Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blendtec love

Soooooo my in-laws got us a beautiful machine for Christmas. A Blendtec. Makes me so much happier about making my green smoothies every morning.


It is a beautiful machine that will change your life. It makes smoothies, ice cream, nut butters, SAUSAGE, bread, soups, salsas, flours, marinades, basically anything you want. It is magical.

And I want to share a delicious treat I devour at least 4 days a week.

So you take some perfectly ripe bananas (I like to raid the we-need-to-get-rid-of-this-produce-before-it-goes-bad cart at the grocery store on Thursday nights) and you peel them and cut them into about 6 or 7 pieces, put them in tupperware or ziploc bags (the bags worked best), and put them in the freezer.

  After they are all frozen and you have a craving for something sweet, throw a good handful and a half of bananas in your blender with a splash of milk and a teaspoon or so of cocoa (and sometimes I throw in a TBS of peanut butter) and blend.


This has nothing to do with banana ice cream but it is pretty awesome. I mean, I can't think think of a better hangout than a laundry basket. And that's totally a Reader's Digest she's reading.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The one when I forgot about my kid's birthday but it doesn't matter because she won't remember. I hope.


I didn't really forget about Ava's 2nd birthday.

I just thought that today was tomorrow. Youknowthathappenstoyoutoo.

I visited with some ladies in my congregation this morning and they even asked when Ava was turning 2 and I said, "tomorrow" because that's how I roll. Guess what though? She actually turns 2 today.

I'm just glad that I figured it out before noon. I called Danny and he admitted that he couldn't remember if her birthday was the 24th or the 28th.

So yeah. We're like. Parents of the year. We (meaning mostly me) just need to get our act together before she crosses the memory threshold and will actually be able to remember emotionally scarring parental gaffes. Man! I am like, a professional gaffer. For serious. Joe Biden style.

Thankfully, the stars aligned and this morning was a super fun morning for Ava anyway. Lots of friends and new (to her) toys and a birthday lunch. If I had stayed all mixed-up on my days until this evening and hadn't been able to do a birthday lunch with Ava, I would have been really upset. Birthday lunches are the best. Every year on our birthdays my parents would take us kids out of school and take us out to lunch. There was nothing about it that wasn't awesome. It was my birthday, I got an hour and a half with my parents all to myself, I got to choose the restaurant (usually China Cottage), and I got to get out of school. Upon returning from my birthday lunch my classmates always told me how lucky I was. "Yeah, I know" I would snootily reply.

So we went to Dairy Queen. Ava ate a ton of food and then ran around and played in their play area. I stood there watching her slide down a giant hot dog and climb over a banana split and just remembered her littleness. Specifically, I was remembering our last day in the hospital before we brought her home. Ava and I were alone in our room and I needed to take a shower. I put her down in her bassinet and attempted a shower but it was almost impossible. She just wanted to be held and I didn't want her to start crying for fear I would be labeled a terrible mother. So I wheeled her little bassinet right next to the bathroom door and ran out of the shower every 2 minutes when her pacifier fell out and stuck it back in, comforted her, and then continued my shower. It makes me giggle to think about it now, the silliness of it all.

How has she already been on this earth for two years? How come the days are long but the weeks fly by? How was she ever teeny enough to fit inside of me (ewgross)?

It's just a general feeling of how did that go so fast? floating around in my mind as I make a cake and wrap presents.

So even though I got my days all mixed up, I didn't really forget Ava's birthday. I could never forget the day that teeny, tiny human changed my heart.

Happy Birthday, little one.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Uh yeah. That's delicious.

It has happened.

I have finally consumed tomato soup.

I know that it's not really ground-breaking but I have gone my whole life without touching the stuff. I (rightfully) blame my parents. They said it tasted (and I thought it looked) boring and gross.

Enter a new recipe, 2011. Rave reviews by foodie friends. I decided to try it and I am so glad I did. It is delicious. The flavors are so rich and complex. Paired with a some Pao de Queijo (Brazilian cheesey bread), it's basically tomato soup and grilled cheese for adults.

Tomato Soup
1/2 c butter
1 c celery, chopped
1 c onion, chopped
1/2 c carrots, shopped (like chopping, only fancier)
1/3 c flour
2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes
2 T sugar
1 T basil
1 T marjoram
1 bay leaf
4 c chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1/2 T paprika
1/2 T curry powder
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Melt butter. Sautee vegetables until soft. Add flour. Add remaining ingredients up to chicken broth and simmer for 45 minutes, covered. Remove bay leaf and puree in blender or with immersion blender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Devour.

But seriously. Even Ava literally licked her bowl clean.

These are the happy, airy, doughy, crunchy, little pao de queijos (and they're gluten-free! but like traditionally GF, not GF after substitutions). Find the recipe here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hey, 2012! Lookin' good!

We had our own little Christmas his year in our own little house and it was fabulous. Turns out Ava is a very neat present-opener and Santa only gives educational gifts. I tip my hat to you, Santa.

Our New Year's festivities took us to Dayton where we met up with my family and some very dear friends from Hong Kong and Utah. In fact, I got to see my best friend, who happens to be 7 months pregnant with her first baby, and her husband for the first time in toooooo long.

Side note: it's really kind of strange when your best friend marries some guy you've never met before who seems to be a good guy. But then it's kind of the best when you actually get to spend time with him a year and a half later and it turns out that he's really kind of awesome and hilarious. End of side note.

So here was our trip to Dayton, or some of it at least. There was a lot of laughing and game playing and general joviality.

We played outside...

Until we were exhausted.

We read books...

And Ava had her first tea party!!!

It was delicious....

We played Pretty, Pretty Princess,

nibbled on some delicious babies,

snuggled with loved ones.

New Year's Eve was a good time had by all as well.
Ava wrestled with the birthday boy

and snuggled some more. (This? Melted. My. Heart. And I just realized that he's wearing her sock on his hand. Mike, Mike, Mike.)

Then, I talked to my quasi-niece

and beat Brad at Hearts.

 We popped some bubbly (sparkling cider),

played Weird Face Game,

and then destroyed the place. (I was spraying the whole room but then I just decided to spray my husband.)


The mess? WORTH IT.

I am so excited for 2012. I have some pretty exciting things up my sleeves...