The Colorado adventure

Friday and a slow weekend

Friday we went to the Thunderbirds show at the library. I can’t believe we haven’t seen this guy with his birds before now. We’ve seen his trick dogs and his trick hogs and now his trick birds. They weren’t always so good for him. One flew off into the audience, one flew on top of a speaker and one knocked over the perch as he landed on it (not really his fault though.) Cockatoo skating here, working a puzzle here, macaws flying here.

We went to The Feedery at Grow and Gather for lunch. It just opened, it has a cafe, coffee shop and small market. It was pretty good.

Saturday we went to try out Slim Chickens, something that we saw in TX, it won’t change your life but the fried mushrooms were the bomb. I liked that they have 4 dipping sauce and gravy and that you can flavor the wings or tenders with 10 sauces. They also had really good mason jar desserts.

Jack thought we were going to the store for sample Saturday, turns out he got a bath.

Sunday we went to church then got out for a walk along the Platte.

New week- school, newbie/co-op chat, Police explorers, RW site test, Bethany turns 21, stock show parade, dog-sitting, work at church, jazz at Bemis, church.

Dinners this week- bacon, potato, corn chowder with peasant bread, butter chicken with fry bread and sweet potatoes, crockpot Tex-Mex chicken stew, B-day dinner (hot pot), orange beef with fried rice and broccoli, shrimp scampi over angel-hair pasta, garlic beef with stuffed collard greens and sweet potato hash.

Sesame-Orange Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry

3 oranges
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
1/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
2 tablespoons low-sugar marmalade
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
cooking spray
3/4 pound beef shoulder tender, cut into bite-size strips
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 carrot, julienned into 2-inch pieces
6 green onions, bias-sliced into 2-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

-Remove 1 tablespoon zest and 1/4 cup juice from 1 orange. Peel and section remaining 2 oranges.
-Bring water and brown rice to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes.
-Stir together zest, orange juice, broth, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, marmalade, sesame oil, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in cornstarch.
-Coat a wok or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Stir-fry beef until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add vegetable oil and carrot to the wok; stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes. Add green onions and bell pepper; stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add garlic and ginger; stir-fry for 30 seconds more.
-Return beef to the wok. Stir cornstarch mixture, then add to the wok. Cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbling. Add orange sections; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
-Divide rice among 4 plates; top with beef mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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Weekend

Saturday was the Women’s Christmas tea at church. The food and conversation was great. We listened to The Tale of Three Trees, I can’t even hear that story without crying. The takeaway was that the first and second trees wanted to hold treasure and be a great ship, but they ended up doing mundane things for their whole lives with one miraculous day where they held the Saviour. The third tree spent its whole life being tried and seasoned for a special task. If your life is hard, you are being seasoned to be stronger. If the world sees your life and admires you or if your life is just a footnote to the world, when you live for Jesus with your whole heart – He is honored and glorified.

We went to The Lost Cajun for an early dinner and then the girls and I went to the Lakewood lights.

I don’t know why I fall for the ‘roasted chestnuts’ every year. It sounds like a good idea, but they are just gross.

Sunday we went to church, grocery shopped, James painted the front door and we went for a walk.

Dinners – Beef stew (moved from yesterday), crockpot chicken stroganoff, spaghetti and meatballs with eggplant parmesan, pineapple peach chicken with stuffed mushrooms and parmesan couscous, adobo sirloin with black beans and cilantro lime rice, crockpot pot roast, chicken tacos.

Adobo Sirloin

1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers to taste
4 (8 ounce) beef sirloin steaks
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix the lime juice, garlic, oregano, and cumin. Stir in chipotle peppers, and season to taste with adobo sauce.
Pierce the meat on both sides with a sharp knife, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in a glass dish. Pour lime and chipotle sauce over meat, and turn to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat grill for high heat.
Lightly brush grill grate with oil. Place steaks on the grill, and discard marinade. Grill steaks for 6 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.

Our week – blood draw (yuck), school, Jack at day camp, Spot the elf in Lafayette, cheese shop lunch, HS group newbie chat, worship dance performance (just watching this year), Camp Christmas field trip, Cherry Hills lights, Fox theater field trip, youth group, Shibori at the library, HS skate, Reindeer games in CR, Jingle on the range a church, Santa pics at Petsmart, carriage rides at Southglenn, church, White elephant TDO.

