27 February 2014

Whitefish in Honey Butter Sauce

Evelyn's been begging for fish for a while.  Jack's already indulged her with lobster and salmon (gosh, he has expensive tastes!) but as a non-fish-lover, it's hard to bring myself to even purchase fish, much less any expensive variety.  So, I compromised and bought some whitefish fillets (and FYI, whitefish is any fish with white flesh: tilapia, cod, halibut, etc).  Jack did the cooking and I thought it was really good.  Maybe I will be converted to fish eating after all...
Happily anticipating dinnertime!
White Fish in Honey Butter Sauce


4 whitefish fillets
1/2 to 1 stick butter (depending on how much sauce you'd like)
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash of Cayenne
Dash of steak seasoning
2 Tablespoons lemon juice, divided,
Parsley for garnish

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add in additional seasonings, saving 1 tablespoon lemon juice and parsley.  Place fillets skin side up in pan and cook for three minutes.  Turn over and continue cooking until done.  Drizzle with extra butter sauce, lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley.  Serve hot.

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26 February 2014

Tumbling and Dance

Claire learning to cartwheel.
I finally decided to sign the girls up for a session of tumbling and dance at a nearby studio.  I think part of it's the weather--we haven't gone out much the last few months so a change in scenery is always nice.  Part of it too is because Jack always encourages them to dance, then turns to me and asks when I'm going to sign them up.
Evelyn following closely behind.
The first half hour is a tumbling class where they stretch and learn to "properly" do somersaults and cartwheels and bridges.  The girls are all smiles the whole time.
The second half hour is more stretching.  Then they practice their positions and skip across the room, pretending they know how to chassé or passé.  But of all the things I love most about tumbling and dance is this:
They walk around holding hands and acting like they've never fought a moment in their lives.  That's a more valuable lesson than any dance move they might master.

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25 February 2014

Looks Familiar

Hmm...this looks familiar.  Oh, right.  Like when she followed him around last time he was fixing the fence.  Was there ever any question she loves him?
They sure like him.

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24 February 2014

Poor Bees

That's not what we want to see in winter...
We took advantage of the nicer weather last Saturday and got a few things done outside.  I filled the horse trough while Jack put in a few more maple taps.  We fixed parts of the pasture fence and before heading in, took the opportunity to peak inside the bee hive.  It was warm enough that they should have been trying to get out in search of water but we hadn't seen a single bee taking flight.
I stood back just in case (I am still keen on keeping my record of never being stung alive) but I wasn't very optimistic.  Instead of combs of honey and chilly, slightly annoyed bees, there was nothing.
Those girls aren't alive unfortunately.
It was pretty apparent as Jack removed the boxes that they died from the cold winter--they just aren't accustomed to that kind of weather in this region.  And though they built plenty of comb, there was barely a drop of honey left.  There was also evidence of wretched hive beetles that are the bane of honeybees and a few patches of mildew that wouldn't have been good for them either.
It's sad--though I wasn't the beekeeper, they were still amazing to have around and we were looking forward to having another good harvest of honey.  Jack's already started making calls to find new bees and we're crossing our fingers the ones who moved back into our house are alive and well.  Spring will tell.  For now, I'm tasked with painting the boxes so they're ready for the new bees.
Rest in peace, poor bees.

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22 February 2014

Polar Bear Run 2014

 This morning I woke Jack and the girls up and drug them to downtown Indy so they could cheer for me in The Polar Bear Run.  Of the cold weather races I've participated this winter (a Turkey Trot and New Year's Eve race), this one was by far the most mild.
 It was a great course--very scenic through Indianapolis and since I got a pretty good starting spot, was pushed by the faster pack of runners and finished with a personal record of 26:26.  It was fast enough that Jack and the girls didn't make it to the finish line to snap a photo of me kicking it in.  If I may say so, I have an excellent sprint at the end.  When will Jack ever learn?  He always thinks I'll take longer than I do.
That's going to be hard for me to top...
The race was the start to a great day--one more goal crossed off the 2014 list, then we went to the home improvement store and got more tile, met some beautiful adoptable dogs (hint, hint), fixed the horse fence and grilled out for dinner.
Tired but happy I PRed!  Hooray!
What an excellent day.

