Tonight's dinner - a copy cat version of TGIFriday's Bruschetta Chicken Pasta:
Grill up a couple of chicken breasts. You can season with your favorite grill seasoning or plain old salt and pepper.
Cut on the bias.
Coarsely chop 5-6 cloves of garlic. Don't skimp!
Heat 2TB EVOO in pan, but not too hot. Lower heat Med-low
Add the garlic and cook gently until soft - don't let it get brown. You want it to be soft and sweet, not brown and burnt.
Add one 15oz can of diced tomatoes. You can turn the heat up now to medium.
Add splash of Balsamic Vinegar
Add 1/2C tomato sauce (I use spaghetti sauce)
Cook 12oz of angel hair pasta.
Toss pasta with sauce, add chicken, add some Parmesan cheese.
[Between me and the kids, we ate the entire contents of the pan shown - no leftovers for Scott tomorrow!]
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tonight's dinner - a copy cat version of TGIFriday's Bruschetta Chicken Pasta:
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Now that the cooler weather has settled in, I embarked on a lunch hour mission - purchasing new jeans for the kiddos. I work very (too) close to an outlet mall, making this task quite easy. I stopped in at the Old Navy and within 15 minutes had accomplished my mission - 2 pairs of jeans for each kid.
My speedy execution meant I had time to walk around to some of the other stores. This normally causes trouble! See my favorite store here:
I avoided temptation by not even looking into the Coach store. No looky, no spendy money! I ended up at the Bass Outlet where I bought ankle boots - two pairs for less than $60! I call that a productive lunch break.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The kids had the day off from school and Brian went to a local farm with George and his family. They brought home these very interesting gourds.
But wait - let's get another shot of the green, zucchini-looking gourd:
Yes, that's one giant gourd!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
OK, so I am cheating a little bit. The picture was taken late on Thursday, after I had already posted the pictures of Rascal. But Brian did such a great job on his Family Tree Project, I had to feature it somehow! Today is as good as Thursday....
I dug out a Family Tree scrapbook page out of my CM stash - this was so much nicer than the photo copied black and white worksheet the teacher gave out. Brian filled out the names and proceeded to decorate the page with additional stickers (again from my CM supply stash - lots of discontinued flower / bug stickers used up!).
Brian is big into this "bucktooth" thing (the smiley face with buck teeth next to his name). His front teeth were pretty "bucky" last year, but they look great now, so I'm wondering when the "bucktooth" signature will fade away. Probably never, knowing these kids!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Brian's birthday party started out at the local pizza palace, complete with games and prize tickets.
Tokens are used to earn tickets:
The tickets are redeemed for prizes:
The boys collected over 1400 tickets, enough for lots of little trinkets and the "big prize" behind "Door #1":
Back at home, the boys played Ghosts in the Graveyard, opened presents, ate cake, popcorn and watched a movie before hunkering down for the sleeping portion of the sleep over party. A fun time, for sure!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I give so much more screen time to Hannah, so today's pictures are of our other cat, Rascal. Rascal is over 15 years old now and was our "family starter kit". She adopted us while we lived in West Virginia (aka - she was a stray that showed up on our doorstop).
She still looks pretty good for an old kitty, relaxing in the grass:
[the hair on the top of her hair is matted down after drinking from our pond's waterfall - her favorite drinking spot]
I wonder what she was looking at in this picture - perhaps a bird or the neighbor dog.
Ah, the stresses of cat-life!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Because of the cool, wet summer, we have a bumper crop of soybean aphids, aka, gnats / tsetse flies / dang bugs. You know it's bad when the local news starts to report on these annoying swarms of minuscule bugs.
Case in point - the truck was freshly washed before I drove Erica to horse riding lessons, maybe 15 miles round trip. After this short trip, the windshield was covered with bug snot. Check out the side view mirror:
Hope the bugs die off soon.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The reason to have two propane tanks?
So when the tank you are using runs out of propane, you have a full tank waiting in the wings, ready to slap into use.
Too bad I forgot to fill that second tank "waiting in the wings".
Now I have two empty propane tanks and a cold grill.
This could only happen on the first day of Fall.
Monday, September 21, 2009
How can my "baby" be 10 years old today?
I remember 10 years ago, a crisp fall day with a stiff breeze. At 11:00, I decided to clean the windows in the house, including taking out all the screens and washing them outside with the hose. Brian was born three hours later, a scant 20 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. Yeah, no time for drugs.
I haven't cleaned windows since.
Happy birthday, Brian!!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
We let Brian open a couple of his birthday presents early - including this mongo Lego Bionicle. He put it together all by himself, even though he thought he might need help.
Look familiar? It's in the upper right corner of the magazine, from last week's 12 on 12:
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Erica's soccer team played against a team of all 8th graders today - a really good match ensued, but "Team Green" prevailed, 2-1 and their record improved to 3 and 0.
I am really proud of Erica and her accomplishments as a first time player.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Lots of fun at Brian's school tonight - ring toss, candy land, silent auctions and inflatables.
The boys took a break to watch the kids playing basketball. Actually, they were waiting for me to finish looking at the silent auction items!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Could this be the last opportunity for sprinkler action this season? Perhaps not, as the lack of rain these past weeks has required us to water the lawn. But the cooler temperatures could served as a deterrent.
Then again, maybe not.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
My task - separate the roll of tickets into strips of 22. The tickets will be sold during Brian's school's big Fall Festival Fundraiser and used to enter the inflatables, participate in games and other fun activities.
The task was easiest accomplished by folding the roll into sections of 11 and separating at every other fold. Looks like a fan:
One roll down, another one to go. I didn't even get a paper cut!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Erica actually requested that I take her picture this afternoon. These requests are so few and far between, I had to jump at the opportunity.
