Archives for February 2011

Typo Tuesday ~ Special Comment

Post Edit: The comment I did not approve below was a spam comment with a link that I blurred out because it was clearly spam. “Daisy2011” is not a regular blog reader or a friend.

First time comments must be approved here on the blog.

This one didn’t make the cut.

I think there might be a language barrier?

I did especially love that they were commenting on a Typo post.

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Leading by Example

Remember this?

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PhilBillPaul’s girlfriend makeover.

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His darling daughter brought this home.

Seems she had connections with PhilBillPaul’s Bike Restoration Shop.

To say I’m sick about this is an understatement.

As if it could get any worse…

Let me state for the record, once again, I did not sign up for this.

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” –Robert Fulghum

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Valentine’s Day ~ Easy Gift Ideas

We headed up to North Georgia to visit the darling twins last week.

Because we hadn’t seen them in at least seven days.

We said we would take them to dinner.

So Elizabeth Rachel both of them invited most of the team to join us.

I lovingly announced we were not buying dinner for the whole team.

After a 45 minute wait for burgers and sandwiches, we all headed over to the gym.

We really came to watch intramural basketball and this was the Fighting Red Hens second game.

We specifically asked if they would be embarrassed to have their parents in attendance knowing full well that this was a collegiate activity that parents don’t typically attend.

They assured us that they would love for us to come as would their friends.

As we got settled in the bleachers, Rachel quickly pointed out there were other old people there. Yes, that’s right two other sets of parents came to embarrass their children.

The Red Hens won! The opposing team, The Tribe, displayed some pretty poor sportsmanship. Geez, who knew intramurals was so competitive these days?

Elizabeth is coaching instead of playing…much to her dismay. She still has a back injury and has not been able to do any physical activity for almost a month.

We had so much fun I think we’re going back this week. 😉

Early Valentine’s Day Gifts

At the last minute before we left home, I realized we wouldn’t see them for Valentine’s Day and I had a couple of little things to give them.

I dug around for some little clearance boxes I knew I had put somewhere. I grabbed two pieces of tissue paper in a drawer I hide things from Scary Baby. There were two pink gift bags folded neatly there. I threw them in a bag too so I could put my thoughtful gifts together in the car on the way.

Yes, I’m a planner.

As PhilBillPaul was driving, I discovered the cute little boxes were not going to hold my gifts. I had to re-use the gift bags that I obviously saved to re-use. How perfect that they were pink.

I wish I had video of the priceless moment when I presented Rachel with her pink striped gift bag. Elizabeth had opened hers earlier so she just posed for the picture.

Rachel looked less than thrilled when she saw Victoria’s Secret on the bag.

I said:

“You can open it now.”

“It’s a thong.”

She said:

“No”

“No thanks.”

Elizabeth and I laughed pretty hard.

I said:

“It’s not a thong.”

“Like I’d really buy you a thong for Valentine’s Day or any day?”

It was a t-shirt and candy.

Give me a little credit.

On Friday, I sent Rachel a text:

“R u wearing ur new thong today?”

Her reply:

“I am wearing it now it’s nice and snug.”

Me:

“Glad it fit!”

The Grunter and Scary Baby did not get thongs.

Just a cute box filled with Hershey’s kisses that fit nicely in the little boxes.

And a free doughnut.

We’re all about chocolate and sugar.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Birthday Martha!

What are you giving or getting for Valentine’s Day?

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Snow Updates and Superbowl

The theme is still snow since I asked for Midwest blizzard snow pictures.

One came via my cell phone on Friday.

My cell phone only shows the phone number and no contact name so I opened the message.

“This is from my sister in Milwaukee area”

“Our mailbox is almost buried. The drift in front of my house is over my head.”

It took me a few minutes but I figured out it was from my friend Peggy. Wow, Scary Baby and Wizzy were impressed. They wanted more details on snow drifts and how they get out if the road and mailbox are buried in snow.

Thanks Peggy!

I sent some texts with a little bossy peer pressure for these next pictures.

