Wordless Wednesday: Why hello there Blizzard Cooper!

Watching big sister play outside.

Watching big sister play outside.

Enjoying the nice weather.

Enjoying the nice weather.

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Revisiting Childhood

I was looking through old photos on our computer, trying to wrap my head around the fact that Ada is going to be five next week and came across a folder full of pictures that she took last summer. Some of them are blurry, over-saturated, movement filled snippets and others are amazingly accurate and clear.

As a parent it’s hard to remember to think about what our kids’ point of view is. Sometimes I forget entirely (<–mother of the year award here!) and find myself grumbling over the next bit of spilt milk here and forget to pay attention to the extraordinary imaginations that my kids are emitting. Carelessly, yes, but at least enthusiastically enjoying themselves and thus being the cause of the spilled milk. I truly couldn’t be more blessed that such a root cause exists. *grumble*grumble*

Anyway, I wanted to share some of these pictures with you. I think it’s interesting (probably only because I’m her mom) to think about what she actually sees and how she sees it throughout her day. Do we really look that blurry? Do we speak in wah-wah tones like all the adults in Peanuts cartoons? Who knows.

Eat the World 20: Bolivia

Last Wednesday we sampled the cuisine of our 20th country on our Eat the World adventure. If you are wondering, we did indeed skip Bhutan but will be coming back to it later next week.

Bolivia is a South American country surrounded by Peru, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Brazil. While Dylan or I have never been there,we were familiar with the cuisine and culture since we lived in Ecuador for a year. In fact, looking through the pictures and answering Ada’s questions brought back a flood of fond memories such as this:

Rainy season fun.

And this:

Alabanza!

And this one too:

The square.

Basically, Bolivia brought so many memories still so fresh in the mind, and it’s been eight years past since our time spent there. EIGHT years. I can’t believe it. Bolivia was indeed a nice reminder of our old home.

At the time I was planning this meal I think that I was feeling a bit industrious, much more so that what I actually felt last Wednesday, so we ended up limiting my four piece menu down to two. I think that the avocado salad would’ve been pretty delicious but it was just one extra step and I don’t think that it would’ve tasted outrageously different than anything else we’ve ever sampled. I’m still a bit sad that we skipped out on baking the Cocadas (coconut candies, think macaroons), so I’ll probably attempt those sometime later this month just for fun. We’ll see.

The two recipes that did make the cut were Aji de Lentejas con Sarsa (Lentil stew with salsa) and Saltenas (Meat and potato hand pies). I opted to cut the stew servings in half because I wasn’t sure the girls would eat it…and I was right, except that Dylan and I definitely could’ve eaten more than the small bowls that it made. Ah well, proxima vez. It was a fairly simple, quick cooking stew (due to the lentils) and a great vegetarian option. I’d make this again for sure. You can find the recipe here.

The saltenas were a LOT more work. Dylan and the girls made the dough while I prepared the filling. Ada and Nellie loved the dough part because they got to play with their own piece of it. Rolling, shaping, squishing, all that good stuff. They were good, but I’m not sure that I’d remake these. They were just really large and quite dense. I’m a bigger fan of Ecuadorian (think crispy-fluffy fried) and Argentinian (think flakier-more pie-crust-like) empanadas. When the saltenas cooled they were like light dumbbells. Big, heavy, and SUPER filling. You can also find the recipe here.

I think the general consensus was that dinner was good but that it wasn’t necessarily something that we would repeat again out of craving. The stew might show up again because it’s cheap, healthy, and light…but if I’m going to put a lot of work into something, I’ll make mandu or biryani or something much else.

And just a fun video to round everything out: 

Picture dump in 5…

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Monday Meal Plan

First I want to wish my sister-in-law, Nina, a very Happy (blog belated, my bad) Birthday!

Nina and my baby brother

Another weekend has come to pass…I can’t believe that January is almost over, the meal plan ends in February!? Most days it feels like time is flying, has it always been like this? Have I never really noticed before? Or appreciated the moments as much? But that’s enough introverted, rumination for Monday…

Monday Meal Plan : 1.28-2.3

1.28 Monday*

Dinner: Leftovers night

*Extra*

Make rhubarb puree for rhubarb bars.

1.29 Tuesday

Dinner: Slow cooker tomatillo chicken tacos.

