepare them yourself, or cans of navy beans work fine too)

1. melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. cook onion and garlic in butter, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender.

2. stir in remaining ingredients. heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

the recipe says to serve it with tortilla chips… we prefer bread. fresh sourdough is best for ripping and dipping, we think. YUM YUM YUM! you won’t be disappointed in this recipe!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

gardening dilemma

the last two years that we have lived in this house, i’ve loved having a garden. although it’s a pain to dig out all the weeds and all that, it’s great exercise, fresh air, a little time and space to think. there’s something about digging in the dirt that puts things in perspective. i love watching little sprouts poke their leaves out of the ground. i love watching nature do what it’s supposed to do. i love that my veggies are free and picked within hours of eating them.

BUT, i’m kind of in limbo this year. this is the time of year when everyone i know is talking about weeding and transplanting and compost and seeds and fresh lettuce and stuff like that, and i’m totally feeling left out.

you see we’re moving. we’re not exactly sure when, and we’re not exactly sure where, but very likely in the next couple of months. at any rate, i’m not going to go to all the work of preparing and planting a garden that i won’t be here to harvest. so i’m frustrated at not having a garden this year, not having veggies that i raised myself, not having the experience this year of digging and weeding and planting and watering and all that.

i am ‘stealing’ some of my strawberry plants. i’ve been digging them out and transplanting them into pots that i can take with me. i need more pots now.  i know i’ll be able to snag some of my dad’s beans and tomatoes, and cabbages perhaps, but it’s just not the same.

anyway, i can’t wait to get wherever we’re going and get started on what will be a GREAT garden next year.

Friday, May 21, 2010

the one with the pizza

so, i bought some yeast a couple of weeks ago. i got this bee in my bonnet about making bread. i was going to do it. i checked out books. and every day since then, i’ve been chickening out. i’m not sure why. something about the unknown… especially when it comes to timing and stuff like that.

anyway, earlier this week, angie posted on her blog that she had made some homemade pizza using a recipe from the book, animal, vegetable, miracle which i am currently reading as well. and so i was inspired. i’ve been wanting to make our own pizza for awhile now… getting to papa murphy’s on friday afternoons/evenings is just a hassle and it’s gotta be cheaper to do it yourself, right? besides. then it’s better for you – knowing what you put into it.  and so, not to be outdone, here was tonight’s pizza:002

i have to say, it was QUITE yummy. i didn’t really have any issues with the dough either. it did what it was supposed to do. of course, i deviated from the recipe a little bit – i CANNOT leave a recipe alone – and added some herbs to the flour as i was mixing them. just a little basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano. oh, and a good shake or two of garlic powder. fyi: this was a GOOD idea. so yummy… and especially since you get quite a deep dish pizza. it was like having pizza and a side of really good bread, all in one! angie made round pizzas, i made one big rectangle in my stone bar pan. i just sprinkled it with cornmeal and it didn’t stick at all. i slid the whole thing out onto my big cutting board when it was done and cut it into long, skinny rectangles on there. i used some trader joe’s pizza sauce, tillamook mozzarella, genoa salami, and black olives for most of it. if you think the far left end of it looks different, you’re right. that’s because that was MY end! in addition to the salami, my part has feta and kalamata olives! heavenly! EVERYONE liked it, and even said it was better than ‘normal’ pizza! (well, not everyone, since micah didn’t eat it. but he doesn’t eat ‘normal’ pizza either, so we don’t count his opinion.) i consider this a big complement coming from shane, who earlier today said, “i love store-bought applesauce. it’s SOOOO much better than homemade.” ugh!

anyway, all this creativeness in the kitchen did have a downside. it came in the form of a certain 2 and a half year old who apparently can now open the fridge by himself. i thought he was playing in the living room at the train table, when, in fact, he was standing next to the train table creating this lovely mess:001

what is that? oh, just chocolate syrup. ON MY CREAM COLORED OTTOMAN. yup. he not only can open the fridge himself, he can unscrew the lid, turn it over, and create a mess, the implications of which are far beyond this mom’s parenting expertise. seriously! how exactly DOES one get something like this out?

