Saturday, January 30, 2010

Everyday Random

If I actually cared about my twitter account, these are a few of the posts that you might have seen this last week...

E asked me to look for "Buckwheat Bisquick Mix" at the grocery store. And he was serious...(he saw a recipe for buckwheat pancakes in a
tool and home repair magazine).

E got up early and made breakfast for us this morning. When I got up, I thanked him for his thoughfulness and his response was, "I had to get up early and send my mistress a text message, so since I was up..." to which I responded "So you were feeling guilty?" he says "No" and walked away!!

Later on, I asked him what him and his mistress were talking about that was so important at 6:30am on a Saturday? His response was "If you want to know, go get your own mistress!"

I have officially cleaned vomit off the floor 7 times in the past 24 hours...(Rachel throws up when she poops and I don't know what Maggie's problem is)...If I have to clean up vomit again today, I am going to vomit!...(and then have to clean that up too).

I listen to this Christian family online radio station in the mornings while I make breakfast and clean the kitchen, and if I hear Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle" one more time, they are receiving a phone call from me! How is "If you want to be with me, you gotta rub me the right way!" suitable for a family radio station??

Have you ever been so addicted to Wii tennis that you find yourself blaming your bad shots on your Wii tennis-elbow and talking SMACK to the little robot people playing against you? I think I need therapy!!

And now a few pictures from a long week:

Nothing interesting about this picture except for the fact that when I went in to wake her up (because she had been asleep for almost 3 hours), all I could see were tiny little toes sticking out between the crib slats!!
We call this "The Great Snack Exchange." Rachel takes Maggie's milkbone, so in retaliation, Maggie eats her teething biscuit, then sits and waits patiently for her to become disinterested with the milkbone.

This is why we only eat ravioli on bathday!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The New Playhouse

I saw a playhouse on Homemade by Jill and immediately knew I was going need one for my little blue-eyed girl! I showed my mom and immediately she agreed. Without my knowledge, she completed the whole thing and gave it to Rachel at Christmas.

She walks around dusting my floors with the flowers she pulled out of her garden. It's so cute!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What's Cooking Wednesday - Brookies

E came up with the name for these...isn't it cute? It's a blend between cookies and brownies...but it's also the nickname that my close family calls me. He threw it out there and it immediately stuck. However, these aren't "Brooke" originals so I don't know if I necessarily get to name them. They were first seen on Bakerella...she has the most beautiful confectionary treats on her site. If you want her step by step instructions in picture form, Go visit!! But I think they are Betty Crocker recipes.
Bakerella's picture...not mine!!

Back to the point...Did I mention we are talking about a blend of cookies and brownies today? Oh my. 2 of my favorite desserts rolled into one! I literally gained 5 pounds the first 2 weeks of January after I made these three times for several different events. The recipe makes an insane amount and no one can turn these down. Thank goodness I didn't make any insane weight New Year's Resolutions. This is my new "take to someone's house" dessert.

As if all of those reasons weren't enough to go to the store tonight and make these, here's another one. I used box mixes from the grocery store!! Nothing fancy. I know!! Isn't this great.

Go therefore and bake multitudes of BROOKIES and distribute them among all the peoples. (If that's not in the Bible, it should be, because if Jesus had tried these brownies...!!)

1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting, optional

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray, or grease with shortening. Make brownie mix as directed on box, using oil, water and 2 eggs. Spread in pan.

2. Make cookie mix as directed on pouch, using butter and 1 egg. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls evenly onto brownie batter; press down lightly.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes. Frost with frosting, if desired. For brownies, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.

Monday, January 25, 2010

List Progress

I got a huge jump of my New Year list without intending to jump the gun, so-to-speak. What have I done already? Well, I am glad you asked.

I spent a large chunk of the day Saturday listing some of Rachel's old baby clothes on Ebay. It was a long day but I hope it will pay off in the end. Then I cleaned out her closet and drawers and found a whole new pile of clothes to get rid of again. So I expect I will be listing alot more this week too. If you are interested in any of the stuff I am selling, click here and mention that you are a reader and I will ship whatever you win for FREE. It's all little girls' clothes though.

