Thursday, December 11, 2008

More recipes

I needed to go grocery shopping yesterday, but the girls were sick (better now), so I went today and was in a cooking mood. Here's a few things I made, will make or am making right now:

Orange marinated chicken from Simply Recipes.

Feta Salsa from Smitten Kitchen.

Rene requested tilapia with mango salsa, so I am making this from Allrecipes.

Jamie Oliver's Italian Bread and Cabbage Soup, found here at Posie Gets Cozy. Read Alicia's writeup at Posie Gets Cozy if you aren't an anchovy person.

And, making the quick, yummy no knead bread again.

Despite the girls being sick, we did get the Christmas card picture taken. I need to do a bit more shopping, almost done!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Faster no-knead bread

I am not a bread maker (maker, baker, whatevah). I have a bread making machine that I've used from time to time, but I don't think that counts. The idea of really making bread always seemed a bit time consuming and intimidating. I've read articles over the last year or two about the no-knead bread craze. I never thought about making it. Then recently in The New York Times, I read about the faster no-knead bread in Mark Bittman's Minimalist column.

And here we are on a day off from school and I thought, what the heck. I had my doubts. My assistant was Miss Lauren. She did the mixing, and although the recipe said the dough would be "shaggy", parts looked downright unmixed. Then I realized the pot I had was not as big as the recipe required. But we carried on.

I took it out of oven, sliced a slice and WOW, it was great! I mean really good! I mean great! Nice crunchy crust and soft tasty bread inside.

Now, a day later, and it's still good. The bottom of the bread was a little tough, but I'm guessing since I didn't have the right pot to bake it in I did not achieve absolute bread making perfection. But I came close. For a first time breadmaker (with a four year old doing most of the work), I'd say that's not bad.

Next I'll try the whole wheat version.

The only problem is I need more yummy carbs like a need a hole in the head.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Recipes I have made and enjoyed

Yes, I'm finally posting something on this blog again. I'm sure there is much rejoicing an relief by my faithful reader Josh. Happy cooking, Josh!

Apple gingerbread. Yum. From MayaMade.
Rosemary Lemon White Bean Dip from Bitten. We like this on nice toasty bread with cucumbers. Would make a good dip, too.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese from Pinch My Salt via The Kitchn.
Crockpot Chicken Salsa from Workitmom. Very easy and tasty.
My new favorite way to make rice from Angry Chicken. I agree, life changing. And the leftover rice reheats really well.
Pasta with Feta, Broccoli and Sausage from The Kitchn. We used Aidell's spinach feta sausage.
Haven't made this recently, but when I'm in the mood for fish tacos, this is the recipe I found and love from Laura Gunn Studio.

Oh, the places you'll go when you do a google search!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Haikku to my blog

oh my poor sad blog
did you think i forgot you?
i hang my head, shamed.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Counting crows

Got this email from Rene:

So I come home for lunch, and am sitting down at the kitchen table, eating some of that leftover chicken.

Daisy is out on the deck. Something catches my eye....its 2 incoming crows flying at 60 miles an hour flying in to steal my chicken. They slam into the kitchen window, and immediately drop dead on the deck.

They fall on either side of daisy, both quite dead. Daisy yelps in mortal fear, and leaps backwards, keeps glancing around fully expecting to see more dead birds being hurled at her.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Baby names

Lauren decided that when she grows up she would like to have two baby girls. She wants to name them Claritan and Fessa.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Congratulations Rene!

Well, it's been a pretty tough week for Rene (and us), especially with us losing Jake, but I'm happy to report that Rene became a US citizen today! Hooray! He went for the interview in the morning and they told him to stick around for the swearing in ceremony in the afternoon. I felt bad that we couldn't be there, but glad that this is all behind him.

Congratulations, Rene!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Farewell, sweet Jake

It's been an emotional day. The girls and I are in NY visiting my parents. Rene is in Augusta, leaving for Atlanta tomorrow. The folks at the kennel where Jake was staying called this morning and said Jake had a minor seizure. Late in the day, Jake was having a few seizures. Rene and the nice man at the kennel got Jake to the animal hospital, and sadly, we had to put him down. Jake was 12 1/2.

I haven't told the girls yet, but they know he's sick. Tomorrow is our big day in the city and I want them to enjoy it.

Jake was a sweet, sweet dog. He loved to eat (and eat!) and play. He loved to swim in the ocean and the lake. He was sweet to our girls from the moment they came home.

Jake has been with Rene from when he lived in Calgary. Moved with him to the San Francisco area and then of course moved with us to Georgia.

