Patio Furniture FTW

kids on new patio furniture
There was at least one of these three ensconced here for the remainder of the afternoon

Bought some new patio furniture on a lark today, now I just need to finish preparing the patio.

We stuck it on the deck in the meantime, where it attracted some squatters almost immediately.  I think they like it.  They should, as the human children gave me puppy-dog eyes until I caved and agreed to buy it.  (Butter had nothing to do with the purchase, but she spent the most time of anyone on it today.)

Beta Goes Rock Climbing

Way back at Christmas, Meghan came up with a most appropriate gift for Beta: time at the local rock climbing gym.

We didn’t use it right away because we were out of the country, and then something always seemed to come up or we just weren’t thinking about it, until this past week.  I remembered about the rock gym, Meghan arranged a time, and this morning (Mother’s Day to boot) we showed up for the first of five sessions.

A rock climbing gym, in case you’ve never been, is a series of walls with a random assortment of hand-holds embedded into the surface.  It’s meant to simulate rock climbing enough to help you build strength and skill.

rock wall climbing
Beta nearing the top of a difficult ascent

You wear a harness and clip onto a rope.  Some faces have auto-belays, some have ropes slung and wrapped over a bar above the face (pulley-style) so a partner eases you down.  The ‘cave’ wall has no ropes, as the entire face is inverted.  It has a very thick pad to land on instead.

We booked two hours, and Beta made it through impressive one and a half hours of it.  By the end she had “spaghetti arms,” but she was talking about going back before we were even back in the car.  Score one for mom!

Egg Roll in a Bowl

eggroll in a bowl

Ingredients

You’ll need a pretty big pan with high sides for this recipe.  A 14″ cast iron pan is good.

It’s a pretty low maintenance dish, so you can easily cook it alongside other things.  Bagged slaw saves a ton of time.

This makes a pretty good meal by itself, or goes great as a side dish.

  • Sesame oil
  • 1 pound of ground Chicken or Pork
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 1 bag (14 oz) dry slaw mix
  • Soy sauce (reduced sodium is fine)
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Steps

  1. Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in the meat and onions.
  2. When the meat is nearly done and onion is soft and translucent, stir in garlic and ginger.  Cook for a few more minutes, stirring on occasion.
  3. Dump in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and slaw.  Stir frequently until everything is well-mixed, the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar reduce,and the slaw softens up.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Adapted from http://theskinnyfork.com/blog/chicken-egg-roll-bowl