Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Being #thankful in pictures, days 12-18

Here goes. The third installment in what I am #thankful for, complete with pictures of course. The weekend got away from me and I realized I went seven days without a post so that's what you are getting today, seven pictures. I might also add that some might think that a few of today's mentions could be considered luxuries or materialistic. And you are right. But I'm thankful that we have access to them and for the value they bring to our life.

 No. 12

Travel. These four chairs have a permanent home in our 5th wheel and if they are out of storage, it means we are out and about and together as a family. Travel does not have to be great distances or exotic places, it just needs to be away from our house and offices and involves all of us together. 

 No. 13

My Crock-Pot. Fill it up, turn it on, and dinner is ready when I get home. Why am I thankful for this appliance? Because it means less time in the kitchen and more time playing with the boys after work. 

 No. 14

The taco truck. It's quick, filling, and this kind of truck is native to the farming communities in California. And these trucks were cool before the food truck revolution too over.  The carne asada burrito is my go to order. What's you favorite?

 No. 15

The farmers market and the kindness of farmers. Sure this is not a picture of the farmers market but this is a picture of two very happy boys enjoying the complimentary little apples they got from Noble Orchards last Saturday. They chewed on these things for 30 minutes. Thanks Laurie and Jim Noble!

 No. 16

Knowing how to sew. My mom is an excellent seamstress and taught me how to sew with the help of regular 4-H sewing meetings. She was the 4-H leader obviously. This skill is something I will never forget and use still today. The above is a baby blanket for my new niece who will make her arrival at the end of this month in fact. I have another niece making her appearance in mid-December so I better stop blogging and get back to sewing. 

No. 17 

Costco. Yes I am thankful for Costco. Two loaves of bread, two gallons of milk, toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, laundry detergent, fabric softener, AA batteries, Carter's kids clothes, mayonnaise, fresh fish, big blocks of cheese, roasted chickens, freshly prepared ready to heat weeknight dinners and lunch for $1.50, drink included. I could go on. Some may say that they are expensive. They are if you don't use all of it but the reality is we do use all of it. And we usually do all our Costco shopping on Sunday. Together. As a family. Enough said. 

No. 18
My cell phone. Yes I am thankful for my cell phone. I was not eager to give up my Blackberry and I still despise the onscreen keyboard of my iPhone 5 but this phone has an awesome camera. In fact every one of these important moments mentioned in this post was captured in a photo taken on my phone. I have a big SLR camera and I love to take photos on that too but I cant always carry that camera around. I do however usually have my phone with me. I read an article this morning that said moms are spending too much time capturing moments on a camera and not enjoying the moments with their childern. I disagree. Because when I am sitting in a long boring meeting, wanting for an appointment or just need to smile, a quick look through my camera roll reminds be how very blessed I am. I'm glad I took the time to capture these moments and I can proudly say I lived them too.  

There you have it. The month is half over and I still have so much to be thankful for. Thanks for reading. ~mrs.c

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My obsession with the sandwich

Sandwiches come is all shapes and sizes, flavors and colors, and textures and temperatures. I've determined I'm a bit of a sandwich snob connoisseur. What do I mean? Well I like a good sandwich. What makes a good sandwich? I guess whatever you like to put on it but it has to be just right. I've tried to make sandwiches at home but they are just okay. I'm not sure what my homemade sandwiches are missing. Might be that cool sandwich station with little containers of assorted toppings to choose from and paper to wrap them in. I have the same problem with my love for Diet Pepsi. I prefer the fountain soda version over a can or bottle. Weird yes, but true.

Back to the sandwich. Where do you buy your favorite sandwich? There are lots of local sandwich joints and I have tried them and they are great but I always go back to the one with my favorite sandwich. You see the #24 on wheat has long been my go-to sandwich. This sandwich shop is local to California (and can be found in Oregon and Arizona too) and found in many of the great communities I have been a part of over the years. Togo's is my sandwich shop of choice.

