October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Oscar and I took Ozzie to Bellevue Square to trick or treat this Halloween. It was Ozzie's first year to trick or treat since last year he was only 3 months old.

He didn't really understand the whole process but enjoyed walking around the mall and looking at all the other kids in their costumes. My Mom joined us so he especially loved all the attention from Nanay.

We let him have one lollipop from his loot, which really wasn't much since he visited maybe 3 or 4 stores before he was over it and just wanted to run around.

Here are some pictures of our little frog's first Halloween trick or treating. It's funny, as much as he loved his costume and didn't mind wearing it, we couldn't get one smile out of him that night. Kids!

Happy Halloween!

October 27, 2009

Speaking of Tea

Oscar came home on Monday with a soar throat and what seemed to be the verge of a cold. I immediately made him a cup of Colleen's Get Well Tea. I saw the recipe on her blog a few months ago and book marked it knowing it would come in handy this winter. The cayenne pepper gives this tea a lot of kick but Colleen swears that drinking this when you first feel a cold coming on will help to fight it off. The result? Oscar isn't sick; crazy I know but I am now a believer.

Get Well Tea via Over Cocktails

1 T fresh ginger, minced
1/8 t cayenne pepper (or less... or more if you can handle it.)
1-2 t honey
Juice of 1/4 lemon

Put ingredients in a mug and pour boiling water over. Let steep for several minutes and then drink your sickness away. Add more honey or lemon juice if you need it.

Another tea that I love during these cold months is a cinnamon tea that Oscar's mom makes. It is a regular in our house now too. It is not known for fighting off colds but Oscar and I still make it when we are not feeling well. If nothing else it is a yummy treat when you are feeling blue.

Cinnamon Tea

2-3 cinnamon sticks
1 T honey
Juice of 1/4 lemon or more if you like a lemony tea

Slowly boil 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks in a tea pot full of water. The goal here is to flavor the water with the cinnamon so the longer you warm the water without it bowling the better your tea flavor.
Discard cinnamon sticks
Coat the bottom of your mug with honey (about 1T), add cinnamon tea and the lemon juice.

So good, it warms your tummy and tastes like a sweet treat.

Lemon Verbena Mint Tea

Oscar and I spent the weekend raking leaves and preparing my vegetable garden for the winter. I had not been back to the garden for a few weeks since I was avoiding my prep duties errr, I mean since I thought all the plants were dead. So you can imagine my surprise to find my lemon verbena and mint plants still alive! It must have been those unusually warm days in the beginning of October.

Knowing neither would last 5 more minutes now that the weather has truly changed to the drizzly Seattle weather we all know and love, I trimmed all the plants down and ran back inside to look up some lemon verbena and mint recipes faster than you can say avoidance! Of course I told Oscar that Ozzie was due for his afternoon nap and high tailed it outta there.

To my delight the first recipe that appeared was this lemon verbena mint tea from Simply Recipes. Perfect for the cold weather right now. I will try it the first chance I get.

Lemon Verbena Mint Tea

1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves (not the stems, they're bitter), rinsed, lightly packed (about 20 leaves)
1/2 cup of fresh lemon verbena leaves, rinsed, lightly packed (about 10-15 leaves)
2 cups of water

Bring a pot of fresh water almost, but not quite to a boil. Put the mint and verbena leaves in a teapot. Pour the hot water over the leaves. Let sit for 3-5 minutes. Strain into tea cups.

Makes 2 cups.

I am thinking of drying the rest of the lemon verbena for bath salts. If anyone has a great recipe for that, please pass it my way.

*photo courtesy Simply Recipes

October 26, 2009

Velvet Pumpkins

Remember these lovelies from Ink & Peat that I blogged about wayyy back in July? Oscar and I actually stopped by Ink & Peat on our way home from Cannon Beach and I got to admire these pretty pumpkins in person. I didn't buy one though. I had to hold myself back but I knew I could figure out how to make them myself and I knew I'd have fun doing it.

Well my favorite, Ms. Martha, must have heard me. I'm sure she reads my blog, right? Or maybe it's just that great minds think alike. Either way, in the November issue of Martha Stewart Living, she shares her version and a project "how to" for fabric pumpkins.

Sadly I searched high and low on her website in order to link it up to my blog but no dice! Guess you'll just have to run out and buy the current issue of MS Living.

If I get my act together, I will attempt Martha's version and post pictures of the project with instructions. Just in time for Halloween!

photo courtesy of Housemartin

A Video...

...of Andy rolling down the hill at Kelsey Creek Park.

Oscar, being the awesome husband that he is, went to fetch the car so that we wouldn't have to walk all the way back to it after a long day at the park. So while we waited for him, Andrew entertained Ozzie and I by rolling down the hill.

It's funny kids today totally "get" technology. I told him I was going to take a picture of him rolling down the hill and he said, "No make a video!". Fully aware that my digital camera can take video. Who knows that at 7 years old? Apparently Andy does as I'm sure most children do in his generation. I'll tell you when I was 7 years old, I'm not sure I knew what a camera was let alone a video camera. Wait did they have those in 1982?

Anyway, Andrew wanted a video of him rolling down the hill and since I have the means to publish it {aka my blog}, Andy this ones for you! I love you!

