Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Most of the dishes are extremely dated, a food snob’s nightmare, but charming as ever in my opinion, even if they don’t sound appetizing.
Salmon Cocktail Mold
(Recipe from The New Antoinette Pope School Cookbook, Second Printing, 1962)
2 cans salmon (doesn’t say what size!)
¼ cup chopped green onion and stems
¼ cup chopped green olives
½ cup chopped celery
About ½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing thinned with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine all ingredients and stir until well blended. Place in a small bowl and chill at least 1 hour.
To serve, turn out onto center of a platter, and with spatula go over mold to make it smooth. Garnish top with hard-cooked eggs, olives, or vegetables cut to simulate flowers, or as desired. Place crackers around base of mold.
I made this recipe for a dinner party I hosted. If I remember correctly, nobody ate it. It’s a shame because I ate it and thought it was delicious. And I ended up polishing it off myself over the next 2 or 3 days. It isn’t attractive to the mainstream, in my opinion. It’s a big sculpted mound of light pinkish brown with tiny bits of green and red here and there. The hard part is the canned salmon, which I had never bought before—there are hundreds of tiny bones mixed in that you must pluck out by hand, unless there is some tool of which I’m unaware. The book this came from has tons of extremely dated, sculpted, unnatural looking dishes (think cream cheese dyed green and shaped into flowers and fruits adorning a gelatin mold salad made of chicken and peas). I love it.
Green Beans w/ Oranges
Easy; combines two well-liked foods
(Recipe from Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook, 1972 edition)
2 (10 oz) pkgs. frozen whole green beans
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
3 tblsp. butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook beans according to package directions, drain. Add orange sections and butter. Heat through; season with salt and pepper. Makes 6 servings.
That recipe above doesn’t sound very tasty to me but someone must’ve thought it was good enough to include in a DoubleDay cookbook. I found it when I was looking for ways to use the canned green beans in my pantry. Not sure if this is the way I want to use them.
Buttered or Cheese KIX
(Recipe from Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook, First Edition, 1950)
Each taste calls for another.
Melt in heavy skillet 5 tbsp. butter. Remove from heat. Stir 5 tbsp. Parmesan –type cheese, if desired. Add ¼ box KIX (4 cups). Sprinkle with ½ tsp. salt. Stir well.
Now THAT sounds tasty! I’ve never heard of using KIX cereal to make an appetizer. Did you know KIX was that old?
That was fun. Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Yesterday, Target had a flyer in the paper advertising a 4GB memory card for $12.99 so we went and got it today. Hooray! I think it was a very good price.
I baked some muffins tonight, just for fun. They are Blackberry Yankee-Style Cornbread muffins. Turned out pretty good even though I should've taken 'em outta the oven a minute or two earlier. Raquel was expecting them to taste like cupcakes--I can tell she didn't care for them. But Jose and I enjoyed them. No, they're not on my diet!
No pictures of the girls tonight but give me a day or two and I'll get some good ones. Maxine grows up so much each day, I bet she'll look different to you when you see her new pictures.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I had a wake up call this week. Realizing that living here is too expensive for us and wondering how to get us out of this situation, a light flicked on in my head: Sarah should get a good job in a town with lower rents. So I searched CA.gov for jobs with the state. There are many. Soon, I noticed I am missing only one qualification: a college degree. Many of the jobs require either a degree OR a few years experience in a specific field. I need to go back to school! I thought. My next idea was that I should study something that is in demand and has the potential for growth and of course, something interesting.
So next I researched "best careers" and then narrowed that down to "best careers to get with an Associate's Degree" and I looked at a few on the list. In California, Skincare Specialists are number one on the list, which projects growth of 60% in the next 8 years. That didn't interest me, though.
A few numbers down I saw, Environmental Engineering Technician. I know "Technician" is one of those terms that sounds fancy but it really isn't, just like "Administrative Assistant". I found out what kind of work an EET does. It's kinda vague but I get it. This is something I am interested in and I know I can do it. Investing two years or less at a community college to get into this career seems pretty fair.
Then I found this school: Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, Ca. No other community college I've seen so far in California has such an attractive-looking program in Environmental Science. Check this out. I feel strongly that this is where I'm meant to go.
