Friday, February 27, 2015

Fennel for Dinner

Happy Friday!

Here's my morning boy, post-bath and ready to take on the day!
After 4 nights of not having Braden home for dinner, I was a little excited about eating something other than leftover chicken noodle soup. Since I've had a big beautiful fennel bulb with long stalks just hanging out in the refrigerator since last Friday (thank you Bountiful Baskets!), I thought I'd better find a fun new recipe to try out on the family.

Whatever did we do before Pinterest?!

Confession time: I've never purchased fresh fennel before. I don't think the fennel seeds in my spice cupboard count, because they were part of a gift and I've only ever used them in one recipe - Tuscan Chicken Stew - which I've written about here before.

A fresh fennel bulb looks like a cross between an onion and a bunch of celery with wispy dill-like hairs protruding from the stalk.

Well, I came across two fennel inclusive recipes that were top contenders and one used ingredients that I had on hand, so that was the winner - Lazy Sunday Casserole. If it were my own recipe, I'd probably change the name. When I hear casserole, I think of cream soups and meshed flavours, but this was basically roasted vegetables with garlic provolone chicken sausage to be exact. Yum!
Sorry for the blur!

I did add to this recipe a little yellow butternut squash that I diced (another Bountiful Basket item) and served it with a side of broiled broccolini  (smaller flowers and longer stalks than just regular old broccoli). I know, I know. I roasted mainly veggie dish with a side of veggies, but that's what we had and the colours looked great together.

And when I've not been in the kitchen, I'm usually enjoying walks with this little sweetie or reading him stories with my feet propped up. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Lesson From Hannah

Our small group from church is currently studying through the Old Testament. This week we began 1 Samuel. I've read the story of Hannah and Samuel a dozen times, but this particular time, something new stood out to me. 

Hannah was a heartbroken woman. She was beloved of her husband, but childless and forced to endure mocking from a rival wife. And yet, what was her response?

She prayed, 'pouring out [her] soul before the Lord. (v.15)
'Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.' (v. 18)

1 Samuel 1

But wait...

Hannah hadn't received an answer to her prayer yet - yes or no. She hadn't done anything but share her burdens with her God.  Yet she trusted Him.

Hannah prayed and left her worries in God's hands.

What was the proof that she was trusting Him?
1. Her appetite returned
2. Her countenance changed

And that's the greatest application I took away from our study. Once I've prayed and given my burdens over to God, I can leave with the same peace that Hannah experienced. And if you are God's child, you can too. What an encouragement!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

What To Do When Hubby Works 12 Hours on a Saturday?

We've been blessed to be able to spend most weekends together of late, but today was an exception. After making his breakfast smoothie and kissing Braden goodbye, I determined to make myself a Saturday-worthy breakfast anyway. 

Since I was already going to have dishes to clean and had 4 extra egg whites (after making homemade chocolate pudding last night) I decided to go ahead and make a double recipe in order to freeze the extras for the busy days to come.  There's nothing quite like a toasted waffle with peanut butter and creamed honey all gooey and oozing into the squares - YUM! 

My toppings of choice were a handful of granola and sprinkling of fresh organic blueberries (thanks to yesterday's new Bountiful Basket!)

I ended up with over 12 full waffles all ziploc-ed, frozen, and ready to pull out at a moment's notice. Not bad considering 8am hadn't even rolled around yet.

After breakfast Ryder and I made a quick trip to Walmart to pick up a few lightbulbs and a few other 'necessities' - have you seen/smelled the new Burt's Bees soy candles? I saw them for the first time today and immediately fell in love with the Papaya Guava scent. It's warming in my kitchen now.  Mmmm....

I also picked up a fairly large galvanized pail (Made in the USA) with a lid for only $12 and came home with projecting on my mind. A quick look through my stockpile of fabric and a not so quick browse through Pinterest later, I whipped up a few pail liners with my sewing machine. Voila! I now have a diaper pail that seals - with washable liners. 

I had just one more item on my to-do list for the day and that was to turn some alien vegetables into baby food. Once again, my Bountiful Basket contained an unidentifiable vegetable (it looked like a cross between a cauliflower and the ugly succulents that rapidly reproduced in our WA flower beds). Thanks to a friend, who also picks up Bountiful Basket produce, I learned that it's actually called romanesco broccoli. Call me a wimp, but I wasn't about to eat this terrifying looking plant. Thankfully, the Vitamix can turn any substance into a silky puree, and so that's what I did with these and a bunch of carrots. Lucky Little Dipper has a treat in store for him!

