Oct 30, 2008

Pumpkin Carving!

We (finally) carved our pumpkins last night. I bought a carving kit at Crafts Direct on clearance for $2, and that worked pretty slick! Brad soooo enjoys carving pumpkins every year he can hardly contain himself, heehee. The girls had fun getting all the pulp out and separating the seeds. I roasted the seeds in the oven right away, and have been enjoying eating them, yum!

Today we had our daycare party, and it was a lot of fun. not. I spent half an hour getting everyone ready in their Halloween costumes, all the while my youngest two cried. *sigh*. So, for the half hour it took me, they were in their costumes just long enough to get pics taken, and then promptly took them off. I made pumpkin shaped pancakes for breakfast, pumpkin shaped cheese chunks for morning snack, pumpkin shaped pizza for lunch (do you get the theme here??!!) and chocolate cupcakes for snack. I'm still finding chocolate crumbs everywhere. Note to self, if it's nice again next year, EAT CUPCAKES OUTSIDE. Oh well, the kids had fun, and that's all that matters. And I'm drinking wine. HA!

Brad and I are going to a costume party on Saturday night, and I just bought our costumes today. We are going as Adam and Eve!!! Really!! I got the costumes online for really cheap, I should get them tomorrow, I can't wait to see how they look! And yes, I will post pics, don't worry.

Remember now, November 1st starts National Novel Writing Month, so Homespun Kitchen might be a bit sparse. I will try and do some quick updates, but these butterfingers will be excitedly writing my next novel!!

P.S. Fluffy was so very excited to get her pic taken, she felt left out. Aww....

P.P.S. It won't let me upload pics, grrr. I'll try again tomorrow.

Oct 24, 2008


Well, the title says it all. For all of you "uncool" people out there, tonight was the opening night of High School Musical 3. And as much as I want to deny it, I was there. With 4 other moms and 9 kids! :0 Yes, it was crazy madness at the theater. The whole theater was filled with giggling, screaming 5 year olds on up to see the new movie. And as much as I digress, it was actually GOOD! (And Troy really is soooo cuuute!!!) The music was awesome, and one of the moms burned the CD for all the girls, how cool! We had a great time, and now all the girls want to play Gabriella, shocker!!

Brad is gone hunting for the weekend, and the girls and I are going to the Stearns History Museum tomorrow for their Halloween Historia, it's from noon-5 and looks like it will be a lot of fun! Rachel won't be with us though, she has a birthday party at a horse ranch. Ugh. Freaks me out, I'm not a horse lover. They are waaaay too large a beast to be sitting on. In the evening I will have three of my daycare kids here overnight, we swap overnights with the parents, (well, the KIDS sleep over, not the parents) and it works out great! Sunday afternoon I am taking the older two to see the play, Peter Pan at the Paramount Theater. I got season tickets this year, and the girls are so excited to go!!! So, another busy, busy weekend!!

Enjoy the pics!

Oct 22, 2008

Let's eat cake!

Emma had picked out a cake from one of my Taste of Home cookbooks a while back that I never got around to making. I decided today would be a perfect day for it! I made a regular boxed yellow cake mix, then added raspberry jam (homemade from one of my daycare moms!!) as the filling, and made a cream cheese frosting. The decorating wasn't the greatest, but boy was it GOOD!! And Emma was happy to have her cake made:)

Oct 21, 2008

I'm counting my blessings....

Today was an emotional roller coaster for Brad and I. I posted in a previous post that we had taken Alayna in to the doctor on Friday, because I really thought she had ear infections. We went in, and her ears were fine, but she had spots in the back of her throat, they did a strep test, and that was negative. Sunday she spiked a fever all day, no biggie, I know a lot of kids that have been getting the 24 hour fever bug, so we assumed that's what it was. Monday I was convinced she had a bladder infection. The doctor on Friday had suggested that maybe she had one, she had been complaining of her butt hurting, and was peeing a lot. So, Brad heads to the doctors office to get a specimen cup for her to pee in. Do you have any idea how hard it is to try and get a two year old to pee in a cup?! After much trial and error, I get her to pee in the cup, and promptly award her with candy.

