Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sleepy Little Baby


He gets to jumping so hard he can't stay awake. Funny little boy! (And then there's Grace, who is a pro at 10-minute naps. . .)

Kobocha!

Until now, Delicatta Squash has been the favorite in our household. Tonight we made steak and baked potatoes for dinner--nothing crazy--and Sean pulls out the last Delicatta squash from my folks' garden. He wanted that too. Then, in the same basket, I see the Kobocha I picked up about a month ago at my favorite Asian market, Uwajimaya. At the time, I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I just knew I had to find out!

First--a little "what is it" lesson. Supposedly it's been around since about the 19th century, but has only recently made it to US markets. It's considered a Japanese pumpkin, and is loaded with Vitamin C and A, and lots of fiber too, especially if you eat the thin skin which softens when cooked. The one I bought weighed about three pounds, and is about the size of a large cooking pumpkin. Though it's green outside, the flesh is pretty orange, very similar to our standard American pumpkin. It's apparently available from late fall to early spring.

Anyway, Sean scoffed at me making it, but I found a quick seemingly delicious recipe on someone else's blog. A simple sliced squash tossed with brown sugar, cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, soy sauce and olive oil.

http://www.justhungry.com/sweet-and-spicy-roasted-kabocha-squash

I was going to take a picture of it, but we wound up eating it too fast. It candies up beautifully. We weren't sure about eating the skin at first, but it ended up being the best part--kind of chewy and REALLY delicious. I roasted the other half for the twins and mixed it will cinnamon and a little roasted banana. They liked it too!

Long story short--GOOD GRIEF, it was GOOD! I hope you get around to trying it some day, too. Sean still says Delicatta is his favorite, but he sure didn't have a problem fighting me for the last morsel of this one.

(For the record, I'm trying the following recipe the next time I buy one, which will probably be real soon.)

http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2009/03/what-is-kabocha-squash.html

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blueberry Pie

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Anyone that knows me knows what a fool I am for making pies. It's my passion, really, besides the kids of course.

I hadn't made one since we moved in--was so happy to be back in rhythm! I had frozen the filling in the summer when blueberries were at their peak. The recipe says to use premade pie dough, to which I scoff. I always have homemade on hand in the freezer--it's considered a staple in our house. I have the best recipe for that, too!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/frozen-blueberry-pie-recipe/index.html

Here's the pie crust recipe--I always make three or even four double batches for the freezer when I make them. No sense in constantly going through it! (Note: You must have at least a twelve cup processor to double the recipe, or you'll be in trouble.)

http://www.recipezaar.com/All-Butter-Pie-Crust-Pastry-239831

It was only a matter of time. . .

So, Sean was left home alone with Liam for about two hours. This is what happened within the first half hour.

Liam's been cruising all over the place--he learned how to pull himself up the same day he started crawling--and knowing that our coffee table was an attraction to him, I covered the top with a nice thick quilt, thinking it'd soften the blow. It didn't quite reach to the floor, though, and there's a bottom "shelf" on the table that contains a couple of drawers. Of course, in the only time I've left the boys unsupervised, Liam proceeds to fall and crack his lip on the bottom shelf.

Sean was fairly hysterical; Liam was a little too. Ah, boys. Being the good wife that I am, I treated the shirts with my laundry goddessness, and got the blood right out. To which Sean decided he was greatly disappointed--he wanted the war stains to stay. Good grief. I can't win!

Oh, and Liam is JUST fine. Lip healed within three days.

A Day in the Life of Liam and Grace

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Bubbles!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas!

It was a year of starting new traditions. We made the decision a while ago, that at least for the next few years, we're going to stay home at Christmas, rather than try to schlep the kids around the busy country and spend way too much on plane tickets. It was time to start our own family traditions. We definitely felt the impact of not being near our extended families--missed both sides terribly. However, we couldn't have enjoyed these two as much had we been away. These moments are already slipping by so fast.

This year, we're in a rental--didn't even move until December 4th--so we decided on purpose not to get insanely crazy with the decorating. The kids loved the lights and packages, though I'd say the highlight was all of the tissue and wrapping paper they were free to eat. :0) I'd swear, you'd think they were goats or something. Grace fell backwards once, and fell under the tree, and for the first time ever--didn't even cry. So impressed was she by the balls and lights above, she simply stared.

So, we went to church on Christmas Eve, where Liam and Grace put Jesus in the manger in the nativity. On Christmas morning, we opened presents, then our friends "Auntie" Kathryn and "Uncle" David came over for breakfast. After that, we spent the day as a family in our pajamas, just enjoying each other. Such a nice, refreshing change of pace from the last few months. We followed up the day with dinner: Filet Mignon with a Sherried Mustard Sauce, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Roadside Potatoes, and we had a chocolate torte set aside for dessert, but never made it there. I believe the kids had turkey and sweet potatoes.

The favorite gifts of the day were Sean's new guitar, Angie's new 14-cup Elite Cuisinart Food Processor, Liam's blocks and Grace's shakey-shakey ball.

http://picasaweb.google.com/mrsbattle1/Christmas?feat=directlink

A Delayed Thanksgiving Post


A lot's happened in the past couple of months. Sean's mom, Gina, was able to come out and visit over Thanksgiving. We had decided not to do a whole lot while she was here, as the house was being packed and everyone was, well--tired. We were able to go to Ocean Shores for one night, which turned out the tide was too high and it was way too cold to take babies out near the water, but it enabled us to take some "forced" relaxation. We came home Thanksgiving Day, and my friend Kyle was there making us dinner. Nice day!

Gina bought the kids their first Jayhawk attire--made their dad real proud. Love my family and all, but I have to say, it was SO NICE to get out of the house with a girlfriend to have lunch and watch a movie. I've nearly forgotten what that's like--so, so nice.

http://picasaweb.google.com/mrsbattle1/Thanksgiving?feat=directlink

Monday, January 4, 2010

Bundle of Joy

I'll get to the holidays later, but I couldn't help but post this IMMEDIATELY! Liam's been scooting around on his forehead and tiptoes since about month four--I kid you not. However, these past few days, he's really, REALLY been trying to crawl. Tonight, he DID IT! I'm so proud of my boy! Not only did he crawl today, but he's gotten two teeth since Christmas, and has learned to pull himself up in his crib in the past four days. (Totally cute.)

I'm already sad at how fast this is going. . . .

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