Sunday, July 27, 2014

Something, Something About Food

So remember this post about that special sauce from Disneyland that I absolutely love?  Yeah that one? The Banyan Sauce from the Bengal Barbeque!  Well as it turns out, Google was holding on to that recipe for me.  All I had to do was search for it.  Go figure. 

So I found this site called The Disney Diner and on that site was a recipe and video for the Banyan Beef Skewers. 

Since I was going back and forth on what I was going to make for dinner anyways, I figured I would try a new recipe.  If it sucked, I still had plain beef skewers which are still pretty tasty.  So I fired up the grill.  While the grill was turning some lump charcoal into a rip roaring fire, I started on the sauce.  Which was pretty easy to make.  I did make some adjustments.  Instead of the chopped red peppers I went with some California Chile powder.  I wanted a mild/medium heat so I could enjoy it and not a burn your mouth off hot.  I also used a lower sodium soy sauce since it calls for a whopping cup of it.  I also added a little more garlic powder to up the flavor.  It came out delicious.  While that was cooling, I chopped some sirloin into chunks for the skewers.  I brushed them with a little garlic olive oil and sprinkled some adobo seasoning on them.

I grilled them on a hot fire and kept turning them.  I wanted a nice char on the outside.  When they were nice and charred I moved them over to the side and grilled up some corn.  While that was cooking I also threw on some sliced fresh pineapple. 

If you haven't tried grilled pineapple, you should.  I chopped mine up and served some Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean Ice Cream on top for dessert.  

I was being stubborn about grilling.  I wanted something yummy.  Grilling outside in triple digit heat is not the smartest thing to do.  So in between flipping everything I took a dunk or two in the pool.

Mmmmm Sauce.
I wasn't impressed with the sauce by itself but once I tried it with the beef, I was in heaven.  My husband loved it.  He said that since I knew how to make the sauce we wouldn't have to go back to Disneyland.  Silly boy! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Sometimes I am privileged to the most critical of conversations between two best friends.

Clover:  You can't give your heart away because then you wouldn't be able to love anyone.  Then I wouldn't be able to love my parents or you or JayH (poor poor JayH has been the kid of my kid's dream the entire kindergarten year).

Her BFF:  Who is JayH?

Clover:  *heartfelt sigh*  The boy I am in love with.  When I turn 18 I am going to marry him.

Her BFF:  When I turn 11 I'm going to Hogwarts.

I guess I forgot to mention that they were six.       

Friday, July 11, 2014

Life, Mistakes and Coloring in a Library Book

Life is full of teachable moments.  Most of the time I have a hard time recognizing them and then second guessing things when I look back.  "I should have done this, or that" are frequently muttered in my own head.

We stumbled on one of those teachable moments this week.  So before I go any further let me just say this:  If you learn anything from me, besides how to read really long sentences with smilies.  I hope it's this:

You are absolutely going to make mistakes in life.  That is a fact.  We are human and we are faulty.  It's just the way things are.  Life isn't about being perfect and NOT making mistakes.  It's about how you go about fixing those mistakes that helps determine who you are.

Or at least that was speech I gave my daughter this week.

This week, she got her very first library card.  Within a couple of hours of bringing everything home she colored in a book.

Gasp!  She did what?!?  

In her defense it was a workbook for a phonics kit.  The only problem was that it belonged to the library and was a reference book.

There were many tears when she figured out what she had done.  She wanted to know if we still loved her and if she was going to get yelled at by the library.  We explained that we were going to have to pay for the book and that she was going to have to do chores to pay us back.  Dinner was awkward that night because she basically cried all the way through it.

So the next morning we brainstormed and she wrote a letter to the library.  We talked about how sometimes it is easier to write stuff out than it is to say it.  So she wrote out an apology letter and we took it and the books back to the library.  She was very nervous and wanted me to hold her the entire time.  She choked up and handed the letter to the librarian.  The librarian read it and the translation on the back just in case she couldn't read first grade handwriting.  The lady was very sweet.  She told Clover that it was an honest mistake and she could see how it could happen.  She also told her that it was the sweetest letter they have ever gotten.

