Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It was in the fridge, so...

Chicken, shrimp, Mexican squash, onions, carrots, celery, garlic...
Hmmmm....what to do, what to do. How 'bout a stir-fry? Works for me!!

Here is how I get things going. I marinate or season the meats first. Cut up all my veggies...

I sauteed the veggies first - in some olive oil.

Then I added something small that has big flavor...can you see it? Sesame seeds! I also added a little bit of sesame oil for taste and soy sauce. Then I put my veggies to the side...

Now it's time to cook the chicken. Make sure it's cooked all the way through, but not over-cooked. The house is really smelling great! Add to the veggies and toss.

This shrimp happened to be cooked already, but I still cooked it up in a little butter (for flavor)... I kept the shrimp separate because one of my awesome kiddos has a slight shell fish allergy.

Here's the final product. SO good. I would have taken off the tails if I thought about it sooner, but it wasn't too much of a hassle. I also wish I had some mushrooms in there... but anyhow. It was awesome. Everybody from the 3 year old to the 14 year old loved it.
I had some cauliflower too that I thought I was going to use, but needed a little more inspiration. My kids love it mashed like potatoes and of course we've steamed it - but what else? Any ideas that YOU have tried? Post in the comments or message me! Thanks!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never forget...

September 11, 2001

Thursday, September 9, 2010

For all my teacher friends...good read for my students and parents too!!

Be sure to turn the sidebar music off (on the right).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Two Snails

Make sure you put the blog music on pause (in my side bar)...This was our little activity for today. My Curious George.

It's Back to School: Are the parents ready???

My girls have been back to school going on three weeks now. They are loving it - so far. As I've mentioned before, this is the first time in about 15 years that I am not at work teaching. I have a little guy that I love more than myself. He just turned three and I am so glad to be home with him and I get to spend my days teaching him and watching him learn and grow instead of 25 kids...
That being said, I feel for these teachers as I drop my girls off and leave them in their hands day after day. I remember the feeling. It is a calling. These teachers are there (the majority of them anyway) because they really want to make a difference for these children.
I've already offered my help to each of the girls' teachers and have brought home work to do for my Naomi's teacher. I want to be as communicative and helpful as I can, because these teachers are going to be spending lots of time with my children. I want them to know that I am on their side. We are all working towards helping my girls to be successful, happy, productive people.
I came across an article that led to one more about things that teachers wished parents knew. As a teacher, I was nodding my head in agreement through the whole thing. I am posting the links here, but PLEASE take the time to read them. It's really quick and eye opening and I think it will help you, your child and your child's teacher. Have a great school year!!
13 Things Your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You
20 More Things Your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You

Monday, September 6, 2010

Complacency Kills...

Definition of COMPLACENCY:
–noun, plural -cies.
---a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.

Have you ever thought that you might be at a point of complacency in your life? I have heard the word used often. I've even used it myself. But have you ever really thought about it? This morning as I was doing my reading and quiet time, I started to really think about this word. I decided to look it up.
I basically thought of it as being a feeling of not really caring one way or another about something or maybe just letting yourself get in a rut about things...but this definition actually startled me. WOW.
Feeling secure while unaware of some potential danger?? Hmmm...that makes it more serious.
I decided to look up the word rut. This is what I found:
rut1    /rʌt/
,noun, verb, rut·ted, rut·ting.
3. a fixed or established mode of procedure or course of life, usually dull or unpromising: to fall into a rut.

WOW again...do you see the part about being fixed in a course of life that is usually dull...but more seriously...UNPROMISING?

I don't want to be complacent. I don't want to be in a rut. Listen people! I'm not just talking about someone who is stuck in the 80's and can't get rid of their hair scrunchees and MC Hammer pants. I'm thinking about living our life in a way that is potentially dangerous or unpromising!!

