Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I bigger now-Cooking with my kid

My little one is 2 (almost 3) and has been helping me cook as long as he could stand.

He's bigger now, after all:

He drains cans for me and dumps them into whatever I am cooking
he washes veggies for me
runs the food processor or blender as I’m standing nearby
he uses the immersion blender with my help
he hands me dishes so that I can put them away
he cuts with the butter knife
he stirs and pours with his new kid sized utensils
mashes bananas or potatoes
scoops out avacados
closes and opens the microwave/refrigerator doors
sweeps the floor with a tiny little broom and dustpan
he throws things in the trash or recycling for me

He's also allowed to get his own snacks and pour his own juice.
And he loves to mow grass and help with the laundry. How long does this phase last? I'm loving it.

What I'm loving...

I swear that I've been blogging since 2001 and have kept a written journal since I could write. There's just something about making it all public that I can't do. I can ramble for hours and hours but put it in writing and publish it for the world to see and I can't do it. I used to document Monkeyface's every move which I really miss doing so I may pick that back up. For now, here are some things I'm loving.

1-my new bedroom (still a work in progress) It does include this peony pillow which I obsessed over before buying. I love it and actually make my bed daily now. I took before pictures and when it's all done I'll post them along with the after pics.

2-This rhino which I am going to love and pet and call him Sylvester. He's going in the new bedroom and I swear he is going to make me smile.

3-Banana Oat Bread that Monkeyface baked with me this weekend. It was fun and he actually did most of the mixing and pouring.

4-I love that my kid loves to help me do everything. Sure it takes longer to get things done but if he insists on helping then I insist on letting him. This includes an obsession with mowing grass. He asks me everyday if the grass is "bigger now" so that he can make it smaller again.

5-Sugar Free Italian Ices! YES! YES! YES!

6-Dreams of a day spent leaned up against a tree reading a book. (secret mother's day wish). Dreams of a clean car (out loud mother's day wish)

7-Creating something for somebody

8-I love cooking. I really do. I love turning nothing into something and watching people enjoy themselves.

9-This was on my Facebook, but I really like that the other night Hubby runs in with Monkeyface on his shoulder and Hubby goes "ARRRGH!!" and Monkeyface goes "Squawk! Polly wants a cracker! Squawk!"

10-Even though kiddo is sick now he is still making funny faces at me trying to make me laugh. He won't do it when anyone else is looking and will only do them for me.

Ground Beef Gyros

I totally forgot about this recipe until last week. I love these and lest I forget to post this later, I'm posting it now. Enjoy!

Ground Beef Gyros
Serves 6

3/4 pound extra lean ground beef -- cooked and drained
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup cucumber -- finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dill weed (I add more b/c I'm crazy like that)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium onions -- sliced into rings
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
6 whole wheat pita breads -- warmed
1 small tomato -- chopped

Combine yogurt, cucumber and dill weed. Cover and refrigerate. Heat
oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add
onions; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beef, garlic
powder and oregano; cook 4 minutes or until heated through, stirring

Stuff beef mixture in warmed pita breads and serve with yogurt sauce.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Giveaway winner

Make sure you enter those giveaways out there b/c you just never know when you might win!

Go Team Clean!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rathskeller's Black Bean and Rice Salsa

2 tbs olive oil
1.5 cups cooked brown rice
1 tsp minced garlic
1.5 cups cooked and drained black beans
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup diced green chiles
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup Dagwood sauce(recipe follows)
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 cup diced Roma tomato
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat & add garlic, onion & peppers. Saute, being careful not to burn garlic, 2 to 3 minutes, just until vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and toss gently with rice, beans, chiles, and 1/4 cup Dagwood Sauce.
Adjust seasoning to taste with salt & pepper & chill. Serve over grilled tofu as an entree, or alone as a side dish. *

Dagwood Sauce
1/2 tsp ground marjoram
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
3/4 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix togther all ingredients until well-combined. Cover and store in Refrigerator. **

*We eat this as a meal b/c it makes a ton of food*
**You will have Dagwood Sauce leftover which makes a fantastic stew beef**

For more great recipes, check out Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap!

Monday, April 13, 2009

never boring

My hubby just ran in here going "ARRGH!" My child was perched on his shoulder going "Need a Cracker! Squawk! Squawk!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Am I ever going to be able to find these old books?

Friday, April 10, 2009

posting for work

Mountain Paradise Hotel
Arenal, Costa Rica

I stayed at the Mountain Paradise back in August 2008 with my husband and 2 year old and we had a fabulous time. By the time we got to our junior suite, we were exhausted and elated to find the room clean and well appointed with a large inviting bed and Jacuzzi on the verandah. From your bed you can open the curtains to reveal a spectacular view of the volcano. The bathroom was huge with a waterfall shower as well as a glass enclosed shower with some of the strongest water pressure I’ve ever experienced. As soon as we were settled in our room my little one was out on the verandah playing in the Jacuzzi. It was the perfect way to end a long day of travel.

Our second night at the hotel we moved to the Master Suite which is a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom unit. It has a full kitchen, a Jacuzzi in the bathroom and a “shower of power” in the master bath. I call it the shower of power because it has 10 separate shower heads and spray jets that are set up to massage your back while you shower. Instead of a Jacuzzi on your verandah, we have a plunge pool that overlooks the volcano. This unit was perfect for our family and allowed us to stay up chatting after we had put the little one to bed.

My favorite part of the hotel was the concierge, David. He was the best concierge I’ve ever had at any hotel and I quite often saw him running around with his walkie talkie or shuttling passengers on his golf cart. He always had a smile on his face and a kind word for us. My little one was in our bed unwinding right before his bedtime when he got sick. I immediately called down to the front desk and David came running to our room. We had stripped the bed before his arrival and he stayed late helping us remake the bed and bringing us whatever we needed to make us comfortable. I cannot say enough great things about him and quite often he is the reason I sell the hotel by telling people how wonderful the service is and even give them David’s name.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Flying Biscuit Salad

We copied this salad this week and it was awesome.

Flying Biscuit Salad
Fried eggs
mixed greens
oven roasted potatoes
crispy applewood bacon
balsamic vinaigrette

We used this Balsamic vinaigrette recipe from Your Home Based Mom

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp honey
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Scant 1/2 cup olive oil (hubby used some bacon grease)
Mix well

For more recipe ideas check out the Recipe Swap

Thursday, April 2, 2009

'tis true

This hit me in the heart

New kicks for the boy

I have been in a shoe buying mood lately but I needed something comfortable and now the little one is busting the seams on his tennis shoes. He's been wearing them for almost a year so I can't complain. Here are the new kicks:

If they came in adult sizes then I know that I would be buying a second pair for my other boy :)