Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mexican Quinoa???

Ok. I'm frugal. I don't like buying Mexican rice when I can buy plain rice for half the price. Plus I don't like all the additives that come with the bagged or boxed Mexican rice. My friend Jasmin makes the best Mexican rice. My request to her when I was pregnant was her rice. I've always wanted to learn how she makes it, but never got around to asking her. Since I've been experimenting with my cooking lately, I decided to look it up and get the basic concept of it, then do my own thing.

I looked at the time (4:30) then I looked at my rice in my cupboard, thinking about how long it will take to cook rice after I mess with it trying to make it Mexican. Then I spot the Quinoa and an idea strikes me: Why not make Mexican Quinoa? I tried. I failed. It just tasted like regular Quinoa, I didn't even taste any of the spices I added. Next time I'll step it up by doubling the ingredients so you can actually taste them.

I started with a purple onion, minced. Then I added one clove of garlic pressed. I realized that I should have put oil in first, so I then I added evoo.

I added a frozen cube of tomato sauce, then realized that I should have melted it first. Total, I added about 3oz of tomato sauce.

Much better melted than frozen!

Then I added oregano and the water and finished cooking it as directed.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dora Doll

I didn't do it. Ok, I sort of did it. But I didn't think it would become this... Big. Well, big isn't the word, more like... Crazy. No, crazy isn't the word either. *sigh* I'll just tell you instead of dragging it out. Glenn's favorite toy is a Dora doll.

(waiting for cringe to subside)

Ok, here's how it happened. We were driving home from our outing of the day. Glenn was inconsolable in his car seat; nothing would make him happy. I tried giving him snack, water, toys. Nothing was helping. Then I gave him the Dora doll. He scrunched his fingers in her hair, his eyes rolled back and closed, and he happily fell asleep sucking on his paci. Now, I should have prefaced this post with an odd fact about my children. They LOVE hair. When Genny was a baby, I would lay her on my bed, turn a program on (for me to watch) and drape my hair across her face. She would scrunch her hands in my hair (like a cat does the happy paws) and fall asleep. As soon as Glenn was born, he was doing the same thing. My friends think it's hilarious that both of my children have such a fixation on holding my hair, but that's just a fact of life around here. While holding Glenn, he usually has to have at least one fist-full of my hair.

Since we came home from SC, Glenn has been waking up between three and five in the morning. He usually doesn't end up going back to sleep, and even if he does, something precludes me from going back to sleep. After the Dora incident in the car, I had her on stand by in his room. At 4am when he woke up, I rocked him for a few minutes, then laid him down with the Dora doll. He fussed for a minute, but then scrunched his hands in her hair and fell back to sleep. He slept until 6am!!

Now Dora is officially Glenn's. Oh well. It's the one thing that makes him happy. Which makes me happy.

River Rock

Do you have young kids? Are you thinking about having children? If so, and you need to landscape your yard, consider river rock. It will be the joy of your kids every time you go outside, providing 'food' for the dog, something to put in and take out for the baby, and it's very nice looking too.

What's in your yard that is kid-friendly and brings enjoyment to your kids?

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I'm not a runner. Don't get me wrong- I've tried to become one of those women who get up at the crack of dawn, run five miles and feel great after. But my body hates running. I tried to train for a marathon when I was living in Japan, but got shin splints too many times. After a doctor told me that he would medically discharge me from the Navy if I came in one more time due to shin splints, I decided that my marathon training days were over. This doesn't mean that I don't still want to be a runner- I do. There are lots of things I want to do/be. I want to be a rock climber. I want to complete a triathlon someday. Someday...

Today I got up and ran. Since buying our jogging stroller I've decided to try jogging with it (imagine that!). We bought it so I would have something easier to handle on outings as well as something to use in the airport, etc. After having it for a few weeks, I decided to try running out again. About once a week I go for a run with the kids and sometimes the dog. I used the map my run website to see how far I've been going (I go the same rout every time) and it seems I've been running about 4.5 miles.

Exercising when you have small children isn't always easy. What do you do to excises if you have small children?

I keep the kids in their jammies (I added sweatpants to Genny and jackets for both). They also get snack while I'm running. This keeps them pretty occupied. Genny decided she wanted to bring the pig today.

The kids play outside while I stretch and drink a bunch of water. They love it!

Bread: Take Three

Third try's a charm!

After talking with my sister about how she makes bread (and trying to get those secrets to the best homemade bread ever) I started proofing my bread. For those of you who are not bread makers, proofing involves testing the yeast to see if it's alive (a thing that helped me realize that the yeast I bought several months ago was, indeed, not alive). After purchasing new yeast, I proofed it, thinking that it would bubble up just like my sister said it should. It didn't. Undeterred, I made the bread anyway. The first time I let the bread rise, it didn't. It was the same size as when I had put it in the bowl. I sighed and kneeded it anyway, placing it all in one loaf pan. All three recipes I've tried say to use two loaf pans, but the first two times I made bread it didn't rise, causing my loaf pan to be half-full which meant that the bread was half the size of a normal loaf. This time I decided that it was a wast to use the one loaf pan I have and make two rolls out of the other portion of the bread.

After letting the bread rise the second time, it was spilling over my loaf pan! Thomas and I ended up putting the rest in a pie pan, so the result was a very flat loaf and a normal looking loaf.

Here is the recipe I used this time, I like this one even though it takes milk, something that is in several types yet small quantities in this house. I used one cup of whole milk and one of 1%. I also tweaked the recipe, adding more flour and subbing margarine instead of shortening. I think it came out well, I'll definatly be using this recipe again.

Genny preferred the banana over the bread this morning. That's OK, Glenn ate hers!

Glenn just LOVED the toast!