Dec 31, 2009

Real Men Can Cook

Ta-Dah. Need I say more? After months of planning and dreaming it out in my head, countless hours of sewing and building, and a really handy hubby and his tools, our little manly kitchen for our little men got done...with some felt food to boot.

old entertainment center step aside and welcome
A Little Manly Kitchen

This particular project was my brain child. From the little man kitchen (seen a girl version done on the blogosphere) down to each of these meals (Breakfast of Champions in previous post). If you have any questions, just let me know. I am working on getting patterns and how-tos. I am super happy to share them with you, you just need to ask...and send gummy bears...kidding.

Second round of felt yummies already in the works...

Dec 29, 2009


This time of year is filled with so many traditions. We, like most families, have some of our very own that are fun and important to us. Here is a photo recap of some of our Christmas Eve Traditions.


wake up to find a maze of string that leads us to a new Christmas book, this year it was The Dinosaurs Night Before Christmas since our boys LOVE dinosaurs

make and frost sugar cookies for Santa

have a dinner of pizza and root beer floats

read the story of Jesus' birth and act it out with our Little Peoples Nativity (no photo...I don't know why)

write letters to Santa

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. To all our family...we sure missed each and everyone of you.

To all you wondering...yes I know you all and food got done. Will post my Christmas accomplishment later this week.

Dec 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas 2009! We had a great and somewhat eventful year, and if you are regular followers of this little piece of the blogoshpere, then you already know all the juicy in light of not wanting to be repetitive...there will be a lack of year recap in this holiday post.

Our little family would simply like to wish all of our friends and family, and strangers who wander here a very merry Christmas and a wonderful 2010.


Dec 17, 2009

My Own Dose of Holiday Cheer

I've been needing a little TRUE holiday cheer. I have been focusing too much on production of presents and that has been causing me stress. So imagine how happy my heart was when I got these pictures back from Cole's school holiday bazaar. Most of you know my kids DO NOT like to get up close and personal with the man in red. These are my very first pictures of my boys with Santa ( you can see Jack took some bribing candy cane in hand). My three little men are the best dose of holiday cheer. They are who I do all the crazy holiday plans for.

To pass on some further cheer, I also included their letters to Santa. Cole's is pretty clear (although stuffed whale was to tease Aunt Natters who hates whales). Jacks is a drawing of rockets. Have a great holiday rest of the week.

Also, because it is Recipe Thursday and I didn't post one last is a link for a yummy dessert picture or retyped recipe included...I know what a slacker! Trust me though it is delightfully awesome.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars

Dec 14, 2009

Technically challenged

SO I drew the pattern for this food last Thursday...I had this clever idea to make the felt food the "recipe" for recipe Thursday. Alas, nothing worked as planned. I tried just scanning it in and hoping it would print off if you clicked on the picture link in the blog. False. That route cut off a good majority of the pattern. Then I had a genius idea to upload it into google documents and link that. Mostly false, that worked except that it shrunk the pattern. I think I could still get that option to work if I had patience and wanted to split the pattern up and figure out the scale adjustments...see doesn't that already sound like too much work?

Someone graciously emailed me a link to a free pdf converter. It worked like a charm...except now I am not sure how to make that link show on a blog...if you even can. SO here is my solution, it does take some part on your behalf...

Email me if you would like this pattern:

I will then email you back this pattern in pdf format and then attach typed out instructions. This doesn't seem very efficient and I assume there is a better way. I will figure it all out, but my brain was starting to read "blah, blah, blah" as I was trying this morning, so I decided to take a break from the sleuthing.

So, if you want this pattern (giving me some much needed positive reinforcement), my email address is on the side of the blog. I check it all the time.

PS I have been creating some other foods as well and would be willing to make up patterns for those too depending on how the response for this is.

Dec 11, 2009

Breakfast of Champions...Pattern to Come meal down. When I finished this I may have actually giggled and clapped in glee. My favorite part might be the little pat of butter and syrup on the pancakes. I had a lot of fun creating this little meal for my little men. I know they are going to love it.

I can see it now...both of them cooking away in their play kitchen (handmade Christmas project numero uno) "frying" up some bacon and "flipping" up a couple of pancakes.

