Monday, June 23, 2008

More recipes using my basket . . .

From this weeks Farm Fresh Basket I made some of the following recipes. I forgot to take pictures on some nights, but wanted to share any way.

Triple Berry Crisp (but I only had boysenberries, so I tripled them, ha!)
Lemon Garlic Chicken

Lemon Bars (actually Tim made these cause I was sick)

Creamy Red Pepper Soup This would have been awesome with some grilled Panini sandwiches, but everyone enjoyed it with the Chicken Tenders

Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders

(Picture below)

Pasta with Mini Chicken Meatballs This was really great, the kids especially loved it. My lovely daughter Maddy helped me peel, chop, mix, etc. cause I was still under the weather. She is an awesome helper!
Herb Roasted Onions For me and daddy cause we LOVE onions. We made the kids try them, and they said they were good, but didn't ask for anymore. No prob, more for me!

Carrots were also in my basket this week!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day!

Today we celebrated fathers day with a nice leisurely day at home. Daddy enjoyed a very deserved day of rest. Jacob, Madeline, and Emma fixed daddy breakfast. They did a good job! Jacob made a veggie omelet, Emma squeezed some oranges for juice, and Madeline put the fruit in bowls and set the table. Mom contributed a little by making potatoes and cutting up the peaches.

Then daddy took the three oldest to the park and played tennis with Jacob while the girls practiced soccer. Then spent the rest of the day swimming, or "resting his eyes" ha ha!

For dinner daddy got to pick whatever he wanted me to make. He chose these:
- Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing
- Orzo Salad
- Zucchini Bundles (in foil)
- Sweet Dinner Rolls

and for dessert
- Italian S'mores

Here are some pictures - and I will note that all vegetables are from my weekly basket from Family Farm Fresh. Even the basil in the sauce on the chicken - yummy!!

We love you daddy! I love you Tim, you are the best, thanks for being a great husband and father, and thanks most of all for being my very best friend!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This weeks basket . . .

I took out all my items from this weeks basket, and THEN remembered I wanted to take a picture of the basket. So I took the picture of everything from the basket, just minus the actual basket it came in. Man, are these oranges ever sweet. And since my family loves orange juice in the morning, I order extra so I can squeeze half for juice, and then we snack on the other half.

This week included peaches, pluots, cucumbers, summer squash, boysenberries, oranges, tomatoes, basil, onion, and lettuce. I also ordered eggs, almonds, and grape juice (which I used on our shaved ice at night!)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Community Supported Agriculture

For the past year or so, I have been trying to support our local farmers, especially since we live in the heartland of agriculture. I have been trying to shop at our local farmers markets, and fruit stands. This has been great, but hasn't always worked for me, with the busy schedules of four children, we weren't always able to go to the farmers market. About two months ago I heard about CSA (Community supported agriculture) and had wondered about it, but hadn't taken the time to do anything about it. Finally, three weeks ago I signed up with our local CSA, which is Family Farm Fresh.

Every Monday, I get one of these lovely baskets delivered to my door. Now, for me, this is like a miracle. I support the local farmers, I get great, fresh food, and they deliver it to ME! I got my first basket last Monday. It had oranges, blueberries, tomatoes, red onions, lettuce, radishes, summer squash, apricots, cucumbers, and scallions. I also ordered farm fresh eggs, and they came in my basket as well. I will take a picture of my actual basket next time.

I wanted to post some of the things I have made for our family to enjoy this week with food from our basket.
- Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables recipe from Giada De Laurentis

This is her picture from the website, I forgot to take pictures. I am getting better. From the basket I used the onion, the summer squash, the tomatoes, and a radish.

- Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberries by Emeril Legasse
I forgot to take a pic, dang it. There were no left overs. I used the farm fresh eggs for these melt-in-your-mouth babies! My Lingonberry jam was from my last trip to LA where we visited the IKEA. Pretty darned good.

- Fish Tacos by Tyler Florence and I made salsa with the onions and tomatoes

This is my actual plate. You can't see my homemade salsa very well on my taco, but it is there. I also used my lettuce from the basket, and oh, I forgot, I made a summer salad. I used the recipe by Rachel Ray. It is there on my plate. Very yummy! Here are my kids enjoying their dinner too!

- Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze by Tyler Florence

This morning I made these using the blueberries from my basket. I also used lemons from my friend Melinda's backyard, very yummy! Oh, and we had fresh squeezed orange juice from the oranges from the basket.

Just wanted to share, enjoy!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Being green #2

This wonderful little invention has allowed me to rid my home of aerosol cans of Pam, or any cooking spray. I just ordered a couple months ago, and now I am wondering where it has been all my life.
Just fill it with your favorite oil and pump it and spray. It is awesome! This way I can choose my favorite spray, Olive Oil, and know exactly what I am spraying. No unwanted chemicals, whoo hoo! I highly recommend the Kitchen Spritzer by Pampered Chef.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Being green . . .

For about a year now I have been in the learning process of being better at conserving energy, water, money, and recycling, etc. All of those things that no one ever taught me, and I have been embarrassed to admit that I really was just too lazy to start recycling, or worry about filling up our landfills. This past year God has opened my eyes in so many new ways, that I am finding pure joy and really having fun learning these new things. The first big change happened just after the baby was born, and I just was having a hard time paying for those diapers. I was getting sick to my stomach thinking about it. When I thought of cloth diapers, I would remember back to my babysitting days and think of pokey pins and plastic covers. When I started asking around about cloth diapers, I found a whole new world that I had never explored. To my surprise, I love using cloth diapers! I have a friend who so graciously passed on to me cloth diapers that I have been using, and this has been a HUGE blessing! She gave me Fuzzi Bunz brand, and they are my favorite. I have been using cloth diapers now for 9 months exclusively, except for our trip to Disneyland, and our anniversary trip. Why didn't I ever try this with my other three kids? I don't really know, but I will keep posting of my new adventure in the quest to be a better steward of all of God's provisions in this world. And with the super high gas prices, this is sorta fun! If you have never tried cloth diapers, go for it. Try it! Its really not as hard as it may seem.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The baby turned 1, whoo hoo!

Yesterday my baby boy turned one year old! So fun to celebrate his day and watch him be one. It was also fun to watch his siblings be so happy for him, kiss him all day long, and watch them get excited and laugh with him over his presents. His favorite part of the day - his ball. Hasn't let go of it since he opened it! Too funny! I love you little one -

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pray the Vote

I wanted to tell you about something I am part of that can make a difference in our country. It’s called Pray the Vote—a special initiative of The Presidential Prayer Team that is calling everyone to pray for this fall’s elections. It’s based on the belief that when God’s people call out to Him in prayer, it opens a window for God to bless our nation in ways we can’t imagine.
Pray the Vote is asking people to commit to pray for the elections and then to register that commitment on their website. I hope you’ll check out the Pray the Vote website and join me by committing to pray. Thanks for considering this important decision.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Two new things and a find . . .

Made two new things this week, delicious! Everyone loved them -

And my find of the week . . . fresh blueberries! At the farmers market I bought a flat of them, and they were so juicy and sweet. The kids would eat them just like that, as a snack, and then I made a few desserts with them, but what a deal! Locally grown and so yummy! My find for this week! GO get some!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I made a difference . . .

Laugh if you will, but I made a difference in someones life that I've never even met. Yup, since the very beginning, I have loved the voice and personality of David Cook on American Idol. Each week my phone called and placed as many votes as I could for this amazing singer. And tonight, he was honored with being season 7's American Idol. I was amazed as I heard and read that mostly everyone else was for the other David, and by all means, he is very gifted musically. But there is just something fresh and honest and wonderful about David Cook, and I am glad to Rock the Vote, my votes counted, and I made a difference in his life. Rock on David, you keep singing and sharing that gift with this world!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mmm mmm good . . .

Last night I made these, Apple Crostatas. This being my fourth time making them, I had to give them props for being elegant and super easy! Even better, they are delicious and almost everyone loves them. And of course, they are by one of my favorite chefs! If you have time or just want to try something new, these are great!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Theatre, Dining Out, and Being Away . . .

We were so privileged and blessed to be able to have a weekend away to celebrate our 20 year anniversary. We were very blessed by family and friends who loved on our kids for the weekend. We were also blessed by some friends who gave us tickets to see "Wicked" a Broadway musical, showing in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theater. I highly recommend this wonderful, amazing, and funny musical. It is the untold story of the Witches from the Wizard of Oz, and I loved it! Very very good.

