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.

New Front Load Washer....



Ah.. sweet laundry.
This is my new washer, never thought I would be excited about getting a new washer, that is until now.
I simply adore this piece of machinery.

So quiet.
No banging the laundry walls.
No walking all over the flooring.
No being off balanced.
No having to turn up the TV to whatever volume to hear over the washer.
No smelling of burning belts.

This bad boy is a direct driven front load washer which means no belts on the inside to go.
Thank you!

It's an LG 3.6 cu. ft front load washer.
It took us some time to get our pennies saved up for it but let me tell you it was so worth the wait.
I was also able to get a wonderful deal on it last week ($200 savings) and a 5 yr extended warranty.
I could not go wrong.
It is whizzing away as I type this and it is simply music to my ears.
Speaking of music, it even plays a little chime when done.
(Side note: My grandmother's dryer would chime: How Dry I Am when done - I thought that was the best thing as a kid.)
Yeah, I know it does not take much to amuse me. :)


Glimpse into the new laundry room...


So this is it, the revamped laundry room.
New floor was put down this weekend and it looks sooo much better.
If you want to see a tiny snip of the old floor click here.
You have been warned.
Yes, you can also see my new washer which I have to say was delivered this past Sunday by 10 am!
The walls look white but there is a tiny tint of green to the paint and I kept the chalk board I had painted when the kiddos were smaller. (Just could not get myself to remove it.)
The cabinets are white, which just makes the room look so much cleaner.
The utility sink still needs to go back in but hey, I'm not complaining. :)
I'm a happy camper!

Chicken Piccata - Recipe


Earlier this week I tried a new recipe for dinner, I was feeling kinda daring.
The recipe was on the back of an Italian bread crumb container and it sounded really good.
I have to say it was quite easy to make and really tasty.
Not a heavy sauce at all due to the lemon juice and it was perfect for a warm spring day.
The kiddos enjoyed the chicken with no complaints, which as you know is always a great sign.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Chicken Piccata

Recipe By: Colonna Brothers
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories: Main Meal

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 chicken breast without skin -- halved
1 large egg -- beaten
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup italian parsley -- chopped

  • Coat chicken breasts with egg, then coat well with breadcrumbs and cheese combined.
  • In large skillet, brown chicken on both sides in oil.
  • Add chicken broth and simmer 15 minutes until chicken is done.
  • Blend flour and lemon juice. Stir into skillet, stirring until thickened and smooth
  • Add parsley. Serve over hot cooked pasta if desired.

Source:
back of bread crumb can
Yield:
"6 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 222 Calories; 5g Fat (19.3% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 109mg Cholesterol; 479mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat.

Serving Ideas:
  • Side salad
  • pasta
NOTES:

* Cheese should be the Grated Parmesan & Romano blend.

* I used dried parsley.

Gerber Daisies...


These pretty gems are from the our yard.
They always make me smile when I see them in bloom.
Enjoy!



It has been all work...

The saying is "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
Well, that pretty much sums it up for my past 48 hours.
Which is also why there were not posts, sorry.
You see I finally ordered my new washer (joy!) but that also meant we needed to get the flooring done before the new one was delivered yesterday (Sunday).
We had soccer pictures, a game, out to a local show, and then late Saturday night dh stated to put the subflooring down.
I am the lucky one who gets the fun of putting the new flooring down, cut the molding & put that in and oh! paint the molding where needed.
One ripped knuckle, one smashed fingernail bed and a nice cut later the laundry room floor was done.
I have to say it looks nice and now I get to play catch up with all the other stuff that was not accomplished over the weekend.
Looking forward to a nice quite weekend coming up.

My outdoor friend returned...



I was hanging out our sheets when I noticed my little outdoor friend on the edge of a planter.
Nice to see him/her back.
Made me smile.

Happy National Pretzel Day!!

Pretzels.
I could eat them by the handful and never get tired of them.
I even enjoy the unsalted pretzels, my dad calls them cardboard but hey, to each his/her own.
I can say that Snyder's of Hanover are my favorite brand but will not turn down any pretzel presented to me.

If you are ever in Philly you have to have a Philly pretzel -either from a street vendor or a small store owner.
OMG!
They are sooo good, especially with mustard on top.
*drool*
Those soft pretzels you get in stadiums, at games, from convenience stores do not hold a candle up to a true Philly pretzel.
Don't get me wrong I eat them but to have a true pretzel is well memorable.

You can read about up about a Philly pretzel here.

Happy National Jelly Bean Day!!


Yep, today was National Jelly Bean Day.
mmm.. jelly beans.
I enjoy strawberry and bubble gum jelly beans the most.
So what is your favorite jelly bean?

