Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Kitchen Goodies

Normally, I'm not a big fan of kitchen gadgets. I got rid of our breadmaker, our ice cream maker, our toaster oven--I hate how much room they take up for how little I use them. But too many failures in the rice department lately had me loudly wishing for a rice cooker. My little angel (Brad) heard my wishes and presto! Just like that I am a proud owner of a rice cooker. I tried it out tonight and I AM IN LOVE! I just put the rice and water in (of course I added some boullion, onions, and cilantro to it, too) and closed the lid. When the bell went off, I had perfect, fluffy rice, just like I've tried to make but always messed up. It was yummy brown rice, but fluffier and sticker, like I love. Mmmmm...

Speaking of yummy, I have a favorite summer salad/dip that is healthier than guacamole (I always put too much sour cream in my guac, so it's not so healthy), but more tasty than just plain salsa. The picture has it in individual scoops, but I just leave it in the bowl and scoop it out with a spoon or a chip.

Black Bean, Corn and Avacado Dip

2 cups frozen sweet corn (thawed)
1 can black beans (rinsed thoroughly)
1 cup salsa or picante sauce (I prefer mild, but I suppose you could go hotter)
1 small bunch green onions, diced
1 avacado, sliced in little chunks
Juice of a small lime
1/2 cup (or so) cilantro, chopped.

Combine all ingredients and toss well in glass bowl. Let sit for one hour in the refrigerator to meld flavors. Serve with chips (I like the lime Tostitos myself)

Another great recipe I got from a new friend in my ward is cake mix cookies. They're so easy! Just use any cake mix, add two eggs and enough oil to make cookie batter consistency (around 1/4 cup). She had used a white mix and dipped them in little confetti candy to make cute sugar cookies. I just had on hand a yellow cake mix, so I added choc chips. I think it'll be fun to try out different mixes. (I've done this kind of before, making homemade oreo cookies, but that recipe called for shortening instead of oil--the oil is TEN TIMES easier!) I think I'll try using applesauce instead of the oil for a low-fat version. They stay really moist, too. Now, don't get me wrong--they do not replace a really good choc chip cookie in taste, but they score MAJOR points for convenience and ease.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's Raining, It's Pouring

My Goodness!!!

For a girl who grew up in rain-soaked Oregon, I must say I'm a bit surprised at how much it rains here in Texas! It has rained every day for a long time (over a week, I know)! The only difference from Eugene's rain is it's still really hot here. The rain is usually accompanied by thunder and lightning (or as Tyler calls it, Funder and Lightning Bugs). Whenever the thunder comes he repeats to himself, "It's okay, we're okay, we're safe in our new house, it's just the angels bowling."

This week we went to Laredo, a town on the Mexican border. (Yucky) But we got a hotel with great pools and a playground, so I was excited to do that while Brad had his appointments. It flooded in Laredo. Not just rained, flooded. So we were a bit bored sitting in our swimsuits in the hotel room for four hours waiting for the rain and thunder to stop (Brad had the car). I think Ty and I just might stay home next time Brad goes to Laredo.

No Swimming Today

Monday, June 18, 2007

Current Favorites

Three Things Tyler Loves:

We checked out a CD at the library called Wee Sing America. Ty loves it! He asks to listen to it probably 20 times a day. (or more! I'm not kidding) We march around to John Philip Souza songs and "You're a Grand Old Flag" for a large portion of our day. Anything with the American or Texan flag are favorites right now. (The golf club in the picture is his staff that he lifts up and down as he marches) Don't worry about me, trying to go throughout my day with songs about the civil war, goober peas, and picking cotton stuck in my brain!

Slippery Soap!!!
He is obsessed with bar soap, aka Slippery Soap. He wants to take extra baths just to play with it. The other day the last sliver of his first slippery soap bar disappeared down the drain, and he started crying inconsolably--in the bath, as he was getting dressed, even again at bedtime. Finally I got a new bar for him to sleep with and all was right with the world again.

Paper Clips!!!
So many fun things can be done with paper clips! He uses them on his train, in his hair, in Mommy's hair, with his stuffed animals, to push food around, to play the piano, and so much more!

