Tuesday, February 16, 2010

January 2010: My Baby Turns Big Boy

My baby boy became a big boy overnight. He has been sooo anxious for dad to put his "big boy bed" together. He has long been able to climb out of the crib and with baby girl Johnson coming soon, it was time to put him in a bed. Gratefully since he has been so excited to sleep in this bed, he has actually slept in it. The next transition is putting him in with the boys. Mike thinks it will be fine, all 3 boys in one room, and I'm going to go along with it. We have an extra bedroom downstairs, which now houses all my sewing and craft things as well as our computer, but Mike and I, as well as Owen, are not excited about the idea of him being downstairs by himself.

I love this photo of Tate. It says so much about his little personality.
  • The joy on his face-shows how excited he is to be a "big boy" and like his older "brudders" as he calls them.
  • His monkey- he loves that thing, a present from Grandma. We need to put a locater on it because there's no going to sleep without him. "Where's monkey?" is commonly heard called out around our house at bedtime.
  • His hat- my Nana, my great-grandmother of 95, knitted that hat for him and he wears it all the time. He's 2 and he knows what he wants to wear and he's going to wear it:-)
  • His "super-soft" blankie- he is sooo particular about what blanket(s) he sleeps with and what order they have to be in on top of him. They have to be "super-soft" or they don't make the cut.
He is a hilarious little boy. He holds conversations with us and his toys that just crack you up. You forget that he's only 2.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

January 2010: Recipe 5: Cranberry Chicken

Ok so its January 4th and I'm feeling good about this new year, morning sickness lessening, and needing to feed my children some home-cooked goodness. (Writing this retrospect of course I laugh at my good intentions knowing what is coming on the horizon:-) ) Well back to my determination I once had in my "Girl's Got No Skills" Contest. This time I enlisted the aid of my wonderful little sis Liz. Both of my sisters are great in the kitchen, somehow the gene just skipped me.

This recipe came from one of my most favorite people in the world, Michelle Remington, a woman who has inspired me since college to have a healthy lifestyle. She was the one who introduced me many years ago to one of my loves, yoga, and has always tried to help me in the kitchen with great quick and healthy recipes.

One quick disclaimer - taking photos at night in Winter is not my forte. So sorry they are not recipe book worthy. The food was much more appetizing looking in person- really!

Cranberry Chicken
as submitted by Michelle Remington

Several breasts (I used 2 lbs)
1 bottle French dressing (I use the smaller size)
1 packet onion soup
1 can whole cranberry sauce

Directions per Michelle:
1. Brown chicken in a little oil or butter, salt and pepper it (I brown mine in a pan that has a lid and can go in oven)
2. In a separate bowl, mix french dressing, onion soup and whole cranberry sauce.
3. Add the sauce to the browned chicken
4. Cover and bake chicken in the sauce for 30 minutes at 350 or until chicken is cooked through. (Cooking time depends on the thickness of chicken and how long you brown it. Just make sure all the pink is cooked out.
5. Serve with rice, potato, side salad, etc.

If you want to freeze this recipe, you can do it several ways. 1- freeze left overs or 2- brown chicken, let cool, put in freezer bag with sauce. Then when ready to eat, stick it in the oven to finish cooking.

I decided to do this recipe because it sounded like a much needed break from the ordinary. I was not disappointed.

I decided to serve this with rice, of course Basmati rice - my fave. Since I managed to break our rice cooker, we had to do it on the stovetop after my last mishap with my attempts at using the microwave. Just had to watch it more carefully, so glad I had Liz there. Got that started ... now on to the chicken.

I liked Michelle's idea of using a pan you can use on the stove top as well as in the oven; thank goodness again for Mike's Le Creuset dutch oven:-) I used EVOO as Rachel Ray calls it- extra virgin olive oil- to brown the chicken. So I guess that browning the chicken does not mean that the chicken is cooked all the way through; I'm learning. I forgot to add the salt & pepper-whoops.

There are little things that normal people that cook don't think about needing to mention in their recipes for the cooking-challenged folks like myself, like how high to have the flame when browning chicken. I guessed at medium flame and I think it needed to be medium-high because I think I cooked it too much and browned it not enough.
My lovely assistant
Don't judge yet!
Yellowish orange + Cranberry = This
Well the sauce was a cinch to make! Yeah! Going into the oven the smell was rather odd, but coming out... simply scrumptious!! Since I cooked/browned/whatever-ed the chicken a little too long, mine only took 20 minutes to cook, rather than the 30 minutes suggested. It was definitely a break from our usual meal with a very unique taste that I really enjoyed. A warm the soul sort of meal. Owen loved it, and as our vulture child preyed on his brothers' meals as well.
The color and smell got richer as it cooked. See top photo for plated meal!

January 2010: Current State of Mind

So I decided that since I am rarely caught up on my blog due in part to feeling compelled to keep it as close to chronological order as possible, that I would add a "Current State of Mind" section to my layout at the top right. Sort of like a Facebook status, which I am terrible about updating anyway. At least I can give little updates without needing to spend a lot of time updating my blog, since a little bit of time is all I'll probably have going into the next few months of newborn-dom. I'll try to be good about updating it:-)

Monday, February 01, 2010

January 2010: Pants on the Ground

I love American Idol, but usually not a huge fan of the auditions. I do have to say that when I saw this I was dying. It was hilarious. If you missed it you'll have to watch this clip of the 62 year old man and his original song, "Pants on the Ground"

I'm lovin' this version I came across with Jimmy Fallon and Randy Jackson. Tell me your not groovin' and singin' along by the end. "Pants on the ground. Pants on the ground. Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground. With your gold in your mouth Hat turned sideways..." I guess General Platt sang it on the Grammys. Looking forward to seeing that:-)


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