Brad takes the sample in and a couple hours later they call to say that the UTI test was negative, I was baffled. BUT, she had sugar in her urine. Ok, what exactly does that mean? She explained that it could be part of a viral infection, could be diabetes, etc. WHOA! Back up the train lady. Diabetes? In a two year old? I had never heard of it it that early on. So, the plan of action was for Brad to take her in for a complete blood work up, and that they would call with the results. An hour later they call to say that they want her to be seen right away. Brad takes her in, and meets with Dr.Lee, he calls me and puts me on speaker phone so she can explain what they are going to do. She explains juvenile diabetes, and what they are trying to find out.

It was almost as if my whole being went numb. I couldn't really react, it was surreal. I felt like she was basically saying Alayna has diabetes. After that, I called Brad back and asked what he felt like she was thinking, and he too, felt as though she was preparing us for that diagnosis. I know that diabetes is serious, of course I know this, but I also know it's manageable. It's not like getting a diagnosis for cancer, so I don't want to sound like a drama queen. I just couldn't believe she might have this.

About 30 minutes later Brad calls back to say that she's ok, she does NOT have diabetes! They actually think that the first test was a mistake, that test showed her blood sugars to be over 300, but this afternoon it was only 65. So, a couple things could be going on, first, it could all just be viral, and second, this could very well be the start of diabetes. So for now, we're in the clear, they are going to run another test later this week, just to make sure it's in the normal range.

It was just such an odd feeling, I can't explain. I kept thinking, if this is what it is, we are going to be in the hospital for a few days, learning how to give her shots, changing our diets, etc. Our lives would have changed. But now it's all good, and I am so grateful. I looked at her tonight, while I was getting her ready for bed, and was just so happy to have her getting ready for bed in our home, and not trying to figure out how we're all going to sleep in the hospital.

So, tonight I hugged my kids a little tighter, and thanked God for those three, beautiful, perfect, amazing gifts he has blessed Brad and I with. And I prayed for all the parents out there who are finding out their child has some grave illness. God bless them all.

Oct 17, 2008

A perfect, perfect day!

Brad and I took today off, as it is MEA so no school for the kids. This morning I made caramel rolls for the girls, I asked them last night what special breakfast they want, and caramel rolls it was! After breakfast, we went to the Stearns History Museum in St.Cloud. We have a membership there, but haven't gone yet. It was such a fun time! They had a big playroom for the kids, it was my dream playroom too, all wooden toys/foods, etc. They had a kitchen/grocery store area, puppet theater area, train set area, and a reading corner. The girls were in heaven! After that we toured the museum. Brad thought the girls would be bored, but they were really into it. There was a nature preserve area that talked about different animals, a big old barn to tour, that showed how cows were milked 100 years ago. But their favorite part was an "eye-spy" type area. They had different themed rooms and then would have you find different items in those rooms. They also had a theater room where you could watch mini documentaries on four different subjects, we watched the one on the granite quarries, and how they came about, and how they are used. Very interesting! Even Alayna sat and watched!

We were at the museum for about an hour and a half, and then went to Lake George and had a picnic. They have a fantastic playground area so the girls were able to burn off some steam:) From there we went to the doctor, as Miss A has been sooooooo crabby, whiny, and crabby. She also has a cold, and we wondered if maybe she doesn't have an ear infection. She doesn't, which is great, but that just means she's crabby for no reason. They did do a throat culture to rule out strep, and I haven't heard back form that yet.

After the doctor we hit a couple garage sales, (mainly junk) and then went to the farmers market in town. My first stop there was the Collegeville Artisan Breads stand. The have the most incredible apple croissants, so we got two of those, and two chocolate ones (yay me!!). I also bought a loaf of their sourdough bread, which is to die for. I keep telling Brad that once I perfect my Artisan breads, I am going to sell them, haha!! I also bought more maple syrup, as I was out, and the girls got their face painted, of course!

Our final stop of the day was to go out to St.John's University in Collegeville. The colors out there are spectacular, and we wanted to walk on the trails next to the lake that take you out to the small chapel. It's about a two mile walk out to the church, and the girls did awesome! Emma was very busy finding stuff to bring home, I now have a piece of birch bark, some moss, acorns and rocks on my counter! The walk was incredible the colors amazing, and it was so QUIET out there! And of course, I forgot to bring my camera:(

It was such a wonderful, perfect day. The kids were all in a good mood, and Brad and I were just reveling in the relaxed mood we were all in!! Tomorrow I am going to head down to southern Mn to visit the grandparents. I am leaving around 1:00, and will head down to see Grandma Trellis for a couple hours, then over to stay with Jim and Lori. Sunday morning I am going to head over to Waseca and visit with Grandma and Grandpa. I am going solo this time. I feel a bit guilty for not bringing the girls, but I feel like I need a short break too. I am looking forward to seeing everyone.

