Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oil Pulling

Have you tried it? I had never even heard about it until yesterday; but it's been around for thousands of years (ayurvedic medicine). I know several people who have been cooking/moisturizing with coconut oil, but not any who have done oil pulling. I did some research on the web & decided to try it.

Basically you take 1 tbs of coconut oil, swish it around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, & spit it out. This is supposed to rid your body of toxins.

The hardest part was trying NOT to laugh & spit the oil/saliva mixture out. Matty & I did it together. He said he won't try it again. Nas gagged on the coconut oil & tried sesame instead. She liked that much better.

Here are some links if you would like to try it yourself:



Fun tip: Make your own moisturizing lotion.☺ I took half of the coconut butter (which was rock hard & resembled candle wax), placed it in my mixer bowl & whipped the heck out of it with my mixer for about 10 minutes.  It became nice & fluffy. I stuck it in a clean jar & am now using that as moisturizer.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Power of Prayer

Please pray for a childhood friend of mine.

Her son was admitted to the burn unit of a local hospital with 3rd degree burns from a cup of coffee (lid wasn't on tight!). While she was with her son at the burn unit, her husband was having routine surgery to fix a hernia...and the doctors found cancer (kidney).

If you could please add this family to your prayer list or prayer chain at church/Bible study...it would be great.

"Write a list of huge requests you have for God - things so large that if they came to fruition, you would know they did so only because God intervened. Spend time praying through the list."

Thank you!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Make This!!

Update: Such a fun luncheon. I didn't find out until I arrived that every dish the hostess made was found on Pinterest too!☺

I was asked to bring a low calorie or nonfat dessert to a luncheon today. I like to keep the words "low calorie" & "nonfat"out of my baking vocabulary! I looked to Pinterest for inspiration & found this dessert idea. Little Debbie Swiss Roll fruit kebabs.  Very easy! Click here for the recipe.
I made 12" kebabs for those that wanted more sugar & fat with their dessert and 6" kebabs for those that wanted less. All in all, this dessert took exactly 30 minutes to prepare & that included scissoring the 12" skewers into 6".
**NOTE: Next time I will use fresh pineapple chunks instead of canned. The canned chunks were too small. Since I was pressed for time & Omid wasn't available to carve a fresh pineapple for me, I had to go with canned.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Presidential Visit!

Matty & I were able to see Air Force One today. So neat! President Obama was in town for a one day visit & since we have the summer off, we thought it would be neat to head over to the airport & take some photos of the amazing airplane.

We were the first on the airport parking garage roof. Then came this fellow. He had a police scanner & was listening to the chatter about when AF1 might be landing. I had my handy 5-0 radio app on my iPhone getting the same info. He told Matty & I that he was responsible for grounding Air Force Two when it was on a Portland trip with VP Cheney several years ago. We thought it best to keep our distance from him 'just in case.' We didn't want to get kicked out for fraternizing with him in case the Secret Service was looking for him.

Marine One
About an hour before the President landed, we were told we had to leave the 7th floor & go down to the lower floors. NO ONE was allowed on the roof. Darn! We thought we had the best viewing station too.
3.5 hours after we arrived at the airport, Air Force One finally touched down. We didn't even get to see it land, as it arrived from the west. We heard a gigantic roar & voila! There it was!

Such a beautiful plane (I'm partial to the 747!)!

Fun Fact: My sister B toured John F. Kennedy's AF1 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle; a modified Boeing 707.
Bonus fun fact: John Boeing was my mom's neighbor in Seattle (1940s/50s).

After the plane touched down, we headed for home, only to be stopped near 82nd Avenue. The Presidential motorcade was on its way.

Click on this photo & squint to see the motorcade.

All in all, this was a really exciting morning for both Matty & I!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Make This!!

Kufteh Berenji (rice meatballs)

We spent yesterday in Bellvue at a beautiful memorial service for Omid's aunt who recently passed away. It was so nice to catch up with family & friends who we only get to see once in a while. The food after the service was amazing! Catered by a local Persian restaurant. Very good khoobideh (but not as good as Omid's!).  We got home very early this morning & I was inspired to cook something "Persian" for Omid & the kids for dinner. I've made kufteh berenji before & it's one of the easier Persian foods to make.

Don't let the lengthy list of ingredients stop you from making this dish - the outcome is absolutely delicious!!☺

Kufteh Berenji from New Food of Life by Najmieh Batmanglij

1/2 c yellow split peas
1 cup rice, cleaned & washed
2 t salt
2 eggs
2 t advieh* recipe below
1/4 t black pepper
3 large onions (1 peeled & grated and 2 peeled & thinly sliced)
1 lb ground meat (lamb, veal or beef)
2 c chopped fresh parsley
1 c chopped fresh dill (I omitted the dill)
1/2 c chopped summer savory (I also omitted the savory)
1/4 c chopped fresh tarragon
2 c chopped fresh chives
2 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
1/2 c oil
1 c tomato juice (I used a 28 oz can of stewed tomatoes instead)
2 c water
2 c beef broth
1 c unripe plums (available at Persian store as gojeh sabz) or 1/4 c fresh lime juice
1 t tumeric
1/4 t ground saffron dissolved in 1 T hot water

1.  Cook split peas & rice in a saucepan in 4 cups water with 1/2 t salt for 30 minutes over medium heat. Drain, reserving the liquid (set both aside to cool).

2.  Break eggs into a mixing bowl; add 1/2 t salt, advieh & pepper and beat well.  Add the grated onion, ground meat, chopped herbs, split peas & rice. Knead the mix for about 10 minutes until it reaches the consistency of smooth paste.

3. In a heavy pot, brown the 2 sliced onions & garlic in the oil.

Add tomato juice, water, beef broth, the rice & split pea liquid, unripe plums or lime juice, tumeric, 1 teaspoon salt & saffron water. Bring to a boil.

