BeeBee comes to visit...

A few weeks ago, my mom came to visit.  Or BeeBee as we call her.  Why BeeBee?  Because it fits.  And her name starts with a B.  And she loves Bees.  And because BeeBee and GB sound good together (Birdie's two grandmothers.. who neither look like they are grandmothers they look so young...).  

We had so much fun.  She of course brought presents.  Like sweatshirts from 30 years ago.  With my name on it.

We HAD to gather pinecones (it's what all the cool kids are doing)

BeeBee brought Birdie a bird feeder.  Which has been so fun to watch who comes to visit our home now.  We have seen some of the most beautiful birds up close.  Birdie LOVES watching (problem is, she runs to fast to the window that she scares the birds.  I'm teaching her how to sneak up...)

Planting... lots of planting...

We had so much fun with you BeeBee.  Please come back soon and bring Pops.  We really missed him, but it was fun just us girls.

And thank you for making Birdie her sweet smocked dress with birds on it.  It's perfect.

Thank you for coming to visit BeeBee!


Herb Hummus for Summer...

Want a fun hummus dip that's healthy for the summer?  Keep it simple and pull from your garden.

1 can of chick peas (drain and rinse)
garlic (depends on how garlicky you want it, start with one clove and go from there)
a little salt to taste
a cup of basil
1/2 cup of mint
1 cup of baby spinach
Olive oil as you mix it in a food processor

Pulse pulse pulse

Serve with home made pita chips (cut a pita round into triangles, drizzle with olive oil and salt, under the broiler.  Yum and done.


The Art of Kneading...

When I was a little girl, my mom made bread.  Lots of bread.  She was given a bread starter that smelled like heaven, and for some reason, she always baked it at night after dinner.  When the bread would come out of the oven, we would all stay up just to test it.  With butter.

Soooo not healthy... but you know what?  It was healthy for my soul.  And made memories.  Both good things if you ask me.

So now, I have a little one to teach the art of kneading dough.  And making bread.  Well, I don't exactly make bread much but I make a mean pizza dough.

Teaching Annie Beth the art of kneading will take time, but we have started with learning the difference in the feel of dough.  That's one of the first things to learn is when it's ready.  It feels a certain way.

She's learning.

Once we make dough... and she watches how it rises, we made pizza.  This is where I took over.  Her job was done (she was ready to move on... but someday, this will be an Annie job).

I give you my latest creations...

Plum, arugula, goat cheese, a little Italian cheese, fig spread with ginger as the "sauce" topped with prosciutto after I pulled it out of the oven.

And roasted tomatoes, corn, roasted zucchini, arugula, garlic, olive oil and Italian cheese with goat cheese chunks.


It's really one of my favorite activities.  Baking.  So glad my last name is now Baker, for it just fits ;)


Ital{yum} Soup...

Do you ever wish that there was an app on your phone where you could plug in the 5 ingredients you had and it would spit out the meals you could prepare with those 4 ingredients?  I do.  Stephen says I should invent it.  I'm sure someone much smarter than me has already done that.

Regardless, I had 3 green onions, a quarter of a white onion, chicken, and some zucchini squash. Oh, and literally a cup of shredded carrots in the bag.  The kind that comes shredded for you.  I'm lazy.

All on the verge of going bad if not used in the next couple days.

So I made an Italian soup.  Or Ital{yum} soup.  And it was pretty good!  I thought I would share my recipe.  And warning... I made it up on the spot.  But trust me, it's healthy and so yummy!

3 chopped green onions (including the greens)
1 quarter of a white onion chopped
1 cup of shredded carrots
Olive oil for cooking the onion
tsp of garlic
2 Zucchini squash, cubed
1 can of roasted tomatoes
1 box of no salt added chicken broth
2 chicken breasts
salt to taste
Italian seasoning to taste
Parmesan cheese to top (optional)

Grab your dutch oven and a non-stick skillet.  Season your chicken breasts on both sides with salt and Italian seasoning and a dash of olive oil.  Place in skillet and cook on both sides until cooked through.  Roughly 5-7 minutes.  Shred for the soup when it has cooled a little.

In your dutch oven, drizzle in enough olive oil to cook your onions, and garlic.  Wait until your onions are close to translucent and then add the chopped garlic.  If it cooks too long, it will burn and taste bitter.

Next, add the chopped zucchini squash that you cubed.  Sauté in the dutch oven with the onions for about 2 minutes, just to get the flavor going.  Season them a little at this stage if you would like.

Add in the box of chicken stock, can of chopped roasted tomatoes (I didn't drain mine), and carrots.  Cover and keep warm (if you aren't eating immediately).  Shred your chicken and add to the soup.  Cook long enough for the squash to soften.  If the liquids seem low, add water to the level you want.

When ready to serve, add a cup of pasta if you have it on hand.  A small noodle pasta.  You don't have to add it if you don't want to.

Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and voila!  Ital{yum} soup.



Gold Coat and Bubbles...

When I look back to this winter... I won't think of her first Flu and then endless nights we stayed up worrying about her.  I won't think of her teething, or the sleepless nights.

I won't think of the bumps or bruises.  The tears.

I will think about her laugh.  Her gold coat that she wore.  I loved every moment she wore it.

I will think of her love affair with bubbles.  And how much she adored being outside with us, just playing and being silly.

I will think of how she holds her hands together and whispers prayers at the dinner table and then says "men" for Amen.  I pray for her relationship with the Lord and that it is always strong.

I will think about how her little voice would say "Momma, Daddy, Bubbles, STOP, Mine, UP, No no no, Ball, and most recently, "What's that, mama... I want that, mama". Her first sentences.  Such a smart girl.

I will think back to her sweet face and her precious curls.  And her little hands that wrap around our fingers to walk up and down stairs.

I will think back to her noticing that I'm always taking her picture and has recently learned to say "CHEESE" to see her picture on the back of my camera.  She has nick named my camera "Cheese" and goes to find it often.  Like mommy, like daughter ;)

I love this little girl so much.  I can't believe in just a few short months (5 to be exact) she will be 2 years old.  Praying our time before then is sweet, with lots of fun memories together.  We are so thankful for our sweet little Birdie.