Me and E have committed to turn the TV off for one week to make time for some bible study and prayer in our lives this week. So, last night, I couldn't sleep because, well, normally, I watch tv until I can't hold my eyes open anymore. So I tried reading a book. It was so good that expect to be halfway through the book by this afternoon. Halfway to having one of my 5 books read. I hardly ever read so I am pumped about that. Luckily, my mom gave me the entire set of 4 books for Christmas. And if I hear one more person tell me how wonderful the twilight series is, I may have to break down and read the first book. I know...I must be living under a rock if I haven't read those books yet!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Last of the Holiday Pictures

All iPhone pics...kinda grainy!

Rachel pooped through her clothes (while my Dad was babysitting...HA, I wish I could have seen that). Needless to say, the airline lost our luggage and carseat so other than the clothes she had on (the before mentioned poopy clothes), all she had to wear was a coat the next morning until I had a chance to go and buy her something to wear.

My dad prides himself on the elaborate display of icing on each and every hand-crafted and uniquely decorated Christmas cookie. It's just not Christmas unless there is at least 2 inches of icing AND SPRINKLES on each and cookie.

Mom and I took Rach shopping and while I looked around at a little baby boutique, Mom entertained Rachel (and herself) by trying different hats on the willing baby! She was so funny...she just laughed and laughed and thought the whole dress up game was hillarious!

I guess she was ready to go back home and see Daddy and Maggie!

The gigantic bowl of snow cream that me and E made during the big snow. Oh my! I couldn't stop making and eating snow cream the entire time there was snow on the ground. Besides, how often to I even get to see snow, huh?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

101 Things....

Forget resolutions, make a list instead! While I was shooting for 101 things I wanted to complete this year, I only ended with about 30. But those are still 30 things I plan to accomplish before the year's end. So here are a few I am willing to share with you all:

1. Make a dress. Not just any dress...this dress from My Mama Made It. I am going to do this! I already have the top shirt picked out and have been looking for the fabric for the bottom half.

2. Make Apple Dolls for charity. I saw these dolls on Homemade by Jill using Martha Stewart's how-to guide and can wait to find the nearest craft store and buy felt.

3. Get and a pay a babysitter at least 4 times this year. We have been staying in too much these days.

4. Make a painting for the family room.

5. Make a family yearbook for Rachel and her cousin, Brodie. Since we don't get to see our family members much, I thought it would be a good idea to go over names and faces to try and curb the stranger anxiety a.k.a. excessive screaming when she meets new people.

6. Go to a play, preferably an off-Broadway production here in town.

7. Read at least 5 books, and parenting books count.

8. Buy and sell something on craigslist.

9. Sell old baby clothes on ebay.

10. Go camping. And this time...not in my backyard.

11. Write a will...with a lawyer.

12. Update passport.

13. Put pictures in all of the blank frames around the house...and there are alot of them. I have just never got around to putting photos in any of my frames. It's quite sad. But now that I have several good ones, I need to get around to making that happen.

Well...I have a few more personal goals but nothing I want to plaster all over the internet. I hope you all have a wonderful new year and I hope you all achieve all of your resolutions for this upcoming year.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What's Cooking Wednesday - Green Enchiladas

Let's play a game called "How many burritos can you jam into one casserole dish?"

While I love a good complicated recipe like the next girl, those long complicated recipes wreak havoc on my time management. The recipe says that it will take 30 minutes from start to finish and I am still chopping and measuring 25 minutes in. But I saw Rachael Ray make these enchiladas and take forever making her own salsa verde (expensive) and take forever poaching and shredding chicken. So I thought to myself, "Self, you could make something just as good, much faster (because I always keep a stock of shredded chicken in the freezer), for WAY cheaper (because green salsa cost $.72 a can at the grocery store)." Voila!!

Want to reduce the number of carbs you are about to inhale? Cut a quarter of the tortilla off before you roll them and put them in the dish. You save 9g of carbs in one serving and you don't even know it's gone.

