I am pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of times my daughter has finished an entire homemade dinner (...one not made from a box, can or processed meats...) and I can probably count on one or two fingers the number of times she has made an enthusiastic cheer after tasting my homemade dinners....tonight, was one of those nights!!
Expecting the usual whining, moaning and groaning about how her food was not good or tasted funny or had a weird feel, smell, look, sound (...yes, she once claimed that my parmesan couscous was making a popping noise at her)....I put tonight's dinner in front of her and waited; running over my usual come backs and ultimatums in my head. She took her first bite...not a word....then a second....and out came these sweet words 'Wow mom! This is the best meal ever! I'm going to eat it all up!' It stopped me mid bite and nearly brought tears to my eyes! What!? I wanted to live that moment on repeat, forever....hang on to those words until she turned 18....I never thought such a carless expression of food gratitude could strike such a cord, but it did. -- And, without hesitation, coercion or bribery she ate every. last. bite. Honestly, the greatest gift...for this worn out, is summer almost over!?, mom.In fact the mood at our dinner was so different tonight, that I actually savored my food AND my family! My daughter was so overcome by excitement that she jumped out of her chair, skipped over to grab the IPod, plugged it into our radio, (something my husband and I do when he runs late at work and we eat together after the kids are long done) turned on her playlist of 'Old MacDonald's Farm, Happy Birthday to You and London Bridge Is Falling Down!' My husband and I kept giving each other 'what just happened??' glances of disbelief while at the same time grinning from ear to ear at the new mood at our table.... it was a great dinner -- one I will remember for a long time :)
So although I had no intentions of pleasing my toddler crowd with this meal, it turns out it is both adult and kid approved! Maybe it will work miracles at your table as well :)
Grilled BBQ Chicken: just grill and brush w/ your favorite sweet BBQ sauce (like honey BBQ)
Pineapple LIme Rice:
Homemade King's Hawaiian Bread: yes!! a homemade version!! it was to die for!
* quick notes*
I cut the Hawaiian bread recipe in half and used 2 eggs and 3/4 cups of sugar. I used a 20oz can of crushed pineapple and was able to get just enough juice for a half recipe of bread.
I used the crushed Pineapple for the rice (and had leftover) -- but because there was no juice left for the rice, I just used that much extra water and added about 1 Tbs of sugar....oh and I omitted anything green, that would have been an immediate turn off for my daughter :)
Would love to hear if this makes waves at your next dinner!? :)
It's that time of year again, when I can find bunches and bunches of stunning Gladiolus at my local grocery store! I grabbed my first stems this weekend.
It's hard not to smile when these flowers are around :)
My daughter brought home the cutest craft today from her preschool -- I wanted to share it with you in case you were looking for an easy, heartfelt and handmade gift for Mother's Day!
In the years to come, when mom actually finds the time to enjoy reading a book for an hour or more, this adorable bookmark will remind her of just how small those little hands once were and just how amazing the journey of being a mom truly is.
I see this as also making a much appreciated gift for the grandma that loves to read!
Although barely at times! :) Sorry to have taken such a lengthy hiatus from my blog, but between being sick, having terrible allergies, and having to deal with constant temper tantrums from my little monsters (a term of endearment....for the most part -- terrible twos times TWO!) I have not had much time to work on a magnificent tumbler quilt that a friend of mine has commissioned! Of course, I want to make sure her quilt turns out as perfectly as possible, so I have been taking each step of the quilt making process verrrrrry sloooooow to ensure I don't miss a single stitch! She chose some absolutely gorgeous Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the quilt top -- I have never worked with Kaffe Fasset fabrics before, but I am so glad that this project fell into my lap...just some amazing colors and designs!
Here is a sneak peak of her quilt!
And, here is sneak peak at how loud it can get in my house, and why it makes concentrating on anything nearly impossible :) ....Keep in mind this is their happy noise....and yes, their sad noise is even louder...so whether they are happy or sad, there is always A LOT of noise in my house -- hahaa! (and yes, that is my nasally allergy voice...)
Never a dull moment, that's for sure!
No, not the title of a new recipe or one of my latest quilts...no, we over here at The Spotted Lamb house have felt like we have been struck by the plague for the last THREE weeks straight....so between nursing sick kids with pink eye, ear infections, blistering fevers, flus, upset stomachs and sore throats -- and then my husband and I contracting all of those ourselves --keeping track of who's had what medicine when, disinfecting, disinfecting and more disinfecting, I have not had much time or energy for anything else.
I'm praying these microbes take mercy on us soon and that we can return to our normal routines and energy levels! Until then, I'll continue to daydream about all of the sewing I could be doing :)
I received one of the greatest Christmas gifts from my sister-in-law this year! A Beeswax Coil Candle -- I LOVE this thing!
I've always loved lighting candles, but I guess my love began to wane a few years ago when it seemed that the candle market was completely saturated with 'smelly candles' -- you couldn't find a candle that didn't wreak of peonies, petunias and yes, even my freshly laundered underpants....that's when I, and my nose, decided we needed a break. Fast forward a few years....At last! My love has returned! A gloriously SIMPLE, beautiful candle that does nothing but shed a bright, warm hue!
