Monday, July 27, 2009

Homemade Magic Shell

Here's one I've been wanting to try for over a year. I was trying to find the old bookmark and wouldn't you I ran across someone else who just tried it? Here's the recipe on Alpha Mom. Thanks to Skip to My Lou for linking to it. I asked Mark to try it. Super quick, super easy, and super tasty without mystery ingredients. All you need is coconut oil and chocolate chips.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Still here

It's been almost 5 months. Wow. Work got crazy. Lots of stuff going on, but no posting. I'm a week out from a major implementation at work. I hope that means I have more time for fun stuff.

On to more exciting news, Awesome turned 1 a few weeks ago. He thoroughly enjoyed his cupcake. I went with an owl theme. ("Who's turning one?") Here are the owls. Inspired by these Owl Cupcakes at Ezra Poundcake. I made the cupcakes from scratch. I used Trader Joes Vanilla Joe Joe's for the eyes and ears, chocolate chips for the eyes, and m&m's for the beaks. I tried to feather at the ears with piped frosting. I didn't love that so I left most of them plain. I love the cupcake tower I picked up at Michaels for Sissy's birthday. I got it for $4.99 since it was in holiday packaging. Funny thing, when I got home and slipped off the holiday sleeve, it was the same packaging as one they had on the shelf for $14.99. Love a deal.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I've been fascinated with making things at home that I grew up buying at the grocery store. We ran out of ketchup last weekend and Mark pulled up a recipe online. We reused the bottle from the organic ketchup we normally buy. This is some good stuff. A little runnier than store bought, but tasty.
While Mark worked on the ketchup, I tried out a cracker recipe from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook. It's a basic recipe where you add your own extra ingredients. The first out of the oven were very similar to plain pita chips. I added garlic powder to the dough, then onion and then garlic salt. Sissy could not get enough of them. They were great for dipping in hummus. I'll have to work on this recipe.

We made our own tortillas a week ago. So easy and so good. I need to track down the picture for those.The other homemade treat was naan. I prepared the dough in the breadmaker. Mark and I worked together to cook them. One of us rolled them out and the other cooked them on the skillet. They look similar to the tortillas in this picture. I like this naan recipe better than the first one I tried. The kids kept asking for more. I really want to learn how to make dosas. A friend's mom is visiting from India and prepared some fresh dosas the other week. So delcious.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Rice cooker mac n cheese
Tuesday- Cici's for the RM Fundraiser

Wednesday- Hamburgers/Veggie Burgers

Thursday- Burritos/Burrito casserole

Friday- Homemade Pizza night (we might get crazy and do calzones)

Saturday- Adventure Night- Japan- Pork terriyaki for the family tofu terriyaki for me

Form more Menu Plan Monday, head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Adventure Night

We alternate pizza night and adventure night every Friday and Saturday. This past Saturday adventure night was fondue. We started with a mozarella and cheddar fondue with homemade bread, apple, and carrot dippers. The kids were very into the forks and dippers. They weren't terribly excited about the cheese fondue. Mark and I thought it rocked. What the kids really liked was the chocolate fondue. Imagine that! We had apples, pineapple, and pears to dip. Sissy even tried bread and carrots in the chocolate.

Mark made the fondue, I prepared the dippers. It was mess to make and a mess to clean up, but we'll still do it again some time.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sissy Style

Yes, I let her wear this to school minus dad's Oakleys. I at least convinced her to wear her black maryjanes instead of her pink and grey tennis shoes. When she gets older, she's going to think we were nuts letting her leave the house dressed like this.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Mark and I have been menu planning together for a few weeks. We haven't followed everything exactly. Even if we do not cook what was scheduled every night, it helps to have the ideas on paper. Menu planning is much more effective when we are both involved.

Last night while he fixed the kids dinner, I started 3 dinners for this week. In 2 hours, we had 4 meals completed and I had cleaned th
e kitchen. When he was getting lunch ready, Mark also started marinating pork for another meal. Most of what I needed to cook was already in the freezer or pantry. I only had to pick up a couple items to make the meals.

Sunday: shepherds pie *done
Monday:Pork terriyaki *done
Tuesday: Baked Ziti *done
Wednesday: Hamburgers/Veggie Burgers on Homemade buns
Thursday: Pot pie *done

Friday: Pizza night
Saturday: Adventure night, Fondue

When the rest of the family eats meat, I just eat the sides and sub veggie protein.

I think we are getting the hang of this.

Form more Menu Plan Monday, head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hamburger rolls and cheese crackers

I've wanted to make hamburger and hot dog rolls forever. I finally did it today. A friend highly recommended The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook. Mark gave it to me for Christmas. Every recipe we've used has turned out excellent. Today was no exception. It is the perfect cookbook companion to my beloved Zojirushi Bread Machine. These rolls are so soft, fluffy, and tasty. I fixed Bud and Sissy natural hot dogs on the hot dog buns I made. They LOVED the rolls. I enjoyed an Amy's Cheddar Veggie Burger on hamburger roll. I really had no idea how good a home made sandwich roll could be. For dinner I fixed the kids Trader Joe's meatballs with TJ's Kansas Barbecue Sauce and a side of TJ's sweet potato fries. I made a veggie "meatball" sub for myself on one of the hot dog buns. Mark fixed "hot diggity dogs" on a roll for his dinner. He was quite impressed as well. The recipe says they can be frozen. I wrapped 6 sliced buns in press and seal, labeled with contents and date, and popped them in the chest freezer. I hope they freeze well. If they do, I can't imagine ever buying rolls again. I kept a few buns for us to enjoy the next couple of days. I don't think the picture does them justice. Did I mention how fluffy these are? Wow.

If home made rolls aren't enough, I made these cheese crackers again. I used mini cookie cutters that I picked up on sale at Crate and Barrel and Michael's. These are savory little crackers that cook quickly and slide right off the pan. The recipe says they store for up to a week in a well sealed container. They've never lasted that long in our house.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Vote for White House Farmer

Charlie Collins and his wife Gina Collins run Victory Farms CSA in Hanover, VA. This year will be our second year buying a share. We enjoyed fabulous produce April through November last year. Charlie has been nominated as the White House Farmer. There are quite a few that have been nominated. If you could take a minute to go and vote for Charlie, that would be great! Just go to and cast your vote before January 31st.
Victory Farms, Inc.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I like bananas..

...coconuts and grapes. That's why they call me Tarzan of the Apes! Awesome hit the six month mark a week ago. We started with Avocado. Mark was at work so I didn't get pictures. Oh, the faces he made. I don't know that he loved the avacado, but he kept grabbing for the spoon. Four days of avacado and we were on to bananas. I intended to go to peas next. The peas involved cooking and pureeing. Banana just required mashing. We enjoyed more funny faces. He was definitely into the banana. He finished a third of the banana by himself. He felt he really didn't need any help as you can see here.
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