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Happy Baker



I created this blog to have another place to ramble about cooking, kids and life.



Updated: 2014-10-03T00:24:12.330-07:00

 



10 Minute Dinner

2011-08-16T18:10:00.047-07:00

The hubby is still recovering from surgery and I am exhausted after a day of shopping for school supplies (where did the summer go by the way?). After organizing supplies and dividing them between the kids, I turn around and three pair of eyes are staring at me...hungrily. Dinnertime!!

Don't you hate those days that dinner time comes around and you realize you haven't planned properly. Whether your missing a key ingredient and now that chicken cacciatore is going to be regular baked chicken instead, or you planned a lovely lasagna, but the crew is hungry now and will not wait an hour, even for your famous lasagna.

So, on these nights I am very grateful for the fully-cooked ham steak. In ten minutes I had steamed peas, red potatoes in a chive butter sauce that comes in a steamable package (this isn't cheating, this is survival)and a tasty fried ham steak. The steak is too easy to prepare. Just drizzle about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet and fry until it is the desired color.

No kidding a ten minute meal.....some days are just like that
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Bavarian Apple Torte

2010-06-19T19:59:07.825-07:00

I love finding new recipes to share with family and friends. This wonderful torte is sure to bring pleasure to whomever you serve it!The Filling:2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened1/4 sugar2 eggs3/4 tsp vanilla extractBeat cream cheese and sugar, add eggs and vanilla, mix wellThe Crust: 3/4 cup butter, softened1/2 cup sugar1-1/2 cups flour1/2 tsp vanilla extractCombine and press into ungreased 9 inch springform panPeel and thinly slice 3 tart apples, I use Granny Smith. **You can do this step first, place sliced apples in a mixing bowl and cover with cold water, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to keep them from browning. keep refrigerated until ready to use. Drain and lightly pat dry when ready for themPour the filling over the crust....Toss the apples with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and spoon over fillingBake at 350 degrees for -65 minutes or until center is set. Cool on wire rack. Store in refrigerator. Cut torte into wedges with serrated knife.[...]



Slow Cooker Heaven

2010-06-16T07:57:13.858-07:00

Summer time is my favorite time to pull out the slow cooker. Not only does it keep my kitchen from getting too hot, we have a shake up in our menu. It's a nice change :)

Fantastic Ribs
1/2 cup paprika
3/8 cup sugar
1/4 cup onion powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
2 1/2 lb pork or beef baby back ribs - slice to fit in slow cooker
1 can (20oz) beer or beef stock
1 quart barbecue sauce
1/2 cup honey
White sesame seeds and sliced chives (optional for garnish)
Lightly oil grill grate and preheat on high
while grill heats, combine first five ingredients and generously season ribs with the rub mixture. Place ribs on grill. cook for 3 minutes on each side or until ribs have grill marks.
place in 5-qt slow cooker. pour beer over ribs. Cover and cook on high 2 hours. blend barbecue sauce with honey and add. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until done. serve with extra barbecue sauce.
Recipe from the Rival Slow Cooker Cookbook

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Next on the agenda: sort through the kid's clothes and toys for donation...sigh, toys they haven't played with in months are suddenly their favorite! I will have to buckle down though if we intend to get the house in order!!



Chicken rules.....

2010-05-21T09:40:05.870-07:00

That's what my kids said after trying this new recipe from Taste of Home!

Chicken breast drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, salt and peppered, topped with sliced plum tomatoes
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Fresh basil leaves.....
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Then wrap the chicken in bacon slices...(the bacon was baked in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes and drained before being wrapped around the chicken bundles) Then bake uncovered for 27 minutes until cooked through....
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Top with mozzarella slices and bake until cheese melted
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Yum~ We placed them on toasty buns, terrific!!
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Apple Brined Chicken Thighs

