Monday, March 30, 2009

Sushi For Kids

Or as my little one likes to call it...schlushi *giggle* giggle*... he thinks the name is really really funny. I found this little idea a while back and decided to try it today. It's pretty simple and of course it's super messy so of course kiddos love it! Well the rice crispy marshmallow part anyway. (Mine lost interest after that because it involves cutting, and I wouldn't let him do that part.)

Here's what you do. Mix 1/4 cup of butter with 4 cups of marshmallows. Melt and stir until creamy. Add 6 cups of rice crispies. Lay wax paper out on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. then spray your hands with cooking spray. Dump out all the mixed up rice crispies and then mash down. It will only cover about half of the sheet. Let it cool for a minute.

Then you can add these beauties or gummy worms if you can't find these. Lay one or two down and then make a log out of the rice crispies. (you can make 2 or three of them). Cut the log in slices.
Then wrap them with fruit by the foot, or fruit roll-ups if you can't find these. And viola! There you have sushi, er um schlushi for kiddos! Give them some chopsticks to eat it with. (It makes me feel better about my chopstick skills when I watch my 3 year old try to use them!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Good Light

I attended an Easter Egg hunt with my kiddo yesterday in one of the local hotels. It was suppose to be held outside, but since there was snow on the ground, they moved it inside. Let's just say, inside is a lot smaller than outside, and I was almost witness to a fist-fight between a couple moms over eggs. There were a lot of angry, angry parents. But amidst the chaos, I noticed the hallway we were waiting in, had the most beautiful sunlight. You know, the kind of sunlight that makes you wish you could stand in it and relish it for hours. So, since I've been told that I need to get some photos of my son-shine in the mail, (believe it or not, I'm kinda of bad about sending out actual prints!), and since he just got a groovy little haircut (I know he just had one 3 weeks ago, but it grows an inch a day, I've convinced of that), we trotted downtown for some super sunlit shots.

Now, I know I'm his mom, and I'm a little biased... but really, he's pretty rad in this first shot. I don't tell him to do anything really when I take his pictures, especially to say cheese or smile (I don't do that with anyone)...this is his natural self....I'm in trouble.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Daffodil Days

I don't know if you've spent much time with a three year old lately, but a lot of the time, they are really hard to keep up with. She was no exception to the rule. Luckily her grandma had daffodils on hand and all kinds of fun furniture that I rearranged so we could play. I had to be quick with this one!!!!! She was a bright spot in my Saturday morning and I had so much fun with her!

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's a Bones on the Face Kind

We've been going through a little stage in my house lately. The dino stage. All dinosaur, all day. Every day is dino day. And being a girl I'm a little behind with the proper names and species of dinosaurs. Don't get me wrong, I kinda liked learning about them and I remember distinctly when a dig crew brought in a woolly mammoth leg to my 4th grade classroom, but dinosaurs were never a priority to me ......until now. But the names.....oh the names. My little one will bring one to me and sweetly ask "mommy, what's hims kind?" and I will return, all knowingly "it's a triggo-rama-roara-saurus", and then I will run and Google what it really is. Though, it is really fun to make up names. Park loves to make up words, so this is fun to him too sometimes.

Wyoming is a great place to be interested in Dinosaurs. There are murals in several little towns. There are several museums dedicated to just this subject. It doesn't hurt that a good portion of our state used to be under water and is a landmine for artifacts. There are a lot of great places to visit and there are all kinds of dinosaur digs going on....and I learned this weekend that there is one that kiddos can be involved in as well!

We visited the Wyoming Dinosaur Center this weekend. I'm pretty sure you're not suppose to take pictures, but I managed to sneak a couple. I couldn't resist.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Sometimes you never know what you're going to be inspired by. I never in my wildest dreams thought that a cartoon with a rat in it would inspire me to cook.... yet it did. We've been watching Ratatouille at my house a lot lately. If you haven't seen it, it's about a little rat named Remy who wants to be a chef in Paris. In the end (spoiler) he cooks a dish for dark lanky food critic that knocks his socks off. It looked so good, I had to find out if it was a real dish, which is is, and if it was worth making, which it was!

With a little research I discovered
Ratatouille is a French Provencal dish that is normally served as a side dish and is normally served as a stew. I thought it looked much better as a baked dish. It would be better in the summer or early fall when all the squash is ripe. There were so many variations that I kind of made it up as I went. You can serve this over rice or with whatever grain you wish.

