Sunday, July 31, 2011

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

I finally gave in and tried the green smoothie trend.  This was perfect as is for me, but if you like your smoothies on the frozen side, blend in a cup of ice cubes also.  You can't taste the spinach at all, it just tastes sweet and refreshing.  You could throw in any fruit that you desire, this is just what I had on hand.  This recipe will make 2 smoothies.

-2 cups spinach
-1 frozen banana
-1/2 cup liquid (juice, milk, or water)
-1 apple, chopped (peeled if desired, but I didn't)
-1 Tbsp honey

Blend ingredients and serve.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thai Banana Pudding Cake

I made this cake for dessert for an Eastern Asian dinner that we had with friends.  The texture was dense and moist, like a bread pudding, and the flavor was wonderful.  I also really love that it's a smaller cake, so after serving 4 adults and 2 kids we didn't have too many leftovers to be tempted by.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tangy Tomato Salad Dressing

I made this knock off of the Outback Steakhouse Tangy Tomato Salad Dressing.  I followed the recipe, except omitted the pinch of salt, and upped the thyme to 1/4 tsp.  This was delicious!  I served it over spinach tossed with mushrooms, hard boiled egg, and cheddar cheese.  For the classic Outback salad I'd serve it with sliced red onion, big garlic croutons, cucumber, and tomato slices also though, but I had to work with what I had on hand.  The dressing does come out a tad spicy, so if you don't like heat either omit or reduce the cayenne.

Cinnamon Bun Pancakes

Cinnamon Bun Pancakes

Recently I've seen several versions of these all over the blogosphere, so I gave in and decided to give them a try.  This is my much more healthy twist on the recipes that I've seen floating around.  You could eat these with syrup, but the glaze is what gives them that real cinnamon bun flavor.  These are super yummy!

-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup all purpose flour
-3 Tbsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-4 tsp baking powder
-1 Tbsp cinnamon
-2 eggs, beaten
-1 1/4 cups skim milk
-2 Tbsp maple syrup
-2 Tbsp butter, melted
-1 Tbsp vanilla

-1 cup powdered sugar
-2 Tbsp skim milk
-1/4 tsp vanilla

In medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, syrup, butter, and vanilla.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Drop 1/4 portions into a hot, greased skillet.  Once bubbles appear flip, and cook for an additional minute.  While cooking pancakes, whisk together glaze ingredients.  Pour glaze over pancakes and serve.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wilted Spinach Salad

Wilted Spinach Salad

One of my favorite salads is the Wilted Spinach Salad at Macaroni Grill.  Since I haven't lived near a Macaroni Grill in years, here is my at home version of the dish.  I think the Macaroni Grill salad had roasted garlic cloves, rather than minced garlic, which tastes better, but is more time consuming.  For some additional flavor you could add a splash of lemon juice, a dash of red pepper flakes, or a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

-1 lb spinach
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper

Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add spinach, tossing with oil until wilted, but not cooked completely.  Stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Serve immediately.



In this case it was a blueberry banana smoothie, but any fruit, or combination of fruits works great here.  You could easily add some tofu in here to make this a meal, tofu add protein, a silky texture, and doesn't mess up the flavor at all.  I always use frozen fruit in my smoothies instead of ice cubes, I find that the fruit breaks down better than ice cubes do to give the smoothie a thick texture.

-1/2 cup skim milk (or you could use juice, the idea is just to add liquid)
-1 cup plain or vanilla fat-free yogurt
-1 banana
-2 cups frozen fruit
-1 Tbsp honey

Process ingredients in blender until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

39 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Your baby's personality is really emerging now. She may be very social, granting broad smiles to everyone she meets, or a little more shy, hiding her face when well-meaning strangers try to engage her. Your baby may charge ahead boldly or assess the situation carefully before accepting others. She might be even tempered or switch her moods quite dramatically.  She'll gesture for your attention and may even wave goodbye when she sees you head for the door. She's also developing a mind of her own, which you may run up against when you try to put her in her car seat or stroller.
Noah loves playing with his buddy Luke, who as of August I'll be watching 3 days a week now rather than 2

