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Showing posts from June, 2011

Banan Pops! Summer fun on a stick!

First we cut the peeled bananas in half and stuck the halves on a stick.  Then we put them in the freezer for an hour.


After an hour we took them out of the freezer and coated them in melted chocolate chips...



... and rolled them in chopped nuts and mini M&Ms... then back in the freezer for a couple hours.



The end result was a great treat!



I haven't had ice cream in a long time.  This was like having an ice cream Popsicle to me.  My kids thought I was crazy.   It was good, but not as good as ice cream.  Hey!  They should be dairy free for over 2 years.  It was like ice cream!  I promise!

Salad Day 96

Today is a MUST REPEAT!  Thai Chicken Salad....



We mixed baby salad greens, bean sprouts, cashews, mushrooms, diced cooked chicken and drizzled bottled Thai Peanut sauce over the whole thing. YUMMMY!

A Paradox, A Paradox, A Most Perplexing Paradox!

This morning, while I was loading the dishwasher I came upon a paradox.


Too much food.

I kept thinking of my mom… “eat all of that oatmeal. You know there are starving kids in Africa.”

Scraping plates into the garbage disposal was a bit depressing. Truly, we could have fed a small family with the “leftovers” on plates and in bowls that we had taken for granted.

As a whole, we waste far too much of what the world's farmers and fishermen produce… too much of the bounty God has blessed us with. As Tristam Stuart documents in his book Waste, we needlessly throw away carrots, corn, and cod fish, hastening environmental degradation, climate change, and even hunger. There's probably enough wasted food in the United States and Europe to feed all of sub-Sahara Africa.

Then I took a look at the trash can. What I saw surprised me. I thought I was composting. I could do so much better! Have you looked in your trash can lately? I mean – really looked. Is your household mine? Are you throwi…

Salad Day 95

I tried to post this last night but Blogger wasn't being very cooperative.


Yesterday I made myself a nice taco salad with lettuce, carrots, beans, corn chips, and my homemade peach salsa.  I do love that peach salsa.  Today I think I'll try something new.  Many of my friends have been sending me links to more salad ideas.  Time to start trying those as well.

Pudding Proof

Today's summer fun adventure involved pudding and paper... and A BIG FAT MESS!


ok... not the greatest picture, but you can get the basic idea.  First we made LOTS of pudding.  We colored small bowls of vanilla pudding with cake decorating colors.  We spread a giant piece of paper over the table...



Let the finger painting begin!



Everyone had FUN!  They all accused me of not being fun when they were little kids.  Whatever!  I was fun.  They just don't remember it.  Teens rarely do in my experience.



Even the missionaries, who had come over for lunch, got into the action.  Pretty brave.  They didn't even get aprons.  Silly boys.

Now I'm so much FUN I don't know how I'm going to top that!

Salad Day 92 and 93

It's been a couple of busy, busy days.  However, I've still been able to stay on task concerning my salads.   Yesterday I I started with a bed of lettuce, added tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, hummus and a little honey mustard dressing.


Today I had a nice cucumber salad... sliced cucumbers, red onion slivers drizzled with a little apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard.  mmm mmmm good!

Salad Day 91

Yesterday's fruit and tomato salad went so well I decided to try a new fruit and tomato mix.  This time I sliced peaches and tomatoes.  I added slivered red onion and chopped cilantro.  The dressing was a little honey mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and lime juice.  It was great!  Most of my kids liked it too.  Our only thought for improvement was to wait until peaches are truly in season.  Then it will be to die for!  It reminded me of peach salsa.  Delish!

Just Doing My Job

It seems like yesterday all my kids wanted to go on my little adventures with me.


Today was the World Beat Festival, in Salem. It is a wonderful celebration of world culture in the park, complete with music, dance performances, crafts and art to buy, and the yummy tastes of food from around the world. I was so excited! This was to be one of our great Summer Activities. You know. The activities I’ve been planning for my 8 year old to have the best summer ever? We had been to this festival a couple times in the years past. I wanted to make it a family tradition.

My kids have other ideas. This year, 2 girls were at church camp, the youngest thought it would be more fun to play with her friend, and my son wouldn’t get out of bed. In fact, the only kid that wanted to go with me was my married daughter. So much for family tradition.

Still, the three of us had a great time checking out world culture right in our own back yard.

I was contemplating why activity wasn’t turning out the way I ha…

Salad Day 90

Today was an adventure with food. 

First, we went to the World Beat Festival in Salem.  Everything smelled to yummy.  I really wanted to eat a gyro, but I can't eat wheat and I can't eat milk (so cheese is out).  We stopped at a booth of Greek food.  We ask if they served anything that didn't have wheat or cheese.  The excited Greek woman was speechless.  Suddenly, she exploded with excitement.  "I'll fix you up.  Some chicken, some tomato and parley, some hummus.  She put everything into a paper bowl.  It was so yummy!  It was the best hummus I ever tasted!  Meanwhile, my husband got a plate of yakisoba form a Japanese booth and my daughter ordered a spinach, strawberry and salmon salad from an pasta booth.  I tasted a little of everything.

When we got home we, I made a new salad for a friend's birthday party.


I sliced watermelon and tomatoes.  I minced some basil and some mint from my yard. I mixed in 1/2 cup of feta crumbled bacon and drizzled it with a si…

Salad Day 89

Today's salad was so yummy.  We had roasted chicken and a layered salad.  We layered salad greens, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, green onions, olives, grated carrots, chopped eggs, and feta.  I topped my serving with honey mustard dressing.