This is not something I have shared with probably anyone. Why? Well, no one has ever asked. So imagine my surprise when I got an email from Togo's asking me if I might give all of my blog readers my thoughts on a new sandwich on their menu. I said SURE. Are these people watching me? How did they even know I knew where Togo's was? In full disclosure, they offered to even send me a gift card to buy the sandwich. I accepted! What they don't know (until they read this) is that I bought the sandwich and a few others before I got the gift card. 

And here it is. This particular sandwich is the "Triple Dip" Toasted Dip Sandwich and is one of two new Toasted Dip Sandwiches Togo's is offering right now. This sandwich is loaded! Do you see the melty cheese? Pastrami, Turkey and Roast Beef and it is really good too. I've ordered it twice now, on different occasions of course. I also ordered the "Roast Beef Dip" once which I also highly recommend.


Here is what I learned. The "Toasted Dips" don't normally come with veggies. After all they are served hot with a side of dipping juice too. We call this "Au Jus" at home. What do you call it? Each sandwich has provolone cheese and a creamy horseradish mayonnaise. I ordered the sandwich as-is the first time but decided I would "up the ante" the second time. As you can see I added the fresh veggies (lettuce, onion and pickles) and a little extra horseradish mayonnaise too, at no extra cost of course. I couldn't taste the horseradish the first time and I like it so I wanted to be sure to taste it next time and along with the crunch of the cold veggies, was an excellent improvement for my taste buds. The staff at my Chico Togo's on East Avenue are always really great and accommodating. They gave me a little extra horseradish mayo in a cup too. Just in case you know.

And I added a Diet Pepsi too. Remember I do like my Diet Pepsi from the soda fountain. 

So what might I change about the "Triple Dip"? It's a little pricey for a sandwich at $9.95 for a six inch. Yes it does come with 1/2 lb of meat so this is a shareable sandwich in my opinion. I could not eat the whole thing but maybe a big guy like my husband would. The six inch "Roast Beef Dip" was the normal $6.95 and worth ever penny. A great lunch or dinner option. And if you go to their Facebook page right here, they are running a "Toasted Dips" promotion and you can get a coupon for a $1 off.

Will I order one of the Toasted Dip's again? Absolutely! I really like these sandwiches. Will I go back and order my favorite #24 on wheat. You bet! What is the #24 on wheat you ask? Well I guess you should head on over to the Togo's website and figure it out. And while you are there, find out if there is a Togo's in your town. You won't be disappoined. 

What's on your favorite sandwich? Thanks for reading. ~mrs. c

Monday, November 11, 2013

Being #thankful in pictures, days 6-11

Here it is. My second installment of what I am #thankful for, in pictures of course.

No. Six
Friends and fun friend trips. 

No. Seven 
Colleen and her Daddy, circa 1976 or something like that. 
Dalton and Clayton and their Daddy, circa 2013.
I'm thankful for getting the chance to grow up on a farm. I had this opportunity, Jake had this opportunity and we are so very blessed that our boys will also have this opportunity.

No. Eight
I'm thankful for bath time, because bath time is never dull and always provides unexpected laughs and photo opportunities. See the kid with all his clothes on? Head first into the tub. I guess he was excited to get in. 

No. Nine 

Cooking in the kitchen, together. 

No. Ten
I'm thankful for my gift of gab and my comfort in front of a room full of people with a microphone in my hand. 

No. Eleven
Happy Veteran's Day

I'm thankful for this country and all that has been given up and provided so that we can raise our family here. 

Thanks for reading. Hope you will come back in a few days for the next installment. There is still so much to be thankful for. ~mrs. c

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Being #thankful in pictures, the first five days

I'm jumping on the bus. Everyone is posting daily in social media circles what they are thankful for in the month of November as we lead up to Thanksgiving. I thought I would offer what I am most thankful for in little bunches here on the blog and in pictures. Let's be honest, pictures make me smile. So let's get started.

