Friday, January 29, 2010

Sweet Treat

Orange Choco Chip

I decided to throw together some cookies with Monkey this morning.  I had a recipe for Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies from Martha Stewart I’ve had for some time that I’ve wanted to try.  I was skeptical.  They are really good.

Please note – I can’t find the exact recipe online.  This one is really close.  The only difference is the recipe I used called for twice as much cream cheese.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Problems with Google Ads.

I want to warn anyone who’s been on my blog today that you need to do a virus scan.  I came on and my anti-virus program went nuts.  I didn’t know if it was this page or another I had opened but when I refreshed the page, it happened again.

I discovered it was the Google Ads and I immediately removed them from the blog for the time being (and now the anti-virus program is fine).

I’m so sorry if anyone got hit with anything. 




I went over to Google after I posted this and had the same problem there. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Recipes of the Week

I have a few this week.


We started off with Roasted Portobello Caprese Salad from Martha Stewart Living.  I used it as a side dish and it was a really yummy treat.

Another side dish we tried was Marilyn’s Mac and Cheese from Country Living. T finally told me he doesn’t like tomatoes in his mac and cheese.  So while it was tasty, it’s not something he wants me to make again.  

A friend made this Tuscan White Bean Soup with Prosciutto and Spinach.  Some day, I’ll learn how to chop fresh rosemary tiny enough to not have it be so overpowering (I love the flavor it gives but when you bite into a big piece of rosemary, it just kind of kills the good taste of the soup.).  I’m using my handy chopper next time – and this one is going into rotation.  We all enjoyed it.  It was easy to toss together, too.

My final new meal was from EverydayCheesy Broccoli Potato Soup was easy enough a beginner cook could make it.  I used shredded hash brown potatoes because I had some on hand.  I also whisked in a little flour because I used 2% milk and not whole – and added cheese to the pot of soup and then topped our bowls off with it, too.  It received huge raves. 

The last recipe I want to share is for Anadama Bread.  T loves the stuff so brought home a recipe for me to try.  He then got impatient when I hadn’t tried it yet (2 days later – silly man) and made it himself.  It was really good and will be staying in our supply of bread recipes.

There you have it.  Enjoy your weekend and your kitchens!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I’ve been pretty quiet this week

Quiet is difficult for someone with a love of speaking and a rather large mouth. 

I have some recipes to share tomorrow. I’m hoping to bake up some kind of sinful concoction later today. 

I spent a couple of afternoons in the basement cleaning and organizing with the kids.  Y0u may remember this from my cold weather goals last year.  What I had put on the walls ended up upstairs – and it had officially turned into a storage room again. I’ll be doing some decorating tomorrow and may actually finally have that family room I’ve been wanting down here.


I made more bagels.  I’m planning on experimenting tomorrow and trying to get some apple cinnamon bagels on the table.  They are my favorite.

Enjoy your weekend and the fabulous weather we’re supposed to be having. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cold Weather Goals Update:

My original goals can be found here.

1) Personal:


  • I’m still at 150.  I won’t complain.  I ate like a pig during the holidays.  I ate like a great big smelly pig.  Maintained weight?  I call that a win.
  • I have started listing products on Etsy.  Now to keep it up.
  • I’ve got a semi-system going on keeping organized.  I use a calendar for when bills are due.  I make a point to sit down once a week to update our checkbook.  I pay bills every other week.  And my house has somehow been really really clean and pretty organized the past few weeks.
  • I’ve been blogging 3-4 times a week, with the holidays as an exception.  I was busy, I was out of town, I took a break.  Meh.  Could be worse.

2) Family


  • Our outings are not happening as frequently as I would like.  We’ve been snowshoeing together once.  We went sliding yesterday.  We’re hoping to go snowshoe/hike up a mountain this Sunday.  Perhaps we need to start a once a week game night?  That’s kind of hard with a 2 1/2 year old who doesn’t “get” games. 
  • I’ve been failing with the Children’s Creative Corner.  I haven’t been crafting with Monkey as much as I’d like (does her sitting on my lap helping sew a sling count?)

