Friday, August 14, 2009

Sand Harbor

The kids love to go to Sand Harbor--we've been going every Wednesday that we've been in town--which actually hasn't been that often. And of course I've only remembered my camera once! Here are some pics of the kids there.

Brayden and his friend James

Drew and his friend Carson

Maegan getting the sand out of her toes! She won't touch the water--too cold! so she never even wears a swim suit.



Good thing Abby has that floaty! It looks pretty deep!

I will definitely miss the beauty of Lake Tahoe. The scene here behind Abby is breathtaking I think. Hopefully the beach at Santa Crus will be just as fun!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cajun Tilapia with Cilantro Lime Rice and Veggies

I really like the cajun blend, but so far had only tried it on chicken.  Not shocking--it was great on tilapia too!  I followed the directions on the jar, adding some grapeseed oil and some of the blend to the tilapia and let it sit for 20 minutes or so in a ziploc bag.


I put it on my indoor grill, because I find it difficult to grill fish on the outdoor grill.  That's probably more due to the fact that the guy who runs the grill wasn't home!  Therefore, it's difficult to grill outside since I don't do it (after that hamburger on fire a couple years ago, my eyebrows just refuse).



On the side I made up a quick pot of cilantro lime rice and lemony garlic veggies.  The rice is just according to the jar, no changes.  The veggies were made by using half zesty lemon GSO and half roasted garlic GSO, heated in a non-stick pan.  Add whatever veggies are in your fridge--today I used broccoli, yellow bell peppers and mushrooms.  Stir fry until desired doneness.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  This is so yummy with almost any dinner!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer in Northern Nevada

My friend Anne and I tried to take the kids on a hike last wednesday.  We thought it would be "a little too cold" to go to Sand Harbor, so decided to hike instead.  Apparently is was "a little too cold" for hiking too.
  




There was a little snow to begin with, then a little more, and more until as you can see, the trail was totally snowed over.  We stopped for lunch and it actually started to snow!   Maybe summer will come in July!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pasta Bar and Garlicky Green Beans

I used to go to a restaurant in college that had a pasta bar, where you could choose different shapes of pasta and different sauces.  I always loved that, and sometimes my Mom would also make two different sauces.  So, I thought I would try it!  I made a marinara sauce with crushed tomatoes and hearty spaghetti sauce blend and alfredo extraordinaire.  I added a pinch of sugar and a little salt to the marinara and I substituted half chicken broth for the butter called for on the package of the alfredo and I liked it much better--less greasy.  It was a little thinner in consistency, so next time I might just use less milk.  

I also made a side of garlicky green beans.  I'm not kidding when I say these tasted exactly like the garlicky green beans at a chinese restaurant I go to.  Yes this was an Italian meal, but garlic goes with everything, right?  I sautéed them in a little roasted garlic grapeseed oil and then seasoned them with california style garlic pepper.  I'm a little addicted to the garlic pepper.  It now sits out on my counter with my oils because I use it so often.  I might have even added some of it to the marinara sauce!




Once again, Maegan approves! Why is it that a baby eating is cute, but I would never post a picture of my 10-year-old "approving"?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Taco Enchiladas

Here is a little experiment with some different blends--I called it taco enchiladas.  First I browned some ground beef--about 1 pound.  I added one can of drained and rinsed black beans, 3 T. taco seasoning and 1 T cajun seasoning, plus some water (whatever the taco says on the back).  You could use all taco, but I like the additional spiciness of the cajun without the thickening of the taco.  Make sense?  Let this simmer together about 10 minutes and get all thick and yummy.  

For the sauce, I had some fiesta salsa mixed up in the fridge.  (I like to use the petite diced tomatoes for my salsa mix rather than regular diced, called for on the package.)  I mixed this with some canned tomato sauce to make a thinner sauce--and to stretch the salsa.  (about 1 cup salsa with one can of tomato sauce)  If you don't already have some salsa mixed up, that's okay.  Just mix it up now--the flavors will come out as it bakes.  Shred some cheese--I used cheddar because that's what I had, but jack would be great too.  I think I used about 8 ounces--divided between inside the enchiladas and on top later.

Line up all your ingredients in an assembly line fashion.
 

I used 8 inch flour tortillas--put some meat mixture in, sprinkle in some cheese, roll up and put in the pan.


Pour sauce over the top and cover with aluminum foil.  When I do this again, I would put a little sauce in the bottom of the pan first.  I thought it would just run down and around, but it didn't and the tortillas got very crisp on the bottom--too crisp to even cut with a fork.  I like this toasted type flavor, but it was difficult for the kids to manage.  Bake 375 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.  Uncover and top with additional cheese.  Bake 10 more minutes until cheese is melted.  

Andy's verdict was "Yummy enchiladas!"  I'm always glad when he likes something I make up!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Strawberry Chocolate Trifle


So this isn't exactly dinner food, but I don't have a separate label for dessert.  I've told guests at my Wildtree tastings that the chocolate mousse would be great in a trifle--and I finally had an excuse to try it!  I sent this to a baby shower I couldn't attend (sad) and people apparently loved it!  (yea!)

