Jan 29, 2009

Easy Lasagna

This recipe is also from my Family Fun magazine. It was really good, and very easy! I also was excited to get back into baking bread again. I had not done it too much, as my original recipe called for kneading the bread for 10 minutes. This kills my hands to do. So, I realized that I have a dough hook on my Kitchen Aid mixer and tried that. Honestly, this was the best bread I've ever made! And my hand's didn't want to fall off from kneading, woohoo!!!

One Skillet Lasagna

1 1/4 C ricotta (I used cottage cheese, and it worked just as good)
1/4 water (I might decrease that a bit, as the lasagna was watery)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C grated parmesan
1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium zucchini diced (about 1 cup)
1 (26 oz) jar pasta sauce
6 oven ready lasagna noodles

In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, water, salt, parm, and 1/2 c of the mozz.

Brown beef with onions in a skillet, drain if needed. Add zucchini and 2 cups of the pasta sauce.

Top mixture with 2 lasagna noodles, set in the center. Break 2 more noodles into medium- size pieces and fill in the edges. Spread cheese mixture over the noodles. Lay on the two remaining noodles. Pour the rest of the sauce into skillet and spread evenly. Then sprinkle on remaining cup of mozzarella.

Cover the skillet and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Make 6 servings

This week's project

I get the magazine, Family Fun and I looove the ideas they have in there! We have done so many of the projects, and made the recipes. This month they had a fire station and fire truck made out of recyclables. We decided to give it a try, and the kids had a blast making it! Our next thing is to make some of the Valentines from the magazine. If I could, I would sit all day long and do projects like this with the kids. I love this kind of stuff. But don't ask me to play babies, and Barbies man. My imagination just isn't what it used to be!!

Jan 27, 2009

Lime Chicken Tacos

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. I recently made a huge batch to give to a friend of mine who had a death in the family. Last night she commented on how much her family loved them, and I said I would post the recipe:) It's super easy, and smells divine simmering all day long!

Lime Chicken Tacos

4 chicken breasts, either frozen or thawed, doesn't matter. Put these in the bottom of your crock pot, and mix together 3-4 Tbl of lime juice, and 1-1.5 Tbl chili powder. Pour this over chicken, and cook on low all day. Once chicken is done, take out and shred, add back to the crock pot, and one cup of corn and one jar of salsa, mix it all up and let simmer for an hour or so. That's it! Brad likes it with soft tacos, but the girls and I eat it with tortilla chips and sour cream.

Jan 23, 2009

I didn't know parenting was so easy!!!

Really! I didn't know that we would be blessed with children that listened so well and were so respectful! It would be so hard to be those "other" parents who don't know how to discipline their children. Ha! Crap, I just pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming, and I was. Bummer. I know every parent goes through this, but I feel like all I do is nag and yell. Last night was a horrible night. I can't handle the sassy mouth, and the disrespect. We just finished this new room for Rachel, and she was seriously almost crying because Brad hadn't gotten her bed yet form his parents house. I lost it. I admit it. I was furious. I completely went off on her about showing respect, saying thank you, blah, blah, blah.

I really think that part of the problem is that as a society, we want to do so much for our kids. When I was a kid, my parents never really played with us, and we certainly never had places to go to like we do now. It seems like any weekend that is open, the girls are wondering why we can't do something because they're so bored. On Monday, when I was still feeling rotten, Emma actually threw a mini tantrum because I couldn't do a craft with her. Ugh. I know I have great kids, they just aren't always so great for us. And this is only the beginning.

Luckily, today is Friday, and I'm so excited that my brother and his kids are coming to visit! The girls have been waiting a long time to see their cousins. It will be fun and relaxing. And it's supposed to be cold again, great weekend to stay inside. Poor Brad though, he will be at the Gull Lake fishing Contest. Poor buddy, he'll just have to up the beer consumption to stay warm:)

Jan 20, 2009

Today's Project

I am wanting to make a lot of the artwork in Rachel's new room, and include many of the things she has made in the last year. The week I was on vacation, we were able to spend a lot of time scrap booking, and this was one of the pictures she had made. I didn't want to buy a frame for it, and I remembered the last time I was down at Grandma and Grandpa's house, he gave me a box of wooden frames he had made. I love these so much, because they are made from an old hay rack they used while he was growing up! He made all these picture frames from them, and painted most of them black. Being that they are so old, they look faded, which totally adds to the uniqueness of them. So I dazzled this one up a bit, and framed Rachel's picture! She loooves it, and I am so pleased with how it turned out. I can't wait to make one for Emma and Alayna!!

