Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Playing Cards

This is from a few weeks ago (I just got all the video off my camera so expect a few) and you can see Adam wanted to help Tim play rummy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Adam's WALKING!

How'd my baby get so big? Adam is just starting to walk on his own! I just uploaded a bunch of videos so expect more over the next few days.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Carnival of Recipes

The newest Carnival of Recipes is now up at Nerd Family Food.

Palin and Down's Syndrome

This is a really great story about Palin stopping to meet a Down's Syndrome family.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

S'mores Brownies

This took me FOUR batches, but I think I have a winner! I wanted a new recipes for my jar gifts this year and found a recipe for Rocky Road Brownies, but I DETEST nuts, so I decided to try to convert this a bit. So first, I decided to leave out the nuts and fill it in with more chocolate chips, but the first batch I dropped part of the teaspoon into and so baked plastic into it. So that went into the garbage, but the second came out. That one was too chocolately. So I made another batch, this time just omitting the nuts and not adding anything, but it was still pretty over chocolated, so I decided to add graham crackers in place of the nuts (like s'mores) and this was a winner. I still think they were a little runny, but I'm not a good brownie maker, so I think that will eventually fix itself. Here is the finished recipe:


S'mores Brownies Mix
Modified from Gifts in a Jar: Brownies
This was originally Rocky Road Brownies

1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
¾ cup coarsely smashed graham crackers (approx. 4 pieces - put these into a zipper bag and just crumble with your hands and then dump in)
½ cup flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup mini marshmallows

Layer all but the marshmallows into a jar attractively. Put marshmallows in zipper bag. Put on top of rest before you seal the jar.

Attach gift tag with cooking directions.

Cooking Directions:
1 jar of S'mores Brownie Mix
½ cup butter, melted
¼ cup buttermilk (3/4 tsp lemon juice and fill rest of 1/4 cup with regular milk if you don't have buttermilk in the house and won't use the rest - like me! Or you can use powdered buttermilk, which I have because of apple cider doughnuts, which are are awesome - I'll be making those once cider comes out.)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8 by 8 pan.

Set marshmallows aside and put rest of the jar into a mixing bowl. Add melted butter, buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Stir until blended.

Spread into a pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with marshmallows. Bake 3-5 more minutes or until marshmallows are puffed and slightly melted. Cool in pan on wire rack. [This is really hard to cut because of the marshmallows...the picture was all nice and even...I'm not sure if they undercooked them or what, but this was a very messy!]

Makes 16 brownies.

Scottish Highlands

Billy forwarded me some Scottish photos - isn't this gorgeous?

Some Good Palin Cartoons



The Mayonaisse Jar & 2 Beers

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff. 'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

'Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner.

Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.'

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baby Einstein

I LOVE Baby Einstein. Seriously, it is awesome! I wasn't too sold on it originally thinking that maybe older kids would like it, but not babies. But babies (at least Adam) loves it - he will actually watch it for about 5 minutes at a time (an eternity for a baby). It works great for me when I need to do something (like eat dinner) and need him to be distracted for about 15 minutes. He loves it and since we only use it sparingly, it seems to work perfectly. Definitely a must for new moms!

On the Road

I'm on my way to ND for a math conference. Grandma and Grandpa are driving home, so they are dropping me off and I'm going to fly home from Fargo. We are in Austin, MN right now (I'm at the public library) visiting my great-great aunt (seriously).

I talked to Ray last night - my baby is missing me! I almost caved and insisted he go with us, but the trip would be too hard on him and he is getting some quality Daddy time. But since Daddy has to teach classes, we have friends watching him at night and it is his first real baby-sitters, so he isn't used to it. I guess he complained most of the night for Mo last night - just wanted Mommy or Daddy. I go home on Sunday and I already can't wait to hug him again. He needs me!

But this is a good resume builder for me plus it will help me keep abreast on my teaching. Plus I am really enjoying the trip with my grandparents - I just want Adam here too!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Adam Update

I think Adam is finally mostly over his cold. He's had a bad cough and so hasn't been sleeping well and is finally back on a normal sleeping schedule, which is going to help speed his recovery (and make my life easier). We have company right now - my grandparents are here! Yah!

