Monday, October 8, 2012

Our Seattle Family

After the last session of conference Sunday, we loaded up the kids in the car and headed to Ben's cousin's place in south Bothell.  Uncle Bob and Aunt Ingrid and Rob and Deana were so sweet to share their dinner with us!  We are so grateful to be so close to wonderful family who are quickly becoming wonderful friends!

Julia and Leah enjoying pizza crust and the warm fire!

Project Produce: Guac and Sorbet

Friday I got pretty ambitious with the basket items.  For dinner I made Taco Salad.  The romaine lettuce washed, dried, and shredded was the base.  I made my very own Crockpot Coconut-lime Chicken, and then I used the gigantic avocado and half the tomato for guacamole to top it off.  Dessert was a delicious Melon-pear Sorbet!

Crockpot Coconut-lime Chicken:
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup coconut syrup
one clove garlic smashed (or minced)
onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste
dash of hot sauce (optional)
2 Tbsp pepper jelly (optional)
one can green chillies 
3-5 chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients except chicken in crockpot.  Add chicken breast and turn to coat in the sauce. Cook on low 4-6 hrs or high 3-4 hrs. Remove chicken, shred using a couple forks, and return to sauce.  Stir it up and serve!  This is great for tacos, nachos, salads, burritos, etc.

We made our salads with the fresh lettuce, the chicken, crushed tortilla chips, grated cheese, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, and homemade Guacamole.

Avocado (half chopped up/half mashed)
1/2 tomato diced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
tabasco sauce
salt to taste

Turns out I'm the only one that likes Guacamole in our family and I'm not really a big fan.  Most of it went brown in our fridge and got tossed out the next day.  Whoops!

Melon and Pear Sorbet

Now this was yummy and a major hit with the entire fam!  I'd used half of our honey dew melon in a fruit salad.  It was a little lacking in the flavor department so I decided to make the second half into sorbet.  I added a pear (pealed and cored) for some more texture and body (whatever that means), 3/4 cup sugar, and a tray of ice cubes to the melon in our Vitamix Blender. Blended it all up and tad-a! Sorbet!

I froze what we couldn't eat right then into an ice cube tray with toothpicks stuck in.  We are still enjoying them!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Project Produce

I love Bountiful Baskets!  It really seems to be the best deal for getting fruits and vegetables, and it forces  encourages us to eat more fresh produce.  However, I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by the task of consuming all that delicious food before it goes bad.  It can also be challenging to incorporate new fruits and vegetables into meals I am good at preparing and that I know my family will eat.  I'm determined to make our families eating-style a healthy one, so each week I'm going to post a list of the items we get in our basket and what I make with all of it during the week.  I'd love input for new ideas and recipes!

Last Saturday we picked up our basket at the Lynnwood, WA food bank.

Romaine lettuce
Collard greens (yikes)
3 Tomatoes (I know they're technically fruit)
1 Large avacado

Red Pears
Honey Dew melon

We pretty much just gobbled down the strawberries as is.  They were so yummy!
I steamed some of the broccoli as a side to baked potatoes.  I learned the best way to steam broccoli from Alton Brown's "Good Eats" cooking show on Food Network: Wash and cut up your broccoli.  If you're using the stems put them on the bottom of the pan and the florets on top of them.  Put enough water in the pot to cover the stems, cover, and bring to a boil.  Boil on high for three minutes, then turn to low and cook another three minutes.  Add a little butter and salt and pepper and it's delicious.  My kids love them so much I cook a lot of broccoli.

I like making homemade pizza and decided to incorporate some more greens into mine this week.  I spread my crust with a sauce of tomato sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil and oregano, and spinach pureed together.  Pepperoni, canadian bacon, pineapple, and sliced tomatoes topped off the pizza.  I loved it! But the rest of my family picked off the tomatoes :(  Oh well!  They couldn't pick off the spinach.

Bumper Bowling

Things have been moving a little more slowly than we thought they would as far as Ben's job is concerned.  We don't mind too much though.  Especially since it's meant having more time with Ben on the week days.  Last week we took to the lanes midday.

We had a couple pinched fingers between the balls.  One day they'll learn to listen, right?


Julia was so sad that I beat her (only just barely...phew!).

We had them pop out the bumpers for the kids, but I think Ben and I used them just as much!  This place was so nice.  It was quiet, right in the middle of the day, so there were just leagues bowling. No smoking or drinking is allowed in the building or near the doorway.  Hopefully we get a chance to go back soon!

Monday, September 24, 2012

ID to WA

I haven't yet figured out how to make the blog look the way I want it to, but I thought I'd go ahead and post a little bit about our new adventure anyway.  About 6 weeks ago, Ben got a call from one of his Aflac friends in Washington who used to work in Idaho wondering if Ben would be interested in joining the team here.  While a move was not something we were planning on for a couple more years, Seattle had always been a place we said we would like to live and the opportunities for furthering Ben's career were really tempting.  We spent a lot of time praying, went to the temple, and made the long drive up here on a weekend with Stuart to check things out.  The conclusion we came to was that it was probably going to be a rough start and a major change for our family, but we felt it was the right thing to do.  Four weeks after that initial phone call, we drove our gianormous U-Haul up in front of a tiny 3 bedroom condo.

Two weeks later it's starting to feel more like home.  Our condo has enough bedroom space, but the actually living space is so much smaller than what we'd gotten used to in Pocatello.  The only space for the kids to play with their toys is in the living room.  I don't know why this seems weird to me because growing up we always had our toys scattered over the living room floor, but it kind of drives me crazy. I think it's because there's no outdoor play space so unless we go somewhere in the car, we're confined to the living room all day.  Thankfully we plan to only be here for 5-6 months.  The condo is being short sold (that sounds funny) so we are able to rent it month to month for a REALLY good price.  Then in early spring we'll find a nice house to rent.

When we got here, everyone told us we were just catching the last couple days of summer and it was going to rain for the next nine months.  A bit of Idaho summer must have followed up here though because it's been nice up until this last weekend.  We made good use of the warm weather by hitting several cool parks around the area.

We decided to get the touristy stuff done the first day and go down to the wharf  and Pike's Place Market.  Julia loved the fish and chips she shared with daddy, but Andrew and I stuck with our chicken and hamburger.  Julia was really sad that we didn't ride the ferris wheel, but it was just too expensive to stomach.

It's still weird that there are 3 of them! This park is pretty close to us.  We still have to drive.  It's right by a wetland.  You can walk all around the bog and down to a little pond on a board walk.  The kids and I saw a snake and fuzzy caterpillar and a ton of dragon flies. 

We had planned to go to this little beach on Lake Washington, but it was a little drizzly in the morning so we thought we'd just let the kids play in the sand.  Well, the sun came out and Julia and Andrew ended up getting soaked wading in the water.  

This is where our new ward's play group was supposed to be.  We got there an hour and a half late because of Stu's nap and nobody from our ward was there.  We met some nice families from another ward who were also having playgroup there.  

So all in all we are doing well.  I had a hard time the first week really missing family and my friends in our Chubbuck ward.  Our new ward has really welcomed us in.  What a blessing to belong to a church with consistent doctrine and teaching no matter where you go in the world.  It's like instant family.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And to one he gave one talent...

Ok. Probably not the actual scriptural quote, but I'm too lazy at the moment to look it up. I was making dinner tonight and thinking while the kids played in their room about the pre-pregnant me and all the things I did. I wouldn't say I'm the one who got ten talents, but maybe five or more likely three. I danced moderately well in college and I sing. I did some very mediocre acting in high school. I was good at math until I got to college and realized what math actual is...found out you need a thinking brain not just a memorizing brain. But I am good at memorizing when I want to.
These were my talents that I tried to develop and show to the world. I don't do hardly any of these things now. So have I hid my talents under a bushel? Not intentionally, but motherhood, time and money have seemed to bury them for me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A story by Julia

I was finishing washing dishes when Julia asked if I wanted to hear her story. Of course I said yes and this is what she told me:

"Once upon a time there was a little girl named momma who lived in the woods with her daddy. And my pink minky (blanket) and me and my hogies (some shape toys she's playing with) come. And my hogies are really scared. My hogies are scared of wolf-es. They scared of Big Bad Wolves. And we scare a Big Bad Wolf. And mine hogies are scared of foxes!"

The End