only the third child, i tell you. only the third child is capable of this.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the one about shorts

the subject of shorts has been wandering through my mind today for a couple of different reasons. first off, layla decided this morning that she needed to wear shorts in order to ride her bike. there are only two little pairs of shorts in her drawer that i have placed in there with her leggings – in order to be worn under dresses or skirts, so we avoid ‘i see london, i see france’ incidences. so she tells me this morning that she NEEDS to wear shorts and she knows she has shorts in her pile of summer clothes (which i have been slowly going through and adding to her closet (or the too-small pile) as the weather has improved. so she goes and grabs these shorts (all the $4 target shorts they sell every year in every color/pattern you can imagine). i’ve been dragging my feet about those shorts because they just seem so SHORT! i didn’t buy them, they’re hand-me-downs, but she’s had that style of shorts in years past. well, now it’s kind of starting to bug me how short they are. i guess she’s just grown out of her toddler-legs and now has these LONG, skinny legs and there’s a whole lot more of them! so anyway, she tried on every single pair, even though i told her they were all the same, just different colors, and each time i said, “nope. too short.” i realize that most people would say i’m over-thinking it, she’s not even 5 years old yet, and she looks ‘cute’. i see it differently. 10 years from now, i don’t want my daughter parading around in daisy dukes… so why should i create that standard now?

the other thing that got me thinking (further) about shorts was this afternoon in the car, we were going to get on 522, near the high school, and there must have been a PE class out for a run/walk in the nice weather. most of the students were wearing typical PE clothes – shorts and t-shirts. so i was looking at both the boys and the girls and started wondering about shorts again. boys’ shorts and girls’ shorts are vastly different. i’m not saying they should be the ‘same’. but it just struck me as kind of crazy. boys’ shorts are huge. they come to well below the knee and most of those skinny teenagers could probably fit both legs into one leg opening of their shorts easily. and then there’s the girls’ shorts. they are SHORT. like barely-covering-the-butt short. and tight too!

so then i start to wonder… why do women do this? it’s not just teenagers either, so you can’t blame it on immaturity or whatever. why do women so readily accept, consume, and promote such objectifying fashions? women have complained for years (decades, centuries, whatever) about men that are only interested in their body parts… WELL????

at any rate, this little incident solidified my earlier thoughts. those shorts all will be moving right along into the too-small bin!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

sophie – my black, furry baby.

happy birthday, sophie! my dog is 14 today, so i thought i’d do a post in honor of her. i haven’t talked too much about my ‘first baby’ on here, probably because i have 3 others that do more interesting things, at this point. mostly i complain about her shedding all over the place. so here, more or less, is the story of sophie.

14 years ago, she was born as one of 15 pups in her litter (or something crazy-huge like that). her father belonged to a friend from church, a chocolate lab, i believe. pretty sure her mother was a black lab, but as it goes with labs, you can get any of the 3 colors from any combination of parents. as breeding tradition goes, they got to choose ‘the pick of the litter’ to keep. well, they had enough dogs already, i guess, and didn’t intend to keep her. this friend worked on music with my mom at church, and brought said pick of the litter with her one day when she was REALLY little. my mom fell in love. i was home from college at the time, and she came home and told me about this adorable puppy that whimpered and slept the whole time. the wheels were already turning, so i jumped on the bandwagon and announced that a black lab was TOTALLY the kind of dog i wanted to get. so we plotted and presented the issue to my dad who suggested, skeptically, that we bring the puppy home “on trial”. hahaha! famous last words.

at any rate, sophie wormed her way into everyone’s hearts, especially my dad’s! they agreed that she would be my birthday present, as i was turning 20 in july. sadly, i don’t have any puppy pictures of her, since these were the pre-digital days, and i didn’t realize until i got the pictures back from printing, that my camera was broken and i had 3 rolls of completely white prints.

since then, sophie has lived in a variety of places. kirkland, wa, cheney, wa, napoleon, oh, back to kirkland, and now woodinville.

she has shared her home with 2 different cats. my cat, kijika, and more recently, my parents’ cat, beatrice… both of which, she has ‘tolerated’. my parents also used to have quite the collection of rabbits, who she enjoyed chasing, barking at, and generally stressing out in her younger years.

her favorite words were ‘walk’, ‘car’, ‘oops’, ‘cookie’, ‘squirrel’, and ‘cat’. she also liked helping my dad ‘feed the bunnies’. she would accompany him out to give them their food or hay… it was a general excuse to go out with one of her favorite humans and nose around in the bunny poop. gross, i know, but it’s still one of her favorite ‘treats’. i guess you have to be a dog to understand that one.

