Homemade Fries...

These are so good and you don't even need a deep fryer to make them.  I don't buy store bought fries but do like to make them at home on occasion for a treat.

Here is the recipe I have been using for quite awhile and it's a favorite.

What you will need:
  • 2 1/2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water or more if needed.
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil for frying.
How to make them:
  1. Slice the potatoes into french fries and place into cold water so they won't brown while you prepare the oil.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  While the oil is heating, sift the flour, garlic salt, onion salt, and (regular) salt into a large bowl.  Gradually stir in the water so that the mixture can be drizzled from a spoon.
  3. Drop a bunch of fries in the batter bowl and stir to they are coated with the mixture. Place the fries in the hot oil so they are not touching at first.  The fries must be placed into the skillet one at a time or they will clump together.  Fry until golden brown and crispy.  Remove and drain on paper towels.

Wordless Wednesday - April 29th

~~~~  Little Miss Laila ~~~~
Proof that I do dress her in a skirt once in awhile 

We are sick !

Between the weather shifts in Calgary recently and Hayden bringing germs home from school we have all managed to come down with colds again.  This is cold 3 or 4 for us all and honestly I'm just tired of being sick.  The last one ended with Laila visiting the children's hospital with Ferbile seizures and that is a road I wish not to go down again.  I'm medicating daddy, Hayden and I while watching Laila pretty close.

We did manage to have a lovely weekend before getting sick....On Friday Faruq chaperoned Hayden's class when they went on a school trip to a local farm.  Then Saturday after swimming we headed to the local farmers market for some fresh veggies and organic meat.  The evening was spend making pizzas and watching movies.  Sunday everyone just seemed to do something they were interested in...Hayden hung out in the basement working on his Lego's, Daddy worked on taxes and yard work.  Laila and I jut napped for the better part of the afternoon.  Just a great day  and weekend !!

I also spent a little time catching up on some of the shows I have PVR'd and man there was a lot...I love The Office, Private Practice and The Amazing Race.  But my new guilty pleasure is The Real Housewives of New York....I use the word "real" pretty loosely  though.  These women are something else....I loved when Kelly tried to "bitch" slap Bethany and end up getting it far worse.  The fact that these two aren't even married leads me to wonder how they qualify as "housewives" in the first place.  But none the less I will being watching next Sunday to see what these crazy ladies get up to next.

Through Facebook I was able to connect with 4 friends that I haven't spoken to in over 20 years and it was so nice to catch up on what they have all been doing.   I have kind  of lost interest in Facebook and have been  just using it for some of the on-line games but it was nice to find some long lost friends.

Our beloved Flames were ousted out of the Stanley Cup finals in the first round against the Blackhawks this week....I guess they will need to figure out what's not working for next season and hope that they can come back strong in the fall.

This week I'm looking into rental properties and flights for a trip we want to take to Florida this fall - If anyone knows a good home rental company I would love to have the name.  

Well that's it for now - should run and get lunch ready for the kiddos !!

Chow for now !

Random Picture Challenge #13

For the weekly "Random Picture Challenge" over at 4 Little Men we were asked to select the 8th folder and the 25th picture but I really only started taking pictures in July - 2003  so I selected the 25th from there.



This is a picture of my sweet Hayden Alexander.
He was jut a day old when I snapped this in the hospital.
Lord time has flown by as he will be 6 this year !!

~~ Stop by 4 Little Men to see more pictures ~~

Again not much news worthy here !!

I haven't been blogging much lately because honestly I'm still not out of that funk I was in a few weeks ago.  We had a sprinkling of good weather Monday and I have to say my mood brighten considerably that day but sadly today as I'm typing this I'm watching the snow fall outside.  Dang when is summer going to arrive here for good !!!

Hayden had his school dance Friday night and it was a ball.  We went out for a little family dinner beforehand and then got to the school earlier because of having to leave for Laila's bedtime.  There were lots of families which was great to see because I know from past experiences it takes a lot of time and effort to plan these types of events.  We played some of the games in the gym, had a few snacks at the "sweet treat alley" then hit the dance for a few spins around the floor.  As expected Laila was groovin' to the tunes and Hayden was holding up one of the walls in the gym.  These kids are so drastically different in so many ways.  We ended up leaving just before 9 pm so bedtime was a bit of bust that night but it's okay since everyone was having so much fun.

