Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shrimp and Tortellini in Tomato Cream

Tried this recipe from my last meal plan tonight.  So good.  I'll give the the recipe exactly as called for, then tell you what I did.  This will never be a recipe that I can "just make".  It requires way too many ingredients that I don't keep stocked.  And because of the shrimp =)  The only thing that I would like to improve upon was the freshness of the shrimp.  I grocery shopped Monday night and didn't get to make this until tonight (Wed.)  The shrimp was still good (Leta liked it), but it could've been better.

Shrimp & Tortellini in Tomato Cream

1 pkg. (9oz) refrigerated cheese tortellini
1lb uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined.
1 T olive oil, divided.
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp pepper, divided
dash of red pepper flakes
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans no salt added petite diced tomatoes
1 bottle (8oz) clam juice
1/2 c white wine
2 T balsamic vinegar
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 c parmesan
1/4 c half and half
10 fresh basil leaved, thinly sliced
2 T minced chives

Cook tortellini according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, cook shrimp in 2 tsp oil until shrimp are pink.  Stir in lemon peel, 1/8 tsp pepper and red pepper.   Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, cook shallots in remaining oil on low, 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until brown.
Add garlic, and cook 1 minute longer.

Add tomatoes, clam juice, wine, vinegar and thyme.  Boil about 10 minutes or until broth is desired consistency.  Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients, including shrimp and tortellini.  Top with more Parmesan.

What I did:  I did not have lemon peel, so I just skipped it.  I also did not have the wine so I used 1/2 cup water with a little chicken bouillon base.  I also pureed my tomatoes (I thought it would be a consistency I would prefer...I'm not a fresh tomato person, so no chunks is good for me).  I used a sprinkle of ground thyme and I shook basil in until I thought it looked like 10 leaves worth.  I added both dried spices before the boiling to get their flavors developed.  I also used heavy cream since that's what I had on hand already.

I really liked the whole thing, but especially the tomato soup base.  I think I'll make that portion of the recipe again sometime, doubled and do grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Yum! 

Monday, December 20, 2010


Saturday Kyle's grandma Pat had her family Christmas. It started with lunch in Stillwater at 12:30 at Texas Roadhouse and then to her house for dessert, presents and a game of Dirty Santa for the adults.

We left Saturday morning right after Leta's morning nap.  We arrived at Texas Roadhouse about 15 minutes late and has some rolls, peanuts and ordered.  Then Luke said his belly hurt. So Kyle took him to the restroom, where Luke threw up everywhere.  So, 10 minutes after arriving, the kids and I left and headed home for naps.

Kyle's dad and his Uncle Rodney brought him home around 6:00 and we opened the Christmas presents he brought.  We all got some nice things.  Leta thinks her talking baby is hilarious and Luke loves his hot wheels race track. 

We all skipped church on Sunday.  Luke was feeling better but he hadn't been "throw up free" for 24 hours and Kyle's stomach was feeling funny (but he never got sick).  So we just had a nice at home day where I made some progress on the laundry I'd started the Tuesday before.  (I finished it today.  Just in time for  my normal Tuesday laundry day!!)

This morning Luke and I went to the dentist.  I go to Dr. Kesa McConnell on NW Expressway at Signature Dental.  It's a bit of a drive, but I began going to her when we lived at our old house and I love her, so we'll drive to go to her!  If any of you are looking for a great dentist in the area...2 thumbs up for her!!!  Our teeth both look good.  Luke was scared and intimidated!  He asked to bring his snuggle bear with him, something he's never done before, and I let him.  He was very brave and did a great job opening his mouth so they could count his teeth (20) and brush and floss him.  Only after mentioning that Luke was a thumb sucker could Dr. McConnell detect that from looking at his teeth.  So, we are to discourage it during the day, but she doesn't care if we do anything about it at night.  We'll start that project soon.  Since Luke did so well at the dentist, I surprised him with a trip through the drive thru at "Old McDonald's".

 Luke and Leta taking their first bath together.

 Leta in her Christmas present from mom/dad/Santa
Tomorrow is a big day for us.  I got a babysitter for Leta for the day and Luke and I (along with our friend Shanna and her little boy Karter) are going to Seminole to visit the Jasman Moran Children's Museum.  It's about a 1 1/2 hour drive there.  We're leaving at 9am and I plan on being home by 5.  I'm willingly letting Luke skip a nap. This is HUGE for me people!

