We have an egg!

One of the ladies laid an egg last night, or yesterday, we aren’t sure.

The hubs found it this morning…

As you can see, he was thrilled that I made him take a picture with the egg.

Unfortunately, it had a hole and a wee bit o blood in it.

But I’m a proud mama of my chicks. They’re becoming chickens. Or whatever the woman equivalent of a chicken is.

Do you have any plans for the long weekend?

To my friends up north – Happy Canada Day!

Tonight we have friends, Annie and Brendan, visiting and tomorrow is SIL#2’s* baby shower. SIL#3* is visiting from San Diego. Tuesday I start teaching summer school….where did my summer go?!

*SIL= sister-in-law, #=birth order.
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Oh, hey, here I am.

I’ve been a bad blogger. Neglecting you blogettes, neglecting the ever growing collection of photographs on my card, and neglecting my blog-improvement to-do list. But guess what?  I don’t care. One of the reasons I started this little blog was to stop letting my life live me, and lately I’ve really been living my life. Last week’s disappointing news threw me for a curveball, but I’m back on top of things and very excited that it is flip flop weather!

Ahhhh, glorious, glorious sun.

And what does this wonderful weather and extended daylight hours bring? Some fabulous flower blossoms and fruits and veggies sprouting their leaves toward the sky.

Heirloom tomatoes

(The Hubs transplanted the tomatoes from our indoor garden today…)

 

sweet onions


forsythia

Peonies!

 

tulips



no idea, but it sure is pretty


daffodils



Knowing I would want to enjoy as much time in the sun as soon as it finally decided to pop its head out for a while, I prepped my freezer to create effortless dinners.

Tonight was the first freezer meal we’ve enjoyed from my new challenge to bulk cook. I first learned about bulk cooking on my friend Alanna’s blog. She was doing a little bulk cooking before she had her baby, and used lots of recipes from Once a Month Mom (OAMM). Since my interest peeked last spring, I’ve read a few cookbooks, including Don’t Panic, Dinner’s in the Freezer, revolving around the bulk cooking method/process. My friend Kelly, whole foods contributor to OAMM, has also been a wealth of information. Read her guest post here.

Tonight’s freezer meal was one of my favorites: black bean burlattas. I baked a double batch of these back in March, and froze the second one. I assembled the second batch in a foil lined pyrex dish (two actually – a 9×13 and an 8×8), flash froze them (uncovered, in the same dish I would bake them in, in the freezer, for 30-60 minutes), and then wrapped them completely in aluminum foil. Then I added a slip with the day-of cooking directions and syran wrapped them.

Last night I pulled these babies out of the freezer and placed them in the fridge to thaw. This evening I was pleased to discover that the burlattas thawed nicely, with no ice build up (thanks to the flash freezing method).

30 minutes after I pulled them out of the fridge we were enjoying a fabulous home-cooked meal with almost no-effort.

I am definitely going to continue on the bulk-cooking road. Even though this is only our first evening to benefit from bulk cooking, I know it will make our lives so much easier and our evenings much more enjoyable.

p.s. Ethel says hello.

Do you have any experience with bulk cooking? If so, what is your favorite freezer-meal recipe?

The best laid plans…

…often go awry.

I had every intention of trying out new recipes this weekend, cleaning my house, and getting my read on.

Instead this happened.

The hubs finally got his truck. He’s been not-so-subtly hinting at wanting a truck for about 2 1/2 years…about 1 day after we sold his old truck to go down to a one-car family. But more recently his pleas have been louder, as every time we he purchases something to improve our new abode we have to ask his parents to drive a half hour into town, meet us at Home Depot, and drive the load back to our house. It’s been quite the ordeal. (Thanks Rob & Gayle!)

I finally obliged. And I am really jealous at all the fun features (AC seats!) it has.

So instead of fun new recipes I’ve got a photo update of Spring Break (woo!*) 2011 thus far.

*if you haven’t watched Arrested Development yet, you really need to.

Friday night we had dinner at Downriver Grill, still no website available, and I attempted to not eat meat.

The Downriver Grill is veryclose to another fine establishment…

The Flying Goat…seriously, how have we not eaten at Downriver since we moved into this neighborhood? It’s even owned by the same people as the Goat!

After being seated we ordered an app of calamari while I dissected the menu.

Unfortunately, there were hardly any vegetarian options available. I could have a portabella sammie, (which, oddly, I wasn’t in the mood for), a salad, or a tofu curry entree. I mentioned to our server that I was having a difficult time finding a vegetarian option that was appealing because I had given up meat for Lent and he mentioned he gave up booze and Facebook for Lent. I don’t think I could give up Facebook! Could you?

Not impressed with the veggie-friendly options, I opted to have the halibut with mushroom risotto.

In case you were wondering, my “no meat for Lent” only includes red meat, pork and poultry. I attempted no seafood too, but my body is already grumpy enough with me for giving up meat, so  I decided since almost every vegetarian I know eats fish, I am going to as well.

