Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Tips - Devouring Chicken Wings

This post is to help you this coming Sunday with the Super Bowl. Did you know that you have been eating chicken wings incorrectly all these years? Those juicy, crispy skinned meaty morsels have a trick and I'm going to show it to you with the help of Jimmy. Eating off of the bone like Nate is the traditional way but wouldn't you rather eat them boneless? Here's how:

Start by grasping the end with the larger bone segment. Then on the other end grasp the smaller of the two bones. There may be a bit of cartilage that you will have to remove. If your chicken is cooked through you will be able to pull it right off.

Twist and pull. The bone will come right out.

Next, grab the larger bone while still holding the opposite end firmly.

Give it a bit of a twist and a tug...

and voila! The bone comes out.

Now you have a perfect boneless wing to pop into your mouth. Yum!

Or you can just eat it the traditional way that Gabby prefers.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Flying High

Yesterday we decided to surprise the kids on go on the Aerial Tram at OHSU. Every time we drive up I-5 and Nate sees it he begs us for a ride. The weather was cool and crisp but crystal clear so we thought it would be perfect timing.

Nate was so excited to ride the tram but Gabs was a little nervous. It costs $4 to go up the hill. Going down is free. Jim and I had fun reading into that strange pricing.

The ride was quick but fun.

The mechanism to pull the trams up and down are pretty incredible. Check out those big pulleys!

Gabby decided in the end that it was all fun and wants to do it again. I'm thinking a stormy day with wind might be exciting.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

This and That

The past couple of weeks have been extremely busy. Fun filled, but very busy. Nate earned his next belt in Taekwondo (white with a yellow stripe).

Gabby learned to eat only her favorite part of a doughnut. The sprinkles of course!

Nate and his cousin Isabella performed in the ballet Alice in Wonderland. Nate was fairy obviously a frog. Isabella was a bit more ambiguous as a purple mushroom. She also got to fill in and be Little Alice. She did fabulously! Bravo!

We all helped to clean up after the ballet. Here, everyone is scraping tape off of the stage. It's time consuming and you tend to lose fingernails.

We colored with friends.

Played dress up.

Made pasta. Ate pasta.

Good friends. Good times. Can't complain.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Baby Love

My bestie from growing up had her 3rd child last week. His name is Grant. He's dark and handsome and we are totally in love. He actually looks a bit like Nate did as a baby; funny since her two daughters are fair with red hair. Handsome little man, isn't he?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday Tips - Stop Fraying Fabric

Gabby got a Queen Elsa dress (from the movie Frozen) for Christmas. She loves it. She wears it daily. She obsesses over it. When she isn't home she asks about it, "Elsa dress?" Sadly she snagged it and it started to fray at the ends. We can't lose this dress so I asked my sister-in-law Roberta what to do. She's a sewing genius so she's the perfect person to ask this fort of question.

Her answer? Clear nail polish! We got sum scrap paper, put the costume on top and painted away. It dried and sure enough...fraying ceased!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday Tips - Putting on a Duvet Cover

Jim and I saw this video and I admit scoffed at it. It seemed silly and almost more work. We tried it out more to prove it wrong than a believer that it would work. We were so wrong. This is the most amazing way to put a comforter into a duvet cover! The best part is that the corners for the comforter stay in the corners of the duvet. I am now a Duvet Burrito believer!

Sunday, January 12, 2014


On January 2nd I got my first tattoo. Two actually. For years I've drawn on my eyebrows since I lost them sometime after college to Alopecia Areata. I finally got tired of them wiping off, sweating them off while working out or Gabby wiping off sections for kicks. I was nervous about the permanency of tattooing but am now thrilled. It's great to be able to get up and go and not have to try to draw on eyebrows.

I learned many things while getting the tattoos. My face is very asymmetrical. My left eye is smaller than my right and I lift my left eyebrow up to compensate. I have more of a brow line on my left side than my right. I could go on... It's amazing all of the factors that you have to take into account with tattooing. It's not just drawing on some lines. Which is what I did for years...looking back at pictures I sure had some scary looking eyebrows...the skinny lines, evil eyebrows, slugs. I shudder at some of them!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Baked Coconut Shrimp

My friend Holly made coconut shrimp for her daughter's birthday party last September. It was amazing. The most phenomenal part was that it was baked not fried! Super tasty. I tweaked the recipe a bit and here it is:

Baked Coconut Shrimp



7 oz. coconut flakes (sweetened)
2 c. panko bread crumbs
1 c. Pride of the West All-Purpose Batter Mix (found in the baking isle of your grocery store)
3/4 c. water
1 lb. deveined tail-on shrimp

1/2 c. spring roll dipping sauce (found in the Asian food section of your grocery store)
1/4 c. Sriracha hot sauce


Preheat your oven for 400 degrees. Toast your coconut. Mix in a shallow tray with the panko bread crumbs. Set aside. Mix the batter mix with water. Batter your shrimp, then roll in the coconut mixture. Place on a parchment/silicone mat lined baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through.

To make the sauce, simply mix the two sauces. Serve the shrimp warm.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Correction: Tuesday Tips - Toasting Coconut

1/10 - Correction: Oops! I accidentally wrote to microwave in 1 minute intervals. I meant 30 seconds!!!! Sorry!
I've always toasted coconut in the oven. It's how most all recipes tell you to do it. I was reading a Bon Appetit magazine article the other day that recommended microwaving the coconut to toast it. Wha-at? This I had to try!

Start by spreading your coconut onto a microwave-safe plate.

Microwave on high for one minute 30 seconds. Remove, stir around the coconut, and return to the microwave for another minute. The coconut will start to brown from the bottom up.

Continue microwaving in 1 minute 30 second intervals until you have your desired toasty-ness. Just be sure to stir in between the intervals!

It was amazing how quickly this process went! I did half of a bag of coconut in about 3 minutes. The microwave cooks from the inside out so the flakes were super crisp unlike the oven where it is golden on the outside but still limp. The house also smelled amazing. Love love love this new toasting trick!

Sunday, January 5, 2014


It's a cold and grey day today. It's a day where you want to stay inside and sip tea while looking out. It would normally be a baking day but I am trying to be good after the indulgences of the holidays. Sigh.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Not a Rocket Man

Jim's cousin Robbie came over to visit and to swap Christmas presents last Sunday. He always takes the time to talk to Nate about school and what he is learning. When Nate told him that they just finished learning about space Robbie asked whether he would like to be an astronaut. Here is Nate's response:
"I don't want to be an astronaut because our teacher read us a book and there are no bathrooms in space. You have to, like, pee in a pump and it goes in a bag."
Point well taken, little man.