Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Crave Wednesday: Adobo Chips with Warm Goat Cheese and Cilantro Salsa

The San Diego County Fair is only open for a month.  And we've already been twice.  That's how you know summer has officially hit.

If Thatboy had his druthers, we'd be there when the fair opened, and stayed until it closed.  But sometimes he forgets that having kids means we don't always get to do what we want.  So both times we headed over after lunch, letting the kids nap in the car before heading into the fair.

Our first stop is always the rides and games.  Thatbaby found this statue and decided it was his new best friend.  Even better when he saw the dog, and asked me to take his picture with it.

This was the first year Thatbaby has been tall enough to ride the rides by himself.  YOU GUYS HE'S 2!  Thatkid wasn't tall enough to ride the rides by himself until he was 3!  

Of course the kids didn't want to ride any of the same rides.  So we ended up splitting up with them.

The theme of the fair is "Where the West was Fun" so there was a lot of cowboy theme going on.  They turned a whole section into "Frontier Town" and of course we had to check it out.

Mostly because that's where "World of Horses" was located.  And the boys love this section of the fair.

We also noticed on our way out that a Wild West Gun Fight show was about to start.  So we sat down to watch.  They did a great disclaimer ahead of time talking about how the first rule is to never ever ever touch a gun.  And if you see one, find an adult, don't touch it.

After the show, the cast stuck around and signed posters for all the kids.

Thatbaby actually did NOT like the gun show.  The shots scared him. We ended up making a quick exit and exploring the rest of Frontier Town while Thatkid stayed and watched with Thatboy.

We also spent a lot of time with farm animals and farm equipment.

And of course, there's the fair food.  This year I went with the buffalo chicken ravioli.

Thatboy had the fried chicken ice cream sandwich.  Yeah.  I know.  It was a fried chicken patty, topped with ice cream, on a krispie kream bun.  Topped with fruity pebbles.

And the kids had their very first churros.

There was also my fair-must have: funnel cake.  And Thatkid's special request - a Texas doughnut, the size of his head.  These ended up coming home with us in almost their entirety.

Thatbaby went with his own fair classic: Cotton Candy.

And we got another family photo to add to our collection.  As the kids get bigger it's getting harder and harder to fit all of us in!

The fair closes on the 4th of July, I think the boys are planning one more trip this weekend, while I'm out of town.  As for me, I'm done for the year.  I'm already looking forward to the next big thing - my girls' weekend!  And I get back just in time for the Fourth.  Do you guys have big plans yet?  We don't.  Things always come together last minute for us, but it usually involves our backyard, people coming over, and then watching the fireworks.

It seems like everyone is trying to figure out what they're eating or bringing to a Fourth of July bbq, so let me throw my hat into the ring.  These chips pack a quiet, unassuming heat that sneaks up on you, which is tempered by the goat cheese.  The cilantro salsa is going to be your new summer favorite.  I promise.  Fresh and easy, with a definite kick.

Adobo Chips with Warm Goat Cheese and Cilantro Salsa (From Cooking Light)
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped and 1 tsp adobo sauce.
2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup finely chopped tomatillos
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
8 white corn tortillas
4 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
2 oz goat cheese

  1. Combine chiles, cilantro, tomatillos, onion, and all but 2 Tbsp lime juice in a medium bowl. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375.  Whisk the remaining lime juice, canola oil, adobo sauce, paprika, and cumin in a small bowl. Brush a tortilla with 1/4 tsp juice mixture.  
  3. Top with another tortilla and repeat.  Repeat with each tortilla.  Cut the stack of tortillas into 6 wedges.  Place wedges on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Turn wedges and bake for another 10 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to 350.  Combine cream cheese and goat cheese in a small bowl, stirring until blended.  Spread in a shallow baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mommy Mondays: Summer Bucket List

My poor kids don't really get a summer.  Nor will they ever.  Since Thatboy and I don't have jobs that are off for the summer, my children will remain in preschool/camps/care for 5 days a week, 10 hours a day, 52 weeks a year.

