365 Project: Sorry, Nora, I know you’re trying to be spooky but, you’re just still darn adorable! ;)

Despite her efforts to create a scary Halloween stoop and to look gruesome with these fake fangs, Norita still just makes me smile instead of spooking me! πŸ™‚
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365 Project – 222: The color purple (August 10, 2013)

For years Nora has asked to paint her room purple. FINALLY, almost 8 years after we painted her nursery a newborn-neutral sage green, we’re giving her an accent wall coated in Wild Violet, which is the vibrant, bold hue she chose. We told her SOMETIME before school starts we’d paint her room, and today, while she’s away at a sleepover, we’re making quick work of this task so she’ll be surprised when she comes home tomorrow! Β πŸ˜€
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365 Project – 181: Cowgirl up! ;) (July 1, 2013)

My daughter in her cowgirl digs for her first ever horse camp. She totally looks like she’s in her element! πŸ˜‰
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365 Project – 132: Citrus Napoleon – Mother’s Day brunch at Cafe Flora, Seattle (May 12, 2013) #seattle #mothersday #cafeflora

First course for my Mother’s Day brunch at Cafe’ Flora in Seattle was this Citrus Napoleon served with a coconut chantilly cream and berry sauce. My whole fixed brunch menu was gluten-free. Hot yoga in the morning, brunch with my family, and an afternoon to relax. It’s been a lovely day for this content mama! πŸ™‚ HAPPY MOTHERS DAY EVERYONE!!

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365 Project – 117: Signs of spring on the Olympic Peninsula…White Creek – Port Angeles, WA (April 27, 2013)

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Trillium…always my first official sign of spring on the Olympic Peninsula πŸ™‚

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Bleeding hearts

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The trails behind our house…I love our outdoor playground!

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Isn’t that big stump awesome?!

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Red flowering currant

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Paco loves it when White Creek is flowing πŸ™‚

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White Creek in the springtime

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Looking up into our forest canopy. Do you see the heart?

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Looking for the heart through the trees πŸ™‚

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Me crossing White Creek πŸ™‚

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Young stinging nettles…we eat these around here. Boil ’em, steam ’em, saute’ ’em, the nettles dissolve and you end up with a tasty green rich with iron. Just make sure to harvest them with thick gloves!!

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A dandelion globe…not sure if that’s what it’s called but, that’s what I see! πŸ˜‰

365 Project – 115: Post-dinner, pre-sunset family bike ride (April 25, 2013)

The days are getting longer and the sunsets have been gorgeous so we’re back into our routine of a post-dinner family neighborhood outing. Here’s Nora riding through the trees in our neighborhood during her pre-sunset bike ride. πŸ™‚
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365 Project – 114: Daddy daughter cartwheels…and using the WordPress gallery circle feature (April 24, 2013)

Here’s a sequence of three pics trying this new wordpress gallery “circle” feature for the first time…it looks kind’ve cool! I just realized when you use the gallery feature, the camera properties are listed when you click on each photo, which I appreciate!

So, this is my husband “trying” to cartwheel with my daughter. LOL Actually, he did a decent job! Grownups: if you haven’t cartwheeled in awhile, you should try it. It’s fun but, harder than it looks! πŸ™‚

365 Project – 91: Family spring break – Whistler, B.C. (April 5, 2013) #whistler

I’m behind on my 365 project but here are a few iPhone pics from Whistler, B.C. where we’re enjoying our spring break getaway. First one is of the girls at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and the rock climbing pic was taken at Core Whistler. Life is good…having fun and feeling grateful. πŸ™‚

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365 Project – 69: What’s for dinner…filipino Arroz Caldo – YUM! (March 11, 2013)

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Fast and Easy Arroz Caldo with Chicken Recipe

When I think of filipino comfort food, Arroz Caldo is the first thing that comes to mind, It’s the filipino chicken soup for the soul dish which warms and heals the body, mind, and soup. In our family, this was the dish my mom would make when we were sick, when it was cold, or any time we were craving this savory porridge. The umami of this dish comes from the holy grail of onions, garlic, and ginger then topped with fresh green onions, a tangy squeeze of lemon, and the briny fish sauce (if you can get it, use “Patis” the filipino version of fish sauce.) And, it is SO HARD for me to write a recipe because I cook with my eyes and nose. I never measure. But, here goes! Enjoy and tell me how you and your family likes this recipe!

Note: Unlike chicken adobo, which I like to prepare at least one day before serving, Arroz Caldo is best served right away. However, you could make everything ahead of time, WITHOUT THE RICE. About 30 minutes before serving, reheat, add the uncooked rice, bring to boil, stir, then simmer and cover about 20-30 minutes until rice is cooked. The rice gets gummy if it sits too long since it keeps absorbing the liquid.

Arroz Caldo Recipe
Serves 4-6 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: ~ 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion – diced
  • 5 garlic cloves – smashed & minced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger – peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsbp cooking oil (coconut, avocado, high-heat olive oil)
  • 5 lbs. chicken thighs with skin on; pat dry and sprinkle with salt on both sides
  • About 4-8 cups liquid (water or chicken stock)
  • 1-2 cups dry, uncooked white calrose rice – rinsed
  • Salt to taste.

Toppings:

  • Patis or Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch green onions

Directions

  • Heat oil on medium high heat in a pot or dutch oven
  • Saute the onion and ginger until onion is translucent. Then, add the garlic and saute another.
  • Add the rice and saute 1 minute. (Less rice = more brothy; More rice = more like a porridge.)
  • Use a spatula to scrape the rice, onion, ginger and garlic to the sides.
  • Lightly salt the chicken thighs on top and bottom.
  • Add the chicken to pot, skin side down, let it sear for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken over and sear another 2 minutes.
  • Add water or chicken stock until chicken is covered; then add another inch of liquid.
  • Stir. Bring to boil.
  • Cover and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Stir, taste, and salt as desired.
  • NOTE: under-salt if you are using salted chicken broth and/or fish sauce as a topping
  • GINGER: okay, this is definitely not a filipino thing BUT, if you don’t want your guests to bite down on a hunk of ginger you could find the slices and take them out or just warn your guests. OR eat them.! So good for you!

Prepare toppings to serve at the table:

  • Chopped green onions
  • Patis/fish sauce – a dash goes a long way! Add a little bit at a time.
  • Lemon wedges

Serve in a bowl with toppings added as desired. What makes arroz caldo so extra delicious is ALL of these toppings. It is just not the same without the onions, patis, and lemon. Start with less and add more toppings to taste. Breathe it in deep while you enjoy it!

First time making this recipe? Let me know how it worked for you? I appreciate your feedback as a recipe tester! And, experiment with the amount of rice. Adding too much rice can make it gummy. And, not enough rice is thin and brothy.

β€œKain tayo!” (β€œLet’s eat!”)

Amelia

365 Project – 42, 43, 44: – On the Kilauea Iki Trail – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – Big Island, Hawaii (Febrary 13, 2013)

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On the Kilauea Iki Trail

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On the Kilauea Iki Trail…in the caldera

Life emerging through the lava

Life emerging through the lava