Really, she just wanted her picture with Hannah, but heck, I'll take it!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Time for my 12 pictures taken throughout my day. First of all, Scott and I celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary today! Nothing special planned, though - just a normal day - we'll take some time out in the next coming weeks to do something together by ourselves (like play a round of golf)
We had to get up early this morning - I hit the pavement at 7:30:
In my new-ish running shoes:
I ran 6+ miles this morning. I felt good, too - like the first time in several weeks.
And when I got back home, Scott was back from the gym with some treats!
We all enjoyed breakfast.
Brian's birthday is coming up, so he reviewed his birthday list with us:
We headed out to the pitch at 9:30 for Erica's soccer game:
Brian took the above picture and several more:
He insisted that I put on the lens hood - because he knows it helps reduce flare in sunny conditions. My budding photographer.
Erica's team looked great and won the game. Only 10 girls showed up for the game, which meant only one available sub during the game. They were worn out by the end!
Back at home, we had to run the sprinkler for the first time this year. Something you don't expect for September, but today was fairly warm, and the lawn is looking crispy.
I went to the grocery store, armed with the week's menu and shopping list:
Back from the store, I tried my hand at replicating Domino's Lava Crunch Cake (read here for the back story from a couple days ago) by making Molten Chocolate Cake - a recipe off The Pioneer Woman's website.
I managed to burn the edges of the cake slightly, but they were tasty. Very comparable - I'll try a few adjustments to the recipe to make them less cake-y and more chewy.
This evening, Scott and Brian will attend the Fighting Illini's Home opener game against Illinois State. Scott will watch the game while Brian eats junk food. [He did eat a decent dinner before heading out, though]
Finally, the latest song Erica downloaded off iTunes yesterday - this BoomBoomPow "song" [note I have the word song in quotes - because, how in the world can this be considered to be a song?].
We heard the Black Eyed Peas perform this selection during Thursday night's NFL opener, and Scott and I thought it was ridiculous. Of course, Erica likes the "song". And so, it is official - Scott and I are Old. We admit it without reservation.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Not something you see everyday - a snow white goose amongst a gaggle of Canada geese.
Yet they all get along. This big group of geese have been hanging out at my workplace for the past week or so. But I didn't notice the white one until Monday. And believe me, he really sticks out - completely white except for some of his tail feathers.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Scott works on a scrapbook that showcases our Colorado trip.
This isn't Scott's first foray into scrapbooking - he created a similar album after our Disney trip in 2005, and when we got back from Colorado, he got the Disney album off the shelf and declared he wanted to make another one.
We settled on a 9x9" album from Close to My Heart and the Sarsaparilla collection of paper and stickers - perfect for a rustic, horse-filled photo album. The pictures arrived today and Scott got straight to work. Note the low-tech scrap space. I think he completed 8 pages in less than an hour. I think I need to take his lead, as I haven't scrapped in 6 months or so. This may get me going again - I really need a scrapping kick in the butt.
What scrapping project are you working on now? What's your current favorite technique? Any advice in getting my scrapping mojo back?
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Another lucky symbol - a large red Chinese Knot
Today's date has made headlines, touted as "a lucky date". Because of today's alliterated date, people got married, the movie, 9, premiered, and Leica announced two new [really expensive] cameras [got 8 grand burning a hole in your pocket?]. I'm sure other "special events" were planned around today's date.
I remember a mere 10 years ago, a similar date rolled around - 9/9/99. On the cusp of the impending Y2K computer disaster, people were nervous about this date too - so much computer code used '9999' to denote the end of the routine. But I remember the date because I was on the verge of giving birth to my son, Brian, and Scott was hoping that I would pop early, on "9/9/99".
Suffice it to say, 9/9/99 passed and I was still pregnant - Brian emerged 11 days later on the 21st instead.
So that's what I thought about when reading about the significance of 09.09.09 (And that I need to get moving on planning Brian's 10th birthday party!). I can't wait for next year - all the focus will be on 10.10.10.
Because of the morning fog, I made sure I put the camera in the car. I love how the fog gives the landscape that fuzzy, ethereal look. I only managed to snap a shot of the road - it looks rather ominous, not ethereal, but I like it just the same.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
It's in the house - delivered by Mr. Brown UPS man.
I love Monin syrups for my coffee and tea. I can't find the syrups locally, so I order them from Taylor's Market - they have a great selection and great prices.
So, I'll christen the bottle of Pumpkin Spice tomorrow to enjoy in my coffee. Perfect for Fall.
Monday, September 07, 2009
I went to see Julie and Julia today. I really enjoyed the movie, especially the Julia parts - you could see how much Julia Child loved France and French food.
I have to admit that I went to this movie by myself (gasp!) - the first time I have ever gone to see a movie by myself. Scott goes by himself regularly, but this was something new to me, and really, only by convenience. Erica had been invited to see GI Joe and both movies were playing at the same time. My other friends had already seen Julie and Julia, and Scott wasn't interested. So by myself I went. I'm not scarred for life because of the experience, either.
So, today's picture is inspired by the movie - my collection of cookbooks and recipes - all kept in this handy cabinet in the kitchen island. I may check out Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, too - maybe it deserves some space here.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Scott's obsession with the NFL and the Colts has taken a serious turn. He's tracking their roster, looking at who's at the practice sessions, trying to determine who's going to get cut from the team. I think he has too much free time.
Case in point - he's tracking it all on an excel sheet. He wanted me to note the date I took the picture - because it will change tomorrow.
I still think he has too much free time on his hands.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Erica's first soccer game today - she did a great job!
Before the game, waiting:
She mainly played the defensive wing:
She sustained a slight injury when one of the opposing team stomped on her foot. She'll survive. And they won the game!