Helping around the yard (Grandpa's shirt says Wasilla: Home of Sarah Palin and the Warriors by the way)Sacked out with Great-Grandpa

Helping Great-Grandma Rake

Scattergories

SCATTERGORIES...it's harder than it looks! Hit Forward, erase my answers, enter yours, and blog it (this was a forward). Use the 1st letter of your name to answer the following. They have to be real places, names, things. Nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME? Jennie

A FOUR LETTER WORD: john

BOY NAME : James

GIRL NAME: Julie

OCCUPATION: Jailor

A COLOR: Jade (green)

SOMETHING YOU WEAR: jeans

BEVERAGE: julep (like mint julep)

FOOD: Juneberries

SOMETHING FOUND IN A BATHROOM: Jaffra (my mother uses this brand of face stuff)

A PLACE: Johannesburg (South Africa)

REASON FOR BEING LATE: Just missed the bus

SOMETHING YOU SHOUT: Justice For All!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weather

We've had some nasty weather here tonight. Everyone around us lost power, but so far, we've kept it. Hopefully we won't lose it. A lot of people lost trees tonight.

Barley Chili

I hate, detest, abhor all beans but green beans, so I hate most chili recipes (although REAL chili has no beans, it seems everyone puts the disgusting things in chili!). Anyway, this recipe for barley chili is just divine! Ray and I both loved it and really it is very easy. A little prep work and then just an hour of simmering. Perfect as the weather is getting colder - that barley really makes this hearty!

Barley Chili
Modified from Cooking for 2

1/2 lb ground beef [this is a two person magazine, but I freeze all my hamburger in 1 lb packs so I doubled this recipe]
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp flour
4 cups water
1/3 cup medium pearl barley
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp beef bouillon granules (the bouillon cubes you buy to make broth (I buy mine at Sam's Club in bulk) are 1 tsp if you smash them (a big pot works well).)
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried oregano

In a large pot, cook beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in flour. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until barley is tender (and 1 hour worked well for me).

Makes 3 cups.

Stuffed Zucchini

I'm still working on new recipes with all that zucchini from the garden. This one - Stuffed Zucchini - is definitely a winner! Both Ray and I loved it! It also is all on the stovetop or the microwave so very easy and fast.

Stuffed Zucchini
Modified from Simple and Delicious

4 medium zucchini (okay, I used some from my garden and did only two of what I considered fairly small zucchini and made all of the filling, but probably used over half of it, so this really is going to depend on the size of zucchini.)
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 egg
3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; cut a think slice from the bottom of each with a sharp knife to allow zucchini to sit flat. Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4 inch shells (this bugs me as waste, so I might use the pulp to make zucchini bread next time).

Place shells on microwave safe dish. (I don't know what size their microwave is as they were using a 13 by 9 dish...which will NOT fit in MY regular microwave...I just used a plate and for my two, I was able to put all four halves on it...if you are making 4 you might need to do this in stages.) Turn off turntable. Cover and cook on high for 3 minutes to until crisp tender. Drain and set aside. (I didn't have to drain anything out of mine - I'm assuming they mean water).
Meanwhile in large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain. Remove from heat and stir in egg, marinara sauce, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of the cheese.

Fill each shell (they say 1/4 cup each). Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese (like I actually measured this...just get cheese over the top). Microwave 3-4 minutes longer or until the filling is 160 (and I did actually measure this and it was well over with this microwaving time) and the zucchini are tender.

Serve with additional marinara sauce (this is really good).

Make 4 servings (We only did 2 zucchini and if you have a side (which you usually do with dinner), we found a half was enough for one person rather than two halves).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mamie

With the election in full swing I'm going to repost something I posted a year or so ago. It is a letter written by Mamie Eisenhower on the importance of voting - I can't stress how important voting is. If every person who complained voted, we could see change. I firmly believe if you don't vote, you have NO RIGHT to complain about ANYTHING the government does because you THREW away that right when you didn't vote. You'll see my opinion of voting hasn't changed.

From June 4, 2007:
I found this article in the November 1952 issue of Good Housekeeping and thought it was worth sharing. I like it for how it shows Mamie Eisenhower's personality, but also its message. First look at the percentage of voters it quotes - and although 2004 was a "good" year, it still wasn't that good! People are continually complaining about the government and its officials - especially President Bush. While I can't say that President Bush is always among my favorite people, since I voted, I have the right to complain! Doesn't matter WHO I voted for - just that I made a choice and went out and cast a ballot. For those of you who didn't bother to vote - you can just SHUT UP. If you don't vote, you lost your right to complain because you didn't DO anything about the elected officials. Yes, I'm on a rant, but it's a valid one. If everyone who didn't vote because "what does one vote matter?" actually voted, we'd make a huge difference! If elected officials were actually afraid of being booted for voting against popular opinion, they'd change their tune quickly! Anyway, enjoy the article!

