Tuesday, November 22, 2011

mark is 30

This September Mark turned 30 (I know its almost December) I am a little behind on my posts. But I figure better late than never. I wanted to him to get away with his family to just relax as well as surprise him where we were going. After much hunting for a place that would be big enough for all of us (our family, his brothers family, and his parents) and not too far of a drive. I decided on this beautiful home on Lake Sutherland, http://www.vrbo.com/317581. I feel like a lot of the time when looking at places online they never look just as good in person. But this place definitely looked just as awesome when we got there as it does in the pictures in the link above. It was soo perfect.

Miles took his first ferry ride and enjoyed some jojos.

The weather was beautiful!!

We even got a pretty good family snapshot, took a few tries, and Miles isn't looking but it was fun.

Monday, October 10, 2011

zucchini a plenty (recipes 6 & 7) + nutritional info

Here are a yet a few more recipes I have made with my zucchini stash. 

Recipe 6: Stuffed Zucchini
This is a creation of my own (beware). It is a spin off from stuffed bell peppers. I waited for some of my zucchini to get extra big. I don't like to eat them when they get too big because the texture becomes too spongy for me. Basically I cut the tops off and then scooped out the middle with a spoon. Then I just sliced a little off of the bottom so that they would sit flat. 

I then just started grabbing what I could find in the cupboard, fridge or garden. I ended up with couscous, sausage, philadelphia cooking cream, sage, thyme, rosemary, chives, onion, and cheddar cheese. Cooked the couscous then combined everything together. I think this would be awesome with quinoa. However, Mark is allergic to it :(  

I heated the oven to 350 and baked for about 30 minutes with a 1/4 C of water on the bottom of the dish. 

I also saved the seeds for next years harvest!

Recipe 7: Dark Chocolate Banana Zucchini Bread
This recipe was provided by Marks cousin. Thank you Mary Ellen! I made mini loaves instead of muffins.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 medium zucchini, grated, 1 banana, mashed, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 egg, 1 cup yogurt, 200 grams dark chocolate chips. Mix banana, zucchini, sugar, egg and yogurt. Add flour mixture. Add chocolate chips. Scoop into muffin tins, 10 to 15 minutes for mini muffins (at 350) or 25 to 30 minutes for large muffins.

Health benefits of zucchini (courgette)
  • One of the very low calories vegetable that is used during weight reduction and cholesterol control programs. Zucchinis provide only 17 calories per 100 g. Contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Its peel is good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancers.
  • Courgette is relatively moderate source of folates, consists of 24 mcg or 6% of RDA per 100 g. Folates are important in cell division and DNA synthesis. When taken adequately before pregnancy, it can help prevent neural tube defects in the fetus.
  • It is a very good source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte; helps reduce blood pressure and heart rates by countering effects of sodium.
  • Fresh fruits are rich in vitamin A; provide about 200 IU per 100 g.
  • Furthermore, zucchinis, especially golden skin variety are rich in flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds help scavenge harmful oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) from the body that play a role in aging and various disease process.
  • Fresh fruit is good source of anti-oxidant vitamin-C.  Provide about 17.9 mcg or 30% of RDA per 100g.
  • In addition, they are also good in B-complex group of vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and potassium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids, helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

Miles & Chuck waiting for zucchini (haha, not really)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

zucchini a plenty (recipes 3-5 + live tasting)

Here are a few more recipes I have made with my zucchini stash. 

Recipe 3: Grilled Zucchini
The other night I got a pork tenderloin at Central Market and marinated it then grilled it with walla wallas and zucchini. It was awesome. The best part about grilling is there is very little mess to clean up. 

Recipe 4: Zucchini Orzo Salad
Found this recipe while I was shopping at central market. They served it with rockfish and it was awesome. I just made it for a side dish twice this week for two picnics. 

