A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Daily Ramblings, recipes, photos and whatever else I like to share along the way.

Happy New Year


I would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year!!
Things are a quiet here tonight, which is quite nice.
We have had our annual Chinese food and are now waiting until midnight to ring in 2009.
All the best to you and yours!

Sleep, Sleep and more sleep

This morning I was greeted to a knock at the door (10 am), I was still in my work out clothes (oops!) and my hair was wild.
The electric company was going to work on the transformer that leads to our house so we would be without power for an hour.
Eh, no biggie.
I opted to go outside and tackle the remaining leaves in the backyard eventually the boys joined me.
One hour later a nice chuck of leaves were removed and I could see the grass!
Then it was time to head in and rustle up some lunch for us.
I decided to take a thirty minute break after eating - bad move.
That thirty minute break turned into a three hour snooze on the couch.
I grabbed a throw, Teddy Boy curled up by me and I stretched out.
Yes, I was so comfy.
Three hours!
I knew that I did not sleep very well while we were away and I was a bit deprived on zzz's but not that much!
I'm still quite sleepy and will be hitting the hay early tonight.
My fingers are crossed that I will be able to get a bit more caught up on that oh so important sleep.

Low Fat Cream of Mushroom Soup - Recipe

Yesterday when I ran to the store to pick up a few items I tossed in some mushrooms that were reduced for quick sale.
I love mushrooms; I've been eating them since I can remember.
Now I'm not sure what came over me but I thought why not make some low fat cream of mushroom soup.
My mom would whip up a batch every now and then but I had never tried to make any, so why not now?!
I made a batch today in about thirty minutes, ate it for lunch and it tasted great!


* Exported from MasterCook *


Low Fat Cream of Mushroom Soup

Recipe By: Jeanne Jones
Serving Size : 4
Categories : Soups

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 pound mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour, all-purpose
12 ounces fat free evaporated milk -- this is one can
1 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 tablespoon dry sherry -- optional

  1. Slice enough mushrooms to measure 1 1/2 cups. Finely chop the remaing mushrooms.
  2. Melt the butter or margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add all of the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 10-12 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft and starting to brown. Sprinkle with the flour. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
  3. Gradually add the milk and broth. cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes ro until thickened slightly. Add the sherry (if using). Season to taste with pepper if desired.

Source:
"Homestyle Cooking - 200 Classic American Favorites Made Healthy"
Copyright:
"1999"
Yield:
"4 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 151 Calories; 4g Fat (19.3% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 11mg Cholesterol; 319mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat.

Totally cool cupcakes


Cupcakes simply rock.

These Globe Coca-Cola Cupcakes are simply out of this world!

They use those really cool round holiday Coca-Cola bottles.

Check out the how to at Bakerella, one of my favorite baking blogs.

I'm back....



Hi Ho!!

Actually, we pulled into the driveway around 8 last night.
Today was spent running errands, putting laundry away and finding new homes for the gifts that were received.
I shall share a bit more about the time away tomorrow.

ah.. it's nice to be home. *grin*

Boots are ready...


My kick a@@ Dr. Martens are packed and ready to see some snow!
Stinks that we are going from 70 degree weather to oh...28!
brrr.....
We are outta here (still frazzled and a bit stressed) but onward we go!


Time is ticking away...

Do you see the time of this post?
Late, past my bedtime late.
Seriously.
I still have two teacher's gifts to finish, two loads of laundry to get done and then I can turn in for the day.
Did I mention that I get up at 5:30?!

Now tomorrow shall be a whirlwind and it is not going to be a pretty sight.
I have to wrap the kiddos gifts, help pack the car, finish packing my clothes, put four together four tiny baskets of Oreo truffles for the teachers (they need to be chilled), go to Spencer's party and then get out of Dodge by 11:30 am.

Eep!

Argh..not now...

Things were going alright today.
I was able to pick up a few more gifts, mail off a package, received payment for
some oils I sold on Ebay, Spencer a hair cut and things were getting crossed off my list.
>deep sigh<
Don't worry though I am still buzzing around like a mad woman to get things all done before
*gasp* Friday!
We decided that we would treat ourselves by going out to dinner tonight and meet dh there.
The magical time arrived, the boys and I popped into the mom mobile, put up the garage door and backed out ready to have a nice Mexican meal.
I went to put the garage door down and it would not budge.
Huh..
I could not recall hitting the lock button.
So, out went Spencer to see if he could fix the sensors (they sometimes will wiggle a bit so they are not lined up), he could not get them to light up.
I hopped out of the mom mobile to see what in the world is going on.
-meanwhile Nate is sitting there playing his Nintendo DS with his headphones on oblivious to all the hub bub.
Kids...
I could not get the senors to line up, nor was the switch on lock, ran and threw the breaker for the door- still nothing. Found a ladder, climbed up the ladder, unplugged the bugger, plugged it back in and you guessed it - still nothing.
Our door opener bit the dust.
*sigh*
Not now.
No time to get it fixed before we leave.
grrr!
It never fails.