3) Kitchen


  • Still no progress on the cheese.  I need to do this soon.
  • Homemade bagels?  Oh my god, yum.
  • I’m undecided if I really want to do the soap.  I have a little time to decide. 
  • The new recipes flying through this kitchen are astounding.

4) Projects


5) Turning house into home

  • No progress
  • I’ve been looking for something to make curtains/shower curtain with.  So far, no luck.  I “ordered” a hanging shelf which my dad will build during mud season when he’s off work.
  • No progress other than “ordering” a book shelf which my dad will also build for us during mud season.
  • On hold until T puts in drywall.

Slow and steady, slow and steady.  I’ll get there as long as I keep plugging away.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What do we have here?

A big bowl of what?


It must be dough.


Are those doughnuts?


But you don’t bake doughnuts…


Well look at that!  It’s fresh from the oven bagels!


  The smell was amazing.  And they tasted wonderful. 

I’ve recently pulled out my Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day cookbook again and I’m absolutely loving it.  Find the recipe here

Enjoy your Sunday!  Personally, I’m hoping to have a lazy one. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Recipes of the Week

I’m falling behind on these again.   I guess that’s bound to happen since I’m trying anywhere from 3 to 5 new recipes a week. 

Short and sweet and to the point so I can fit them all in.

Giada De Laurentiis is a new favorite of mine.  Prosciutto Ravioli was easy to put together.  They were really good too – other than the fact Monkey doesn’t like green leafy vegetables so she picked around the spinach.  I have issues with ravioli, though.  Many of them fell apart during the boil stage.  I’ll figure it out sooner or later, right?

lemoncurd-everydayImage from Everyday 

I found a recipe for Lemon Curd in Everyday with a few recipes to use the lemon curd in.  The curd was so simple to put together.  I currently don’t own a fine-mesh sieve like the recipe calls for so didn’t strain it.  It was fine skipping that step.

lemonchicken-everdayImage from Everyday 

I’m not all that big on deep frying, but Lemon Chicken looked good.  I also battered button mushrooms and added them, all served over rice noodles.  It was extremely good.

Having extra lemon curd in my fridge, I tried to find another meal to make with it before it went bad (it lasts for a month).   Sandra Lee has a Lemony Chicken recipe posted on Foodnetwork.  We tried it this week.  Even though the sauces were prepared differently, the lemon curd was overpowering to the other flavors and it tasted identical to Rachael’s Lemon Chicken.

mare_barley_stew_with_leeks_mushrooms_and_greens-Bonappetit Image from Bon Appetit 

Barley Stew with Leeks, Mushrooms and Greens is another winner.  I wasn’t sure because it has tomatoes in the broth (I had a bad experience with tomato based soup while pregnant for Monkey), but I was pleasantly surprised.  The barley did suck up all of the broth in the leftovers, but the first time around was perfect.

While we are on barley and kale in soups…  I tried Black-Kale and White-Bean Soup with Barley from Martha Stewart Living.  Yuck.  That’s all I have to say about this one.

porktenderloinandmustardwinesauce-marthastewart Image from MarthaStewart 

Speaking of Martha, she did not let me down with Pork Tenderloin and Mustard-Wine Sauce.  This is the kind of thing I’d love making for guests.

mare_poblano_and_mushroom_tacos-bonappetitImage from BonAppetit

Another winner were the Poblano and Mushroom Tacos from Bon Appetit.  I added slices of cooked sirloin which allowed me to stretch the filling to 6 tacos instead of 4. 

lemonpennehamescarole-everdayImage from Everyday 

Lemon Penne with Ham and Escarole is yet another winner from Everyday.

caramelbalsamicchicken-everday Image from Everyday 

Caramel-Balsamic-Glazed Chicken was another Everyday winner.  I paired it with rice instead of cous cous.

 Image from Foodnetwork 

Originally I had pulled this recipe for Italian Chicken Sticks for our Christmas party.  I didn’t have time to put them together so T used the seasoning on whole chicken breasts one night.   They were really good.  I sprinkled a similar seasoning mix onto frozen french fries one night as well.  That was also really good.