1.30 Wednesday  

Dinner: Chicken tikka masala w/basmati

1.31 Thursday 

Dinner: Eat the World: BOLIVIA. We’re skipping over Bhutan for the time being as we’re going to have a mini party with some friends and co-workers later in February. I’m super excited for that, but don’t want to lose steam with our countries either.

2.1 Friday

Breakfast: Toast w/milk & fruit

Tea Time: Ada will be at Terry’s…

Dinner: Dachtler Pizza Night! (Make an extra pizza to feed the freezer, along with some dough.) 

*Extra*

Make a double batch of roasted chickpeas & a batch of scones to finish off the next morning.

2.2 Saturday (Mom and Dad are here)

Breakfast: Fresh apple cinnamon scones.

Lunch: Shrimp & grits.

Tea: Rhubarb bars & assam w/milk & sugar

Dinner: Spinach mushroom bacon cheese fondue & dippers. I have been dying to try this and what better excuse than when we have visiting family? 

*Extra*

Complete rhubarb bars!

2.3 Super Bowl Sunday! (Mom and Dad are here) 

Breakfast: Baked egg boat with fruit, coffee & tea.

Lunch: Indian butter chicken w/basmati & roasted chickpeas (This stuff if good. Seriously good.)

Tea: Scone & assam w/milk & sugar

Dinner: @ Ernie & Eileen’s house for the Super Bowl!…Woo!! I’ll be bringing apps to the house: 

Slow cooker meatballs in a thai peanut chili sauce

Bacon jalapeno cheese ball w/crackers

And it’s quite possible that black bean salsa and/or some other goodies may join the party.

My Mom and Dad are coming this weekend, it’s been a long time since we last saw them, so I’m excited. I’m glad they’re staying overnight since Dylan’s going ice fishing with Ben on Saturday. I haven’t told the girls yet, but in my defense, the incessant questions of “Is it Saturday yet?” “Are Grandma and Grandpa coming yet?” “When are they coming?” invalidate any argument of cruelty.

Monday meal plan on Wednesday

Ufta. I wondered last week and now look at this week–even a day further behind! I’m going to blame the cold. I live in ND, so I feel that’s a legit excuse as my body rebels against going outside or even just getting out of bed. I had to meet a client at 7am this morning to do employment paperwork and when I checked the weather it read -17.

-17!

Lucky for me it’s warmed up a bit to -11… Haha. I am so funny sometimes. I guess I can’t complain too much since we had an unnaturally warm winter last year and a gorgeous summer (of which I hope to repeat at least that). Global warming, knock it off!!

Monday Meal Plan : 1.21-1.27

1.21 Monday

Dinner: Baked brown sugar chicken wings w/roasted red pepper cream sauce. The wings were good but the sauce was SO good. In fact, I doubled it and saved the extra sauce for tomorrow’s supper.

1.22 Tuesday

Breakfast: Homemade granola bars

Dinner: Penne w/shredded chicken, spinach and roasted red pepper cream sauce. I will probably throw in some crescent rolls too, because that sounds delicious. Oh, and leftover apple sour cream pie with Cool Whip. Because that sounds delicious as well.

1.23 Wednesday  

Breakfast: Granola w/yogurt & honey

Dinner: Eat the World: BENIN. Okay, I know I said we’d eat this last week but, we didn’t. So now we are.

*Extra*

Homemade vegetable boullion. I’ve been chomping at the bit since I first found this recipe to try it out. I love homemade stock but I hate that it takes so much space up in my freezers. Maybe this is my answer??

1.24 Thursday* 

Breakfast: Cereal w/fruit & milk
Dinner: Crispy honey lemon chicken w/basmati & roasted broccoli. Our friend Senta made this awesome roasted broccoli with only olive oil, salt, and pepper–it was addictive. I’m gonna try and fill her shoes… Oh, and Chocolate cobbler. Because I can.

*Extra*

Macaroni Salad to go along with Dylan’s sandwiches this weekend. I haven’t been crazy about her recipes (her instructions/ingredients lists are usually off or missing something here and there) but I have hope for this.

Ethereally Smooth Hummus. I’m also gonna whip some of this up while I watch some more HIMYM episodes. I can only watch these when D’s working or he mocks the laugh track mercilessly. 

