THIS MONTH ON MOMMY DIARIES
Anyway, I don't really know much about this. My son is not quite two yet and this is his second Christmas. He is still under the understanding that Christmas is all about the Christmas tree, the lights and the fun music. No expectations, no disappointments. Next year will be another story, but we are enjoying this while we can.
But on the cover of the Ensign is the manger scene that we look at a lot and always point out Baby Jesus. I have about 7 or 8 Nativity sets up all over the house and a big advent calendar on the wall. I keep the ones he can play with low and the ones I don't want touched, obviously, up high. We went caroling last night, wishing friends and neighbors Merry Christmas. As our family is just starting, the traditions are also just starting. Growing up, my most favorite memories of Christmas were the ones where we, as a family, gave to another family (especially secretly). I hope to keep those traditions.
While at Rob's parents' house a couple days ago, his mom and I made some yummy Christmas cookies. One of her favorites are these Nut Shortbread Cookies. I'd never had them before, but I love them! And, of course, they're super easy.
1 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c nuts, finely chopped
Mix all ingredients, then chill for at least 1/2 hour. Roll to 1/2 inch thick. Cut, bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
So, probably a ton of you guys know about this blog, but I thought that I would share for those of you who don't and who need a little laugh at this busy time of year. This blog is written by an anonymous (and hilarious) person who pretends to be TAMN - a girl who embodies almost all stereotypes of Utah Mormons. It's just funny because some of it is so true and it's in a very good natured way. I find myself laughing at her antics (and how some of it relates to me - yikes) all the time, so I thought you'd enjoy it too. Check it out at http://seriouslysoblessed.blogspot.com/ and if it's your first time she has an intro about herself in the upper right hand corner. Merry Christmas!
Okay all you mommies, I completed a project and I'm so excited about it that I thought I would share it with you. From one mommy to another, I know you'll appreciate it. I saw this idea at a craft show and I thought to myself.... "I bet I could do that." So today, I did. I didn't use a pattern or anything, it was REALLY simple, but if you want some rough directions of what I did, let me know!
Line 15x1 pan (jelly roll pan) with foil and grease with butter (or spray with Pam).
Place down one layer of saltines and set aside (you might need to break some of the saltines so they fit).
In a sauce pan, combine 1 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes until it starts to caramelize.
Pour over saltines and spread around.
Bake for 7-9 minutes @ 350° F.
Pour 1 bag (2 cups) chocolate chips over the hot caramel. Let melt and spread all over.
Sprinkle toffee chips on top.
Let cool for about 2 hours (or as long as you can stand it!)
Break apart and ENJOY!
1/4 lb. butter (1 stick) softened
1/4-1/2 c. cocoa
3 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. powdered sugar (3 3/4 c. unsifted)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
Sift powdered sugar and cocoa in a gallon size bag. Mix butter, sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. (smush and smash the bag until all the lumps of butter and cheese are gone). Press into pan, or roll into logs. Press nuts on top or roll the fudge into them. Refrigerate- store in refrigerator. Vary amount of cocoa depending on individual taste.
I have the funniest 3 year old in the whole world!!!! Kaylee was crawling up on the couch to sit by me and Mikelle says in a sad voice "I going ta miss her". I said "well, where is Kaylee going" Mikelle says "her is leaving" I said "but where is she going" Mikelle said "when da new baby comes Kayay haf to go bu bye". I about died from laughing. I explained to her that I love Kaylee and I could never send her away. I then told her that we would have 3 little kids, Mikelle, Kaylee and the new baby. I then asked her if that is why she wanted to name the new baby Kaylee, because she thought Kaylee was leaving and she said that yes, that was why she wanted to name the new baby Kaylee. Oh sad, I feel bad that she has thought that Kaylee was getting the boot, but mostly it makes me laugh. I also think its funny that she assumed we would send Kaylee away and not her. :)
What do you give to friends and neighbors for Christmas?
- Just leave a comment to enter the contest. We don't care who you are, an author, a reader, or a complete stranger. But be sure to tell your friends because the more comments the more winners!
- In your comment answer this question (any simple answer will do, we are not picking the winner based on your answers): How do you make Christmas special for your kids/family?
- Only ONE entry per person. If you leave more than one comment we will delete them.
- The winner will get to pick their prize(s) from the items below.
- Every 50 comments we will choose an additional winner. Each winner may choose three prizes.
- However if we somehow do get more than 300 comments we will stay with only 6 winners. You can still enter the contest after 300 comments have been left but only 6 from the total number of comments will be chosen.