BTW, this one got 5 stars at our dinner party/game night on Sunday. Why haven't I ever tried to make enchiladas before? What's my damage?!? These are Awesome!

Green Enchiladas

1 jar (14 oz) salsa verde (green salsa)
4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup canned green enchilada sauce (optional)
8 large flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups sour cream, divided
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Garnish: (optional)
raw red onion rings
chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, jalapeños and garlic, and cook to soften, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add chicken and 3/4 cup sour cream. Stir to combine.

Pour half of the salsa verde into the bottom of 9x13 medium casserole dish. Fill 8 flour tortillas with the shredded chicken mixture, roll them up and arrange them side-by-side in the baking dish. Spread the remaining sour cream over the top of the tortillas. Top with remaining salsa verde. Spoon enchilada sauce around the sides. Top with Swiss cheese, and then Jack cheeses. Bake 25-30 minutes until bubbly and brown on top.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Christmas Pics

I completely forgot that I had this post completed and ready to go. Even though it's been sitting around for a while, I hope you enjoy!

E helping Rach open her presents. We put her in the jumper until we were finished to keep her occupied.

Moms, grandmas, sisters, babies, etc.

First, she had to get him out...

...So she could get in.

Riding SHOTGUN with PawPat

The "BEFORE DINNER" picture while they were both clean. She constantly wanted to stick her fingers in his ears...Weird!

This is the year Rachel discovered dog crates...

...and then Namaw taught her the art of bubble wrap.

The Babies in the Christmas pajamas Nanny gave them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rachel Figured Out how to Open my Kitchen Cabinets

What's Cooking Wednesday - Hob Knobs

E asked me to host an early QUICK dinner at our house every Wednesday night for him and his co-workers who have a late night meeting every Wednesday for a few weeks. Why? Well, he thought it would be nice to serve a warm, healthy, free meal at our house which is closer to their office (5 minute walk) than any fast food restaurant or their own house.

So every Wednesday night for about the past 2 months, we have had a variety of visitors around our dinner table. Since, they have to get back to work so quickly, I always have a kettle of hot water for hot chocolate next to a stack of to-go coffee cups as well as a dessert for the road.

We have already done and exhausted cookies and brownies, and brownies topped with cookies (more about those later...Mmmmmm) so I was struggling this week for ideas when I remembered E's favorite cookies from home (his mom's recipe). While I am sure that his mom's are better than mine, I quickly made a batch anyway. Emphasis on QUICKLY!!

There is old fashioned oats in this recipe ... so that makes them healthy, right?? I literally made these in less than 10 minutes and now have an awesome grab n' go dessert to keep E and our guests during their meeting tonight.

Hob Knobs

1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup peanut butter (I use Reduced Fat Creamy PB)
5 tbsp cocoa powder
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 tbsp vanilla

Mix milk, sugar and butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Stir. Bring mixture to a boil and let boil for 1 minute. Remove pot from heat and add PB, cocoa, oats and vanilla to the pot. Stir until all ingredients have been mixed. Spoon rounded tablespoons of mixture onto wax paper. Cookies will harden as they cool (about 1 hour). Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Finale

Ok, let's get to the story that makes me cringe to think about. Since it snowed the night before I was scheduled to take off, my flight got cancelled and rescheduled 2 days later, AT A DIFFERENT TIME. Now, normally I wouldn't care, but this year, I am traveling with Rachel and it's ALL ABOUT SCHEDULING! So I got to the airport 2 hours earlier than my flight and thought I would have plenty of time. NOPE! I waited in line at the ticket counter for an hour and a half, then went through security. This is the part of the story where I get on my soap box real fast.

I am from the South. People helping people, holding the doors, smiling and saying hello and thank you. When a mother walks through security with an infant, stroller, diaper bag and carry-on, please TSA, offer to help her take off her (and baby's) coat and shoes, unload all food and drink and formula from the diaper bag, load everything on the conveyor belt, take baby out and fold up the stroller, throw it up on the conveyor belt, then find my boarding pass and ID to go through the metal detector, and then regroup once we were cleared. Let me say how much I loathe Northerners (sorry Northerners) for this reason...not one person helped me or was even understanding. I had more people agitated that I was taking so long than were willing to help me or go around me since I offered that to everyone.

