Saturday, September 19, 2009

Words to live by...for a 3yr old

"Mommy, can I play outside?" "Yes, of course but put your shoes on first" "No, Mommy. I just want to wear my feet on!"

"Mommy, I'm hungry" "OK, we are almost home." "But Mommy, what about the hungry place?" As we pass the golden arches :)

As he is getting out of the bathtub and Mom is wrapping him in his towel..."Jacqi (this is what he calls my Mom...short for Grandmommie Jacqi)....Jacqi, I have a penie" You have to pee pee? No, I just have a penie. Oh, you just pee peed in the the bathtub? NO! I have a penie as he flashes her and points down there :)! Oh, yes you do?!!! She replies That is nice. " I mean what else could, should she have said? I guess boys are just born being proud of their bodies...every last bit of it :) Oh the innocence of childhood.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A little of everything good - POTATO SALAD

This salad is something I crave. I never thought of potato salad as a way to get your veggies but with this recipe you can definitely start working on your 4-6 servings a day! It has corn, green beans, peppers, carrots and onion. I'm sure I could have worked a few more in as well, right? It makes a great side to hamburgers or just about any grilled meat like carne asada hmmm! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I also serve it with barbecue.

Serves 4-6

  • 8-10 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 bag of frozen green beans
  • 1/2 bag of frozen corn
  • 1/2 medium red/purple onion
  • 1 bell pepper - I like a red bell pepper for variety of color
  • 1 Large carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • jalapeno (optional)
  • fresh cilantro or parsley (depends on what I am serving it with)
Cook the potatoes in a large pot with plenty of water and salt!!! The best time to season the potato is while it is cooking. Bring to a boil cover and cook until just tender - NOT SOFT.

While the potatoes are cooking chop the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and cilantro or parsley (whichever you are using). Shred the carrot and defrost the corn and the green beans on the counter (don't worry if they are a little frozen still when you mix the hot potatoes with them they will be just fine).

In a small bowl mix the mayonaise and 1/2 of the lemon juice with the onion powder, salt, garlic powder and the parsley/cilantro and set to the side.

When the potatoes are done drain them and place in a large serving bowl. Pour in all veggies and cover with other half of lemon juice. Toss. Pour mayo mixture over all veggies and toss until all veggies are moist with mixture. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. This allows the all the flavors to marry. (love that term...flavors...marry :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

HIIIIYAAAHH!!! The Karate Kids

Last night Zeke and Joaquin began playing on the bed. We had just finished family prayer and Zeke began attacking Joaquin. I was so blown away but the height he was getting with his leg that I just had to take a picture. I was laughing so hard watching them that it is a wonder I was able to get anything at all. What do you think...does Zeke have a future in martial arts?:) He is obviously quite flexible!

Chicken Broccoli Braid

As I promised yesterday I am posting my Broccoli/Chicken or Chicken/Broccoli which ever you want to call it :) I have since made it again for my family. It is sooooo easy and sooooo yummilicous and soooooo pretty! You gotta add this one to your "tried and trues". The veggies are so colorful and that creamy chicken mixture looks hard to resist. What about that flaky buttery crust? As my Zeke would say...YUM! YUM!

Adapted from "Pampered Chef" recipe

Serves 4-6


12 oz. cooked chicken, chopped (2 cups - about
3 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast halves)
1 C. broccoli, chopped
1/2 C. red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 oz. swiss, shredded (1 cup)
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dillweed
1/4 tsp. salt
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 T. slivered almonds (optional)

**I also added 1tsp of onion powder

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

To cook the chicken I placed the breasts in a large soup kettle with plenty of water and one whole onion and 4-5 cloves of garlic. Salt the water well. Place on stove and cook over medium heat until tender and done. About 1 hour.

Chop chicken and broccoli and place in bowl. Add chopped red bell pepper. Press garlic(I used the nice soft garlic from my chicken stock) over mixture and shred cheese over mixture. Add mayonnaise, dillwee and salt. Mix well. I refrigerated this mixture overnight to allow all of the spices and seasonings to marry well.