I think the both of us were a little relieved.  She then asked us if we had signed up for the reading club and went on as if nothing was wrong.  I could see Clover starting to loosen up when she figured out that the world wasn't going to end and she wasn't going to get yelled at or barred from the library forever.  However we have temporarily suspended her library card for the time being.   We are going to visit the library (it's air conditioned, and it's hot here) but she will not be taking any books home for awhile.  I reapplied for my library card so I might bring a book or two home.  Finding time to read them is another story.  At least I know I wont be coloring in them.  And with everything that happened this week, my daughter knows that too.     

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dyeing Summer

On with the Summer fun activities! 

I ordered the Tulip Tie Dye Spray kit from Walmart and it sat on the shelf for a couple of days.  As much as I wanted to bust it out and start dyeing stuff I knew there would be some fall out from the dye. 

And this is why I told her we had to wait until after dance class before we played with the dye.  Just so you know, a couple dips in the pool will wear out the dye on skin.

Setting up the kit.

She saw every shirt as a blank canvas.  

I think her favorite colors were red and orange.

Unfortunately, I can't say that I can recommend the kit.  The spray bottles are good ideas but they clogged very easily and just left big dye spots on our projects.  

Our projects all bagged up and waiting on curing.  We waited six hours.

My dyed hands.  I wore the gloves but every single one I put on had a hole in them.  

Shirts after rinsed.  Hung to dry.  

Some of the different colors. 

I let her use sponges.  This one came out a little scary.
The box says that the kit will do about 21 projects.  But the instructions say not to let the dye sit more than 24 hours or it will lose it's color.  Which I guess will work if you want more subdued colors.  Not to mention that the gloves were horrible and didn't work.  Next time I will just buy liquid dyes and put them into bottles myself.  It would probably be cheaper. 

Even though the kit didn't turn out to be that great, we still had fun with it and that is what matters.  We also have a new Halloween shirt to wear in October.

Exit Stage Right

I wanted to write a post about how hectic this week has been.  Not just with Dance stuff but with every day junk muddling up my week.  The stove broke and Clover got sick and a bunch of little stuff in between.

But that is not what I am focusing on. 

For every minor annoyance I put up with this week there has been little moments of absolute joy to balance things out, and for that I am grateful. 

Whether it was the good news I heard from a friend or helping our Dance studio behind the scenes, the joy I found in those little moments helped keep me sane this week. 

I really do enjoy playing my part as a Backstage Mommy.  I think the best part is watching my little girl do what she loves.  She has a passion for being on stage.  She waits all year to be able to get up there and dance in front of her supporting friends and family.  This year she got to dance on stage with her Daddy.  She was so excited.  They spent so many evenings practicing the lift and dance moves.  It was very sweet to see the both of them up there.

I didn't know where our journey would take us when we had Clover.  I certainly could never imagine how much she would love to dance.  I had so many worries when we brought her home.  Would she have any physical limitations due to the tumor?  She proved very quickly that she wouldn't let anything get in her way. 

When she started dance, I worried about kids seeing her scar.  Once while we were on vacation, she noticed her scar in the mirror and asked me about it.  I jokingly told her it was where the stork bit her and then she wondered why the stork would do that.  I will admit that I sort of panicked.  I hadn't really prepared myself for what I would tell her.  So I told her the truth.  That when she was born she had a tumor and had surgery to remove it.  She looked at it, nodded, and then walked off.  As if we were talking about what we were having for breakfast.

Every step of this journey has been different than I expected.  Instead of tripping over doctors appointments and monthly blood tests, I am tripping over tap shoes left on the carpet and costumes laid out all over the house.  Her biggest worry lately has been whether or not she is going to do her roll on stage.  She did and she totally nailed it (twice).  She was very proud of herself.  Seeing how much she had struggled with it this year, we were all very proud of her.

I have said it before just how much I am in awe of her.  Standing on the side of the stage watching her from behind the curtain, my heart was filled with so much joy.  I'm so happy that we have made it this far and grown stronger as a family.  Of course that moment was about three minutes long because after their song was over we were responsible for getting the kids off the stage and dressed for the next number.

It's not easy getting seven kids to Exit Stage Right.  Glow stick flashlights help with that though.