Miniature Golfer

Jason and I have been cleaning out our shed and Dillon discovered Jason's golf clubs. Jason doesn't golf - ever - so he gave Dillon a few clubs and a golf ball to hit around the back yard. Dillon kept asking where the hole was, so I grabbed a plastic cup out of the kitchen and that became his hole. He was so cute and concentrated - when he was really trying to hit the ball he would stick his tongue out. It made me laugh because I sometimes have my tongue out when I'm concentrating on something. Our miniature golfer was occupied for over an hour - score one for us!


Down Up Painting

Dillon and I take a mommy and me class through the community college district that we both love. Each week there is stories, learning of letters, singing, free play - inside and outside and arts and crafts. I have always been a pretty crafty person and I love making things. Dillon, however, does not share that passion. I have to practically force him to do his craft... there is usually two or three each week and I always have him try at least one (and usually it's only half painted or in the case of the Thanksgiving hand print turkeys - all one color). He has found two crafts that he actually likes; the first involves painting with marbles and the second one is painting with shapes. His teacher calls it shape painting but Dillon calls it down up painting. Basically, you take a shape (like Lego's or the shapes that you sort into boxes) dip it into paint and stamp it on your paper. The reason that he calls it down up painting is because the teacher explains to the kiddos that you can go down up with the shape several times before reapplying the paint. Dillon loves this one so much that he actually asked to do down up painting at home.

He has plenty of shape sorting blocks and I had some washable finger paints so, I figured, Why not? So, I squirt some of the paint into the little baby cereal bowls and thinned them down with a tiny bit of water (the paint we have is very gel like), grabbed his blocks, taped some paper to the kitchen table, stripped him down to his diaper and set him to work. And the kid painted, and painted and painted... for an HOUR! He filled up three huge pieces of paper all while saying out loud "Down up down up down up." And when he was done, I hung his art up to dry, wiped down the kitchen table with a wet paper towel and I popped him into the bath and the mess was all cleaned up. Love it.



King Of Hearts

Yesterday was my father-in-law's birthday. I volunteered to make the dessert since it gave me a great excuse to bake. He loves playing cards, so I took that theme and ran with it. He requested yellow cupcakes with chocolate pudding filling and chocolate icing. I have never made chocolate buttercream before, but let me tell you - it was delicious... I seriously thought about not frosting the cupcakes and just eating all of the frosting with a spoon. I made King of Heart cards out of fondant for half of the cupcakes and put red and white sprinkles and hearts and spades made from candy melts on the others.
When it was time to eat the cupcakes I gave Dillon one while my father-in-law took two. Dillon looked at his plate and said, "hey, I want two." I told him that he could only have one and his response? "But PaPa Neil has two." Smart little boy!


Valentine's Cupcakes

Ok, so I'm a day late posting these but for Dillon's mommy and me class we had a Valentine's Day party and I, of course, made cupcakes. I made yellow cupcakes with buttercream frosting and tucked a little surprise inside the cakes - a Hershey's Kiss. I topped each cupcake with pink, red and white Nonpareils and little pink and red hearts that I made from candy melts. They turned out super cute and all the other mom's were green with envy at my cupcake making skills (so, not really, but I did get a ton of compliments on them and was told that they looked store bought.)



Favorite Food Friday: Easy Asian Beef And Noodles

Before Jason and I were married, I saw a picture on the front of a Weight Watchers cookbook and it looked so good that I bought the cookbook so I could make this meal for us. Since that day, this meal has been a staple in our house (and I'm pretty sure that it's the only recipe that I have tried in the book). It's quick and easy and delicious. The recipe is for two people and it's one downfall is that it doesn't double well. It always turns out kind of mushy when I try. But it cooks quick enough that you could make it in batches or do what I usually do when serving this to guests - use two pans. It's worth the extra work - it's that good!

(slightly adapted from Two's Company cookbook by Weight Watchers)

what you put in it:
1 (8-ounce) rib-eye steak
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil, divided
3 green onions, sliced into one inch pieces
2 cups prepackaged coleslaw
2 packages beef-flavor ramen noodle soup
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

how you make it:
Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and onions; stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove steak mixture from pan; keep warm. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil until hot. Add slaw; stir-fry 1 minute. Remove slaw from pan; keep warm.

Remove noodles from packages; reserve 1 seasoning packet for another use. Add the water and remaining seasoning packet to pan; bring to a boil. Break noodles in half; add noodles to water mixture. Cook noodles 2 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Stir in steak mixture, slaw, and soy sauce; cook until thoroughly heated.


(To play along with Favorite Food Friday click here!)


Swish Swish

Saturday night we went out to celebrate my sister-in-law Sherre's birthday. Her first choice of restaurant went out of business a few months back (darn economy) so after much debate and deliberation, we decided to go out for Shabu Shabu, which basically translates to "Swish Swish." Someone in our party described it as Teppan but instead of cooking the food on a grill, you cook it in boiling water. Ummm... no, sorry, not even close. It's basically an Asian version of one of my favorites - fondue. The food was good and it was a lot of fun trying something new. My meal consisted of a plate of tofu, vegetables, udon and glass noodles and a plate of meat - four shrimp, thinly sliced chicken and thinly sliced steak (and by thinly sliced, I mean like lunch meat thin and I think that there was only like four pieces of those, too). The meat cooked in like five seconds - It was literally the time that it took to swish swish it through your water and it was done. Talk about fast food! And, while it was fun and tasty, it's more of a place to go for the atmosphere because, well, we left hungry. Yes, hungry as in I could have eaten again as soon as we were out of the place. Oh, well, at least it was a new experience.