Image from Foodnetwork 

We pulled out the second of our five frozen turkeys last week.  T requested quesadillas with some of the leftover meat.  He found Easy Chicken-Mushroom Quesadillas on Foodnetwork so I used it (obviously substituting turkey for the chicken).  Easy doesn’t begin to cover it.  They were a cinch to put together and really really good.

Wow.  I’ve finally hit the bottom of the stack.  I do have some new bread recipes we’ve tried, but I’ll share those later this week.

Have a great day and enjoy your kitchens!

Friday, January 15, 2010


The Road Less Traveled!


I currently only have a handful of slings listed for sale, but I’m hoping to remedy that in the near future. 

IMG_0819 IMG_0822 

I also need a better photo of a sling being modeled…  I’m working on my self-portrait skills.


So no more blathering on about needing to do it.  It’s done. 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cooking with kids

A friend asked me today how I cook with two kids.  She makes dinner every night with her son clinging to her legs.

I decided to give you a glimpse into dinner preparations in our household.

It usually starts off with Little Man in his high chair with a toy or two.  He was getting unhappy by the time I took this picture.


While Little Man is otherwise occupied, here is what Monkey is up to.  Hear the scraping of the chair being pushed across the floor.


She can’t very well help from the floor, right?


After a quick cooking break to give Little Man some sweet potatoes and a bowl of cereal, he went to play on the floor a bit.  Monkey wanted to entertain him a bit so joined him while I cut up raw chicken (she’s not allowed to help with raw meat, obviously).


He played alone a little…


while Monkey made “pancakes.”


Little Man then ended up back in his high chair and decided to take a nap (I didn’t dare take his picture for fear of waking him with the flash!) and Monkey went on to “wash” dishes.


So there you have it.  This is what happens here during dinnertime preps.

Come back tomorrow for a big announcement!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Children’s Creative Corner – Breakfast Edition

Monkey decided she wanted green pancakes for breakfast.  I feel a color lesson coming on!

I mixed up the batter (sorry – boxed mix because T keeps buying the huge boxes at Sam’s Club – I think I’m finally on the last one and can start making my own!!) and then grabbed some food coloring.  What do yellow and blue make?

That’s right.  Green.


Monkey then decided she wanted white yogurt and red strawberries with her green pancakes.  Maybe we should have had these on Christmas morning?  HA.

She also noticed the red strawberry juice turning her white yogurt pink.


Not our traditional kind of crafting, but it sure was tasty.

Little Man is 6 Months Old


I’m cheesy.  I made both my kids a half cake for their “Half” birthday.  And I really really need to work on my piping skills.  HA.

It’s true what they say.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  The past 6 months have flown by.  It’s been a whirlwind, that’s for sure.

A Little Man update is in order, I suppose.

Let’s see.. 

  • He started eating cereal at about 5 months old. 
  • He started eating bananas at exactly 6 months old. 
  • He started belly crawling at 5 months old.
  • He pushes his butt way up in the air and then propels his body forward – his arms just aren’t ready to cooperate for “real” crawling.
  • He’s trying to pull up.  This is how I found him a few days ago when I was cleaning up after dinner.


We still don’t have words or teeth – but he is working on the teeth.

They sure do grow quickly.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Needles and yarn are flying

I’m really bad at getting pictures of my finished projects.

I finished this scarf I started last year:


It was originally for me, but I left it short and Little Man now has some cold wear for a couple of years.

I also finished this scarf I had also started last year:


I gave it to my mom, though she’s not big on scarves right now. 

I started another scarf before Christmas and was finished in a week.


I gave this one to my aunt.

And look at what I got from Santa.  Circular needles and some pretty cotton yarn!  (I got some white and a pretty teal yarn as well).


I’m working on my first hat!  It’s slow going because I had to unravel it 4 times, but this time I think I’ve got it…  until it’s time to decrease stitches and close the top.  HA. 

I don’t have as much time to knit as I’d like, but I squeeze it in when I can.  The beauty of knitting is it’s easy to put down and pick up a project for 5 minutes.  

