Monday, August 31, 2009

Shameless CSA promotion

I started out the summer with good intentions: I would take a picture every week when I received my CSA box(es). Well, considering Thursday nights is swimming lessons and thus becomes one of the busiest nights of the week, I have barely had time to unpack my box with no time to squeeze a picture in.

But that doesn't mean we haven't been enjoying our CSA produce. We have eaten so many fruits and vegetables this summer you would think we should have all dropped 20 lbs. ( but we also have been working alot and haven't enjoyed time outdoors or at the gym like usual...... so maybe next summer.)

We aren't vegetarians, but we have been eating that way alot this summer. Another quick favorite is a deli chicken - it's a perfect pairing with all our fruits and veggies.

So if you don't have the luxury of having your own garden produce and you are contemplating joining a CSA next summer I would say to go for it! You will learn to cook with what you have, and your kids will probably join the fun and start eating more veggies too.

You can check here for local CSA's in your area.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Giveaway! (no, not by me!)

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Can you imagine having a bike like this one? You could almost carpool with that thing, and stop and pick up dinner too! Amazing! They also give away a bike every week. Yes- you read that right. Click on the photo above and it will direct you to their site where you will learn how you too can be entered in the giveaway!

James' Birthday

Yeah - I know- it was two weeks ago! I am still catching up though, so please humor me!

James doesn't ask for much, he could really care less what he eats on his birthday or who he eats it with. He just wants to golf all day, and, ah, we will leave it there.

But he also loves this dessert, and every year when I make it I am totally befuddled. I can make all sorts of delicious desserts from scratch with real butter, good chocolate or fresh fruit, desserts that take 6 hours to make and require lots of skills, like beating, folding, whipping and caramelizing.

But he loves this. (the photo is from here too)

So every year we make it.

It is light and yummy, I can't deny it. People of all ages love it - and it is easy too. Sounds pretty much like the perfect dessert, eh?

So I will post the recipe here for you, so that you too can enjoy making a dessert of cool whip, cream cheese and pudding.

Pistachio Dessert

Crust:1 cup butter (or margarine)

2 cups flour

Cut butter into flour. Pat into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes until golden brown; cool.

Filling:8 oz pkg of cream cheese (I use light)

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup of Cool Whip

Mix above ingredients together a spread carefully over cooled crust.

Last: Beat 2 packages of instant Pistachio pudding and 2 1/2 cups of milk together

and pour over cream cheese layer.

Top with more Cool Whip. Just before serving, garnish with toasted almonds. Cut into squares and serve.

(Side note- I actually use sugar cookie dough for the crust. Yes- from a box. I keep them in my pantry for whenever I need a quick crust for something.)

Saturday, August 29, 2009


So every time Stacy comes we all love to hang out, and every time Stacy comes we try and take the perfect picture of the four of us. None of them have turned out very well except this one (we all know we are prettier than those pictures made us look, right?) It was taken two years ago, and I am sure that none of us have aged a bit.

Even though I don't tell them very often, these three ladies are three of my favorite ladies, and I am glad for the chances we have to hang out- even though sometimes it seems like we only see each other when Stacy is in town! I guess it is a good thing she keeps coming back!

We have all been friends now for over a decade and yes- getting closer to two- but when we hang out I feel like we are all young again.

So here is to the last 15 years, and to the next 15 years that Lord willing, will follow!

And next time we are going to take the best picture ever!


The week Stacy was here was one of the hottest this summer. She and her mom (and other family members) bravely watched all ten kids and hauled them to DVBS, Como, Costco, and the lake among other places. It wasn't my favorite week of weather but I worked every day so I didn't suffer too much, except for the fact that was the week (or rather one of the many weeks this summer) my car was acting up, and I had to drive with the heat turned up full blast to keep the engine semi-cooled down.

So back to the pictures. The kids all swam and played, and even did a little water skiing. Most of the children tried, but since only one of them is mine, I only have pictures of him trying. Sorry!

Trying to catch some fish off the dock. Aren't they all so cute in their swimsuits and life jackets?

Got one!

Heading out! He is so brave!
(Although he fell the first time, so I bribed him with a McDonald's cone to try again!)

