Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Grilling

We have been using our grill quite a bit this summer, and one of our favorite meals to make outside is grilled tilapia.  I marinate the tilapia fillets for a few hours, and then Jim cooks them on the grill.  They are delicious! 
Here is the recipe for the marinade:
Tilapia Marinade
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
5 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
Mix ingredients and pour over tilapia fillets.  Let marinate in refrigerator for several hours, until ready to grill.
Drew was in a golf camp at Jim's course last week.  The camp was scheduled to meet Monday through Thursday mornings, but it was cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday because of rain.  When I told Drew that his camp was cancelled again on Thursday, he was pretty disappointed.  I tried to cheer him up by telling him that they were going to have a make-up day on Friday, but he was still sad.  I decided to do a little camp for him at home that morning, and that cheered him right up.  We started with a "swim" in the bathtub.  I let him wear his swim suit.  :)  Then it was craft time, and Drew chose to do play dough for his craft.  He had a great time playing with his play dough, and while he played, I made him some trail mix.
 This is the trail mix, which Drew called, "trailer mix."  I used craisins, chocolate chips, pretzels (they are shaped like letters - aren't they cute?!), and marshmallows (Drew pronounces that word as "marsha-mallows") in the trail mix.
 Maddie was sick with a cold, but she sat in her Bumbo (Drew calls it her "Dumbo") and watched her brother.
 We spelled Drew's name with his trail mix pretzels, but we had to get a little creative to make an E.

That night we decided to grill our dinner.  I had made this pork the night before, and we used some of it to make some grilled pulled pork pizzas for dinner.  I got the idea and instructions for the pulled pork pizza here.
We started with some small circles of rolled-out pizza dough, brushed with oil.  We found that our grill was too hot, and the bottoms of our dough circles got a bit blackened.
 Drew rode his bike in the sprinkles while we worked on the pizzas.
 After we flipped the crusts, we brushed them with barbecue sauce and topped them with cheese, pulled pork, and pineapple bits.
 Jim closed the lid and let the toppings warm and the cheese melt.
 The pizzas were very good, and we plan to grill pizza again soon.  If you have never tried grilling your pizza, I would encourage you to try it.  It is fun, and it keeps your house cool!
In keeping with the camp theme of the day, we finished our evening by making s'mores on the grill.  Jim and Drew made some sticks from old hangers, and we got to work toasting our marsha-mallows.
We put our s'mores together,
 and ate them.  They turned out great!  Drew had never tried s'mores before, and it had been forever since Jim or I had eaten them.  We loved them so much that we've already made them again!  :)
We've really been enjoying our grill this summer, and I hope that I've inspired you to do something fun with yours before the summer is over!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Visit With Family

The past few weeks have been busy ones for us!  My parents were here to visit us for about a week and half during the last week of June and the first week of July.  While they were here, we took a little trip down to Bowling Green, Ohio to visit my grandma.  She and Maddie met for the first time that day.
 My aunt and uncle also came over to my grandma's nursing home while we were there, and we were able to see them too.  Drew played Memory with my mom for part of the time.
 Four generations
 During the time that my parents were at our house, Grandma Becka read lots of books to Drew, and Poppie played a new game with Drew, called, "Balloon Lagoon."
 Jim and I celebrated our ninth anniversary that week, and my parents watched the children for us so we could go out and celebrate.  Jim brought home roses for me, and we went out to Maggiano's for dinner.
 Maddie had her four month well visit that week.  She weighed 14 pounds, 15 ounces and was 25 inches long.  She had to get two shots that morning, and she got the ok from her doctor to start eating cereal.  I made her rice cereal, and she ate it pretty well.
 She was more interested in her toes toward the end than she was in her cereal!
That week, we also celebrated the Fourth of July and my mom's birthday.  We went thrifting that morning (Salvation Army had all their clothing half off), and we planned to go out to Rackham for the fireworks that evening, but we had some very strong thunderstorms (with hail!), and Maddie was pretty fussy from her shots, so we decided to just stay home.
 On July 6, Maddie, Drew, and I left for South Carolina with my parents.  We broke our trip up into two days with a hotel stay in Lexington, Kentucky.  We went swimming in the hotel pool that night, and Maddie loved it!  She kicked and kicked!
 Drew liked swimming too, but he is still very cautious in the pool.  Here he is with his swimmy "muscles."
 We had a nice, relaxing week at my parents' house.  My dad has a large garden in the back yard, and he and Drew went out to pick blueberries one morning.
 Drew ate about three blueberries for every berry he put into the bucket.
 Drew also helped make some cocoa krispie treats

 and some homemade ice cream!
 Maddie got held a lot (which she loved!).
 We got to see my sister and brother and their families several evenings.  Here is a picture of the cousins, my two and my brother's son, Ryan.  Because of the age differences, they didn't really play together very well this time, but hopefully, they will play more in the future.
My parents drove us up to Cincinnati this past weekend, and Jim met us there.  We all stayed in a hotel there that evening, and then we came home on Sunday.  Maddie woke up with a bad cough, sneezing, and a runny nose on Sunday morning at the hotel, so we had to take her to the doctor on Monday to rule out croup.  She just has a cold, which I have also caught now, so we are staying home a lot this week, trying to rest and catch up from our busy past few weeks.