Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Saturday, February 28, 2009

An Omelet with Fruit?

Why not?  Makes sense when you think about it... eggs and fruit. Custards are egg-based. French toast with no bread...

Strawberry-Banana Omelet
1/2 c sliced strawberries
1/2 small banana
1/2 c egg beaters
2 T Weight Watchers cream cheese
1/2 T skim milk
1/2 tsp vanilla (divided into quarters)
2 tsp splenda (divided)

Mix 1/4 tsp vanilla with egg beaters and 1 tsp of splenda. Pour onto hot skillet (I used a flat griddle pan so the egg would be really thin). 

Mix together 1/4 tsp vanilla with cream cheese, milk, and remaining splenda. Pour cream cheese mixture onto cooked egg, top with sliced strawberries and sliced banana. Fold the egg around the filling, remove from skillet, and Voila! Yum!

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Boy

The Boy was in the annual school dance show tonight.  This is not one of his favorite school events.  However, this year he did put forth quite a bit more effort than the last 2 years.  His class did a Greek-style dance to "Never on a Sunday".  He's the one in back, looking very serious.

He's in the back center of this shot - don't the little girls have darling pink and green outfits?!

He's in 2nd grade.  Only 3 more years of the dance shows.  Sigh.  ;-)


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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cruise Shirt Preview

We have a tradition of making special shirts for special events.  You might remember our Christmas theme shirts.

We also have "cruise" shirts.  Here is my MIL with her Panama Canal shirt.  This was my favorite shirt so far - we had the logo embroidered on the back.

And this is last year's picture.  My Mom and Dad with their Sea of Cortez shirts (and the Panama Canal shirts over them actually).   Great logo, not a great shot.  These were silk-screened on moisture wicking shirts.

And here's a preview of this year's Hawaii shirts!  It's The Mr (and his posing for the camera face) with our shirt.  I love these shirts - very old-school tropical vacation.  Colors are not great, but that's a sacrifice I can make.  ;-)   We don't have the logo on there yet, but I can't wait to see what my sister comes up with this year!

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Pink Fur *Can* Work on the Red Carpet

We had a fabulous Chinese dinner (because the Oscars used to be held at Mann's Chinese Theater) while watching the show.  We really enjoyed the new format.  I particularly liked the presentation of the best and supporting actor/actress.  I think it must have been pretty cool to hear those words of praise from former winners in the same category.

And best of all... at least one of our party came dressed for the Red Carpet!

See?  Pink fur can work... just needs the right "actress"!

Not to be outdone, this little man insisted on having his picture taken (while taking Anna's picture above, Morgan kept grabbing my camera hand with his paws and pulling it down towards him) so he gets to be on the blog today too.

Hope you enjoyed your Oscar parties as much as we enjoyed ours!

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fun for the Weekend!

I saw this over at Dugout Daisy, and it looked like fun.  Copy this and bold the ones you have done!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars 
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii (but I will have by this time in April!)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland or world!! 
8. Climbed a mountain 
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (I did go as far as they would let us...)
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked 
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon 
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run 
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie 
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy 
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (quail, deer, and fish)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous 
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake (was born in Salt Lake City.. but I don't think I was ever in the lake)
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee 

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Have Some Fun!

This is hilarious and fun!!

Here are the rules:

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random” or click
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations" by clicking: 
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. 

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” or click 
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

This is my band!
Band Name:  Bingo Ochiai Station
First Album:  To Be A Woman
Album Cover:  


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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

The Mr and I spent much of Valentine's Day with The Boy and The Girl at IKEA trying to find them new furniture for their bedrooms.  Reasonably frustrating experience.

But, we did get to have a lovely dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, with The In-laws.  And Ugly Kite!!

And tonight The Kids are staying with The In-laws, so we are enjoying a relaxing V-Day evening.  Hope you all are having a wonderful day!

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Diagnosis: Brain Cloud

Well not exactly, but not exactly not either.

A few steps back for clarification? OK - About last August I began having some hearing problems in one ear. I get in to see the doctor in mid-August. They do some tests, can't see any reasons and at the end of September refer me to an ENT guy. I can't see the ENT (ear, nose & throat) physician for more than 6 months, but I can see the physican's assistant (PA) in December. Apparently ENT people are very busy. Wait until December to see the PA. He thinks I have an acoustic neuroma, which is essentially a non-cancerous tumor growing (very slowly) around the acoustic nerve in my head. Only way to get rid of it is surgery, but mostly the treatment is wait and see what happens. Mostly people don't have surgery.

Brain tumor. Not what I wanted to hear, but at least we have a course of action. I get an MRI in January. Results? No tumor! Great news! But... (I hate when they say but...) they found a shadow on the brain that required an additional MRI. My doctor says he can't comment on the findings. But he'll schedule the MRI and see that the neurologist calls to schedule an appointment.

A week later, get second MRI. Wait for neurologist to call. Finally get appointment ANOTHER week later.

