Sunday, November 29, 2009

Children's Creative Corner

This craft has created a few craft sessions for us. Unfortunately, my camera died half way through each and every session (we were planning on replacing it when we ended up having to replace the computer), but I did get a few pictures.

We gathered our supplies for Salt Dough Ornaments.
You may remember we made salt dough ghosts for Halloween. I thought it would be lots of fun to make ornaments for our tree. Nicole over at Breaking Even, Inc. had the same idea. Instead of cooking them in the microwave, I baked them like she did. Ours were thicker so they ended up baking for about an hour.
T's cousin E had the great idea of making hand and foot prints for her newborn. I decided to try it with the kids. We used a circular cookie cutter. They turned out fantastic! I believe we've begun a new tradition. We even made more at my parent's house last week with Scooby - a set for each set of grandparents.
The second part of this particular craft is to decorate the ornaments! (You can see Monkey's handy work in the above picture. She wanted to be sure to include it with the hand prints for all of you to see.) I think I'll be painting the hand prints themselves black and then a contrasting color on the rest of the ornament.
It was fun and easy!
Enjoy your kiddos!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

So much to be thankful for

I'm late on the Thanksgiving wishes. I do hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and got to spend it with their loved ones.

I have so much to be thankful for in my life.

Our good health.

A roof over our heads.

Food on our tables.

Mostly, I'm thankful for my family.

Especially these two.

Thanksgiving turkey

I was out of town for most of this past week. My mom had her surgery last week and although everything went well, I wanted to be there to give her a hand (cook, clean and/or run errands for her). Though bringing my two young children there created a bit less of a relaxing and restful surrounding for her, I'm afraid.

Because I was gone, I only have one new recipe this week. It's a big deal, though. It was the main event for Thanksgiving (which we only celebrated on Friday night because I drove home on Thursday)!

First, I need to tell you how crazy we were the past two weeks. Hannaford had Marvel turkey on sale for 40 cents a pound. That's ridiculously cheap. We rearranged the deep freeze and the freezer on our fridge and bought four. Yep. Four. And, as if that wasn't enough, after I left with the kids, T went and picked up another to let thaw in the fridge all week so I could make it last night. I have a lot of turkey and zero room left in either freezer at the moment. I can't say I was disappointed when T didn't get his deer this year. I have no idea where we would have put any of it. HA!

T saw Giada De Laurentiis making this on Foodnetwork one day a few weeks ago. I decided to give it a try instead of roasting the way I always do (stuffed with carrots, onions and celery and rubbed with a few herbs). I am so glad I tried Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus.

I had to tweak it, as I'm wont to do. T missed "1 orange" on the shopping list. And the grocery store was completely out of fresh sage (and I thought I had dried, but discovered none when I was putting it together). So I used no sage and two lemons. Otherwise, I followed the recipe.

The turkey was delicious, but our favorite part was the gravy. It was the absolute best gravy either of us has ever had. I'm drooling now even thinking about the leftover gravy currently residing in my refrigerator.

Being a family of four with only three of us actually eating off the turkey, we've got quite a bit leftover. I dug out some turkey recipes to try in the coming days, so watch for those!

Enjoy your kitchens and your families!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sweet Treats

I tried a treat from Everyday. Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes sound absolutely decadent, right? They weren't nearly as wonderful as they sounded. They were easy to put together, but awfully time consuming for cupcakes. All in all, after all of the time I put into them, I was disappointed with the end result.

Better luck next time, I suppose.

Enjoy your kitchens!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cold Weather Goals Update

My original goals can be found here.

1) Personal

  • I've made it down to 150. Halloween candy was almost my downfall. But I'm half way there!
  • I've lost all my images to my old computer. I haven't heard from the shop about it yet so I'm just working on some small projects and holding off a little longer on Etsy.
  • I bought a small blotter to track bill due dates on. I've been updating my checkbook register once a week to track my balance. My house doesn't look like a tornado has just come through. I can live with that for now.
  • My blog obviously suffered from the computer crash. The new computer is now completely set up and running (minus Quickbooks which I need to upgrade. Poo!). You should be seeing me regularly again.
2) Family
  • We took Monkey to a hockey game at UMO last weekend (Little Man stayed with my GFT because it would have been too much with both kids). We've also been out to eat a couple of times. We need to find some family activities.

  • Children's Creative Corner only has one update since the crash fiasco. All of my links and ideas were on the old machine so I have to do some digging. We may not have been crafty, but we have been doing all sorts of food crafts (ie, cooking).

3) Kitchen

4) Projects

  • Hanging mirror has been painted

  • I have 2 of 5 wine crates stained
  • I need 6 more pockets for Little Man's quilt. I found some rustic looking quilter's squares I've had for years. I'm pretty sure I'm going to use them for the front.
5) Turning house into home

  • Bedroom: My dresser area has been prettified. T's dresser has been simplified. I painted his nightstand this week (with his blessing, of course). It needs baskets to organize his junk... er... stuff. I need fabric for a bed skirt. I need curtains. I currently have plant clippings rooting to add at least 1 plant to our room (I believe I'll be putting it on top of my dresser where I currently have a candle). I have a painting to hang and 2 wall sconces to paint and hang. I'm making progress.

