Apr 30, 2009

Emma's 6th Birthday

*sigh* I can't believe my sweet Emma Lemma is 6:( I really can't. She has become such a sweet, innocent little girl and I'm so proud of her:) She had A BEAUTIFUL summer day, it was 82 at our house! We just did a birthday party with the daycare kids, since they are all girls. I had them all bring their princess dresses and they got to dress up, have pizza, and eat cake out of teacups! And of course I served them ice water with strawberry garnishes outside on a tray. They all thought that was pretty cool! We played a couple of outdoor games, but honestly, it was so hot with their dresses on, lol!

She got a ton of great stuff, including outfits for her American girl doll, she was so excited! From us, she got a new bike. Her old one is actually Rachel's old one, so it was time for Emma to have a new bike of her own.

Apr 29, 2009

What could be better???

Need I say more??!!!!

Rainy day

As much as I loooove sunny warm days, I also love the occasional rainy day (and I do mean occasional). Today is one of them. I have candles lit all over the house, it just feels cozy right now:) Tonight we actually have nothing planned, which feels wonderful! The past two weekends we've been gone, Monday night I was gone for LLL, and then last night Mom and I took the girls to see the Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sargeants. They were phenomenal!!! The girls really enjoyed it too. So I'm excited to just chill, make a lovely spaghetti supper, and have a glass of wine:)

Last weekend we went to our annual "friends" weekend at Madden's Resort in Brainerd. It's their opening weekend, and ohhhhhh what fun we had! It's just fun to do as you please, eat wonderful gourmet food (that I don't have to cook!) and have some cocktails with great friends! Oh yes, and shop. Heehee. Brad might not be too happy about that, but oh well. At least the weather was better than last year, when we got a foot of snow! This year it rained Friday and Sunday, but Saturday was gorgeous! We were glad to come home to the girls, and I'm sure Dad and Donna were glad to get the hell out, lol!! The girls had a blast with Grandma and Grandpa:)

This weekend we are thinking of maybe going out to the camper to start opening things up. We'll see, I'm thinking it would be awfully nice to stay home for once. Plus Saturday it is my sweet baby's third birthday! I can't believe how fast time goes, it's amazing.

Apr 15, 2009

Easter weekend

I had a fabulous Easter weekend! I had taken Good Friday off, so the girls and I went and did some shopping. And I mean shopping! I had told Brad that I wanted to buy new dishes, and place mats and napkins, and things for quite some time. We do a lot of entertaining, and I would love to have nice things. Was it a necessity? No, but I always talk about it and being we were having people over for Easter, I thought it would be a good time for it:) I got everything at Target (yay Target!!) I bought dishes, glasses, place mats, napkins, 2 serving platters, and a stainless steel wine cooler. For my birthday Mom bought me a stainless steel ice bucket, I love it! I had so much fun setting everything up:) On Saturday, I had a District Advisor meeting for Le Leche League in the cities, from 10-1, got home, got the kids ready and went to church at 5:00. I had put a tator tot hotdish in the oven so it was ready when we got home. My Dad and Step mom were there when we came home and we just hung out.

I loved the fact that originally we were going to Brad's parents for Easter, and I was bringing my usual jello salad. But then Mom and Bob were suddenly available, my Dad and his wife were available, and I invited my Aunt and Uncle who happened to be able to come! It was such a great time, especially great for me to have both my parents with me on a holiday:)

I made a ham that I basted with brown sugar, maple syrup, and oj. I also made cheesy hash brown potatoes, homemade dinner rolls, roasted asparagus, corn and a strawberry spinach salad. Everything turned out great, but my favorite part was the mocha chocolate cheesecake. It was sooo gooood. Very rich, but very good! It was my first time making cheesecake, and it really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be!

All in all, it was a wonderful Easter, there's nothing better than being able to spend it with your family. We went to Brad's parents later that afternoon, which was so nice too. Very relaxing!

The weather is finally getting nice out, yesterday it was 67! I even laid out while the kiddos napped! For supper Brad made hamburgers on the grill, and we ate outside. I set a table up, put a tablecloth on, and we ate out in the back, it was wonderful! The girls thought it was pretty neat. We also found a nest of baby rabbits, they are so new they don't even have fur yet! Now we can't wait to check in on them everyday, just as long as the dog doesn't find them.

Apr 7, 2009

Creamy Chicken and Pasta

Look at me, all double posting in one day!! WOOHOO!! I made this dish tonight for supper, it was just the girls and I. Rachel had three helpings, and even Miss Emma liked it (she doesn't like meat)!! I did not use capers, and didn't have green onions, but it was a wonderful dish. I made some homemade bread to go along with it.

