Sunday, February 28, 2010

A nutty Diner!

I'm just going 'nuts' over diner tonight!

Sesame Peanut noodles with walnut crusted chicken

I wasn't sure about walnuts and peanuts in the same dish when I made this at first, I was also unsure on how cream soaked chicken would taste with Asian peanut noodles. But it was a success

I've loved peanut noodles since my Auntie Pam's New Years Day party many years ago. And I have been experimenting with recipes ever since. I got a hint of honey, I just made the sauce and put it on top of some udon noodles. Then I made some 
Walnut Crusted Chicken
*I found this recipe like this on the internet about a year ago and I can't find the original link no matter how hard I look , I'm sure its different then the original because I've lost all my recipe books!

2c Walnuts
1/2c flour
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
salt and pepper
heavy cream
2 chicken breasts
  1. Preheat the Oven to  325
  2. Cut the chicken breast into strips, add some salt and pepper 
  3. Put the chicken breasts into a bowl and cover with cream
  4. Put walnuts, flour and cinnamon in food processor, process till nuts are in small pieces (you can make it finer if you like, but I like the texture of the walnuts, plus it looks pretty)
  5. Coat the chicken with the walnut mix
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until done

I made the sesame noodles while the chicken was cooking, and I served them cold. 
I added shredded carrots, green onions, roasted peanuts,  and hemp seeds to the dish to add some extra crunch and some veggies! The carrots add a fresh taste to the dish

I hope you try this because its quick, delicious, and easy to make, definitely one of my favorites.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I am a winner!

I very rarely win things, so when I  saw a 'sneak attack giveaway' on free pretty things for you I was skeptical that I would win, but it was late at night, and I WON! I was the second of five to sign up and win! I sent Mrs.Dukes my address and it should be here soon. Hooray for mail!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chicken with Lemon Butter

Another Success from my
Carmine's Family-Style Cookbook: More Than 100 Classic Italian Dishes to Make at Home
(are you sick of it yet?)

The lemon chicken was so yummy, I made the mistake of getting Meyer lemons at the store, I'm sure that made a difference in the final product but I still liked it a lot, I couldn't believe how well the lemon butter came together

I made it with a zucchini risotto, the original recipe was supposed to be made with squash blossoms and zucchini, but squash blossoms aren't exactly in season

I got the recipe from this cookbook
Risotto: With Vegetables, Seafood, Meat, and More

The key to good risotto, is taking your time!

I got that this summer, at the Ferrari Carano Vinyard on a wine tour while I was pregnant, since I couldn't drink any wine, I bought a cookbook

That winery is amazing, its the same Ferrari people as the car
The garden is one of the most amazing places I've ever seen, I had pictures, but they were lost when I lost my Kodak Camera before Annabella was born

Enough about that
Here is diner

A close up of the rissoto, you can see the zucchini


Gardening in Pots

HOORAY! Its time to plant for spring, well those really early veggies anyways

I saw a sign a few weeks ago advertising $2.99 refurbished pots. I thought it had to be good to be true, but so far folks, its been just as good as I had hoped.

So on Monday, I went to the store and bought five.

thats right $2.99 each!

Then I went to Harmony Farm Supply 
Its such a wonderful place, they have everything, I mean this is California, and I'm from the northeast coast, so what they can grow out here is just incredible. I love it here.

I could walk around for hours
and I have.

But this trip was short, just for a few early veggies, and some herbs to have on hand,
now that I have such fancy pots, I can have some herbs stick around for a while.

 I had scored a free bag of Organic soil, from someone on freecycle. It was a hike to get to the ladies house, who lived 'just outside town' (apparently that means a half hour). But the soil was well worth the trip.

My list was

Carrots (dwarf)
Snap Peas
Morning Glory Seeds

The basil I'll admit, was a little hopeful  for this time of year, I should have bought some seeds to put on my windowsill, but forgot

I crossed most things off my list

Carrots (dwarf)
Snap Peas
Morning Glory Seeds

*I added the celery, I use it a lot, and it says on the tag that I can "harvest singly for continuous supply", I think this will be a much cheaper option then buying bunches of celery, I never use them all. And I love the subtle flavor celery adds to a dish, you can't leave it out of a stuffing!

