Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cleaning Break

I decided a little break from the cleaning & reorganizing would be a good thing. I have a list of major things to do need attention and fresh air. Right now my project basket has been on hold so there has been no knitting, crocheting a baby blanket, redwork embroidary or canvas bag embroidery. Can't seem to do it all at once and that's ok. It's ok for moms to cut themselves some slack.
I have also missed my baking and have been on a good cooking streak lately. So here's another version of an Asian dinner night.
White rice
Steamed broccoli
Chicken and vegetable dumplings
Salmon in sauce
The salmon I put in a pan with 3/4 cup of water, cover with a lid and cook on medium to high heat for 20-25 minutes. More water may be needed if it evaporates too quickly. The salmon should be flaky when it's done. In a separate pan put 1 tablespoon of oil 2-4 cloves of garlic and cook till tender. In a bowl measure less than 1/4 cup of light soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger and mix in cooked garlic and oil. Pour over the salmon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Welcome to my space! No login required just imagination and creativity needed. Lately it's been in desperate need of a clean up and reorganization. So from Sunday to Monday this became the next cleaning project.

So with my husband's help he expanded my library. He put up two shelves in the shape of an "L" above the door frame in the hallway. Shelves have been instrumental in my home for making more space in unexpected places.

This helped open some space on the shelves above my desk so I could clean up.
And now my space has everything back in it's place and can be utilized for putting photos in albums/library/quiet place/napping/sewing/knitting/crocheting/journal writing/drawing/puzzles/doing homework/origami/reading/putting cards away/gathering materials for fabric projects or quilts/embroidary work.... ok I guess you get the picture.

The real reason for this is to have a space of my own to gather materials for my thoughts. Some projects or reading may be done very soon or not for a very very long time from now. Either way it's been a peace of mind to have half a wall to call my own. As a mom many of us can relate that we can lose ourselves once our little ones come along. I see this little corner as a place for myself so that I can be a better mom. The space can be a room, half a room, a wall or a corner with whatever you want in it. All that really matters is that there is a place for a mom to save her sanity.

But I should warn you almost every My Space has a hacker.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thrifty Fun Finds

The kids are having a great time with the typewriter. I just need more ribbon.
New to the library
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Open House by Elizabeth Berg
Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman
The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman

Friday, September 25, 2009

Art Studio cleanup

Lately I have been in clean up mode. I think because of the changing of the season everyone seems to go into clean up mode or nesting syndrome.

First to get done was in my kitchen around the herb garden windowsill the art sudio. It's a place for our art materials, crafts, paper, writing and drawing tools, play dough, clay etc. We keep a variety of the typical children's arts and crafts but we are working towards adding more of the real art materials.

Next added more herbs to the windowsill so that we can keep using fresh herbs as it gets cold.
Today food shopping. Finally some veggies in the fridge!

This tasty dish is brocoli rabe with fresh bread and a slice of provolone cheese. The brocoli rabe can be bitter sometimes but it will always energize. Take a bunch of brocoli rabe and wash. (I cut off the thick stem because I don't like the taste.) Put in a pan add 1 chopped garlic clove, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste. Toss, cover with lid and then cook on medium to high heat for about 5 minutes or until the it wilts. Serve with fresh bread or over pasta.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Birthday Fun!

Yesterday was my birthday and it's been a three day event of family time :))
Saturday apple picking.

The whole gang Sophia 3, Valentina 5, Stefania 6, Gianfranco 8 and Melania 1 (in the wagaon).

Sunday morning chocolate chip or apple pancakes.

Sunday at the beach day before grandma's.

Monday night dinner and gifts.

Fishcakes with tomato and spinach salad, rice and broccoli.

What to read next? Favorite part of my birthday the smiles, fresh air and thoughtful writing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fun Finds

A couple of days ago I had good luck finding books at the thrift store. New to my library by a couple of my favorite authors are:
Jodi Piccoult's books:
Keeping Faith
Nineteen Minutes
Second Glance

Alice Hoffman's book:
Skylight Confessions

As for the tablecloth I couldn't resisit because the picture on it looks so pretty. I don't know if this should remain a tablecloth or it's a future skirt with a matching bag. I just love looking at it.