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Weekend

#famouswomen

Henrietta Lacks 1920-1951

Lab-grown human cells are invaluable to medical researchers. They allow scientists to better understand complex cells and theorize about diseases. The first “immortal” cell of its kind was created in 1951 at Johns Hopkins Hospital, its donor remaining unknown for years. But we now know that those cells belonged to Henrietta Lacks.

From southern Virginia, Henrietta was a black tobacco farmer who was diagnosed with cervical cancer at 30. Without her knowing, her tumor was sampled and sent to scientists at Johns Hopkins. Much to the scientists’ surprise, her cells never died. Henrietta’s immortal cells were integral in developing the polio vaccine, and were used for cloning, gene mapping, and in vitro fertilization.

For decades, the donor of these cells, which were code-named HeLa, remained anonymous. In the 1970s, Henrietta’s name was revealed and the origins of HeLa, a code for the first two letters in Henrietta and Lacks, became clear. While Henrietta Lacks may no longer be with us, her contribution to science is long lasting.

Saturday was busy. Bethany was in, Grace and Hannah had a lunch date Jack was supposed to decorate a cookie at Petsmart but then….we had to go to urgent care for me. I was dizzy but also when I would stand up my arms and legs would shake. This was worrying, I was hoping I wasn’t allergic to my new blood thinner. Turns out it (along with my other meds) was pushing my BP too low. I was 80/42 and apparently when you are that low your body shakes to get the blood flowing. I made it out of there while the sun was still shining, so we walked at the park.

#famouswomen

Edmonia Lewis 1843-1907

Little is known about the early life of mid-19th century sculptor Edmonia Lewis, but she was reportedly born on July 14, 1843–although that is up for debate as well. Lewis is considered the first woman sculptor of African American and Native American heritage.

She began her education in 1859 at Oberlin College in Ohio, where she was said to have been quite artistic, particularly in drawing. During her undergraduate years, she changed her name to Mary Edmonia, which she had been using anyway to sign her sculptures. While at Oberlin, Lewis was wrongly accused of theft and attempted murder. Though she was eventually acquitted, she was prohibited from graduating.
When she moved to Boston, she was mentored by sculptor Edward Brackett and began to develop her own artistic style. Her dual ancestry proved to be a source of much inspiration for her, as her early sculptures were medallions with portraits of white abolitionists and Civil War heroes.

“Forever Free” (1867), one of her best-known works, drew from the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1876, Lewis completed what is considered by many to be the pinnacle of her career: “The Death of Cleopatra”. This sculpture went against artistic traditions of the time by portraying a realistic illustration of the event, instead of using a sentimental manner.

Notes from church:

-When we sow seeds of generosity we reap the benefit of a generous life.
-Don’t slip into fearful thinking with a scarcity mindset.
-The antidote to fear – practice gratitude.
-The opposite of gratefulness is envy.


Goings on this week – no school, NIA!, blood draw, DMNS teen movie night, Riize volunteer, orthodontist, Walk2Connect, Thanksgiving, Union station Crawford hotel stay, Union station lighting, Christkindl market, Larimer square market, Englewood market, church, last day of Harriet hikes, working at church.

Dinners this week – something on Pearl st mall, make your own pizza, chicken tikka masala with rice and snap peas, chili and cornbread, Thanksgiving (smoked turkey, brown rice chutney, sweet potato salad, honey chili brussel sprouts, Italian sausage cornbread stuffing, pumpkin and pecan pies), dinner at Union station, leftovers.
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Sweet Potato Salad

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt + optional pepper
3 tbsp oil, or spray
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans
1 cup can corn
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Toss sweet potatoes and onions with 1 1/2 tbsp oil (or spray), sprinkle with salt and optional pepper, and place in one layer on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in a non-preheated oven on the center rack, then turn the oven to 450 F. Bake 30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. Add all remaining ingredients to a large bowl, then toss with the sweet potatoes. Serve hot or cold
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Cilantro Mint Chutney Recipe

½ cup yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bunch cilantro, tender stems ok
1 cup mint leaves, packed ( 2 x .75 ounce packages)
1 medium jalapeno, sliced
2 teaspoons sliced ginger
1 garlic clove
¼–1/2 teaspoon kosher salt,
½ teaspoon sugar (or an alternative like honey, palm sugar, etc)
optional: 1 tablespoon water, or just enough to get blender going – you may not need this

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and lemon.
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Brown rice chutney

1/4 C baby spinach
1 C cauliflower florets
2 C brown rice (cooked)
2 tablespoons coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 C apricot preserves
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 small package sliced almonds

Cook rice, roast cauliflower. Add all ingredients in dish and stir. Add above cilantro mint chutney and serve warm.