In honor of the celery, here is my 'Redventure' Celery

Next up some Moss Curled Parsley, after cooking so many recipes from my 
Carmine's Family-Style Cookbook: More Than 100 Classic Italian Dishes to Make at Home
I've needed a lot of tablespoons of parsley! Again, a lot goes to waste, no matter how many times I tell myself that I'm going to dehydrate it!

I also picked up some 'Tuscan blue' rosemary. I don't use rosemary dried very often, mostly because I don't have a mortar and pestle
Celtic Soapstone Mortar & Pestle Set

But I love the way that it tastes fresh, especially rosemary potatoes, I think that is my favorite way to have rosemary. I thought that it would look beautiful when it blooms, because its about the same color

Last but not least, Ryan's favorite herb, thyme. I chose the 'True English, broad leaf' variety, my thyme got a little out of control last year in the garden, so I'll have to be more on top of it this year,  the more you trim the bigger it gets! Last year I was madly pregnant, so I would be gardening for a week straight, and then sleeping all day the next!

I also got some Sugar Snap Pole Peas, and an 'Encore Mix' of Lettuce which has Dark Lolla Rosa, Firecracker, Red Saladbowl, Tango, and Paris Island.

Yes, you may come over for a salad

There was no more soil left for these so they will be potted tomorrow when I have more dirt!

Oh one last outdoor pic, these are the seedlings from the seed paper card that Ryan got me. These are the ones that I started outside

I can't wait to see what flowers come out of it!

The ones on my windowsill will be first for sure! They are growing like wildflowers! (and they should cause thats what they are) They always photograph well!

and another one from the other side

Thats it for the gardening, I'm anxiously awaiting more soil so that my peas and lettuce can spread their roots! I bought ten more pots today, so I'm sure that should be enough to hold me over for a while!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Bra Search

When we were younger, my best friend and I wanted nothing more ...... then boobs. We would search for whatever bra would push and squish them into a larger form. And it worked, as I look back on those photos I think... where is my body going!  We were tiny, we didn't have butts much less breasts. But we tried, wearing tube tops and halters to our hearts delight...... Those cute bras, lacey, pink, push up bras, they were oh so cute. Looking something like this
I.D.Sarrieri Pearl Haute Couture Chantilly Lace Triangle Bra 32D
  I literally laughed out loud at the thought of me in this bra, the ad says that this lady is a 32 D (yea right) I guess though, maybe if I had the money for a $284 bra, I'd probably have the money for the body

 But we wished and wished for the real things. My mother warned us 'You don't want them!" We ignored her

we got our wish

Heather and I now have some of the biggest breasts in our group of friends. 
In order Heather, Katie, Mommypants-pre mommy
This was probably 5 years ago 

Now for a while, it okay, my girls were perky, voluptuous, and both almost the same size.

Fast Forward a few years

They were lovely while I was pregnant, my dresses barely held them in, they stayed in a great spot, and wear and the shelf bras in my maternity bras worked fine for my full breasts

And the first few months were great, my breasts stayed full of milk.

The only issue I had was Mastitis, twice, don't get me wrong it was aweful, I felt like I was going to die, top that with having a newborn. It was hard, I mostly blame it on not enough rest right after the baby was born. We lived so far away from town that I had to be driving back and forth to doctors and lactation consultants. 

Also I was finally back to not having a huge belly, personally I'm a much bigger fan of the baby then the belly, 7 pounds is a lot easier then 20 (who knew in 6 months I'd be back to carrying around 20!)

For the last six months I have lived in this bra from motherhood maternity
Motherhood Maternity: Light Support Nursing Sleep Bra
mine is tan. 

And when I tell you 'lived in' I mean that I wear that bra 5 days out of seven (it has to get washed)

The other bra that I have is this one
Motherhood Maternity: Medium Support Soft Cup No Wire Nursing Bra
mine is black
the problem with this bra, is that the sides don't fit right, they are WAY too big

The lady at motherhood told me that I am a 34 D, well great, if you ever try to look for a 34 D in a reasonably priced store, you'll probably come up with two of these
Lilyette Women's One Marvelous Minimizer® - 811,Latte With Ivory,34DD
well, thats lovely, until I put it on, and its got under wire..... 