I have drawn up a pattern for this breakfast of champions. I even got close to being able to put it up on the blog (scanned/edited)...but I am figuring out the technical difficulties of doing so with out a pdf program. Any of you smarty pants out there feel free to shoot me an email telling me how to do it. I hope to have that up by Sunday.

Since a proper breakfast can't always be made...okay in our house never made, I also had to provide my boys with a quick breakfast of strawberry pop tarts.


Dec 9, 2009

Reunited and It Feels So Good...

Yes I have a new crafting companion. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, meet my new machine. As you can see our new relationship couldn't have happened at a better time. My Christmas present line up of felt food has been put on hold waiting for this thing. Now I can bust it least that is the plan. In fact, all my crafting dreams and plans have a better chance to see completion now that I have a machine that works.

Here is what is on my Christmas get done list:

Felt food-
an array of breakfast, lunch, dinner, sweets and groceries
so far I have 2 pancakes cut out and partially sewn, 2 strips of bacon cut out, 3 pop tarts bejewelled, and one pop tart done

groceries cut out

toys for Case

pj pants for boys

ties for boys

tree skirt

Did I just hear someone laugh at the ridiculousness of that list? Or did you laugh at my level of sanity??

Don't worry I am laughing too. Hey and guess what? I am under no delusion that this is all getting done, but a girl needs to set goals right.

Dec 7, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

Oh Christmas decorations, how I am grateful for you. You are really the only holiday decorations we have ever had. So remember how grateful I am for you even if my love has now run dry.

I have seen these decorations for 8 years and boy do they need some sprucing up. My original tastes have changed a bit. In fact, I left quite a few of our decorations in the box and sent them back downstairs. I had grand intentions of crafting some stuff up this year, but alas I am still WAY behind on doing the felt food project.

So our house may just look a little like Christmas this year, but that is okay. My crafty plans, well I can write them down and create another year.

Besides, our house may look less like Christmas this year...BUT we still have the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts and home, and I know it is cliche, but that is really what is most important.

Dec 3, 2009

Gobble Me Up...Some of That

Our Thanksgiving feast is starting to have some recurring appearances of certain delightfully yummy dishes. Here are some of our recurring stars: raspberry jello pretzel salad, spinach salad, garlic mashed potatoes, pumpkin praline cheesecake, and this scene stealer...

 Bacon Herb Turkey

I saw this on a Martha Stewart show a couple of years ago. It was being done with just a turkey breast but when I heard the word BACON I thought to myself..."self, everything is better with bacon...who says I can't do that with a regular turkey?" And then I swear I heard, "No one...just do it."

So without much ado...bacon lovers get your pens ready...not bacon lovers...wait is there such a person?
May I present....
Bacon with a side of Turkey

(I did this for a 20lb bird, adjust ingredients accordingly)
1 lb of bacon, cooked and crumbled
(bacon drippings reserved)
1 stick of butter, softened
3 T of minced garlic
4 T chopped fresh sage
2 T chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 T chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 T chopped fresh oregano
 4 T coarse salt
1 T black pepper

Start with a properly thawed bird. Prep it the way you would prep any turkey (aka remove all that stuff that shall not be named, from the place that shall not be name...eww) and place it in a roasting pan.

Chop up all of the fresh herbs. Mix softened butter with garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt, and all of the herbs, until you have a paste. Set aside.

Lift skin, gently from the entire breast of the turkey (yes this part is kind of gross too...not for the faint of heart). Once the skin has been loosened, take the paste and put it under the skin. Try to insert as evenly as possible. After the paste is evenly distributed, go ahead and take your hands out of the skin and press from the outside of the bird everywhere you put the paste...just making sure the good stuff is all pressed in.

Now as if the butter and bacon on the inside isn't good enough...take those reserved bacon drippings and go ahead...remembering that it is Thanksgiving and calories don't count today...and brush the turkey all over the outside. With it all coated, sprinkle with  rest of salt and pepper.