Farewell, sweet Windy River Jake of Riverbend.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Getting ready for the masters

The girls were in two performances of the Roar of Love on Friday, and they did a wonderful job. It is quite a production! I think they were both very excited to be a part of it. This is the first year we've been here that the show was not immediately before Masters week.

The Roar of Love is over, the azaleas are blooming, folks are putting fresh pinestraw in their garden beds, and the prisoners are out cleaning the sides of the road. It's springtime in Augusta. And I must get my house ready to vacate and rent for the masters.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Erin the pony and Lauren the cherub

Once again, Erin is in the ballet the Roar of Love, and this year Lauren joins her! Last year Erin was a firefly. The year before she was a cherub. Click on a photo to see it larger. Use your browser back button to return to blog.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Be prepared.

Lauren had a great birthday with her party at Monkey Joes. Her only requirement was that Monkey Joe did not visit us. Lauren doesn't like costumed characters. We figured this out at Disneyland last year. This was the first time we had a party outside of our home. And while it was a noisy crazy two hours, it was contained. It also allowed us to invite all of Lauren's classmates and other friends and some siblings as well. A great time was had by all.

The afternoon brought present opening, playing, and then Erin had her piano festival at Augusta State University. As my neighbor said, there's nothing festive about it. We went, she went in a room with a judge, and played her two songs, Ode to Joy and Mary's Little Lamb. I couldn't go in, but I think she did fine.

We returned home to tornado watches posted for our area, which turned into a tornado warning at dinner time. We reviewed our plan of going into the pantry if we needed to. We did not need to, but we did lose power for a while. We got to use our emergency crank radio (after we found it, that is). We listened to the weather forecast and A Prairie Home Companion. The radio has a light, siren and a cell phone charger (which we need to get).

In other news, I have lost my voice.

Happy Birthday Lauren!

4 years old! I can't believe it. Happy, happy day!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Crazy busy March

Here's what's keeping us busy in March:

Girl Scout cookies! Yesterday was the first day I did not have cases of cookies in our dining room.

Ballet! Rehearsals have started for the Roar of Love! This year Erin will be a pony and Lauren will be a cherub.

Piano! We've decided to cut back on some of our activities. Although Erin likes piano and is doing well, it's taking up too much time to devote the practice we need to. We decided to take a break from piano after Saturday's piano festival.

Birthday! Getting ready for Lauren's 4th birthday party on Saturday!

Masters! Are we rented? Maybe, maybe not. Hopefully next week we'll know for sure. In the meantime, I'm trying to clean and declutter when I can.

Citizenship! Our plan was that if our house was rented for Masters Rene would join the Girls and I in New York. But on Friday we got a letter that his citizenship interview is in Atlanta that week. There is a chance he could be sworn in and get his citizenship that very day! This has been a long time coming. Rene is now studying up on his civics, although he probably knows more on this subject than most people I know.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Yard is complete

Well almost. They need to roll the sod today or tomorrow, but then we're done! We're so happy with the results. We feel like we have a yard we can manage. It still is large and a lot of work, but it's cleaned up and we feel like planting and can easily see what needs to be done. Here are some pics.

The shrubs in the back can grow to 15-20 feet tall and should grow 4 -5 feet a year, which should help to block the house in the back. Note that these pictures are all pre-bloom season. Will post pictures when everything is blooming.

Click on a picture to see it larger. Use the browser back button to return.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When your dog eats an entire package of sugar free chocolate chips...

Don't panic! Called the vet and she said to expect tummy distress from Daisy, but actually Daisy did pretty well. Note these cookies were sealed in plastic, in a sealed cardboard box, inside a larger cardboard box. Of course it might have helped that Daisy is a large dog, but still I was predicting a messier outcome. Most of the girl scout cookies should be out of the house by this weekend.

I guess this incident, combined with the gingerbread house incident, proves that Daisy has a tough gut.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Erinisms and Laurenisms

From Erin recently:

Clouds are like nature's sunglasses. (How very Jack Handy of her.)

"Lauren, your artwork is abstract. That's just another way of saying it's scribble scrabble."

Lauren reciting the pledge of allegiance (that she hears at Erin's brownie meetings):

I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of the United States
of brownies
and to the ocean of America,
for brownies and girl scouts forever.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Inside mess, outside mess

The inside mess is due to GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! And lots of them. 864 boxes to be exact. As cookie mom, I get to pick them up and store them. And they are here!

The mess outside is due to the ongoing yard work. Today they are putting down sod. I took this picture two days ago from my bedroom window.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Visit with Kara

Kara and family came to visit Saturday through Sunday. We went to Fort Discovery on Sunday and took a walk by the river (that would be the Savannah River) Sunday morning. Kids played a lot, grownups got to watch Walk the Line (ie the Johnny Cash movie).

