Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chicken and Vegetable Tostadas

One of my favorite things about the change of seasons is the availability of fresh produce.  I love spring and summer produce!  Here's one of my favorite Cooking Light recipes.  It's even great for making ahead.

Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
2 ears of corn, removed from cob
1/2 red onion, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1/2 c. salsa verde
1 c. shredded monterrey jack cheese
salt, pepper, cumin to taste
10-12 flour tortillas
Cilantro, optional

Dice chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and saute in olive oil until cooked through.
Season with cumin, salt and pepper.
Remove chicken from heat.  Set aside.
Add  another tbsp of olive oil to the pan, and saute vegetables until tender.
Add chicken to the vegetables and stir in salsa.
Add more salt, pepper and cumin to taste.

At this point, you can cool and refrigerate the mixture if you're planning to make it ahead.  The mixture is also yummy to eat with tortilla chips.

If you're ready for dinner…
Place 2-3 tortillas on a sheet tray and broil each side for 1-2 minutes.  Top each tortilla with chicken/veggie mixture and broil another 2 minutes.  Top with cheese and broil another minute until the cheese melts.  Garnish with cilantro, if desired.  
*I only broil 2-3 at a time, because they will burn quickly.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Why Worry?

I've never really been an "in the moment" kind of person.  In fact, my mother used to call me Vanessa (Huxtable, "The Cosby Show").   I was an adult, before I realized what she meant.  Like Vanessa,  I was a worrier and contemplator.   Every decision warranted weighing all options and preparing for all outcomes, even hypothetical ones.

As I matured and assumed more responsibility, my Vanessa-like tendencies got worse, before they got better. With more responsibility came more decisions.  Eventually through life's experiences came the blunt realization that, no matter how tangible things here on Earth are, we are not in control.

To keep it all in balance...

Focus on:
Accepting God's daily portion of grace and meditating on scriptures that reaffirm His promises.  I've listed a few of my favorites.
  • Psalms 23:4
  • Psalms 55:22
  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Matthew 6:25-34
  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Philippians 4:6-7 
Obsessing, worrying and over-analyzing.  These behaviors generate fear and are counterproductive.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fashion Flub

Toss together 1 ratty hoodie, 1 screen print tee, 1 pair of grass stained jeans, 2 smelly gym sneakers, and  a pair of fluorescent calf length gym socks and what do you have?  A tween!

It's JB's uniform these days, and it drives me bananas!  We've been going back and forth about his school attire, but I conceded after seeing how his peers dress.  What I can't handle is this "get-up" when he's out with me in public.  A few Sundays ago, he chose to wear this to church.  Apparently Sunday mornings bring about various illnesses and ailments that interfere with how decent clothing fits.  In our mad dash to get out the door for church, I honestly didn't notice his outfit until we were walking across the church parking lot.

That started my campaign to do my own version of "Ambush Makeover".  Armed with a few pictures saved on a Pinterest board, we headed to a local H&M.  In anticipation of a growth spurt, I decided against a complete overhaul of his wardrobe.  I just wanted to get a few basic, staple pieces and accessories (hmmmm).    When we stepped into the store, the boys criticized and laughed at everything from the the house/techno music blasting from the sound system to the clothing that I chose. Honestly,  I laughed, because they found it so amusing.   As I suggested shoe options:  driving loafers, oxfords….I realized that I was out of my league.

We eventually left the store with a few items, including a nice pair of red chinos that (believe it or not) he chose NOT to wear the following Sunday.   I decided to hold off on transforming wardrobes.  Besides, the more I thought about it and perused fashion blogs, I got a little nervous about the possibility of turning my little boy into a chick magnet.  For now I'll settle for a nice shower and swipe of deodorant.  Baby steps, right!

But….you have to admit, this looks nice!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Parenting These Days

This stage of parenthood has certainly brought a new set of challenges!  It's kind of like Texas weather- ever changing!  The early years are physically demanding.  As the children get older, it becomes a mental and emotional roller coaster.  At the end of the day, I am mentally drained.  Something tells me this is only the beginning.

JB is now 12 and eager to share his wealth of knowledge on ALL subjects.  He insists on doing things his way, and taking suggestions from parents is way lame.   Although it was painful at first, he finally settled into middle school.  Occasionally, he has trouble getting himself organized, but overall he's on the right track.

MC has succumbed to the mysterious "middle child syndrome".  He is happy to "fly under the radar", when he's not quipping a punch line.  He's the creative type and quickly loses interest in things that he determines are irrelevant.  Let's just say he needs a little outside motivation.

Baby Girl is our little spitfire!  She has no problem telling you exactly what she wants and when she wants it.  I just had a talk with the boys about the difference between assertiveness in boys and girls.  I want to make sure we don't unknowingly affect her self-confidence with labels, so we'll have to find synonyms for bossy.

Recently I've  been brought to tears (of laughter) at the thought of parenting a teenager and toddler at the same time.  What was I thinking?  I've certainly relaxed a bit, on some things, and learned to pick  my battles.  I'm also praying, in advance, for the teenage years!

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