Friday, December 17, 2010

Food Friday~Milk Shake

Growing up my dad always made fresh egg nog every Christmas.  I just love the taste of the creamy blended milk and cinnamon.

But this is not an egg nog recipe.  I will admit I am a little afriad to eat raw eggs now days.  Even though I know it is really OK.  I would prefer to make egg nog with fresh eggs from the farmers market, not store bought eggs.

So I thought, well,  I'll just make something without the egg.
And here is what I came up with!

Milk Shake

8 oz of whole milk
a huge heaping scoop of plain greek yogurt
1 tsp of vanilla
sprinkles of cinnamon
a few squirts of agave nectar
a bit of ice

Put all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth and frothy.
Enough to share!

I accidentally put in to much cinnamon this morning.  I made this last night too and I had the perfect amount.  But that's ok.....did you know cinnamon is really good for you?

These milk shakes are sooooooooooooo good.  They are a comfort food for me.

Today my dad is flying in for a week!  Sophie and I are going to pick him up at the airport at lunchtime.
So I'll ask him for his egg nog recipe. 

We will celebrate Christmas early next week and then the girls and hubby and I and grandpa will fly to Minnesota on Christmas day.

The boys are going to stay home because they both have jobs and they will feed the cows, take care of the dogs, keep the house spotless in case there is a showing.......

HA HA HA HA!!!....... YA RIGHT!!

They had better be on their toes!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Last night Sophie had a hankering to do the dishes.  So I threw caution to the wind and said...


Right before that, me and the girls declared it was going to be a GIRLS NIGHT!!!
Which means I made brownies from scratch and we were gonna eat them with Breyers mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Cuz if there is one thing my dad taught me, it is that Breyers is the ONLY brand of ice cream you buy.

We decided to include hubby in girls night.  Just as soon as Soph was done with the dishes.
So in the above photo, Soph has drenched her shirt and is screaming wildly, so her big sis Lolli, or
Koeten, as Soph calls her...
Koeten went to comfort her and take her shirt off.



I say, WHY NOT, do the dishes topless!

As all good dishwashers do, Soph proceeded to lick all the chocolate off the utensils in the dirty sink before she put them in the dishwasher... ya, I had a hard time with that one too.

But....heck........WHY NOT!

I say if everything is going to pot, you might as well have some chocolate.

She rinsed and soaped up and scrubbed and when Koeten tried to help her put a measuring cup in,
out came the shrill death scream again.

she was doin this


So eventually I had to pry her cold soapy hands from the dishes that were left,
to big for her to throw in...and give her a bath.
Actually Koeten gave her a bath..
We all worked together, I cleaned up the kitchen, hubby finished the dishes, Koeten bathed Soph and Portia put laundry away.

And then we all had brownie's with ice cream and chocolate syrup!

And after everyone went to bed , except me and Lolli...
We watched a cake show and dreamed up what our own bakery will look like some day.

We decided on a vintage interior with all pink appliances and white buffalo china.

Note to hubby, said china is for sale at Williams Sonoma. We could test it out at Stella's.
(Stella's would be what hubby calls our kitchen).

We will serve pastries:
whatever Rue (Lauren)  comes up with.
Poor girl has to many nicknames...

And we are going to wear pink waitress dresses with white aprons and serve coffee and pastries.
No espresso, this is vintage, well maybe chai tea.

This night has left me asking myself

As I watched the cake show with my creative apprentice I remembered the phrase:

If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?

I do not have to search for an answer to that, I have a whole list.
And I ask myself


Friday, December 10, 2010

Food Friday~Stuffed Pasta Shells

I am in love with cookbooks, I can't keep myself from buying them.  This recipe is from
365 Quick, Easy & Inexpensive Dinner Menus.  I have tried several recipes from this cookbook.  Some of them though just have awful sounding words in their names....Do you feel that way too?

