February 2010


A belated birthday blog…  The kids had fun decorating while I was out, so I came home from some errands to a very festive home!

Dad and Mom’s waffle iron makes any meal festive too.  Not to mention Dad’s presence!

And my dear Nate is the best in the world when it comes to presentation!*

I had a very nice birthday, thanks everyone!  (Even those of you who weren’t here!)

Helen

*Full disclosure:  it’s Nate writing this blog entry.

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… 22 years after the event, but it was still a sweet moment!

This is the real thing.  The mother of a co-worker (hey Paul, leave a comment so my family knows I’m not lying!) was on the Olympic board in ’88 and has one of the few remaining torches.  They only made 400 or so, and destroyed most of them, but the board members each got one, the Glenbow museum got one, and the IOC head office.

In fact as this one got paraded around our office today, another employee informed us her father was the guy who did the metal work on it!

I offered to buy this torch for $50 as a birthday present for Ben, but the owner didn’t want to part with it.  Oh well, it’s the thought that counts.  Happy Birthday Ben!

Shana, with a huge smile, as she’s making an obstacle course out of streamers in the master bedroom, purportedly “decorating” for Helen’s birthday party:

When kids get decorating, they go crazy!

-Shana

Notice the little stool placed so we can step over the streamer.

I got to make the waffles for Valentine’s Day.  I LOVE Grandma and Grandpa’s waffle iron!

I don’t know why I buy zucchini…no one likes it.  I’ve learned that the best way to cook it is to gently saute it in butter for just two or three minutes; that helps a lot, but it’s still not a favorite.  Tonight I had some and looked up some ideas for what to do with it on my favorite recipe search engine, Recipe Puppy, and came up with this winner: 

Middle Eastern Zucchini Casserole

Cook separately:  1 1/2 cups rice (uncooked measure), 1/2 to 1 lb ground beef, 2-3 zucchini sliced (saute in butter, for only a minute or two).   I also added some dill and salt to it. 

Combine rice and ground beef.  Add:

1 tsp allspice

1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon

1 to 1/2 tsp salt

The recipe at this point says to add tomato sauce, but I felt that would be too tomato-y so I made a cheese sauce (white sauce with cheese) and added a little bit of tomato sauce to that, and mixed it in with the rice and beef. 

Layer in baking dish zucchini slices, layer of beef mixture, zucchini again, beef again, top with zucchini and some more tomato or cheese/tomato sauce.  I put on a little grated cheese too.  (Oh, and I had no more zucchini left, so there were only two layers of that.  That’s enough!

Bake in oven until hot at 350 or 400.

Serve with plain yogurt. 

You could also make the filling and stuff it into zucchini that have been halved lengthwise and scooped out. 

I can’t believe Shana liked all that allspice! And now that I think about it…she didn’t eat the zucchini after all.  But she did like something that was not Plain Jane boring, so that’s still a good thing! 

Let me know if you try it!

This is my solar workshop thing.  I’ve been working on it since a little after Christmas–i got it for Christmas. Right now I’ve made a solar rock-carrier tractor.  It used to be just a plain tractor, but we added a sort of a bed on it so I could carry some rocks from my rock collection.  The two biggest ones are on it in this video.

My smallest russian doll in my set of matryoshka dolls (and the last one) is driving it if you look closely.  But I zoomed in so you could see it a little better in part of the video.