Sunday, June 30, 2013

Chicken and Blueberry Summer Salad

I have worked my butt off today at the Hot Rod Car Show, which was a total blast! 
                 (I love the 1950s style)

When I arrived home it was 94 degrees outside and my house was 82.  There was no way you could pay me to turn on our oven.  So, I had to figure out a cook free meal.  That is when I came across a few different salad recipes.  I combined what I'd found and came up with this:

Blueberry and Chicken Summer Salad:
1 package of fresh baby spinach
3 cups of strawberries, stem and slice
2/3 cup of pecan halves, roughly chopped
2 cups of blueberries 
1/2 tomato, chopped
3 cups of chicken chopped (Use leftover chicken breast, this is optional) 
1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar 
1 lemon with zest and juice
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil

Mix your dressing first by pouring in your balsamic vinegar, pepper, lemon zest, and squeezing lemon juice.  Whisk together and slowly add in your olive oil.

While that sits assemble your salad with the ingredients listed above to your desire.  (The amount above made 2 adult servings and 1 child serving) 

Pour a small amount of your dressing on the salad and enjoy! The flavors taste wonderful together. I honestly didn't have high hopes.  Even my six year old cleared her plate.  

Great for a refreshing meal on a hot day!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Who doesn't love homemade jam?  As a kid I remember getting in my grandma's fridge and lathering my toast with the delicious jam. 

Now that I'm a mom, I want my daughter to enjoy this delicious treat too.  So I decided to try making my first batches of jam.

This was so easy and I'm baffled that I never tried it before now.

Ingredients for one batch
2 cups of mashed strawberries
4 cups of sugar
1 package of pectin 
1 cup of water 

Buy scrumptious strawberries from your local organic market!

Wash and stem your strawberries.

Mash your strawberries in a bowl.

If you want thicker, mash until chunky. If you want smooth, mash until liquid like.

Stir in four cups of sugar and allow your mix to set for 10-15 minutes.

Turn your burner on high.  Pour 1 cup of water into a small sauce pan, slowly pour in your Pectin packet while whisking.  Keep stirring until your mix comes to a boil and stir for one minute. 

Pour your pectin into the bowl you have had sitting and stir for three minutes.

Ladle out your mix into your clean freezer containers and leave 1/2 inch for the mix to settle.  Let sit for three hours then freeze.  

You're done! 

This is two batches

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Breastfeeding explained to a 6 year old

My daughter is one of the most animated people I know.  We all say she will become an actress, a politician, or a mobster.

I'm rooting for actress.

So today we are on the way to her Grandma Patsy's house and we see an adorable kitten playing in a field.

Olivia: Awe a baby kitten. Did you know baby kittens get their milk from their mommies.

Me: Yes, they do.

Olivia: All animals do, it's how mommies take care of them! Except humans.

Me: Um, actually, yes, humans too.

Olivia: (silence

Me: That's how I fed you.

Olivia: (screams) What is wrong with YOU? That's disgusting.  (gasp) Oh my goodness, it can't be true.  

Me: (laughing) Yes honey, it's true.

Olivia: I just can't handle this.

It's a hard reality for a six year old and she's been avoiding the topic all day.

Sorry honey, you were a breastfed baby.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Local Gallery

Many years ago I had an itch to paint however, I never pursued the desire.  When Bill and I began dating we talked about our life dreams and goals.  I brought up how I'd always wanted to paint.

One day, we went shopping at my all time favorite store, Michael's.  He asked if I still wanted to paint and I giggled.  Really? Um...yes.

He loaded the cart with beginner supplies and headed the check stand.  I kept saying I had no talent and couldn't do it. He would just smile that wonderful smile and said well have you tried?

When I got home that night, I tried.   I searched Pinterest for tips, for inspiration, for something.  I found many great ideas and tried a craftsman style Santa using acrylics. 

This was my end result.  He's kind of cute right?  My Aunt Chris mentioned how much she loved him and I gifted him as a present that year.  She proudly displayed him until February.  

Looking back now, I did everything wrong but I did it.  I tried.  Then began my desire to try more. 

See what I could. Anything.

My mother had mentioned a painting she saw and liked.  I made my own version for her with acrylics. 

It was a hit.  This one was a little easier.  I basically painted the background, and drug my brush to make a tree.  Added some gems, painted then glued on lettering.  She loved it!

Now I was really interested.  After talking with friends, I found out our local gallery held classes for painting lessons.  $10 for your first oil painting, inclusive of all your needs.  



Yet, I tried.  I loved every lesson.  Every chance to try the brushes with direction from a wonderful teacher. Following her lesson plan for my first painting, a required landscape to learn the fundamentals.

When it was done, I gifted it to my exceptional boyfriend for all his love and support.

My second painting bumped my class fees to $15 per lesson.  However, my skills had improved.  Here is my second oil painting in class:

If you want to paint, find PINs that help you.

            Try something, anything!

Your talent is just waiting to be released!