Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chicken & Orzo Soup

It has been rainy soup weather up here! I've had this recipe sitting around for two years just waiting to be made. I found it in Williams-Sonoma...that glorious store that is like Disneyland! Matt & I were there with Ada a few weeks ago and I was in heaven looking at everything. The saleslady asked if I liked to cook and if I wanted a job! Too bad it was way up in Los Gatos...that discount would be oh-so-sweet. 
This is one of those wonderful recipes that takes a short time to prepare, but tastes (& smells) like it's been simmering on the stove all day long. It is so comforting & reminiscent of chicken noodle soup. 
Chicken & Orzo Soup
1 T. butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 T. fresh (or 2 t. dried) marjoram
8 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup orzo or other small pasta
6 oz. baby spinach
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I used a rotisserie chicken)
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1/2 c. grated parmigano-reggiano 

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and marjoram and saute until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes more. Add the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the pasta to the simmering soup and cook until al dente, 3 to 4 minutes or according to package directions. Add the spinach and chicken and cook, stirring, until the spinach has wilted and the chicken is warmed through, about 1 minute. 
Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Serves 4.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Last month, Nana & Bobba were heading up to Sacramento to pick up some dishes from Betty Rae (Nana's sister) that belonged to my great-great grandma Ada Bundy, who my Ada is named after. Since they were heading up this way, they dropped my mom off with us for the weekend then came back through to get her and spend a day with us. 
It happened to be during a CRAZY heat wave, so we naturally headed to the beach.
It was record-breaking heat, 101 degrees on the beach. Insane! We were standing in the freezing water and it felt so good! Even Ada didn't mind being dipped in it to cool off.
When Nana & Bobba came, we went to eat on the wharf at Riva's. I had the crab sandwich and it was SO GOOD! The view is gorgeous.  
Ada loves her sippy cup and chugs the water just like her momma :)
We then walked down to an ice cream shop on the end of the wharf and all appreciated the cool down!
I love Bobba & Ada in this picture :)
I just love sitting back and watching everyone with Ada. It's so fun to have a little break to observe her with others!
It was so nice to have everyone...can't wait to see you again!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Apricot Chicken

This is a great, easy recipe that I've been making for years! It's travels well and is usually my go-to dish when I sign up to bring people meals. We had the missionaries over last month and I made this - there wasn't a piece left. One Elder asked what kind of sauce it was and said it was sooooooo good! 
I halve this as well when it's just Matt & I.

Apricot Chicken

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I like to chop them up)
1 (8 oz) bottle Russian salad dressing
1 cup apricot jam
1 package dry onion soup mix

Place chicken in a greased 9x13 pan. Combine the dressing, jam, and onion soup mix and pour over chicken. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for one hour. Makes 8 servings.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is SO GOOD! It was a perfect soup night last night. I found this recipe in the Essential Mormon Celebrations cookbook that my Aunt Liz gave me. It has so many wonderful recipes in it! They call this one Chicken Taco Soup, but I know this kind of soup as Chicken Tortilla. I also made the Cilantro Lime Dressing which was awesome, it had a thick texture and tasted great with the soup and as a dip for chips. (I halved this recipe & Matt had seconds with plenty leftover for lunch or dinner for the two of us)
Chicken Tortilla Soup

6 cups water 
6 chicken bouillon cubes (could sub chicken stock)
4 chicken breasts, cooked & cubed
1 teaspoon cumin
1 or 2 tablespoons chili powder (I used one and it was perfect for me - but I like things on the mild side)
1 (29 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup rice
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, undrained
Corn tortilla chips
Cheese, grated
Cilantro, chopped
Sour cream
2 limes, quartered

In a large pot, bring water to a boil; dissolve bouillon cubes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cubed chicken, cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, sugar, rice, and garbanzo beans. Simmer for about 1 hour. When ready to serve, add remaining ingredients as toppings to individual servings. Makes about 8 servings.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

1 (1 oz) packet Ranch dressing mix
1 cup mayonnaise or miracle whip
1 cup sour cream
1 (3 in.) jalapeno pepper, cut and seeded
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (I put more because I LOVE cilantro)
Juice of 1 lime

Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor & enjoy! 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Breakfast With Ada

Now, I'm not a morning person. But this little lady with her crazy bed-head and happy face sure makes the mornings a lot better!Photobucket

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lagoon Time

 Ada & I love walking down to the lagoon.