2010-05-16T18:51:28.304-07:00

I received my newest issue of Taste of Home magazine. I love the spring and summer issues, because they are chock full of recipes with ingredients that are fresh and in season! The grilling recipes are my hubby's favorite and he is anxiously awaiting my signal to pull the grill out :-)For tonight's recipe I chose Apple-Brined Chicken Thighs and I was not disappointed. They are some what involved, but it is definitely worth it in the end!The Brine:3 cups apple cider or juice1 medium onion, sliced1 medium lemon sliced4 fresh rosemary sprigs1/3 cup kosher salt1/4 cup packed brown sugar4 garlic cloves, minced1 bay leaf 1 tsp whole peppercorns2 cups cold waterIn a Dutch oven, combine the cider, onion, lemon, rosemary sprigs, salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat; stir in water. Cool brine to room temperature. Place chicken in the 2-gallon resealable plastic bag. Carefully pour cooled brine into bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible; seal bag and turn to coat. Place in a roasting pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning occasionally.Other ingredients:10 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3-3/4 pounds)One 2-gallon resealable plastic bag1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed3 medium tart apples, cut into wedges1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed1/4 cup packed brown sugar1 tablespoon olive oil1/4 teaspoon pepperPlace beans and apples in a greased roasting pan. Drain chicken; place in prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 40 minutes.Combine the minced rosemary, oil, pepper and 1/4 cup brown sugar; sprinkle over chicken. Bake 15-25 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180° and beans are tender. Yield: 5 servings.Delicious![...]



Distressed Mommy

2010-02-28T07:43:46.998-08:00

I have a dilemma and , although I have been gone from my blog for quite some time now, I thought I would take a chance in asking for your advice.

I recently returned to work an I have loved it. i work 9-3 and for the most part that sounds perfect. However, things haven't settled as I thought they would. I don't get to cook or have as muich time with the kids. I am too exhausted to take night classes, so my degree is on hold, again. My son (he's 4) has had to be shuffled around between Mother's Day Out part of the week, a drop-in center that he loves and a friend's house. I think he is having the worst time adjusting and he seems to be picking up traits that I am not exactly thrilled about.
My daughter is 9 and it seems kids these days are warping into tweens early than ever.

My mom was a single mom and all I recall is her being very busy. Busy with work, helping her alcoholic sister and maintaining a relationship with someone she should have dumped long before she did.

I have less drama than that, but I do not want my kids to look back and feel I wwas too busy/stressed/exhausted to be there for them.

Should I quit and wait until he is in school full time to go back?



School Days

2009-08-31T07:09:20.084-07:00

Please join me in School Days hosted by Travelin Oma!!

I will be posting my assignments on my Love, Life and Marriage blog.

Let me know if you participate, I would love to read your posts regarding this!

SaraLynn



Fajita Night!!

2009-06-30T14:37:10.042-07:00

Need something quick and easy? Fajitas!!

Start with some beautiful peppers....
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Have them hang out with an onion and a bit of olive oil or butter....hear them sizzle?
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I took some thinly sliced top sirloin steaks,cut them into strips and seasoned them with McCormick's steak seasoning.
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And there you have a quick dinner that doesn't heat the kitchen up too badly!
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Kitchen Closed......

2009-05-30T15:31:39.667-07:00

Just kidding! However, I am in a lull right now. Juggling school, work and home was stressful for a while there. Dinner has been old family favorites that I have long since posted about. Never fear! I draw inspiration from you all everyday. I am here, always reading your posts, even if I don't comment.

Hopefully I can get back to my blog with the summer break! Hope you all have a wonderful summer!



Absolute Comfort

2009-03-30T08:20:28.660-07:00

My uncle has not been feeling well and that inspired me to cook up some comfort food.I found this recipe through the Barilla Pasta website. It is involved but it is definitely worth the effort. This was my first time making this particular dish, but it is already a new favorite :)My family had it for lunch yesterday and then I was able to take some to my aunt and uncle and even to my mom. If you need comfort food, this is a must!Fresh Spinach..and of course onionall chopped updoing it's thing in extra virgin olive oilpasta rolling...sauce coming together...so fantastic!Voila! Baked Elbows with Fontina Cheese and SpinachEase of preparation: average Prep Time: 25 minutesCook time: 45 minutesServings: 4-6Regions: Valle D'AostaWine pairing: White4 cups milk1 stick (4 ounces)butter1/2 cup flour1 egg, beaten1/2 cup Fontina cheese, shreddedto taste saltto taste white pepper1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil1 cup small onion, chopped1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach, chopped1 box (16 ounces)BARILLA ElbowsPREHEAT oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.Bechamel Sauce:HEAT milk until hot in a small saucepan. In a separate small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour with a wire whip and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.ADD hot milk gradually to butter and flour mixture, mixing with a wire whip until smooth and thickened. ADD beaten egg, two-thirds of the cheese salt and pepper. Mix until cheese is melted; set aside.HEAT olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. ADD onions and spinach. Saute 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Add spinach to bechemel sauce and set aside.COOK pasta for 4 minutes. Drain and add to bechemel sauce; mix well. POUR into a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving[...]