Diced tomatoes (canned or done yourself, I used canned to make it easier)
3 tomatoes (when you are picking out veggies for this dish think long and skinny!)
1 green pepper sliced in whole rings (I would use red next time, as I think the flavor would go better with the rest.
1 Japanese eggplant (these are the long skinny ones, we didn't have any here so I chopped a regular one in half and sliced it that way)
2 or 3 zucchini squash sliced very thin (everything in this recipe must be sliced thin)
1 yellow squash (I didn't have one)
3 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 medium sized onion chopped finely
Red pepper flakes
Dried thyme (fresh if you have it)
Bay leaves

In the bottom of your baking dish (I used a smaller oval one) spread the diced tomatoes. Throw in the chopped onion and garlic and mix. Add red pepper flakes and dried thyme. If you want you can add a little salt and pepper as well. After you have chopped all the veggies arrange them concentrically around the dish. Sprinkle with a little more thyme and red pepper flakes. Put bay leaves on top and cover with parchment paper. Cook for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with goats cheese (that's the recommended cheese, I did not use that as I'm not a huge goat cheese fan, and instead I used slices of Parmesan)

See it's a fairly simple dish! The thyme brings out sooo many great flavors in all the veggies. My kiddo really really liked it and he was excited that he got to eat something from a cartoon!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vanilla Coconut Lotion Bars

The other day I ran out of this massage bar that I picked up a long long time ago. I was really bummed as I use it on my feet before bed to keep them from being cracked. Luckily the ingredients were printed right on top...and what do you know, I had all but one of them!!!!!
So today, I gave it a whirl. I made them really small. They fit in the palm of your hand. That way you can keep them in the kitchen or the bathroom or your desk and whenever you want to freshen up your hands (I do several times a day) just grab it. Instead of pulling out a big ol' tube and taking the lid off, etc. Kinda like a soap bar, only lotion! I made them in these little tins that I just happen to have in the kitchen. I believe they were from an antique shop or flea market, but I can't be sure.

The only thing I haven't been able to master is a scent that I'm completely in love with. While pomegranate remains my favorite, I would like to come up with something different. So all you scent masters out there, help me out!!!

Here's how I figured out how to make it. I didn't follow a recipe. It was a trial and error concoction. (by the way, if you want to smell like a fruit roll up...just mix coconut and pomegranate together....surprising several people I tested it on, really liked it!)

2 parts beeswax
1 part cocoa butter (the only ingredient I had to buy)
tad bit of olive oil (I'm ultra specific!)
tad bit of coconut oil
tad bit of almond oil
scent of choice (today I made vanilla coconut!)

I went the easy route and melted everything in the microwave, and then remelted if I didn't like it. You can also use the recipe for chapstick and instead of scent, use flavoring. I recommend the tubes, it's easier to apply.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

O My, The Leprechauns Must Be Rich!

About 6 years ago, I made my first trip over seas. To Ireland. I visited countless Castles. I kissed the most unsanitary rock in the world at the top of one, with a complete stranger holding me so I wouldn't slip to my death...just to say I did, and then admired the rolling country side immediately after as if I wasn't scared at all. I rode in the passenger seat on the wrong side of the car holding on for dear life, with my feet on the dash for 7 days. (no I didn't drive, it was a stick shift, and after so many years of "not getting it" and near death experiences, I wasn't about to try there, in the land of roundabouts) I bought wool sweaters. Rugby jersey's. I drank beer, whiskey and Bailey's and coffee with every meal (it was vacation!) I came home with a stuffed sheep named Bunratty, which my puppy immediately took ownership of. (they are together forever now in the mountains)

Needless to say, Ireland holds a special place for me...therefore St. Patty's is always a big celebration here. (That and I'm a wee bit Irish, and I feel like I owe it to my Grandfather, the tall dark haired irishman, to make it special!)

Today we woke to find the leprechauns had made the milk green ( I had a co-worker years ago tell me about this, and I saved it in the back of my brain until Park came along!) and we danced an Irish jig (which I cannot do well.... but I like to think I can!) I went to work with a tattoo of a clover on my arm.

When we came home, the leprechauns came again...and left treasure. "O' my, the leprechauns must be rich" my baby said. Then we made green milk shakes. And since I didn't have time to make this....I just make an Irish milk shake. The Bailey's flavored ice cream covered in whiskey whipped cream kind. It was fantastic!

