Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not Much Going On

We are in the final weeks of our summer vacation. We have one more trip to make to visit family in Georgia and Alabama next week. Other than that, we are staying busy around the house and Mike is wrapping up some projects before he has to go back to work the second week of August. I'm already counting down the days until our fall break in October!!! The blessing of having a teacher for a husband--every 4-6 weeks he gets a day off or a vacation!

We went to Montgomery Bell Park 2 weekends ago for the day, grilled out and just enjoyed the cool temperatures and sunshine. This past weekend we hit the flea market in Nashville and then we went to a local park that has a bike trail with our good friends Nicole, Brad and their daughter Abigail (aka Anna Claire's BFF).

Proud Papas (Anna Claire loves being in that stroller, as long as it is moving)

Anna Claire continues to do so well--she is rolling over now from her front to the back and I'm pretty sure she'll get the back to the front before too long. She gets frustrated and then gives up unless we give her a little nudge. She is eating well and still sleeping through the night for 10-11 hours. We go for her 6 MONTH (!!!!) well visit when we get back from Alabama. The doctor said at the 4 month visit that she could start solids whenever, but I've been waiting until the summer's end so that we can be more consistent about it, plus, since she is a preemie, she likely isn't ready for it yet anyway. I did notice her yesterday interested in my drink at dinner though, not grabbing for it, but just watching, and that is an early sign that babies are ready for solids. I'll have to add rice cereal to my grocery list.

And because I can't resist sharing a good recipe...if you want something different, easy and tasty for dinner tonight, try these Tilapia Tacos with Chipotle Cream and Cabbage Slaw. It took me all but 20 minutes to put everything together.

1 lb. tilapia fillets (about 4-6 fillets)

1 T. olive oil

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 T. fresh cilantro

2 T. lime juice

Cream Sauce

2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo (minced and seeded)

1 c. sour cream

1/4 tsp. salt

Cabbage Slaw

1/4 c. white wine vinegar

2 T. olive oil

1 tsp. dry mustard

2 cups chopped green cabbage (I bought the bagged stuff at the grocery)

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix cream sauce together, set aside

2. Whisk together sauce for cabbage slaw, then add cabbage and parsley. Chill until ready to assemble tacos.

3. Heat grill/skillet to low-medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray

4. In a separate bowl, mix ingredients from the olive oil through the lime juice to create marinade. Coat each side of the fillets with marinade.

5. Cook fish for 4-5 minutes or until fish is fully cooked.

6. Assemble tacos with cabbage slaw, fish, chipotle cream and add any additional ingredients you like on your tacos (I added avocados and tomatoes).

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Photos for Friday

I just couldn't resist putting these pictures up.

Seriously, how cute could she be?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

34 Years

A bonus while vacationing in VA...I was able to spend my birthday with my family!

That morning, Mike and I took Anna Claire for her first day hike. My parents live close to the Shenandoah National Forest, so we took a drive up Skyline Drive and ventured into the woods.

I had Anna Claire strapped to me in a snugli and she did wonderfully; slept most of the time. One of the highlights was that part of the trail was on the Appalachian Trail (AT). Mike and I have backpacked many times, but our paths have never crossed the AT. Now I can say I did some of the AT, even if it was only a 1/4 of a mile.

After our hike, we visited a couple of the local vineyards. Virginia has over 140 vineyards throughout the state and a couple of them were close by. The majority of them are small and the owners live right on the property, offering tastings, tours and weekend events.

I'm always interested in how the winerys get their name. When the owners were buying the property for this vineyard, they saw three red foxes running across the land, so they named it Fox Meadow Vineyards.

The owners of this vineyard, named it Naked Mountain after the mountain the vines are on. They aren't sure where the mountain got it's name, but it is dates back hundreds of years.
Then we met up with my family for dinner at the Cork Street Tavern in historic downtown Winchester. .

I received beautiful cards, ecards, some goodies from my friends (thanks Katharine and Marilyn!) and well wishes, plus a new favorite (from Christy; thank you!)...Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Cooks At Home. I'm pretty sure Ina and I would be friends in real life. That is, if I lived in the Hampton's. I also got a food processor from my Mom and Dad (thank you!), which I am so excited about! I can't wait to make baby food for Anna Claire...and homemade pesto too. Not for her, for me. I'm reading more and more about homemade baby food and can't wait to start! If you have any recipes, please share!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Smoked Turkey Salad

I made this for dinner last night. It was so simple and very good and fresh--perfect for a summer evening. You could substitute the turkey with any meat (roasted chicken, seared tuna, salmon, even go for a more Italian flavor like cubed salami). If you don't eat meat, you could always cube some fresh mozzarella. That would be good too! I added some sliced avocados I had on hand too.

1 pound smoked turkey, chopped

1 sweet red pepper, seeded and cut into strips

4 green onions, diagonally sliced

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)

1/4 cup raspberry or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

8 cups or 1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine oil and next 4 ingredients in a jar. Cover tightly and shake. Pour over turkey mixture; toss gently and then cover and chill. When ready to serve, place spinach on individual plates, top evenly with turkey mixture. Serves 4.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Farmer's Market Day

On the 4th of July, we spent the morning at the Farmer's Market. There is nothing better than fresh produce in the summer!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Where We've Been...

It's been a while hasn't it? I didn't realize until I opened up my blog this morning that it has been nearly a month since I posted last. We have had quite an eventful past few weeks. After attending my niece's graduation in June, our summer began in full swing.

Anna Claire was dedicated the end of June--I don't have the pictures yet but will post some as soon as I can get them uploaded. It was such a sweet moment for us; to be able to stand there with her and give her back to the Lord (something that we actually did before she was even born!) in front of our church family. I couldn't stop crying. It was an emotional moment as I stood there watching the pastor hold her, just thanking the Lord that we have the opportunity and privilege to parent her. She continues to be an amazingly easy and laid back baby--no fussing, very little crying and oh, the smiles. We can't get enough of them!

The beginning of July, we headed to Virginia for Anna Claire's first vacation and to visit my parents who have recently moved to the northern part of the state. My sister, Christy, and her family joined us! We spent the week doing the "touristy" thing, visiting DC, Civil War sights, Shenandoah National Forest and a couple of vineyards. Here are just a few shots from the week, more to come!

We decided to stay the night 1/2 way through the trip and stopped at this restaurant in southern VA. It was an original log house built in 1776 and was owned by a gentleman who fought in the Revolutionary War.

There was never a shortage of cameras on the trip!

We spent one day in DC. I had never been there so it was fun to walk around the city, visiting the monuments and museums. I'm thankful my parents live so close so that the next time we visit, we can take in more of the city.

Anna Claire got plenty of lovin'.

And these two boys kept us laughing the entire week!