Monday, May 9, 2016

Ordinary Days

We've had a series of special events:
My sweetest best baby ever Matthew turned 17!
Gosh he was so good and I always tell him he had a double dose of baby smell.
It was heavenly.

I really wanted to try new things for his party. Finally I feel like I have more time and energy and guts to do this. I had so much fun with it.  Last year I was in a massive cooking rut and I thank Whole30 for getting me out of it.  

I made these little chocolate chip ice cream cups. I used my favorite chocolate chip recipe.
Next time I will use a full ice cream scoop of dough. I used cupcake liners and sprayed those and that worked well. The secret is really making sure they are just finished perfectly. (Mine were a little overdone.)

That recipe makes the BEST chocolate chip cookie bars, and that would have been much easier.

For dessert, a box chocolate cake, the cookie cups, a sundae bar, sugar cookies and a homemade apple pie (I taught Andrew how to make one this time, and then he was so sad because he never ended up with a piece before it was finished off.)

For the dinner:
Matthew LOVES Doritos so I made this excellent Dorito dip. I wish I had a picture of it but it went so fast I didn't get one.  

Here is the recipe (I will be tripling it next time and putting it in a 8x8 pan.)

Most Excellent Hot Dorito Dip
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
1 small can chopped green chiles
1 small package of bacon bits
1/2 tsp garlic power
1 package shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all together.

I sprayed a loaf pan with non-stick spray and baked this for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
Serve with Doritos of course.

I also made 3 batches of soft pretzels and served those fresh out of the oven.  Those went fast! Andrew helped me roll them all out about two hours before the party and then we started baking them when everyone arrived.

I made my Asian Salad (I couldn't have any-too much sugar in the dressing) so I made a new salad knowing that was the one thing I could eat on my modified Whole30.  It was DELICIOUS!

I combined a bunch of different recipes and came up with this:


Strawberry/Raspberry/Pecan Salad
1/2 olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 TBS honey (must omit on Whole30 but this is one of two modifications I've allowed past my Whole100)
1 1/2 tsps garlic powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic salt

Shake well.

Romaine (3-pack) lettuce
Quart of strawberries, sliced
1 cup of salted pecans (I crushed lightly)
Pint of raspberries
2 cups of grilled chicken breast, chopped

I use one of those 3-packs of Romaine lettuce and slice them up small.  A large bag of spinach would work just as well with this recipe.

I put the rest of the ingredients neatly on top (it looked so pretty but didn't get a picture) and then topped with dressing.

I love how Patrick is looking at Matt!

She was so tired after the party!

I've been using guacamole for my salad dressings lately (I "water" it down with lemon or lime juice) and loving it. This is my "taco salad"-I use ground turkey.

This is a TERRIFIC recipe:One-Pot Dijon Roasted Chicken Thighs.  I subbed sweet potatoes for the red skin potatoes and at least doubled the vegetables. I will make this often as everyone loved it. We had this when Abbey invited her boyfriend over for dinner. It was a hit. (I tripled the recipe.)

Early morning run in the fog. Love hearing the birds in the morning. I made the mistake of running four days in a row and then could hardly walk (also because I never stretch which I can NOT get away with at 47 years old!)  I need to take days off in between I think or at least not so many in a row.

We picked up Abbey from college! Janey and I took the trip-she of course was an angel.  I can't believe her first year is over.  

We went to Cheesecake Factory on the way home because I love that place and we don't have one.
So many good salads and sweet potato fries! I'm also glad we don't have one, I would crave it too much.

This was funny-I got a call from the school secretary that Andrew needed to be picked up because he threw up. I was so surprised because none of my kids have ever thrown up at school (knock on wood.) That would horrify them and me. Well...
his class was allowed to go out on the new playground, and there is a twirly ride and all the boys pushed each other so hard and so fast and so long to the point of sickness.  
Andrew made it to the nurse's office garbage can thank the Lord. A few other boys had to go back to the classroom and endure the rest of the spinning day (they didn't throw up), but Andrew "got" to go home. (He loves school so he didn't especially want to but felt sick enough to have to.)
I said, "Why in the world would  you do that to each other? How could you ever think that was a good idea?"  His answer was "I don't know." But the real answer is "Because we are 6th grade boys." 

Matt finished a great tennis season. He started a clinic this winter so he could play on the team this spring and wow, these kids pick things up fast. It was fun to watch him.