- Giveaway ends on Friday (Dec 12th) at MIDNIGHT (central standard time). Winners will be selected randomly using random.org and announced the next morning.
- If you are one of the winners email MommyDiariesAdmin@gmail.com to claim your prizes. If we do not receive an email from you within 24 hours we will pick another lucky winner. So make sure you check on Saturday morning!
- Prizes will be given on a first come first serve basis so when you email you might want to give a couple "back up" choices in case another winner emails before you.
Each winner picks 3 of these:
Handmade placemat purse- this is just an example of the style, the purse won't look exactly like this.
2 little girl corker bows
Handmade purple little girl bracelet
The Lake House dvd*
Snugly sleeper 0-9 months*
Fun book for your little ones*
Set of 6 handmade greeting cards
Handmade bow sewn fleece baby blanket in either pink or blue
Festive Fourth of July shoes infant size 3*
Little girl skirt 6-9 months*
2 handmade felt flower clips for mommies (you pick the colors)
-yes... I said mommies... these are all the rage here. Most people wear them next to the rubber band of a pony tail.
2 handmade felt flower clips for girls (you pick the colors)
Girl outfit 24 months*
Eye shadow and lip gloss/blush combo*
Twirly skirt made from this fabric. You pick the size (little girl sizes only)
I should mention that the jewelry and flower clips were all ideas inspired by Kara.
*Everything that is not made by us is brand new and never used and still has tags or plastic wrap.
My sister makes a music CD every year with a song that represents each family member for that year. We only include my Mom and Dad, their children and spouses. The grand kids are not included. This is something that we look forward to every year and it's fun to see what song they have picked out for everyone. My song this year was called "Soccer Mom" It fit me perfectly.
Blender Wheat Pancakes
1 C milk (translation for powered milk is 3 T. milk and 1 C Water)
1 C wheat kernels (whole and uncooked)
2 Eggs (2 T. powered eggs 1/4 C. Water)
2 T. Oil
2 T. Honey or Sugar
1/2 C + Bisquick (ours were a little runny, so I'm still experimenting with how much is needed to make them the right consistency).
Put milk and wheat kernels in blender.
Blend on highest speed for 4 or 5 minutes or until batter is smooth.
Add eggs, oil, sugar or honey to above batter.
Blend on low.
Pour out batter into pancakes from the actual blender jar (the only thing to wash!) onto the hot greased or Pam prepared griddle.
Cook; flipping pancakes when bubbles pop and create holes.
We actually tried this as waffles and you can use applesauce instead of oil to cut out the fat.
This recipe came from Everyday Food Storage, which has great ideas on using food storage... well...everyday. Check it out at http://everydayfoodstorage.net.
Each week leading up to Christmas we will have gift ideas being posted to help aid you in your christmas shopping. Check the sidebar to see what age we're focusing on. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions of gifts that your children have especially loved and that get the mommy stamp of approval!
Here's what I do...I print 2 pictures (I got a little over zealous one year and made 4 pictures...bad idea) of every family member (extended family too...which in my case isn't that many...or you could do all the cousins, etc.) The pictures don't have to be the exact same...one time I used a picture of my sis-in-law making a silly face and another of her smiling. You want the pictures to be closer up so it is mostly of the person and not of the background.
Then I cut...I cut all of the pictures to be the same size (you can keep them as 4x6s but I thought that was too big to play with) and then I also cut up colored card stock to be a little bigger size than the pictures. For my gold fish game I stamped fish all over one side of the card stock and I glued the picture on the other side. (It's important to keep the non-picture side all the same though!)
Then to make the game a little more lasting (and just when you thought you were done!) I cover them in clear contact paper. Then I cut them out so they are all the same size again.
Next I find a good small box that the game cards will fit in. I type up rules to the game personalizing them to the family I am giving it to (i.e. instead of saying "player" I type the child's name.) And I paste it to the inside lid of the game. I think I also print out the name of the game and paste it to the outside of the lid.
Hi Girls! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with good food and good company! I will have my family up from NC and hopefully there will be a new baby to show off soon as well. We were actually at the hospital yesterday, I called it a dry run (aka. false alarm)! I guess it happens to the best of us. Anyway... I love pie! I love to bake all kinds of pies! I have always liked pumpkin pies but they haven't been on favorite list until I found this recipe. My family always stuck to the Libby's can for the pumpkin pie recipe (which is a fine pie). But this one is more creamy and rich. If you like Pumpkin pie, try this recipe and hopefully you will LOVE it too! Also this recipe is glutten free as long as you don't use a crust. My dad has celiac disease so I put some in a small oven proof bowl for him to enjoy with us.
