Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Craft Night

Or, Girls Night Out.
You decide.
It was multi-generational
as well as

I wish I had thought to take a shot of each project.
But unfortunately
(or fortunately)
I had taken a shot or two of this.
Good choices for a craft night, don't you think?
The prominence of the wine in this picture cracks me up. 

What also cracks me up is it was us *old* ones
hitting the wine. 
The *young* ones stuck with water and pop. 
It will be fun to see over time who exerts more influence.

So the run down of crafts, 
Christine decopoged black and white
photos all over a huge papermached "H".
Lory made a sock rabbit. 
Holly worked on 4 scrapbook pages.
Amy assisted Viki with tutu making.
Viki made a tutu and this:
the hit of the night!
(the hat, not Aidan)
Oh, I meant craft hit. 
As far as baby hit, Aidan had that locked down!
Poor boy had to be our model. 
Only consolation I have for him is that he was spitting
up enough that Viki did not want to put the tutu on him.

I, on the other hand, had the miss of the night.
In theory you are supposed to be able to coat a balloon with 
Elmer's glue and stick buttons all over the bottom
and when the glue dries you pop the balloon and have a pretty bowl.
OK, so I tried using stained glass pieces and maybe
went a little heavy on the glue. 
Oh, and there are those pesky wine glasses in the background. 

Hmmm, never-mind. 
I played with Aidan and had the idea for the
jaunty little tilt to the hat. 
I'll leave you with that.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I have been dubbed the 
Queen of Balls.....
...Oreo Balls.

And while I don't mind the title, I am feeling
a bit penned in. 
My creativity stifled.
My horizons limited.

And so to combat that I present to you;
The Blond Oreo Ball.
(just used the vanilla Oreos)

And the latest in ball creation;
The Cookie Dough Ball!
There are no raw eggs in these so they are
food safe, always a nice touch.

I searched the internet and found virtually the same
recipe at every site so I don't feel like
I am stepping on toes to offer it here.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
(or truffles if you want to be fancy)
(notice, I am not fancy)

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips
chocolate for dipping.

Cream the butter and sugar.
add in the vanilla and the the flour, milk
and chips.

Chill before rolling and again before dipping.

I took an independent taste poll
and the general consensus was favorable.
The only thing I had issue with was the texture.
Regular cookie dough has a bit of a 
"crunch" from the brown sugar.
I think I creamed these too well. Next time I 
would go a little lighter on the creaming process
and maybe a bit heavier on the brown sugar.

Now then, what else do you suppose I can roll into a ball
and dip in chocolate?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Slow Cooker Goulash

This is from 
I've said it before and I'll say it again, 
I really like this magazine. 
There is always at least one recipe in every issue
I want to make and so far they have all been good!

This recipe has you dust the chuck roast with flour and brown it off.
then you saute onions, beets, celery and carrots in the
pan. Then you add tomato paste, garlic, paprika,
cumin, coriander and caraway seeds. 
You deglaze with red wine and beef broth, put the whole mess
in the slow cooker and at the end shred the meat
and finish with red wine vinegar and parsley.

Here's where I went all renegade, 
the first night I served it with the egg noodles it suggested
(hence the errant noodle or two in the photo), 
but the second night I served it over a baked  sweet potato.

I think it's funny how very similar all 
"chuck roast in the slow cooker"
recipes tend to be and that just a few variations
can make such a big difference.

This one's a keeper.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Meatballs a la Pizzaiola

I'm not sure if this was a hit or a miss.
It's from my good friend Giada .
These are supposed to be served with toothpicks as an appetizer.
Some how I missed that and thought they would
just be the meat of a meal. 
You know, like mini, Italian style, meatloaves. 
That you dip. 

They aren't. 
Whereas they are good, they would be far better
with the mindset that they are appetizers. 

Here are my comments;
I used dried sun-dried tomatoes and just added 
a hit of olive oil. 
I read the comments on the recipe and so baked them 5 minutes 
longer than recommended.
That was 5 minutes too long. 
For once, it would appear, I made 
meatballs the size they were intended to be. 