No. One

I'm thankful for this guy. My best friend, husband and all around rock. Jake Cecil makes me a better person, makes us a great team and makes an awesome pot of clam chowder - bonus for sure. 

No. Two

I'm thankful for Woody and Buzz, Trouble One and Trouble Two, big bro and little bro, call them what you want, they are my babies and they are growing up right before my eyes. I'm thankful for each moment. 

No. Three

I'm thankful for Agriculture. It has given me and my family so much more than nourishment and I am so proud to be part of its community. 

No. Four 

I'm thankful for my parents. These two people, Richard and Mary Aguiar made me who I am and love me unconditionally. 

 No. Five
I'm thankful for my job with the Farm Bureau. In a few days I will celebrate seven years with this group here in Butte County. I did a small stint with the crew in Stanislaus County right after college so Ive been hanging around for a while now. I can honestly say the people - members and staff alike - are some of the greatest people I know. Everyday is different; I spend each of them working for an industry I am so proud to be a part of. 

There you have it, one through five of the reasons I am thankful - in pictures. Stay tuned for the next five on Monday and thanks for reading. ~mrs. c

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hey Nabisco, can you help a mom out?

Dear Nabisco,

I want you to know we are BIG fans!

Here is a little sample of what my collection of crackers and treats looks like. Yes I know two of these are not Nabisco but those brands should listen up too.

Might you consider an alteration to your packaging? Here's my dilemma, we buy lots of crackers because we like variety.  My hubby likes the Triscuit with his hard cheeses and I prefer the Wheat Thin's with cream cheese and dip. My boys think Ritz crackers are awesome and love the little Teddy Graham's in both chocolate and cinnamon for their sweetness. While not yours Nabisco, those Blue Diamond Nut Thins on the end are divine with a creamy brie. And who can resist a Cheese Nip? 

So here's the problem. With so much variety in our cupboard, we can't eat them all at once and the product goes stale before we finish a box because the little bag in the box stays open. Yes, I know that a stale box means I will buy another box and this is good for you and your investors. However as you can see above, I'm not shy on keeping a wide variety in our home. Heck, I might even buy a few more flavors if I knew they would last longer. 

The closure at the topic the box does a great job keeping the contents inside for the most part. But how about keeping out the air? 

Sure I could use a clip device inside the box. I also attempt to roll the bag down into the box. 

But what about this mess? A tear on the bag.  This happens often in my house. But maybe it wouldn't happen as much if the bag in the box had a closure? Aha! 

Like this. A regular reclosable bag. Brillant right? 

I myself have started using a quart size recloseable bag in each of the snack boxes in my pantry but I thought it would not hurt for you to hear from me, a mom, a consumer, and the shopper in my house. 

Nabisco and other snack food companies whose names are not mentioend above, thank you for your time and for listening. Even if you don't think this is a good idea, I bet a few other moms, like me will. Because who really likes stale crackers anyway?

Thanks for your considertion,
mrs. c

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Annual Memories

While Jake and I don't have school aged kiddos just yet, we have lots of friends who do including the Gore's whose eldest son and our godchild Jonathon took the big leap this week to Kindergarten. Before he could do this however, we had to do a little camping together.

We hooked up the trailers, loaded the ice chests and headed for cooler weather. Westport in Mendocino County was our final destination. I would love to show you all the great photos detailing our awesome long weekend but I was without my camera most of the time. Why you ask? I just forgot to take it out of the trailer each time we went to the beach. And since there was no phone service, I didn't even carry the phone camera with me either. An epic fail! However Jake has a bunch of photos of the kids at the beach on his phone and Amy did carry her camera along so I know there is more.

I did manage to get a picture of our campsite before Jake put everything away. The boys loved having room to run around. There was a playground too in this great RV Park and Campground. Look it up. I know we will be back.

The other photo I did take is below. I managed to pull the camera out before we left to capture a picture of the whole crew. Thanks to the timer on the camera and the spare tire on the trailer that I used as a tripod, we have this picture.

