Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cooking Challenge

I love Pinterest.

Just like the wanna-be brides, I scour Pinterest for cool things that will most likely never happen.  In my case, it isn't shiny engagement rings or glitzy reception decor, it's recipes.  I have boards filled with soups and salads and entrees, comfort food and ethnic food and copycat recipes....I have it all.  

In reality though, I hate cooking.  (It's genetic, I believe.)  Oddly though, I love to bake.  I have a shelf full of cookbooks - the dessert and bread sections have with worn and tattered pages, while the remainder of the book is in pristine condition.  

While I know I will never really enjoy cooking, I have decided it is time to get out of our dinner funk.  The kids are older now, and (with the exception of Captain Awesome) not nearly as finicky as they used to be. 

With the help of Pinterest, I am doing a Cooking Challenge......one new recipe per week, rave about it or pitch it.  



My first recipe is one I tried several weeks ago, and it was a HUGE hit.  So awesome, in fact, that I've made it three times since.  It is quick, easy, and perfect for summer nights.

The original recipe can be found here:  Spinach Salad with Chicken, Avocado, and Goat Cheese . (Whenever possible, I will post the link to the original source, as opposed to the Pinterest link....it's only fair.)

I did modify it a bit.  The Hubster doesn't care for spinach in salads, so I used romaine.  I eliminated the corn because corn just doesn't belong in a salad, IMO.  I added extra avocado (like, triple) because avocado makes everything better!!  

I used the dressing in the recipe, though it is a bit too mustard-y for my tastes.  (Everyone else loves it.)  I eat the salad without dressing.....it's just THAT good!!    


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Finding His Inner Nemo

Our promise to Captain Awesome has always been that we would put him on a sports team as soon as we were settled.  He has been dragged to soccer games, volleyball games, track meets, and swim meets from the time he was a newborn.....he was completely over the whole "spectator" experience.  

After three moves in three years, we are finally settled.

We discussed it with him and decided on swim team.  We are a very aquatics-oriented family, so it seemed to be the best fit for him.  

Swim team starts in October, but he needs to be able to swim the length of the pool in each of the four strokes in order to be on the team.  He had swim lessons years ago, but sort of acquired his own technique over the years.  For example, if I told him to swim Freestyle across the pool, he would just start flailing and propelling himself across the pool with no real pattern or form.  I knew he could swim freestyle, as I had seen him do it often.  When I asked him WTH he was doing, his reply was "Freestyle, just like you asked."  

I was confused until one day he said he didn't realize the front crawl he was doing was called "Freestyle".  He thought Freestyle meant just that....you are free to choose any style, as long as you make it across the pool.....make it up as you go, just like freestyle rap.   


His other strokes were worse.    He sort of made it up as he went along, and whenever either of his two lifeguard-brothers attempted to help, it turned into a play session.       

So now my options were: (1) Disappoint him once again because he may not be ready by October, (2) Choose another sport, or (3) Sign him up for some Ridiculously Expensive Swim Lessons and hope he masters all four strokes by the time he completes his 20 lessons in October.

I chose Option 3.

The Ridiculously Expensive Swim Lessons started a few weeks ago, twenty minute lessons three days per week.  After 11 lessons, he has mastered Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and is almost there with Butterfly.  He can dive off the blocks, and is working on his flip turn.  He entered a fun meet after the first four lessons, and placed second in his age group for both 25-yard freestyle and 25-yard backstroke.  He hopes he can master the flip turn before the next fun meet so he can do the 50-yard events (in addition to the 25-yard events) in all four strokes.  

I'm so impressed, and thrilled that he will be ready by October!

Oh, and his take on the whole thing?

"Yeah, I really don't like swimming." 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

She's Baaaaaaack!!

We're unpacked, vacation was great, and the kids have started school.  Life is good!

Here's the deal:  I have three months until tax season (aka Crazy Season) begins.  That's three months to work on me, the things I enjoy, and.....well, Me.  

In addition to the boring stuff (career advancement, professional education, etc.), I'm pushing my photography to a new level.  The Husband and I have a 5-Year Plan that involves an art gallery/surf shop/beach house.  I need to work the kinks out now to make it happen in five years! 

I've also signed up for a half-marathon in January.  It will be the first test of my newly healed knee, and if all goes well, there will be more to follow....possibly a full marathon or triathlon in 2013.  Stay tuned.

You know what else I am doing?  If you've been following my blog at all, you know I have an "I hate cooking" gene.  Well, I am working on that, thanks to Pinterest.  Look for Pinterest Recipe Reviews.  My goal is one new recipe per week.  

Other than that, SSDD.  More randomness about family life, travels, photography, kids, etc.  

Now, off to update the profile info and start fresh!