3 little Miracles

3 little Miracles

Monday, August 29, 2011

What's for Dinner Tonight from Pinterest

Roasted Lemon Garlic Herb Shrimp with Couscous

1/3 cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested then half cut into thin slices and other half into wedges
3-4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
spaghetti/pasta, couscous or rice for serving
1 pound fresh shrimp, medium-sized, deveined with tails off
5 cloves garlic, minced

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a 9x13 baking pan combine olive oil, lemon zest and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 12 minutes. Meanwhile cook pasta, couscous or rice.
2. Remove pan from oven, add shrimp, garlic and the thin sliced lemons (don't squeeze them), toss to coat with oil mixture. Bake for 8-10 more minutes or until shrimp turn pink and start to curl. 
Serve over pasta, couscous or rice tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon with additional lemon wedges for serving. 

This recipe is from my Food Board on Pinterest was amazingly easy to prepare and cook, which is why I selected it to prepare tonight after a full day working outside cleaning up from hurricane Irene.  The ingredient list was short and I used frozen prepared shrimp from my trusted seafood market that I had in the deep freeze (saved by our generator during the storm).  I simply took out the shrimp and put it in the fridge for the day and then gave it a final rinse in the colander just before I putting into the pan according to the directions.

I selected to serve this with Couscous tonight because it was very fast to prepare and get to the table and I thought it was a wonderful combination and the rest of the family gave it 4 thumbs up (AKA my husband, my parents, and my niece).  My husband did ask that the next time we make it we try it with linguine and that I make a little extra "sauce" to go with it (the sauce being the lemon and olive oil with seasonings).

This will be a recipe we will do again, I hope you will give it a try at your table.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Show Us Your Life - Back to School Traditions

On the 19th Kelly was hosting Back to school Traditions week with Show Us Your Life.  This year we have not been able to do some of our back to school traditions like we have in years past, because we took a long overdue trip up north to see my husbands family that we haven't visited in three years.  However, I thought I would share what we would have normally do and what I have done this school year to prepare in the shortened time that I had due to our vacation.

We normally kick off the school year prep with a back-to-school shopping trip with my sister and nieces in Wilmington, NC which is three hours south of us, on tax free weekend.  We can find some good shopping around us, but Wilmington has a really big mall and some other great shops that we always like to go to that we don't have around here, so we fill up every available seat in the van and head down the road.  It is really a fun day and it is filled with lots of memories for me, because I have been BTSS with my nieces since they were my kids ages and now they help me do the same for my children, I really missed going with them this year.  I guess next year we will have to take two cars, because I now have Rachel in the car too, so I can't fit the four extra people in my car I normally take.

After back to school shopping is all out of the way and the supplies and clothing is where they are supposed to be, it is time to think of the 24 hours before the first day of school and what the boys would like to do with their last 24 hours of summer.  The day before school I usually like to so something fun with the boys outside if the weather allows for it so that they can really burn off the summer energy and they will fall into bed ready for a full night of sleep and a full day of school.  In the past I have taken them to the aquarium or the park, but with us just getting back from vacation and preparing for a hurricane, I thought sticking closer to home was a better idea.  This year the weather was perfect and the boys and I played with bubbles in the back yard and then enjoyed an indoor picnic watching one of their favorite movies on the living room floor.
Then when Dad got home we had a great family dinner, the kids had baths, and we read with the boys, the boys said prayers for their teachers and the school year, all before tucking into bed.  Before the kids were asleep, I pulled Davey's new outfit for school and laid it out along with his backpack and then after I knew the kids were asleep, I prepared  his lunch and made a special note for him to find in his lunch bag  it's just a note to wish him a good day, and pray God blesses his school year and it usually has a little sweet attached to it for him to have when he gets off the bus.  I will do the same sort of thing for Jon when he goes off for preschool in a couple of weeks.

I can't wait to read other back to school traditions and maybe add some to ours for the future.

Time for a new Thrown

Our little girl is growing so much, I just can't believe how much Rachel has grown in the past few months and that we are only two months away from her first birthday.
We recently had to find a new home her baby swing and floor swing (I actually sold them along with a lot of other things in my first ever huge regional consignment sale) because she had outgrown them, and so that leaves us with one bouncer to share between our part of the house and my parents part.  So, instead of carrying it up and down the stairs with every night time meal, I have ordered my favorite chair that I had for the boys, only they have made a much cuter print for Rachel.  We saw this while we were in New York in a Walmart, and I took a picture of it with my phone and googled it as soon as I got home because I couldn't find it in our stores here and ended up ordering it with free shipping from Amazon.