Vote for my husband or for Governor Stevenson, but please vote”
by Mamie Eisenhower

When Good Housekeeping asked me to write this piece, my initial reaction was to say an immediate an emphatic “No, thanks.”

I am not a writer.

And then I changed my mind – about this article, anyway. I said “Yes” because of a letter I received from a young girl whom I do not know, have never seen. Here is what she wrote:

Dear Mrs. Eisenhower:
I live with my parents and I am a high-school senior. Although my fellow students and I like to have as much fun as anybody our age, we still have a serious side. Most of our boy friends are now about 18 – old enough to fight, but oddly enough not considered old enough to vote! As a matter of fact, my own boy friend has just been drafted.

Because your son, John, is now in Korea, I thought you of all important Americans would understand what I am going to say. I feel so useless at home, not being about to do anything. Besides, I read that during the last presidential election (when I was still in grammar school) only half of the eligible voting public ever got to the polls! I don’t think this should happen again, so I’ve dreamed up a way to help. On Election Day I am offering my services for free (baby sitting, dishwashing, cleaning house) to any neighborhood mother or wife so she can get out and cast her vote. I talked the scheme over with my girl friends, and they agreed to join me in this teen-age crusade.

But I’d like to reach more people. That is why I am writing this letter. Through you – perhaps – my idea could spread to other towns and other teen-agers.

Respectfully,
Jeannie C-

I am proud to publicize Jeanie’s letter. I hope other teenagers will follow her example. Our sober-thinking young people put to shame the kind of woman who claims she has no time to vote, or who argues “What does one vote matter?” With the right to vote goes a public trust that must be exercised just as surely as any official must exercise his.

During the past year when my husband’s title was Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, I recall walking in Paris and seeing what looked to be window boxes smack against the cement subway wall. I thought, How clever the French are with their flowers. Then I went closer. Though the flowers were still beautiful, I saw they had a purpose. I didn’t have to know much French to understand: Above the buds were seven plagues in memory of six boys and a girl, their ages ranging from eighteen to twenty-two, each shot to death on that spot, August, 1944. Their markers face the Place de la Concorde, where Marie Antoinette lost her royal head, but somehow Marie Antoinette did not concern me; it was those young others dying in my time and even in Jeanie’s time in grammar school. I stood still, as every woman stands when she sees those markers, and I closed my eyes and prayed to God,” Please don’t let this happen again!”

I believe one way to keep it from happening is to use your vote. Whether your ballot goes for an Eisenhower or a Stevenson, cast it. Cast it while you thank your stars you live in a land where you have the privilege of declaring your choice.

Rachael Ray Blog

I found this cool Rachael Ray blog and sent in a blog entry of mine about a recipe and they mentioned it. It isn't actually affiliated with Rachael Ray at all, but is a neat recipe review place.

Us

Well, Adam is now sick. So Ray can't say Adam gave him the cold as he has now given it to Adam. It's just a cold, but the poor little baby doesn't understand and he's just crabby. He's hopefully napping right now and will wake up feeling a little better. He has been really off schedule. Ray is getting better and so far I haven't gotten it...let's hope it stays that way!

Its pouring here and really pretty blah. Anyway, just a quick update from our land.

Adam Pictures

Does he look grown up in that outfit?
Playing with his dump truck from Aunt Maureen

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Tomorrow"

Well, today was slightly better. I did just end up refunding the annoying book buyer although I think it was her fault - she provided the wrong shipping address according to Amazon and then is complaining they didn't figure it out FOR her. Anyway, I'll probably never get the book actually returned, but I can hope maybe eventually.

Ray is still sick (and was late home due to flight team practice..which doesn't really help) and I woke up with a headache (which is the like the worst feeling in the world). I took medicine and that went away, but the day just wasn't great. I finally got my fax, but it was a huge production. I also ended up waiting on another fax, although this student was much more together and it was fairly easy. I had to go to the PO, but because of time had to drive, not walk. I could have used the walk.

Oh, well, maybe TOMORROW will be better. Have to balance the checkbook tomorrow...that will royally suck, but oh, well. If I get it done, it will at least be an accomplishment. I did get out my fall decorations out today and they look nice. Pork chops tomorrow for dinner...hopefully I'll actually get them done for dinner tomorrow not at 10:30 at night.

New Recipe Carnival

The new recipe carnival is up at Busy Family Meals.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Even Worse

So my day continues to worsen. I check my regular email...I have an Amazon buyer saying I shipped to the wrong addres but I shipped where Amazon told me to! She says it is her credit card address....well, I don't get that information!! That's why it is SECURE!!