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Weekend

#famouswomen

Andrée de Jongh 1916-2007

Andrée de Jongh, aka Dédée, was the woman who formed the Comet line that helped Allied airmen get safely through occupied Belgium and France, over the Pyrenees, and into Spain and Gibraltar.

Her implausibility was what made her formidable. When the war started, Dédée de Jongh quit her job as a commercial artist and moved into her parents’ house in Brussels. Volunteering with the Belgian Red Cross, she began nursing wounded Allied soldiers. After her country surrendered to the Nazis in May 1940, after British troops were evacuated and the battle shifted to the air, de Jongh turned her attention to the men who had been shot out of the sky.

Before it was over, Dédée de Jongh would personally escort 118 people to freedom in Spain, and hundreds more would escape using the complex network of safe houses she had set up throughout Belgium and France. She pep-talked countless men over the mountains, including Jack Newton, who, depleted but grateful, was sent to Gibraltar and put on a boat home to his wife. Many of her helpers were ultimately arrested — including her sister, who was sent to a concentration camp, and her father, who was shot by a German firing squad.

De Jongh herself was caught harboring three airmen in a farmhouse at the foot of the Pyrenees in 1943. She endured 20 interrogations before finally confessing not just to being involved with the famous Comet line but to being its mastermind. Her German captors dismissed the idea outright. “Don’t be ridiculous,” they said. Sometime later, the Gestapo thought to question her further, but when they went looking among the emaciated pale souls packed into the Ravensbruck women’s concentration camp north of Berlin, they could not figure out which one was Dédée de Jongh.

After the war, she was decorated by King George VI and honored by the American and French governments. In Belgium, she was named a countess. She waved off most of the attention and strived instead for a purposeful sort of invisibility, spending 28 years nursing at a leper colony in the Belgian Congo and at an Ethiopian hospital.

Saturday James and I went to coffee (though I didn’t have coffee), then to Home Depot to get some new door knobs. Grace was dropped off for a party, Hannah was dropped off with a friend at the mall and Jack was vigilant for squirrels.

I was going to stop for my walk, but I was hungry and decided to go home first and eat. It’s a good thing I did. I wasn’t home for a minute before I had a sharp pain in my chest. It took my breath away. I sat down and there was another deeper kind of pressing pain under my right breast. My forehead felt icy cold and I was dizzy, which I have felt before (but thought it was a salt issue.) I looked at the clock and waited 5 minutes, then another 5, but it was still happening. James wasn’t home yet from dropping Hannah off, but he was close. As soon as he got home we got back in the car and went to the ER. I’m a frequent flyer there and because of my CHF anytime I go in for anything they whisk me back and start hooking up the EKG. They drew some blood and sent it off to the lab, meanwhile they checked the heart, it was fine. I was still having some pain, but not as bad. I was thinking it was stupid to go in and then the blood test came back abnormal for a certain thing – so they ordered a CT scan to check for blood clots. They kept asking me if my leg hurt or if I was having trouble breathing, if I had a cough, no, no, no. I didn’t think about it, but my leg did hurt the day before, I thought I pulled something in my calf during walking, but it didn’t hurt now, so I didn’t mention it. It took 3 nurses to put in a good IV, and in the end they used an ultrasound machine and it went in perfectly. Why don’t they it all the time? Not everyone is trained to use it and it does take longer to set, but then I’d have one hole in my arm and not four.

James had been running back and forth, picking up Hannah, dropping off Hannah at home, checking on Jack, coming back. By the time he got back I was out of the CT and waiting. I was shocked when the CT scan came back showing multiple and large blood clots in the left (not right where it was hurting) lung. They don’t think it just happened yesterday, I probably had one clot that time that I felt like this and then a few more from Friday when my leg hurt. I was started on belly shot blood thinners, twice a day for 5 days (then it goes to a pill.) I have to be careful not to cut myself because I’ll bleed all over the place. I do get a shiny medical alert bracelet (which I think I was supposed to be wearing anyway with CHF.) I’m so glad that this was found asap, I’m glad I didn’t go walking by myself today, I’m glad that nothing happened yesterday when I was off the beaten path. But mostly I’m glad that I didn’t get admitted to the hospital, my goal was to not go in this year (ER trips don’t count.)