If you ask me, this was the most important picture I could capture. The one we will use to compare year after year about how we have changed and how the kids have grown. After four days of fun, friends, barbecue, 4pm happy hour and ocean breezes, everyone was still smiling and already talking about next year. Until then its back to school and preparing for Harvest 2013.

Thanks Stacy, Amy, Jonathon and Lorene! We had a great time and can't wait till next year!

Thanks for reading. ~mrs.c

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Happy, Happy, Happy Walnut Trees!

It was way back in March that I wrote about Jake and I moving forward with our "Plan"and getting our piece of dirt planted with walnut trees. You can read about it here if you missed it. Fast forward five months and look at these trees. Gorgeous!

Here is what they looked like on February 27, the day they went into the ground. 

And here is what they look like today! 

As you can see, sunshine, water and nurturing by my favorite farmer, Jake Cecil have proven to be a great recipe for growing beautiful trees. Just like growing kids, they must have a good foundation. 

The weeds seem to like the attention the trees are getting too. 

Here is my attempt at catching the sprinklers at work. These sprinklers emit a very light dusting of water over a 24 hour period once a week during the summer months. The method of irrigation is very efficient in providing to the trees and in conserving water. We had planned to use flood irrigation for a few years which is not the most efficient type of irrigation but it is what was available to us at the time and was just a short term solution. However, after some discussions and a review of the finances, we determined our money was going to be better spent upfront making the investment into a sprinkler system and digging a new well. I think the trees appreciate the decision. 

And what is a blog post without a picture of my favorite farmer and his protegees? 

Thanks for reading! ~mrs. c

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Farming in the Buff

Evenings at our house mean spending time in the backyard, checking our garden. Our youngest farmer has discovered how much fun it is to pick red tomatoes. As you can see clothes are optional.

Yes he's naked and yes nudity is almost always inappropriate but when you are only 16 months old its adorable! Wouldn't you agree? I'm saving this one for the high school yearbook. 

What do you do for fun as a family? 
Thanks for reading! ~mrs. c

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cast Iron Skillet Pork Pork Pork Pizza

My husband asked me the other night what was dinner. I replied enthusiastically, leftovers. This was clearly not the right answer to the question given his facial expression so I headed to the refrigerator to examine the situation. What was I going to prepare (and not reheat) for dinner? I discovered I had the makings of what could be a great pizza - cheese, pork products and a few veggie's. I will warn you now, this is not gourmet and it really is not a recipe. It is "what was in the refrigerator."  

I needed pizza dough first so I immediately went to The Pioneer Woman's pizza dough recipe. You can find it here . It's really easy and makes a great crust. This recipe fills my 14" cast iron skillet perfectly. 

Next up, ingredients. 
From the refrigerator I pulled bacon, Italian sausage and linguicia. Get it? Pork, pork, pork? Three kinds of pig products? Oh well, I tried. I cooked each of these pork delicacy's individually in my cast iron skillet. Why the skillet? I didn't want to get another pan dirty. After all I am the chief dishwasher in my household. 

Cheese, shredded mozzarella and a ball of the fresh stuff too.
Zucchini from the garden
Tomatoes from the garden
And a jar of sauce and a can of sliced olives from the pantry.
That is it!

After the dough did its thing (it needed to rise for an hour) I rolled it out into the pan which by the way I had washed after the pork product cooking and added a small layer of olive oil to the surface. 

I used this handy Pampered Chef rolling pin to assist in my efforts.  Again not the prettiest dough but clearly edible and homemade. Sssshhh! Please don't tell The Pioneer Woman. Her rolled out dough was much more attractive. 

Before I start to layer the ingredients, I turn on the gas burner to medium and let it begin to cook the dough from the bottom. Let's top the pizza! I added about a cup of my favorite brand of jarred marinara sauce. 

After the sauce, a layer of the sliced mozzarella and then add the meat. Here is the linguicia. What is linguicia you ask? It's a smoked Portuguese sausage and its yummy!