She loves watching the ducks & rarely sits back all the way in the stroller!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Febrile Seizure

Yesterday, I had the scariest moment of my life as a mother. Ada had a seizure in my arms. Evidently they are fairly common in children under the age of one, caused by a sudden spike in temperature. She had a slight fever in the morning, but Matt & I both thought it was because she's teething. (Her fangs are coming in on top, just in time for Halloween!) We gave her some baby Tylenol and she was acting completely normal. She ate a normal breakfast and was herself. I took this picture at 11 AM, this is the giant-open-mouth-face that she does. Then she had a bottle and went down for a nap.

She woke up from her nap around 2 PM. I thought she felt warm, but she is naturally warm blooded just like her parents. I took the blanket off of her and we started watching Sesame Street to cool down. Then, she twitched and shook her head, and I turned her to face me and said her name. She went completely limp and her eyes went up to the side. She was still breathing and her heart was still beating. She was this way for an eternity it felt, while I called Matt and told him he needed to come home immediately because we had to get to the hospital. He told me to drive there on my own, but there was no way I was putting my baby in the back seat while I drove. What if she went unconscious or stopped breathing? I would have no way of knowing and would be trapped in the driver's seat. So he hopped on the bus and came home as fast as he could.
Once I got off the phone with Matt, Ada's arms and legs started jerking. She was unresponsive to me, which scared me more than anything. Even when she is falling asleep or just waking up, her eyes recognize me. Her eyes were looking off to the side and she wasn't acknowledging my voice. This is what made me think I might lose her. I called 911 at this point, and they sent an ambulance and a firetruck over. The woman stayed on the line with me and told me not to feed her anything or give her anything to drink, I wanted to yell, "DUH!" but I was respectful, you never know what people are going to do. Ada was drooling and grunting, but still breathing. By the time the firemen arrived, very quickly I might add, Ada was done seizing and was out of it in my arms. She was completely limp and looking around like she'd never seen anything in the room before.
The 6 guys piled into my bedroom and asked me what happened and started taking all of Ada's vitals. Her blood sugar was low because we were about to have lunch, and a fever causes that too. Otherwise she was fine and they kept asking me if she was acting normal. I said no, she is never this calm unless she's sleeping! She was moving her tongue around funny like she did as a newborn, like she was trying to figure it out again. On the ambulance ride, she started grabbing at the oxygen mask and I said, "There's my girl!" The guy who rode with us was so sweet with her, he has been married for 6 years and wants a baby so bad.
We got to the E.R. and got her weighed, hooked up to a heart rate monitor, and her temperature was 101. This was after cooling down with just a diaper on in the ambulance, so she was very hot. We got a cool washcloth and patted her with it to bring her body temp down. The nurses were great and the doctor told me that there are almost never long-term effects from febrile seizures. This reassured me more than anything! While she was seizing, that is what I was praying for...that I would have my baby back the way she was. She was so hungry and tired, they gave us lots of formula and she downed it all and fell asleep. They took a urine sample to make sure there was nothing that needed to be treated with antibiotics. It came back clear but they kept us there forever. We finally bugged the nurse to let us go home after hanging around for 4 hours. There was entertainment though, the man in the room next to us was strapped down to his bed and angry about it. He was making the ground shake while yelling and trying to break free! We were happy to see him wheeled away...the words coming out of his mouth were not very nice. Ada slept through most of his fits though, she was so worn out. We also had a weird lady sitting in a chair outside our room, she said she was a nurses' assistant, but I didn't see her assisting anyone. She did get us some applesauce for Ada though, which was very nice. Poor Matt hadn't eaten a thing all day, he thought he'd be able to have lunch when he got home. I had a bagel for breakfast then nothing else. So we were starving & stopped by Betty's Burgers on the way home. YUM.
We are so grateful for all of the prayers on her behalf. Once she was checked out and acting like herself again, I realized what could have happened. There are so many variables. I am just so glad that she was in my arms and that I knew how to respond. I was just reading in The Baby Book about fevers and febrile seizures the night before. I know that Heavenly Father was preparing me for what he knew was to come the next day. Also, last week I called Ada's insurance to ask about a doctor up here, and she made a point to tell me that E.R. visits are covered. What a blessing that was as we were there to not be stressing out about money and bills, but to know that she was covered.
Evidently Matt had a seizure at about the same age as Ada. Luckily he only had one, so I am hoping that is the case with Ada.  
We checked on her constantly throughout the night, I've watched her like a hawk today, and checked on her multiple times already tonight. Look at what she decided to do today...