March Madness Square Off

2009-03-29T17:40:45.389-07:00

There is a game happening here at my house...Meet the players:Ballsy Balsamic Vinegar co-starring Barnaby Bay LeafOrnery OnionIndestructible Extra Virgin Olive OilGalloping garlicMighty MushroomThey File in one by one to dance with the fire's music....It is at this point they realize they have all been duped! They have all been defeated by the masterful cook! And now they will surrender their wonderful flavors...Cheers explode from the cook's audience....Delicious!Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar and Garlic 4 servings4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts **salt and pepper to taste 3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons olive oil 6 cloves garlic 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 3/4 cup chicken broth 1 bay leaf 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1 tablespoon butter Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Rinse the mushrooms and pat dry. Season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat and saute the chicken until it is nicely browned on one side (about 3 minutes). Add the garlic. Turn the chicken breasts and scatter the mushrooms over them. Continue frying, shaking the skillet and stirring the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the vinegar, broth, bay leaf and thyme. Cover tightly and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer the chicken to a warm serving platter and cover with foil. Set aside. Continue simmering the sauce, uncovered, over medium high heat for about 7 minutes. Swirl in the butter or margarine and discard the bay leaf. Pour this mushroom sauce mixture over the chicken and serve.**Next time I will use boneless thighs...they are more tender :) EDIT:I also added a small chopped onion...I love onions :)[...]



Snow and Scones

2009-07-20T12:21:37.273-07:00

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Today is a beautiful day! Snow day!! I LOVE snow :)
(as long as I don't have to drive in it)

Watching snow, sipping coffee and baking! I love to bake while my world is sprinkled with big fluffy flakes. I feel like I am inside a snow globe :)

For breakfast I made scrambled eggs, blueberry muffins, malt o'meal (for hubby), and sliced up a cantaloupe. So yummy! While I was working on this, my family was enjoying the snow up close and personal. I had cocoa ready to warm cold bodies back up! They will undoubtedly have good memories from this day.

I decided to make some lemon scones....doesn't that sound good? I need something non-sweet to go with my favorite vanilla chai flavored tea this afternoon.

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Lemon Scones
10 servings
Tasteofhome.com
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
Additional sugar

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add buttermilk and lemon peel, stirring just until mixed.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead gently six times. Shape into a ball. On a greased baking sheet, pat dough into a circle about 1/2 in thick and 8-1/2 in. in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut wedges in the dough, being careful not to cut all the way through. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned

I had told SassEmum I would try Baklava this weekend, but that may have to wait a bit. I do not think I will attempt a trip to the market today :)



Simply Delicious!

2009-03-26T08:34:34.535-07:00

Yesterday was a jam packed day of errands and laundry. So when dinner time rolled around, I need something easy. Nothing complicated or involved, just food I could prepare on auto-pilot! So I made my baked chicken, baby sugar snap peas (yum!) and black-eyed peas flavored with bacon and garlic. Yummy!

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For the chicken:
1 pound boneless chicken thighs placed in greased 11x7 baking dish. I drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the thighs and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, basil and parsley. Bake for 60-70 minutes on 350 degrees.



