Saturday, January 17, 2009

Look Who's ONE!

What a good day. I can't believe my baby girl is one. We were worried in the morning because Kaiya started the day miserable, with a cold. But we shouldn't have doubted our social little girl. As soon as family started arriving for her party at 12, she perked right up. I just can't choose from amongst the pictures. Especially because of her pretty party dress, which my mom bought for her. She's just too cute! I really couldn't get enough of her today.

This is my favourite one from the day. Me and my sweet peanut, before everyone started arriving.

"Look who's one!!" We spent a long time like this today, with her on my lap and me just taking it all in. She especially enjoyed the tissue paper that came with all of her gifts, and she became quite adept at flinging her various presents past my head as she whipped them out of their bags. Such flair! Such pizzazz!
Here she is, looking slightly bewildered. She seemed particularly confused by the strange ritual we big people have of placing flaming wax sticks on a cake and singing as a large group, all while smiling and staring... at her.
She practiced her new skill of scooching and spinning on the floor for a good chunk of time. She's become quite the contortionist, going from lying on her belly to sitting by splitting her legs and rotating her hips. I can't even imagine such flexibility.
And a birthday wouldn't be complete without the addition of yet another cute, silly hat, this one courtesy of Auntie Dagmar.

Thanks everyone for making Kaiya's first birthday such a special day!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Turkey Pot Pie

I'm so proud of myself. I don't really like cooking. But I know it's a necessity for life, and I don't like pre-packaged, super-processed foods, or at least, my tummy doesn't tend to like them, so I try to make a concerted effort. At cooking, I mean. I approach it as I do most tasks: it's on my "to-do" list, often a source of stress, but getting done. And well, of course.

I have a black recipe card box that stores all of my successes. They are organized kind of alphabetically, and kind of not, with the C section being the thickest, as chicken is a very popular meat in the Epp household. My dad has commented more than once on his amazement with my organizational system. My mother claims I certainly didn't get my organizational skills from her. Again, it's how I approach everything else in life. The royal We aim to bar all forms of disorganization and chaos. We strive for order, calm, alphabetization. You can see, perhaps, why renovations stress me so...

But back to the black box. Because let's face it, I generate more pleasure from that than from any actual cooking I do. It's such a great system, really. Any time I try a new recipe, and Jeff and I deem it a "winner," it gets written neatly on a little 3x5 card and stored in the box. If you frequent, you'll find they actually give the option of printing 3x5 card size. In these cases, I print, cut it out, and glue the recipe to a card. My, what time she must have, you say. It's all about making time for the important things in life, folks. And this is important. It's a great system. I encourage you all to follow it.

But enough about the box. You're probably wondering by now when the heck the turkey pot pie will be making its appearance. Well, get ready, here she comes!

I've been making it my goal lately (as in the past few months) to try to find clever ways to reinvent leftovers, instead of eating them once and letting them rot in the fridge for a couple of weeks, like we usually do. Sorry mom, you might as well know the truth. This is a particular conundrum at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter... prime turkey time. I don't actually really like turkey. I mean, it's okay, but honestly, I could live my entire life on this blessed earth never eating turkey, and I wouldn't actually miss it. Not for a second. But since it makes its regular appearance at these holidays, and I'm regularly offered the leftovers, I thought I should make good of this situation.

Enter turkey pot pie. I was looking around aforementioned one day when I came across the recipe. Finally, a solution to our turkey leftover woes! So I made it... three times! And finally, all the leftovers were laid to rest... in our bellies, anyhow. And I have to say, for someone who doesn't really like turkey or heavy "meat and potato" meals, it was remarkably good! And it looked pretty, too. Jeff was so visually impressed, he took a picture. Aren't you lucky... you get to see Turkey Pot Pie in all of its glory! What do you think? (Keeping in mind that I didn't make the pastry, and I doubt I ever will. No way. Not this super-practical no-nonsense I-don't-really-like-it-here-in-the-kitchen girl.) But yes, the recipe was printed out and cut out. Although I'm having trouble finding time to paste it onto one of my little 3x5 cards...