Saturday was spent running errands and home for a lovely BBQ !  We managed to see not one but two movies this weekend.  We watched "Marley & Me" and "Slumdog Millionaire" both were wonderful and I would highly recommend them.  I can honestly see why Slumdog won best picture...sad but unfortunately a reality for so many kids still to this day.

Sunday was my day to sleep in so daddy took the kids to Ricky's for breakfast then down to his office for a little running around.  He needed to pick up a few things for his trip to McMurray this week.

Chow for now !!

Wordless Wednesday - April 22th

~~  Best Friends Forever ~~
Laila & Elmo
April 19, 2009

Random Picture Challenge #12

For the weekly "Random Picture Challenge" over at 4 Little Men you can either select your 13th or April 2008 folder and then the 42nd picture.  



This week I picked the April 2008 folder ~ 42nd picture
It's Hayden with his very first ever project that 
he had to create for his spanish preschool class.

~~ Stop by 4 Little Men to see more pictures ~~

A different type of Family Fun Night....

So tonight we are having a different type of family night...instead of staying home in our pj's, eating yummy food and watching movies we are venturing to Hayden's school for his very first ever "School dance".  Yikes do I actually have a kid old enough for school dances surely I don't and this is just a mistake.

According to my very excited son we do in fact have a ticket and will partake in the festivities tonight at his school.  I guess it is a carnival and dance so there will be games, food and a little "cutting the rug" as Faruq has been gladly teasing Hayden about this week.

I think we are all pretty excited and I'm sure we will have lots of fun !  I will be sure to take my camera and get lots of pictures to share of yet another "first" in our house.

Chow for now !!

My First born ...

Hayden Alexander 

I'm not sure how I got so lucky but  I did when I was given the gift of my first born. He is a great kid and one that any parent would be proud to call their son.  

I now know that God had a plan for me and that I had to go through sorrow before seeing beauty. I feel privileged to walk with Hayden during his journey in life and to watch with wonder everything that he learns.

Here are just a few of the things that makes him so Hayden.....

He is super serious.
He has a witty sense of humor (like his dad)
He is shy.
He is kind to everyone and is hurt when people are not the same to him.
He is beautiful in and out.
He was the spitting image of his mama at birth.
He is smart.
He is afraid of the dark.
He loves trains.
He loves to read his books.
He loves lego's.
He loves to help his mama with cooking and baking.
He loves to do housework (your welcome ...future wife).
He makes his bed every morning.
He loves to play on the computer
He is grumpy in the morning.  (so much like his mama)
He loves to play in his sandbox.
He loves to ride his bike and jeep.
He loves popcorn.
He loves to cuddle with his mama at night before bed.
He loves to go to the movies.
He loves sports - t-ball and golf are his favorites.
He is a great little swimmer but hates to put his head under the water.
He loves to take electronics stuff apart.
He loves his little sister (most of the time).
He loves all the holidays (like his mama).
He loves his dad and spending "guy" time with him.
He loves broadway shows.
He loves, loves, loves school and all that he is learning.
He loves jellybeans.
He loves Edo's chicken and rice.
He loves taking pictures.
He is named after two of great-grandfathers.
 He is amazing and an absolute joy to have in my life.  


I love you Hayden !
I'm so proud to be your mama.


We had a wonderfully quiet weekend but still managed to get a few things checked off our "To Do" list.  We seldom ever get to have "PJ" days in our house anymore so we took advantage of it on Sunday.  It seems funny eating our turkey dinner in our jammies but everyone was comfortable and relaxed.

We managed to watch 4 movies this weekend which again is pretty much unheard of around here.  My favorite was "Seven Pound" with Will Smith.  He is a favorite for me so I try to catch any of the movies he is in.   We rented "The Tales of Despereaux" and all enjoyed it as well.  Hayden and I have been reading this book for the last month or so it was nice to see it on the screen.

I ran out on Saturday evening to find some chocolate for the kids not  because I had forgotten to buy it but honestly if I had it in the house I would have just eaten it.  Well I didn't realize this was going to be as tough as it was.  After 4 stores I finally found a Superstore with a little candy left....Holy people in Calgary take Easter very seriously.  I managed to snag a couple chocolate bunnies and a few movies for each of the kids.  We celebrate Easter but try to focus on the true meaning of holiday and not the commercial aspect.  I think Hayden got it this year because of the 100 questions that folded my explanation. 