over the years, she’s had some various medical issues that have had to be dealt with. she’s been under the knife more than once too. when she was only a couple years old, she developed these weird bumps in her left ear flap, which had to be removed. not long after that, she developed a bump on her tail, which turned out to be cancerous. she had that removed, and due to the lack of excess skin on tails, had to have a bandage on for weeks, which had to be changed at the vet’s every few days. THAT was expensive! she also had a tendency to get yeast infections in her ears and had to go to the vet so many times to have them cleaned out or treated (something she HATES) that the experience apparently scarred her for life and she had to get a new vet, just because going to that building made her so nervous that she would shake all over, whine obnoxiously, and ‘molt’. basically she’d leave half her fur on the floor there. she also had some skin issues, but in the last several years, she seems to have finally ‘outgrown’ all of that and hasn’t had any issues at all recently. that’s nice, considering she’s been quite the money-pit dog in that regard, and considering she’s 14 today, i can’t imagine that she’ll stay out of the vet’s too much longer. she’s got a little stiffness now, and she has to take medicine so she can control her bladder, but other than that, she’s doing really well for an old dog! oh, and she got run over by a truck one time too. that was scary, but doggy angels were definitely watching over her because she went right down the middle and came away with just a couple bumps and scrapes. but OMG that was scary! one of the worst things i’ve watched happen.

i’ve had to make her throw up a couple times. being a lab, she’ll eat almost anything, which can definitely get a dog into trouble. the first time, she was only about 6 months old and she ate a BOTTLE of advil. yes, the bottle, let alone what was in it. another time, she ate 16 CHOCOLATE cupcakes off the counter. if you know dogs, you know that chocolate is like poison to them. super fun. but obviously, she survived.

there are several funny, famous sophie stories, all of which involve food. there was the time she snuck over to the neighbor’s house through a hole in the fence. they have a dog door into the garage for their dog – an bearded collie named fergus, and he eats like a cat (as opposed to like a lab – all in one gulp), so there was always food in his bowl, which sophie happily finished off. this time however, she apparently made her way into the house because she came home with a baguette in her mouth. apparently they had left some old bread on the counter to make into thanksgiving stuffing, and sophie raided the stash. oops. then there’s the scone incident. my friend, trudy came by to drop off her son, sean, who was spending the day with shane – i think they were 3 or 4 at the time. well, sophie LOVES people, and also thinks that an open car door is an invitation to go for a ride. she’s also incredibly food-motivated, and so within seconds of trudy arriving, sophie had bounded out the door, leapt into her car, honed in on the half-eaten scone between the seats, and of course, devoured it! but the best story would have to be the night before shane’s 5th birthday. he had very specifically requested a round cake with pink frosting and fish sprinkles. so i had baked the cake, 2 layers, and had it cooling on top of the stove. i was in my bedroom talking to dave on the phone late at night (this was the summer before we got married and he was living in ohio – so this was a nightly tradition), when i heard my mom yell from the kitchen. when i came to investigate, there was an empty cooling rack on the floor, and the remaining layer of cake, still on the stove, had several large chunks taken out of it. the birthday boy had already gone to bed, so i had to inform him in the morning, and then he got to go the the store and select a replacement cake. he was very forgiving.

all in all, sophie has been the most wonderful dog. she is very loving, friendly and kid-tolerant. aside from shedding issues, i’d recommend a lab to ANY family with kids. she would never hurt a fly. well, actually, she’s a pretty good fly-hunter… so i guess she would, but never a person. but you need space, a good brush, a good vacuum, and lots of energy. around the age of 11, she finally outgrew being a puppy! now she sleeps a lot, but still takes her job seriously as the family dog. her duties involve thoroughly greeting anyone who comes to the door, keeping the floor clear of crumbs, pre-washing the dishes, cleaning out crusty casserole dishes, and reporting the weather. she’s retired from duties of protecting us from squirrels and cats, but still watches out for flies and spiders.

we love you sophie! happy birthday! may you have at least a few more, you sweet, sweet dog!

004Copy of Picture 009 004

Sunday, May 16, 2010

photo-heavy hodge-podge

apparently, i haven’t had a lot to write about lately. i’m bored with posting my meal plans. it might return someday, but right now i kind of cringe when i think of posting another one. anyway, here’s a general hodge-podge of dapelo family life, as it is right now. enjoy!

here’s shane petting an alpaca at the alpaca farm we visited when we were in hillsboro a little while back. alpacas ROCK!

052

then we have micah, bowling with paint bottles. my kids are nothing, if not creative. what you can’t see in the picture is that he was throwing rain boots at them, in place of a bowling ball.

 002

that same day, layla decided she was going to bob for apples. well, apple, i guess.