Cover with tin foil and cook at 375 for the recommended time for a turkey (at the weight you have) with no stuffing (here is a hint...this does vary between turkey companies, Martha, online guru's, you great aunt Betsy, and every cookbook known to remember to check the temperature of your bird. The goal is 165 degrees). Take foil off for the last 30 minutes allowing for a goldeny goodness.

Make sure to let your Bacon Bird rest about 20-30 minutes before cutting into it.

Can you smell that? Smells like love...all because a pig and turkey fell in love.

Dec 1, 2009


Need I say more.  Okay, so I still will. I am grateful to have had family here. Grateful for their love and support. I am grateful for this holiday season and what it implies. I am grateful that the turkey was done and ready pretty much on time. Grateful my hubby had some extra days off. I am grateful he let me decorate the table in a non-efficient-for-eating way. Grateful for all the extras that we have. Grateful. Wow am I grateful.

PS take a little time to check out the mugs of my cute boys in the above pic!

my table setting, I sure love it

Nov 24, 2009


Thanksgiving week is here. Most of my creative Thanksgiving crafts were put on hold. Oh well. BUT I did whip out a new harvesty center piece. Here are a couple of tricks for cheap center pieces.

Plastic that looks like glass...way cheaper
Craft stores in the ghetto
Fake gourds
A couple yards of clearance fabric, folded and ironed...nope not even sewn (sewing machine still MIA)

Now it is time for list making, cleaning, prepping, decoration, and more cleaning. I can almost smell the turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Nov 19, 2009

Could you rePITA that please?

Did you say you were hungry? You did...oh okay well here is an answer to your snack plea...Homemade pita chips.

My friend introduced me to these right after I had Case. I inhaled them in record time. I have been playing with the recipe ever since. Sometimes I change up the spices. Sometimes I cook them longer or shorter depending if I am in a crunchy or chewy mood. I have found my favorite spice combo, so that is what I will share today.

Take this recipe's basics and then experiment!!!

PS I LOVE these with homemade deli sandwiches. I feel so fancy.

Homemade Pita Chips

1 package of pitas
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp dried basil
pepper to taste ( I like a lot)

Preheat oven to 400. Cut pitas like you would a pizza, into triangular shapes. Mix oil, garlic salt, basil, and pepper in small bowl. Place pita pieces on a cooking sheet. Brush oil mixture over pitas ( you will probably have to keep mixing oil and spices together), reserve a little. Make sure to coat them well.

Put in oven. 6-7 minutes for chewier and 8-10 for crunchier. Flip chips over and brush reserve oil over the other side.


Nov 16, 2009

I Heart...

Felt food. I have had it mind to whip up some of this stuff for quite awhile. Tons of people have linked me to tons of great sites all offering felt food "how-tos". I am in the works of making some stuff for the boys' Christmas presents that will go with a little man kitchen (no pink and white gingham here). Most of my ideas have evolved from a picture I see or from my own noggin. BUT I realized that I needed a little guidance or "research" on the how to make it. SO with a gleeful giggle I present what I heart right now...

SERIOUSLY! AH-mazing right??? I think so. When I was dreaming up my felt menu, eggs and a carton were on it, but I had no idea how to pull it off. Yay to find this pattern. Go to her etsy shop and drool over her creative genius (click on Bugga Bugs above).

Now you get to wait in anticipation for my recreation of these and then my original creations of some other items...super excited to get them done.

Nov 12, 2009

Ahh the Memories

Every year for our birthday we got to choose what we wanted mom to make us...I almost always chose this...

Yep, yummers. Won Tons have become a family favorite in our house. I pretty much make sure I have a "birthday" every couple of months. As the years have gone on, I have adjusted it to fit what we had or what sounded good. We have also added Asian Spaghetti. This feast has become one of those recipes that I make by putting in a dash of that, a splash of this, a little more get the point. So I am trying my best to give it to you in measurements. I am giving 2 different recipes for the won tons and then a recipe for the Asian spaghetti. ENJOY.