The best pumpkin pie or pudding
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Whipped cream (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Dump all the ingredients (except the whipped cream) into a blender and pulse until thoroughly combined.
2. Pour the mixture into buttered individual ramekins or ovenproof soup bowls, or the unbaked pie shell of your choice. (Decorate the top with little leaves cut from pastry, if you like.)
3. Bake for 15 minutes at 425F, then reduce heat to 350F and bake for 45 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool for 1 hour before serving. Top each portion with whipped cream, if desired.
2 C flour
2 C sugar
1 C butter
1/4 C cocoa
1 C water
1/2 C buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Mix flour and sugar. Boil butter, cocoa, and water. Let cool slightly. Pour over flour/sugar mixture. Add buttermilk, soda, eggs, and vanilla. Pour in greased 9X13 jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min.
1/2 C butter
6 Tbsp milk
3 1/2 C powdered sugar
1/4 C cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
Combine butter, milk, and cocoa. Bring to a boil. Cool. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix well. Frost cooled cake.
I love her cake so much I named my daughter after her! :)
to be more specific, i could especially use ideas for quick transition times--getting out the door, coming home and needing dinner to be ready, and the worst of all--getting to church on time! my husband has meetings before church each week so it's just me with the girls (i know, boo-hoo, TWO whole kids...right!?) well it feels like a lot to me. i just doubled the number of children in the house! :)
ok, experienced ladies: fire away! i anxiously await your pearls of wisdom...
1/4 c brown sugar
1/3 c oil
2/3 c honey
5 c old fashioned oats
¾ c walnuts
1 c shredded coconut
¾ tsp cinnamon
1 c craisins
1. Combine sugar, oil and honey in medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat till sugar is dissolved.
2. Combine oats, walnuts, coconut and cinnamon in large mixing bowl. Pour sugar syrup over top and mix till all coated.
3. Spray large jelly-roll pan with oil. Spread granola evenly over surface.
4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and gently stir in craisins. Let cool and then store in plastic baggies.
Makes about 2 ½ quarts
But I found this fun blog where this woman has put together tons of ideas for how to teach kids things. And I thought her shapes and color pages were full of fun things to do including activities, games and songs! So check it out and maybe get some ideas of fun things to do while we are all trapped inside this winter!
Super Fun Mama: Shapes
Super Fun Mama: Colors
We don't really know what we'll do. I'm thinking we'll wait to start giving allowances until they ask for it, thus buying myself as much time as possible. We definitely want to teach the tithing/saving/spending breakdown from the beginning. And I think it should be contingent on fulfilling some sort of obligation, be it chores or lessons completed. And we'd probably pay them when Brian gets paid, so we can all fill out tithing slips and talk about money we want to save together. However, since this is all theoretical, I'd love your input!
- Ten In A Bed Action poem (you can find other great ideas here... http://www.preschoolrainbow.org/counting-theme.htm)
There were ten in a bed and the little one said, "Roll over, roll over." (do arms rolling motion)
So they all rolled over and one fell out.
There were nine in the bed and the little one said, "Roll over, roll over." So they all rolled over and one fell out....
(This is repeated until you get to the number one. Each time "roll over" is said, rolling motion is dramatized.)
There was one in the bed and the little one said, "Good night!"
- 5 little monkeys book or 10 Little Ladybugs
- When she was first learning to count, we'd count everything...stairs we were going down, number of pretzels she was eating, etc.
- Spaghetti play (or string, or pipe cleaners)..now that she is learning how to read numbers we practice making them with these things. I've also practiced with her by writing them on her magna doodle.
- Playing Hide and Seek...she loves this game and I realized it helped her a ton as she learned to count to 20 and beyond.
Also, before we go anywhere, they both have to sit on the toilet and count to thirty, even if they say they don't have to go. Also, if one person has to use the restroom when we're out, everyone has to go and count to thirty. They get counting practice, and I have fewer pit stops! :)
Wild Rice Salad
This serves about 6-8 people
1 cup halved strawberries
¾ cup cooked wild rice
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup blanched (not cooked) broccoli (small) flowerets
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup crumbled bacon
1 tablespoon white onion, very thinly sliced (I don't add this, there are onions in the dressing and I'm not a huge onion fan, so this is a little overwhelming to me)
Using a blender, blend the following together:
1 bunch of chopped green onions
½ cup sugar
¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
(do not use olive oil, it is too strong a flavor)
1 tablespoon prepared honey mustard
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon orange zest (sometimes i don't have this so I just leave it out)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 heaping tablespoon poppy seeds
Pour prepared dressing over top just before serving. Pour to
moisten, do not drench.