May love and laughter light your days! Happy St. Patty's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cake Bites

There was an awful lot of fun happening in the kitchen at the Pioneer Woman. She met with Bakerella (awesome inventor of cake pops) and baked for days on end. I can only bake for a little while before the sugar gets to me and I feel like if I don't eat a hunk of meat or something that I might spin into wild oblivion. I love sugar, but my body doesn't so much. I revolts against me and puts me in misery. So does butter covered crab...I eat it anyway!

This weekend though, we decided to give these little gems a whirl. After all, the process looked right up the alley of a three year old. They are suppose to come out looking like mini cupcakes, but 1. I'm not a really cupcake person and 2. I knew I could never get them to look that way with the help of the little man that lives in my house. I didn't really think I would like to eat these as much as I liked looking at them... but surprisingly I REALLY liked them. I think these would be perfectly awesome for parties.
Chocolate almond bark
Cake mix
Tub of frosting
Meltable Candy Wafers in whatever flavor you choose (I used p-nut butter)
Bake cake as directed on box. Let cool. Crumble in a bowl and add most of the tub of frosting and mix around with hands until it's all a huge mess and your toddler is covered in cake crumbs. Cool for a couple hours in the fridge. Roll into little balls.
Melt Chocolate bark in the microwave. Pour into molds (the chocolate cup kind) and put the rolled balls in the middle. Refrigerate for a few minutes. Take out of molds and dip into second melted flavor. Decorate with sprinkles! For full directions, see here. (She takes many, many more pictures for how too's than I do!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

That Morning Glow

She was a little under the weather this morning.... but it was nothing that a little morning glow can't fix...unless you fall over in the dirt (which she did.) Sometimes it's nice to only be awake for a couple hours, and then take a nap and start the day all over! (Which I hope she did)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Just Happen to Know....

it's her birthday tomorrow. The first one. And I got to celebrate a little early by taking her one year old pictures this past weekend. She was all dolled up and ready to party already!

Kings Casserole

During food week, the others that participated came up with some really really great recipes to share. This one in particular caught my eye, because is was a casserole with a little zip in its step. It's a tad time consuming, but it was worth it to me! This is the type of dish that would god fantastically with a margarita. On rocks. With salt.

You can find the recipe here. I did have a few changes to it though. It called for the chicken to be shredded, and really the only place I will ever eat shredded chicken is at Bernie's in the town I went to college....don't ask me why, it's just a thing I have. Besides, it was much faster just to chop it and cook it, plus I think each bite gets a little more of the lime flavor. Speaking of the lime flavor, when I cook chicken I cook it in water to make it more moist, so when the water boils off I add more... I also added more lime each time as well and a little bit of salt. Also, I did not cook the tomatoes in the sauce, I just used them as a layer. And... I used A LOT of cheese. I a cheese fanatic. In fact I'm kind of a dairy fanatic, it's the one food group I couldn't live without. Good thing I'm not lactose intolerant or I would be in some serious trouble!!!
Oh... and don't forget to add a dollop of daisy to this... makes it sooo much better!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men. ~ chinese proverb

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Little Bit of Color in a Grey Day

We had a little spring storm today.. for the exact amount of time I was at this house shooting these adorable kiddos. Not an hour after I got home.... the sun came out. Even without the sun I caught some gorgeous glimpses of these two.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Cookie Master

That's what he calls himself now. Even though we hardly ever make cookies......he's "The Cookie Master." He can can crack eggs, he knows the difference between different ingredients, and like his mother, he likes to lick the bowl. We didn't make cookies today, we made these.

I'm a brownie batter eater, which I've mentioned before. It's an addiction which I have passed on to my child. And unlike my mother (sorry mom) I leave more than needed in the bowl. I don't skimp on the batter. But now... I have competition. It's difficult to compete with your child for food. You don't really want to take it away from them, but you don't really want them to get it all either. It didn't used to be a competition, I could eat as much as I wanted and he would be dandy with it because he had a stomach the size of a walnut. That is not the case anymore. Though he is still skinny as skinny can be... we look at each other like ravenous wolves when it comes to brownie batter. Our eyes glaze over. We drool. It's ravenous I say!

And then I look at his big eyes loving every bite gracing his lips and I give up. I can't help it. Once you're a mom, you really would give your left arm to you child if they needed it. And I... let him clean out the brownie batter bowl. It all part the of sacrifices a mother must endure.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Outta Towner

I don't normally shoot kiddos during the week, but then again I've never had an Aunt of a kiddo call me up and ask for pictures of their niece who was flying into town for a visit....until now. I thought this was sooooo wonderful and sweet. She was a firey red head with a never-ending amount of energy. I had a blast with her!!!!