Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In search of the perfect Mexican Rice and Food Balance

(Note: this is Sheryl) I've been searching for a good Mexican Rice recipe and have cooked and thrown out more rice dishes in this search than I care to mention. Too much tomato, not fluffy enough, too mushy, too too too... After many internet searches and recipe book reading and failed preparations, I finally remembered a blog my friend Laural told me about, the Homesick Texan. There, I found the perfect Mexican Rice recipe for my tastes. I modified the recipe a bit eliminating dairy and replacing chicken stock with vegetable stock. In the photo below the only thing missing is cilantro because we have one member of our household who loathes cilantro saying it "tastes like soap." Apparently this is a common complaint amongst cilantro haters. I on the otherhand could eat it on most anything and have recently discovered that cilantro and canalope are awesome together. Here's a photo of the mexican rice alongside some pinto beans.

Since 2009 started our cabinet stock has shifted to much less processed food and more dried beans, oats and grains. It's been a nice shift. I am still not eating animal protein, but the rest of the family does only in much less quantity. The animal protein they eat shows up most frequently in the form of cheese and butter and less frequently in the form of meat (kosher hotdogs, bacon, beef, fish sticks, etc.). I think the minimization of processed food and sugars has made a big difference for everyone in the house in general emotional balance and increased energy.

A few years back, while on vacation in Florida, I picked up Jessica Porter's book the Hip Chick's guide to Macrobiotics, A Philosophy for Achieving a Radiant Mind and Fabulous Body. It's taken a while, but I'm finally going through the book and like what I'm reading particularly about the yin and yang of food.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Kennedy the Performer

What to do when you're on spring break, bored and your moms won't let you watch t.v.?Kennedy came up with a way to both play the piano and the uke at the same time:


Sunday, March 29, 2009

He walks!

Since turning 1 earlier this month Oliver has really improved his skills. He is walking much of the time now and picking up both sign language and verbal skills. He also likes to climb, especially into the IKEA egg chair.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cousin Robin

Kennedy really enjoyed being near her cousin Robin in Texas. Robin and her boyfriend Alex went to the rodeo with us and Kennedy stayed very close to them.

Here they are at Mema's house eating popcorn and watching a movie.

In this photo they are dancing to Lord of the Dance at Papa's old church.

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Mema's Birthday Weekend

Kennedy and Sheryl went to Mema's for her 64th birthday weekend gathering. For Kennedy a weekend at Mema's means popcorn and movies. We also attended services at the church Papa built and where he preached.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

It was a grey and cold day to attend the livestock show and rodeo, but that didn't stop us. Here's the early crowd: Shelly, Robin, Kennedy, Allyson and Ryan with Gayle and David in the back.

The first order of business was to get the little cowgirl a hat (thanks Aunt Shelly!). Aunt Shelly helped her pick out this black hat with a tiara. The outfit, perfect for Texas, was a gift from the Grandparent Anderson's when Kennedy was younger. The boots were a pass-on from the neighbors (Jan, Joe and Zoe).

The second order of business was a boot shine. Ryan got his boots shined too.

BBQ'd corn on the cob is always a treat.

Shelly and Robin:


We had a lot of fun at the livestock show section as well as the outside carnie area where pig races and other such events took place. The calf scramble is a favorite part of the rodeo. Here's a photo of all the young adults competing to win a calf.

The calf scramble is just before the evening concert. By the time the concert rolled around we were all tired and more than ready to head back to the house. Considering that not one of us could name a song by the performer for the night, it was easier to make a decision to bail.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Museum of Natural Science

We visited the Museum of Natural Science while in Houston. Actually, Kennedy said that she would go with me and Aunt Shelly to the Contemporary Arts Museum if we went with her to the Butterfly center. I love that she's such a negotiator. Here's Aunt Shelly and Kennedy in one of the IMAX board thingies. I don't know what these boards are called but Kennedy can see one a mile away.

It was pre-spring break in Houston so Kennedy had a lot of the place to herself. She played in this honeycomb for a bit.

She got to touch and hold a butterfly (not alive) in the center this visit.

We went to see Alaska at the center's IMAX but didn't think the movie was very good. Sheryl and Kennedy:

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Friday, March 20, 2009

March Madness Sanford Family Style and Good Eats in Houston

The Sanford family has its own version of March Madness. The 3rd is Debra's birthday, the 15th mom's birthday (Aunt Sharon's too, they're twins!), the 17th dad's heart transplant anniversary, the 19th mom and dad's anniversary (would have been 49 years this year) and Uncle Chuck's birthday, and the 29th dad's birth date. On Susan's side of the family her mom's birthday is the 11th and Renee's birthday is the 17th.

After Aunt Shelly picked us (Kennedy and Sheryl) up from our redeye flight into Houston last week we slept for a few hours and then headed to one of our favorite places to eat, A Moveable Feast. Kennedy's favorite is the cheese quesadilla.

I like their veggie bowl with brown rice, but the macrobiotic plate is a close favorite.

