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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vegetables and fruits from our backyard

Ah Ma had planted some strawberry plants last year. It survived through the freezing cold winter and here comes spring, and now  there are a lot of strawberries start growing...

 Daddy had also planted some chards, for our fruit and vege juice every morning.

 Bell pepper is starting to grow


This apple tree had been here since we moved in. Last year, there was only two apples from the tree. But this year, we noticed  the whole tree is full of apples....

Sitr Fried Jicama with Carrot

Back in hometown, we always cooked this - stir fried sa kot with carrot, then wrapped with lettuce. When we are here, saw it in one of the Asian market that is quite a distance from our house. And that is the reason we seldom cook this.  Last few weeks, discovered that it is also avaialble in our nearby supermarket. It is available year round with a peak season December to June.

The girls really love this dishes, as they ask for more whenever I cook this dish. A good way for them to eat more vege!  Bought a 1.2kg jicama today, and we finished the it during our lunch and dinner.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Biking at Banks-Vernonia Rail Trail

It was about 20 degree C today. After breakfast, we drove to Banks-Vernonia Rail Trail. It took us almost 30 minutes to reach there. The girls were so excited that we are going for biking again.

The Banks–Vernonia Rail Trail is 21 miles of paved trail between to two Oregon towns of, what else, Banks and Vernonia. The trail links these town with other stops in between—Manning, Tophill, Stub Stewart, Beaver Creek and Buxton—providing a spectacular recreation opportunity for cyclists, walkers, runners or equestrians. Old railroad trestles, wildflowers and wildlife add to the charm of this nature-lover's trail. The trail is steep in places so cyclists are asked to walk their bikes or slow way down for your own safety and that of other trail users. The trail climbs from Banks toward Vernonia, passing through the Hilltop Day Use Area (camping available).

It has 13 bridges and two 700-foot long, 80-foot high railroad trestles at Buxton and Horseshoe, offering amazing views. There's an equestrian bypass at Buxton, which crosses Mendenhall Creek. The route follows an abandoned railroad corridor, which was used between the 1920s and 1957 to haul timber from mills in Vernonia and Keasey to Portland. For five years during the 1960s, the rail was used as a passenger excursion; construction of the trail began in 1991.

We started from Buxtock to Banks. One of the places that we passsed by is Manning.

Love this trail as the condition of the tar road is so good, beautiful scenaries as we passed by some houses, farms, and the girls were amazed when they see tractors, combine harvester, house and cows along the way. We saw some beautiful wildflowers and birds singing here and there. It made the whole journey very relaxing and definitely we will come back again!

We cycled for almost 4 hours, went through almost 20 plus km of uphill and downhill. ES had a bike which attached to Daddy's bike and she cycled for the whole journey. Think she is really doing a good job as we almost cycled none stop, except when we reached Banks, we took a short break. Whereas MSLS fell asleep for awhile...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sesame Street Live

We brought the girls to a live theater on the first Saturday of May. Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and all their Sesame Street friends were taking to the stage to share their love of music in Sesame Street Live “Elmo Makes Music.”

The girls with full attention during the show!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Submarine Sandwich

Baked some sourdough long roll breads for our submarine sandwiches, with the varieties of honey oat bread, sunflower seeds bread, sesame bread and poppy seed bread ( from the bottom to the top of the photo ).

 Sunflower seeds bread

 Sesame bread

 Poppy seed bread

Honey oat bread

Our final product, a simple submarine sandwich for today's breakfast, filled with cheese, egg, tomatoes and green lettuce.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sunflower seeds Loaf

Bread of the week - Sunflower seeds loaf using sourdough starter.

Delicious nutty and crunchy sunflower seeds are especially rich in poly-unsaturated fatty acid linoleic acid, and also good in mono-saturated oleic acis that helps lower LDL-C and increase HDL-C in blood. Research studies suggest Mediterranean diet which rich in mono-saturated fats help to prevent coronary artery disease and stroke by favoring healthy lipid profile.

It is also a good source of protein with fine quality amino acids such as tryptophan than are essential for growth, especially in children. Just a handful of sunflower seeds a day provides much of the recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals ( Calcium, manganese, zinc, iron, magnesium, selenium and copper ), vitamins and protein.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's day

Few days before mother's day, ES brought back this from school. It's a surprise for mother's day according to her. According to her teacher, Ms Jessica, it is supposed to be opened during mother's day.
 There is a card on top of the present - Happy Mother's Day card by ES.

 ES drew a picture of mom and herself.

Oh... It is a write up about MOTHER by her:
You are the best cook
You make me smily
You make my lunch
You tuck me into bed
I am happy you are in my family

MSLS too brought back two little plants from school, as mother's day present.  

They were busy watering the plants after came back from school.

 A simple card by MSLS, with the help of her teacher, MS Heather.

We are too far to celebrate mother's day with our two lovely mothers this year. We called back and wish them happy mother's day. How I wish I can cooked for them during this special occasion.
On mother's day, we cooked beef burger, with avocado salad and baked potato wedges.

And also an orange yogurt cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and strawberry cream cheese filling.

Thanks for all the lovely thoughts from my three girls and happy mother's day to our mum and all
mothers out there....  

Monday, May 14, 2012


MSLS's artwork from school - caterpillar. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

If you believe you can do it, you can.....

I was trying to untie a knot with ES last two days. After awhile, still not able to do it. ES was standing beside me. She asked me to use a scissors to cut it, but I told her I would like to try first as the ribbon is so nice.

All of a sudden, she told me that:" Mummy, if you believe you can do it, then you will be able to do it. ( what she meant is able to untie the knot even it is difficult ). Just like not long ago, when I was playing with a puzzle, I tell myself I can do it. After trying, I managed to complete the whole puzzle." 

I was surprised by what she had told me, as I do not expect this comes out from my 5 years old girl!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sourdough Sesame Loaf

Our bread for the week - sesame loaf. The girls prefer to put some butter and jam, or make it into egg sandwiches for their breakfast.

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's Friday, Friday, Friday is my favourite day!

ES will sing this song," It's Friday, Friday, Friday is my favourite day! " on every Friday. As she knows weekend is approaching.

 Having fun after back from school

 Cycled around our neighbourhood.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Basic Wholemeal Sourdough

Baked a simple and healthy loaf of bread last few days - no sugar, dairy and butter/ oil. Just using sourdough starter, whole wheat flour, water and sea salt. After overnight dough retardation, it gives a very satisfying bread-chewy and sour taste.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

We went to Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival on the 3rd Sunday of April. Went there many years back, before the girls were born. During the first visit, as far as I can remembered the tulip festival just focus on the varieties of tulips. This trip, we went there with the girls. It is not only tulips, there are a lots of activities and of course the all time favourite of the girls - cow train.

The Iverson family began growing tulips in 1974. The first tulips belonged to Dr. Holman who would ship part of the bulbs to Indiana every year for forcing. When he retired in the late 1970's we bought a few acres of bulbs.
By the early 1980's they had over 15 acres and needed to broaden the market base. Seeing this as an opportunity, in 1983 they started the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.
In the first few years they printed up black and white order sheets and sales were slow. Then, in 1985, we opened our fields for Easter weekend. The rest you may say, is history.
Now they open their fields for an entire month ( April ) and have greatly expanded their operation to include taking bulb orders, cut flowers, potted tulips, a gift shop, other plants, and all sorts of food and activities on weekends.
There is about 40 acres tulips in the field. We can see varieties of tulips bloom!  Every year the varieties are arranged differently in a new pattern of color as they rotate our tulip fields to a new location.

The girls enjoyed this more than the flowers....

ES trying a pair of wooden shoes.
The girls having fun with the cow train.