Friday, January 29, 2010

Ooey Gooey Cheese Balls

I bought a huge block of Mozzarella at Sams Club. It is so nummy and good. It has me thinking up all kinds of recipes so that I can enjoy it. (M even shredded some for the top of our frozen pizza last night. Mmm, mmm, mmm.) I decided to do a spin on the pizza bites I made a while back. I started with my basic dough recipe. Once the dough was ready, I divided it into 12 sections. I rolled each section into a ball around a chunk of Mozzarella. I put each ball into a cup of a muffin tin that I sprayed with cooking spray. (I wish that I would have brushed the tops of the balls with melted butter and sprinkled them with some garlic powder, but I didn't.) The balls baked for 15 minutes at 425. (Just check for when they start to brown on top. To finish the meal off, I opened a can of soup and warmed it on the stove top. (That is the beauty of cooking. You don't have to be Betty Crocker all of the time. Some of the time is just fine.) These would also be good just served with pizza sauce for dipping.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Double Trouble

Did you know that I think of you, my blog readers, often throughout my days? As I go about my daily life, I find myself mentally writing up blog entries about it's different events. Obviously I don't always take the time to "put pen to paper." (Hence the lack of posts the past few days.) Between the nasty weather and Peachy's nasty cold we haven't been venturing out much as of late. You would think that would leave all of the time in the world for blogging, but I have actually been very productive in other areas.
I am working at cleaning the entire house. I know, quite the exciting project, right? The odd thing is that go about our daily lives it isn't staying clean. (Odd, no?) This is where a maid would sure come in handy. We are also working on the office/spare room. We sold the futon that I bought for my first apartment and are replacing it with one of those nice, raised air beds. (I am talking this thing up so that friends and family will still want to come and stay with us.) We also got rid of the bulky computer desk and will eventually be getting rid of the desktop computer that was in there. The hope is to build bookshelves in there and unpack our books. We may even get some items up on the walls down there. (Yes, we have lived in this house for 1.5 years. Yes we should already be moved in, but we would hate to rush into things.) The other major project is organizing my craft area down there. Christmas hit that place like a tornado. I am hoping that the organization will allow for more productivity in the craft/sewing department. (This is a bit challenging these days since Little Peachy has found out how to move with a purpose. She has been quite the helper on the organization front.)
Also, I have been filling some of my time with another baby. (Don't worry, I am just borrowing one.) I have agreed to watch a friend's three month old when they need the help since my friend is going back to work. So far The Little Monkey has come over twice. She hasn't been all that happy to see Peachy and I either time. On her first visit She only slept and cried. And every time that she cried, Peachy would look at her and start crying, too. Last time, The Little Monkey managed a few happy moments with us and Peachy was much more, well, peachy with the whole situation. Monkey is coming by again today. I think we will aim for 50% happiness this time.

See, I even had enough happy time to take a picture.
So, I leave you to go back to my productivity. (A friend told that me that she added blogging to her to-do list and so that makes blogging productive, too. Not a bad idea.) Just know that I am thinking of you!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Foodie Friday: Homemade Chicken Nuggets

When M was out of town recently I decided that I really NEEDED some chicken nuggets for supper. I also decided that it would be silly to drag Little Peachy out to fulfill my craving. Enter a recipe that I knew was hidden away in my cookbook stash for homemade chicken nuggets. They take a little time and a little work but they were just what I was looking for.

-4 skinless chicken breasts
-2 eggs, slightly beaten
-1 1/2 T soy sauce
-1/8 t white pepper
-2 T cornstarch
-Vegetable oil
-1 c flour
-1 c water
-1/2 c cornstarch
-2 T oil
-1 t baking soda

Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Mix eggs, soy sauce, white pepper and 2 T cornstarch in a glass bowl; stir in chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a wok or 12-inch skillet to approximately 350. Mix flour, water, cornstarch, oil, salt and baking soda. Stir in chicken until well coated. Fry about 15 pieces at a time for 3 minutes, turning frequently, until light brown. Drain on paper towels. Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

World's Largest Teether

Wanna see what I can do with my Bumbo?
I pull it nice and close and then I . . .
bite it!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Family Tree

I came across this picture this weekend and realized that I had never shared this project with you.
When I saw this project by Erin over at Sutton Grace I knew that I wanted to give it a try. I was going to tackle it on my own, but thankfully Erin came to the rescue with printable templates. All that I had to do was shrink the templates down to fit in the frame that I picked up. I gave this to my mother for a birthday gift. I look forward to sitting down with her and filling the leaves in.
Thank you Erin for your wonderful ideas that you share through your wonderful blog!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Handmade Christmas Gift #3

