Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Great Kids Clothing; Great Givewaway!

Here is a website with a great giveaway of a dress and skirty by Amoretti. If you've never seen this clothing line, check it out; it is adorable!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mandarin Orange & Chicken Salad

Rich's birthday is on Sunday, June 21, so this week I am making some of his favorite meals to celebrate his "birthday week", as I like to call it. I think it's fun to make the whole week leading up to the birthday a special time. My earlier post about tortilla soup was a part of that. And now, I have another meal to share with you that is healthy, easy, and oh-so-good--Mandarin Orange & Chicken Salad. Doesn't it look fresh and colorful?
Here is the recipe:

1 bag baby spinach
1 can mandarin orange segments, drained
1 C chopped, cooked chicken
1 recipe carmelized sliced almonds (below)
1 recipe dressing (below)

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Carmelized Sliced Almonds:
1 C sliced almonds
1/3 C sugar
1 piece parchment paper

Heat small skillet over medium heat. Pour almonds in pan and then add sugar. Toss mixture continually until sugar melts and completely coats the almonds and they begin to turn golden brown. Pour out onto parchment paper and let cool. When cool, break apart pieces and use to top salad.

1/4 C veg. oil
2 T sugar
2 T apple cider vinegar

Combine ingredients in dressing container or any small container with lid. Shake well and pour over salad.

Serve King's Hawaiian bread or rolls with the salad.

Swimming Lessons

Anna Ruth has been taking swimming lessons for almost 2 weeks, and she is just now getting comfortable with it. The first few days were painful in several different ways. For one, Anna Ruth screamed bloody murder when it was time for her to go with her teacher. She yelled "Mommy!" over and over, and I know it was scary for her to go to a new place with a bunch of people she had never seen before. It was painful for everyone's ears as they heard the high-pitched screams all the way from across the pool. It was also painful to my pride, as I thought back to times when I have heard somebody's kid screaming and thought to myself "Whose brat is that? Seriously, get control of your kid!" Now it was my daughter making the scene, and I did the whole glance-over-your-shoulder move to make it seem like she wasn't talking to me. Anyway, yesterday she did a complete 180. She didn't cry when she had to go to her class, and she participated willingly in the activities and games. She ran up to me afterward and happily announced, "Mommy, I did a GREAT job today!" So I let her watch 2 movies, take a bath, and chew as many pieces of gum as she wanted to encourage her to keep it up. Today went just as well! She has 4 more days of classes left, and I think she will actually get promoted. Woohoo! Here are a few pictures I managed to snap towards the end of the first good day.
sitting on the edge listening

holding onto the kickboard and kicking

noticing me standing there taking pictures

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tortilla Soup

I first had this soup at my Mom's house, and I knew right when I had it that Rich would love it. I asked Mom for the recipe (which she got from someone, but I don't know who), and made it at home. Sure enough, it became an instant favorite for Rich because of how good it is and for me because of how easy it is to make. I end up having enough to freeze half of it, so it makes two meals in the time of one! If you like Mexican food, give it a try--you'll be glad you did!

Here's the recipe:
8 oz. diced carrot
8 oz. diced celery
8 oz. diced onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper to taste
2 T oil
4 cans (or 8 C) of chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles (mild or regular, depending on how spicy you like it)
1 packet taco seasoning
12 oz. cooked chicken, cut up
1 pkg. corn tortillas
12 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese (or Cotija, if you want to be more authentic)
1 C milk

Saute carrots, celery, onion, garlic powder, salt/pepper in oil until tender. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes and tomatoes and green chiles, taco seasoning, and chicken. Add 5 cut-up corn tortillas and let boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Reduce heat and add 8 oz. of cheese. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add milk and simmer another 5 minutes.
Garnish with extra cheese, diced avocado, cilantro and sour cream.
Serve with warm corn tortillas on the side, spread with butter and sprinkled with salt.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

James has found his voice

James used to be our quiet little guy in contrast to our non-stop talker, Anna Ruth. But I guess he's figured out that he needs to be pretty loud to get heard around here, and this is the result.

Monday, June 01, 2009

We Need Your Help!

As you may have noticed from the sidebar, I have entered James into Charleston's Most Huggable Baby Contest. The winner is determined by the number of votes each picture receives, so I'm asking all our family, friends, and readers to please help. You are allowed to vote ONCE A DAY until the voting ends on June 11. At that point, the top 10 babies will then be voted on again. (I'm not sure if it will be open voting again or just determined by the people running the contest--I'll let you know when I find out.) Please click on the icon on the sidebar, and it will take you directly to the pictures. You will have to scroll down to the bottom and hit "Next" because James' picture is on the second page. He is on the very far left of the third row down. When you click on his picture, you must click on the circle with the number 1 in it above the word "SELECT". It will turn from blue to red. THEN, click on the "Vote" button. It will not immediately show up on the number of votes below his picture, so don't worry about that. Anyway, if you could do that as often as you remember, and even pass the word along to others who may want to help, that would be AWESOME!
The winner will get a 2-night stay in the Grand Room at The Inn at Middleton Place including breakfasts, cocktails, and lots of other fun stuff and also a 1 hour massage! If we win, it will be just in time for our 5 year anniversary.
Let me know if you have any problems or have any questions. Thanks for taking the time to help us out!