Thursday, January 20, 2011

Goings On

I would have written a lot earlier, but I have been so tired!  I mean completely exhausted and sick.  When I'm not playing with Monroe, my free time has been spent lounging on the couch or in my bed.  I think work has really caught up with me.  For all of you who work full time, this is going to sound ridiculous, and I would have totally mocked me a year ago, but three days working is really just too much to handle:)  It really wipes a girl out!!!  How did I ever do that for so many years?  

Things have been going well here, though.  We've been keeping super busy.  Monroe especially...I can hardly keep up with that kid anymore.  We were leaving the doctor's office today (she had to get her shots) and she darted out the door and down the hall before I could even get my stuff together.  She thought it was hilarious and laughed and laughed as I lumbered behind her with all of the things she requires these days (blankie, puppy dog, bag of snacks, sippy cup) and my purse.  It was a sight and, by the way, I didn't think it was quite as funny as she did.

I've made a few recipes lately that I would love to share with you.  Last Friday night I was craving soup and I ran across the recipe for this yummy tortilla soup. (see pics below)   The recipe really reminded me of a soup I had in Mexico that will always live in my heart.  I mean this is a soup that I've dreamed about...many times.  I've made numerous attempts to make something similar and haven't been able to find a recipe that even comes close...until now!  It is really good and super easy.  

Tortilla Soup 

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 corn tortillas, diced into bite sized pieces 
1 to 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
5 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon of cumin
1.5 tablespoons of chili powder

Saute everything above in a large soup pot until the tortillas begin to crisp. (Be careful not to let the cilantro get burned...I learned the hard way.)
Add the following: 

1 cup onion puree (I used a VERY small onion in the food processor)
1 big can (29 oz) of tomato puree
2 quarts of vegetable stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
Serve on the side for topping:  Shredded Chicken (I used morning star chikn' strips), avocado, shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack),  fried strips of corn tortilla.
If you enjoy tortilla soup, I truly recommend this recipe.  It really has a rich flavor that really hit the spot.  

Another Recipe I would like to share is something I made tonight...Cottage Cheese Patties.  I know they sound a little sketchy, but they were very tasty.  

Cottage Cheese Patties

Chop one small onion and 1 celery stalk (I used the food processor)
Saute them for about 10 minutes (stirring often)

In a mixing bowl, add the onion mixture to the following:

1 1/2 cups quick oats
2 eggs
1/2 t thyme
1 T poultry seasoning
1/2 cups chopped
3/4 cup cottage cheese 

1/4 t garlic salt
2 T soy sauce 

Form into patties and fry them in a bit of oil.   Place them in a casserole dish.  

Mix together one can of cream of mushroom soup with one can water. Pour over the patties and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.  

If you serve with baked potatoes, you won't be sorry. 

Enough about food. Some of you know that I have been looking for a coffee table for the upstairs living room.  Well, mission accomplished.  Melissa (a.k.a The Craigslist Queen) found us a very cute one right here in Lombard and I couldn't be happier.  I love that it has baskets to keep Rosie's toys in and it's just the right size.  Here's a pic:

Today we did something that I have been intending to do for almost a year now. I feel horrible that I haven't done it sooner and when I tell you you are going to wonder what kind of parent I am.  We went to the library!  Yes, it is about a mile away and we just now went. Monroe fell in love with the place.  From the displays, to the puzzles, to the books--she had a blast and made a few friends along the way.  In fact, one little guy wouldn't leave us alone.  We tried to ditch the kid, but he tailed us throughout the whole place, talking very loudly to Monroe.  She seemed to enjoy the attention, but I got very nervous that people would think the loud little boy was mine.  At one point, I was practically running down the aisles trying to get away.  It reminded me of a scary movie.  Everywhere we turned, that little booger would turn up.  Even as we were leaving, I could hear him yelling, "Bye guys, I will see you next time. I'm coming to your house!"  Yes, the boy was a bit creepy.   So, we ended up with a few books about cats and dogs (two of Monroe's favorites), two cd's and a stalker.  A pretty good day:)

I hope the new year is treating you all well.  No New Year's Resolutions for me this year.  I am just going to continue working on my list.  I've started quite a few and there are some I can totally mark off.  It feels good.  I'll have to do an update soon.  

Please pray for my good friend, Lori. She lost her sister to cancer this week and is really hurting.  Love you all!  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Picture Perfect

I've been horrible at taking pics of Monroe lately.  Here is a cute one I took this weekend before we headed to the Kirk Franklin concert, which by the way was so amazing.  

