Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Dinner = herbed mustard breaded chicken thigs...

jasmine rice, and - it's back this week - mixed greed salad.  This is Ron's all time favorite meal and actually we all like it a lot.  Mia Rose declared today "I love meat". So, there we have it :) and even Alena - the bean lover - loves this meal too.  A win-win situation for the entire family...Oh, and guess who helped make it? Mia Rose - she is our little chef.  She crushed the garlic, stirred the herbs, tasted the salad dressing, all while her big sister was enjoying an after school bath.

Here it is "Herbed Chicken Thigs, with jasmine rice, and salad" - before I forget here is the link to the recipe

Mia Rose cannot wait for her dinner...

and neither can Alena...

White Bean, Barley, and Kale Soup

was our dinner last night served together with homemade bread - quick no knead bread.  It was delicious especially on a cold night.

I slightly tweaked a recipe I found on Pinterest - second tried one in a week - by adding zest of half a lemon, as well as a couple of rinds of Paremesiano Reggiano to the soup stock.  I squeezed the lemon juice into the soup, and we omitted the extra olive oil on the table.  I just did not think that it was necessary.

The soup was fantastic.  The next time I will definitively add more lemon juice as it really makes this soup fantastic.

You need
- 1 lb. dried white beans (I used navy beans) soaked overnight
- 1 large onion peeled, and cut in half
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
-  zest of 1/2 lemon minced
- 5 cloves of garlic - 2 minced
- rind of parmesiano regiano (optional)
- 1/4 of olive oil
- water
- 3-4 teaspoons of kosher salt
- pepper to taste

- 1 bunch of kale chopped without the stems

- 1 cup of barley

1- Add beans, onion, celery stalks, herbs, and aromatics, 3 garlic cloves, rind of paremsiano regiano to a
    large pot
2 - Add olive oil and cover with water - water should be about an inch above the beans
3 - Bring to a boil and then leave at a low simmer half way covered. Add more water as needed.
4- When beans are soft - it  about 1-1/2 hrs with well soaked beans - remove onion, celery and herbs
5-  Separate about 2 cups of the beans and puree - I used a hand blender, return to pot. Add salt, pepper,
    and minced garlic

    ***In a separate pot - you can do this while the beans are cooking***
6- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil - and add barley.  Cook until soft and then - after step 5 above, add the
    cooked barley to the beans
7- Add the kale to the bean/barley mixture and let it all heat through.  Stirring often - you may have to
   add a little more water
8 - Add lemon juice, adjust salt and pepper.
9 - Serve with crusty bread and - optional - grated paremsiano regiano

This is a delicious, nutrious meal and can be vegan if leaving the parmesiano regiano out.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Monday Night leftovers for dinner...

is a rare occasion at our house.  Generally there is just enough for the girl's lunches the next day.  In any case,  remember the pork roast (Schweinebraten) I made on Saturday?  ->  - I had actually planned to make the rest for Monday's dinner.  This time with Kartoffelsalat (Swabian potato salad), and mixed free salad.  It was perfect - and Kartoffelsalat is always a huge hit with the girlies.  Can you guess what they are eating for lunch today?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday concert fun

After our amazing breakfast - courtesy of Ron :) - we headed downtown Portland for our last concert of this year's Kids Concert Series of the Oregon Symphony at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall .  Each concert in this series has a different theme.  This ones was "Castles & Wizards" and it was - as all the concerts - wonderful. Here is the link with a brief description

Take a look at the girlies - not quite sure....

...and wearing their crowns.

This one is after the concert together with...

...Princess Orange who by the way performed "Almost there" by Randy Newman from the movie "Princess & the Frog".  Both girls were just in awe by the princess a.k.a. Pam Mahon who is also the narrator extraordinaire of the Kids Concert Series.

Now, you just know what comes after the concert, right?  Yes, dinner out.  We have been going to Pastini's downtown Portland, but we - the parental units - felt like something different.  So we headed back to Southeast Portland and went to Hoda's Middle Eastern Restaurant. As you probably know, our girls eat all beans, legumes, fruits, veggies including garbanzo beans and both love Hummus.  We feasted family style and it was enjoyed by the four of us.  One word of caution, if you omit milk do not eat the Baba Ghanjoue  as it contains milk.