Here's the recipe for the caramel rolls, they are super easy!

Caramel Rolls

1 tube crescent rolls- slice into 8-10 slices, lay in a greased pan
melt 2 Tbl butter, add 3 Tbl orange juice, and 1/2 C brown sugar, heat to boiling, pour over crescent rolls, bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until tops are brown. Take out of oven and immediately flip pan upside down onto a plate. Delish!!

Oct 16, 2008

I'm ready to go, mom!!!!

Tonia (my SIL who also does daycare in town) and I decided that since we have such wonderful, perfectly mannered, non tantrum throwing two year olds, we would start swapping them once a week as a reward for them being sooo wonderful.
HA! HA! HA! I was soooo being sarcastic. Actually what we thought was, maybe they have been so difficult because they need some change in their lives. So, Tuesday daddy took Alayna to daycare! She had a blast, and it was actually an unusually quiet, calm, peaceful day. I forget how needy my little princess is. Of course on Wednesday, she managed to dump Rice Krispies on the floor, grab the big chunk of cheese from the fridge and start eating it, and got into my makeup bag. She was full of powder, foundation and mascara. Ugh, it was a long day, to say the least. Fortunately Brad and I both tool tomorrow off (it's MEA), yay!!!
Rachel got a note sent home with her that her teacher wants her to be in an advanced math class at school!! I am sooo proud of her, and sooo happy she didn't get her math skills from me:) It's just her and one other girl from her class that will join other kids once a week to work on more advanced math stuff like problem solving, geometry (seriously, I never even took geometry and she's in 2nd grade!!) and other things. Yay for Rachel!!!!

Oct 14, 2008

Move over, Fricken Chicken, there's something better!!

Have you ever made something, sat down and took a bite and went, "are you kidding me??!!!" because it was so good? Brad and I did this last night. I made Chicken Marsala, and it was probably the BEST chicken dish I have ever made. (Sorry, Fricken Chicken, but you're still in my top five) It was a heavenly dish, and ohhh so easy to make. Here's the recipe:

Chicken Marsala

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 Tbl flour

1/2 tsp sweet basil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Dash salt and pepper

4 Tbl butter

2-3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1 c Marsala wine or chicken stock

1 Tbl lemon juice

Grated parmesan cheese

It says to flatten chicken, but I didn't. Add the flour, basil and garlic powder in a gallon size baggie, add chicken one at a time to coat.

In a large skillet, cook chicken in 2 Tbl butter (might need a bit more) for 4-5 minutes on each side, until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, saute mushrooms and garlic in remaining butter, 4-5 minutes, or until tender. Add the wine or broth and lemon juice, stirring to loosen the brown bits from the pan. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by a third.

Return chicken to the pan, sprinkle with parmesan cheese (I grated some fresh Parmigiano Reggiano). Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1-2 minutes.

That's it, so easy, and sooo good! I had a fresh loaf of bread, and some cheddar mashed potatoes to go with it.
This afternoon for snack, I tried a recipe for peanut butter rice krispy bars, although this one called for chunky peanut butter, honey, and milk powder along with the rice krispies. Well, as most of you know, we cannot have peanut butter in the house, so I used sunbutter instead. It tasted good, but it didn't stay together, so I figured I might as well melt marshmallows and mix that in, since the original recipe didn't call for it. It turned out good, just very gooey. I liked the addition of the honey, and the kids scarfed it down!
Tonight for supper, I made turkey soup. I had a huge bag of frozen turkey stock that I put in the crockpot, added carrots, potatoes and egg noodles. It was a nice hot supper for a cold day, and I figured it would be good for Brad's cold too.

Oct 12, 2008

New (not really) Furniture!!!