If the name of the recipe has the word SUPRISE or SAVORY or CREAMY MUSHROOM, you all can bet I run far, far away from that one.  What is the surprise in Beef Surprise?  Or Chicken Supreme with Mushroom Sauce?  aucky

But today's recipe is so good, so flavorful, I have made it twice in one week.  Nic requested it for his birthday dinner!  With 7 of us eating, I still have leftovers for tonight!  The original recipe does not call for garlic, but I love garlic and as I told someone recently, I just feel like a good mom when I add garlic to meals, wierd, I know, but true...  I put 3 cloves of crushed garlic into the hamburger while cooking.  I use the pampered chef garlic crusher, which is so old, I probably need a new one!  Anyone sell Pampered Chef?

Without further ado:

Stuffed Pasta Shells

1 box large pasta shells
1 t. salt
1 T. butter
1 small jar spaghetti sauce
2 lbs. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 green pepper, chopped fine
3 C shredded (mixed) cheddar and mozzarella cheese

In a large soup pan, cook pasta shells according to package directions.  Add butter to pasta while cooking.  When shells are cooked, drain and rinse in cold water.  In a skillet, brown ground beef with chopped onions and green pepper.  At this time add garlic.  Add salt and stir often.  When meat is cooked and vegetables are tender, drain off all grease and pat meat with an absorbent paper towel.
Let meat cool.  Add one cup mixed shredded cheese to the meat.  Stuff each large pasta shell with the hamburger and cheese mixture.  Lay open side down in a greased baking dish.  Pour jar of sauce over all filled shells.
Bake at 350 for 20 min.  Top shells with remaining shredded cheese and return to oven to bake for 5 more minutes.
Serve with tossed salad and garlic bread sticks.

I forgot to take a picture of the shells in the pan before the sauce!!!!

And now.....
Some action shots of the boys wrestling after dinner!

Yes if you have little guys right now, this is what they will be doing the rest of their lives.

    At this point, Nic is in the fetal position on the floor........

From the bottom:

Then Sophie started attacking Portia.

It was nice to have all my kids home for dinner and around the table.  This is rare.
The boys are usually working.

Can I tell just how happy that makes me?
So very happy, when all my children are home for dinner, safe and sound.

I do wish my husband would put his phone away, but I am only seen as a nag when I mention how rude it is to check your phone at dinner.....

Let me know how you LOVE this dinner, cuz I know you will!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fruits of the Spirit

Galations 5:22-24
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature it's passions and desire.

Well, I do belong to Christ Jesus, yet I really have a hard time displaying the fruit of the spirit!  Why is this so hard?  So as I'm starting to think of my resolutions for next year, (did I even accomplish those for this year?)  I am thinking, this verse takes care of it all.

Exercise and eat right??  Self Control
Forgive someone??  Love
Be a better mom??  Patience, Gentleness
Better wife??  Kindness
Trusting God??  Peace, Faithfulness
Pray and read the Bible more?? Self Control

I guess that covers it.
Doing,  is so much harder than please, bear with me.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I am being featured....

Tomorrow, which would be Wed. December 8, over at
Tammy's blog

Go check her out, Tammy makes the sweetest dresses for little girls.
She has an etsy shop too!

Also December 8 is my second child's birthday!

Happy 17th  Birthday Nic!!
I love you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Food Friday~Spaghetti Squash

My first introduction to Spaghetti Squash was from my best friend, Rach.
When she came for a visit this last August, we bought a spaghetti squash and she showed me how to cook them. 
I confess I had never tried one, because they just sounded gross.
Boy was I wrong!

Slice your spaghetti squash lengthwise in half.
Put a light coat of olive oil on inside of cut squash.
Salt and pepper squash.
Place inside down in pan.
Roast for an hour or till soft at 350-400.

When it's done, take a fork and scrape "spaghetti strands".
Top with spaghetti sauce!

This is soooo good, cheap and easy!
Low cal too!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lollibags Lollibags Lollibags

It seems I have not uttered that word in quite some time.
I think I was overwhelmed by all the traveling I did for shows this year.
I have taken a bit of a break from sewing and I really want to get back into it.
Yet I am hesitating because with the house for sale, you can't have a big mess
 and I am messy when I sew.

I am selling Lollibags at a show on Friday and Saturday.

