Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner Spinach Salad

We LOVE breakfast for dinner around here but I'm always feeling like I'm missing out on my greens. Let's be honest, I'm usually playing catch-up on my veggie servings by the time I get to dinner! So I concocted this salad idea and it was a hit with the hubs! The kids had scrambled eggs an green beans and were none the wiser. One day you'll be down with runny yolks my little friends!

This is a great recipe for when you need a quick dinner with things you probably already have in your fridge, plus it has that "breakfast for dinner" comfort food feel!

Breakfast for Dinner Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

9oz fresh baby spinach
4oz prosciutto
4 eggs
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (DIY or Brianna's Real French Vinaigrette is my go-to)
Two slices of wheat toasted, buttered 
Black pepper

Directions:

1. Saute prosciutto in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. (About 5 minutes depending on the desired level of crispiness.) Place on a paper towel to drain.
2. Poach eggs: I poach two at a time. Bring about 3 cups of water and 1 Tbsp of white wine vinegar to simmering in a sauté pan. Crack two eggs into a separate bowl or ramekin. Stir the water until you have made a "whirlpool" and then slide your eggs into the center. This will wrap the egg whites around the center and give you a more condensed poached egg. Poach for 3-4 minutes and then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain the liquid.
3. Place desired amount of spinach on the plate. Top with prosciutto, eggs, freshly cracked black pepper to taste and salad dressing. Serve with buttered toast (because hello runny egg yolks, yum).

(Note: After eating, I thought this might be good with some green onion. Let me know if you try it!)


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Happy 4th Birthday, Cooper!

I know I say this every year but 4 just seems so much bigger and older than 3! I got Cooper's school registration home in his back-pack the other day and it was labeled "Pre-K Registration". Surely they got his mixed up with somebody else's. Surely my BABY BOY is not going to Pre-K next year! I die.

Yesterday was the boy's 4th birthday and we had all sorts of mini celebrations planned throughout the day as he was going to school. Kyle stayed home from work to eat breakfast with us and we had cinnamon rolls (thanks Auntie T!) and bacon, his faves. After his school lunch I brought up donut holes, as requested, for "the friends". Although he did not want to stay for his own party (too much spotlight for my boy), I'm sure the donut holes were a hit. Then, last night we had an impromptu pizza party and cake with the neighbors. Even all of the attention couldn't shy him away from his chocolate cake with chocolate icing!


Sweet boy…


Happy Birthday to my Cooper Boy! You love: all things boy, scooter races with the neighbors (man, can you get around on that thing!), the Incredibles and Superman, pop music (Rude, Uptown Funk and Animals to name a few), running fast (you practice daily), reading books (we just started "Where the Sidewalk Ends"), Bunny Snacks, terrorizing your sister while pretending not to be terrorizing your sister, helping your dad with anything perceived to be "manly" (especially fixing things), the Orange W store (Whataburger) where you order a "hamburger with extra pickles and just one dip-it, ketchup", and playing "fighting games" with your dad. You take my face in your hands on a daily basis and say "Mom, I have to tell you something. I love you." and there I am, a puddle of mush on the floor. You have your Dad and I eating out of the palm of your hand, and you know it! You are very stubborn and like to make your point but you are also very sweet and loving. KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS! (If I may quote your favorite Dr. Suess!)


Just for fun, I can't read this book and specifically this passage without getting weepy:

“And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So...
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!” 
― Dr. SeussOh, The Places You'll Go!

Who's with me?!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Pancetta, Pea and Pesto Tortellini

Sometimes you have an hour to make dinner and sometimes you have 15 minutes. This recipe is for one of those latter sometimes. And it includes store-bought pasta. Because it is fast. And because it is AWESOME.

So if you're feeling fancy with your 15 minute dinner, this one's for you!