Unroll package of crescent rolls. Do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of 12 x 15-inch pan and repeat with remaining package of dough. Roll out(I just pressed all seams together with my hands.) dough to seal perforations. On long side of pan, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 inches apart, 3 inches deep leaving approximately 6 inches in the center of dough for filling. Spread filling evenly over middle of dough.

To braid: lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in center, twisting each strip one turn. Continue alternating strips to form braid (This part was confusing to me so I just braided the dough the same way I would hair). Tuck ends under to seal at ends. The tricky part is the overlapping. You don't want to overlap too many strips as they won't cook all the way through at the same rate. Brush egg white over dough and sprinkle with almonds. Baked 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Could Just Eat These!!

Aren't babies legs and feet soooo cute. I love those little rolls of fat...I just want to eat them up:) I was taking a few pictures of Joaquin and Ezekiel watching a movie together on my bed when I was overcome with a wave of "these things are toooo cute". I had to take a picture. It's not just the legs either I want to eat those toes too :) Oh how I love babies. I was at a birthday party on Saturday and a friend had her 8 month old there and wouldn't you know another wave hit me and I just had to hold him and squeeze and kiss those chubby legs and cute feet. I know one day I will be so sad when my last baby has lost all the baby fat and there are no more chubby legs and cute feet to love on...til then watch out Zeke I feel a wave comin on! :)

Blueberry Key Lime Cheesecake

A few weeks ago I had a luncheon for the sisters that I visit teach. I really wanted to do something to let them know how much I love and appreciate them. I was looking for a menu that was yummy and pretty. I found just that on the Woman’s Day Website and a few other places. Here is our menu:

  • Broccoli Cheese Braid
  • Spinach Salad
  • Blueberry Key Lime Cheesecake
  • Sparkling Grape Juice

We didn’t start with dessert at our luncheon but I am going to with my menuJ. Doesn’t it just get your taste buds a salivatin? I didn’t get pictures of my decorations L so sad.

I just got so excited when the sisters came that I forgot. I will be posting the Broccoli Chicken Braid tomorrow. Needless to say we all left with full tummies and full hearts!




    • 10 shortbread cookies (we used Keebler Sandies Simply Shortbread)
    • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened


    • 3 bricks (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1⁄2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 Tbsp grated lime zest
    • 1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 drop liquid green food color (optional)

    Blueberry Topping
    1⁄4 cup sugar
    11⁄2 tsp cornstarch
    3 Tbsp water
    3 cups blueberries
    1 Tbsp lime juice


    1. Heat oven to 325°F. Spray an 8 x 3-in. springform pan with nonstick spray.

    2. Crust: Process cookies in food processor to make fine crumbs. Add butter; pulse to blend. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack.

    3. Filling: In large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and sour cream. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl and beater once or twice. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended. Beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth and creamy; pour over crust.

    4. Bake 60 minutes or until cake is almost set and center still jiggles slightly when touched. Remove to a rack; cut around outside edge of cake to loosen from sides. Cool on rack 3 hours (cake will sink as it cools). Cover and refrigerate up to several days.

    5. Topping: In small saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and water until blended. Add 1 cup blueberries; mash berries well with a potato masher. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Stir in lime juice and another 1⁄2 cup blueberries. Spread on top of cheesecake; top cheesecake with remaining 11⁄2 cups blueberries. Refrigerate until serving.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nothing like a good book and comfy bed to read it in!