Friday, June 15, 2007

My Boys

An old, but favorite pic

I'm so proud of my two boys today.

1.) Brad

Brad had a very difficult assignment at work, where he had to tell a very explosive, angry couple some really bad news. It was the right decision, confirmed by company headquarters and attorneys, but he knew the couple wouldn't see it that way. Walking up their doorstep was like walking into a fiery furnace. But he did it! And he stayed professional and calm--even empathetic--when this couple yelled and screamed in his face and eventually threw him out, slamming the door into his shoulder!

It's sad, though, because at the end--right before the slamming of the door-- this couple said they were going to tell everyone they knew how horrible his company is, and for them to run when they hear the company's name. And people probably will decide not to use his company if they hear these people's side, but there's always two sides to every story. And sometimes confidentiality agreements and professionalism dictate that one side will never be told. Hmm...

2.) TyTy

Truthfully, one thing about raising a boy that I've dreaded is the whole fascination-with-bugs thing. I hate bugs and little slimy animals, and I don't want Ty to bring them into the house and want to care for them, etc. I just don't want to be the Mom that helps her son turn tadpoles into frogs from a dirty jar in the kitchen!

But I think I just might change my mind! I saw a bug yesterday, and Brad was still home so he got it for me. Tyler saw that, and got a little washcloth and said "I got a bug, too!" We thought he was just copying his dad like he often does, but he gave the rag to Brad, and Lo and Behold, there was a spider in it!! We gave him a lot of praise, and a couple hours later I thought he was just pretending again when he said, "I got another spider and put it in the toilet!" I said good job and went on with my day, until hours later when I went to use the john and a dead spider was in the bowl! Now I have two guys to protect me from bugs!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Something New

Sometimes Brad and I get a hankering to try something new. Something we've never done before. So this weekend, after a long, HOT, sweaty, tiring, traffic-filled not-so-great trip to San Antonio we got home and do you think we just wanted to unpack and go to bed? No way! We're not that boring! We were just dying to add some spice to our lives! Do something new. Something adventurous. Even daring! Find a way to spend all the EXTRA CASH we have lying around the house. So this is what we came up with!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

More Amusement

Ty and I have tagged along on both of Brad's business trips to San Antonio so far. (I'd much rather be sunning at the hotel pool and meeting Brad in between appointments for lunch than being home alone overnight with just me and a 2 year old that misses his daddy.) It's also a chance to explore the city that we will hopefully be calling home for at least a few years. This week we stayed an extra night using a gift certificate we had.

On Saturday we found Texas' oldest Kiddie Park. You could definitely tell it was the oldest! But it was fun, and cheap, and Ty really liked riding the unlimited rides.

The school bus was his first ride. He saw it and ran to it. He loves school busses anywhere! This one actually went really fast and it kept bumping his head against the foam there, but he loved it and rode it twice more!

Next was the 1918 hand-carved, hand painted carousel. Too bad people had broken off most of the horses' tails and some of their legs. This type of carousel is one of less than 100 left in existance.

This was the helicopter ride. You can tell that this is the first time around because Brad is still smiling. Ty kept wanting to go on this one, so Brad went with him, but by the fourth or fifth time, he was a teensy bit queasy.

Ty's still lovin' it, but Brad's a little less excited to be on a flying saucer!

After a fun-filled day of airplanes and rafts, trains and busses, helicopters and carousels, Ty dozed off on the trip home. And that was nice for Mommy and Daddy!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Say that again?

I consider myself fairly competent at the English language. I was an English teacher, for Heaven's sake! But my spelling/pronounciation rules have gone out the window since I've been here!
The following are street names or cities, etc., in and around Houston and San Antonio and how they are pronounced here in the Great Lonestar State:

Kuykendahl: pronounced KIRK in doll
Huebner: HEEB ner
Cibolo: SIB uh low (We thought it was si BO low)
Bexar: bear (just ignore the x, they say)
Gruene: green
Boerne: BURN ee
Tamina: TAM in uh (again, we thought it was tuh MEEN uh)

There are more, I just can't think of them at the moment. I'm noticing most of these have emphasis on the first syllable. I'll have to remember that as I'm trying to figure more things out!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Swag Bucks