Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Day two: Winter Vacation

We made the coolest three dimensional snowflakes. I used plain old printer paper, folded in half lengthwise. Then I folded each edge down to make a triangle to measure out each smaller square. The boys used bits of tape and staples to put them all together, and they came out so nicely!

Then we went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry - known as OMSI around these parts. We have a family membership to the children's museum back in Southern California that had a nice plus: it applied to all the other children's and science museums throughout the country. We go as often as we can, making the $75 membership more than worth it. We've already seen the Star Wars exhibit (Ryan was on cloud nine the whole time), so we went quickly to the Innovation Station where the boys got to throw balls inside with impunity. This was Arden's favorite exhibit, bar none. We could have spent all day there. But Ryan had other plans. First the Physics lab, and then the Chemistry Lab, which he has now decided is the coolest place in the whole museum. Not sure if this is due to the protective glasses or the magnets and liquid nitrogen. I promised both boys that we'd go back with Dan next week when he has time off.

Dinner tonight was tacos. Ryan helped grind the meat (big sale on chuck a few weeks back, so I bought a few roasts and froze them), then I made the taco meat and cut up tomatoes, onions, and lettuce and shredded the cheese. Flour tortillas only needed warming up, and oranges got cut into easy to eat slices. Recipe for the taco meat (which could just as easily be made from ground turkey or even vegetable "crumbles", though I'd add a bit of fat to saute the onions and garlic) here:

Taco meat
serves 4

1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
dash cayenne (good-sized dash)
1 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper
1/3 cup kechup*

Crumble meat into a pan over medium - high heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook until meat lightly browned. Add spices and tomato, but not kechup yet. Continue to cook for 5 minutes or until tomatoes are disintegrated. Add kechup, stir, and cook for a few more minutes to let flavors meld.

* Yes, I actually said kechup. No, this is not in any way authentic. But it gives a nice bit of sweet/sour to the mix, and helps bind everything together so it's similar to fast food taco meat. Feel free to leave it out - the mix will be looser but still delicious.