Then he was gone...


Poor Spencer.

Earlier this afternoon he and I went to the store to pick up some mozzarella.
I forgot it (mozzarella) the first trip to the store when the boys and I picked up a loaf of bread and some ground beef for the lasagna.
Anywho, Spencer opted to go back out to the store with me.
We zipped into the parking lot and bailed out of the mom mobile.
Now it had been raining a little bit off and on all day so there were some puddles.
The parking lot was still a bit wet.
As soon as we got out of the car I told him the lot was a bit slick and to be careful.
The look was one of yeah, I know.
We were walking and chatting while crossing the lot to head into the store.
That was when I noticed it was really quiet.
In my head I began to wonder what was up with the kiddo.
I mean he is never quiet, constant chatter at home from the moment he gets up until the moment his head hits his pillow.
I looked next to me and he's not there.
Look behind me and not there either.
Not looking too good.
Then I hear his voice saying, "Uh mom, I'm down here. I sort of slipped."
Sure enough I look down and there he was.
Poor kid slipped down onto his left leg.
Nothing was broken, just a bit embarrassed and he looked at me and said, "So on a scale of 1-5 what's my score for that fall."

Gotta love him!

Fun Bath Bombs...


How fun are these car bath bombs?

I used blueberry muffin fragrance oil and OMG! they smell so good.

I love the way the color turned out.

The boys asked if I would make some bath bombs to take away with us, how could I say no?!

Those down there (bottom of the post) are mine and are scented with Jo Malone's Nectarine Blossom & Honey type fragrance.

ahh... so nice.



Movie over working....


Alright, I was hustling around the house today trying to get stuff done before Friday.
Why the rush?
We are heading out of town come Friday and I have a H-U-G-E laundry list of stuff that has to be done.
*groan*
You know.. wrap gifts, laundry, wash the dogs, pay bills, bake, buy a few remaining gifts, finish Christmas cards, paper plates & napkins for Spencer's class party, laundry, clean the floors, hair cuts, pack, laundry...
I was hustling around getting some items ready to ship out tomorrow when I found out that I ran out of packing tape.
Crud!
I will add that to my list of things to pick up tomorrow after dropping the kiddos to the store.
With the plans changed I opted to get the dusting done in the family room.
Spencer had decided to watch Batman - The Dark Knight and I was only going to listen.
No time to sit and watch the moive but some how before I knew it I was sitting on the couch watching the movie.
I was sucked in full force - the whole movie.
The movie was good, I mean really good.
I'm actually quite glad that I ended up watching the movie; just wish that the list was a bit smaller. :-/

Holiday Comic..

This was sent to me this morning and gave me a good chuckle.
Thanks Hev!!

Smothered Chicken with Pierogies - Recipe

Growing up my mom always made our pierogies, she would take a day and make dozens of them.
We would eat them throughout the winter lightly cooked in butter and onions.
mmmm...
I some how did not inherit the pierogi making gene.
I tried to make them our first year we were married with my mom, I did not have the patience and my mom ended up finishing them. *blush*
Dh and I had them once or twice over the past twelve years (since the arrival of the boys) and earlier this week I had a taste for some.
With the boys interested in trying new foods (finally) this recipe fit the bill!
I used the mini frozen Mrs. P's pierogies for this receipe but you can use the regular sized ones.
Spencer really enjoyed the dinner, Nate was alright with it but we all agreed that ham would really, really be good.

Great to whip together and will fill you up!


* Exported from MasterCook *

Smothered Chicken with Pierogies

Serving Size: 4
Categories: Main Meal

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 can Cream of Chicken 98% Condensed Fat Free Soup
4 ounces mushroom pieces -- 1 can
1 cup peas, frozen
2 cups cooked chicken -- shredded or cubed
1 dozen pierogie, potato and Cheddar
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a 2 quart casserole with nonstick coating.
  • Thaw pierogies in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and place in the casserole dish.
  • In a large saucepan, combine soup, mushrooms, peas and chicken.
  • Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
  • Pour over pierogies and top with cheese.
  • Bake 15 minutes.

Yield:
"4 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 363 Calories; 8g Fat (20.2% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 40g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 77mg Cholesterol; 569mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fat.

NOTES : Would be wonderful with ham.



Pierogi Soap for that Pierogi Lover

How about some pierogi soap for that pierogi lover in your life?
A great little stocking stuffer and comes in a six fragrances.
You can purchase your pierogi soaps at the Polish Art Center.


Half Pint Mug


Great mug that looks like a half pint glass.
Keeps your drink hot or cold.
Want one?
Check it out @ FireBox.com.