  • Bathroom: T picked up a piece of trim for me on his last trip to Home Depot. I put up a curtain hanger (it's not a rod - it's an idea I came up with and will show you as soon as I figure out curtains). I also need a new shower curtain because T got paint on my nice white one. I put in an "order" with my dad to build a shelf unit for above the toilet. Slow progress but progress nonetheless.
  • Monkey's curtains have been put up.

  • I've also put in an "order" for a bookshelf with my dad for Little Man's room. Otherwise, I haven't done anything in there yet.
  • The wine crates are for the stairwell. Unfortunately, I'll be waiting on T and the drywall before I can finish.
Slow and steady. I have no intention of leaving anything unfinished on this list this year!

How are your lists coming?

Edited for an update: I heard from the computer shop after I typed this out. The old laptop is fried but they were able to pull all of my data off of it. Phew!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More new recipes

Here are a few more of the many recipes we've tried since my old computer crashed.

These are all from Everyday, as are the images.

First up is BLT Creamy Mac 'n' Cheese. I went a little overboard with the leeks so Monkey didn't like it because she had to pick out too much green stuff. T & I enjoyed it. I may have a small collection of homemade mac n cheese recipes before long!

Double-Stuffed Chicken Breasts were pretty good. Unfortunately, it's a "skin-on" recipe, which compels me to eat the chicken skin. Not healthy. The fact it's baked and not fried helps a little, I guess. I also forgot to top them with marinara. It must have been a rough evening (Little Man freaks out every night when I'm trying to cook. I'm just going to say I'm lucky I haven't burned the house down.). This is a keeper.

Speaking of healthy, here's some fried pork for you! Breaded Pork-and-Mozzarella Stacks with Garlic Broccoli were so extremely good. Monkey isn't a fan of green leafy veggies or broccoli. She liked this broccoli. Enough so, I'm writing the broccoli recipe on it's own card so I remember to make little trees as a side dish more often. My pork was bone-in so I cut pockets into them instead of stacking cutlets. It was more difficult than stacking would have been, but it was the same concept and worked just fine. We topped leftover pork with marinara sauce for a nice change up the next day. I suggest using marinara. Yum!

Enjoy your kitchens!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New recipes

Wow. I have a lot of recipes to catch up on. I'll post a few at a time and hopefully be caught up soon.
We'll start with Cheesy Rice Fritters from Everyday. While it was a bit labor intensive for such a simple meal, it was easy. Next time, I need to drain off a little of the bacon fat and decrease the olive oil before sauteing the spinach as it ended up a little greasy. We all enjoyed it, though.

I also made Balsamic-Glazed Mushrooms from Everyday. They have them listed as an appetizer. I made them as a side dish. And I've made them a few times. They're ridiculously easy and very very tasty.

Also from Everyday is Philly Cheese Steak-Stuffed Garlic Bread. It's so fancy looking and extremely yummy. It was really easy to throw together, too.

This last one is from AmericanProfile.Com. Tortellini, Greens and Bean Soup was another winner. I took their suggestion of adding browned kielbasa for extra Monkey pleasing powers. It did the trick to make the soup extra appealing to her.

I have more to come when I get another few minutes to sit down.

Enjoy your kitchens!
First two images from Everyday.
Third image from

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bad luck update

My bad luck got worse after our computer crashed.

I lost my wallet on Halloween. Luckily, I had my debit card in my back pocket for some unknown reason so only lost a credit card and my drivers license. Let me tell you, I searched for that bad boy. I called every friend we went to with the kids for Trick or Treats, I drove back to the office to check there, I called every store I had gone to on Friday (I couldn't remember for sure if I'd seen it on Saturday!) and I went to check the streets we'd parked on for Trick or Treats, getting on my hands and knees to dig through leaves and even a mud puddle.

After all of this, I notified my credit card company who canceled my card and has put a new one in the mail and pulled out my passport to go get a new license on Monday.

During a cleaning spree on Wednesday, I discovered my Dear Little Monkey had decided to play Madame with my wallet and breast pump. My wallet had been zipped in a secret compartment in the pump carrier the entire time. Alrighty then! Please enjoy a chuckle at my expense.

After much research, we've purchased a new laptop. The old one is in the shop where they can hopefully pull off all of my old files (cross your fingers because I had nothing backed up). I haven't finished getting the new one completely set up yet. I have an anti-virus program on it, but that is pretty much it. I need to create recovery disks and have programs to upload still to get me back to my preferred productivity level.

I also need to add that I've come to realize the clarity and coloring on my old machine was horrible! I thought my blog colors didn't necessarily match but at least went together. I see now that they don't really. I'll need to work on fixing this.

In the meantime, I'll try to share a few things but we've been slacking around the house.

I hope you all had a wonderful week.

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