Thursday, March 31, 2011

Making granola right now...

So I am taking the last of my coconut and making granola with pepitas (pumpkin seeds), almonds and cinnamon. I hope it is good. I have been craving coconut lately.

Mmmm..The whole house smells like heaven...Worth it just for the smell.

Trying to get my granola in clusters as mentioned here.

By the way, ever been over to Kath eats? I am loving her oatmeal obsession. She puts the coolest stuff in it.

Ava goes to Bible school

 Brandon and Sophia watching the show with Sarah, Blake and Nadia.
 Ava is in the red dress
Ava in the middle singing 

 Ava's group at her Bible school.

Ava loved Bible school last Summer. She looked at me and was like, "Hit the road mom, I got this." She is going to love preschool. She loves being in school and her teachers.

Sarah found a great Bible school that lasted a week from 6 to 8 pm. Ava would talk about how excited she was to go everyday and loved all of the songs they sang.

Life group!

 So many girls! Evermans, Missigs and Shmidt girls by the fire.
 Fun times at El Vaquero.
 After dinner coloring.

Brandon and I started co-hosting a new life group with the Carlsons, Josh and Sally, and have really enjoyed getting to know more families at our church!

This Tuesday we had a great girl's night on Tuesday night at Luce in Powell. I got the short ribs after they were mentioned as amazing from Sally and oh man. They were amazing. So good and pretty reasonable for around $14!

The pictures above were from our first group meeting at El Vaquero. All of the little girls in our group that night just had a blast.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

While I get ready...

 Ava puts on her mascara.
 Sophia fluffs her hair.

Speed work? No thank you.


Do you ever have those mornings when you are tired and don't want to work out? 

Sophia has been getting up at night crying, which means I am pooped this morning. 

Which means I don't want to work out because I have to do this:

    Your Workouts for Wednesday, March 30

    Workout #1:  MILE REPEATS
    Type: Run
    Planned distance: 7.0 miles 
    Today you'll run repeats of 3 x 1 mile and cover seven miles total. 

    After a warmup, run one mile at 8:20/mile, jog two laps around the track (or a half mile) for recovery, and repeat this cycle two more times. Cool down afterward with easy running. 

    1.5-mile warmup
    3 x 1 mile @ 8:20/mile with 800-meter recovery jogs
    1-mile cooldown
Brandon and I are doing the Cap City Half Marathon and following a training plan from Runners' World. 

I did my first five miles after being sick for two weeks on Monday and it felt amazing. It was my easy day so I did five at a 9:48 minute pace. 

Brandon took the girls to the doctors to make sure they were okay after being sick and I went to Glacier Ridge and ran. 

During my run I was close to two deer who were only 10 feet away! And I saw a red-bellied wood pecker and lots of robins. Such a beautiful place to run. Brandon and I are going back this Saturday to do another five since it's a refresh week on our plan. 

 Post-doctor check-up with daddy -- calls for milkshakes
 This is like the fourth time i have been this close to a deer. They are so beautiful.
 How amazing is this day? Mile 2.5

 Sophia's first pigtails! Getting ready to go to Ava's gymnastics class.
 First pigtails for Sophia
 Ava pumping 3 lb weights
Mom, do you see these muscles? 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shekinah Festival

Every year we attend the Shekinah Festival in Plain City. My sisters and brother went for a little while to the school and we had such good memories. At the festival there is a quilt sale, homemade goods and kids actitivites.

The girls and I went last fall and they loved the animals, pancake breakfast and riding horses. Momma Kuhns came with us and we had a blast. Everytime we go back it's like a big family reunion since most of my cousins and family live in Plain City.

 Momma Kuhns, Sophia and Ava
 When we first got there- can you say beautiful day!
 Ava and Sophia's favorite part was the petting zoo.
 All of the little piglets were watching the horse.
 Ava: "I want to hold that dog....hand her over...."
 Sophia watching the little kitties scurrying around.
 Pancake breakfast complete with blueberry topping!
 Ava finally rode a horse! So proud of her for conquering her fear of riding. She was a little cowgirl.
I love this picture-how pretty is that sky and that horse. You don't see many cheerleaders riding horses now do you?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Our weekend

Panda reading.
Ava still holding faith for the Buckeyes.
Little teacher.
Poppa Kuhns watching the OSU game at Luke's bday party.
Little Charlotte in her clown wig.
Brandon and I rooting on the Bucks.

Ethan by Luke's cake he helped decorate. He had three pieces!: )
My clean desk!

Hi guys! I started writing this blog as a way to keep contact with family, including my sisters in Phoenix and Denver and our family in Michigan.

So, we had a great weekend -- pretty relaxing since Ava and I were getting over being sick. We both have felt fine. My medicine just makes me a tired and dizzy. I cannot wait to be done with it. I was sitting in church yesterday planning an escape plan if I didn't stop feeling the room spin.