Sunday

#famouswomen

Amelia Bloomer 1818-1894

Amelia Jenks Bloomer was an early suffragist, editor, and social activist. Bloomer was also a fashion advocate who worked to change women’s clothing styles.

Bloomer was born in Homer, New York. With only a few years of formal education, she started working as a teacher, educating students in her community. In 1840, she married David Bloomer and moved to Seneca Falls, New York. Bloomer quickly became active in the Seneca Falls political and social community. She joined a church and volunteered with the local temperance society. Noticing his wife’s fervor for social reform, David encouraged her to use writing as an outlet. As a result, she started a column which covered a plethora of topics.

In 1848, Bloomer went to the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention. The next year she created The Lily, a newspaper solely dedicated to women. At first, the newspaper only addressed the temperance movement, however due to demand the bi-weekly paper expanded to cover other news. After meeting activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Bloomer started to publish articles about the women’s rights movement. In 1849, Bloomer’s husband was elected Postmaster for Seneca Falls. He immediately appointed his wife as his assistant. Bloomer used her office as makeshift headquarters for the Seneca Fall’s women’s rights movement.

Bloomer’s most influential work was in dress reform. After noticing the health hazards and restrictive nature of corsets and dresses, Bloomer pushed for women to adopt a new style of dress. The pantaloons, now called Bloomers, not only illustrated a departure from the accepted dress for women, the garments also came to represent activists in the women’s rights movement. The style of dress attracted much ridicule from conservative men and women.

In 1851, Bloomer introduced Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Susan B. Anthony. The meeting set in motion a long-standing partnership between the two activists. In 1853, Bloomer and her husband moved West. While traveling she stopped in many towns and lectured about temperance. She attempted to keep The Lily going, however her move made publishing the paper harder. In 1854, Bloomer decided to sell the paper. Eventually, the couple settled in Council Bluff, Iowa. There, she called on women to become property owners. During the Civil War, Bloomer started the Soldier’s Aid Society of Council Bluffs to help Union soldiers.

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Grace took Hannah to church in the morning and James and I went to Aurora Kaiser to pick up my shots. Our pharmacy didn’t have them, but I had one shot at the hospital and as long as I got them today it was fine. If I wasn’t able I’d have to go back to the ER for the shot. Belly shots are no fun. They hurt, they leave a huge bruise, they sting and they get this hard bump around the shot. I also found that they bleed of anything moves past them, a towel, a shirt, Jack’s paw. So I put a bandaid on each dot. I have to do two shots a day for five days, so I’ll have lots of bandaids. After we got home we went on a short walk, I decided to break my walk in two. We did a half mile at Central park.

I picked up Hannah from church then went grocery shopping. I was tired when I got home, so I rested on the couch while James went to get a toilet kit to fix the downstairs toilet that had finally broken. We watched some TV, then went on another walk around Redstone park.

I actually did pretty good on miles.

Back at home I made vegetable soup and meatloaf and we binged on Jack Ryan.

This week – school, TDO (Castle Rock), Kindness Krewe (food drive), Colorado symphony – Beethoven, doc, Police explorers, water sampling, field trip (Courtroom), youth group, teen cooking at library, teen candy apples at library, Castle Rock starlighting, Riize, church.

Dinners this week – chicken apple sausage and sweet potatoes, crockpot chicken cacciatore and linguine, swiss mushroom chicken with asparagus and risotto, crockpot beef and broccoli over fried rice, cabbage rolls and mashed potatoes, leftovers.

Crockpot chicken cacciatore

2 lb. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 bell peppers, chopped
8 oz. baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 C Chicken Broth
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/3 c. capers
8 oz. cooked linguine, for serving

Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker. Add peppers, mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, and broth, then season with oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours, until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken from slow-cooker and stir capers into sauce. Serve chicken over cooked pasta with sauce.

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Fun Friday and the weekend

Friday Hannah did a quick minerals lab and then we headed to the Springs to see Humpback Whales at the AF Planetarium.

We went to the Penny arcade and I broke Galaga! I was just playing and hit my own ship as it was coming down, it froze a bee on the screen and it wouldn’t advance past this. There are 2 more Galaga machines at the arcade, but one of them has a sticky fire button and the other has a sticky joystick.  I hope it’s not really broken, just needing to be turned off and on.

