April 26, 2010

Morning Fun

This is what happens when you turn your back on your toddler. Admittedly this is another moment where as the parent I could have taught my son not to climb on the kitchen table but again I went the bad mother route and snapped some photos.

He was having so much fun showing me all of the fruits and vegetables after breakfast I couldn't take the wind out of his sail. He'll learn the rules some day!

Coincidentally he is wearing the same pajamas that he wore on my previous post regarding Oscar's birthday. I promise he has more than one pair of pajamas.

April 23, 2010

Oscar's Birthday

Oscar and I both celebrated birthdays this month. Unfortunately as I mentioned earlier we were plagued with ugly colds during the 7 day period between our birthdays. So our birthday celebrations were nothing to shout about. But I still wanted to do something special for Oscar so I snuck out to a great little bakery in town and picked up a few of his favorite donuts.

I wanted to surprise him when he woke up with his donuts but then this happened. The photos pretty much tell the story.

I probably should have stopped him but I decided to snap some fun photos instead. Oscar still enjoyed his donut.

Meatless Monday

Like most good husbands, Oscar knows not to argue with his wife. Especially when I am arguing for one of my hair brained ideas that I read somewhere on someones blog months ago and suddenly MUST.DO.NOW! Most of the time he happily plays along. However, when I timidly told him that I wanted to incorporate Meatless Mondays to our weekly menu, I never expected my carnivorous husband to agree. I was actually quite shocked but so proud of the fact that he is open to new ideas to better our family's health.

Where it started I don't know but the idea behind Meatless Mondays is that by reducing meat consumption by 15% (the equivalent of one day a week) we lessen the risk of chronic preventable illness and have a strong positive impact on the environment.

Our first Meatless Monday was a few weeks ago but I am just now getting around to posting this after a long 10 day battle with a sinus infection for me and a full blow double ear infection for Ozzie. I went with Colleen's Black Bean Green Enchiladas using her Cumin Black Beans for our first dish. It was great and I am definitely planning on adding it to the dinner rotation.

Black Bean Green Enchiladas via Over Cocktails
Cumin Black Beans
6 flour tortillas
Green chile enchiladas sauce (1/2 - 3/4 can)
Cheddar cheese (or a Mexican blend)

Sliced olives
Sour cream
Chopped tomato
Sliced jalapenos
Queso Fresco

Preheat oven to 350. Pour cooked beans into a fine sieve to remove all the liquid. Toss tortillas into warm oven for a few minutes. Remove and put several large spoonfuls of beans down the middle of each tortilla (maybe 1/2 cup worth of beans). Fold sides of tortilla over beans and place seam side down in a lasagna pan. Once all the tortillas are in the pan, cover with enchilada sauce. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 5 minutes. Turn oven to broil and cook for 3-5 more minutes, until cheese is melted. Top each enchilada with your choice of topping.

I served it with sliced vegetables and a salad. You can see from the picture above, Oscar chose all the toppings and even a meatless meal can be very filling.

April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Whether or not you agree with the global warming debate and its effects on the earth, protecting and preserving our planet should be a priority for all of us. If nothing else, I believe it is our obligation to leave behind an environment that is healthy and sustainable for our children and grand children.

In our home we have taken a few steps to help preserve our planet by:
  • Switching to environmentally friendly cleaning products and toiletries. Luckily these types of products are becoming more and more available to the average consumer. I love the Ecos laundry detergent that is available in bulk at Costco now. Martha Stewart has also launched an eco-friendly line at Home Depot. I haven't tried it yet but it is on my list of items to buy when needed. Never doubt Ms. Martha.
  • Buying local and organic produce, meat and eggs through farmers at Farmers Markets and in my very own city. To quote, Steve Hopp in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle "If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. That’s not gallons, but barrels. Small changes in buying habits can make big differences. Becoming a less energy-dependent nation may just need to start with a good breakfast."
  • Growing my own organic herbs and vegetables in our backyard each Spring and Summer. My goal is to eventually add some Fall and Winter crops.
  • No more plastic grocery bags!
  • Switched to energy saving appliances and light bulbs.
  • Recycle and compost as much as possible.
I know there is much more we can do but for now these are our contributions.

Today Ozzie and I celebrated Earth Day with a nature walk through the woods with my moms group. Here are a few pictures of my little tree hugger in his 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' t-shirt before we left for our walk.

I can't believe I got him to pose for a picture.

Most of my pictures turn out blurry- like this.

And this.


Ready to go Mom!