I do think that's more normal than not, and yet summertime still seems to have some sort of special spell about it.  The warm nights, longer every day.  The fairs and festivals.  Everyone seems to come alive during the summer and there is so much more to explore.

Every year there is so much we want to cram in, and this year is no different.  Some of this stuff we've already got a jump on, but there's still a lot left to do!  So without further ado, our summer bucket list:


*Movies in the Park

* Camping trip (away and in the backyard)
* Make Smores

* Fireworks
* Watermelon Picking
* Outdoor concerts (at the Children's Museum, Botanical Garden, Thatboy and I even have a grown-up one planned)
* Outdoor theater
* Swim Lessons

* Backyard pool time
* Horse Races
* Hiking
* Eat meals outside

What am I missing?  What's on YOUR summer bucket list?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Crave Wednesday: Buffalo Style Wings with Blue Cheese Dip

You guys know how much I love tradition.  Well, apparently Thatboy feels the same way, because we have gotten into a very routine Father's  Day.  Then again, it is filled with all of his favorite things so you can't really blame him for wanting to do it every year.

We start out at the Original Pancake House so Thatboy can have his 49er pancakes.  The little guys don't mind this at all.

The shirts were Thatkid's idea.  We were at the mall when he saw it and wanted it.  Then he saw a matching adult one and decided we had to buy it so he and Thatboy could wear it on Father's Day.  We tried to find one in Thatbaby's size, but no go.  I did manage to find the next best thing for him though - a t-shirt with a parrot wearing the same shirt!

After Thatboy took the boys to play tennis, which is new this year, although a fairly common Sunday activity for the boys.  But really, they were killing some time before our main draw of the day - the waterpark!

This is the third year in a row we've headed to the Wave Waterpark for Father's Day.  We rent a cabana, so there's always a nice, shady place to sit, and then hit the water activities.  These year was especially warm, so it was especially appreciated.

We spent more time in the pool this year than years past.  Guess those swim lessons are really doing their job.

Although there definitely was some lazy river time.  Just not nearly as much as years past.

The waterpark is in Vista, which is home to a great many of San Diego's breweries.  We decided on Indian Joe's to round out our Father's Day.

We grabbed a space outside, which gave the kids a little leg room while Thatboy and I shared a flight of beer.

One of the reasons we chose this brewery is because they had food.  Which meant we could grab dinner there.  Sunday night Native Kiicha Frybread was there, serving up amazingly delicious frybread.  The kids had hot dogs wrapped in frybread while Thatboy and I had jalapeno frybread.

It was amazing, but a weekend of eating like that (Saturday we hit up the fair) left me feeling totally gross come Monday.  I love fried food, but when I actually indulge in it, I am reminded that fried food does not love me.  Right now the foods that sound good are fresh fruits and vegetables.  I'm living off of smoothies and salads.  And trying to convert traditionally fried foods into a non-fried variety.  Like these buffalo wings.  Buffalo wings are typically fried before tossing them in wing sauce.  These are skinned and baked instead.  And what gives them the special kick is the fact they aren't just tossed in wing sauce, they are slow cooked in them.  Allowing the sauce to penetrate into the meat itself instead of just on the fried skin.

