Wednesday, February 6, 2013

#88 Take the Boys to the Children's Museum

It was a cold morning in February, so we decided to take the boys to the Children's Museum in Atlanta and then we headed to the Farmer's Market.  I love these pictures of David walking in holding both of the boy's hands.  I cherish them even more because I know they won't always do it and time is moving too quickly. 
 My two youngest boys LOVE to drive a tractor.  When we go to my grandparent's house in Ohio, my amazing grandfather allows both of the boys to steer the tractor in the pasture until their little heart is content.  This last time, HAS drove for about 45 minutes.  He didn't want to get off after that, but it was time to eat. 
 There was also a mock grocery store that the boys loved with the carts, the cash registers and the scales to weigh fruit. 
 I wish my cashier was always this cute !!!
There was a massive ball pit with many "physics-like" ways for the kids to move the balls through the huge maze.  Both of the two little boys loved the entire thing. 
And of course, we can't go ANYWHERE without enjoying some trains.  Even if we have a ton of them to play with at home. 
 HAS's favorite part was this crane like device which allowed the kids to turn it, load it with some of those balls for the maze, turn it and dump them into a bin.  He could NOT get enough of this toy. 
Another big favorite.  Painting on Glass that was over a white wall.  Just water and a squeegee cleaned it all off.  Still trying to talk David into putting this in the garage for the boys.  As you can see, they LOVED it. 
JMS, my 12 year old, did not find the museum to be all that entertaining :)  It was a little bit young for him, so it was NOT his favorite day. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

#72. Try 30 new Recipes- 30 completed

I have not ever liked to cook, but I am constantly trying to find new ways to enjoy it.  I have more cookbooks than I care to count because I keep thinking that the right cookbook will make it better.  It hasn't yet, but that doesn't stop me from trying.  Now, I am doing this cooking club and really enjoying it.  I've already tried 4 recipes from them, but I am not going to be counting any of those recipes, since the purpose of this goal is to find new things for our family to eat and I will already be making those for the cooking club.  I am not going to count any recipes from Pinterest on my Goal to make "30 Things from Pinterest", because then that would essentially make two goals being met with only one task.  Seems like an easy way to cross things off of a list, and I've never done things the easy way.  Anyway, in my attempt to make cooking more fun, I added this to my list.  Here are a couple of the things that I have already made and I will continue to update this list as I add to it.