Now that I am off of my soap box, I only had 15 minutes after clearing security to make my flight and, of course, my gate required a shuttle and LONG walk! I SPRINTED with baby and stroller and carryon and diaper bag. I made it with 5 minutes to spare only be delayed until Rachel's bedtime which made for a FUN flight. We landed, deplaned and made our way to baggage claim only to find out that they lost my luggage and my carseat. Figures!

Well, luggage and carseat showed up 2 days later, luckily I could wear my mom's clothes but poor Rach, she pooped through her clothes in and all I had to put on her was her coat while I washed her clothes.

The flight home was about the same. My flight got delayed again so we didn't take off until after 10pm. Rachel was beyond exhausted and the flight was SCARY! The wind was blowing 45 mph in 22 degree weather when we landed at 12:30am. I think I would rather give birth again then fly with my child well after bedtime ever again.

Rach enjoying the wide open spaces in the empty terminal. With 3 hours to kill, I just let her go and stayed close by.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Triple Threat

I totally triple booked myself today and I am regretting every last second of it. First, I offered to babysit for about 4 hours for my neighbor. Then, I offered to take dinner to our other neighbors who just had a brand new baby girl. Then, I offered to host dinner for E and all of this co-workers. What a long day! Somehow, everything turned out ok, except for the fact that Rachel had CRAZY HAIR and only a diaper on when guests arrived for dinner.

So, since I took a quick quiche over to my neighbors last night, I have decided to share my/Paula Deen's recipe with you for an awesome Bacon Spinach Quiche that is my new GO-TO for when I have to take dinner to someone. I always struggle with what to take them so that I don't have to give my good dishes away (and hope they come back some day). Normally, I opt for Chicken Chili or Jumbalaya (something I can put in gladware) but if I can make a quiche, I can throw it in a pie crust from the freezer section of the grocery store and give it away guilt-free.

Here's the best part...Frozen pie crusts come in a 2-pack and it's just as easy to make 2 quiches as it is to make 1 quiche. Can we all say "LEFTOVERS!!!" (I love leftovers almost as much as I love coffee). So to sum up, I love coffee, Rachel has crazy hair and this quiche AWESOME!.

Bacon Spinach Quiche
6 large eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach, packed
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese (Swiss works great too, or whatever you have)
1 (9-inch) frozen pie crust
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Layer the spinach, bacon, and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then VERY SLOWLY pour the egg mixture on top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

We're Back

Well, we made it home...barely...lots of weather and ice and delays made for 2 VERY interesting plane rides. Just to keep me on my toes, the airlines thought it would be funny to reschedule all of my flights with my little one after 9pm. For the record, the fun just never stopped on one particular flight. I have come to the realization that I HATE FLYING now that I have a kid...and it's only an hour and a half flight home.

Back to our same ole schedule this week...Thank God! Groceries are bought and put away, suitcases are unpacked, and the symptoms of the 57 teeth that decided to come this week at the same time as a diaper rash and a cold have subsided so sleep is finally returning to normal.

Just a few Christmas and snow day pics to hold you over until I get my thoughts and pictures better organized.

E, who is old enough to be my ... much older brother ... sometimes treats me like a small child, and here is the evidence. He has a favorite Christmas book, Mr Wallaby's Christmas Tree, that he forgot to read to Rachel on our faux-Christmas Eve, so he made me sit on the couch with him so he could read the story to me.

Our Christmas tree, moments after Santa arrived.
She found the toys Santa left pretty quick. I sat her down to drink her morning milk as usual. I think she may have taken 2 sips before something blue and yellow caught her eye.

Me and E built a snow fort around the front of our house together while Rach took a nap. It totally ROCKED and was the BEST/ONLY snow fort in the neighborhood. Neighborhood kids started to congregate in our front yard trying to figure out what we were building. Don't adjust your monitors, yes, that is red sprinkles you see on top of the "rotundas." E is a little eccentric. I know enough not to question the way his mind works.