Friday, August 31, 2012

Recipe Alert! Tonight's dinner.

I was thumbing through Fitness Magazine this morning and ran across a recipe for what they titled, "Patty Svelte."  Here she is:

Black Bean "Nacho" Burgers

Makes:  4 burgers
Prep time:  25 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling
Cook time:  12 minutes or a little better

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup finely crushed tortilla chips (preferably blue corn)
1/3 cup salsa, plus additional for serving
1/2 cup 50% reduced fat cheddar shreds or 1/2 cup cheddar Rice Dream shreds (what I used)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 scallion, white and green part, finely chopped or a half of a lil garden onion finely chopped (what I used.)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper or about 10 grinds of the pepper mill (what I used)
4 hamburger buns or 4 whole wheat sandwich thins (what I used)
2 t vegetable oil (I skipped this)
4 butter lettuce leaves (I skipped this because I didn't have it)

1.  Use a food processor or a potato maser to smash beans until chunky, leaving some partly whole.  Stir in crushed chips, salsa, cheddarish cheese, egg, scallionish onion and black pepper.  They say to shape into 4 patties, but I didn't until I plunked them in the pan.
2.  Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.
3.  Preheat pan (I used a grill pan with a little bit of Pam in place of a standard pan with oil) and place or form mixture into patties.  Cook until golden brown on one side, 6ish minutes.  Flip and continue to cook until golden brown.  Serve up on buns and with lettuce and a dash of salsa just for extra flavor.

We had blue corn chips and salsa with a side of corn.  Yum!

Smiles in my day:
-  I bought myself a Baby Cakes Rotating Cake Pop maker with birthday money I had.  I was gifted a Kohl's gift certificate and some cash, received a coupon for an additional 15% off, so now K- and I will be venturing into that great world of cake pops.  We had them last week at the wedding reception and loved them.  Yum!
-  It probably shouldn't make me smile, but it did.  Hubs got so mad at the caulk and his caulking gun (bad, wrong caulk that caused the caulk gun to blow), and he pitched it (not his style) across the front lawn.  I came home to the caulk gun near the sidewalk and knew what happened.  He discovered a 4" section of swell on our one sill in the living room.  He took off 1/2 the woodwork around the window, cut out a section of the drywall and found the non-expanding foam to be sopping wet.  He continued to dig and discovered that there was a hairline crack in the caulk of the window which allowed water to seep in.  Since we are expecting Isaac to make landfall for us sometime tomorrow, Hubs was concerned because, "THERE'S A HURRICANE COMING," and the window was exposed.  He has everything sealed up, but will have to go back through and rework all of his work after Isaac has left us.  Still, the caulking gun straddling the sidewalk line was hilarious.
-  A friend gave me a Ghirardelli Dark and Caramel bar (Carmel or caramel for you?  For us, it is car-mel.)  It is calling my name. 

A bath. That is calling my name as well.  Enjoy the tasty burgers!  They were absolutely lovely.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Monarch Tagging 2012: It's all fun and games until a Monarch gets loose in the house.

Today we began tagging our Monarchs.  We've purchased 100 tags and so far, we tagged 6.  That may not seem like a lot, but we have a church nature walk to our house so that some parishioners can help catch, tag and release.  We're also having a Boy Scout troop over (4 boys thankyouverymuch) that will do the same.  My cousin wants to come over.  My sister and her girls want to come over.  We think that 100 will work.

K- was all excited to be tagging.  She continued catching as I was making dinner.  She'd catch it and bring it to me.  We were tagging at the kitchen table and she'd take it back out to release it.  That is, until the one she was so enchanted with was walking on her finger.  I don't know, but she lost her monarchin' mind and didn't guard the little guy. 

He was in flight in the kitchen.  He kept getting whacked by the ceiling fan.  "K- A-!"  "Mom, I'm sorry!"  She went to get the butterfly net as I was attempting to catch the Monarch by hand.  Finally, he flew to the window screen and clung on.  I was able to get him detached, tagged, logged and on his merry way.  K- was relieved.  So was I.