Saturday we had a nice coffee with the girls and then went to Zoey’s pet parade. There were a lot of pit bulls there because Zoey was a pit bull, but there were a handful of other breeds (but only one Jack.)

Jack was honed in on the pet photographer – she had a ball.

We all walked up the street to the park for pictures, then back down Main st.

Businesses take corners and make pumpkin art.

Sunday after church we went to the Dairy block for the Fall Flannel Fest.  We talked to Joel and he said he had gotten his b-day package. He turned 25 today, hard to believe.

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Image may contain: Joel Carberry, hat

The week – Denver Police dept. tour, school, DMNS Hallow-teen night, H2O in Keystone for Grace, Police Explorers, youth group, hike, Petsmart Boo, Littleman pumpkin carving, church, Trunk or Treat, James gone to Vegas.

Dinners this week – Tex-Mex beef and rice skillet, teen nite (whatever the DMNS offers), chipotle chicken sausage sandwiches, Italian chicken and acorn squash, chilli and corn bread, butternut squash and peasant bread, Saturday night is up for grabs.

Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Skillet

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 medium red bell pepper, diced SAVE $
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 can (10 oz) Old El Paso™ enchilada sauce
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ original taco seasoning mix
3 cups cooked white rice
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef 6 to 8 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until brown. Drain, and wipe out skillet. Add oil to skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Add, bell pepper and corn. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender.

Stir in beef, enchilada sauce and taco seasoning mix. Heat to simmering; stir in rice. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until rice is heated through. Top with cheese and cilantro.

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Sunday

After church we went to a car show that was in the area.

The week – school, water sampling, co-op at Eco park, volunteering at GraceFull (Hannah), working at church (Grace), jazz at EG, mall school, youth group, ballet (we’re standby, fingers crossed), hike, first Friday art walk, Shakespeare in the parking lot, church.

Dinners this week – shepherd’s pie, mango chicken wraps with cauliflower risotto, chili and cornbread, mushroom and onion pan burgers with smashed potatoes, orange chicken with fried rice, beef stew with drop biscuits, sausage and pasta.

Skinny Orange Chicken

1 pound boneless chicken breast, cubed
¼ cup all-purpose flour, or as needed
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs, or as needed
⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ cup honey
1 orange, juiced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.

Press chicken cubes gently into flour to coat and shake off excess flour. Dip into beaten egg and press into panko bread crumbs. Place the breaded chicken cubes in one layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 20 minutes.

Whisk soy sauce, honey, orange juice, cornstarch, garlic powder, and ginger together in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken cubes from the oven and place in a large bowl. Pour orange sauce over chicken and turn in the sauce to coat.

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Sunday, Monday

I was so tired Sunday morning, but I took Hannah to church, she worked at the coffee shop and made me a Mexican mocha (a perk, she gets free drinks.) After church Grace came by to pick her up (she was at Connections) and they went to the Dollar store and Goodwill and Target. Jack almost got his ball broken enough to get the crunch ball out, but not quite.

After lunch, Grace stayed home to paint and Hannah and I went to Chatfield to try out the new kayak and tubes.

In other news, James has been gone 1 day and ……

Goings on this week – (James is at a conference in San Fran), hike, NBTS pics, co-op registration, Denver animal shelter dog walking, school starts, LAPOMPE at Union station, chiro appt, hike, Chatfield, water sampling, weekend….don’t know yet.

Dinners this week – Round steak with onion sauce and side of artichoke stuffed peppers, chicken marsala over linguine with asparagus, Union station food, pepperoni chicken and cold cucumber ziti salad, tacos!, baked potato bar, BBQ and corn on the cob.

Pepperoni chicken

Original recipe yields 4 servings
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
cooking spray
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese
24 slices turkey pepperoni

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rub oregano and basil over chicken breasts.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken; cook until browned and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes per side.

Pour half the spaghetti sauce into a large baking dish. Lay chicken breasts on top. Coat chicken with remaining half of the spaghetti sauce. Scatter mozzarella cheese over sauce. Arrange 6 pepperoni slices over each chicken breast. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Monday

It was National dog day today and Jack was enjoying it.

We went to Enchanted Grounds so Hannah could do some on-line work, then Cafe 180 for lunch.

Then a hike at Fly’n B park and some extra school photos were taken.

