Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Year - Another Chance

Home from a fun filled week in Michigan. What a great time we had flying my Dad out so he and his twin brother could celebrate their 82nd birthday in the cottage where they grew up - yep, you read that right - both of them, 82. Do you know how many times they each told the same story to the same people? But - it really was fun - and to see my Dad having so much fun was worth every single penny I spent to get my own family of 6 as well as all extended family gathered together for a weekend of partying. Pictures will soon follow - but I wanted to share this recipe that my cousin Carol made up for the party. Quick, simple, somewhat healthy - ideal for a quick dessert type salad - 1 container of Cottage Cheese 1 package of FF jello (this time she used lemon) some blueberries 1 container of Cool Whip That was it. It was good. She mixes it up and uses different jello flavors and different fruits - but it was surprisingly good - and that was the first time my kids EVER ate cottage cheese. I'll be doing this again !

Saturday, August 18, 2012

End of Summer Swimming

After a long weekend in the great state of Virginia - I am happy to be home, with about 3 weeks off from swim practice. Not 3 weeks of entirely - because of course, we get home on a Saturday night, and Tennis practice starts Monday morning .... but the Tennis coach is not such an early morning person as the swim coach - I can deal with 7:45 a.m. start times ! Leenah had an outstanding year this year in swimming. 2 weeks before the Junior Olympics she aged up. If you are not familiar with swim terms, that means she jumped from swimming against 11/12 yo's to swimming against 13/14 yo's. She had already made most of the qualifying times for the older age group, so she still had lots of events to excel at during the Junior Olympics - and excel she did. She brought home some very fast times, as well as some medals, but the one event that stood out was a swim off in the 100 Breast Stroke.
Breast Stroke is NOT Leenah's best stroke. Freestyle mid-distance is. She's pretty good at longer distances as well. Not too bad in sprints. Second best event would have to be the Fly. I love watching her swim the Fly. Next would be Breaststroke, but only because her Backstroke is simply horrible (hmmmm, and her head coach went to Olympic Trials for Backstroke, I'm sure he's not real please with her)
Anyway - at the Junior Olympics - the top 16 (sometimes out of 120+ girls) go to finals in the evenings. I am very proud to report that Leenah made it back for finals every night, in nearly every event she swam ! But, for that 100 Breaststroke, she was TIED for 16th. When they measure down to the hundredth of a second, you don't see many ties ! Anyway, unless one of them dropped out, this requires a swim off - meaning you have to swim it again - and the winner of the swim off - just you and that other person, gets to come back to finals and swim it yet again.
Anyway - the swim off was held after the first session of the day. Right after she swam the 400 Free (which she also made finals in). The other girl had swam the 400 Free as well - so to be fair, they were both pretty tired before they hit the blocks. The father of one of our older swimmers had timed the entire meet - and told Leenah he was there for her. His son had just finished his swim when the 2 girls were lining up on the blocks, and said under his breath "Don't let a Wahoo beat you". The Wahoo's are a somewhat local competition team, and there was a story behind "Don't let a Wahoo beat you" that I got later. Anyway - to may a long story a bit shorter, Leenah dropped another 3 seconds from her Prelim swim to beat the other girl (she had already dropped 2 seconds from her seed time, so the swim off time was about a 5 second drop - amazing when you are only talking 2 laps of the pool !) Her winning time was also a Zone cut for 13/14 yo's - so I was able to add one more event to ones she had already qualified for. Zones was the meet held in Virginia - the best of the best. Lots of spirit, lots of charged up swimmers, great meet.
Anyway - she made me proud all weekend. Even at Zones - when she didn't swim up to her best standards - we received a text from her head coach who was preparing 2 of her teammates for Nationals - that it was completely understandable not to have her best times. She dropped major time at both Princeton and Penn State. She aged up. She had been working hard, had 3 meets in a row, and was probably exhausted. It perked her up, made her feel better about herself - and now we'll be ready for another great short course season ! Just give me a few weeks off first ...

Easy Simple Chicken

Here's another that looks simple enough - and uses stuff I already have on hand - love that. I didn't claim it to be the World's Best Chicken - but I will post my families reviews after we try it - BEWARE - they are picky, picky eaters ! Lots of recipes on Rachel Schultz's blog that I'll be trying ! The World’s Best Chicken Serves 4 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/2 cup Dijon mustard 1/4 cup maple syrup 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Salt & Pepper Rosemary Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, syrup, and vinegar. Place chicken breasts into 9×13 baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Pour mustard mixture over chicken. No need to marinate. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Season with rosemary.

Summer Veggies - doesn't this look good ?


Will be giving this one a shot as soon as we get home from Michigan !

Summer Veggies

Prep time: 15 min. Cook time: 45 min. Total: 1 hr.

1 Tbsp olive oil $0.11
1 medium yellow onion $0.70
1 tsp minced garlic $0.08
1 medium zucchini $0.71
1 medium yellow squash $0.85
1 medium potato $0.91
1 medium tomato $1.65
1 tsp dried thyme $0.05
to taste salt & pepper $0.05
1 cup shredded Italian cheese $1.49
TOTAL $6.60

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Saute both in a skillet with olive oil until softened (about five minutes).

STEP 2: While the onion and garlic are sauteing, thinly slice the rest of the vegetables.

STEP 3: Spray the inside of an 8x8 square or round baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread the softened onion and garlic in the bottom of the dish. Place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and thyme.

STEP 4: Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top with cheese and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Recipe - Corn and Veggie Cakes

I usually print out recipes that I come across online that I want to try one day, but not necessarily TOday - course, then when ONE day comes, I can't find the recipe, and no matter how much I Google, I can't find it again - so figured I'd just start linking them in posts on my own blog - should be easy enough to find later. Anyway - these look amazing - and with all the Jersey corn around right now - should be easy as pie to make ! I just love Sugarcrafter blog

3 cups fresh sweet corn, roughly chopped
1/4 cup shredded summer squash (I used a tiger squash)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted
Olive oil, for frying