Noah keeps getting closer and closer to walking.  Now he can walk around the room only grasping one of our hands in his (rather than holding on with both hands).  He keeps testing himself by standing up without holding onto anything for several seconds at a time, before plopping down on his rear.  He is getting a lot more inquisitive, and rather than just playing with what is out in the middle of the room, he is starting to dig in drawers to see what else he can find.  He loves (much to my dismay) opening up the pantry and pulling out coffee filters, tuna cans, and plastic bags.  He also loves pulling all of the tupperware out of the cabinets.  He seems to be able to spot an electrical outlet immediately upon entering a room and becomes obsessed with it.  He also LOVES trying to grab and unwind rolls of toilet paper.  He also loves bath time, and playing with his toys and splashing the water.  And he recently has discovered the fun game of dropping all of his toys and his cup from his high chair and watching them fall, and watching mama retrieve them.  He hasn't purposefully started dropping his food yet though, I think he's scared that I won't give it back. 

Noah is becoming increasingly attached to me, and often won't let anyone other than me hold him if I'm in the room, especially if there are strangers around.  There is a certain side of Noah that only Jeremy and I get to see.  Around others he is usually shy at first, and then warms up and will be fun and goofy.  But there's a certain side to him that only comes out when the three of us are all at home together.  There's a silliness and comfort that he just doesn't show around other people.

I never really thought much about the fact that Noah doesn't watch cartoons, movies, or TV until a friend came over and was surprised at that.  It's probably a little more work for me to entertain him all day long without letting him watch TV, but it works for our family, at least at this point in time.  I'm sure eventually in the future we will let Noah watch a show or movie here or there, but that is probably still a ways down the road.  It really wouldn't even be convenient, because our only TV is so small, and so high off of the ground that I doubt Noah would even be able to see it well.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

I made this using what I had on hand, but some roasted peppers, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, or parsley would all also be great in here.

-2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained
-2 ribs celery, diced
-1/2 red onion, diced
-1/2 (4 oz) can chopped black olives
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
-1 Tbsp lemon juice
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-1/2 tsp dried rosemary
-1/4 tsp dried thyme
-1/4 tsp dried oregano
-1/4 tsp dried basil

Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil.  Toss with remaining ingredients.  Allow to sit at least 2 hours prior to serving.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Borscht

Summer Borscht

I've been intrigued by borscht for quite a while and finally decided to give it a try.  After some research I found that borscht can be served warm or cold, can have meat or be vegetarian, and varies on vegetables depending on whether you are using Russian or Ukrainian versions.  This was a quick, healthy, refreshing take on the soup.  Next time I look forward to doing a hot version with whole beets, shredded cabbage, carrots, and potatoes.  For a nice presentation swirl and little yogurt or sour cream in the center before topping with the cucumber.

-2 (15 oz) cans sliced (NOT pickled) beets, drained
-1 cup veggie, chicken or beef broth
-1/2 cup light sour cream
-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
-1/2 tsp dried dill
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 Tbsp sugar
-1 Tbsp lemon juice
-1 cucumber, seeded and diced

Combine all ingredients except cucumber in blender.  Process until smooth.  Chill for at least 2 hours prior to serving.  Garnish with chopped cucumber.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fat-free Curry Yogurt Salad Dressing

Curry Yogurt Salad Dressing

After several weeks of eating fruit based salads with sweet dressings I decided that I needed a change to something more savory.  I modified my trusty curried veggie dip to a dressing.  I love the tang of the yogurt with the curry flavor, I think I might have to start subbing out the mayo in my dip recipe with yogurt.  I was boring and ate this dressing over spinach and chickpeas, but red pepper strips, shredded carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or radish would all pair really well with this.

-1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
-1/8 c tarragon vinegar
-1 Tbsp lemon juice
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/8 tsp cayenne
-1 Tbsp honey
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp horseradish

Whisk together ingredients to combine.  Chill until serving.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Puzzle Blocks


I made these puzzle blocks for my nephew's birthday.  They are just 1 inch cubes (cut from Jeremy's Grandpa's scrap wood pile).  Then I modge podged scrapbook paper to each side of the cubes for a total of 6 different puzzles to complete.  Quick, easy, fun, and free (by using my existing supplies).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011



I modify my salsa recipe every year or two.  This is what I'm currently using.  I tend to like more chunky salsas, but due to laziness I opt for tossing it all in the food processor over hand chopping.  If you like you salsa on the thicker side, you'll get better results if you hand chop everything and stir to combine.  I also used to hand chop all of the same ingredients to make guacamole.  But now, out of laziness, I just stir a few tablespoons of this salsa into some diced avocados for a quick, no fuss guacamole.