I know that my blog is all over the place. I've got recipes, crafts, family life, spiritual applications, weight loss, etc. but all of that is me. I am an ever changing person. I want to change for the better. I want to be teachable.
I am done with people who have "arrived". They like to live and believe a certain way and they stay right there and nobody is going to budge them, yet half of them can't tell you why they do what they do or why they believe what they believe.
It's sad really. These last 4 years have really been an eye opener to me. I have learned that for a big part of my adult life, I was living a complacent life. Just going along. Believing what anyone said. Never questioning things that I didn't feel were "right". Gaining weight by the minute. Doing things the same way, day in and day out...even if I knew that the end result was not what I wanted. The only thing that was changing regularly was my hair color! haha
Well, I finally snapped out of it. I realized that if I wanted to really have a relationship with my husband and my children, I was going to have to work at it. I was going to have to be the one to communicate and make a difference for them. I knew that my spiritual life was stagnant. I was always busy working in the church or ministry...but how was my heart - how was my walk with my God?
Listen. I am not saying that things need to change all the time. I am saying that if you have been doing things just for the sake of doing them - you might need to stop and ask yourself, "WHY?" Maybe you've been doing things a certain way and you feel like you could get better results by doing it differently - why don't you try it and see?
If you have been working yourself silly in church and you rarely see your family, you can't remember the last time you had a real heart to heart talk with God, you can't remember the last time you just sat at His feet and worshipped Him...what's holding you back from starting now?
It's scary to change. It's scary to step out in faith, but if you don't, you will be in a rut.
Have you heard of great marriages going down the drain because they let themselves get in a rut? They let their relationship get stagnant?
Are you gaining weight faster than you realize because you just keep wearing the same ole stretchy t-shirt and burger pants? You can start to change that now.
What happens to water that just sits? It starts to breed all kinds of bacteria, gets a stink on it, attracts mosquitos...just nasty.
Complacency kills. You just get all rusty dusty and it doesn't even bother you until you're spiritually, physically or emotionally just dead.
The Bible talks about being complacent in Isaiah 32. He talks about being "at ease" when we should not be.
What is it that you have been complacent about? Your relationship with your spouse? Your relationship with Christ? Your spiritual journey? Your job? Your weight? Your home? Your education?
You can keep this practical...or you can go as deep as you want. Whatever you do, remember that Complacency Kills.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chuletas en Salsa Verde or Pork Chops in Tomatillo Sauce

I love CHILE VERDE!!! I have had the privilege of enjoying some great salsa verde (green salsa) in my time. Living in the Los Angeles/Southern California area AND attending a Spanish Church for so many years has allowed me lots of exposure to some great chile verde! =)
As you know, I love to cook, but did not want to even attempt this for some reason. Why mess with perfection? haha
But alas, I had some fresh tomatillo, cilantro, jalapeños... I had some pork cutlets and wanted to do something different than I usually do. So...it was fate. My first time making chile verde was BEAUTIFUL!! Here we go!
1 lb. fresh tomatillos (husked and washed)...I guess you can use canned, but I've never used it.
1 jalapeño (remove seeds)
1 bunch cilantro (chopped roughly)
1 medium onion (sliced thin)
1 Tbs. crushed fresh garlic (about 2 large cloves)
1 cup chicken stock (if you don't make your own, you can get some good stuff at Trader Joe's)
Husk and wash the tomatillos. Cut them into quarters.
Wash and slice your jalapeño. Remove seeds unless you want it to be extra spicy.
Put in a small pot and cover with water. Add salt (maybe a teaspoon or two)
Boil until soft. Drain water.
Pour in a blender. Add cilantro, onion, garlic, and chicken stock.
Blend and then pour back into pot. Simmer until it changes from bright green to dark green.
And it's done! You can now use it for chip dip, enchiladas, add to any kind of meat you like... it's just so yummmmmm. =)

Boil process...

These are the pork cutlets that I seasoned and cooked until very tender...

The blender...

Add cooked sauce to your meat. Cover and let simmer for another 15 minutes or so. I just waited until my pork was very tender. I served it over some shredded chicken breast for my youngest child. We had some chicken leftover and I thought he'd prefer that over the pork.
This sauce was not hot at all in my opinion. It was just spicy enough. You could add another pepper or add a different kind like serrano or whatever you like best.
When I served it on the plates, I broke the meat up into little chunks so that the sauce would cover it even more.
This is usually served with rice, but to keep it low carb or paleo, you'll want to serve it over some steamed veggies or something. I loved the steamed cauliflower shredded up to appear "rice like".

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

End of summer sweetness...

We were at the market and they had these tiny watermelon for 79 cents. My son took one look at them and had to have one.

What's a mama to do? See how much he loves it?? =)

I told him it was time to eat it. I had put it in the refrigerator to let it chill. He was obviously excited about this. haha.

I was surprised that there was no rind really.

It was basically seedless, of course.

The first bite...

So far so good!

It was a big hit. He loved it. It really was very sweet and full of flavor. Surprising for such a little thing.
School is in full swing and I'm going to miss a lot of the summer produce. Funny thing though, we hardly had any "summer" weather by Southern California standards, but now we get triple digit heat.
The kids think it's some kind of conspiracy against them. haha. We are thankful - very thankful - for air conditioning.
Fall is just around the corner...and you know me...I can't wait!!