This is one angel food cake, 2 lbs. cut up strawberries and a pouch of chocolate mousse mix.  First, I sliced up the strawberries and tossed them with sugar and let them sit and macerate.  Meanwhile, tear up the angel food cake--you can use an electric knife if you have one and are so inclined to using a mini sort of kitchen power saw.  Me personally, I just tear.  Whip 2 cups of cream till soft peaks.  Remember to stop your mixer and check as you get close--you can't tell when you are at soft peaks while the mixer is running and you'll end up taking it too far.  Gently fold in the mousse mix and a little powdered sugar if you'd like.  When I make the mousse on it's own, I use a lot of powdered sugar, but for this mixed with sweetened strawberries and angel food cake, it doesn't need much, if any.  Layer the cake, then strawberries, then mousse in a trifle bowl.  Repeat.  I think I got 4 layers.  Be sure to use the juice accumulated in the strawberries on each layer.  I hope you reserved some whole strawberries for the top because I forgot to say that--it looks so pretty, don't you think?  I also happened to have some dark chocolate that I shaved with a vegetable peeler for some extra bling on the top!   Enjoy!  

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pizza for Dinner!

I thought I'd start posting some of the great dinners I've been making with Wildtree stuff so I have a place to send my customers for more ideas. So, if you read this because you are just wanting pics of the kids (Hi Mom! Hi Renae!) hopefully you get a few fast dinner ideas too!

Tonight was pizza. I used one pouch of the Quick and Easy Pizza dough and one pouch of the Whole Wheat pizza dough. I did this because that's what I had in my pantry and I didn't want to make too separate doughs, so I just dumped them in together. I thought it made a nice light wheat flavor and I would do it again. Make sure the water you are using is very hot--the package indicates 120-130 degrees. This is hotter than my tap, so I put in the micro for a few seconds. I let it rise much longer than the package states. I guess it's not so "quick" that way, but it is still "easy!"


I let it get nice and puffy before rolling it out.


I use my hands to press it onto a pizza stone.  If you like your crust very crispy, you can preheat your stone, roll your pizza on a peel or a cookie sheet and then slide it onto the hot stone. This is too scary for me and I don't really care if the bottom crust is super crispy. I find an unheated stone baked on the lowest rack provides plenty of "crispy" for me and my fam.

Top as you like. I use the Hearty Spaghetti Seasoning in a can of tomato sauce, plus a pinch of sugar and salt and pepper.  Actually I think I may have used the California style garlic pepper instead of just regular pepper--I put it on everything, so it's hard to remember.  I don't even heat it together before I spread it right on the pizza.  (You can also use tomato paste--just thin it down with water to a spreading consistency.)  Sprinkle on cheese, etc.  Bake according to the package directions.  When I have two pizzas to bake, I rotate them so they both get some time on the lowest rack to crisp up the bottom crust.  I think I baked these about 18 minutes total.  It will take longer if you add a lot of toppings--it seems to weigh down the crust. 





The beautiful results! Sweet little Maegan can't have cheese, so you'll notice a little portion without cheese on the hawaiian.


She doesn't seem to mind!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spring Highlights

Since I rarely post anymore, I thought I'd do a cliff notes/picture summary of the spring:


Brayden at the Pinewood Derby--3rd year, 3rd time taking 2nd place.  His is the black car on the track--the "Black Widow."


Abby in her elephant costume (yes, these are the ones that I made for all the girls in the class--the arm thing is the trunk during the dance).  Taking a little curtsy with her flower after the "performance." 


Easter Sunday--ditto for below.





What's the spring highlight here?  It's that I can actually get a pig tail in Maegan's hair!  Also, she climbed up on the bar stool and then the counter and helped herself to that whole apple out of the fruit bowl.  So, I did the responsible parent thing and cut it up and gave it to her--oh, wait.  No, I put her in the high chair and let her have at it!  She quite enjoyed in and gnawed on it for a good 10 minutes.


Drew in his baseball catcher's gear and below about to hit the ball (I think!)  We'll just assume that this was the one that he hit over the shortstop's head.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Meagan



Megan at 1 year (yes this is 6 months old!) Just a test of photobucket. you can play a little slide show I think.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snowboarding for the Boys


Drew above in the red, Brayden below in the grey




 

Andy took the boys snowboarding over Christmas break.  It was great weather and they had a fantastic time.  Here is a little video of the boys going down the hill.  Andy is doing the video, also snowboarding, and trying not to get plowed over!


video

Disneyland (belated!)

I have a bunch of posts I wanted to do, but they are all getting very belated now, but I don't care. It was hard choosing pictures for this post because I have hundreds. In December, we enjoyed a 3-day visit to Disneyland with my extended family--22 of us in all! The pictures really speak for themselves--we obviously had a great time!



Maegan at the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Live


Brayden at the Lego Store in Downtown Disney


Ditto for Drew


At the Small World light show--the girls couldn't stay up for this!


Waving to the princesses at the parade with cousin Ellie


Abby's favorite ride--the carousel  


Use your muscles!


You too, Drew!






Abby and Ellie got to meet Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty


A little too much excitement for Maegan--fell asleep on Aunt Wendy's shoulder.




Thanks Mom and Dad for an awesome Christmas present!