Creamy Chicken and Pasta
2 C uncooked penne pasta
2 C sliced fresh mushrooms
1 C sliced green onions (I used about a 1/3 C of red onions instead)
2 Tbl butter
1/2 C white wine or chicken broth
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbl flour
1/3 C water
1 C heavy cream (no this recipe isn't a fat free one!!)
2 C. cubed cooked chicken
2 Tbl capers, drained
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
shredded parmesan cheese (I buy a block and grate it myself, soooo much better than the other stuff!!)

Cook pasta according to directions. In a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onions in butter for 4-5 minutes, or until tender. Add wine or broth and garlic. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Combine flour and water until smooth; gradually add to mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 4-5 minutes or until heated through.

Drain pasta. Add the pasta, chicken, capers, salt and pepper to cream sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

5 servings

Chicken and Squash Soup

This fabulous soup is from my Taste of Home magazine (shocker!). Brad wasn't too sure about it, as he isn't much for veggies, lol. He ended up loving it, and the girls liked it a lot too. I made it last night for supper, along with the Dilly Chicken sandwiches. Although, I had no dill for the sandwiches, so I used Thyme instead, I think I liked it better!!!

Chicken and Squash Soup
1 broiler/fryer chicken (4 pounds) cut up
13 cups water
5 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 10 cups)
1 1/4 pounds fresh kale, chopped
6 medium carrots
2 large onions, chopped
3 tsp salt

Place chicken and water in soup kettle. bring to a boil. reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour or until chicken is tender.

Remove chicken from broth. Strain broth and skim fat. Return broth to pan; add the squash, kale, carrots and onions. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 25-30 minutes or until veggies are tender.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and cut into bite-size pieces. Discard bones and skin. Add chicken and salt to soup; heat through.

14 servings

Linking up to Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays
Crockpot Wednesdays
Tasty Tuedays

Apr 3, 2009

Glazed Apple Pie Squares

These AMAZING bars come from one of my Taste of Home magazines. The girls all helped make them, and they really are incredible!!!

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1 c. cold butter

1 egg separated

3-4 Tbl milk

1 c crushed cornflakes

9 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (I used Braeburn apples, about 7 medium sized)

1 c. plus 2 Tbl. sugar divided

2 tsp cinnamon, divided

1/2 tsp. nutmeg


1 c. confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 Tbl. milk

Combine flour and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (I had to use a little more like to get it to that consistency). In measuring cup, combine the egg yoke and enough milk to measure 1/3 c. Gradually add to the flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough ball forms.

Divide dough in half. Roll one portion into a thin 15-in x 10-in. rectangle. Transfer to bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1 in baking pan. Sprinkle with cornflakes. In a large bowl, combine the apples, 1 c of sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and nutmeg; toss to coat. Spoon over crust.

Roll remaining dough into a thin 15x10 in rectangle; place over apple filling. beat egg white; brush over pastry. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over crust. bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown.

For glaze, combine the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to achieve a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm pastry. Cool completely on a wire rack.

*We actually had these for breakfast the next morning!*

April fools Day!

What a crazy April Fools joke Mother Nature played on us! We got 7 inches of snow, only to get another 5 the next night, eeek!! Honestly, as sucky as it was, it was BEAUTIFUL! Now, lets just hope that this is the last snowfall of the season. We don't want a major snowstorm the end of April like we got last year at Maddens!

I had fun with April Fools with the kids. I did my annual "koolaid" jello in the cup, then I printed off these candy "booger" wrappers and filled them with M&M's. The kids thought this was hilarious. And then I made an angel food cake (from scratch!) and sliced it which looked like toast. They had a blast! Of course the whole day all the kids were trying to trick me, and a couple times they got me! Even Alayna tried to tell me that, "mama, jazz is behind you, apo fool!" Ahh, the fun. I did get my mom in the morning by telling her I was pregnant. I fake cried and everything, she fell for it. And at supper, Brad and I told the girls were going to adopt a little girl who was 7, and that she was going to sleep in Rachel's room. She was a bit leery about someone sleeping in her room, but then she was all for it! She was a little disappointed that we were kidding, and Brad felt bad, lol. Oh well, it was all fun:)
I'm happy it's Friday, it's been a great week, just went by really fast. We have no formal plans this weekend, which is awesome! Tomorrow Rachel and Emma have a birthday party, and Brad, Alayna and myself might go to Becker Furniture World to find new coffee tables and end tables. We got a 50% off coupon in the mail, might as well see what we can find!