The weather has been beautiful lately..in the 70's so we decided to go "4-wheelin" in Nate's Jeep today. Here's some photos for you and some flower photos on my photo blog. There was a petting zoo at the mall and they even had camel rides. I didn't have enough cash for the camel (which Nate thought was an elephant at first), but we did spend a little time in the petting zoo. Those poor animals were stuck in these small cages, which reminded me of the Chongqing Zoo in China, but were fat and happy from all the kids feeding them.
I have been in a freaky baking mood these last few days and cannot seem to stop. Bad news for us because my baking involves flour and sugar. Doh! It all started with last Thursday when I made a coffee cake for a meeting. Then our friends came over Monday night and I made a homemade yellow cake with chocolate frosting (my Lola Ramos' recipe) along with the dinner...then last night for St. Patty's we had our small group over and I made roast corned beef & cabbage, Irish stew, mashed potatoes, white soda bread and more cake!
Today I was perusing through our Irish cookbook and ran across potato cakes. They looked really yummy in the photo so I fished out the leftover mashed potatoes and decided to make them. But I gave them a southwestern twist. They're supposed to have chopped chives but I didn't have any so I added chopped cilantro instead.
I'll let you know how they taste. Mmmmmmm.....
*Update*......These are AWESOME when you slice them open and slap some butter in the middle. Kind of like a flavorful biscuit.
Our best friends, Mary & Jason and their 3 kids came to Tucson this weekend, so we had a fun time catching up with them. I've known Jason since I was 10 and Don and I went to college with him. We met Mary shortly after we got married and later, Don performed their marriage ceremony. We've been able to lean on each other's shoulders during our struggles and laugh during the good times. At one point, Mary and I even worked at the same company (which was a dangerous combo..haha). We were there when their kids were born and now their kids are like big brothers and big sister to Nate and totally spoil him. Mary and I make Starbucks coffee a regular part of our diet and all we have to do is look at each other and know that we need to make a coffee trip. haha. We are totally blessed to have several close friendships that we know will last a lifetime and are thankful for all our good friends who have shared life with us over the years.
Nate LOVES to help me with the dishes. More than he likes to put away his toys. ha! He's very good at putting all the silverware where it should go and talks to himself while he does it..."More fork", "Another spoon...and another spoon." He also likes to help put mail in the mailbox. He puts on his own Crocs and usually on the wrong feet as you can see. Too funny.
Don and I are eating healthier in an effort to lose weight and save money by NOT eating out. Today I made the best salad EVER! Is it wrong to toot your own horn? Oh man it was good! I could eat it every day for awhile before getting tired of it. haha.
It was basically a grilled salmon salad....although if you're a vegetarian you could put grilled portabellos on it and that would be tasty. Here it is:
GRILLED SALMON SALAD
Brush olive oil on fresh salmon (I used Atlantic Salmon fillet), squeeze a little lemon juice and s&p. Grill on low heat, skin-side on grill until flaky.
Toast any of the following: -unsweetened coconut -macademia nuts -chopped peanuts -sesame seeds
Mix romaine lettuce, green onions, broccoli, peeled carrot shavings, and anything else you want in it. Top with the toasted toppings, salmon pieces and Kraft Asian, Toasted Sesame Dressing.
YUM!! BTW.....anyone have any tasty homemade salad dressing recipes? I'm looking for creative stuff like Cilantro Lime or a tropical dressing........stuff that only has a hint of sweetness.
Yes that's right....we have another "dog". haha. A lady at our church gave this to Nate. I thought it was hilarious. Nate calls it HIS Harvard. I don't think OUR Harvard cared much for it. It's definitely a lot cheaper to feed though. haha.
On Monday, we decided to have a family day at the zoo. I love Tucson's zoo because it's only $5 to get in and you can see the whole thing in 2 hours. It's perfect for little kids. They also have a train ride at the entrance that takes riders through part of Reid park...a HUGE park next to the zoo. Nate got to ride by himself (because all we had in cash was $2...enough for one rider) and he did awesome! Stayed put on the train bench the whole time and loved it. Below is a milestone photo..Nate's first time at the zoo when he was a year old and today. Our baby's getting bigger!