Have I told you how much I looove Joe???!!!

Joe as in coffee, seriously, how do people NOT drink coffee? I really don't get it. How do you not love the smell of it and the taste of it? I haven't had it for two days, and this morning is like the greatest morning EVER!!! If they had a genuine coffee smelling perfume, I'd buy it. I truly can't get enough of the stuff. And I don't mean the flavored kinds, I like those too, but I love just the straight ole black stuff. Ok, off my coffee box now....

I had a fabulous first half of the weekend! We went with Brad's family to see Tony and Tina's Wedding on Saturday night. It was FABULOUS!!!!!!! I haven't laughed that much in a long time, rally, you laugh for 2.5 hours straight. It was awesome! After that we got back to St.Joe and stopped at the Legion for a drink. I had one and started to feel not the best. We got home around midnight and by 2:00 I was up blessing the porcelain goddess. I continued to bless her until about 6:00, but the rest of the day was spent in bed. It was HORRIBLE. I have not been sick since last January, not even a cold:( Sunday night Emma started throwing up, but she only did it twice, and was perfectly fine after that. Weird. Today I finally feel "normal". We're just waiting to see who gets it next. Hopefully Brad will bypass it again this year, as he leaves this weekend for the Gull Lake Fishing Tournament. Keep your fingers crossed!

As I was sick in bed, Brad painted Rachel's new room (which was Alayna's nursery, I was surprising very sad to see the baby stuff taken down. I am sooooo done having kids, but re painting that room was very final, ya know?). It looks awesome! He painted two walls a blue color, and the other two a green color. They match her comforter perfectly! We're just waiting on the bed, as Brad's parents are getting a new one tomorrow, and they are giving us their old one. I will post pics as soon as everything is done. It's funny though, she was sooo excited to have her own room, but guess who slept with her on the air mattress last night? Yep, Emma! I think it will be a bit harder for her, but she'll have to adjust:)

Jan 16, 2009

Sun, sand, pina coladas on the beach.....

Oh, sorry. I thought that if I keep thinking of somewhere warm, this weather won't be so bad. I was wrong. This sucks! I am so tired of being cooped up I could scream. Thankfully this SHOULD be the last day of it. I pray. I am just hoping I make it through the day having 12 (yes, I said twelve) children here. Hehehehehehehehehehe. Yikes.

I am excited about this weekend, we are going to the play, "Tony and Tina's Wedding" with Brad's family tomorrow night! We saw this about 12 years ago, but I can't wait to see it again! And it's supposed to be like 25 DEGREES!! Flippin heat wave!! I finagled my Dad and Step mom (love you guys!!) to come and babysit. The girls are soooo excited for them to come. We're going to make a birthday cake either tonight or tomorrow as its my Step moms birthday. The girls are excited to giver her her gift, as they helped make it. (I will get a pic of it and post tomorrow, just in case she's reading this today:)

Alright, I am off to have a few moments of alone time before these monsters are done with quiet time:)

Jan 14, 2009

Who ordered this weather anyway?

Seriously. I'm just curious. Because there are a lot of ANGRY mothers this week because A. We can't go outside. B. When we can't go outside, the kids go nuts. C. When the kids go nuts, so do we. D. When we go nuts, our husbands suffer. So, Brad would reeeaaaallllly like to know who's fantastic idea this was, lol! Just kidding, I'm actually quite thankful that I don't have to be out frolicking around town in this crud. So far I've done well with keeping the kids busy. Although it's only Wednesday. *sigh*

My girls scrap booking weekend last weekend was FANTASTIC!!!!! We had such a blast, I laughed more than I think I ever have! It was such a fun group to hang out with, we already planned another weekend next month, woohoo!! I got about 28 pages done, so I feel it was a productive weekend. We sit in a big room with a corner fireplace and a TV/DVD above it and watch movies while we scrap. The funniest movie was "Death at a Funeral". It's a British film, but it is seriously one of the funniest movies I've ever seen! I'm definitely buying that one.

As far as food goes, I once again have stuck to the old standbys. Although I'm going to share my mac-n-cheese recipe, because it's one of my favorite things to make, and the kids looove it!

