Sunday, May 31, 2009

remember swimming lessons?

life is good when you're six.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

i've been featured!!!

my favortist blog is hosting a week of giveaways in appreciation of their readers.  i am floored, amazed and honored to be one of the giver-awayers:)  there is some seriously cool stuff being given away for just the cost of a comment on the blog so check it out!  oh-and please comment on my giveaway so i'm not left out in the cold....i'm already scared enough and am beggin for some comment love!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

spice it up!

when the laundry is piled up, i'm tripping over toys, dishes fill the sink, and dust bunnies are hopping through our house, i just walk past my spices and a sudden calm washes over me.  at least i've got ONE thing together...boy, does that feel good:)

Monday, May 25, 2009

meatless mondays

pizza.  everyone loves it and boy are the possibilities endless!  avid carnivores may not even notice if one of these yummy combinations are served for dinner without the meat!
it all starts with a good crust.  i've noticed the more i knead, the better it is.
ari trying his hand at the rolling pin.  it works the biceps more if you do it without a shirt on.
anytime you can include kids in the cooking process they're much more likely to eat it.  they couldn't WAIT til this was out of the oven!  to pass the time we watched this...

pizza crust

1 tbsp active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (100-115 F)

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp veggie oil

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

dissolve yeast in water and then add rest of ingredients and mix.  dump onto floured surface and knead (about 5 minutes) into smooth ball, adding more flour when needed.

roll out and placed on lightly corn mealed pizza stone or greased pizza pan.  cook for a few minutes at 450 degrees and then remove and add toppiongs.  put back in the oven until crust is crispy and lightly brown (12-15 minutes)

topping suggestions

Pesto Mushroom Pizza

Instead of pizza sauce, I make a pesto. In a blender, mix basil, extra virgin olive oil, spinach, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. Blend until it is well mixed. For this pizza, I like to make my pesto very thick with lots of herbs and spinach.

Spread a thick layer of pesto on the pizza. If your crust is large, you will need more pesto. Just toss more basil, etc, into the blender until you have enough to cover your crust - measurements are not important to make a good pesto.

Once the pizza crust is coated thickly with pesto, slice tomato into large slices and lay it on top. Then, slice the mushroom into 4-6 slices and position those around the tomato.

If you wish to add cheese, sprinkle that over the top.

BBQ Onion Pepper  Pizza

Instead of pizza sauce, use barbeque sauce. Spread a thick layer of barbeque sauce on the pizza crust. Once the pizza crust is coated thickly with barbeque sauce, sprinkle grated mozzerella cheese on the pizza. Last, slice sweet onions and any color bellpeppers into matchsticks and lay them on top.

Southwester Black Bean Pizza

Use salsa instead of marinara and top with corn and black beans and mozzerella.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

the lion king

bonnie and i in ROW G ...yes that's as close as it sounds

below is the best picture on the net i could find to give you a taste of what i experienced.  the amount of art and beauty, music, movement, poetry, and profound themes in this few hours truly reminds me of what heaven will be.  not only did this showcase the most incredible creativity humans posses, but it used the creation of the one who gave us that ability and desire.  the beauty the audience takes in is from God's hand and the deep longing and need we have for beauty is because he gave it to us.  it refreshes us, encourages us, reminds us of what is important.  the visual beauty was stunning.  the musical artistry was breathtaking.  below you will find a song that has breathed life into me on many occasions and much to my delight it was a part of the show.  with all the movement and colors i had imagined right before my eyes instead of in my head.  the lyrics to the song are so simple.  so beautiful.  

Ibambeni njalo bakithi [Hold on tight my people]
Ninga dinwa [Don't get weary]
Ninga phelelwa nga mandla [Don't lose your strength]

Siya ba bona [We can see]
Babe fun' ukusi qeda [They wanted to hold us back]

One by one
Ngeke ba lunge [They will not succeed]
One by one
Sizo nqoba [We will win]

Ngoba thina [Because]
Siya zazi [We know who we are

we are the creator's.  hold on.  don't get weary.    
we will win.  

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

30 hours and counting....

you can call.

you can stop by.

you can text.

i just won't respond.  

until it's done:)

this is the ONLY show on television worth coming home early for and not missing an episode.  and if you want to be my friend....well....i told you last season.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

i'm in shock

my husband just called.
bought tickets for lion king.
have been longing, pining, begging, wishing, hoping, ok, even praying to go for almost 7 years.

Monday, May 18, 2009

meatless mondays

black beans are my favorite.  it's no surprise that i loved these flavorful quesadillas using this yummy bean dip, which i'm sure would be great alone with some chips.  

Black Bean-Smoked Chile Dip/Quesadillas

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

2 cups cooked black beans

1/2 cup water or bean broth

1 T. sunflower or safflower oil

1/4 cup sliced scallion (i used regular onions)

1 t. ground coriander

1 t. ground cumin

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 t. pureed chipotle chile or 1/2 t. cayenne

juice of 2-3 limes


warm the beans in the water.  Heat the oil in a small skillet.  Add the scallion and spices and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the cilantro and turn off the heat.

