Monday, November 30, 2009
Peanut Butter Cups
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
4-5 squares chocolate bark
Combine peanut butter and powdered sugar. If the mixture is still a bit sticky, add a bit more powdered sugar, which we will be doing with the next batch. Roll into small balls.
You can either keep in balls and use a toothpick to dip the whole ball in the melted chocolate (follow directions on package) or put each ball in a SMALL paper baking cup (the kind you use for cupcakes, only small sized), press it down and pour some chocolate on top. That is the method we used. Next time, we won't press them down as much so the chocolate covers more of the peanut butter. We will also make smaller sized balls (although these seemed small to me) because Darin and I prefer a higher chocolate to peanut butter ratio. Put in the fridge to harden.
If you have extra chocolate, grab some pretzels, dip them in chocolate and put them on wax paper.
2/3 cup (1 stick plus 3 Tbsp) butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
3 cups sugar
7 ounce marshmallow fluff
bag of semi sweet or peanut butter chips
1 tsp vanilla
Microwave butter for about 1 minute in a large bowl
Add evaporated milk and sugar. Mix well. Microwave for 3 minutes. Mix well to get all the sugar off the sides and bottom of bowl. Microwave 2 minutes. Mix. Microwave 3 minutes. Mix. Microwave 2 minutes. (The bowl and contents are going to be HOT!!!)
Add marshmallow fluff. Stir until completely incorporated. Add chips (chocolate or peanut butter) and vanilla. Stir and Stir and Stir.
Pour into a 9x13 pan (I put foil in mine so I can lift it out and cut even squares. We shall see if this is a help or a hindrance). Leave out on counter. After it has hardened, keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Can be frozen, but make sure if it well covered with wax paper, plastic, aluminum foil and in an airtight container.
If your fudge down not set, use as an ice cream topping. My mom had this happen one year and peanut butter fudge on ice cream is GOOD!
I am hoping to make chocolate fudge, more peanut butter cups (my first batch only made 9, of which one is left), chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cranberry white chocolate chip cookies as well. Some we will eat, some will be for the Laurels and the rest for the neighbors.
1 jar salsa
1 cup sour cream
12 taco sized or 8 burrito sized tortillas
1/2 Rotisserie chicken (or left over turkey or other chicken)
Monterrey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 425. Grease a 9x13 dish. Mix salsa and sour cream. Michelle does this in a pie plate and dips one side of the tortilla in the mix, I put it in a bowl and used a spoon to slop it on. Put some chicken or turkey in the tortilla. Roll it and put it seem side down in your baking dish. Once all tortillas are in pan, pour the remaining salsa mixture on it and top with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Let it stand 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken.
We all really liked this. I would like to try it with rotisserie chicken (or some leftover salsa chicken) because the turkey tasted like turkey : ) At first Tyson was trying to pick out pieces of the salsa (chunks of onion and other goodies) and Jori said "why do you keep making stuff like this that I don't like?", but then Tyson stopped picking stuff out and cleaned his whole plate. It was still a small battle with Jori, but that has become the norm. Darin really liked it, but had a texture issue with the salsa chunks as well. Maybe next time I could throw the salsa and sour cream in the blender?? Any other thoughts? It wasn't chunky salsa, just original style.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
When we were playing Candy Land, he kept saying "Hey, broke" to Jori. I had no clue what he meant, but then I said "Do you mean 'hey bro'?", which of course was exactly what he meant. I tried figuring out where he heard that phrase, but he didn't want to tell.
Last night Jori came out of bed to tell me "There are people at the rolling ball place", which I thought was funny because when we go for ice cream she calls it the bowling alley. After I tucked her back in she said "When are we going to have a baby?" I was actually glad she asked because (no I am not about to announce a pregnancy) lately she has been totally against ever having a baby HUMAN and would prefer if I could pop out some kittens or a baby sloth puppet named Reona, just like the one on the Big World cartoon. So asking for a baby is a positive step in my mind.