October 25, 2009

Chicken Recuerdos de Tucson

I know I've mentioned how much I enjoyed reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle about one million times but it truly was life changing and inspiring.
I finally tried one of her recipes, Chicken Recuerdos de Tucson, or Memories of Tucson for those who don't speak Spanish. If you read the book you'd know that the whole premise was a family moving from Tucson to the Appalachia to live off their land for one year. Sort of the green movement meets locavore meets gardener memoir. Oscar would call it your basic tree huggers bible. None the less, it was a great read and I was happy to finally try a recipe.

This soup is perfect for Seattle's drizzly gray weather right now. We paired it with Trader Joe's "Truly Homemade Corn Tortillas", which if you haven't tried, go to your local TJ's and get a pack right now. Probably the best store bought tortillas you will ever have.

Chicken Recuerdos de Tucson

1 whole cut-up chicken, or thighs and legs
Olive oil (for sauté)
1 medium onion, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Brown chicken in a large kettle. Remove chicken, add oil, gently sauté the onion and garlic.
1 tsp cumin seed
Green chiles to taste, chopped
2 red or green peppers
1 large or 2 medium zucchini or other squash, thickly sliced
Add to kettle and sauté, add small amount of broth if necessary.
1 cup tomatoes (fresh, frozen, canned, or ½ cup dehydrated, depending on season)
2 cups corn kernels
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
2 cups chicken broth or water

Add to kettle along with browned chicken, add water or broth (more if using dried vegetables), cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until chicken is done to bone. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Bon Appetit!

October 24, 2009

Kelsey Creek Farm

Well one farm just wasn't enough for us this year so we decided to attend the Kelsey Creek Farm harvest festival after our visit to Remlinger Farms. This time we brought Andrew, my nephew, and my Dad along to join the fun.

If I had to pick my favorite park on the Eastside, Kelsey Creek is definitely it. I loved going there as a kid to look at the animals. I was always particularly struck by the bee house. I am not really sure why but I have vivid memories of loving the bee house. Go figure? As an adult I participated in a boot camp a couple of years ago and got a great workout running and hiking the trails that surround the park.

Their harvest festival was filled with tons of fun. Ozzie and Andy picked a mini-pumpkin to decorate, played with the animals {although Andy refused to pet the bunnies for some reason} and Andy jumped in the bouncy houses while Ozzie looked on with envy. Poor baby, soon enough his time will come.

Here are some pictures from our day at Kelsey Creek Park.

Playing in the on the playground. The playground was a little too young for Andrew but he's a trooper and played with Ozzie.

Until he got bored and sat down with Pepa. Did you notice Ozzie harassing the two ladies for their popcorn in the picture above. Funny thing is I didn't even catch that until I started this blog post. Poor gals, Ozzie can be demanding sometimes!

And here he is harassing a little girl for her sippy cup.

Luckily we found a water vendor. Playing can make you thirsty.

These ducks were hooting and hollering so loud we actually stopped what we were doing and followed the noise. Once we found them we had to take a picture with them. I couldn't get Ozzie to look at the camera or Andy to smile.

Andrew and Pepa decorating pumpkins.

Looking for pumpkins to decorate.

Here is two not so great pictures of Andrew going down the bouncy slide. I have no idea why his head is cut off in both pictures.

A few pictures of Ozzie pouting that he couldn't go in the bouncy house with the big kids. He stood outside of that bouncy house forever wondering why he couldn't go inside.

Andrew waiting in line for the slide. He's so handsome!

Ozzie running all over the grassy area. He just loves to run and run and run!

Andrew posing in the scarecrow maze. Not quite sure what he's doing in the second shot but he really wanted me to take it so I obliged.

Pepa and his grandsons. Andy's crazy posing again!

Another fun day with the family! I will cherish these moments forever.

October 23, 2009

Remlinger Farms

This year Oscar and I took Ozzie to Remlinger Farms in Carnation for some good old fashion Fall harvest fun!

If you haven't been to Remlinger Farms and live in the Seattle area, it is THE place to take the little one for his Halloween pumpkin. Although it is so much more than a pumpkin patch. Remlinger Farms has a park on the grounds with a train ride, a roller coaster, a petting zoo, bouncy houses, pony rides and much much more. I especially enjoyed the antique car ride. Oscar and I put Ozzie in the drivers seat and crossed our fingers. Okay so the car drives itself but he still had fun moving the steering wheel round and round. They also have a cute market, gift shop and restaurant/bakery on site. We left with a mini-pumpkin pie for dessert later that night and apple pull apart bread, which was delicious with our coffee Sunday morning.

Ozzie had a blast as usual. We are blessed with a go with the flow kiddo. He hopped right into his wagon and was up for anything we threw at him. He even liked his pony ride with pumpkin the pony. We thought for sure he'd scream bloody murder but he didn't, he smiled happily and quite enjoyed the ride.

If you are looking for a pumpkin patch that is fun for the whole family, make sure to check out Remlinger Farms!

Here are some pictures of our adventure at the Farm. Click HERE to see all of them (I know, can there possibly be more pictures? Oh yes many more!).

Riding on the antique car. Ozzie's driving.

Posing on the pumpkins

I love this one. It looks like he's saying, "Hey guys a little help here. I'm stuck!".

Climbing on the pumpkins

This is his new pouty face

Pony ride. The horse was appropriately named Pumpkin.

Fake horses too

How tall this Fall?

Train ride

These are always fun for a laugh!

Driving the tractors

Petting zoo

That's one HUGE pumpkin in my wagon!
Happy Fall!