Friday, August 28, 2009

Rotting Bananas Wanted!

E likes bananas in his lunch...Rach likes bananas in her fresh feeder bag...Mom only likes bananas baked inside of things. Either way, I still end up with a 2 or three VERY RIPE bananas at the end of the week. I looked through a few of my cookbooks and tried to figure out some interesting things to do with them and I did find a recipe for a banana cake, but I wanted something a little more realistic that wouldn't cause me and E to eat cake for 2 weeks. I decided to go back to my standby and make banana muffins this morning. The only thing I actually had to buy (since I already had the rotting bananas) was a small tub of plain yogurt. All of the other ingredients were things that I had on hand. Really good and it also gave me a chance to use my Kitchenaid Mixer for the first time in a while.



Rach getting ready for breakfast


Worlds Longest Yard Sale

If you are in the South, you may have heard of this Southern event that is the pinnacle of survival for my mother, sister, and grandmother. Every year, they call me and want to know if there's anything they shop for that I need. Every year, I make up some random item that is a shot in the dark. This year, I specified a bed I wanted, a military trunk and a coat for Rach. Instead, I got 2 giant boxes of winter (this year and next year) and summer clothes (this year) for my daughter. Not just any clothes, all Gap of Gymboree. So cute. My sister tried to haggle over a few pieces of clothing in a giant storage bin, and instead of calling me AGAIN, he just told her take the whole lot. My mom sent it out to me last week and here is a few pieces. I only took pictures of this coming winters clothes but the best is all for summer and next winter. If you live close by, you should check it out. It's one weekend a year in August and it's a HUGE deal back home. Check out their website for more info. (btw, I am still undecided about the leopard print...)







Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crabby Crawl

Friday, I was talking with my sister on phone while Rachel played on the floor under her jungle gym. I really wasn't paying too much attention because, well honestly, where can she go? Right? Opps!! After I got off of the phone, I stuck my head into the living room to check on her and she wasn't there. PANIC!!! She did the "crabby crawl" (that's what we call it), rolled a few times, turned herself around and was playing with curtains when I found her. Ready, Set, Put Up the Babygates!! We aren't crawling yet, but this is pretty darn close!



Random Thoughts

My cousin sent me an email this week, you know, a forward! I rarely read them but the first sentence caught my eye and before I knew it, I had read the whole thing. So I am sharing some favorites from this list of RANDOM THOUGHTS: (if you want the whole list, I will be glad to send it your way)

Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in....(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"

I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

There is a great need for sarcasm font.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday - Sirloin Steak with Garlic Chive Butter


It's been so long since I have had a steak that when
Rachel Ray made some on her show, I thought, "you know...tonight's the night!" So I went to the store bought my ingredients and we got it all made and even got to enjoy dinner alone while the baby took a nap. E has been meaning to order a piece for his grill but has yet to remember so our grill doesn't work. However, the broiler on my stove does work and these were awesome. Sorry about the photo again...camera phone.

Strip Steaks with Garlic and Chive Butter
2 (8-ounce) NY strip steaks
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup chopped chives

Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides and arrange on slotted broiler pan.

Arrange steaks on the broiler pan. Place under broiler - leave door to oven cracked ajar to limit flare ups and smoke. Cook 4 minutes on each side for medium rare, up to 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium well doneness.

Soften butter mixed with chives and garlic in microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and spoon over steaks.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Random Pictures from this Weekend

Sorry for the quality...they are all from our iPhones.

We took Rach and Mags for a walk and tried her out in the park swing! We have a winner! She loves this. Now she starts dancing around in the stroller when we approach the sand around the swings.
E took my jewelry I had set out and put it on the baby as a crown. She was a HAM! She modeled and smiled for several pictures with her new tiara!

Instead of Sight-Seeing Saturday

Due to Hurricane Bill, the weather here was atrocious over the weekend. So we stayed inside and cooked this weekend instead. Oh yeah, and E accidently erased all of our pictures, music and documents over the past 7 years! Small things...right? What did I do? Well...honestly, I was blessed with a break in the rain so I took Mags and went for a run! Sigh! I knew he didn't mean to and I knew he felt horrible about it but I knew that if I let the disappointment build up anymore, I was going to say something hurtful and totally regret it! When all else fails, RUN!!

I came back and he had recovered a few of the pictures that I had recently deleted off of our memory card. Also, I had alot of pictures on google, facebook and well, here. So I am spending the rest of the week pulling together what I can find to bring my memories back. Oh well, let's play the "Glad Game!" At least I still have the ability to make new memories with my family.

Friday, August 21, 2009

New Toys

A big GIANT thank you to my friend Ashley K. who donated some of her old kids toys to Rachel. I finally had a chance to go through them this week and see if she was ready for them this week and they were a huge success.


Also, we bought 2 fresh feeders, filled the mesh bags with food and threw it in the freezer. This was a HIT!!! Not only because she likes food (ah, just like her mom) but also because she is possibly teething. This keeps her independently busy for about 30 minutes so Mom can cook dinner. So far, we have tried diced apples, bananas and baby food. The possibilities are endless. If you want to see her in action and see what a hit this is, CLICK HERE!

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies


I made these
Martha Stewart cookies back during the fourth of July holiday for a party we had and had a tough time actually making the cookies because I wanted to bathe the dough. Oh My these cookies were good. However, only make them if you have a crowd to feed or don't mind swallowing a dozen cookies a day by yourself because the recipe calls for FRESH strawberries and, after being cooked, start to go bad after day 2 but marvelous cookies...(secret...I like my cookies a little sweeter than shortcake so I added a little more sugar).