-15 roma tomatoes, seeded
-1 jalapeno pepper (seeded if desired)
-1 poblano pepper, seeded
-1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked off of stems
-2 Tbsp lime juice
-1/8- 1/4 tsp cayenne
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp cumin
-2 cloves garlic
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-2 tsp red wine vinegar
-1/2 red onion
-2 tsp sugar

Combine all ingredients in food processor, pulse until desired consistency is achieved. 

38 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

The torrent of words your baby has been hearing since birth is beginning to work its magic, although his understanding of words far outpaces his ability to use them. His babbling has turned to jabber and is probably starting to sound more like real words, phrases, and sentences. Your baby thinks he's saying something, so respond as if he really is!  Your baby still comprehends more from your tone than from your actual words, though. He can understand when he's pleased you, so offer specific praise, such as "You did a great job picking up the rattle." The more you talk to your baby — while preparing dinner, driving, or getting dressed — the more he learns about communication.

Your baby's starting to understand the word "no," though he may not obey it just yet. For example, you can expect him to try to touch something even after you've said not to. It's best to use the word "no" sparingly, and when you do use it, follow it by removing him from the scene of the crime and introducing him to a new activity.

Noah continues to make new sounds all of the time.  He really likes flapping his lips and tongue around to make fun sounds. 

He's starting to listen better again as we have been ramping up our consistency.

This week I gave him Cheerios for the first time.  I have given him plenty of fruit and vegetable finger food before, but they are usually squishy and he has had a hard time picking them up and getting them to his mouth.  He is really enjoying being able to pick up Cheerios and feed himself.  I am in the process of tapering him down to 4 nursings a day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ham & Bean Soup

Ham & Bean Soup

Because I love soup any time of year, because I'm tired of heating up my oven several days in a row, and because I had a ham bone leftover from last week, I made this soup.

-1 (12 oz) bag assorted dried beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
-4 cups water
-1 ham bone
-1 onion, diced
-5 carrots, diced
-3 ribs celery, diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-3 bay leaves
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp dry mustard
-1 Tbsp dried parsley
-2 cups ham, chopped
-3 Tbsp lemon juice

In large pot bring beans, broth, water, ham bone, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, mustard, and parsley to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until beans and veggies are tender (about 2 hours).  Stir in ham and simmer 30 additional minutes.  Stir in lemon juice, remove ham bone and bay leaves, and serve.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna Roll Ups

These really aren't much different than my stuffed shells, except that they use a different kind of noodle and I tend to have a much easier time finding whole wheat lasagna noodles than whole wheat shells, so I can make these a little more healthy.  They are cute individual lasagnas, but I'm not really sure that this saves much effort over a traditional lasagna, just a little bit of baking time.  Add meat, mushrooms, or whatever your favorite lasagna ingredients are.

-6 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
-15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
-1 egg
-10 oz frozen spinach, thawed
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-4 cups marinara sauce
-1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
-1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Place 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a greased casserole dish.  In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, spinach, salt, and pepper.  Place 3 Tbsp of the ricotta mixture at the end of a lasagna noodle.  Roll the noodle around the cheese filling.  Place rolled noodle seam side down in casserole dish.  Repeat with remaining 5 noodles.  Top rolled noodles with remaining marinara sauce, then with shredded cheeses.  Cover dish with foil.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, remove foil and continue to bake until cheese melts (about 10 more minutes).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Banana Bread Pancakes

Banana Bread Pancakes

These are every bit as delicious as they sound!  They were a little thick for my taste though, so next time I'll probably reduce the baking powder by a tad.  Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, or traditional syrup. 

-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 cup all purpose flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1 cup skim milk
-1 egg
-1 Tbsp vanilla
-3 bananas, mashed
-2 Tbsp butter, melted

In medium bowl whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir in milk, egg, and vanilla.  Stir in bananas and butter.  Drop batter 1/4 cup at a time into a skillet over medium high heat.  Once bubbles form flip, and cook an additional couple of minutes.