Here is a picture of the girlies after dinner...

...their smiling faces make my heart sing :)

Sunday breakfast...

all made for us by Ron. Are we not the luckiest girls around? - The breakfast was complete with bacon - fried to crispy perfection - soft boiled eggs, toast, laugenweckle, and earth balance. And yes, that is "cow" yoghurt right next to the vegan butter. Not to worry, both girls know that it is "cow" and not Galactosemia safe. Yes, we also have Whole Soy vegan yoghurt for the ladies, but neither of them was in a yoghurt kind of mood :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Laugenweckle (Pretzelrolls)

All of us love Laugenweckle and it is usually reserved for the times we are in Germany, as this is not an item to try at home. Well, that is until is the result of my first ever homemade Laugenweckle. I first saw the recipe on Pinterest and adapted it to be galactosemia safe. I honestly had very low expectations that thety would not even come close to the ones I know from home but whoo-hoo delicious. Here is the link to the recipe to make it galactosemia safe all you have to do is swap Vegan Butter - I use Earth Balance - for the cow butter. I was doubtful, but it works out great. Here is the recipe

Saturday Dinner Roast...

with egg noodles, and red cabbage. Pork roast to be exact or as I like to call it Schweinebraten, Nudeln and Blaukraut...the recipe is out of a Swabian Cookbook "Omas Kuechen" (Grandmas kitchen) and it turned out delicious. It takes about 2-1/2 hours on the stove, but the result is well worth it. Let me know if you would like the recipe :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Look who lost a tooth at the Brew Pub...

Yes, it is Mia Rose. Can you see her missing top front tooth? That tooth had been wiggling for at east a couple of weeks. I think she did not want to loose it. Then, one bite out of the pizza dog and plop the tooth was out. This was actually the second tooth in two days. On Thursday she lost a bottom tooth.

As for dinner this picture is at Bridgeport Brewery in the Pearl where we enjoyed our Friday night dinner....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Birthday party fun...

finally a little post about Mia Rosies' Birthday party.  Let me first start and tell you just how excited she was.  She had a hard time sleeping for at least a week leading up to her birthday, and the night before her party was no different.  She woke up, and was ready to party!

The cake she selected was an ice cream cake - - which everybody loved.

We started out by serving cake

Here she is wearing all smiles and ready to blow out her candle...By the way, the choice of color for the table cloth and cups was all hers.  I do however admit, that I also like pink as well as purple - you know, just in case you were wondering :)

After the cake we played a round of "Topfschlagen" - literally translated "hit the pot" which is also the game.  Here is a picture of Alena playing

searching for the pot with the wooden spoon and underneath the pot there is a treasure...

Next we painted small terra-cotta pots...

 filled them with dirt, and planted Nastrium seeds.

We followed up with a round of "Musical Chairs", a little free play, and opening presents....It turned out fun and everyone was tired at the end...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beef, red peppers, rice, and roasted root vegetable salad is for dinner...

We are working our way through the family meat pack stored in our freezer. We had some beef left - still have a little more - and I took it out in time to defrost. If it 's not ground beef, I am at a loss as what to make. Well, I could always put it in a pan but it is not really my favorite. I asked Ron, and he came up with the idea to marinate the beef, cut it into thin strips and serve it with peppers. So, that is what I did. Marinated the beef this morning in lemon juice, garlic, and peppercorns. I sautéed an onion, and a couple of red peppers. Then I put the meat into the smoking hot pan. Served along rice, and roasted root vegetable - carrot, parsnip, golden beet, turnip - salad this was a dinner success in our little house in Portland. One child ate all her meat, beets, and rice, while the other ate all veggies, rice, and one slice of beef....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Potato - Leek Soup served with Quick No-Knead Bread

I think this will be a "soupy" kind of week and it also is a short on salad. Can you believe that?! It is just little different kind of week for no particular reason at all.