Under-wire is like handcuffing your boobs

So I have decided to brave the world of internet bra shopping

I searched cafemom but most of those ladies recommend pricey stores, or motherhood maternity.

My search continued

I searched for 'sexy nursing bra'

I liked this one by HOTmilk 
But, when I looked for it and found, it it cost $43.00 . 
I can't wear it everyday

Who knows if that would even fit though? It looks like it would, but I watch America's Next Top Model, I know all about all those castings that they do to find the perfect fit

Loved this bra:
by la leche league, but the sizing...
it says
S/M (32-34-36 A/B)
L/XL (36-38-40 C/D)

so what am I supposed to do with that??

These days the right one is a 34 D?  The left side, probably more of a C.
Valentine's Day, You'll notice my D

After Annabella's lunch... they go down a size, or at least get floppy!

So I spent the better half of today looking for bras.

I think I did it.

They are a Green, mom owned company, based out of Canada, that really knows what they are doing

The first thing I saw on the homepage was a box of Godiva Chocolates.. it told me I could win them...
Well that scores a point

I entered, I did not however enter any friends, but for everybody you get an extra entry... 

Now for the best part, the bras

The Original Design Bra
Does that not look like the most wonderful bra in the world?

Oh not yet??
its a cotton bamboo blend

Oh now you want it..
me too

Now for the sizing.
They have 12 sizes

S (B)
S+ (C-D)
S++ (DD-F)
M (B-C)
M+ (D-DD)
M++ (DD-G)
L (C-D)
L+ (DD-E)
L++ (E-G)
XL (C-D)
XL+ (DD-E)
XL++ (E-G)

SMALL PLUS!! I have never seen this before, It seems like the perfect size for fluctuating boobies! This seems too good to be true!

seems that it would be almost impossible to not find a bra in the right size.
The Classic in bamboo is only $35!

They have 8 other bra styles on the website, all of them looking more comfy then any of the bras that I have seen on other sites, and they aren't ugly! 

They also have nursing tank tops and a shrug, 
Yes, a tank in Bamboo! 

I want it. I need it! Unfortunetly, my budget isn't allowing for a tank top. Maybe someday........

They also have underwear, the original bikini comes in a two pack on sale right now for only $16!

Also they carry a breastfeeding DVD and breast pads

The site is easy to navigate and had lots of information about breastfeeding!

I had to write to customer service, because I couldn't get the sizing to work on the bra that I tried to order, I am hoping that I get an e-mail back from them tomorrow, as its not till pretty late that i get to do any internet shopping. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Etsy shop!

Life has been busy the last few days! I've finally posted the flower headbands up on my etsy shop. So for those of you who aren't crochet inclined, or don't have the time) (or those of you who wanna help me out with the bills)  they are there! Hooray! I'm still not sure on the price, let me know what you think

In other news the teeth are coming in hardcore, if you could here my lovely screaming from the floor you would understand why I purchased an amber teething necklace from e-bay today. I got a green amber set, it has a bracelet and necklace, idk if I'll let her wear the bracelet, those seem to magicly slip off her wrist. But the set is beautiful, I THOUGHT I was being thrifty and getting it for 18.00, till I looked at paypal and realized it was in pounds, so acctually cost me 27.... its okay though, its beautiful and hopefully it will fix this little one's teeth. And maybe poor sophie the giraffe will get a break!

My mom has decided to come in May, which is good, she wasn't going to be able to come out till later this summer but she got away! I'm glad, she spends so much time helping everybody else. I know that she LOVES babies, and part of me feels guilty that her first grandbaby lives all the way out here in California. So I'm always glad when she gets to  come visit and I know that Annabella is as well.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Not sure what to write on so heres a daybook

Outside my window... Its starting to get dark because its 5:30, today it was cold, a little rainy

I am thinking... about all the things I should be doing besides surfing the internet

I am thankful for... finally going to church today, it was fun, I have lots to look forward to (like when they will act out Grateful Dead Songs in March or the Grateful Dead sermon the next day) I think that I fit well into this community, also I met some wonderful people

From the kitchen...Not much, it should be cleaned, I was a bit lazy today, but I had a delicious ham and cheese sandwich

I am wearing... sweatpants, tank top

I am reading... Blogs

I am hoping... To get some motivation here soon! Also that getting my crown on tomorrow goes well (I'm really more worried about how they will get the temporary one off!