How are you helping to preserve our planet?

April 6, 2010

Brussell Sprouts, Pine Nuts & Bacon

Another Farmer's Market find. Fresh, local brussel sprouts and grass fed, nitrate free bacon. YUM! I can't tell you the last time we have had 'real' bacon.

If more moms made brussel sprouts this way, maybe they wouldn't have such a bad rep.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, sliced thin.

About 1/2 pound of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled into bits

Over medium heat, warm the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic slices for one minute.

Add the sprouts in skillet in one layer and sprinkle with salt to taste. Cook, uncovered, until the sprouts are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Add pine nuts for the last 5 minutes of cooking the sprouts.
Sprinkle bacon bits over sprouts.

April 5, 2010

Ozzie and Andrew

Ozzie and I got a visit from Pepa and Andy the other day. Ozzie was beside himself with excitement. He loves visitors in general but was especially excited about Pepa and Andy in particular.

Andy is so good with Ozzie and kept him entertained the whole time. Since it wasn't raining, Andy decided to take Ozzie for a ride in his Jeep; which is actually Andy's old Jeep that has been passed down to Ozzie.

Here are some pictures of the boys playing in the yard. Be warned there are A LOT of pictures here. When it comes to Andy and Ozzie I can't edit; not that I want to.

As you can see, Ozzie is overjoyed to have Andy over to play.

Andy to the rescue!

Taking a rest.

Andy pretending to run over my Azaleas

This is the famous brow wrinkle that runs in our family. I think it comes from my Mom.

I love this picture. Both boys are totally spaced out. Maybe it's time for lunch? Also Ozzie is in a Thomas the Tank Engine phase and doesn't go anywhere without his trains.

Andy wanted me to get some "action shots" of him rescuing Ozzie. It's a rescue Jeep.

More action.

I'm not sure what this has to do with a rescue but I'll oblige Andy anything.

Ozzie trying to get into the action by grabbing the water hose.

Andy decided to take a break from driving and Ozzie convinced Pepa to help him push.

Andy wanted a close up of his ring. I told you I don't say "no".

Both boys started to get a little restless.

This marks the end of outdoor Jeep fun. Ozzie climbed on the hood and Andy tried to drive standing up. I guess I can say "no"!

Baby Bok Choy with Shrimp and Tofu

I picked up some baby bok choy at the Ballard Farmer's Market last weekend and concocted this recipe for dinner. It was deeelish if I do say so myself!

Baby Bok Choy with Shrimp and Tofu- adapted from Epicurious
3/4 lb shrimp
1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 teaspoons coconut oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4 bundles baby bok choy, roughly chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1. Cook shrimp in 1 t of the oil until pink. Do not over cook. Set aside.
2. Combine soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch in small bowl; mix well.
3. Heat rest of oil until very hot in heavy large wok or skillet over high heat. Add garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper. Stir-fry until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
4. Add bok choy and stir-fry until just wilted, about 2 minutes.
5. Mix in green onions and stir-fry until onions are tender, about 1 minute.
6. Add tofu and lightly stir-fry until tofu is just heated through, about 2 minutes. Add cooked shrimp.
7. Pour soy mixture over all. Stir-fry until liquid boils and thickens, about 1 minute.

I served it over brown rice. Enjoy!

April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Ozzie participated in his very first Easter egg hunt this year. Our mom/baby play group hosted a hunt and family pot luck at the local park.

This is where I am supposed to say that he loved every second of it and ran like a mad man to fill his Easter basket full of eggs. Truth be told, he wasn't into it at all. In fact I ended up picking up eggs for him after his first few. Eventually he got so bored he ran for the trees and wanted to play in the dirt instead of finishing the egg hunt. Oh well, some day he'll get it. For now we have pictures where he looks like he's enjoying himself... maybe.

No frilly Easter baskets here. We are all boy all the time!

What he did enjoy was the parachute until a little girl hit him on the head with a racket. Poor guy, he didn't even see it coming.

Here he is running to get under the parachute. Super excited!

The he gets hit; after the altercation (just kidding) he was over the whole event and we left early.

We did manage to squeeze in some lunch before leaving. Although I think Ozzie's lunch consisted of brownies and cookies. My contribution to the pot luck was Ina's Potato Salad. I am not a huge fan of potato salad but I figured it was what you brought to an Easter pot luck. AND because it's Ina's recipe, it is probably the best potato salad I've had.

Potato Salad- Ina Garten
3 pounds small white potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion

Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters or in half, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Happy Easter!