Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

We took the kids to a party with hosted by a group I meet up with often.  Hubbers and I got dressed up, he as the creator of the Necromonicon (but later decided not to carry it along with him) and I as Lady Death.  Jeanne was the happy, bubbly pirate and Loki the Beast.

The party was held outside at a local park so the kids could run around at the playground and parents talk and mill about. I had such a great time just watching the kids play and talk about their costumes.  There was a table set up for the kids to decorate their own 'trick or treat' bag with markers and stickers.  I really liked getting to see and meet all the dads, I'm so glad they came.

The party ended with a bunch of parents standing along a path with candy and goodies, then the costumed kids did their parade and asked each beaming parent for sweets.  It made me so happy to see each kid smiling and trotting off to the next goodie bag.  I had a really great time, and so did the Jeanne.  Loki was great, and was content being held and watching all the fabulous people.

May I present Jeanne and her very cool, very hip friends.  And a random picture of Loki.

I really like this picture of her.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chicken soup

Chicken soup is good all year round. Its great after a day sledding or shoveling in the winter.  It always makes you feel better when you're sick.  Chicken soup is a great meal to bring to friends having hard times, or a new baby.  Here's mine, although it changes depending on seasonal vegetables, or veggies I want to clear out of my crisper drawer.

Yes, this uses a slow cooker, but you can do it on the square thing in your kitchen if you'd like too.  I add no oil or butter, so no added fats here!

2 cups vegetables (any really, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, scallions, corn, although if you are going to add peas, I'd wait until 10 minutes before serving, and just stir them it, they stay bright green this way)
1 cup cooked chicken (I always save some dark meat and some breast when I cook a whole chicken, just throw it in the freezer and your all set when you want to make this soup)
2 quarts of chicken broth (8 cups)
1 cup brown rice (or 1/2 cup brown rice and 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa)
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
salt and pepper to taste

I usually just use all rice, but thought I'd give the quinoa a try.  It was a really nice change and Jeanne loved it.  I make this soup every other week or so.  The whole family loves it and I never worry about throwing out leftovers.  This is one of my soups that Jeanne always has two bowl fulls the night I make it and is willing to eat leftovers the next day or two (if it makes it).

Specifically, the batch I made yesterday had the following:
broccoli, 1 carrot, 1/2 a cooked sweet potato (it basically dissolves, so each and every bite has a veggie in it, even if you have picky eaters), frozen corn, and I added frozen peas at the end
Some chicken from a previous whole bird cooked
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup quinoa
I only had 'regular' chicken stock on hand, so I used about 3.5 cups of stock and the rest water to reduce the sodium.  I prefer to add salt to my soup then not eat soup I find too salty.

The result was more of a stew than soup, but it was jam packed with protein and vegetables!  We had it for dinner last night, and lunch today.  Never a complaint by Jeanne.  Loki looked like he wanted some too, but he'll have to wait.

Day time vs Night time

Just so we're clear.  Jeanne has been amazing during the day.  She spends her mornings playing nicely with her brother, hugging and kissing him.  She has been listening to me very well, and playing well with other kids when we go to playgrounds.  At night though, at night, she is very different. 

She is needy, demanding, tired, cranky, and refuses to sleep.

ZenHabits: A blog I read (on the right sidebar)

A comment on ZenHabits recent "Effortless Parenting"