1.25 Friday* 

Breakfast: Cereal & milk

Tea Time: Ada will be at Terry’s…

Dinner: Dachtler Pizza Night!

*Extra*

Roasted Rhubarb Jam. I have lots of Rhubarb. I love Rhubarb. This sounds delicious.

1.26 Saturday*

Breakfast: Fruit, granola bars & milk

Lunch: Beer cheese macaroni. Nom nom nom

Tea Time: Hummus & pita chips w/assam, milk & sugar

Dinner: Brown sugar butter roasted chicken with avocado fries. I am drooling at the thought.

1.27 Sunday* 

Breakfast: Cereal & milk

Lunch, Tea & Dinner: @ Terry & Sheila’s as per Sunday tradition

And maybe this week’s freeeeezing weather will encourage me to get another Pinteresting post done. But don’t hold your breath.

 

Monday meal plan

Yesterday we spent the morning at church and skating with some friends. I wish I had some pictures BUT I was too busy enjoying the moment with Dylan and the two monsters. I’m proud to say that Ada did AH.sum. (ß I apologize for the overzealous use incorrect grammar, I got excited.) Seriously, she did SO well and both Dylan and I were so proud. She started off shaky as expected but gained so much confidence as the minutes ticked by and, did I mention this earlier?, I was and am SO proud. I am looking forward to many more years of Sunday mornings and evenings, week days and nights (you get the picture) of enjoying this pastime together.

So without further ado…

Monday Meal Plan : 1.7-1.13

1.7 Monday

Breakfast: Granola w/almond milk

Dinner: Belize (Because to be honest, last week’s meal plans pretty much flew out the window due to friends, dinners, and life’s general happenings. Stay tuned for pictures and a review of our meal as I am determined to get back on track for Eat the World.)

*Extra*

Bananananananananannanana bread because those bananas aren’t getting any younger.

Make x2 sour dough loaves for dinner tomorrow.

1.8 Tuesday

Breakfast: Bagels w/cream cheese

Dinner: Corn chowder with sourdough

1.9 Wednesday  

Breakfast: Granola w/yogurt & honey

Dinner: French onion grilled cheese sandwiches & salads

*Extra*

Fresh apple cake with caramel glaze.

1.10 Thursday **

Breakfast: Cereal w/fruit & milk
Dinner: Mexican-ish crock pot chicken tacos. I saw this floating around pretty rampantly on Pinterest and have decided to finally try it out. Wish me luck and maybe it’ll be a “Pin Win” on the next Pinteresting post.

1.11 Friday **

Breakfast: Toast w/butter, bagels w/cream cheese & juice

Tea Time: Leftover cake and assam w/sugar & milk.

Dinner: Homemade pizzas, toppings which will include: pepperoni, green olives, goat cheese, tomatoes, basil, and copious amounts of cheeses. My mouth is watering thinking about it.

1.12 Saturday **

Breakfast: Easy raspberry strudel. It’s so nom nom nommy.

Lunch: American goulash. Dylan’s gone so we can eat whatever we want! XD

Tea Time: Peanut butter honey milkshakes & pretzels

Dinner: Apple braised chicken w/basmati. This looks so good and I want to make more of a dent in the freezer goodies.

*Extra*

Buttermilk cookies w/caramel frosting. Which I will taste test with a huge, steamy mug of coffee while the girls nap. Mom win.

1.13 Sunday **

Breakfast: Maple bacon and apple baked French toast w/juice. I may even bring this over to Terry & Sheila’s for a surprise breakfast since she probably won’t read this. 😉

Lunch, Tea & Dinner: @ Terry & Sheila’s for Sunday

Enjoying the Sunshine

This weather has been crazy, bipolar, epic, outstanding, frustrating–> and ALL of the above. It’s been incredible. Never in my 26 years have I experienced a spring like this one, hopefully it’s a warm reflection of summer. 🙂

The girls have immensely enjoyed this weather as well and now that Ada is big enough to pull the wagon, hopefully we’ll be having many more walks with the shared burden of stubborn-walk-when-I-please-Nellie-duty.

And this video will be painfully boring for anyone other than family members–and probably for them too. But since I am so smitten with this little thing, I’m posting it here for prosperity. (Nellie that is, not the wagon.)