3/4 cup orzo pasta
1 1/2 T unsalted butter
1 1/2 T olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
1 med zucchini (3/4 lb) diced
1 med yellow squash (1/2 lb) diced
1 T white wine vinegar
1/2 cup toasted chopped haselnuts
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped basil
1 t lemon zest

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook according to package instructions. Drain pasta and set aside. Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter and olive oil. When butter melts and foam subsides, add shallot. Saute until translucent and lightly browned. Add both squash and stir occasionally until tender and lightly browned. Add vinegar and season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl. toss together vegetables and orzo. Add hazelnuts, herbs and zest. Adjust seasoning and serve ware, room temperature or chilled.
Recipe 5: Pureed Zucchini (for Miles)
Wash and cut the zucchini into 1" circles. Steam the zucchini until tender then rinse in cold water to stop cooking. Blend in food processor or blender until a smooth consistency. Then freeze in ice cube trays and transfer to air tight bag for up to three months. Defrost to serve. Or store in the fridge for up to three days in an air tight container. 

Now for the taste test, haha, this is great!
 I have been told that it can take over 10 times to get a baby to begin to like/enjoy certain foods so we will keep trying.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

zucchini a plenty (recipe 1 & 2)

In the northwest we can't always count on a bountiful summer garden. However, the zucchini seems to be a faithful and reliable vegetable no matter how much or little sun we get. 

The only problem is one can only eat so much zucchini as a side veggie with dinner. So one needs to get a little more creative.  I love allrecipes.com. I really like being able to see how many people have reviewed the recipe and the rating. You usually can't go wrong when there are hundreds of reviews and the rating is high. Here are my first two recipes of the zucchini season :)

Recipe 1: Blueberry Zucchini Bread
I made 8 mini loaves, some to freeze and some to give and some to eat. I had 4 pints of blueberries I needed to use so this recipe was perfect. You can find the recipe here. I didn't quite double it and didn't add as much sugar.

Recipe 2: Turkey Sausage & Zucchini Quiche
I have to thank my mom for this idea. I am totally not a morning person and don't want to spend too much time thinking about what to eat in the morning let alone try and make something. But I love having protein and something warm to start my day and Mark needs protein to keep up his energy. 

I didn't really follow this recipe as much but used it as a guideline for how many eggs and how much cream I needed. I used two medium sized zucchini, about a 1/4 walla walla onion and 5 turkey sausage links (I just use the already cooked ones) instead of the asparagus and then grabbed some fresh sage, thyme, and rosemarry. I also used half and half instead of cream, bought pre-made crust, and added one more egg. Okay so there are a lot of modifications...but it turned out really well and so easy to just heat in the microwave when I am half asleep in the morning.

More to recipes come as more zucchini arrives!

Monday, July 25, 2011

mark graduated!

Mark graduated last weekend!! After 5 years of hard work it was fun to celebrate him finally graduating. After a few more hours of on the job training requirements he can take his test and be a licensed journeyman. I am very proud of him! They had a nice dinner for us and a Carhartt jacket for all the graduates. Miles was very well behaved and caught a lot of eyes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Miles is 5 months old

Miles is more fun each day. He is laughing a lot and starting to show his personality more and more. For whatever reason he has been stomping his foot a lot (I will have to post a video once I get one).These pictures pretty much sum up his facial expressions right now; serious, happy, interested, intrigued. I am so thankful to have such a healthy and happy baby!

Monday, July 18, 2011

DIY: wooden storage boxes

FINALLY I finished the boxes I have been working on for a month or so now. Took much longer than I expected but I am totally pleased with the result. Not sure if I would do it the same next time as it cost more money than I wanted to spend. I might spend more time looking for wood boxes that would fit in the shelving. 

1. pick out wood and cut it on a table saw to the dimensions you want

2. screw wood pieces together (this was tough)

3. fill screw holes with wood filler (and any other dents/scratches you might have)

4. sand wood filler down (basically like muding and sanding drywall) repeat 3 & 4 as necessary

5. paint boxes (let dry completely)

6. paint chalkboard paint on box as desired
 Remember the before...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

pretty in pink

I am in love with this cool setting I can use on my Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS digital elph. You can select one color from the scene you are shooting and keep only that color while turning the rest of the picture into black and white. This is my second digital Canon Elph camera and most likely won't be my last. 