I have never ordered French Onion soup at a restaurant, it just sounded like it would be weird. But Rob really likes it so I made it one day. It was a huge hit! We both loved it. So, here you go!
6 c thinly sliced onions (I know this is alot, but they are cooked and get so soft that you don't have to chew them or anything, they're so yummy!)
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 c vegetable oil
6 c beef broth
8 slices French bread (3/4 in thick), toasted
1/2 c shredded Parmesan or Swiss cheese
In a big sauce pan cook the onions, sugar and pepper in oil over med-low heat for 20 minutes or until the onions are carmelized, stirring frequently.
Add the broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Ladle the soup in ovenproof bowls. Top each with a slice of French bread; sprinkle with cheese. Broil 4-6 inches from heat until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
*I don't have ovenproof bowls for soup, so I just took the slices of bread, put them on a cookie sheet and put cheese on them. Then broiled them for 2-3 minutes and then put that on the soup when they were done, it was delicious!!
1 1/2 pkg tortellini (you can find this in the "deli meats and cheeses" section of the grocery store)
- they come in packages of about 10 oz. I usually buy two and use a package and a half. The leftover tortellini is also great with a little pasta sauce for lunch the next day. Or you can freeze it.
24 oz. chicken broth
4 garlic cloves - minced
14 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
1/2 lb. ground sausage (I like to buy the Jimmy Dean roll type things.... you know what I am talking about? It is usually buy the bacon, other sausage, and hot dogs - basically all the healthy stuff! Haha)
- you can use the whole pound if you want to but I find it overwhelms the soup. basically, it becomes "sausage soup" with tortellini - stick with the 1/2 lb.
1 tsp. basil
1 pkg chopped spinach (in the freezer section, but thaw and drain before adding it to the soup - I only add half the package)
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1 can tomato sauce (optional - but I always add it)
* I also think adding some white beans, zucchini, or chickpeas would make this soup even better... I just haven't tried it yet.
One of the greatest things about colder weather is having a nice bowl of hot soup. Yummy. I really love to make this super easy soup and then put it in bread bowls. It is AMAZING!
1 c chopped broccoli (fresh or frozen)
1 c water
1 tsp chicken base
3 TBSP margarine
1/4 c chopped onion
3 TBSP flour
1 c milk
1 c heavy whipping cream
Combine water and chicken base in saucepan. Add broccoli. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender (about 5 min). Meanwhile, melt butter in a frying pan. Add onions and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft. Add flour and stir well. Cook over low heat about 3 minutes until the roux is well formed and light tan. (just in case some don't know, this is going to help make your soup a little thicker)
Remove from heat and add milk and cream, stirring constantly. Return to heat and cook until think, stirring well. Add the milk mixture to the cooked broccoli-broth mixture and heat through.
Makes: 4 cups
Really, this is so yummy when you put it in a bread bowl! Enjoy!!
Also... I made an awesome discovery. When Kara put on the yummy Cafe Rio recipes I got really excited. I noticed that she didn't have the pork recipe, which is my favorite. So I went a-looking. I came across this great blog. This woman has some great recipes on her blog! You should really check it out. And I made the Pork salad yesterday. It was pretty involved, but the end result was to die for! I haven't been to Cafe Rio in a long, long time so this was such an exciting thing for me. I've had it for every meal since then. It made tons! Rob loved it too! (of course, Rob loves everything)
Oh, and p.s. the tomatillo dressing Kara put on here, amazing. I even poured it on my pasta noodles we ate tonight, it was so good!!
(Serves 10...unless I'm invited and then...well, it serves 1.)
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large red peppers, cut into 1-by-1/4-inch strips
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups diced potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
8 cups rich chicken broth
2 pounds green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into quarters and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 pound vermicelli
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley
In a heavy 6-quart casserole, saute the onions in the oil until soft. Add the garlic, red peppers, and carrots. Cook 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and stock and simmer until potatoes are almost tender.
Add the green beans and zucchini and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the vermicelli and continue cooking until the vermicelli is al dente. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley. Serve piping hot.
