Thursday, November 6, 2014

"Russian" Gnocchi (remake of Russian Dumplings)

I lived in Bellingham, WA, for many years while my husband and I went to school. Bellingham has great food because the city is full of organic hippy foodies. Things grow well for local farmers and I am spoiled to have lived there. One restaurant that exists is a hole in the wall- no frills- Russian dumpling place called Pel'meni. (1211 State Street, Bellingham, WA 98225) (SIDE NOTE: You can listen to THIS song about Bellingham and here the "Hot Russian Dumplings" mentioned.)

All you can order is meat (ground beef) or potato pelmeni (aka dumplings). (They're a little smaller that a traditional perogy.) They are made locally, and frozen. Once you order, they pull the selected dumplings out of the freezer and boil them in either the meat water pot or the potato pot. When they're cooked through, they put them in a little box, add melted butter, a sauce made of Sriracha hot sauce--watered down with some white vinegar and water, sprinkled with dry curry powder, cilantro, and served with a side of sour cream--oh, and a slice of rye bread (a weak version). It's $7. You can buy canned soda if you want to splurge but that's all the options (as of now). It tastes so good. I prefer the potato. It's just perfect easy uncomplicated food. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Yeah, I've Lost Some Weight...Thanks for Noticing! No Really, Thanks!

April 2014- Easter Sunday
I've never really talked online about my weight. I guess I don't want to jinx any success nor feel bad if I fail. BUT...I thought I'd talk about it since I've getting asked more and more if I've lost weight. (That feels nice.)

So, last summer-ish time (2013) I attempted to loose some weight...after having my second child. I had started noticing my ankles getting larger--and my hand was going numb when I slept on my side (and other reasons) really made me want to take control over my body's physical future as much as possible. I was 210 pounds to start. I lost 20 pounds pretty quickly by just
September 2014
jumping on my elliptical for 30 minutes a day and eating a little better. 

BUT by fall, after packing and moving to another home--I got out of my routine...and at the same time had stopped nursing my baby. Within a month or 2, I gained back 10 pounds. I was feeling dissapointed and realized I still didn't know what I was doing. 

By January 2014, I was working out regualarly again and eating healthy...but wasn't loosing weight. My nursing had given me magical weight loss abilities that I couldn't seem to compensate for. I was left feeling frustrated and out of control. My body seemed to have a mind of it's own...if IT wanted to gain weight, IT was going to and I was a compelled to follow along. I was 200 pounds and feeling helpless when it came to weight loss. There was NO WAY I was going to pay money to loose weight-- especially if I didn't know what I was doing. (Not interested in commercial plans--or supplements, etc.) 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Family Photos 2014

The dreamy photographer, Mrs. Courtney Price, has done it AGAIN! (You can read about the prior time HERE and HERE.) She captured our family in digital form on a visit to Lynden on August 16, 2014 and I was so happy with how they turned out! It reminds me of how important it is to get GOOD family photos done. We really didn't have any photos of Max (our almost 2 year old) up on the wall, especially none with all of us in the same photo.

I wanted to share some of the results that now grace our walls. Enjoy!
This is our one of the BIG WINNERS--we hung at our house.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sports Bras (G-rated)

I don't mean to start out sounding scandalous by titling my post "Sports Bras", but I really do want to talk about 2 of my 3 sports bras. Not a review or interest in other
Young Lindsay on her Honeymoon (2006)
people's reviews, rather how I acquired them because its so unusual.

Acquisition History of 2 sports bras:

      When I got married to my husband, it was his 2nd marriage (and last folks). He had been married to another woman, and it didn't work out. This was cool for me because I got a man who really appreciated me....and the stuff that prior-married people seem to have-- like a dinning room table and cutting boards. So, one day about a month after we had gotten married and moved into our first apartment, we were unpacking a box of his "old-stuff". Inside it there were random things from his mission in Japan, pens, and photos...but there were two things that caught my attention-- brand new- tags on- sports bras. One grey and one white. I probably smiled and rolled my eyes before I said, "Who are these?" Shaun, my husband, didn't blush the way I had hoped but picked them up and threw them towards the trash. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Interview With My 5 Year Old

Today, I asked my newly turned 5 year old son to sit down and let me ask him a few questions. He had just come inside (after practicing his casting with his fishing pole). His mind was still very focused on his previous activity when he answered these this afternoon. I think you will notice this as well.

Q: What's your name?
A: Enoch

Q: How old are you?
A: Uummmm, 5.

Q: What's your favorite thing to do?
A: Fish because fishing is so much fun and I love to go.

Q: Have you ever been fishing before?
A: I don't know. Ummm... and tonight I'm gonna go.

Q: Who are you going fishing with?
A: Daddy and Seth and Gray.

Q: Do you think you'll catch any fish?
A: Yeah. I think I'll catch fish. I think I would. I think I would.

Q: Do you like to eat fish?
A: Yeah.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Enoch's Jake and the Neverland Pirates Cake

Last year, I made Enoch a Jake and the Neverland Pirates Cake(s) for his 4th birthday. The larger boat is a ship named "Buckey" from the show. The smaller cake was a gluten free cake representing the "Jolly Rodger", which is Captian Hook's ship. I used tissue to represent water...and it came out delicious and really cool to look at. My 4 year old was thrilled! I made 2 cakes and then cut out pieces, shaping them with a seraded knife until I got the right look. 

Monday, June 23, 2014


Traditions are a good thing in our home.

Full Definition of TRADITION

a :  an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)
b :  a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable
:  the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
:  cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions
:  characteristic manner, method, or style 
I'd like to focus on number 2 from this definition regarding the customs for this post. There's a great article about family taditions, called Traditions Worth Keeping. It breaks traditions into 3 categories:

Friday, May 23, 2014

I am Gold -- Alex Boye

This is a man named Alex Boye. He just retired from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (including solos), after singing for 7 years (for free) and having a side solo career, which I just found out about. I saw an article about him in the Deseret News and looked him up. I love this song. I love the story/ message behind it. I enjoy his voice and positive attitude. He has a great "I'm a Mormon" profile. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Favorite Pinterest Pins: Tested and Proved

I joined FB, just so I could join Pinterest (a FB profile is a requirement to join) because it simplified something I was already doing with "computer bookmarks" and printing things out. I enjoy the Pinterest space every week at some point. I like that there's some inferred personal advice/ preference with a pin on any subject. Of course, like advice, not all pins are worth my time. BUT, I decided to share a few that have made me very happy. I only have 2 sections here, Food-- and Other. (I try a lot of recipes from Pinterest.) Without further waiting--in no particular order--my FAVORITE PINS!

Red Enchilada Sauce- I never thought to make my own before, and now, I can't imagine buying it after seeing how easy it is to make in 10 minutes of minimal effort. So, it's clean happy food and a wonderful way to top my pork enchiladas.

Falafel- I've tried a few different recipes for falafel, and this one is my favorite so far. You soak garbanzo beans overnight, then grind them up without cooking them to give them a better texture. They tasted so good that my 4 year old cried when we ran out of leftovers the next day. 
Ricotta- I don't know why it took me until I was 30 to finally think to make my own ricotta, but I'm so happy I did. Prior to making ricotta at home, I didn't even want to buy ricotta because I couldn't afford the really good ricotta. The good store bought stuff in Seattle brought harmony to my taste buds and I kept mentioning how smooth the lipids in the fat were.... "MMmmm these lipids make my mouth sing." Make it, but be warned, you may become a ricotta snob.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Nomination Was Dr. Deb Currier

I have a Bachelors of Arts in Theater from Western Washington University, focusing on Acting and Theater Education. (For those who know me....Shocking, right?!) Well, Last December, I took some time out to nominate a former college professor of mine, Deborah Currier, for the Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award. 