1)Teaching your kids to brush their teeth and dress themselves is not teaching them to self sufficient, it is teaching them basic skills.  Perhaps teaching them to do their own laundry is a "self sufficient" skill, but I see it more as giving them a chore to do, or a way to earn an 'allowance'.  Truly, its keeping them out of your hair and giving yourself one less thing to do.
2)If you are teaching your older kids to help with the younger ones, then you are yelling loud and clear that YOU ARE NOT PARENTING ALL YOUR CHILDREN.  You are, again, shucking your parenting duties onto others, here you are making your other kids do it.
3)Oh, you home school?  I'm not surprised, but moving on. "Our kids don’t learn facts or even skills".  That is fantastic, I'm sure your kids will never need to know a single fact or would benefit from having a single skill (other than taking care of children) when they enter the workforce or decide to go to college, good job.  Why bother teaching them to read?  They should just figure out how to solve that problem on their own.
4) Be passionate you say? Hm, sure, passion is all very well, but why not teach them to persevere rather than be passionate.  Passion can fade, a difficult situation cannot be overcome with passion, but by buckling down and focusing, by practicing. I think it is far more important to be honest with children that they will face hard and difficult tasks in life, and the way to overcome them is to practice, and not give up.  All things fit here, for toddlers it is learning how to correctly pronounce "hippopotamus and consequence", then how to ride a bike, to draw their letters and figure out the difference between lower case "b" and "p", learning an instrument and calculus.  I don't think humans have a problem with passion.
5) Playing with your kids is not a tip for "effortless parenting", its just plain parenting.  It is sad that so many parents have to be reminded that a healthy child is a happy child.  I do wish more parents would include themselves in being active, I do not understand why so many think their health is not important or a priority.
6) Sure, I agree, don't over schedule.  I too, know parents who wear their crazy busy schedule as a badge.
7) Dote? I guess it depends on the age of the child, right?  Leave them alone sometimes and do something for yourself, you are speaking about children 4 or 5, in a safe environment right?  I have a 7 month old and a 29 month old, I do not 'leave her alone'.  Do I let her explore, sure.  Do I let her see how high she can climb at the playground, sure.  Do I leave her alone, no.  Dote, do mean show them affection and teach them why some things are not safe?  We frequently go for walks in the woods, if I were to leave my daughter alone, she would eat every wild fungus she came across.  We observe them, talk about the different kids of fungus, how they help decompose the trees and other matter, but we do not let her 'figure out" that they can potentially hurt her.
8) Dance, sure.  Go dance.  Dancing is fun, especially with kids.
9) Read, yes read.  Read often, visit the library, go to local book stores, make book stores as fun and as frequent as the playground.  Save buying books for special occasions, and visit the library often.
10) Children are naturally inquisitive.  I don't think you have to teach them this, what parents have to do is remember to allow children to be so.  Instead of always telling your kids to be quite, or "later", have whole conversations with them about new and interesting things.  Where do butterflies go at night?  Enjoy these conversations with your kids.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just because this game is so much fun

Mommy went to sleep around 9:40, then:
Loki wakes at 10:30
Loki wakes at 12:30
Jeanne walk into my room at 1:57 (Internally I am a screaming maniac, "What! It's not even 3:00am yet, what the cus!
Loki wakes up at 2:00, I am so tired, I don't even attempt to nurse him and put him back in the crib, I just bring him to bed.
Loki wakes at 3:00, I nurse him, but he doesn't seem to want to settle down.  Then:
Jeanne walks into my room at 3:20 telling me she pee's in her diaper.  While Loki is still awake, I go change Jeanne's diaper.  She wants to snuggle, but I tell her no and go back to Loki. I pick Loki up and rock him, but he seems wide awake. We walk, snuggle, I hum, I sit the the rocking chair, I put a sleepy Loki in the crib.  He stirs within 2 minutes.  Repeat above.  He stirs and coos at me, I can tell he is staring at me in the dark.  I pick him up again, and we rock for a long time.  This time it works.  The clock says 4:48am.

I don't actually remember the next stage, but somehow Loki got in bed with me, since I woke up with him there.  But I heard Jeanne's footsteps and I was already telling her to go back to bed when she loudly declared "My clock is yellow, it's time to play".  It was 6:28, time to get up for the day.

Dear hubbers, I am drinking all your dark roast coffee, my mild (cus) coffee isn't working.  All my love.

Sesame Street in,  first cup of coffee gone, off to brew another one.

Monday, October 24, 2011

(grumble) Sleep (grumble)

 So Daddy is away for a few days, and I was so concerned as to how to put the babes in the bath and to bed, I actually forgot about the journey through the night.