The weather is still grey and wet. First crocuses and early daffodils are starting to bloom. It is still time for delicious soup to warm the belly :)

Easy Potato - Leek Soup

1 onion chopped
1 carrot cleaned, and diced
4 leek's, cleaned, and cut into chunks (I used most of the stem)
splash of olive oil
1 qt of vegetable broth, or 4 cups of water and 1-2 cubes of vegetable broth
salt, and pepper
Optional diced ham

- warm Olive Oil and add onions along with some salt. Sautee until soft
- add carrots, and leek until leeks are bright green
- add broth, or water and boullion cubes
- bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft
- reserve 1 cup of leek & potato chunks. Use handblender to puree the soup. When it has
desired consistency return leek & potato chunks to the pot
- add diced ham - if using
- adjust salt and pepper to taste

Voila - Galactosemia safe potato - leek soup. The bread is also safe, easy to make and delicious. Here is the link

Oh, and I know you all want to hear about the big Birthday party...I promise pictures and details will finally be posted tomorrow :)))

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chili & Cornbread for dinner...

Tonight was - I admit - the only day I cooked on this - for us - long weekend. Last week was all about baking birthday cake(s), preparing for the birthday, and finally the birthday party.... So, once Saturday came around, and the party was over this mothership was exhausted. So for dinner we had delicious Trader Joe's Orange Chicken with rice, courtesey of our freezer. Yesterday we left for a last minute overnight stay to Bonneville Hot Springs. Need I say more than pool, and hot tubs. It surely rejuvenated me, and was lot's of for the girlies. But again, I did not cook.

So tonight, finally dinner at home. Chili with beef, kidney, pinto, and red beans, along freshly baked corn bread. Yes, I did make the corn bread out of a box - Trader Joe's. The ingredients so not contain any milk derivative, substitute the milk with Soy (or Rice, Hemp, etc.) and voila you have Galactosemia safe corn bread. I also served a chopped up avocado, onion and plenty of crackers to top the chili.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ice "cream" cake...

for Mia Rosie's Birthday party. Another first for me. Mia Rose had her mind set to have ice cream cake for her party. I honestly do not know where this idea came from. Actually I do not remember ever having ice cream cake. But I am always up to give something new a try. I searched and combined a couple of different recipies to make the Sorbet - Ice "Cream" cake. Mia Rose wanted strawberry, but Trader Joe's only had raspberry sorbet. So raspberry - vanilla it was...It turned out great!!! What have wie been missing all these years...

Raspberry Sorbet - Ice "cream" Cake

- yellow cake mix, or biscuit from scratch
- 2 half pints of Sorbet (app. 500 ml each)
- 1 pint of Vanilla Soy, Rice, Almond, Hemp, or Coconut ice "cream" (app. 1 l)
- Frozen raspberries, or other berries, fruit of choice

1. Take one 1/2 pint of Sorbet
2. Bake the cake in a round springform cake pan. Let it cool throughly
2. Soften 1/2 pint of sorbet and smooth it over cooles cake. Cover with aluminium foil and put in
3. When the first layer is frozen and firm, soften half of the ice "cream". Smooth it over the
sorbet. Cover with foil and put back in the freezer
4. When ice "cream" is firm repeat step 2, and 3
5. After putting on the last layer and it is still soft, decorate the cake with frozen raspberries.
Cover, and freeze.

All of it took a little over 24 hrs - so you have to be prepared, but it is so worth it!!! It was a great hit and surely will become a family favorite...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Night - Tagliatele with Bolognese

I finally have the key to perfect Bolognese sauce and made it again today. The Sauce was on the stove for well over three hours and turned out delicious. Ron stopped at Pastaworks on the Way home, and brought back delicious fresh Tagliatele....Both girlies were - as usual - on "Sauce Strike" and ate their pasta plain....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Soup's on...

is it not beautiful and vibrant? No, not sweet potato - it is carrot-ginger soup. My friend's recipe. It is quick, easy, and delicious. I served it with fresh baked bread (quick no-knead bread). Both girlies loved it. Yay...