Pancetta, Pea and Pesto Tortellini

Ingredients:
1 20oz package of Buitoni Herb Chicken Tortellini (refrigerated)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 7oz. package of pesto
4oz Pancetta, chopped
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions. (Boil water with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add pasta. Cook 7 minutes.) 
  2. While pasta cooks, cook pancetta in a small frying pan over high heat for about 5 minutes (or until desired level of crispiness).
  3. In a large bowl, combine drained and cooked pasta, pancetta, peas and tomatoes. (The peas can go in frozen because the heat of the just-cooked pasta will warm them.)
  4. Toss with pesto. Top with parmesan cheese.
Make sure to pour yourself a glass of wine!

Pancetta, like bacon, makes everything better.

Yep, right out of the kids' stash.

When I run out of my frozen pesto from Kyle's basil, this brand is my jam.

Finished product before cheese. Pretty, right?!




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

Do you make New Year's resolutions? I do and love doing it. I know it's a little corny and cliche but there is  also something fresh and fun about starting the new year on a new foot. Not everyone agrees, I know, just ask my husband. Also, ask him what it's like to be so perfect! (I kid.)

My brother got me a FitBit for Christmas and it's been fun keeping up with all of that. Dang, it's hard to get to 10,000 steps! Unless I go on a run I definitely don't get there. Chasing kids will get me a good 8,000 in the bag but the rest is a mystery. Can't imagine what it would look like if I still had my desk job! Since "getting fit" is kind of an ongoing thing for me, I'm not really counting this as a resolution. More of just an interesting (I hope) side note.

Here are the two things I am resolving to do in 2015:

  • From now on, my phone is going to ride in the backseat of the car. - Let me just say this for all of the concerned grandparents out there: I do NOT text and drive. My cargo is way too precious! However, it sure is tempting to glance down at my phone when I see an email or text come through and I am certainly guilty of the "red-light read". This year, I've just decided that it's not worth it and I, sadly, am just not that important! Plus, little eyes are always watching and I'm going to need some ammunition for those teenage years.

  • Be more productive before 9am. To be fair, the real motive behind this one is more "me time". I am NOT planning on taking up ironing or anything crazy like that! Basically nothing gets done in this house before Carrington's nap. Sometime between 6am and 7am I make sure to drink coffee. Sometime between 7am and 8am I feed kids. Sometime between 8am and 9am I get us all dressed and get out the door for the day. (Working Mom Casey who used to get everyone dressed, fed and out of the house by 7:30am is shaking her head somewhere. Also, she probably has a headache and needs to go to the grocery store but that's beside the point!) My kids are happiest in the morning and will contently and quietly play for the most part. I'm just thinking that if I could squeeze one of my little afternoon chores in before we leave the house in the morning I could maybe get more done. But never to the detriment of my coffee!
So that's the "new Casey" in 2015. Two little attainable goals. What does the "new you" look like in 2015?


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

On Being Carrington's Mom

Cooper's Mom doesn't know exactly what to do with this smiley, friendly, social butterfly of a second child. That sounds really bad for Cooper (ha!) so let me explain. It's not that he's a total curmudgeon, he just really makes you work for it and is not really into making friends for the sake of making friends. Maybe that still sounds bad too but that's just him!

Carrington, on the other hand, approaches total strangers with ease and will not leave them alone until she can get a smile out of them. There is no breezing through the grocery store with her. I have to stop every aisle or two to chat with the person she is smiling at / waving to / blowing kisses to / trying to share her snack with…

The stinky chick fresh from her work-out or the homeless guy asking for change outside will not be spared! Little Sister does not discriminate. She knows the true meaning of the holidays.

But this face though, how can you resist?


I swear she's trying to get herself adopted!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December Recap

Wow. It's been a fast and furious month. This poor little space has been highly neglected among all of our activities: Hanukkah, Christmas, our road trip tour de Texas and having Cooper out of school! Here are some high and low notes of the month:

I lost my biggest blog fan and most avid follower this month. I say that in jest but there is no one that loved this blog more than Kyle's grandmother, Bubby (Marolyn). She printed off every post that I wrote to show to people and also laid them out on her coffee table in her living room. If I ever questioned the importance of posting yet another "this has got to be the most hilarious thing that any kid has ever said" moment, I knew that Bubby would read and treasure it…and she did!


