Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy late Valentines Day!

We celebrated Valentines day a few days late because Randy was out of town, but it was just as sweet as ever.

I made these Pottery Barn inspired Valentines holders last year for the kiddos. I hung them on the kitchen chairs the night before Valentines day and filled them with Valentines and chocolate.

I had a big meal planned but decided to hold off until Randy returned home. I did however, make the appetizers I had planned to make since the avocados were ripe and I couldn't stand it any more. I found this recipe for The Cheesecake Factory's avocado rolls on Recipe Zaar. They were so yummy. My kids even liked them. I was so happy to find this recipe. Now I just need to learn how to make cheesecake like they do.

Avocado Rolls
2 avocados, diced
2 TB sun dried tomatoes in oil, diced
1 TB minced red onion
1/2 t fresh cilantro, chopped
1 pinch salt
4 egg roll wraps
1 egg, beaten

Stir together avocado, tomatoes, onion cilantro and salt. Spoon filling into egg wrapper. Brush edges of wrapper with egg and fold up. Fry 3-4 min. Drain on a paper bag. Serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce
3 t white vinegar
1 t balsamic vinegar
1/2 t tamarind pulp
1/4 c honey
1 pinch saffron
1/2 c chopped cashews
2/3 c fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
2 green onions
1 TB sugar
1 t black pepper
1 t cumin
1/4 c olive oil

Combine vinegars, tamarind pulp, honey, and saffron in a small bowl. Microwave until the tamarind pulp is dissolved. Pour all ingredients in the blender except the olive oil. Puree until smooth. Stir in the olive oil and refrigerate.

The sauce really makes this dish. I made the sauce without the tamarind pulp and the saffron and it was still really yummy. I couldn't find tamarind pulp in any of our grocery stores, but I did find places to buy it online. Saffron is about 14 dollars for 5 little pieces so I decide to leave it out also. It made plenty of sauce so I froze it for the next time. I made them again when Randy got home and he loved it!

Here is my Valentine! Isn't he cute? He's so good to me, I couldn't have picked a better one!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine crafts and a cutie!

I have been working on some cute Valentines crafts.

I grabbed a couple of old boards out of my Dad's burn pile, printed out some letters on the computer, and turned them into this! So cute! I love it!

The topiary is made from scrapbook paper. I downloaded the pattern from Heather Bailey's blog.
Here is a pink one.

Here is the cutie!

More Valentines fun tomorrow! I can't wait!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

In pursuit of excellence!

We had an enrichment meeting the other night in which we were encouraged to use the pursuit of excellence book this year to set goals. I have already accomplished one of my goals for this year and am working on some more.

Last year I ran the two mile run in London's run. I didn't feel like I did very well. This year my goal was to beat last years time and to run it in less than 20 minutes. I didn't know if I would make the last goal because when I ran at home I could only get down to 20 min 45 seconds. We took the whole family and went to the "big city" for the run last weekend. They didn't take official time for the two mile run like they did last year but Randy's sister Jenny loaned me a stop watch. My "unofficial" time was 19 min 6 seconds. I was so excited! Next year Jenny and I are going to run the 10k so I still have some work to do. I have a goal to run a 5k this summer to help me get in shape for next year. We forgot to take pictures this year.

After the run Randy took me to Hobby Lobby. I have heard so much about it and was dying to go. It did not dissapoint. I got some fabric for a quilt I am going to make for my bed. The rest of the fabric came from my sweet aunt Carla who is going to teach me how to quilt. I have always wanted to learn, so one of my goals this year is to finish a quilt.

Speaking of excellence. Look what Natalie made for me.

I was having "one of those days" the other day. I was feeling bummed about Randy working out of town. I went to my room and sat on my bed and when I looked behind me this cute little bird was sitting on my pillow. Natalie knowing of my love for birds made this for me. She is so sweet. She is always making little things for people. She drew this herself. I was so impressed with her creativity. Thanks Natalie, you are a sweetie.