Macaroni and Cheese

For the sauce, I take 5 Tbl of butter, melt in a saucepan, add 5 Tbl flour, then add enough milk so it's the right consistency. Then I add about a cup to a cup and a half of cheddar cheese, and about 1.5 cups of pureed butternut squash. I always have bags of pureed squash and sweet potatoes in my freezer. I like to sneak foods into hot dishes and such. If we're having leftovers for supper, Brad always questions what's really in it, lol!! While your making the sauce, boil whatever kind of noodles you like and then drain and add to your sauce. Yum!! I usually add chopped ham also.

Jan 8, 2009

Here comes the weekend!

I can't believe it's Thursday already! This week really went fast, and I expected it to go extremely sloooow. So, YAY for Thursday! It's been a fine week back at work, I like to be on a schedule, so I'm happy to be back in the groove again:) And I am sticking very well to my New Years Resolution of working out 4-5 times a week. I've been working out everyday so far. I just feel so much better. And knock on wood, but we haven't had any illnesses YET. I know it's coming, we get it every year, but so far we've done well. And I'm praying it holds off until next week, as I am gone this weekend for a girls scrap booking weekend!!!! we are going to Campfire Bay Resort by Cushing. It's a huge year round cabin especially for scrap booking. It's great, we literally scrapbook from seven in the morning until one o'clock in the morning!!! Of course we do eat in between those times, but that's it. Last year I got 75 pages done! My girlfriend Tonia is going with me this year, should be a lot of fun!

Speaking of Tonia, I am posting a pic of the pillow she made for me for Christmas this year. It is AWESOME! I told her she needs to be selling these at craft fairs, she does so good on these! She made one for my MIL too, and it was a little bit different, but so cool. I have commissioned her to make me a picture that she made for my SIL that has a super cute saying on it. I'm hoping for my birthday, maybe?? *wink* *wink*

I've been a bit lazy in the cooking department. I've stuck to old standbys lately and haven't done too much experimenting. I need to get back into it though. Last week I did fry up 4 pounds of hamburger, and baked 4 chicken breasts to cut up and have ready in the freezer. That is so handy to have on hand. I also chopped up a bunch of onions and green and red peppers to have on hand. I also have a book called the 30 Day Gourmet? (I think??) It's a freezer meal plan. My girlfriends and I want to start doing that. Take a Sunday afternoon and cook away a bunch of meals. We'll see when that happens, lol!
Well, have a wonderful weekend, I hope I will!!!

Jan 6, 2009

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, I can't believe it's already 2009! (I know, I know such a cliche) In all honesty though, I can't. The year FLEW by, which makes me a little sad, because it means that my kids are growing up:( Oh well, one can only take it day by day:)

We had a wonderful Christmas! And the best part was that no one was sick!!!!! Last year the ickies hit us the Saturday after Christmas and stayed until after the New Year. Of course today one of my daycare kids got sick at my house. Bah. I'm crossing my fingers that we can wait until next week, hopefully. I have a scrapbooking weekend coming up and I really want to go!

Ok, back to Christmas. It was lovely, absolutely lovely, no rushing around from house to house, and just totally relaxing, exactly what the Holidays should be. The Saturday after Christmas we were supposed to celebrate with my mom, step dad, and brother and his family, but the roads were horrible, so we postponed it until the end of January. My mom and step dad came over and we had a wonderful day! I made a Black Pepper and Mushroom Pork Loin that was wonderful! And we had the usual mashed potatoes, corn and I made a creamy mushroom rice dish and mom brought the famous orange jello with carrots and celery (YUMMMM!!!) For dessert, I had some left over pumpkin dessert that I had made the night before for Brad's family. (We did the "progressive" thing with his brother, and sister and their families) Everything was wonderful, and very relaxing. for the rest of our vacation, we really just relaxed. On Tuesday I got all my scrapbooking stuff out, and Rachel, Emma and I scrapbooked until Thursday!! We even went to Crafts Direct so the girls could pick out their own scrapbook to put all their pages in! They were very excited!

And now it's back to the grind again, but that's ok, I like routine, lol! And, the start of New Years resolutions. I am determined to get back into exercising, and I've been doing really well so fa! Haha!! And, I am so hooked into the Twilight reading saga. Seriously, I bought the first book the day before Christmas Eve, and I am starting my third book today. And these books are like 550 pages! but they are sooooo good! Can't wait to see the movie.

So, I pray everyone has a safe, healthy start to the New Year! I am including some picks of Christmas, and of the girls making a snow man with daddy!