Abbey started one of her two old jobs at the ice cream store, so we visit sometimes on bikes, in strollers or when we go for a "ride" in the car on weekend evenings.

On Mother's Day Patrick begged me to take him fishing so I did.  He caught nothing and broke his pole to boot and was a sad camper. Darn.

Isaac asked me to send him some pics of him and I for Mother's Day and I went a little crazy taking Iphone pics of old photos.  
Isaac and Abbey-they played together so well.

Abbey and I. (Notice the morning sickness wrist band I had on-gosh I remember those useless things-I was pregnant with Matt.)

Isaac and I before Abbey was born.  He was so big and chubby and such a happy baby, and is now a happy young adult graduating from college in two weeks.  Crazy.


  1. I just love your real life posts – you have a beautiful family! And I was laughing out loud about your son making himself sick, my 11-year-old son would do the exact same thing! Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day, you have certainly inspired my mothering and I have learned so much from you.

  2. I loved all the photos of the kids.
    Thanks for those recipes, too!
    You need to show us your progress on Whole30. I am interested in knowing more about this.

    1. Me too! Is it too nosy for me to want a before and after picture? I need visual results to encourage me...well after I give birth ;)

  3. Love your posts about your beautiful family. The pics, well they all melt my heart. Andrew, sweetie, I'm sorry you didn't get a piece of your pie but it must have been so very delicious if everyone ate it up so fast!!

  4. Ah life is speeding by, isn't it? But you are taking it all in. Your Matt and my Billy are so similar (I think) - at least in their love of Doritos! I love your party food for him and it would be things Billy loves. I may be using these ideas for his birthday! College days ending and summer fun begins. I am shocked your school has anything that spins! LOL Aren't all those fun things outlawed? I think Maggie was my only kid to puke at school. Turned out she had the onset of her first migraine and at least made it to the garbage can. In one of those strange days, I was biking with my oldest son in the Cuyahoga Valley and cell phones weren't working. So my husband had to pick her up from school. Ironically, a few months ago she called from college and said she was on the way to the ER. The college health center was sending her there because she was complaining of eye problems. I said it was probably a migraine aura. She didn't think so and was upset. I asked if the health center had her lay down for a while with a rag on her forehead. No, it was a new nurse and anything related to the eye is sent to the hospital. By the time she got to the hospital the aura was gone and she had a neuro check. (I did tell her to call me if they wanted to do any scans.) That migraine only cost us $500+....and she learned a lesson. Ah, that was a side tangent/rant....the joys!

  5. Love this post! How do you fit your jogging in with your other workouts? I am 53, and I am down to only jogging 2x a week, but do dvd's the other days. I have a dvd of the Firm workout you mentioned on your previous post - I still do it one in a while! Still a great workout.

    The recipes sound delicious...definitely going to try your new salad recipe.

    Happy Birthday to your son! I hope you enjoy having everyone home for the summer.

    1. Hi Margaret-I have to plan ahead-see what days my husband has to leave for work early, or take my high schooler to school etc. So far I can work in 3-4 days, 2 of those being Sat and Sun...and get up and outside by 6:30 am. Glad someone else still remembers The Firm, with the legwarmers, and leotards!

    2. Hey Sarah! On the days you run, do you also do your strength workout you posted the other day?

    3. If it's not Sunday, yes.

  6. I love your "ordinary days" posts and recipes too! Happy birthday to Matt and enjoy Abbey being home!

  7. So sweet! I loved reading it! Speeking of "ordinary days" here is mine:)

  8. I love how so much of this post was dominated by food! And it all looks so good! The healthy and unhealthy stuff :) I'm impressed with your eating healthy AND working out... usually I can only do one or the other. And those sweet old pics of Matthew, how time flies!

  9. Loved getting caught up on your world, sarah! Time is flying by for sure. Your Whole30 is a huge inspiration to me- when I get past the stage of cramming the kids' toast crusts into my mouth in desperate nursing-induced hunger and hurry, I really want to try it!

  10. I love your ordinary days posts! Yours is the only blog I still read because I love how you mother.
    We also have kids that love doritos and have a different "dorito dip" you might like to try. It's a cold one and even my kids that won't normally eat these veggies gobble it up....probably cause of the chips. ;)

    1 (24 oz)canister cottage cheese
    2 tomatoes, diced
    2 avocados, diced
    1/2 c. canned corn, drained
    3 green onions, chopped
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder (I usually leave this out)
    salt and pepper to taste

    Fold ingredients together and enjoy with Doritos