Actually, it does more than just that....it is a 60 hour burning candle that self-regulates its burn time! Yep, all you have to do is 'pull' the coil through the clamp (each inch of coil burns for one hour) to the desired length = time, light and when the flame reaches the clamp it will extinguish!! Brilliant! No more having to remember to blow out the candle, no more splattered wax, no more smells!
Curious? Just Google 'coil candle' and you'll get a ton of hits for this little gem -- where to buy, how to use, different designs, etc. I have been lighting mine in the evening while I do dishes -- turn the kitchen lights off (don't worry, this baby is bright), turn some tunes on...it actually almost (almost....) makes chores romantic....ah, what motherhood will do to a gal :)
Can you believe it's 2012 already!? 2011 was an amazing first year for The Spotted Lamb! Thank you to all of you for giving me the motivation to begin, and continue on with, such a fun and rewarding adventure! I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store! Here is a look back at this past year:
It's been one busy year! I hope you all had a happy and productive 2011, and may your 2012 be even better!
I have another great recipe to share with you! I actually have been meaning to post this recipe for a while now, since it has become a staple in our house. I made this again last night for dinner and thought, now is the time to sit down and actually blog about it!
Another SIMPLE recipe that tastes like you slaved for hours to make it!
1/3 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
2 Tbs Chili-Garlic Sauce
1 Tbs Brown Sugar
1/2 Tbs Ground Ginger (more or less based on taste)
3 Tbs Chicken Broth
1 package of Pancit Kanton (Philippine style noodle)
3-4 thinly sliced Chicken Breasts
1 Carrot, shredded
1 Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
Big Handful of FRESH Green Beans, snapped into bite size pieces
6 Green Onions, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
In a blender, whip together the first 7 ingredients until smooth. Pour into a container, cover and stick in fridge until ready to use.
Heat large skillet over medium-high heat, add chicken, carrot, green beans and red pepper and cook until chicken pieces are done. Reduce heat to simmer. Open noodles and lay over the top of the cooked chicken, pour additional chicken broth over noodles, cover and simmer for about 15-20 min or until noodles soften. Once noodles are soft, add green onions and cilantro, toss.
Right before service, pour chilled sauce over noodles and toss to coat. Heat until warm. Enjoy!
Of course, my kids picked around the veggies...but they devoured the chicken and noodles! I like to think that they at least got some of the nutrients of the veggies since everything was cooked in the same pot :) This recipe makes WONDERFUL leftovers too!
My husband is a very inside the box thinker -- he's practical, calculated, deliberate, purposeful...you get the picture, he's a very 'type A' personality -- which makes him perfect, in my opinion, for the military and as my husband! Sometimes, I think he is so far inside the box that he is actually outside of it! Which is why I shouldn't have been so dumbfounded by the genius of this:
It's so simple, so obvious -- poke a straw through the foil of a yogurt cup and voila! no mess!!! Why didn't I think of this!? Why would this have NEVER, in a million and one years, even crossed my train of thought!? I thought I was supposed to be the creative one!? Even more concerning was the matter-of fact way my husband took out the yogurt and plopped in a straw....as if we had been poking straws through yogurt foil our entire parenthood! Quite the contrary actually, before this stroke of genius swept through our kitchen, I literally planned my kids' yogurt consumption around 1. what outfits they were wearing 2. how close we were to bath time 3. whether or not there was any chance someone from the public might see my kids after they ate their yogurt....
I just stood there, with my jaw on the floor, stunned. My husband just cured my yogurt heartburn!! It was as if I fell in love all over! And him, none the wiser, stood there with a giant grin on his face, loving the the fact that he, in the blink of an eye (and probably, oddly, without much forethought) just became my hero, again! ...It's not often he's able to out 'McGyver' me :)
And who knows, maybe you all are reading this right now, and saying 'duh, i've been doing that since the beginning of time...' But to me, it's news! Wonderful news! Now, I will bravely walk up to the dairy case and grab 'regular' yogurt, breaking my strict Danimal/Gogurt policy (because they are the least messy of all the yogurts). I will confidently poke that straw through the foil of a Yoplait and leave it in front of my toddlers, no longer having to hold the straw in the cup or spoon feed it to them. Heck, I may even start taking yogurt with me in the car as a snack! Yes, I am THAT excited about this :)
Now, if my husband could contrive a way to get spaghetti from the plate to the mouth without half of it ending up on the floor, walls and ceiling....
Here is my latest project! A handmade, cotton canvas, growth chart! My mom gave us an adorable handmade growth chart from an online store after my daughter was born -- it has been the greatest gift! The gift that keeps on giving, if you will :) I decided that I could attempt to duplicate the chart my mom gave me, with a few style/design changes to make it uniquely 'The Spotted Lamb'....
Unlike a lot of retail growth charts, the chart I made is longer, (records up to 60 inches) more user friendly, (the cotton canvas easily records measurements/dates with a quilting/fabric pen) and perhaps most important for our constantly moving, military family, they roll-up in a snap and are easily transported from one place to the next!
This was my first attempt at making a growth chart...I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out! I recently gifted this one to my brother and sister-in-law, who are expecting their first child in a few short weeks!!!
I am now excited to make two more charts for my boys (eventually...) and am very glad to have another idea to add to my 'what to give for a baby shower gift?!' stash!
The good news is, that I have enough fabric from this project to make another! Visit the listing for this adorable handmade growth chart in my Etsy store if you are interested! Have a great weekend!!