I am really enjoying my salads these days.  I even was tempted to eat salad for breakfast.  LOL.

An Enchanted Day

Today was an “enchanted” adventure. I had the opportunity to take Lilli and my friend Jo and her little girls to Enchanted Forest, Oregon’s premier theme park of fun and amusement! For a few short hours, this fantasy land in the beautiful, lush forest became a land of enchantment. While I worked at the theater, giving a Voice and Dictation workshop for the actors, my friend Jo took the girls (and Case) to see all the fun that was in the park.


No matter where you live in America, you have access to an amusement park, even if you're living in Oregon. While we may not have a Disneyland or Six Flags, the northwest does have The Enchanted Forest.

Enchanted Forest is home to the Big Timber Log Ride, Storybook Lane, Western Towne, English Village, and Comedy Theater. What makes the park truly magical is the fact that the whole thing is the dream of my friend’s father and was built in my friend’s back yard! Such creativity! Everyone in the family pitches in to run the park and to make i…

Salad Day 88

Today was a busy day.  Before I knew it, it was time for dinner and I didn't really have something to make.  I finally settled on mixed greens and honey mustard dressing.  Boring, but effective.

Strawberry Jam Forever

Today's summer adventure involved three buckets of fresh, cored, sliced and ready to go Oregon strawberries.  I don't normally have Lilli help out with jam.  Up to now I opted for a cleaner kitchen due to her age.  The whole process would just create a bigger mess letting a 6 year old into the kitchen.  Then, there is the danger factor.... hot liquid doesn't scream SAFE.  But today I let her put an apron on and scoop and stir and wash to her little hearts content.



By the time we were done we had put 24 quarts of strawberries in the freezer for future smoothies and made 8 batches of jam.  We are all looking forward to toast in the morning!


Salad Day 87

Today I made a salad that was a bit more the lettuce and dressing.  I've made it before, but it's been awhile.  It was tasty!



CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD


6 c. shredded napa cabbage
3 green onions, chopped
2 to 3 c. diced cooked chicken
2 tbsp. sugar
1/3 c. salad oil
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pkg. Top Ramen noodles all smashed up
1/3 c. peanuts
3 tbsp. sesame seeds
1/3 c. tropical fruit trail mix... just for fun

Combine cabbage, green onions, and chicken in one bowl. In another bowl mix sugar, vinegar, pepper and oil; mix with packet from Top Ramen. Pour over salad. Crumble noodle and nuts, add just before serving. Sesame seeds and trail mix optional.

Go ahead.  Give it a try.

Summer Fun

As I alluded to earlier... I'm trying real hard to make this summer a great summer for my 3rd grader.  It is so easy for her to get lost in the teenager shuffle around here.  My initial intention was to plan something she had never, or rarely done before for each day.  I haven't made it with my goal of an activity every day, but I've come close and she is having a blast.

To kick off the summer we all went camping at the coast.  While we were camping we tried a new campfire treat... Banana Boats.  It was easy.  First we sliced banana, skin and all, then we stuffed the banana with chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.  Then we wrapped the banana in tinfoil and placed it in the coals.


After 10 minutes we took it off the coals and enjoyed!  I didn't even miss the fact that I no longer can eat ice cream.  It was just as yummy as a Banana Split!  This treat was a HUGE hit!  We also made S'Mores.  These are always a big hit with my kids.  Maybe it's the sugar.  LOL.




W…

Salad Day 86

Today I mixed 1/2 cup spanish rice made with brown rice with mixed greens, tomatoes, and cream Italian dressing. I was suprized how good it was!


Salad Day 85

Worked all day in the garden and my hubby tore apart the kitchen when he tore apart the stove and fixed it.  I didn't get to make food.  I was starving by the time I got home from rehearsal at 10:18.  Lucky me.... I still had a little potato salad left over from camping.  I'd better for to the store tomorrow.  I don't have a single green thing in the house.

Salad Day 80- 84

The first day of vacation we stopped at the Tillamock Cheese factory.  I couldn't enjoy the ice cream, but I enjoyed the grilled chicken salad.


On Thursday we we made bratwursts.  I choose to enjoy mine on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes with a little olive oil mayo and honey mustard.  The mayo and the mustard made a surprisingly yummy salad dressing.



Friday we made burgers.  Potato salad goes down great with a burger.  I also enjoyed a 7 layer salad my friend made.  She was nice enough to hold the dressing.  The 7 layers included lettuce, purple onions, celery, cucumbers, garbanzo beans, peas, green peppers, tomatoes.



I was tired when we got home from camping, so my hubby took pity on me and made me a salad with green onions, lettuce, tomatoes and french dressing.



I made chicken fajitas for Father's Day dinner.  I put lettuce on my plate and topped it with tomatoes, green onions, the fajita peppers and onions mix and the fajita chicken.  I loved it after I drizzled a little Rus…

This Ain't the Hilton!

One of the things we love the very most about being here in western Oregon is our proximity to the beach. A quick hop over the coast range and we can enjoy the sand and surf. So every summer we have to make at least one trip to the beach. This week it was camping a little further north at Nehalem Bay with our friends the Jessops (our eldest daughter’s new in-laws and good family friends) and to participate on their sandcastle building team for the first time in a competition. Well… it’s their third year, but their first year to try the “pro” division and the first year my family members have been invited to participate.



The preparation, of course, started days before. It takes me awhile to make sure I have my “caravan” all set up and ready for travel like some kind of gypsy band. The packing for the week of “fun” is one of the main deterrents I have with “going on vacation.” Seriously! Who really needs that much work? And they call this vacation. I don’t know about you all, but I find…