We had a little egg hunt on Sunday morning followed by a big breakfast of pancakes and fruit salad.  My rule for Easter day is "eat as much chocolate as you want or can during this day" then we are back to small portions every other day.  Honestly, Hayden isn't a sweet eater so I don't worry to much about him.  Our lovely Laila on the other hand had her first taste of chocolate on Sunday and honestly it was like watching a spinning top.  She danced around and was laughing continuous...it was cute but kind of scary to see what sugar can do to a kid.  She may have my dreaded sweet tooth.

Monday we cleaned out our garage and I managed to get the front flower beds cleaned.  It was so nice being outside after what seemed like a very long winter.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend with your family !!

Here's a few pictures I snapped of the kids over the last few days...

My little "Life Artist"...

"Please stop taking pictures of me ~ I'm not going to smile ever again"

"Little Miss Super Serious" (but so cute)

Hayden enjoying the backyard even if there is still a pile of snow !

Family Friday

It's hard to believe that Friday is here yet again and Good Friday at that !  We have had a very busy few weeks are looking forward to just have a little down time with the family over the 4 days.

I'm not sure why but I haven't been feeling overly inspired to post much to the blog lately.   I guess I'm in a funk...Ever get in one of those?  It seems to happen to me at least a few times a years and usually around the the times the seasons are changing - Summer to Fall and Winter to Spring !

This has been a particularly hard winter with what seems like continuous snow and cold temps.  Much harder I find since having little ones that need to be bundled up when heading out.  Someone in our house has been sick with a cold since October and generally I think we are just ready for it be over.

Spring of course brings allegry season with it.  I have never had a problem with allergies before moving to Calgary but have to say it hasn't been pleasant the last few springs.  I'm ready with the meds when they decide to hit and I can already feeling them creeping up.

Our lovely little Laila is doing better....as you all know we had quite the scare a few weeks back with the Febrile seizures but shortly after her stay at the hospital we received a call that again put us in a tail spin with regards to her health.  The director of Pediatric care was calling to say that after reviewing Laila's x-ray it appeared that one side of her heart maybe enlarged and that he wanted us back to re-run the chest x-ray.

We went the next morning and Laila was not happy about going through the procedure again.   The doctor also ordered an  EKG be done and by now I think Laila had figured out if she just cooperated with medical staff things would be over quicker because honestly the nurse couldn't believe who well she just submitted to the test and didn't fight us.

I have said it before we are so fortunate to have this state of art hospital virtually right in our neighborhood.  After all the tests came back the x-ray still appeared with the same result as the first one.  The EKG seemed to be fine though so they are going to order another x-ray after her cold is completely cleared up. The radiologist now feels it may just be the way she is moving when they actually take the x-ray but want to be 100% sure.  She was diagnosed with a small heart murmur at birth but it also appeared to correct itself.

We have been so fortunate with Hayden not having any medical issues that this is has been a bit unnerving to say the least.  Hopefully, it is nothing but we won't know for sure until the final x-ray is done in a few weeks.

The snow has finally gone so we are going to try to get out to do a little yard work and enjoy the nice warm sun.  The boys rented a few really good movies that we are going to watch in the evenings.

I hope everyone has a very Happy Easter with their loved ones and that the bunny leaves you a few treats to enjoy.  I know he is all set to visit our place tonight after our oldest goes to bed.

~  Happy Easter ~ 

Classic Creamy Risotto

Another favorite for Laila is this Risotto recipe.  Her mama loves it so it was only natural that she would like it is as well.  Honestly I could eat it every day if my waistline would permit.  Here is a super easy recipe that you can make in about 20 minutes.

Classic Creamy Risotto 
(Recipe from "Better Baby Food" 2nd Edition)

What you will need:

2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter or margarine
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
clove garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio rice (I buy mine at Planet Organic)
3 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock 
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp  ground nutmeg

How to make it:

1.  In a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat.   Add onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes or until tender.  Stir in rice and cook for 3 minutes, being careful not to let it brown.

2.  Add hot stock, 1/2 cup at a time.  Cook mixture, stirring occasionally, until broth is almost absorbed.  Continue additions of stock, cooking and stirring occasionally, until mixture
becomes creamy and rice is tender.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cheese, pepper and nutmeg.

A few tips:
- Keep the broth hot before using it.
- I have added chicken or other veggies as well.

Spiced Banana Yogurt Cake

I tried a new recipe that calls for bananas and have to say it's been a hit with the whole family but particularly Laila.  It is super easy and makes quite a big cake so there is lots to snack on.

