June 18, 2015

Philly Rolls

EJ-fishavocadoThe ingredients Lesa chose for this month’s #ImprovCookingChallenge were FISH & AVOCADO. We so that combination in this house! Avocados figure into our summer grilling lifestyle quite often. I think the first time I posted a recipe with that combo was two years ago here. (Well, I guess I did have a picture of shrimp & avocado here too, but the recipe was for the salsa…)

Anyhow -- back to the present: I decided this month not to go “south of the border” but to recreate an “Asian” recipe I love from one of our favorite sushi places.

The Philadelphia Roll!

I have a “thing” about raw fish, so am reluctant to be too adventurous when ordering sushi. The smoked salmon in this California roll helps bridge the gap… EJ-fishavocado (1)(…and the cream cheese & cucumber don’t hurt, either!)
Here are the ingredients:EJ-fishavocado (2)Nori sheets, prepared rice, 4 oz. smoked salmon, avocado, cream cheese, cucumber, green onion & sesame seeds. (Have everything sliced thin & ready for assembly.)
Since this is my second attempt at it, I am not an expert sushi roller!
EJ-fishavocado (3)(…can you spot what’s wrong with this picture?!?)
Unfortunately, I wished to include too many flavors in our roll, EJ-fishavocado (7)
so it turned out a little plump-looking…EJ-fishavocado (4)
A little roll through some sesame seeds & it’s ready for slicing.EJ-fishavocado (5)
Plated with a tiny bit of wasabi, ginger & spicy mayo -- dinner is served!EJ-fishavocado (11)
I could eat these forever!EJ-fishavocado (14)

(The recipe for sushi rice came from Alton Brown.)

Make sure you check out what my friends made with their fish & avocado ingredients: 

June 4, 2015

Some heroes wear NG tubes & cannulas…


Once upon a time a beautiful princess found her handsome prince. princessThey were married in a splendid wedding.

But the prince had to travel for long months at a time. He carried with him a little sock monkey to pose for pictures in ports of call to send to the princess when he could. After a time his travels were ended and he was home to stay.

On the day it was announced the princess was having a baby, I knew exactly the quilt I would make to celebrate the child. Julie had an adorable appliqué set of a sock-monkey alphabet. I bought it! Instead of using both the boys & the girls, I wanted to make the quilt according to the gender of the baby. In the meantime, the search was on for fabric with small figures for each of the letters.20150116_201401

Finally it was revealed that the princess was carrying a man-child. Oh! the excitement! Now my big rush was on to find just the right “boy” fabrics to complete the quilt.teddyBut then the heart-rending news came that all was not well with the baby, he was found to have a congenital heart issue that would require extreme measures to correct immediately after birth and for years after.

At this juncture I could tell the quilt-making was going to extend beyond Teddy’s baby shower & birth; so my goal was to finish by the time he was able to leave the hospital.

From the very start of his life on the outside, this plucky little guy was a fighter. superHe bravely jousted with every procedure his condition required of his caregivers. His Grandma would keep us updated on facebook. Every morning/evening we’d look for news of Teddy’s latest victory. She’d relate to us his conversations with the world he was about to conquer.sweetTeddy

Then one day came the wretched news that the villain CHD had overpowered our hero Teddy. We. were. crushed.

I was roughly halfway through embroidering the blocks. But in a conversation with his bereft mommy, we decided I’d go ahead & finish the quilt to honor his memory.

It was tough! I’d cry over the fabrics I’d chosen for appliqué because I would remember this one was picked up for Dad’s favorite sport, or that one because Grandma loves gingerbread men…

But with a little help from a friendDunc(actually, very little help…)20150126_132213I got to the point where I could piece it all together.

THAT was fun20150123_081042

DSCN2375but not as fun as binding.

DSCN2390There was just SOOOOOOOO much “help” to be had!

DSCN2407After all was stitched, bound, clipped & laundered, I even got some assistance removing all the lint…

Anyhow, here is my tribute to a brave lad. Stitched with love & prayers for his mom & dad - his grandmas & grandpa - his aunt & uncle - his extended (extensive!) family…

If you know a “heart baby”, pray for him/her & the family.DSCN2397Sometimes they almost live at the hospital. Sometimes they live separately because there are ones to care for at home. DSCN2396Thank you Teddy, for reminding us to live life with our whole heart.

June 3, 2015

catching up: Easter doings

This year the boys’ Aunt Cita and cousins Olivia & Sophia (leaving Uncle Chris to fend for himself) jetted west to spend their spring break with us.progenyWe had lots of plans to accomplish in the short time they were here. There was to be plenty of dog walking & kitten cuddling!

Before they arrived, I stitched up a tea towel for CitaDSCN2250

20150403_111534and made elegant fur bunnies for the girls. (those are “diamond” strands around their necks…)

DSCN2268We spent time making paracord bracelets

DSCN2269and playing video games. One of the “must-do” activities was spending a night playing laser tag!


Picture1Of course, there was the assembly of Easter dinner desserts:Picture3…and the eating!

20150404_185732The week was all too short!

*recipe from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen


catching up: my choir

10610654_10205610743616691_6170350499700055384_nOur busy spring included a few singing opportunities with our community choir:
We sang the National Anthem at a Phoenix Suns’ game in February.C3We had a some concerts at different churches…11169811_471795122974029_43880719983893687_nC3atGlencroft7442109_origAnd May 8th we were privileged to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” before the Diamondbacks played the Padres.11234860_480210658799142_9148677595979367761_n

We love our choir peeps! And I’m so blessed to be in this venture with the wonder hubs…

June 1, 2015

catching up: proud mama moment(s)

champsFrom the time he auditioned prior to Christmas break until March 28th, our middle son & his band mates worked hard on their show.evalshowTheir director was phenomenal & designed/choreographed/whipped-into-shape this incredible display of musicianship and Williams Field HSThese kids spent hours on school days & Saturdays practicing their routine.jumpKeith & I only missed one of their competitions (because we were in Cali for friends’ wedding on Valentines day…<3)
The season culminated with the WGAZ Circuit Championships at Grand Canyon University (my alma mater Winking smile) Arena. It was a grueling two daysAS7H6220but our group came out ON TOP!

(*Pictures without my watermark belong to NPP. The video published by WGAZ to YouTube was filmed & edited by Tresóna.)