Loki fell asleep and stayed asleep (thank you son) at 7:00pm.  Jeanne was put to bed at 7:40pm.
Jeanne only came out of her room once, which is great for her, at 8:05.  The children downstairs get taken out of the house every night around 9pm.  They scream bloody murder.  Every night around 9pm, 3 children in the apartments and in the hallway (echo chamber) scream bloody murder. I didn't blame Jeanne at all.  It is a scary sound.

I tucked myself into bed at 9:35pm.  Then I was woken up at (around) the following times.
Loki- 12:30
Loki- 2:30
Jeanne- 3:00
Jeanne- 3:30
Jeanne- 4:02
Jeanne- 4:50
Loki- 5:30
Jeanne- 6:17 and up for the day

Jeanne on the potty, Loki diaper change.  Jeanne gets some milk and half a pumpkin muffin she helped make.  Loki gets Sophie to chew on.  Super Why on TV.  Now to brew some coffee.

As an aside, thank you hubbers for suggesting the fleece footsie PJ's for Loki.  Now, despite his rolling madness, he can remain warm through the night.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins or Pumpkin Bread

Jeanne was my little helper in the kitchen, and this is what we made yesterday:

Pumpkin Muffins and Pumpkin Bread

1 cup butter or margarine (1 stick) softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 (16 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin

In a mixing bowl, dream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well.
Combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened.
Stir in pumpkin.
Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Or fill (to top) muffin tins.

Bake at 350F degrees for 1 hour or until bread tests done. If making muffins test for done at 40 minutes.

I made 1 large loaf of bread and 8 muffins (only filled muffins half full). The muffin exterior was dry to the touch with a little crunch when bitten into, not burnt mind you, but certainly not wet, sticky or gooey. I baked my muffins for 45 minutes, which is why I suggest you check at 40 minutes.

The loaf of bread has a much better feel, a little tacky.

The taste is wonderful! I would usually substitute half of the butter with unsweetened applesauce, but didn't mind since the batter made so much more than a single loaf of bread.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fall in North Carolina

Looking at the weather for tomorrow, we just might need to turn on the heat.
Raleigh weather

Hurumph.  Fall in North Carolina is so very different that Massachusetts.  I love it here, and am so happy the Fall and crisp mornings have arrived.  My apartment is filled with the scent of pumpkin bread and apple spiced tea.  Tomorrow we make homemade applesauce.

  What else shall we do before hubbers flies away again?

Another highchair?

So, I have been feeding Loki for just over 2 months now.  We have a bouncy chair for newborns that worked well for the first feedings of plain cereal and water.  I also have a seat with a try on wheels for bigger kids (4 months +) to scoot around on wood/tile floors.  I got this from Eileen's friend, Jeanne loved it at Leominster with our wood floors, and now Loki loves to scoot around in our kitchen.  We fed him here for a while, before he could really stand on his own.

Food shopping, thank goodness I only needed a couple of items.  They are both much smaller in my head.
Now though, that he is 7 months old, he can stand in that chair, and makes feeding him very difficult since he just bounces and stomps the whole time, so I moved him to a chair that attaches to the table (again, we had since Jeanne).  But his chair was very dirty yesterday, so I took it off and washed it.  while it was drying Jeanne said she wanted to color.  I thought I would see how she did in a chair all by herself.  She was fine, so I happen to put Loki in her highchair, and he loved it, he sat so much higher and was able to reach his beloved cheerios much better.  He has historically not liked sitting in his chair, and I though it was just because he doesn't like to sit still.  No, he must have just been uncomfortable.  He had a blast in his highchair.

I quickly considered just letting Jeanne sit in a 'big girl' chair, but that idea went away quickly.  She loves to paint and when she does, it's usually a whole body/paper/try affair. 

We need two highchairs.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I used to set my alarm for 7:45am to remind myself to take my medication.  I used to wake around 7, as this was when Jeanne was waking up, and Loki would wake soon after.  Then I noticed Jeanne was waking around 6:30am, and so would Loki. 

