Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Photo of the week: The Great Pumpkin


Ollie and Grandpa checking out Washington State's largest pumpkin winner!! What an array, what a display!

Happy almost Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Home Alone

Alex and Ollie left early this morning for Texas so I'm all by my lonesome for the weekend. It's only been an hour and it's already weird not having them in the house.  Hopefully I will get over missing them and get some relaxation in soon!!

I was sad to skip out on the annual Texas trip this year, but I'm excited to be Corina's Godmother at her baptism this weekend! And I know Alex and Ollie will have a great time visiting the ranch and seeing all the cows.

Here's a picture from our Texas trip last year when Ollie was 4 months old. 

Alex & Ollie in Canadian, TX Nov. 2012

Friday, October 18, 2013

Family Dinner: Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Welcome to soup season! One of the best things about fall is eating a bowl of steamy soup while the rain pours down outside. There are so many great soup recipes I've yet to try so I'm always on the lookout for a new fruit/veggie/meat combination.

On a recent trip to PCC Ollie and I shared a cup of the most delicious soup; butternut squash apple.  I love butternut squash, but I wasn't sure I'd love it pared with apple. I was worried it would be too sweet and fruity, but instead its just yummy! So yummy in fact that I recreated it for dinner!

PCC lists the recipe here, but I adapted it a bit to make it thicker and creamier.  I also roasted the squash before I added it to the soup base to give it a fuller flavor.

This soup is quick, easy to make, and doesn't require a ton of ingredients. I would highly recommended it!


Butternut Squash and Apple Soup (adapted from PCC)

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch squares (or two bags of pre-cut butternut squash from Trader Joes)
  • 1 large apple, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 can - 2 cans coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Preparation: 
  1. Roast butternut squash. Drizzle 1 TBSP oil onto a baking sheet. Place cubed squash on oiled sheet and bake in oven for 20-30 min, flipping squash once of twice, at 450°.
  2. In a large stock pot saute apple and onion in remaining oil over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 5 min. 
  3. Add roasted squash, ginger and garlic and continue cooking for an additional 5 min. 
  4. Pour in apple juice and 1 & 1/2 cans coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce and simmer for 30 min. stirring occasionally. Add additional coconut milk if mixture is too dry.
  5. Using an immersion blender, blender of food processor, pureĆ© soup until thick and creamy. 
My #1 soup fan!

Serve with warm crusty bread and butter! If you are feeding a young eater, especially one whose spoon skills still ramping up (ahem - Ollie), try pouring the soup over rice.  It thickens the soup even more and helps it stick to the spoon!

Enjoy!
 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Great Pumpkin

It's October so that can only mean one thing . . . Halloween!! I usually love Halloween but for whatever reason I'm having trouble getting in the spirit. Hmmm, could it be the fact that I'm 32 and not 12? Nah, that couldn't be it =) Plus I get to go trick or treating again now that I have a kid to take with me! I just bought some pumpkin lights from amazon so we'll see if that snaps me into the spirit.

Regardless of my dower mood, the fam tromped out to the pumpkin patch last weekend to pick ourselves some nice carvables and pet a few farm animals. Ollie had a grand time petting baby chicks, a bunny and some pigmy goats.  He's a hug fan of pumpkins since he's been given two baby ones on separate trips to the grocery store (lucky guys has a serious in with the produce peeps!), so his mind was basically blown by the immense field of "bupkins". 

 

Are you in the Halloween spirit? I'm in search of costume ideas, anyone have a good one to offer up? 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Photo of the week: Bedfellows


Ollie's new favorite spot in the house: Mommy and Daddy's bed. I can't blame him, there's really nothing better then snuggling up in piles of pillows and blankets, especially when it's rainy and cold outside. Plus, if he's hanging out in bed that means I get to lie down too! Bonus!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cookie Monster

It's cookie time! Ollie and I spent the morning making chocolate chip cookies together, and dare I say it was a success.  We are having some work done on our porch so I needed an indoor activity (aka time killer) since we were stuck at home.  Inspired by my sister Char who has been baking up a storm with her one year old son Freddie, we decided to try a cooking project of our own.

Ollie was pretty skeptical at the start of our activity. He spent most of the sugar/egg/vanilla blend sucking his thumb and occasionally getting up the nerve to do a few stirs.

Next time I'll crack the eggs =)

I wasn't thinking and I gave Ollie an egg to crack. I thought it would be fun for him . . . you can probably see where this is going. Instead of cracking it in the bowl (how would he know how to do that? duh!) he threw it as hard as he could on the floor. Ha! Clearly a mommy error. But by the time the chocolate chips were being poured Ollie was totally into it. He even snuck in few bites while I was trying to take a picture.

Sneaking a bite

The only real snag we ran into was when it came time to try the cookies . . . turns out Ollie is NOT a fan of chocolate chip! WHAT?? Who doesn't like a warm cookie straight out of the oven? Apparently I have the healthiest baby around. I on the other hand ate three in under a minute, mmmmmmm cookie so goood mmmmmm =)

Ollie's not a fan


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Photo of the week: Leonardo da YoYo


Every few months we receive a pamphlet from the county showcasing growth milestones and nutritional information for a child Ollie's age. We recently received our "Your Child at 15 Months" tri-fold, and one of the many skills a 15 month old child should start displaying is the ability to scribble.  I realized I'd never really given Ollie a chance to draw/paint/scribble - yikes! Cut to two days and one online shopping order later (thank you amazon prime!) and we can now show off artist YoYo's beautiful modern art sketches.  Think we have the next Picasso on our hands?

   

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A much deserved pat on the back?



I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts yesterday, the very funny Who Charted?, when the hosts brought up the sense of accomplishment they feel after completing relatively mundane tasks.  The example given was when the host, after catching up on the TV show Breaking Bad in time to watch the finale, felt he had really accomplished something big. He watched the entire TV series, all 5 seasons!

I realize I totally do the same thing. I fold a load of laundry and I give myself a mental pat on the back. I drive to the post office to send a letter and  think, "Well done! You are so on top of it!" I dump a can of diced tomatos in a pan with some basil and I think, "Wow! Homemade marinara sauce . . .  you are awesome!"  These are easy everyday tasks that take minutes to complete yet I feel like I've accomplished something much grander. Heck, I'll probably even tweet out a picture of my finished project just to show everyone how fabulous I am, ha ha.

Is it a mark of my generation that I feel this way? I can't imagine my grandmas gave themselves a pat on the back every time clothes were folded or dinner was made. My guess is they did the job and moved on while I stand back and marvel at my *great* achievement. I don't neccesarily think it's a negative thing that I feel this way, it's just interesting. 

Do you experience the same sense of accomplishment after completing minor tasks or projects? What make's you pat yourself on the back?