Transformers 2 - Revenge of the Fallen - Movie Preview






Ah, Transformers.
I can remember when they first came out in the 80's, the boys I used to be a nanny for had them and would play with them all the time.
Then flash forward to my boys in the late 90's who just had to have them.
Nate liked the Autobots and Minicons.
Spencer he was all about the Deceptacons - Starscream & Unicron we his tops.
They could transform them in a blink of an eye, me, not.so.much.

They have the old movie ('86) and the old cartoons on DVD which they loved to watch day in and day out. Then they watched the "new" cartoons on Cartoon Network, they could not get enough of them.
Then the time came when they slowly grew out of the phase but deep down inside of them they still like the Transformers.
(A jumbo-yes, jumbo tote is up in the attic full of them.)
When the first Transformers movie came out (2007) they were not really into it but Dh really wanted to see it, off we went.
Wow!
It was great.
No it was sitting on the edge of your seat great.
Then they stated to talk about and forward to the next one.
Wait no more my friends!
The release of Transformers 2 - Revenge of the Fallen will be released on 6.24.09!

Official Website for Transformers 2 - Revenge of the Fallen

Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince - movie preview





Just sharing...

Getting ready for Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince this summer.

It was such a let down that it was not released in November. *sigh*

Yet we are gearing up for a great summer movie. *thumbs up*

Want to see another wonderful clip?!

I knew you did, so check out the link below.

Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince (it is one YouTube)

Reese's Select Clusters - Chocolate Review




I have never seen these chocolate candies before our trip back to PA.
These were the treats that were being given out after our visit to Hershey's Chocolate World.
The boys do not like nuts, caramel or peanut butter, please tell me what is wrong with them.
That meant a few extras for my dad and I with no complaints. *grin*

It was hard to keep one until we arrived back home but some how I managed.


As you can see from above there is a nice size pocket of caramel at the top, peanut butter in the middle and a mix of nuts (pecans & peanuts) on the bottom.
The candy was not overly sweet and had the right amount of caramel and peanut butter.
Personally, it could have had a few more nut pieces but overall they added a nice crunch & texture to the candy.
I did enjoy the bar, I mean it has majority of my favorites wrapped into one.
I will have to keep my eyes opened for them around here and will treat myself every so often to one.

If you want to read a different review of them, check out Sugarhog.net.


Pound Cake - Recipe


I wanted to try out a new pound cake recipe but once I stated to get all the ingredients I found that I was missing one item.
Rats!
I decided to pull out my old recipe that I have used since I was in high school.
It creates a wonderful cake that is perfect with any type of berry and whipped cream; then again you can always eat it by itself.

You will be impressed at how easy it is to make and sure to please.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Pound Cake


Serving Size : 10
Categories: Desserts

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup butter
1 2/3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla*

  • Work butter until creamy, beat in sugar, vanilla, eggs one at a time.
  • When creamy, fold in flour with a wooden spoon.
  • Spread into a buttered and floured loaf pan.
  • Bake 1 1/2 hours at 300 degrees.

Description:
"my recipe"
Yield:
"10 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 420 Calories; 21g Fat (44.8% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 53g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 156mg Cholesterol; 223mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 4 Fat; 2 Other Carbohydrates.

Serving Ideas:

  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh Berries

NOTES:
  • How large you slice the cake will determine how many servings you will end up with.
  • You can use any other flavor in place of vanilla.



Get ready!

It's Coming!

On Tuesday, April 21 you can go into your local Ben & Jerry's and receive a free scoop of your favorite flavor or try a new flavor you have been curious about.


When: April 21

Where: Ben & Jerry's

Time: Noon until 8 pm

Click here to find your local store and more information.

A Day at the Zoo...



It was such a beautiful day today that we decided to get some sandwiches and head out to the park for a picnic.


Since the park was right next to our zoo we decided to go see the animals.



It was the first time for us to see the new giraffes (they arrived last year) and the new baby orangutan.
I have to say it was fun; we have gone to the zoo since the boys were old enough to enjoy the animals.



They still love to go and ask to visit other zoos when we are out of town.



We have a family pass which allows us to go to our zoo and enjoy other zoos in the country for free or at a discount.
What a great way to spend the day.

Zzzzzz......sleepy

Sleep...

Not something I have had much of since I returned home and I'm not sure why.

Topped with some horrible allergy eyes (I'm on 2 allergy scripts already), it makes a lovely combination.

I know I should share a recipe or pictures from our PA trip tonight but honestly I am too tired to sit at this screen.

So, good night and I promise something better tomorrow.

