Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gosh! I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted anything. I can be lazy sometimes LOL. Well,alot has been going on since my last post. We have a new addition to the family. We had been talking a while about getting TinkerBelle a little friend,but I really didn't think seriously about it. I didn't think that I could handle more than one dog PLUS everything else around the house and our homeschooling. Having a new puppy is very much like having a new baby...One Sunday,the husband just up and said "do you want to get another dog or not?". Talk about out of the blue! I said "I guess so.". We tried to find the phone number to the lady that we got TinkerBelle from,but couldn't find her in the phone book or online. I checked the CKC website and found a list of people who had MinPin pups. We hopped in the truck and drove to CARTHAGE,MS-an hour and a half drive from where we live. We found a sweet,little girl MinPin and of course we brought her home. I had a name picked out in advance-I wanted something that either rhymed or fit well with TinkerBelle. JezzaBelle is almost 4 months old and is probably close to 5pounds now.Our vet says she probably won't get bigger than about 8pounds. At first,the husband laughed that I wanted to name her JezzaBelle,but has come to realize that it fits her perfectly. She's a sassy,little thing. I told him that if you're,little you have to have a little spice and spunk! TinkerBelle spent the first couple of days hiding from her under the bed. They still have their spats,but they are getting along better every day. TinkerBelle has started playing and running around more. Jezzie has helped to bring back her puppy spirit,I guess. Jezzie is a little "mama's baby". She loves to sit or sleep in my lap. The husband was holding her the other day and I went out to run errands. He said that as soon as she heard the front door shut,she went to howling and crying like he's never heard! I guess she's spoiled-just a little bit.
We also started a new year of homeschooling,so I am going to be busy with that.

Miss JezzaBelle on our ride home

Jezzie and Tinkie getting to know each other

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My newest obsession....

Iced Coffees........................

Mocha Nut Fudge K-Cup

Mocha Coconut K-Cup

Mudslide K-Cup

I have some coffee I picked up to try Pioneer Woman's recipe but just haven't done it yet. I'm enjoying my K-cups too much right now,but will definately try it soon and report back to everyone.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

a little something sweet.......

When you're eating healthy,sometimes it can be hard to satisfy that sweet tooth. These brownies are both low fat and low sugar--a win win in my book! Instead of making the brownies totally from scratch,I used a sugar free cake mix. I made a double batch so I could stash some in the freezer and pull out when I'm having a chocolate attack.

Low Fat Brownies (Dr OZ)
1 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup 1% milk
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray; set aside.

In large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon; set aside.

In medium bowl, beat the sugar, brown sugar, milk, egg white, applesauce and vanilla with a spoon until well combined. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture, mixing just until moistened.

Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake 22 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eating Healthier......

I've been on my husband for YEARS about eating healthier and exercising more. Ever since we got back from visiting his "long lost" family,I've started to see a few changes in him. He has drasticly cut back on how much sugary sodas he drinks. Instead of the usual case of regular sized cans or the tall bottles of soda,I have been buying the mini-size bottles. Usually where he could easily go through a case or more a week,he's still working on the pack I bought him 2 weeks ago. He's been drinking water and "diet" citrus green tea. I found a green tea blend that I can make iced tea with and I've been drinking more of that. I've also been eating less bread--I prefer wraps anyway and always go for the healthiest ones-low carb/no fat. He has been eating more whole wheat/whole grain bread whenever he has his fave pbj sandwiches. His sister's family for the most part eats very healthy meals. While we were there she made a pasta dish using whole wheat (dreamfield's) pasta. Now whenever I'd make something with whole wheat pasta,he would complain about having to eat it. I've made 3 pasta dishes in the past few weeks,and he hasn't said ONE WORD about it. That is until last night,he commented on the last spaghetti I made for him. He said "you know,that whole wheat pasta isn't that bad"! Yeah,I know,honey,it's not. LOL We have eaten more fish too. Usually,the fish here isn't all that good--at least most of the frozen ones that I've tried. I don't think it's the same brand that his sister uses at their fish market,but I am pretty sure it's the same "cut". We've been having TILAPIA at least twice a week. Before,we would have salmon or fancy fish sticks maybe once a month or so. Now I crave fish. I even made a shrimp boil last Friday,and aside from it being too HOT,it was fabulous! I am definately going to try that again--this time without so much spice! He went to the E/R over the weekend for an eye infection and they weighed him and he was 201. He went to his regular dr today for a follow-up about the infection, and he's down another 3 pounds. I did a cleanse last week and am this week starting a diet. Not really a DIET per say,but I am starting to consciously make better food and drink choices. Hopefully,I will begin to see a change, too. I hope to get us all into the routine of getting up early and walking the dog around the neighborhood. I know all of us could use the extra exercise. It's funny how meeting his family and finding a part of his life that he didn't really know was missing has caused these changes in him. It's not like he was sitting around moping or lamenting the situation,but he mentioned to me that he feels different since this whole thing has come about. It's amazing that even though my husband and his sister grew up very differently--they have similar personalities. He told me that he can't understand it-that even though they have only known each other a few weeks,that it feels like they have known each other FOREVER. I'm so glad it's worked out this way.I'm glad that he's finally taking a look at his health and hopefully these good changes will become new habits. The only other thing I wish he would try and STOP for his health is the tobacco-he's a "dipper". It really grosses my son out that he does it and he is really on him to stop it. (remember those REJECT ALL TOBACCO commercials--RAT!) I told him that it's something that his dad has to want to do. The last time I picked it up for him,I picked up some mint tobacco and mint "packets" that are supposed to help him stop. I hope he gets the hint.