For me, I like to scan stores like Savers and Goodwill. Early in the month you can find bargains like this Dalmatian costume I found for $6. I also like to make costumes and accessorize. My son wanted to be Harry Potter, so I got him a $2 broom(Savers), glasses, and made a cape out of a larger vampire cape I cut down to size.
Most girls love to be a princess, so I made this Cinderella dress for my daughter. I don't recommend it, because it was too hard to do on a deadline(I kind of waited till the week before).
But I heard Party City is having a sale on Disney Princess costumes this week for $12.99 each. I think I'll just go that route this year!
What will you be doing?
1 can chopped olives
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
mix those three together
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. mayo
1/3 c. sour cream
1/3 c. green onions (we leave these out)
mix all the above plus the other mixture
Slice french bread into about 8 slices. Spread 1/2 the mix on all the slices, then layer with deli sliced turkey, a slice of tomato, then spread on the other half of the mix. Then layer with slices of avocado or guacamole dip, then a slice of monterey jack cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they look nice and bubbly. Sometimes I put them under the broiler for a couple minutes at the end. They are messy, but good!!!
4 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat (buy a fresh rotisserie chicken)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup chopped celery
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup minced green bell pepper (I leave this out, but you don't have to)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
ground black pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise with paprika and seasoned salt. Blend in dried cranberries, celery, bell pepper, onion, and nuts. Add chopped chicken, and mix well. Season with black pepper to taste. Chill 1 hour. Serve on cresents.
Talk about SPICE! That's one thing I love about this recipe...plop your stock pot on the stove top and just add everything.
1 1/2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
3/4 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. chopped green pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 1/4 lb. cubed beef (bite size--I use stew beef)
1 1/4 lb. ground beef
3/4 Tbsp. salt
3 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder or to taste
2 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. finely chopped jalapeno peppers (I actually leave this out most times because I don't have it on hand)
2 (28 oz.) cans plum tomatoes (I actually prefer to use 4 (14.5 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes)
8 oz. tomato puree
3 oz. tomato paste
1 qt. beef stock
2 1/2 lb. cooked pinto beans, drained
Saute onion and bell pepper in oil until onion just wilts. Add garlic and continue to cook 3 minutes. Add meat; cook until it loses its red color. Add all remaining ingredients, EXCEPT beans. Simmer over low heat 2 to 3 hours (this is important...it's the only way to get the whole neighborhood to smell like chili! oh, and it does a wonder of good for the spices.) Add drained beans and cook 1/2 hour more.
Here is her question regarding General Conference:
"I grew up with conference bingo and quiet craft activities to keep us quiet while we watched conference on TV, but I have no idea how my parents kept me and my older brother quiet when we were toddlers. So what are all you moms planning to do with your kids while you watch/listen to conference this week?"
- 1 (15 ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Orange Drizzle:
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 4 teaspoons orange juice
- Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 36 mini-muffin cups with vegetable cooking spray.
- Bring pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon and cloves to a simmer in a medium saucepan until puree thickens enough to start sticking to pan bottom, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn hot puree into a bowl. Whisk in brown sugar and oil, then slowly beat in eggs.
- Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; whisk into pumpkin mixture until just combined.
- Divide batter among the muffin cups and bake until golden and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Let stand a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Mix the drizzle ingredients together and drizzle over warm muffins.
1 Yellow cake mix
1 small box Instant French Vanilla Pudding
1 Cup water
1/2 Cup oil
1/3 Cup sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons poppy seeds
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
Mix cake mix, pudding, eggs, water, oil, sugar, and cinnamon with a mixer for two minutes. Add poppy seeds and hand mix them in. Pour into prepared bundt pan.
Cook for 45-55 min.
Let cool and turn it out of the pan. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar.
It tastes really good served with fresh berries, whipped cream or ice cream.
2 T. olive oil
2 c. chopped onions (I just sprinkle a little dehydrated onion in there)
1 c. thinly sliced celery
2 t. italian seasoning
3 cans (14.5 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 T. tomato paste
8 c. mixed fresh or frozen veggies, such as: carrots, corn, green beans, peas, potatoes, or zuchini. (Our favorite are just the basics, carrots, potatoes, and we grate some zuchini in there too - but if I do potatoes, I don't do noodles, it is one or the other. We also like to add meat, usually ground beef or ground sausage - cooked before we add them of course)
1. Heat oil in a large stockpot, add onions, celery, and italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until onions are translucent, 5-8 minutes.
2. Add broth, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, and 3 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 20 minutes.
