Monday, November 29, 2010

Spoons and Cold Weather Recipes

This week we have been working on eating with a spoon...

As the cooler weather is blowing its way through, I'm digging out our winter recipes..

delicious Chilli...

Warm Crescent rolls...

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup..


Bruschetta Chicken Pizza..

Skinny Bovine's Kitchen

Mmmm mmm! I've also had my eye on this argyle fleece blanket..

Isn't that gorgeous?! I love that golden rod color with the cream and brown. Maroon and cream would be equally nice. The directions seem simple enough, it's the time for that stitching that might be difficult. If I start now, I might be able to be finished by the new year.....

On another note..I STILL haven't seen Harry Potter 7! Where have I been? Can I still call myself a true fan!? It just came up so quickly :shakes fist at sky:: Next year for the 2nd part finale I'm going to go all out with HP foods and throw a big party. Costumes and wands optional.

I also had another great idea for the next year that I will share the closer we get to January. An addendum to my "Focuses" each month. Speaking of that, I've already found Decembers one. OPTIMISM. So many times I find myself dwelling on what could have been, what could be but isn't and if only. The times I catch myself doing this, I've made a conscious effort to correct myself and to think instead of what I'm grateful for, what I can look forward to, what I did right etc.. and surprise! Life shifts from gloomy or wanting to being fuller and brighter automatically. I would like to be a person who brings light into a room and to a gathering of friends. And since we celebrate Christ's birth this December I think it is fitting to have optimism, strengthening my light of Christ, for this month's goal.

"Any believing latter day saint is an optimist about what lies ahead..however difficult the present may be."-President Eyring.

Hope your week is starting off great!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let's Make PIE!!!!!!

Double Layer-Whipped Pumpkin Pie
Wanted to share this wonderful recipe with you all today. It has been my daughter, Kristen's, favorite Thanksgiving Day pie for...hmmmmmm.., well, around 17 years. It is really something and makes up so easy.
Sorry I do not have a picture to show, but, we won't be making and baking our pies until tomorrow evening. Thought to post this just in case any of you are looking for a traditional pie, with a new twist. Friends who are not big fans of pumpkin pie, will actually eat this. It is a winner.
Here we go....
Using a wire whisk and large bowl, mix 4 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1 Tablespoon milk (or 1/2 and 1/2), and 1 Tablespoon sugar, until nice and smooth. Gently, stir in 1 and 1/2 cup of thawed Cool Whip. In a pre-baked pie crust, that has been cooled, spread this layer onto the bottom of your pie crust.
In a bowl, pour 1 cup cold milk, 1 can (16 ounces---or 2 cups) plain pumpkin, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves...mix. Now a little fun...use 2 packages Jell-o Vanilla Instant pudding (the 4 serving size boxes). Mix all this together, still using a wire whisk. This all gets nice and thick. Spread this over cream cheese, etc. layer. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Hope some of you will be able to give this wonderful pie a try. It is well worth the effort.
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Black Friday Ads

BLACK FRIDAY is quickly approaching. If you can believe it, I've never gone shopping on a Black Friday as far as the memory can recall. This year there are a few things on my list I'm going to try and snag, definitely going to try and do as much online in my pj's!

I found a site that has every store you can think of with their respective Black Friday ads and links to websites. If you're thinking about heading out in the wee hours of the morning it might help to have a shopping list in hand or at least a good idea of what you're aiming for amidst the mad rush!!


-search engine for specific items, by prices, by store
-pdf ads
-links to websites

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Holiday Slumber, Cookies and Apron's!

I just love a fun and festive pillowcase! I made a couple of these. Loved using the leaves as the main body of the case and the turkey's as the trim, too.
My mother's wonderful and delicious pan cookies. We grew-up on these and so did our friends. They are heavenly and hold up well for lunches or travel.
YUM! These are so fast and easy and you can add such a variety of things to your pan cookies: walnuts, pecans, butterscotch chips, raisins, etc. They are best just right out of the oven and a good 24 hours later. Second day, they are still pretty good. Third day...they loose their zip. Not sure why this happens, but, these cookies are usually all eaten before the third day anyways-ha!

Recipe ---Congo Bars
Mix...2/3 cup oil, 3 eggs, 2 and 1/4 cups of brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt.
Add in 2 and 3/4 cups flour, 2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder, ...and your walnuts or chocolate chips, etc.
Pour onto a greased cookie sheet. Pat with wet hands to spread dough so that it covers the entire bottom of your cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Keep a good eye on your cookies. The tops of the pan cookies should be light brown when done. When done, let them sit for 5 minutes. Then, cut into squares. Let them sit another 5 minutes or so before gently removing and cooling. DO NOT let them stay in the pan for very long or you will have to really make some effort to get them out.
There you go! Enjoy!

Remember a few posts back when I showed a pic of fabric and dish towels? Well, here is my finished product.....aprons. They turned out cute and fun and were so easy. I threw in a few tucks on the towel edges...can you see them? And, just made a tie out of the contrasting fabric.
Then, I just sewed the tie to the top of dish towel and there you have it.
These make wonderful gifts. Give it a try. Treat yourself to a new apron for the holidays. You deserve it! xo

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Self-Education Possible?

I was reading through a site called the Power of Moms. They have a weekly question and this week's one hit close to home for me. A woman wrote in saying that she was a stay at home mom while her husband was pursuing a graduate degree. She felt that he was passing her by intellectually and that she often felt uneducated while socializing at his work parties. They couldn't afford to have her go back to school and she didn't want to leave raising her child to another so she posed the question of how she could advance her learning while still raising her son? image source

I have often thought of this myself. After Aaron graduated from one of the top business schools in the country he passed his CPA exam and joined with one of the "Big 4" accounting firms. Now he is moving up the corporate ladder one day at a time and find myself looking further and further up the road to see his little form moving ahead. I don't want to be left behind. But I also acknowledge that I am where I am supposed to be right now (at home).