You will need

Couple of splashes of olive oil
1 onion diced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, and diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
2-1/2 - 3 lbs of carrots peeled, and cut into chunks
2 teaspoons of curry - optional, add less, more, or omit
4 cups of water
2 vegetable broth cubes - always double check label to make sure it is lactose free
1/4 - 1/2 cup (or more) soy creamer, or Tofutti sour cream. Coconut creamer would be also good
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil
2. Add onions and sautee until soft
3. Add garlic, and ginger until fragrant
4. Add carrots, and curry if using. Sautée fr a couple of minutes
5, Add water and bullion cubes. Bring to a simmer, and leave on stove until carrots are soft
6. Use a hand blender to blend the soup. When texture is smooth, add choice of creamer or
"sour cream" to taste. - Add salt and pepper to taste.

Delicious, milk free, and vegan....

Birthday Cake

Here is Mia Rosies'  birthday cake and unlike her sister she is not a chocolate lover.  She was very clear that the cake had to be vanilla and some type of fruit.  Not something in my current repertoire of cakes :)  this is what I came up with.  Vanilla-Cherry Streusel Cake - of course Galactosemia "safe" :)

Vanilla-Cherry Streusel Cake
It turned out fantastic and the recipe is definitely a keeper

Here it is - all in metric, but translated into English :)

Crust & Streuesel
150 gr. sugar
200 gr. vegan "butter" cut into smaller pieces - I use Earth Balance
300 gr. flour
1     egg
2    tsp bakingpowder
1    envelope of vanilla sugar
1    Tbl soy, rice, hemp, milk

1 package vanilla pudding.  I used Dr. Oetker organic vanilla pudding mix ->
1 glass of Morello Cherries - I get it at Trader Joe's 24.7oz. in the jar

1. Add all ingredients for crust & streusel into bowl of kitchen machine.  Put on low speed until
    let it do it's magic until it all ingredients come together into a dough
2. Drain cherries, and reserve about 250 ml. of the juice
3. Pour vanilla pudding mix into pot, add the cherry juice and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Make
    sure that you do not get any lumps.
4. Stir in the drained cherries, and remove from flame. Let the mixture cool down.
5. Preheat oven to 392 F (200 C)
6. Use about 2/3 of the dough for the crust of the cake.  It is quite sticky - but well worth the effort.  I
    shaped it to fit - sides up - my springform baking pan.
7. Pour filling onto the dough
8. Top filling with remaining dough.  I pulled off smaller pieces, to cover the entire cake.
9. Bake for about 30 minutes until Streusel are golden


P.S.:  the cake was adapted from using this original recipe

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Dinner - Asparagus Tart

in puff pastry, with - you guessed right - large bowl of green salad, and chocolate fondue with strawberries.

Yes, puff pastry who knew that the one from Pepperidge Farm are Galactosemia safe? In any case, it made for a super delicious special Valentine's dinner.

Here is the recipe using 1 sheet

Frozen puff pastry sheets
1 bunch of asparagus - green
4 slices of ham
3 tablespoons of grated Emmenthaler - optional
3 eggs
250 ml of plain soy creamer
salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper

- preheat oven to 425 F
- defrost puff pastry - roll it out into a generous shape on a floured work area to fit your baking
- clean asparagus and steam for 5 minutes
- sprinkle cheese onto pastry, top with ham slices, top with asparagus
- mix eggs with soy creamer, add spices
- pour egg mixture over the asparagus
- bake for 30 minutes - let it rest for about 5 minutes before cutting tart into slices

I hope you like it as much as we did...

Happy Valentine's Day...

Did everyone have a nice day? We sure did. The girls were so excited to pass out their Valentine's and could not wait to get home to look at their Valentine's. Here they are looking through them, and Alena reading to Mia Rose.