Today Tonia and I went to a store in Sauk Rapids called "Gypsy Leas". Oh.My.Gracious. This store is like heaven on earth for Tonia and I!! It is a store full of antiques, refurbished furniture, old paintings, vintage jewelry, etc. etc. I ended up buying an old dresser that was repainted to look aged, and a beautiful antique chair for our bedroom. I LOVE these pieces! The chair's fabric is a perfect match to the color of my comforter and window covering! There were so many things I wanted to buy, but I think I spent enough:) And in all honesty, I really didn't spend that much, they gave me a great discount. They are open only one weekend a month, and they never keep the items for more than two openings, so they can have a huge variety of things. Everything is very reasonably priced, and they are willing (I think at least, they did with me) to dicker a bit. And Brad was so excited that I bought these!! Har-har...All I do is say, "how often do you hunt and take hunting trips??!!!" Heehee.

Instead of the Split Pea soup today, I made a big batch of Baked Potato Soup. I found the recipe after googling Cattle Company's Baked Potato Soup. That was the BEST soup I have ever had, and I was able to find a recipe that resembles it. The only changes I made was that I baked the potatoes first in the oven, then scooped out the pulp, so it was still a bit chunky, but still creamy. Plus, this saves a lot more time doing it this way! I also just used skim milk instead of the half and half. I made a triple batch to take to the farm, and then I also made my grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches with the mayo/italian dressing sauce. It was a hit! here's the recipe:

Baked Potato Soup

35 min 10 min prep
SERVES 4 , 1 quart
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely sliced onion
2 tablespoons flour
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1 lb baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice (2 medium)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 dash Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup half-and-half or substitute low-fat milk
Melt butter on medium heat.
Add onion and saute for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown the onions.
Sprinkle flour over the onions and cook about 5 minutes, stirring often.
Gradually add chicken broth.
Add potatoes, salt, basil, white and black pepper, Tabasco and garlic salt.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in half& half; heat through.
Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, cooked& crumbled bacon, a dollop of sour cream and finely sliced green onion.

Oct 11, 2008

A Beautiful Day!

Today was the most beautiful Fall day of the whole year! (Minus the darn flying ladybugs and boxelder bugs:( The girls were at Moms overnight as we went to see the band Hairball in Sauk Center last night. It was a blast! The place was PACKED, 1200 people. 1200 stupid drunk, young, beer spilling, bad come-ons people. Good grief. It was fun for one night, but I don't need to do that anytime soon:)

I picked the girls up around 3:00 and we headed over to Collegeville (where St.John's University is) to the Collegeville Orchards. They were very busy, but we had such a great time! They have a small petting zoo, pumpkin patch, and a lovely store with lot's of local specialties, like honey, jams, sauces, homegrown veggies, etc. We bought a pumpkin bread mix, blueberry muffin mix, an essential oil candle and a bag of apples from their orchard. Yumm!! We made the blueberry muffins tonight, as Brad and Rachel are going duck hunting in the morning. Here are the pics of the girls, unfortunately they were not very photogenic today, lol!! I don't know what is up with Alayna's "smile"!! Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and a perfect day to go out there, the colors are spectacular!

Brad got the pontoon and is bringing over to Glenwood to some friend's of ours who have a cabin and a huge shed. he's going to store it there for the winter. He wasn't overly thrilled to have to do anything today, teehee. Tomorrow I am teaching Sunday School, and my only real plans are to go to a new store in Sauk Rapids, they buy old furniture and refinish it and sell it. Tonia got a gorgeous entertainment center (although that's not what it's called, but I can't think of the name right now!!) for super cheap, so I'm excited to check it out. I'm going to attempt split pea soup in the crockpot, I'll let you know how it turns out!!

P.S. Hmm, it's not letting me add an image, I'll try again tomorrow....

Oct 9, 2008

Aren't We Cute??!!

We got our pics taken last week, one of my daycare moms does photography on the side. She came over to the house and did them, I really, really loved how they turned out! She did a great job. I *think* this one might be our Christmas card!

Oct 7, 2008

Rainy Tuesday!

Hah! I get kind of tired having to come up with a title for every post, lol! But it really is a rainy day. It started late last night and has been raining off and on since. A nice day for candles:)

Last night I made a big crockpot of chili for the Vikings game and a loaf of bread. The girls wanted grilled cheese, so we had that too. The chili recipe is sooooo yummy, given to me by my SIL, here it is:

1 lb ground beef browned with onions and green peppers
1 large can Bush's Baked Beans
1 can kidney beans
1 jar salsa (I happened to have a jar of homemade salsa from a co worker of Brad's)
1 can diced tomatoes (I used a jar of the diced tomatoes I canned on Sunday)
6 cooked bacon strips- chopped
1 packet McCormick Mild Chili Seasoning

That's it, put it all in the crockpot and let it simmer all day. It's the best chili!

