Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jai's Chicken and brown rice soup Soup

I made this one up a while ago and have made it many times. It took Jai asking for the recipe to remind me to write it down.

So, I'm calling this one Jai's Chicken and brown rice soup.
  • 4 frozen chicken breasts
  • 5 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 1/2 onions, diced
  • 1/2 a bunch of kale, cleaned, hard veins/stems removed, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (add more later, sometimes I'll use white pepper to change up the flavor)
  • dash of hot sauce (or more!)
  • 32 oz box of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice

Put everything into the crock pot except the hot sauce and brown rice. If the contents are not covered by the chicken broth, add more or a little water to make up the difference.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours (or overnight if you're taking it somewhere). If you need to cook faster, cook it on high and perhaps use defrosted chicken.

About an hour before serving (or packaging), pull out the chicken onto a plate and shred with two forks. The meat should just fall apart. Add the chicken back to the crock, add the brown rice and the hot sauce to taste. Taste test at this point to make sure your spices are good. Put the lid on and let the crock pot work it's magic.

This is great with a big salad or a crusty slice of bread.

Variations I've done include adding parsnips with the carrots, and/or spinach instead of kale. The spinach doesn't hold up to the crock pot as well as the kale does. I might try adding spinach later in the cooking process if I did that, again.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Chocolate Oatmeal

I am on an oatmeal kick. Of course, there is only so many days in a row that you can eat oatmeal as I previously knew how to cook it. During the first month of baby A's stay in the hospital, I enjoyed a bowl most mornings from the hospital cafeteria. After that first month, I was oatmeal-ed out and the Starbucks baristas at the River entrance began to know me by name, drink and cinnamon morning bun.

While we were in the hospital, our neighbor from the Shoreline house brought us food, snacks and chocolate. She mentioned that I needed some chocolate. Yes, chocolate, the thing that makes so many things better.

Once we got home, I had to put an end to the morning buns from Starbucks. The maternity pants I had been wearing for months were starting to get tight.

With that, chocolate oatmeal was born. I waited until we got home, but the idea was definitely implanted during the early part of baby A's stay by the dark chocolate bars from our neighbor.

You can feel good about this bowl of oatmeal. There is Oatmeal to fill you up, almond milk for the health conscience and coconut oil for your brain. AND, there is, of course, that chocolate that makes it feel so bad for you.

A single serving of Chocolate Oatmeal
1/2 cup of Oats
1/2 cup of almond milk (or regular 2% dairy milk)
3/4 cup of water
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 cap full of vanilla extract (1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
dash of kosher salt
Slivered almonds

Add everything to a sauce pan on medium heat except the almonds. Bring to a boil and stir, cooking for 2-5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and cover the oatmeal. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Top with the slivered almonds and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Baby A is home

Tomorrow will be one week home!

Each day gets easier to be home, but there still is so many things we are working out.

I've been journaling throughout her stay at the hospital on Caring Bridge.

3 months old and finally home!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Welcome Baby A

I haven't been posting much lately, but in all reality, I haven't been ready to talk about everything that has happened over the last 6 weeks on such a public forum.

Baby A arrived in a beautiful and super fast home birth. We welcomed her into our home and everything looked great. She nursed within minutes of being born and then again before the midwives left.

Baby A then proceeded to give us a scare. She was admitted to Children's hospital about 3 days after she was born. After talking to her pediatrician, this was something so unexpected that no matter where she was born, she would have been home when everything got worse for her. We are happy to have had some time with her at home and look forward to having her home, again, when she is ready.

I've posted some information on a caring bridge site. I think I needed to be a little more private while I processed what she was going through.

The site is here:Baby A's caring bridge site.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Big N's Forceful Valentine's Day cards

Big N has a deep love for everything involving the combination of Lego and Star Wars. To be honest, it's a pretty cool combination.

This year he wanted to use Lego Star Wars and his Valentine's day theme. I wanted to avoid sending more candy to school. I came across someone else's neat idea and decided to change it just a little bit to tailor it towards Big N's tastes. Big N wanted to use a different character and I wanted it to fit to the photo paper we had on hand.

We used a plain sheet of paper as our back drop and I had big N arrange Obi Won how he wanted him to stand. We then took a photo using my close-up set where I made sure his face and light saber remained in focus. After adding some basic text, this was the card, text, and color combination, that Big N approved of.

With a little creative cutting of the cards, we had Big N write everyone's names on the cards and added our dollar store light sabers.

We have one very happy little boy and it was fun to spend some time crafting his Valentine's day cards together.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Why is it that well child visits are only available at the pediatrician office during school hours? It makes no sense.

We have found that the last non-emergency appointment of the day at our current pediatrician's office is at 3:10, which coincides with the exact time that school lets out.

It's really frustrating that non-emergency appointments must occur during school hours.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Home sick from school and feeling better activity

Little N has had a tough week. She caught the flu bug going around town just in time for the second day back to school from winter break. She was getting up for school on Thursday morning when the flu bug hit her hard and fast. She still had a fever on Friday morning, so we thought better of sending her to school and kept her home one more day. Little N started to act more like herself Friday afternoon and I needed to find an inside activity to curb her cabin fever. Taking my inspiration from a Valentine Heart barrette I'd seen online, we tried to make a version that was little girl friendly and used supplies we had on hand. She was very focused and serious as she cut out the hearts and then the felt.
Instead of sewing the heart to the barrette as described in the blog post, I had her stitch two different sized hearts together and ignored the barrette for a bit. She sewed the two different sized hearts together using a large craft needle. We used crochet cotton instead of embroidery thread. This was fine with little N because, really, it was all about the color of the thread more than anything else.
Once Little N was happy with the stitching, we simply used a hot glue gun to attach her hearts to the barrettes. After that, it was time to test them out.