Real quick, I still can't get over what a reading beast Parker is. He just got a new book at the school library today and finished reading it already. It's a 67 page Junie B. Jones book. I guess I should just get used to him being a reader and someone who actually enjoys it. I'm pretty floored after all we have dealt with (and will probably always deal with) because Scott (5th grade) does not like any kind of reading (makes for quite the time with homework and such. Guess we'll just keep hoping someday he finds some books he really likes (other than Pokemon and Captain Underpants--heck, if he'll even sit down and read those, we'd let him and be thrilled.) Anyway, just a few quick pictures of Parker and some friends at his birthday party this past Saturday at the local bowling center.
So not the greatest thing at all, but I made cupcakes and how easy it was to make them bowling balls. I found these giant circle sprinkles and Parker picked the color.
At the bowling party, we brought cupcakes, individual baggies of popcorn and some grapes for each kid. Then bought them all a root beer. They really had fun (8 boys) bowling, opening presents, then playing around in the arcade until parents came. One boy said he knew what he was going to do for his birthday now, go bowling! I liked that 1) it really wasn't THAT costly, 2) I didn't have to plan a party and make a mess at home, 3)I used to work for a bowling supply company and being there brought back lots of memories. I stink at bowling, but there's something that is fun to me about being there. The boys bowled four to a lane and we took two lanes with those gutter thingys up (I can't believe I can't remember what they are called, I used to sell them!) Towards the end of the game, I told them I had a prize for whoever got the best score. A couple of the boys were really wanting to take home the prize. One lane of four boys finished a good three frames ahead of the other, so with a score of 91 and waiting to see what the other four did, one of the boys was hoping he could keep the top score. Then one by one he watched two of the other boys pass his score, one with a 95 and the other with a 93. Darn! They all really had fun!
Oh, nice Budweiser sign in the background, I just noticed! I stink at photography, but here's a few action shots of Parker taking a turn. He sure wanted to do well, but only got a final score of 66--it's a lefty thing, we can't help it! But he's such a good sport and had fun despite his score.
Enough of that, let's open presents!
On to some recipes!
Tonight I made chicken pot pie. I don't follow any kind of recipe, I just put chopped veggies in a pan and saute them with some chicken, when I think the veggies are soft enough, I add liquid, thicken it, make a quick crust and throw it in the oven. This one tonight wasn't very pretty, but I was going for taste more than looks and I thought this was really yummy. And something you won't hear at this house very often, Scott said at least twice while he was eating it that it was really good. Sammie even ate quite a bit. Parker came home from soccer practice after we'd eaten and I had him eat some and he actually said it was really good, too, and then had seconds. Hmmm. Taylor, of course, did not take one single bite! That also means he doesn't get a snack later in the evening. He is going to be one hungry boy in the morning! They say kids won't let themselves starve! I think the last time he ate today was about 3:30 in the afternoon. Am I a bad mom for not letting him have whatever he wanted? Moms out there, what "rules" do you have for kids and dinnertime? Just wondering.
So here's what I put in the pot pie, these are all rough estimates and the great thing is you can add whatever you want. I did a good job of some cleaning out the fridge. (Mom, I know you'll say the only thing missing was onions! I can totally imagine how they would have totally ruined this. I loathe onions!)
My Chicken Pot Pie
First I cooked in about 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 chopped chicken breasts.
Then I removed it from the pan and instead of adding more oil, I added a little water, also to deglaze the chicken bits from the pan. I then added:
1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 small potato, chopped (left the skin on)
1 cup baby carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
After that cooked for about five minutes, I added:
1/2 cup lima beans, frozen (my kids like lima beans)
1/2 cup corn cut off the cob, (fresh from the farmer's market that I had frozen)
1/2 cup peas, frozen
1 small green pepper, chopped (from my "garden" on the deck-they didn't grow very big, but it was still tasty)
1/4 cup yellow pepper, chopped
1/3 cup red pepper, chopped
I let that cook for a few minutes, then added
1 good sized portabella mushroom, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
After this cooked for a few more minutes, (oh and I add a little water here and there was it gets too dry), I then moved some veggies aside and sauteed 2 cloves of garlic, that I pressed through a garlic press. I added the chicken back to the pan and I added 2 cups of water and two bouillon cubes and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. It bubbled away while I quickly made a whole wheat pie crust.
I stirred in 1/2 cup 2% milk with 2 tablespoons cornstarch, to thicken everything a bit and 1/4 cup chopped basil (also from my deck garden). I also salt and pepper the different "layers" as I go. Once all the veggies and water were in, I also added about 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning.
I topped it all right in the pan with the pie crust, remember that I said it wasn't that pretty. I'm going to show you some pictures, so remember that. All I can say is that after it baked in the oven (350 degrees for about 30 minutes), it was delicious! I especially thought, "not bad for just making it all up as I went along." And apparently the boys agreed (so did Kevin).
So here's my horrible pictures, just because.
And finally, my portion on my plate. Ooh, exciting.
The whole wheat crust I made was off the back of a bag of Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. Here's the recipe as I made it, very slightly adapted. (I just ended up not using quite as much water as they suggested and used kosher instead of sea salt).
Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pie Crust, adapted
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup butter, unsalted, cold and chopped into small pieces
5-8 tablespoons ice water (I only used 4)
Blend together with pastry cutter the flour and salt, add butter and cut in with pastry cutter until it is like coarse corn meal. Add water one tablespoon at a time and mix with pastry cutter after each addition until it starts to come together, Pat it into a ball and with lots of flour (I used all purpose flour on the counter), roll out dough until desired size. This actually made almost double the crust I needed for the pot pie, so I see an apple-y crusty something-ish on the horizon for tomorrow! ;)
I realized while I was slaving away with the pastry cutter that I could have and should have made the crust in the food processor! Oh well.
Earlier in the day, as I've been trying to clean out "junk", old clothes that don't fit anyone, etc. from Taylor's closet, he was digging through it all like it was a treasure chest full of gold and playing with some of the things he'd found. I looked over at him and this is what he had on---it's hard to tell in the picture (because T just won't let me take pictures of him!) But he had on two ball caps, a backpack that he'd filled with a ton of books, a water bottle holder with strap and a "key chain" (it was a kid's meal toy from Arby's from years ago) that he'd hooked a bunch of things to and had clipped to the backpack. It was sure cute, I love to see him (and all the kids) play creatively like this. Sam was having a ball as they were running around.
And gotcha, T! But not without a lovely grimace! Silly kid!
And finally, not that I don't listen as Kevin has been telling me for months that he thinks we should get Sam's hair cut, but I talked to my mom today and she REALLY thinks it's time, mostly because she thinks Sam will be so mad at me when he grows up and I show his future girlfriends his cute little curls from when he was a baby. So I think I might go have it cut, maybe even tomorrow, but I want to have our friend, Tes, who cuts hair, not cut it too short and leave some of the curl. It really is SO cute, but also really starting to be a bit unruly and well, long! Love my Sammie! He was not a happy camper after he woke up from his nap today, so I sat him on the counter and snapped a few pics of him crying. He's got quite the bed head, that I can't quite seem to capture in pictures.
Sam is enjoying a snack while playing with an ice cream scoop. He gets into everything in the kitchen, this was one thing I let him have, for a short time until he started beating the table to death with it!
And once again, it's 11 p.m. and I have to get up at 4:50 a.m.! Sigh. Goodnight.