Thursday, September 29, 2011

potato soup w/ bacon and spinach

adapted from this bon appetit recipe

1/2 lb bacon, cut ino 1/2" pieces
2 small onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
3 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
3 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
7 c chicken broth
9 oz (or bigger) bag spinach

Cook bacon until crisp in LARGE pot.  Transfer to paper towel.  Add onion to drippings in pot, and saute 7 min.  Add garlic and thyme; cook 1 min.  Pour through fine mesh strainer to drain extra grease, and return onion mixture to pot.  Add tomatoes, and cook 2 min.  Mix in potatoes.  Add broth; bring to boil.  Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer 15 min. or until potatoes tender.  Stir in spinach until just wilted.  Add bacon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

guess who...

...doesn't like to sit in her booster seat anymore.  lil miss big has decided that she will now eat her meals in the big chair next to brother.  she actually does really well.  until she decides she's finished, that is.  we're working on the whole get-your-hands-wiped-before-getting-down business.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

warrior dash

on saturday, we went to a crazy, crazy race.  we think dad had a lot of fun, but got a little too dirty for many hugs.  and, that face paint was kinda scary. 
most of the race was out of spectator view, but this obstacle was near the finish line:
2 of the warriors - carlan and nevin:
his goofy racing self:
not sure why he's really so pleased about being sooooo nasty, but he is.  we think he wanted us to see how white his teeth are:
in any case, we're glad to see him smiling.  and, we're glad he finished with his whole self intact.

Monday, September 26, 2011

a little homesick today, but thankful

the body of sgt. tim sayne is being transported to effingham today, and many of my other high school classmates will be attending a benefit on wednesday evening so that his family can travel to arlington national cemetary for services there.  he left an expecting wife and a young child. 

although i do not really know him well, his is the first name that i can put a face with when learning of a soldier losing his life.  i feel for his family and am thankful for the sacrifices he has made in serving our country.  my heart is there with the others watching on the side of the road as his motorcade passes.

thank you tim, and thank you all service men and women.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

classic vanilla pudding & peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies

gonna sneak a couple more everyday food  recipes in.  sorry.  :)

ripped these recipes from that magazine, but linked you up here and here if you'd like the recipes also.  (i used 2% milk in the pudding, not whole milk.)

the pudding was super rich, but oh-so-tasty!  the cookies were a bit dry, but went well with the pudding so serving them together was a good idea.

what?  you say you want to know what i'd do different next time?  ok!  i would not strain the pudding, because i didn't notice any chunks that needed to be removed.  that step was a time-consuming mess, and the pudding would've been quick/easy dish without it.  wouldn't change anything on the cookies!

Friday, September 23, 2011

peach crumble pie

yet another everyday food recipe post.  i'll try to branch out a little more next time, but...  i tried a recipe from rachael ray this week that didn't turn out so great, so we'll see.  (yep, i'll spare you those details.)

next time, i'd double the crumble topping.  it was good this way, but that would make it better.  and, you know it's hard for me to just be happy with the way a recipe was written...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

seriously hilarious

both kids love to wrestle, but we've met our match with thing 2.  she's amazingly tough, and cackles the entire time...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

lasagna soup

found this recipe in family fun, feb '09 issue, and did a little bit of tweaking.  forgot to take a picture (lame, i know!)  it turned out ok, and i'll probably make it again.  i wouldn't put it in the "super-special" category, but it was pretty quick - and easy.

here's my take on the recipe:

1 lb ground beef
4 t minced garlic
2 t dried oregano
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 T tomato paste
28 oz can diced tomatoes
6 c chicken broth
8 oz fusilli pasta
1/2 c chopped fresh basil
ricotta cheese
parmesan cheese
mozzarella cheese

brown beef, and drain.  add spices, and saute 1 min.  add tomato paste, and saute until a rusty brown - about 5 min.  add tomatoes w/ their juice, and the broth.  bring to a boil, then reduce heat but keep bubbling for 15 min.  add pasta, then increase heat to boiling again for the amount of time recommended on pasta package.  stir in basil.  to serve, put 1 T ricotta in each bowl, and top with parmesan and then mozzarella.  ladle soup on top.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

thing 2

i heard an unfamiliar rhythmic sound coming from the living room, so i thought i'd better go check it out.

she was so pleased with herself until she realized i was looking. this shelf is a "no-no" because she apparently inherited some page-ripping abilities from me. 
"look ma, i put them all down here for you and didn't rip out any pages.  please forgive me?"

she immediately started putting them all back up on the shelf when she saw me.  i helped her, and after the last one was put back she gave me a huge grin and ran off to play in her room.  what a little stinker/sweetie!

