Monday, April 30, 2012

Chicken tortilla soup

Everytime I have chicken tortilla soup at a restaurant I tell Jeff "I need to make this at home". He never reminds me because as far as Jeff is concerned we could eat hotdogs seven nights a week.

I found a mostly healthy recipe and adjusted it a bit to omit things I didn't want, add things I did and make it a crockpot recipe.

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
1 can chicken broth
1 can corn
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can chopped green chilis
1 can whole peeled tomatoes, smashed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 choices garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 T cilantro
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 bay leaf

Dump everything in crock and cook on low for 10 hours or hi for 4 hours. 

Also, I refuse to cook meat just to end up putting it in the crock pot so I just cubed the raw chicken and put it in the crock with everything else. Next time i would do the same but shred the chicken halfway through cooking so the meat soaks up all the flavor. Otherwise this was amazing. REALLY spicy though, so leave out the chili powder maybe if you don't like it hot!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Baseball Birthday for Connor

My baby turned 5 last week.  sigh.  5 is a huge milestone I think.  

Kindergarten is a huge deal and Connor starts in the fall.  August 6th actually.  Everyone keeps telling me how sad I'll be when he goes to school which is kinda jerky of them.  Anyway, I think we'll handle it ok.  I mean, sure we'll be all emotional about our first-born starting something so big and exciting, but come on now...the kid has been in daycare since he was 6 weeks old.  Not really anticipating any separation anxiety but we'll see how starved for attention I am at that time. Fast forward to seeing myself holding on to his leg not allowing him to enter his classroom.  Be a friend and try to avoid the 'i told you so' urge that day.

Since 5 is a big deal we celebrated big this year. Connor loves sports - growing up with our family how could he not, right?  On April 18th - his actual birthday - we surprised him with an entire day at the ballpark. Jeff dropped off Bear at school and then told Connor "guess who isn't going to school today?!?" They drove to Jeff's office (aka the ballpark) and Connor's day was already made when Jeff told him that he got to play his DS all morning while Jeff got some work done. I met them at the game at noon. Jeff arranged for some amazing seats - we are very fortunate and always get good seats...but these were amazing. right behind the batter, just a few rows up. My requirement is that if we're sitting that close, there has to be a net. Jeffrey likes to think that if it got tipped back, he'd catch it before it was able to crack a skull. He's wrong. My two years of softball on the "no cuts" team and Jeff's few years of baseball aren't gonna get the job done.

Jeff also arranged for Connor to be in the hotdog race!! OMG this is amazing. Do you know what the hotdog race is? Every Dbacks game, three little kids get selected from the stands to go out on the field, dress up in these hotdog costumes and race. Not around the field - though that would be ah-mazing. The kids race in place and animated ketchup, mustard and relish race on the jumbotron around downtown phoenix. You never know who is going to win, but we had it on pretty good authority that ketchup had a great chance. Yes, you interpreted that correctly, Connor was a ringer. The race was fixed. (insert evil laugh here). We wanted it to be a surprise so we didn't tell Connor until we were heading to our seats before the game. Jeff's coworker who handles the hotdog derby told him that you never know how a kid will react to being filmed and out on the field. He'd seen 4 y.o kids do great and 8 y.o. kids freak the f out so it was a risk. Connor seemed kinda freaked when we first told him so we started acting over the top excited about it. I told everyone I came into contact with in the stands to root for ketchup and it got him really pumped when people were asking him about it.

In the 2nd inning we went to the hotdog meeting place and Connor got into costume. We took the tunnel to the field and got ready. He was pretty excited but clearly nervous too. The other kids were much older, like 8 and 11 so they immediately disregarded ketchup. silly fools. He killed it. Ketchup won. obviously.

Then of course we had to have his name put up on the screen. He loved that. I think Jeff's coworker really hooked us up becuase it seemed like it was up there forever.

Here are a ton more pics from the day.

this is where the kids find out if they are ketchup, mustard or relish - clearly the shirts are one size fits all :( and clearly Connor's will fit him for the next 12 years

walking through the tunnel that leads to the dugout
getting in costume!
out on the field being introduced by the girl on the far right. this is where they announce the section each hotdog is racing for. the winning hotdog's section get free hotdogs for everyone in that section.
He won a Dbacks backpack with a waterbottle
enjoying a hotdog after the race...just felt odd
what's a birthday without a giant ice cream
chatting it up with Baxter
Baxter signed his shirt and wrote "Only the fastest kids are ketchup!" He also signed his forehead!

It was a loooong day. Jeff and I both worked in the morning and then enjoyed the entire game with Connor. After the game we all went and picked up Bear and went to Connor's soccer practice where he bragged to all of his teammates about his day :) It was amazing to give him such a great birthday. We have a tradition that the birthday boy gets to pick where they go to dinner on their special day and after soccer, Connor picked the Vine. So appropriate that our child would select a sports bar. We were thrilled with his choice. 

Up Next...Connor's actual birthday party!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Too lame for facebook

Is anyone else totally terrified to stand too close to the microwave when one if those veggie steamers is cooking?  I swear its going to explode one of these times. 
Also I've decided that when it does i'm just buying a new microwave. Not worth the cleanup.

Monday, April 23, 2012

five year old well check

Did you know they start doing vision checks when kids turn five? Me neither.

God I hope Connor gets jeffs perfect vision and not my crap vision. My last exam went so poorly that my contacts are now deemed "medically necessary" - the contacts. woot woot.

The test was similar to an adult screening but instead of letters they used horrible pictures of a house, cow, chicken, train and coffee mug. mug. The pictures were a bit deceiving I think as the pictures were odd. whatev. chicken and cow were practically twinsies.

I wish they'd just done the old standby with alpha. He passed, 20/25. damn chicken/cow.

He's had some growth over the last year. He's tipping the scale at 35.4 lbs and 39" tall. Still really small but maintaining growth so no one is concerned. except me of course. i love my shorty. but shorty better get a couple more inches if he wants to have free reign at Disneyland in the fall. just sayin.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Low Carb Chili

I had lots of success dropping some lbs when I cut out carbs - not completely but well, significantly.  The tough thing is coming up with plenty of options for meals. Well, that's what I find tough.

Now that I'm trying to get back on board with low carb eating, I thought it would be helpful to post about the random things I put together. I really enjoy cooking, but I'm not great at blogging recently so I'm therefore not great at chronicling what I've made so I can replicate it.

I love chili and the spicier the better as far as we're concerned. I miss the beans but that's ok, clearly I'll survive.

I couldn't find a recipe online that suited me - mostly because I have about 12 ingredients on hand and several of them include various flavors of crystal light packets. For that reason, many of the recipes I found would have been asking a bit much of our pantry. I was too lazy to run out to get supplies so this is what I came up with for chili tonight.

2.5 lbs of ground beef
1 can tomatoes
1 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic - or 2T minced garlic
1 T chili powder
1 can green chilis
2 cups beef broth

Brown ground beef along with seasoning and garlic. drain after all browned. add in broth, celery, chilis and tomatoes and simmer for an hour. You can add more or less broth depending on how you like your chili. Liquid always forms when you simmer so go easy on the broth would be my recommendation. 

I know there are ways to make this more low carb, but I didn't investigate enough. if you have any suggestions, let me know!!