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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Grandbaby gone...

Well, they got back from their road trip to retrieve car and belongings on Saturday afternoon. So grand baby is back in the care of mommy and I am left without a little one to take care of.. It was only a week, but, darn it, I miss having her around. We just got her on a great schedule (her mom hadn't been able to manage that yet, but then, things have been hectic and crazy...) so mom is going to try to keep her on it, she was surprised I managed it so quickly and with so little fussing..
We seriously need a little one around here on a permanent basis. The tax information I had sent off for 3 weeks ago finally showed up, so we should be able to finish up the paperwork for the adoption here soon, though not sure how much time I will have for that this week. Hubby's sisters and niece and nephew will be arriving Tuesday night and be here for a week, so we might be busy, but I'm going to do my best.
I've already been busy this weekend. Made cheese Thursday, blueberry jam yesterday, blueberry syrup today. Thinking of doing another batch of jam tomorrow (have more then enough berries..) and also thinking of doing a batch of watermelon jelly. Plus I need to make more butter, and probably another batch or two of cheese for everyone while they're here. Oh yeah, and it would be nice if I could get the house cleaned up a bit, do some laundry, etc...
busy, busy, busy...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Toddler invasion week!

This week we have the grand daughter here all week. Her dad is up at work on the slope (so is my hubby...) and her mom has gone back down to Washington to get some more of their stuff and their car. So G has been left with us for about a week. Mommy left yesterday, but so far, things are going pretty well. This is the longest she's been away from mommy ever so far, and we're only just past 24 hours.
She went to Church with us this morning and surprised us all by behaving even better then her older aunts did. :) She had lots of fun in Nursery Class, singing songs and playing with other kids her age. She really liked the sit and spin, too, so we might have to see about getting her one :)
We are looking forward to this, though a bit anxious as well. We're hoping there won't be too many melt downs this week, but so far things seem to be going well. We should have lots of fun and I see it as practice. With any luck we will have a little one in the next year or two and will get to go through all of this with him or her, so this is good practice for me as the steps were all older when I came into the picture, and lived too far away to be involved with my nieces at this stage.
Shall see how well we all survive the week! :)
(Just have to keep the "aunties" from cross parenting... heh... they kept trying to get her riled up at Church, the stinkers...)

Friday, July 09, 2010

More crazy kitchen fun...

Thursday afternoon my step daughters all went out and picked some early fireweed blossoms and brought them home. We rinsed them off really well and got all the buggies out then put them in a pot with some water boiled and strained them then my oldest step daughter (she's 23..) made Fireweed Jelly! It was the first time she'd ever made jelly. She watched and helped me make jams a year or two ago while visiting, so this time it was her turn to make (I just hung around and supervised if there were any questions or an extra set of hands were needed...)
It turned out really well. She got 8 tiny little jars to give away and one larger jar and a bit extra for us. We will most assuredly be making more once the flowers have a chance to bloom more. I'd not tried it before, though it's one of those little "Alaskan" treats that all the tourists seek out.. so it's past time for me to have given a try. Quite liked it though will have to get the kids to do all the flower picking as my allergies would make that a very non-fun experience.
So now that we've made butter this week (poured cream into my Bosch mixer and let it go til we had butter...) and jam, I suppose it's time I made bread this weekend to go with it all! lol
I also managed to do the big freezer inventory, which was long overdue. Got that cleaned out, sorted and found some things I'd long since forgotten about. Also found some fruit in there so I'll be making more jams later this summer as well, though that might wait til September when it cools down and I have more time and fewer distractions.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Japanese cooking..

So this past weekend we decided to try some Japanese cooking. Have done a bit of Chinese - stir fry and eggrolls/wontons mostly, but wanted to try something a bit different. So, we got some cookbooks from the library and found a recipe we thought we could try. Sunday night we make Sukiyaki.. and it was soo good. We are totally going to have to make it again. It was pretty easy too. We are definately going to be doing more experimental Japanese cooking.
meanwhile, here's the recipe we used with a few comments.


1-1.5 lb beef, thinly sliced
1 lb mushrooms, button and enokitake
10 oz firm or extra firm tofu, cubed (@ 1 inch size)
1 bunch scallions cut into 2 inch sections, quartered if large
1 can oz shirataki noodles (I couldn't find any so we used mung bean noodles instead)
a bit of oil for cooking.

Other things you can use : pea pods, regular onion, baby bok choy-chopped

For the sauce: You can buy Sukiyake sauce (should be near the soy sauce and such..) or you can make some by combining 1 cup of Soy Sauce with 1.5 cups of water and 3 tbsp of sugar.
If you are making the sauce, combine the ingredients in a saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar.

A cast iron pan would work best if you have one, if not, it's not the end of the world :)

Put a little oil in the bottom of the pan and saute the beef. (I added a little sauce as well to season the beef more...) Once you're done with the beef, remove it and set aside while you saute the veggies. I did each ingredient separately and set all aside til they were all done. For the noodles, prepare as per the package directions to precook them.
Once everything is done, return it all to the pan and pour sauce over all, let simmer for about 10 minutes to heat all through and get the flavor combined.

Serve with warm rice. :)