Grace made these dolphin stickers, cute.

Jack finally broke his ball, day 7.

I started on a drawing based on the song ‘All Creatures Of Our God and King’ from church yesterday.

Finished it later.

Watched some TV and went to bed.

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Weekend

I know it seems like we do stuff every weekend, but some weekends are pretty chill. Saturday we just hung out at the house, then drove to lunch. We were going to try the Watering Bowl, but the parking lot was full, so we ended up at Racine’s. Jack found a nice spot in the grass to sit and wait for an outdoor table.

My adult shake was so good, really that’s all I needed (but I did end up with bacon pancakes too.)

We went back to the house and I read while James worked for a bit, then we went on a date night to Englewood Grand for the pop-tart party. You know what goes well with a brown sugar pop-tart? A pink squirrel. Sam also made me a new drink, a mix of a bee’s knees and an aviator, we’re calling it the flying bee (and a peep was in there because, Easter, and how else are you going to use up all the peeps.)

Sunday we all went to church –  a feat in itself – and had a good service. Of course we talked about the resurrection story – but Ken pointed out something that we probably just glance over when reading –

Mark 16: 4-5 Then they looked up, saw that it had been rolled back—it was a huge stone—and walked right in. They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished.

6-7 He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.”

“and Peter.” Poor Peter, who was the rock, who said he’d be there by Jesus’ side forever, not only abandoned Him, but denied even knowing Him. He was ashamed, guilty, but look. The angel made it a point to tell the women, go and tell the disciples – but also, tell Peter. Let him know, it’s okay, he’s forgiven, he is loved. How many times do we feel like we’ve done the last thing, the straw that broke the camel’s back, but God is there and He says – it’s okay, let me tell you, I still love you.

After church there was a bustle in the kitchen – I was making twice baked potatoes, beef roast, fried cabbage, natural dyes for the eggs while Grace was making pineapple compote for her carrot cake.

We dyed/drew on the eggs and had lunch, ate way too much and took Jack to the dog park to walk off some of the meal.

We ended the day with an old B&W Alfred Hitchcock – Blackmail – the first talkie film in England. It started as a silent film (and still is silent for the first few minutes of the movie), then Hitchcock added sound. The actors are still very made up for silent film, and there is some points where you can tell it was hard for them to get out of that mode – but there are some very innovative things about the movie too. I would say that someone watching it in 1929 would be shocked at the plot and some daring scenes (for that time.)

To do – school at the library, ballet, dance, driving practice, collage art co-op, LAPOMPE at Union station, Fox theater show, bubble tea, youth group, Penrose museum co-op, Kindness Krewe (kitty socializing), DMNS teen night, RiNo photo scavenger hunt, church, ironing recital clothes.

Dinners -leftovers, lasagna alfredo rolls, Irish hand pies, chicken piccata, pizza (teen night), sweet potato and chorizo bake.

Lasagna Alfredo Roll Ups

8 lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
21 ounces Alfredo-style pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Rinse in cold water and drain well.
Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan over medium heat add oil and cook broccoli or spinach and green onions until tender, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat and stir in ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt and egg.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Place noodles in a single layer on a sheet of waxed paper. Evenly spread some of the cheese mixture on each noodle. Roll up each noodle from the short end, jelly-roll style.
In a 8×12 inch baking dish, spoon about 3/4 of the Alfredo sauce on the bottom and spread evenly. Arrange the rolled noodles, seam side down, in the dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce. Cover loosely with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted. Serve.

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Weekend

James and I took Jack to coffee, the weather is getting nicer in the mornings, not too cool to sit on a patio.

We got home, picked up the girls and went to the Springs to eat at Rudy’s BBQ.

It was really good, the brisket was so tender and moist, the cream corn was creamy, the potato salad was good, the coleslaw could have been better, but the meat and jalapeno sausage were spot on Texas style. Dogs can hang out on the patio, so it’s a great lunch spot in good weather.

After lunch we walked around Old Colorado City and got some ice cream.

Jack was not impressed with the queen.

From church – do you get to Heaven by being a good person? There’s more to following Jesus than simply following the rules. It’s devotion that is missing – if there is something dividing your heart, keeping you from full devotion, get rid of it. If it is time, money, material things, unhealthy relationships, whatever is keeping you from following Him, leave it.