Monday, September 19, 2011

eggplant ricotta bites

made this like the recipe said, and they were yummy.  i think next time i'd just do fresh tomatoes and skip the vinegar on them.

here's the recipe i used, and how they turned out:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

family time is always fun

we are sad to say goodbye to papa & gram today, but we're happy they came to visit!  the kiddos certainly love having them around so they can boss play with them, that's for sure.  we made lots of fun memories this week (even if we forgot to take enough pictures). 

this picture is hilarious, don't you think?  thing 1 was so excited about the fire on the hibachi grill, and papa - well, i'm just not sure.  :)
a great big thank-you to papa & gram for all their help.  we've got a new garage door opener, a ton (literally, i think) less weeds in our landscaping, 2 happy munchkins, and we even got to go on a date.  i think this pretty much means they can come whenever.  i wonder what they're doing next week?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

spinach & ricotta dumplings

this was a big hit w/ the whole fam, especially the kiddos!  didn't get a picture taken, but there's one here (and the recipe is there as well).  mine looked very similar.

here's what i did differently:  used fresh (wilted) spinach instead of frozen, and no nutmeg for this girlie.

i'm really not sure what purpose the butter in the sauce served, so i'd leave it out next time to save a couple calories.

we didn't have crusty bread w/ this, but did have grilled steak...yummy  :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

things that melt a mama's heart

there are way too many to even try to name them all, so i'll just share a couple recent ones.  :)

riding in the wagon with my kiddos

munchkins playing together so nicely

cheesy faces

goofy faces

little girl chucks (thanks, aunt kathy!)


papa & gram are visiting this week, so things are pretty good 'round here.  i'll be sure to let you know what fun we have (and tonight it included ice cream at the mall!).  anything good going on where you are this week?  hope so!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

pioneer woman meatballs!

i tried these this week, and they were tasteeee.  problem is, they took forEVER, and you can see why here.  oh yeah, and i didn't put all that nasty onion in.  i did sub some onion powder in the meat mix, but that's it.  soooooo not a fan of onions, and i think it's kinda mutual. 

so, while i might make them again, it will most definitely not be for a weeknight supper. 
see those nasty looking veggies?  they were actually pretty good.  they're butter peas that i picked up in the frozen section a while back.  problem = when i use frozen veggies it's usually because of a time issue.  these lil guys took 45 min on the stovetop, and microwaving wasn't recommended.  so, i'd pick them out of my freezer, and toss them back in again.  this time, though, they made the plate.  :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

cooler weather, where did you go?

as you can see, we totally love eating outside on our patio.  it's on the east side of our house and in the shade at suppertime.  it was really fun to go out there last week when it was cool, especially after we (oops.  i mean "i") found this kid-size picnic table on clearance at sam's.  yep, i went there again.

miss cheese, herself.  showing you her peach.

one of my favorite things about eating out here is the cleanup.  i clean up while the kiddos (all 3!) run off to play.  :)
(sorry, i don't know what's up with blogger's pictures today, but a couple of mine did not load correctly and i'm not gonna spend any more time on it right now.)

so, cooler weather, if you want to come back and see us, we'd totally enjoy having you.  just don't be an overachiever about it yet.  thx!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

little reminders...

...that my little thing 1 is not so little anymore.  bittersweet.

he was a tad behind in the balance area, but he's made tons (TONS) of progress, and we are so proud that he can now do this:

downhill -
 and, with concentration, uphill -
 such a pleased face-
and, he climbed up this obstacle with no trouble:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

pincushion bird

mom brought this bird with her, and it needed to be "dolled up" a bit. sorry, there are no before pictures, but here are a couple of the finished birdie. 


we gave her pink glittery feathers, a felt hair flower, brown floral tape to cover her gray wirey legs, pink toenails, eyes, a felt beak, pink wool hair, and attached all her pieces with pins since she is a pincushion, after all.  she might get a boa before making her debut at the quilt show, she wasn't sure the one we picked out matched well enough.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

giggly, giggly boys

since our table isn't quite big enough for everyone to sit around it (plus the whole white carpet thing), we decided to have a boy table in the kitchen area over the weekend.  worked well, except that i'm not sure if any of them actually ate any food.  they might have spent the whole time telling making up stories - mostly about monster trucks running over cars, underwear on people's heads, and poop.  mama spent some time laughing (secretly) too. 

and the rest of us were pretty boring:
it's really quiet here today.  can you guys come back please?