Monroe has a doctor's appt. on Friday.  I am curious to know all of her stats.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Scary Cat, Scary Cat, what are they feeding you?

The FurReal kitten my mom got Monroe definitely won this year's prize for her favorite Christmas gift.  It didn't win my prize though.  Monroe has been obsessed with it since she got it and is always bringing it to me to press its back to make it meow and walk.  She knows how to do it herself, but seems to prefer for me to do it.  Now it's not like I don't enjoy her happiness, but after twenty five times in a row, it gets a little overwhelming.  I have hidden that kitten so many time, but I swear the thing has a mind of its own and Monroe always ends up finding it.

Like I said, the kitten was her very favorite, that was, until it started going ape nuts.  A few days ago, it began  periodically mooing.  Not meowing, but mooing.  It comes out of nowhere.  Sometimes it is perfectly fine and then all of a sudden...MOO!  It freaks Monroe out so bad.  I feel horrible that it scares her, but it is pretty funny.  Yes, I recorded it...I know I'm terrible.

The mooing is kind of hard to hear on the video, but you can definitely see her reaction:)  Please excuse what I look like in this video.  It had been a hard day at work and I was looking pretty rough.

I Heart Kinects

For Christmas, my dad got the whole family Xbox Kinects to play when we are home.  It is so much fun.  My very favorite game involved some futuristic white water rafting.  I sounds amazing and I can assure you, it is.   See for yourself:

Where to begin...

It's been a bit since I've done some major updating.  The holidays are always so busy and this year wasn't any different.  I'll do my best to try and remember some of the happenings during the last month...

Some sad news--Our friends the Nudd's officially moved to North Carolina:(  I'm so excited for them, but it's definitely been hard for everyone here in Chicago, especially Mike and Melissa, as they were best friends.  For a farewell party, some of us ladies went downtown for a ladies night/day:)  We stayed at Hotel Sax.  It was so fun.  We had a blast shopping, laughing and staying up almost all night talking.  It's been a few moons since I stayed up that late and it took me days to "get right", but it was definitely worth it.  Oh yeah, did I mention we ate?  Well, we ate and we ate good.  Here are a few pics:

Tulsa was our destination for Christmas.  We were so excited to get back home and I can assure you, the trip didn't disappoint.  (Monroe and I flew up early and Mark drove down a few days later.  We made the long drive back all together.)  We loved seeing family and friends and eating amazing food.  My parents went a little nuts on presents for Monroe, but she definitely enjoyed every second of it.  It was terribly hard to leave.  I still get teary-eyed just thinking about it:(  

 Bathing Beauties
 My wonderful parents making Christmas treats!
 Michelle and Rosie reading after opening gifts
 Me and my love ready for bed.
 Monroe pretty exhausted after opening her gifts.  
 Such a tiny little person and such a huge tree.
Some of her loot:) 

In other news, my sister-in-law, Michelle, has FINALLY started a cooking blog.  We have been trying to get her to do it for awhile now, and am so excited that she decided to take the plunge.  Here is a link to her blog.  I can't wait to try her bread recipe.  She has a knack for finding/creating the best recipes that are easy to accomplish.  I never thought I would ever make homemade apple sauce, until Michelle gave me her recipe.  I made it on Sunday and it was SO yummy, SO easy and SOOOO healthy.  

This is pretty random, (but when is this blog not?) but have you ever been to one of the theaters where you are served food during the movie?  I had never been to one, but Mark and Mike took Melissa and I the other night.  When we got there, every movie we had wanted to see was sold out, so we ended up seeing "Little Fockers".  It was pretty cute and believe it or not, the food was pretty good.

So we all know that Monroe is on her own time schedule.  She decides when she wants to do things and it is usually extremely late or extremely early.  She started taking steps a few weeks after her first birthday and we were so excited, because for once, she was doing something around the norm.  Well, she continued to take steps when she pleased for the next three months!  She is such an efficient crawler that it seemed she really didn't see the point of walking. When we arrived at home in Tulsa, everything changed.  The first night, she stood up in the middle of the living room and walked across the room.  She's been walking pretty consistently since.  I really think part of the delay came from the fact that she hates hard wood floors.  We have them throughout the house.  My parents just put in the most amazing carpet ever and I think it helped with the process.  She didn't seem as nervous to fall.

Here is a video of her walking after we got home.  

So this has gotten a bit long.  I am going to wrap it up for now, but I will continue later.