We also visited a very very charming and wonderful little restaurant called "Fabiolus Cafe". It is in Hollywood, near the Theater, and the food is amazing, the service is out of this world, and the ambiance is my favorite part. We sat on the patio and enjoyed our dinner by candlelight and cute little decorative lights around the room that set the mood for a pleasurable evening. I could have sat there all night. If you ever get to that area, go to Fabiolus Cafe. This was our second time going, and we can't say enough about it.

Here is the wonderful view from our hotel. We stayed at the "Bonaventure" in downtown Los Angeles. We booked through Priceline for a 4 star hotel at a motel 6 price (seriously, we paid only $69.00 a night!). What fun and what a huge blessing!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Great is Thy Faithfulness . . .

Today I am praising God for His faithfulness! 20 years ago today I married my best friend, and not only do we very enthusiatically celebrate 20 years, whoo hoo! But, we thank God for them. This hymn (below) was in our wedding and it seems to be the theme of our life together. Here's to my wonderful lifelong friend, I look forward to every day we have together for the rest of our lives! I love you!

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me.
Summer and winter and spring-time and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Blast to the past . . .

I guess because it is cinco de mayo today, my friend and I were speaking spanish to each other. Then I started singing a song "dulce dulce" from that early 90's tv show with "XuXa" (shoo sha). We were cracking up, until he told me the best thing I have heard in long time. He said, "Yeah, I had a moderate crush on XuXa back then for a short time." Awesome! So in honor of my friend, I give you, "Dulce dulce" by Xuxa.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The only way to enjoy Neil Diamond . . .

I have to admit, I am no Neil Diamond fan. But after last nights American Idol performances, I would be willing to listen to ANY of it if David Cook were to sing it. Wow, do I love this guys voice. I vote for him every week, at least 20 to 30 times. He is amazing!

I added last nights song from him "I'm Alive"

Love the lyrics -

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Eat faster . . .

Tonight I made one of my favorite dishes, Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Vinaigrette, by Giada De Laurentiis from Everyday Italian on the Foodnetwork.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE almost every recipe that I have made from Giada, and I am always willing to try more new ones. They are amazingly elegant and easy at the same time. And very very good.

So tonight, the girls get home from dance at 5:30pm and since swim season has started, we need to be in the pool at 6:30pm, which means we leave the house by 6:15pm. Why oh why did I make one of my favorite meals on a night of rushed eating. I get everybody seated around the table by 5:35pm, pray, pass the wonderful yummy chicken and salad and rolls around to all 6 of us, take a deep breath, inhale, and begin pointing in 12 different directions. "You go get the towels, you go get the swim bag, you clear the table, you load the dishwasher, you go potty, you get the baby in the car, you get you swim suit on, etc. etc." We make it to the pool on time, only rip out a few strands of hair whipping the swim caps on so fast, and sit. I realized as I sat down and kissed the baby, how we had forgotten to clean him off before we tore him out of the high chair. Nice. Sitting by the pool and enjoying wonderful conversation, how I wished I had stuck a couple pieces of chicken in my pocket to savor and enjoy, s l o w l y. Oh well, I found a couple crumbs in the baby's shirt, maybe he will share.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A few things I learned today:
~ The way the children say my name can have so many different meanings. For example:
mom = generic, normal feelings, calling for mom's attention
mom mom mom = paying no attention to what mom might be doing or where mom is, the short triple blast is usually an urgent call for something I usually cannot have, used strategically while mom is on the phone or in the bathroom (likened unto being pecked by a duck)

MOM!! = I am hurt or stuck, I need help!

muOm = I am being injusticed by a sibling and I need to tell you

mhuOhm = I am so embarrassed by whatever you just did

mgrrrrrom = I don't like that I am in trouble

maaAAAHHHHHom = I have an owie and I want you to fix it but I don't want you to touch it

mommy = I love you

No matter how they say it, it is my favorite name, and I love it!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spring, gotta love the food

Go get your strawberries while they are in season. Just this week we have had:
Yummy yummy snack! So go to the corner strawberry stand, or find your local farmers market. They are so GREAT right now, can't miss out on this wonderful bounty in spring.