Mom's Best Friend

2009-03-24T07:38:34.678-07:00

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I guess this is a bit dramatic, but seriously this appliance is a life saver!
The Slow Cooker :)

I love being able to throw dinner together in the morning and not have to worry about it the rest of my laundry filled day! Here is an excellent recipe from the Rival Crock Pot Cookbook:



Heavenly Harvest Pork Roast
makes 6-8 servings
1/4 cup pomegranate juice *
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pork roast, any type (4 to 5 pounds)
2 pears, cores, peeled and sliced thick
1/2 orange with peel, sliced thick

combine pomegranate juice and sugar in small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Pour into slow cooker.
Blend seasonings in small bowl and rub over mixture over roast. Place roast in slowcooker, turning to coat in juice mixture.
Top roast with pear and orange slices. Cover and cook on HIGH 6 to 8 hours or until tender. Serve with juice and fruit slices.
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* I used the juice I had on hand...cran/pomegranate
Also, I left the peel on the pears, they seem to hold up better. I cooked mine on high for the first 5 hours and and then low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Enjoy!
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Have A Ball Baby!

2009-03-16T11:41:52.858-07:00

Here is one recipe the kids will enjoy to help make, as well as eat :)
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Looks like Mr. Sunshine!
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I served this dish with Mexican Rice, sour cream, olives, lettuce, tomato, cheese and salsa.

Taco Ball Ring
tasteofhome.com
Ingredients:
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 tablespoons water
2 to 4 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/2 pound ground beef
2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 medium head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 medium tomato, chopped
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
Sour cream and salsa, optional
Directions:
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup cheese, water and taco seasoning. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 16 balls.
Place meatballs on a greased rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 12 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Drain meatballs on paper towels. Reduce heat to 375°.
Arrange crescent rolls on a greased 15-in. pizza pan, forming a ring with pointed ends facing the outer edge of the pan and wide ends overlapping.
Place a meatball on each roll; fold point over meatball and tuck under wide end of roll (meatball will be visible). Repeat. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.
Transfer to a serving platter. Fill the center of the ring with lettuce, tomato, onions, olives, jalapenos, remaining cheese, and sour cream and salsa if desired. Yield: 16 servings


**thank you for your kind emails everyone :)
I am doing well. This has been a busy year already! I hope you are all well and having fun on your Spring Break.....Can you believe it's that time already??



30..... now what?

2009-01-02T15:39:03.039-08:00

that was my mood a few days ago. I turned 30 on New Year's Eve and I was a bit bummed! I know, thirty is the new twenty..hehehe. It just doesn't seem that long ago that I was at an age that 30 sounded OLD! As I look back I wonder about things unaccomplished, then the worry set in and then the depression.....Enter Hubby. He made me homemade waffles and the kids helped. They are my accomplishment. My family and how well we get along. We are truly happy and blessed. No more depression...just thankful for another year with them :)

Hope you had a wonderful New Year Celebration!


More baking...cookies this time and I also made some Spiced Cranberry Sauce that I forgot to tell you about! It was yummy! The kitchen smelt like hot cinnamon candy while it was cooking :)
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Mission 2: Raisin Pie

2008-12-30T07:27:09.582-08:00

Yup...raisin pie. I have never had raisin pie, but I have heard my Uncle J talk about it for as long as I could remember. He is in his seventies and he will tell stories of growing up in a large but fairly poor family. They had a good time despite their hardships. He recalls raisin and mincemeat pies from his home kitchen and you can see as he takes a trip back to olden days, that they have good memories attached.

Occasionally my aunt would be able to find them at a bakery or in the frozen section at the grocery during the holidays. That has not been the case for the past several years. When hubby and I decided that we would be able to make the trip to Texas this year, my thoughts started rolling. I made the Cranberry Cherry pie for Uncle G (it is in the previous post), a Cherry Cream Cheese pie for my cousins (who actually fought over it at the gathering!), and I found a raisin pie recipe!!! I decided to practice my lattice work...Don't chuckle to hardy, it was my first try!

When presented with the pie my uncle was speechless....no small feat! He hugged me and then hid it! I don't think he had to worry about it, no one else has an affinity for raisin pie. Throughout our visit different family members would tell me how excited he had been. Uncle J said it was the best one he has had....so maybe it tasted like the ones from his childhood!