They got plenty of tattoo's, stickers, but also candy including "unsafe" chocolate. Alena and Mia Rose looked at all of them, and sorted out all food items. Together they determined which foods are safe, and which are not - but brought it to me for final review :))) And you know what? They were 100% right...yay!!! No tears, just matter of fact - we cannot eat it, ok...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday night dinner...

and finally another dinner picture.  Yay!!! -  We are slowly but surely wiring our way through the "Family Meat Pack" in our freezer, and I took out a package of pork cutlets late Saturday.  I can think of a  couple of things to make with the cutlets, and one of the is a schnitzel. But you know what?  I really, did not in the very least feel like a) making Schnitzel today, nor b) eating schnitzel.  Yup, it's true this German did not feel like making Schnitzel :)  Ron thought that was pretty funny. In any case, so I had this idea of making "Geschnetzeltes".  My Grandmother used to make it.  Pork cut into fine strips, with curry, and veggies.  Why not, right?! So my first idea was to make it from scratch using curry seasoning but then I found at New Season's a curry sauce that would be perfect. - I have to admit the I was a little, just a tiny bit, hesitant.  We had the Korma Curry Paste and it turned out delicious. Instead of the "cream" I used soy creamer which worked out fantastic.  To prepare, I first sautéed an onion, and 1/2 of a red pepper. Then added the pork, and added the spices along with water about five minutes later.  Served it with rice, and - I know, I know boring - mixed baby green salad.  It was delicious...

Here it is - today's photo is actually courtesy of my dear husband as I had a work meeting.....but I made the dish :)))

Valentine's, no chocolate, or candy and...

we had fun making them for school.  I found the idea for it on Pinterest, but for ease changed it around.  The Valentine's idea actually said "You are just write for me". Well our hearts were not big enough, plus 20 for each we changed it around.  Mia Rose just signed her name, while Alena wrote "from Alena".  I got pencils at the school supply store that said "Kind Kindergartener" - for Mia Rosies' class, and "Sensational 2nd Grader" - for Alena's class.

Take a look at the results...
All 40 Valentine's
Are they not cute?  


I know, I know it's a little late to talk about Sunday on a Monday night. What am I thinking?!  But I just have to share our exciting day...well, truthfully it was a super chill day.  We hung out, relaxed at home and then we went to Pok Pok for a late lunch/dinner, followed by dessert at Pix, and afterwards playground time for our lovely girlies :)

Pok Pok is the place to go if you love Thai food.  It is amazing. The girls love the sticky rice, and both love the Khao Soi.  Mia Rose is a huge fan of the chicken wings - she devoured three of them, while Alena loves the ribs - Sii Khrong Muu Yaang .  It truly is the best Thai food around, oh and it goes really well with a cocktail :)  Just saying "King and I" is amazing.  Here is the link if you are in the neighborhood, or in Portland.  It's yummy and safe :)

Alena really wanted dessert so we walked over to Pix afterwards.  They were unfortunately out of the Coconut-Chocolate Chip Sorbet, and all the other ice creams were just that.  Ice cream and not galactosemia safe.  Good thing that they also have fruit pate..I actually think Mia Rosie prefers the fruit pate over ice "cream" any day!!!

Last stop of the day was at the playground, before we headed home to start on our Valentine's :)

Alena on the monkey bar's

Mia Rosie on the monkey bars

Sunday, February 12, 2012

School, Fun, and again no Dinner picture...

Yes, it's true second day in a row that I did not make dinner! It must be the weekend :)

In the morning the girlies and I went to the Sophie Scholl Schule, our German immersion Saturday school. While the girls were busy learning and playing I was able to get a couple hours of work in - whoo-hoo. On the way back home we stopped at New Season's then home. - In the evening Ron and I were invited to my very good friends Bday party, and I was bringing mini Fleischkuechle along (mini meatballs - swabian version). Which meant cooking for me, while the girls painted pictures for my friend. Here are my loves - busy painting with acrylic paint, mixing colors, and in the end adding sparkles....

Oh, and dinner for the girlies? They were - of course - my taste testers for the Fleischkuechle, and for the first time that I remember, our wonderful Sitter had to make dinner for the girlies and herself. It was Pasta with goddess dressing, green salad, and beet salad. Everybody had a Great Saturday night!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Another week - another field trip...

and it was Mia Rosie's first field trip on a school bus. She was so excited and had a hard time sleeping the night before. I went along to chaperone - which I just love to do. Unlike Mia Rose so, I am not a fan of the ride in the school bus. I lucked out, because there was no space for the chaperones in the bus. So we met the kids at the Children's Museum.