Then the baby is up and down...hopefully not getting what Ray is getting.

I also found out I have the wrong link for Utopia posted in my Western Civ II class...the one I posted is in Latin! So I had to find the right link and then repost everywhere and send out emails...hopefully I caught all the places.

Well, I'm going to TRY to take a shower and go to bed. We'll see if this works.

Today

Today has just gone downhill. It really was a pretty good day and the weather was even looking up. BUT I had a student supposed to fax who never did, so I was home all day for no reason (I wanted to take Adam on a long walk, but didn't want to miss the fax). Then Ray came home sick (hopefully he'll be better in the morning), my head started hurting pretty badly and the cat was even misbehaving! UGH!! I also got dinner started really late so I was finishing it at 10:30 at night (I ate something else tonight and will eat it tomorrow....Ray always gets leftovers due to his current work schedule - he is teaching night classes). Then I got Adam to bed (Ray went early because he was sick and hopefully is sleeping good) and still had to clean the kitchen and check into my work email. As a note, still haven't heard from said student. Well, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Review of Palin's Speech

I got this from Ohio Right to Life, who got it from The Sun:
Today she is the most talked-about woman in the world. And with good reason.

Sarah Palin's sensational performance at the Republican Party Convention may turn out to be the tipping point of this rollercoaster American election.

Obama fans hoping she would fluff her big night were in for a nasty shock.

This speech has turned the election upside down. It was simply stunning.

Democrats and their Lefty media backers had been sneering that she was a small town nobody, a hick from the Alaskan sticks put into a job way beyond an inexperienced woman.

Believe me, you will not be hearing that again.

Palin turned out to be an electrifying mix of intelligence, passion, energy, optimism and plain speaking.

Full of self-assurance and aggression, she popped Barack's balloon big-time.

From the moment she walked on stage in this cavernous bear pit, bandbox smart in cream jacket, trim black skirt and black heels, she proved that John McCain knew exactly what he was doing when he picked her as running mate.

Hair piled into a slight beehive – more Sarah White House than Amy Winehouse – she blinked and smiled behind her geeky spectacles as the vast crowd went ballistic.

For an unpopular party divided over Iraq and struggling to compete with Obama's Messianic glamour, the choice of Palin looks absolutely inspired.

Main Street America will have loved her performance.

And it was seen by 30 million voters – the greatest number ever to watch a candidate for the much-derided VP post.

She is popular with voters for the very reason America 's snooty political establishment despises her: She isn't one of the Washington gang.

She's a moose-hunting mum of five with a sledge-load of problems behind her own front door that workaday Americans can relate to.

A child with special needs. A daughter of 17 pregnant. A constant juggle between family and career.

As she said, her family has had its ups and downs like any other.

Last night her first task was to introduce herself and her family to an American public incredulous that the unknown Alaska governor could within weeks be a heartbeat away from being their commander in chief.

Compared to the journeyman career politicians dominating both parties here she seemed fresh, natural, one of us and not one of them.

She spoke to America as one mum to another. She cracked good jokes.

What's the difference between a hockey mum and a pit bull?, she asked.

Answer: One wears lipstick.

What will have scared the enemy camp most is the devastating series of prime-time punches she landed on the jutting Obama jaw.

Showing steel beneath her magnolia jacket, she slaughtered his lack of experience, his vanity, his emptiness beneath the windy waffle.

It was the most powerful demolition of the Democrat hero I have heard in two weeks on the US election trail.

The St Paul audience adored her.

When she duffed up the Lefty media commentators for their sexist sneers, the vast crowd roared approval and pointed in anger at the titans of the American press aloof in their special enclosure.

And quite right too: who ever asked whether Obama could still be a good dad if he became president?

The irony, as Palin pointed out, is that liberal media sniping has only succeeded in uniting Republicans behind her.

The wagons have been drawn up and the Republicans are ready for battle.

The McCain-Palin ticket now looks in exciting shape.

A war hero and a heroic mum. Experience and optimism. A man and a woman.

And when McCain joined the Palin gang – babies and boyfriends and all – on stage after her
speech there was a sense of cheeky fun absent from last week's solemn Obama coronation.

How the Democrats must be regretting Hillary isn't running with Obama. Barack's sidekick Joe Biden looks a dull old dog compared with the ball of fire that is Palin.

But most fascinating of all, consider this: If Obama loses, Hillary Clinton will run in 2012. Opposing her is sure to be Sarah Palin.