3. Add veggies, and return to simmer. Cook uncovered until veggies are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool before storing. Enjoy! It makes your house smell really good too, and with breadsticks for dipping, it is a wonderful fall dinner!
This brings me to my tricks of the trade question this week. As Molly is transitioning from one kid to 2 and I will be doing the same in about 10 weeks; we are welcoming tips and tricks that helped you in this transition. So let us know how did you take a shower? How did you go shopping? How did you clean your house? And especially how have you been able to give your older child enough attention as well as keep them from harming the baby? Or any other tricks that helped you keep your sanity! Another question... I am interested in buying a sling this time around and am wondering if any of you tried slings and have any recommendations. We have a baby bjorn carrier already, I might just stick with that. But those slings look so comfy and easy for nursing!
The Awesome-est Blueberry Muffins
3 cups minus
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
Heavy pinch of salt
Dash of Nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 generous cup plain, unflavored yogurt (throw in extra if you want)
2 cups fresh blueberries
Softened Butter, for muffin tins
Turbinado sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 385 degrees.
In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl whisk together sugar, oil, cap-full of vanilla, egg, and yogurt. Add the dry ingredients and stir to a count of 10. Add blueberries, reserving 1/2 cup, to mixture and stir 3 times. Add mixture to well-buttered muffin pans. Sprinkle remaining berries on top and press down lightly. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top. (Brown sugar can be used instead.)
Bake 20 to 25 minutes and allow to cool completely.
In small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (if using fresh, add 2 tsp water) and 1 tsp sugar. Cook until berries pop and liquid begins to thicken. Dump in heaping 1/4 cup plain yogurt and stir to combine. Drizzle on muffins.
To see the detailed instructions the the pictures click here: Awesome-est Blueberry Muffins
3 oz. cook and serve tapioca pudding
3 oz. cook and serve vanilla pudding
3 oz. raspberry jello
Boil 3 1/2 cups of water. Add tapioca, vanilla pudding and jello. Stir until boiling. Stir and cool 4 minutes. Refridgerate overnight to set up.
The next day:
Add 8 oz. cool whip and 1 pkg. frozen raspberries.
It is super delicious!
I will be posting a picture on my blog of Ella wearing one hers as soon as I get a chance! =)
I made these last night and am now addicted. I even woke up in the middle of the night craving them and polished them off at about 3am.
Peanut Butter Candies
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar until blended. Beat in cracker crumbs. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Carefully spoon a small amount of chocolate mixture over each candy. Freeze for at least 15 minutes.
Yield: about 1 dozen.
• One serving: (1 each)
• Calories: 110
• Fat: 7 g
• Saturated Fat: 3 g
• Cholesterol: 8 mg
• Sodium: 69 mg
• Carbohydrate: 11 g
• Fiber: 1 g
• Protein: 2 g
Lately I have been feeling like I'm not doing enough to bring the spirit into my life and into my home. I would like to know what you do that helps you to help keep the spirit in your homes. Also, do you have any tips on how to be a better scripture reader? I know we can all be better with that, surely. But how do you keep yourself going? I feel like I've read 1 Nephi a million times but the rest doesn't get done because, well, life happens. I would like to have it as more of a priority, for sure. But some simple tips would be great!
I'd just like to say that I feel so priveleged to be part of this blog. You are all such wonderful women and I am grateful to you all for your wonderful examples!
1 cup flour
3/4 cup+2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups peanut butter and milk chocolate chips divided (reserve 3/4 cup for frosting)
3/4 cup chips
6 ounces cream cheese
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt
2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour cake pans. (two round tiny pans)
Mix cake ingredients in bosch.
Pour batter into cake pans and sprinkle with chips save some for second batch
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes
melt peanut butter/milk chocolate chips and add to rest of frosting ingredients, stack cakes and frost.
Makes 2 two-layer cakes
1 large box Golden Graham cereal
1 large box Crispix cereal
1 large pkg coconut
1 lb. silvered almonds
3 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups light Karo syrup
Mix cereals, coconut and almonds in large bowl. Set aside. Melt butter in a pot, add sugar and Karo syrup and bring to a boil. Let boil for 4-5 min. Pour over cereal and mix well. Pour on cookie sheets to let cool. Try not to eat the whole bowl by yourself! :)
BYU Mint Brownies
Makes one 9 x 13 pan
1 C. margarine
1/2 C. cocoa
2 Tbsp. honey
2 C. sugar
1 3/4 C. flour
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped walnuts
12 oz. chocolate icing (use your own recipe or purchase some chocolate frosting)
5 Tbsp. margarine
dash of salt
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 1/3 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. mint extract
1-2 drops green food coloring
1. Melt margarine and mix in cocoa. Allow to cool. Add honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add nuts. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min. Cool.
