Monday, October 26, 2009

Blogger's Dinner Club: Dayna's Famous Lemon Chicken

A few years ago I came up with one thing that makes all of my kids happy and is good enough to make for friends. (Can you see the empty plate in the picture?!) I don't measure anything in it, so it's a "to taste" recipe. If you want more info, let me know and I'll give some estimates.


cut up chicken breasts (bite-sized pieces), flour, garlic salt, vegetable oil, lemon juice, chicken broth (or base and water), butter, cut up in small pieces.


Mix flour and garlic salt in plastic bag. Toss in cut up chicken, about 10 pieces at a time. Heat a little oil in non-stick skillet and cook chicken in a single layer, turning occasionally, until cooked through. Place chicken in paper towel lined bowl to drain off excess oil while you cook the rest. After all chicken is cooked, in same skillet heat chicken broth and lemon juice. Stir to loosen browned bits from pan. Whisk in butter, a little at a time, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Serve chicken over rice and pour sauce over all. (You have to put everything in separate bowls, of course, and let the kids determine how much sauce goes on how much chicken, which goes on how much rice. Otherwise, it just doesn't taste good!)

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Gem Faire Bonanza

On Wednesday I went to the Pleasanton Gem Faire with some friends. I had debated for a split second if I wanted to go, only because I am not so creative with beads and gems (better at just buying them already made) but it is a fun thing to do with my daughters. So, I decided to take Kim up on her offer to be our guide...she is the jewelry master! I picked them both up and we spent a few wonderful hours, just browsing through these sparkly beauties. There was a huge hall full of every kind of high- and low-end bead, gem, and finding (even rubies and opals, but alas, no sapphires). I would definitely recommend catching this comes to Pleasanton twice a year and rotates all year long. Unless you are most men. Then I would totally pass.

Jenny, Kim, and me
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blogger's Dinner Club: Mexican Chicken Lasagna

I am going to stop excusing my food photographty and styling. You'll just have to try it!
This is what we had for dinner last night. You can see which one the kids preferred! I forgot about this recipe and hadn't made it for several years, but we all loved it. For the kids' version, I put plain cooked chicken in a plain cooked lasagna noodle and rolled it up like the others. I baked a pan of these alongside the real lasagna rollups. I know, I must have the pickiest eaters on the planet.

Mexican Chicken Lasagna

16 oz lasagne noodles (not no-boil kind)
1 lb chicken breasts, cut up into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 each red, green, yellow peppers, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican blend), divided
1 egg 16 oz jar salsa

Cook lasagna; drain and lay flat on waxed paper to prevent sticking. Lightly brown chicken in hot oil. Add peppers and onion, cook until tender. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup cheese, olives, and egg. Spoon 1/3 cup mixture onto each piece of lasagna; roll up like a jelly roll. Place rolls ups, seam side down in single layer in greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Pour salsa over the top and cover. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts. Serves 8.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dave n Buster's

Ryan wanted to go to Dave n Buster's for his 9th birthday party. But it's in Milpitas (a little over an hour away without traffic) so I told him he could have his entire class plus soccer team come for a party at our house, but if he really wanted it at the place he could only bring 4 friends because that is all I can fit in the van to drive there. You can see what he chose.
The kids all had a blast. A lady gave Blair and Cameron handfuls of tickets she had won. They were so excited. Ryan was obsessed with the quarter game.

Blair and Gavin both have amazing hand-eye coordination and each won the spin the wheel game by stopping the light at the 1,000 mark. The machine spewed out 1,000 tickets for each of them. We had dinner in the food court and I told the kids they could get whatever they wanted at any of the restaurants but 4 of the 5 went for the pizza.
I drove back to our house and the kids played pass the parcel, and had cake and ice cream. Ryan had asked for a scotcheroo cake, so I got off easy this year... This is the last celebration for the Bain Family Birthday Season and my baby is 9.

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Friday, October 16, 2009


I was at home waiting for GE to come and fix my dishwasher between 8-12 and thought I'd do the HP online chat to fix my printer at the same time. So this is how the chat went:

Dayna Bain : My printer is not responding.
[An agent will be with you shortly.][You are now chatting with Harper .]

Harper : Welcome to HP Total Care Chat Support for All in One printer. My name is Harper. Please give me a minute while I review the problem description details.

Harper : 1. Make sure that the printer is ON.2. Unplug the power cable from the back of the printer. TAP the power button for 30 seconds and reconnect the power cord.3. Please let me know once done.

Dayna Bain : TAP meaning not press and hold?

Harper : It means press and release.

Dayna Bain : Okay, I did it.

Harper : Please go ahead and try to make a photocopy.

Dayna Bain : nothing happened.

Harper : Is the printer on?

Dayna Bain : yes

Harper : Please try to make a photocopy.

Dayna Bain : Nothing happened. There are four documents waiting to print.

Harper: 1. Make sure that the printer is ON.2. Take the cartridges out of the printer.3. Unplug the power cable from the back of the printer.4. Press and hold "#" key and "6" key on the printer front panel. Meanwhile reconnect the power cord and then release the "#" and "6" keys after you reconnect the power cord. 5. Please let me know once done.

Dayna Bain : I did it.

Harper : Please go ahead and try to make a photocopy.

Dayna Bain : It is still not working.

Harper : After exhausting the troubleshooting I am afraid to say that this is a hardware issue with printer.

Dayna Bain : What does that mean?

Harper : Some internal circuitary of the printer has malfunctioned and it is not possible to exact the malfunctioning part online hence I recommend you to contact a technician in the proximity.