Unfortunately, Deb (as I called her) didn't win this time, but I wanted to share my entry publicly in honor of her dedicated work. This is only a itsy-bitsy part of what I loved about her. I owe my sanity and much of my confidence to my many teachers (K- college) who gave me opportunities to learn theories, workshop new ideas, and meet people I would have never known had I not gotten an education in the arts. 

People Who Can
Nominee: Deborah Currier
Nominated by: Lindsay Weldon

Many new mothers hope their children will be healthy and happy. Sure, I wanted those, but I also wanted my babies to do theater exercises and improv for fun! So, the moment I gave birth to my first son, was the day I founded the “Weldon Youth Theater Troupe”. The troupe’s motto came from my college Theater Professor and Advisor, Dr. Deb Currier, who while never having birthed any children of her own, knew a lot about them. I’m not even sure this particular instruction was part of her lesson plan for the day, but her words, which seemed to be written in the air with a glue stick, quickly stuck to my ears and worked their way inside my brain, to the treasure chest I keep of real pearls--and open only for special conversations: “Children can do anything. Never tell a child they can’t do something that they can.” She expanded, “When telling a child they need to have their lines memorized by tomorrow, don’t apologize or say it’s hard. Say it nonchalantly; believe in them…and they will learn their lines, they will read a play, analyze a script, they will do it because they don’t know they can’t.” Deb’s insight has informed my role as a supportive mother and as a teacher working with children in the community today.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Poop Crib

"What can we do?" I asked my husband, Mr. Weldon. "We can't take away his ability to poop?" 

He stared at the little balls of poop sprawled across the carpet of our 2 year old son's bedroom, and replied, "I don't know. We could put duct-tape around his diaper." 

"No, we can't do that! How are we going to have the babysitter change his diapers? With scissors?" I spouted out immediately.
This is the crib before it had it's side removed...age  1

I carefully tip-toed through the maze of poop to retrieve our only child from his crib and take him to the bathroom for a impromptu bath after his eventful nap. Mr. Weldon was stuck with the job of cleaning it all up. By the time the bath was over, he was still cleaning. I took our son to the living room and had him play with some toys. That's when I heard my husband say, "OH NOOOOO...." I hurried back to the bedroom to see what had happened. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Middle School: "At least they got out of my way so I'm not late."

"Middle" is often the less popular option. People like to be first (place, born, string, in line, edition, etc.), or last (born = baby of the family, piece, day of school, appointment, etc.). There are good middles (of life, of truffle, grilled cheese sandwich), but all too often there is one middle that is hard to face, and that is middle school. Today, I would like to share with you a bit about my middle school social experience and hope it can uplift others who may feel stuck in the middle.

I moved to Wenatchee, WA, at the end of 6th grade. I found myself being thrown into middle school and becoming a "Foothills Falcon". My previous school had 6th grade as part of the elementary experience, so, I was nervous to change classes ever hour, worried I be late everyday. Nobody ever told me that middle school was looked at by adults as a torturous state of being for transitioning youth from childhood to adolescents. So, I was very optimistic as I started my first day of middle school in the last month of the school year. 

Things seemed to come together. I figured out how to get to all my classes. (Side note: I still have nightmares of this particular middle school's halls as an adult, rushing around not being able to find any of my classes.) My teachers introduced me to everyone on the first days of class. I started riding the bus everyday. I was the first stop and the last stop of each day, so, it was a long 45 minute trip each morning and afternoon. But, things started to get difficult soon after that. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Winco Bulk Food Price List

I went to Winco in Moscow, Idaho, last week to buy many items from their extensive bulk department. It was 8:30 pm on a Thursday...and not very busy. I love the prices in bulk, especially for baking.The prices seem to be cheaper or equal in most instances I've done a price comparison on items. 

