Sunday, December 19, 2010
So, this year will be a totally different Christmas. Alina's first Christmas was coming home from the hospital at 2 days old. What a fantastic gift she was!!! The best gift ever, for sure.
Last year, she had just turned one. Once the present opening commenced, she got the idea pretty quickly and started enjoying the gift giving. However, she was still too small to really start any traditions, or do Christmas activities.
So, here we are...she will be two on the 23rd...TWO!!!! I cannot believe it! And then POOF! Christmas will be here again. I think I blinked and these two years just happened. We put up our little fake tree, and I got her to start getting ornaments out with me. She asks us to turn on the tree each day. Today we decorated some sugar cookies together. Alina had some FUN with the sprinkles! Wow. No bare cookies at our house!
What are YOUR Christmas traditions? I am always curious to know what others do as we try to plan ours. Creativity is not one of my gifts. But, I would love for Alina to know and understand the real reason for this holiday...Jesus Christ!
Have a BLESSED and MERRY Christmas!!!!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I honestly thought we would go on with just Maggie in our house. Maggie is our 13 year old lab that Josh got as a junior in high school!!! She is the sweetest thing, but since she is so old, she basically sleeps all day. The house was too quiet, and sad without another dog. Maggie even looked sad! So, we went to Petsmart "just to look." Well, all the dogs were barking...all, but one! We walked over to the quiet one, and she was so sweet. We got her out of the crate, walked her around the store...she was terrified! We brought Maggie to meet her, and they seemed okay together...but I was still too sad and emotional about Jack and could not make a decision. So, we went home...thought about it, prayed about it, sought some counsel from our parents, family and friends about it. We went and visited her another time at the shelter. WOW. The shelter broke my heart! There are SO many sweet dogs, cats and other animals being put down simply for the sake of space. The cutest puppies you have ever seen are sitting in their little crates. This is a loud place...all the dogs want to be heard and seen when people walk through the doors. They are BEGGING for love and attention! Some are even flailing themselves against the little fence doors to make sure you see them! The floors are concrete, they have no beds, except for an elevated wooden "bench." They are not taken outside enough since there are so many dogs, so they poop and pee in their little cubicles. I could hardly stand it. Well, we saw this dog again and decided to take her outside. WOW. The minute you take a dog out, all the other dogs get very jealous and start barking like crazy. It was so sad. I wanted to take them all out with us! Well, after this visit we thought we should bring Maggie to meet this dog one more time. So, the next day we brought Maggie, saw them interact....and we signed the papers and took her home! It feels SO GOOD to save an animal's life. This sweet dog had been there since August and she was probably on the "next to go" list. She is such a sweetheart.
Please, please, PLEASE go to your local animal shelters and look for an animal there before you pay someone a ton of money for a puppy, or kitten. Shelters DO have purebreds, they DO get all of their shots and immunizations, they DO spay and neuter them and they DO have SWEET dogs, puppies, cats and kittens alike. You can also look at the Human's Society, or places that work with the shelters as foster homes for pets. All of these ways are ways of saving another animal's life. For every space taken, is more room for another.
"The HSUS estimates that animal shelters care for 6-8 million dogs and Oh I could be a spokesperson for this. Haha. I just have such a strong belief in animal adoption. If you have any questions about it, please ask me. One day, we will have lots of land and foster dogs. It will be great.
cats every year in the United States, of whom approximately 3-4 million
are euthanized." If you are ready for the responsibility of a furry companion, ADOPT!
Anyways, here is the new Stone pup! She is about a year old. She is some kind of shepherd mix. She gets along well with Maggie, and Alina! She follows me around the house already. :o) We are working on a new name for her, so if you think of one, let me know!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Anyways, here it is....
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (4 oz) of chopped green chilies (near the Mexican foods in the grocery store)
3 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. ground Cumin
2 (16 oz) cans of Navy or Great Northern Beans (I use Great Northern)
1 (14 oz) can of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of finely chopped cooked chicken breast
~Shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
In a large skillet, cook onion in olive oil for 4 minutes, or until transparent. Add chilies, flour and cumin, cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add beans and chicken broth (do NOT drain beans), bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Add chicken, cook until hot.
