Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Recipe of the Week

This recipe may seem time consuming, but it really is quite easy, and totally worth the effort. It makes a large amount (great for a crowd). It is not heavy, but oh so filling. And when I take a bite it literally melts in my mouth. I absolutely love it. It is another (new) "go to" recipe. I have been cooking primarily from my new favorite website, Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, and this recipe comes from her site. Each of her recipes is a step by step pictoral recipe. I linked the original recipe below. Go check it out.
Mexican Lasagna
adapted from the Pioneer Woman
Ingredients
2 chicken breasts with bone and skin
1 cup of dry rice
chicken stock - to cook the rice
1 can diced tomatoes (slightly drained)
1 onion - finely chopped
2 gloves garlic - minced
10 inch flour tortillas
1 can of black beans (slightly drained)
Chili Powder
Paprika
Cumin
16 oz. Salsa Verde
1 small can of enchilada sauce
1 can of corn - drained
2 - 8 oz bags of cheese (you may want more)
sour cream
cilantro
1. Start by rinsing and drying the chicken breast. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken breast, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook at 350 degrees for 40 - 50 minutes. Cooking time depends on the size of your chicken breasts. Allow the chicken to cool. When cool, shred the chicken and set aside.
2. Prepare one cup of dry rice with chicken stock as opposed to water. The TEXMATI rice that I used yielded about 3 cups of cooked rice for 1 cup of dry rice. Set aside.
3. Saute chopped onion in about 1-2 tablespoons of butter, just to soften. Add minced garlic and diced tomatoes. Add one tablespoon of chili powder, 1/2 tablespoon of cumin, and 1/2 tablespoon of paprika. Once this tomato, onion and garlic concotion is thoroughly mixed, add it to the rice, and gently combine. At this time you can also add the black beans.
4. Now, using the same pan that you sauteed the onions, add the shredded chicken and season with 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1/2 tablespoon of cumin and 1/2 tablespoon of paprika. You most likely will need to add water to combine the seasoning with the chicken. I used leftover chicken stock instead of water.
5. Finally, we put this bad mam-ba-jamba together. Using a 9x13 pan, pour half of the Salsa Verde in the bottom of the dish. Next place a layer of tortillas. I only needed two, and of course they overlap. Now, spoon half of the rice over the tortilla layer. Sprinkle one bag of cheese over the rice. Then another layer of tortillas. Now comes the enchilada sauce, use as little or as much as you want. I never use the whole can. But I am a hesitant, cautious creature. Next layer: shredded chicken. After roasting my chicken, I will never boil chicken again. The corn falls on top of the chicken. Followed by the remaining rice mixture. Finish off with the remaining Salsa Verde and the other 8 oz bag of cheese.
6. Cook lasagna in a 375 degree oven for 25-35 minutes. Cilantro and sour cream finish it off. You don't need anything else with this meal. Save for a frozen margarita!

Howdy

Just wanting to check in with everybody. The Trailblazer was in fact totalled. Since the accident, I have immersed myself in car research, hunting and haggling. But still no luck. Hope to post a recipe later tonight. But don't hold me to it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vulnerability

You just never know when your life can totally change. Any second your life is turned upside down. Thankfully that didn't happen to us today. David was in a highway speed car accident. He is fine, so he says. He's just generally sore. The impact was strong enough to bust the concrete median. We are pretty sure the truck is totalled. A million scenarios have run through my head about what if he had been injured and hospitalized. I am just so thankful that he is okay, and that my children still have their father.

Now the really crappy part: we have to find a new car. I hate shopping for cars. It is such a big purchase, and I hate the whole car buying game - it absolutely infuriates me. The Trailblazer was the first (and last) vehicle that I purchased at a dealership, and I was pregnant at the time. And I felt like a force to be reckoned with. I wasn't taking any #$%^ from anybody. Too bad I am not pregnant this time. It's a huge car buying advantage.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Let it Begin

The thought of buying American Girl dolls has never crossed my mind, until David plopped this down in front of me as I was posting the past two posts. It came in the mail just today. How did they know that we had a baby girl?


Ouie!

