Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Great Cub Cook-Off

Well. Maybe it wasn't a cook-off, but Louie is a Wolf Cub this year and one of their achievements was to plan a meal and then help to prepare and serve it and then clean up.

I had just stumbled across this AWESOME recipe at Why Not on a Tuesday. The recipe is for Pizza Bites and they are da BOMB! Oh yeah. So yummy I'm going old school! When I asked Louie what his favorite home-cooked (to eliminate him from shouting "Taco Bell!") meal was he didn't hesitate in wanting to make Pizza Bites.

I'm ashamed that I didn't take pictures of him during the prep-process. My photo card keeps wandering away from me...or, rather, I keep leaving it in bizarre places like my lap top and then forgetting that it is in my lap top. Then I grabbed my computer to make sure we did all the steps in the recipe (so easy I've committed it to memory) and BEHOLD! My photo card! is the finished product:

The original recipe uses pepperoni, however J. has objections to pepperoni when it's INSIDE anything. He'll eat it out of the bag all day long. As long as I don't mix it up or sprinkle it on anything. So I had Louie make half out of pepperoni and half out of ground beef. It was a great lesson in browning beef and then draining all the grease. These puppies are great EITHER way!

As you can see...we couldn't wait to take a bite...

Yummy layered pepperoni and mozzarella goodness! Louie decided to serve these with warmed up pizza sauce and green beans. For dessert he made a fruit salad out of his favorite fruits!

Apples, Blackberries and Mandarin Oranges! Good choices, Louie!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Valentine's Day Wreath

I've been spending a lot of my time reading other blogs and gathering Valentine crafty ideas. Now I need to start DOING!

My first official craft was this cute little wreath I found here at Trendy Pockets. I love the poofiness of it! Mine didn't end up so poofy. In fact, when I first finished, I wasn't sure I even liked mine. But it's grown on me!

So you want to start with a styrofoam wreath form. Mine was white to begin with, but if your's is green, you'll want to paint it white, pink or red. Then you'll need some loofas! I had a new white and pink one in the cabinet waiting to be used. Find the part where it's cinched in the center and snip the cord holding it all together. You will then have loofa guts spilling out on your table!

I think mine didn't end up as poofy, because my loofas were tiny to begin with. I was also surprised that the "pink" one was really a combination of pink and white. OH WELL!

I started with the white "material" and hot glued the of one of my loofa entrails to my wreath. I then just loosely wraped it around and around, hot glueing the ends and then glueing the next piece of material right on top. I fluffed as I went.

I had gone on a Valentine Hunt at the Dollar Tree and found the exact same heart picks as the original poster! My life is so exciting!!! So I snapped off the stick part and hot glued the hearts on top of the loofa poof(a).  I saved the pretty cording that the loofa came with and glued it onto the back to use as a hanger for my new wreath!

What do you think?

It does need more poof. But I like it a little bit more every day!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Apple Dumplings for my Gang!

I'm sitting here this freezy snowy morning drinking my coffee and daydreaming about eating one of these!

Gooey Goodness wrapped up in a Dumpling! Last week we had some good friends bring dinner over to share and I made these for dessert. I had found the recipe at The Pioneer Woman, and it looked too good not to try! Don't you just want to reach into the picture and grab one?

You start with these indgredients:

Two apples (Pioneer Lady uses Granny Smith's but I didn't want to run to the store...), Cinnamon, Butter, Vanilla, SUGAR, Crescent Rolls & (the secret weapon) Mt. Dew! I know, healthy, right??? I'm happy to help shoot all your New Year's resolutions right out the window!!!

First you want to peel you apples and slice them up. You'll need 8 slices from each apple. Open up your crescent rolls and separate the triangles. Roll up each apple slice in a crescent roll. Line them up in a greased baking dish/pan. I used my 9 x 13 sized Pyrex.

Start melting two sticks of butter in a sauce pan. The Pioneer Woman used regular, salted, butter. Again...I was a rebel...we only had unsalted at the time and I used it instead. And our dumplings were awesome. So now I'm wondering if they would be awesomer with salted butter. Can someone tell me the difference...besides the salt factor? Is one better for baking sweet things?

ANYWAY! Back on track. Dump in 1 1/2 cups sugar. Mix it gently! You want the low cal (ha ha ha) sauce to be a bit lumpy. Then add a teaspoon of vanilla and stir a couple more times. Pour this sauce over your dumplings.

Try to cover them up. I've got some dry bits poking out, but that's okay! Here's where it gets weird. Open up your Mt. Dew. The recipe calls for 12 ounces. I didn't end up using anywhere near that much. You want to pour the MD around the edges of your pan. And it FIZZIES up! I love when things get fizzy while cooking!

