Friday, September 30, 2011

bruschetta chicken

last night, I made a YUMMY dinner!

I got a small bunch of fresh basil in my veggie box yesterday AND I had tomatoes! that equals bruschetta, in my mind. normally, when I’ve eaten bruschetta, it’s been on bread, as an appetizer. but I wanted to make it as a main dish, so I decided to put it on chicken.

first, I thawed about 10 chicken tenderloins. you could use half as many breasts, that’s just what I had on hand.

I sprinkled some salt on them, then brushed them w/ a mixture of equal parts EVOO and balsamic vinegar. then I broiled them, flipped, salted, brushed, and broiled them till done. you could cook them any way you want (grill, bake, etc.), just get the chicken done.

then I topped them with 2 slices of mozzerella cheese, and a couple spoonfuls of bruschetta topping and put it back in the oven to melt the cheese and warm the topping. or, if you don’t do dairy, just skip the cheese and spoon the bruschetta straight onto the chicken.

this is how I made the bruschetta topping:

I put the following in the food processor and just pulsed it until most of the big chunks were gone. you don’t want a puree. (you could chop them by hand if you want it more chunky – I was too lazy):

  • 2 regular sized tomatoes, seeded
  • 10 or 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic

then I added a pinch of salt and a dash of balsamic vinegar – not too much because I still wanted to taste the sweetness of the tomatoes.

that’s it! it was SOOO yummy.041

this is a pretty intense flavor, so it’s not something I’ll be making very often. oh, and since it’s so heavy on the garlic, I don’t recommend eating this before a date, interview, or an important meeting. LOL!

Monday, September 26, 2011

week 38 in pictures

sunday:081     10:30pm. micah still has his cold, which meant that he took a nap that day. micah taking a nap is bad news. he will not go to sleep at night. ugh. so he was up in the evening and finally passed out like this. oh, and before any family members get all up in arms about those jammies, don’t worry. if you ask him what kind of jammies those are, he’ll say, “boo sea-chicken jammies!”

monday: 060     my new RED french press dave picked up for me! red kitchen stuff makes me very happy! and I’m super happy to have an ‘every day’ coffee maker that doesn’t take up the whole counter!

tuesday:083     just one of those random things you find when you have kids…

wednesday:085     quite possibly the world’s shortest pencil! layla insisted on doing her homework with it.

thursday:086     another adventure in making broccoli-cheddar soup. my blender does NOT like hot stuff.

friday:063    rock-star layla… in a frilly nightgown with hearts all over it…

saturday:001    during layla’s soccer game, shane was kicking the ball around, over to the side. he managed to get his ball stuck in the net over the baseball backstop on the field.

Monday, September 19, 2011

week 37 in pictures

sunday:001     layla had a birthday party in the afternoon to attend. here she is with the birthday girl.

monday:003    for dinner, we had tacos. when we do this, I just put bowls of all of the ‘fillings’ on the table and everyone builds their own with the stuff they want in it. this is what micah put on his plate. yes, we took some back. we had to or no one else would get any cheese! ignore the wierdo look on his face and just look at the huge mound of cheese…

tuesday:006     layla made this fancy volcano cake out of playdough.

wednesday:005    dave was doing some work from home and had his CAD program open. micah got all excited about the stuff he was ‘drawing’. it’s hard to see in the picture, but dave used the program to write micah’s name. he thought it was great!

thursday:001     the return of the elvis sunglasses. this time on toby. poor cat.

friday:001     micah had a little cold. I knew he was tired, but this non-napper was not going to have any of it. we settled on quiet time and this is what I found upon investigation of ‘why is it so quiet?’.

saturday:080    we were babysitting our neighbors’ dog, missy, while they were out of town. the kids were THRILLED to have a dog around again. missy just made herself at home.

Friday, September 16, 2011

eggs and veggies

I have a love-hate relationship with eggs.

