Sunday, September 19, 2010

Save yourself some time - Just buy the can!

This recipe takes too long - for some stupid soup.  It tasted like was the Campbell's tomato soup out of the can with some chunks.  Save yourself some time and just get the can!  It would have tasted better if I had a sieve - then there wouldn't have been so many tomato skin chunks in the soup....I need to google what a sieve is and where I can get one.  So far I have needed it twice and I am sure it would have made a world of difference.

If you want to make it here is the recipe....this recipe makes a mother load so I would cut it in half if you have less then four people.  All I know is I have a crock pot full of unsieved tomato soup waiting for me to eat.

4 Pints grape tomatoes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon honey
1 ripe hass avocado
1/4 cup plain reduced fat greek yogurt
4 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 1/2 cups lightly crushed baked tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet (with sides) with parchment paper..(what is parchment paper?) and place the tomatoes on top.  Drizzle with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper.  Roast the tomatoes until the skins begin to split and blister, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the tomatoes and any juices to a foo processor.  Add 1 cup chicken broth and process until coarsely pureed, about 10 seconds.  Force the mixture through a fine sieve set over a medium saucepan; discard the pulp.  Add the honey and the remaining 1 cup chicken broth to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a small bow, mash the avocado; stir in the yogurt and season with salt and pepper.  Place the cheese in a medium bowl and sprinkle the chile powder on top.  Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the avocado cream, cheese and tortilla chips.

P.S. Click on this link to find out what a sieve is if you are dumb founded like I am....;0) Happy Sieving!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Smokin' - Philled Chicken Breasts

Delicious is all I can say for this dish.  Everything went according to plan....well until I noticed I picked up a green pepper instead of a green onion.  It was a quick trip to Fareway then I was back on track.  Steve even helped me dice up some of the ingredients and stuff the chicken breasts!  I highly recommend this dish!

Prep: 30 minutes / Bake: 20 min / Makes: 4 Servings
What you need!
1 pkg (8oz) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped fully cooked smoked ham
2 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp.minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce - I couldn't find this in the store but I did find a Chipotle spice that worked
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
4 boneless chicken breast halves (6 oz each)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 egg beaten
1 cup panko (japanese bread crumbs)
1/4 cup canola oil

Make it!
In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients; set aside.  Cut a pocket in the thickest part of each chicken breast; fill with cream cheese mixture.  Secure with toothpicks.

Place the flour, egg and bread crumbs in three separate shallow bowls. Coat chicken with flour, then dip in egg mixture and coat with crumbs.

In large skillet, brown chicken in oil; transfer to an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 170.  Discard toothpicks before serving.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Addison!

This must be Addison's week!  Her birthday is now being shared with two new babies.  Congratulations to Matt and Sasha who had a girl and named her Sofia.  B.J. and Colleen are also having a baby girl today too!  I have know Matt since junior high and Sasha and I were college roommates.  B.J. happens to be Steve's 2nd cousin and my sister has known Colleen and B.J. since highschool. 


I want to say thank you for always helping me out and teaching me what life is all about.

I was extremely nervous coming back to watch you kids after having Olivia.  How was I going to do it? I didn't have a clue about newborn babies and I had to figure it out while watching four other kids.  I remember a few times when I was getting lunch ready and Olivia and Sully were both crying and you would always calm them down.  I am not sure how you do this but you have that motherly instinct.  Thank you for helping out with Olivia and Sully, putting on their shoes, dressing Sully, getting their blankets, sharing yours.  They know they can always go to you when I am not available at a moments notice. Thank you for teaching me to stay calm when things got hectic.  There have been days when I wanted to pull my hair out because I wasn't sure of myself and there you were with your smile and reassurance that everything was going to be okay.

I use to be carefree and a party girl like you and for some reason I have lost that side of me along the way.  You remind me everyday not to take things so seriously and to have fun at everything I do! 

Thank you for being you and reminding me what life is suppose to be about.
Happy Birthday Addie!  I love you!

My favorite Addison quotes:

"Auntie Em, I could sit here all morning and sip this cappucinno and chit chat!"

"This summer I am going to lay out on the beach and drink wine!"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Addison is...

Steve and I had a wonderful weekend.  We went to the zoo on Saturday and met up with Steve's brother Brian and sister-in-law Jessica.  Olivia got to spend some time with her cousins Mya and Will.  We also had some other guests Jessica's dad and his friend Barb.  Mindy and Steve Klein and their daughter Lacy.  Lacy, Mya and Olivia were born with in 3-4 months of each other.

