Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kitchen Tip: Washing Grapes

I've discovered an easy way to wash & measure out grapes for lunch boxes or snacks. My Pampered Chef can strainer is just the thing! It holds just the right amount and I can rinse & drain them easily. It's small too - doesn't take up much room in the drawer. I thought it was just for straining tuna, so I'm glad to have another use for this little tool!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Broccoli Slaw Omelet

So, I had a Pampered Chef cooking show a couple of weeks ago. We made this yummy recipe, Thai Chicken Stir-Fry served over rice and a salad (for more meal options!) It was the perfect recipe for me. Most of the PC recipes call for boxed mixes and prefab foods. This one was all fresh whole foods. Perfect!

One of the ingredients that I bought was broccoli slaw. It's a prepackaged salad mix (which is technically prefab, but still a whole real food). I had never heard of it before. But it was on the list, so I bought it.

After the party, there was half a bag of broccoli slaw left. Upon further discovery, I realized that broccoli slaw is just shredded broccoli stems with a few shredded carrots thrown in for color. Well, now that I know that I can totally make my own this summer when the broccoli is garden fresh. But I digress...

I had to figure out a way to use up the leftovers. I've been eating eggs for breakfast a lot lately. One morning as I opened the refrigerator to grab an egg, I saw the broccoli slaw and was hit with inspiration. Of course! A broccoli slaw omelet!!

(Now, technically, it is actually more of a scramble than an omelet, but it's my recipe, so I'm calling it an omelet anyway.)

First, melt some REAL butter in a hot skillet. Then throw in a handful of broccoli slaw. Cook until the broccoli slaw is crisp-tender, about 4-5 minutes.

Break your egg (or eggs) into the pan and stir them up real quick to scramble. (I used 3 "banty" eggs from Tanna - they are half the size of normal eggs and have very yellow yolks an account of the chickens being free-range and grass fed.)

When the eggs are mostly set, flip over and cook until done.

Finally, butter up a slice of homemade bread and pan-fry it while the pan is still hot. Sprinkle the eggs with a little seasoned salt and enjoy!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pampered Chef has landed!

I love me some new kitchen toys... I mean tools.

This is what I got for hosting my cooking show. Pampered Chef is really good to their hostesses. The boxes landed yesterday. I got my guests' orders sorted & packed before dinner. I told myself I couldn't sort through my goodies until all the kitchen work was done for the day. Nothing like incentive to get the job done!

I'm very pleased with everything I got. I'm using my new stone baker to roast a chicken for dinner. I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The T-shirt Dress

I love a little girl in a dress.

One of the things I had to come to terms with when Jade was smaller was her lack of girlishness. She hated wearing dresses. It just wasn't in her programming. When I had Ruby and then Hosanna, I immediately began dressing them in pink, ruffles, and all manner of girly things. Then I waited to see if it would stick.

It did.

Ruby loves dressing up, and even Hosanna now enjoys wearing pretty dresses.

And I love that my little girls look like little girls. Even covered in dirt, there's no denying the girly-ness of a little girl in a pretty dress.

As spring approached, I began to evaluate the girl's clothing needs. Hosanna needed some summer clothes because I had nothing left in storage after last summer's clean out. And that was okay with me because it gave me an excuse to make her some cute little dresses.

I got some shirts on clearance at Walmart, and one brand new (with tags still on) at a rummage sale. I have tons of fabric in my stash, so I just went out to the bins and dug around until I found something that matched. Here is the finished results. Each dress took about 30 minutes to put together.

The one on the left is for Hosanna, and the one on the right is for her cousin, Abby.

These are made from the same yard of fabric that I got on the clearance table at Hancock fabrics a few years ago. It matched both t-shirts so well! But since one has the teacup border, you can't really tell. And she's not going to be wearing them both at the same time anyway.These will fit her all summer, though the skirts may be a bit shorter by fall than they are now. Each dress cost less than $5. And they are much cuter and more modest than the summer dresses I've seen for sale lately. I may make a few for Ruby too.

I love a little girl in a dress.

Garden '09: First Sprouts

I planted my first seeds of the year on April 30. I started with nice, cold-hardy crops: spinach & sugar snap peas. It's a good thing I didn't plant anything else... we've had a number of frosty nights since then.

The spinach was up first, on May 8. It looked at first like little green hairs coming up through the wood chips.

Next came the peas. They took a bit longer. I spotted the first sprout on May 11.The peas are big enough now that I need to get them a trellis. I noticed the first little tendrils yesterday. I bought some bamboo u-hoops at Menards that I am going to use to build a pea fence. That is my project for today.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hey, It's Me

Well, howdy! It's been like 2 weeks, so I figured it was time to get back to my blog. I have all these ideas running around in my head just waiting for time to sit down and do something with them. I'm working on a few posts about my garden, cooking, sewing, and parenting. For now, some cute shots of the kiddos!

Well, just of the two little ones. (Why is it the little ones get all the camera time, huh?)

Ruby & Hosanna got some new kitchen tools during Rummage-O-Rama a few weekends ago. They have quite the collection now. Ruby is always cooking up something interesting, and teaching little sister too.

I tried to put Hosanna's hair in pigtails. It kinda worked. Of course, she's had a haircut since then as we continue to "blend in" Ruby's handiwork.
Check out the peepers on that kid! Wow!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Again & Still, Plus Other News

I thought I should pop on and let everyone know what's up.

Last week Ruby & I came down with strep throat AGAIN. That made 4x for me and 3x for Ruby. The wise nurse practitioner we had seen each time finally brought in the rest of the family for testing. As it turns out, Teagan & Kordell were carrying it without symptoms. So, we didn't have it again, we STILL had it, as in, it never went away. They put the whole family on antibiotics and we are getting retested next week. Hopefully it is gone for good.

We are STILL working on the new garden. We brought home a load of black dirt from the in-laws yesterday, so we are getting closer. I planted spinach & snap peas in the other garden. No sprouts yet, but hopefully by the weekend there will be signs of life.

My camera cable is STILL missing, so that's why there have been no photos lately. I found one that might work at a rummage sale, but I have not had time to try it out yet.

Kordell went to an art class last week and learned some awesome techniques for improving his drawings. I'm hoping the desire to continue improving will get him interested in learning (in general) again.

Jade went to her first sleepover party last weekend. The mom of one of her friends just happens to be Jade's former speech therapist, and she wanted Jade to come to her daughter's birthday party so badly that she organized the whole thing, food and all, to accommodate Jade. So Jade got to be normal for once. How awesome is that!

Ruby is pushing every button there is to be pushed. She is wearing us out.

Hosanna is very glad that it is spring and she can play outside again. Daddy's tractor is her favorite thing right now.

Teagan has too many projects going. Radios, antennas and gardening... oh my!

I am hosting a Pampered Chef party on Friday so this week is all about finding my house again. I spent all weekend rummaging and ignoring the housework, so it's time to buckle down and whip this place into shape!