Friday, May 18, 2012

New family-New foods......

Kofta with tahinni and jasmin rice with dates

Well,last week,we went to South Carolina to visit my husband's "long lost family". It was an amazing adventure. It still seems surreal. His sister's husband is Egyptian and made some awsome foods for us during our stay. They run a seafood market/restraunt-so needless to say,they can cook! One night during our stay,Waleed cooked KOFTA KEBABS for us. They were delicious! I made them tonight and the husband didn't have any complaints. I hope to learn more about the food culture of Egypt--and try many more delicious dishes.

Kofta Kebabs
ground meat
kosher sea salt
minced garlic
grated onion
ground coriander
ground cumin
ground cinnamon
ground allspice
ground ginger
ground nutmeg
chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh mint
ground black pepper
**bamboo skewers

mash the salt and garlic into a paste-place the garlic paste into a large bowl-add in your meat and spices--mix well by hand-form into balls-place onto skewer--you can either cook on grill or in the oven.

**I baked ours for convenience.

Jasmin Rice with dates
add chopped dates to the rice as it is cooking-cook on medium/low until all the liquid is gone-serve warm.

Tahini Sauce
Tahini paste
minced garlic mashed into a paste with salt
lemon juice
HOT water

Add equal parts of tahini paste with hot water and stir until smooth--add in the salt,garlic,lemon juice,and honey--may have to add more or less salt depending on your tastes (I didn't measure-I just added until we liked it)--stir until smooth--when satisfied with the taste,squeeze a little lemon juice on top and sprinkle a little cumin on top for presentation also.

The tahini sauce was served over both the rice and the kofta. I'm going to have to play around with my tahini sauce recipe. It was my first time making it at home,and it was good but I'm not satisfied.

My husband and son with my husband's mother Sallie

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Supper Sandwiches.......

Sometimes we all need something quick and easy to make for supper. While I was at the allergy clinic getting my shots this week,I flipped through a few magazines and found THIS sandwich recipe. I used "texas toast" bread and a mix of turkey and honey ham with gouda cheese. It turned out fabulous.It's definately a keeper recipe.I made these for a late lunch yesterday. My husband ate 1/2 with his lunch and then took the other whole sandwich that was leftover to work with him. This is a recipe that you can really customize to your family's different tastes. You can easily use your fave deli meats or use different cheeses.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

After almost 11 years of marriage--I have a Mother-in-law......