Oatmeal Milk & Honey Soap


I was back making a batch of soap last week and it felt great!
This is my Oatmeal Milk and Honey bar it smells wonderful.
There is no milk or honey in it, that is just the name of the fragrance oil but I did top it off with a bit of oatmeal.
This batch I simply used, Rice Bran Oil, Meadowseed Oil (I had a tiny bit left), Palm Oil, Palm Kernel, Caster Oil and Coconut Oil.
I have to say that it smells sooo good.
Ahh....
I am itching to make some more loaves but I am out of a few ingredients and with the holiday fast approaching I better hold off.
Watch out come January, I will be soaping my heart out. *sigh*

Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies- Recipe

Spritz cookies, yummy!
These rank up in the top three for my favorite holiday cookies.
My mom used to make them by the dozens growing up and I could never get enough of them.
I enjoy eating them them and have shared this love with the boys. *grin*
This recipe is soo rich and soo good.
Your taste buds will be enjoying them but your hips...not so much. lol..
Um.. I did not post the calories because it's the holidays. *wink*

* Exported from MasterCook *

Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies

Recipe By: Mom
Categories: Cookies

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup butter -- softened
1 package cream cheese -- softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Cream butter and cream cheese together.
  • Add sugar and mix well until light and fluffy.
  • Add egg yolk, vanilla and mix well.
  • Gradually add flour and salt to cream mixture.
  • Shape dough in small logs and place in cookie press.
  • Press cookies onto cool ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Can be sprinkled before baking with holiday sugar.

Yield:
"4 dozen"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Serving Ideas: One HUGE glass of milk.

Round Holiday Coca Cola Bottles


I stumbled upon these really cute round holiday Coca Cola bottles today.
Nate is a huge fan of Coke.
Without hesitation I placed two in my cart (hello, Christmas gift) and went on shopping for a few other items.
One bottle has a polar bear and the other has Santa on the back.
I find out after doing some research tonight that these are quite limited in distribution.
Huh...
I just bought them because they were cute.

Mmmm.... another yummy loaf

I am really, really enjoying this bread making gig I am on.
This is a loaf of Couronne.
Oh.SO.GOOD!

Two Thumbs Up.. NHL.COM

I am at a loss this year for gifts for the kiddos.
They have not asked for really anything and I am a bit stumped.
Anywho.. last Thursday Spencer and I were watching a hockey game when he mentioned he would like a t-shirt for the Edmonton Oilers.
Sweet!
So I clicked onto NHL.COM and looked up what they had to offer.
Found it, found an online coupon and ordered it.
I received a notice on Friday that my order shipped and it arrived today!
I could not have asked for any faster processing of the order.
If you have a hockey fan in your life, go and check out NHL.COM.
They are offering 15% off your today with some exclusions and there are some other codes floating out there in internet land.

Why is it?!

When I have plans to go out shopping for myself I end up with one kiddo home sick?
Yep, I have one kiddo home today *sick*.
Spencer was sick late last night but has yet to be sick again I kept him home just to make sure.
I had a day planned out to find some new jeans, ribbon for some gifts and perhaps a present for dh.
Rats... looks like I will try again tomorrow my last day with some free time.

No Worries....

I know two days without a post.
Friday I was exhausted from running a few errands and just not sleeping.
Yesterday, we were out all day doing some holiday shopping.
I was able to get a gift for one of Spencer's teachers and bought myself a few new items (nothing really exciting).
While out shopping I became overheated, for many that is not a bad thing and can recover quite quickly.
I however am doomed, that is because becoming overheated for me ends up in a migraine.
Yep, that is what I ended up with late yesterday afternoon.
It does not want to go away; it is at least a dull throb today.
That is why there have not been daily posts from me over the past two days.
*crosses fingers* My head will be back to normal tomorrow.
Be good and I'll catch you on the flip side.

Fast & Easy Chicken Parmesan....


This is a fast and easy way to make a really tasty Italian dinner one that you and your family will enjoy.



* Exported from MasterCook *

Fast & Easy Chicken Parmesan


Serving Size: 4
Categories: Main Meal

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 chicken breast without skin
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 tablespoon salt
1 cup spaghetti sauce
2 slices part skim Mozzarella cheese slice

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Spray a baking dish lightly with Pam.
  • Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl.
  • Spray each breast with cooking spray and then coat evenly with the bread crumb mixture.
  • Spray each piece of chicken with cooking spray and coat evenly with the bread crumb mix.
  • Arrange the chicken in a baking dish and bake until the meat is no longer pink.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce on top of each piece of chicken.
  • Cut each piece of cheese in half and place one slice on top of each chicken breast.
  • Return to oven and bake until the cheese melts.

