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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Salmon with Feta and Mint




One of my favorite go-to meals with also is healthy and quick-is salmon. I love buying the frozen filets at Costco which come individually packaged and defrost fast! This time I had some fresh mint from my mother's garden and used it in my meal. I simply rubbed salt, GREEK seasoning, lemon juice, and olive oil on my filets, sprinkled some Feta Cheese, and broke up a few leaves of mint. Broiled it for about 30-35 mins and what we were left with was some finger licking salmon-the kids asked for seconds!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Doctor Visit



Had to take mom to the doctor's office yesterday to have her skin checked, as it is getting very line and can easily tear and bleed. So a dear friend of mine got me into her husband's dermalogical practice in one phone call and we planned on attending by 9:30 am (which is early for Effie-caregiver-because mom usually is up and ready by 10:30) But she got her ready by 9:00, I dropped off all my children by 9 to their locations of educational practices. I quickly drove over to the house to find my mother and Effie a little frantic as the alarm was going off and all the power was obsolete. Apparently today was the day PG&E had a scheduled power outage. Mom needs her meds blended into orange juice in order to take them, so Effie did not know what she was going to do. In that moment I walked in, turned off alarm, grabbed hand blender, plugged in my power outlet into my car and was blending meds and orange juice in the drive way outside-problem solved. Off we went. Since we were going out into the world, mom was dressed in a skirt and matching top. We walked all together to the her doctors apt. and as we walked she said so eloquently in her Greek of course, "Do I look alright?". Ugh...tears..."Yes," I said, "you look beautiful!"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

TBT

Throw Back Thursday...in honor of my baby girls tuning 8 and 5 this Friday and Monday!

Athena at 1 yrs. in Disneyland for her birthday!

My Zoe girl with her daddy...she's such a daddy's girl!



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Mmmmm...this is what I am using to frost my daughter's cupcakes for class this Friday and again on Monday for my other daughter's class!!!! It sounds amazing and I just LOVE a good homemade frosting! I have made one similar to this recipe and cannot wait to lick the bowl when I am done frosting!!!! I love this website, Baked Bree, she is delightful!!! And all her tips are SO helpful!!! Hope you have a reason to make this homemade frosting!!! Recipe found HERE


Whimsical Wednesday Birthday Cake

In April we have a lot of birthdays to celebrate. The two most important ones are both of my girls! Born 3 years and 3 days apart, these two girls have brightened up my life! Especially my April. So this year in the quest to make the best birthday cake ever, I have found one that just might be the winner. With it's simple recipe, I think this might become a tradition for every member of the family. Wish me luck and have a whimsical Wednesday! 
Recipe can be found HERE

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Loves


Tonight I was with my mother so my dad could go to the retirement celebration of President John Weltey of Fresno State. We sat together and I just stared into her face thinking of how much I love her. And as I watch her struggle to do much of anything, she always smiles in the midst of what is happening to her. When it was time for bed I got her into her wheelchair and I slowly pushed her along the marble tiles of her kitchen and into her living room. I purposely went slow, pointing out how beautiful her house is. As we neared the doorway of the hallway, I picked up a picture frame of my dad and my brother. It was his 8th grade graduation and we had just gotten home. My dad is posing proudly with my brother, pointing at his many medals that hung around Jason's neck. I showed my mother and in her clearest Greek, which we hardly hear anymore, she eloquently spoke these words, "My Loves". I was so astonished to hear her say anything at all, let alone something so powerful. My eyes filled with tears and I hugged her and realized how strong love is. That even though the mind is unable to function, the heart still speaks so deeply. These are her loves, her son and her husband. And whatever triggered that memory tonight, whatever gave her the power to speak her heart, my mother is still here with us; hidden in the depth of this disease. My love, my heart, my mother.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe


Have you ever had the chocolate chip banana bread from Starbucks? Well this recipe was adapted from their normal banana walnut bread recipe, and let me tell you, it is DELICIOUS!!!! OMG so super duper yummy, I could eat the entire loaf...but that would just make me a pig and my kids would be upset I didn't share. Here is the recipe I found online when I looked up Starbucks Chocolate Chip banana bread. I added about two cups of chocolate chips, no walnuts, and baked for 40 mins, instead of the 55-60 mins they recommend.   Also, this recipe didn't tell me when to add the milk they listed, so I added when I added the eggs. And I used regular flour, not bread flour.