"Little" sister Robin... Now that it's happened and turned out well,I can talk about it. I won't go into all the gory details,but to make a long story short,my husband's parents divorced when he was about 2. He grew up thinking that his dad's other wife was his mother. He found out the truth at about 17 or 18 years old. The story he was told was that she "didn't want him". You can imagine how that hit him and played with his mind/psyche. He had a rough time for a while and even when we met he still had the idea in his head that every woman he got close to would "leave him". Lucky for him I'm stubborn. And I loved him--he still can make that difficult sometimes. About 5 years ago I started digging into my family's family tree on I was helping a neice find information on someone in our tree that she had been stumped with for a while. If any of my readers has ever worked in genealogy,you know what I mean. Sometimes the information trail just hits a dead end. So every now and then,I would put in what little info I had on my husband's side of the family. It was slow going for a while and neither one of us was sure we had the right people. Now,Fast-Forward to last year. His mom calls out of the blue. It was a shock to say the least and he wasn't ready to deal with her or the past,so he didn't talk to her. I wrote the number down knowing that sooner or later he would be curious,but I lost it. Fast-Forward again to a few months ago,I was talking with a good girlfriend and she brought it up that maybe she was calling because she was sick or dying and was trying to make amends. I seriously started looking for her then. I tried several different phone number finder/people finder sites. Let me tell you,you never really know how many people out there have the same name till you go looking for one of them. It's worse than that needle in a haystack. We didn't know exactly what last name to look for.We just had her maiden name,a little info on her family,and where she was born. Fast-Forward again to a few weeks ago,he finally told me that he wanted me to find his mom for him and to find out if he had any brothers or sisters-and see if she would "come clean" and say why she left him. I was so excited that he was ready to deal with these issues. I really got busy. I'm not sure what made me think of this now,but I thought about the obituaries. Now for someone reasearching family history old newspaper archives and online data collections can be your best friend. I can't tell you how many hours I spent scrolling through old South Carolina newspapers looking for any familiar names. That can be frustrating too. I happened upon an obit from when one of her father's sister-in-laws had died. It of course listed the info about her but it also listed the surviving relatives. I went through each name and tried the online search resources again. I found one of the lady's granddaughters and I found an address and phone number. I'm not big on telephone calls so first I checked to see if she had a FACEBOOK account. Doesn't everyone? Bingo-she did. I "stalked" her down and sent her a text asking if I had the right family and if she had ever heard of this "missing" family member. It was the right family,but she hadn't heard of the relative.She said she would get back to me after she had talked to her dad. OK. I was excited. I got a little impatient waiting so I went to another obit from her mother's side of the family. This time I couldn't find a facebook account that matched any of the names. I tried the name of an aunt in the search engines again and found one and I knew it was the right one because once I pulled her up,it listed a few other people and had her late husband's name too. PAY DIRT!!! I was sooo excited. I got my girlfriend to call and see if she knew where our "missing" relative was. And she did. OH,MAN! I can't tell you-I was on cloud 9! (The reason I had my friend call was because we were trying to keep the peace in the house and we weren't sure how my husband's dad would re-act to the news. And if I called and either noone was at home or they called back I didn't want a South Carolina phone number showing up just yet.) I could barely contain myself,but I texted my husband at work and told him to CALL HOME! It seemed like it took forever for him to get a break. I told him to sit down. He thought the house was on fire or something. I told him that I had found his mother and that he had 3 sisters and that there was more to the story of why she left than he was told. Talk about dead silence. I think I took his breath away. Later when he got home that night,I told him more about what I found out. I could tell he was more open to maybe talking to her. The next morning,I had to get him out of the house so I could talk to her. I made him a list and sent him to the grocery store. Once he was out of the driveway,I took a deep breath and dialed her number. Did I tell you how much I HATE to talk on the phone? Long story short,they had been looking for him too. He thought I was on the phone with my girlfriend when he came back in because I was laughing so much. His mom is such fun to talk to-she's like a kid! I got him to sit down in the recliner and asked if he wanted to talk to her yet. I wasn't sure if he was ready. I think he was still in shock that I had found her and was actually talking to her on the phone. He nodded,so I handed him the phone. It was so amazing to watch and listen to him talking to her. They have talked for hours every day since. With 40+ years to catch up on,I guess so. He has talked to his mom and one sister. We are already looking at schedules and counting up how much vacation time he has and trying to see when we can make a trip to South Carolina. I'm thinking around Labor Day,which also happens to be our 11th wedding anniversary,but we'll have to see. But we will definately take a vacation to see them relatively soon. So after almost 11 years of marriage,I have a mother-in-law and sisters-in-law,and the husband has found out that he is married to a "Nancy Drew/Sherlock Holmes" ABSOLUTE GENIUS of a wife. Life-it's an amazing adventure!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Please excuse my "square" eggrolls and the cute little easter plate!