I left the camera at mom's house and just got it back via mail (thanks Mom!). There will be more posts about our Houston trip in the upcoming days.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sheryl: Shelly just poked me [Facebook].
Mom: What's a poke?
Kennedy, using her finger, pokes Mema on the shoulder: That's a poke, Mema.
Sent on the Now Network´┐Ż from my Sprint® BlackBerry

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Go Denali Cheer!!

This weekend, while Sheryl and Kennedy have been in Houston, Oliver and I got to hang out for a little 'business as usual' sprinkled with family visits and events. My cousin and her husband - from Alaska - were in for the St. Patty's Open National Cheer Competition (their two daughters were competing). Not a group to go home empty handed, Denali Cheer went home with at least one 1st place ranking which brings with it a full bid to the World competition in Florida later in the year. Congrats to Alyscia and her teammates!

Little sister, Kylee, also competed and had a chance to hang out with Oliver before her event on Saturday.

Congrats to both girls for all their hard work!

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Updates from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Susan, here, channeling an update from Sheryl and Kennedy who are busy in Houston visiting family and Texifying themselves at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Sheryl and Kennedy left earlier this week and Oliver got to hang out with the Anderson Grandparents while I've been working as usual. Something about this scenario doesn't quite seem fair to me - but hey, we'll save the martyr whine for another day!

I know the photos are grainy (they're from cell phone pix) but you'll get the gist...

Below is Kennedy's gitty-up. The cowgirl hat is from Aunt Shelly; the boots from neighbor Zoe; and the skirt / vest were a gift from Grandma and Grandpa Anderson. Girlfriend is looking the part!

Another shot of Kennedy with her new princess cowgirl hat.

Sheryl, Kennedy, and Robin at the festivities.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We're taking a Posting Break for a Week or so

We'll be away from blogging for a bit.

Yesterday morning Kennedy decided it was time to put on socks instead of tights. We think this is a definite sign that Spring is near.

Oliver saw the backpack come out and got excited. He knows that there are things to see and places to go when the packs come out.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Music Man and 1 year Pediatrician Visit

Oliver had his one year check-up today and along with it came two immunization shots. Let's just say he's happier playing the piano than he is getting shots.

His check-up was otherwise great. Kennedy also got a few of her 4 year old shots. Tough afternoon for the kids.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Oliver's 1st Birthday Party

We ordered a cake (thanks Mimi!) for the birthday party celebration and Oliver liked it so much that when he was eating it he didn't mind wearing the birthday hat.

There were a lot of birthday hat wearing party participants. Here's Oliver saying hello to Uncle C.K., Logan and Cassious.

Uncle C.K., the Grandparent Andersons, Granny Kay, Heidi and Cassious, and Patty and Logan all joined us for Oliver's first birthday celebration. Here's Grandpa Anderson with Oliver.

Gift opening was more fun for Cassious, Kennedy and Logan than it was for Oliver but he enjoyed sitting in the mix.

After everyone left, Kennedy and Oliver dove into puzzle playing. The puzzles were a gift from Mema and Aunt Gayle and Uncle David and family.

For Oliver, turning 1 was like turning on a lightswitch. He immediately started pushing a walker around, climbing on and off of the tow-mater truck, climbing in and out of the IKEA egg chair... Wow!

One of Oliver's gifts, this dog blanket, has become one of Kennedy's favorites.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Oliver Del!

It's your birthday; prepare to party...


Friday, March 06, 2009

Albert Einstein Fun and That Secret Guy Face

When our friend Becky left her last job she gave us (well, Kennedy) an Albert Einstein doll she had stashed in her cubicle. We displayed it on our dining room window and there it has sat watching over us as we go about our activities. Uncle C.K. picks it up now and mimics Albert to Oliver.

Oliver just laughs and laughs at the doll and Uncle C.K.'s Albert voice.

Sorry for the grainy pic below but this is the only shot we got of Oliver doing what Uncle C.K. calls the "secret guy face." He is perpetuating a secret guy face myth now and says we couldn't possibly understand this face since we're not guys. Oh bother... that funny Unlce C.K. .

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Peanut Soup

Ahhhhhh, peanut soup. Since returning to the vegan diet one recipe that has shown up more frequently in the rotation is this Senegalese style peanut soup. It's easy to make and is filling, particularly with the addition of rice (as in this photo). I like to top it with cilantro sprigs and cubes of avocado. The recipe I use is from Deborah Madison and can be found here.

With leftovers it's good reheated over chicken for the omnivores in the house or over broiled tofu strips for others.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Ball Throwing

We went to Grandpa and Grandma Anderson's home on Sunday to visit and play catch. Toby the dog just loved all the action. Kennedy preferred to focus on throwing over catching. Here she is with Grandpa throwing the wiffle ball.

She's got pretty good form going...

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Teething and Face Paint

What a difference a week makes. Oliver is teething but he is happier than he was when he was teething combined with having ear infections.

Kennedy likes her face paint pens and often makes kitty cat marks on her face.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Dance Open House

Kennedy's dance class had an open house recently. Parents are allowed in the room to photograph and watch the group perform. Here's a photo of Kennedy awaiting instructions.