It's a good meatball recipe, I wonder if it would be a good
meatloaf one as well?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How did I Live So Long Without This?

It's huge. 
It's heavy.
 I can cut many things. 
It will not slide around.

I knew I needed a *real* cutting board. 
I didn't realize what I needed was butcher block.
I love this thing.
I've used it once and I'm hooked. 

It's so big that I can put it on the stove top
for extra work surface.
(when the stove's not in use)

So, you know how
you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
Sometimes you don't know what you need till it's here. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Monday January 9th

Would appear to have been a difficult day 
for many people.

I could give you the run down, but why?
What I do want to share is this very funny coincidence.

Shanna posted on her Facebook page on Tuesday
that Monday had been a
Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

This is the book Ava brought home from school on Monday:
How does that happen?

The good news is, Tuesday was better
and nobody will be
moving to Australia. 

Vegetable Platter

You know how a vegetable platter is 
usually all nice and neat and all 
the different vegetables
are lined up in a row?
Well, Christmas Eve I decided to change things up a bit. 
Shake it up, as it were.
This is a riot of vegetables, 
a cornucopia,
a melee,
a mosh pit, 
a celebration of all things

It was met with mixed reviews. 

I kinda like it. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Ava's Surprise Party

I invited all her best friends.

Well, all the ones I had ready access to
and whose mothers would allow them to 
come to some strange ladies' house
for the afternoon. 

This is not an original idea. 
Big threw me just this kind of surprise party
once upon a time. 
I had always wanted a surprise birthday party
so one year Big arranged all my Barbies 
around the dining room table
and had a 
Surprise Breakfast Birthday Party for me.
For the life of me I can't remember if I was
a kid or f I was an adult at the time. 

Either way I still remember how special Big
made me feel that morning. 
And still does. 

I hope Ava feels special. 

Oh, and Barbie still likes a good party!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sloppy Mini Muffins

These were part of our Christmas Eve Appetizer Lollapalooza.
They were a new addition and it would appear they will be a keeper.
I couldn't even get a picture of the plate full of them.

Well, truth be told they were diving for the olive bread
but you get the picture.....

These are a twist on something I saw 
Sandra Lee make. 
It's just a Jiffy corn muffin mix that I baked in a mini 
muffin pan.
 You scoop out the center of the cooled muffin.
I used a serrated grapefruit spoon. 
(good thinking, huh?)
and then Sandra made a chili to spoon into the divot.
My mom had made sloppy joes the day before
and mom being mom, there was plenty leftover
to stuff my mini muffins.
(good thinking, huh?)
I topped them with some cheddar that I used
a microplane to shred so it was really fine and popped 
them in the oven to warm up and melt the cheese. 
(that's for Shanna)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Grandparent Training 101

If this cake is any indication, 
Mike and I are well on our way to earning our
Grandparent Badge.

I allowed Ava to create it. 
Mike ate it. 

Friday, January 6, 2012


What coffee?
You mean I'm supposed to buy coffee at
No thanks. 
Don't really care for their coffee. 
 Now then, their CD selection is second to none.
What a blast from the past!
I also got my favorite Christmas CD there a couple 
of years back.

Thankfully Lynne likes their coffee
walks with a credit card in her back pocket. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I did not set out to do it. 
These sorts of things just come naturally to me. 
I am a born rule breaker. 
A swim against the tide  
and don't go along with the crowd kind of chick.

You know how the rest of the world is making
resolutions today to 
eat better, 
be healthy?

I chose today to do something for the first time.
Fry fish. 

I didn't do it on purpose and I got a bit of a kick
out of it when I realized what I had done. 
Trust me, my jeans were a bit tight at the New Year's Eve 
party last night. 
I need a good detox.
But for some reason the left over 
avocado chimichuri was screaming to be put on top
of a piece of tilapia.
Not the healthy baked kind I have been making. 
No, I needed to try a new technique. 
Why not bread it with some 
panko (healthy),
parmesan (little less healthy),
and then cook it in an inch of oil
(off the charts UNhealthy)?

Yea, well, scream at me later, 
this was fantastic!

Doesn't hurt that that chimichuri would make a shoe taste good.