And here are a few fun photos from earlier in the week. We've been enjoying the sunshine and on Friday had a great picnic lunch play date at the park with friends. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Trip to the Fire Department!

Whew, it's only noon and we've already had a day full of excitement!

Both Little Dipper and I survived a terrible long weekend with the stomach flu. My OB appointment this morning was great, now all I need to do is gain back the weight I lost. With a little time to waste, we headed stopped by a local cafe for tea (loose leaf organic orange creamsicle - whoever came up with that is a genius), a slice of apple berry pie for myself, and Ryder chose a beautiful chocolate cupcake decorated with colourful M&Ms. Don't worry, after taking a few pictures, I cut only about 1/3 off for him to enjoy and the rest is being saved in the fridge to share with Daddy tonight. 

Such a fun date with my little man!

After finishing our snack, we decided to enjoy the sunshine by taking a walk downtown. We had about 30 minutes before meeting up with our MOPS friends for our tour of the fire station.

All ready to hear about fire safety from Chief Mitch

My little poser

And back to the truck with this little cutie to head on home for lunch and a nap.  And on that note - I'm going to sneak in a little nap before Ryder's through with his.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Donuts For Breakfast

While I've been suffering from the stomach flu for the last few days (no fun, at 9 months pregnant) life must go on for the rest of this family.

This morning, as promised, we tried out our new donut pan and 10 beautiful cake donuts were the result. Ryder and Daddy were only too happy to partake.

Mmmm....  My work at Tim Hortons 10 years ago is finally paying off.

And poor Ryder had to suffer through a whole banana in order to get the donut - at least he found a fun spot to hold the 'nana' while he ate it! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Vallie Day!

There's nothing quite like Valentines Day to turn Saturday into a lot of fun! Ryder had a special Valentine from Pop and Mimi that arrived in the mail this week. The pink lollipop (cake pop - as he called it) was a big treat!

And because nothing says 'I love you' quite like food...

Braden and Ryder were treated to sausage balls for breakfast (Braden's favourite) and I woke up to a new donut pan (I've been wishing for one for a few months now) filled with the best chocolate in the world. :) Since I had a baby shower brunch (hosted by some very sweet ladies from church) to attend, we'll be breaking in the new pan for breakfast tomorrow. 

Speaking of food, brunch was absolutely delicious! Even better was the sweet company of so many dear friends wishing us well and blessing us beyond what we could have imagined as we prepare for Little Dipper's arrival. So many items from my Amazon registry were gifted, as well as other handmade, practical and fun/creative items. Set up of the baby room is really coming along - now I just need to hear back from our landlord about painting the room.  :)

Here are a few of those sweet friends who showered us today! 

While I was away, Ryder helped Daddy move the bed into his room.

 The rail still needs a coat or two of oil and wax, but it will keep him from rolling out tonight.

I hope that you had a great Saturday with the ones you love!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Saying Goodbye to the Crib & Showering Little Dipper

Braden is nearly finished waxing Ryder's new bed. It should be inside and assembled this weekend!  In the meanwhile, we've transitioned Ryder out of his crib (slowly getting the nursery in order) and onto his new big-boy mattress. It's on the floor for now, until we have the bed and rail ready.

The first 2 days of mattress sleeping have been great! Ryder is learning to stay in bed when we put him down and in the mornings it's so sweet to hear the door open and a little patter of footsteps come down the hall and into our room.

And then last night I enjoyed being treated to dinner by a few sweet ladies who showered Baby Little Dipper with sweet gifts - a full supply of bathing toiletries (Burt's Bees - my favourite), diapers, wipes, swaddling blankets, story books, feeding supplies, and a super cute nursing cover for me.  We have been so blessed by the new friendships we've made in the Navy community here.

Here's Ryder on a walk with Mama.
He insisted on walking himself for over the first half mile, before getting into the stroller.
What a trooper!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Making Valentines!

Such an exciting morning was had at the Apperson house today! I used the upcoming holiday as an excuse to buy Ryder his first set of finger paints - lets just say a lot more than fingers got painted! ;)

Here's my little artist about to get started...

And elbow-deep in his work...

Not many of the Valentines actually look like hearts, but I'm sure our special recipients won't mind one bit.


Silly boy!

After completing his artwork, we had a new friend from church come over and help make our Valentines cookies. Well, as it turned out, the friend actually made most of the cookies while I cared for a sad boy (4 more teeth on the move) but now we have beautiful and tasty linzer and sugar cookies to enjoy and share.

What are you doing to celebrate Valentines Day?