OR if you want to use a crock pot -
Cook the chicken, and shred/cut it. Sautee' onions in the olive oil. Then put all of the ingredients in the crock pot and let it slowly simmer for several hours.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Taffy Apple Pizza
1 package (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed
3 medium Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup topping
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped (optional)
lemon juice (to put on the apples so they won't brown)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (or whatever the directions call for if you are baking individual cookies). Shape cookie dough into a ball and place in center of Large Round Stone; flatten slightly. Using lightly floured Baker's Roller(R), roll out dough to a 14-inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Bake 16-18 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes. Carefully loosen cookie from using Serrated Bread Knife; cool completely on baking stone. (This is where you can also buy refrigerated cookie dough, or cookie dough mix, make it and place the cookies on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven for however long the directions call for...this was quick for me...probably 7 0r 8 minutes of cooking if you buy the mix.)
2. Combine cream cheese, brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla in Small Batter Bowl; mix well. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cookie (once the cookies cool).
3. Peel, core and slice apples using Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer. Cut in half and arrange evenly over cream cheese mixture. (We dipped the apples in lemon juice so they wouldn't brown. I recommend doing this!)
4. Microwave ice cream topping on HIGH 30-45 seconds or until warm; drizzle evenly over apples. Chop peanuts using Food Chopper; sprinkle over apples. Cut into wedges. (Just FYI-I did not heat the caramel since I got the ice cream caramel topping in a plastic squeeze container, and I did not use peanuts in case anyone in my group had allergies.)
Yield: 16 servings (Or more if you do the individual cookie route. I recommend buying the cookie dough mix. It makes a lot more cookies, and is cheaper than the refrigerated dough! Or you can be Betty Crocker and make your own dough!)
Nutrients per serving: Calories 300, Total Fat 17 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 36 g, Protein 5 g, Sodium 270 mg, Fiber 1 g
Sunday, September 5, 2010
1/2 cup margarine
2/3 cup milk
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Spray bread machine with vegetable oil spray (very important step!!!)
2. Premix ingredients in order listed above. Place mixture in bread machine pan.
3. Select the Quick Bread/Cake cycle. Press Start. Check after one minute to make sure the mixture is well blended.
4. Cook until cake cycle stops. Remove pan, and cool completely before removing bread from pan.
5. Enjoy! (Alina LOVES this stuff! It's a great quick breakfast, or snack.)
Sunday, August 22, 2010
-2 pkgs of chopped broccoli, cooked
-2 eggs, beaten
-1 can of cream of mushroom soup
-1 tablespoon of onion, chopped or dry
-1 cup of mayonnaise
-1 cup of grated cheese
Mix broccoli, eggs, soup, onion, mayonnaise, and 3/4 cup of grated cheese. Put in casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and crumbs (up to 1 cup). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. ENJOY! :)
Sweet and Sour Pork Roast
-4-6lb boneless pork roast (okay, this much meat would be WAY too much for me and my fam, so get however much you want...and you can halve the recipe, or adjust it to the amount of meat you buy)
-1 jar Apricot Preserves
-1 Envelope of Dry Onion Soup Mix
-1 Bottle of French Dressing
-1 Cooking Bag (I get the Reynolds Cooking bags...make sure to look at the directions for the cooking bag and follow them! I know you will need 1tbsp of flour to put in it so it won't burst.)
Heat the preserves. Pour over the pork roast in the bag. Mix the soup and salad dressing. Pour over the preserves on the roast. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound (check the pork..sometimes it takes longer than this to cook). ENJOY! Oh and we usually eat this with a yummy broccoli casserole...I will post that next...
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Hey, Friends! Tweak this recipe however you like. That's what I LOVE about Rachael Ray recipes. They are easy, fast, and tweakable. :) For instance, with this recipe I do not use the edamame, scallions, or jalapeno pepper. I also use brown rice (in a bag), which I still boiled in chicken broth or stock to add a little more flavor. I also sprinkled a little teenie bit of ginger seasoning instead of buying ginger this time. I like to use what I have at home. All I had to buy this time was the pork chops. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have! (The juice it cooks in at the end is SO yummy. We keep what's left in the pot, and pour it over our pork and the rice.) Enjoy! :)
Teriyaki Pork Chops with Pineapple and Peppers
This traditional Asian pork dish served with rice and edamame is both sweet and spicy.