Personally, I have started setting my alarm for 6:00am so I can have my 15-20 minutes ALONE to do yoga each morning.  The trouble is, I've just realized that the last week or two maybe, I'm always up around 5:00 am, Loki wakes up and just will not go back to sleep.  Jeanne wakes up too, usually around 4:45 -5:00 am and hubbers will go to her room to give her milk, in desperate hope she will go back to sleep.  Sometimes Jeanne will go back to sleep, and hubbers seems really grateful.  Other times, she will just keep fidgeting, turning, or kicking him.... unitl he bascially can't take it anymore, then he gets out of bed. 

Now the real kicker is, he goes into Jeanne's room, in hopes that I get more sleep, since he knows I get up so often with Loki throughout the night.  Sweet really.  But, Loki does the same thing Jeanne does.  He wakes at 5:00 am, and will not go back to sleep.  He will roll from side to side, grab my face with his teeny, tiny, stupid, strong baby fist and kick me repeatedly. 

By the time 6:00 am or 6:30 am rolls around hubbers and I have already literally taken a beating for over an hour, are tired and already cranky.  How is it my kids are sleeping less and less often?

Jeanne's total day sleep is between 1.5-2 hours.  Rarely she refuses to nap or will sleep for 3 hours.
Jeanne's total night time sleep (in reality now) 8.5 hours.  That is not enough for a toddler.  Most toddlers I know are sleeping 11-12 hours a night (not counting pee wake ups or milk demands).

Loki's daytime sleep (total) 2.5 hour nap, this is one 30 minute nap and a 2 hour nap (which is always broken up 3-4 times, he won't actually just sleep for 2 straight hours).
Loki's nighttime sleep (total) about 9.5-10... still doesn't sound like enough for a 7 month old.

Parents nighttime (max) sleep 5.5 hours, always broken up.


Suggestions?  Other than drugging them of course.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My little girl.

"Daddy its 6 2 8, it's time to get up."  Direct quote from my 28 month old this morning.  Yay!, The next stage begins.  Now I get to teach her the months, days of the week, and addition!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5 days until I do this ALONE

As many of you know, my husband travels often for his job.  We knew that, and we accepted the consequences of that.  I have been very lucky in that he was able to put off travel the first 3 (grueling) months of Loki's life.  After that, my mother was always (happened) to be home as well, so she would come over for dinner each night and give Jeanne a bath and put her to bed while I did the same for Loki. 

Two kids, two adults.

Well, my mother also has to do some traveling for her work, and as it happens she is in the middle of a very big project, so is gone a lot more this month.  So the two travelers go.  It had to happen, and I knew it would happen.  Next week, they will both be gone, and I will be alone every day and every night.

Just after dinner last night, I came to this realization and began to panic (only a little).  I pushed down my fear, and decided to make a plan.  I figured I better start practicing how to do this alone while hubbers is still here, so if I miss to see a big problem (huh, who do I take out of the tub first?) he is still here to save me and we can think it out later.

Last night, I tried giving both Loki and Jeanne a bath at the same time, which they both loved to death and they wouldn't stop giggling. I was in there too, to make sure Loki didn't fall over or Jeanne splash too much, but they were fine.  The problem, as I hinted at earlier, was who to take out first, if I am still in the bath.  I have to be careful not to fall or drop a wet Loki.

Tonight, I think I will let them bathe together but I won't get in.  Still haven't worked out the "milk and books" routine yet. During nap time, I read them both books while Loki lies next to Jeanne and I and plays and Jeanne drinks her milk, then I put Loki down for a nap. But I don't think I can do that at night since Loki gets really tired an hour before Jeanne does.

Must keep thinking.. Suggestions welcome!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sleep, dear sleep

Even though hubbers is away, I feel like I had a wonderful nights sleep.  Jeanne kept getting out of bed, last night, but finally stayed in after 9pm, the little bugger.  That left me with one hour to read, although it is hard to concentrate when I'm so tired, but I had to stay up just in case Jeanne came out of her room again. 

Teeth brushed and face washed, I was in bed by 10 past 10.  Loki wakes up at 10:30 because he's hungry.  He nurses well, and falls right back to sleep in his crib.  I snuggle all by myself in the big bed. 