2. Prepare mint icing: Soften margarine. Add salt, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add mint extract and food coloring. Mix. Add milk gradually until the consistency is a little thinner than cake frosting.
3. Spread mint icing over brownies. Place brownies in the freezer for a short time to stiffen the icing. Remove from the freezer and carefully add a layer of chocolate frosting.
1 16-ounce box Acini De Pepe pasta (little pasta balls)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 ¾ cup pineapple juice
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
½ tsp salt
1. Cook pasta in boiling water till done.
2. Drain and set aside.
3. Mix together juice (use the juice drained from the two cans of pineapple being used, add water if needed), sugar, cornstarch, eggs, and salt in a medium saucepan.
4. Cook until thick over medium heat.
5. Cool slightly, then pour over pasta in a large serving bowl. Stir together and then cover and chill overnight(or hours later when cooled completely).
6. The next day, add:
1 16 oz can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 qt. Cool Whip
1 16 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 pkg mini marshmallows
2 small cans mandarin oranges, drained
7. Stir together gently and serve cold.
Makes a very large bowl to serve about 25 people
Pinatas are always a hit!
I've obviously been thinking a lot about this lately so I thought my question this week would be about parties. First, what are your thoughts on kids parties? How often should you throw a party for your child... every year, every other year, just on big birthdays? How many kids should be invited? All the kids they see at church or just close friends? What about when they get into school and start making friends there? It's so hard not to leave someone out without making the party too big! And if you have a small place where can you have a party without spending a ton of money to do it somewhere special? I know you can do it places like Chuck E. Cheese, but I wanted to have our own themed party not just a pizza party. So what are your party ideas and if you've had parties before what's worked for you?
Frozen burritos or chimichangas
2-3 cans El Pato Sauce (this is a "hot tomato sauce" usually in the isle with canned green chilies and salsa)
Use as many burritos as you want, we used the Jose Ole steak and cheese burritos and the bean and beef chimichangas, both were good, but anything works. Lay them out in a baking dish, pour the El Pato sauce over to cover them. This is spicy so leave it off for the kids portion! Then cover with grated cheese. Bake on 350 for about 20 min.
We took them out of the freezer and had them mostly defrosted before we put them in the oven. So it might take a little longer if you cook them frozen. Just cook until they are warmed through and the cheese is melted! Enjoy!!
I tried a new yummy and healthy recipe the other day that I thought I would pass on. It isn't spicy even though it has a jalapeño in it, I guess if you wanted it to be spicy you could add more. It is kind of like a sweet and sour chicken, try it out! I am all over one skillet meals that are easy to make.
Apricot Jalapeño Glazed Chicken
1 (10.75 oz) can Chicken broth
4-6 Chicken breasts, cut into chunks (I used 4 big Sam's club breasts and it was perfect)
3/4 cup Apricot preserves1 Jalapeno, remove stem and seeds and chop (my jalapeño was kind of small I might add more next time)
1 Tablespoon Soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Water
Chopped pecans for topping (optional) I might toast mine next time.
1. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Brown chicken in heated skillet.
2. Add chicken broth, jam, soy sauce, and jalapeño. Simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is done.
3. Remove chicken from skillet. Add mixture of cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce(I doubled this to make my sauce thicker). Return chicken to skillet and turn to coat thoroughly with sauce.
4. Serve over rice, top with pecans.
We made this with a side of peas and a garden salad, what a yummy well rounded meal it made!
My 9 month baby girl decided 2 weeks ago today that she was done nursing. She decided one evening that she wanted juice from a sippy cup- and while I pumped for a few days, she will not nurse and now, since she will eat formula and with 4 teeth coming in- I am DONE!. Before stopping she wouldn't take a sippy, now she will (so I guess it is a good thing). But now, she wants to eat big people food. I have been buying baby food but it is EXPENSIVE! So, I have 2 questions for you: 1. If you make your own baby food, what do you do? Besides just mashing bannanas or peaches?
AND 2. My baby only wants to eat sweet food, mostly fruits so how do I get her to eat her veggies? Any help would be most appreciated!