My younger sister lives in a submarine

My niece sent me these pictures of their portholes.

Okay, just kidding. Submarines don’t have siding.

Did Grace do all the shoveling?

Abby said they didn’t have a yardstick or measuring tape. Abby is 5’7″ to give you some idea of snow depth.

My Shovel is Bigger Than Your Shovel

My friend Ann lives near the Quad Cities (Illinois/Iowa border) and they got a little snow too.

Some people don’t mess with wimpy, little hand shovels.

That is an 8 foot privacy fence.

Aren’t you suppose to store or cover your lawn furniture before the snow does?

That is a poor little wiener dog.

Superbowl Fun

This year it was really all about the food and being together.

Because we weren’t really fans of either team. But since we needed to root for a team and the Bears or Colts weren’t contenders we went with the Packers.

Excellent choice I must say.

Christina Aguilera messing up the National Anthem was a blooper we had to rewind several times. She kept singing and covered but it was cringe-worthy.

Our professional assessment:

Half-time show: weird.
Commercials: marginal.
Game: Pretty good to watch.
Food: Very good.

PhilBillPaul picked up some boneless wings that I thought should have been called nuggets. I made a hot dip and a cold dip.

Recipe for Deviled Egg Dip that I only used about a teaspoon of hot sauce in.
Recipe for Mexican Cheese Dip that is ridiculously easy and very mild and you could spice it up if you want.

Plus bacon sour cream roll-ups that Scary Baby and The Grunter wanted.

My friend Ann wanted the recipe so I created this handy photo tutorial for her.

Make four rectangles out of your crumbling expired reduced fat crescent roll dough on a cutting board or wax paper if you don’t want to wash an extra item.

Divide the chilled filling between the four rectangles and spread out.

Don’t spread it all the way to the edges or the filling will ooze out like this when you roll them up. I’ve only made these about 40 times so I forgot.

Slice in about 8 pieces per roll.

Bake until golden brown.

What?

Oh, you want the ingredients?! Sorry, this is not a food blog and I almost forgot that. This is a very complicated Midwest recipe I got from my cousin Sally many years ago.

Bacon Sour Cream Roll-ups

1 can of crescent rolls
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crispy
1/2 C sour cream
pinch of garlic powder

Mix up and chill 3 filling ingredients. Spread on to 4 crescent roll rectangles (pinch seams together first). Roll up and slice. Bake at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.

Scary Baby helped make the Knox Blox pennants.

With very little enthusiasm. She poked herself with a toothpick. I told her we can stop this 25 year-old tradition any time now.

Side note: Yes, that is eye makeup, Junebug. No, we don’t allow it except on Sundays when she is bored and no, she did not wear it to church.

I saw pictures of these cookies last week and I knew I had to make them.

Chocolate Malt Sandwich Cookies – yum!

They were so chocolatey that I thought we should have something “plain” to balance them out.

Browned Butter Cookies were the perfect choice.

Our standard chocolate vanilla Carvel ice cream football cake was delicious too.

We missed the darling twins but had a nice cozy family night. Did you watch the Superbowl? Have you dug your way out of the blizzard?

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Friday Food Fun ~ Snow & Soup

My high school friend Terry emailed me pictures of the giant snow drifts in the Midwest.

This one is a picture of her adorable little pink lake cottage in Wisconsin.

Looks like it might take a while to get in the front door. For you Southern readers, snow is very heavy and this drift climbed right up her porch and covered quite a bit of her front door. Add the brutal below zero temperatures and you’ve got a big project on your hands.

Maybe Terry will just wait until June when the weather warms up and the snow has melted so they can enjoy the lake.

Cold Weather Comfort Food

I’ve saved a recipe for cream of mushroom soup from a magazine for 15 years. I guess I was hoping that as time passed someone in my house would come to love mushrooms like I do.

Still hasn’t happened.

But in my weeks of illness and cold weather, I wanted soup. I wanted homemade soup.

