Things To Do With Kids – Traveling

Last month my children landed in Moscow wearing a perfect shade of San Francisco Pale on their skins. These city kids were raised where outside requires constant adult supervision, they had only minor encounters with nice weather, and were yet to experience a water or electricity outage.

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In 3 weeks they were completely transformed into tan Russian-speaking sun-loving kids who had a bite of freedom and lots of bites of freshly grown produce right outside of their great- grandmother’s house!

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Their only swimming experience up till now was in a heated pool. I don’t quite get it, but apparently swimming in a river with cousins, fish, ducks and frogs is much more fun!

 

Grandma’s garden was an endless source of entertainment and nourishment. Apples, cherries, currant, strawberries – and that’s just the begging of the list. The kids had a blast playing in all this lusciousness!

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They even found it cool to be washed outside with water heated up by sun.

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Though, you should have seen my son’s excitement when he got back home and went to the bathroom: “Есть вода!” (The water is on)! Hmmmm….

 

Here are some Instagram favorites from the trip. Enjoy!

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Thai Curry Vegetables with Pasta

I P90X-ed most of the baby weight after Pea was born, but there are still a few stubborn pounds that refuse to go away.  Apparently trying to kick them out while dating your kitchen stove doesn’t work … I wonder, why…  ?  Since we turned vegetarian, the husband shed everything he had left.  It seems he burns a ton of calories even when he sneezes… MEN!

To keep up with the annoyingly handsome spouse, I decided to try running a marathon, but the man said something like: “NO! The kids and I will never see you if you start training”.  What he probably thought was:  “Oh NO! I will be trapped with these two screamers by myself for hours at a time!” 

So, instead we gave a try to the local climbing gym.  Even though we lacked a little bit of experience and a lot of tattoos, it proved to be a whole a lot of awesomeness!  If you learn safety rules, communicate, and trust each other, you are guaranteed to have a blast. Naturally, Dave advertised it to our friends as a cheap alternative to couples therapy.

Therefore, we are on our way to being healthy and breathtakingly gorgeous again.  California style! So, I’m proudly presenting a waste-no-food kind of recipe… California style…  Take whatever vegetables you have, steam them, and mix with pasta and this mild Thai style curry.   Healthy and pretty! 

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THAI CURRY VEGETABLES WITH PASTA

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro stems, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbs red Thai curry paste
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 15-oz can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 4 cups assorted vegetables
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pckg whole grain spaghetti or fettuccine

DIRECTIONS:

Wash and prepare the vegetables for steaming.  Peel, cube, or cut them if needed.

Cook pasta according to the package instructions.

On medium heat warm up the oil and saute cilantro stems and onion, curry paste, curry powder, and turmeric for about 1 min. Add the broth, coconut milk, and sugar, and saute for another 4-5 minutes.

Steam vegetables till done.  Mix them with curry.

Drain pasta after it’s done and add to the curry mixture.  Add salt if needed.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

Mandarin Ginger Chicken

The baby displayed a fondness for mandarins! Wonderful!

Naturally, the husband brings home all the mandarins he could get from the farmers market. Wonderful!…

We ate some of them… Juggled with others…  I added a few to the tonight’s dinner, and the citrusy twist made it just perfect.

Here is a yummy 30-minute dinner idea

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MANDARIN GINGER CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 lb chicken breasts or thighs
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbs grated ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 mandarins, peeled,separated into segments, and cut in half
  • 1.5 cup of assorted vegetables (I had sweet corn, green beans, onions, and sweet peas)

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a zip-lock bag and let marinate in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Chop vegetables, if needed.  Peel the mandarins, separate them into segments and cut each segment in half (I also peeled some skin off).

Heat a little bit of olive oil in a frying pan. Sauté vegetables for about 3 minutes, set aside.

Sauté the chicken on medium-high heat until browned. Turn the chicken over.

Pour the sauce used to marinate chicken in the pan, bring it to a boil.  Add the vegetables and mandarins.  Cover the pan and steam cook for about 2 minutes.

Slice the chicken and serve with the vegetables over brown rice, sprinkle with some red pepper flakes if you like it spicy.

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