The Last Meal Plan of 2010

I found a lot of new recipes to try in my latest issue of Taste of Home. However, they must have had some "ham" theme going because ham is about all we're going to be eating for the next month!  We'll probably end up cured before it's all over with!

Leftover Roast Stew (my favorite!! And the best part of this is...don't be grossed out here...1 crockpot, two meals and only 1 washing!!)
Creamy Pasta Shells with Broccoli and ham
Ranch Ham and Cheese Pasta
Asparagus Ham Dinner
Shrimp and Tortellini Soup in tomato cream
Chicken Swiss Bundles
Fontina Ham Stromboli
French Toast
Slow Cooker BBQ Turkey Meatballs.

Maybe with all my new recipes I'm trying I'll have some good ones to post for you all.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Seen and Heard

Yesterday, before I left the house Leta was crying.  She can sense these things.

Luke:  Leta's sad when you leave, Mommy.  But not me.  I like it.

Hmmm.  I might have been offended, except his behavior lately is lending itself to my attitude mirroring his =)

Monday, December 6, 2010


This year we went to Nebraska for Thanksgiving.  We left home and Leta was fussy before we got to I-35.  Needless to say it took some effort to keep her happy on the drive up.  Luke had videos so he was perfect.  Michael, Audra, Solomon and Amelia also came for the TG weekend.  We arrived just in time for supper and some wild play by the boys before bed.  We all shared one room.  And everyone would have slept very well if it weren't for Leta, who did NOT sleep well, thus, none of the rest of us did either.  At 4 a.m. after 2 hours of trying to get her down in her bed, I gave up and held her in the rocking chair until morning.

Thursday morning was spent watching kids, barely helping mom in the kitchen etc.  My Grandma and Grandpa Olson came for Thanksgiving lunch and were able to stay for the afternoon.  It was good to get to spend time with them (which I did, after a little nap on the couch).  Leta did not sleep well again this night.  But Luke was so exhausted from the previous night he slept through all her crying, which was nice.

Friday morning the boys spent a good deal of time outside "helping" Grandpa.  Luke loves to drive the tractor and see the horses and cows etc.  They were also deemed "big" enough to play on the big round bales this trip and enjoyed that and did very well.  Friday afternoon Audra mentioned that she thought a Bloomin' Onion sounded good...which eventually morphed into Michael, Audra, Kyle and I driving into Vermillion and eating at Red's, a very nice steak house and leaving the 4 grandkids with grandma and grandpa.

Saturday was mom's birthday so we celebrated with pumpkin pie and presents during lunch.  Leta approved of the pumpkin filling and Amelia LOVED the stuff.  She almost ate an entire piece of pie herself!  The girls and boys took baths together that afternoon and Leta and Amelia wore their matching dresses and we all drove back into Vermillion for Italian at Little Italy.  The kids did well and we had an enjoyable meal.  After we got there.  The "girls" car had just left when I realized I had no food for Leta, so we had to head back and fix that situation!!  We let Luke ride with Solomon in his car, which he thought was great.  After returning that evening, we exchanged Christmas gifts between the cousins and they had fun opening their gifts.

Sunday morning came bright and early and we headed home.  Usually the trip home isn't as "happy" of a journey, but Leta did better this drive, so that was nice.  Not that she slept more than usual, but she was happier.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nuttin' much

Leta LOVES to drink water from a sippy cup.  Especially a sippy cup that has a straw.  She's much better at picking the cup up and drinking it correctly now, but back in the day (2-3 weeks ago) if the cup got knocked over on its side she would squirm her way around to drink out of it while it was on the floor, on it's side.  Not very effective...but SO cute to watch.

We've started putting Luke down for his naps in underwear.  He stayed dry yesterday. We'll see how today goes!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Tooth

Leta got another tooth on Friday, the 5th!  I'm usually very up-to-date on the status of Leta's teeth, and her nose has been extra runny lately, but she's also been sick (which is just now occurring to me that maybe she hasn't been sick at all and that her crankiness and fever and runny nose are teething symptoms...not illness symptoms.  However, since Luke had a fever early this week, either or both is likely).  Anyway, Kyle noticed it on Friday and I just noticed this morning.  I feel like a negligent mother.  With the time change last night we decided not to take Leta to church this morning and not short her sleep just yet, in case. But she's acting better this morning, so I'm second guessing our decision.  I suppose we'll stay home to be save (and I haven't started getting ready) and I'll work on switching her schedule tonight.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Luke's Well Check

Tuesday Luke had his 3 yr. Well Child check up with Dr. Stephens.  He talked all morning about not wanting a shot.  He didn't have any immunizations he needed to receive, but he did have to get a flu shot, poor thing!  