These were so good that now I want to try all kinds of fun, exotic pancake flavors.  Carrot cake and red velvet are at the top of my list.  Followed closely by pumpkin pie and gingerbread.  What is your favorite type of pancake?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Marinated Cucumber Salad

Marinated Cucumber Salad

This recipe is adapted from, and is very similar to, the Tangy Cucumber recipe in the New American Heart Association Cookbook (speaking of which, this is one of my favorite low-fat, low-salt, overall healthy cookbooks, every recipe I've tried from it has been delicious).  This has a great combination of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors, and it light and refreshing.  Now, while cucumbers are on sale 3/ $1, it's the perfect time to enjoy this dish.  The cucumbers are great on their own, or topped with the yogurt dressing.

Marinated Cucumbers
-1/2 cup cider vinegar
-1/4 cup white sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 tsp dried dill
-4 cucumbers, seeded and cut into half moon slices

Whisk together all ingredients except cucumbers.  Toss marinade with cucumbers.  Allow to sit in the refrigerator at least 2 hours prior to serving

Yogurt Dressing

-1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
-1 tsp sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1/2 tsp dry mustard

Combine ingredients.  Allow to sit in the refrigerator at least 2 hours prior to serving.  Drizzle on top of marinated cucumbers.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Avocado Mango Salsa

Avocado & Mango Salsa

I served this on top of our fish tacos, and wow, it took them to a whole other level.  The creamy and sweetness were amazing against the spicy fish and crunchy red cabbage!  This would also be great as a dip with chips, or served on top of grilled fish or chicken (that had been rubbed with salt, pepper, cayenne and cumin prior to cooking).

-1 avocado, diced
-1 mango, diced
-1/4 red onion, diced
-fresh cilantro
-1 Tbsp lime juice
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1/8 tsp cumin
-1/8 tsp cayenne

Combine all ingredients, serve immediately.

Sauteed Sesame Red Cabbage

Sauteed Sesame Red Cabbage

This is a quick, easy and unique side dish that is even better the second day. I use my food processor to make quick work of slicing the cabbage.

-4 Tbsp sesame oil
-1 small head red cabbage, sliced
-4 Tbsp sugar or honey
-3 Tbsp rice vinegar
-2 Tbsp soy sauce
-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
-1/2 tsp salt

Heat sesame oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add cabbage, saute 10 minutes, stirring often. While cabbage cooks, whisk together sugar/ honey- salt in a small bowl. After the cabbage has cooked 10 minutes, stir in the sugar/honey vinegar mixture. Cook an additional 5 minutes and serve warm.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ham, Mushroom, & Cheese Bread Pudding

Because I really enjoyed the Savory Spinach Bread Pudding that I made earlier in the week, because I still had lots of bread lying around, and because I had leftover honey baked ham from community group dinner, I decided to try a ham, mushroom, & cheese savory bread pudding.  This was wonderful!  I would make this again for sure, and not just because I have ingredients to use up, but because it is that good, versatile, quick, easy & healthy.  I followed the exact same method as I did for the spinach bread pudding, just subbing different veggies, cheese and meat.

On a side note, does anyone know the difference between a strata and a bread pudding?  To me, it seems that I could call this either name, but ham bread pudding just sounds more shocking so I've stuck to that.

Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad

This is such a refreshing combination of summer flavors.  All of the flavors and textures compliment each other quite nicely.

-5 cups watermelon, diced
-2 cups cucumber, seeded and diced
-1/2 cup feta cheese
-fresh basil or mint, chopped
-1 Tbsp lime juice
-1/2 Tbsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt

Whisk together lime juice, sugar and salt.  Toss with remaining ingredients.  Wait at least 1 hour before serving.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Savory Bread Pudding

Savory Bread Pudding

I found myself with lots of extra bread on hand and decided to whip this up as a result.  Any combination of meats, veggies, and cheeses would work here, so it's great for using up leftovers.  It is also a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner dish.  *The only thing I would change, is that I would pre-cook the spinach first next time so that it would wilt, and then stir the cooked spinach in with the rest of the ingredients.