4.  Shape meat paste into balls the size of oranges. Gently place the meatballs into the boiling pot of broth.

Cover partially & simmer for 45 minutes over low heat, basting the meatballs occasionally with the broth to prevent them from drying out.

You can see the sauce is not thick enough. After the meatballs were cooked, I removed
them & continued to cook the sauce until it was thickened. This is because I forgot to
save the rice/split pea water! DON'T DUMP IT OUT!

5. Cover & cook for 15 minutes longer.

6. Check to see if pan liquids have thickened, and adjust salt to your taste. Place the meatballs in a bowl & gently pour the pan sauce on top. Serve hot with yogurt & bread.

Advieh spice mix:
2 T cinnamon
1/2 t black pepper
1 t nutmeg
1 t cumin
1/2 t ground coriander
1 t dried Persian lime powder (limoo omani)
1 t ground angelica (gol par)
--If you don't have limoo omani or gol par, you can leave them out. I purchase the ready made advieh from the Persian store, but have made my own in a pinch without the last two ingredients & it tastes fine.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Try This!!!

So far, my summer is shaping up to be: The Summer of Pinterest! Here are two new tips I found & tried - and YES! They worked!!☺

The first tip I found: 'defunk your bath towels.' My bath towels smell just fine, but my kitchen towels: they are another story. I've tried washing them in bleach + hot water, even Pine-Sol + hot water. Nothing could get rid of the 'kitchen' smell. I figured I had to try this simple tip & am so glad I did.

The magic solution: place your towels in the washer with 1 cup vinegar (NO detergent or fabric softener) + wash in the HOT cycle. After that is finished, run your towels again on hot (again no detergent or fabric softener) with 1/2 cup of baking soda. Voila! No more smelly towels!☺

The second tested tip: homemade granite cleaner! I have wasted good money on expensive granite cleaners that don't do much. Try this! I just found it this morning & it worked great on our granite countertops.

Homemade Granite Cleaner by One Good Thing by Jillee
1/4 c rubbing alcohol
3 drops Dawn dishwashing liquid
1/2 cup water
essential oil (optional)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Get Crafty!

Another find on Pinterest! What can I say - it's my new favorite website!☺

I have been looking for a dishwasher magnet forever. I'm one of those 'crazies' that washes the dishes before I put them in the dishwasher. Sometimes the dishes look clean when they aren't, so a magnet like this is important to have in our house.  This craft took me a total of five minutes (including the wait for my glue gun to heat up).  Since we all have Words with Friends on our phones...no one minded that I raided the Scrabble game for tiles.☺

The best part of having this magnet: no more excuses for NOT emptying the dishwasher!☺


After two days of moving my new magnet around, it fell apart. I can only think of two reasons why: either I didn't let my glue gun get hot enough, or the glue wasn't compatible for wood. So...today, I used good ol' Elmer's glue (wood friendly) & glued the tiles to the back of a notecard. Hoping this does the trick.☺

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pray for Mandy Lathim

Today I've been baking & packaging cookies for a bake sale for Mandy Lathim. Mandy is a local teenager who was in a horrific car accident last week. Her family/friends/community are holding a bake/garage sale to raise money for her rising medical bills.

I don't know Mandy or her family, but her story was so heartbreaking, I felt the need to help out.

Chocolate with vanilla chips.
These are especially yummy!

Stamped shortbread.

If you'd like to help out, you can visit the Pray for Mandy Lathim Facebook page. It's open & anyone can 'like' it. Details for the bake/rummage sale are on the FB page.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Time for Swine!

Omid, Ward & Jeff decided it was time for another 'meat roasting' party. This time they chose to roast pig. Omid brilliantly chose last Saturday for our pig roast. 90* outside, gorgeous blue skies with just a few clouds...he couldn't have chosen a better day!! We had invited so many people that we had to supplement the meal with ribs & brisket too.  Oh my, what a party! So. Much. Fun.
Remy meets the guest of honor!

 The pig was frozen when it was delivered. Omid slowly thawed the beast in an onion bath.
My favorite!
Omid's first brisket. It was pefect!!

Omid put the brisket on the smoker at midnight & let it smoke until 3 p.m. the next day. He then wrapped it in foil so it would sweat for a few hours, then served it up with the ribs & pig. There were only four slices of brisket left after dinner was over. I think it was everyone's favorite!☺

Ward arrived bright & early on Saturday to help prep the pig.
The menfolk made a top secret pig rub. The only
ingredient I am allowed to share with you is: 2 tsp Chinese 5 spice.☺

Several quartered onions were sewn up inside the chest cavity. Flavor, baby!

Our chefs!
Lin & I were the chef's helpers!☺

We had so much food! It was really a delicious evening. The real fun started after Ward brought his pick up truck around back to where the canopies stood & started blasting his stereo. We started out with country music, then Ward changed it to the 80s station (yay!!!) & the dance floor was hopping! We had a huge 80s sing-a-long/air guitar fest going on for quite a while. Many thanks to our neighbors who let the music blare on until almost midnite!

Click on the collages to enlarge & see the fun photos!☺
Tom & Trevor singing to Journey!

Dancin' fools!☺

Check out Lin's dog, Jack above. He stood in the middle of the dance floor
and would not move. He thought we were all crazy!☺
I am already looking forward to our next party!☺ Thanks so much to everyone who made it a success!!!♥

Monday, July 2, 2012


Because we can never have enough video footage of Remy: here's a day in the life (or actually two days in the life). Enjoy!☺Thank you Matty for making the video for me!♥

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy birthday Remy!!!!

Remy is 8 today!

Happy birthday to our favorite pooch!!
We love you!!!