Spiced Banana Yogurt Cake
(Taken from "Better Baby Food" recipe book - 2nd edition)

Preheat ove to 305'F
You will need a 13 x9 baking dish (greased)

What you will need :

2 cups Cake and pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup plain yogurt

How to make it:

1. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until frothy.  Gradually beat in sugar until very thick.  Stir in bananas and applesauce.  Stir dry ingredients alternately with yogurt, making three additions of dry and two of yogurt.  Spread in prepared pan.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 3o minutes or until center is firm to the touch.  Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Wordless Wednesday - April 8th

"New Friends"
 ~Taken April 8th, 2008 ~

Random Picture Challenge #11

For the weekly "Random Picture Challenge" over at 4 Little Men it's your 17th folder or February  2008 and then select the 33rd picture.



This week I picked the 17th Folder ~ 33 picture.  
It's one of my favorites of Hayden !
He was about a 15 months and loved his daily "bath time". 
 I'd  wash him with a Baby Einstein Puppet and he'd giggle the whole time !!

Friday's Family night

We had a pretty casual Friday night !  Made pizzas and watched the movie "Bolt".  With the last few weeks it's nice to just have a bit of quiet time at home.

Daddy is working overtime this weekend, Hayden has swimming then 2 birthday parties and thankfully Laila just has a few long naps and meals on her schedule.  

Hope you all have a lovely weekend with your loved ones !!

Chow for now..

Off to Children's we go...

Seriously 3 times in the last two weeks.....I took Laila into our GP today because I just don't feel the first dose of antibiotics did the trick.  She finished them Monday and soon after started with all the same symptoms that she had 3 weeks ago.  He ordered another chest x-ray to confirm what he was hearing when he examined her this morning.  I just want this to be gone and her to be better.  Mama is getting tired, Laila is getting tired....we are all just getting tired of this crap.

So off we went to the Children's Hospital and they laced her up in the "Hannibal Lecture" type contraption they use to take the chest x-rays..... I think my little lady is getting wise too it all.  Not once but twice she broke free and they had to redo the x-rays.  Poor peanut - I know it isn't fun but it is necessary to have the best look.

So I have a copy of the x-rays and we go back tomorrow morning to see if she may need more antibiotics.

On a lighter note....anyone watching the series finale of "ER" tonight.  I'm going to PVR it for sure and try to watch it in the next few days. I have been a loyal watcher for 15 years and I'm really sad that it is ending.  I guess there is a new show starting from the same producers next week - a cop drama so I'm not sure I will tune in to that our not.  

Survivor is back with a new episode tonight as well...but honestly I can even remember what is happening with this show now since it has been off for a few weeks.

Amazing Race is getting exciting now !!  My two favorite teams are still hanging in so I hope they make it all the way to the end.

Biggest Loser was great this week....Nicole did so good at home for the last 12 weeks...87 pounds.   She doesn't need to be on the ranch with all the drama.  Seriously, Ron needs to go home and I actually figured he would be gone this week but once again he was saved.

Lastly, if you want a good laugh then tune into "Chelsea Lately".  It is a nightly talk show hosted by Chelsea Handler and I have to say it is one of the funniest shows on TV.  She does a round table with 3 other guests (usually comedians) where they talk about "current" events.  Then in her last segment she interviews a celebrity one-on-one.   You will truly enjoy this show if tune in !

Chow for now !!

We are alive !!

Haven't blogged much in the last few weeks because honestly I don't have much to say !!  We had  a good Spring Break .... we didn't do much because of Laila being sick but we read lots of books, did most of the puzzles in the house and managed to get a few new Lego creations build.  Hayden was an angel and really didn't complain about not getting out more - honestly I think he just enjoyed being at home in his pj's.

We still have more testing for Laila for a condition that was found on her x-rays but I'm not really ready to share any of that until further testing is done.  So off to the doctors again.

Hayden is back to school this week and all the after-school activities that comes with it.  I think he was excited to get back and see his buddies.  We are on the home stretch for school and can't wait until June and summer holidays.

Weather is crap in Calgary and we got more snow last night.  I'm so tired of winter and the cold temps.  It has been a very long winter and we just want a little spring warmth !!!

Daddy is working lots of overtime right now so mommy has been putting in lots of hours and according to Hayden "Is a little cranky" so we are hoping for a little more "Daddy Time" starting next week. 

I know there is probably more but honestly right now that 's all I fee like chatting about !!

Chow for now !