For lunch on Monday I made a corn and ham bake for lunch, and it turned out quite good! I just used the Bisquick recipe for their Chicken Pot Pie, but instead of the chicken and bag of frozen veggies, I substituted corn and ham. The kids ate every bite, and so did Brad, who hates anything with Bisquick! Today for lunch I made Beef Stroganoff which is just browned hamburger, 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup, some sour cream, and cooked egg noodles. Another popular lunch! I think tomorrow is going to be sandwiches and baked potato wedges. I add the potato wedges to a ziploc bag with parmesan cheese, a bit of garlic powder and some pepper and bake until crispy.

Emma and I also made chocolate chip cookies today. I've only had *ahem* 6. Ugh, I have no will power for them. None. It's terrible. I will suffer for a couple days, but they are sooo worth it! One of my next cooking goals is to make homemade yogurt. I have some recipes tagged that I would like to try, I'm just not sure when I will do it. I think it would be so yummy to at least try it, although it might really suck, I don't know.

And as if I don't have enough going on in my life, I am again going to try NaNoWriMo. For those of you that don't know, November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel within the month of November. You don't win anything monetary, it's basically just an accomplishment for yourself. After never having written a thing in my life, I decided to do this last year, and finished in 20 days!! I love the novel I wrote, and I think I'm going to expand on that one this year. I started plotting and planning today, to gear up for Nov. So, I might not be so posty in November!! Plus, I was promoted to a Moderator on MotheringDotCommune which is an online community based on the Mothering magazine, which is a natural family living magazine. This is quite an honor for me, being that we have over 100,000 members from all over the world! The training right now is pretty intense, but I will soon get the hang of that too.

Alright, I am off to enjoy a lovely glass of Rosemount Shiraz and watch the debates, argh....

Oct 5, 2008

Rainy Sunday

It's a yucky rainy Sunday, although I love this weather. Makes you wanna keep your jammies on all day and snuggle up with a good book:)

The girls and I had Sunday School this morning. I really enjoy teaching this year, I think last year I was still trying to learn the ropes and trying to get to know all the kids. This year I know them, and they all know me, so it's much less "work". We started a new Sunday School curriculum called Bible Song last year. Basically, the program is all set up each week, so there isn't a lot of prep work for the teachers. For the first half of the hour we are in the main fellowship hall in the Sunday School area. We learn the story, a Bible verse, and a song. Then we head back to the rooms for "Art Attack". There is a different craft each week. I have been recruited this year for helping plan the craft activities. I should really start that soon...

We came home and I made our usual Sunday brunch, eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, toast. Then I set out to can the tomatoes. I got four beautiful jars canned and will probably forbid anyone to use them! Haha!! I remember the last time I canned tomatoes Brad would go into the pantry to grab a jar and I would stop him. Seriously, do you have any idea how LONG that took me??!!! I look forward to having a garden next year, so many things I want.

Rachel asked me this morning what my favorite supper was when I was a kid. It took me about two seconds to say, STRETCHERS!!!!. She thought it was a little odd, but I am determined now to make them within the next couple weeks. All it was was frozen bread dough that mom thawed, let rise, and cut into pieces about the size of a sandwich, maybe? She then fried it in oil until done, and then we would eat them with grape jelly. YUMMM!! She would also serve cold hotdogs (Brad thinks that's really weird, but he's also the one who doesn't like orange jello with carrots and celery. I mean, come on, who DOESN'T like that jello salad??!!) and cheese chunks. My favorite breakfast would be fried donuts, like the ones at Chinese buffets. Tube biscuits with the center cut out, fried and rolled in sugar. I have made those before.

I am off to Barnes and Noble now, but I will post our menu for this week...