Here's some pictures:

Garden overhaul

We have a large yard. A large front yard, and a large back yard. It's a lot of work, mainly for Rene. The backyard came with a charming, but slowly decaying vegetable garden, complete with 16 raised beds. And while this might be a dream for some, we just don't have the time to maintain it. On top of that the wood from the beds was rotting and the fence was starting to fall apart. It was becoming an eyesore. In other parts of the yard grass wouldn't grow and there were drainage issues.

Which leads us to our garden overhaul. Hopefully by next week I will be able to post the "after" photos. For now, you can view the before and demolition photos.

Note: I'm testing out embedding a Flickr slideshow with instructions from here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Inspiration link roundup

Teacher's quilt from Pink Chalk studio.

Mini quilt featured on Sew Mama Sew.

How to make a new ironing board cover.

How to make a rice pillow at Wise Craft. I need to make some of these. When Erin had an ear infection I put some rice in an old clean sock, tied it up and warmed it up in the microwave. She drew a face on it and calls it her "Socky". A pretty rice pillow would be nice.

Cute bunny pillow pocket tutorial. You could adapt something like this for the tooth fairy. I was lame and didn't create a cute tooth fairy pillow or pouch for Erin's first two teeth, but we've got lots more to go, so there's still time.

The bunny pillow reminded me of the cute felt mice I had seen a while ago at Molly Chicken. Mine came out a bit funny as I was very new to sewing, I used "fake" felt instead of wool felt, and I probably should have enlarged the pattern a bit. Here's a cute version done at Pink Chalk Studio.

How to recycle old crayons. Just got one of these silicone mini heart pans at Michaels. Read the comments on this one. These would be cute birthday party favors.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Inspiration link roundup

Too many creative people out there. I'm not worthy (bowing in submission).

I Heart Linen posted a checkerboard mini quilt with buttons as checker pieces!

Fabric pinwheels at Chickpea Sewing.

Fabric balls at Grand Revival Designs. Pattern and tutorial here.

Finally. Bunting flags tutorial from Whip Up. These would be fun for a birthday (hmmm, we have one of those coming up, don't we?)

I think the bunting, fabric balls and pinwheels would be fun for a girls room. I have done a poor job of decorating Lauren's room, and maybe it's time to put a little effort into it!

Friday, February 01, 2008

February is quilting month!

Sew Mama Sew will be posting about Quilting Month and Block-Along Kickoff!. I may be inspired to make a doll quilt. Maybe.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Me and sewing

Last summer for my birthday, I got a sewing machine. (Erin and Lauren tried to convince me I was getting a couch, those tricky devils!) I had learned to sew in 7th and 8th grade, but could really only do basic things. When I owned my first apartment in White Plains, one snowy winter I attempted to make drapes. It was a complicated pattern with swags, and I cursed my way through it, but it scared me away from sewing for a while.

Since I've become a stay at home mom, the sewing bug has gotten me again. So I requested the sewing machine. I really don't know what I'm doing, but I've managed to make a few things. The seam ripper and I are getting reaquainted.

I started by making purses for the girls, just to see if I could. Lauren's requirement was that a bunny could fit in. I'm happy to say that I met that requirement.

Erin's bag
Originally uploaded by bloggerjeanne

First bag
Originally uploaded by bloggerjeanne

First bag
Originally uploaded by bloggerjeanne
inside of bag

Then I made a lovey blanket for baby Natalie, the newest cousin in the family. I made it a "taggy" blanket. It wasn't perfect, but Natalie seemed to like it. Disregard the imperfections, and it's kind of cute!

Lovey for baby Natalie
Originally uploaded by bloggerjeanne

I made the girls these Heather Bailey headbands, which were easy.

Recently, I attempted to make baby bibs for my friend Abby's baby shower. They came out OK, but I wished I had used cotton and chenille instead of flannel and chenille, they kept moving a lot when I was sewing. I forgot to take a picture! Must take pictures of things I've sewn. I used the pattern and instructions from Happy Things for the easy chenille bib tutorial.

I've make a few other things I'll post about in the future.

This week was the first week of the "Sewcial" meeting of some moms who like to sew or want to learn how to sew. It is an offshoot of the Moms Club, not an official Moms Club meeting, which is good, as I am no longer a member. Jordan hosted, and had quite the array of cure and beautiful things to show. She showed a cute boo-boo baggie out of terry cloth, a lovely pillowcase dress, a tablecloth for her husband with military fabric (and demonstrated a mistake made good!), a crayon roll as well as some other things. Melissa showed everyone easy flannel wash cloths. Chantel showed us the design for a quilt she made, and gave us a frugal tip: use goodwill blankets instead of batting! My frugal tip was to use cut up fleece squares for swiffers! I'm glad to see that we're all pretty much on the same level, although it seems that Jordan has more knowledge to educate us all.