Right now the kids are playing with Jori's dollhouse. Two minutes ago Jori was threatening to throw a doll sized recliner at Tyson because he took the toddler bed. They must have worked out their differences because they seem to be getting along for now! I love seeing them play together and when Jori says "I love you brother" or Tyson says "Hey sissy, you can come sit by me" I can't help but smile and think we must be doing SOMETHING right!
Friday, November 27, 2009
After lunch we headed to the movies with our friends the Mosher's. We saw Planet 51, which I thought was pretty funny. Tyson and Jori have only been to a movie theater one other time, to see the Tale of Despereaux. I took them by myself, and it was NOT a great experience. Jori wanted to leave before the previews were even done! I am glad Darin was along this time and while the kids really behaved well, listening to them say (loudly) "Is the movie almost done?" over and over again has led Darin and I to the decision that we will avoid taking our kids to the theater for at least a few more years : ) They both liked the movie, they are just not big on sitting in one place for such a long time.
We had a quiet night last night and today has been pretty relaxed as well. The kids are SO glad that Darin is home. I love listening to them laugh and wrestle together. We had pizza tonight. Tyson had a free personal pan pizza through Book It, and he was thrilled to have his own "little pizza just for me".
We hope that you all are having a blessed Thanksgiving weekend where ever you are! We have much to be thankful for.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Pear Oven Pancake
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1/4 Cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar (needed for top)
1/4 tsp salt
1 can Carnation Evaporated Milk
3 large eggs
1 ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 450*
Pour melted butter into 9 inch deep-dish pie plate or cake pan. Swirl to coat bottom and sides
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk evaporated milk and eggs in another bowl until blended. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Arrange pear slices on top of batter in a pinwheel design, pushing slightly down. Combine remaining 2 Tbsp sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.
Our pear pancake needed some extra baking time. It was probably in there at least 30 minutes if not a little more. The texture was kind of like a cooked pudding. This would NOT make good leftovers (in my opinion) so we forced down the last slice. If Jori had been a better eater, this would not have been a problem. I would make this again, but maybe on an every other month rotation.
What breakfast items do YOU make for dinner?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Michelle found the tilapia recipe on Ordering Disorder, which is also where I found the bbq chicken recipe that was SO good. Click here to go right to the tilapia recipe, with pictures, or just read on for the same recipe, minus the pics.
This is a quick recipe. Fish does not take long to cook at all, so if you are making a side dish you might want that to be almost done before you put your fish into the broiler.
Turn your oven on to the BROIL setting. Make sure that you adjust the racks inside your oven. You want the fish to be a few inches away from the broiling burner.
Line the bottom of your broiling pan with tinfoil. Trust me, it is so much easier to clean up this way. You will thank me for this little extra step later. You are welcome in advance.
Arrange the fillets in a single layer on your broiling pan.
Mix together all of the other ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
If you have anything you need to attend to, go do it now. You will not be leaving your fish again until it is served. Don’t worry this only takes a few minutes. Seriously, I hardly had anytime to take any photos.
Place fish in the oven. Broil for 2-3 minutes. I usually aim for 2 minutes because by the time I find my potholder and get it out of oven, an additional minute has passed.
Flip the fillets over and return them to the broiler for another 2-3 minutes.
Remove from oven. Cover the fish with the Parmesan cheese mixture you have already prepared.
Return the fish to the oven and broil for an additional 2 minutes, or until the coating has become slightly brown. You don’t want to overcook the fish. It should flake easily with your fork Tyson
The pulled pork tacos recipe is one that Michelle put in our "Rooks Cooks" cookbook. (My college friends and I lived in Rooks VanDellen our freshman and sophomore years and I am so blessed that most of them still live in the area!)
You will need:
1 pork loin or tenderloin cubed in 1.5 inch pieces (you choose the size of the loin!)
