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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fast Food

A few friends of mine currently or used to post favorite recipes on their blogs and I have found myself looking forward to them. I like to read recipes and cookbooks, but the actual cooking of the food itself is not my favorite thing in the world (I takes me what, 45 minutes, an hour, to cook dinner and about 6 bites for Travis to finish it. I know he appreciates it, but still...). I'm trying to be better about doing it more on a regular basis, and have decided to share some of my favorites with you. I like variety, and I like to cook things that are quick and easy, and use simple ingredients and a minimum of pots and pans. I don't promise that I'll add them in any sort of scheduled fashion, but whenever I make something we particularly like I'll post the recipe.

So, here's the first one:

FAST CHICKEN FAJITAS

(courtesy of "Everyday Food" magazine - yes, I subscribe to this. See, I told you I like to read about cooking!)

Maybe you already have this in your recipe file, but I liked how everything is broiled, which means that if you line your baking sheets with foil you have almost no dishes to wash!

Serves: 4

What You'll Need:
> 1 1/2 lbs. chicken cutlets, about 8 (these need to be thin)
> 2 Tbl. vegetable oil
> 1 tsp. chili powder
> salt and ground pepper
> 3 bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed and thinly sliced
> 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
> 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I love Trader Joe's jarred, minced garlic - I use it instead of garlic cloves in every recipe I make)
> 8 flour tortillas

What to do:

  1. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Arrange chicken on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and rub with 1 Tbl. of oil. Sprinkle with chili powder and season with salt and pepper. Broil, without turning, until chicken is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

  2. On another rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, toss peppers, onion, garlic with 1 Tbl. oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil, tossing occasionally, until veggies are crisp-tender and slightly charred, 6-8 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, thinly slice chicken crosswise. Stack and wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave on high until warm, about 1 minute.

  4. Serve fajitas with with fresh cilantro leaves, sour cream, and lime wedges.

Enjoy!

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, Yeah!

Savannah was sitting in her stroller a couple of weeks ago and totally blew us away when she counted from 1-15 completely out of the blue. Neither Travis nor I had heard her count any higher than 3 without each number being prompted by us first. That night she counted over and over and over, but since then, she almost always refuses to do it for us or anyone else. I did it though - after a good dinner and lots of singing (by me) of her favorite songs, Jesus Loves Me, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, and the ABC's, she was full and happy and started counting.

Remember, she just turned 2. I think we may have a genius on our hands.(Okay, I might be a tad bit biased.)

video

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A visit from BIG ELMO!

Last Saturday Savannah got to go to her friend Ethan's 2nd birthday party. The kids had tons of fun running around; Ethan had gotten two inflatable ball pits that were a huge hit and Rachel and Mike did a great job with the decorations and food.


The absolute highlight of the day for Savannah though was a surprise visit from "Big Elmo!" (Isn't it amazing how he only travels out from Sesame Street when there's a birthday...)


Ethan was a little unsure of him, but hey, if you had a giant, furry red guy from TV appear in your living room, you wouldn't want to get too close either!

Then there was Savannah, who was ecstatic! She has been talking almost daily about Big Elmo since he came to her birthday back in September. As soon as he came into the room, she started waving excitedly and saying "Hi, Big Elmo!" (I have a feeling that this costume is going to get a lot of use! Thanks Mona!!)

Ethan got lots of fun toys, and the kids did a good job of not "helping" him open them.

What a fun day! Happy birthday Ethan!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Halloween - only 2 weeks late...

Yes, this is little late...oh well...!

Like last year, on Halloween night we went down the street to Christ Community Church and visited their Halloween Fun Fest. It's a large church and a GIANT carnival event - 30 decked out trunk-or-treat cars, five bounce houses, three huge rooms full of carnival games for different ages, food, etc. This year was just as crowded, but oh what a difference a year made for Savannah! It's really days like these that it hits me how much she's grown and changed in such a short amount of time.

What a cute little ballerina/princess/50's girl! (We got it all - apparently her costume's identity was a little unclear this year!)

She got a load of candy and wasn't giving it up for anything even when her basket got so full she could barely lift it and had to drag it on the ground. We tried twice to empty some of it out into the basket of her stroller while she was distracted, but both times she noticed right away. At one point she was crawling on her knees trying to get it out while the stroller was moving. The strangest part is that fact that all that candy is almost gone (hmmm, I think Halloween may be one of my new favorite holidays, at least until next year when she is old enough to realize that mommy eats her candy every night!)

You know she was having fun playing the carnival games when she was willing to wait patiently for each one in a line five or six kids long. Again though, I think the candy at the end of each game was a bit of a motivator! Just like Bailey who will do anything for food, Savannah will behave perfectly for candy. Is it wrong to bribe your toddler like you do your dog?

This was a perfect apple throw - maybe Travis' dream of a softball star isn't too far fetched. (I'd say she is destined to play basketball if not for the fact that she's in the 40th percentile for height!)

Travis came up with our costumes (could you have guessed?) and I was a good sport and went along with it.
We got a few comments about the state of our marriage during the playoffs, or whatever it was that just finished up a few weeks ago. I just nodded and pretended like I actually knew what they were talking about...Needless to say, I'm not the baseball fan in the family.

Luckily, we made it through most of the night with no rain, but about 15 minutes before we left it started coming down. We didn't get too soaked, but it was enough to make Savannah's hair look like something from the back of a poodle. At that point I was thankful I agreed to wear the baseball gear, or we would have had matching hairdos. Ah, the joys of curly hair!