-6 eggs
-2 cups skim milk
-1/4 tsp dried thyme
-1/4 tsp dried rosemary
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-pinch nutmeg
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 cup cheese, shredded (I used parmesan, gruyere would be great here also)
-2 cups (*cooked) veggies (I used 8 oz spinach, artichokes and/ or mushrooms would pair nicely with this also)
-1 cup cooked meat (I didn't have any so I didn't do this, bacon, sausage, or ham would be great though)
-8 slices bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (I used whole wheat sandwich bread since that's what I had on hand, but that is very un-foodie-like of me, for the real foodies, go for a cubed baguette or something comparable)

Whisk together eggs, milk, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic.  Stir in cheese, veggies, bread cubes and meat.  Pour into a greased 13x9 pan.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until top is brown and center has set.

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach

Super yummy, creamy, and definitely doesn't taste low-fat (although it is).  Next time I would either omit the onions, or chop them in a more fine dice so that there aren't onion chunks in the end result.  Milk could be used instead of the fat-free half and half, with a similar result.  Some parmesan cheese could also be stirred in, but honestly it tastes creamy and decadent enough without it, so save the calories where you can.  I used baby spinach, but if using whole leaf spinach I would give it a rough chop either before or after cooking the spinach, and before it is stirred into the "cream".

-2 lbs spinach
-1 onion, diced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-3 Tbsp butter
-3 Tbsp flour
-1 3/4 cup fat-free half and half
-pinch nutmeg
-3/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper

Place 1 cup of water in a large pot on high heat.  Add spinach, cover, cooking and stirring frequently until spinach is wilted (about 5 minutes).  Remove spinach from pan to a colander, and press the excess moisture out using the back of a spoon.  Return pan to stove, place over medium heat.  Melt butter, cook onion in butter until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add garlic, cook 1 minute.  Add flour, cook stirring constantly for 3 minutes.  Add half and half, cook, whisking constantly until mixture thickens (5-10 minutes).  Stir in nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Stir in spinach and serve.

37 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to www,;

By this week, your baby will start to more specific information, such as where her toys are in your house. She'll also be able to imitate actions she's seen as long as a week before.  These skills indicate that she has recall memory — the ability to remember some details of a specific experience for a short time — though she still doesn't remember most of her experiences. Long-lasting conscious memory of specific events won't develop until your baby's second or third year, when real language emerges.
Your baby can now put objects in a container and remove them. Give her a plastic bucket and some colorful blocks so she can practice this new skill. (Make sure they're not so small that she can swallow them.) She also likes toys with moving parts, such as knobs, levers, or doors that open and close. Big plastic cars that your baby can wheel around on the floor are fun playthings, too.  If you take a toy away from her, your increasingly assertive baby is likely to object. She's really starting to be able to make her needs and wants known. Some sound advice: Give her something new before you take the other object away.

About half of babies this age will initiate passing games — giving away objects and then taking them back. Be her playmate. Try rolling a ball to your baby and see whether she rolls it back to you. Give her a sorting toy or stacking rings and see if she sorts or stacks or hands the pieces to you. She'll also like to share her food, so accept these "gifts" graciously.

Noah continues to be laid back and doesn't fuss at all when we take items away from him, or when another kid takes a toy from him and runs off.  "No, no" seems to have lost it's power, so we are working on being more consistent with consequences for when he disobeys.  Noah doesn't seem to realize that he is disobeying though, because he stares at us grinning the whole time, it seems like more of a game to him right now.

I'm needing to keep our floors spotless because he is starting to pick up every little piece of debris off of the floor and proceeds to stick them in his mouth.

He is making all kinds of new fun sounds.  He says mama and dada most often, but I don't think that he's made the connection that those are me and Jeremy.

He's still eating solid food 3 times a day and nursing 6 times a day.  He still takes two good naps most days, and sleeps from about 8 pm to a little after 6 am every night.

He loves practicing walking around the room while holding onto our hands.  He keeps testing himself and will stand on his own for a few seconds at a time before thumping to the floor.