- 3 cups chicken stock, divided
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 small bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 4 thick-cut (1 1/2 inches thick) boneless pork shoulder chops
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 ripe pineapple, cut into chunks
- 2 red, orange or green bell peppers, cut into bite-size chunks
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce or reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
- Juice of 2 limes
- 3 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
- One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced crosswise
In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups chicken stock and 1 tablespoon oil to a boil. Stir in the rice and edamame and return to a boil, then cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked through, 15-18 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the scallions.
While the rice is working, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil, one turn of the pan, over high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook, turning once, until just done, 7-8 minutes. Transfer the chops to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, one turn of the pan, to the skillet. Add the pineapple, bell peppers and jalapeño pepper and cook until crisp-tender and the pineapple is browning at the edges, 3-4 minutes. Transfer the peppers and pineapple to the pork plate.
Lower the heat under the skillet to medium-high and add the remaining 1 cup chicken stock, teriyaki sauce, lime juice, honey and ginger. Cook until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Add the pork mixture, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with the scallion rice.
This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to www.yum-o.org.
Friday, July 30, 2010
I am sorry I have been such a horrible blogger. I guess I really thought no one read my blog, but since Leah does, and I live far away now, I promised I would do better.
That being said, I am trying to think of something to blog about. I do have new pictures of our little bug that need to be put on the computer. My daughter has hair now, so that is something new. She loves to dance, and play with her little friends. I start my new job mid August, and she will be attending a half-day "school" with one of her little friends. :) She is going to love it! So, this year will bring many new things.
We are sick of the heat here. Oh my word. This is the hottest place in NC. And the mosquitoes are ravenous birds. But we are here, and Joshua is loving school, and doing well at it. So, it will all be worth it!
Here is a pic of our little bug to hold you over until I get more on my computer. (The cute one up top.) :)
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Great Way to Get Kids to Eat Veggies
"This colorful sauce is a simpler, lighter version of the primavera sauce most often encountered. Feel free to substitute other veggies, as desired. As you will see, this makes a very large batch of pasta, enough for six to eight healthy appetites."
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rotini and cook until just tender, about 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 3 /4 cup of the cooking water, and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a 14-inch sauté pan over medium-high
heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until soft, 4 minutes. Add the 2 teaspoons salt, black pepper, and garlic, and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the squash and continue to cook, stirring as needed, for 2 minutes. Add the peas and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water to the sauce and cook until the pasta is heated through and the ingredients are well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil, if desired. Then drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil. Garnish with more cheese, if desired, and serve hot.
6 to 8 servings
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, from Emeril 20-40-60, HarperStudio Publishers, New York, 2009, copyright MSLO, Inc.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total: 30 minutes
Friday, April 30, 2010
In other news, many of you may have read on my Facebook page about Alina. She has been very congested here lately...allergies maybe? But it lead to some pretty scary croup this time. We ended up having to take her to the ER...and after many hours of waiting in the waiting room, they called us back. Alina was given a breathing treatment, and a HUGE steroid shot! Yowza. You should have seen the silent gawking taking place between Joshua and I when the nurse came in with that big shot. But, it was either that or give her oral steroids that she tried last time she was getting croup (and we caught it before it got too late in the evening)...which she threw up. (The oral stuff is NASTY!) So, she cried for a few seconds and then was walking around the room...happy. So, it was the right choice. She is still congested but no more croup for now!
Oh...yah...Alina is WALKING!!!!! YAHOOOOO!!!!! Here is a video clip if you'd like to see some of her skills. This was taken on my phone so the quality isn't outstanding but it will do for now...Enjoy!
Monday, March 29, 2010
BBQ Chicken Pizza (Weight Watchers 5 Pts Per Slice)
Recipe #239279 | 25 min | 15 min prep
(It's especially fast if you use precooked chicken.)
SERVES 6 (change servings and units)
* 1 Boboli whole wheat pizza crust
* 16 ounces chicken, cut into small pieces
* 6 tablespoons barbecue sauce (your favorite)
* 1/4 cup shredded lowfat mozzarella cheese
* 1/4 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
* 1/2 cup regular shredded cheddar cheese
* 1/2 large red onion
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Dice the onion and sauté the onion with 2 of the tablespoons of BBQ sauce. Add chicken and cook until chicken is cooked through.