We also had Addison's 4th birthday party at Angie and Dave's house.  They had two parties in one day!  One with Addison's friends and the other with just family.  They got to enjoy the lovely weather in a bouncy house, great food, gifts and cake!  Not once but twice!

While I was filming her birthday I asked the question "If you could describe Addison in one word what would it be?"  Dave summed it up pretty good by saying this is impossible to do!  I said she is a mini Rachel Zoe only because Rachel Zoe is a fashionista, is sweet, kind and fun to watch on TV so I am assuming that she is fun to be with in real life.  I did forget one word to describe Addison and this is clumsy.  She reminded me of this today when she was getting out of the car to go to school.  She must have tripped on her shoe and she fell backwards out of the car and hit her head.  After she stopped crying and all the tears were wiped from her face we laughed!  She falls down at least once a day.  This is a trait she must of got from Papa!  He is always hurting himself and you can usually find bandaids and or blood running from some where on his body.  ;)

Papa described her as a mini June.  June is my grandmother from my mother's side and I haven't heard her name come up in a while.  If anyone knew June she was larger then life and you knew as soon as she arrived because you could hear her voice across the room.  When June passed away Angie and I were in church a couple days before her funeral I asked God to give me a sign that grandma (June) was okay and happy.  I said to show me a rainbow only because I thought it would be literally impossible to do this since there wasn't a cloud in the sky and rainbows would not be showing up anytime soon... unless it was an act of God.  I told Angie and she thought it would be impossible as well.  At that moment that I told her we both looked up and at the very top of the church there were stain glass windows and in one of the windows there was a rainbow.  Then when we went back to her house afterwards my grandpa had put out some hand towels with rainbows on them.  Why am I telling you this now?

On my way home tonight I looked over to my left I noticed a rainbow and a disc in my CD player actually switched over to the song "Somewhere over the Rainbow" at the time I looked over.  This immediately made me think of her.  Weird because I haven't seen a rainbow in a long time and I hardly ever listen to my CD's!  My body got chills!  As I was driving on the main road to my house I stopped to make a left turn in to my neighborhood.  For some reason I looked back in my rear view window and noticed a mini van sliding towards my car.  They must not have noticed that I stopped.  I quickly reacted and slammed on the gas.  The mini van almost skidded off the road but got back on track once I moved.  Coincidence? You can be the judge but I know someone was looking out for me today!  My car could have been destroyed by a mini van and potentially hurt Olivia and me.  Thanks Grandma!

I think this is June's way of telling us that she was with us at Addison's party.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Steve and I had a wonderful day today.  We went to the zoo and met up with Steve's brother Brian and sister-in-law Jessica.  Olivia got to spend some time with her cousins Mya and Will.  We also had some other guests Jessica's dad and his friend Barb.  Mindy and Steve Klein and their daughter Lacy.  Lacy, Mya and Olivia were born with in 3-4 months of each other.

Salmon for dinner? Don't invite us!

I have decided I am going to cook a new meal once a week.  I hate cooking for two and I despise going to the grocery store so I hope I can do this.

Today I found a recipe in the Rachel Ray magazine called Roast Salmon with mustard vinaigrette.  It only has 5 ingredients so I thought this would be an easy start.  I have never had salmon before..believe it or not but I love seafood, tilapia, cod and the fish that my dad catches.  I should like Salmon right?

I usually get tense before going into a grocery store because I usually can't find one or two ingredients that I need for a recipe.  Today I had no problems.  I found everything that I needed for this dish.

I made the mustard vinaigrette first and when it came to putting the hard boiled eggs in to a fine sieve I didn't have a clue.  What in the heck is a sieve anyway?  I noticed the sauce was lumpy from the hard boiled eggs and it needs to be a little more saucy so I got out my smoothie pro 600 and smoothed it all out!  By the way this machine makes a killer margarita.  Olivia and I loved the taste when it was all blended. However, I did notice the sauce was more yellow in the picture than mine which was more green.  I am assuming the parsley made it green from all the blending.  I started getting excited about this cooking thing.  Then I opened up the salmon and flipped it over and I started to scream while waving my hands in the air.  I can't believe there is actually fish skin on salmon...uh aren't they suppose to remove it before they sell it?  I tried to remove the skin but it was not coming off so I called my mom.  After speaking with her I learned you are not suppose to remove the skin because it is what keeps it all together.   Shouldn't they tell you this in the magazine?  At this point I am dry heaving because I can't touch salmon with the skin on it..I bite the bullet and continue to add olive oil, salt and pepper then put it in the oven to bake.