005

using her teeth didn’t work so well, i guess, so she decided to use her feet.

006

then there’s micah and his creative outfit. i believe what happened is that he got one shirt wet, so i changed it, and then set the other out on the deck to dry. later, he found the shirt and decided to put it back on… i think he’s a little confused about the difference between shirts and pants. he’s got the neck hole around his waist and one leg through a sleeve.

006 

i finally caved and decided that micah could have a buzz-cut. here he is before his first daddy special! (sorry tina. no offense – just trying to be frugal!)

001

and the first pass of the clipper! i flaked and forgot to take an ‘after’ picture, but it’s REALLY cute and lays down nicely. the way it looks and feels actually reminds me of his newborn hair. so i spend a lot of time rubbing his head.

003

yesterday was really nice so dave washed the cars. these two helped him. when they ran out of cars to wash, they proceeded to haul toys out of the garage and wash them. good thing, too! that wagon was filthy! you can kind of see micah’s hair in this picture.

006

and then there’s ‘strange layla’. she was playing with this rubber band and managed to get it hooked on her nose and under her front teeth. no idea. but it was pretty funny.

007

i’ve been trying to do more stuff myself and buy less prepared stuff… this is part of that. my parents have had this juicer forever and i haven’t seen it in action lately, so i asked if i could borrow it. then i bought a box of oranges from costco and a sieve (i’m a no pulp kinda gal). well, let me say that minute maid has DEFINITELY just lost a customer. OMG! heavenly!

008

and finally, my friend holly posted this on facebook today and i found it hilarious. the ultimate knitter’s bag! i SO want one of these!

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

hopes and dreams… or fantasies, perhaps

we all have dreams. things we ponder when we’re doing mundane tasks… things that pop into our minds when we’re doing something, or eating something, or partaking in something that just doesn’t seem quite right. i probably have more of these than most people, because it seems i analyze things more than most people. i don’t know. maybe other people just don’t talk about it as much as i do.

i’m always thinking, researching, checking out books or googling things. there are things that bug me about life, and so i try to figure out how i can change them.

i had a whole big long rant on here, that i just deleted because these are my things. my issues. i think by putting them out there, it’s just spewing negativity into the world and there’s too much of that already. it doesn’t matter WHY i feel drawn to these things, it doesn’t even really matter that i am. but this is my blog and i can write about what i want. you can read or not read. you can agree or disagree. you can comment or not comment. it’s just about me, wanting to put down some of the stuff i’m into right now. things i’m interested in learning about… partly because i’m curious. partly because i’m independent. partly because i think some of these things could be beneficial to our family or the world somehow. partly because i’m just old-fashioned.

bread-baking. we have a bread machine, we used to use it a lot. haven’t for years. but i’m actually more interested in the process of doing it by hand right now. i know that bread had gotten a bad rap lately thanks to dr. atkins and all the low –carb gurus, but a lot of the world’s history is wrapped up in bread. there’s a reason that every culture has their own unique styles, recipes and methods for baking bread. there’s a reason the Lord’s prayer says ‘give us this day our daily bread’… i want to know more about this staple of life, and feed my family healthy food as well. and i’m sorry dr. atkins, the kind of carbs in wonderbread and chocolate cake are not the same as those in a good wholesome loaf of whole grain bread.

poultry keeping. i have several friends with chickens right now. some more than others… ;)angie! it’s something that appeals to me. i like the idea of our eggs being fresh and the kids getting hands-on information about keeping chickens and gathering eggs and all that sort of stuff… at the same time, we don’t use a lot of eggs. maybe a dozen a week. but we do eat a lot of chicken… hmmm… not sure about my line of reasoning here… i asked dave recently if he thought he could kill a chicken. he said he thought he could. i don’t know that i could. and i don’t know how keen i am on cleaning and de-feathering (yeah, see? i don’t even know what it’s called) and stuff. but i don’t want to wind up with a bunch of ‘pet’ chickens. maybe for the time being, we’ll just keep getting our eggs from angie. but the thought is out there. we’ll see how it develops.

beekeeping. this is fascinating to me. a lot of people probably don’t use honey at all, but i use a TON of it. i put it in my coffee every day, put it on peanut butter sandwiches, sweeten things that call for sugar… beeswax is also very useful in making soaps, candles, cosmetics (which i’ll get to later)… plus, having bees around is really good for gardens and fruit trees and flowers.