They had so much fun! The restaurant/store and the vet were certainly among the favorites. See Mia Rose how she poured me a cup of coffee?

Oh, and by the way there will be no dinner photo tonight. I went out to see a great German movie at the Portland International Filmfestival tonight, while Ron and the girls made their own dinner. I can tell you what it was. Rotisserie chicken, with rice, and roasted beet salad.....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pizza out...

on a Thursday night and it is a school night. Tonight we tried a new pizza restaurant. We went to "Straight from New York Pizza" on Belmont The pizza dough, as well as the sauce are safe, and also have Daiya vegan cheese. Our girls prefer their pizza without it - we ordered the pie like we always do; one half without cheese, and one half with cheese.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Faulenzer Kautwickel - lazy cabbage rolls - mashed potatoes, and...

...mixed baby green salad. - Onions, a couple of carrotts, a splash of olive oil, one lb of ground beef, caraway seeds, pepper, paprika, salt, and a couple of tablespoons of Tofutti sour cream = delicious meal on a grey Wednesday night!

Pyjama Day at School...

Look at my baby - now don't you dare tell Mia Rose I called her that - all grown up at her desk in school with PJ's....

My version of "Hopping' Jack"

When we lived in Chicago we used to go a restaurant called "Wishbone" where they served the most delicious Hoppin' Jack and Hoppin' John. So now - ten years later - I finally decided to give it a try. All of us - even Mia Rosie - love black beans.

Here is my version

- 2 cups of dry beans soaked overnight in plenty f water
- 3 thick slices of bacon diced
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 large clove of garlic finely minced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, and finely diced
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1-1/2 tablespoons of molasses
- 1 quart of vegetable broth (4 cups) and 2 more cups of water

- Heat pot - I use a deep soup pot - and add bacon at medium heat
- add onions and cover
- when onions are soft and bacon has browned, add garlic, and red pepper
- when peppers turn soft, add tomato paste and stir it in
- add beans, broth, water, and molasses
- bring to a slow simmer
- leave it covered for first 1-1/2 hrs and cook uncovered for another hour or so
- adjust spices - you may want to add more water

Serve over rice, with diced green onions. Shredded cheddar would probably also go great with this. Since cheddar is not Galactosemia safe I never even considered it, Daiya would work well but neither of my children actually like the fake cheese...yes, cheddar could have been an option for Ron and I but when there is no cheddar in the house, there is no cheddar on the table :)))

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cheater's dinner

on this Monday night. Pasta with Newman's Own Sockaroni sauce, fresh Parmesiano Regiano, baguette, and the ever present mixed green salad :)
You may know by now that our girlies prefer their pasta "plain" with just olive oil, and salt. We allow all fruits and veggies including tomatoes. So tomato sauce is allowed but our girlies just do not like red sauce, at least not without meatballs :) - The quick, and easy cheater's dinner was an all around success....

A Sunday fantastic hike within the city of Portland

> Bright blue skies, and sunshine calls for spring fever even if it's early February. We had to get outside, but neither of us felt like driving for a long time, and I - yes, I admit - did not feel like walking up Mt. Tabor. We needed to find a new hike, within the city limits...and we found out. Marquam Nature Shelter up to Council Crest, about 3.3 miles round trip, and an elevation gain of 820 feet through the woods. We were rewarded with magnificent view of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helen's. Both girls did a great job. Can you spot them?
> Here is the link to the hike

Sunday, February 5, 2012

White Bean, Kale, Stellini, & Meatball Soup

is the perfect Sunday meal after a nice hike. First time, I tried this and it turned out quite delicious. Let's just say it was a dinner success as Ron had three helpings :) I served it with grated Parmesiano Regiano on the side and we sprinkled it over the soup.

This is how I made it.