1 medium white or yellow onion
1 TBSP cumin
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp hot sauce (or more if you like spicier things)
2 TBSP soy sauce
2-3 bottles of beer (wheat or dark beer is best, but you can use any)
Brown pork over medium-high heat in large dutch over (The first time I made this, I didn't cut the tenderloin up and I didn't brown it, but it still turned out great). Once all sides are browned, add onion and continue sauteing until onions start to look translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add spices and liquids, cumin through beer, use enough beer to cover the meat. (I have already browned, sauteed and added everything BUT the beer and shoved the whole pan in the fridge. I thought I may as well get it started while my kids were occupied!)
Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and cover to cook for 2-3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so-if beer seems to be getting low, add more.
About 45 minutes before you want to eat, shred pork-you should be able to do this with a spatula because the pork SHOULD BE falling apart by now. Leave cover off and simmer until it is time to eat-the sauce will cook down.
Serve on warm tortillas topped with cheese, cilantro and a squeeze of lime (Darin likes just cheese, I like how it tastes with all the "extras") and black beans if you like.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I was so proud of him! I asked him to write his name, and when he said it was "too hard" I told him to just do his best. He even had the "s" going the right way, which is something that has been a constant struggle for him.
Of course, Jori had to get in on the play dough action too. Here she is with her "basagna":Yum Yum!
It was a really fun morning. The cast sang the song "Be our Guest" and then they came around to the tables and brought us our breakfast. They also gave all the kids in attendance a little autograph book. Jori really had no clue what that was all about, but just let people sign her little book. I was glad Jenna was there to take Jori around to meet Belle and the Beast.
Here are some pics of the girls having a wonderful morning!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
2 cups of cooked chicken (I just used what we had left)
1/2 cup bbq sauce (I misread this as 1/2 a bottle, and it was still delish)
1/2 cup grated carrot (I very finely grated one medium sized carrot. I do not know if this serves an actual purpose or is just to sneak a veggie in, but it was good).
Loaf of french bread or other "hard" bread (I had a 4 pack of rolls. Hamburger buns would be too soft-you want something that isn't going to get all soggy)
Monterey Jack cheese (I am guessing you could use another kind of cheese, but I did not. I used shredded cheese, not slices)
Heat the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan.
Cut your bread in half and spoon some chicken on one side. Top with cheese. Broil both sides of the bread (with and without chicken and cheese) DO NOT OVER BROIL, Eat.
We all thought these sandwiches were GREAT and I will definitely be making them again.
I also tried out a new recipe from Torie, a friend from church. I think sweet potatoes are great, so I was excited to try this:
Ingredients:I really liked the sweet potatoes and the dip. I would love to have them again. However, my family was not as excited as I was. Tyson tried the dip and then wanted us to scrape it off his plate. He did not like the sweet potatoes either. Jori threw her fry back on the dish. I did make them both eat one, but they were not happy. Darin does not like sweet potatoes, but he said if they had been crunchier he might have been more into them, so maybe if I cut them smaller???
Sweet Potato Fries:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, cut into 4-inch long and
1/4 to 1/2-inch thick fries
2 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 avocado, see Cook's Note*
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped.
2 scallions, white and light green part only, chopped
1 lime, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum
foil and set aside.
Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl and toss with olive oil until
the sweet potatoes are coated. Add the paprika, chili powder,
coriander, salt, and pepper; toss to distribute evenly.
Arrange the coated fries in a single layer on the prepared pan. Bake
for 20 minutes on the lower rack until the sweet potatoes soften.
Transfer the pan to the upper rack of the oven and bake 10 minutes
longer, until fries are crispy. Serve with Avocado Dip.
Place the avocado, mayonnaise, cream cheese, jalapeno, scallions, and
lime juice into a blender or small food processor. Blend for 1 minute
or until you have a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper, to
taste. Serve as a dip for the Sweet Potato Oven Fries.