I can officially say that is the first butterfly to ever get into my house.  We've had moths, spiders and once a mouse.  We've even had ants.  There's been a renegade earwig.  Never a butterfly-- until now.

Smiles in my day:
-  K- loves LOVES her teacher.  Mrs. H- is truly delightful and I'm so glad that I chose her. 
-  K- is taking dinner leftovers for lunch tomorrow-- chick'n nuggets and sweet potato whole grain pierogies.  "What am I supposed to tell them that I'm eating?"  "Chicken nuggets and pierogies."  I'm thinking that she might be getting a little embarrassed now of her not average lunch. 
-  They have reworked lunches completely and even had them nutritionally okay'd by the Cleveland Clinic.  They claim that they are the healthiest school lunches in the area.  Grilled chicken sandwiches.  Turkey dogs.  (Better than regular, I'm thinking.)  Chef salad with turkey and GARBANZO BEANS!  (My kid will eat them, but the general most?)  They even have seasoned collards with the macaroni and cheese.  Well, I say good on them.  K- knows that she can do mac and cheese for a lunch with school.  She's excited to see what else is offered.  Each lunch will have two veggies and one fruit.  Today they had cherry tomatoes.  That's wonderful!  :)

Have a great night!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hello third grade.

My daugher will be starting the third grade tomorow. She's been "nervous" lately and a habit which has been almost non-existent has been revived a little. K- has been sucking her thumb at night. She says that it makes her comfortable and calms her down. I certainly understand that, but we're working on redirecting that to something else. In the meantime, I have her sleeping with a glove on. It seems to be working. She admitted that she tried the gloved thumb in the mouth and said it was rather unpleasant. "Mom, I think that if I'd do that, I'd cough up a giant hair ball." We've met with K-'s teacher, but she already knows me. I've been the 100 Book Challenge prize pass mom for several years. Believe me, there are 525 children every year that know me personally. I can't go to the grocery without little eyes twinkling and getting a sudden, "HI!" K-'s desk is right at the door and we explained that not every teacher puts every child there. Hubs teased her with Mrs. H- that she could make a quick escape! She does know that K- won't go on a walkabout and dart on out in the hall for no reason and without permission. Her quad mate, C-, was in her class last year. He's a good boy and I've found him standing on my front porch and smiling. Apparently, he came to say hi to my daughter. :gulp: She has two other children in the desk quad that she doesn't know, but methinks she get to know them very well very soon. She was impressed that Mrs. H- had her name written IN CURSIVE! on the name plate on her desk. Oh, how excited she is to learn cursive. She's also excited for the incubator project. Third graders get to grow baby chicks and then they are sent off to a farm. I heard another little boy talking about his chick excitement, too. K-'s clothes are all set out. Her lunch box is set out and her water bottle is chilling. The fruit is cleaned and placed in the container. The cheese stick is at the ready. Her school bag is hanging and ready to go. The morning is coming early. :zzzz: I should sleep now while I have the time. I'm thinking that third grade is going to be a lot of homework.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

I am that mom. When readying K's things for school, I really took a good look at what was in her pencil box. K's pencil box is the same purple plastic box that she's used since Kindergarten. Going into third grade, the box still is in excellent shape. I cleared the things from the box, wiped it off and set to refilling it. K had a big handful of pencils in there that were at least 2/3 of the original length, if not longer. She killed the erasers, so I gave them all a good sharpening, recapped them with new cap erasers and breathed new life into those still very usable pencils. Scissors were the same. I just wiped them off and dropped them back in. Her dry erase markers were barely used last year. They have an ink gauge on the side, so we know they have tons of ink. Voila. Reuse! Her pink eraser was completely reusable, too.

As far as new supplies are concerned, new crayons and new glue sticks were a must.

Once again, K will be reusing last years book bag and lunch carrier. Because of defect, they were replaced by LL Bean in the spring. The backpack that was replaced was the very same bag she carried for nearly 5 years. The locker hang loop ripped out, so we replaced the bag with a messenger bag.

She's good with reuse. I'm glad that she's not a kid that requires brand new all the time. It's good for her to use things up and not to just replace because that is what she thinks needs to be done.