2. Top your Boboli pizza with the remaining BBQ sauce, fat free cheddar, low fat mozzarella, onion chicken mixture, then the regular cheddar. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
I have used whole wheat and white pizza crust from the store, and it was good on both. It doesn't have to be Boboli brand. I really don't measure how much sauce or cheese I use when I am making it just for us, and tonight I didn't use the fat free or lowfat cheese. You can also use frozen chopped white onion if you'd like. I also use a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the crust, and a little when cooking the chicken too but you don't have to. Like I said, make it your own! And enjoy it!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
My Own Earth Hour
Written by Michelle Malkin
Tonight at 8:30 p.m. EDT, my house is going to be lit up brighter than Perth, Australia when John Glenn flew over in Friendship 7. Here’s why…
Another “Earth Hour” is upon us. This is the night we’re supposed to turn off all our lights in solidarity with… darkness, or something. It’s also symbolic of a desire to “take action on global climate change.”
I tend to get a little offended at these kinds of things. For one, in my house, we celebrate Earth Hour every day. We don’t leave lights on in rooms that nobody is in. We keep the thermostat fairly low (mostly because I’m usually too hot). We carpool when possible. We don’t waste gas. We pick up trash alongside the road when we’re walking. We volunteer to clean up the riverwalk, and we plant trees because we like trees — not because we’ve fooled ourselves into believing that planting trees is helping make Streisand’s environmentally-unfriendly concert tours carbon-neutral.
As such, I tend to get a little put off when being preached to by fat cats who swim in their own heated pools, travel in private jets, heat mansions they’re not even living in for months at a time and ride in limo caravans to speeches to tell the rest of us how our Chevy Cobalts, lawn mowers, hamburgers and light bulbs are killing the planet.
Additionally, I refuse to acknowledge, symbolically or otherwise, that electricity is the problem and that civilization can be saved by turning itself into North Korea for any length of time. The harnessing of electricity is among the greatest discoveries ever. It’s helped make the world safer and more sanitary. Electricity runs the equipment that is used to make the medicine that saves lives. It runs the cameras that allow us to see evils that are being perpetuated around the world that we might not have otherwise known about — except in North Korea, where you can’t see crimes at night because Earth Hour is mandatory 365 days a year. The list goes on. We should be celebrating electricity instead of pretending it’s some sort of cancer that needs to be cut out of our lives.
Somebody on Facebook’s Earth Hour 2010 page actually wrote, “I can’t wait to turn everything off tonight!” Well why don’t you just turn everything off now then, Tesla?
After Earth Hour is over, I pledge to turn my lights off for a full eight hours or so, just like we do every night, no doubt while Al Gore’s pool filter is still whirring away and outdoor flood lights protect his property. But during Earth Hour, we’ll have so many lights on that my family will have tan lines by the time the 60 minutes is up. I realize I’ll probably get hit with an Obamacare tanning bed tax, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay.
Quarterback Tom Brady and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bündchen, have also joined the crusade to turn off our lights — just not during one of the Patriots night games at Gillette Stadium that goes through enough electricity to power my house until well into the 24th century:
And certainly don’t shut those lights off at one of Gisele’s photo shoots — however, if we did, we might be able to extend the life of the polar ice caps by at least a decade:
My own theory for the thinking behind Earth Hour is that Al Gore and his fellow enviro-scammers have settled on going dark as the single best way to make sure nobody can see them pick-pocketing the world.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Alina and Daddy.
Alina and Mommy...and Giant Frog.
I loved how inquisitive she was about everything!
Alina and Da-Da on the beach.
Her Auntie Karen made her this one-of-a-kind sand chair.
She went from "sand is scary" to "let's throw sand on Da-Da."
This may have been about the point where we were ready to go. Sand in eyes, naptime...
Thanks for letting us stay with you, Auntie Karen!!! We love you!
Well, as some of you know my little sweetie pie has had another ear infection this week. This is only her third one, but if you have had a child with an ear infection, you know how miserable an experience it is...for the baby and for YOU! My usually super happy child was a super grump on Sunday evening through Tuesday. Thankfully, she is starting to feel a lot better. She has some strange red spots on her face that we are going to inquire about tomorrow from a dermatologist. (It is nice living in a medical community where the leader of your small group is a resident dermatologist that can get you an appointment in a day's notice.)