Harper : Is there anything else that I may assist you with today?document.write

Dayna Bain : I guess not. Thanks.

I love it when someone can't help you and ask if there is anything else they can help you with...apparently not!

During the chat at 10:42, I got a call from GE regretting to inform me that the technician didn't come in to work and neither did his partner, so they'll have to reschedule. I said I had been waiting nearly 3 hours already and was told that they had a lot of phone calls to make...

Not a productive morning!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Firewood, anyone?

We had a big storm on Tuesday and this is what I came to. This oak tree was over a hundred years old. The tree guys said it is about 10 cords of wood, so you want to stock up for the winter, give me a call. We can't really assess the damage until the tree is removed, but I really think we were fortunate that it wasn't worse.

We were on the NBC 11 o'clock news last night...
That fence leads to a 30 foot drop to an overflow canal. I am so grateful the tree didn't fall the other way and destroy the house. It missed the arbor by inches.
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I had to drain the pool so the tree can be removed. Nice chaises, huh?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Boy Scout Court of Honor

Hooray! Andy got a double rank advancement (Star and Life) at the last Court of Honor. He also got 7 merit badges and the other boys were saying he was the "man who couldn't be beat". I worked with him over the summer so he wouldn't fall behind and he really accomplished a lot. Dave was out of town, so Jon Isom presented him with his Duty to God Award. I am so proud of him! I have always told him that I'd like him to have his Eagle before he can get his driver's license and it looks like he is now on track. Great job, Andy.
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Giants Game

In September Dave and I took the kids to the city on BART. We went to a Giants game and had a great family day. Becca's birthday was close so Alaina bought her a huge cotton candy. I don't know if they even knew we were at a baseball game, but they sure had fun on the slide, watching all of the crazy fans, and eating lunch and cotton candy.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ryan's Favorites

I can't believe my baby is 9!! He is the best snuggler when no one is looking, otherwise, I don't exist...already.

Sometimes Ryan can be a little "half-empty" so I guess this was one of those days.
Favorite Song: I hate music
Favorite Food: Pizza
Morning or Night: Night
Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner: Lunch
Favorite Sport: Football
Read or Sleep: Read
Favorite thing to do: I don't have a favorite thing because I don't like much.
He later said his favorite thing to do is play football.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

French Breakfast Muffins

I snapped Becca holding this muffin before she gobbled it up.

I found this recipe in Family Fun magazine and have been making it for nearly 3 years. It is one the things all of my kids love for breakfast (well, Ryan only likes the bottom but that's okay because I love the top the best, so we just split them in half and share.) I brought 4 dozen of these to Seminary for breakfast last week and they were just as beloved there as at my house, so per the request of dear friends, here is the recipe:

French Breakfast Muffins
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 large egg
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp milk
6 Tbsp melted and slightly cooled butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp melted and slightly cooled butter

Heat oven to 375F. Grease 12 cup muffin pan, do not use liners. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl with a whisk. In separate bowl, whisk egg until frothy, then add milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Make a hole in dry ingredients and stir wet mixture in with a wooden spoon until batter is smooth. Using large ice cream scoop, fill muffin cups abour two-thirds full.
Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes, making sure a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Transfer muffins to wire rack and dip in melted butter. Dip again in cinnamon sugar mixture and set to cool on wire rack. They taste a little like a snickerdoodle muffin. Makes 12 muffins. These are really yummy warm, but also taste good cold, if you have any that last that long. Next time I make them, I'll add a picture.

Nothing to Wear, Huh?

My boys, specifically Ryan, frequently tell me they have nothing to wear. This morning I went into their bathroom to turn off the light and this is what I found on the floor...I am just saying I think they have plenty of clothes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Walk (Bike) to School Day

Ryan's friends down the street decided to liberally interpret walk to school to include bike to school and we tagged along. There were 8 of us in all and we went the back way down a bit of the Iron Horse Trail, through Heather Farm, behind John Muir Hospital and across a fire road by the water tower, right into the school parking lot. What a beautiful way to start the day!
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blogger's Dinner Club

(this is why I am not a food stylist)

Okay, I know I missed last week, but I was really busy cleaning out the secret closet -- up till 3am 2 nights in a row -- and you can't tell. So I give up. But, here is last Mondays recipe:

Favorite Things Chicken

Cut up two chicken breasts. Season with sea salt and garlic.
Spray pan with Pam and brown chicken in 1 tsp oil,
then remove from pan.

3 Tbsp half-n-half
1/2 cup artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
2 Tbsp julienne sun-dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp pesto
Stir over low heat until combined. Add cooked chicken and heat until warmed through.
Great over rice.

However, the point of the Monday Dinner Post is for recipes that my kids actually like, because I can promise you if that if they like something, your kids will love it. And, they didn't actually like this with the sauce (the best part!). But they did love the plain chicken and begged for more. How sad. Plain chicken. Oh well. I keep trying to expand their palettes. Wish me luck!


A few weeks ago I took Becca to the doctor to get her staples out. He was really nice and suggested that next time we just come to his office and he could do the staples there for the cost of a regular office visit. He even let her keep the staple remover tool. Free. He also suggested that we could have just tied two sections of hair tightly over the gaping hole in her head and it would have probably healed fine. Apparently that is what you are supposed to do if you are camping or are too far from medical care. Instead, it looks like I chose to spend $56.71 per minute or $400 per staple in the ER. Hmmm. That about wiped out my 3 1/2 weeks of work! Thank goodness for insurance...for now.