Walk SUPER FAST! Haha I don't know why, but it uploaded the sound normal but the picture in lightspeed.
But she took her first steps :)
Yes, I cried. Today, I am counting my blessings over and over again.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ada is 10 Months Old!

Something about her age being in the double digits...TEN MONTHS! It just sounds so old! My Big Fat Greek Wedding, anyone? "Toula, when you gonna get married? You just!" Of course Ada's not looking that old, but boy is she growing up.

- Ada narrates her own books, it's like she is making up her own storylines as she turns the pages
- Kisses her books, toys, the sliding glass door, other babies, momma, papa...we may have created a monster! But oh how my heart turns to melted butter when she leans over and plants a slobbery kiss on my cheek without me asking for one.
Sleepy time with Papa
- Has her two bottom teeth showing more and more.   
- The other day she wouldn't go down for her nap. She would sleep in my arms, but then wake up when I laid her in her crib. So I decided I wanted a nap too & we hopped into my bed. We both slept, and Ada started moving in my arms. I thought, "No no no don't wake up!" as she wiggled her cute little body closer to me and put her chubby cheek right up against mine and fell back asleep. I almost cried...definitely one of those moments that make any frustration and exhaustion fade away. 

- She is walking around with one hand on things. I think I am going to look over at her soon and see her walking without touching anything!
Watching Grandpa with her plastic cup!
- Says, "Buh-buh" for bottle, bye bye, and bird (she loves watching the birds fly around outside). Also makes noises for animals, although sometimes she thinks everything is a doggie. 
- Loves other people. I have the greatest time running with her in the stroller. On the wharf the other day just about every person was pointing, waving, and smiling at her. She eats it up & turns her little head around to look up at me through the window with a big smile. 
- Shopping with her is fun as well, people give her stickers and draw pictures on the receipts for her. She was thoroughly entertained at the grocery store by throwing down a packet of soup mix and watching me retrieve it & shake it up while giving it back to her. Multiple times :)
- Claps & night as we take her down the stairs for bed she waves goodbye to whoever is left upstairs.
- Dances! Her little squat is too cute. Mostly her little right leg pops and bounces, it's awesome. 
- Squishes bananas, pears, plums, etc. in her little fists. Mealtime is quite the messy event these days! 
- Loves to be chased! It's funny to be downstairs and hear Ada's little crawl then Matt's pounding crawl behind her & the laughter that ensues. 
In her Halloween costume
- Has some funny little mannerisms. She tucks her little chin down really fast and laughs...or gets frustrated. It's one extreme or the other that causes the head-down-double-chin. Also opens her mouth as big as she can. Sometimes I can get her to do it by doing it myself, other times she just does it on her own! Another one is sticking out her lower jaw and straining. Such a funny girl!   
- Has lovingly earned the nickname little tornado. My days are spent chasing it, cleaning up after it, preventing destruction because of it...tidying up while the little tornado is napping...then doing it all over again. 
- Plays by herself & keeps happy and entertained. It's very entertaining to watch with all of her little noises and own language she has going on!  
At the beach 
- She really is such a joy to have around! She is a good-natured, happy baby (unless she's teething), full of energy and life! I am constantly humbled by my responsibility and calling to be a mother and loving the ride.  
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