T’s Memere also gave me a bunch of her old knitting needles.  She said I’m the only one in the family who has any interest in knitting, so my needle collection grew a bit over the holidays. 

My brother has put in a request for a hat, so that will probably be my next project.

What are you working on?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Cookies – Santa Style


T requested we make sugar cookies for Santa this year.  I have to be honest and say I’d never made sugar cookies from scratch before.  Big confession – I’d only ever used the prepackaged cookie packages.  I know.  Not the Jodi you know, right?  Ha.

We had to remedy that this year.  A quick search on Food Network revealed a sugar cookie recipe from Alton Brown.  Score!  Alton never lets me down. 

I ended up cheating and buying a container of cookie frosting at the grocery store because we didn’t decorate them until we were at my in-laws on Christmas Eve (I wanted easy at that point).  Next year, we make our own icing.

They were really easy and mighty tasty.  Santa enjoyed them.  He ate every last bite leaving a crumb too small for the Who’s mouses. 

Sorry.  Different story.

I guess we’ll be adding them into our Christmas Cookie rotation now.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Holiday Recap


The holidays seemed to take forever to get here this year.  I had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit, too.  It’s very much not like me (I usually drive everyone around me crazy with my Christmas cheer). 

Can you see the mad tilt to our Christmas tree?  You have seen the cause of the drain of my Christmas cheer this year.  Our tree was a royal pain in the rear.  It fell 4 times in a 2 day period.  I was ready to throw it outside (and even went so far as to start ripping decorations off of it in a fit of frustration).  I finally had T leave it tilted towards the wall so if it would fall again, it would fall into the wall and not the middle of the living room floor.  Luckily, it didn’t fall again.


Our hand prints turned out nicely.  My paint pen was dry but when I have time to pick up a new one, I’m going to put their names and the year on the front.  We have a new Christmas tradition.  

We made the 4 hour trek north on Christmas Eve and the closer we got, the more I felt the Christmas spirit come over me.

We stayed at T’s parents for the first 2 nights of our stay.  Christmas morning, I made Blueberry Cream Cheese Rolls.  My father-in-law loved them.


Christmas morning was loads of fun this year. 


We had many rounds to Christmas, too: Christmas Eve with my mother-in-law’s side of the family; our own Christmas morning with my in-laws; my mom’s side of the family; my parents; my dad’s side of the family.  It was so wonderful to get to see our family this year and actually spend time with everyone.

On Saturday, we went to our friend J’s barn to visit with the cows.


Monkey is scared of nothing.  She couldn’t get enough of petting the cows.


Uncle J, as we call him, was celebrating Christmas with his family that day so was unavailable for a tractor ride.  I think if she could have reached the peddles, she’d have driven off on her own.  HA


That night we had our Little Man baptized (and moved from Hotel In-Law’s to Hotel My Parents).

IMG_0448 The next day we went out to enjoy the pile of snow they got earlier in the week.


Breaking trail in 2  feet of fresh powder is hard work.  Especially when it involves a mountain.  Monkey falls asleep every time she gets into the backpack. 


Unfortunately, what goes down must also go up.  Going back up the mountain was much easier after we’d already broken the trail.  For once, I had more stamina than T.  The 25 pounds of dead weight he was carrying on his back may have had something to do with it.


We ran into my parents and nephew on our way back.  Monkey heard my dad talking and her head snapped up from sleep and she started yelling for her “PA!”  


The kids also both got haircuts from Gram.

This was Little Man’s second cut (my kids have a lot of hair!).


Monkey doesn’t look very impressed.  She did enjoy playing with the water bottle. 


I ended up spending 8 days back home.  It was wonderful.

We are finally back home.  We’re all unpacked and the new books, toys and clothes have all been put away.  The tree was taken down and all of the Christmas decor put back into storage.  I’m currently working on a new toy storage system in my living room.  I hope to have something to share with you next week.

I hope your holidays were as wonderful as mine and you were able to enjoy your families to the fullest.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program….  :-)

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