Monday, April 26, 2010
Later in the week we were talking about planets (that’s what they are doing now in preschool). I asked T, “what is your favorite planet?”
T: “Because it’s bumpy.”
The other day we went to visit Auntie Kerry’s “farm” (the place where she rides) and saw the horses, a bunny and a duck. Later T was explaining what he learned about horse poo (he saw the big pile of horse manure) – they roll it out and make it into fish and crab meat. Really? (D says it is no wonder he won’t eat fish and crab!)
And there has been much more submarine construction, of the lego variety. One night I heard T and D talking about submarines and next thing I know we have a whole submarine station in our bedroom with many submarines large and small including bathroom submarines (which if like me you don’t know what they do – bring bathrooms to houses). It is parked next to the shark submarine which has a special shark stun probe. Not to be confused with the shark looking submarine which is easy to spot as it has a window.
Then there is the message he left his Uncle Mike on the weekend. It went (according to Mike) like this: (shouted) Hello, Hello, hello … (D in background, “you have to leave a message”), then there was a long pause, then a whispered “this is T”. Mike phoned back to see what T had wanted to tell him and it goes as follows:
– can T see the Big Rocket before it leaves
– can Uncle Mike come over for a play date
– T had scored a goal on his soccer team
Yes, now T has soccer on Saturdays. He is part of a pre-school soccer “class” where they run around with soccer balls for 30 minutes and play a “game” for about 10 minutes. Lots of fun! There is much excitement when anyone scores a goal, half the time they score on their own nets but nobody minds. The teacher/coach is trying to explain the rules to them but mostly it’s all about the running and kicking (and playing what time is it Mr. Wolf?).
T also moved up to Killer Whales in swimming last week. He really had fun in his last Dolphin lesson. As an end of lesson treat they got to go down the Big Red Slide, several times. Killer Whales is a bit more serious swimming than Dolphins and T is worn out by then end of the 30 minutes. But he still loves it. Even though he struggles with the float board exercises. He makes me so proud. Except when he doesn’t listen to his teacher and then I’m embarrassed. All within 30 seconds.
4 year olds can be very sweet. Occasionally T comes up and gives me a drawing or a flower and says “I made this/found this for you, Mummy”. Aw – just melts my heart. Yesterday his little friend C gave me a flower too. So sweet. And they still are very huggy. At least the ones I know are. It could be a cure for the world – Hug a 4 year old! (Lots!)
Sunday, April 25, 2010
pesto chicken with leeks and mushrooms
5-6 medium red potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced into rounds
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 medium leeks, white and green only, sliced into half moons
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1/2 c. pesto (I used sun dried tomato and arugula pesto with walnuts)
1 c. chicken stock
1/2 c plain yogurt
1/4 tsp cayenne
Friday, April 23, 2010
I served it with a cheesy ham and mushroom sauce.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Here I topped the pizza with tomato sauce, torn spinach leaves, sliced mushrooms, sliced red pepper, sliced onion, crumbled feta and grated parmesan - for Good Friday. Here is the baked and half eaten pizza.
I have several favorite versions of this - one is to top the dough with a good amount of pesto followed by onion, spinach, mushrooms, ham or bacon and feta/parmesan. Another current favorite is to top the dough with grated mozarella, carmelized onion, torn pieces of prociuto (sp) and lots of grated parmesan. Other combinations include roasted red potato slices with rosemary, feta, olives, onion and parmesan or barbequed chicken, bechamel, onion, mushrooms and spinach....you get the idea. Experiment in your kitchen. Eat and enjoy!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
And the browned carrots. Then I got so busy cooking I forgot to take pictures.
The pot roast was delicious although next time I would beef it up with more seasonings - salt, pepper, garlic, some red wine and possibly serve with browned garlicy mushrooms. The polenta turned out really well - creamy and smooth and the perfect base for the meat and juices. And the dumplings were a hit as well. And D had seconds when he was cleaning up the kitchen.
After supper, when I was up tucking T into bed, he could hear D talking to our guests so he said "what are they still doing here?" I guess as he had left the party, he couldn't understand why everyone hadn't gone home....
Heat a knob of butter in a saute pan until bubbly. Add sliced mushrooms (portobellos work really well but cremini or button will do as well). When the mushrooms are brown, add a dash of cayenne, a splash of balsamic vinegar and ~ 1/2 c of crumbled feta cheese. Stir until the cheese is melded into the mushrooms. Add a splash of cream. You can also add some sliced green onion or some snipped chives if you have any on hand.
The mixture should be creamy and mushroomy. Serve warm. If serving as an appetizer, serve with bread or something to sop up all the yummy saucy bits. I served this batch with some chicken with pesto and goat cheese and roasted sweet potato.
T's seeds are starting to sprout so he's very excited. The seeds, soil pucks and seed tray (and the singing bird behind them which is just out of the picture) were all presents from Auntie K. She works part time at a garden center and I think she spends all her wages on buying gifts for our boy. He's very spoilt.
My backordered potato grow bags finally arrived in the mail last week so I planted them up along with another sample grow bag so here is a photo of all my potato grow bags lined up along the fence amid the apple blossom snow...
The squirrels seem to be staying away from the bulbs and they have so far, weathered the rain and wind storms....too bad you can't get scent in photos - the hyacinth smell amazing!
I sowed peas and sweet peas last weekend and T is under strict instructions (I'm sure he listened to those as well as he listens to everything else...) not to dig up those beds and containers. We shall see how it goes. Here is why I have to give the instructions - the first picture was taken this morning
after I tied up the rose bush that T kept running into (the peas were sowed just south of where the construction trucks are parked in this picture). This second picture was taken this afternoon after T's haircut.Here T is rescuing his quarry truck from the bank where it rolled over. He's called in his rescue trucks - "let go into action!"
