More nursery updates

While stephanie was busy blogging yesterday (3 in one day!!) I was painting more animals in the nursery.

We have a Family of Zebras

Some giraffes

And some elephants

The giraffes and elephants are not yet done, but coming along very cool!. I will add in some grass for all the animals to be standing in, and later some bushes, flowers and butterflies.

Green Chile Stew

Another half time, another recipe. (Cardinals are not doing so well at this point 🙁 )

Looking for a great way to use up that leftover turkey? Make a stew. Here is a green chile stew recipe that you can help you use up some turkey.

Instead of using stew meat, I just threw in two pounds of cooked turkey after I browned the onion, bacon, and garlic. It is a fairly easy recipe with yummy results! It is even easier when your husband does all the chopping for you. 🙂

Cranberry Sauce

Okay it’s half-time (Cowboys are winning!) so I thought I would share the cranberry sauce I made. It is yummy! I know some people prefer the canned version but I never could get myself to eat it straight out of the can, just not appetizing to me.

Ginger & Pear Cranberry Sauce
Good Housekeeping November 2008

1 bag (12 oz) cranberries, picked over
2 Bosc or Anjou pears (1lb), peeled, cored, and chopped
1 Tbsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. water

1. In 3-quart saucepan, heat all ingredients to boiling on high, stirring occasionally.

2. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, 5 to 7 minutes or until most cranberries pop and pears are tender, stirring occasionally. (Mixture will thicken as it chills.)

3. Spoon sauce into serving bowl; cover and refrigerate 3 hours or up to 4 days.

I was tempted to make the Southwestern Cranberry Sauce that was offered instead:

Prepare cranberry sauce as above in step 1, except omit pears and ginger and add 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely chopped, 1 teaspoon grated fresh lime peel, and 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice to cranberry mixture. In step 2, cook only 3 to 4 minutes or until most cranberries pop. Complete recipe as in step 3.

I think I will have to give that one a try sometime soon.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so thankful for everything in my life. I wake up everyday and am truly thankful for each and every day. Matt and I have an absolutely wonderful life and I wouldn’t change a thing, well except for Tom and Jerry to be here, but I am thankful for the process and all the sorrow and joy it brings.

I hope everyone has an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving and that the Cowboys and Cardinals win!

In Case You Didn't Know

You can sign up at the CPSC’s website to receive email notification when an item is recalled. You can sign up for all recalls or for recalls regarding a specific group, like infant/child. I signed up when we started buying stuff for Tom and Jerry and luckily we haven’t bought anything that was recalled. It is an easy thing to do and I get about one email a week alerting me to recalls.

More nursery pics

So I got super gung-ho excited about the nursery this weekend. I feel that progress is almost inspiration for more progress. See things happen is a good thing.

You can see all the pics here

Today I “built” up 2 large african acacia trees and grass. Looks like animals are next.

Yes, i free handed the trees, and used a modified stippling technique for the leaves. It helped create a lot of depth and color.

Sneak Peak

Matt started working on the nursery this week. I have not lifted a brush, but somehow I have managed to get paint on me and my clothes.

Matt getting ready to start

The Sky

A nice neutral base


Friday Update – 11.21.08

Happy Birthday Michelle!!!

Adoption Update: There were four referrals this week all for infant girls. Congrats to the happy families. This week marks 8.5 months or 37 weeks of waiting. I am currently living with the thought that we could get the call any day now. I go to bed thinking, “Will it be tomorrow?” Then I wake up thinking, “Is today the day?” Fortunately for me it is NOT constantly running through my head all day long and I don’t spend hours just staring at my phone hoping Sharon calls. (Sharon you are welcome to call anytime day or night!) I know deep down it could be any day or it could be a few months. Anyway it is enough to drive a person insane, but I think I am handling it quite well.

Exercise Update: I have not been all that great at getting out and exercising. To be honest I wasn’t feeling all that great and finally went to the doctor. We figured out what was up and I should be back at it next week.

Random Stuff:

The weather was unusually warm this week, but things should be back to normal for Thanksgiving, by normal I mean the 70s.

The garden is starting to look good, we should have leafy greens here in a couple of weeks. I am hoping to start an indoor herb garden this weekend.

Bread Making

I’ve finally found a bread recipe that we both love! It has been a long process of trial and error and some not so yummy bread. This recipe works great for sandwiches and toast, so we are both happy.

Crunchy’s Favorite Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup dark rye flour
1/2 cup wheat germ

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix the yeast, water, honey, butter and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer with a spoon. Mix in the rye flour, wheat germ, 1 cup of the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flours.

Add the remaining whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Attach the dough hook and knead at low speed for 8 – 10 minutes or until the dough is shiny and elastic. If you don’t have a dough hook, knead by hand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm area for about an hour (or until it has doubled in volume).

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Gently press down the dough and divide in two. Form each piece into a roll 9 inches long and place into a buttered and floured bread loaf pan (9 x 5) with the seam down. Cover again and let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake for 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 205 degrees. Transfer loaves immediately to a wire rack, letting cool to room temperature.

Farming in the City

I think this is a great idea if you are looking to start a CSA, but can’t purchase land. Another idea I see that could stem from this is sharing your yard with apartment dwellers. A lot of homeowners have yards and want organic, local produce, but do not have the desire or the time to work in a garden. I am sure a number of these homeowners know someone who has the desire to grow their own food, but does not have the space. The homeowners could allow their friends to farm their land and use their water in exchange for some fresh produce. Both parties get something they want out of the deal and it is better for the environment.