Friday, August 27, 2010

LoveLee Baby Things...

I LOVE baby things! It's not just because I have a baby (well, not so much a baby anymore) but because of the creativity that takes place when you have a baby. It forces you to be creative.

Whenever I have a baby shower to go to, I start thinking about what I can make for the baby. I was recently invited to a baby shower for a dear friend that I could not attend, but I went ahead and made a few things for here.

Tell me what you think...

The Car Seat Canopy

The Nursing Cover

Yes, I used my sister as a model.

My friend is having a boy, but I couldn't help putting ruffles on it.

Introducing... Shadow!

This is Shadow, the newest member of the Lee family. Shadow is a pure bred Golden Retriever. I'm sure most of you saw on Facebook that Jon surprised me (on the day of my grandpa's funeral) with a puppy. Well, we got Emma (Shadow's litter mate) a about two weeks, but ended up trading her for Shadow, it's a long story. I was really having a hard time, but I LOVE Shadow, and he is going to be a great dog!

And yes, that is mischief written all over his face!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cheesecake Factory's Louisiana Chicken Pasta

One of our favorite restaurants to go to as a family is the Cheesecake Factory! I went there for the first time at fashion island in Newport for my 15th birthday. I don't remember much about that day but I do remember being seated next to the window on a beautiful clear day. If you have ever been to that particular spot, you know you can see the ocean and sometimes as far as a neighboring islands.

It quickly became one of our favorite restaurants, and place we would go for a date or celebratory dinner. Jon and I were thrilled when we found out that one was going in here in Riverside a few years back!

I don't tend to stick with one thing I like to try new things on the menu. But Jon LOVES the Louisiana Chicken Pasta, he orders that EVERY time we go. I have tried and tried to get the recipe for it with no avail, until this week.

I just randomly googled it as I have in the past, but this time I found a recipe that looked like it could fit the bill, and I think it did! So, here it is...

I got the recipe from from one of their forums.

For the pan fried chicken:
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour

For the Cajun Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 small yellow pepper (chopped)
1 small red bell pepper (chopped)
3/4 small red onion (chopped)
3 whole garlic cloves (minced)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/4 pints whipping cream
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons fresh basil (thinly sliced)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 (12 ounce) package bow tie pasta
1 cup mushroom (sliced)

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.

Add yellow and red bell peppers, mushrooms, and onion to same skillet,until
crisp-tender, about 4 minute.

Add garlic and crushed red pepper to skillet and saute 3 minutes.

Add whipping cream and chicken stock.

Simmer until sauce re-heats and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. (I let it "hang out" longer. It gave the sauce its signature color)

Add basil (I didn't have any. oops)and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese to sauce, stirring to

Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.(This is important because the cheese adds the salty flavor by itself, and you run the risk of over salting if you salt before the cheese) Reduce heat to low, simmer;
sauce will reduce and thicken.

Start the water for the bow-tie pasta

Cook bow-tie pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until
tender but still firm to bite.

Drain and return to pot.

Wash and drain chicken breasts.

Pound until very thin (the thinner the chicken breasts the better).

Mix breadcrumbs, flour, and Parmesan cheese together.

Place milk in dish for dipping.

Dip chicken in breadcrumb mixture and then in milk and then back in

Place in fry pan that the oil has been heated and fry at medium high
temperature until golden crisp and cooked through.

Add more oil as needed.

Remove and drain chicken; keep warm.

Add sauce to the pasta and toss to coat.

Place pasta with sauce on plate, and top with chicken breast.

Serve, passing additional Parmesan separately.

Serves 5 to 7


Oh, and isn't the cheesecake factory's website freaky??? Yes- I do look at the links before I post them... <3>

Adah's Day Out: Disneyland

My brother, and his girlfriend Carlie, took Adah to Disneyland on Monday night. They documented they trip with their iPhone and sent us updates throughout the night. This is what they sent...

We are here, and She's excited!

California Adventure

On a bugs life ride

Eating a toddler meal

Cuddling on Pirates

On our way to the tram. We had so much fun!

Pooped out after a fun night. Thank you Uncle, and Carlie!

I am so glad this worked out and they all had a fun time. This also gave Jon and I a "night off."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Papa Passing

This has taken me a while to write all this out. This is more for me to rehash things and take it in. Thank you for listening... : )

It has been almost 3 weeks since my grandpa passed away, and a little over a week since he was buried. For a while it really felt like all our lives were on hold while he was on hospice. Just waiting. It went a little like this...

On Tuesday, July 13th we (Mom, Adah, Jon, and myself) went to see my grandparents for lunch. When we got there things with my grandpa were different, not bad, but different. He was really weepy, and was having a hard time communicating, and eating. That's not entirely unusual considering he was on dialysis twice a week, and that was very tiring to him. So we just had a fairly normal day visiting.

By the weekend he was in the hospital and was having a very hard time speaking, and doing much of anything. He would sleep most of the day, wake up briefly, and know who you were, and try his hardest to tell you he loved you, but still drift in and out. The doctor was pretty confident that his body was shutting down. On Saturday, the 17th, they decided it was time to have hospice brought in. Being that his kidney function was only at about 6% at this point, he wouldn't be on hospice long.

On Monday, the 19th he was brought home, and between all of us that was there when he was home, there was an excitement that I cant explain. Yes, we knew he was going to die, but he was at home surrounded by the family he loved. It was a treasure.

I went home Monday night and my Mom stayed to care for him. Tuesday Jon and I didn't make it out because of a jr. high event that Jon and Adam had to lead, but nothing had really changed, so we felt confident going.

Wednesday, I went with the intention of spending 1 maybe 2 nights. When we got there, my Dad had warned me that the atmosphere was very somber because he had really woken up at all. We got there around 6pm, and around 7 he really woke up for about 2 hours. He would try to smile, and make gestures that he would always do when we were kids. While Adah was in the room talking to him, he looked at her and brought two fists up like a boxer, and smiled at her really big. That was the most memorable thing he did while he was at home because for a brief moment, he snapped into himself, with his playful personality. He went to sleep around 9 as did the rest of us, and he never really woke up after that. He went into a coma like state.

Like I said, I was planning on staying there 2 nights tops, but as the time went by, we knew he would be leaving us soon, so 2 nights turned into 5. Friday is when his breaths because really labored.

We all thought that he was going to pass Saturday July 24, we were all there and ate his favorite thing for dinner. In N out. The whole experience a process that we wanted to glorify the Lord, and its funny how the enemy really doesn't want to see that happen. I won't go into detail, but a family member (not direct) was really being used by the enemy. It was really hard but our focus was on serving Papa until he was taken home.

Sunday morning Jon and Adam went to work, and we all had a pleasant morning. My grandparents neighbors (who have been real true neighbors with their hospitality) came over, and we all listened to Pastor Greg's message. It was July 25, and for those of you who don't know, July 24, 2008 was the day his son Christopher went to heaven, so that was really on his mind. His message really touched on dying and heaven. Papa could hear it because they were in the room listening to it. Then the message was over and Revive played Welcome to Eternity. A few minutes later he took his last breath. It was so peaceful.

It was really a very hard almost week, and I am so glad I was there. No regrets!

"He passed liked he lived, very quietly." -Peggy Colley (my grandma)