Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Hummingbird and a Honeybee

It is that time, the annual move up day at the boys' school.

Zach is now in the Pre-K Hummingbirds and James is in the two year old Honeybees. That is the same class Zach was in at that same age. I am thrilled as I love, love his teacher in that room. She is an angel sent from heaven to potty train my children.

PS This is James saying "cheese"
 And here is my annual retrospective of each June since the boys started school.

This was almost exactly a month before his brother was born. Look at that innocent, unknowing smile. He had no idea how his world was going to be rocked by a very unimpressed baby.

2012 - Zach
 2012 - James (back when he was impressed)

What a HUGE difference age 3 to 4 makes! Look at those legs on Zach and the total lack of baby fat. I kind of want to cry. However....him being able to get dressed on his own, pee on his own and shower on his own make up for me missing that sweet squeezable Zachary. 

And I still have that fat baby James to squeeze. When he lets me. Who am I kidding, I have him saying "Mama's baby" now when he sees himself in the mirror. It makes my day and horrifies Alex.

You are welcome future daughter-in-law. Hahahahahahahaha...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I can't make this stuff up

When I arrived home from work yesterday this is what I found.

One child pants-less and one shirtless. And pants-less was NOT impressed.

Don't think we didn't take a walk with them both like this. I pushed pants-less James in the blue car and Zach rode his tricycle.

Maybe a tad more shame would be good for me.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

So very Houston


Houston is home to the Art Car parade, a tribute to crazy people who glue fruit and all sorts of other things to their cars. The parade happens every spring and winds its way through downtown.  It really is something I love about my otherwise very laced up city. The parade has cars covered in glitter, fake dog fur, made to look like roaches, bananas and dragons and one is a guy sitting in a port o potty. People roller skate and roller blade alongside the cars and it feels very 70s. Other things are smoking aside from the cars.

This year the boy’s school was selected as one of the schools to get their very own tour of a few art cars. Zach came home talking all about it. So when my friend Hillary invited us to walk over with her I knew we had to do it.

Zach was a huge fan of the parade. We were there long enough to feel like we saw it but not so long that James was having a fit when we left. This is our new standard of how long we stay places, FYI.

Hillary’s baby is just so stinkin cute, isn’t he? 

Don’t worry James was still not impressed with mini-vans decked out as tiki huts. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Becuase you know you want to crush something

You guys I made this chicken the other night and I forgot how much I love it.

It is from Food and Wine magazine years ago but I first saw it on Dinner a Love Story. And it is my second favorite chicken, closely behind my favorite. I tweaked the original recipe and technically I don’t even measure it any more. I just put the mustard, oil and vinegar (stay with me) in a bag, shake it up then add the chicken to coat. I have let it marinate overnight and just for a few minutes. Both times it worked out well. My boys like it as they really like pretzels. 

The pretzel chicken is also great for freezing, but if you use a smaller cut of chicken like a breast cut in half or tenderloins it is perfectly quick for a weeknight meal. Serve it with roasted green beans and thank me later.

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken

Mustard-Baked Chicken with a Pretzel Crust
Heavily adapted from Food and Wine
1/2 pound hard pretzels, coarsely crushed (4 cups)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons spicy brown or regular mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray (Pam)

  •  Preheat the oven to 375°. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels until coarsely ground; you should have coarse chunks and fine crumbs. You can also put into a zip top bag and go wild with a rolling pin if you are having a bad day. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl.
  • Add the oil, mustards, and vinegar to a plastic bag and shake to combine (you can also put it in a bowl and whisk it but then you have to clean a bowl and a whisk).
  • Add the chicken the bag/bowl.
  •  Dredge the chicken in the pretzel crumbs and transfer to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet sprayed with cooking.  Spray tops of chicken with cooking spray.
  • Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes (for large chicken breasts) or 15 minutes for thinner cuts.
  • You can turn the chicken once to ensure both sides are crispy but by using the rack they crisp up nicely either way.

You will note there is no salt added. I don’t add it as there is always plenty between the mustard and the pretzels. And you know I like to over-salt things.