Thursday, July 30, 2009

My family fears voicemail

My entire family fears voice mail, and I will admit that does include me.

Instead of leaving a message, we hang up, usually within seconds of hearing a third ring. When I am the recipient of these calls, 9 times out of 10, I tend to just come across the portable phone in time to hear a dial tone.

It doesn't end here. With the dawn of the cell phone, the caller can go through the entire list of phone numbers and dial the next number in under a few seconds.

Perhaps I could beg my family to count to 30 before they dial the next number so I can find whichever phone they have not called before it starts ringing.

Maybe I just need a third and fourth phone. This way I can get all my cardio exercise in on the mad-dash to find the ringing phone under the downstairs couch cushion after I've crashed down the stairs from my office only to hear the cell phone ring upstairs in my purse. Two more phone numbers could really make this exercise exciting.

Monday, July 27, 2009

How many engineers...

How many engineers does it take to figure out that the GFI plug in the garage flipped the power off to the water filter?

Apparently, two engineers is not the correct answer. It actually only takes one nice technician from the water filter company.

On the plus side, the other problems with the filter will be fixed, soon.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One habenero...

I love to cook. Anyone who knows me will agree to that. Whether I cook well or not is debatable, but I do enjoy trying new things.

My latest cooking experimentations have included peppers. In particular, spicier peppers. I've grilled peppers as a side dish and added them to mango salsa over shrimp. My most recent attempt was an oven roasted pepper dip. I've made this before with only sweet peppers, but I thought a little heat might add some depth.

Photo copyright Melany Richmond 2009

I roast the peppers the night before and let them cool so I can peel the skins off. I treated all the peppers the same, including those 2 innocuous looking little orange peppers. Once I got the peppers and onions into the oven to roast, I cleaned up and washed my hands.

Once I had the peppers roasting, I decided to snack on a pluot we had picked up from the farmers market. About 15 minutes later, I noticed that my lips were burning. It took me a second, and I realized that the residue from the habenero must still be on my hands.

I scrubbed my hands like you would see an actor playing a doctor scrub for surgery and they still burned.

In the future, I will use gloves to handle the peppers.

Roasted pepper dip

1 sweet red pepper
1 sweet yellow pepper
1/4 sweet onion
1 or 2 habanero pepper
1 clove garlic
kosher salt
cooking oil
Cream cheese
Sour cream
juice of half a small lemon

The night before you want your dip, preheat your over to 400 degrees.

Lightly coat a large baking sheet with oil. Clean and cut peppers into quarters, throw out the seeds and veins. Lightly toss in oil. Spread out on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut the onion into rings (1/4 inch thick or so). Add to sheet, coat in oil and add salt and pepper. Place into a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove small habenero pepper from pan and continue to roast larger peppers for 20 minutes longer.

Place onions and peppers into a plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, peel the skins from the peppers.

Take the garlic clove and crush into a paste with some kosher salt. Add this to the bowl of your food processor. Add the peeled peppers and onions and mix to a coarse paste. Add 1 heaping Tablespoon of cream cheese and sour cream and mix. Add additional Cream cheese and sour cream until desired consistency is reached. Add fresh lemon juice from half of a small lemon.

Serve with chips!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The sound of....

I am fairly certain that whomever said "Silence is golden" did not live with a three year old.

Sometimes silence can mean that mommy will be very busy cleaning in the very near future.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Big N is becoming a big kid

Last Saturday was the day out with Thomas at the Northwest Railroad museum near snoqualmie falls. It was a bit of an early morning trek and the kids really didn't want to get out of bed until we mentioned who they were going to see. We managed to get on the road about 20 minutes late and made a mad dash for the train ride at 9AM.

Big N and little N did fantastic on and off the ride.

We have noticed big change in Big N's behavior lately. Big N has really taken notice of those around him, in particular smaller kids. He is also much more conscience of what we say and seems to listen more. Just like any kid, he has his good days and his bad days. However, Saturday was a great day.

The train starts at the depot at the Museum and heads towards the falls. The ride takes you past the top of the falls and stops with a spectacular view above the falls. The trains stops for about 5 minutes to let everyone enjoy the view. Big N notices a younger boy, perhaps 2, and asks me if he should share his seat with him so he could see the water.

This was one of those proud momma moments, where my son went out of his way to be considerate of another little boy. The boy was shy and did finally come over with his dad to peak out the window.

After the ride, Big N dragged us towards the front of the train. We managed to talk him out of the gift shop for the time being and got towards the front of the train, where Thomas was. At this end of the train was a bounce house. We opted to skip the line to get the photo op with the big number one engine and both kids waited patiently outside the bounce house. It didn't hurt their patience that the man near the door was telling the kids inside that their time was up.

I reminded both kids to be careful around the littler kids in the bounce house and both kids clamored in. Watching the kids, Big N had listened. He slowed down around the littler kids and moved to the other side of the bounce house. He did, of course, do somersaults since it is currently summer. He asked, "Is it still summer?" before tumbling.

Two proud momma moments in one day!

After the bounce house and the ride we found ourselves with both kids inside the tent full of train tables for open play. Even in here, Big N managed to watch out for smaller kids, not grabbing as he would have in the past. It did help that we were at the museum early enough to be part of the smaller crowds.

I'll keep the end of the day description a little shorter. Leaving the gift shop tent did not end as nicely. Big N had some significant crying when we did not buy more trains for our house. However, the good parts of the day out weighed the tantrum.

Both kids did well. They really only had a tough time when we had been there too long after forgetting their water bottles in the car. Both kids had a mood improvement after lunch, as did their parents.

It was really a good day for the kids and their attitude and maturity made it great for us.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Little N's big hair cut

Little N is very particular about her hair. If she has a pony tail in, it will be out in 20 minutes. The hair will also be in her eyes and she will not be happy. It appears that long hair is not something she appreciates all that much.