Friday we celebrated my best little brother's birthday--29! Happy Birthday Luke! :)

We ate so much food! We had Kelly's spinach soup (so good), deer tenderloin, bbq chicken, salad, corn pudding and two types of cake - ethan's jello cake he decorated and mom's pineapple cake in a cast-iron skillet.

How did I walk after that?

Then Brandon stayed and watched OSU lose their game. We had a chill Sat. I got a pedicure. So nice after being sick in the house for the last two weeks. It was pure bliss. I had three magazines, a bird feeder beside the chair (i love watching birds), and a quick pedicure.

The girls had fun with Brandon who went to breakfast that morning with friends.

The girls love playing with Brandon's books and arranging them around the blue room like it's a library. Ava even plays school with her animals. She is such a good little teacher.

Saturday and Sunday we relaxed around the house and got ready for the week. My favorite thing? My clean desk! Brandon organized it for me and I love how clean it is. Agh...

Chinese dumplings part 2: Dipping sauce and freezing dumplings:

These dumplings were a quick cook! Next time an even shorter cooking time would work better.
Dipping sauce-add two parts soy sauce to one part rice wine vin. Add chopped scallions. Mmm.
Steam those little puppies after sauteing.
Pull out the dumplings from the freezer. I lined the bottom with parchment paper and plastic wrap.

Chinese dumplings, my everest

For the chinese dumplings, I used square Nasoya wonton wrappers. You can also purchase round wrappers if you like the half moon dumplings.
All of the ingredients in the processor. Ready to start making the dumplings.
Cookie scoops are the unsung hero of the kitchen. I love mine because it doles out uniform sizes.
This is called the pyramid dumpling. Feel free to fold your dumplings how you like.
The final product! We ate these last night and froze the rest. They were amazing, fresh and so yummy.

My husband Brandon loves to climb mountains. Give him sub-zero freezing weather, an ice ax and a mountain and he's in heaven. I think it's weird to enjoy getting frost burn. But he loves the challenge.

My challenge? These little chinese dumplings.

For the last two years they have been my nemesis. I was out to conquer my fear of those little packages of shrimp and chicken goodness.

In the May 2010 issue of Food and Wine (I like to keep issues), they have a spread on "a lesson in dumplings." I have literally read this page about 20 times. Have I attempted them? No. Until this weekend. Finally, success!

For the dumplings, I used a Cook's Illustrated recipe as a guide and adapted a chinese dumpling recipe from The Martha Stewart Cookbook.

Steamed Dumplings
Makes Approximately 36 dumplings

Serve with dipping sauce
1 cup ground pork
3/4 cup chopped shrimp (i used cooked)
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons celery tops
half of a carrot
2 scallions
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (had to use dry)
2 tablespoons chicken or veggie broth

1 pound nasoya wonton wrappers

Add all ingredients to food processor and chop until uniform size (Or you can do by hand and cut veggies in small dice).

Use a cookie scoop to scoop one teaspoon filling in center. Seal edges with egg white and press edges to form triangle (see pic, Cooks Illustrated). Set on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap.

To cook
In a hot pan, add olive oil and saute dumplings for 2 minutes or until bottom is brown. Add 1/2 half cup of water or broth and steam. Cover with lid and cook for 2-3 minutes. Filling should be steamed and outside will be brown.

Dipping sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 scallions diced

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our Ohio - What's In Season

Our Ohio - What's In Season

Cooking food that is fresh and local is a great way to save money and eat amazing produce. Rhubarb is almost in season in Ohio and I would love to make some rhubarb tarts I found in my Sono Baking Company recipe book.

If you are interested what's in season in Ohio, click on the "Our Ohio" link.

Visting Nanna and Poppa Shmidt

Shmidt cousins! Cale is so quick he's hard to capture on camera, but he looks so much like Troy.
Brandon, the girls and Nanna and Poppa Shmidt before leaving.
Who is that cute couple? Aunt Christina and Uncle Troy, Brandon's brother, came over to eat with us and celebrate Christmas.
Sophia and the ever present Kirby, house cat, kids' favorite thing at Nanna's...

We embarked on a cross-country trip (well, crossing state trip) to Michigan at the end of December to celebrate Christmas and birthdays with Nanna and Poppa Shmidt.

We had a great trip up to Midland, Michigan and got there in around 4 hours! Score. It helps for us to pack a lunch and have them eat in the car.

Baby Jude pictures

Little Jude at Ava's birthday party. Cute as ever.
Jude making his big debut.
Dave, beautiful Jess and Jude.

Don't you just love babies? I found these pictures on my camera -- I couldn't upload them to Brandon's I can. The Seeds are our good friends and we were so excited for them to have another boy. Blessings Seeds!