Meanwhile, my sister is having her own annual medical tests. While I wait to find out what the shadow on my brain means, she finds out that she has breast cancer. She gets in to see a surgeon right away and the surgeon feels very positive that it is small and that it probably has not spread. She will have a lumpectomy next month and then radiation for 6 weeks after she recovers from the surgery. She had a stressful couple of days, but is in very good spirits about this. It isn't even going to impact her 10 day trip to Costa Rica (this weekend) or her trip to Hawaii with us at the end of March!

I finally get to see the neurologist. Very odd appointment. We look at the MRI (kind of cool - pictures of my brain!) and I see that yes, there is definitely some kind of shadow or something on the brain. He says "So what do you think it is?" and I wonder if I were supposed to have gone to medical school prior to the appointment. Eventually get to this - he doesn't think it is cancer, but he doesn't think it is nothing. Could be nothing to worry about, could be MS. He's not too worried right now (of course, it isn't his brain or his brain cloud) and I should have another MRI in 6 months. One thing that is definite - this is not related to my hearing problem so I still need to see another ENT doc. At the end of April.

So there you have it. Not exactly not a brain cloud, but not exactly a brain cloud either.

I think we could use a break.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Visitor!

Ugly Kite is here!!!  How exciting!  

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Nearing Normal

I've got nothing to inspire me to write today.  I spent much of today waiting for my sister to call with some results from a doctor's appointment she had.  And worrying about a doctor's appointment that I have tomorrow.

I think once that is over, things will get back to normal.  Wish me luck getting through tomorrow.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Some Weather

We infrequently get real "weather" here in San Diego.  We've had some big storms (for us anyway) this weekend and The Mr and I thought we should get some pictures of the interesting clouds... here's one of my favorites.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Ahh... Saturday

We've been enjoying our Saturday.  

  • Slept late (well, late-ish... we have 4 cats that think they should be fed at 6:00 AM and walk around letting us know they do not appreciate late starts).  
  • Got a few errands done.  
  • Worked on a scrapblog of our wedding pictures
  • Watched the rain and the HAIL!  Wow - are we still in So Cal?
  • Hung the shrunken head and voodoo dolls.  
  • Went to a Tastefully Simple party - the Chipotle Pomegranate sauce is to die for.  Seriously.
  • Got some bad news on the phone.  More on that a different day.
  • Went to a lovely pre-Valentine's Day dinner with The Mr (next weekend we have The Girl and The Boy... not a recipe for romance!)
  • Worked on the hardest possible Simpson's puzzle.  You think I exaggerate, but I don't.
Nice to have a day like this once in a while.  Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap - Chicken with Pineapple and Sweet Bells

This was a very tasty dish, which even The Boy (very finicky about food that may have any sort of spice in it) really liked. I first told him that it was "Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers" and would not touch it. We then discussed bell peppers and came to the agreement that they were not actually peppers because they were not spicy. We agreed to call them "Sweet Bells" in the future. And he loved the dish. So, Sweet Bells it is!

Chicken with Pineapple and "Sweet Bells"

1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 medium pineapple
1 medium green pepper(s)
1 medium sweet red pepper(s)
1 large onion(s), spanish
1/4 cup(s) pineapple juice, or orange juice
3 medium garlic clove(s), minced
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp olive oil
2 spray(s) cooking spray
2 cup(s) cooked white rice, kept hot

Cut each chicken breast, pineapple, pepper and onion into approximately twenty-four 1-inch-thick pieces. Combine chicken, pineapple juice, garlic, soy sauce and oil in a large nonmetallic bowl; marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Stir-fry over medium-high heat until the chicke is completely cooked (about 8 - 10 minutes) and the vegetables are soft. Serve over rice.

Serves 4.

Check out the other fabulous recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge today!

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cruise Drama

This is going to sound very annoying and whiny. You should consider skipping this one. Remember, I warned you.

"My" cruise ship is in port today. At least, she will be mine for 15 days, 45 days from now! We've got a great itinerary: 5 days at sea; Hilo, Hawaii; Kona, Hawaii; Honolulu, Oahu; Nawiliwili, Kauai; Lahaina, Maui; 4 days at sea; Ensenada, MX; San Diego.

The Mr and I are so excited about this trip! We really (!!) need a vacation, we love (!!!!!) cruising and I have never been to Hawaii.

But this trip, OMG, has had so much drama.

A quick history behind our cruising. In August of 2006, The Mr and I decided we wanted to take a cruise through the Panama Canal. We did some research and found what we thought to be a good deal on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Then we thought... "I wonder if we should ask the parents if they want to go too.... I'm sure they won't go for it, so it's a safe bet." But they wanted to go! And my sister wanted to go too! Very cool! But my FIL said that we could not take a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise. (You see, The In-Laws had taken a cruise on Holland America, and he was a cruise expert. Obviously, Holland America is the only cruise line to take.)

It all (eventually) worked out and we had the best trip ever for 17 days aboard Holland America's Zuiderdam transiting the Panama Canal in the spring of 2007.

Last year we cruised the Sea of Cortez on Holland America's Ryndam. My sister decided not to join us last year (she'd been to many of the ports already and had different ideas for her vacation budget), but all the parents were there.