Beef Won Tons

1 lb ground hamburger, cooked
3-4 green onions sliced
1/4 cup grated carrot (not the thick cheese grater, the tiny grater)
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 egg
won ton wrappers
oil, for frying

*instructions following pork recipe

Pork Won Tons

1 lb ground pork, cooked
3-4 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup grated carrot
1 tsp ginger paste (or equivalent ground)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 egg
won ton wrappers

Cook meat and drain. Stir in all other ingredients besides wrappers and oil. Place small spoonful of filling in center of wrapper. Fold burrito style. Seal final edge with water. Heat oil in deep sauce pan over med- med high heat.

Drop 3-4 won tons in oil at a time. Fry for about 20- 30 seconds, till golden. Remove and drain on napkin.

When all done, serve plain or with sweet and sour sauce...oh and a side of--

Asian Spaghetti

Spaghetti noodles, prepared per package OR Asian stir fry noodles, prepared per package
3-4 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 TBS sesame seeds

The ingredients to this will vary depending on the amount of noodles you like. This is for about half a box of normal sized spaghetti or one package of noodles.

Cook noodles per package, set aside. Heat up oil, enough to cover bottom of a large sauce pan or a stir fry wok. Sprinkle in sesame seeds and cook until seeds start to turn golden, which will take several minutes. Once seeds are golden, dump in spaghetti/noodles, green onions and soy sauce. Stir until evenly coated. Add more soy sauce if needed.

Now eat up. This is a great dish for entertaining and quite the crowd pleaser.

Nov 10, 2009

It's About Love

Most of you know my hubby is an adoption worker. He has been able to experience the joy that is adoption over the last four years through both adoptive couples and birth parents.

There have been several times over these past several years that I have been able to go to different Family Supporting Adoption activities/conferences with him. Every time my testimony and support of adoption grows even more. At the end of October, I was able to go to a regional FSA conference with him. Here families who have adopted, in the waiting part of adoption and/or are in the just starting phase of adoption gathered together for support and learning. The joy I saw in these families who were blessed through adoption still brings tears to my eyes. The longing that I saw in those families waiting brings even more tears.

One of my favorite parts of this conference was a birth grandparent (who I LOVE listening to...I have heard her story several times) talking about her family's experience with adoption and her love of adoption advocacy.

She shared the journey of her daughter deciding to place her baby for adoption. She openly shares the heartache that came with making a difficult decision to do what she knew was right. This decision was made because she LOVED her baby and wanted that baby to be raised in a home with a mom and dad. She knew there were things she alone could not provide. With complete and loving support from her parents, who also knew adoption was the best thing, their daughter was able to give her baby more. Heartache turned to joy, not only for the birth mom and her family, but also for a couple who had longed to add to their family. You can only imagine the testimony this birth family now has of adoption and the great adoption advocates they are.

The class was also about being an advocate of adoption. There are so many ways to be an advocate of adoption. I think the most important thing is to change the perception of adoption and to let people see how much love and courage is truly involved in these birth moms placing their sweet babies for adoption.

I just wanted to take some blog space and do a tiny advocating for adoption today. I know it is a very sensitive and tender topic, and all I want is to share my testimony and feelings on its importance.

I have seen the joy that comes from adoption. I have seen the hand of God in the miracle of adoption. I know that these birth moms are selflessly making the hardest decision they will ever make in placing a baby for adoption. It is selfless because they feel all the love a mother feels for her baby and because of that love they want more for that baby. Even amidst wanting more and having the small comfort that it is the right decision, it is still painful. It is selfless because even in that pain, she still thinks about her sweet baby more than herself and gives her baby more than she can offer...she gives her baby a mom and a dad. Nothing says it better than this...

Adoption- It's About Love

Love of a birth mom to want and give more to her baby. Love of a couple waiting and wanting to add to their family. Love of a birth mother's parents to encourage and support her in this most loving decision even if it is hard for them, for that baby is a part of them too. Love. It is all about love.

I am grateful that through my hubby's work I have been able to gain a better understanding and testimony of adoption. I know this will be just the beginning of my role as an adoption advocate, for when you know something is good and right, it seems only fitting to share the love.

A site I encourage you to visit is . November is National Adoption Month, do a little advocating yourself.

Share the LOVE.

