Tag Archives: summer

Where the birds sleep

3 Jun


To keep the kids quiet, for about an hour, we completed this little project. The kids picked out these bird houses from Joann’s for $1 each. The kids painted them with watercolor paints. While watercolor paint will fade in the sun, that just means the kids can touch them up over and over again! They have fun layering new colors and designs.


The great thing about these little wood houses, they are small and come in various styles. Buy a few and keep them on hand for a rainy day or in case you need a quiet hour to yourself!

An All-American Dish: Meat Loaf

3 Apr


I can admit that not all like or love meat loaf. Personally, as a child I never really liked it and always thought of that annoying kid from A Christmas Story slopping it around on his plate mumbling, “Meat loaf, beef loaf.” I felt his pain. Until I modified the recipe and guess what? My kids love it and want more of it. Instead of beef I use ground turkey. Besides being incredibly easy to make, I usually have my kitchen stocked with all the ingredients so I am prepared. It’s so tasty as a stand alone that I often have trouble finding a side, unless you have any tips? Or do you just think more room for dessert like my seven-year old?

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Caramelize or saute some onions and garlic, let those cool while you do the following steps:
  • Chop some celery and carrots and bread or a cup of dry bread crumbs.
  • In a large bowl, combine one pkg/one lb ground turkey, one egg, one cup milk and the bread crumbs. Then add the onion, garlic, and other veggies. Season with salt and pepper to taste, a little bit of worcestershire sauce and place in a lightly oiled loaf pan or whatever.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine some brown sugar, a little more worcestershire sauce, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour.


Whole Living: Chicken Dinner

29 May

Occasionally I try the recipes from Whole Living or Martha Stewart Magazines… not very often because they usually lack flavor so I have to improvise and add something. Tonight I made the Sautéed Chicken with Spinach, Garlic, and Pine Nuts but I added cherry tomatoes. Mostly because I wanted more color. Here’s the recipe with my **additions/changes:

the list:

1 cup brown rice

3 tbsp evoo

4 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded 1/2 inch thick (whoopsie, forgot to do this)

coarse salt

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

a handful of cherry/grape tomatoes sliced in half with salt and pepper on them, salt and pepper from a grinder

pinch red pepper flakes (hmmm… didn’t see that part either, I just sprinkled them in there)

1 bunch spinach, trimmed and rinsed (10 oz)

pine nuts and fresh goat cheese

1/2 lemon

make it:

Cook the rice however you make your brown rice. I am not a good rice maker so I cheat and use the frozen variety from Trader Joes. If you’re like me save this moment for after your chicken have finished cooking.

Heat 1 Tbsp (I eyeballed it but WL says 1 Tbsp) oil in a large sauté pan over med-high heat. Season chicken with salt & **pepper** and sauté in batches (I was able to get all my little chicken breasts in the pan), adding another Tbsp of oil, until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside.

Add remaining Tbsp of oil, garlic, tomatoes, and pepper flakes to pan. Cook spinach in batches, stirring, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt  **and pepper**.

To serve, top chicken with spinach and tomatoes with pine nuts and dollops of goat cheese. Squeeze with lemon and server with rice.

the verdict:

no left overs: the adults loved it as did the 6-year old. the 4-year old liked the spinach but not the tomatoes and the 3-year old loved the chicken and rice. go figure.

The Oregon Coast

26 May

Two days and one night along the Oregon Coast with three young children was quite the adventure. This mini-vacay/ road trip is, so far, one of my favorites. As soon as my husband got home for work we hit the road and took the long way (avoided the 5). We drove through the Willamette Valley, passed like 1,000 wineries and a ginormous boarding school. The thing I love most about driving to the beaches or “the coast” as Oregonians call it are the long winding forests drives and streams, rivers, and lakes that you pass by. Once on the 101 it’s still almost as if you’re in a magical forest with the lovely (and chilly) sea to the West. Once we arrived at our hotel we changed the youngest and set out for some dinner at Rogue’s Ale House in Newport.

The next morning we surprised the kids with a visit to the Newport Aquarium. We were surrounded by sharks, saw some sea animal behaviors, got splashed by a naughty puffin, and got hands on with sea cucumbers, starfishies, and sea urchins.

photo by summer browner (c) 2012

After the aquarium we wanted to hit up the Yaquina Head Lighthouse but two out of three of our chitlens were too small for the stair-hike. So we continued on back up the 101 to visit the Devil’s Punchbowl and Cape Foulweather.

photo by summer browner (c) 2012

photo by summer browner (c) 2012

The views from Cape Foulweather were amazing. You could almost see the curvature of the Earth.

P.S. To visit Yaquina Head Lighthouse requires a $7 day pass and a height requirement of at least 42″. Also, if you are traveling without children there are plenty of wineries and a couple casinos along the way… depending on where you’re coming from.

Saute It: Mushrooms

24 May

For some wild reason I bought a ton of mushrooms: baby bella, shiitake, and button mushrooms. I had to do something with them before they got funky.

photo by summer browner (c) 2012

So, I chopped and sauteed them with a little butter, truffle oil, some salt & pepper, and a light splash of balsamic vinegar. We used the ‘shroom melody as a turkey burger topping and the next morning in a veggie egg scramble.

photo by summer browner (c) 2012

How do you eat your mush-a-booms?

momfilter + partout

23 May

How happy am I that… well first, do you remember Cookie? The magazine I was obsessed with after I had Violette (my first in ’05). I think I purchased subscriptions for all my friends that had little ones. It was so cool, inspiring, and so didn’t feel like an old mom wearing awful jeans and baggy shirts parenting magazine. It was fun and a perfect blend for cool parents and their kids. So, where was I? How happy am I that momfilter thrives on the ol’ interwebs (the founding editors of Cookie Mag created it) I came across this article from a friend: Lice Arsenal. Although we have yet to experience the irritating and itchy insects I did feel it necessary to drop them a note or comment about agnes baddoo’s partout.

partout by agnes baddoo

Not only is partout all natural and smells wonderful. It’s fun to roll on and acts as pesky bug repellant (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure). I thought I should share this on our own blog because I think Vett and Caas would want me to. Got any de-lice  recommendations or preventions of your own?

Bo Kwon @ Home

30 Jan

If you ever have the chance to try Bo Kown’s Koi Fusion, then you must. Try anything and/or everything all at once. Also, note that these are hard to share so don’t even think about it if you’re with a friend. Koi Fusion is South Korea uniting with Mexico creating a perfect blend of tortilla and  Korean BBQ among other crazy outbursts of mad flavors. I mention South Korea because I haven’t had the pleasure of trying North Korean dishes; however, I have lived in Seoul so I think I know a little bit about South Korean cuisine.

The point of this post is that I decided to make my own Bo Kwon bulgogi tacos at home for dinner and the results were excellent!

It’s real simple: corn tortillas, bulgogi beef from Trader Joe’s, cilantro, sliced cabbage, sliced onions, a cucumber spear.


We’ve gone…

29 Dec

An Update: Calavasa

10 Nov

I realized that I only posted photos of the zucchini and not some during and finished product photos from my calavasa blog. Moment of laziness… so here’s what happens while making the ooey gooey goodness that my grandma fed us as young ones:

Hope you enjoyed and if you need the recipe… click here.


2 Nov

It’s Movember so grow a ‘stache. If you don’t know why or need a clue. Click on Movember… and the image above is from here.

Send us your best ‘stache idea or photo! Just for fun.

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