Friday, April 26, 2013

Year of Dates - April

We had some serious fun this month!

Mster initially wanted to go to a baseball game but after consideration decided that a day of cooking with Dad, uninterrupted, was a way better idea.

She has to have a towel over her shoulder like Dad. 

First course - Artichokes. They were a big hit with everybody. 

 And I do mean EVERYBODY. 

Is that Risotto? Why, yes, it is and it was so, so delicious. While we were eating our tasty bowls, we all went around the table to come up with a name for the recipe. It had procutto and celery and pistachios and other delightful additions. The decision making was pretty quick when Mster came up with MVP Risotto. We thought it a great idea since it was so delicious. She thought it was a great idea because the dish had Meat, Vegetables and Pistachios. We are still laughing that we got to have a lesson on what MVP really means.

Homemade rolls and steak, yes please!

There was peach pudding pie too but by that time our bellies were getting full and our bodies were getting tired and the camera was put aside to carry little ones to bed.

Lster and I had the perfect set up for our date. I had a free membership at a gym that had a Rock Climbing Wall. And we had some good times climbing. 

This is us, a little nervous, but definitely excited to try something new. 

Lster went first and after a few stumbles at the beginning he totally got the hang of it way fast and made it to the top over and over again. It didn't matter the difficulty of the wall, he tried and tried and tried and made it. Every. Single. Time. It was so great to see him try and not give up. I've even used that as a teaching moments this week when he's told me something is too hard. 

Kster never wants to be left out of the fun. So the boy who refusing to eat fish was determined to go eat Sushi with Dad since Lster did it the month before. We talked to him about it over and over again. Are you sure? Do you know what sushi is? He was DETERMINED! Cster even took him to Safeway on their way to the restaurant and showed him packaged Sushi and said. "this is what we are going to go eat. Do you still want to go?" Kster was adamant that he was going. So off they went to go eat some Sushi. Well, off they went for Cster to go eat some Sushi because once it was in front of him he wanted nothing to do with it.

He did eat deep fried shrimp heads. Go Figure.

And they had a trip to Sonic for him on the way home to play Wii Lego Star Wars (remember he did not want to be left out).

And new rule - no staying home and playing video games on your date. 

Storing Dry Food - Can I think of a more boring title?

I cook and bake a lot. We, therefore, go through a lot of dry goods. I had to find a way to store my pounds and pounds of dry goodness.

So, here's what I do...

What I Store?
Quick Oats
Rolled Oats
Black Beans

How I store it?

1. I buy dry goods in bulk. For the most part I buy them here. There are locations in most major cities and anyone can walk in and buy stuff. Usually their hours are way shorter than a regular store so I would call first. They come in mega bags. This is an oats bag.

2. I get buckets from a bakery department of my grocery store (In my area Ive found only King Soopers/Krogers will give you their buckets) They are going to be covered in shortening laden frosting so you'll have to do some major cleaning and drying out before you start to store). Another option is to buy buckets and lids (they usually are stored separately) from a hardware store like Home Depot. Just make sure their buckets are food grade. When I researched it a few years back I think Home Depots were but Lowe's weren't. But I would do your own checking because things can change quickly with different suppliers and you don't want to mess around with food safety. That's why I like the bakery buckets. They already had food in them and they are free. It is some work to clean them out for the first time but once they are clean you can reuse and refill to your hearts content.

3. Label. Nothing more frustrating than opening up 5 buckets just to find some sugar.

4. Cook and Bake away knowing you will always have the staples.

Pinning that works

Here is my second installment of Pinterests that Work. If you want to see my first post on Pinterest, go here.

Easy Pad Thai

We love this recipe. Well everybody but Mster. But 4 out of 5 is not bad for our house. I double the recipe and follow the directions exactly.

pad thai

Korean Beef

My family loved this the first time we ate it and haven't loved it since. I'm not sure if I'm doing something different but I've heard other families really like this one too so I thought I would add it to the list.

Chicken Avocado Salad

This is really really yummy. Especially for a girl who does not like mayo. I have the amount of avocado. Delicious.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

I make this over and over and over again. I haven't introduced it to the kids yet and I've changed up the dressing a little bit.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp of lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro

Steel Cut Oats in 5 minutes

I can't tell you how much I love this oatmeal. Its so easy and so gooood and takes so little time.
I make the oatmeal according to directions and then put it right in the fridge. (I read the comments and wasn't ready to die over a bowl of oatmeal). But I love the texture. Its a little chewy, which I like, I mean love. I don't feel like I'm missing out at all.

I usually add some cinnamon and raisins or defrosted frozen blueberries or even fresh berries with a dash of cinnamon. I do like cinnamon and oatmeal.

I cook it for 2 min in the mason jar (lid off) and dump in a bowl to stir in my add ins. My older 2 kids love them too and they are great quick breakfast before school.


French Toast Bake

This is the poster picture for unhealthy breakfast. I've made it twice for special occasions in our house. It really is very very easy.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bring on the 5 star food

Nikster has been fighting eating lately. Oftentimes she'll just yell at you while sitting in her chair. I know she's hungry but she won't eat.

Well last night we hit the jackpot of eating! Mster and Cster had their date (more info to come) and they cooked up a storm in the kitchen much to the delight of our baby foodie. She LOVED artichokes. She grabbed at the leaves and munched and munched away. We would take them away and she would lunge for the new leaf. The other surprise success was risotto. I've never seen a baby shovel food into her mouth so fast.

Guess I need to start expanding my cooking repertoire.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


A few nights ago Kster declared in a defeated voice, "my body is sleepy."

I agree Kster. I'm working on making it not so sleepy but my body is pretty sleepy too.