So if you like sweet potatoes and avocado, you should try this out. The fries would be good by themselves too without any dip, but they would need some salt. I told Darin we WILL be having sweet potatoes again in some form, because I do think that kids (and adults) can learn to enjoy different foods.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Open jar of salsa, spoon 1/4-1/2 cup in bottom of crock pot - add 4-6 frozen chicken breasts. Pour on rest of salsa. Set crockpot on low if cooking all day, or high if cooking in 3-4 hours. 30 minutes before you eat, shred chicken with fork and return to crock pot. Serve in tortillas, with chips or over rice and topped with cheese.
Optional additions: 1 can of corn, 1 can of black beans. Sometimes I make rice and stir it into the crock pot after I shred the chicken.
I bought salsa with corn and black beans in it and it was good. I think I used 5 breasts, the one full jar and another 1/4 jar that was just hanging out in the fridge. It was really THAT easy!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
After we came home from our walk, Darin came out to play. The kids were having fun making chalk creations. Here's what Tyson made:A big old 5 and a 2! Good job buddy. Jori needed a little help finishing her mega game of hopscotch and Daddy was happy to help out:
Finally, for your viewing pleasure, the kids and daddy play hopscotch:
Yes, that is me snorting as I laugh, but admit it, you probably snorted too as you watched!
Friday, November 6, 2009
Tonight we had a fantastic meal thanks to Tami, my dear friend from California!! It was great. Tyson had 4 helpings, Darin wanted to know why we had never had it before (um, because since I've known you you've been anti stuffing), I thought it was super easy and super good. Jori was not a fan, but she doesn't like a lot of things that I make, so ignore her opinion!
Here's the recipe!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 slices of swiss cheese (the Kraft brand swiss cheese is NOT good/flavorful in this recipe though)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box of chicken stove top stuffing
1/3 cup melted butter
Lay chicken breasts in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover chicken entirely with the swiss cheese (usually takes about 2 of the slices to cover each chicken breast). Spread cream of chicken soup over the cheese (do NOT add milk to the soup). Sprinkle dry stuffing over the soup and then drizzle melted butter over the stuffing. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Then uncover and cook for about 10 more minutes to get the stuffing a little crispy. Enjoy!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Don't be shy now. Please leave a comment and help our family get out of this rut we're in!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Something that Darin and I both thought was funny was that Mrs. Weiss said Tyson is often one of the last ones finished with his work. The way she said it made it sound like he was being really careful and cautious, which was shocking to both of us. Then it came out that he likes to talk to the other kids at his table a bit too much. Now THAT made sense to us!
Darin and I are so thankful for the teacher Tyson has this year. She just has such a kind heart and seems to genuinely enjoy having him in her class. We both prayed so much about where he would go to school and whose class he would be in, and we feel confident that God has His hand on Tyson. We can't wait to see what the rest of this year holds for him.
Monday, November 2, 2009
2 Scott 12 packs, 4 Honey Nut Cheerios (bonus alert-I will be getting 2 free movie tickets with special codes in the boxes), 12 yoplaits, Jennie-o Turkey Bacon, Smithfield Bacon, 2 scrubbing bubbles toilet gels, 1 bounce dryer bar (love them!), 1 Juicy Juice Brain Development (it was on sale back by the meat), 2 different kinds of pepperoni and 2 non coupon items-bread and sponges. The grand total was $37.13, which was a savings of $22.59!
I hope Family Fare does Double Coupons again sometime!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
They started out at the van, then moved into our waterlogged backyard for clues 2,3 & 4. Then it was back up front for the rest of the action. Sadly, today's hunt was not without some tears and fighting. After all, Jori DID get to pick up the 2 clues on the big pieces of paper. How unfair! And Tyson did get to every clue slightly ahead of his gimpy-limpy little sis. Oh the injustice of it all!
Not IN the shed, BEHIND the shed (I will work on my drawings next time!)
Finding the clue under the picnic tableAlmost finished!
Yes, my husband thinks my hair is getting gray. (listen to the video)
Opening up the prize. Thanks Pop and Gram