1.  Homemade Alfredo Sauce - This was HAS's Choice for his birthday.
2.  Martha Stewart's Strawberry Cupcakes - HAS's Choice for his Birthday- I did NOT like these cupcakes, but they were a hit for HAS.  I did not make this frosting, but a vanilla butter cream, which was delicious.
3.  Chicken Burritos -These are AWESOME and easy and make a ton that you can freeze and use at a later date.
4.  Chocolate Zucchini Bread - Not my favorite and that is probably because I LOVE regular Zucchini Bread.  It may also be because I overcooked it a little because I made the loaves smaller.  Next time... I'll just stick to my regular Zucchini Bread recipe.
5.  Pulled Pork- Oh my gosh was this Great!!!  I had never made pulled pork using ginger ale before, but I promise that I will NOT make it any other way again.  This was GREAT!!!  In fact, to be clear, since I tried this recipe in March of 2012, I have made at least 10 pulled por
6.  Pepperoni Casserole- This was good... I could have added spinach and mushrooms and other veggies.  I should have used more sauce and more cheese and more pepperoni.  But overall, this was good.
7.  Spinach Feta Pie - I liked this but David HATED it.  Feta has a strong flavor in my opinion and he just HATED it.  This will not be made again in my house but only because I was the only one who liked it.
8. Oreo Fudge Brownies- These were good, but I like them much better with Heath Bars on the inside instead of Oreo. 
9.  MaMa's Supper Club Tilapia Parmesan- Finally got my husband to eat fish... it wasn't his favorite, but at least he tried it.
10.  Homemade Ranch Dressing - This was from Pioneer Woman's Blog... Oh my gosh, was it good.  The recipe in her cookbook actually had the measurements and we LOVED this.
11.  Salmon Cakes- A recipe I got from the April edition of All You Magazine.  I used too many potatoes and these were not my favorite, but they were edible.  HAS loved them.
12.  Banoffee Danger Pie - This was so good and ridiculously easy.  I used a premade graham cracker crust
13.  Strawberry Muffins- My husband just realized he likes strawberries after 7 years of telling me he hated everything in the berry family, so I thought I would give these a try.  They were easy and quite delightful.  We all ate them for breakfast when they were warm... yummmmm
14.  Baked Chicken Alfredo-  This was good, but didn't have a ton of flavor.  It made a huge amount... one that we were able to freeze for later.  Next time, I will add more garlic.
15.  Pumpkin Pancakes - I love fall and the flavor of fall.  That translates as pumpkin to me.  These were so delightful on a cool fall morning.
16.  Chicken Taco Soup- We love soup in the fall (well mostly I do, because it makes enough for more than one meal and it is easy to make :) )  We really liked this, but added extra tomato juice to the broth because we like more of a soupy soup.
17.  Gingersnap Cookies with white chocolate chunks - These have the best texture and flavor of any Gingerbread/Molasses Cookie I have ever had.  I love these cookies.  I hope there are enough to last until tomorrow :)
18.  Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle - I have taken a liking to trifles because they look so super fancy, and they are ridiculously easy to make.  This was easy and delicious and all of my people at work loved it.  Will be making this again in the fall :)
19.  Roasted Carrots- I loved these sweet carrots, with a hint of tang.  David ate them, but could do without.
20.  Pork Loin with Cranberry Sauce- I made homemade cranberry sauce for Christmas, so I thought this was an excellent use of the leftovers.  This was very good.  I didn't put the sauce on top (because I wasn't sure if the two little boys would like it that way), but it was delicious.
21.  Honey Glazed Carrots and Parsnips-  This was DELICIOUS and a vegetable that my entire family ate :)
22.  Garlic Lime Grillin' Chicken- This chicken was AWESOME and I loved the cold corn relish that was served on top of it.  I did not think I would like it cold, but it added a nice texture to the dish.
23.  Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts-  In an effort to add more vegetables to our life, we tried this.  I don't think we did the recipe exactly correctly, but David and all 3 boys hated them.  I ate them, but will have to try a different way to make them next time.
24.  Ranch Style Chicken-  Chicken, Bacon, and Cheese.  What is better?  Not much.  This was very good and we will have this again.
25.  Grilled Zucchini with sauce- I liked this but David and Jimmy did not.  Finding vegetables for them is proving very difficult.
26.  Roasted Cabbage -  This is a recipe I got from a girl at work.  While making this, I did slice off a huge chunk of my thumb and had to go to the emergency room, but it was decent.  I am not a huge cabbage fan, but this was edible.  David and the boys did NOT think so.
27.  Beef Stew-  This was a Pioneer Woman Recipe and it was good, although David would have preferred we served it over egg noodles or rice.  I think he misses the point that I am trying to cut some carbs out of our life.
28.  Cuban Pork Chops-  I am not good on the grill, so it was hard to tell if these were any good or not, because I cooked them too long.  We may have to try them again just to see if they are decent.
29. Caprese burger- These were REALLY good.  We also added mushrooms to the middle and instead of basil (which I didn't have), we used spinach.  We did use dried basil mixed into the meat.  We are also trying to cut a good bit of wheat out of our diets, so we did NOT even need a bun with them.  The next time we make these, and there will be a next time, we will try basil.  YUMMMMM!!!
30.  Roasted okra- Again, we are in search of a green vegetable for my sweet husband.  I think we used too much pepper, but this was VERY good and I will make it again, if I only make it for myself :) 

Friday, February 1, 2013

#25 Blog Faithfully for a Month

Let's just say that while I was trying to do this, it became painstakingly obvious that I have a math brain and am not that good with words.  I was able to blog about our cooking club recipes, my 101 Things, and life as a parent, but I often feel like I don't have a lot to say~ although my husband would argue that fact.  I enjoyed blogging but sometimes felt like I was writing, even if I didn't have anything really significant to say.  Maybe, just maybe, that is the point.  After all, to me blogging is a good bit like an online diary.  A diary is just life, with some high points and low points- some so low, you don't feel like putting them on the internet for all of the world to see.  Not that all of the world cares, but once it has been there- it is there.