Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First of all, push play

train to santa fe pre

train to santa fe

train to santa fe-2

train to santa fe-3

train to santa fe-4

train to santa fe-5

smelling flowers

train to santa fe-6

Are you feelin it? Dreams come true, yes they do, in SANTA FE! I had this song in my head all the way to Santa Fe last saturday. We braved the 1 hour 45 minute train ride on the Railrunner and it was pretty fun! If we didn't have kids it would have obviously been much more peaceful, we kept saying how nice it would be to commute to work that way, reading, surfing the internet, no driving... Anyway, highlights from the trip included to DIE for goat cheese and artisan garlic bread at the farmer's market, lots of dandelion bouquets, the BEST sopapillas, trying on a beautiful $65,000 diamond ring, giggling as the train doors went "meepmeep" just like the roadrunner, and offending the living daylights out of a gallery owner when I said to Ben, "I could paint that," about a $3000 painting. I swear the painting really wasn't that great, so unlike Santa Fe, which is very great, I think.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day Dinner

earth day dinner
We dined alfresco last night. So fun! And wow, clean up was way easier.

earth day dinner-2
Salmon with orzo and ricotta (uh, sorry about the half eaten food, I couldn't force myself to stop eating it until this point)

earth day dinner-3
Caramel macaro(o)ns!

Recipes for you today, dear readers. But first let me ask, have you dined out of doors lately? And I don't mean on a picnic blanket, which is also nice but completely different. I mean have you set a table (or in our case a computer desk) with your usual dishes and such and enjoy your dinner alfresco? Because if you haven't, you should. It's awesome and the kids thought they had died and gone to heaven. Plus our chickens were there to eat anything that fell. I'm now looking for a cheap card table so we can do this pretty much every night. Also, those of you who have been part of the rosemary saga, I'm happy to say that we are still alive today after having eaten some last night so I suppose we really can assume that those huge bushes in the backyard that look and smell like rosemary are, in fact, rosemary. Anyway, recipes:

Salmon with Rosemary and Lemon (from Suzanne Tracy)
This is so freaking good. I'm not joking. Best fish I've ever had, hands down. And my salmon had been chillin (haha) in my freezer for quite some time, so I don't think it was the quality of the fish that made it yummy.

You'll need:
Salmon with skin on one side {fillet, maybe?} (however much you want, and I just buy the frozen junk from walmart)
Fresh rosemary
Red onion, sliced (or if you don't have red, whatever color you have lying around)
1 or 2 lemons, sliced (depending on how much fish you have)
Olive oil
Garlic salt
Lemon pepper
Fresh Thyme (completely optional, i just had it lying around so I used it but you could just use more rosemary)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and place a bed of rosemary down the center of the pan. Cover with sliced onions. Lay fish on top of the onions/rosemary with skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil (I used extra virgin). Sprinkle with garlic salt, then sprinkle generously with lemon pepper and either more rosemary or fresh thyme. Cover with lemon slices. Bake on center rack of oven for 18-20 minutes.

Orzo with Baby Spinach and Ricotta
This is adapted from an America's Test Kitchen recipe to resemble a dish I had recently at my fav restaurant, Zinc

1 Tbs butter or olive oil
1/4 of one onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz orzo (this is a pasta that looks like rice)
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1-2 cups baby spinach (depending on how much you like it)
1/3 cup ricotta

Saute onion
and 1/8 tsp salt in butter until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and let heat until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add orzo and saute until browned, 3-5 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed. Add baby spinach and toss to wilt the spinach slightly. Put on plates and top each serving with a large dollop of ricotta.

And finally, the macaro(o)ns are from Martha, and I just added my favorite homemade caramel ice cream topping to the centers. Mine went everywhere because I didn't wait for it to cool, but if you refrigerate it beforehand, it stays in the center quite nicely.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

blowing dandelions

Happy Earth Day!

Go outside and enjoy this beautiful world today.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Artichoke, originally uploaded by m.o.m.o..

I ate my very first artichoke today. I mean, I've had hearts from a jar in dishes, but this was my very first start-to-finish artichoke experience.