I just finished one of my Christmas projects. We ended up evacuating (I use this term loosely) our home a bit earlier than expected due to an impending snowstorm. This cut my crafting time a few days short. I threw some of my projects into a bag in the van and hoped to finish them at my in-laws' house. I got a few things done, but this project just wasn't meant to be done on time. I had difficulties with an unfamiliar sewing machine and ended up with a bunched up mess. I decided it would be best to take the project home and finish it in the comfort of my own craft area.
This quillow is for my nephew and godson, E. He has always been interested in maps and figuring out where different members of his family are living. When I saw this Unites States fabric at Hobby Lobby I immediately thought of him. I loved the vintage look to it and the bright colors, too. I found a solid blue to finish off the back and used a fabric from my stash for the binding.
Now that it is done, I am happy with how it turned out. I will admit that it was a bit frustrating to have to rip it all out and start over, but that is the way it goes. I did find a clever way to get rid of the ripped out thread stragglers. After ripping the quilting out, I went over the quilt with one of those lint rollers. Viola, no stray threads left behind!! I am so glad that I thought of that. It saved me the time and agony of picking off all of the threads by hand.
Once I get it into the mail this week it should only be a month late. Not too bad. :o) Hope you like it, E!!! (I also hope that it is okay that I let your cousin model it for this picture, even if she does have orangish hair.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Foodie Friday: Stuffed Peppers

When life gives you aging green peppers, I suggest that you stuff them!! That is what we did last weekend and it was a very tasty treat.

-green peppers (I bet you never would have guessed that one.)
-ground pork sausage
-1 jar tomato bruschetta topping (I had this on hand from my parents. If you don't have any, use chopped canned tomatoes and add in onions and ground chili peppers.)
-cooked rice
-garlic powder
-ground black pepper
-chili powder
-paprika (this has become one of my new favorite seasonings)
-pepper jack cheese
1. Brown pork. Drain fat and add in bruschetta. Season with spices and seasonings. Add cooked rice.
2. Cut off the pepper tops. Remove seeds and ribs.
3. Fill peppers with pork mixture.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
**Note: Some recipes have you boil the peppers before stuffing. Since ours were already very ripe, I skipped this. If your peppers seem very firm you may want to boil them first.**

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Decade In Review

As I wrote yesterday, the decade spanning 2000-2009 was quite the decade for me. It was filled with changes and new life experiences.

It all started when I student taught in the fall of 2000. I was in a 1st and 2nd grade classroom with one of the best supervisors. I really enjoyed my student teaching experience and learned so much through it.

After finishing my four years in college it was time to graduate!! I was ready to be done and moving on with my life. Here is a picture of me and one of my wonderful friends on that beautiful day in May of 2001.

And move on I did. That summer I loaded up a moving van and headed west for my first apartment in Montana. Check out the beautiful scenery that was around every corner!!

I started out my teaching career by working in a small, one-room school for three years.

While M and I had met several times before my move, it was during this time that we got to know each other well. Throughout my four years in Montana, M would swing through on his way to the ski slopes and eventually we started dating.

In the fall of 2004 I was blessed with the opportunity to start a preschool at my church in Montana.

After one year of teaching preschool in Montana I moved on again, this time to get married in June of 2005.

Now I would share an apartment with my hubby. (My first time of having a roomie since college.)

In the fall of 2006 I was able to start my second preschool, the first at our church.

Summer of 2008, time to move again. This time into our first house.

And then in May of 2009, I hung up my teaching hat to and took on a new title, stay-at-home-mom.

And that is just a small part of all that happened. I attended countless weddings, became an aunt for the first, second, and third time, was able to travel and see many of the friends and family that I love, gained a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law in addition to the rest of M's family, and so much more!!

I really don't think that any other decade will compare for change and growth, but that is just fine with me. I am ready for a boring decade anyway.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It Is the Future . . . The Year 2010

First of all, how on earth is it 2010 already? Do you remember all of the hype with the last changing of a decade? Big, bad Y2K? Funny how a whole decade had slipped past and a new one has slipped in, just like that.

Lately I have been thinking about how much has changed over the past couple of decades. (In fact, this past decade involved so many changes for me it deserves its own post entirely.) Just think of this thing we are using right now--the internet. Here I am in my home typing up my thoughts and with one little click I will be able to publish my thoughts to the world. (Well, anyone who care to read them in the world.) Normally I use to internet for something during most of my waking hours. I know that I could live without it. (In fact, I did when I was younger. I didn't have home internet access until M and I had been married for about a year. Crazy, huh?) I know that the world would not come to an end if the internet ceased to exist. I also know that my life would change drastically. Some of that change good, some not so good.

Do you ever think about what advances will be made in technology in the future. For instance, what will the year 2020 hold? Or, when Little Peachy is entering high school, what will her world be like in comparison to the world I entered almost two decades ago?

M recently got a smart phone through/for work. Through this phone we can access the internet anywhere we get a signal. (And with America's Most Reliable Wireless Network on our side, there aren't many places we don't get that signal.) Driving in the car and want to know the weather forecast instantly? Look it up on the phone. Out shopping and want to see if you can get a better deal somewhere else? Look it up on the phone. Waiting at the airport and wondering if your flight will be on time? Ask the phone. Need directions to the nearest pizza place? Ask the phone. Oh and if you need to call someone while you are out and about, you can do that too.