Sweet Charlotte Mae turned two months on Saturday. We went to the pediatrician's office this morning for her well baby check-up and immunizations. She only weighs 12 lbs. 14 oz, which is not even a full pound gained this last month. The doctor said that was fine, that their weight gain can slow down at this time. I am really not too worried. She is a happy baby, and for several nights now has slept six to eight hours through the night. He said she has really good head control for a two month old, which is a change from Joseph because he was so behind in almost all of his gross motor skills. Other than the immunizations, the visit was fine. She has never cried so hard in her short little life. I didn't cry, but gosh dang it, it did break my heart. I was still talking about it after I got home, but she seemed to have moved on. Ha, ha! Something I thought was so nice, was that the doc's office gave us a little bottle of infant Tylenol - automatically. I was going to have to buy a bottle on my Target run (which I did anyway), but I was able to give it to her prior to her shots, which is what I always did with Joseph.


David had the kids sitting together on the couch. So fun to watch them together. And to hear Joseph say, "whacha, ya doing Baby Mae?" in his best version of my voice.

Be still my beating heart!!! When Charlotte and I were at Target we tried out some barrettes for her "hawk", but I wasn't too impressed. So we are now on the hunt for some secure, and comfortable baby barrettes.

See What I Mean...

I love my little farmhouse. I love our big backyard. I love the park behind our house. I love the quaint coffee shop in Bonner. I love the fact that the town has the Scarecrows on Parade contest, or Moon Marble Days. But I don't love the fact that the police are called to the neighbors house across the street usually twice a week. Several weeks ago there was a police chase through our yard. Too bad I didn't think to whip out my camera that day. Look for more pics because I will be documenting some of these police responses. You know, as a form of entertainment. Yah, that's it, entertainment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Baby Mae Cooks Breakfast

Last night as we were driving back from the farm, I asked David, "what do I want to make this week?" As I put away my crock pot last night, I found my long lost waffle maker. So waffles from scratch it is. I found this recipe just this morning on All Recipes, and it is phenomenal. So filling and lots of texture. Sometimes when I eat waffles, I feel like I just swallowed air, but not these waffles. They are of the "stick to your ribs" variety.
But first, some pictures of my sweet baby girl. Still, such the cuddlebug. Joseph has resolved to call her Baby Mae. He can pronounce Charlotte just fine, and still calls her Baby Charlotte Mae. More often than not though he prefers to call her Mae or Baby Mae. Which may be what I start calling her.
Please ignore the forsaken land that is my kitchen.

I also like these waffles, because you can freeze the extras. Just for fun I added a bit of pumpkin pie spice, and then ate some pumpkin butter alongside these golden beauties.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
OAT WAFFLES
INGREDIENTS
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice


In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine the milk, egg, oil and lemon juice; stir into dry ingredients and mix well. Let stand for 5 minutes. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown.
Makes 2 servings

Making waffles can be so exhausting.




Sunday, October 12, 2008

"We Are Family..."

Don't know why but I never liked that song much. In fact, I asked the DJ at our wedding not to play it - he did anyway. That my friends, reflected in his tip. Just kidding, he was a really good DJ. But this post isn't about weddings or DJs. This is about the family reunion where a donkey chewed on my son's hand with an attempt at amputation. Well, not quite, but Jack the donkey did grab a hold of my son's hand tight enough that daddy had to pull Joseph's hand out from between clenched teeth. David said, "that he saw two things flash before his eyes as he pulled Joe's hands out of Jacks clenched jaws: 1) his son's hand with two less fingers, and 2) the look in my eyes as my wrath descends upon him. Surprisingly, Joe's fingers appear fine with only some minor swelling. Thank goodness, because I was not up for an urgent care visit.
Here mom is telling Joe to show everybody his swollen fingers. You can't tell a difference because his cute, grubby little fingers are kinda chubby. Boy, do I love chubby!

I think this tender moment happened after said donkey attack. This is Joe's cousin Josie, she is about five months younger than Joe.
video


Aunt Shelbe took these pics. Joe is wearing her sunglasses. Look at that exhausted, dirt caked and food laden face. I love to see my baby when he is soooo tired from physical exertion and fresh air.

