Grilled Cod W/White Bean Relish & Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette – Recipe Blog Hop

Every Thursday, my friend Cristina (CC) over at centraljerseyworkingmoms.com and I talk recipes, motherhood and everything in between. We hope you will link up with us and share your favorite recipe. During the fall/winter months we featured recipes for the Crock Pot and now that spring/summer is rapidly approaching, we’re now going to try our hands at recipes that feature grilling! That’s not to say there aren’t “surprise” meals and recipes thrown in there as well! We love your comments. Please let us know if you’ve tried any of our recipes and how they turned out and if you have any tips or tricks of your own that you’d like to share. Because There is Always Time for a Home Cooked Meal

In my house, The Hubs is the “grillmaster.”  When he was growing up in Colorado, his dad (who worked for the gas company) hooked up their grill to some likely illegal contraption on their backyard deck so they could use it all year round.  When we moved into our current home, my husband’s first phone call was to the gas company to come out and install an outdoor line to the shiny new grill my mother bought us as a housewarming gift.   He can cook steaks, ribs and lamb chops to perfection, grill vegetables like no-other and has even mastered the rotisserie to make mouth-watering roasts and whole chickens.

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Stick A Fork In Me, I’m Done….

“That’s it, I’m done.”

Have you ever had one of those days whether you’re at work or at home and you get so fed up with a person or project that you throw up your hands in frustration?  Maybe you walk away. Or quit. Or push it out of your mind and think of kinder, gentler and more relaxing things.  But what happens when you reach that point with your kids?

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Crock Pot Buddies – MacGyver Meal

If it’s Thursday, it’s time for Crock Pot Buddies with me and my cooking-partner-in-crime Cristina over at centraljerseyworkingmoms.com!  Have you tried any of our Crock Pot recipes yet?  How did it turn out? Please make sure to comment below to let me know how it went, or if you have any tips/suggestions for the recipe.    This week Cristina’s serving up a tasty Mexican meal, Good Ole Chicken Soup and me, well, as you’ll see it was a work in progress!

 After a long and chilly, but fortunately un-snowy season, Spring officially sprung this past Tuesday.  Right on cue, the weather started cooperating here in the Northeast (NJ to be specific) and it’s been sunny and unseasonably warm, with temperatures more like summer than spring.   And I’ve been totally taken over by the Spring Cleaning Fairy!  In the past few days I’ve already packed up my sweaters, put away the family’s wool coats and even swapped out all the kidlets long-sleeved tops for short-sleeved fare.  Now that the closets were in shape for Spring, next up was tackling the freezer to use up and clean out what’s been hibernating up there for nearly half a year.   So this week’s recipe is called the MacGyver Meal because I took what I found in my freezer and along with some staple ingredients and turned it into not one, but two meals.

In the depths of my freezer I found some sweet Italian turkey sausage and some breasts of chicken. I always have cans of tomatoes on hand in the pantry and looking inside the fridge; I discovered I had the holy trinity of root vegetables – onions, carrots and celery.  I immediately started thinking I could turn this into a sort of Primavera.  The best part would be that I would cook once and eat twice out of this crock-pottery, with two different meal options.

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Ode To Spring: My Annual Re-Awakening

My debt to the cold of winter-paid in full.
Time for spring. And my annual re-birth.
Time to shed my winter wear, and cover myself in the warmth of spring’s sun.  Goodbye to all things bulky, scratchy and woolly. Hello flirty, flowery and bright.
Time to set my feet free from dark and clunky boots and liberate them with flip flops, strappy sandals and bold & colorful toes.
Goodbye to slow-cooked hearty meals and hello to delicious and healthy cookouts on the grill.
Time for my own spring awakening, to emerge from a cozy cocoon and explore all that the reborn world has to offer!
I’m sharing my thoughts on Spring and my own Spring Awakening as part of:

I Believe In The Power Of The Playroom

 

 

I am so happy to be guest blogging over at The Big Toy Book’s Live From The Playroom today. Thank you to Corine Ingrassia of Complicated Mama for the opportunity.

Growing up, I didn’t have a playroom. I promised myself way back then that if I ever became a parent, my children would have a fun and dedicated space to play in, someplace where a kid could be a kid, not feel crowded out, and not worry about knocking over some priceless family knick-knack because I totally believe in “The Power Of The Playroom.”

Please check out the post and comment by clicking here

The Big Toy Book was developed by a team of moms who know just how frustrating it can be to search online, bouncing from site to site, looking for that perfect toy or gift. They also know that parents want to be more “in the know” about what the new options are for kids, and the many places they can find them. The site shares valuable toy tips and advice and offers great giveaways and hosts parties.    You can find them on the web by clicking here The Big Toy Book, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheBigToyBook and on Twitter at @TheBigToyBook

 

 

 

Hi, Ho, The Rodeo!

Recently, after months of planning, my family took a trip to Texas to visit the Hubs’ younger brother and his wife.  The kidlets had not seen their Uncle T and Aunt B since August 2010 when we were in Colorado to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Hub’s grandmother.   At that time our son was not yet three and our daughter just 10 months old, so traveling was a major ordeal, and required packing lots of stuff and putting up with lots of drama.  Now that the kidlets are a bit older, both fully potty trained, eating solid food and sleeping in actual beds, a real vacation sounded more like fun and less like joining the army with all the equipment we’d have to bring along.  When the Hub’s brother suggested we come down in early March to attend the 2012 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, we immediately booked our tickets.