Nov 9, 2009

Evening in Excellence and Other Stuff

Young Womens, Young Womens, Young Womens. Here is a post of some things we have done in the last couple of months.

Evening In Excellence

The theme for Evening in Excellence this year was Find A Treasure. It obviously centered around finding a treasure. We started the evening with a dessert bar of fondue and tons of yummy dip-ables. I wanted to start the evening with dessert so that we could end the night on a spiritual note. During dessert is also when everyone was able to walk around and see the girls' Personal Progress project displays.

At the end of the dessert portion, every girl opened up a treasure map that had been placed in a treasure chest on every table. The treasure map (which was just a simple download after googling treasure maps...I tried making my own but an hour later realized that was the least important thing to do right then) lead the girls to three different stops before the final treasure. Each stop was a room, marked with an image correlating with the clue. In the room was a leader who read a quote about their divine worth. The final room was marked with a giant red "X".

This room was decorated with tons of mirrors of all shapes and sizes. The purpose was to imply that the treasure was themselves. Once all the girls filed in, we had a guest speaker who centered her talk on the scripture Proverbs 31:10 combined with talking about their divine worth and recognizing that in a world that would have them forget it.

Each girl got to take home an individual mirror with a jeweled tag on the back that said, "Remember what a treasure you are".

The night truly was spectacular.

Another idea from our September activities--

The whole month of activities was geared toward learning about Joseph Smith and the time he lived
     learned to embroidery
learned about Emma Smith
     fact scavenger hunt
     the girls worked on individual projects to help them gain a testimony of him, which included learning a    hymn, drawing pictures, reading, embroidery

    the month ended with a program with guest speaker and musical number that was set perfectly to a section of the church produced film on the restoration

Some of the activities we have coming up:

making family trees and "remember when" books for each girls family
visiting a family history center
a progressive dinner at the leaders homes

Nov 5, 2009

Not Your Everyday Brownie

I heart brownies. Chewy, chocolatey, not-all-the-way-done brownies. I can make a pan and then be indignant when half of it is missing...and then chagrined when I realize I am the one who ate that half a pan.

So when I browsed this recipe from Picky Palate (ps if you want a sinful dessert just browse her concoctions) I knew I had to make it. Enjoy all of it's caramely, chocolatey, nutty, appley, cream cheesy goodness.

Roasted Apples and Cream Caramel Topped Brownies

I linked to her recipe, well because it is hers, and I am being a little lazy today and don't want to re-type out the recipe.

I will give you some hints...

use foil like she really does make them come out better
you can do it in a 9x13, just cook for less time
really do let them cool completely before pouring over caramel, it will stick better
I only used three apples

when you make them...make them for a function so they are not sitting on your counter daring you not to eat will lose.

Nov 2, 2009

Na-Nu Na-Nu

This year's Halloween came from one lone inspiration--an episode of Blue's Clues where Steve dressed up like an Alien with an attached UFO. Saw it a year ago and pistons firing ever since. Cole would be the alien, Jack an astronaut, and baby to be (obviously didn't know what we were having last year) would be a shooting star.

Ironically enough, the only costume that didn't turn out great was the alien...too many construction problems for too novice a sewer. Still, my boys looked pretty cute and we had a great Halloween (even though here they do it two nights before and call it Beggars Night...LAME-O).

Here is a little run down of Trick-or-Treating...

Spencer had to work
Hot gluing costumes minutes before leaving
Jack made it to one house then stayed in wagon rest of the time
Cole took off Alien head 5 houses in
I put it on
Cole took off Alien hands 6 houses in
I did not put them on
Cole now looks like a green hill beside a race track
Case had hacking cough
Case fell asleep in sling
Jack wanted a sucker
Jack lost his sucker
Jack wanted another one
I gave him another one
I asked Cole to ask for candy for Jack at every house
Cole got candy for Jack at almost every house
I found out at almost last house Cole was just asking for another piece of candy...not stating it was for his brother.
Whew we were done
Oh no...Case threw up all over the place.
Clean Case up
Go home
Go to sleep...
for 2 weeks.

if you are curious, yes I already have ideas for next year...hahaha

Oct 30, 2009

Blue's Party Final Installment

This was a really fun party to throw. Here is what we did for the party--

Welcome and wait for all the kids to arrive with coloring pages of blue.

