Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Sending love your way this Valentine's Day!  Here are some little pics that made our day so special.

"You Light Up My Life" Candle and Heart Necklace, by Elle.

A candy airplane, by Kher-bear.

And a Heart Puppy, by Khera.

The most adorable piece of candy I've seen in a long time.

A Valentine's feast by gastronomy expert, Chef Elle.

And one more glamour shot by Tom-tom.
Lots of Love from the North Gang!  Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Foodiscoveries and Turkey Lettuce Wraps {recipe)

Lately we've been happier in the kitchen around here for several reasons.

The "food on the table" app/website.
It has really taken the hesitation and guesswork out of dinner planning.  Besides the fact that it's free, I love that it takes your local grocery store sales and crosses them with rated recipes for you to choose from.  After you select the recipes it creates a grocery list for you!

I can't tell you the number of times I've written the ingredients down on my list only to find out when I'm cooking I forgot to put things on the list!  UGH!

Another thing I love is that most of the recipes are simple, so if I have extra peppers, zucchini, frozen veggies or chipotle peppers that need to be used, I am able to incorporate that into the majority of the recipes, adding flavor and vitamins with the added bonus of cleaning out my refrigerator--mommy likes.

Some of the meals we've tried and loved are (make sure you use recipes with high ratings):
Farmer's Market Quesadillas
Chicken Tortilla Soup (we added zucchini and some leftover canned chipotle peppers that we had previously frozen)
Crock Pot Italian Sausage and Green beans (we used hot turkey sausage and served this over brown rice)
Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup (we used hot turkey sausage, added onions, garlic and celery because we needed to use them)
Pierogies with Italian Sausage and Peppers

I forgot to mention that the girls have eaten all of the meals with us, another score for mommy!

Eating Well's 500 Calorie Meals in 30 minutes or less.
There are several recipes in this article that we've tried and the turkey lettuce wraps is our favorite.  I've included our version of this recipe below, this is a great recipe to tag-team, otherwise it's a laborious 30 minutes!

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup instant brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil, (in the Asian section)
  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, (in the Asian section)
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder, (in the Asian section)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 heads Romaine lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives/green onion
  • pre-shredded carrot, for garnish


    1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder and salt; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
    3. To serve, divide lettuce leaves among plates, spoon some of the turkey mixture into each leaf, top with herbs and carrot and roll into wraps.

This recipe makes enough for 4, and best of all the kids ate it with us!

It's like Pinterest for foodies.

Lots of great food ideas, beautiful pictures, what's not to love???

Sunday, February 5, 2012

January Randomness

If you've been wondering what we've been up to this year, you're looking at it...

A small part of me has enjoyed the excuse to slow down, the rest of me is chomping at the bit to get some work done around here!

The kids have been taking it easy, doing a great job sharing their germs with each other.

I love it when they snuggle together.

Elle was home sick all this past week, and Tommy stayed home Friday.  I've learned Tommy prefers Club crackers, and Elle, saltines.

He gets me every time.

I forgot to mention, we had a round of chop jobs in the kitchen.  Everyone made out with some hair still intact.

I was amazed when Tommy begged me for a turn, I thought for sure it would be a 3 person job like it usually is.

Elle decided to keep her bangs, not that she had a choice in the matter.

And Khera just got a little trim.

The sillies have been playing together more lately, and I am truly thankful for that.  Time spent away from the train table is an immeasurable gift.  In this case, Khera and Elle taught a music class (note the sign on their bedroom door).

Here are the "children" in their class, I was surprised even Cinderella and The Beast came to polish up on their music skills.

I don't know why, but this cracks me up.  Does it look as comfortable to you as it does to me?

Tommy is good with the harmonica believe it or not.

And Elle is a fantastic multitask-er, playing the xylophone, maracas and bells all at the same time!

While the girls played, Tommy took liberties and rummaged through the girls goodies.

And that about catches us up!

Groundhog day was Thursday and Khera tallied our guesses on whether the groundhog would see its shadow.  As you can see Tommy and I ended up predicting that we will have another six weeks of winter.

Nice choice my boy! Nice choice!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Khera's Birthdays, News and a Confession

Khera's 6th birthday was LAST YEAR, and I need to record it before it gets away from me.  First let me say that I am SHOCKED she is 6 already, where has the time gone?  Words can't describe how proud we are of her and how much she has grown in these short six years.  She is my little helper, accountant, and a 2nd mommy to Elle and Tommy.  Happy Birthday sweetheart!

On her actual birthday, mother nature surprised us with a little snowfall up in C-bus.

T watched the flakes melt once they landed on the driveway.

She is such a good big sister...sometimes she even melts my heart.

Elle, or as GJ likes to call her "Rosario Jr.", was busy sweeping the snow.  I think she may be the next Martha Stewart, you heard it here first folks!  She insisted on wearing THE dress while sweeping with leggings and leg warmers--you always have to be fashionable while cleaning...

Here's a little video of her that day:

After the kids thawed out we had cupcakes to celebrate.

Bumpa and Kathy had a mini celebration at their house with cupcakes as well, they even got special cupcakes so Tom-tom could get in on the birthday action.

Back home in FL, we celebrated with mini cupcakes.

And mini cookies catered by Tarjay.

I love me some chocolate mini cupcakes...

To celebrate with her friends, Khera had an "almost sleepover". (Definition - dinner, cupcakes, play and a movie with friends in pajamas, BUT the kids go home around 8:30pm.)

Here they are watching their movie in the playroom.  Even Tommy watched with his trains.

Khera is so proud to announce now:

Here she is in her shoe-tying glory!

She brought this home from school, and I melted...

"Mommy she taek cher of me, she giaves me a hlfie breckfist, she giaves me a bath."

And I will leave you with this confession that came home in her folder last week.

Khera has just discovered the culinary greatness of King's Hawaiian Sweet Buns.