11.30.2011

twenty six.



I'm sitting in my bed looking at my two daughters (who love to take over my bed each night a few hours after they go to sleep) and I couldn't be more...confused, happy, in awe. How did I get here?

I remember being a little girl who was excited about finally being tall enough to see what was on the counter in my mom's kitchen.

I remember making my first friend, Ashley Doltan, and riding my bike to her house.

I remember going to high school and then college...

I remember meeting Mark and when we found out Ada was coming and now I am going to be twenty six in a week. I don't feel old. I don't feel sad about my birthday or age. I do feel a little like I'm at the top of a hill though, looking back at my past and seeing also the path ahead of me. I feel good. I am blessed beyond any of the images I could have pictured for my life at this time. I certainly wouldn't have thought I would be married or have two daughters. I own two dogs! What the hell? Haha, really, things are great.

I hope this year is my best so far. I feel like I have a LOT of patients to learn for my daughters and a lot of love to give to my family and friends.

amen :)

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11.29.2011

president Judd

Today I was nominated to be president of my home owners association...then elected. Hope this turns out well. I think I'll be able to do some pretty good things. We will see in the days to come. Not sure if I am happy or surprised. I could've said no, but I didn't. At least now I will have something out of the realm of the house to do (sort of). We will see...

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11.22.2011

This sums it up.

I just added seven new posts:

Chicken Pot Pie (with Blueberry Pie) Recipe
Lasagna Recipe
White Bean Chili Recipe
Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Recipe

Gracie got hitched and here's the proof
Ada loves Disney on Ice
Le Patio part 100

Go check them out of you get a minute, or several :)

Have a nice day.

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Le Patio part 100

Bell sleeps anywhere the sun is shining.

These are some of the last of my plants...I potted them and and saving them in the garage to replant next year.

Ada and her bubbles... never ending.



I strung some patio lights but it's just too cold to enjoy them right now... 
They look cool though. 
My Ada ballerina.
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Ada loves Disney on Ice

Ada likes to go on dates with her dad. This time they went to Disney on Ice.
Mark took her last year and she loved it so he thought they'd try it again this year.

Hannah was wishing she could go too but she isn't quite old enough. Next year baby girl!

Mark took this photo of Ada enjoying a huge snow cone in a Tinkerbell mug.
She came home in Cinderella's glass slippers and she even brought Hannah a Cinderella GusGus mouse doll, so thoughtful.

She enjoyed that date!
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Gracie is a married woman.

Twas the night before Gracie's big day and all through my house was my busy hands working to make 60 caramel apples.


They turned out pretty and delicious...all done at four in the morning.

I woke up bright and early at 6. The girls and I put on our party shoes and thank god my brother stopped over early to help me out with the little monsters. 


I was the matron of honor and Ada and Hannah were flower girls :)
This is my mom, Ada and I before the wedding.

 And this...

 Is Hannah!

This is their cute wedding cake. Ada stood by the cake the whole time waiting for the first piece. She was ready to cut into it herself but thankfully she waited.


Worth the wait . This is Ada and my big brother Dustin.

This is my sister and my grandparents.

Catholic school girls.

Gracie and Joey drove away in this sweet ride! Same one Mark and I left our reception in.

Ada loved the whole day, here she is planning out her future princess wedding.

By the time we got back home I was the only one still awake.

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Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
makes 2 dozen

Start with cookie dough and a separate bowl of cinnamon and sugar.

Roll dough into balls and then coat with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place on baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F.

Children approve of these.

Recipe:
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 and 3/4 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. 
Add cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
Then stir in flour.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Roll dough into small balls and then roll the balls in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on baking sheet, press down a bit so the cookies won't be too plump. Or you can wait until after they are baked and press with a spatula and then let cool before removing.

Cool and enjoy.
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Easy Lasagna, meat or spinach

Easy Lasagna, meat or spinach
Serves 12 to 15

The ingredients for this lasagna are in three parts.

A meat mixture: pasta sauce, and cooked ground italian sausage.
A cheese mixture: cottage cheese, eggs, parsley, parmesan cheese.
Shredded mozzarella cheese.