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20 February 2014

Red Pepper & Alfredo Pizza

We were in the mood for pizza but only had enough pepperoni for one.  So, we had this instead.  The red peppers add some sweetness to the savory alfredo sauce.  Paired with grilled chicken and it's almost heaven in a pizza.

Red Pepper and Alfredo Pizza


1 pizza crust (here's our favorite recipe)
Alfredo sauce (there's a delicious, homemade, low fat one in Our Best Bites cookbook [affiliate link])
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced or chopped
1 sprig green onion, chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped
Mozzarella cheese

After preparing the pizza crust, spread the alfredo sauce.  Top with chicken, bacon, onion and bell pepper.  Top with cheese.  Bake at 425F for 15 to 25 minutes.

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19 February 2014

Plantable Newspaper Pots

Since we're settled in one spot early enough (and because we're all sick of winter), the girls and I thought we'd try our hand at sprouting some of our own seeds for this year's garden.  We did some research and instead of buying expensive seeding kits, decided to make our own plantable newspaper pots.  I've seen clever little pots made from toilet paper rolls but I've heard directly from a horticulturalist's mouth that the glue in the toilet paper rolls can stunt seedling's growth.  So, we settled on newspaper, especially since we've already got a generous stack waiting around to be used.
It worked!
You'll Need:

Masking tape
Cup (for shaping the newspaper)
Potting soil, seeds, plant markers, etc

1.  Fold one piece of newspaper in half (mine are two pages thick but you could do more) and cut into thirds.
2.  Roll around the cup.  Secure side with a small piece of tape.
3.  Fold bottom of newspaper in and close with a small piece of tape.
4.  Fill with potting soil and plant seeds.  Moisten soil but don't soak it.  And make sure  you mark which seeds will be what plants (they look strikingly similar when they first sprout!).
5.  Whenever spring decides to show up, plant seedlings directly in the soil (still wrapped in newspaper) after hardening for a few days to avoid any shock to the little plants.
We got some flowers too--I find it hard to justify buying flowers that don't come back.  That doesn't mean we don't love them on the front porch though!  Here's hoping for lots of beautiful blossoms.

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18 February 2014

I Like That Door

The old door.
 I've been slowly working on the entry way since the bedrooms and living room are mostly finished (I'm waiting to do the flooring since I'm a messy, wreckless painter, haha).  One thing that annoys me though is the lack of light into the entryway.  There are a few windows but I thought we could do better.
The new door.
Remember when Jack took the door out of the kitchen?  Well, guess what?  It has hinges on the correct side and will fit perfectly in place of the solid metal one.  Now it just needs a coat of paint and it'll be as good as new.
I like that door way better.  And the light.

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17 February 2014

Edible Necklaces

The girls got a couple of candy necklaces in their Valentine's packages and of course, gobbled them down first and asked for another.  Here's what we improvised a few days later (they had other treats to enjoy too!):

You'll Need:
Twizzler Pull n Peel (affiliate link)
Donut shaped candies, cereals, etc--think Fruit Loops, mini bagels or Life Savers Candies for older kids (affiliate link)

1) Pull off two strands of the Twizzlers together, then pull apart to about a half inch from the bottom.
2)  Knot the end of the Twizzler strands (by the way, if you'd like to make a longer necklace, string the candy/cereal/etc on before tying on another Twizzler strand).
3)  String on candy and/or cereal (try pinching and rolling the end into a point if you're having trouble fitting the Twizzlers through).
4)  Knot behind neck.
5)  Wear and eat!

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16 February 2014

Your Floor Is Laid

You know what Jack said after putting in a tile floor in the girls' bathroom almost single handedly?
"Your floor is laid, my queen."
A compliment AND a new bathroom floor?  That guy is way too good to me and far too often.  But I like it.

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