Loki wakes at 12:30, soaked through (early for him).  We nurse and he sleeps in my space in the bed while I sleep on my belly (a real treat for me!) on hubbers side. 

Loki sleeps until 4:30 am (WOW, this was the largest chunk of sleep I have had in, well 9 months!).  He nurses and goes back to sleep.  I am overjoyed at how rested I feel and actually smile as I lie back down.

Jeanne walks into my room with a beach ball at 5:30 (this makes me giggle, "What are you doing with a ball Jeanne?").  She gets her milk and I tuck her back in.

Jeanne walks back into my room at 6:10.  Up for the day!

How did you sleep?

Monday, October 10, 2011

3 ingredient "Ice cream"

I made a special treat last night. I remembered someone commenting a long time ago about making "ice cream" without milk, but couldn't find the link. With some searching I found this very sweet, creamy delicious treat.

You need three ingredients and a food processor. The food processor is necessary, unless you have one of those ninja / vitamix buggers, a regular blender just won't do unfortunately.

Frozen Bananas (yes, must be frozen), peanut butter (of sunbutter/almond butter etc) and unsweetened cocoa powder (I used nestle, feel free to use your favorite premium)

I used:
2 FROZEN bananas
2 Tablespoons peanut butter (I eat a LOT of peanut butter, more than my 2 year old)
0.5 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder

Chop the banana into 8 pieces or so, add peanut butter and cocoa and pulse or use LOW in the food processor. Stop when all ingredients are appropriately mixed. From start to finish, it all takes about 3 minutes and the final product is amazing!

We ate this as soon as it was finished, I didn't feel a need to put it back in the freezer.

No added milk (great for vegans!), can increase or decrease amount of peanut butter (OK, ok, I admit, I added 2.5 Tablespoons, get off my back!) or use sunbutter if you have nut allergies.

No added sugars, and no added ~stuff~ 3 ingredients. WIN!

Do you think a banana tree will grow on my porch in North Carolina?

I cannot wait to make this again, and add more cocoa, maybe 1 Tablespoon for a more chocolate taste (the peanut butter, was eh hem, overwhelming lol).

This made enough for two adults to share, but I'll not lie, this could have easily been consumed mightily by myself. Mua ha ha!

Obese pre -schoolers

Just in case you missed this, it is a must read, very short and to the point.  It is a blog I read daily (its on the right bar).

Obese pre-schoolers

Friday, October 7, 2011

You should own a slow cooker.

Everyone should! Do you work outside of the home? Would you rather eat at home than eat out? Is knowing WHAT is in your food important to you? Are you watching your salt intake, your fat, gluten, vegetarian? Are you trying to watch your budget right now, and REALLY need to start spending less money on food. Do you hate, loathe, despise cooking? Do you stay home with the kids, and feel like you don't have time to chop, sauté, simmer, and boil for dinner every night?

Do you eat?

You should own a slow cooker.

So first, I must tell you I am obsessed with my slow cookers. No, really! I thought they were just used to put giant pieces of meat in to tenderize after many, many hours, but I was so wrong!

I knew I had a crock-pot, since I remembered moving it, but I don't remember buying it or using it much until we got to Raleigh, and suddenly I was home with my daughter and pregnant. I had gotten very used to my husband cooking dinner every night. He is such a great cook, and would only cook really great tasting and high quality food. It only seemed fair that I attempt to help with dinners. The only problem was, I don't know how to cook. Nothing. I can put a mean macaroni and cheese (from the box) in front of you, but that is about it.

So I started looking around for recipes online. I had a pretty cheap 3.5quart crock pot (which by the way is a perfectly fine size for two adults with some leftovers for lunch).