I would love to be able to love eggs. but in reality, they give me the heebie jeebies. there’s something about the texture of them, the way they change texture, the way they smell, where they came from, why we think they are supposed to be food…

pair that with many years of waitressing and serving trays full of eggs, cooked in various methods and smelling various ways, and I’m just really not a fan.

but, eggs are good for you. a good dose of protein is a great way to start your day. but the ways I will eat eggs are pretty limited. pretty much, scrambled is it. nothing can be runny. NOTHING. nor can it be spongy. nor can it be rubbery. nor can it be stinky. so hard boiled, soft boiled, over easy, over medium, sunny side up, poached, baked in a quiche… all of that’s out. and over hard is out as well, because I can’t stand hard yolk by itself.

so yeah. scrambled.

even scrambled, I don’t really like them. I have to cook them VERY well, and smother them with something like salt and pepper or cheese, or some sort of breakfast meats in order to NOT TASTE the eggs.

well, all that kind of defeats the purpose of eating the eggs in the first place!

so, in my effort to consciously only put into me that which is good, solid, healthful fuel for my body, I have taken to staring into the fridge for long periods of time, looking for something to make my eggs yummy without destroying the nutrition factor.

I have come up with 2 very key things. the first is fresh veggies. I especially love raw or barely hot sautéed veggies. and the more the better. the second is salsa. not runny, everything squished up in a blender salsa. salsa fresca! or pico de gallo! something with a lot of chunks of a lot of all the stuff that makes good fresh salsa one of my favorite foods on this earth!

so here is what I do. I dice some celery and onions and throw them in the pan to sauté. not a ton. I’m just making this for myself. so like one slice across the bunch of celery, and one slice across the middle of an onion (maybe two if I’m feeling adventurous and don’t have to talk to a lot of people that day!) while those are getting a little softer, I cut up a little bit of carrots, broccoli, whatever else I have that sounds good, then I throw them in the pan, tossing everything around every now and again. then I chop up some black olives and throw them in the pan along with a big spoonful of fresh salsa. this is key! I never used to understand why people put salsa on their eggs. in my experience, it just makes them cold and soggy! but by tossing it in the pan for just a teensy bit, a lot of the liquid cooks off and it gets heated through! then I dump everything into a bowl and cook my eggs. yeah, they look a little brown from all the stuff that was just in the pan, but I don’t care. I’m too lazy to wipe out the pan or get a different one. that’s just more work. when the eggs are mostly cooked on one side, I make sure they are good and loose, and then flip them, omelet style (I’m amazingly good at this! and it’s so fun. plus you feel a major sense of accomplishment. trust me.), and dump the bowl of veggies on top. then I use my spatula to start breaking up the eggs and mix everything together. there are two reasons I do it this way. first is that I don’t want my veggies to cook any longer than they already have. the second, is that I don’t want them encased in eggs. when you do that, all the flavors kind of start to run together.

002

notice that the amount of veggies is almost equal to the amount of eggs!

dump onto a plate, a little grind of pepper, a fork, and breakfast is served! your taste buds will not know what to do with themselves!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

the further adventures of shane. AKA the preteen heartthrob…

to follow up the ‘spin the fork’ incident previously mentioned…

yesterday, after shane got off the bus and it was pulling away, I noticed, in the back, a large crowd of girls waving and blowing kisses his direction.

eeeegad!

also, this little bit of information was a tad curious:

in his 6th grade class of 27, there are 6 boys.

that’s right. SIX.

TWENTY-ONE GIRLS, people!

oh, and he’s also got the cute-little-sister thing working for him as well… apparently, any time their two classes happen to pass each other, or be in vicinity of one another at the school, several of the girls have taken to hugging layla! EVERY. TIME. she says she finds it annoying…

Monday, September 12, 2011

week 36 in pictures

sunday:2011-09-04    monday was our actual anniversary, but we went out on sunday afternoon/evening. ever since I was a kid, and would cross the 520 bridge, I would always look down in the water by the arboretum and see people paddling around in canoes. it looked like so much fun and I’ve always wanted to do it, so we did! honestly, it was totally as great as I had imagined it would be, maybe even better! not outrageously exciting, but still, SO fun. we will definitely do this again. after that, we headed over to varlamo’s for dinner and finished of the evening w/ some starbucks and a stroll around u village.

monday:2011-09-05    it was labor day, and dave didn’t have to work, so he and shane went fishing with our neighbor, chuck. shane was SUPER excited to go (big truck hauling a big boat, putting big boat in the water, driving big boat, fishing, putting big boat back on trailer and hauling it home behind big truck… you get the idea. doesn’t get much more shane than that.). dave was pretty excited too, even though he’d never fished before. they wound up catching 5 salmon; 4 pink and 1 coho, and were back by 1. amy, adam, and finnigan came over for dinner and dave grilled the coho. sound-to-plate in around 6 hours. how’s that for fresh dinner! we had a great time and a great dinner.