The halibut was pretty delicious, as was the mushroom risotto. But I was most excited about the tender-crisp asparagus.

The hubs only made it 2.5 weeks without meat. He thoroughly enjoyed his bacon-wrapped steak. I don’t really care for bacon or steak, but I was eying both with envy.

I did, however, make him suggest he order the polenta as his side-dish so I could steal nibble on a few bites. OMG polenta, I love you.

The Downriver Grill’s Washington wine list was quite impressive, a was their meat entree options. I am looking forward to going back after Easter when I can enjoy the restaurant to its potential.

The following morning the hubs surprised me with pancakes,

and truck shopping 😉

Saturday night we enjoyed some Flying Goat action with his sister, Kimberly, and her husband, Ryan.

Sunday was more truck shopping. And after 4 1/2 hours at the dealership, we had our F-150.  I mean, the hubs, had his F-150. I’m afraid to drive it. It is ridiculously huge. HUGE.

Sunday evening we drove up to his parents house to show off the new truck visit them, see our cutie-patootie niece,  and have dinner.

Adorbs. Totally adorbs.

My plan tomorrow includes reading for my third book club, (yes, I really belong to three. I have a problem, I know), and to actually COOK or BAKE something new. I’m off to tastespotting to get a little inspiration.

Did you give up anything for Lent? How is it going so far?

Chicks happen

My day started off with some forgotten spinach pancakes,

coffee and a pomegranate chobani.

A few weeks back I mentioned I was going to start strength training again. And I did. I also mentioned I had two free sessions with a personal trainer, and that I would be cashing in on them. Then I never spoke of them again. It wasn’t because I was being a flakey blogster, (although I have promised many a recipe that haven’t appeared yet, patience my blogets, patience.), the Y just didn’t have an opening until today.

Last night I almost canceled, and not just because I was at the happiest hour. I just wasn’t sure I wanted to go through with it. A few years back I had a negative experience with a trainer, (who insisted I eat only 1200 calories a day and scoffed at the idea that I could lose weight at 1800-2200. I guess I showed him, as I’ve lost 11 pounds so far at this calorie range), so I was apprehensive about throwing myself into this potential situation again.

But I didn’t cancel. I drove to the gym at 10:10 am, and arrived with a few minutes to spare, (and nabbed the only real spot in the parking lot). I checked in at the front desk, found out where I needed to meet my trainer, planted myself at the appropriate station and waited. And waited. And waited. The cardio area was packed, and I spotted one trainer on the floor. I tried to read her name tag, but my contacts didn’t provide me the strength necessary.

Finally the trainer, along with two trainees, arrived at the wellness station. She apologized for running (15 minutes) late, and tried to wrap up her previous session. Her trainees didn’t get the hint that they were robbing me of my training time, and continued to ask a plethora of questions. Needless to say, we were not off to a good start.

A few minutes later we set off…to an office. I filled out an information sheet, (which I had already filled out), and answered all of her questions. Then we did a body analysis, (I am in the healthy range for weight/body fat and could drink more water. Nothing I didn’t already know, haha). And that was it. Apparently the first “training” session is a get-to-know-you type thing, like an awkward first date where you feel self conscious about all your short comings, (while wearing no make-up, talking about your body fat and diet no less), and not even the joy of a cocktail to lighten the mood.

Sigh. I wish Laury lived here so she could be my trainer.

Had I been told this would be the first session’s format I would have gotten to the gym earlier to actually work out. Unfortunately I wasn’t informed, and by the time I finished my appointment I couldn’t stay any longer. I had chicks to buy!

After a quick pit stop at my favorite store,

and some car snacks: pom lychee green tea,

dried apricots, mixed nuts, and a think thin lemon bar,

which at first reminded me of the lemon girl scout cookies. But after the first bite it tasted like chalk coated in lemon.

I only ate half, blah.

Then it was on to Big R,

which really does have anything you could possibly need.

From wranglers to garden creatures,

anti monkey butt powder,

and salted nut rolls.

Which I used to buy every time I visited my dad’s office as a child. So gross, why did I like them?!

But we were there for the chicks.

I was really excited to pick out our little ones.

And you know I’ll be entering the chick house peepstakes.

Once home we set our chicks up in their new pad,

and assembled a sunflower butter + honey sammie.

Later on I tried to find a meatless main dish that the boys wouldn’t turn their noses up at. I think the hubs has already OD’d on black beans…and we’re only 3 days into Lent. We had 5 bell peppers, so I tried to find a good vegetarian stuffed pepper recipe. Not interested by anything I found, I decided to whip up a batch to my liking.

And they were quite tasty.

I thought about making a salad, but decided we had plenty of veggies in our stuffed peppers, so I opted for only La Brea multi-grain bread on the side.

Mmmmmm….content.

So, what should I name my chicks?