Buffalo Style Drummettes with Blue Cheese Dip (From Cooking Light)
Cooking Spray
3 lbs chicken wings, skinned
3/4 cup thick hot sauce
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp low sodium Worcestershire sauce
6 cloves garlic, divided
1 cup 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 cup fat free sour cream
6 Tbsp blue cheese, crumbled and divided
1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  1. Preheat oven to 450.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place chicken on the pan and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.
  2. Spray chicken with cooking spray and bake for 7 minutes.
  3. Combine hot sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and 2 cloves of garlic (minced) in a slow cooker.
  4. Place chicken in slow cooker, tossing gently in the sauce to coat.  Cook on high for 3 hours.
  5. When chicken is done, beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer at low speed until smooth.
  6. Add sour cream, 3 Tbsp blue cheese, mayonnaise, and the remaining cloves of garlic (minced).  Beat until smooth.
  7. Stir in the remaining blue cheese.  Serve with the wings.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mommy Mondays: Living with two at 2 (and 5)

It's time again for a check-in.  How things REALLY are in our little house.  Which feels even littler with two crazy boys bouncing off the wall.  So how does life work with a 5 year old and 2 year old?  Well it goes a little something like this.

5:15am - Thatbaby wakes up.  We play a very dangerous game of Russian roulette by bringing him into bed with us and we get incredibly lucky.  He falls asleep.  (We tried this again the next day and were not as lucky.)

5:45am - Thatboy's alarm goes off.

6:00am - Thatboy wakes up.

6:20am - Thatkid and Thatbaby wake up.  I get Thatbaby dressed while Thatkid dresses himself.

6:30am - I make breakfast for the boys, a waffle for Thatbaby and peanut butter toast for Thatkid.  And watermelon smoothies for both. I'm never fast enough for Thatbaby who helps himself to some grapes from the fridge as he waits.

6:39am - While the boys eat breakfast, I get dressed for my morning run.

7:00am - We all leave the house.  Thatboy takes the boys to preschool.

While Thatdog and I go for a run.

7:44am - Home from my run, I hop in the shower, get dressed, do my hair, and throw a load of towels in the wash.

8:30am - I make breakfast for myself, scrambled eggs with mushrooms and spinach.

8:41 - Log into work.  Ahh the benefits of working at home.  I eat breakfast while I scan over my emails.  And since it's nice out, I've decided to work outside.

9:56am - I have a meeting with the director of another department.

10:20am - Done with the meeting.  I've got another meeting this afternoon, so I use the rest of the morning to review aspects of a regulation that is going to be involved.

12:04pm - Lunch break.  I throw the towels in the dryer and make myself some sweet potato soup and a salad.  I also pack some soup away for Thatboy's lunch the next day.  I go back to work while I eat.

1:48 pm- I take a little break to make dinner - Spaghetti with tomato strawberry sauce.  I like to have dinner ready before the boys get home, because it's really difficult to get anything done when they're around.

2:06 pm- Back to work!

2:39 pm - My boss calls to chat.  He's been in and out of town, so we use this time just to catch up on what's been going on while he's been gone.

3:00 pm- Back to work

3:45 pm - I take a break to unload the dishwasher and wash dishes while I wait for my meeting to start.

4:00 pm - My afternoon meeting. I make myself a smoothie/yogurt bowl to snack on while we discuss the issues.

4:22 pm - The meeting is over.  I wipe down the counters and get back to work.

5:02 pm - Work is over.  I close up shop and go to pick up the kids.

5:30 pm - We get home.  The boys make themselves some grapes to snack on while I reheat the spaghetti.

5:36 pm - Thatboy gets home!

5:55 pm - dinnertime

6:23pm - bath time for the boys.

6:42pm - Thatboy is done with Thatbaby's story.  I go in and nurse him and put him to bed.

7:30pm - As you can see from the above picture, Thatbaby is NOT tired.  He's wide awake and not wanting to sleep at all.  I leave his room and go give Thatkid a kiss goodnight.

7:35pm - Thatboy goes in to see if he can get Thatbaby to sleep.  I use this time to do some at home workout.

7:52 pm - Thatboy has no luck.  I trade off and go in and see if I can get Thatbaby to sleep.  I am successful.

8:15 pm - Thatbaby's asleep and I go back to my workout.

9:04 pm - I pour myself a glass of wine and jump on the couch next to Thatboy to catch up on some television.  Tonight we watch Elementary.

9:53 pm - wash up and bedtime!