Jan 25, 2012

Crockpot Yogurt

This was my first try at making homemade yogurt, and I fully expected to wake up to some milky slop called yogurt. Boy was I surprised! This made the BEST yogurt, and was so easy to make that I am going to put Rachel (my 10 year old) in charge of making this weekly. The recipe I used was from the blog Mom on a Mission. I love her blog and have made many of her freezer meals.

The only changes I made was that I used 2% milk instead of whole, and added a box of vanilla instant yogurt as a thickener. It was still pretty thin this morning, but I know it will thicken up in the fridge. I had some alone ( as in no fruit, not that I was sitting in a closet alone eating yogurt!) and was very surprised at how tasty it was. I plan on using this in our green smoothies instead of grocery store yogurt.

Jan 15, 2012

Minute to Win it Night

Last night we decided to play the game "Minute to Win it". I found some fun games on Pinterest, and then Googled more. We had a blast playing these! Alayna's favorite game was the cup stacking one. She spent more time just stacking the cups then playing the other games with us!
We played the dice game...You have one minute to stack 6 dice on a popsicle stick that is in your mouth.
Cracker on the forehead...You place a cracker or cookie on your forehead, then try to maneuver it into your mouth.
Rachel and I were the only ones to successfully get them in our mouths, haha!

Alayna stacking the cups, she got her stacked within the minute!

Rachel getting all of her dice on the stick within the minute...

Emma almost got it!
This was a lot of fun, I am going to Google more games to do, a great family fun night!

Jan 13, 2012


I figured I should make a post about the funny things that Alayna says because I will forget them like I have with the other two. Sorry girls, I do love you to pieces...

Alayna has always been our most "spirited" child of the three. The energy that comes out of this tiny 5 year old 35 pound frame is incredible! She keeps us all on our toes and makes us laugh all.the.time. This morning she was eating a toasted bagel that got cold and asked if we could "hot it up", man did we laugh! her favorite meal is "hangabers" (hamburgers) or "homelets". The funny thing with kids is even when they start saying the words right, you find yourself correcting them with the wrong words because you hate seeing that part of them grow up:) She is our little firecracker and we love hearing what funny things she will come up with next!

Jan 9, 2012

Meet Maci

Because we thought one cat and one dog wasn't enough, we figured we'd get another cat! This is Maci, and she comes from Brad's uncles farm. She was VERY sick when we brought her home, and even after having her for a month, she still deals with some respiratory business.

She is so much fun right now, very spunky and naughty, but cuddly in the evenings. Shelby was not a fan at first, but now the two of them are running around playing together, it's our cheap entertainment!
Aww, isn't she cute??!!

Jan 7, 2012

Today's Projects

Today was a good day for making a few projects I had found. This snowman idea comes from the blog "How Does She", and of course there's look a lot cuter than mine. Rachel asked why my snowman was so wide, *sigh*, because I don't have the power tools like others do. I just so happened to have these three sizes of wood in my craft bin. Score! The girls helped me sand and paint the pieces before I covered them with scrapbook paper. I think it turned out cute!

The next one is made from toilet paper rolls, love this one! I needed something to hang in my bathroom in between the two mirrors. This worked perfect.

I've seen this floating around in blogland and pinterest, and can't believe how easy it was. I measured and marked where I wanted to cut the roll (I measured so the cut pieces would be even), hot glued them together and then glued the flower to a piece of scrapbook paper.

Easy peasy! Although you would have thought my girls would have lasted longer than the five minutes they helped me...

Jan 6, 2012

Recipe Fail:(

I found a super recipe (on Pinterest of course) for bread maker french bread from the blog
A Season For All Things. I made it last night and despite the fact that my beautiful rise was lost, it tasted so yummy! The recipe called for shaping your loaves after taking the dough out of the bread machine, and covering the two loaves with a damp towel. Well, after letting them rise again, I had to peel away the towel which meant I lost the second rise. BUMMER! So, next time I will forego the towel and let it rise normal. It was a fantastic crusty-on-the-outside but soft-on-the-inside type of bread.

This went perfectly with Crispy Parmesan and Garlic chicken from the blog Jamie Cooks It Up!
Another fantastic blog I just found and have already bookmarked several of her recipes for next week!

