Friday, September 30, 2011

Foodie Friday: Dough Girl

The other day Adam asked me why I don't make bread more often. I had no answer for him. So I got my hands dirty with some dough this week. And the results were amazing!! The breads that I made for dinner ended up being the stars of the meals, outshining their protein/vegetable counterparts. Here are the 3 recipes that I tried.

Monday night I made a white bean and swiss chard soup. I used a "secret" ingredient in the soup. Parmesan rind!To eat with the soup I made focaccia. So delicious and easy! Tuesday was turkey stuffed bell peppers, so we ate the leftover foccacia with them. Unfortunately the bread wasn't that great the second night. I would definitely recommend eating it all the day you make it!

Wednesday night we had Tandoori Mahi Mahi, along with rice and steamed broccoli. To go along with it I made naan. Oh my. Heaven in the shape of an oblong piece of flatbread. Adam and I both agreed this was our favorite bread of the week. Here is the recipe.
Notice the baby finger trying to steal some?

Thursday I got brave and made filipino chicken empanadas! Here is the raw dough. Can I just say that I love raw pastry dough? It reminds me of being little and watching my mom roll out pie dough. I would always get a little pinch of the excess dough from the edges. Yum!
Rolled into discs, with extra to make a special one for Ryan.We all loved them! They were a lot of work, but the recipe made a lot so we have leftovers to freeze. Ryan devoured his, so I guess I'll have to make them again!

Have any good bread recipes? I'm excited to try more!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Super Cut

Sometimes you just need a change, you know? Today Adam got off work early and I decided to get my hair cut down the street at Supercuts. I have had my hair long for a while now. Long hair is something that I like the idea of, but I don't necessarily think it looks great on me. And let's face it, I don't have the time to dry and style it, much less wash it regularly! So it was time for something more manageable.

Here is the before:

And the after!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sitting Tantrums

Lately Ryan has been having mini tantrums, particularly when we are outside. He loves being outdoors and we often walk around out front. But of course when Ryan tries to go into the street, I have to stop him. I start with a verbal warning but he usually ignores me, so then I have to pick him up to keep him on the sidewalk. At this point he will arch his back, kick his legs and scream. When I try to set him down he just lays down on the sidewalk instead.
Honestly it's kind of amusing. Ryan will be screaming until he sits down, and then he will get distracted by a rock, a leaf, an ant. The "tantrum" stops pretty quickly. For now!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Toddler Bed

Adam and I have talked a little bit lately about converting Ryan's crib to a toddler bed. I know the "experts" recommend waiting as long as possible to make this switch. And maybe if Ryan slept in his crib, it wouldn't make sense to change things. But I decided it couldn't possibly make things worse, so maybe it was worth a try. Adam and his brother surprised me last night. I had just given Ryan his bath and walked in to see this:
Our hope is that Ryan will like his bed more when it doesn't feel so "cage-like".After checking it out a little bit we went out to the family room to play. A few minutes later Ryan got up, ran down the hallway, and climbed into his bed.Last night was Ryan's first night in his toddler bed. I was so nervous that he would fall out of his bed and be hurt or traumatized by it! I got him to sleep at 8:30 (with the help of Melatonin). Within an hour he was awake and crying, and we found him standing up on his bed. Adam and I were able to pat his back and get him back to sleep within 10 minutes. 30 minutes later he was up again, but Adam got him back to sleep quickly. Again, 30 minutes later, he was awake. Once again Adam managed to get him back to sleep by close to midnight. And then he slept in his bed until 5am! I hope as Ryan gets used to his new bed he will learn to like it and view it as a safe and cozy place. At least that's what I'm praying will happen!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Foodie Friday: What We Ate

I love getting ideas from other people for easy weeknight dinners. So I thought I'd share our meals from this past week, which have been particularly yummy!

Sunday night was turkey burgers, chipotle sweet potato fries, and baked beans.

Monday night's dinner was Pioneer Woman's Cajun Chicken Pasta.

Tuesday was pork tamales from Costco, chips with guacamole and homemade salsa, and homemade refried beans. Sooo good!

Wednesday I made Herb Marinated Broiled Shrimp skewers with Risotto and broiled brussel sprouts.

Thursday's menu was Beef with Broccoli and Red Peppers, served over rice.

So what did you eat this week? I need new ideas for my picky family!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Things

Ryan's newest thing is sticking his hands down his pants. I can't figure out why he does it. At first I thought it might be a sign that he has to peepee. But now I'm thinking he's just doing it to be a silly boy. He knows it will get a reaction out of me.His other new thing is to randomly just lay down on the floor. I thought he was trying to tell me he was tired, but that was just wishful thinking.Ryan other new thing is to pick up little things off of the floor. Luckily he doesn't eat them; instead he brings them to me. He is constantly bringing me fuzz and random crumbs off the floor. The other day he brought me a dead bumblebee. My first thought: don't scream, don't scream, don't scream. My second thought: at least it wasn't alive! (And I'm so glad he didn't eat it)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


This post could be about our neighbor's rooster who is a bit confused and likes to cock-a-doodle-do all day long. It could be about how Ryan tries to imitate the sound and it's really adorable. But it isn't. Instead this is about my own little rooster.
You see, Ryan used to "sleep in" as a baby until between 7:30 and 8am. As he has gotten older he has been waking up earlier, typically by 7am. Then it started creeping back to around 6:30, when Adam leaves for work. But ever since we started giving Ryan the melatonin at night and forcing him to go to sleep by 9pm, he has been waking up for the day as early as 5:15am, which is when Adam gets up for work.
I honestly don't mind getting up early as long as I have been able to get enough sleep during the night. But I'm not! And neither is Ryan. And because Ryan still doesn't nap, getting up so early means he is cranky and tired even earlier in the day.So how do I get my rooster to "sleep in" an extra hour?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What a Difference