Bubby was a very spirited woman who never let her opinion go unknown. Towards the end of her battle with cancer, she would constantly remind us that "these doctors don't know who they are dealing with!" I had to laugh because that was true, on oh so many levels. She loved us all fiercely and we loved her right back. We will all miss her very much.

In lighter news…

 - Our Elf on the Shelf, Bama, returned this year. He made his scheduled appearance only a few days late after being misplaced by Mom and Dad. When all else fails, chocolate.


 - Cooper's beloved Mr. Snake tragically lost his eye in a severe wall banging incident a few months ago. He was promptly removed from the group of animals Cooper sleeps with every night, affectionately named "the stuff". He would say, "I don't like him anymore. His eye is broken." There is a lesson in there about tolerance and acceptance that somehow didn't translate! Anyway, I performed a little surgery a la Doc McStuffins and voila…Mr. Snake is happily part of "the stuff" again!



 - This little cheeser helped me decorate the Christmas tree this year. I've only been waiting to do this with him SINCE HE WAS BORN! We blared Christmas music and drank hot chocolate and there was only one reported ornament loss to speak of!


 - In other "wanted to do this since they were born" news…I officially have a shopping buddy. I knew this would happen eventually, I just didn't foresee it being the case with a 17 month old. Watch out Kyle, she's coming for your credit card! Let's just say, I didn't mind the company while shlepping through town buying gifts this year!


 - Kyle and I spent 1.5 days in Belize soaking up the sun and enjoying childless laziness. Unfortunately (on many levels) we had to cut our trip short to attend Bubby's funeral and spend time with family, but it was beautiful and luxurious while it lasted.


 - One of Cooper's favorite activities is to go golfing with Kyle. So, on days when there aren't many people on the course, Kyle will take him out to play a few holes. (Tough Dad job, I know.) Cooper will don his fishing/golfing glove and they head out to tear up the course (and the water hazards). Our apologies to the other golfers!




 - Cooper really got into the season this year. Eight nights of Hanukkah celebrations bode well for almost 4 year old boys! Every day during Hanukkah, Cooper would announce that he said "Burch atah adonai" (the beginning of the Hanukkah prayer) and that he was ready to open presents clearly ignoring the whole waiting until sundown thing. Patience is not our strong suit!


 - Speaking of getting into the season, I made Cooper help me clean out his toys so that we might give the ones he no longer plays with to other boys and girls. Y'all. We gathered up 5 trash bags full of toys! Embarrassing yet extremely satisfying. We even had one whole toy drawer empty…until Christmas came along!


 - I'm always taken aback by the simplicity of Cooper's holiday wishes. Last year he wanted a basketball and this year he wanted a light for his bike. I always fret over what to get him when in reality I should just embrace it before he discovers the beauty that is the Toys R Us catalogue. True to form, he wouldn't open up another gift this year until Kyle attached the light he got from Santa to his bike!




Hope your December has been just as full as ours. I really can't believe 2015 is just knocking on the door. Since I'm recapping… Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Christmas Sneaker

My Mom was a terrible present hider. (Sorry Mom but you know it's true!) Every Christmas, I would sneak into her closet and get a preview of my Christmas morning "surprises". I knew exactly where to find them. They were in the same place year after year after year… I thought I was so clever!

Well, as it turns out, I am not "so clever" and have inherited the bad present hiding gene! I got a bunch of the kids' presents on Amazon the other day and put the CLOSED box of toys in our hall closet. Apparently, that little smiley face on the side was just too tempting for little eyes because this happened last night:

Me: (to Kyle, who was internet shopping two weeks before Christmas!) I should just give you your Christmas presents now!

Cooper: (overhearing me) OK!!! I want my present now!

Me: Sorry bud, you are going to have to wait until Christmas.

Cooper: (after a dramatic slump to the ground) But I really, really want them. PLEASE?!?!

Me: Sorry, no.

Cooper: (now crying) But I REALLY, REALLY want my Superman Legos!

Me: (fighting back the laughter) Did you peak into Mommy's Christmas box?

Cooper: (so very innocently) Yes, I did.

Stinker.

Just another one to add to the list of how my boy is older (and much wiser) than I give him credit for!