Monday, July 11, 2011


Two weekends ago we went to Cashmere (WA) for Marks cousins wedding reception. It was the first time most of his extended family got to meet Miles including his grandpa. The weather was awesome and we had a lot of fun. Not too long before that we also went to Tonasket to help my grandpa out with some yard work and visit him. Its very awesome to see four generations of family together. Also snagged an awesome picture of Miles and Great Grandpa Sterling.


DIY: finish wood table

Mark's parents gave us a table that Mark's grandpa made. I was super excited to get a piece of furniture he made. His grandpa is an amazing wood worker and has made a lot of different pieces for his family. I was also really excited because I had been wanting a table for our patio but not wanting to spend a lot of money for one. 

The table had never had a finish on it. To protect the table from weather and to make it look new again did the following:

1. sand the table with a finish sander

2. wipe the table with a wet cloth to remove dust
3. hand brush a water based urethane

4. let dry and apply a second coat

This only took me an hour or so and I am very happy with the results. Next step is finding some chairs to go along with it, goodwill hunting to come.

Friday, June 24, 2011

catch up

I have been fairly terrible these last two months with posting... so now I will play catch up. I made some design updates to the blog and will most likely keep playing around until I can decide what I like the most. Any feedback you have would be great.

I start work next week (part-time). Knowing this was coming I have started doing a whole house reorg while I have more time on my hands. Mark and I went through our bedroom closets and took a ton of clothes to goodwill. We use Turbo Tax to file our taxes each year. What is so awesome is that they let you keep track of all your donations online throughout the year and help you determine how much everything is worth. Its already estimated our savings about $183.I also take pictures of everything we donate just in case the auditors want to take a look :)

Next step in the reorg is cleaning up the storage in the bathroom. This is what it currently looks like:

I decided I wanted to make custom size boxes that fit in the shelf. I have cut all the pieces and will be assembling them this weekend. Hopefully I can show you the finish product soon.

Peonies are in bloom and I am loving it. They are my favorite flower. I have planted a few in my garden but the previous owners must have had a love for them too!

I am addicted to this recipe I found for mango ginger sorbet. I have already made three batches. I haven't even had a chance to take a picture because I eat it so fast. Here is the recipe though (I add lots of extra lime juice and ginger because I can't get enough). I promise if you like lime, ginger, and mango you will love this. Its perfect for a hot sunny day.
- 2 mangos
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3/4 Sugar
- 3/4 Water
- 1 t fresh grated ginger
* Create a simple syrup with the sugar and water (let completely cool). Remove the skin from the mango and roughly slice up. Add to a food processor and slowly add the simple syrup, lime juice and ginger. Cool in refrigerator then follow ice cream maker instructions.

sewing class
I am just a beginner myself but decided instead of signing up for a sewing class with my friend, who is new to sewing, we would do a mini lesson at my house. We decided to make fabric envelopes (courtesy of Jones Design). It was a lot of fun!

Miles is more fun each day. He has been laughing a lot and sleeping quite a bit at night which has been really nice for me. We dedicated him at church on Father's Day. The verse we chose for him was Isaiah 30:18:

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.

Lastly, my cousin and her two kids are back for a little while from their 2 year adventure in Columbia (1 year down, 1 more to go). They came over for lunch to meet Miles. It was a lot of fun to see them.

Our good friends are getting married this weekend, woohoo! Mile's second wedding this month :) Hope to have some pics to share soon.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

chilling with grace

My wonderful friend Grace came to stay with us for a little while. It was so awesome to see her and catch up as well as have another pair of arms to pass Miles off to. Miles is already preparing for his first Boundary Waters adventure.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sunny Arizona

This past week we got to take a break from the rain and venture down to Phoenix. We stayed at one of the Hilton resorts and it was a lot of fun. They have a cool little water park where you can float down a "river" on an inner tube (drinks are allowed). We spent most of our time at the hotel but ventured up to Sedona one day. There is a Catholic church that is built in the rocks there that was cool to see. Miles definitely enjoyed the sunshine and the water. We are really looking forward to the summer.

Playing with Dad in the pool

Lounging poolside
Drying off from Swimming


Sedona Catholic Church

Class Reunion

Last weekend we had out birthing class reunion. About half of the couples showed up but it was a lot of fun to see all the other babies that are so close to the same age as Miles. I am pretty sure he is the cutest ;)