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Showing posts from 2007

Homemade Goodness

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Did you make anything for Christmas? I made a few things...

-a bookmark
-an altered datebook
-ornaments

FUN!

DinDin tonight?

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Perhaps tomorrow...

Lemon and Olive Chicken
Serves 8.

8 bone-in chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup green olives, pitted and halved
2 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions
Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. In two batches, sear the chicken, skin side first, until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Cut the lemons in half lengthwise and then into thin slices crosswise. If the skillet is dry, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onions and garlic, and cook over medium heat until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in lemon slices, olives, stock, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Put the chicken on top of the vegetables, pour in any accumulated ju…

5 Minute Fudge?

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Is there really such a thing? I'm gonna find out this weekend. I'll let you know.

Fabulous Five-Minute Fudge
Prep: 5 min.
Chill: 30 min.

Ingredients
1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces (2 cups)
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (one-half of a 14-ounce can)
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted if desired
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper; set aside. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate pieces, sweetened condensed milk, and water.

Microwave, uncovered, on 100% power (high) for 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 1 minute more, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and spread it into a 9x6-inch rectangle, or drop mixture by rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet.

Chill fudge about 30 minutes or until firm. Cut fudge into 1-1/2-inch squares. Makes 24 pieces

Nutrition facts per serving:
Calories 112
T…

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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These are so decadent and delicious and easy to make.
You guys must try them.
All you have to do is mix one box of yellow cake mix,
one 15 oz can of pumpkin
and 2/3rds of a bag of chocolate chips.
Bake in a 350 oven for about 25 minutes and voila....homemade goodness.
Thank you Susan for the recipe! :)

Sunset Sledding

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So, what do you do when it snows and you get home from school at almost 4 pm? Why you go sunset sledding of course. :) Right now the little boogers are enjoying a cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows and watching SpongeBob. Life is good!

LOVE this shot with the sun setting in the background....


A total posed shot....

TGIF!!!

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I love Fridays.
Always have.
And, now that Fridays are my day off so I think I love them even more.
Kiddos are back in school after a snow day yesterday so I can run a few errands.

When the kiddos come home from school we will be making these:

2 bags chocolate chips (dark or milk chocolate)
1 bag pretzels (logs work well for this, but you can try any of the medium to thick variety of twists)
Chopped nuts, for garnish, optional
Colored nonpareils, for garnish, optional
Sprinkles, for garnish, optional
Coconut, for garnish, optional
Crushed cookies, for garnish, optional

Melt chocolate in double boiler over medium heat on stove top. Using tongs, or your fingers, quickly dip pretzels in chocolate allowing the excess to run off. Place dipped pretzels on waxed paper lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, colored sugars or other toppings. Allow to harden. You may need to refrigerate for a while to help this along. Once hardened, remove from sheets and store in a cool location, with waxe…

Crafty Christmas

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It finally happened! I got my Christmas craft on. And, this unexpected snow day has given me the impetus to keep it going. Our button trees are all done, they have been for some time now but we still need to make toppers. I never did make it to AC Moore to pick up the wooden stars but I'm sure I have something around here that will suffice. As soon as they are ripe, I'll take some photos. :) In the meantime enjoy what I've been up to. All products are Stampin' Up! And, if anyone wants dimensions and how to's, just let me know and I'll be happy to share. :)

A fun little treat to leave for Santa...in addition to the cookies and milk of course....



A fun rolled paper ornament for my brother & future SIL...



And altered binder clip to hold this year's Christmas photo for my hubby's desk....

Chopping Down the Tree

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Every year we cut down our tree with our good friends the Nemeceks. We usually go to Battenfelds up in Rhinebeck, NY about an hour and a half north of us. But, this year due to committments, we couldn't find one day to make it work. So, we had to fly solo. Instead of going all the way there, we were just going to buy our tree. Well, Dylan was having none of that. He wanted to cut down our tree. He said it was tradition. And, we all agreed. After a quick search of the internet, we found this great place in nearby Monroe, CT. It is over 200 acres of tree farm with snacks and crafts and hay rides. It was such a fabulous place that we will take our friends there next year. Enjoy the photos.




They even had cows at the farm....



Posing in front of the chosen tree....



The ubiquitous shot of Stewie with saw in hand...



A view of just a small part of the farm from the parking lot...

Feel Good Friday

I've been so blue lately that I need to focus on the good stuff. So, here goes....

-we are cutting down our tree tomorrow at a local place
-going out to dinner to celebrate my Mom's birthday
-i have off today
-i feel like i've lost some weight....my clothes look and feel better on
-my christmas card photo is done
-i got another big reorder from school photos
-i am almost caught up on laundry...almost
-gingerbread latte's from Starbucks....yum-o!
-my christmas shopping is done!!!!!!


