12 September 2010

September happenings

Update from Tucson: We have a menagerie living under our roof. Our grapevine has been host to a plethora of caterpillars, and our recent arrival- a praying mantis! Shown here eating one of the caterpillars. We are also playing host to 7 swallowtail chrysalis and a handful of sphinx moths that may not emerge until next spring.

Matt ran a 10K, on a whim, last weekend. He survived the AZ heat and completed 20th in his age bracket. The kids and I are in awe that he can just trot out the door, run 8 miles, and be back for breakfast.

We have a new visitor on our front porch; Mr. Tarantula. Very cool. He doesn't move very fast, so the kids were willing to sit and watch him for awhile.

Lu is as busy keeping all of us in line. She was taken with the fact that her "baby" looks like her, so she demanded I take a picture to document this revelation.

Posted by Picasa

28 October 2009

October happenings....

One last Peanut Buster Parfait before heading back to Korea... mmmmm....Granddad's 90th birthday- Cheryl fashioned a "cake" out of cookies and a candle, as we were en route to the airport. Evan is asking if he can help Granddad blow out the candle. Granddad must have been a little taken aback by the request, given his expression...
Lu swinging at Dad's house.
Enjoying tasty Jonagold apples- fresh picked from the farm= delicious!!!

13 September 2009

09 September 2009

Mango Chicken Curry

Adapted from a Reader's Digest recipe...
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

You Will Need
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 chopped carrots
1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
2 tsp. canola oil
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 tbs. curry powder
2 tsp. minced fresh gingerroot
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. califlower florets
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup chopped peeled mango- add more to taste
1 can reduced-fat coconut milk
2 tbs. tomato paste
Hot cooked rice, optional

What to Do
1. In large skillet, sauté onion, carrots and red pepper in oil 2 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add chicken, curry, ginger, garlic, salt, califlower and cayenne. Cook and stir 5 minutes.

2. Stir in mango, coconut milk, and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Serve with rice.

Yield: 4 big servings

Roasting chestnuts

The other day we spotted our friendly Korean neighbors using brooms to beat down a tree. Curious behavior that certainly got E's attention!!! Upon closer inspection, we discovered they were knocking these spiny balls out of the branches and scooping them into a pile in the alley. They covered the pile with branches, leaves and sticks from the underbrush, then lit a small fire and the pile smoked for a couple hours.

E thought we should try that for ourselves... so, being a good sport, I strapped Lu on my back and we hiked off into the woods behind our apartment- armed with a broom and a paper bag for collecting our loot.

First lesson- don't wear flip-flops when walking in the forest.
Second lesson- those spiny balls are SO SHARP that neither E or I could pick them up to put them in the bag, but instead devised a game of swatting them with the broom while one of us held the bag open.
Third lesson- mosquitos find young flesh especially tasty at dusk
Fourth lesson- if it looks like a maggot, moves like a maggot.... it's probably a maggot.
Fifth lesson- "I don't want to climb the tree." is not a good enough reason to pass up on all the chestnuts in the upper branches.

So... we bring home our nuts, sort them and rinse them off. Then to find a recipe....

Preheat your oven to 425 F (210 C). Take your chestnuts and make a cut across the round side of each to keep them from exploding, and arrange them either on a rack or on a cookie sheet. Roast them until the skins have pulled back from the cuts and the nutmeats have softened (exactly how long will depend upon the chestnuts, but at least 15-20 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven, make a mound of them in an old towel, wrap them up, squeeze them hard -- they should crackle -- and let them sit for a few minutes.

I'll let you know how they turn out... it's a lot of work for a cookie sheet full of chestnuts!