No matter how hard I try,I just can NOT roll a pretty little eggroll. I've tried several different folding techniques,but this way works the best for me.This is a TRIED AND TRUE recipe I grew up with. My sister got it from a lady she worked with when I was a teenager.

ground meat (chicken/turkey/beef/pork)
shredded cabbage
coconut oil
eggroll wrappers
Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger salad oil
teriyaki sauce

Melt a few tsp of coconut oil in a pan and cook the ground meat until done**I added a splash or two of the teriyaki sauce and the Sesame Ginger Oil--drain--add cabbage and meat in a large bowl and stir to mix together well--add in whatever other shredded veggies you want (I would add shredded carrots but I'm allergic)--**I also added a few splashes of the Sesame Ginger Oil in with the cabbage--place about a TBS of mixture onto your eggroll wrapper and wrap-making sure to seal the edges with a dab of water--place on a baking sheet and spritz with a touch of cooking spray--bake in a 450* oven until they are brown--about 20mins turning them over at about 10mins--serve with your favorite dipping sauce--I used a little pineapple preserves,coconut oil,and teriyaki sauce.

Kitchen Happenings......

I had planned on making another batch of the chicken "white chili" I made a few weeks ago,but ended up not adding the spices,so it was just chicken soup,I guess.
No recipe,really,I just kind of put it all together--spinach,ground chicken,cannellini beans.

I picked up a few zucchini at the store the other day after seeing a recipe for zucchini potato pancakes.I made them for breakfast this morning. They were really good-wish I would have had some apple sauce to top them with.I used this recipe from FOOD NETWORK. The husband can be wary of some of the recipes I try sometimes,so he was less than enthusiastic when I mentioned it this morning. I got one of those wrinkled up nose "say what?" looks. Since it didn't sound like he was going to try them,I got things ready to freeze them.By the time I made it into the kitchen,he was working on his second one! "These are good" was the response. SHEESH! When will he learn this mama doesn't make bad food! (Just don't ask about the peanut sauce I tried a few years ago-that did NOT turn out!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We all need a good girlfriend......

I recently connected again with a girlfriend from high school. It's been fun getting caught up with each other again--chatting about our "real life" adventures since school. She has a daughter that's a few years older than my kiddo. They get along great. She homeschools,too! How cool is that? It's shown me that even happily married,busy moms need girlfriends too. I think we've chatted on the phone lately more than we ever did years ago. I was quiet and kind of reserved back then. I've really enjoyed connecting with her again. We have a few projects in the works. Don't worry,I'll keep everyone updated.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Same old.....Same old.........

There hasn't been much excitement going on in my kitchen lately-it's been a scattered mix of the same old suppers--spaghetti,baked fish,salmon croquettes,chili and I've been utilizing leftovers lately when I didn't want to cook a full meal.I did serve the chili in tostada cups this week and the guys seemed to like it-I guess that counts as something new doesn't it? I am a little excited about something "foodish" though. (Is that a word?) I like tuna fish,but had to stop eating it a few years ago because it "hurt" me. I have very bad reflux and tuna fish-even the cans packed in water didn't agree with me. I could eat tuna steaks but not the tuna packed in the little cans. Well,I have been craving it lately so I decided to try it again. I'm on a different medication for my reflux issues than I was back then. I was thrilled after I was able to eat my first tuna-salad sandwich in years! Now my pantry is packed with tuna. Did you know they make marinated tuna now? I love the yellowfin tuna marinated in garlic and olive oil. OH MAN! They have jalapeno and sun-dried tomatoes too,but I can't eat those. I'm perfectly happy with my other little plain old tuna! I've found that I prefer white albacore to the "regular" canned tuna. I don't use mayo,so I usually put in a couple of TBS of salad dressing (usually caesar or italian oil)and either eat as a salad with lettuce,in a flaxseed wrap, or my newest find kangaroo pockets-which are basicly mini pita shells. I'm so excited that I can have tuna again! It's the little things in life that make me happy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Angry Birds Birthday...............

Wednesday was a special nephew's birthday. He loves to play video games and phone games.He introduced my son to several Iphone/Ipod games--among them Angry Birds.
I was looking online and saw several ways people had made Angry Birds cakes.I couldn't resist.I thought for sure I'd be able to find little angry bird toys to use as toppers for the cake at WM (they're supposed to have everything aren't they?)--NOT!!! I ended up having to go to Toys R Us to find what I needed. I think it turned out cute.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hamburger Soup

Hamburger soup was discussed on a message board I frequent,so I thought I would make some for the guys to eat on a few days.And bonus points to me because I can get out of cooking tomorrow!