The Fisher-Price Infant to Toddler Rocker, is so graciously proportioned and provides a great angled seat for Rachel now because of the small "kick stand" that flips out to keep the chair from rocking forward and possibly flipping her.  Later when she is stable on her feet and with her motor skills she will be able to rock in her big girl chair which has a nice deep seat and high back.  Love love love this chair and I know Rachel will too, I can't wait for it to arrive!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lettuce Wrap Final Review

My husband and I give the Lettuce Wrap Recipe TWO THUMBS UP!  Between the wonderful taste and the easy prep this recipe moved quickly into one of our favorites.  The down side for us is that it is not something the kids like so for now we will have to prepare something else for them.  The meat is very rich in flavor, I was very concerned that the Chinese hoisen spice and hot chili sauce might cause stomach issues for me, but to my surprise it didn't.  The only comment that my husband made was that he didn't taste the ginger as much as he thought he might.  I think the reason for this is because I don't have a good grater and was not able to get the full tablespoon of fresh ginger that the recipe called for, I thought it was pretty close but obviously my husband noticed the slight miss measure, HA.

We tried the wrap the way it was originally intended in lettuce leaves.  I picked up Iceberg Lettuce at our local Walmart, and I will have to say the selection was very poor and the lettuce heads were small.  So they did not clean up with nice big large "wrapping" style leaves.  So we did the best we could with the first few test wraps, then we tried some soft taco shells for our last test wraps.
At this time I have to say my favorite wrap is the one with the soft taco shell, maybe if I had better lettuce to work with I would have liked the recipe the way it was originally intended (for sure that is the best calorie recipe)  but for now I think this will be a great addition to our dinner menus with or without the shells.

Hope you enjoy this recipe and will give it a try at your table sometime soon.

What's for Dinner Tonight from Pinterest

I, like so many others, am newly obsessed with Pinterest, and with that obsession I am pinning everything from decor, to fashion, to food I think looks yummy.  However, I have decided I am tired of just pinning it and I want to start actually trying it, so I am going to try the recipes I pin and review what I think of them.  Here is the one we are trying tonight.

Crock-pot Lettuce Wrap Recipe:

2 lb ground turkey
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
¾ cup hoisin sauce, divided (8oz jar)
¾ cup soy sauce
¼ cup water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp hot chili oil (I did not use a full Tbsp.)
5 oz can bamboo shoots, drained, finely chopped
8 oz can water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
14 oz can bean sprouts, drained
¼ cup fresh cilantro, snipped
12 crisp iceberg lettuce leaves
Brown ground turkey with chopped onion. Drain off excess liquid. In large Crock-Pot combine cooked  turkey and onion with celery, ½ cup hoisin sauce, soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, sesame oil, chili oil, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
Before serving, mix in a can of bean sprouts and cilantro. Serve by scooping a spoonful in the lettuce, drizzle with the leftover (¼ cup) hoisin sauce. Enjoy!

Review:  The prep time on this recipe took about 30 minutes with all the chopping and the interruptions from Miracle 1 & 2, HA.  I think overall the prep time would have gone faster and easier without the kids underfoot, so I think it is easy to get to the crock-pot and then just leave it alone for 6 hours to cook while you move on to other chores or playtime with kiddos around the house.  I selected this recipe first to try because tonight is open house at my sons school to kick off the school year and my parents are taking Miracle 2 & 3 with them to church, so we are all going different directions.  This will be easy for the adults of the house to scoop up the lettuce wraps and eat before going and I can make sandwiches for the boys.  I can't wait to give this a taste and let you know the full review.

Favorite kitchen tools that I used to prepare this recipe:

Pampered Chef Mix 'N Chop

Magic Chopper Vegetable Slicer, I love this product, it is easy to clean and makes vegetables an even size and it comes with two different cutting blades.  Dishwasher Safe.