T had his hair cut at the "fancy hair cut place" where he gets to sit in a boat (or car or train) and watch TV while his hair is cut and then gets to chose a toy. He chose a rocket ship (aka airplane) and was showing it to everyone (and I do mean everyone) down at the Quay both before and after he had ice cream. In between trying to convince me that we needed to take a ride on the Seabus right now. D is devasted that T's nordic curls are gone but T's been asking for a hair cut for weeks and was constantly pushing his hair out of his eyes. I figure T's more in charge of his hair than D is....
We all got ready and off we went to run errands and then it was time for soccer! Yes, yesterday marked the second week for T's pre-school soccer - mostly a 40 minute running around session for 7 kids T's age with some soccer balls thrown into the mix. T doesn't listen very well to instructions, so during the drills was the only child continuing to run around the room when all the others were stopping their ball with their heads or ears or elbows as instructed. He did better with the airplane kick the ball into the net drill and actually played "what time is it Mr. Wolf" this week although he is still a bit unclear on the rules. I think we'll be doing some soccer drills and playing Mr. Wolf a bit today. Then it was time for the game - 10 minutes of kids running in a pack after the ball, all around the room! Very fun. The kids don't really have a sense of which net they are supposed to be defending or shooting into. T scored a goal in his own team's net this week....Oh well. The kids all end the class with pink cheeks and they have fun!
After soccer we met up with some friends visiting from out of town for lunch. After a long visit we came home in time for me to make almost vegetarian chili and for T and D to play with trucks.
Almost Veggie Chili
1 onion, chopped
1 sliced red pepper
2 carrots sliced into thin slices
1 c. frozen corn
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 cans (or cooked equivalent) of beans (red kidney, black, navy)
1 jar tomato sauce (I used a batch of frozen sauce from last year's harvest)
2 tbsps tomato paste
chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika to taste
4-5 bacon rashers, sliced
Saute the bacon and onion together until the onion is soft. Add the pepper, mushrooms, carrots, corn, garlic, chili, paprika, mustard and brown sugar and cook about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook together for at least 20 minutes until the flavours are melded. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve topped with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream.
Note - I sometimes add chopped zuccini to this recipe - yesterday I added 2 c of cubed roasted winter squash (from the freezer) - it added fiber and texture to the chili.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
On the box is a recipe for Porcini Risotto with onion and sage. This is my adapted recipe from the box:
1 1/2 c. of sliced cremini mushrooms
1 medium, sliced onion
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 c. rice
1/2 c. white wine
1 tbsp fresh, chopped sage
5 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 c. grated parmesan
splash of cream, grating of nutmeg, and a good grinding of pepper
Melt the butter and oil in a medium hot pan and saute the onion and mushrooms for about 10 minutes. Add the rice and heat for about 5 minutes. Add in the wine and sage and stir. Add the chicken broth about 1/2 c. at a time, stirring regularly. Once the rice is cooked and the broth all absorbed, add the cheese and a splash of cream. Serve immediately. The sage and mushrooms work really well together to give a deep, woodsy flavour - yummers!
Monday, April 5, 2010
I made mashed potatoes and added some olive oil, sour cream, milk, grated cheese, dijon mustard and a dab of wasabi. I boiled up and then mashed together 8 carrots, 1 rutabaga and 1 swede along with some butter, grated nutmeg, pepper, cayenne pepper and dry mustard. In the bottom of a greased dutch oven I layered half the potato,
then added a layer of leftover creamed onion, mushrooms and spinach,
followed by a layer of diced cooked ham,
then the layer of mashed turnip and carrot,
followed by the last of the potato mixture.And being the kind of cook I am, I added a layer of grated gruyere cheese on the top
before baking at 350 deg F for 30 minutes.
Dinner is served. It was pretty yummy!
I posted about having planted a pot of bulbs. The day after I planted, I had hurried outside (in the rain) to add some sea soil to the veggie patch prior to planting peas when I noticed that my bulb planter had a hole in it. On closer examination, I noticed 2 brown bulb skins lying on the ground near the planter and that one of the tulips was missing. Grrr. A squirrel had breakfasted on one of my bulbs. I discovered that said squirrel had thoughtfully left me the stalk with tulip on the side of the planter which I brought in and stuck in a vase. Then I went outside and put cayenne pepper all around the remaining bulbs in the planter and moved it up onto a railing. I don't know whether that will make it easier or harder for the squirrels to reach a bulb snack. I'm hoping it is harder. So far, so good.
I'm also going to blame squirrels for breaking the ceramic dish I had filled with bird seed after the bird feeder smashed to smithereens a couple of weekends ago. I guess I should get another one so T can watch an assortment of birds feeding. I love watching them as well. Ok - that's my plan. Off to the garden center for seed starting pots and a bird feeder. As it is raining today and we need something to do besides watch Bob the Builder videos.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
So D and T looked up pictures of submarines in D's military books so T could see what they looked like and while I whipped up a batch of banana chocolate chip muffins, they made submarines.
The top one is D's model and the bottom one is T's. T's has the propeller in the front and comes equipped with bedrooms and bathrooms and a dining table. The crew eat cabbage and salad for dinner. When we asked T if he would eat cabbage and salad he said no. But he would eat the chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Unless he couldn't eat the cookies until he ate his dinner, in which case he would eat cabbage and salad. That is news to us! Apparently he's not ready for a submariner's life yet, he still is only eating cucumber and carrots - no cabbage or salad yet!