1 3/4 cups flour (bread flour is best)

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup ripe banana, mashed (this is usually 2 or 3 bananas)
1/3 cup margarine
2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts, portions (divided into 2 (1/2 C.)
Directions:

1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium size bowl combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt), stir together to combine. In another medium size bowl combine margarine and sugar, with a mixer cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in mashed bananas and eggs, and mix well. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix until the flour is just mixed in, then add in the remaining flour and 1/2 cup walnuts, blend together until everything is mixed together. Do not overstir.
2 Pour batter into a greased 8×4 inch loaf pan. Then top the batter with the remaining chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire wrack.
3 While Starbucks does not make their banana bread with butter, I think this comes out more rich this way. I also like to add in a sprinkle or two of cinnamon and sugar into this, again, not in their recipe, it does add that little something extra.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/starbucks-banana-bread-387582?oc=linkback

SIDE NOTE: on previous post I stated my favorite thing this week was the pumice stone to clean my toilets. The one pictured was the closest thing I found online that resembled what I purchased from Bed Bath and Beyond. It is called the EarthStone Pure Clean Bathroom Stone Eco Cleaning Blocks found on amazon if you cannot find one at Bed Bath and Beyond. 

My favorite thing this week!


This is my MOST favorite thing this week! It has saved my toilets from that blasted ring around the toilet!!! I found this at Bed Bath and Beyond. It only cost me a few dollars, like $4.99 or so, can't really remember. However, it is the ONLY thing that has taken off that line!!!! It's amazing!!!! So if you clean your own toilets go get one, today!!!! You can thank me tomorrow!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

TBT


Throw-Back-Thursdays...
I was driving down the freeway yesterday and a Brian Adams song popped on the radio. It immediately took me back 14 years ago when I was younger and so care free! Yes, it's the cheeseball saying older folks use and I just used it! I'm officially old-er. But it's true. I was 22 driving to LA with my roomatte and co-worker. We were driving down for cheer competitions and we as the coaches and program director needed to lead our team. It was all about us, just us. We were semi-independent, living on our own and teaching. It was all about us, no one else, but us! These were the good times. Younger, skinnier, healthier, and so confident we flirted with a neighboring boy in a big truck. How daring were we? Smiling back, slowing down, laughing. Since I was driving my roomatte opened her window and strangely enough handed him our phone number. Not our cell, but our home phone! That was smart. He did call too, but we didn't get the message till the weekend was over! We weren't as smart I guess! But these are the moments, the moments that create our lives, that make us who we are. They are the moments in life you realize I should've appreciated who I was back then, because I was pretty good! Gone is that youthfulness, I feel it everyday as I see my skin sagging, my gut growing, weight easily being put on and SO difficult to take off. It's the thinning of the hair, the wrinkles on our faces, and the grown-up acne! Who knew, right? As much as I LOVE my life right now and appreciate all the ups and downs, those 20's we a good time, I wish I had enjoyed it more. Time IS truly fleeting, and youth is so quickly gone. I hope my kids enjoy those years and I hold on to the youthfulness I still have somewhere. Throw-back-Thursdays...a day to reminisce and hold on to what you have today, because soon today will be my Throw-Back-Thursday memory!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Happy Spring

Happy Spring everyone! Down with our Easter decor, and on to some springy decor! Found some great imprintables to add to your table or home during this time! Enjoy!
How cute is this? From Tater Tots and Jello

Love this subway art...found at Smile Like You Mean It

Love this Chevron Simplicity! Found at Blooming Homestead

LOVE...found at Debbie Doos

And who doesn't love a banner to hang across your mantel! Found this at She's Kinda Crafty

Happy Spring everyone!!!!