29 February 2012

To Do List - Derailed


To -do lists are pretty subjective, and they are definitely subject to what is happening on a day-to-day basis. This week, my list was subject to my husband being out of town for the second week in a row and to my daughter remembering at about 9 pm Sunday that her Family Tree project was due Monday. Not only did the project involve a poster and a family tree, but also a costume and food from an ancestor's country of origin. It was a late-ish night, but we got the job done. We made a poster and whipped up some Pebber Nodder and went to bed.

She makes a cute little Danish immigrant/pioneer, doesn't she?

This impromptu project fits one of the top items on my to-do list though - which is spend more quality time with my family. I had a great weekend with the kids. We went to the movies, made beignets (recipe coming Thursday) and visited friends. 

What have you been up to?

28 February 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Ever notice that your cooking slacks off when your husband is out of town? The first clue for me is that it takes 3 days to fill the dishwasher. Why? Only one person is missing. Then I realize. We've been eating Mac, hot dogs, pizza and chicken nuggets. Everyone knows you don't need a plate to eat a hot dog right? Oh the horror! 

This time it's going to be different. Not that some of the above won't be on the menu, but it will be the home made kind and it will generate some dirty dishes. All the meals are easy, because I'm doing all the chauffeuring (school, play practice, dance, swimming, scouts) and I've got no back-up this week.

Monday (company coming)

Pizza - pepperoni
leftover pizza for kids' school lunches

Crock Pot Mac N' Cheese x2
cucumber slices 
second batch for freezer meal baby shower Thursday


Chimichanga (baked)



Grilled Salmon
roasted potatoes

Frankly, I don't care. That traveling husband of mine can be in charge.

What are you eating this week?

Barn Hop! 

Also linking up to Menu Plan Mondays.

25 February 2012

Etsy Finds


A snowy treasury from the Etsymom Team, in honor of my surprise foot of snow yesterday morning. It gave me the blues a little bit. Especially when my car got stuck in my driveway...

















24 February 2012

Custard Filled Corn Bread

Custard-Filled Corn Bread  from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
If you don't already have this book, you should get a copy. I mean it.


3 tbsp melted butter
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cormneal, preferably medium ground
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
3 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2 cups whole milk
1 ½ tbsp white vinegar
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish or a 9" round pan. Put the dish in the oven to warm while you're preparing the batter.
In a large microwaveable bowl, melt the butter in the microwave - slowly - careful not to splatter the butter.
Whisk together the flour, cormeal, baking powder and baking soda.
When the butter has cooled, add the eggs and blend well. Then add the sugar, salt, milk and vinegar and whisk well again. Slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until the batter is smooth and no lumps are visible.
Remove the heated pan from the oven, and pour in the batter. Carefully pour the cream into the center of the batter. Don't stir! The cream will form a layer just under the surface of the batter. Bake for about an hour or until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes or so before slicing. Serve with maple syrup.
Note: Covered with plastic wrap, this bread will stay good at room temperature for 1 day. If you put it into the refrigerator covered - it will last up to 3 days. Leftovers are delicious at room temperature, or warmed in a low oven (or microwave). Remember to serve with syrup or honey.

23 February 2012

Knitting Lessons

I love to knit. I know I've said it before, but it satisfies a very deep need I have to show something tangible at the end of the day. You can clean a toilet, but it's only clean until the next person uses it. The thing about knitting is that unless something truly catastrophic happens (think kitten or toddler), it stays knit.

socks for my Dad

This week, it has been my privilege to teach two of my friends how to knit. Both of them were absolute whizzes. Sarah wanted to learn to knit dishcloths. It's a fabulous way to learn. It's a small project and you can learn to knit, to increase and to decrease, with a little casting on and off for good measure. Besides, they are the best dishrags ever.

Basic Dishrag pattern 

1 ball worsted weight cotton
Size 9-10 1/2 needles*

*I use size 8 needles because I like my dishrags a little smaller

Cast on 4 stitches
Row 1: Knit one row
Row 2: K2, YO, knit to end of row

Repeat row 2 until there are 40 stitches on your needle

Next row: K1, K2tog, YO, K2tog, knit to end of row.

Repeat until there are 4 stitches left on your needle. Cast off

K = knit
YO = yarn over
K2tog = knit 2 together 

Want help? There are tons of great tutorials online. I think KnittingHelp.com does a pretty great job with their basic tutorial videos.

22 February 2012

To Do List Tuesday - To Done and Not Done

You know how sometimes you have a list of things that need doing, but then something else turns up that trumps the whole list? My weekend was kind of like that. 

This is my new kitchen faucet. I really like it. I especially like that someone gave it to us because they got a new sink and this faucet didn't fit their new sink. It has a soap dispenser. Cool!
I didn't especially like that it took most of the day Saturday to install and then we had to replace some tile on the back splash. Obviously, if you have a leaky faucet for very long, there will be some water damage. If you were wondering about the sticks and spatula there, that's the tile setting

We also replaced the lights in the garage. Initially we just thought that the bulbs burned out, but the whole light fixture was bust. That took a while. 

Just another opportunity for me to practice being a grown up about when I have a list of things I want to do, but I can't do them because other stuff has to be done first. Oh wait! I have these opportunities every day...

I did  start sewing squares of my Odyssea quilt together. Remember this? I rearranged the layout and I've sewn together 3 rows. Hooray!

What's on your To Do List?

21 February 2012

In His Own Words

I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.

It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.

The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.
Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

Great books about George Washington:

George Washington's Sacred Fire by Peter A. Lilleback
The Real George Washington by Jay A. Perry and Andrew M. Allison

16 February 2012

Tres Leches Cupcakes

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
¾ cup shortening
1 ⅔ cups sugar
5 egg whites
1 tsp. almond extract
1 ¼ cups milk
¾ cup finely chopped pecans

Soaking Mixture
⅔ cup canned sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
¼ cup canned coconut milk (not cream of coconut)

Whipped Cream
1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon real vanilla

1 cup flaked coconut
½ cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups, spray muffin cups with baking spray with flour.
In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In large bowl, beat shortening with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/3 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl occasionally. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond extract.
On low speed, alternately add flour mixture, about 1/3 of mixture at a time, and milk, about 1/2 at a time, beating just until blended. Stir in pecans. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each with about 3 tablespoons batter or until 2/3 to 3/4 full.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool 10 minutes longer.
Poke tops of cupcakes every 1/2 inch with long-tined fork, wiping fork occasionally to reduce sticking. Place cupcakes in dessert cups. In small bowl, stir sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk with whisk until smooth. Slowly spoon 2 teaspoons milk mixture evenly over top of each cupcake, allowing mixture to soak into holes and drizzle down side. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, until milk mixture on tops of cupcakes is absorbed.
In medium deep bowl, beat whipping cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Frost each cupcake with about 2 heaping tablespoons whipped cream; sprinkle with about 2 teaspoons coconut and 1 teaspoon pecans.

15 February 2012

Say I Love You

Not that saying "I Love You" should be something you have to write on your To-Do list; but the things on my To-Do List are all things I am doing to say "I Love You."

1. Fun Hair styles for my daughter - today's heart braid courtesy of lil sugar

2. A little surprise at breakfast

3. Heart Attack their rooms before school lets out

4. Off to find a truly embarrassing Valentine's e-card to send my husband - he's out of town. 

What are you doing to say "I Love You?"

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