OR

Pasta sauce
A cheese and spinach mixture: cottage cheeseeggsparsleyparmesan cheese and chopped spinach.
Shredded mozzarella cheese.


Also, boil lasagna noodles.

In a large prepared pan layer noodles, meat mixture, cheese mixture, and the mozzarella cheese three times. 
If making spinach lasagna, layer noodlespasta saucecheese and spinach mixture, and the mozzarella cheese three times. 


Recipe:

Italian Sausage Lasagna:
1 pound ground italian sausage, cooked
24 oz pasta sauce

12 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained

1 pound cottage cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons parsley

1 pound grated mozzarella cheese

Brown the italian sausage and drain. Simmer in pasta sauce while preparing other ingredients.

Cook 12 lasagna noodles according to package. Drain and set aside.

Combine one pound of cottage cheese, 3 eggs, half a cup of parmesan cheese and 2 teaspoons of parsley.

Spray a large glass baking dish with nonstick spray and layer noodles, meat mixture, cottage cheese mixture and mozzarella cheese three times. 

Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour.



Spinach Lasagna:
24 oz pasta sauce

12 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained

1 pound cottage cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons parsley
2 cups chopped spinach

1 pound grated mozzarella cheese


Cook 12 lasagna noodles according to package. Drain and set aside.

Combine one pound of cottage cheese, 3 eggs, half a cup of parmesan cheese and 2 teaspoons of parsley.

Spray a large glass baking dish with nonstick spray and layer noodles, pasta sauce, cottage cheese and spinach mixture and mozzarella cheese three times. 

Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour.



Enjoy. Enjoy.
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Chicken Pot Pie (with bonus Blueberry Pie)

Chicken Pot Pie
serves 8 to 12 per pie

Boil chicken breasts in chicken stock with chicken bullion and shred, set aside.
Dice potatoes, cut broccoli, and dice carrots.

Mix flour and butter in a separate bowl.

Boil all vegetables in chicken stock (the pot that was used to boil chicken). 

Add the flour mixture, milk and shredded chicken to the pot. 

Fill two regular sized pie crusts
Or in this case, one crust and five smaller pie crusts.

Add the top shell. Score to allow heat to escape.

If making blueberry pie, add fresh blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and butter. Cover these pies with a top shell and score to allow heat to escape. 

Big girls approve of these.

Recipe:

Chicken Pot Pie:
3 chicken breasts
4 cups (26oz) chicken stock
1 tablespoon chicken bullion

3 potatoes, diced
1 bunch of broccoli, cut
3 carrots, diced

1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup of flour
2/3 cup of milk

Boil chicken breasts in chicken stock with added bullion
Remove chicken and shred

Add vegetables to chicken stock and boil until soft.

Mix flour and butter in separate bowl.
Add flour and butter mixture to pot and then add milk to thicken.

Add chicken and stir.

Pour into two large pie crusts.

Add top shell and core to allow heat to escape.



Blueberry Pie:
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon butter

Mix first four ingredients in a bowl then add blueberries and lightly stir. 

Pour mixture into pie crust and add slices of butter. 

Cover with top shell and score to allow heat to escape. 

For a large pie bake at 425 degrees F for 50 minutes. 



2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 sticks of butter
3 tablespoons shortening
iced water (about 5 tablespoons)

Mix flour, salt, soft butter and shortening...by hand, seriously.
When halfway mixed wet your hands at the sink and continue mixing. You will need to wet your hands 3 or 4 more times.

Then add iced water a tablespoon at a time and work into the dough with a fork.

Roll the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Let this dough sit in the fridge to chill.

When I make this recipe it usually provides me with enough dough for two top and two bottom crusts.



Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy.
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Here's the disclaimer... When I made the blueberry pies pictured, I did not make a whole pie, I made three small ones. So I used my math skills and intuition and just cut the recipe down.

When I make the crust, I'll be honest, sometimes I don't chill it. You caught me. BUT, it is always comes out better and is easier to work with when I've chilled it. Just have to plan ahead to do it and sometimes that isn't a possibility for this mom. Oh and yes, I use the crust recipe for a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g that requires a crust. It's that good. At least I think so and so do a few others :)

Hope you find what works for you and enjoy these recipes.