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
  2. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday - Tomato Stroganoff

Sorry for the delay. I was determined to finish my housework yesterday to the detriment of my blogging. So this week we made Tomato Stroganoff. This is my Mother-in-law's recipe but I put my own twist on it because she makes her's on special occasions when she has the time to spend on the meal. I never have the time these days even on a special occasion so I altered the recipe to fit my schedule.

Tomato-Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. Ground beef

1 12 oz. package egg noodles

1 T. salt

1 t. pepper

2 T. Worcestershire

3/4 cup sour cream

1 can diced tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

1 T. olive oil

4 5.5 oz small cans of tomato juice

1 T. celery salt

2/3 cups sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)


Cook olive oil, beef and onion. Drain. Dump egg noodles on top of beef mixture. Pour tomato juice on top. Cover and boil for 5 minutes until noodles begin to soften.

Add salt, celery salt, pepper and Worcestershire. Stir. Add diced tomatoes, bell pepper and mushrooms. Cover and simmer until noodles are the right consistency and mushrooms are tender.

Stir in the sour cream. Heat to boiling. Serve.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sight-Seeing Saturday - National Harbor

The tourism saga continues with our weekend trip to the National Harbor. I really don't think it's the type of place where you go to shop (some favorites of mine were cakelove, Life is Good and Fossil, that was really all I saw that interested me)...at least just yet. However, don't write it off. They have an interesting mix of vendors at the street market every Saturday. It was actually really cool. Lots of baked goods, organic fruits and veggies, homemade candles, folk art, tea, soul food, scented rocks (I just don't get those), etc. But if you are looking for restuarants, this is the place for you. So many different types of cuisine. Mexican, seafood, sandwiches, comfort food, steakhouse, sushi etc etc etc... Also, Disney has a resort coming into the area. They just started clearing the land for that and it really looks like it's going to be amazing. The harbor is adjacent to the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center. AMAZING!! Think Opryland Hotel...I know right?? I still think the Opryland Hotel was better though. Enjoy the pictures.











Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday

Did you know that it never really gets dark here? I looked out the window around 11pm the other night and realized that it looked like dusk outside. There's alot of light in this city!




Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday -It's Back!!

I know I know!! It's been a while! I now have my kitchen back, my cookbooks and files back, all of my kitchen utensils, etc. Its nice to be home!

If you follow my posts, you will know that me and E are doing P90X. We are in week 3 (although, we weren't very consistent in week 2) of about 13. So far the diet is going well and we both lost alot of weight in the first few days. So let me tell you a little about the diet:
Lots of Proteins
Lots of Veggies
A little less Dairy
Alot less Carbs

We both are allowed 1 Carb a day (2 peices of whole wheat bread, 1 whole wheat tortilla, 2 english muffins, 1 cup cereal, ...you get the idea). So if I don't get up in time to make E's breakfast, he is going to burn his one carb allowed at breakfast and then be upset because he can't have bread on his sandwich at lunch. So to help with the carb countdown, I pulled a recipe from an old friend for Cauliflower Faux Potatoes. I forgot how good these were and how closely they mimic mashed potatoes. Amazing. You must try them! I can actually get E to eat 2 helpings of it easily and I now have a vegetable posing as a carb!! Sweet!

By the way, check out my new food processor!! A christmas gift from the in-laws.

Cauliflower Faux-Potatoes

1 head cauliflower, with the head cut into pieces

3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

salt and pepper to taste


Steam cauliflower until soft. (I use a veggie steamer insert on my rice cooker) Drain.


Put in food processor until well blended. Add sour cream to the processor. Then add salt and pepper to taste.


Optional: Add Pesto, garlic, cheese, bacon, butter


Monday, August 10, 2009

Sight-Seeing Saturday-Arlington National Cemetary

Rach REFUSED to sit in her stroller! So we had to swap off holding her and blowing on her belly to help keep her cool, until she finally fell asleep. We took many different routes than normal tourists take so there was, literally, no one walking on the road with us. Such a beautiful, peaceful walk!
Lunch Break! We brought a picnic since we were trying to squeeze in a sight before the next nap!
Me and Rach taking a break on the park bench while E found some familiar names.
Changing of the Guard
Random Statues
I HEART the beautiful grounds there. I had a hard time keep my mind off what a beautiful and peaceful place it was rather than a solemn, respectful place of rest.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This Week in Pictures

It's always a good reminder that the Good Lord is still working.

Rachel and I started meal separation this week. Bottles are on the menu for 3 out of 5 meals and hopefully more to come next week. It will be nice to have a little bit of freedom back and she's to wiggly these days. So far we have tried and liked a few new foods...apples, pears, peas and sweet potatoes. Apple juice and fruit puffs are the snack of choice. She eats really well and has started to learn to drink from a cup.
This is the newest thing I am excited about...the ability to sit her down on the floor with some toys and she can entertain herself for quite sometime without falling over. (Sigh of relief)
E likes to play games with her where he puts things on her head.


Last Few Pics

What a busy week! E started school this week and so I was left at home with baby all by myself. No big deal! However, I am used to driving around small town Texas and spending time with friends. I just don't think I am ready to take my baby daughter out for a drive in DC just yet and I am a little bored staying in all day. So we walk to the commissary and pick up a few groceries and then do a night walk along the water. But nothing replaces those talks, outings and meals with friends. Luckily me and E are close and enjoy hanging out.

So with nothing further...here are the last few pics from Rachel's room and from our room.