Monday- Spaghetti Carbonara, homemade bread

Tuesday- Pork Chop Cheddar Bake

Wednesday- Split Pea and Ham Chowder

Thursday- Savory Steak- done in the slow cooker, we have conference that night

Friday- We're going to see the band Hairball in Sauk Center- for those of you who don't know who they are, they are an 80's cover band that plays all the good hair band songs. They dress up as the artist they are singing. It's a RIOT! We saw them in Andover a few weeks back, and this time we rented a bus to take us there and bring us back. Should be a great time!
P.S. I included my four fab jars of tomatoes along with the Joy of Cooking Canning book where I get my canning recipes. I love the photographs as much as the recipes! And of course, my three squirts with their pumpkin tie-dyed shirts!

Oct 4, 2008

Tie-dye Party!

Forgive me for not posting pics, I'll do that tomorrow, but being that everyone in my house is sleeping and I can actually be on here, I'm posting now!

Our tie-dye party went great! This:http://jas.familyfun.go.com/crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=12054 is what we did. We had four adults and nine kids in the house! While we (the adults) tie-dyed, my SIL had the kids doing a Halloween door hanger craft. I've never tie dyed before, so this was new for me. We still have to put the faces on, and then I'll have the girls pose for a pic with their pumpkin shirts on. After that, we went to the Kids Expo in town, which was fun. They had a couple big inflatables for the kids to play on, and lots of vendors to check out. It was fun, although Alayna wasn't. Grrrrr. She didn't have a nap and was very cranky. She decided it would be fun to try and do somersaults on the concrete floor, right in front of everyone. And of course when I said no, she flung herself onto the floor and screamed. We were there for maybe five minutes when that happened. Double grrrrrrr.

I'll post the recipe for the Cinnamon Ripple muffins, they were fantastic! I *think* the recipe is from Family Fun magazine, but not positive. I also made two big homemade pizza's for lunch. I was up at 6:30 making muffins, frying sausage and making pizza sauce. I'm tarrred. (tired for those of you who don't speak Kentucky. And I'm not making fun of KY, it's a funny little story of when we first moved there, I was 8. We stayed a couple nights at the pastor's house, and they were watching the show 60 Minutes. It was about a little girl who got run over by a car, but when I asked their teenage daughter what happened she said the girl got run over by a tar. I was confuzzled. There was no TAR on the child. So I asked again what happened she says, "She got run over by a TAR." I think either mom or dad finally whispered to me that she was saying TIRE. Sheesh.)

Tonight we went over to the inlaws to get some pumpkins, they had a large patch this year and got a ton of beautiful pumpkins. They are the best looking ones I've seen in awhile. We got 4 of them, and I also raided her tomato plants, I got a plastic bag full, plus another smaller bag full of grape tomatoes. Those grape tomatoes are the BEST tasting ones I have ever had! Between Rachel and I we almost ate them all! My plan is to can the tomatoes tomorrow, we'll see if that happens.

Tomorrow I teach Sunday School, and Rachel is going duck hunting with Brad, as long as it doesn't rain. (Which it's supposed to) In the afternoon I'm going to take off to Barnes and Noble for a much needed break:) I have a book waiting for me that I ordered, it's called "Seasons Under Heaven". My girlfriend Jona asked me if I wanted to join her book club as they were just starting up again. Umm, YEAH!!! I'm so excited to be in a book club! I also want to pick up another one of those Fairy books for Rachel. She started a chapter book on the first day of school, and already finished it! It's one of those Fairy animal books.

Well, now that I have written a novel, I am going to sign off, here is the recipe for the muffins and the Broccoli hotdish!

P.S. Dad, I ran into Mike Ness?? the manager at LKAG at the Kids Expo. I introduced myself and we chatted for a bit, nice guy. I didn't know he has been there for so long?

Cinnamon Ripple Muffins

Cinnamon Ripple

1/2 c packed light brown sugar
4 Tbl butter cut up into small pieces
1/4 c flour
2 tsp. cinnamon

Muffin Batter

2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter, room temp
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all cinnamon ripple ingredients in a mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to blend them. Heat oven to 400 and grease muffin tins

In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. In large bowl beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until mixture is pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs and buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients just until batter is blended. Then sprinkle the cinnamon ripple over the batter and use a flexible spatula to fold into it a couple times.

Bake muffins for about 13 minutes.