When you stop and actually think about, it is amazing what we can do with technology today.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hamemade Christmas Gift #2

I found this fun and easy scarf tutorial at Make and Takes. (If you are ever looking for fun and easy craft ideas, this is the place.)

I started by cutting the fleece into five inch wide strips. I stacked three strips on top of each other and sewed down the middle. Then I took out my scissors and fringed on each side of the scarf. A little fluffing and viola!

I think that my niece and nephews approved! (These are some cute scarves for some cute kids!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Two-Thirds of a Year!!

Little Peachy has been a part of our lives for 2/3 of a year already. She turned 8 months old yesterday! Our little girl is getting bigger in so many ways. She is bigger physically. I don't know where she stands on the charts right now, but there are some 12 month clothed that she doesn't even fit into anymore. She is looking more like a little girl and less like a baby these days. (She even has three little teeth in the bottom of her mouth.) She is starting to act older as well. She has her own will and often lets us know what that will is. And although she is not crawling or scooting yet, she does all that she can to get where she wants to go. I never thought that I would say this, but I am looking forward to the day that she can get where she wants to go on her own. I can see her frustration mounting at her immobile state.
Peachy has also reached the stage of realization. Over our Christmas trip, her sleep habits changed, literally, overnight. She figured out that if she cries enough, mom and dad come to visit her and if she cries even more they might even take her out of her crib and rock her. Lets just say that we are working on some sleep training to train her right out of those ideas.

One of my favorite new traits that our daughter has picked up is self amusement. She will be playing by herself and then give a little laugh. I look over and realize that she is laughing at herself. Sometimes she is looking in a mirror and sometimes she is just off in her own happy little world.

Happy 8 months, Little Peachy!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Foodie Friday: Apple Crumb Pie

Has your sugar coma worn off from Christmas yet? Have you finished all of those delicious Christmas cookies and treats? Are you looking for a yummy pie recipe in honor of January being pie month? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have come to the right place. If you answered no, bookmark this recipe and return to it at a later date.

-1/3 c sugar
-1/3 c brown sugar
-2 T flour
-6 c thinly sliced and peeled apples
-1 t vanilla
-1 T cinnamon
-1 pie crust, uncooked

-2/3 c flour
-1/3 c brown sugar
-1 t cinnamon
-1/3 c softened butter

1. In large bowl combine both sugars with flour, apples, vanilla, and cinnamon. Toss well. Spoon into pie crust.
2. Mix topping ingredients with pastry blender and sprinkle over pie.
3. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool on wire rack before serving.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fly the Friendly Skies

With stroller, three roller suitcases, and diaper bag in tow, we headed off to fly the friendly skies this Christmas. Both M and I wondered how Little Peachy would handle the flight. The deck seemed to be stacked against us. She was coming off of a few rough nights, our flights were both delayed once we got to our gate, and our first flight was full to the brim.
However, Peachy pleasantly surprised us. The little girl who never sleeps when there is something interesting going on around her, slept peacefully on her father's lap through de-icing and our first take-off. The little girl who never settles down to nurse when there is the slightest noise, nursed during the second take-off and then fell asleep on my lap. The little girl who loves people would wait to make eye-contact with her fellow passengers and reward them with a huge grin. We were able to get our own row on the second flight as it wasn't as full as the first. Which allowed us all a little more space. And despite the fact that we had carefully selected non-noisy airplane toys, she was happy sucking the strings on my sweatshirt and playing with my scarf.
If you want to see the good nature in people, fly with an infant. People will stop their hustling and bustling to help with the stroller at security. People will kindly let you jump in line ahead of them during boarding. They will even let you off of the plane ahead of them!!! And they will compliment your infant to no end when they expect to hear a screaming baby and instead are able to enjoy a happy one.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Homemade Christmas Gift #1

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I like to give homemade gifts. They are one-of-a-kind, a way to stretch a dollar, and a way to show you care.
M and I pooled our efforts on this one. We made a three-in-one clock to send to my sister and brother-in-law in Japan.
M cut, routed, stained and sealed an oak board. He also routed out three spots in the back for the works. He installed the works (which we ordered from Clockkit.) We used scrapbook metal adhesive dots for the number spots and scrapbook label holders to mount the names for each clock.
You will have to ignore the Styrofoam. I meant to take a picture before we sent it. I succeeded, but not before it was packaged. (Also, the top picture should be rotated, but Blogger was being silly, so you will have to mentally rotate it!!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas 2009

-2 airplane delays
-1 snowstorm
-1 van that wouldn't start, had no heat, and had a mouse nest in the back
-1 tired 7 month old who was completely off schedule
-11 days away from home
-3 suitcases packed full
-7 reusable shopping bags stuffed to the gills

And I wouldn't have given it up for all the tea in China. (Or all of the coffee in Columbia.) All because of the wonderful people in these two pictures. Thanks for the great Christmas memories everyone!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm Ba-ack!

Sorry for the long overdue post. We were enjoying Christmas to the fullest. I promise to blog about all of our adventures soon. I also will have upcoming posts on homemade Christmas gifts. I hope that you all had a blessed Christmas and that your 2010 is off to a wonderful start!