Thursday, June 24, 2010

East Coast Vacation

We took our annual trip to the East Coast to visit family. As always it was very rushed and hectic but the kids were incredibly well behaved and flexible. Shayna was great on her first plane trip. We had a vacation within a vacation when we spent two days in New York City. The highlight of that trip was definitely our time at the High Line (a mile-and-a-half-long elevated park built on old elevated freight tracks. It features an integrated landscape, combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings, fixed and movable seating, lighting, and special features.) We had a nice visit with my family and celebrated some special events. I'm happy to be back home in Wisconsin now and able to officially kick off the summer.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Kick Ass Dinner

My neighbor had a baby a few weeks ago and I wanted to make her something filling and warming and full of nutrients. I picked out this recipe for Black Bean Chilaquile from the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites. I'm not exactly sure what was "low-fat" about it but it was DAMN GOOD. The only CSA ingredient I used was spinach but later in the summer you could use local corn, tomatoes and onions as well. This meal could be made very easily and quickly using canned and store-bought ingredients or more slowly with fresh. I opted for canned tomatoes, canned black beans and bagged shredded cheddar but cut the corn fresh from the cob. It's really up to you...

Black Bean Chilaquile (recipe from Moosewood Low-Fat but here from memory)

1 onion

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

1 can black beans drained and rinsed

1 cup of corn (fresh really does make a difference!)

juice of one lime

tortilla chips, crushed (I actually used "hint of lime" chips)

bunch or bag of spinach- wilt by blanching in boiling water or steaming (I did it in the microwave with a little water for two minutes)

shredded cheese (cheddar, mexican blend, queso fresco, monterey jack- use whatever you have)


1. saute onions until translucent, about 6-8 minutes

2. add black beans, tomatoes, corn and lime and cook for about 10 minutes or more

3. start layering:

a. crushed tortilla chips into the bottom of a baking dish (9X9 or 9X13)

b. sauteed vegetables over the chip layer

c. spread wilted spinach over the vegetables

d. layer of cheese

e. layer of salsa

f. layer of chips

g. layer of salsa

h. layer of cheese

4. bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until bubbling


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Monday, June 14, 2010

Another graduation of sorts

Shayna is now big enough for the exersaucer, the high chair, and toys! My house is being overrun by baby gear.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

What a difference 9 months can make...

My almost first grader! Talia has grown up so much this year. Well, in most ways...! Today is a very special day for her class. Not only is it the last day of school, it is also her teacher's last day. Everyone seemed to be weepy-- especially the teacher-- when I dropped her off. I'm so proud of Talia and all her accomplishments this year. The skill I was most excited for her to acquire was learning to read and she totally did. I love reading with her each night and watching her brain work it all out. Congratulations Talia!
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

More Measuring Cups

not a measuring cup-- a little cake plate or something but oh so cute...

matryoshka doll measuring cups


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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Kindergarten Quilt

Talia's kindergarten teacher is retiring after almost 30 years. A parent of one of her classmates wanted to make a quilt as a gift for the teacher. She had each child paint on fabric and then... she got stuck. She hasn't ever quilted before. I took over the job and decided to make the pieces into flowers and added stems, leaves, butterflies, the school photo and a colorful binding. It's a challenge to take over a project that wasn't your own idea. The only thing I would change would be the fabric she chose for the background. Everything else came out great. The teacher was overwhelmed when she received it last week. This is the first major project I have worked on in a long time and I have already started another since!
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