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Fry up 1lb of hamburger with onions and green pepper.
Make a cream sauce with 4Tbl butter and 4 Tbl flour, add a clove of minced garlic, and some fresh mushrooms. then add milk to the right consistency.
I had about 1.5 cups of rice in the fridge which I added, and then cut up some fresh broccoli and shredded carrots (which you could certainly eliminate if you prefer) Add some cheese, and voila! Very easy, and the kids actually ate it!

Oct 3, 2008

Good Morning, It's FRIDAY!!!!!

Woohoo! I think us daycare providers have to be the most excited people on earth when Friday rolls around! Don't get me wrong, I really do love my job, but weekends are heaven, even if Brad is gone. Three kids is so easy instead of my usual 8-10! Although this week the weather has been so darn nice, I'm really lovin this fall weather.

We have a busy weekend planned. Tomorrow morning I have three of my girlfriends and their kids coming over for a tie-dye party. Yes, that's right, tie-dye. In my house. Hmm, should be interesting. I get the magazine Family Fun, and they had this adorable pumpkin t-shirt that you make with tie-dye that I thought would be fun to have people over and do. I'm going to make cinnamon ripple muffins (new recipe!) and have hot apple cider. After that we are going to a Kids Expo in St.Cloud at the Civic Center. They have a ton of stuff for kids to do, and we've gone a couple years now. Sunday I teach Sunday School, and then mama is leaving for the afternoon!! Don't know what I'm doing, but I don't care!!!

Of course as most of you I'm sure know, that this weekend is opening duck hunting. Yay. I'm excited for Brad, because he LIVES for this time of year, and work has been extremely stressful for him. But it makes me crazy to have my freezer full of ducks that we'll never eat. And I don't just mean cut of ducks either, I have two whole frozen ducks wrapped in newspaper. *rolls eyes* I think we're going on at least 2 years of having these things in the freezer. I told him there will be no more ducks allowed until he mounts these. (Do you mount ducks, or stuff??) But then that means they go up in my house somewhere then. Hmm, have to think about that one for a bit...

School is going great for the girls. Emma is getting better at reading, I bought them a Summer Bridge workbook at the beginning of summer and we worked on those for awhile. Emma still works on hers, and she amazes me at the stuff she knows already! And Rachel comes home talking about metamorphosis of butterflies (are you kidding me??) and some other big word I didn't even know how to spell. This year must be the year of science, and she loves that kind of stuff!! They are both in gymnastics and love that. I love it too, I really enjoyed being in gymnastics, and wish now that I would have stuck it out. Now I can live vicariously through them... Alayna is great, still potty trained, woohoo!!!! And she can now write an A for Alayna, she's pretty proud! We have circle time every morning, and then practice writing our names. I always say I feel like a homeschoolin mom, as I plan mini curriculum's for the daycare. It's fun though. Here is a link to CNN money that did a feature on our new Kennedy school. http://money.cnn.com/video/?/video/news/2008/09/23/news.greenschool.harlow.cnnmoneyIn the search video area, put "Lights Off at School". I did have a hard time finding, but didn't know where to look, so hopefully it won't be as hard for you.

Alright, time to get ready for the day. I'm so glad that many of you enjoy this blog, my Grandma (Hi Gram!) sent me a note yesterday saying how much she enjoys reading it, and that makes my day! I originally started it as a way for me to journal about the things I love, I really didn't think anyone would read it! Pretty cool.

Oh, and as promised, here is my fave dish........

Fricken Chicken

2 c. sour cream
(7 oz.) long spaghetti
(4 oz.) mushrooms
1/2 c. butter
4 double breast chicken
2 cans cream mushroom soup
(16 oz.) mozzarella cheese

Break spaghetti into pieces (I broke them once, I still like longer spaghetti), and cook as directed on package. Fry mushrooms in butter (I would actually cut back on the butter, I ended up dumping out some butter as it was waaay too much.) Cut chicken into pieces and fry with the mushrooms/butter until brown. (I also added minced garlic once the chicken was browned and cooked for a minute or so) Mix 1/2 c of the cheese, sour cream, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup and chicken together. Put in a greased 9x13 pan. Add the remaining cheese on top. bake at 300 for 40 minutes, or 350 for 1/2 hour.

This is a really gooood dish. I made some crusty bread to go with it, and was a divine meal. Now, if your counting calories, just close your eyes while adding the ingredients. If you don't what your adding, you won't know how many calories are in it!!!

Have a great weekend!!!