Coarsely puree the beans, scallion mixture, and chile in a food processor.  Taste; if you want it hotter add more chile in small increments.  Add lime juice and salt to sharpen flavors.  

layer bean dip, shredded monterey jack, coarsely chopped cilantro and pico de gallo onto corn tortillas for one awesome quesadilla 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

dad to the rescue!

today was a super cool event and i just was not feeling up to going.  i wanted to take the boys, but i've had this sore throat and nasty cough along with exhaustion for over a WEEK!  sonny stepped up and took the boys to...
some brilliant moms thought it would be cool to have an event filled with dozens of vehicles-fire trucks, cement mixers, ambulance, school bus, etc- and let the kids crawl all over them!  to make it even better they get the entire thing donated and give all the admission money to fighting hunger.  brilliant.  i told you.  there was even popsicles in the back of a refrigerated truck, souvenir construction helmets and a rock climbing wall...
Noah in the driver's seat.  they even let the kids honk the horn!
Ari's turn to drive the big rig...
thanks to my wonderful husband (who even paused to take a few photos) the boys didn't miss out on the fun.  i sure hope i get to go next year!

Friday, May 15, 2009

jasmine moran children's museum

yesterday nicolette and i took daniel, noah, and sawyer to the jasmine moran children's museum.  we were very brave (and we didn't even know it) because the place was wall to wall field trips.  i think we were the only non-school group there!  besides the crowds, our morning was awesome.  this is one cool place, if you're a kid!
daniel climbing this ginormous structure with uneven surface and diagonal wiring all the way up
noah enjoying "water works"
we spent a lot of time in the "construction zone".  rocks + bulldozers + boys= lots o' fun!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


the other night i let ari (6 yrs old) watch the beginning of law and order with me while sonny was working.  (note to self...probably not a good idea).  looking for what the victim did the last few hours before her death led them to a drug dealer who sold prescription drugs.  ari had questions and i tried to explain the best i could.  he wanted to know if that guy was going to jail.  i told him it depended on the severity of the crime and his past criminal record BUT reminded ari that jail was not a fun place to be.  you couldn't go where you want, do what you want, or even eat what you want.  "you can't eat what you want?"  he asked.  i told him it was whatever the prison served, that was what you got.  "and if you don't eat it you don't get ANYTHING until the next meal?" right again, kiddo.  pause.  lightbulb moment lit up his face...."just like at OUR house!!"

Monday, May 11, 2009

meatless mondays

this is yum, yum, yum, and doesn't seem meatless at all!  sonny requested more walnuts and more mushrooms next time, but really you could use any veggies as long as you have the pasta and the sauce it will be delish!

Pasta and Walnut Stir-Fry

Serves 6

 8 ounces Angel Hair pasta, uncooked

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 large carrots, thinly sliced

1 medium red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into small strips

3/4 cup toasted walnuts*

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

4 ounces fresh snow peas

4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup water

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, honey and red pepper flakes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Add carrots, pepper, walnuts, onion, snow peas and mushrooms. Stir-fry 1 minute. Add water. Cook and stir 3 minutes longer. Add pasta and toss to mix. Add soy sauce mixture; toss well and serve.

 *To toast walnuts: In small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Add walnuts and cook and stir until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Per Serving: 334 Calories; 16g Fat; 10g Protein; 38g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 313mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain (Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 3 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

$2 makeover

my bathroom is well, not the exact picture of modernity.  i have to work with what's there (and has been there for a LONG time) since we're renting.  i thought the wall could use a little something and green is the color scheme already in place.  i had an idea....
i saw these two at goodwill for a dollar a piece.  no offense to the cute little kids, but i ripped them out first.  i then sanded and spray painted the frames.  i went to vintage moth and chose two free clip arts i thought would go well in the bathroom, printed them, and slapped them into the frames.  i added a little ribbon i already had in my stash and here's what happened...
it truly only cost me $2 and it makes at least this little corner of the bathroom pleasant to look at.  i show this to you, not just to brag about my frugal ways, but hopefully to inspire you that YOU can do something.  something inexpensive, using what you already have or find at a garage sale, and make it your own.  once you push that first burst of spray paint and see the will be hooked.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

free summer fun!

have you heard?  bowling allies across the country are giving out free passes for two games every day to kids for the whole summer?  yup!  and summer already started according to them:)  get over to this website and sign yourself up for free passes to be emailed to you each week.  shoes are your only expense!

Monday, May 4, 2009

meatless mondays

i just realized that this week's recipe involves sweet potatoes again.  my love affair with pumpkin is pretty much repeated in my relationship with sweet potatoes.  i think they're the best part of this recipe.  i also love me some red pepper, though. mmmmm.....this was good.  i think next time i'll serve it over a bed of wild rice.  or cornbread.  the more carbs the better.

Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

The Vegetarian Family Cookbook

2 medium-large sweet potatoes

2 T. light or evoo

1 cup chopped onion

2-3 garlic cloves

medium red bell pepper, diced

one 32 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

one 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1-2 small fresh hot chilies, minced, or one 4 oz can chopped mild green chilies

2 t. ground cumin

1/2 t. dried oregano

salt to taste

-bake or microwave the sweet potatoes on high until just firm, about 3-4 minutes per potato.  When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/4 inch dice.  Set aside

-heat the oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until golden.  Add the bell pepper, beans, tomatoes, chilies, cumin, and oregano.  Bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.  Add the sweet potatoes and continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes.

-Season lightly with salt.  If time allows, let stand off heat for 1-2 hours then reheat.