Good thing he is taking swimming lessons this summer.

Teamwork- they are fixing the fence.

Stacy and Jen relaxing at the end of a long day.

Take me out to the ballgame!

Anyone who knows me knows I am a super huge sports fan, right? As a matter of fact last night Aidan asked me what my favorite sport was, and because I love them all so much all I could think of was "The Olympics!"

Seriously folks I am so not into sports, and when Christa told me she could get us tickets on the Home Run Porch I envisioned a little screened in area where we would watch all the players run to home base while we sipped lemonade.
But regardless- it was fun just to hang out with Stacy, Christa and our boys. Thanks Christa for organizing the night for us all!

On our way downtown.

Thanks for the tattoo's Christa!

Hee hee, aren't they all so cute?

All of us had tattoos! I wore mine proudly to show what a true fan I am!

This was right before they got kicked out of these seats.

But the guy that kicked them out also gave them each an autographed baseball. Which reminds me.... where on earth did ours go?

Christa took them down to meet...... not sure who the furry guy is. I was going to say
Goldy Gopher, but even I know that is the wrong mascot!

Stacy watched Aidan all week so that he could go to DVBS with her kids. (Thanks again!) They had spent the morning at DVBS, the afternoon at Como zoo, and so he was pooped out by the time we made it to the game, and spent a good portion of it like this. Not that I minded one bit!

I was trying to take the perfect family picture for Stacy's husband Brian, who is deployed to Japan right now. I tried................

Such a cutie!
I would tell you more about the game, but I don't remember who they played- only that is was a very long game and the Twins lost.
All I remember is the good company I spent the evening with- and that is all that matters!

Aidan's first "Official" Sleepover

This post is very old- I am sorry I am so behind this summer! I think these photos are almost a month old now! Can you believe it? I have to get caught up so I can actually be current, however, as I am keeping a blog instead of a scrapbook for my child, I can't miss the big milestones. So you must suffer through a few posts that are really rather old now. But as I have the computer to myself this evening, I might just be able to make some progress.

They played an exciting game of marbles,

roasted marshmallow's,

bathed, (I know- they will hate me for this someday!)

watched Scooby-Doo,

And slept. For awhile. Somehow the night didn't go quite as planned and involved a midnight rendezvous with someones mom.
But that's okay- Aidan and I still had a sleepover. Except you won't be seeing any pictures of me asleep in the tent!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A post -

- as we head out the door. We are heading to Jay Cooke State park to go camping with the Rodgers and all their family! We are so excited. But in the world of blogging I still have lots of catching up to do. Stacy was here with her kids for the last few weeks, and I have lots of pictures to commemorate our time together. So stay tuned!

Today, however, I will just post a few pictures from the place Aidan and I spent the afternoon, The Kelley Farm, operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. I must admit as we wandered around the working farm, taking in the animals, the old farmhouse, the ladies making pickles and the farmer making hay, I had a little wistful longing for the simpler life.

But then we raced back to the City to have some McDonald's and find a movie for Aidan to watch tonight so I could frantically sew the baby gifts I have been pushing off for the last two weeks. There is nothing like a deadline to bring out my best work!

So here is a little view of the simple life for you. Enjoy!

There were cows, horses, chickens, cats, and pigs wandering about the farm.

Aidan couldn't believe that his mom used to help some friends make hay every year, and that we even had a barn by our house filled with hay- and it had a giant swing hanging from the top rafters! We weren't allowed to play with hay at this farm but the smell of it brought back lots of old memories.

This farm was along the banks of the Mississippi, which is one of the reasons Oliver Kelley picked this spot for his farm.

Idyllic, isn't it?

Three little pigs!

Aidan making sauerkraut.

Their garden was huge, and the workers literally harvest and preserve in the way they would have in the 1800's. Instead of canning jars they used crocks, and one of their jobs in the winter - even in 2008 - is to skim the crocks because mold grows on the top. Apparently this was a way of life!

Isn't this old tree lovely? Aidan was peeing behind it while I took the picture.

The last thing we did was make a jar of refrigerator pickles to take home. We will try them in a few days and let you know how they turned out! But trust me- if any mold grows on the top they will be out the door!