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Friday, December 25, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My daughter can be the sweetest kindest person or she can flip on a dime and be just horrid.

My husband surprised us with a trip to go skiing for 2 days after Christmas. He is springing for 2 rooms so no one sleeps on the floor. My daughter asked to bring a friend - and said friend was standing right there. I said I would ask her dad. She started ranting that she would be left out, have to ski with a little kid - who can ski as well as she can. So I apologized to her friend and said no. She is furious. She will ruin the trip for everyone. She is trying to bully me into changing my mind. I am not giving in but I feel bad for her. Her crappy attitude will just make her unhappy and everyone around her which means no one will want to ski with her, which fulfills her prophecy. Sad really.

I am that way more often than I would like to admit. I call my husband for lunch and then when he can't go I get all pouty and my feelings hurt. Then my husband gets mad because I am giving him the guilts and I ruin both our days. Why is it so hard to see when it is your fault? That you are the one out of line? I know that it is an effect of Original Sin. I also know that the only way to get right again is to pray and to be charitable. Both sides need to do this.

I pray that she recognizes that the outcome is her doing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

5 minute Bread - Really

I have always been intimidated by bread. I just don't seem to have the knack. I discovered a video on how to make healthy bread in 5 minutes at It seems easy enough for even me. I also love the pizza popsicles that they make at the end! Perfect appetizer for a children's party.

Ham and Cheese Strata - Breakfast Casserole Delish!

I don't know where this recipe came from, I have had it for almost 20 years. It makes a delicous breakfast casserole and is very easily adapted to what you have on hand.

Ham and Cheese Strata
12 slices bread, cubed  (any leftover bread works, just fill the bottom of the pan)
2 cups shredded cheese (I use raw cheddar and mozzarella - but any shredded cheese is yummy)
2 cups cubed ham (I usually use 1lb of bulk sausage, cooked)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 9oz pkg chopped brocolli, thawed (any veggie works, I have used peppers, asparagus, leeks)
1 2oz jar pimientos, drained (if I have this it makes the casserole look pretty)
6 eggs (free range if possible)
3 cups milk (ideally, organic, raw whole milk)
1/4 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper

1. Grease 13x9 (3q) baking dish.
2. Layer bread, cheese, meat, onion, veggie and pimiento.
3. In a bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper, mustard. (scramble the eggs up first before adding the milk or it is a pain in the tush to get them all broken and incorporated into the milk)
4. Pour egg mixture evenly over your baking dish. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or over night.
5. Heat oven to 325degrees. Uncover and bake about 70 minutes(can take up to 90 min) (check it often at the end) Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

This is a great meal to have for Christmas morning and I also like to take it to a family when there has been a death because all they need to do is pop it in the oven.

Happily submitted to Homemaker MondaysWorks for Me Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Ann Kroekers Food on Friday, Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade.
Updated to submit to Life as Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap: Egg Dishes

Monday, December 14, 2009

Advent: On Too many Christmas Parties - What to do?!

How many Chrismases do you celebrate? My number isn't too bad considering my parents never divorced and my mother in law is a widow. So up until last year we had 3 - my family Christmas Eve, my kids/Santa Christmas morning and then my inlaws Christmas night.

Last year it changed. It had too - my son's fiance has 7 she must attend (divorce will do that too you). That means that we are lucky to even see them. My girls all have boyfriends who also have family committments and so it happened - "our Christmas" the one in which I give gifts to everyone - just not Santa gifts - has been moved to the Sunday before Christmas. Sigh, it kinda makes me sad. And yet, it is so lovely and relaxed, and my kids get to play with their stuff a lot longer - it spreads it out.

Why does it make me sad you wonder? Well it means that we will never again all be home on Christmas morning. It is a bittersweet change in traditions. It means my kids are really growing up. I keep asking them to stop but they won't!

So, if you are the Mom whose children are growing up - remember that you can celebrate Christmas anytime - be adaptable, your kids will thank you. If you are the young adult, cut your mom some slack - it is hard to let go of traditions that make the holidays.

Cheerfully linked to Tuesdays Unwrapped,  Works for Me Wednesdays

Friday, December 11, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday vol 3

1. Christmas is right around the corner and I don't have a single present wrapped. Purchased oh, yeah, I have done some serious purchasing. But wrapping - not so much!
I found lots of youtube videos on wrapping presents -here is a good one.

2. 14 days until Christmas - and my true love already gave me my present. Well, really I went out, bought it and then decided I couldn't wait until Christmas for my Kitchen Aid Mixer - I have cookies to make and WOW does this speed up the process. (my sweetie did pay for it ;o)
(Isn't she beautiful???)

3. In his defense - I only bought him a hat and boot warmers. Gifts are definatly not his love language!

4. My daughter Katie's Basketball team won tonight - 68-24 and she got to play 2 whole quarters!!!! I am proud of her for sticking to the committment she made to the team. You see she only gets to go in when the team is ahead by 20 and this particular team rarely wins. She does an awful lot of bench warming. That is hard on a person. But she still goes to every practice, shoot around and game and cheers on the other girls.

5. I am finally over my addiction to Diet Coke - it has been at least a month since I have had one. I then started drinking regular, but have since given that up also. It has not been terribly hard. I began doing it as a sacrifice for a special intention and now it just sounds gross. Thank You Lord for that gift.

6. My Joe turns 12 on Sunday - St. Lucy's Feast Day. He is growing up to be a wonderful, caring and helpful young man and I am very proud to be his mother. "Happy Birthday Joe!"