And all that is a longwinded way to reveal my secret timewaster. Sewing and craft blogs. I'm addicted to them! I don't really watch much TV (other than the occasional HGTV show). But the creations of so many talented people our there are inspiring! They make it look so easy. Having attempted some of these creations, I know that it's not as easy as it looks. Practice. Patience.

So now, in an effort to make sense of the many bookmarks I have saved of inspirational sewing posts, and as a way to share these with my new sewing group, I will list some sites and posts that have inspired me. Start clicking on these at your own risk. One blog leads to another. Could be addictive.

The Sew Mama Sew blog has a great roundup of many great projects. This handmade holidays link has a summary of many easy projects to make. I keep going back to this link to get ideas. It's here I found the baby bib tutorial.

A pillowcase dress tutorial I found.

Sunny day dress tutorial (shirred or smocked style).

Cute little smocket for girls with pattern here.

Little artists case
Notebook and pencil holder
Martha stewart roll up pencil kit tutorial

Tutorials, including easy chenille baby bib tutorial that I used.

Easy baby flannel blanket.

How to sew a zipper, ie Don't fear the zipper.

Put a zipper in your pillow tutorial.

And finally, amazing quilts! I learned that February is Quilting Month. Beautiful photos on Flickr. (And if you really want to waste some time, look around flickr. Search for random phrases "garden path" "oranges" "doll quilt" and you could be there for hours. If you have hours to spare, that is.)

Next I'll post some links to sites I like to visit on a regular basis.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Christmas recap

I'm a little late on this, but wanted to post some Christmas photos. We had a nice week with Nana and PopPop visiting. Rene took the week off from work. The festivities started with Rene's birthday feast, and of course it wouldn't be Christmas time without some ear infections. Santa visited, and all was well.

Girls making gingerbread cookies with Nana.

Erin staring at oven clock on Christmas morning. She woke up at 5am and we told her she had to wait until 6 to wake everyone else up.

Christmas morning: Girls painting the dollhouses they got for Christmas.

Me, Nana, PopPop and girls

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thanks Barack Obama, for reconnecting me with my colleauges

I've posted before that I worked with Barack Obama at one time (I think it was the first job out of college for both of us). So I've followed with interest his rising political career. I read his first book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance with interest. He devoted a few pages to his time at Business International, and after I read those pages I thought that his memory of the place where we worked differed from mine.

Fast forward to last month, and I read this New York Times article. The author interviewed some former coworkers of mine, including Dan who writes this blog, Analyze This. I guess the reporter found him, due to this posting, where Dan takes issue with Obama's memory of our former workplace. Well, the New York Times article had some very funny quotes. That the old office was like "high school with ashtrays" (an accurate description), and a great story about one of our managers who realized he wiped butter off his mouth with his tie because he was unaccustomed to wearing one. I emailed Lou and he said the NYT author had interviewed him for an hour and that was the one quote that she took from him.

A few of my former coworkers saw the article, as I did, and commented on Dan's blog. So now we're reconnecting via email. I also created a new Linkedin group, Business International Alumni. There are 11 of us so far!

So if you worked for Business International, feel free to join the group. If you worked for Business International in the 80's (before the Economist bought the company), and you worked in the Finance group in the New York office, you'll likely remember pub crawls (perhaps you had a Flaming Chartreuse at Harglos?), Wang word processing terminals, the coffee wagon, the Poodle with a Mohawk poster. You remember how to spell Dag Hammarskjold, and the quirky cast of characters who worked there. It was a great first job for me. Not as memorable, it seems, for Barack.

2008 Masters Rental

Dear bloggerjeanne readers, posting this in case someone in internetland does a google search for such a thing! If you know anyone would like to rent out a home for Masters week (you know, golf!), post a comment here and I'll get emailed.

Lovely large 4 bedroom home, each with queen beds, on beautiful lush 1 acre property with front and back patios and deck for entertaining, just outside West Lake. Recently remodeled kitchen and bathrooms. Beautiful hardwood floors. 40 inch plasma TV with digital cable, DVD player Wireless internet access. Bonus room with futon and TV. (Queen bed or twin beds available to put in bonus room at additional cost). $6000 for 7 day rental (negotiable), daily maid service plus extra day rental available at extra cost.

Here's two pictures, more available by request: