… it requires to make cookies this tiny? It’s absolutely ridiculous. HALF teaspoons, 48 of them (and by the way, those are mini chocolate chips). Just 1 point for each tiny pair of cookies. But how unfair is it that you can’t eat 4 for 2 points? It’s really a conspiracy.

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My 4 point lunch pizza has become a staple, but like all good things, Brian has taken over and become obsessed with pizza… every night. Of course, he’s not satisfied with the 4 point version, but 8-10 points is just about right for dinner.

In order to avoid the inevitable overkill and burn out that comes along with Brian liking any food and eating it over and over, I insisted that we go with something other than the same old turkey pepperoni.

Uuuuhhhhh-MAZING! Best thing ever. Well… best thing ever since giving up the real thing, but it’s a very close second. :)

Light Original Flatout – 1pt
Taco Sauce – 0pt
2/3 cup super lean taco meat – 3pt
1/4 cup diced fresh tomatoes – 0pt
1/2 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese – 4pt

4 Tablespoons light sour cream – 2pt
Shredded lettuce – 0pt

Tada! 10 points for a HUGE taco pizza (or about 475 calories)… woohoo! :)

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…but I gave in to the begging and pleading and off we went to the park. Brandon was cooperative, Bailey mostly showed me just how much faster her new tennies make her run. Quickly processed snapshots, forgive any technical issues. :)

Florida, April 2010

April 21st, 2010

This time, I really did process and prepare all of my vacation snapshots! I always intend to do them right away, but a lot of my vacation photos have never been touched. I confess I get so frustrated with the lack of cooperation I receive from Bailey (mostly) and Brandon (somewhat) and it makes me want to leave my camera in the bag. I think the only thing that forces me to keep on pulling it out is how much I know they love to see their memories in photos. I think that’s going to be worth it someday when they have children of their own. At least, I choose to believe it will mean something to them.

They won’t care that I didn’t spend too much time processing them or that most were taken in awful midday full sun. So… you and I shouldn’t, either. Right?

Update from 40,000 feet!

April 9th, 2010

Way back when we had to walk to school both ways uphill and the internet was just a seedy underworld that we could venture to from AOL (if we dared), the idea of internet on a long flight was like the whole idea of flying cars. Back to the Future skipped right over internet on a plane, but figured we’d have flying cars by 2015. I’m OK with internet on a plane. I think they might have been a little ambitious about the flying car thing.

I’m using http://www.gogoinflight.com — where a month of unlimited internet usage across several airlines is just about $30. It works out perfectly for us to share since we’re taking 4 separate flights on 4 separate days. The connection seems fast and stable. I almost wish I’d had this on the way to Hawaii, but my laptop battery really only lasts about as long as it gets to Florida, so it’s a perfect introduction to the service.

Bailey and I stopped into the play area in our terminal before boarding and almost missed the tail end of boarding our flight! We were some of the last on the plane, but there was a bit of a traffic jam on the jetway and we ended up standing around for a while anyway.

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I do honestly wonder sometimes exactly how we can ever really top the technology we have available today, then they surprise me once again. Hello, iphone? Internet on a plane? Someday our kids will be asking themselves how we ever survived with just those things. Bring on more progress!

Bailey is an amazing traveler, content to quietly watch movies and eat special plane snacks. It’s as if she’s trying to make our row-mate feel guilty for possibly inwardly groaning when he realized the 3 year old was heading for HIS row. She really is a lovely travel companion and takes up very little space in her seat. Bonus. :)

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Stumbled Upon…

March 29th, 2010

Literally, I stumbled upon this. In fact, I stumbled upon “Stumble Upon” — even though I haven’t gotten around to installing it on this new laptop. It’s the strangest thing! The other day, I somehow accidentally pressed something that landed me in the Stumble Upon loop and this recipe pooped up:

Sticky Lemon Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

YUM, I thought. But I’m still perplexed. I don’t have Stumble Upon, but somehow Stumble Upon knew I had 4 extra lemons and a mad love of lemon desserts. Creeeeepy, no? I still can’t figure out how I ended up stumbling upon them, but good ol’ Stumble Upon still knows what I like! What else could I do? I cleaned my kitchen to earn my lemon rolls.