soap making. this is one of those things that it bothers me to buy. mainly, because you have to buy it in a package of some sort. especially shampoo. it drives me nuts that you have to get a new bottle, every time you have to buy shampoo. i also know that a lot of people do it, so it can’t be that hard. i don’t know if i want to go so far as to make artisan soaps, but maybe just some decent smelling, no-yucky-chemicals-type soaps.

gardening. i already do quite a bit of this, and i really enjoy it. i grew up with a garden, eating veggies all summer long that my dad grew. i want to learn more about healthy, natural methods of stuff like pest-control and weed-control, as well as what things grow best in this location. ideally, i’d like to grow ALL of our veggies, but not sure how i see that panning out.

canning/preserving. this is related to the above interest. people used to eat pretty much only that which they could produce themselves. now we can go to the grocery store and buy any kind of produce at any time of the year… i’m not really sure how i feel about that. so i’m interested in learning how to can, freeze, dry, etc. the veggies and fruits i grow. i’d like to learn to make tomato sauces and pickles and stuff like that, as well as just regular old canned veggies and fruits or jams.

sewing. i know that sewing, at this point in time, is more of a hobby than it is a way of clothing your family… patterns aren’t cheap, and neither is fabric. that said, it’s something i enjoy, it is useful to know, and therefore, something at which i want to improve my skill and be able to pass on to my children.

more or less, i think that the idea of being self-sufficient really appeals to me. it kind of drives me nuts when the power goes out (which it does a lot around here) and we’re all just at the mercy of the power company to get to our neighborhoods. our dependency on that seems so silly when you realize that it’s only in the last century that people en mass have even had electricity in their homes. human beings have survived for generations upon generations without it, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to now. i guess i don’t like the idea of being dependent on PSE, or target, or general mills, or proctor and gamble or any of those guys. i want to be dependent on people who care about me and my family. God, family, friends, and myself.

crazy, huh?

that’s what makes it fun.

Monday, May 3, 2010

latest project!

so this is a freakin’ miracle! this is a project w/ less than a 1 week turnaround time between when it occurred to me to do it and having it complete and FUNCTIONING! this is SO not me.

at any rate, the dresser that layla and micah have been using is not exactly functional. it’s attractive… but falling apart. meaning that the second drawer fell out every other day if layla pulled it out a little too far, the third drawer completely fell apart and the bottom fell out of it (after about 400 times, we finally just pulled that drawer out), and the bottom drawer was stuck half pulled out. so yeah, not exactly functional. that, and it was only a 4 drawer (actually 3) dresser being shared between 2 kids.

a little less than 4 years ago, less than a week before we moved back here from ohio, we found a dresser on the side of the road. it was posted as FREE, so we grabbed it and threw it in the moving truck. it was not the most attractive dresser, but all of its moving parts were functional. we haven’t used it too much as a dresser. for the last several years, it’s been in the garage, storing tools and other random junk.

about a week ago, i needed a screwdriver, so i went out to get one and realized how ridiculous it was to try and find a toolbox in a dresser. which drawer is it in? then when i found it, i had to open the drawer far enough (w/out pulling it out too far) to get the lid of the toolbox open so i could dig through and find the stinkin’ screwdriver. this novel thought occurred to me: what a ridiculous place to store tools! we have shelves! why don’t we just put them on the shelves!?!

a couple days later, i was cursing the dilapidated dresser and wondering where we could come up with a new dresser for them.

DUH! it suddenly hit me. we have a dresser! so i went out and looked at it again and decided that we should definitely use it.

but it’s ugly.

so i thought, why don’t we paint it? people do that all the time! don’t they mary?

so i mentioned it to dave on… friday?

on sunday morning, he came home from church w/ sandpaper.

on sunday afternoon, we went and bought paint and new knobs.

this morning, i put the final coat of paint on.

this evening, we moved it in!

006 the pink drawers are (obviously) layla’s, and the green drawers are micah’s. i figure, at some point they’ll no longer share a room and layla can have it. i thought it would look kind of cute if we swapped the 2 middle drawers at that point so it’s not so much a his/hers looking dresser, but for now, i like the 2 distinct sides. i chose the colors to match this (and because layla insisted her drawers be pink):Picture 003  remember those? that was february 09.

anyway, i’m super pleased w/ how it turned out AND for my lack of procrastination on this project. seriously, a miracle!

at any rate, now i have a TON of pink and green paint left… i’m sure i’ll come up with something. maybe i’ll copy mary and get the letters of their names to paint and hang up. who knows.

AND, it was SO fun! woohoo!

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