1lb or more of ground meat (I used turkey)
bag of frozen mixed veggies
bag of frozen corn kernels
1/3 bag of elbow macaroni noodles
1/2 bag frozen diced onion
**stock or water for cooking the soup

In a large skillet,brown the meat until it is cooked--while meat cooking in a large
stockpot,add in enough water or stock to fill the pot about 2/3 full--add in both bags of frozen veggies, 1/2 of the bag of diced onion, and the macaroni noodles--Season with salt/pepper/or any of your favorite seasonings for soup--once the meat is fully cooked,drain well--add to the stock pot and bring to a good boil--turn down to a medium simmer and cook until the noodles are done.

**This is one of those "dump" recipes I like--where you can add in whatever you have in your fridge or whatever veggies you have on hand-if you don't have frozen you can of course use fresh or canned. I didn't really measure anything,I just added until it looked like soup and cooked. EASY!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Something old-Something new---LEFTOVERS

The guys here aren't too big on eating leftovers--at least the husband isn't,I don't think Grandpa minds. A few days ago I made sloppy joe's for supper and ended up with a bowl of leftovers. I added a can of black beans and a can of kidney beans,sprinkled a little cheese on top and topped it all off with a spicy mexican cornbread. After a sniff or two,the husband said "hmm that's not bad"--as if I would make him eat something yucky! He took some of that to work with him today and I gave Grandpa the last little scoop of it for supper tonight. I call that a win-win situation. I didn't have to go all out cooking yesterday or today. How do you turn your old leftovers into something new?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Slow Cooker Honey-Sesame Chicken

I found this recipe online and it sounded quick/easy/delish-so I had to try it. BUT I didn't make it in the slow cookier because I had just gotten back from grocery shopping and didn't want to wait to eat,so I improvised a little.
OK,OK--I improvised ALOT. I also tweaked it to accomidate what I had on hand. I still plan on making it in the crockpot another day,but I thought I would share the recipe NOW.

Honey Sesame Chicken
1 package of chicken tenderloin strips
salt/pepper/seasoning to taste
1/2 onion sliced thin
splash of teriyaki maranade
handful of cooked spaghetti noodles
1 cup or so of shredded plain cabbage
a few splashes of low fat honey-ginger salad dressing (*Newman's Own)
1/2-1 cup of water

In a large skillet,add the water and turn heat on to high-medium high--cut the chicken tenderloins into thin strips--slice the onion into thin strips--add both into the skillet and cook until done--add the seasoning--add in the maranade and stir to coat everything well--cook until all the liquid is gone and there is a slight sauce left--pour into a large bowl--add in a handful of cooked spaghetti noodles---add in the cabbage---add in the salad dressing--mix well coating everything--serve hot or cold--

**I sometimes add a little water or stock to something I'm cooking so I won't have to use cooking oil.
**I used spaghetti noodles because the husband was making spaghetti and it was ready and waiting for me-I usually use the shiritaki noodles (Thanks,Hungry Girl!)
**You can of course,add in any other veggies you like,but I was hungry and not feeling very creative-broccoli and snow peas would be good in this.
**Here's a tip I saw on DR OZ last week--it's for salads,but would work for this too---in a spill proof container add in your salad dressing last,make sure the lid is on tight and shake it until everything is coated.It's supposed to help you coat everything in your salad using less dressing.SMART!!!

Valentine's Day.....Love it or hate it?

I love the IDEA of Valentine's Day---sweet,romantic gestures,flowers and chocolates for your sweetie. But in real life,it's just an over-commercialized holiday filled with alot of hype from the candy and card biz. But then romance isn't "real life" is it? I'm kind of in the middle on how I feel about it all-I mean sure,like every other girl,I like to be pampered and reminded how much my other half loves me,but I'm like if you can't show me on the other 364 days of the year,then don't just go out and buy crap because it's Valentine's Day. Buy me flowers on a Thursday-for no other reason than you were thinking about me and knew it would make me smile. Now for Valentine's Day this year,I told the other half to write me a love letter. That's all I want. I told him he lost the romance about halfway through our first year of marriage. Happens to alot of husbands,doesn't it? I know he loves me and he tells me all the time,but he just isn't good with the romance. OK enough philosophy for one day,it's making my head hurt! I saw these recipes on facebook of all places-well the ocean spray facebook page. Can we say CRANBERRIES!? I love cranberries-add in a little~OK ALOT of chocolate!That's what a girl wants anyway,isn't it? CHOCOLATE-CHOCOLATE and love letters-the perfect Valentine's Day treats!

