Friday, December 19, 2014

Hanukkah mitzvah

For the third night of Hanukkah Hen and I headed over to the Oregon Food Bank with a bunch of other PJA folks to help package potatoes and rice. On our way there Hen and I had a conversation about hunger. He was surprised to learn that there are families who don't have cupboards filled with food.

Together, we worked with over 16,000 lbs of potatoes and rice, creating over 13,000 meals for hungry Oregonians, with each volunteer averaging around 150 meals. Not bad for the little guy's first visit.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Crafts: Pajama bottoms!

I've had this fabric for around a year and finally got around to sewing them into pajama pants for Hen. (Truth be told, I was motivated to do so because I want to have at least one homemade item for him under the tree and the sweater I'm knitting might not be done in time.) Regardless, come Christmas Hen will have a new pair of flannel pajama bottoms to go with the waffle pajama shirt I picked up for him at American Apparel.
Can I just say that these pants took me about an hour to put together. I didn't use a pattern. I just took an older pair of Hen's pajama pants and used them for a template so I could cut my fabric. Also, I saw online how you can use a zigzag stitch around the edge to allow it to fray a little bit and did that for the pant legs instead of hemming. This saved a significant amount of time and I think it'll look really cute. Note to self: Sewing allows you to finish a project much faster than knitting.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Sophie the great turned 150,000 miles on the way home from watching Love Actually with friends, Rachele, Christine, and Ava. Eminem's Lose Yourself was playing on the radio.

Friday, December 12, 2014

ROAR! (A second Walking with Dinosaurs experience)

Hen was about two and a half years old the first time we saw Walking with Dinosaurs. It's still an awesome show. And if it comes to town in another couple of years, I'll probably suggest we see it again. ROAR!

Here's what Hen looked like the first time we went:

Here's what Hen looked like the second time we went:

First show pics here
Second show pics here.
Note: I really enjoy taking pics of faux dinosaurs.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Recipe Corner: White Beans with Chard

I took a basic bean and chard recipe online and tweaked it to fit the ingredients I had in the house. It goes great over a piece of toasted Ken's Artisan Bakery bread. Yummy!

I bunch of Swiss chard
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 medium onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
freshly ground black pepper
1-15oz can cannellini beans (or kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 + cup turkey broth (or chicken broth or vegetable broth)

Heat oil in pan until shimmering over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened (approx. 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add beans, chard, and broth. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Add more broth if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over a piece of toasted bread.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Who's your mama?

Hen: Why does your shirt say, "Ohbah-ma"?

Me: It's Obama. You know who that is, right?

Hen: My mama?

Me: No. No, Hen. Obama is not your mama.

<insert snickers, chortles, and childish guffaws here>

Just before sunrise

Sometimes you have to pull the car over and snap a photo because the colors are beautiful. This morning was one of those times.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Second Thanksgiving: Friday's family feast-o-rama

There are still a few pieces of dark turkey meat in the fridge but the majority of our leftovers from Second Thanksgiving have been eaten. (Yum.)

Admittedly, we consumed too much food celebrating Thanksgiving with one feast right after the other so I'm considering changing the tradition and hosting Second Thanksgiving the following weekend instead. Whatever we come up with, I just can't give up having my own bird. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy…it makes such a great meal.

I used the last of the white meat in a turkey vegetable soup with rice, tweaking the Williams-Sonoma recipe just a touch. I substituted wild rice for long-grain white rice and omitted the celery and mushrooms (because I didn't have them on hand and didn't want to go to the store to get them), I also forgot to sprinkle with parmesan and since it still was really good soup I'd probably refrain from adding it in the future, too. You know, to watch our caloric intake. (hee hee.)