Here it is: It is fresh from the oven and you can see it is still bubbly :)
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Raisin Pie

Ingredients:
• 1 cup sugar
• 2-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1-1/2 cups cold water
• 2 cups raisins
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
• Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
Directions:
In a saucepan, stir together sugar and flour. Add water and mix well. Stir in raisins, salt and cinnamon; cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Pour into a pastry-lined pie plate. Top with lattice crust, or cover with top crust and cut slits for steam to escape. Bake at 375° for about 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Yield: 6-8 servings



Mission 1: Cranberry Cherry Pie

2008-12-24T06:17:20.379-08:00

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This year I decided to make a special pie for my uncles to have on Christmas :)
It has been a while since we have spent the holidays together and I wanted to do something extra special. Uncle G likes cherry pie the best, but loves cranberries. So, I found a recipe to join his two favorites to make a tart but sweet treat!
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Cranberry Cherry Pie
Tasteofhome.com

Ingredients:
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
• 2 cups cranberries
• Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
• Milk and additional sugar
Directions:
In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in pie filling and cranberries. Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim to 1 in. beyond edge of plate. Pour filling into crust.
Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Cut slits in pastry or cut out stars with a star-shaped cookie cutter. Place pastry over filling; trim, seal and flute edges. Arrange star cutouts on pastry. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 375°for 55-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 6-8 servings

Uncle G came over last night for dinner and was presented his pie. He was shocked and very pleased! He even shared a piece with all of us!
Mission 2: Raisin Pie for Uncle J. Uncle J remembers raisin and mincemeat pies from his childhood. When I asked my aunt what his favorite was, she said raisin. She told me he often mentions the pie from his past and wonders why you can never find one now days :) Never fear I will be making one today and delivering it in Texas tomorrow!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Happy Baker Bakes Pumpkin Bread

2008-12-23T11:41:19.706-08:00

I love pumpkin bread. I think it mainly has to to do with the smells. So many lovely spices complimenting each other....ahhhhhhh. I love the cozy feeling you get as the smell floats from the oven and the warmth fills the house. It is just perfect!
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I use a recipe from my grandmother's box. It makes 2 loaves or 1 loaf and 6 mini bundt cakes. My neighbors look forward to their goody baskets of pumpkin bread and cookies each year :) The families get a loaf and the widows across the street get the mini bundts. Everyone seems happy to have home baked goods!
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Christmas Break Begins :)

2008-12-22T14:36:01.493-08:00

Today was the first official day in the kids' Christmas break. (According to Isabella)

So, I made sugar cookie dough and the kids cut out Christmas cookies. We used colored sugar crystals to decorate.
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Jaxson felt he was in charge of the rolling pin.
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If you look closely at the tree on the far left, you'll notice a few branches missing! Jaxson took a bite before I could get it baked. He was too excited :)
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We had a ball!! It was fantastic to be doing something like this with the kids today!

Hope your break has started out equally as fun!



Mumbles

2008-12-19T09:52:54.203-08:00

There is an older gentleman who works with my husband. Hubby tells me stories of the "mumbler". Through out the day this older man will mutter and mumble at his computer and people in the hall. He likes quiet and keeps to himself. He isn't hateful or rude, just a loner. He never participates with the group in anything.
I'm thinking Scrooge.

Today the loner mumbler man met my loud 3 year old....lol

Isabella, Jaxson, and I took hubby to work. I had made a greenbean casserole for their luncheon and we decided to make a morning out of helping hubby carry it all in. (presents for the white elephant exchange too) So, we got up early and drove downtown. When we got out, Jaxson realized where we were because of the tall buildings and started clapping. He shouted, "Circus!Circus!" The last time we went downtown was for the Ringling Bros and Barnum&Bailey Circus....Never fear he wasn't bummed for long. A quick walk in the brisk wind, security badges, and an elevator ride brought us to hubby's floor. This was the first time I had met hubby's co-workers since his promotion. (I was nervous!)

Then I met Mumbles. He was dressed nicely and greeted us pleasantly. Then before I knew it, hubby let Jaxson out of the umbrella stroller he jumps in Mumbles cubicle and shouts "HEY!" followed by "Jaxson-ese" talk. Mumbles left the area. I assumed we made him nervous. After we made our rounds to several offices, I noticed he still wasn't back. I started thinking we had run him off for good!

But before we left I dropped something in Hubby's office and bumped into Mumbles. He smiled and said we had a lovely family.

Awwwww.........not so Scrooge-y....is that a word?

Who wouldn't love this face?!

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Christmas is almost here!!!!!!!!