This year, we tried to get some input as to our itinerary and the timing of the cruise. We had some suggestions of places to go (keeping in mind that we must sail on Holland America) and really want to go sometime in the spring.

After a significant amount of wrangling, we finally got everyone decided on Hawaii. Yea! This was my first choice, though a bit more expensive than some of the other choices. (Well, second choice after a 30 Tahiti cruise and a "redo" of the Panama Canal... neither of which were really on the table). Then we tried to get people to agree to a date. No one really had any constraints. "You let us know, and we'll be there!"

Then my sister had a conflict (she's going to Costa Rica this month, lucky girl) so she had to go in March. And my parents need an accessible cabin, so we had to work around that. We found a date (March 22... 45 days from now!) and we all booked.

3 days later The In-Laws cancelled their booking. UGH! My FIL, who is retired, has a "retirement" job at the church. He puts together the church bulletins. And our trip gets us back just after Palm Sunday. He couldn't possibly be gone for Palm Sunday. And my MIL can't leave her mom (Great Grandma who is 93 years old, basically in good health but chronically bad-spirited and cranky and living in assisted living) for 15 days with no one. She also can't leave the cats.

We think this may be the last cruise that we all take together (for various health reasons) and have been trying to change The In-Laws' mind since they cancelled. FIL figured out that he could train someone to take over bulletin duty (ugh...) but MIL can't change her mind. Even though MIL's sister would be here to take care of Great Grandma and the cats.

Finally, after much haranguing, we managed to get MIL on board. BUT now FIL has decided that he just cannot have someone else make the bulletin.

Some further hand-wringing, some emails and many text messages gets a new plan. MIL and her sister will go, leaving FIL at home with Great Grandma and the cats. MIL is lukewarm to the idea, but will go. MIL's sister is SUPER EXCITED!

Call to the travel agent shows that the cruise is fully booked. UGH! We've got them wait-listed, but don't have much hope.

THEN... my parents send an email to my sister that they are thinking of cancelling. UGHHH!

We have a wonderful time with the family on our cruises. The planning part is so stressful though. We workd hard for our vacations and do not need the drama involved. Seriously thinking our next cruise ought to be the 30 day Tahiti because no one else would think of coming along. Does that make me a bad person? Sigh, I think it does.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

WW Wednesday

Just one more week until I become a WW Lifetime member! This means that I have met my WW goal and stayed within 2 lbs of that goal for 6 weeks. Once I am Lifetime, I can go to meetings for free so long as I stay within that 2 lb range.

It's been an interesting journey to get here. Each time we lose 5lbs, we have a little celebration at our meeting and our leader asks what is keeping us on track. I've been thinking a lot about that lately. Here's some of the things that help me:

  • The Mr is incredibly supportive - he keeps track of our weights in a spreadsheet and figures out the statistics of how we are doing.
  • WW meetings help me be accountable. I go to a meeting that is held at my office, which is incredibly convenient (and probably the reason that I started in the first place). I haven't missed a meeting, even on those weeks when I didn't feel like I had done well. I feel like this has made a big difference.
  • Success! Thats probably obvious, but I have been celebrating each loss along the way. That has kept me motivated to continue.
  • Focus on the end goal, and the daily "grind". I have always kept my eye on the prize - when I first started, I made a chain of paperclips, each clip representing a pound that I wanted to lose. As I lost each pound, I would move one paperclip to a new chain. The new chain is now very long! I hung those two paperclip chains in my office which helped remind me of how far I had come and that I still needed to focus, every day.

Being at the goal is the beginning of a new chapter in my WW journey. I need to learn how to stay here. I am looking forward to it!

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

It's not any big secret...

... but we have really gorgeous weather here in San Diego. It's February, and todayit was in the 80s at the coast and the Bay looked like this:

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Monday, February 02, 2009

What do these have in common?


They are 3 shows that we have tickets to see in the next year!

Fiddler is in July.  I LOVE this show!

Spamalot is in September, just before our anniversary.  The Mr and I saw Spamalot on Broadway in 2005 with the original cast.  Incredible! If this show is half as good as that, I'll be over the moon.

Riverdance is next January.  It's being billed as their farewell tour.  We saw it in 2004 and really enjoyed it.  

The only possible fly in the ointment... we are also taking The Boy, The Girl and The In-Laws.  It's anyones' guess as to how it will all come down...   ;-)

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Superbowl Sunday!

Where's the best place to be on Superbowl Sunday?  The field, of course!  Since we couldn't be on the actual field, The Mr turned our family room into the next best thing!

The Steeler's side...
... and the Cardinal's side.

Yes I know the Vikings are not in the Superbowl.  We're getting ready for next year.

The beginning of the game, with some of the food we served.

We had (INCREDIBLY) Hot Cardinal Wings.

And Roethlisburgers!

Here's a self-portrait - ready for 3-D (ignore my crazy hair - not sure what was going on here).

We had a fun party and enjoyed the game.  I really thought Kurt Warner was a class act in his post-game interview.  Wish the outcome had been different, but it was a Super Exciting Superbowl!  Hope you all had a Super Sunday too!


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