Bok Choy and Kabocha Squash

Mom gave me some bok choy and a kabocha squash and because my kids and husband are not fans, I have to be a little creative with what I make, otherwise most of it goes to waste.

With the bok choy, I made a stir fry with chicken and a little bit of osyter sauce.  Husband and the kids liked it but they only ate the chicken.

I also boiled some bok choy.  Husband and the kids didn’t eat any but that’s okay because I didn’t mind having it all to myself.  It was sooo good.  Especially because it reminds me of being Hmong.  You’ll find that eating boiled greens of any kind (but usually leafy greens) is a norm in the Hmong culture.  So, if you come across a friend or a neighbor who boils their greens and sets a big bowl of it on the dining table during meals, you’ll know they’re Hmong. 🙂

With the kabocha squash, I normally would just boil it and eat it the same way I do the boiled greens.  This was the only way I knew how to eat it because this was always the way I grew up eating it.

The photo above was taken of some of Mom’s larger squashes.  Mine was about the size of a small round watermelon.  It was still a lot for one person.

I tried it boiled with some cinnamon and sugar.  It was okay. I still prefer it plain or with a little sugar and mashed.

And, made a Thai red curry squash. The recipe is here.  Instead of using bell peppers (which I don’t like), I used thinly sliced bamboo shoots.  I also added one lemon grass sprig (tip and green rough parts chopped off), kaffir lime leaves, and instead of adding lime juice, I sliced a lime into quarters and set them aside with some thinly sliced scallions to be used as needed.

It was pretty good.  I loved the aroma of Thai curry and the combination of the buttery flavored squash with the crunchiness from the bamboo shoots.

Mom always toasts some of her seeds.  I think she lets them dry out in the sun and then toasts them in a pan.  I wanted to toast them in the oven so I found this recipe and it turned out pretty delicious except that I burnt them a little.

Kida ate them with me.  She liked that they were slightly burnt.

Painted the Great Room, Etc.

Husband finally finished painting over the pale white walls of the great room, upstairs landing, loft, and entryway.  He painted them a soft sand color, the same color he painted the living room (thought I had blogged about the living room awhile back but I didn’t).  It doesn’t look extremely different but the small change in color really does make the rooms and other areas feel warmer.

The photos were taken while husband was painting and doing some touch-ups.

Peaceful Snow

It began snowing around 7pm last night.  Big wet flakes were blown around by the wind just as we took Kida to her dance class.  This morning the thin blanket of snow was an amazing peaceful scene.

Books

Last evening, I took Kida with me to Costco to pick up some photos I had printed and we ended up leaving with the Hunger Games Trilogy and a set of books for Kylie.  When we located the trilogy set (it took us a good 10 minutes), Kida screamed so loud, you could almost hear her echos throughout Costco.  She’s been wanting to read them since the beginning of this school year and had been waiting patiently for the first book in her classroom that is currently checked out by a classmate.

Kida loves to read these days.  She’s got books all over the house and always has a couple in her school back pack.  I don’t read to her anymore since she prefers to read on her own, to her sister, and to me.

She has a thing for vampires so vampire books were what got her to really read.  There was a time when she didn’t read very much but once she found a genre she was totally into, she couldn’t stop.

Kylie’s books:  This was the set I bought for her.  She enjoys books about nature and animals.

She also enjoys books about fairies so this variety packet was perfect for her.  She prefers shorter books with illustration so that she could point and talk about it.

One of her very favorites is this book, Flower Fairies Magical Secret Garden.  It’s beautifully illustrated and there’s a lot to read too…and….

…the illustrations pops up!

Another book she enjoys is, Little Rabbit Waits for the Moon.  I got it at an Office Max near us that closed earlier this year.

Since learning her sight words (about 20 words her Kindergarten class is required to learn before the end of the year), she likes to say them when I read her books to her.  There was once when three sight words were together and she was just so excited about it.

There was a time when Kylie wasn’t so into reading (me reading to her) either but thanks to Chick-fil-A with a book in their kids meal bag instead of a toy, Kylie has been one happy girl.  These two books were her favorites.

And, here’s the book she can read easily (and memorize):

I’ve had this book for a couple of years now (or close to).  At one point it was her favorite book.  She started out by listening, then saying a word or two, then reading a few pages on her own, and then eventually reading it all on her own.

She has lots of other books too: Disney princesses, Barbie, and a couple of chapter books.  They too are all over the house (I need a serious bookshelf and reading room!).

If you have any recommendations on books for kids, let me know.  Sometimes I struggle with finding good books for Kylie.

She Walked Around the Snow

This morning we got a nice surprise.  Snow.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your like/dislike of snow), it all disappeared by afternoon.

Kida used to love walking through the snow.  Even when she was wearing her prettiest shoes, she would still walk through the snow.  This morning, things were different.  I drove her to school, parked in my usual place, walked her to the corner of the street, kissed her off, and watched her cross the street to her school.  Once across the street, I expected her to joyfully run through the snow covered grass kicking what little snow there was all over the place, but instead she paused on the clear-of-snow sidewalk, looked at the snow on the grass, then turned right, and continued walking on the sidewalk to the entrance.  It’s a longer walk on the sidewalk but she was willing to take that chance to avoid getting snow on her shoes.

What happened to the little girl who loved snow?  She is growing way too fast.

Pumkin Bread Cravers + Autumn Fairy Fantasy Layout 3 Ways

Both my girls love pumpkin bread but Kylie goes nuts over them, especially my version.  She’s been begging me to make pumpkin bread since the summer so last night I finally made a couple loaves.  She pretty much ate half of one loaf.

Those slices are deceiving.  It looks like Kida got a larger slice but know that Kylie had two and half slices.  Kylie was on her second slice when I took these photos.

Autumn Fairy Fantasy Layout 3 Ways

I created this layout from these photos that inspired me:

Photo from last year’s trip to Maroon Bells in Aspen, CO.

Candid photo of Kylie in her own imaginary world pretending to be angry at something or someone.

Close up of Kylie as the Autumn Fairy.

I turned the layout into my desktop and the banner for this blog (see top of blog).

Additional credits: Textured paper  and blueberry branch by Lorie Davison (at Scrapbookgraphics), Wings by Adaae (at Deviantart), and fur texture by sugarpultry (at Deviantart).  Fonts: The King and Queen (dafont.com).