Friday, April 23, 2010

A week of "Eat, Shrink and be Merry"

I LOVE to cook - it's relaxing for me and really fun. However, I always need to have a recipe; I am not one of those people who can just throw ingredients together and come up with a gourmet meal. Nope, anytime I've tried that has failed miserably. If you don't believe me, just ask Collin. :)
I can however, tweak and refine the recipes that I find; tailor them to the likes of our family - my friend calls it "Meganizing" - but that's a different story.

One of my most favorite cookbooks is "Eat, Shrink and be Merry", authored by the Podleski sisters and given to me for Christmas 2005 by my Mom (she even wrote in the front cover - it's really special). I love their recipes because so many of them are completely different from western cuisine; also, they are healthy and low-fat! The book itself is a joy to read since all the recipes have silly names, and there are fun facts and cartoons on every page.

This week I decided to do a (work) week of their recipes.

On Monday I made...

The Better Butter Chicken

Fragrant Indian butter chicken - although this version only uses two tablespoons of butter. It is absolutely to die for...anyone that hasn't had butter chicken before, I strongly recommend it; your taste buds will thank you.

On Tuesday I made The Soy in the Plastic Bubble; a quick and colorful tofu stir-fry with hoisin-peanut sauce.
The veggies in this were fantastic!

Wednesday was Not Humdrumsticks; baked honey mustard and herb chicken drumsticks.
These are amazing and so easy to whip up for a quick weekday meal! I always have the ingredients for this on-hand.

On Thursday we had Parma Chameleon; which is tofu parmesan, a protein-packed alternative to traditional eggplant parmesan. It was great! I made pesto fettucine to go with it - I love having store bought pesto on hand, it is a must-have staple in my kitchen!

Today we are having...leftovers! Each recipe makes 4-6 servings and we don't eat that much!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Half boy, half monkey

Latham thought of a new use for something.

Just a window?!? No, no, it's also a jungle gym!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

On the road again...

For months now, Collin has been searching for the perfect toy hauler RV for his Dad. He finally found it this past week, and since it was located in San Jose, California, a road trip was in order. We packed up the boys and the truck, and made our way down south.

Day One - Friday

We left at 3:45 am from Bellingham. I was relieved that Collin did all the driving.

The boys did remarkably well, especially Latham, who I thought would have the hardest time being restrained in his carseat for the long trip.

Ronan can and will play Thomas the Train anywhere!

Crossing the Oregon/California border - definately not the weather I expected or wanted to see!

Tuckered out from all the hours of sitting in the truck.

We arrived in San Jose at 10:30 pm that same day. The ride down went smoothly except for a massive blow-out from Latham - there was poop everywhere! That delayed our trip by an hour.

Day Two - Saturday

While Collin was completing the paperwork for the sale of the toy hauler, I stayed in the hotel with the boys. Here they are, enjoying breakfast.

Latham checking out the nutritional information on the side of his juice box.

After Collin was done we packed up the boys again to do a little sight seeing - Monterey Bay and Pebble Beach.

The cute boardwalk in Monterey Bay.

Another view.

Our primary purpose in coming to Monterey Bay was to visit this restaurant. Collin had eaten here while on a business trip six years ago, and honestly said that it was the best food he's ever had. After talking about their antipasto platter for so long, we finally had the opportunity to go there together!

The antipasto was laid out for all to see,

along with the names of everything.

Collin and I started with the garlic calamari...

...and shared the antipasto platter. It truly was amazing!

Afterward we continued walking on the boardwalk.

The boys really enjoyed being out of the truck.

Ronan behaved himself while at the restaurant, so he got an ice cream cone. When we asked what flavor he wanted, he said "Pink!"

After Monterey Bay, we took the boys to see Pebble Beach, home to the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Collin and Latham enjoying the view.

Ronan wanted to throw rocks into the ocean like he does at Larrabee State Park, but he couldn't get close enough. They all landed in the bushes.

The wind swept trees - Pebble Beach is beautiful!

After that we had to start heading back home. We made it as far north as Redding, Oregon before stopping for the night.

Day Three - Sunday

Easter Sunday!

Did you know that Easter Bunny will come find you if Mommy tells him that you won't be at home for Easter? He left eggs for the boys in Grandpa's new toy hauler! Here they are ready to find some eggs - Ronan was trying to hide, he didn't want his picture taken!

Ronan finding the first egg - notice his Easter basket; when we were buying them I asked what color he wanted and he said "Pink!"

Latham found some eggs too...

...although he was more interested in tasting the contents right away rather than searching for more!

Ronan dividing the eggs up between his basket and Latham's.

Showing me the choclate bunny that was left for him.

We found all the eggs!

During a pit stop Latham tried to convince Daddy to let him drive.

Collin and I came up with the perfect plan for stops - he would drop the boys and I off at a McDonald's Play Place, then he would go fill up the truck. We'd let the boys play for a half hour or more, and then right before getting back in the truck we'd get the food. We'd eat in the truck since that maximized play time for the boys. It worked great - although I am thoroughly sick of McDonald's now.

"All done my chocolate bunny!"

We arrived home around 11 pm on Sunday. In the course of three days we logged more than 40 hours and over 2000 miles round trip!

Needless to say, it's good to be home!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Abbotsford Heat vs. Manitoba Moose - March 30, 2010

Last Tuesday my Dad took Ronan, Collin and I to the Abbotsford Heat game at the Abbotsford Entertainment Centre. He had taken Ronan to a game before, but it was Collin's and my first time to a Heat game.

Ronan and his Grandpa watching the game.

Ronan was so excited about the mascot, which was cleaverly named "Hawkey".

Me with two of my most favorite people in the whole world!

Of course hockey games are all about the treats! Mini donuts, yum...

...and a soda, so of course he had a sugar rush by the end of the game.

We had great seats - Row 6.

Ronan and Hawkey after the game - Ronan was excited to get this close to the furry friend.

The Heat won the game 2-1, although we would've been winners either way since the Manitoba Moose are the Vancouver Canucks farm team!