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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bone Broth Chili

I finally made some beef bone broth.  Why it has taken me so long, I don't know.  Click this link for the recipe for the beef bone broth.   Ours was without leeks.  Those were forgotten at the store.  Oh well.  Make this ahead of time, cool in fridge and then skim off the fat on top.  Now you are ready to use it.  Then on to the chili!

Ingredients:
2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
3 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 cups bone broth
1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 15oz cans of beans (if you get two different kinds of beans, you get different vitamins and minerals)
1 15oz can of corn
1 15oz can of Rotel chopped tomatoes with jalapenos (you could just use a can of diced tomatoes)
salt and pepper to taste (feel free to use cayenne pepper)

Optional Toppings
Avocado (or should this be a requirement?)
Fat free Greek yogurt in place of sour cream
Chopped cilantro
Chopped green onion
Salsa
Hot sauce
Cheese
Chopped onion
Sprouts


Heat olive oil in pan.  Add onion, celery and carrots and cook until almost softened.  Add bell peppers and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add spices and stirring occasionally for 2 minutes, making sure spices are toasting and releasing fragrance.  Add remaining ingredients (other than salt and pepper) and bring to a gentle boil.  Return to lower heat and let simmer for 1 hour.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

This seems like a lot of work but it makes a big pot and it is easily frozen, making it perfect for busy moms or for a gift to people who need a meal.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter 2016

This Easter was great.  We had such a good time together as a family (immediate and extended).  The kids enjoyed each other and it is a joy to watch them all day.  Parenting has become fairly relaxing, making for a nice and slow holiday where we can actually visit with each other.  Just having my husband off work, is grand in my book.  :-)
We were fortunate enough to host some friends the night before but didn't make it into bed until 3am.  We thought we'd crash for sure but David and I actually had pretty good energy and made it through the day perfectly happy.
To be honest, David stayed up a bit later than me because he helps the Easter bunny to hide candy in the house, which the kids start looking for as soon as they get up.  

First kid up was Hannah, who woke up all the others.  No mercy.  Once the kids got dressed, they were allowed to come down and look at their Easter baskets.  Hannah got right into the good stuff, a sucker from See's Candy.  And judging by the blue around her mouth, she found a Peep somewhere along the way.

Grandma checking out the goods.  Nathan is eating a yellow Peep.  Someone save the chickie!  Don't grandma and Isabelle look so much alike?

Grandma with the redheads.  Hannah still trying to figure out how to open that sucker.  Never fear, grandma is near!

Abby is such a good older sister.  Here she is pretending to run for some candy but very obviously waiting for Isabelle to find it first and grab it.

We had breakfast around 10ish when the rest of the family arrived: Uncles Mike & Chris, Uncle Rusty and Megan with Olive and Rosie.  We had a simpler breakfast this year, but yummy nevertheless: Potatoes O'Brien, bacon, sausages, biscuits, juice. 
After breakfast Nathan spent some time with Uncle Mike, showing him game stuff in Minecraft.
There are no pictures of Megan on this post!  She was my camera woman and I took two pictures of her and Rusty but they focused on Rusty only.  I vow to take them next time.

Our dinner table, center piece courtesy of grandma.  Hannah loved running her fingers through the little eggs.

The man and his son.  Nathan utterly loves to spend time with his dad.  Don't you love how Nathan wore a suit and a t-shirt underneath?  He has shirts in his closet.  
David also played 3ish hours of Catan with Nathan along with Megan and Rusty.  It was a very competitive game and I think David won but I can't for the life of me remember now.  It may have been Rusty.

The girls at their table.  Doesn't it look like they are all at a princess tea party?  With their lovely little dresses.

Dinner was real simple this time around: German Schnitzel (Jaeger) with a mushroom sauce, red cabbage, homemade Spaetzle and a salad.  It was pretty tasty.

Baby blue.  She insisted on helping me in the kitchen and wearing an apron.  She was mighty proud of herself.  

After the Catan game, an epic Nerf gun fight broke out in our house.

Here is the full Nerf gun troop: Uncle Rusty, David, Uncle Chris and Nathan.  I think Dave is super tired on this picture.  :-)

The girls had so much fun with their bubbles from the Easter bunny.  Poor Rosie.  She picked a dress much too big for her.  It ain't easy being a princess.

The Nerf gun fight took on all sorts of hiding and stalking.

Olive had so much fun running through the bubbles. Love that expression on her face.  

Isabelle's pretty Easter dress from Oma.  Oma had sent the girls money and they fell in love with dresses at Costco.  So that is what they bought.  Abby's was pretty blue but fell victim to early staining.

I'm not sure how my son thought why he could hide from my husband under that blanket?

Yep, his dad was too smart for that camouflage of bright blue against the white wall. 

Toward the close of the evening we played Charades with the kids.  Rosie and Isabelly made a team as well as Abby and Olive.  The two oldest brothers were a team while the younger brothers teamed up with their wives for a total of 5 teams and Nathan by himself.   The little girls in particular loved this game.  They were pleased when everyone helped them portray their charade.

Two peas in a pod.  They were inseparable throughout the day.  Olive adores Abby and Abby adores Olive.  Olive is super smart and so very beautiful and graceful.

I love seeing how they are starting to form their own pea pod.  And Rosie is the funniest little girl you'll ever meet.  She is like an old soul in a sweet and tiny little body.

Dad doing a charade, only to get....

Giggles and laughs.  He lives for those.  The man and the boy have their special bond that I love.  Nathan adores his father.

We truly had a great Easter this year.  Lots of family time together and I think things are getting real easy for Megan and I.  We actually are getting to enjoy the holidays very much.  Not that they weren't enjoyable before, it was just very stressful with littles.  The older kids are entering ages where they are interested in so many things that us adults (especially David and I) are interested in as well (such as strategy board games, good books, Nerf gun fights, etc).   And having older kids, David and I are much more laid back with the littler ones.  Things that would have really stressed us before, don't anymore.  And like I said before, just having the day off and being with each other is just the most lovely thing in the world.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Funnies

This one is from a while ago but I wasn't sure if I had posted it.

On the way to Grampy's house one of the kids commented on the fact that Grampy doesn't decorate for Halloween.  After having been at his house for a while, Abby joyfully comes toward me with orange and black Oreo cookies (Halloween edition) in her hands and proclaiming: "Grampy does decorate for Halloween!"

Abigail is playing outside with Hannah on a rather chill morning.
Mama: "Abby, you should put a jacket on.  Aren't you cold?"
Abby: "I'm warmed from the inside.  Hannah's cuteness
is warming my heart."