At the wedding this weekend I found myself talking with friends and family of the bride and groom and after talking about my daughter, where we lived, the basics, I felt like that was all I had to offer. So we kept the conversation geared towards their work, their pursuit of another job, the pros and cons of what they do etc.. and I realized how sheltered I'd been lately with my local girlfriends where we talk all day long about our kids and running the household. Now, there is nothing wrong with that. But when it came time to talk with people who were walking differently through life I felt strangely behind and lacking in accomplishments.

The answers women posted provided many great ideas, some of which I've decided to implement myself:

1) Subscribe to monthly journals from the field you graduated in. Or, I could add, take up reading the local paper, the NYTimes or Wall Street Journal.

2) Take an evening class at a local community college once or twice a week.

3) Keep in mind that life won't be this way for long. Kids grow up!

4) Read more nonfiction as opposed to novels or 'beach reads'

5) Learn a new craft, skill or sport. It keeps your mind sharp and in the pattern of learning.

6) Take an online class (BYU offers free personal enrichment courses)

7) Take this time to learn from your children. You can learn a lot of things at this time in life that you couldn't otherwise in an institution like a university.

8) The book A Thomas Jefferson Education ( learn education a traditional way.

9) Create a place to record the things you learn everyday. Such as journaling, scrapbooking or a notebook to write down things you learn. If you're in a book group, jot down notes to make your reading approach more analytic.

10) Motherhood is a career. Look up and find out ways you can be the best person for the job.

11). Find something you're interested in, gardening, another language, swimming, sewing etc. Take up a challenge. Research the heck out of it during your spare time through the internet, library, others in that field, a specific group that meets each month. When you've mastered it, move onto the next interest you have.

12) Make a list of the "classics" and read one novel at a time. (Aaron is actually doing this and I'm amazed the list of books he has read and will be reading)

13). Susan Wise Bauer's book The Well Educated Mind.

14). "Books with a goal". A woman had the GOAL of parent teaching gymnastics to children. Then she RESEARCHED 100's of books. EXPERIENCED taking her kids to local gymnastics classes to see what she liked and didn't like. READ online articles about child development, left brain, right brain development etc. All towards her aforementioned goal.

This Q & A session gave me so much insight into what I can also do while raising Toothless. Do you have any other ideas? Something you're working on now?

*disclaimer: this is in no way implying that motherhood is not "enough", that you have to be worldly to be accomplished or that Aaron is leaving me in the dust. It is simply a list of ideas suggested for one who feels the urge to broaden their intellect and capabilities while maintaining their primary duties be it in the home or at work.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Wedding Weekend

This weekend I went to my best friend from high school's wedding. She got married at a beautiful house built in 1900 on the east coast..

We were very busy the day of, going to appointments and buying breast pumps because some new mother who shall not be named lost a quarter-sized valve to hers and had to buy another.

Spirits were not lost however, esp when I came upon this mirror in the bride's room

the view from out the window of the bride's room

The blushing bride and her entourage

Hola. I love the cordinating fern colored dress and bouquet.

Some post wedding action

Aisle made out of jutting stones + heels= scary trek up the aisle. Luckily no one biffed it during the ceremony!

Reception centerpieces

Yummy pumpkin apple soup with the guest gift, a cookie recipe and mini maple leaf cookie cutter. Such a cute idea, esp with the autumn season

I took so many pictures of the trees out there. I LOVE LOVE the fall colors!

A last look at D.C. from the plane on the way home. Tired, happy, successful wedding weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fog and stuff!

Cannot remember the last time we experienced 5 straight days of FOG! Well, actually, the fog rolls in at night and greets us in the a.m. It burns off and we have been basking in 10-15 degree warmer weather than usual. As I told a friend who just received their first snowstorm...we are in t-shirt and jean weather by early afternoon. Glorious!
Been doing a little of this and that!
And, eating a little of this...pumpkin bread. Yummy!

And, getting ready to make something out of this....
Stay tuned for the results of this simple and fun little project.
And, hey! 14 days until Thanksgiving. Love this time of year. Hope you are all enjoying your week! xo

Monday, November 8, 2010

Apple Brinkle Dip

Recipe and Picture source

Apple Brickle Dip

1 package softened cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 package heath english toffee chips

Cream the cream cheese and sugar. add vanilla and toffee chips. Serve with cold apple slices.

Mmm Mmm good!

Acorn Dough Nuts

This weekend was busy busy but lots of fun On Friday I went to a dessert and appetizer party, the first of the holiday season! I scoured the internet and cook books to find something both creative as well as inexpensive and edible.

Click here for source and recipe

I think it's so cute for fall and perfect bite size pieces! I also made a cream cheese frosting as a dipping sauce because it needed a little somethin' somethin'.

Hmm well, they didn't turn out exactly like the picture.....Unfortunately the store only had cinnamon and frosted doughnuts so this was as close as I could get. I added crushed walnuts to the toffee bits topping for an added nutty taste. Next time I probably wouldn't crush the pieces so small I think the toffee was a little lost.

At the party:

We also learned how to make these Thai egg rolls... so easy, SO SO DELICIOUS!

Yum Yum. Can't wait to try this out myself!

We had a work party on Saturday where I got to talk to many of the wives of the men who work with Aaron. Since it's just me and M most of the time here I've started to crave any chance to socialize with other people. I've become quite good friends with the other moms in the mother's lounge at church because of the time we spend in there, ha! We're all meeting for lunch this week which I'm really looking forward to.

Alright, it's dinner time for the little one so I'll have to post my Focus of the month later. If you do this as well, be thinking of yours, I'd love to hear them!
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