I have a wonderful legacy of reading in my family. I
remember my grandmother reading to me everynight as a child. My mother tells me of times when they were too poor to buy books for themselves but that didn't stop my grandmother...she made up wonderfully delicious stories for her children. I was the benefactor of her story telling as well...I'll always remember "The Little Pink Bear" and "The Black Lamb". It was only natural for me to continue this tradition with my own children. We take a weekly trip to the library where the boys pick out books they want to read for the week. Although we have plenty of books to choose from there are some nights I am too tired to read and so the story telling begins. I am not the tale weaver that my grandmother is but my children are quite pleased with what I produce. So far we have had "The Cave Dwellers", :The little boy who always tried to do what is right", "Sharks", and of course my versions of the traditional "Little Pink Bear", "The Black Lamb", Hansel & Gretel, "Jack and the Beanstalk", "Little Red riding hood", and "Goldilocks and the three bears" just to name a few. I hope to instill in my own children the same love of the written word that I hold. And from the looks of these pictures I'd say I am on the right track!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lime-Balsamic Tomato Salad

(Please Note** I had eaten half the tomatoes before I took the picture :)

Who doesn't like a ripe juicy summer tomato? Oh, I know plenty of people who don't but, I am most certainly not one of them. I planted tomatoes myself this year and waited in anticipation for the yummy fruit only to be terribly disappointed. I found that my sweet little Zeke loved pulling the green fruit off the plants. We are in a condo so I did a container garden on my balcony. I often left the sliding glass door open to allow the boys to play and to enjoy the fresh air. How sad I was one day when I found several of the green tomato fruit rolling around on the balcony. I quickly scolded him and told him not to bother my fruit. However, I am not sure if it was a case of yearning for "the forbidden fruit" or what but, he continued to pull the fruit off throughout the summer so no tomatoes from my garden. Boo Hoo! I did get lucky last week and received about a bushel from a local farm. I love, love, love tomatos. My mom said that as a child I would eat them like candy. I couldn't get enough. And just to let you know...I believe my tomato appetite is insatiable because 40 years later I still can't get enough!

This salad is my most favorite way to eat them well, next to a good ole tomato sandwich. It is simple yet bursting with flavor and goes well with almost anything. MM MM! I think I am gonna go get me some now!

PS And it doesn't hurt that they are considered a "super food"

  • 4 whole tomatoes sliced - nice hearty slices. (you can use the beef steak or roma it depends on the season. When tomatoes are in season I use what I have grown in the garden or the local farmers market.)
  • 8 slices of red onion - sliced very thinly
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium lime
  • salt
  • 1 tsp parsley or cilantro (depends on what I am serving the salad with)
You can make this salad one of two ways:

1 - make a vinegrette with the liquids and then pour over the sliced tomatoes and onion. Then season with salt and sprinkle the parsley over or

2. lay out the sliced tomatoes and onions in a dish and pour each ingredient over one at a time. This is how I make it. But, whatever works for you...go for it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Are you sure about this?

The other day I prepared Joaquin's toothbrush for him and asked him to please brush his teeth as I handed it to him. He looked at me thoughtfully and asked, "Are you sure about this?" I grinned very big (stiffling a giggle) and said yes I am sure. Again one night I asked him to turn off his video and told him it was time for bed. He didn't argue he just looked at me thoughtfully and asked, "Are you sure about this?" I again stiffled a laugh and told him I was certain about this. He obediently got up and turned off his video and went to bed. Honestly, how do children come up with these things? I guess it is a reminder of the strong intelligent sprirt within each of them. Of all the things I am....I love being "Mommy" the best!


Remember yesterday when I posted the Bajio Chicken Chile Salad. Well, here I am again with a wonderful surprise...the leftovers make a delicioso second meal. I love crock-pot recipes but I love even more leftovers that can make great second meals!!! The Bajio Chicken Chile Salad is just such a recipe. I used the leftover chicken from our chicken chile salad and made quesadillas. It was a flavor explosion in my mouth.
Assembly of Quesadilla's -

Heat skillet on medium and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place a flour tortilla in heated pan and sprinkle cheese over tortilla. Drizzle the cilantro dressing over cheese. Spread the chicken chile over the cheese and then the black beans over the chicken. Drizzle with a little more dressing and then sprinkle a little more cheese. Top with a flour tortilla and cook until bottom tortilla is lightly brown (Please be careful not to burn!) Then flip over and cook until lightly brown. Slice like a pizza and serve over a bed of greens and a side of the green chile rice.

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