That would guarantee America its first woman president.

And my fistful of dollars, having seen both in action here, would be on Palin.

Sarah Palin

I would just like to state my support of Palin for Vice President here. I would also like to really comment that I'm sick of all the comments about her not fulfilling her role at home. The women's movement has been triumphing for years that a woman can be more than just a homemaker. The ideal is of a marriage of equals, where both partners work and both partners take care of the kids. The Palins are actually trying to do this and so you have a successful woman, who does have kids at home. Isn't that what you say she should be doing? Not letting family obligations be her entire life? Yet she is getting criticized by these same people for doing just that? What hypocrites! She didn't need to kill any of her children to be successful either. She is proving it and now they are just being sour grapes because she is proving their pro-"choice" movement is just a pro-death movement.

Yes, her daughter is pregnant. But we all know that could have happened if she had never entered politics! It can happen in any family, whether we want to admit it or not. And her daughter seems to be stepping up and facing the consequences of having sex. If you have sex, you need to be willing to deal with the consequences. If you don't want to, it is easy - DO NOT HAVE SEX. I say her daughter is stepping up and therefore proving her parents did a good job of raising her to face the consequences of her actions. And yes, Palin has a special needs child - again should her life stop because of this? No and it seems she is stepping up to do the best by the child as is her entire family - again this is a great thing. So why are they complaining? Oh, yes, they don't like that she is proving them wrong. Murdering children isn't necessary for women to succeed....big shock there for all of them.

SO GO SARAH!!!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lasagna Bowls...NOT!

I tried this Racheal Ray recipe I saw awhile ago for dinner one night - lasagna bowls. I thought it was a cool idea, but this does NOT taste like lasagna. It is good - just not any lasagna I'm used to! Now I admit, my version of lasagna really doesn't either, but then I'm not a chef!

Lasagna (NOT) Bowls
From Rachael Ray's 30 Minutes Meals [TV]

Salt
1 pound pasta (curly is recommended - she has a specific kind....I just used what was in my cabinet)
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 pound bacon (she used pancetta...way too cheap for that...I actually looked this time...yeah and laughed at the price)
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 large carrot, peeled and grated or finely chopped
1 small to medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon allspice,
pepper to taste
1 bay leaf 3 tablespoons tomato paste (I just used a full can of tomato paste - they are so small anyway)
1/2 cup dry red wine [I used Merlot...had it in the fridge from another cooking experiment and just wanted to get rid of it....most of the reason for trying this now.]
2 cups beef stock (I just make this with the bullion cubes from Sam's Club)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Nutmeg, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (she used fancy stuff, I didn't)
A handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped (which I didn't use)

Heat large pot of water to a boil, salt water and cook pasta.

While pasta water comes to a boil, heat oil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat, add bacon and render 2 to 3 minutes then add meat and break up as it browns. When the meat has begun to caramelize and develops a nice brown color, 4 to 5 minutes, add carrot, onion, 2 cloves of garlic, allspice, salt and pepper and a bay leaf. Cook 3 to 4 minutes more to soften onions and carrots bits then stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in wine and cook out 1 minute then stir in stock and reduce heat to simmer.

While red sauce cooks, sauté the last clove of garlic. Melt butter in pot over medium heat. Add in flour and whisk together a minute or so then whisk in milk and bring to a bubble, reduce heat then season sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, thicken 8 to 10 minutes.

Toss pasta with white sauce and 1/2 cup grated cheese. Serve pasta in individual bowls and top with a ladle of meat sauce in the middle of the bowl for mixing in. Garnish with parsley, if you like.

Brunch

I made this french toast casserole on Sunday after Mass. The nice thing is that you make it ahead and just bake it when you get home. The boys didn't like this although us girls did. But we even agreed it will need some tweaking. I like the idea of a brunch casserole, though, so I might try this again later. You'll see my comments on what I'm thinking of changing (or you can try it as is).

French Toast Strata
From the Longaberger Catalog [yes, strange place...they are pushing their new casserole line]

1 (1 lb) loaf un-sliced French bread (we actually used Tuscan bread...you just want chewy)
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cubed [I thought this would melt in, but it doesn't, so next time I'm giong to mix this in with the custard rather than cubing it.]
2 1/2 cups milk [half this...this was just too mushy on bottom]
8 eggs [half this...this was just too mushy on bottom]
6 tbsp butter, melted [half this...this was just too mushy on bottom]
1/4 cup maple syrup [half this...this was just too mushy on bottom]

Cube bread. Grease 9 by 13 casserole dish. Put in half of the bread cubes. Top with cream cheese cubes (so I won't next time) and then with remaining bread. In a bowl, mix eggs, milk, butter and syrup (cream cheese...and I'm halving this). Pour over dish. Lightly press down to moisten. Cover and refrigerate for 2-24 hours (I also might try baking immediately). Bake uncovered at 325 for 35-40 minutes or until center is set and the edges are golden brown. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving with syrup. Makes 6-8 servings.