:)

Christmas Card Photo Help

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So, which one do you like best?

Number 1



Number 2



Number 3



Number 4

Maybe, Just Maybe...

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things will start to settle down soon. It's been a whirlwind of yuckiness, for lack of a better word, around here lately.

First we had a family crisis. A major catastrophie was averted but we are left to deal with the aftermath. :(

Secondly, my fridge broke the day before Thanksgiving!!! I did *not* need or want to buy a new one now!!!!!!!!! Luckily, my local place gave me a great deal, free delivery and no interest or payments til next year! :) I got a sweet stainless steel, bottom freezer, french door one. But, then it was too tall for my space! Only me, folks...only me. But, Stew found a nice little carpenter and $100.00 later my fridge is tucked away nicely under my cabinets.

Then, my hubby did not get what he wanted from his firm. So, we have a major decision to make......:O

And, with the ever increasing price of gas, I was forced to downsize my beloved Pilot and get a Honda CRV. I do love it tho. I zip around like I own the town. LOL! I got it in the lovely Glacie…

So....

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Last night Stew and Natalie attended the Girl Scout Father Daughter Barn Dance. It's a western theme hence the hat and bandana. :) They do square dancing and all. So Cute. I just wish I could see it for myself...but no mommies allowed. LOL!

Wow! This weekend went by way too fast. No? And, I have off Fridays from work so my weekends are always 3 day weekends.

I am just glad that this week is a really short one. I only work Mon and Tues. But, my kiddos have school on Wednesday. That'll give me the day to finish up some last minute gift buying.

I still have my Mom and Dad, brother & his fiance and a few more things for Stew. I also have to take a count of what I got the kiddos and make sure I have equal the number of gifts. Can't have Dylan opening up 6 when Natty only opens up 5. :O

Today, I'll be hitting Joann's to pick up 101 Hip Handmade Gifts and hopefully all the supplies needed to make button trees. I had hoped to do it yesterday but we were held…

Pumpkin Pie Bars

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Pumpkin Pie Bars


1. Ingredients
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
3/4 cup cold butter or margarine
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans
1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

2. Cooking Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil; grease foil lining. Mix flour, brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and pecans. Reserve 1 cup of the oat mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of pan. Bake 15 min.
Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in small bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
Bake 25 min. Lift from pan using foil handles; cool completely. Cut …

Happy Veteran's Day

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First, I want to thank all the very brave men and women that have fought for my freedom. Thank you!

Second, I attended my first Veteran's Day parade yesterday. It was only my small town's parade but it was wonderful.

Natalie marched with her troop. The high school band played. Local Veteran's and politician's spoke and partook in a graveside ceremony.

And, finally, here are some photos from yesterday's parade. Enjoy!

It was cold..brrrrr...


Lizzie and Nattie...


Veterans marching...


The high school marching band....


The girls from our troop who marched. We were missing a few...

Martha, Martha, Martha!

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Gotta Love her! I know I do. :)

Ginger Pumpkin Bread

Serves 12
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cups)
3 large eggs
Sugar Glaze, (optional)


Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch (6-cup) loaf pans (see note, below); set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, pumpkin, melted butter, and eggs; add flour mixture, and stir until just combined.
Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; invert pans and transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool completely. Glaze, if desired.

Just to put you in the Christmas spirit.....

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Gingerbread Cupcakes

Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 15 minutes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Dash salt
1 slightly beaten egg white
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons cooking oil
Sifted powdered sugar (optional)

Directions
1. Line eight 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, soda, and salt; set aside.

2. In a small mixing bowl stir together the egg white, molasses, water, and oil. Stir molasses mixture into flour mixture just until blended. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups.

3. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when pressed lightly in center. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm or cool. Makes 8 cupcakes (8 servings).

Make ahead tip: Bake and cook cupcakes but do not sprinkle with powdered sugar. Pack in an airtigh…

Happy Halloween (a day late)

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I love this holiday. And, this year was a really fun one.

At preschool, the teachers are required to dress up. I donned kitty cat ears, a tail and even wiskers. I was a hit with all the little girls.

Then, I made these sweet tombstone cookies for Dylan's class party. (See photo above)

We even carved 4 pumpkins after school. First time they did them all by themselves. yay!

And, before trick-or-treating, we had a little photo shoot on the front lawn. The weather cooperated as well. It was a balmy 68 degrees!!!!!! :D

I hope you got lots of treats and no tricks this year! :)

Just Catching Up....