We also had fun finding some children's books this weekend.
Grammie's Secret Cupboard
Dancing in the Wings
The Moon Ring
Feet Man and Mr.
Tiny Block Party Today!
Traveling Man The Journey of Ibn Battuta
Animals of America

Hope to have all this on library thing one day.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Asian Night

Ok I'm a little behind on what I call Asian night dinner. I was hoping to have a little more because I had some ideas I wanted to try out but time didn't allow me to do that. So my husband made one of our family favorites chicken fried rice.

This is a great way of how he uses the previous night's dinner and turns it into a completely different meal. The previous night this was a rotisserie chicken, white rice and a side of steamed vegetables. Tadaaa! It's fried rice. What's needed for this dish:

day old white rice

steamed vegetables (we used broccoli and sweet snap peas)

cooked diced chicken

1 medium onion
2 Tablespoons oil (we use canola)
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
garlic powder and black pepper to taste

In a pan heat oil. When oil is warm add onions and sautee till clear. Spoon in rice and break apart. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until hot. Constantly stir so it doesn't stick to the pan. Stir in the snap peas (or any of your favorite steamed vegetables), soysauce, garlic powder and black pepper. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Garnish with steamed broccoli and serve hot.

Next to the fried rice I made onion cakes. This is similar to the green onion cakes from Martin Yan's Culinary Journey Through China. I don't even where to begin with this recipe so it's just easier to show you.

It's the dough and onions that we need for this recipe (tofu and rice are for the sushi).

Part of Asian night I was going to make sushi but that turned into the following night's dinner. What I like about making sushi at home is that I don't use raw fish. I'm not a fan of raw food. I create my own versions this one includes baby spinach, carrots, cucumber avocado and tofu. The rice is flavored with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt and then sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

Happy eating!

Little of this and that

I just want to start off with addressing the comment problem. I have tried a few things in my settings in hope that it will help those that have had trouble leaving a comment. If it doesn't work? Well back to the drawing board. By the way giving the computer dirty and confused looks has NOT helped.
Onward ! Monday and Tuesday we've had beautiful weather. I spent so much time outside I think it was fresh air overload for my system. By Tuesday night I needed to get back inside. So yesterday turned out to be grocery day. So I look forward to doing a little baking and/or cooking. If things go well today maybe tomorrow you could see pictures of Asian night.

For now I have just been catching up on my reading. Shanghai Girls was wonderful. I couldn't put it down and read it in 3 days. This will be a keeper in my library. It reminded me a lot of Amy Tan's novels because there is very intense plot that takes place in China and a lot of history. The author was kind enough to respond to my email and said that yes there will be squel. Phew! If there wasn't going to be one it would be a major let down.

Other fun reads:
This magazine has great ideas on family organic living.

My friend introduced me to Adriania Trigiani's other novels and I have enjoyed them very much. Viola in Reel Life is her first novel for teens. I was curious and started reading it. In a few years 4 out 5 kids will be teenage girls around here, so I was thinking maybe this book would be something to keep in my library for them. Hopefully we will all like the same author even if they may not like what I have to say.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday Morning Baking

These chocolate chip bars got eaten up pretty quickly. The recipe is from the back of the Domino light brown sugar package. The one on the website is different from the package.

Craving for carrot cake

Morning muffins and carrot cake for this week's homeade treats. These 2 recipes are under construction they taste good but I have to rewrite them to see what I did. I tried a new variation of each of these and they are both allergy friendly (no eggs and no milk but still tastey).

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Daily Therapy

A little windowsill herb gardening.

I don't have much of a green thumb but I'm trying once again trying not to kill the herbs. I think my green thumb power is to kill some, regrow some, sprinkle seeds and find unexpected surprise herbs in another pot. So far my method seems to work. When I need to spruce it up I go to my mom's herb garden pull things out bring it home and re pot and sprinkle seeds.

I'm surprised how theraputic it is to get my hands dirty in some soil, potting and regrowing. Mama's sometimes need that little something in their day even for just a moment to rejuvinate.





Sipping tea



Reconnecting with a loved one

A smile or laughter from a child

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Needlwork Therapy

This is a canvas pencil case that I embroidered for my son. The pencil case comes in a package of 15 and can be bought at Lakeshore Learning. Last month I started putting together my embroidery supplies but I didn't know what to make. Then I looked at one of my t-shirts for inspiration.

I photo copied the shirt onto paper. Then minimized and darkened it so the picture would fit on to the bag. I taped the picture to the inside of the bag, used a light box and fabric marker and traced the picture on to the fabric.

And here is my first completed embroidery work. I'm looking forward to making more of these for my family. Each one has a diffrent idea what they will use it for.

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