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Here’s The Rub, Spa Week Is Coming!

One of my all-time guilty pleasures, one that I don’t get to indulge in too often, is getting a massage.  In between working full-time outside of the home, keeping two kidlets under the age of five entertained, taking care of the Hubs, errands, chores and dinner,  it’s nice to take some time occasionally and pamper myself!  Getting a massage is that one sure thing that can get me relaxed and to my “happy place.”  In addition to easing muscle tension, massages can help enhance circulation and joint mobilization, something I appreciate and need after sitting behind my desk at work all day.

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Crock Pot Buddies – Triple Berry Cobbler

If it’s Thursday, it’s time for Crock Pot Buddies with me and my cooking-partner-in-crime Cristina over at centraljerseyworkingmoms.com!  Have you tried any of our Crock Pot recipes?  How did it turn out? Please make sure to comment below to let me know how it went, or if you have any tips/suggestions for the recipe.    This week Cristina and I made the same dish and with a twist, instead of making an entrée we decided on making  a dessert, Triple Berry Cobbler!

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Pouring My Heart Out — In Between Young Kids And Old Folks

Sometimes when you’re a parent you spend so much time obsessing over every detail of your children and their happy “first” experiences that you may lose sight that people, no matter what their age, are continually experiencing their own “firsts.” As you get older, these first are not always pleasant.

This is the case with my parents. They are experiencing a new series of first as they get older.  The past year has been a rough one for them, health-wise.   Age has not been kind to either one of them.

My father is 86 and this past fall had his second battle with cancer, but the first time it was of his prostate (you can read about that here).  Luckily, it was caught early and they were able to remove the growth, but because of his age decided against any rounds of chemo.   He also spent close to five months away from home, first in rehab and then in a nursing home.  He suffered some major health setbacks and even had to learn how to walk again.   A life-threatening infection set in, leading to a second major operation. At one point, we were told he might not come home.   Luckily, he proved us and the doctors wrong, and returned home in January.

My mom maybe fifteen years younger than my dad, but she has suffered from severe asthma for a large part of her life. Although she takes a program of medications and steroids daily to control this chronic disease, it sometimes gets so bad she has to go into the hospital for a few days to get it back under control.  Stress is one of asthma’s triggering factors, so in dealing with my dad’s many issues, my mom had a serious asthmatic episode.  This was her first experience of feeling like she was drowning on dry land.  Her doctor put her in the hospital straight away and gave her some heavy-duty medication to help her.   She was in the hospital herself for a week back in the early winter, and she still hasn’t quite recovered from it.

At one point, both my mom and dad were hospitalized at the same time.  Fortunately, they were in the same hospital and on the same floor, but different rooms  – at least making it easier for my sister and I to visit with them.

It’s one of those things that you think about, but can never really know what will actually happen…your parents getting older, their health declining and inevitably, their passing.  These two people have been the longest constants in my life.  I have a family of my own now, but I cannot imagine life without my parents. Though they sometimes drive me totally crazy, as all family can do, I am scared to think about my life without them.   I dread the day when I won’t be able to gossip with my mom, talk about the pitiful state of the Dodgers, Jets or Knicks with my dad or share any of my kidlet’s “firsts” with them.

I’ve heard people say that the toughest thing a person can go through is the loss of a child.  I’m not denying that, I certainly would be destroyed by that, but losing someone who has been with you your entire life is also a devastating experience.

My two kidlets are fortunate that they have their Nana and Pop-Pop in their lives.   I didn’t really know any of my grandparents.  When I was born, I had but two grandmothers left (no grandfathers) and both were gone by the time I was five.   I don’t have any real memories of them, just what has been told to me by my parents or what I’ve seen in old photos.  I want my kids to have many memories of their Nana & Pop-Pop.  I want them to know how they were the “first” grandchildren in their lives, how much they love them and how much they are wanted in their lives.  I want my son to remember how his Nana first taught him how to rub noses “like the Eskimos did” and my daughter to know she was Pop Pop’s “girl.”

As a parent, you anticipate the future for your children, all of their firsts and all the great things they can and will do in their lifetime.  I know my parents did that with me, and now I experience that with my own kidlets.  As a child, you look at your parents as always being there and being a lasting part of your life.   But this child, now an adult, doesn’t want to look too far into the future, but rather just try to focus on the here and now and enjoy what time and memories that we can all create together.

This post is linked up to Pour Your Heart Out with Things I Can’t Say, which is celebrating its two-year anniversary.  Congrats to you Shell and thanks for giving us a forum to share what’s in our heads and hearts!  

A Trip To The Little Creamery In Brenham – A Story Of Ice Cream Making, Texas-Style!

The best part of having family spread out across the country is that we have lots of excuses to take the kidlets to places we otherwise might not go to.  Since the Hubs has a married brother in Texas and the weather was getting warmer, it was the perfect excuse to pack up and head down to the Lone Star State. The highlight of our trip, besides all of the quality time spent with Uncle T and Aunt B of course, was our day at the Houston Rodeo & Livestock Show. I’ll be sharing the details of that later this week, but today is all about our tour of the Blue Bell Creameries located in Brenham, TX and the yummy ice cream we saw made, and best of all, got to eat! YUM!

Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham, TX

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