Splash of olive oil
1 onion finely diced
couple of pinches of salt
2 cloves of garlic minced
3 carrots - more or less - cut into small chunks
1 bunch of kale - I used purple kale, stems chopped fine, rest cut coarser
Herbs de Provence
1/2 cup of white wine
1 cup of dried white beans soaked overnight
2-3 cups of water, or vegetable stock
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage - rolled into mini meatballs
1/4 of dried star pasta - Stelline pasta - Barilla brand
salt, pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil and when hot add onion, and salt
2. When onions are soft add carrots, garlic, kale stems, and herbs de provence
3. When herbs are fragrant add wine - let it simmer down a litte
4. Add beans and cover with water, or vegetable stock. I used about 2 cups
5. Bring to a boil - and the have it at a low simmer - lid on - for about an hour, or until beans
are soft
6. Drop meatballs into the hot, simmering soup - cover. You may need to add more water
7. When meat is cooked through add remainder of Kale, and after about 5 more minutes
add Stellini - Orzo would work too - to the soup
8. When pasta is done adjust spices. I used salt, pepper, and added a vegetable bouillon cube

It turned out great here :) let me know!!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and salad

make a perfect meal this Saturday night. All around dinner success in our little house in Portland :)))

Ground beef, a little ground pork, finely diced onion, a couple of cloves of garlic minced, italian herbs, pepper, paprika, salt, pepper and one egg, at least a 1/4 cup of breadcrumb (I use Panko) mixed it all up. Add more breadcrumbs if too moist. Form it into a loaf and bake at 375 F. The meatloaf is done when internal temperature is at 160 F.

Self portrait by...


Fun Friday...

so do you want to know what we did on our Fun Friday off?  We went the new waterpark in McMinnville.  It is amazing - there is a 747 on top of the roof and the slides start out through the exits in the back of the plane.  Look at it

Can you see the slides coming out of the plane?  I kid you not!!!  -  The pool opened at three and since we got there early it was plenty of time to walk around.  It was however not enough time to go into the museum to see the Spruce Goose...

Alena by the museum
And we also checked out some of the planes parked in the grass.  Here is Ron with the girlies
We swam, went down the slides, jumped in the waves, relaxed in the Hot Tub for almost three hours before we were ready to leave.  McMinneville is about 35 Miles outside town so we decided to eat dinner in McMinneville at the McMennamins Hotel Oregon.

Both girls chose a Kids Hamburger along with Kinderbeer a.k.a. Rootbeer. I know, I know where is the healthy food...The girls were prepared to eat their burger without a bun, as it happens often because it is not safe.  But you know what?  All of their buns are vegan. Whoo-hoo.

In case you would like to see where we went.  Here are the links  and

Friday, February 3, 2012

Our Friday spent as a Saturday...

Thursday Night - Hopworks

This week Thursday was actually a Friday as there is no school today. So you may know this about us - or not - that we like to start the weekend with dinner out. The girlies chose Hopworks which we all enjoy. Mia Rose chose a Hamburger for dinner, while Alena stuck to her usual hotdog :) By the way, when ordering we always ask the server to make sure that the bread is "safe".. C

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday Dinner...

Gulasch, mixed baby green salad, and rustic bread from Grand Central. Yes, another meal which is cooked very slow. It does not take a lot of work to prepare the Gulasch but it needs at least 2-1/2 hours on the stove at a low simmer. I serve it with pickels - German style in vinegar.

A huge dinner success. Alena had two servings of Gulasch while Mia Rose finished her Gulasch and then followed up with three servings of salad :) That is what I call a dinner success in our
Iittle house in Portland...

First field trip of the school year...

with Alena's 2nd grade class. We all took the school bus - my least favorite part - to the Oregon Children's Theater in downtown Portland. Wie saw the "Magic School Bus - The Climate Challenge" and it was fantastic. Alena and I sat all snuggly next to each other....

And if you would like to read about the play we saw - check out this link

Happily Ever After – How Newborn Screening Saved My Girls

This is our story. I wrote this post for the Save Babies Foundation - a fantastic organization raising awareness about newborn screening, educating the public about the test, and advocating. Please share...

Happily Ever After – How Newborn Screening Saved My Girls


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