Update – We just finished dinner, and this is our new Carnita recipe that will stick around in the Gafford household. I’ve posted a pic of the taco that we made, and we are incredibly happy with the results. It has the flavor of deep fried since it’s seared before it’s put into the CrockPot, and it’s at least a tiny bit healthier than deep fried. To quote McDonalds, “Ba Da Da Da Da, I’m lovin it.”
I absolutely love Mondays! Monday has been my day-long date with Addison for the last two years, and they get more interactive and fun as she gets older. Today we spent the day at the Mall of America and took full advantage of our membership to Sea Life Aquarium. I let Addison walk the entirety of the aquarium for the first time, and she touched everything within reach. If there is a piece of glass left in the place without her fingerprints on it, I would be amazed. Addison has also figured out that there are hand gel dispensers all over the aquarium and mall that give free squirts when you wave a hand in front. She has the cleanest hands in the room when she’s at the mall to be certain.
We spent some time at the Disney store after visiting the fish, and she hugged every stuffed animal within reach. One of the workers even showed us that there are tunnels built into many of the displays that have buttons that play sound effects that adults can push while kids crawl through. Following our tunnel time, it was time to color in front of the big projection screen and try on princess dresses. (Addison, not me…seriously). We were somehow able to leave without a Disney bag in tow, but since the whole family visited Disney World this year I left my guilt at the door.
Following Disney, Addison indulged daddy and let me visit my “Disney” in the form of the Apple store. Realizing that hanging out there can result in spending money, we ventured upstairs for Addison’s favorite lunch at McDonalds. This girl loves chicken nuggets and French fries, and a BBQ sauce to dip seals the deal.
We began heading out, and Addison stopped at every gel dispenser between McDonalds and the car. We even watched Finding Nemo in the car on the way home to complete the theme of the day. Addison really got into the whole ocean theme by taking her shoes and socks off in the 20 degree car, but you can’t doubt her enthusiasm.
Anyhow, for those of you who live far away and don’t get a glimpse of, “a day in the life”, here you go. This little one is a bundle of fun, and has us running to keep up all the time. Here are a couple of pictures from my phone of our day. Addison sends her love!
Today was a day of Christmas decorating here in the Gafford household, and this baby girl sure loves to decorate. With snow falling all around, it just felt right to break out the tree and surprise the little one. I’m looking forward to coming home to a lit home and tree on my way back from the black Friday sales! Have a happy snow Minnesota.
Tonight the family enjoyed Trick or Treating at the Mall of America, and my wife Melissa tells the story. Head on over to her blog and check it out.
This morning Addison and I decided to head out on a little outing. It was a gorgeous day, and I knew that there wouldn’t be too many more days like this to spend outside, so off to the zoo we went. I learned a few things today. First, it’s close to impossible to wrangle a stroller, camera backpack, and a toddler on a monkey leash. There were many moms looking at me wondering what in the world I was doing, but we pulled it off and this little girl had a blast. She even topped the afternoon off with a 3 hour nap just to prove the point. Anyhow, for those who are far from us and would like to see what Addison is up to here are some pictures to enjoy. (You’ll note that there may be some blur to the pictures… That would be me trying to take a picture with one hand and having Addison tugging on my other hand running around trying to see the next animal. Good Times.)
Today I took my first stab at a Chimichurri sauce and marinade. Based on a bunch of herbs and spices blended into a fine paste, it’s an easy way to make something tasty out of chicken or beef. I made this last night, and marinated the chicken for about 20 hours before grilling this afternoon. You could probably make this and marinade for 3-4 hours, but I feel like the big payoff comes from overnight. We cooked up some green pepper, onion, and poblano peppers along with the chicken, and it was Yum.
1 Cup of Flat Leaf Parsley
4 Cloves of Garlic
8 Green Onions (Whites & Greens)
1/2 Cup of White Wine Vinegar
3/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 TB Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 TB Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt