Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Grilling Dishes

For dinner the other night, we had BBQ chicken and i tried 2 new recipes that could compliment grilled chicken.  These dishes turned out better than the chicken.  I don't have a picture of the first, but trust me, i will make it every time i need to make Baked beans.  I used bacon bits on top instead of real bacon.
The second recipe was a hit also, for dipping we had hot garlic bread sticks instead of crackers.
Try them, you won't be disappointed.


Apple Baked Bean Casserole
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Show: Paula's Home Cooking
Episode: Bean Cuisine
1 cup diced onion 
2 (15-ounce) cans Boston-style baked beans 
1 cup diced Granny Smith apple 
1 tablespoon prepared mustard 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1 teaspoon 
salt 
5 strips bacon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the bacon and mix well. Pour into the baking dish and lay the raw strips of bacon on top. Cover and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until thick and bubbly. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes. 



HOT SPINACH DIP

Makes 3 cups

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds spinach, cleaned, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 ounces reduced-fat bar cream cheese
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Baguette slices, breadsticks, or crackers, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add spinach in two additions, letting the first batch wilt before adding the next; cook until completely wilted, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander; drain, pressing to release all excess liquid.
  3. In the same pot, warm milk over high heat. Whisk in cream cheese until melted, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and 1/4 cup mozzarella; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a lightly oiled 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.
  4. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot with accompaniments, as desired.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Felicidades

CONGRATULATIONS KEVIN AND CARLY!!
IT IS A GIRL!!!
At least on the Ultrasound.  We got to see it today thanks to Sneak Preview, a great little place to go for your personalized 4D ultrasound. You can have up to 16 people in the room. They serve popcorn for your guests, there is a play area for kids, and everyone gets to sit in a chair and enjoy the the baby on a Huge Screen.  We all saw little Libby, moving her mouth, and raising her arms; she looks like Kevin.  It was such a fun event to be included in. Thanks Car, can't wait to meet her!
Unfortunately my pictures are not uploading right now
check later

Sunday, April 20, 2008

outside play

Here are some pictures of the boys outside in the yard.  
They love playing outside, in these first few pictures, they were watching the neighbors sprinklers, in awe.


Caeden by the tree staring at the ants and his first attempt at tree climbing. we need some bigger trees for that.

Owen posing in the grass, finally he sat still enough to take a picture.
I am not so sure what caeden is doing here!
I love these kids!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hope's Apartment

Hope is still working on decorating her apartment, and until i can get over there and take some final pictures, here are some of her fun purchases.....
 




the Top pink canvas is from urban outfitters.
the flutterby canvas and the black and white canvas are from blueruby designs on etsy
The black chandelier wall decal is from whatisblik.  this is not the exact picture from that website.
And of course her bedding, the inspiration is from target.
She has painted one of the walls in her bedroom a green that matches her bedding.
Now all that is needed is some great art work for the living room.  it is looking so cute
Heather and I have had fun helping her shop.  She also got some great Orange curtains from IKEA that ties all the colors in together.  Hopefully i can get pictures soon.

simply delicioso

These are probably the yummiest oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that i have tasted in a long time.
Thanks to Joy Spatola for the oatmeal cookie recipe.  I added the chocolate chips to it. Caeden and I made them last night.
Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
as many chocolate chips as you like.! (ca use 1/3 cup walnuts too)

Melt butter in sauce pan.  Beat in granulated sugar and brown sugar using wooden spoon. add egg and vanilla and stir again.

Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt
Stir in to the egg mixture

Add oats and choccolate chips

Cover and refrigerate 1 hr.
Place on Greased cookie sheet
 Bake 350 deg. for 12-15 min.
YUMMY!!



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

food and thought


i totally stole this recipe from buildabelly.  but it was worth it because it is one of the best broccoli recipes that i have tasted.

streusel-topped cheesy broccoli

1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds of broccoli florets

Streusel Topping
2 tablespoons butter
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 -1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
@ three slices of fresh bread (I used oat) broken into smallish crumbs
Parmesan cheese, salt, and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Cheese Sauce
3-4 tablespoons butter
3/4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
salt, freshly ground pepper, ground cayenne, and ground nutmeg, to taste

Cook broccoli in boiling water for about 3 minutes until slightly cooked but still firm. Drain and set aside.

Saute onion and garlic in butter over medium-low heat until onion is translucent. Add the mustards and the bread crumbs. Fry until crumbs begin to turn golden and then season with salt, pepper, and parmesan. Set aside.

For the sauce, prepare a basic white sauce by melting the butter in a pan and then stirring in the flour. Whisk in the milk and cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens, whisking constantly. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne and add the grated cheese. Stir until cheese has melted and is incorporated completely, forming a smooth sauce.

Layer the broccoli in the bottom of a baking dish and spread the cheese sauce on top before sprinkling the bread crumb topping over it all. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the topping is nicely browned and toasted.

So we watched this movie last night called Into the Wild.  It came out last year and is one of those independent films that really makes you look at life and think.  It was really good, below are some of the inspirational quotes from the movie.  Basically this college kid goes on a 2 year quest to live in the wild and his journey ends in Alaska.  He has the mentality that Life is worth living and why waste your time wanting all the things that won't bring pleasure, namely money and stuff.
Mike and i have been talking alot about living more simply.  I want to raise my kids to Live and not to Want. In order for them to do that, they need to see that in us. I once heard someone say that the reason he thought so highly of his mother was not that she was perfect, but that she taught him how to love life.  She taught him by living it out.  To love Life is to Love God and to love people more than myself and to not get so consumed with daily tasks and frustrations that i let it get me discouraged and side tracked. To make the best of the life God has granted me and to Glorify him with my life.


