Archives for the month of: June, 2012

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One of my favorite things to do is to cook for Dan. I don’t know why I get such enjoyment out of it, but I really like doing it and trying out new recipes I think he’d like. Maybe because it makes me happy to see him happy….

Recently, I made a list of things I want to learn how to do. Among them was to learn how to pickle something. I decided to start off with something easy and popular – pickled eggs. Boy, there are quite a few recipes for them! When I saw the jalepeno flavored eggs I knew I should try that one since Dan and I both like jalepenos.

After buying the ingredients, making them, waiting for them, getting excited to see how they’d turn out, then trying one and realizing how delicious they were…you can only imagine my disappointment when Dan said “eew I am NOT trying one of those.”

Ok, I know they smell a little like “rotten egg farts” (as Dan likes to put it), but they don’t taste like that at all! Really!!

He still won’t try an egg, but he did eat an onion slice and said it was good! πŸ™‚

Jalepeno Pickled Eggs

Ingredients:
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds removed
1 tsp mustard seeds
I clove garlic, peeled
I/4 of an onion, sliced
6 hard cooked eggs, peeled

Directions:
1. Peel the eggs and place in the bottom of a clean glass jar, quart sized.
2. In a medium saucepan, add all the ingredients (the vinegar, water, onion, jalapeno, sugar, and spices) and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until the sugar has dissolved and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.
3. Pour the vinegar mixture over the eggs in the jar, covering the eggs completely. Secure close the jar’s cover.
4. The pickled eggs will be ready to eat after five days.

*The longer the eggs sit in the pickling juice, the more the pickling juice will penetrate the eggs. Refrigerate up to a month.

*This post isn’t really about Owen, though he is mentioned twice lol πŸ˜‰

Yesterday, Dan and I celebrated our anniversary! We agreed that we wouldn’t get each other gifts, instead he was in charge of picking out a spot for dinner and I for dessert. I wanted it to be a surprise, to make things more fun. πŸ™‚ So we dropped off the little chunk at Grandma’s place and Dan drove us to the surprise restaurant.

He did a really great job with dinner – he chose Tucci Ristorante over in Lake Oswego.

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Everything was perfect and so romantic – the atmosphere, the food was great, our server and the staff were nice, it wasn’t too busy, there wasn’t anything that killed the mood or made the experience unenjoyable. Plus, the weather was so nice and sunny. I was very impressed by his restaurant pick! As far as the food, he chose the paella and I chose the tagliatelle, both were delicious!! Everything on the menu looked so yummy, it was hard to choose. This is definitely a restaurant we’ll be coming back to.

Then it was time for dessert. I have to tell you that it was SO hard to keep this a surprise LOL! I was so excited to plan this out and make it a special evening for us. I decided to pick up a few desserts from Pix Patisserie the day before and store them in the back of the fridge. I chose three individual sized desserts:
The Shazam!:

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The Royale:

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And the “Ghetto” Cake:

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Looks yummy, huh!
Then I packed up a few blankets, some plates, forks, napkins and a knife and drove Dan over to Council Crest. Council Crest is a park in SW Portland and happens to be the highest point in Portland. You can see all three nearby mountains from there – Mt Hood, St Helens and Adams. I was afraid my plan was going to fall through – what if dinner ran late and we arrived after the gate closed? What if the desserts got ruined on the ride over? What if I got lost (which I did heh)? What if it was raining? But everything turned out perfectly! He had never been there, which made it even more special. We had such a great time watching the city down below and walking around to see the different sites.

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We really have a lot of fun together just enjoying the simple things in life. Dan makes me so happy and I’m so blessed to have him in my life as my boyfriend, father of Owen, and as my best friend. πŸ™‚

For awhile now I’ve been wanting to do a wall solely dedicated to pictures of our family. Well, here’s my progress thus far.
The canvas wall:

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I bought wooden letters at Michaels and spray painted them flat black:

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After letting them dry and air out, Dan helped me pick hangers for them:

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Then it was time to measure, hang and readjust:

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This is what I have so far, but there are a few other pictures to hang and some that need frames still. Stay tuned!

Yesterday, Dan and I took Owen swimming. This is probably the 5th or 6th time I’ve taken Owen (maybe even more? I’m not sure lol), but this was the first time Dan has joined us. It’s even more fun with Dan there!

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We also bought the little guy a doorway jumper (for $10!). Owen has been pretty fussy this entire month for some reason, so hopefully this jumper will keep him occupied and happy.

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Last night at church was the first time we’ve taken him downstairs to the nursery! He did really well, but just observed the other babies playing together and didn’t interact. That was the first real interaction he’s had with babies other than his niece, so I guess after a few weeks he’ll start interacting more. It was weird being able to sit through the entire service with Dan and not have to worry about Owen crying.