Baby gansta. Hopefully, this isn't a sign of things to come, my homeys. You know I am just kidding right. Next thing you know I will be calling David, my baby's daddy.
Hope to get some pictures of Charlotte this week. It is hard to get interesting and stimlating pics of an either, eating, pooping or sleeping child. Maybe I will catch some dazzling smiles.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Scarecrows on Parade

My dramatic 36 hours without David has come to an end. And well, two kids in tow isn't that bad. They both were deceivingly well behaved, and in Charlotte's case, content. Other than preparing the food, I completed my list, and all within naptimes. But, this is the calm before the storm: before the wedding and family reunion. Anyway...tomorrow starts our little town's Scarecrow on Parade contest. David entered last year, and while his scarecrow looks the same, his set-up looks much nicer and fall-esque. There is my butt naked son in the background pretending to water the flowers.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

84+16=100

Look at the blog archive column. Then look at the year 2007, it should say 16, as in 16 posts. Now look at the year 2008 and you'll see....this is my 100th post. What fun blogging has been for me. And I am looking forward to much more. I just posted these pics because A)I love burnt orange mums B)I am playing with settings on my camera (thanks to pioneer woman) and why not blog pics of something I love for my 100th post.

Also for my 100th post, I am eliminating the title you see at the top of my blog. I am not sure what I want it to be. I originally named it "In My Life", because that is one of my favorite Beatles' songs, which I believe is about looking back on your life and reflecting. Granted, I feel that with the blog I am reflecting on my life, but at the same time I am living and moving forward. Just to simplify things, every time I read it to myself, it just doesn't feel right. So I am chucking it!

"Good Morning, Good Morning..."

Think to the tune of Singing in the Rain. Well, it is not unusual for me to be up at this time, perusing the blogstratosphere, what with Charlotte waking up once a night. But this morning, I just sent David off to some training in Salina and he'll be gone for two days. Alone with the kids, all by my lonesome. If you heard my tone, you would hear the mocking, sing-song of a "poor me". David being gone for two days is really no big deal, except that this is one of the busiest weekends I think I have ever had. And when David returns home, his pressing social engagements will leave him ... let's just say distracted. David returns on Friday, afternoon and heads immediately to a rehearsal dinner for a wedding. Then on Saturday, he has to be at the wedding by 2 pm (which means he will start getting ready at 11am-see what I mean by distracted. Ha Ha!) for whatever it is people in weddings do. He is the best man so he has to stay for quite some time at the wedding. Then Sunday morning we head to my dad's farm for a much needed family reunion/off the cuff get-together. Meanwhile, I have several big errands to run like...(this is really a list for me)
1. Get Joe's haircut
2. Joe needs a pair of pants and semi-dressy shirt that fits (he is totally grown out of 2T clothes)
3. Joe needs new shoes
4. I need something dressy that fits (I wear this one pair of maternity jeans that I have and a pair of cropped black sweatpants - crazy the things you admit at 4:30 in the morning)
5. Find a recipe for, and whip up some killer baked beans
6. Mash a large quantity of potatoes and transport them to the farm while keeping them warm and moist.
7. Buy fixings for above dishes, aka groceries
8. Don't forget a wedding gift
9. Do all of this between breastfeeding, potty training, (when we are in public and Joe has to pee he freaks because he won't go on the big potty, and he doesn't want to pee in his pull-up. So I have resigned to taking the potty chair in the back of the truck) and naptimes. Oh yeah, they are two years and almost two months.
10. Plus I want to experiment with some fresh pumpkin puree in a cake recipe - probably not getting done.
I know, I know this is part of life. But I really haven't taken the kids out by myself very much. So while I am trying to do all of this (I really hate clothes shopping for myself) I will be learning how to manage, manipulate, and deal with the kids when we (they) are out in public. And, I am a fretful, worrywart and this is freaking me out.
Well, I need to get back to bed for a while. I have several posts and pictures I have wanted to put up, but I have been trying (sorta) to clean the house.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kerby Farms

Yesterday, the four of us loaded into the truck and drove the whopping five minutes to Kerby Farms Pumpkin Patch. We probably only stayed there for a little over an hour. Once we got there I fed Charlotte, and changed her diaper and restrained her to me in the mei tai. While I was feeding Charlotte I could her Joe screaming from the play area. There was no question that it was my son screaming. I saw the other parents staring at David, as if saying, what are you doing to this child. Come to find out he was screaming bloody murder because David was trying to get him to play on the slide, or go see the farm animals, or anything other than playing with cars and tractors like he does day in and day out. But no, he just wanted to play with the tractors in the sandbox. He looks so innocent with those cheeks.