I first came across this blog

Which is a really great place to start, especially if you eat meat. She has a lot of dishes that have meat, and even those have lots of meat in them! Often times too much for me, but to each their own. I tried several of her recipes, and we liked them, even hubbers, much to my surprise! (What! I made dinner and it was GOOD?!) Then I got her book from the library:

"Make it fast, cook it sloe by Stephanie O'Dea
Make it fast cook it slow

I love this book, it has a lot of really fantastic recipes and the organization is perfect. I like how she has separate sections for poultry, take out,vegetarian, side dishes, breakfast, beans etc. Personally, if I were to recommend any single crock-pot book, it would be this one. If you are vegetarian, it has a section for that, there are lots of bean recipes, soups and stews, drinks, side dishes and desserts. You could always substitute 'fake meat crumbles' for the chili's and stews, although I have not tried that.

I implore you to get a slow cooker! Really, even if you just want to do an experiment it can be a cheap one. Get a small slow cooker, you can definitely find one for less than $30. Try it out for 30 days, if you don't like it, gift it to a local body for warming food, sell it to a college friend (perfect for dorms!) or just make rice in it! A 3.5 quart is perfect if your just dipping your toes into the water, anything smaller and it will really limit the kinds of dishes you can make. I think its better to have yummy leftovers, than not be able to make a certain dish.

Don't have money lying around, try to put aside $1 everyday for a month, and you can get yourself a nice slow cooker! Then get the cook book from the library! I promise you will make healthy, TASTY, dinners you will be PROUD to share with your friends and family, not to mention it can all be done in less than 10 minutes in the morning.

You’ll also save money by not eating out and having leftovers for lunch! Win, win!

Honda CRV SE is ours, all ours!

Bazinga ! We just traded in our 2008 Prius with 70k+ miles on it. Our Prius was PAID OFF and we will be coming home with a new Honda CRV SE.  Bigger car for the family, and the lease price is $110 lower than our car payment was.

Awesome! BIGGER car, LESS money per month. Which means we can pay back our debts faster!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Orange Black Beans with Cumin

This recipe is from the book "Not your mothers slow cooker"  I got it from the library, and really had to search for good recipes.  For having over 350 recipes, I think I only pulled about 10, and most of them were on making jams and apple butters etc.  I would *not* spend any money on this book. 

That said, this recipe was pulled by my mother, and it is FANTASTIC!  No really, it WILL be a new staple in my house, so good, Jeanne ate a bunch too with rice.

Made in a slow cooker:
High for about 1.5 hours

Two cans or about 5 cups of black beans, drained and rinsed (I used homemade and only drained, did not rinse away broth)
2 Tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar (this can be reduced if you find it too sweet)
1 rib of celery, minced
1 medium shallot minced ( I used half a small onion)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 chicken broth (substitute vegetable broth if desired)
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
pinch of cinnamon or cardamom (I use cinnamon, can't wait to try cardamom)
salt and pepper to taste (I didn't)

To serve:
hot cooked rice
1/4 chopped cilantro fresh (didn't use)
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes  (not in season, so I didn't use)

Combine beans, brown sugar, shallot, celery, orange juice, broth, cumin and cinnamon in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high about 1.5 hours.

Note: Both my mother and I agree that these beans taste better cold, which is really great news of you brought a bag lunch and the microwave doesn't work, or your in a rush and just need to EAT RIGHT NOW (I don't know anyone like that, I'm just saying).

Hmm, I'm hungry right now, I think I have some orange beans!

P.S. It really bothered Jeanne that I kept calling these beans "Orange Beans", as they are in fact black beans.  It was pretty cute.

"Not orange mommy (finger waving in my face). These black beans."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Eating Machines I tell you

Those who have had children will be aware that they go through spurts where they eat all day long (or nurse) and days where you can't get them to eat a lollipop.  Well today was an eating day for the mini-Bakers.

For breakfast Jeanne had sausage with gravy, cereal with milk and homemade applesauce with carrots.  Loki nursed and had avocado and applesauce with carrots and brown rice cereal. 

