Monday, February 23, 2009

Yummy! (and healthy, too!)

We made this Meatball Soup from Jessica Seinfield's book Deceptively Delicious tonight and I highly recommend it. I've tried a few other things from the book and this has got to be my favorite so far. The boys liked it and it's really easy to make. Sorry I didn't get a picture - I was too busy eating.

Meatball Soup

3 oz. pasta shapes, such as bowties or wagon wheels (I used the mini-bowties)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28-oz.) can whole tomatoes, with their juice
1/4 cup carrot puree
1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
3 cups beef or chicken broth
3 slices whole-wheat bread, cubed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sweet potato puree
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 lb. lean ground turkey

1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain in a colander and set aside.

2. Coat a large pot with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the pot is hot, add the oil and then the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Puree the tomatoes and their juice with the carrot puree in a food processor or blender, then add to the pot along with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the broth, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, put the bread in a large bowl. Add the egg, sweet potato puree, milk, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and paprika, and let soak until the bread is very soft. Stir to break up the bread, add the ground turkey, and mix until smooth. Form into mini-meatballs 1/2-inch in diameter.

5. Add the meatballs to the pot. Simmer, covered, until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the pasta. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.

Note: If you don't have the purees, finely chop the carrot and the sweet potato in the food processor; it works just as well.

Enjoy!! (I'll let you know how the brownies with the carrot and spinach purees taste tomorrow!!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Time to Clean off

It's probably time for me to post a new blog entry, so in an attempt to find a theme, I cleared off the pictures on my camera flash card to see what we've been up to for the past few weeks. Here's what I found:
With it being so cold outside, we've had to be creative in figuring out things to do inside. To put a twist on lunch, we loaded up a muffin tin with lots of different fruits, sandwiches and snacks and had a picnic in the family room. The boys thought it was so cool and Zach requested we do the same thing the next day.

The snow is always fun to play in, but since we haven't had a good layer for a while, most of it is ice and dirt. So I armed the boys with spray bottles full of colored water and we headed outside to "paint" the snow. The boys thought it was a blast; on this particular day we were headed to the little playground, but it took us twice as long to get there because the boys kept stopping to spray the snow. Their bottles were empty by the time we got there!

The boys have a little CD player and this particular night they found a CD with lots of children's songs on it. Their particular favorite is Ring-Around-the-Rosies and they did it again and again. I love to watch them play together and find joy in doing things together.

For the past month or so, Zach had been doing his hair in a mohawk. This past week I was combing Andrew's hair and he requested it be "spiky" like Zach's. He wasn't satisfied with anything else. It's been like this ever since. (except for church)

I was sitting in the hallway one night waiting for Andrew to finish brushing his teeth when I all of a sudden looked at him, standing on the stool, brushing all by himself and realized that my baby is not a baby anymore. He's gotten so big and has become so independant - I don't want to let go.

I was watching my TV shows in our playroom the other night and had pulled out our easel so Andrew could have a place to draw. He was so cute the way he would lean in real close and concentrate so hard on his drawing. Such a little artist...

And this is what happen when you let your 2-year-old draw with markers....

For Valentine's Day, Aunt Melissa and Uncle Dave came down to spend the weekend with us. Friday night we had our traditional pizza dinner, then decorated cookies. The boys had a blast frosting, sprinkling, and detailing their cookies.

And this is one of the ten tulips Rhett gave me for Valentine's Day. Melissa and Dave stayed with the boys Saturday night while Rhett and I went to Joe's Crab Shack and relished our buckets of crab and shrimp then went to a movie. Thanks Melissa and Dave!!
Last but not least, (yes, I know I take a lot of pictures of Andrew), is a picture of Andrew Sunday before church. He was upset for some reason, and who can resist a cute pouty face?
What's on your flash card??

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Draper Temple

Today we went as a family to the Draper Temple Open House. What an amazing experience!! I jumped at the chance to be able to take the boys inside the temple and allow them to see what it was like. It is absolutely beautiful. I was overcome with emotion and the Spirit as we walked from room to room and I explained to the boys what each room was and what went on there. I long for the day when I can be there with all my boys as they go to do baptisms, and eventually go through before they leave on their missions and when they are married. The temple is truly a holy place!

Monday, February 2, 2009


I was blogging this morning and in link after link came across this story of a mom named Jessica. She lost her little girl this past Friday to cancer. The little girl is just younger than my Andrew. I cried, and cried. Then I looked at Andrew and cried somemore. I can't imagine life without him - or Zach or Porter. Thank goodness I have the knowledge of the gospel that gives me comfort that I would see them again. But there would be no more hug-kisses. No more crazy dance parties. No more of them squeezing up next to me in church. No more toothless smiles.

It's helped my resolve to be a little more patient, a little more kind, a little more understanding, a little more selfless. To play Transformers instead of folding the last load of laundry. To build forts with all the blankets instead of picking up the toys. To go outside and play instead of cleaning. To live in the moment, because you never know how long that moment is going to last.

The Lord counsels us to "Trifle not with sacred things." (D&C 6:12) I can't think of anything more sacred than my family - my children who were sent to this earth to be under my care.

There's an old Chinese saying (which I got from Kung Fu Panda, of all places) that goes:

Yesterday is history;
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That's why it's called the present.