Thursday, December 27, 2007

Homemade Goodness




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

-a bookmark
-an altered datebook
-ornaments

FUN!

DinDin tonight?


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 juices from the plate, and sprinkle with thyme and crushed red pepper. Cover, and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 15 minutes

Thursday, December 20, 2007

5 Minute Fudge?


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
Total Fat (g) 7
Saturated Fat (g) 3
Cholesterol (mg) 3
Sodium (mg) 11
Carbohydrate (g) 14
Fiber (g) 1
Protein (g) 2
Vitamin C (DV%) 0
Calcium (DV%) 3
Iron (DV%) 3

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


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! :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sunset Sledding

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!!!


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 waxed paper between layers.
Tip: Package pretzels in clear cellophane bags or in vase for festive gift giving


And, thanks to Susan Weinroth, this will be dinner tonight...along with bread of course. :D

1 pound fusilli pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (9-ounce) bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
8 ounces (1/2 pint) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup (about 3 1/2-ounces) grated Asiago
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, warm olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes. Add the cooked pasta and toss. Add the cheeses, salt, pepper, and the pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine.

Transfer the pasta to a serving plate and serve.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Crafty Christmas

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

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...

Friday, December 07, 2007

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!!!!!!


:)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Maybe, Just Maybe...


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 Glacier Metallic Blue (see above)....SWEET!

I am so behind on my handmade goodness for Christmas it ain't even funny but I am off Thursday so I'm calling in a me day. :)

And, And, I woke up to snow!!!!!! Ugly, cold, wet snow!!!!!!! I just hope we get the freezing rain so we can get a play day. ;)

So, how are you doing?