Anyways, my child has started hitting lately. And, I know this is very common with children her age...testing the limits, seeing what kind of reaction they can get, and that sort of thing. But, I am having difficulty knowing what to do about it. I believe in spanking...don't get me wrong...but does it make sense to spank, or "hit" in a sense, when the crime itself is hitting? I don't know if that is confusing to a child her age. Is time-out at this age effective? So, if you are a Mom, and are experiencing this problem, or have experienced this problem before...let me know what you do/did about it. I would love some ideas, opinions...advice! Thanks!
Friday, March 19, 2010
My mom gave me some Rachael Ray magazines (which some day I will subscribe to and receive regularly), which inspired me to cook. A lot of her recipes are using things you may already have around the house, or that you can go out and buy fairly inexpensively. Now, some of her recipes are NOT, so you have to be smart, and look for things. But anyways, a lot of her recipes you can make in 30 minutes or less...and she makes it look so easy. Here is one of her recipes, that is cheap, healthy, and easy to change around if you want to make it healthier, or simpler, or even more extravagant...AND the whole meal can be made and ready to eat in 30 minutes. FABULOUS. My husband talks about this meal all the time since it is so easy to make, and yummy! Try it out!
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken (or whatever kind of chicken you have, to shred. If you have to cook it, it will add a few extra steps and time to the preparation.)
1 cup frozen baby peas (You can use regular peas!)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional - I don't use it)
12 ounces of wagon wheels or other short pasta (like penne pasta)
1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1 tbsp. of butter
1. In large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and heat through. Stir in the peas, broth, garlic and cayenne and simmer until the broth has reduced slightly, about two minutes. Keep warm over low heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta for 5 minutes. Drain and add to the chicken. Stir in the 1/2 cup of cheese and butter and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, if necessary, and serve with additional parmesan.
You can probably make this even more healthy by using whole wheat pasta or low-fat cheese. I haven't tried that yet, but you never know! Hope you enjoy this easy, yummy meal! Thanks, Rachael!
Oh and remind me to post a yummy BBQ chicken pizza recipe I made for a weight watchers friend...that was SO yummy! That's right...pizza on a diet...and it was fabulous.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Well, here is a recipe we did for today's lunch. SO yummy! Even my "burgers are made of beef" hubby enjoyed them. So, here is a good recipe for some turkey burgers! By the way, this recipe was for an army and yields 12 burgers...so if you just want 4 or something, you're gonna use one pound of the turkey, and so on. If you wanna let the computer calculate for you, go to: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Actually-Delicious-Turkey-Burgers/Detail.aspx?src=etaf
and it should take you to this site. I use www.allrecipes.com for everything. It is great! You can type in ingredients you want, and don't want...and it will show you the results. You can read reviews which are very helpful...etc. I love it. Enjoy!
- 3 pounds ground turkey
- 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, mix ground turkey, seasoned bread crumbs, onion, egg whites, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Form into 12 patties.
- Cook the patties in a medium skillet over medium heat, turning once, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C).
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Anyways, Alina has had some ups and downs lately. She has been getting constipated a bunch over the last several months, but seems to be getting more regular thanks to some Miralax. Haha. She started standing up today! That was kind of a surprise. She has tried pulling up on furniture in the past but now if we are sitting on the floor with her, she will steady herself on our legs, and stand on up! We praise her a bunch and she is very excited about it. She is SUCH a happy, happy girl! We are enjoying her so very much!!!
Joshua has a 4.0 GPA...oh yah...my brilliant hubby is doing very well in school and still loving it! I am very proud of him, in case you can't tell. I hope he doesn't mind that I am telling the world his GPA, but I can't help it. I can brag. As for myself...I am still home with Alinabug, but am thinking about getting a part-time job, and looking into getting a masters degree for myself. So, a lot to think about...and pray about here. It is difficult when you have been home with your baby for a year, to think about getting back out to work or school even, but we will see where the Lord takes me in these next few months, or years.
Well, that was short but we are going to watch Julie&Julia and I am excited. Never seen it. We don't ever have date nights, so when the kiddo is in bed, it is nice to plop in a movie and pretend we are on a date. Hehe. Can't believe we will have been married 5 whole years in May. What a blessing! Okay, enough rambling for now...talk to you again in a few months...haha..just kidding.