Hamilton Beach Stay OR Go Crock-Pot

Wordless Wednesday - Float Queen

*Note: I was right there with Rachel out of frame and she was only in the float long enough for the pictures.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Vacation Post 4

Day 7 on the road to Maryland for our final three days of vacation and God gave us a completely beautiful day to travel.
Just before leaving New York, we stopped at a beautiful rest stop and literally let the kids get out and run and roll in the grass.
  . . . . and I took a few pictures of the amazing views around us.
 Back on the road and going through the Lehigh Tunnel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike
 The rest of the day traveled pretty well until about the last 2-3 hours of the day when my husband missed a very quick turn off and our GPS lead us on a very curvy path that ended up making my son in the back seat car sick before it directed us back onto I-95.  Then once we were on I-95 we found ourselves in the middle of a very heavy hail storm, so our 9 hour day turned into a 12 hour day.  When we got into the hotel my husband and I wanted to crash, but somehow the boys found renewed energy and wanted to hit the pool, unfortunately at that hour the pool had already closed for the night, so we turned on cartoons and tried to calm them down with lights out and volume down on the TV.  Pretty soon day 6 came to a full STOP.

Day 8 My best friend Erin finally got to see Rachel for the very first time

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vacation Post 3

Day 6 our final day in New York and we took the kids on a train ride from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid.  The ride was a scenic 45 train ride both ways with a 20 minute lay over in between that included a modern day train robbery on this particular Wednesday, we got on the train at 12:30.
Exploring the trains and the station in Lake Placid during our 20 minute layover before our return ride to Saranac Lake.
My husband caught me snoozing with Rachel on our return trip back to Saranac Lake.
And of course no trip to the Adirondacks would be complete without a trip to Donnelly's Ice Cream just outside Saranac Lake, they make their very own amazing soft ice cream.  My husband has grown up on Donnelly's haven grown up in the Adirondacks, but he took me for my first time the first Christmas he took me to New York in 1999, even in winter it's great.

Goodbye New York, this trip has been amazing!  
Now on to Maryland and my best friend Erin, her wonderful husband Paul, and two great kids Skylar and Robyn.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vacation Post 2

Day 5 of our trip was Jonathan's 4th birthday, so we took the boys up to the St. Lawrence Seaway to watch a few ships go through the locks.  It really was an amazing sight to see these huge ships go through that only had 1' of clearance on either side, talk about threading a needle.  The boys really loved watching the ships, I think Davey could have stood there all day long.
the boys watching the next ship preparing to come through.
We waited at this train track crossing for a while expecting this huge train to come through getting ready to cross the border into Canada . . . . . . . this is what came through, HA.
My Mother-in-Law works at the food court in the casino on the Massena Indian reservation and she wanted to take Jonathan there for a birthday lunch because they make amazing pizza.  It felt a little strange taking the kids into a casino, but the pizza was amazing, probably some of the best I have ever had.
After we got back from the Seaway and lunch we put Jon down for a nap and when he got up we had a family dinner and celebrated his birthday.  I had ordered his present from Amazon and had it shipped to my MiL's so it was waiting for us when we arrived, Jon loved his present.
 . . . . . and obviously he enjoyed his cake, HA!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vacation Post 1

Day 1 & 2 was all about traveling to our first hotel stop in Chambersburg , PA where we checked into the hotel and checked into the pool and Davey got . . . .
"Caught mid-Fly" and then onto NY on day 2
Happy Pool Baby
Day 3 was a family picnic  
Davey Learning how to 4-Wheel with his Dad. I cringe a little that he isn't wearing a helmet, but he was going very slow and in a large grass field.
More 4-Wheel fun with Papa for both the boys.
Just love the faces Rachel was making while exploring the grass for the first time.
Grandma Cole and Davey having roasted marshmallows.
Papa and Jon finish the day with a round of Mario carts on the Wii
Day 4 of our Vacation we went to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY
My husband David with his mom
Our little Jon who will be 4 tomorrow (August 16th)

So far our trip is going wonderful and it has been a very relaxing time.  I know we are building sweet memories with your three precious miracles and I am trying to smile through all the ups and downs that travel can bring with small kids.  We have two more days here in New York, and tomorrow our little boy turns 4, it is so hard to believe that Jon is growing up so fast on us.  We still plan to take the boys on a train ride from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid Wednesday and maybe to the seaway tomorrow to try and watch a ship go through the Eisenhower Locks.  Then on Thursday it is on to Maryland for three days to visit with my lifetime best friends Erin and Paul and their sweet family.  Enjoying the journey and vacation we are on I will post more vacation photos and updates later in the trip, until then God Bless.