What a difference a year makes! I have been going back and looking at a lot of Ryan's young baby pictures recently. Everyone says that the time goes by so fast when you have young children. But when each day can be long and repetitive, I don't realize just how quickly Ryan is growing up. Looking back at how small he used to be has really put it into perspective for me. He's not going to stay small forever! Here is just one recent example. The first picture is from August 2010, at our friend Danielle's baby shower. The second picture is from yesterday, at her daughter Carly's 1st birthday party!Adam and I, well, we basically look the same. We age well. Ryan, however, looks like a completely different person! Wow. My baby has grown. Below is the adorable birthday girl trying out her cake. I'm not sure she was a fan.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


If I had to use a word to describe my life right now it would be "full". Full in a good way. Obviously this little guy takes up most of my time, but in my spare time I have been doing some fun things.The most exciting use of my time is getting ready for MOPS! Our first meeting of the year is on Monday and I am really excited. As Finance Coordinator I do a lot of the background work of registering new moms and keeping track of our budget and expenses. I'm really enjoying it.
Ryan and I have been doing something really sneaky lately. We have become mystery shoppers! At least I have. Ryan just tends to tag along because he has nothing better to do. I heard about this company that offers mystery shopping assignments and thought it might be fun. And so far it is! I get a list of assignments to choose from, and I can do as many or as few as I like. Most of the ones I have done so far are fast food or local sit down restaurants. I don't make much money, but I do get free food!Finally, I have planted my winter vegetable garden! (With lots of help from my mother-in-law). We planted broccoli, cauliflower, green and purple cabbage, brussel sprouts, spinach, swiss chard, snap peas, carrots, and one lone strawberry plant.
Garden pics to come!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Foodie Friday: German Dutch Pancake

These are either called German Pancakes or Dutch Baby Pancakes. Either way, they're delicious! I made one last weekend and the result was really special for not much effort. You should make one this weekend!

German/Dutch Pancake

6 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

5 Tbsp butter

Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a very large ovenproof pan or cast iron skillet in oven until oven reaches 450. Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat the eggs until light and frothy. Add milk, flour, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat with electric mixer for 5 minutes. Remove the hot skillet from the oven. Add the 5 Tbsp butter, melting to coat the skillet. Pour the pancake batter into the skillet. Bake 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy with your favorite topping. (Mine is good old 100% maple syrup)
Just a note: The recipe above serves 4-6. I made half the recipe and used a pan that is probably 8 inches around. You can see that the pancake really puffed up, so make sure you use a large skillet if you make the full recipe!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sugar High

Ryan had his first M&M after dinner tonight. This is him 20 minutes later.

Monday, September 12, 2011


My summer vegetable garden was a semi-success! I had an abundance of zucchini, chili peppers and cucumbers, and my tomatoes are finally ready to pick. On the other hand, my watermelon never got big enough to eat, and I only got one small bell pepper. I'm blaming it on the weird weather. Growing vegetables is a learning process for me, and now I am starting on my winter crop. I plan on growing broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and possibly chard or kale.Ryan and I have been preparing the soil, with some help from Grandma Nullmeyer. It's a muddy messy job!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Lately it feels like all I do is tell Ryan "No!". I have been trying to be really intentional about when I say NO and when I use my mean mommy voice. (I'm still perfecting it)I try to reserve the loud "NO" for times when Ryan is doing something dangerous, such as climbing over the back of the sofa or running into the street. Or when he is being disrespectful/hurtful towards someone else, such as hitting Mommy in the eye with the remote control. But the thing is, Ryan likes to do these things all day long. So I end up saying NO to him about a million times a day. I'm beginning to wonder if it even means anything to him.
Tonight at dinner Ryan threw his spoon at my face. I gave him a very stern and loud NO, and he immediately got a sad look on his face. Just when it looked like he was about to burst into tears, he looked at me and started giggling!I think I'm in trouble.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Foodie Friday: Granola Bars

I have been meaning to make homemade granola bars for a long time. I wanted something healthy to put into Adam's lunches, as well as to feed to Ryan. Sometimes I buy granola bars, but I know most brands are not healthy. Have you seen how many ingredients are in them? So I decided to make my own. However, this recipe is a bit more "dessert" than "healthy snack" or "quick breakfast". I plan on making them again, only tweaking them a bit. Next time I might use dried fruit instead of chocolate, or maybe try using whole nuts or other flavors such as shredded coconut. So many possibilities!
(Obviously we didn't like them very much)

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Granola Bars

2 cups oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup white flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 T ground flaxseed

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup honey

1 T vegetable oil

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup natural peanut butter

Combine oats, flour, sugar, salt, flaxseed and chocolate chips. In another bowl combine honey, oil, egg and vanilla. Stir into dry mixture. Mix in peanut butter. Spread in greased 9x13 inch dish, flatten down with wet spoon. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, until very lightly browned.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


In case there was any doubt, Ryan is definitely my son! Spaghetti is now one of his favorite foods. I was shocked at how enthusiastically Ryan ate his dinner tonight.The first picture is my favorite. Love those chipmunk cheeks!

PS: Somehow Riley ended up with spaghetti all over his fur. I wonder who was responsible for that?