Ocean Spray Black Forest Cookies

Chewey Cherry Brownies

I made the brownies as a valentine's day treat and the brownie mix I picked up was a MOCHA one--OH MY STARS!!!! I can't wait to try them!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Birthday!!!!!

This cake is soooo delicious-and not too bad for you.I just noticed the "j" on it-
no,that wasn't intentional LOL.

February 4th is my birthday. And I'm trying to eat healthier (aren't we all?).
The husband always gets me a cake each year---but he gets me one loaded with sugar. That's not good for a diabetic. So this year,I told him NO CAKE!!! I will make my own. I saw a "brownie" recipe on the DR OZ show the other day and am going to apply the same method to a low-sugar cake mix and sugar free frosting (if I use it-haven't decided yet).Hungry Girl did a similar recipe with brownies and chocolate muffins-YUM!

Dr OZ's Pumpkin Brownie Recipe

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February 2nd What's for supper?

I made a turkey-spinach baked "casserole" for me.

The guys had shephard's pie for supper tonight.

Shephard's Pie
1-2pounds of ground meat
1 can of condensed tomato soup
shredded cheddar cheese
1 large onion-diced
salt/pepper/seasoning to your taste
mashed potatoes
1 bag of frozen french style green beans

saute the onion-add the meat and cook until done--drain the fat--in a large bowl add the meat,beans,and tomato soup---stir to mix well---pour into a casserole dish and top with the cheddar cheese and mashed potatoes-bake until the cheese is melted.

Turkey-Spinach Baked Casserole
2pounds ground turkey (or chicken)
1 jar of light alfredo sauce (I really needed 2)
1 package of spinach (really could have used 2)
1 box of pasta-I used ditalinni but orachetti is delish too
1-2 cans of cannellini beans (drained/rinsed)
salt/pepper/seasoning to taste
shredded white italian cheeses

cook the meat until done-drain the fat--cook the pasta while the meat is cooking to save time---drain the pasta and add to a large bowl add the meat and spinach--pour
in the sauce-add the drained and rinsed beans--stir to mix well---pour into a casserole dish and top with the cheese--bake until cheese is melty and browned.
**I really should have used 2 packages of spinach and 2 jars of sauce-but I only
picked up 1 of each....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Scrapbooking....Where/How do I start?

OK,I'm a little behind with it all. Since we went to all digital cameras,I am WAY behind in printing photos--Say about 7-8yrs behind! I was doing good until we had a computer crash and I lost a bunch of baby pics,and things just went down hill from then. I'm trying to do better. Every couple of weeks I've been printing out about $20 worth of photos and either putting them in a photo album or putting them aside to scrapbook. I have a couple of basic scrapbooks that I have tickets from events we've gone to or special cards or other sentimental items--but not those pretty scrapbooking pages I've seen everyone on tv doing-with the little cutouts and photo collages. I've decided to take the plunge and scrapbook. My first project is going to be to make a scrapbook with some photos from our wedding (almost 11yrs ago-yeah I'm behind!). I found a gorgeous book at and am going to get started working on it today. Anyone have any tips or tricks to share with me? Anyone have any fave online places to buy scrapbooks supplies at? HELP!


Let's face it,we all should do it,but sometimes it's hard to find the time-especially for busy moms-and especially for this homeschooling mom/housewife. I've been hearing about PILATES for a while now and picked up a basic pilates dvd and ball last year. I love it-the exercises are gentle,but if you stick with it you will see results. I saw Susan Lucci on HSN with the Malibu Pilates Pro chair. At first,I was skeptical,but I watched and did a little research and after seeing the promo spots several times,I finally decided to give it a try. I have an exercise bike,but I get bored easily and it wasn't in a room where I could exercise and watch tv or anything. I've since had hubby move it to the downstairs room where his big tv is so I can now exercise and watch music videos or something-but that's another story.Back to the PILATES chair. It is such a great value and no I'm not getting paid to say that.The exercises with it are also gentle and have options for beginners. I am so excited about it! It came with 6 different dvd workouts. I can't wait to move from beginner and work through them all.