When I took the salmon out of the oven it looked pretty good and cooked all the way through so I added the yummy sauce, my sides (rice and garlic mashed potatoes) and a salad. 

This is what the picture looked like in the magazine.  I think I did ok.  Right?

I had two different cuts of Salmon.  I wasn't sure which one to get at the store.  It was suppose to be the top cut.

Everything tasted good until I took a bite of the Salmon.  Now remember I have never had salmon before...let's just say I couldn't even swallow it.  Steve didn't like it either but he tells me after I made the darn thing he has never really liked Salmon because of it's fishy taste.  I am not going to blame the fact that we didn't like the salmon on my cooking efforts because the sauce and sides were fabulous.  Steve and I just figured out we do not like salmon.  So if you having Salmon for dinner...don't invite us!

This is what we ate instead!

Pudgy's Pizza with Oreo's for dessert!
There are three things that I can not live with out.  Milk, oreos and hot chocolate.  Just a little tip:  The best way to eat oreos is to fill a glass with 5-6 cookies, pour skim milk to the top of the glass, let it sit for a minute and then eat with a spoon!

That is what I call Gourmet!  Bon Appetit!

If you like salmon here is the recipe: 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place a 1 1/2 pound wild salmon fillet skin side down on parchment-lined shallow baking sheet; drizzle with 1 tablespoon extra virgin oil and season with salt and pepper.  roast until beads of moisture form on te surface, about 8 minutes; let cool to room temperature.  In a small bowl, whisk togetehr 3 tablespoons wite wine vinegar and 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, then shisk in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.  ofrce 4 hard boiled eggs throuhg a fine sieve into the mustard vinaigrette; stir in 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley.  Serve with the salmon.

By the way I saved the sauce I made for Angie because she could eat salmon in her sleep. 

Good night...have a great weekend. Looking forward to Addison's 4th birthday party on Sunday!

Left handed?

Right handed?

Left handed...?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Never a dull moment

This week has been interesting to say the least.   On Monday I arrived to find Angie in her robe boiling water outside over the grill.  The power went out and the whole neighborhood was affected.  We missed Avery and Addison's first dance class.  The week ended with a what could have been a disaster at Angie's business.  Steve was watching the 10 o'clock news and yelled for me to come watch the news.  Sure enough a basket of mops caught on fire.  My sister said someone who lived near by called in to 911 and said they saw smoke coming from the building.  This triggered a memory that I had when I was much younger.  I don't necessarily remember all the details because I was so young but when our father owned the business it also caught fire but it was much worse.  They had to rebuild the business from scratch and I remember my mom saying it was so bad they didn't know how they were going to put food on the table.  Pretty scary to think it could have happened again.  All I can say is thank  you to the neighbor who called 911 when they saw smoke coming from the building.... it could have been a lot worse if they hadn't called.

Today Avery and Addison got their first set of tap shoes.  They loved them!  They tapped away in the garage until Olivia had to go home for the weekend.

I am teaching Addison the basic keys of the piano.  CDEFGABC!


Art work for ths week!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

When Addison turns 4

Today Addison and I went through several songs to pick out for her birthday video.  Addie said once she turns four she is going to have a new favorite song, a new favorite color and a new favorite princess.  Until then (which is only a week) she will continue to love the color pink, the princess Sleeping Beauty and the song "Once Upon A Dream".  When she turns 4 she is going to love the color purple, princess Jasmin and the song " A Whole New World".  The girl has goals which is absolutely fabulous!

If anyone knows Addison she does not want to grow up.  She has told me and her parents on several occasions that she is going to live at their house forever even if it means wiping her parent's butts when they are old and grey.  I have been noticing lately that Addison has been regressing by crying more and acting like a baby. Today she had another melt down when she heard Nana and Papa were going to Avery and Cullen's class tomorrow for Grandparent's day and not hers.  I tried to explain to her (for the 50th time) that she does not go to school on Thursdays and Nana and Papa will come to see her when they drop off Cullen and Avery.  She still continued to cry.  Then Avery said "If you are going to act like a baby then Auntie Em is going to treat you like one!"  I had to laugh under my breath because this has been a line I have been saying for a couple of weeks to Addie.  I then asked her if she turns four will she stop acting like a baby and stop crying.  She said "No, I think I will stop when I turn 6."

Ugh...I am in for a long year!  :)

Love you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Just Pictures

When Olivia and I got home she got to see her friend Nicholas.  I would like to say congratulations to his mom and dad...they are expecting a baby in March!  Congratulations Jen and Matt!

Good Night!  Love you!