Yield:
"4 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 435 Calories; 9g Fat (20.2% calories from fat); 63g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 147mg Cholesterol; 1381mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 8 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 1 Fat.


Happy National Cookie Day...


Today is National Cookie Day.
I know I know that I am a bit late in getting this post up.
Sorry.
While you still have some time go and enjoy a few cookies and a tall glass of milk.
I think you deserve it.
Everyday is a good day for a cookie but today is extra special.

Holiday Smileys....

Not sure if you noticed but I added a holiday smiley over there. ---->

I thought why not add a bit of holiday cheer, go ahead, snag and share.

I will be changing them at least once a week, if not more.

The current smilie is one of my all time favorites.


They left our leaves...

Now over the past few weeks I have been raking our front & backyards to remove all the pesky leaves.

On a few occasions I have been able to rope dh and the boys to help me.

We are allowed to rake them to the side of the road, let the town come around and use their wonderful leaf vacuum truck to take them away.

There is a slight issue there is only one truck that covers the city limits.

The next issue is that our neighborhood has a lot of trees which means a lot of leaves and that means IMO they do not really like coming through here

I think our house has the most leaves, seriously.

Majority of the others have removed their trees from their property so their leaves are few.

I like our trees in the summer, can you say cool house?!

Right, now back to our leaf collection issue.

Each year the men normally come through once in November and then once again in December, to gather those last piles of leaves we all seem to have.

This year however there was no visit to collect our leaves and I had to rake back the piles twice. *grr!*

I have seen them around so I knew that eventually they would be in our development.

Today, today I heard the truck and my heart did a tiny little happy dance.

Finally they were coming for our leaves and we would have a bit of our yard back.

I heard them come down one side of the street, around the curve and head on down the road.

(They do have to turn around and head back towards our house.)

Then I heard the vacuum turn off in the distance.

Oh no!

They wouldn’t.

They couldn’t.

Could they?

They left the neighborhood!

I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they were going to unload the leaves and come back but after five hours of waiting I knew they were not coming back.

They did not touch one single leaf in front or on the side of our house.

*pout*

I really, really hope they come back tomorrow and get these leaves otherwise I think they will be receiving a not so nice phone call.


Turkey Tettrazini – Recipe

If you are you tired of turkey now, please raise your hand.

*raises hand*

The boys are not too fond of left over turkey (can you believe it?!), they can’t get enough of it on the day it is made but come twenty four hours later they want nothing to do with it.

Dh and I can eat only so many turkey sandwiches before we are seeing green.

So last night I figured this would be a wonderful way to use up the rest of those turkey leftovers.

This is the recipe I always use but normally omit the wine and just use some extra chicken broth. Last night however I tossed in some Cabernet Sauvignon since we had a tiny bottle in the fridge.

I can also say that I added in a bit of sour cream.

Honestly, how can you not have sour cream in this recipe?

I like to added in some onion and garlic powder to give it that extra zing.

I have to say that the batch I whipped up last night was the best that I have ever made.

Nate kept telling me how wonderful it was and enjoyed every bite that he ate.

You could make it really healthy by not putting in the sour cream but would you really want to do that?

Rustle up the rest of your left over turkey and you have yourself a meal!

Oh! I did sub in cheddar cheese as you can see.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Turkey Tetrazzini

Recipe By: Evelyn Tribole M.S., R.D.
Serving Size: 6
Categories: Main Meal

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
8 ounces spaghetti
14 1/2 ounces chicken broth -- defatted - one can
8 ounces mushrooms
1 cup evaporated milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons dry sherry*
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 cups turkey -- chopped & cooked
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese -- grated

  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring the brothe to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add the mushrooms. Simmer, uncovered, about 4 minutes or until tender.
  • Stir the milk into the mushroom mixture. In a custard cup stir together the cornstarch and sherry until smooth. Stir the cornstarch minsture into the mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the salt and pepper. Then stir in the turkey. Ad the pasta and toss until well coated.
  • Transfer the pasta mixture to a shallow 3 quart casserole or a 13x9x2 baking dish. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
Notes:
* If you do not have Dry Sherry, you can use a white wine or as I did use what you have on hand.

Source:
"Healthy Homestyle Cooking"
Copyright:
"1994"
Yield:
"6 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 317 Calories; 9g Fat (25.0% calories from fat); 24g Protein; 34g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 56mg Cholesterol; 411mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 0 Fat.

Holiday Family Movie Time…

Photobucket

Starting tonight the ABC Family Channel will be showing a holiday movie a night until Christmas Day.
What a great time to gather up the family, pop some popcorn, relax and enjoy!

Tonight at 8pm is the classic Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas – I can’t wait!

(Sorry Chuck, I will have to miss a few minutes of you tonight.)

Click here to check out and print the list of holiday family movies that will be shown this month.

Happy Holidays!

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