*When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God's light shines upon you.
 
*Happiness is only real when shared. 

*Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness... give me truth.

*"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greather joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."

Monday, April 14, 2008

i bought it


i am so excited, i bought this clutch that i have been dreaming of for a few weeks now.  and it is for a good cause. buildanest.com is a non-profit organization that serves to help women in non-developed countries.
i am so excited to have a new purse instead of a diaper bag.  yeah

Saturday, April 12, 2008

fun websites

Safer Toy Guide 2007
this is a fun website.  they are having a give-away for mothers day and i am posting the above button to be entered for it.there are all kinds of ideas to glean from this website.
i am checking out some things for myself and for some moms-to-be.
here is the link for the site, check it out ...cool mom picks
while i was on their site i saw some really cute things worth posting about




Michelle, my sister in-law is due with her third child in May, i found a stylish diaper bag
that is also affordable. this is a really cute website too.

This website is fun and affordable too....you can custom create your own onesies and tees for the little ones.  they are so stylish. with fun prints and colors.

 i like these ideas from chitty pulga, to teach the boys how to start to tie and lace and to encourage the artist at heart.
 
another cute diaper bag, also from chitty pulga

Monday, April 7, 2008

All Things Good

 
I am so excited that this book came in that i read it in less than 24 hours.  The author is from the  soulemama blog on my list.  She wrote a book filled with inspirational thoughts and Great ideas about connecting with your children through creative expressions of art, music, dress up, and so forth.  I now want to learn how to cross stitch and embroider.  I will let you know about the projects my boys an i partake in

On other news, i ran in another race Sat.  Another 5K put on by the Rotary Club of Bonita Springs.  I walked a few times, but ran faster than the first 5K a few weeks ago.  Abby beat me again, one of these days,  i will get in shape and catch up to her.  Thanks to Abby and Nicole for being my running partners.  There is a great sense of accomplishment when you finish the race.  I think we will do another one soon.

That same day, My family and Heather and her fam took jet ski's to lovers key.  Caeden got to ride on it with Daddy and they saw 6 dolphins right next to them. i wish i had pictures.

Unfortunately i lost to husband in the NCAA bracket competition.  I don't have Kansas or Memphis in the finals.  Mike at least had Kansas.  So i get to take him out to dinner to the place of his choice.  The final game is tonight on CBS at 9:21 pm i believe.  At the YMCA in Bonita, they have Basketball for 3-4 year olds starting in May.  We are thinking of letting Caeden participate.  He actually has good form when he shoots.  The games are Fri Nights at 6pm. I am not sure if they will let him, since he will be 3 a few days after the league starts.  What FUN!




Friday, April 4, 2008

what to do with hopes dresser

Hope has a vintage dresser in her bedroom and wants to know how to re-do it to match her cute from of black and white decor.
here are some examples of what to do.
first is interesting
second is definitely black
third a how to video
fourth not so much like her dresser, but really cool anyway.

is it a girl yet?



i found some wallpaper that is awesome for a little girls butterfly room. This Website has really pretty and chic fabrics and wallpaper, however i couldn't locate prices.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

thought for the day

" A real sign of spiritual maturity is looking to God not for comfort and convenience but for purpose and perspective.  Comfort and convenience lead to complacency.  When trouble comes, the complacent person becomes critical of everyone, including God. On the other hand, purpose and perspective lead to the perseverance that is evident in those living a truly devoted life.  The persistent person eagerly looks to handle trials and struggles in a way that honors God and allows personal growth."  Lysa Terkeurst

"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Rom. 5:3

I find myself wishing for the days when my life was easier; when i was more comfortable and didn't have so many daily struggles piled on top of each other.  But deep down i know that i don't want to be that person, because she didn't trust enough and wasn't ready to go on the risky road that is a true love relationship with God.  I want the thrill ride with Christ, but i also want it easy and you can't have both.  Life has been to rough lately, but i don't want to become critical and negative, instead i pray for perspective and growth.  I want the peace like a river, wild and refreshing all at the same time.  What is it going to take for me to be Radically Obedient and say YES to everything God wants and has for me!  I know that i can't say " I can't" any longer.  My life is coming to a cross road that says NO once and for all to the flesh and says YES i can because Christ is in me.  He is my portion! He is my Everything.  He is bigger than anything i will face.  I want a free heart, to be willing to face the end, but have HOPE because I have Christ.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

coconut cupckaes


So i made these cupcakes and they are literally so good that i had to post the recipe on the blog.  I like coconut, but Mike doesn't and he really enjoyed the cupcakes too.  I used store bought cream cheese frosting and a bag of sweetened shredded  coconut instead of the martha way of scraping the inside of a real coconut.  Martha Stewart said on her show that these are her favorite and I see why.  I think they are the best cupcake that I have eaten in a really long time.  I will upload my own pictures soon, when i get them from Stacy.  She and Heather helped make them too.  ENJOY!!


Ingredients

Makes 2 dozen

  • 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.
  4. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture; stir in shredded coconut.
  5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each with a heaping 1/4 cup batter. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Invert cupcakes onto rack; then reinvert and let cool completely, top sides up. Frost cupcakes with seven minute frosting, swirling to cover. Cupcakes may be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Garnish with fresh coconut just before serving.