Have you tried? Do you love?

I told Ben after eating it that someday I'm going to plant of lots of artichoke plants and when it's time to harvest I'm going to have an artichoke party. It will be a few months before my hot coca/homemade marshmallows party.

I'm taking RSVP's now. You in?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

i've resorted to talking about the weather

better hail
What's this stuff?!


Later, the report to mom will be, "Daddy let me eat little tiny ice balls while you were gone!" With, interestingly, no mention of how this was done sans pants.

The weather has been crazy here in the past couple of weeks. One day we are in the 70's and the next, hail, rain, or wind wind wind. Although usually even the nice days are accompanied by wind (quite delightful when you live next to a vast field of dirt).

Perhaps this is the reason that Benson has become sort of obsessed with tornadoes. He draws pictures of them and knows all about them: they come from the sky, they spin really really fast, and they can suck you up and kill you. When I asked him where he learned this stuff from he said, "I don't know. I just kind of figured it out, I guess." And then he added, "But mom, you know what's even more dangerous than tornadoes? Black holes." This he learned from cousin Spencer (along with the fact that we are made up of meat.)

And you know what Banksy likes to do and say lately? "Dang it!" while smacking himself in the face. These kids are like sponges. Which reminds me of an online class i took once that spoke of children having internal chalkboards, and everything you say and do is written on them for good. yikes.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

the easter bunny skipped our house

easter 2009-6

easter 2009-5

easter 2009-4

easter 2009-3

easter 2009-2

easter 2009

I told Benson that the Easter Bunny was too tired to come to our house this year. Benson said, "What's the Easter Bunny?" Obviously my lack of get-it-doneness is still acceptable at age 4. Whew. I have one more year to get my act together and then it's traditions (traditions! do dee do dee do, traditions!) from now until the end of time.

Thanks to my lovely go get'em friends the littlies did at least have an Easter egg hunt. Which was super fun. AND they've already forgotten about the candy, which is super awesome. And today we had a lovely Christ-centered Sunday, full of church, and dinner with friends (thanks again, Natalie!), and missionary discussions. And that's the most important part so maybe I'm not too bad a mom after all.

Monday, April 6, 2009


I totally stole this cute quiz from my sister in law, Rachel. Thanks, Rachel! It's so funny to see into the mind of a four year old.

Kid Quiz
Ask your child(ren) to answer the questions and type their answers in.

1. What is something mom always says?
"mmm I don't know" editor's note: I am SHOCKED he didn't say, "Choose to be nice." Good insight here.. apparently it hasn't sunk in yet even though I say it 25 times a day.

2. What makes mom happy?
"giving her hugs and kisses"

3. What makes mom sad?
”hitting my brother"

4. How does mom make you laugh?
"tickle me in my arm pit"

5. What do you think your mom was like as a child?
"a baby"

6. How tall is your mom?
Benson- (arm in air to show how tall) Banks says, "big"

7. How old is your mom?
"I don't know, can you tell me?"

8. What is your mom's favorite thing to watch on TV?

9. What does your mom do when you are not around?
"go on a date"

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
"mm I don't know, that's what I know, I don't know"

11. What is your mom really good at?
"I don't know"

12. What is your mom not very good at?
"playing baseball"

13. What does your mom do for her job?
"Hmm.. Make food"

14. What is your mom's favorite food?

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
"giving me presents"

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
"a fireman"

17. What do you and your mom do together?
"Hmmm I don't really know"

18. How are you and your mom the same?
"when we wear the same shirts"

19. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
"Old Navy"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

baby banks

banks feet-2
banks feet

Little Banksy. I remember when Benson was 2 and we really thought he was so big. He seemed so capable and we expected so much from him. I wonder now how I ever thought that, as I still see Banks as the baby he is. He weighed in yesterday at 22 lbs and 33 1/4 inches. That puts him below the 5th percentile for weight and between 10th and 25th for height. Maybe it's because he really is so much smaller that he still seems like a baby. I don't know, but either way I kind of hope he never gets bigger.