So, I asked an employee, wearing a tag that stated he was the Bulk Foods Manager, if I could get a copy of the list of the items they currently carry with the price. The man surprised me by stating that their pricing was a secret. I pointed at the items behind him and I said, but all the prices are right there. It saves me time. It's all in your store computer. He said it didn't matter. At least I would have to take the time to write them all it was a punishment. I told him I wasn't interested in any formulas or algorithms for how they priced items....just the price next to the food item. Nope... he said they would never do that. I told him that all the items in bulk are generally listed on Winco's website --but not each item was in this particular store....and I just got shut down. This bothered, I proceeded to take pictures of all the items I would ever be interested in on a regular basis. (Not candy, pet food, processed foods, pre-made mixes, granola mixes...since I could make my own if needed. --I don't have a pet either.)  

I put together a list of all the items using their list of items on their website and an Excel Spreadsheet. It wasn't that hard, but a boring task. For my fellow NW Winco go-ers, I want to share my list to avoid loosing out on the best deal. I've stood at Costco in front of the All Purpose Flour...wondering if it was cheaper at Winco. (It turns out there the same....32 cents a pound.) I hope this can aid comparision shopping and knowing what products are available to you in bulk.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Arty Side

In elementary school, I loved going to art class. I loved it because I liked learning new techniques and making something that was all my own. When I went to middle school, I had to choose what type of "art" I wanted to take a class in, since they wouldn't let a student take more than one art type, so I chose theater. I never got to take another art class again. Sad...sad...sad. But, I majored in theater in college and have gotten pleanty of use out of the creative skills I learned even though I ended up being a paralegal for 5 years and a stay at home mommy now. Luckily, drawing-ish art has still been something I've been able to do in my spare time for fun.

I don't have a budget for art, so, I use old paints and paper I got for Christmas and birthdays when I was in high school still. I don't mind that my art isn't done with perfect technique...because I'm releasing a need to create something by drawing and painting. I recall being 10 years old, at my grandma's house sitting in the dinning room with a pad of paper and a pencil drawing cartoons. For many years prior, I had collected books on how to draw--hording them in my room, and watched TV shows on Saturday morning programing aimed at teaching kids to draw cartoons. I liked drawing silly simple shapes and faces, but struggling to find my own style in my art, rather than mimicing the books, etc. Back to my sotry, I showed my grandma what I was doing and asked if she liked it. She didn't! (What! I thought grandmas had to like stuff their grandkids made as children.) She thought I was wasting my time on cartoons and said I should do real art. She then walked into the kitchen and came back with a bowl of fruit. She said, "Draw this as it is with detail and shading." I felt deflated, but drew the fruit. I showed her and she still wasn't happy with what I'd done. I then decided I didn't really care what my grandma thought of my art...I would rather do something I was interested that seek her art approval. Afterall, I hardly saw her...she couldn't keep track. So, I stopped showing her my art...and that was that. (Sad...sad...sad.)

While I practiced shading later in life, I hated how dirty my fingers got as I rubbed and smeared the pencil lead on the paper. I always went back to my cartoon images. I liked that they weren't over worked, they could be sad or serious, and children responded to them well. I also loved that they didn't have to look real...they were not meant to be parallel representations of life...more imaginary. Looking back, I think I gravitated to cartoons because they also supplied escapism from my reality--bringing me joy when I felt sad..sad...sad.

To share some of my hobby with you, here's some of my art....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Best Salmon I've Ever Had

I posted about this Salmon back in 2012 but thought it was worth re-posting because it was the best Salmon I've ever had!!! At the time I first made this, I was trying to duplicate a meal I had at Salty's on Alki Point in Seattle. The restaurant has a few recipes online, but not exactly what I had eaten in the restaurant. So, I took elements from 2 or 3 recipes and merged them into what I thought I had ordered. The result was spectacular! Shaun and I happily oohh-ed and blissfully mmmmm-ed after every single bite.

The key to making most perfect restaurant food, other than technique and superior ingredient quality, is FAT. This recipe has lots of fat but its all worth it. So, if you happen upon some fresh (wild-caught) salmon this year, consider giving this recipe a try. It's Salmon baked in the oven--covered in a basil-garlic butter, then served aside are some garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus, covered in a pesto-butter sauce called Pesto Beurre Blanc.