Lunch time rolls around and Jeanne had a grilled cheese on homemade bread, a cup of juice and half a Quorn patty (mushroom patty).
Loki nursed 3 times in 90 minutes

Dinner Jeanne had yellow lentil with spinach soup, orange black beans and rice, almost an entire chicken leg, cauliflower with korma spiced purple onions and raisins and potatoes cooked to perfection with cheese (seh had a second serving of potatoes while IN the bathub).
Loki nursed, had half a jar of 'vegetable turkey dinner' nursed AGAIN as we still eating dinner, and that was after having/playing with cheerios BEFORE dinner. 

As for me, I have been having fun 'dual wielding' my two crockpots. 
Just this week I have made pears with apricots (it was supposed to just be for Loki, but WOW it was good, we all had some for dessert)
Indian yellow lentil and spinach soup
a Minestrone soup
a pound of black beans
Orange black beans (RECIPE will be posted, these are amazingly good, addictive even!)
a whole chicken cooked rotisserie style
surgared almonds
apples and carrots (again, for Loki, but we had some too)
"Dad's Ramja" (Indian kidney beans, uber yummy)

In the que we have
apples and oatmeal for breakfast (hopefully I'll get it set up tonight)
and Falafel (hubbers and I had decided that THIS will be replacing our weekly turkey burgers, they are so amazingly good and easy to make if you own a food processor and a slow cooker!)

Ahh, I am pleasantly full and enjoying a cup of tea.  My stomach is telling me I really shouldn't eat any more food, but if my son is going to be chowing down all night, I just might want to tank up on calories!

What great foods have you eaten recently?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thirty Four years

What a really fantastic birthday weekend!  Hubbers took Friday off and so the whole family went to the Durham Life and Science Museum.  I have been here 4 times now, and I still have not seen all of it!  I LOVE it!

This trip we saw the red wolf, the black bears and the lemurs, which were very fun to watch.  We also stopped by the farmyard area and saw the goats, pigs and cow.  Jeanne really got a kick out of how much the cow liked to get scratches.  The museum trip is never complete without a walk down dinosaur alley.

The 'life size' models are really cool, and the museum does a great job placing the models within the trees and shrubs so it seems like you sneak up on them (well, the smaller ones anyway!).

The day was complete with a visit from Grandma Barb, and her vegan carrot cake (this made us worried),  and her party hats.  Jeanne got such a kick out of wearing the hats, thanks mom!  The cake though, was surprisingly GOOD, no really!  It was so good, we told her it had to have been marked wrong.

Lucky me, my birthday weekend did not end there, Saturday greeted us with temps in the 50's!  Ahh, the crisp cool air.  I love the fall, and was worried I would have to wait so much longer to feel it.

Sunday, we had some FaceTime with Aunt Eileen and Uncle James, and the pups, then we met Grandma Barb at Umstead Park for a nice walk in the woods.  No cool pictures today, I was too happy just walking (sometimes with Jeanne on my back) since hubbers was carrying Loki.  We took a new trail this time, and we found that along the trail were markers naming and describing the different trees.  We all took time to see the differences in the bark color and texture and the size of the trees.  Our own 'tree school' for Jeanne, but I think we all had fun.  I finally learned the name of that new pine tree in this area, the Loblolly pine!

Food, I can't write a post without food being mentioned.  Friday was pizza night as always, and with my homemade crust, hubbers made a wonderfully flavorful pizza that we all devoured.  Saturday breakfast consisted of Rancho Gordo Snowcap beans with eggs and spinach, and during lunch I made pearsauce with apricots in the slowcooker.  It's just like applesauce, only with pears.  I was noticing that I kept buying little jars of apples and apricots or pears and apricots for Loki, so I figured I would make it.  Oh yum, was that good!  Two ice trays in the freezer for Loki and the rest was gobbled up that meal!

Today we had sweet potato hash browns, then Jeanne helped daddy make a "smoomie" (or fruit smoothie).  Jeanne is my little girl though, with each ingredient she was to put in the blender, she grabbed a bite first ; )  Two bananas, HUGE glob of peanut butter, blueberries, strawberries and milk.  What we don't drink I make freezer pops with for later.

Just before dinner I made sugar cinnamon almonds.  Wow, these are addictive!

Thank you all for calling, I miss you!