2008-12-18T08:24:06.754-08:00

Yikes! Where has the time gone this year?????

I have completed most of my shopping, just need stocking stuffers and a mother-in-law gift. (Any ideas?) The kids seem super excited this year! Santa is bringing Isabella a wooden Barbie House...(I always wanted one of these!!) and Jaxson is getting a Hot Wheels City Plex set....He will be in Hot Wheel Heaven!

We will be traveling to Texas for the holiday. It has been 4 years since we have spent Christmas with my side of the family. I am very excited! My aunt that lives in Texas asked me to plan the menu and coordinate the dinner. It felt very strange to be doing the job that has been handled by my mom and her sisters. (Made me feel old!)
But it has all turned out well nad should be great fun! I planned a traditional holiday dinner. mainly because it has been a while since we have been together. I asked everyone to make their "specialties" and even a few new ones. I am making pumpkin bread, green bean casserole, cherry cream cheese pie, chocolate chip cookies, cranberry sauce, a pasta salad, raisin pie, candied walnuts and cranberry pistachio bark. Whew! I get tired just looking at it. The cookies, bread and candy can be made before we travel, the rest will have to be done when I get there. I am staying at my best friends house. i know, it is corny for an almost 30 year old to say Best friend...but she has been for 15 years! We can cook and laugh together...well I will cook and she can make me laugh!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Season! I will take pics and post some of the recipes. I have been falling behind in my blogging!

Merry Christmas to all!


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Soup's Up!

2008-11-12T10:50:16.338-08:00

Colder weather also begs for soup! This is a new one I found on Taste Of Home's website. It is delicious!! I have savored the leftovers!! This is one soup sure to warm you inside out! It is very fun to make too!
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For the cooked chicken, I like to poach it. I place a pound of boneless chicken breast in a pot and cover with cold water and slowly simmer for 25-35 minutes until no longer pink. Try to keep the water from coming to a full boil.
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Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Tasteofhome.com

Ingredients:
• 2 quarts chicken broth
• 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
• 1 cup finely chopped celery
• 1 cup shredded carrots
• 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
• 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/4 cup butter, cubed
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
• 1/2 cup dry white wine or additional chicken broth
• 3 cups cooked wild rice
• 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
Directions:
In a large saucepan, combine the first nine ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, melt butter. stir in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in soup and wine or broth. Add rice and chicken; heat through. Yield: 14 servings (3-1/2 quarts).

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Lovely roasted pork with baked sweet potatoes

2008-11-12T10:19:37.123-08:00

As colder days approach I am enjoying my roasting recipes! This recipe calls to slow roast your pork roast for an hour and half to two hours on 300-325 degrees. In a bowl, I combine extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, salt, pepper, dash of allspice, cayenne, and one or all of the following: basil, garlic powder and mustard seed.
It just depends on what you want. Sometimes I squeeze a bit of lemon juice in too.
I mix this up and make a rub of sorts and smear it over the top and sides of the roast. For the sweet potatoes, I just poke holes in them using a fork, rub extra virgin olive oil on them and wrap them in foil. They cook alongside the roast.
It was very good.

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We usually add a little butter and cinnamon to our potatoes :)
I also prepared a green bean casserole to complete the meal. Hubby was loving this meal!
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Up and Running again!

2008-10-16T08:22:10.888-07:00

Yikes!!! My modem exploded and I was out of touch with the wide world for a while!
It is all better now and my new modem is humming along nicely :)

I got an A on my Humanities test and next Tuesday I will find out what I got on my book report. Yea!! This class has been very interesting. I am so glad I decided to sign up. Next semester I will either take Humanities II or a composition class. i can't decide!

Here is a picture of my Spanish Chicken Recipe. this is something I came up with one night when I was tired of the same old stuff. The amounts of the ingredients change with my mood when I make it :)
I start by melting 1 stick of butter. I add garlic powder, dash of cayenne, dash of Worcestershire sauce, dash of seasoned salt and 1/2 cup to 1 cup of salsa, mix well.
I place boneless chicken thighs in a greased 11x7 dish. Pour the sauce over. Cover with foil and bake for 60-75 minutes at 350 degrees. I serve it with Spanish rice, chips and salsa.

(image)