Soup Diaster

I had soup in the crock pot for Friday night when they arrived. We ended up at the English Pub, why you ask? Well, I put the soup on and turned the crock pot on....but I never plugged it in! So it wasn't done. We've had this soup before and it was good then, but it wasn't that good when Ray and I ate the leftovers. I think it was a combination of a lof factors: sitting on the counter for several hours, slightly frozen chicken (so extra water), etc, etc. Just not a good day for soup. But I'm sharing the recipes beacuse, as I said, we've had it before and it was good then.

Chicken and Vegetable Tortellini Stew
Modified from Slow Cooker

***needs a crock pot***

2 medium carrots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb boneless chicken, cut into chunks
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
2 cups water
1 (9 oz) pkg. Refrigerated cheese filled tortellini
2 green onions, sliced (or actual onions)
1 tsp dried basil

In slow cooker, layer carrots, garlic and chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour broth and water over top. Stir to combine. Cover, cook on Low for 6-8 hours. About 20 minutes before serving, stir tortellini and basil into chicken mixture, increase heat to high, cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until tortellini are tender.

You can sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. You can also put in a can of beans, a medium fennel bulb and baby spinach (add last), but except fennel (which is a pain to deal with), we don't like the rest (the spinach we like...just only raw!).

Makes 6 servings.

Sweet Tea

I'm addicted to McDonald's sweet tea, but that means I have to figure out how to make it at home as anything in a restaurant I can do better. So I did a little reseach as I didn't figure this was hard and got just as good them!


Southern Sweet Tea
From several Internet sites

8 regular sized tea bags
2 cups cold water plus plus more to fill pitcher
1 cup of sugar

Place two cups of water in pat and add the tea bags. Bring to a boil, do not continue boiling. Remove from heat and let steep (about 5 minutes). Pour warm tea into an empty pitcher. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Fill remaining pitcher with cold water.

The main thing is you have to boil the tea to get that right taste. If I made plain iced tea, I just dump tea bags in warm water, seep awhile and then cool. That is nice though if you want to allow people to pick their own sweetness.

This Year's Moose


"The Kids"

Adam's new walker - a box - much easier to go where he wants and go from walking to crawling.
Olga's new hiding spot from Adam

My Adam Book

This is a cool picture frame set someone gave me and I finally got "Adam by the month" as the 7 month picture filled it out. Now I have to decide if I'm starting over again or leaving it.


Colonists

My great-grandparents were colonists in 1935 to Alaska - anyway, Grandma Cottle (so their daughter) loaned some books to my mother-in-law for genealogy and Dave gave them back and I was doing a little scanning.
The camp they lived in when they first arrived.



Edna Jensen is my great-grandma (anyone who remembers her would remember her as Edna Woods). As a note, if we have a girl, we are naming her after Greatie, although, Ray refuses to name a child Edna, so it will be Ellen Edna rather than Edna Ellen.

My great-grandfather, Henry Jensen - he died when my mother was a little girl.

Cooking and Company and Life

With company here over the weekend, I did a lot of cooking so that means a lot of recipes to share. I'm scanning again (different class, still new edition), so I'm stuck for a bit and decided to use the time to catch up my blogging. So be prepared!

First a general catch up. Last week was the first week of classes, so both Ray and I were pretty crazy. This week is just the first week of classes for Southern New Hampshire, so at least the Lake Region classes for me and Kent classes for Ray are starting to settle. Ray has Aviation Day this weekend, though, and so is busy preparing for that.

Amy and Warren came on Friday night and we got to spend the weekend hanging out with them. Since we hadn't seen them since we both left ND, it was really great. We now owe them a trip to Iowa as it is a 10 hour drive. Hopefully we'll make it next summer. We also had Tim and Kris' annual Labor Day pig roast on Sunday. Then I spent Monday (which Ray had off) grading homework. The first week is always the worst because you have to set up gradebooks. But it is done.
Warren and Adam - Warren isn't too into babies, but Adam kept trying to change his mind!

Amy and Adam

Tuesday, September 02, 2008