7. I am the world's worst procrastinator - I have a retreat in the morning, a dinner party for 16 tomorrow night and Joe's Birthday party on Sunday and what am I doing????? Yep, playing on the internet.

Linked to Conversion Diary's 7 Quick Takes Friday

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pumpkin for Freezing

My dear friend just starting blogging - and she just posted the most adorable video on how to prepare pumpkin for freezing - her cat Chef Pik is the star.

I also learned a lot watching the video. I have wondered about peeling the pumpkin - she makes it look so easy!

Go check it out - tell her hello, and that I sent you!
From Farm to Market is her lovely new site.

I am linking this to 11th Heaven's Homemaker Monday, Tasty Tuesday at Beauty and Bedlam, Kitchen Tip Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Works for Me Wednesday,

Friday, December 4, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday vol 3


7 Quick Takes Friday vol. 3

1. This is my 100th post to this blog. It has been lots of fun, and looking back over the posts - I think I am sometimes a little ADHD in what I have posted. In honor of the 100th post I am linking to past favorites. Grab a cup of tea and look around!

2. My most recent post "May the Farm be With You" this is a fabulously fun video with a spin on Star Wars and the Store Wars - it is worth a click if you don't go to any of my other posts!

3. A post on Reconomics - reducing, reusing, recycling.

4. My favorite recipe I have discovered since heading down the Real Food Path - Mashed Cauliflower

5. A post on Elegance- Less is More - this is my favorite post I have ever written. And a Youtube video call Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie.

6. Honey in the Morning - a Sweet post!

7. Lastly, the Who, What, Where, When, How and Why of my frugal crunchy blog.
Go check out the other wonderful posts at Conversion Diary's 7 Quick Takes Friday

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

May the farm be with you!

I followed a link to this site from Real Food Wednesday. This youtube video was the post - it is so worth the 5 or so minutes to watch. Gather around your kids and your husband who is a Star Wars fan, you won't be disappointed.

On the Fourth Day of Advent - Gift Exchanges

My Parents, siblings and inlaws - 2005

I hope you are all enjoying the Advent Season and using your Advent Wreaths.

My idea for today is about the gifts you exchange with your adult siblings or coworkers or friends. You know the gift you dread buying each year because who really wants or needs another do-dad you didn't pick out?

Over the years this has run the gamut in my family - 9 siblings, 7 inlaws and my parents. Some years we drew names and spent a certain amount. Other years we spent a certain amount and played a game to see what you received. There was lots of fun and lots of bad presents - girls socks for a teen aged boy etc.

The last couple years we have done something different and we really LOVE it. As a family we "adopt" a family for Christmas. One year we all gave in the form of gift certificates what we would have spent on the exchange to a very needy and deserving family. This year we are adopting a family who is going on their 10th child in 10 years.

But we still have fun. Everyone brings something from home they no longer want or need and we play the game for true White Elephant fun.

This truly makes Christmas special to us. Perhaps if you all have more than you need you might consider it. Oh, and we chose families we know but still make it anonymous.

I am linking this to Works for Me Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gingerbread Bowl

This is one of those times I wish my camera and computer would work together. They have been on the outs for awhile. ;o)

This is an adorable idea - you make a gingerbread bowl and fill it with cookies.

I would imagine you can start with any gingerbread recipe although I am putting the one I have here. It contains corn syrup and because I am such a novice cook I don't know how to substitute it out - any help would be appreciated. You don't really eat the bowl - it is for decoration, although if you were crazy about gingerbread you could.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light molasses
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
2tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
8 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 TBS baking soda
1 tsp each - ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, orange extract, salt
1/2 tsp gr. allspice
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large mixer bowl cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Keep the mixer running and add the molasses, corn syrup, vanilla and eggs, one at a time beating until it is well combined. In another large bowl combine remaining ingrediants with a whisk .

2. Add the flour mixture gradually to the creamed mixture - the dough can get very stiff, you may need to mix the rest with your hands to get it all mixed together. Divide into 4 and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill overnight.

3. Cover the outside of a 1-1/2 quart ovenproof glass bowl with aluminum foil, making sure to bring the foil up over the edge and inside a bit. Make sure the foil is on smoothly. Grease the bowl all over the foil with either vegetable spray (which I don't have anymore) or coconut oil. Set aside.

4. On a floured surface, roll one-fourth of the dough into a circle about 1/4" thick. Quickly lift the dough and press it on the outside of the bowl, molding it firmly to the shape of the bowl without stretching it. Trim the dough around the edge of the bowl with a sharp knife. Then using a Christmas shaped cookie cutter - stars would be beautiful - cut around the lipped edge of the bowl about 1 1/2 to 2 " apart and about 11/2 " up from the bottom of the bowl. Refrigerate the bowl for 1 hour to firm up the dough to keep it from slipping during cooking.

5. Preheat oven to 350degrees. Place the inverted bowl on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 20-30 minutes or until lightly brown and firm to the touch. Allow the gingerbread to cool on the bowl. When it is thoroughly cool, CAREFULLY loosen the foil and lift the foil and gingerbread off the bowl. Peel away the aluminum foil and discard. The shell can be stored in a dry place.

6. You can use the remaining dough to make 3 more bowls or cut into gingerbread cookies. Bake the cookies on a greased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes - no peeking or your gingerbread baby will run away!

You can fill this with cookies and even thread a ribbon through the cut outs. It would make a lovely hostess gift - they are pretty durable, I don't think I would try and transport them on a trip though.

This is fun to make - just time consuming. The finished product is wonderful.

Linked to: Our Krazy Kitchen, Mouthwatering Monday, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Works for Me Wednesday