Monday, September 23, 2013

Moving on up!

Xander got to start his speech and OT classes today. They are held at the school the trio will be going to next year for kindy. He goes for about an hour, once a week. I am so grateful for all the help he has received over the last 2 1/2 or so years, I know he is not as behind as some kids...and that is probably due to starting speech and OT early instead of waiting and seeing. I hope we can get him to 100%, but I know he is already much much improved.

He was very excited...he was hugging and kisses all of us and telling everyone goodbye, even though we told him he was jumping the gun by about an hour LOL.

He loved being at his new school, and he was really happy to meet his new teachers.
Jason dropped him off today, he was nice enough to take a couple pics for me. The teachers ended up asking him to stay for the hour today, since it was Xander's first class.
Xan met a new friend, and seemed to like his teachers...until he realized he didn't get to run the show.
When Xander got home Jericho wanted to wear his Spider-man sweater. Jericho always seems to be right in line with the trio, this really shows us how much smaller/younger he really matter how well he can keep up.

The ratties are still too small for the McMansion...but I am tired of waiting, so they are moving on up today. We bought some wire mesh and zip ties and went to work.

This should keep them from squeezing out through the larger spaced bars. We only did the top part, for now.

Much better...and they love the extra space.

I had fun stocking their new home with some recycled odds and ends for the boys to play with. They love the egg carton "rock wall" I zip tied to the ladder. They got a little milk jug bed, and a couple box beds/play things. Down below is their little house and a hammock...I need to hang a couple more hammocks tomorrow.

Silly boys.
They never did get the whole litter box thing. I was hoping, but I guess boys are not as likely as girls are with litter box success. So we got this giant tub, which will hold the bedding and keep the mess contained...and be easy to just pull out and clean. Hopefully this works better. 

Lunch and dinner today were both something new, to us, from Skinny Taste.
Lunch was Cuban Picadillo in lettuce wraps...well mine was in a bowl as a salad, I think lettuce wraps are messy LOL.
1/2 large chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 pepper, finely chopped
2 tbsp cilantro
1-1/2 lb 93% lean ground beef
4 oz (1/2 can) tomato sauce
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1-2 bay leaf
2 tbsp alcaparrado (capers or green olives would work too)

Brown meat on medium flame in large sauté pan and season with salt and pepper.
Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces. When meat is no longer pink, drain all juice from pan.
Meanwhile, while meat is cooking, chop onion, garlic, pepper, tomato and cilantro.
Add sofrito (onion mixture) to the meat and continue cooking on a low flame.
Add alcaparrado and about 2 tbsp of the brine (this adds great flavor) cumin, bay leaf, and more salt if needed.
Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of water and mix well.
Reduce heat and simmer covered about 15-20 minutes.
1/2 cup is 170 calories and 7 grams of fat. ...of course the low fat cheese and fat free sour cream Jason added to his would be extra :)

Dinner was so granted I am pretty limited in what I have been eating these last couple of weeks, so it could just be extra good to me since I am like starving LOL.
Skinny Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy, served with skinny Garlic mashed potatoes.

1 1/2 tsp oil
3/4 cup onions, minced
1 lbs 93% lean ground beef
1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 cups beef broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper, to taste
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, to taste
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 cup water chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Sauté onions in oil over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine half of the sautéed onions, ground beef, ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, egg white, 1/4 cup beef broth, salt and black pepper.
Shape into 8 oval patties. In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties. Set aside on a dish.
Add mushrooms to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and sauté 2-3 minutes. Return patties to the skillet with the mushrooms.
In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining broth until smooth.
Mix in remaining onions, tomato paste, vinegar, water, worcestershire sauce and mustard powder. Pour over meat and mushrooms in skillet. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
1 patty with the mushroom gravy is 203 calories and 8 grams of fat.

2 lbs (4 medium) yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup fat free chicken broth
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 tbsp light butter
kosher salt to taste
dash of fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh herbs of choice: parsley, thyme, tarragon

Put potatoes and garlic in a large pot with salt and enough water to cover.
Bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Drain and return potatoes and garlic to pan.
Add sour cream and remaining ingredients.
Using a masher, mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
160 calories and 2 grams of fat in a 3/4 cup serving.


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