Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Two Notes

I just had to post a couple notes I have received in the last couple days from my sweet Reanne. The first one I received on Monday when I got home from my trip. She writes,

"Dear Mom
thenk you so mach for picking me for your datter. Did you know I am so gratfel for you
ps I love you
Love Reanne"

The next letter Jess got after dinner tonight. It reads,

Dear Dad
why did you merry a whommon who is allwase! treeting her own Dotter so badilly?
Besidese it's St. Patterucks Day
She fylles like a Big mean harroshes meat eating Dinnosore."
(In the letter was a carefully cut out, colored, T-Rex dinosaur.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Weekend in Arizona

I went to Arizona with Grant to visit my sister and her house and her not-so-new baby Gwen whom I hadn't met yet. My mom and two sisters also came. It was a really nice break for me. Here is my mom and Gwen. Aren't they cute. Grant got to be with his cousin William who is just 6 weeks younger. At first they didn't dig each other very much and my goal was just to capture them in the same photo. Here is one of my first attempts.
We spent a day visiting my grandma and grandpa whom I haven't seen in over 5 years. My grandpa is in an Alzheimer's home now and I'm glad I got to visit again before he passes on.

It was way too short of a trip, but it's always so great to spend time with family.

Puerto Rican Beans and Rice (Habichuelas)

1 lb dried kidney beans, soaked OR
2 15.5 oz cans of kidney beans
1 can tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup of Goya brand recaito (in the latin aisle at Walmart)
(this is green stuff in a jar)
salt to taste

  • So this is an incredibly easy recipe as far as ingredients. The tricky part comes in the making of it.
  • Basically you put all the ingredients (EXCEPT SALT AND PEPPER) in the crock pot on low. You add water to cover the beans. You are going to end up reducing it so depending on how soupy or thick you like the mixture is how much water you put in it. You can always add more.
  • Keep the beans on low all day. The longer you cook this, the more tasty it is.
  • At the end you add the salt and pepper, mix and turn off the heat.
  • Serve on rice with avocado slices on top.

Enjoy Sarah.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Crawl Space

We use our crawl space on almost a daily basis. So when my dad saw the insulation falling down from the ceiling he said we would need to do something about that. I finally got around to it. Here's what it looks like.

I figured after I put it up that it was a lot safer for the kids to come down. We have carpet on some of the space too (thanks to Tricia) and so when I let the kids come down the other day they thought it was so cool. They played down there and were so happy while I cleaned up the kitchen.

That's when I got my vision of what the crawl space could be. It could be my play room that I have wanted for so long. Some of you might think that is crazy....but if I line the walls with toys and shelves and have carpet underneath and the mesh on the ceiling....they would have their own little space. It wouldn't even matter if they colored on the walls! As soon as I can get more carpet I am going to start on the project.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stuffed Jumbo Shells

Here's the recipe in case you can't find it or want to buy the cheaper generic shells.

1 box jumbo shells
1 lb ground beef
2 Tb olive oil
1 6 oz bag baby spinach, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese
1 jar tomato and basil sauce (I use any spaghetti sauce)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook shells and drain, reserving 1/3 cup of pasta water.
Cook ground beef until no longer pink. Drain grease.
Add oil, spinach, onion, garlic, reserved pasta water and continue to cook for 10 more min.
Remove from heat, add seasonings and let cool. Add egg and Parmigiano cheese. Stir to mix.
Pour 1 cup of tomato sauce into a 9X13 pan. Fill shells with meat mixture and place in pan. Pour remaining sauce over shells and sprinkle with mozzarella on top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good Recipe

I rarely look at recipes on the boxes of products but ended up making a really good one. We have had it several times now and Sierra tonight said she even liked the green stuff (spinach) in it. So...if you get a chance to make the recipe on the Barilla jumbo shells box, tell me what you think.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sitting doing nothing

Jess is drilling this weekend again and he is actually staying overnights this time. This is my first time alone at night since last year and I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. If Jess were here I probably would just be quilting while he did his homework, but I can't bring myself to do that and I can't bring myself to go to bed either. So I am going to write a really random entry, the kind I usually skip over while reading other people's blogs.

First, I have to confess that I have a small issue with blogging. I used to be a pretty good journal writer. I must have 10 journals filled from my high school years on. When I started blogging a couple years back I almost completely stopped writing in my journal. This should be fine because blogging is definitely a form of journaling, but there is still a problem. I find that I am very reserved in the things that I blog about for various reasons. I don't want to necessarily advertise to everyone when I am having a horrible day, if I had a spiritual experience, or if I just learned a life lesson. My many feelings and thoughts that I would be writing in my journal are now pretty much forgotten...and that's why we journal is it not? So here is my question to anyone who has gotten this far down in reading this entry - Do I do better at writing a journal AND blogging or do I just include more in my blogs?

My second thought is about pans. Every two years, never fail, I have to replace my Teflon coated pans because they are so worn out that the Teflon is flaking off. Maybe it is because I am not gentle enough when cleaning them, and I did just recently learn that you shouldn't ever turn the heat above medium when cooking with them - oops. But whatever the reason, I don't want to be eating Teflon flaked food. This week I replaced my two pans with something new. I got my first stainless steal pan and my first anodized pan. I am very afraid of the stainless steal one and my first time using it filled my house with smoke. The anodized pan seems to be wonderful and I am hoping that it lasts more than two years. Both I got at Ross for a fraction of the price. I love Ross.

My third thought is about dating. I know every counselor and bishop has told couples that they need to continue dating while married. I know why they say it too. You start to go insane after a few months of never being away from your kids. Isn't it interesting though how hard it is to follow that one piece of advise? I don't think anyone doesn't want to go out, but if you have the luxury of having someone who will watch your kids on a weekly basis, who has the money to pay for a sitter and go out that often? If you do have the money, you probably are working so hard you don't have the time. In our case, we have a little money and a little time which averages out to going out once every other month or so. Do I feel guilty for not dating once a week? No...although I would love to and it would probably make me happier.

That ends my ramblings of the night and if you got through this whole post I am very impressed.