On a funny side note, this week Noah got hold of Jeremy's Bible, which was closed at the time.  Noah managed to open it and tear out a page.  When we looked at what page it was that he tore out, it happened to be the page with the account of Noah in Genesis.  Very interesting that out of over 1,000 pages that happened to be the one page that our little man got hold of.  Maybe he wants me to frame it and put it on his wall.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blueberry Corn Salad

Since I'm still working my way through the blueberries that I picked last weekend I decided to make this Blueberry Corn Salad.  It was a nice, light, refreshing combination of summer flavors.  The few things I did differently than the recipe are;
-used 1/8 tsp cayenne and omitted jalapeno
-diced and seeded the cucumber rather than slicing
-used fresh basil because I was out of cilantro

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stuffed Mushrooms

I made these stuffed mushrooms that I've been wanting to try for over a year.  They turned out really well and I will definitely make them again.  Here are the few things that I did differently from the recipe;

-omitted the oil (used cooking spray for sauteing)
-used reduced fat cream cheese
-added 1/4 tsp salt

Summer fruit salad with poppy seed vinaigrette

Summer Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

This is now my favorite salad and dressing ever.  It was a great way to enjoy all of the fruits that are currently on sale at the store.  Romaine or spinach would also be a good green here.  I would have added some kiwi also, but mine wasn't quite ripe yet.  Mandarin oranges or toasted almonds would also pair nicely with this combination.

-butter lettuce
-peaches, diced
-strawberries, sliced

-6 Tbsp light mayo
-6 Tbsp olive oil
-3 Tbsp lemon juice
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp ground mustard
-1/4 tsp onion powder
-2 tsp poppy seeds

Whisk together dressing ingredients.  Toss with salad ingredients.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

I made these Peanut Butter and Banana muffins and am in love with them!  I think they are my favorite muffin.  EVER!!!!  They are incredibly yummy and moist.  They also happen to be made with all whole wheat flour, have carrot puree hidden in them, and have no added fat other than the natural fat of the peanuts.  Healthy and delicious, definitely a winner!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

36 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Now, and for the next few months, separation anxiety is at its peak. Although it's normal now for a baby to show an extreme attachment to you and fear of everyone else, it can be difficult for doting grandparents and caregivers. You can help ease transitions for your baby by warning people to approach slowly and let your baby make the first move.  If your baby uses a thumb or pacifier to soothe himself as he tries to cope with his anxiety, that's okay. Sucking is one of your baby's only methods of calming himself.

Because of separation anxiety, this can be a tough time to be away from your baby for any length of time. But it may also be hard to travel with your baby right now. He's become used to his surroundings and familiar faces, and he likes predictability. So being on the road can disrupt his sense of security and routine, especially when visiting an unfamiliar place or meeting lots of strangers.  At this age, he doesn't grasp the concept of travel but he'll realize he's in a new, strange place. Be ready for some cranky, clingy behavior and prepare plenty of distractions — picture books, noise-making toys, nesting blocks, hand puppets, and definitely his security object, if he has one. Schedule plenty of downtime away from all the strangers to let him decompress.  If he still uses a pacifier, it's wise to bring along a handful. They seem to vanish just when you need them most.

I'm continually in awe at how laid back Noah is and how well he adjusts.  This week we took him on a 6 hour car trip to Alabama, and while he didn't love being stuck in the back of the car alone for 6 hours, he did easily adjust to new people and surroundings.  He spent a few days getting to play with his cousins and loved every minute of it.  He also had his first introduction to a pool and was quite content to float around on his raft and people watch.

He is such a sweet, happy little kid.  Other kids can come and take away toys that he is playing with and his feelings don't seem to get hurt and he just goes right along and finds something else to play with.  We really do have the best kid in the world!!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

family vacay

we spent the last few days at a timeshare in Alabama, courtesy of Jeremy's grandparents.  as much as we love New Orleans, it was nice to get out of town for a few days, enjoy some family time, and some beautiful scenery.  Jeremy and I tend to love car rides together, it gives us a chance to talk, dream, and share while we are on the road, I think this trip was worth it just for the time that we had in the car together.  plus we got to have some fun time hanging out with the Mangerchine side of the family.  we stayed in a remote part of Alabama, so our days were pretty low key and filled with simple pleasures.  we got to slow down and retreat with the Lord.  we got to walk/ jog through some beautiful hilly areas.  we got plenty of family pool time.  plenty of good food.  and plenty of good conversation.  it was a great time, and now we have two more days of family time at home before Jeremy has to go back to work.  it feels good to be home.  driving back we both said that it really felt like we were coming home.  New Orleans has certainly become home to us in a short time.  we LOVE it here!  now I'm off to soak up more time with my little family of 3 before we return to our normal grind. 

thank you Lord for family.  for beautiful creation.  for vacations.  thank you that you are always with us.  thank you for refreshment.  thank you for your unconditional, sacrificial love.