tuesday:2011-09-06    this is the way I’m putting this pic in the book (because it’s oriented vertically), so I’ll just post it here like that.

wednesday:005     that’s shane with our neighbor, chuck. chuck’s wife, terry, recently got this spider 3 wheeled ‘motorcycle’ and shane thinks it’s the greatest thing ever.

thursday:137     several of my raspberry bushes are STILL producing! look at all those green ones! it’s not enough to do anything with, at this point, but it’s a great little treat for me when I go out to water the garden. I have no idea why these aren’t done like the rest of the bushes, but I’m not complaining!

friday:136     you know how, when your kids are babies, you take a million pictures of them sleeping? and then you stop. probably because they start doing more interesting stuff that you can take pictures of… this just struck me as so cute, so I had to take a picture. poor guy had had a little fever the day before and a little bit in the night, too. still, so cute!

saturday:2011-09-10     saturday was the start of soccer season! that’s all I have to say about that, since I already posted everything there is to post about it.

the end.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

soccer saturday!

well soccer season officially started today! we had a full day of it, with layla’s game at 9am, shane’s at 12:30, and then dave reffed a game after that. dave is coaching both kids’ teams this year.

first up, layla:003    same team this year as last year, same 6 girls. she’s #8 this year… 8 has been shane’s number for years. how cute is that?

004     at U-7, they still don’t have an actual ref, so each team is supposed to provide someone to ref one of the halves. shane got to be the ref this time!

006     we’re still working on layla’s level of aggressiveness, and actually WANTING to get the ball… but she’s not a complete space cadet this year!

007    and of course, snacks are still very important.

then it was on to shane’s game:008     this is definitely a different team than former dynamite. we retained 7 players from last year and have 11 new ones. we also lost todd as head coach, so dave is running the show this year.

010    both teams were in red, so, as the home team, we had to wear the pinnies. so for this game, we’re yellow.

024     shane had some great moves today. super speed and some great passes. I love watching him turn it on when he needs to get somewhere. that kid can fly!026    unfortunately, after 2 early goals, our team seemed to run out of gas, and the other team scored 3 in the second half. boo. we’re not used to losing.

028009     micah did a little of this… he also played in the dirt.

027    layla made this. it’s a mouse! isn’t that cute?

and then, it was dave’s turn to run across the street and ref his first game!031034033     look at him, being all official!!

go diamonds! go dynamite! go dave! LOL!

Friday, September 9, 2011

spin the fork

so shane gets off the bus today, laughing hysterically with his friend. when i asked what was so funny, he proceeds to tell me about 'the funniest game' they (meaning the 6th graders) played at recess today.

it's called "spin the fork".

the explanation goes like this: it's like spin the bottle, except it's with hugging. we were all hugging each other, until the stupid recess teacher told us we had to stop because it was "inappropriate". geez! it's just hugging! hugging is a good thing! oh, and i won because i hugged the most people.

help!

help me now!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

chocolate-banana shake

so, I don’t know how many people will be interested in this. angie, maybe.

I’m trying to eliminate enough CRAP from my diet and working on putting into me only that which is healthful and nutritious. I’m kind of skirting paleo eating and just sort of dabbling in it. but the biggest thing I’m trying to get rid of right now is sugar. sugar is TERRIBLE for you. some people probably quake at the very thought of that, but really, for me, it’s not that huge of a deal. I have never had a huge sweet tooth. most of my snacky cravings are in the form of salty junk, rather than sweet.

a little bit ago, I wandered into the kitchen looking for a little something. I remembered that I had some bananas in the fruit bowl, and figured I’d better eat one of them before it got too ripe for me (I’m a little squeamish about bananas and there’s a very narrow window where I can eat them without gagging. it’s not the taste, it’s the texture.) so I peeled myself a banana and was thinking how much I really didn’t enjoy eating bananas, and at the same time, remembered how much a really loved chocolate banana milkshakes. so I threw my peeled banana into a magic bullet cup and decided to see if I could concoct my own!