I am creating... A quilt for Anna, its coming along well, yesterday was her baby shower, I gave her a great book

On the Farm

 On the Farm, by David Elliott
It was lots of fun shopping for a book with annabella they have so many pop-up books these days, this one had lots of rhymes, and great pictures, Annabella and I both thought little BoBo would love it!

I am hearing..."Platnuim weddings" on Lifetime, I love watching the ones about the indian weddings! They have such beautiful dresses!

Around the house...Dishes to do, diapers to fold, Annabella is sleeping.... still

One of my favorite things... would have to be these

 Stacy's Pita Chips, Simply Naked, 1.5-Ounce Bag (Pack of 24)
they are so good, I bet they would be even better with hummus. I like to drink them with this 
Newman's Own, Virgin Pink Lemonade
its important to me that my lemonade be sour. This is pretty good

A few plans for the rest of the week...tooth crown, finishing this quilt, money on my card

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... 

Because we Love Sophie 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

Oh Boy is it delicious!
Today, that was my mission, it was a long one! I started at about one thirty this afternoon.

It had been the day from hell, 
First I realized that I had sent my package from Crunchy Clean to my old address, it arrived yesterday. So of course I went over to our old house and knocked on the door.......

No answer
So alas, the people who moved to our old house now have a sampler pack containing five scents of Crunchy Clean detergent...... Damn them

Then it was on to get the air purifier, from the Steve Bushemi look-a-like, don't worry though folks, I went in wielding a kunzite crystal 

and my cell phone (hey you never know). And I NEVER doubt the power of a crystal, or the shadiness of some guy from Craigslist

Anyways, back to the Beouf! 

I got the recipe from the ABC website, but there are tons of places to get it from, all of them are the same

I used Gallo Burgundy Wine, mostly I picked it because it was the only other burgundy in the store besides Carlo Rossi, and it was from California, I always try to buy local. (Unless of course its Italian cheese, wine, oil, pasta, tomatoes, okay if its Italian I buy from Italy).... thats besides the point

Originally I was under the impression that Beouf Bourguinon was much like a Pot Rost you know 'Set it and Forget it" No deals, it was a daily event, but with enough time between tasks, that I could tidy the kitchen and keep my dishes done, as is neccesary in our new small house

I was a little confused at the bacon method, and still don't really understand why you simmer it then fry it, but Julia knows!
Here we see the beef and the bacon, after they have been browned

Now we brown the carrot and onion

Simmer in some wine and beef stock, bake for 4 hours.... make sure you have some snacks handy because these four hours are TOUGH!! Especially while you are making mushrooms and onions that smell like heaven!

Onions and Mushrooms

Here is another mushroom picture, I have never had mushrooms taste this good before

Put it all together and simmer, don't worry this last simmer is quick, cook up some egg noodles to pour it on,  you could also start drinking some of that wine that didn't go into the stew!

And there you have it, some nice french bread, some heavy wine and beouf bourguignon! 


Chicken Kitchen

I love chickens, we have them at  'the ranch' and I have them in my kitchen, not only on the plate but perching about my kitchen.... I'll show you
I call this my 'chicken shelf' complete with chicken hot pad, chicken wooden bowl and my spice rack. That spice rack was a gift from uncle sean, also you can see my apron, and  mama meryl's healing salve, which works great for burns, and annabella's silver fish cup

A closeup of the chicken spice rack from Uncle Sean, is definetly one of a kind, he got it from eBay, I absolutely love it!
And on my table you can see gilopi the candleabra we found in ventura, my Paula Deen Cookbook Stand I didn't know I needed a cookbook stand till I got one, its wonderful now my cookbooks aren't covered in whatever ingredients are listed on the page! You can also see my chicken cookie jar -thanks mom, currently filled with snickerdoodles, my salt and pepper shakers another gift from mom. And my paper towel holder that I made a few years ago