I then add the crumbled bacon, crumbled Italian sausage and one thinly sliced garden zucchini. 
Then I topped it all off with the shredded mozzarella. 

 Finally, a can of sliced olives and a handful of yellow tomatoes sliced in half. 

Remove it from the stove top and place it directly into a 350 F oven for 15 minutes or until it is cooked all the way through and bubbly. Pizza cooking times will vary depending on how many toppings you have put on the pizza. 

And here it is! 
Bubbly and slightly brown on top and the perfect combination and crispy and chewy on the bottom. 

I removed it from the skillet and cut it up for dinner. Where is a picture of just a slice you ask? The pizza was loved by my family and I forgot to take the single slice picture. Oh well, you get the idea. 

Let's recap.

a jar of sauce
more cheese 

A fresh, homemade dinner is served. What are you making for dinner tonight?
Thanks for reading! ~mrs. c

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Bath Time, Clothes Required

Yes, it has been a loooooong time since I have posted anything. My excuse? I'm a busy mom with a full time job and dinner on the table each night is much more important than blogging. I didn't say it was a good excuse.

Along with slacking on blogging, I also found a media card from my camera that had not been downloaded to my computer, until today.

Allow me to present my youngest child. The baby. When these photos were taken, he was only 10 months old! Today he is already 15 months old. I can still remember this evening and I am so excited I captured it. Here is the set-up. Big brother is in the tub. Little brother crawls into the bathroom and pulls himself up the side of the tub. Big brother engages little brother and gets him excited about being in the water. Little brother leans over to get one of the many bath toys and in he goes! Clothes and all, head first. SPLASH! Where was mom and dad you ask? Right outside the bathroom door. No harm done. He was a little scared but as you can see below that lasted all of 5 seconds and he was happy to be in the tub...clothes and all.

Come on, you know this made you smile.
Thanks for reading. ~ mrs. c

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fair, fun and family of course!

Memorial Day weekend for many means camping, water sports  and the beginning of summer. For us it means the county fair. This year we made two fairs over the three day weekend. 

First up, our local Silver Dollar Fair in Chico. We love to attend on Saturday of the fair to not only take the kids and get the customary corndog but to also attend the Jr. livestock Auction. If you've read this blog before, you know I think the world of the 4-H and FFA program.  We were unable to make a purchase this year but maybe we will be able to next year; I sure hope so.

Back to the fair.  Clayton is three years old now and understands what carnival rides are and we of course gave in. 

First up the pig races. Who knew a pig would run in a circle to get an Oreo cookie as a prize? Then again I too might be motivated by an Oreo cookie. You never know. 

Dalton just took it all in from the comfort of his stroller. Next year he will be just as excited as Clayton.

There were motorcycles,

and cars,

and tea cups. I think he loved it. 

Probably the best view of the fair and his favorite ride, on dads shoulders. 

Next up, Sacramento County Fair.  But why would we drive all the way to Sacramento to go to a fair when we have one in our own backyard? The answer is the family portion of this blog's title. Our niece Jenna and nephew Josh were showing at the Sacramento Fair. A pretty good reason to attend  in my opinion. 

This fair offers a "Primary" program for soon to be 4-Hers who fall in the five-eight age range category. Josh is still in the primary group so we had the chance to watch him show his rabbit and a Pygmy goat. Jenna is a full-fledged 4-Her at the age of nine and she exhibited her chickens earlier in the week.  We were unable to make that show but we still got to spend the day with her too.

Dalton thought playing in the holding pen was fun. Mommy that it was a great idea since this kept him from running all over the place. 

Doesn't Josh look so grown up in his 4-H uniform?  

Clayton had a great time following Josh and Jenna around. He also had the chance to pet a few animals including Jenna's chicken and the previously mentioned rabbit who goes by the name of Midnight. So far he has not asked his dad for his own fuzzy pet but I'm sure it's coming. 

Both fairs were lots of fun! And I of course made sure to get a corn dog at both. Bonus!
Thanks for reading. ~mrs. c 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...