Minute Steaks/Swiss's what's for supper

My husband LOVES fried minute steaks. I hate to cook them because I don't like frying foods and it can be messy. I've tried baking them but he says it's just not the same-they always turn out tough. I saw an ALTON BROWN show on FOOD NETWORK a while back showing how to cook a tender swiss steak. Now,swiss steak traditionally has tomato product in it-but I am allergic to tomatoes,so I leave it out and end up doing a cross between swiss steak and my husband's fave minute steak. It's delicious! And because that's what's for dinner today,my husband is counting down the minutes until he can eat! Here's the original recipe from Alton Brown on Food Network.

My version of minute steaks-cooked swiss steak style

1 pack of minute steaks
flour for dredging
chicken stock
1 large onion sliced thin
salt/pepper/fave seasonings
a few TBS of canola oil

Heat oven to 325*F--in a large dutch oven,add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan-heat until it's at frying temp---dredge the steaks in flour and shake off excess--add to the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown on each side--don't over crowd the pan while cooking the meat--I was only able to do 2 at a time--remove from pan and place on plate--add in the onion and cook until soft--add the meat back into the pan and pour in the chicken stock--the original recipe called for 2 cups but I used the whole box because my pan was so large--place lid on dutch oven and place in oven and let cook until meat is "falling apart" about 1 1/2 hours
**you can either season the meat when you finish frying it or you can add the seasonings to the flour when you dredge the meat.

Monday, January 23, 2012

White Chili

For a while now,I've been wanting to try a "white chili" since I can't eat tomatoes. I found one over the weekend and decided to give it a try. I based my version on THIS recipe. And as usual,I changed it up a bit.

Turkey Chili

1 can of green chilies
2 pounds of ground turkey (or chicken)
3 cans of cannellini beans (or your fave white bean)
1 large onion diced
salt/pepper/chili seasoning to your taste
1 bag of spinach
1 TSP canola oil (or olive oil)
3 TBS of flour (or cornstarch or your fave thickener)
handful of corn kernels
1 large box of chicken stock (4-6cups)

in a TBS of oil,brown the onion-add in the meat and cook until it is done-drain well-return to the pot and add in the chicken stock--rinse the beans and add into pot--add in the can of green chilies--bring up to a boil--in a separate cup dissolve the flour in about 1/3 cup of warm water--pour it into the pot--add in the bag of spinach and corn kernels--bring back up to a boil--let boil for a few mins--reduce and let simmer on stove for about 20 more minutes.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Rings.........

After the husband dropped his wedding ring down the toilet a few months ago, I have been debating whether or not to get him a new one or to just pull the fancy one out of the safety-deposit box at the bank. He said that he didn't really want to wear it to work because it could get beat up. Makes sense. So I decided that I would find him something that he could wear without worrying about whether or not it takes a battering. I found some cool stainless steel bands on and then after a little more searching, I found these. I decided to get us matching ones. I think the tribal/swirly pattern on it kind of looks like a tattoo. And since I married "mr tattoo dude"-it's just perfect. I love it. Now I can wear this when I don't want to wear my fancier rings.

A New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope that 2012 is a great one for us all-despite what the Mayans warn us about come December.

We rang in the new year the same way we always have--at home. I had a very chilled bottle of Proseco that I planned to finally pop the cork on-I had bought it about 2 years ago and it's been waiting in the fridge for me. Let's just say I don't like Proseco anymore than any other "adult" beverages that I've tried. I was very disappointed. The kiddo asked to stay up till midnight and he made it until about 11:30pm. By the time the fireworks went off I think he was sound asleep. The fireworks and gun shots drove poor Tinkie crazy. I am surprised she can even bark today. I got to sleep in for a change,so this has been a great laid back morning. For our late afternoon/early evening meal, I have a glazed ham in the oven and black eyed peas and collard greens to go with it. It smells divine! I'm not hungry yet,but hubby can't wait to dive into things. Down South,we eat black eyed peas and greens for prosperity in the new year. I used this glaze for our Christmas ham also.

Glaze For Baked Ham

a few giant heaping spoons of citrus marmalade
a few giant scoops of dijon mustard
about 1 cup of apple juice
about 1 cup of brown sugar

**I used 3 citrus marmalade and pineapple preserves today
**I don't measure when I make this glaze-I just add and taste as I go along.....