Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Seeing things half full

We're midway through our visit of family in Virginia and Maryland, and so far it has been full of red (strawberry sauce, recipe to come tomorrow or Friday on

white (amazing orzo salad, on today's post):

and blue (crabs):

As soon as we arrived at the beach Monday, the rain arrived too. A little indoor putt-putt and other fun, and the boys were no worse for the wear. This morning we woke up to dense fog, but otherwise decent weather, so we headed to beach first thing:

While hoodies have covered our bathing suits, at least we don't need to use copious amounts of sunscreen. And goodness knows, sand is fun to play in, no matter *what* the weather:

So until the sun returns, our glass is at least half full...the weather isn't the greatest, but a day at the beach is a great day, no matter what.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

American Lettuce Wraps

A new trick we tried last week, that I just had to share.

You know how every other restaurant seems to have Asian Lettuce Wraps on its menu? Well, SPH created American Lettuce Wraps:

That's our favorite Not-so-Sloppy Joe's, Lettuce Wrap style. Pretty clever, eh?

We've been busy (who isn't??), R just finished up soccer:

which he *loved* playing, especially because we practiced at OSU, in the shadow of Ohio Stadium.

Meanwhile, be still my heart, as G has taken a shine to motorcycles:

I think I am in trouble in, say, 12-15 years or so.

No menu planning this week, as we are heading out soon to visit some East Coast family. R and G are giddy about flying on an airplane soon, so we'll be whipping up some Cloud Mix for the flight, and praying for safe and smooth travels.

Need some ideas for your upcoming Memorial Day weekend grilling? I am posting some really great recipes on FE.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Way to Go Brownies

A couple months ago, when I was in the middle of my "no chocolate for Lent" pact, someone shared with me a trick to make brownies with a can of black beans. This mom made up a batch and then cut them into tiny squares to use them as a reward for her daughter who was potty training.

I filed away the idea of trying these brownies until after Lent had ended, and well, since Lent ended well over a month ago, I figured it was time to give them a try.

Way to Go Brownies

1 package brownie mix (I used the Whole Foods store brand)
1 - 15 oz can of black beans

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (or whatever temperature your box of brownie mix instructs).

Drain and rinse the black beans fully. Place the beans back into the can and fill with water to the top. Puree the beans and water until they look something like this:

Add the brownie mix and stir until just blended. Pour into a greased 8 by 8 inch pan and cook according to the brownie mix instructions (we did 34 minutes). Cool and cut.

Don't they look good? But how did they taste?

This is my plate a few minutes later. They were delicious!

The brownies turn out less cake-y and more fudge-y than typical brownies, but let me tell you, they were fabulous. I let the boys each try a square and they gobbled them up.

The best part? Since there were no raw eggs in the batter, this SPC was able to lick the bowl clean to her heart's content.

Now excuse me while I go wipe the chocolate off my face,

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Cubs will be undefeated this year!

...but so will all the other teams in the T-ball League.

R had his first T-ball game this weekend. He's a player on the Cubs, in our city's baseball league. The unofficial motto of the T-ball League is "'cause it's 1! 2! 3! strikes, (you're still not) out at the ole' T-ball game."

With unlimited swings, and no losing team, every team will be undefeated and get a trophy at the end of the season. Wish everything in life had those sorts of rules, don't you?

While we took in R's first step toward baseball glory, our neighbor was getting two trees cut down in her yard. This left two humongous mulch piles which seemed to entertain G all weekend long.

This weekend was a welcome respite after the following week in which we discovered we had hail and hurricane (yes, Hurricane Ike came to Ohio last fall) damage to our roof and siding. We also had G scheduled for his ear tubes surgery (R's reaction to the surgery: "you mean they put *real* tubes in his ears?? Like paper towel tubes?"), which they canceled the day prior due to his having had a croup episode just a couple weeks ago.

I'm off to have dinner at Shannon's tonight (thanks Shan!), but the meals for the week will be:

Not-So-Sloppy Joes and some sides, TBD
Clam Sauce Pasta with Artichoke Hearts, Mushrooms and Blue Cheese
Chicken Satay and Pea Pods
Greek Chicken Burgers in Pitas with Cucumber Salad and Hummus

A belated Happy Mother's Day to all those moms out there-

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Grilling in the Rain

Grilling in the rain might not be preferable to grilling in the sun, but despite these "April showers" that have persisted well into May, grilling season is fully upon us.

We whipped up these burgers on a recent rainy night, and SPH lovingly offered to bite the bullet, grab the umbrella and grill them outside. Actually, he might not have minded at all, seeing as though he grills and smokes outside in any weather. Rain, thunder, sub-freezing cold, nothing will stop my man from grilling if the mood strikes.

I am not sure if it was the true grill flavor, but they were honestly one of the tastiest chicken burgers I have ever tasted. True dat.

Click on over to my other blog and print out the recipe.


Monday, May 4, 2009

On Milestones and Such

I've been feeling sentimental lately, what with R "graduating" from preschool last week and getting ready for the big K in the fall. It was in this frame of mind that I clicked on a video Slacker Mama had posted on her blog. If you don't feel like crying, don't watch the video. You've been warned.

This video made me think of this book:and this one:

and how, as in "Let Me Hold You Longer" you move so quickly from "firsts" to "lasts" with your babies.

We are quickly moving toward the last day of preschool for R, with only a few more weeks remaining. G is approaching the big boy bed stage and I soon won't carry a diaper bag (I can hope, right?).

Milestones are usually bittersweet, aren't they? I once heard it said that the reason we have a hard time losing a stage, time or period in our lives is because eternity has been written in our hearts...we long for a holding on to each moment.

So on this side of eternity we do things like record each moment so we can watch the videos and remember. To that end, here's R's rendition of a classic:

While I waxed sentimental this weekend, I also planned out some meals (hey, a girl can be emotional and practical at the same time, right?):

Chili Maple Salmon, Couscous Salad, Grilled Veggies
Chicken Enchiladas
Tofu Stirfry
Grilled Steaks/Veggie Burgers, Basil Succotash
Quick Paella (new recipe)

Oh, and do you need a new recipe for all your strawberries? Click here.

Have a great week,