Sadly, my socks are still firmly in place, not having been knocked off by the result. I baked them for the recommended 35 minutes and forgot to check on them, so they were… ummm… extra golden, but I think I had more of a problem with the filling to dough ratio. Still, these are fairly yummy and springy and a great way to use the extra lemons I always have sitting around due to my lack of grocery store self control. Recipe calls for a lemon? Better get THREE!!

Almost April Already?

March 29th, 2010

I’ve been in a deep state of hibernation, just waiting for warmer weather to hit. I know I completely neglected to blog the last part of my Maui vacation, but I have those images ready… just in time to motivate me to take more pictures on our upcoming trip to Florida.

First, just a couple more from dad’s house. Enjoy Bailey’s fakey smile and the view from dad’s front porch.

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The next group of images is rather light. Mostly because by the time I left dad’s house, I’d managed a massive sunburn like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Apparently my skin is no longer conditioned to withstand near equator sun without any kind of sunscreen. Who knew that kind of protection wore off? Needless to say, it made carrying my camera backpack quite a painful task. Very few images were taken in the last few days of the trip.

Here are a few quick snaps that were taken at the hotel. Bailey didn’t last long in the pool unless there were other kids swimming with her. When we took Brandon, he was content to swim just with us — he’d never had a sibling so he didn’t really know anything else. Bailey has never had to worry about not having a playmate. I really underestimated how much she would miss Brandon.

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And finally, I did manage to talk dad into taking me out on a cruise. I was so excited that he booked us on a catamaran because they are definitely my favorite way to sail! It was warm and mostly sunny when we boarded and the weather held until we were close to shore on our way back. It was completely dark and completely raining when we got back to the harbor to climb on dad’s motorcycle. I admit I screamed, “DAD!! THIS ISN’T SAFE!!” while thinking about what would happen to my kids if I plunged 50 feet from a slick mountain road into the ocean below… fun times! Obviously he got me back safe and sound and it stopped raining about 10 minutes into the trip. Note to self… next time, BYOH (bring your own helmet).

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And to wrap it up, the stormy sunset from the boat… The dark clouds and deep almost black water are a bit menacing in a storm, but I was just giddy to be out there!

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Oh, chicken… you’re so gorgeous. This is the 4th whole chicken I’ve roasted in as many weeks and while the first was nothing special in the looks department, I am developing some mad chicken skillz! Even when I host Thanksgiving dinner, I always have help with the roasting so I’m pretty proud of myself (work with me here). These, my first 4 solo birds, have become a true craving. I’m almost scared to make them too often because I fear that we’ll overdo it and never want them again.

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Detail time… because if you don’t roast whole chickens ever or often, I think it would be a good idea to start today! With the help of Swanson, I figured out that the ideal roasting liquid is 2 parts chicken broth to one part orange juice. It makes everything sweet and flavorful and it’s healthy, too!

I stuff my birds with celery, onion, whole garlic cloves, chunks of lemon and 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary. For the skin, I make an herb paste of a couple tablespoons of olive oil with poultry seasoning, fresh and dried rosemary, garlic salt, lemon & herb seasoning, fresh ground black pepper, and thyme. I rub the paste all over the top and also under the skin on the breast side.

And because this is an easy one pot meal, new potatoes, baby carrots and any leftover chunks of onion go on the bottom of the roasting pan, swimming in the orange juice and broth mixture (about 3 cups of it), picking up a sweet glaze that’s just enough to make them special.

I bake covered for about 75 minutes at 375º or until it’s about 10 degrees from being done. Then I remove the cover and brush the top of the bird and the potatoes with a tablespoon of melted butter, crank up the heat to 425º and stick the bird back in to brown (oooh… nice alliteration). Did you notice that the only added fat in this entire meal is about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter? It did not escape me… not any more than the fact that this chicken does NOT taste healthy and in fact I can even eat and enjoy the super tender and juicy white meat, which I would normally shun in favor of cardboard or packing peanuts.

Really, just roast TWO. It’s just as easy and they taste even better the second day. :) More from the vacation is coming soon — I still need to sort through it and figure out what to post.