Friday, December 12, 2008

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

This little house won first prize at the local Ginger Bread House Decorating contest. Sweet! All that creativity must certainly come from her mother. Well, I unwrapped all those Tootsie Rolls, that must count for something, right?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Puff my pastry

Make these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, now! Puff pastry, peanut butter, chocolate and marshmallow all baked together in a gooey, perfect little bite. These pretty much meet all of the daily requirements from the food pyramid(minus maybe a few key foods) so why not serve them for dinner? Just serve a nice salad on the side and call it good. So easy to make, kids can assemble them. Leave the peanut butter out if allergies are a concern, they are still really, really good. In fact, you could get pretty creative with these and come up with all sorts of fillings, puff pastry is nice like that. Oh, the possibilities! You could put anything in my puff pastry and I would eat it, almost.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Chocolate Malt Sandwich Cookies

You have to try these. My friend, Lisa raves about them here.
I didn't really believe that a cookie could be THAT good, but just look at the if they didn't have me at chocolate malt...they had to go and add creme fraiche, cream cheese, AND half and half!!! Unbelieveable. They are really good chilled, and get better the next day in my opinion...if they stay around that long. And an added bonus is that they are really rich, too rich for my kids, so I get to eat them all. If you can't handle the filling(wuss!) you can fill them with ice cream. This is the perfect cookie for ice cream sandwiches(my search is over) they are nice and flat, but still chewy and can hold up to the melting ice cream. But really, don't waste them on ice cream, make the filling. Thanks Lisa, I hope lots of packages full of malt powder start coming to your doorstep! Get the recipe here.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

For Nie Nie

In December 2007 I bought these shoes. A few weeks later I broke my foot in a bad way. I've never worn these shoes. My life was turned upside down for a time after my injury. I was no longer able to do the everyday things I sometimes dreaded and complained about. After being parked on the couch for months, I would have given anything to get up off of that couch, drive my kids to school, make their lunches, and vacuum the floors. When I recovered I vowed that I would never again complain about washing the dishes, scrubbing the kitchen floor, folding laundry, or changing another poopy diaper. I really have tried to live each day full of gratitude now that I can get out of bed unassisted and walk to the bathroom, take a shower, and drive to the store. When I talked to a good friend of mine shortly after the incident she said that she would be grateful that day and every day that she could go run her errands that she didn't want to do. She got it right, that is exactly what she should have said and done to make me feel better.
Over the last week I haven't been able to stop thinking about someone who I don't even know, but who will be aching to do all of the things she was once able to do, but can't until her body is able. My friend Gabby, has declared Thursday August 28, 2008 Nie Nie Day in honor of Stephanie. That day I will do for Stephanie what she cannot do for herself. I will get out of bed and shower and dress myself for Stephanie. I will wake four sleepy little heads and fix their breakfast for Stephanie. I will make the beds and pick the clothes up off of the floor for Stephanie. I will drive my children to school and pick them up at the end of the day for Stephanie. I will run my errands with a car full of screaming kids for Stephanie. I will happily make lunches for my children and snacks and dinner for my family in honor of Stephanie. I will scrub my toilets and wash and fold and put away mountains of laundry in honor of Stephanie. I will scrub my floors and dust the cobwebs in honor of Stephanie. I will answer phone calls, e-mails, walk to the mailbox and pick up the dry cleaning in her honor. I will load and unload the dishwasher many times for Stephanie. I will pick up toys from the floor for the 13, oooth time that day for her. I will change lots of diapers and brush little teeth for her. I will clip tiny fingernails and toenails, bathe little ones, and comb knots out of their hair for her. I will help children with homework and read stories to them for her. I will tuck four little ones into bed at the end of a long day, for her. I will do it all over again the next day and the next... full of gratitude for what I can do. I will savor every minute of the day and no longer look at those tasks as mundane or too laborious because I know if she could she would give anything to be able to do just one of the things on my list today. Today I will wear my red shoes for her, maybe when I am vacuuming!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The real hero of the Olympics

Hands down, the best part of the Olympics was this young boy, Lin Hao who led the Chinese team at the opening ceremonies. Don't get me wrong, I love Michael Phelps and his mother as much as the next gal, but this brave boy deserves more gold medals than all the athletes combined! See the story here and here.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

French Dip

Here is the best recipe for French Dip Sandwiches that I have ever tasted. I used to make these every now and again, but they will never make an appearance at my dinner table after trying this latest recipe. They are an abomination, a slap in the face to the slow cooker recipe. These are 10 times easier and quicker to make and if I can make your life easier when it comes to dinnertime, then my job here is done. A few changes I made to the recipe: I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper, and browned it on all sides before adding to the slow cooker. I omitted the beer and subbed a can of beef consumme. I put the consumme in the pan that I used to brown the meat and scraped up all the brown bits, then added it to the meat in the slow cooker. As most reviewers suggest, about a half an hour before serving, take the meat out and slice it and put it back in the cooker for the last half hour. You could also add worchestershire sauce to the au jus, but I left it out and it is mighty tasty just like that. It's all I can do to keep myself from drinking that juice down as an after dinner drink!