I made these last night, though, and my 19th-month-old loved them! It was so easy, too. I got it from a great cookbook I would recommend to all mommies out there. "Food for Tots" by Dr. Janice Woolley, M.D. and Jennifer Pugmire, Mom. My aunt is the illustrator! (Marilyn Taggart).
"Orange Glazed Carrots"
These lightly sweetened carrots are a good source of vitamin A.
4 cups frozen, sliced carrots or about 5-6 fresh carrots, peeled and sliced. (I used almost a full bag of mini carrots)
2 Tbls. brown sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbls. orange juice
2 Tbls. butter or marg.
1. Cook carrots by steaming, simmering, or microwaving.
2. Stir together brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
3. Mix orange juice into sugar mixture.
4. Add butter to sugar mixture.
5. Cook sauce on stovetop over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, or microwaving for 1-2 min.
6. Pour sauce over carrots and reheat on stovetop or in microwave.
Yield: 4 cups
You Are Pocahantas!
Free-spirited and wise. You have a strong passionate spirit that touches and changes all who know you. The wisdom and common sense that you have is really what guides you through life. Even so, you also have a very playful side that loves adventure and excitement.
Which Disney Princess Are You?
I don't know if this is the right name for it, but my grandma used to always make this wonderful orange salad at every family function, so that's what we call it! Anyway, this is super yummy. And it's easy to make as a side dish for any dinner!
2 small cans mandarin oranges
1 lg can crushed pineapple
4 pkg tapioca pudding
2 small pkg orange jello
1 container cool whip
Drain out the 3 cans of fruit into a measuring cup (put the rest of the fruit in the fridge). You'll want to get as much juice out as possible. Get enough of the juice, and cold water to be 4 cups. Put it into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Add 2 more cups cold water. Then add in the tapioca pudding and orange jello. Let boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly so it doesn't stick.
Pour the mixture into a med/large sized bowl and place in the refrigerator. Let it stay there long enough to set up (at least 2 hours). Once it's set up take it out of the fridge. Add in the oranges and pineapple, and then the cool whip. Mix it all together. You can either refrigerate it, or serve it right away.
I know the "ingredient" is Oriental, but I just have to share this. It has been way too long since I last posted, sorry! I will try to be better.
Anyway, I just made this a couple nights ago for the first time, and let me tell you... if you like Mexican food, you're going to LOVE this!!! It's super easy, and it is SO yummy!
2 large onions, chopped
1-1/2 c chopped green peppers
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 c picante sauce (I wasn't sure if it was just a fancy way to ask for salsa, but that's what I used)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin (I didn't have this so I used curry powder and it was fine)
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
8 corn tortillas
2 c (8 oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend (reg. cheddar cheese would work fine as well)
1-1/2 c shredded lettuce
1 c chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 c thinly sliced green onions
1/2 c sliced ripe olives
1. in large saucepan, combine the onions, peppers, tomatoes, picante sauce, garlic and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the beans.
2. Spread 1/3 of the mixture in a 13 x 9 baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Layer with 4 tortillas and 2/3 cup cheese. Repeat layers; top with remaining bean mixture.
3. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with toppings.
Yield: 9 servings
This is just so yummy, and it's super healthy too, except for the cheese, I guess. But come on!
Just a note... My brother has celiac disease, which means he has to have a gluten free diet, otherwise he gets pretty sick. This meal works great because of the corn tortillas!! If any of you know of any other recipes (good ones... some of what he has to eat is not exactly tasty) let me know!! Thanks!
1 large pkg. Coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
1 head romaine lettuce
3 green onions, chopped
2 pkg. Ramen noodles, broken into small pieces
1 pkg. Slivered almonds
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
½ - 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
½ cup plus 2 Tbsps vegetable or olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
4 Tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
1. Cut chicken up into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large plastic bag with 2 Tbsp oil, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, dash garlic powder, and a dash of pepper. Mix in bag and marinate 30-45 minutes in the fridge.
2. Cook chicken over medium heat in a skillet, stirring till cooked through. Remove from pan and place in large bowl.
3. Wipe skillet with a paper towel to remove chicken drippings and add 2 Tbsp butter, a dash of garlic powder and the Ramen noodles. Brown lightly. Then place noodles in the bowl with the chicken.
4. Using the same skillet and the remaining butter, toast the almonds till light brown. Place in bowl also.
5. Make dressing by whisking together ½ cup oil, the red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, sugar and a dash of pepper.
6. Add chopped romaine to coleslaw mix and add oranges in a large bowl. Top with chicken/noodles/almond mixture and serve with dressing.