Mark 11 17 As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?” 18-19 Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.” 20 He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!” 21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.” 22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

After church on Sunday James grilled, then I took the girls to the Arvada kite fest while James took a nap.

Our week – the oxygen machines go bye-bye, Grace work, ballet, worship dance, driving practice, St. John’s music at noon, $1 movies, Main event youth group, TDO Castle Rock, Forensic pathology lecture, leaving for GJ, visiting Bethany, Macbeth, Rifle Fall SP.

Dinners this week – Navy beans and sausage, pasta alfredo with Italian sausage and yellow squash, pomegranate pork chops with couscous and green beans, peanut curry chicken over thai noodles and veggies, pork Tex-Mex soup, (dinners in Grand Junction Fri/Sat), grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato or chicken noodle soup.

The Best Thai Curry-Peanut Sauce (this makes 28 servings – so, a lot – cut it down by 1/2 or 1/3 as needed, also turn the heat higher or lower if you like and serve it over pork, chicken, veggies, etc.)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook until the aroma of the garlic has mellowed, about 1 minute. Add the red curry paste, and stir for 1 minute more. Whisk in the peanut butter, brown sugar, chili powder, cayenne pepper, fish sauce, sesame oil, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and is smooth.

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Spring break

Day 25 – take some time to write down your thoughts somewhere, a journal, a blog, a random piece of paper. What are you doing this week, what did you do last week, what made you happy or sad?

Monday Grace had to work, Hannah had dance and ballet and we made some art at Solid Grounds.

Jack might have had an ice cream cone.

Day 26 – Compliment someone today. We went by Fly’n B to check on the owls and Jack got muddy.

Jack also got to go to the dog park.

Day 27 – Spend some time today listening. If you are outside, close your eyes, what do you hear? If someone is talking to you, give them your full attention. Listen before you respond. We drove up to Ft. Collins today for some pizza, some ice cream and a hike. We are definitely going back to the ponds, the Poudre runs right next to it and there is shade and a beach.

Jack knows ice cream is coming.

Jack was a little tired after that…

Day 28 – it’s Thankful Thursday, what are you thankful for? We went sampling this morning, but our spot was blocked due to construction, so we sampled downstream.

Our snakes were sunning when we got home.

Later we went to the library for Creativity club and 2 other families showed up for a bit.

Day 29 – Laugh out loud today. That’s easy to do when you start off at the Denver Puppet Theater for the Brer Rabbit show.

We had lunch, then went to another co-op that was supposed to be a hike, but it turned into nature center play time and a short walk.

Day 30- find some time to volunteer. It snowed overnight, but not enough to stop us from going to church to help pack meals for Feed My Starving Children. Out table packed 18 boxes, as a church we packed over 100,000 meal kits that will feed over 250 kids for a year.

We put Jack in daycamp and drove to check out the newest Littleman spot – Constellation.

Day 31- be a good friend, (not just today.) After church we took Jack to an Art of Brunch. It’s where you walk around the art galleries looking at art and munching on the offerings of each gallery.

Slow week coming up – school, driving practice, work for Grace, ballet, worship dance, jazz at EG, NIA, making art, youth group, Colorado ballet, CU Boulder terrarium making, Springs walkabout, church, kite fest or fairy fest (depending on weather.)

Dinners – chipotle pork (didn’t make it last week), cheesy chicken and pasta, lasagna, chicken quesadillas, Irish shepherd’s pie, grilling stuff, Front Range BBQ?

Irish Shepherd’s Pie

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, diced
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ketchup
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups water, or as needed
1 (12 ounce) package frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon butter
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 pound Irish cheese (such as Dubliner), shredded
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place olive oil and butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion and ground beef; brown the meat, breaking it up into small crumbles as it cooks, about 10 minutes.
Stir in flour until incorporated, then mix in salt, black pepper, rosemary, paprika, cinnamon, ketchup, and garlic; cook and stir until garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in water and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring mixture to a simmer; cook and stir until thick, about 5-6 minutes.
Remove beef mixture from heat and stir in peas and carrots until combined.
Spread beef mixture into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Place potatoes into a large pan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and return potatoes to pan.
Mash butter, cayenne pepper, cream cheese, and Irish cheese into the potatoes. Mash until combined and potatoes are smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Whisk together egg yolk and milk in a small bowl; stir into the mashed potato mixture.
Top the beef mixture in the baking dish with the mashed potatoes and spread evenly to cover.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling up around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

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