Jan 5, 2012

Creamy Broccoli Chowder and Panini's

So if you haven't found Pinterest yet, you must click now, and see what you are missing! You will find everything from recipes to crafts to fashion to books. Literally anything you would be interested in, you will find here. Ok, so you might blindly lose a few hours of your day surfing Pinterest, but hey, you're learning something, right??!!

So, part of my New Years goal is to try new recipes most nights of the week. I have always loved trying new recipes, but the last few months I started getting into a rut, which meant a bit more eating out. So far (alright so it's only January 10th) I have done quite well and found some amazing blogs and recipes!

Last night I made Linda's recipe for Creamy Broccoli Chowder and what a hit it was! Very simple to whip up, and an all around yummy comfort soup for winter.

Creamy Broccoli Chowder

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 sweet onion, diced
2 carrots, shredded
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups milk ( I used skim)
One 15-ounce can chicken broth
5-6 cups chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cups reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

In a large pot heat oil and butter over medium-low. Add onion and carrots and let simmer 15 minutes. Add flour, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper. Stir in milk, chicken broth, and broccoli. Simmer over low heat for about 1-1/1/2 hours, stirring frequently. Add cheese just before serving, if using. Makes approx 10 1-cup servings.

Next up was making panini's. We love panini's here, and I'm always on the look out for yummy mayo recipes to slather the inside of the panini, and I found one on This Week for Dinner for Garlic Basil Mayo. It was UH-MAZING. I just used regular bread (next time I will make a loaf, the regular sandwich bread was very thin), deli turkey, spinach, tomatoes and cheese. We make our panini's on a George Foreman Grill which works perfect!

Garlic Basil Mayo

Garlic clove
Basil -fresh is best, but all I had was dried
salt and pepper

Just eyeball the amount you need, let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours to blend ingredients.

Nothing better than a hot bowl of creamy soup and a grilled sandwich on a cold winter's night. Or an almost 40 degree Minnesota night. Crazy, right? Minnesota. 40 degrees. January

Don't Judge a Smoothie by it's Color!

As told by my 10 year old. I go in phases of making smoothies, and winter isn't usually one of my successful phases. However, Rachel has been requesting them lately, and I was happy to oblige!

Normally I throw in all frozen fruit I have on hand (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and peaches) and she has never been a huge fan. This time we did "green" smoothies, banana, peach yogurt, lots of fresh spinach and a splash of milk. She was in heaven. I have always tossed in spinach, flax seed and pureed squash or sweet potato too, just to amp up the benefits. These were a big hit with Rachel and Alayna, Emma still prefers the berry kind:)

There are so many options when talking about smoothies, and what a great way to get some extra fruits and veggies into them!

Jan 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year, we sure did! We spent it at some of our closest friends who just built a skating rink in their back yard. The kids (and dads) had a blast skating until 1 am, while the girls kept watch over the good food everyone brought.

I don't have much for resolutions this year, usually one of my biggest ones is to get into shape. I don't need to lose weight, but have really been wanting to get fit. Back in October two of my best girls and I decided to motivate each other to exercise. We email every other day or so and pump each other up. I am happy to say that I have been working out 5 days a week since then. I invested in some workout videos from Beachbody.com called Turbo Jam. I L.O.V.E her videos! I have two sets of videos and do them daily. I also include lots of weight training. The hubs and I have signed up for the Warrior Dash which is in June of this year, and it's an uphill 5K with obstacle course. Yikes. Another reason to whip this bod into shape!

I have also really paid attention to my eating habits. I wouldn't say I am a bad eater, but I eat ALOT. It's taken some getting used to, but I am really feeling that groove thing going on right now. Hopefully it lasts...

So, in honor of my getting fit, here is a super yummy dip that is NOT very healthy:) I doubled the recipe and brought it to New Years Eve, it was gone in about an hour!

Sausage Dip

1 package of Jimmy Dean Sausage (hot flavor)
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper (I did half green, half red)
1 package cream cheese
1 8 oz. container of sour cream.

Fry up your sausage, and add rest of ingredients either in a saucepan or a mini crockpot.