If I'm broke, how am I going to pay for school? My grandma said she's help me pay for it. She has made a lot of things possible for me in my life. I'm grateful for my grandparents and the great relationship I have with them.
Of course, both Jose and I are going to have to get regular old jobs up there in the meantime, which is what he does now, anyways. He does real estate, too, but that isn't producing any income for us at all.
Oh! Also, the college offers childcare for around $100 per month! I would just have to enroll in some little parenting class and volunteer 1.5 hrs a week in the childcare facility on campus. That is wonderful!
Can you tell I'm a little excited and maybe even hopeful?
Monday, March 16, 2009
Maxine has started to realize that just because something disappears from her view doesn't mean it isn't there. If you stand in her way of the thing she's trying to see she'll crane her neck to look around you. It is pretty cute.
She is such a good eater! She still loves the homemade baby food, sweet potatoes being at the top of her list. When Raquel was this age (almost 8 months) I don't think she had a big appetite but then I was feeding her Gerber, not tasty, homemade, unwatered-down food.
Maxine is still not really crawling but she does get around the living room quite well by a mixture of dragging/pulling and crawling. She can also balance her body on one side with one arm in the air and one on the ground to steady herself--this is the precursor to sitting up on her own with the next move in the sequence being using that arm on the ground to push herself up to sit.
She is ultra sensitive in two ways. 1) Music makes her want to bob and bounce, whether she hears it on tv or one of us singing to her. When I sing to her she stares at me like I'm an angel or something. Her favorite song, the first song I ever sang to her inside OR outside the womb, is My Bunny Lies Over the Ocean. 2) She LOVES a good back massage. Her eyes will roll back in her head when you massage her back. I'm guessing her little muscles get sore from learning to crawl. She also responds similarly to light touches on her legs, arms and face. At the mall yesterday, she fell asleep sitting on my lap while I ran my fingers up and down her left leg. I couldn't see her face but her head slowly fell forward and Jose looked and saw she was falling asleep. So cute!
Her favorite tv show is Blue's Clues. It really gets her attention.
She can say "dadadadada", "tss", "babababa" and "ah-ba" but I don't think she's actually trying to speak english yet.
When I'm trying to comb her hair, she tilts her head all the way back to see what I'm doing. So I usually give her something to play with while I do this.
Sometimes she puts her hand in the way when I'm changing her diaper. So I also give her something to occupy her hands when I do this.
She likes to scratch everything, even her own tummy. I am teaching her the meaning of "soft" by placing her hand on my face and saying "soft" while running her hand down my cheek softly.
When I'm feeding her she thinks its fun to spray food out of her mouth by making a "tss" sound after I put food in there. So, she is now learning the meaning of the word, "NO", hahaha. When I say "NO" I have to make sure my face has a certain serious expression, otherwise she thinks I'm being funny and she'll just laugh. :)
That's all for now. Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I have been getting a lot of compliments from teachers at the school on how I make Raquel's lunch. Last night I tried something new: a thin egg omelette wrapped around a small rice ball that I had dipped in light soy sauce. I tied it with nori. It was not easy to tie and didn't look as pretty as the picture in the recipe on Justbento.com but everyone asked me about it today--it surprised them that it really wasn't as fancy as it looks--it was basic foods, nothing Martha-Stewart-y. Raquel ate one but not the other so I'm not sure she liked it.
And here are some portraits I took of the girls over the weekend that I think will make you smile.That last one reminds me of chimps! Thanks for reading.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Raquel did well at lunch today, almost ate the entire thing except for a few broccoli florets and edamame. Her and I sat in the cafeteria after the class had all gone home and we watched the upper classmen arrive to eat lunch. About 50% of the children had brought lunches from home! I was very happy to see this, not only for their sake but mostly (selfishly) because I was worried I might be the only mom who thought her kid was too good for school lunch. This is only true for the preschool group.
Since making the sushi took some time to assemble, I did some research on "speed bento" and found tips on how to make lunch fast but nutritious. I cooked rice, pasta and vegetables (seperately), divided them into servings and popped them in the freezer. I believe I'm set up for the next month of making Raquel's lunch!
Here are my favorite shots from our time outside...