So I finally decided to bust out the 15 year-old recipe and make it for myself.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered the recipe made enough for 16-18 servings. I love soup but that seemed a bit excessive and I don’t think you can freeze cream soups…so I cut it in half which was still way too much since I was the only one who would be eating it!

After I finished a bowl, I decided it was the best soup I’ve ever made.

Have you seen these mini saltines? Why does everything taste even better when they make them mini? They were so perfect with this silky, creamy, hearty soup.

It was divine.

Then I looked over and saw how much I had left in the pot, I sent a text to my friend Steffani and asked her if she liked mushrooms. I know mushrooms are a touchy food. You either love ’em or hate ’em.

Lucky for me, she said yes though she’d never had cream of mushroom soup. I brought her dinner in a bag the next day – a container of mushroom soup, some adorable mini saltines and a little dessert.

I’m not going to bribe you to try it like I did Scary Baby. That was a $5 dollar mistake.

I’m just going to say if you like mushrooms, make this soup.

I also knew I needed a little dessert and loved those Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies I had made the week before for the college girls, I wanted them again.

But I didn’t want to take cookies in and out of the oven. And Scary Baby said she really liked them except for the cookie part. What a stinker.

I decided they would probably make pretty tasty bar cookies. One pan is a timesaver so I used a combination of the Tollhouse recipe and the Toffee & Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to make these.

Turned out pretty dang good. Steffani agreed and I thanked her for helping me eat the soup that would have gone to waste because of my family of picky eaters. (I had it three times!)

Side note: They didn’t have any problem wolfing down the cookie bars. The Grunter ate three when they came out of the oven.

Perfect duo for a snowy weekend if you can get to the store to buy fresh mushrooms.

Both recipes are below.

Now I’m off to shop for our annual family Superbowl party menu and make those team colored knox blox even though I’m not a fan of either team. Have a great weekend!

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Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 1 garlic clove, minced (I used Trader Joe’s frozen cubes – love those!)
  • 1/2 tsp dried, minced onion
  • 1/2 C butter, divided
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped (or sliced)
  • 3 C chicken broth
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 3 C milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

In large pot, saute garlic and onion in 2 Tbsp butter till lightly browned and it smells good. Add mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and simmer for 20 minutes. In another saucepan, melt remaining butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in cream/milk mixture. Cook and stir constantly over low heat until mixture comes to a boil; boil for two minutes. Add to mushroom mixture; stir in seasonings.

The original recipe also included diced onions, celery and green pepper. Ewww…I left those out but feel free to add them back in.

My little secret: I had a few lumps in my flour/milk sauce so I put a strainer over the pot and poured it into the mushroom mixture.

Recipe inspired by Jim Cosgrove in Taste of Home August/September 1996

Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

  • 1 C butter
  • 1-1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2-1/4 C flour
  • 1 C caramel bits
  • 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream butter in mixing bowl for 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add in sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well and then add flour gradually. Fold in caramel bits and chocolate chips. Spread in ungreased 9×13 pan (I put parchment paper in bottom of pan for easy cleanup!) and bake for 18-20 minutes or until very light brown. I took them out when the middle was still not quite set because I like them a little gooey.

Recipe inspired by Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Pan Cookies and Toffee and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Midwest Blizzard 2011

This is what I would be faced with if I lived up in Illinois near my sisters and brother and mom.

My sister sent these pictures from her driveway.

Thank you Julie.

My kids don’t really know what snow drifts are.

Do you have any fun pictures from the blizzard? I feel like the local news asking you to email them to me and I’ll post them here so my kids can see what they have missed (and why we live in Georgia). I’d like to see who had the biggest drift so come on Illinois, Indiana and Michigan friends, send me a photo or two!

P.S. Got this text from The Grunter yesterday and it made me laugh and remember what a cute little pumpkin he was…

“Happy Brown Log Day!”

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Typo Tuesday ~ Good Eats

Found this in my photos from last year when we went up to North Georgia mountains.

A local at our favorite orchard recommended this restaurant.

Unfortunately we arrived too late in the day to try it.

Is it too expensive to fix a sign painter’s work or has no one even noticed?

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