Took pictures of each kid with Joe in front of (plastic table cloth) Blue's house. Talked about Blue's Clue and that we needed to use Blue's Clues to find out what Blue's favorite part of Jack's bday is.

First Activity Built Tickety the Clock from paper plates and paper...lead to finding first clue on a paper plate.

Got handy dandy notebooks from side table drawer and drew first clue.

Second Activity played musical paw prints. Each child stood on a paw print with a number on it. There were matching numbers in a bag. Music started kids walked around. Music stopped and so did kids. I pulled a number out of the hat, whichever child was standing on that number got a piece of candy. Went as many times as all kids got two turns....lead to second clue on a number candle.

Drew second clue.

Third Activity was mail time. We sang the mail song. Each child had their own envelope with Shovel inside. Then we matched up Shovel to a giant Pail that was on the wall (a little like pin the tail on the donkey). At the end of this activity it lead to third clue on a yellow fork.

Drew third clue.

Now that we had all three clues we sat in thinking chair and figured out that Blue's favorite thing at Jack's birthday party was Eating Birthday Cake.

Had birthday cake.

Opened presents.

Handed out goodie bags (light blue bags with dark blue spots), which had

     Blue cake pops
     felt finger puppets
     3 coloring pages of Blue
     4 crayons

Said our "thank yous" and "good byes"

Mom promptly collapsed on couch.

I am super happy to share any and all details on how to pull all of these ideas off. If you want more detail on any part of this party feel free to email me see side of blog.

Oct 28, 2009

Little Love My Way

My friend (who makes awesome cakes, way more awesomer totally a word than me) told me to submit my Blue's Clue's cake to I debated, most of you know my inability to do something with out getting all twisted up about it not being good enough to do that...yes I am working on it.

So in working on it I totally submitted it to this site. Yay it was accepted and even more yay it totally already has some comments, totally sweet to have a little love sent my way from complete strangers. Don't get me wrong friends and fam...I love your comments and positive reinforcement, but you have to say it, you love me because you are my friends and fam.

Here is the site link.

More party pics to come soon.

Oct 26, 2009

Party Reveal Numero Uno

Short on time...and wits...these days. Taking a smidgen of a break from costume "throwing together" to gather my mind and decided to do that with blogging...the smartest idea...not sure. Maybe next time I will put up my feet and sip some crystal light.

Crystal light next time. This time I will post a wee bit of Jack's party.

Will say it again, plastic table cloths can be made into anything!

Blue's House

Thinking Chair
...with appearance from Side Table Drawer

Spencer...I mean Joe
so not everything can be made out of plastic table cloths

Oct 22, 2009

33 Minutes Left of Recipe Thursday

Today...okay so the last 3 days have been recipes for disaster kind of days. Blame it on all the stuff on the to-do list. Blame it on rotating sickness that is not the swine flu (anyone tired of hearing about this?). Blame it on a serious lack of sleep. Blame it on realizing out of three Halloween costumes I am making, I have -oh wait- NONE done.

So tonight after an hour of shuffling between kiddos rooms trying to get them all to sleep (hubby had a mtg), not eating dinner until after 8, and reflecting on all left to do (yes I know of my own doing) RECIPE for not tasting the crazies was tasting the rainbow.

Now no one fret about the state of my emotions...I am really just dandy...see skittles working already. So here is my actual recipe. Here is my "Fall I Embrace Thee" soup...aka Baked Potato Soup.

2-3 potatoes, baked
3 T butter
1 cup onion, chopped
2 T flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cups instant mashed potatoes
1 t salt
3/4 t pepper
1/8 t thyme
1/2 t basil
1 cup half-and-half

Melt butter in stock pot, saute onions until light brown. Add flour to onions and cook 1-2 minutes. Add broth, water, cornstarch, mashed potatoes and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Cut baked potatoes in half, scoring into cubes and then scoop out the cubes into soup. Add the half-and-half. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Top with shredded cheese, green onions, bacon and sour cream.

Here is to tomorrow.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...