I didn’t want to use any chocolate syrup. that’s full of artificial crap and is mostly HFCS anyway. so I grabbed my container of cocoa powder that I use like twice a year and when my MIL comes to visit and makes herself ‘ghetto mochas’. I’m contemplating the diary free thing, but not entirely sure how I feel about that at this point, but I have taken to buying almond milk to use in my smoothies. I haven’t drank it straight, so I don’t know how it is by itself. I also only buy the plain, unsweetened kind (as opposed to ‘regular’, vanilla, or chocolate, which all have sugar added to them).

so I mixed up 1 banana, about 8 oz. of almond milk, 1 spoonful (like a regular silverware spoon) of cocoa powder, 1 spoonful of milled flax seed, a dash of vanilla extract (maybe 1/2 tsp), and a little drizzle of honey – maybe 1 tsp (just because I didn’t really want it to be bitter like straight cocoa can be). I mixed it up, not having any idea what to expect. guess what! it’s SO good! it tastes exactly like I wanted it to and could even stand to be a little less sweet. 001     (just imagine a banana into that picture.)

**now for a little disclaimer: I don’t know a lot about ‘cocoa powder’. the I read the ingredients on the back and all it said was “100% cocoa”. does ‘cocoa’ have sugar and/or milk in it? I don’t know. the other thing is that the ‘pure’ vanilla extract has sugar in it. how much, I don’t know, and given that my use of it was pretty minimal, I assume the sugar content was also minimal.**

the substance of it was a little runny. that didn’t bother me, but it wasn’t really ‘milkshake-like’. next time, I might try freezing the banana first to make it a little colder and maybe give it a little more bulk.

but, it was a great snack, with some protein, calcium, and a ton of potassium.

next time you’re having a little chocolate craving, skip the brownies and try this!

Monday, September 5, 2011

week 35 in pictures

sunday:012    after church, we went to dave’s company picnic, and from there, we went to the rehab center where my mom was staying (post hospital) for a visit. she requested some starbucks coffee and a slice of pecan pie from shari’s, so we brought them to her. there was a wheelchair in the room, and the kids (and dave) had fun ‘playing’ with it. isn’t my daughter sweet?

monday:013     in the evening, we went over to my parents’ house and did some organizing/cleaning. I brought our dinner and cooked it over there, but the pork chops were so thick that they took forever to broil. the kids played on grandma’s computer while they waited… and waited for dinner. I thought it was cute to see them all crammed into the chair together.

tuesday:003     after some back to school haircuts for layla and shane, we were over visiting at our neighbor’s house and shane started giving layla and micah rides in her wagon. at some point they thought it would be fun to give missy (her dog) a ride in the wagon too.

wednesday:003    first day of school! first day of school!

thursday:001     my 17 ears of corn.

friday:001     the beautiful bouquet of market flowers dave brought me for our anniversary. I love that he works so close to pike place!

saturday:

I have a picture for saturday, but I’m not posting it here, and I’m undecided about whether or not to print it and put it in the album. layla had a little scooter accident, and managed to remove a fair amount of skin from just below her right butt cheek. we took a picture of it, mainly just so we would have record of what it looked like fresh, in case it became infected or something. anyway, I didn’t think she’d appreciate it if I posted it.

the extras:2011-08-31     1, 2, and 3 are all from the picnic on sunday. 4 is layla getting her haircut w/ tina. 5 is our neighbor, susie, helping layla identify and label all of the leaves she collected and taped into a book.

the extra first day of school pics:2011-08-311

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I’ve got corn… LOTS of corn!

so, for the last month or so, I’ve been getting fresh produce delivered to my door from mother nature’s organics. so far, I’ve been very impressed with the quality and variety that I get. I especially like that you can see what will go in the box, and if there’s anything you don’t like or want more of, you can go to their website and make substitutions…

so this week, I saw that they had corn on the list. we love corn, especially micah, and the standard amount was 4 ears. that’s not enough. so I went down the list and found something I didn’t want (I think it was mushrooms) and clicked on the drop-down list of possible substitutions and clicked on corn.

the last time I did this, I saw that corn was an acceptable substitute for something I didn’t want, so I selected it. it said “1”. wasn’t sure if that was 1 pound or 1 serving or what, but it turned out to be 1 ear. what the heck was I supposed to do with one ear of corn? so I figured this time I was safe because I already had 4 coming to me, and even if it was only 1 ear, we’d be covered. for whatever reason, there wasn’t a number listed with the corn, so I really didn’t know how much I’d be getting.

today I found out.001

13.

apparently, the appropriate amount of corn to substitute for some mushrooms is 13 ears… I don’t know if this was a glitch or if they just have a LOT of corn right now, but that’s what we got.

so there you have it. I am currently the proud owner of 17 ears of corn.

good thing we like it!

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