Grecian Chicken - Recipes



Having eaten quite a bit of chicken while away, and hearing the groans from two kiddos that we were having chicken again, I was in the mood to try a new recipe just to add some variety.

I took out the book 1,001 Low Carb Recipes for Life out of the library right before we left so I figured we might try something from it. This recipe was one that the kiddos thought sounded pretty good and gave me the green light to try.

The chicken was quite tasty, the only thing I would change would be to cut back on the oregano. There was just too much of it (oregano) for our taste.
I can also say that it makes a nice addition to a salad the next day.

Note:

I used boneless chicken breasts while the original recipe called for 2lbs chicken pieces (bone-in)


* Exported from MasterCook *

Grecian Chicken

Recipe By: Sue Spitler w/ Linda R. Yoakam R.D M.S
Serving Size : 4

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 medium chicken breast halves without skin
1 tablespoon butter -- melted
3 tablespoons oregano
1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup lemon juice -- fresh
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water

  • Arrange chicken, in a baking dish. Brush chicken with combined butter, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Bake, covered, at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Combine lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce; pour over chicken. Cover and bake until chicken is tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Place chicken on serving platter.
  • Heat baking dish juices to boiling; stir in combined cornstarch and water. Boil, stirring, until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour sauce over chicken.

Source:
"1,001 Low Carb Recipes for Life"
Copyright:
"2004"
Yield:
"4 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving : 188 Calories; 5g Fat (22.9% calories from fat); 28g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 76mg Cholesterol; 522mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Serving Ideas:
  • boiled potates
  • fresh snap peas or green beans
  • tossed salad

NOTES :

* Try to use the reduced fat - reduced sodium chicken broth.

* Can use dry white wine in place of the Worcestershire sauce.


Outdoor Pictures from PA


I am playing around with a new picture editor and decided to try it with a few pictures from our visit back to PA.

Above: My mom's hyacinths that were blooming while we were there.




A pair of Eastern Bluebirds that have made a nest in a bird box my dad has in the yard.



A Killdeer setting up a nest in my dad's strawberry patch.



I could not resist snapping a picture of the wood pile and then making it black and white.


Betty Crocker - Triple Chocolate Fudge Chip Frosting


A few tablespoons make an excellent chocolate mid-afternoon snack.


I'm just sayin.

Dunkin Donuts .50 Iced Coffee Day



Get your pen ready and mark your calendars to enjoy an Iced Coffee from Dunkin Donuts for .50 cents next week.

Nice Benefit: 10% of your purchase price will be donated to The Dunkin Brands Community Foundation to support Home for Our Troops.

When: April 21, 2009 -

Where: Dunkin Donuts

Time: All Day Long

What: 16oz Iced Coffee

Cost: .50 cents

Go get an iced coffee and help our troops!

Click here to find your local Dunkin Donuts.


Home again...


Yep, we are back home and sort of settled in.

The trip back was quite long.

One child who kept asking when we would be home over and over again.
The other who was totally depressed and teary- eyed that we had to go home.

Traffic was not too bad, the wind however made me feel like I was driving a ping pong ball more than the mom mobile.

Today was spent getting caught up on laundry, mail that piled up, phone calls to return, a grocery run.

I do think that you really do need a vacation from a vacation some times.

Yes, we did make it to Hershey again. (no surprise there)
Spencer did enjoy his visit but he went some place else that was the highlight of the whole trip.

More to follow...

*yawn*

Night all, back up early for school in the am and I need some sort of sleep.


Peeps Bubbles ....


How cute are these Peeps bubbles?

The Easter Bunny is one cool rabbit.

I know two kiddos and one adult kiddo who still enjoy bubbles.

For those who celebrated, I hope you had a wonderful holiday yesterday.

Free Denny's Grand Slamwich - Today! - Freebie

Today you can get a free Denny's Grand Slamwich from 6am - 2 pm.
This is a new breakfast menu item, go on and give it a try.
Why not grab a friend and go together!
You still have a bit of time if you live on the east coast.
Check out the Denny's website for more information and find one that is neat you.

What a trip....

The boys, dogs and I did arrive in Pa last night safely.
Dh had to stay home, work and hold down the house for us.
Eleven hours from door to door - s.o. v.e.r.y l.o.n.g
I would have to say it is a trip that will go down in the memory books.
45 minutes to go 5 miles on I-85 (working on the road)
20 minutes to go 1 mile over a bridge in Va during an inspection
Dogs with really bad gas (enough to make one cry)
One Dog deciding to get sick over the dog blanets
One very hyper/gigging 10 yr old
One 12 yr old that was glued to his Nintendo DS the whole trip
We are relaxing today. :)
I will blog when I can and pictures to follow when I return home.

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