Meet my long-time gal pal and favorite N.Y.C. resident: Trish. You can also call her Pats, Patsy, Patricia. She was born on St. Patrick's Day, you know, which alone is reason enough to give her your vote. We go way back (dumpster diving? Check.) She's awesome. You'd love her.
Anywho, she has officially entered the Mad Men Casting Call and NEEDS YOUR VOTE. Her photo is hands-down the best (she's so clever!) Would you help a girl out?
A.k.a 'the other white meat.' Do you ever buy pork? I wasn't
too crazy about it until I discovered a super scrumptious and easy way
to prepare & make them (because right now, I'm all about quick
& easy dinners.)
Set your oven to 350 degrees. Get a few chops, pat them dry, sprinkle with seasoned salt (I flipping love that stuff. Seriously.
Any brand will do.) Give them a very generous sprinkling of seasoned
salt - on both sides. Heat up a saute pan (med-high heat) with a dash or
two of extra-virgin olive oil in the pan. When hot, add chops and cook
for about 2 minutes on each side. Place on a cookie sheet & into the
oven for about 20 minutes (depending on thickness of chops- cooking
time will vary- you want an internal temperature of 160 degrees) If you
are unsure, pull them out of the oven & cut one in half to make sure
Next up, a molasses glaze. I love molasses. I don't know what ever prompted me to put it on pork, but it totally works- trust me on this one. We use this molasses.
Just take about a 1/4 cup of molasses, add about 1-2 Tbsp of water
& mix until combined. Warm it up in saucepan or microwave. Slice
pork chops into 1/4" slices and drizzle molasses glaze on top. To. Die. For.
A simple and easy meal of molasses-glazed pork chops, long grain wild rice & edamame with kosher salt. A whole meal in about 30 minutes. You will love. I promise.
A little person in our family wanted her nails painted this morning. So I painted them, hopped in the shower and upon getting out, said little person came walking back into the bathroom with an empty bottle of nail polish. She then proceeded to take me on a tour of all the things she painted: the toaster,the lamp, the side table, the arm of her rocking chair, the top of her play table, the phone: I keep finding things here & there. Luckily, nothing on the carpet or walls. We pulled out some paper & crayons and spent a long time coloring together this afternoon (you know, to get some of that creativity out.)
It must be hard work having all that creative energy pent up in a 2 year olds body!
She spends a good amount of time everyday with crayons or pencils in her hands, drawing & coloring away.
She loves to have me trace her fingers. Now, she's finally mastered doing it herself (and tracing mine, too!)
Besides it's just entirely too difficult to be upset at this little face. So we cleaned up the polish whenever we found it and went happily along with our day (along with the occasional "We only put nail polish on our ..what??" "toes" "and...." "fingers" and then we made sure all lids were on extra tight! I'm feeling very nervous about hair + scissors)
What's the deal with kids & chicken nuggets? I've never met one who didn't like them. Must be something in their DNA... Anyway- we like making our own and since we made some today, I thought I'd share how we make ours. Super simple, super delicious and super fast to make. Here's what you need:
1-2 Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks*
1/2 C Flour
Dash of Salt & Pepper
1/2 C Italian Bread Crumbs
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
*I pounded mine between two layers of parchment paper so they were the same thickness throughout (and not too thick)
Pre-set oven to 350 degrees. You'll need 3 small bowls (cereal or soup sized.) In the first bowl, add flour, salt & pepper. Stir to combine.In the second bowl, add the bread crumbs & parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
In the third bowl add the egg with 1 Tbsp water. Stir to combine. In small batches, take the chicken & place in flour mixture until evenly coated, shaking off any excess flour. Then, place into the egg mixture, making sure to shake off any excess. And then into the bread crumbs and parmesan they go! Coat evenly and shake off any excess crumbs. Pour 1-2 Tbsp of Olive Oil into a pan over medium heat. Add chicken & allow to cook 1-2 mintues per side or until just browned. Place on a cookie sheet & into the oven for 10-12 minutes. By first cooking them in the pan, it seals the juices inside making these little nuggies nice & moist later. The kids love them and we usually make some for ourselves, too. We use 1 breast and serve with pasta (ala Chicken Parm.)
Hope your little ones love these as much as mine do!
And we are taking full advantage. This time, it was Douglas Park in Santa Monica (on 24th & Wilshire.) There was a lot of "Come here, I want to tell you a secret..."
and then you got a bucket of water to the face. Good one, Henry! We went with friends, which made it all the more fun.
There is a water area (bring your own toys), a duck pond (she's asking the bird to kindly get back in the water. Like now. Bring your own bread), a park AND......wait for it....
Lawn Bowling. Fantastic. So glad Fred, Barbara & Dick were able to squeeze a round in. I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to. Maybe we can join you next time. I'm just sayin'.
And these two....ack! Your killing me smalls!!
Right now, I have about a bajillion things I want to make. But I have also have about a bajillion 1/2 finished projects that need completion. I feel like I shouldn't start anything new until I get the old stuff finished (which is just no fun at all.) Like the pants I stared for Henry a month ago. They just need to be hemmed and have the elastic put in the waistband. That's it. Why have they been sitting on my table, and then in a pile on the floor for a month? My sister gave me a gift certificate to a local yarn store for Christmas a year & 1/2 ago. I kept meaning to go for some knitting classes and then when I was driving by a few weeks ago, there was a 'going out of business' sign hanging out front. I had to bust a move in the day before they closed and grab any and all yarn I could get my paws on. So, now I have this yarn.....but I don't actually know how to knit. Bah-humbug.
Mostly, I want to do an etsy shop update. I scored these Japanese imports recently (how awesome is the lego print??) and want to whip them up into something good. AND while I was cleaning out ye olde craft/fabric closet, I found this quilted fabric:
I bought this 4 years ago. I'm trying work out a pattern for it. I have it in 2 color ways; it's paisley on the other side- really, really cute. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed I can get a date with my sewing machine soon. I've really missed her.
T-1 month before Henry starts kindergarten (and our lives are ruined forever)
and by 'ruined forever' I mean gone are the :
footlose and fancy free days with absolutely no commitments
Living just a few miles from the beach, my children have little to no experience swimming in an actual swimming pool. All 'swimming' that has taken place up to this point has mostly been splashing about in the water along the shore. We thought it would be a good idea to work on some real swimming skills and so we took the older children to the Santa Monica College Pool to give it a whirl. Henry, who needs lots of gentle nudging to do anything new and out of his comfort zone, took some major convincing. In the end, he agreed and we got him in the pool. Kate & Henry could both touch the floor of the pool which eased their fears (and the noodles totally helped.) Then, something magical happend: we couldn't get him out.
I mean like we were all out of the pool, dry with our clothes on ready to go and he still wouldn't get out. They were closing and then finally, finally he got out. He had such a great time (we all did) and I think we need to get to the pool more often. The summer here in LA has been miserable and in Santa Monica it's even worse. We've lacked the hot, hot summer days that we've been dreaming about all year long. It seems like were mid-70's at best and as soon as you cross over into Santa Monica it's always overcast & chilly. Completely lame. I've been thinking a lot about Leanne's post about LIVING and how amidst all the heartache that life often throws our way that we have the choice to live life. She's given me new found inspiration and determination to make the best of what we've got. To live each day and moment to the fullest. To hold dear what's really important.
Jason & Kim: You are our best friends in the entire world. We love you. You already know that, but I just want you to hear it from us again.
Ryan & Leanne- our hearts break for you. We continue to pray for you all daily.