Saturday, August 29, 2009

Where's Pop?

My husband's parents spend a lot of time at their home in Florida, but Grayson sure does love them and miss them when they're gone. He has this little photo album of them that he looks at all the time. And if you ask him "Where's Pop?", he will go straight for it..

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I LOVE to cook. My husband though for the first 6 3/4 years of our marriage would just assume eat peanut butter & jelly for every meal. I was so excited at the beginning of the summer when he told me he wanted to start eating "real" meals for dinner as long as they were healthy. So since then I've been cooking at least 4 nights a week and loving every minute of it. Something about searching out of recipes, buying all the ingredients and preparing them is so relaxing to me. And I love that we have now started a great tradition of eating together as a family.

I thought I'd share a few recipes I've made this summer that I have thoroughly enjoyed. And the best part...none of them are super bad for you!

Fish Tacos
Serves 2 to 4 people

For the Fish....
Sprinkle a mild fish (I use mahi mahi, but tilapia, etc., would work great too) with salt pepper, cumin and chili powder. Saute in a small amount of EVOO over medium high heat until cooked through. Shred between 2 forks and set aside ( I use 1 fish filet per person...which is enough for 2 people plus leftovers for lunch the next day.)

For the Pico De Gallo
Dice/seed 1 large tomato, 1/2 a red onion and chop a good handful of cilantro. Combine with juice from 1 lime and set aside.

For the Chipotle Aioli

the key ingredient that is super yummy!
6 T. mayo (I use lowfat)
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro or 2 tsp. dried
1 to 2 cloves minced garlic (i like to use the hand graters for this)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
4 tsp lime juice (about 1/2 of a good sized lime)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine together, mix well and chill til ready to serve

Warm flour tortillas in the oven or microwave (i just wrap in paper towel and heat for 30 to 45 seconds)

To assemble tacos, put desired amount of fish in tortilla, top with pico de gallo and drizzle with the aioli. It is delicious!

Mexican Corn on the Cob
Wrap 2 to 4 ears of corn on the cob in very wet paper towels (each ear should have it's own wrapping)
Place on a plate and microwave for 4 minutes
This makes perfect corn on the cob every time!
Then rub the corn with a small amount of mayo (sounds weird I know..but trust me!)
Then sprinkle with a small amount of chili powder and salt
This is a great side for the tacos.

Tonight, I made Scallops with Herbed Raw Tomato Sauce courtesy of Rachael Ray. It really was easy and I used a mixture of fresh and dried herbs, and frozen scallops that I thawed out. And it was really yummy! 30 minute meals with Rachael Ray was my 1st inspiration to start cooking back in the first year of our marriage.

I also made my lunch for tomorrow...and my husbands lunch for the middle of the night (he's been on night work all summer so his lunch is at like 2 in the morning). It's a Greek Salad recipe from the magazine Cuisine at Home (which has been the source of some of my favorite recipes in the past). It's very easy to assemble and is great for leftovers as well.

For the dressing
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 T. olive oil
1 T. sugar
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp each dried rosemary, thyme, and oregano (recipe calls for fresh..but i've always used dried instead since I have it on hand)
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Whisk together, cover and refrigerate
Set aside 1/4 cup to marinate chicken

For the Chicken
Marinate in dressing for 5 minutes to 2 hours
Grill or saute until cooked through
Slice into strips

For the Salad
2 Hearts of Romaine chopped - Or bagged romaine lettuce prewashed and chopped
1 to 2 tomatoes diced
1/2 english cucumber diced
1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted and diced (I buy already pitted)
1/2 cup feta cheese (I add more because I love it!)
1 cup assorted bell peppers diced (most the time I just use 1 red bell pepper)
1/2 red onion diced or slivered
(I eyeball all above ingredients.....and sometimes omit something if I'm out of it)

Combine all ingredients for salad, mix with dressing and toss in chicken.
Can be served with Pita Bread

Monday, August 24, 2009

The First Disney Experience

Last weekend I headed to Orlando for a cousin's wedding. And I couldn't be in such close proximity of Disney without making a detour to the happiest place on earth! I LOVE Disney and look forward to many future trips with Grayson as he gets older. My husband couldn't make the pre-trip, and made me promise not to hit the Magic Kingdom without him. So we decided to venture to the Animal Kingdom instead.

As we drove through the gates that said "Welcome to Disney World" I was so excited to be sharing the moment with my little man. I turned around to tell him how exciting it was and get a smile out of him, and instead, he gave me a confused look and projectile vomited all over himself. Truly a moment I will remember forever. His first disney experience and he gets sick. (Thankfully it wasn't a bug or anything...just a result of my mom deciding half and half mixed with skim milk would equal whole milk for a baby - um...wrong). After we got him all cleaned up, he was feeling great and we were on our way.

We headed first to a character breakfast inside the park. My sister Brenda - who is the queen of all things Disney World - came with us with 2 of her 3 boys.

He really didn't like the characters at all...and I really can't blame him. They are kind of scary.

Meeting Mickey for the first time

Sheer terror. Love it!

Hanging out on a bench with his cousin Ashton...after having to leave "It's a Bug's Life 3D" due to again...sheer terror.

Passed out in the stroller from a busy morning.

Wrapping up the afternoon with tea at the Grand Floridian. He loved the strawberries and cream and made a HUGE mess...but he loved every second of it.

It was a great trip and I so look forward to future jaunts to disney. In January 2011 we will be at a work convention down there, so I'm sure that will be our first full family experience at the parks. I'm ready to start planning now! But...sigh...disney won't let me book anything this far in advance. But I'm planning in my head already!

Oh...and this trip was Grayson's 8th round trip flying and 16th flight. The kid is a pro at going through security!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Big 3-0

Today I leave my 20's behind and all the fond (and not so fond memories) of it.

I say good bye to:

-The decade in which I married my wonderful husband
-The decade in which I welcomed my beautiful son
-The decade in which I said goodbye to three precious babies
-The decade in which I saw so much personal and spiritual growth as a result
-A wrinkle free face
-A working metabolism
-A body unaffected by gravity

And I say hello to:
-A new decade to welcome new babies (I prayerfully hope)
-The decade in which I will celebrate 7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 years of marriage to -my amazing man
-The decade in which I will *gasp* send my baby to school
-The decade in which I will at some point "retire" from work to be a full time mommy for a bit
-The decade of my *ahem..cough, cough* "peak" (or so people say)
-A time for making friendships stronger...and expanding my horizons with new ones
-Embracing every day of life...cause it's almost 1/2 way over at this point. Scary!

I've got to say, I feel very odd about the whole thing. I thought it wouldn't phase me but it is really making me contemplate life, what I've done, what i HAVEN'T done and more.

Any advice from any of you out there? Did you have a tough time with 30? How did you get through it?