I just got finished crumpling up papers to stuff the Lolli's.

They are tagged and ready for set up tomorrow.

This show is great because I don't have to be there!

I just drop off my Lollibags and then pick up what's left on Saturday!!

Yea! for easy, wonderful, fabulous things!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Easy Christmas Decor

I am not really crafty, some might say since I sew Lollibags I am.
But I am not.
And I really cannot do crafty things with a lot of steps.


I love old kitchen things, such as:
dishes, molds, bakeware, vintage tupperware, vintage pink kitchen stuff.

So when I saw this vintage metal mold, I had to have it.  But then I got it home and wondered what I would do with it?

So I got a red ribbon and made a "wreath" out of it.
Every Christmas I hang it up in my kitchen window.

I also did this with a huge pinecone I had.  I hang this one in my dining room window.

Don't you love light up houses?  There is something about them.   I want to shrink myself up and live in them.

I imagine there is a Christmas party going on inside.

A huge turkey in the oven.

And mugs of hot cocoa with peppermint sticks and giant square marshmallows.

I bought these cute glitter roof houses at Pottery Barn two years ago on clearance.
I keep checking every year for  Pottery Barn to bring them back.  Not yet.
Unless I haven't seen them this year yet.

I put one house in each of the girls rooms the day after Thanksgiving and they use them for night lights till Christmas.
They look so pretty even in the dark, lit up. 
I'm sure the girls lie awake at night imagining their own little world in the glitter roof house.

Friday, November 26, 2010

black friday is all mental

I'm sure of it.
I've never gone out on black friday.
But this year my boys talked me into it. 
I thought... well sure lets grab a deal.
We went to Target at 7am and it was still packed.
NOTHING I wanted to get was on sale or discounted in the least!

So off we went to the mall.  Well gift cards are not on sale.
NOTHING at the mall I intended to buy was on sale!

I think it's a psycological ploy. 
You think, well, these must be good deals if everyone is getting up at the crack of dawn!
Never again.
I am going to check out cyber monday.

Our family tradition is...
I buy the kids a hallmark ornament and wrap it up on Thanksgiving.
After Thanksgiving dinner we put the tree up and they open their ornament.
Then when they are ready to leave home,  they take their ornaments with them and have a lifetime of memories for their first Christmas tree on their own.

We have so much fun every year getting all the ornaments out and saying...
"OH, remember this one!!?"
I love it.

We listen to Christmas carols, decorate the tree, and set up the train around the tree.
I cannot believe another Christmas is here already!
Every year that flies by, I am that much closer to my boys leaving home.
I am not ready.

I am thankful they are still home.

Saturday starts the Christmas Tree Farm sale!
Every Saturday and Sunday up to Christmas Eve you can come and cut a tree from our farm.

When do you gals put your tree's up?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


I'm sure you all have a place to travel to and family to see tomorrow.
So happy Thanksgiving to all of you today!

I love Thanksgiving and my favorite part is putting up our Christmas tree that night.
Photos of that event to come on Friday instead of food friday.

Safe travels and I'm thankful for my family, friends, health and all of you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

just dreaming

images are from bing  

You have probably read a few of my tropical posts. 
I long to run away and live on a tropical island in a cottage on the beach.
Bora Bora has always been my go to place.
But the Maldives has always been another.
Or Fiji.
Or some unknown South Pacific island.
Heck I'll take the Florida Keys!

The weather is turning cold and I wanted to take a mini blogcation.
Of course dreaming about these places and going to them are two very different things.
Do you have any idea how long it would take to get to the Maldives?

The  Maldives are just off of India.

Tahiti is another 5 hours south of Hawaii.

Do you know what else is fun?
I have discovered bing maps, birds eye view.
Since the house has been on the market, we have been looking, just for fun, at homes for sale.
If you type in the address into bing maps and click birds eye view, it is amazing!
You can really get a good look at the home and the yard and surrounding areas and zoom in pretty close!
And you can click the arrows to turn the image and get a look at all sides of the house.
It's fun to check out your own house too!

Happy tropical dreams and house searching!

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