The tractor was too bumpy to get any pics. So here we are in the pumpkin patch. Joe is walking towards me pointing and saying, "No mom, stop taking pictures. NO MOM, STOP IT."




He meant it, he is reaching for the camera.




I told him if he continued with this attitude he would be in the doghouse. Ha, Ha!




As much as David usually hates crowds (as do I), he had a good time.





He actually let me position him there against the growth chart, and begrudgingly stood still for the picture.

This week is going to be crazy. But I am sure I will post several times. See you all later.














Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Moment of Silence

Cause of death: dismembered handle with complications of rust. I will miss you dear friend.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Oh So Pretty at Six Weeks

Today, I was driving in the car by myself, and several songs came over the radio that I felt compelled to "crank up". And I thought to myself I should add these to the playlist for the blog. But truth be told, I was too embarassed to post them, and let the world in on my dirty little secrets: I totally jam out to Nelly rapping. When I say jam, I mean head bobbing, arms swaying back and forth homey (homie?) style. And I miss hearing Dwight Yokam on the radio. What ever happened to Dwight? Singing, "Hey, mama can your daddy come home...."

PAUSE THE PLAYLIST TO HEAR MY SWEET LITTLE GIRL! PLEASE!
video

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Well today is October 1, 2008: our 3rd anniversary. We didn't go anywhere, and I haven't even made it out of my pajamas, but I did learn one piece of invaluable information. My husband has been holding out on me for three years. Well, really eight years if you consider how long we have been together. This morning, David made breakfast: eggs and sausage. Now this is a man, who on the rare occassion that he cooks, he throws together the most random of ingredients, and it usually yields something reminescent of a science experiment. With that being said, I can't remember the last time he cooked (because of the severity of my teasing when he did cook). And now he usually just whips up some cereal and milk. Hmmm, good. Getting back to my story, these eggs were absolutely gorgeous, moist, flavorful, fluffy and firm at the same time. My scrambled eggs (that I thought had vastly improved) were put to shame. I announced my retirement from egg making, now that I realized the full scope of his breakfast cooking capabilities.

So for the last 36 hours I have been marinating a brisket in a concoction of salty deliciousness to make for our anniversary lunch. Well, my oven temperature was "off" and it took about three times longer than I expected to cook the brisket. For lunch we ended up having ham and cheese sandwiches with cooked apples. But it was oh so worth it, because Joseph and I had brisket for dinner. And so this is my recipe of the week. Unfortunately I am not creative enough to write my own recipes, but I am good at finding flavorful recipes. So this one gets credited to The Pioneer Woman.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Ree Drummond


2 cans of Beef Consomme (look in the soup section)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
5 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbsp Liquid Smoke (BBQ sauce section)
1 10 lb beef brisket
Combine the first five ingredients in a large roasting pan. Place brisket in the marinade, fat side up. Cover tightly with foil. Marinate in refrigerator for 24-48 hours. When ready to cook, place pan, still covered in foil, into a 300 F oven. Cook brisket for approximately 40 minutes per pound.
When fork tender, transfer whole brisket to a cutting board. Remove the fat on top. Slice remaining brisket against the grain, and place slices back into the cooking liquid. Serve immediately, spooning the juice over the slices. BBQ sauce may be used. (Ryanne says, "you don't need it")
The awesome thing about this brisket is, that it makes tons of leftovers, depending on the size of your brisket. I used a two and half pounder, so that I could use it for two more meals this week. Stores well in the freezer too. Good for crowds. I love this brisket, it is my new "go to" if I am having people over, or if I need something easy to throw in the oven. Hope you enjoy.