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To say I've been busy is an understatement. But, then again, I'm sure so has everybody else. My computer time is the first thing to go. It stresses me out not to be able to get on here and just hang, read e mails or update my blog. But, if I take the time to do these things, then I'll be stressing out about all the other stuff I should have been doing. Stupid vicious cycle. :(

Work is going well. I have a few favorites. :O

I took the school photographs this year. The individual shots came out awesome! I had a blast and the extra money will come in handy for Christmastime. :)

Natalie has been doing alot of stuff. She baked bread for a local food pantry. She walked 5 miles in the recess walking club. She is already trotting on a horse. :)

Dylan took up the trumpet. And, last night he played some notes for us and by golly it actually sounds like music. LOL! :) Funny story...2nd week of school, he comes home on a Tuesday and tells me he signed up for band and …

Hi! Remember Me?

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Tomorrow is my day off and I plan to use it for me. I'm hanging up my apron and calling in for pizza.

I need to scrap!!!

I need to upload the 100 or so photos on my camera!!!

I need to play catch up.

Oh, and in case you didn't know, DML is officially closing for good December 10th or so. There will not only be no more shopping but there will be no more website at all. I have been contemplating deleting my blog since nobody reads it anyway but now I'll have to keep it so my DML friends can keep track of my oh so exciting life. LOL!

And, since I hate to post without a photo, I'll share a card I made for Julia's (buzybunny) Scrapjazz sketch article. New BG Mellow. Sooo pretty! :)

Wisdom Teeth....ARGH!

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Wisdom teeth! Who needs them? Why do we even get them if we don't need them? Is it just to cause pain? Or perhaps fund the dentist profession!? LOL!!!

As some of you may know, I've been suffereing with wisodom teeth problems the last couple of weeks. Well, the pain got so bad that I had to get into the oral surgeon asap.

So, on Tuesday while under laughing gas and novacaine, I had the last of my two wisdom teeth removed. After a couple of days recovery, I am almost back to normal. But, my wallet is markedly lighter. What a racket....$675.00 to take out two teeth!!! :O

But, even thru all that pain, I managed to scan another of the cards from World Card-Making Day....isn't the little penguin so cute!?

Masculine Cards

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I struggle with them all the time. I find that all my cards are either for the ladies or the kiddos but nothing for the men. This weekend I went to a World Card Making Day Event that was hosted by my friend, neighbor and SU demonstrator extraordinaire. :) We made several beautiful cards with all these cool techniques. But, the absolute catch of the day was this cute little shirt and tie card. The possiblitiles are endless. You can decorate it however you want and to fit for any profession or holiday even. Enjoy the template. :)

I couldn't resist...

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posting this recipe....

Summer Chicken and Mushroom Pasta
Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Ingredients
8 oz. packaged dried whole wheat or regular penne pasta
12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size strips
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil, divided
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup shredded basil leaves
3 Tbsp. snipped fresh oregano
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. Cook pasta in lightly salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain and return to saucepan; keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Remove from skillet…

Oh! Oh! Oh!

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How good does this look and sound? As one who love Caesar salad, I am so making this really soon. :)

Chicken Caesar Lasagna
Prep: 35 minutes
Bake: 50 minutes

Ingredients
9 dried whole wheat or regular lasagna noodles
2 10-oz. containers refrigerated light Alfredo sauce
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast*
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped
3/4 cup shredded Italian blend cheese

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water; drain again. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine Alfredo sauce, lemon juice, and black pepper. Stir in chicken, spinach, and red peppers.

2. Lightly coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles in bottom of dish. Top with one-third chicken mixture. Repeat layers twice. Cover; bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until heat…

Pure Bliss

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I think this photo pretty much sums up how Natty feels about horseback riding lessons. :) I'm glad that she has found something that she enjoys. God only knows we've tried everything else...soccer & softball (she did those for 2 years), gymnastics (which she took for 3 years) and ballet (that only lasted 1 year). So, it's nice that she has found her thing. She's already talking about horseback riding summer camp. :)

Tortellini Chicken Soup

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With fall right around the corner, I thought I'd share an easy soup recipe. Enjoy!

Tortellini Chicken Soup
Start to Finish: 25 min.

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup sliced leek or chopped onion
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, slightly crushed (optional)
1 9-ounce package refrigerated herb chicken tortellini or vegetable ravioli
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves or shredded fresh spinach

Directions
1. Lightly coat an unheated large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Carefully add broth, leek or onion, ginger, and, if desired, saffron.

2. Bring to boiling. Add tortellini or ravioli. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 9 minutes or until tortellini or ravioli is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Top individual servi…