I tried to capture the Fizz! Sprinkle cinnamon all over the top and then bake it at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes. You want the dumplings to be nice and golden brown! We served them with vanilla ice cream. It was a little bit of heaven!

OH! One final direction...TRY not to snatch the pan off the table and lick it clean! Especially if you have company over!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


It's been awhile since I've blogged! That's not a good thing...but I HAVE been doing this and that!

My first project has been to de-pacify Kat. Believe me...that took a LOT of time. We went cold turkey, because I was tired of seeing this all the time:

I know. I know. Who could get tired of looking at this all day? Well the blondie hair and blue eyes and chubby cheeks could be gazed at all day. It's the glaring yellow paci that was bugging me. It had to go! So about four days were spent with me being locked in perma-Kat-grip. And she only screamed "MAMA! Daddy!" a billion times as she whimpered herself to sleep. And now she's CURED! Check out my happy-paci-free baby:

That nasty task being done...I turned to something much more pleasant! I spent a week falling in love with Blythe! Who is Blythe, you ask? Take a peek!

People of the Blog-o-sphere...Meet Blythe! My darling hubby got me a Nook for a post-Christmas surprise. I toyed with the idea of ereaders for a while. The thing is...I just love books. The heft, the sound of pages turning, the way they look on my shelves...and, mostly, the smell. Ahhhhhh...paper smell...(I might get into that in a later post)...Ahhhhh. So I wasn't sure if I'd like a cold, hard, non-book book. Oh, but I do. I won't ever give up my paper books, but the Nook is so handy! I love it, too. It's like being in a Bookworm Love Triangle! Thanks, James, for knowing me better than I know myself. xoxo

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Hi Everyone!

The past couple of weeks have been a mix of this and that's, and it doesn't really add up to much!

But I wanted to take a moment and direct your attention to the right side of my blog. I've got a new button titled Gabe's Gifts, and it would be great if you could go check it out!

There is this fantastic lady, Amanda, out there and I read two of her blogs: Today's Top 20 and We Are the Joneses. Both blogs are awesome and you should check them out for their equal awesomeness. She has recently shared the story of her Angel Baby Gabe. I won't paraphrase...go to her blogs and read her words yourself. She made me cry and smile. In Gabe's honor, she is challenging herself, and anyone else who wants to help, to make blankets this year and then donate them to Project Linus in Gabe's memory. I think this is such a beautiful, touching, positive idea.

So I'm just passing the word along. If there is anyone who happens to read ME...go and read HER, too, and consider joining this wonderful project! I've personally never made a blanket...but I am determined to crank out at least a couple to mail to Amanda by the end of the year!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A to Z Challenge

So I've finally compiled my reading list from 2010. I kept two excel sheet with title, author and number of pages, and another sheet for short reviews of each book. I've never kept track like this and I realy am glad I did! I read so much, things get fuzzy after a few years (that has NOTHING to do with my getting older!). Anyway...I also suprised the heck out of myself by reading 43 books and a whopping total of 12,836 pages! Wow. It is crazy for me to even comprehend that number of pages. Here's my list!

About a Boy
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
Breaking Dawn
Before Green Gables
The Betrayal
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Briar Rose
The Bone Garden
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
The Covenant
Day After Night
Dawn of the Dreadfuls
Ella Enchanted
Fever 1793
A Great and Terrible Beauty
Holidays on Ice
Island of Lost Girls
James and the Giant Peach
The Kitchen Boy: A Novl of the Last Tsar
The Lovely Bones
The Master Quilter
My Sister's Keeper
Many Bloody Returns
My Name Is Memory
Nurse Matilda Collection
An Ocean in Iowa
The Prodigal
Plain Truth
The Quilter's Legacy
The Revelation
Sam's Letters to Jennifer
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
The Sacrifice
Shutter Island
Tears of the Giraffe
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Undead and Unwed
Vampire Kisses
Witch Child
The Xmas
The Year of Living Biblically
Dear Zoe
Zipporah, wife of Moses

These are books I read for my own reading pleasure. It doesn't include the BAZILLION Magic Tree House, Clone Wars, A to Z Mysteries, Boxcar Children books I read out loud to Louie. Or the GATRILLION Thomas, Cars, Train, Dump Truck books I read out loud to J. Or the maybe hundreds of girlie books I've read to the Girlie. She loves her some Thomas, but her new word is, "Pin-tess, Mama! Pin-tess!" (That translates to Princess for those of you who don't speak toddler)