Another piece of interesting info – Regal Cinemas is having their Summer Movie Express festival again. Certain theaters will be showing G and PG rated kids movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00am, for only $1! All ages are welcome to watch haha good thing I have a kid so it doesn’t look too awkward that I’m going to watch kids movies in theaters! πŸ˜‰ Enter your zip code here to see if your local theater is participating.

Tomorrow we’re picking up our tile for month 4, so stay tuned to see how it turned out! πŸ™‚

Whenever Dan and I aren’t sure what to make for dinner, a common go-to meal is stir-fried veggies (cabbage, onion, broccoli) in chili paste and teriyaki sauce, served over rice. It’s simple, easy and super quick to make (plus really yummy too). So when I came across the recipe for a teriyaki salmon bowl from He Speaks in the Silence, I was excited not only because it looked easy to make, but also because it was very similar to the cabbage dish we make already.
*This recipe makes a gluten-free teriyaki sauce by using Bragg’s amino acids, but soy sauce is another alternative if you don’t have Bragg’s on hand and don’t mind it having gluten in it.

Teriyaki Sauce
Ingredients:
1/4 C Bragg’s amino acids or soy sauce
3/4 C water
1 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
2 T brown sugar
1 T cornstarch
Couple of dashes of cayenne pepper

Directions:
Heat in a saucepan over medium heat until it boils. Then reduce to a simmer until it thickens. Stir frequently.

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Salmon and Veggie
Bowl

Ingredients:
Broccoli
Cabbage
Mushrooms
Bell pepper
Onion
Basil
*Use any veggies you want!
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil
Cooked brown rice
Cooked salmon

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Directions:
Cook all the veggies together in a big wok-style pan, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
*For the salmon, we baked it for at least 45 minutes in the oven. We like ours sort of dry.

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To Serve:
So technically this recipe says its a teriyaki salmon “bowl” but we just dish it up on a plate. Layer the rice, veggies and salmon. Then drizzle the teriyaki sauce on top.

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Like I said before, this dish is super easy, super quick and super yummy!
Enjoy!

Updates:

1. As of last Thursday, Owen is officially scooting around!! Whenever he’s laying down, he rolls over and moves around. His legs are really strong, but he still needs to figure out how to lift his upper half of his body as he pushes himself across the floor. He looks like a little worm haha πŸ˜‰

2. Last Thursday, I also received my driver’s license!! This year has been pretty busy so far – I had a baby, bought a car, received my boater’s license and driver’s license! Yay!

I have a confession to make – I’m turning into one of those moms. You know, the mom that has a million mementos, keepsakes and projects for her baby.
We have the tile handprint mosaic we’re making:

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Then there’s the heart-shaped decorative plate we used for all of our handprints:

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Then, there’s the photos Dan and I had done when I was pregnant, the memory book (Dan still has his, it’s really cool!!), this blog, and I’m planning on making a photobook/yearbook type of thing that is mainly going to be of him.
You might say I’m going a little overboard, but cut me some slack – he’s my first kid! I’ve never experienced anything like this. He makes me so incredibly happy and I love watching him grow up and learn. Everything’s new for him, and in a way for me too. If I have other kids then I probably won’t have any mementos for them since the wow factor of having a kid (my first kid!) will have worn off LOL πŸ˜‰
When we came home from the hospital and put his first little outfit (the hospital clothes) away in a drawer, the first thought that popped into my mind was that these clothes would stay boxed up for who knows how long, then one day we’d find them during spring cleaning and donate them to Goodwill.

I did not want that to happen.

This is the very first thing he’s worn – its important! Since I didn’t want it to be stuffed away, forever lost in some box, we came up with the idea of framing it.

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The frame was only $12 at Michael’s, but keeping the memory of him in his hospital shirt, socks, cap and bracelet will be priceless.

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I’m ready for bed, Mom!

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Growing up, my mom used to make tuna casserole for us kids. One day when Dan and I were figuring out something to make for dinner, I looked in the cupboard, saw the gazillion cans of tuna we have and decided to create my own casserole. Not knowing exactly how my mom made it, I used what we had on hand and improvised.

Tuna Casserole

Ingredients
3 cans of tuna
3 eggs
1 C crackers
1/3 C sour cream or mayonnaise
1 C chopped broccoli
1 C chopped cauliflower
1/2 of an onion
Pepper to taste
Cheddar cheese

*Add any veggies you want, and as much or little too. If you want the casserole to be more moist, add a little water from the canned tuna.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375Β°.
2. Mix all ingredients together except the cheddar cheese.
3. Pour mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes.
4. Take casserole out of oven and layer cheese on top. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

**Dan and I like the top of ours to be a bit crunchy and the middle to be a little moist, but if you’d prefer the entire casserole to be cooked evenly throughout, then cook for 45 minutes at 350Β°.

Enjoy!

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