Leftovers Tonight

As a child I HATED leftovers.  Fast forward to me as a wife/mother/real food on a budget convert and leftovers are a big deal in the McNamee house.  Delicious leftovers are key to sticking to a food budget.  Tonight I NAILED our leftover dinner.

In my opinion if it isn’t some kind of moist, saucy dish then it isn’t any good just reheated.  It has become my mission to repurpose leftovers, so we have new dishes using leftover food.  Sometimes the new dishes are edible but not great.  When I have a particular moment of culinary skill, the repurposing ends up even better than the original dish.  Tonight was one of those nights.

Last week my incredible and very generous mother not only watched Emma Grace while I worked for a week, but she bought and cooked a delicious salmon dinner.  Fortunately for us, she bought entirely too much salmon.  Tonight I made salmon cakes with our leftover salmon, and they were AMAZING.  I diced up some green onions and red pepper, chopped up some dill and parsley from my garden, added a little garlic and lemon juice and of course the binding/filling agents of egg and breadcrumbs.  IT WAS DELICIOUS.  I also created a little sauce with greek yogurt, sour cream, cider vinegar, green onion and lemon juice.  Shane and Emma Grace had their salmon cake as a sandwich with whole wheat bread from a local bakery.  I made two lettuce wraps with mine.  I now want to make more salmon just to do this with the leftovers.

If you are looking for ways to stretch your grocery dollars, I really suggest starting to be creative with your leftovers.  You save money, have fun in the kitchen and keep from wasting food.  If you are looking for ways to incorporate salmon due to it’s many health benefits, throw together some peppers, onions and herbs and make yourself some salmon cakes!


Man’s Best Friend

I know I posted last week about how wonderful it is to have an 18 month old.  I know I also promised to be more insightful with future posts.  However I left out the funniest thing about Emma Grace right now, and unfortuantely it doesn’t really provide any life lessons.  It is incredibly funny, adorable and ridiculous, so I am going to share…

It is clear that Emma Grace is unaware of the differences between herself and her pet. We aren’t sure if she thinks that she is a dog, or if she thinks Caroline is a human.  Firstly she has started to mix in barking with her every day speech.  She used to bark when we saw a dog either outside or in a book.  As time has gone on she has added barking in more and more often, but today she used it in a ‘sentence’.  (To be clear, Emma Grace doesn’t use actual sentences.  She babbles with a few actual words, but clearly thinks that she is speaking in full sentences.)  Today on the changing table she looked at me intently and said, “Daddy badaa lada baba WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF ahhhh Daddy.” I didn’t know how to respond to her very serious face.  Has anyone had this happen before?

Besides barking as if it was english, Emma Grace follows Caroline on all fours with her tongue out panting.  She does this at least twice a day.  It is actually one of her favorite activities.  Most adorablely, Emma Grace tries to have Caroline read her books.  NO, I don’t mean that she reads to Caroline.  Emma Grace follows Caroline holding out her book.  When Caroline stops Emma Grace sets the book in front of Caroline’s face.  When Caroline does not read the book Emma Grace gets upset.

So there you have it.  The best/funniest/most precious thing about our 18 month old Emma Grace.  From the time she could be a ‘dog person’ she was a ‘dog person’.  Now she seems to think that she is in fact a DOG/PERSON.

A Very Merry Half Birthday

Today is Emma Grace’s half birthday.  That’s right my beautiful little girl is 1.5 years old.  WHAT?  How did that happen?  Remember when I thought I wanted 4 children in 18 month intervals?  HA!  Clearly that girl didn’t have any children.  This girl is quite happy with her ONE child for the time being 🙂

ANYWAY, I thought I would write an update on my little 18 month old.

Emma Grace is growing like a weed.  She is consistently in the 90% percentile in height and 75% in weight, so she is huge.  It is incredible to see her as a little person and not a baby anymore.  She has a number of words, but still babbles a ton.  Babbling is our favorite.  She clearly thinks she is telling us something, but is saying nothing in actual english.  It is so cute.  My favorite is listening while she babbles to Shane over the monitor.  He says I am ‘spying’ on his daddy time, but it makes me fall even more in love with both of them.

Emma Grace is a MONKEY.  She climbs on and over EVERYTHING.  Her stength and flexibility is ridiculous.  I’m sure this is the case for every baby, but it still amazes me.  Speaking of monkeys, she loves monkeys.  She loves to say the monkey sound and act out “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on a Bed” whenever we read it to her.  Actually, she loves to read anything.  Emma Grace will read all morning with me.  Sometimes she starts turning pages before I am finished, but I love that she loves her books so much.

Emma Grace’s favorite place to visit is Short Pump Mall.  In general Emma Grace loves to be outside, and the mall is her favorite outdoor location.  She would throw every coin in the world into the fountain if she could.  Her favorite activity is to watch from the 2nd level.  She hasn’t quite realized that the people on the 1st level don’t see her waiving, but it doesn’t seem to change how happy it makes her.

One of the coolest things about Emma Grace is she plays by herself in the most amazing way.  One day she walked around with a ribbon and a stuffed dog for 15 minutes.  Every now and then she would stop, put the dog down, give it a kiss, and try to tie the ribbon around his neck.  When she couldn’t do it she would just pick the dog back up, walk around for a while and do it again.  Oh yeah and she talked to the dog as well, not just babbled, but actually barked at the dog.  I could have watched her for hours.  It was the most incredible, adorable, funniest thing I have ever seen.

Well I could go on for hours, but I’m sure most people stopped about 3 paragraphs ago when they realized I wasn’t going to share anything personal or profound.  I plan to start keeping up with this blog at least once a week.  Maybe next time it will be more interesting than babbling and mall visitting.