There is one thing about growing tomatoes that totally creeps me out: horn worms.  Something about them absolutely gives me the chilly willies.  I’ve known for a while that we’ve had them because their skat is everywhere.  Every time I reach for a tomato that and the plant rubs against my arm, I freak out and am certain I will find a horn worm.  And yet, I have found none.  Sneaky little things, aren’t they?!?!  Then last night I was harvesting yet another crop when I looked up and saw this:

hw 1

It turns out horn worms actually chrysalize (probably not a word, but become chrysalises), and then turn into hawk moths.  Who knew?  So, today my husband is going to put them in our butterfly cage so we can see them transform.  Hope it works?!?

626 Night Market

I love Sunset magazine.  A year or 2 ago, we read about a Taiwanese food festival called “626 Night Market” in Arcadia.  My husband is Taiwanese and grew-up in Arcadia — how fun would this be?  We never did make it that summer… or last.  But, this summer we made it!  (A huge thank-you to Grandma for taking the kids to Chick-Fil-A so we could enjoy this date.  I would NOT recommend taking kids here!  It is far too crowded)

626 1

This is the general scene… food booths everywhere and people everywhere!

626 2 626 3

We tried to get lots of “little” things so we could enjoy a large variety.  We also tried to avoid things we could get at local restaurants.

626 4

626 5

626 6

Who would have expected a cool and beautiful evening in late July in Southern California?  What a blessing!

626 7

Because we had no kids with us and no time pressure, we waited in the longest line for a ramen burger.  It took an hour, but it really was worth the wait.  Daniel took one bite and exclaimed.. “Whoa; this really is east meets west!”

626 8

626 9

By the time we were ready to leave, the crowds were just crazy.  There were times we literally couldn’t move.  And, the cars and the people just kept pouring in.  We grabbed an organic peach/ strawberry sweet tea, (filled with bits of real peach and strawberry), then headed home.  It will go down as a super memorable/ fun date!

626 10

Grandma’s Here!

My mom coming to visit is always fun for all of us… but this time around it is not only fun but helpful for me.  While the kids play games…

gv 1

And have tea parties…

gv 2

I will be conquering this mess:

gv 3

I am actually very excited to be doing some cleaning/ organizing/ re-arranging of our school items and getting ready for school.  Of course, there will be some fun, as well.  Daniel and I have a fun date planned, as well as a family trip to the circus.  (Grandma will be going to her first circus ever — can you believe it?)  I am so thankful for my mom!

Sushi Night!

Question:  What do you do when it is 2pm, you have nothing planned for dinner, and there is a large Japanese cucumber hanging out your kitchen window?

sush 1

Answer:  If your mom is visiting and your husband is home, you ask your mom to babysit then sneak off on a “date” to the Asian market and convince your husband to make a sushi night.

sush 2

sush 3

…. With shrimp tempura, of course.

sush 4

Thanks for the yummy sushi night, babe!  I love that it is a favorite for all four kids, (and Grandma), as well.

Meet Roxy

I knew I shouldn’t have gone…  Gone where?  Gone to look at the bunny that was on the flier at the chicken feed store that read, “Free with cage to good home.”  You see, Allison has been asking me for a bunny ever since our cat died.  I have never owned a caged animal, and have never wanted to.  (Pretty much because I don’t like cage cleaning)  Not-to-mention, it seems a little cruel.  But alas, I went… now meet Roxy:

rox 1

Of course, my little artist had to draw her portrait the first day.  This kid can seriously draw better than me!

rox 2

rox 3

She’s a sweet bunny with the softest fur ever.  I’m already annoyed by the cage — we’ll have to figure something out!  She came with the name Roxy, and Allison decided it fit her well… so, Roxy it is!

Roasted Cherry-Tomato Sauce

It occurred to me the other day… there is more to tomatoes than just salad!  So I googled tomato recipes for a while until I found one that looked simple and tasty.  Then I tried it.  Guess what?  It was simple and tasty.  So tasty, in fact, that I thought I would share it with you!  It is Martha Stewart’s cherry-tomato sauce and the recipe can be found here.

ts 1

ts 2

ts 3

Today I decided to try the sauce on some noodles with feta and a leftover turkey burger.  I think this will be my lunch for the next week until the sauce is gone!

ts 4

Thanks, Martha!

A New Baker

Baking is not a special occasion around here.  In fact, most mornings you will find me in the kitchen baking something for breakfast.  Muffins are a favorite, (of mine), and I have 3 recipes I rotate and change up quite often.  This week I already made raspberry muffins and glorious morning muffins.  The kids enjoy them, but don’t get all that excited.  So, you can imagine my surprise when my oldest asked to bake muffins today!

bag 1

Well, she didn’t exactly ask to bake muffins.  She said she wasn’t sure what she was in the mood to do.  When I suggested reading and she turned it down, I almost fell on the floor.  This girl can read several books a day and it’s usually hard for me to pull her away.  Crafts also got a no — another surprise.  When I asked if she wanted to try baking by herself, she got super excited.  (So did I!)  So, I gave her the recipe and sent her off.

bag 2

Her little sister took the craft option, but enjoyed the fruits of Allison’s labor!  I can’t believe my big girl can make muffins on her own now!  I see a lot more baking in her future.  Happy Sunday!