Luke is 35 inches tall (6%) and 29 lbs (20%--the highest he's ever been for weight!)  Luke was just 26 pounds this summer, so he's really packin' on the pounds! Maybe he's getting ready for a growth spurt or something.  

Luke woke up with croup Sunday night (again!). Was fine Monday, but at the Dr. we discovered a 99.3 temperature.  Not bad in my world, and doesn't even count in Dr. Stephens world.  However, we we got home and he was eating lunch he said he didn't feel well, and he felt hot to me so I took his temperature...102.8.  Which DOES count.  Then yesterday his fever hung out at around 100 and today it's gone...and transfered to Leta.  At least there was no throwing up for Luke.

We had our carpet re-stretched upstairs, which meant Leta missed her morning nap, which definitely wasn't a good thing, especially today.  But, she took a good nap at the same time Luke took his nap, which was great for me because I got a good break.  She woke up around 2:45 and I figured it would be a 1 nap day today, but around 5:30 she was just acting so exhausted that Kyle put her down and she got to sleep another 30 minutes before I woke her up.  She was tired and cuddly this evening, which was nice.

Halloween Festivities!

I just spent forever working on this post, then accidentally deleted the whole thing and now I have to start over.  *exasperated sigh*

We started our Halloween festivities with Kyle and Luke carving a Jack-O-Lantern.  Luke had plenty of fun choosing the design and helped take the seeds off the lid...and then promptly lost interest in the project and went to play until it was time to light the candle.  He also enjoyed the yummy pumpkin seeds I roasted.

We carved our pumpkin (by "we" I mean Kyle") Monday evening.  Tuesday evening we went to Storybook Forrest at Arcadia lake.  Luke enjoyed it and Leta loved seeing Luke in costume.  It was really cute how she kept looking at him in his monkey costume and giggling.  She thought it was the most funny thing.

We didn't get that great of pictures of Leta in her costume ever...bummer!

Wednesday we went to eat chili and go to Knock Knock Night at Quail Springs coC.  Luke was so excited to go...he's been asking about it since last year.  We went with Brandon and Shanna and saw many people we hadn't seen in a long time and really enjoyed ourselves.  Plus, Luke got lots of Tootsi Rolls...which I am ALL about.  I remembered our camera, but didn't remember to use it. *sad face*

Saturday day was horrible!  Luke was totally naughty and hyper and spastic all day long.  He was definitely more than a little excited to go Trick-or-Treating.  I made him a Carmel apple, which he refused to even try, so Kyle and I got to eat it and we liked it!  We met Brandon and Shanna at Panera Bread to eat before setting out in a nearby neighborhood (both of us live in very small neighborhoods, which are not good for Trick-or-Treating in.
Luke and Leta loved it.  There was one house where the entire family was sitting outside playing their various instruments together.  Leta loved the live music.  She clapped her hands and bounced and showed very good rhythm by clapping on the beat, which means she's already passed Kyle with her musical skills =).  There were several houses that had really gone all out decorating their yards and were in costume to hand out candy.  At one house in particular, Luke said, "Mommy can you believe all these decorations?!?"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Great Grandpa and Grandma Visit!

Not so long after Luke's birthday my Grandma and Grandpa Olson and Aunt and Uncle Marsha and Kent came to visit on their way to Texas.  They arrived Friday night after the kids were in bed.  It was nice to have a chance to visit with them, although I'm sure they were anxious to get to see Luke and Leta!  They were able to spend the night and got to spend the first part of the morning with us.  Luke and Leta loved the extra attention and were suitably cute.  Leta was in a generous mood and let people hold her.

They brought with them Luke and Leta's Christmas presents and Leta's birthday present.  I'm so glad because they're Christmas gifts were quite large and I don't foresee a time when Kyle and I would have been traveling that we would have had room to haul it.  They both love the lego table Grandpa made and I'm having a hard time keeping Leta off of it.  Which I began to enforce right after I took those cute pictures of her on top of it. Leta has to wait until Christmas to open hers.  It was nice to see them all and get to spend some time with them.  Can't wait until Thanksgiving when we'll get to see everyone again! (Except Marsha and Kent...they'll be busy "playing" with their Christmas trees!)