February 19, 2015



Elizabeth is master creator.  Always drawing, cutting, pasting and so on.  I think I get a new drawing of Mary every day.  They are all beautiful but I particularly liked the cheeriness of this one.  Now, I just need to convince her to not cut them all out so that I can frame them! 

 Just as the sun was setting yesterday, a little gale of snow blew through.  Very pretty.  Very neat to be in.


Oh boy were they happy to go out in the snow.  They weren't happy to stay out there long (it was very, very cold.  9 degrees maybe?).  In spite of the fact that I only had to redress Peter twice (hello, meltdown) and took me just shy of 45 minutes to get them ready.  They're so worth it though--adorable in their puffy snow pants and cozy hats.

Caroline really really loves Sally.  So much that Carrie smothers Sally with her favorite toys.  Sally was just about to make her escape when I snapped this photo.  I think that Sally secretly loves the attention.

Also, funny is that I scheduled this post for Ash Wednesday.  I promise we did not eat that on Ash Wednesday.  I should have posted something very profound instead.  But I didn't--because profound is not my forte these days.  Survival is.  However, I did make this tuna salad for lunch.  Ate it in mini sweet peppers and it was very, very good.

 As a bonus, kitty had the treat of licking the can.  Which Caroline found interesting.  She doesn't love the cat quite as much as Sally.  Because when she loves him too much, he doesn't like it.  And there are consequences.


 Someone (okay, it was me) forgot they put the mop bucket on the front porch.  My kids pulled it out of the bucket and now we have porch art.   And I have no mop.

 See? Art.  Or a weapon.  And a girl who's hat will be garbage by spring.  Hillbillies we are.  Hillbillies, I say.  C'mon spring...I need my mop back....

February 18, 2015

Snickers pie.

Way back here, I mentioned Snickers Pie.

Snickers pie is not my specialty.  It is my mother's.  My mother makes it for holidays and my brother's birthday every year.  Just like her potato salad, no one else's compares.  Years ago, after my grandmother died (my dad's mother) the family got together and make a cookbook full of favorite recipes and things my grandmother said.  It is a treasure to have!  One of the recipes my mother submitted to the cookbook was her Snickers Pie recipe.

Only it is wrong.

When I went to make it, I read the recipe and it included cream cheese.  I was pretty sure that there was no cream cheese in the recipe so a flurry of emails between my mother and me ensued and now I have the correct recipe.

I should probably write it down.

And then convince  my mother to come show me how to make her potato salad.  Because she is one of those people.  You know the ones, they add ingredients by taste and they have no measurements.  However, when it is the first time making something, "add a little...." somehow doesn't cut it.

Sorry, digression.  It's my one weakness.  Let's carry on.  Here's the recipe.

Snickers Pie.
1 pre-baked pie shell, do this however you would like! :)
2 c milk
1 (3oz--its the bigger size) vanilla instant pudding
1 (3oz) chocolate instant pudding
1 (8oz) tub of cool whip, thawed
2 large Snickers bars, chopped

(My mother claims she never adds vanilla or cream cheese to hers.  Maybe it would be good?  We know it how she makes it and that's how we like it!)

As you can see from the directions above, what I'm going to tell you is pretty much the same.  But, I'll do it anyway.

Make vanilla pudding according to pkg directions with 1 cup of milk.  Repeat with chocolate.    Fold in one half of the tub of cool whip and one snickers bar into vanilla pudding and spread into pie shell.  Repeat with chocolate.  Garnish with whipped topping and extra snickers pieces.  Chill until ready to serve (or at least one hour).

February 12, 2015

Cheesy Chilada Bake

The other day I had mentally planned on making Cheesy Chilada Bake for the family but then I couldn't remember where the recipe was! (Please tell me you've done that!)  I've made this recipe several times and it is a hit with the kids.  Basically, any meal that you serve chips with is a winner.  So posting here for my adled brain to be able to remember the next time.

The recipe comes from Fix, Freeze, Feast which is a great book for those of us cooking for a crowd.  Freezer friendly meals! Gotta love that.  This book's only downfall is that there are no pictures.  I love pictures of recipes!  I'm much more likely to try a recipe if I can see what it looks like first.

Since she gives quantities to make four meals at once, I am giving you my single-serving estimated version.  So go gather your ingredients!

The ingredients.  Except for the tomato sauce, garlic, cumin and salt.
Because I forgot.  I'm awesome like that.

Cheesy Chilada Bake
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tsp minced garlic
1 and 1/2 cup picante sauce
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
5 tortillas
3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

1. Brown beef, peppers, onion, and garlic in large pot over medium heat until beef is no longer pink.  Drain and discard fat.  Stir in picante, tomato sauce, cumin, salt.

2. Spread half mixture over bottom of baking dish.  Tear half of the tortillas and cover mixture, edges overlapping.  Spread 1.5 cups cheese over tortillas.  Repeat each layer, finishing with cheese topping.

3. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, covered with foil, until bubbly and hot.  My kids like to scoop this up with tortilla chips.  My husband enjoys it as is, and I like some sour cream on top!  Enjoy!

Some notes:

  • I take the easy route and keep frozen peppers, onions, minced garlic on hand.  Even though I  often have these things.  Makes life simple when trying to prepare dinner in a jiffy.
  • My amounts are approximate and differ slightly from the book.  I altered them to work for my family.  They like a little more cheese, so I added a little more.  She includes pinto beans in her dish, that would totally ruin it for my guys so I left them out.
  • If you want the recipe to make 4 meals at once--buy the book! :)  I will say that when I made the big batch, I used more cheese (obviously) and more meat.  I kept everything else pretty much the same.
  • No one paid me to post this recipe.  Just in case you were wondering.  I wish.  If you know anyone who wants me to write posts about recipes with poorly-lighted photos, give them my number.  Ha!

February 2, 2015

Superbowl food.

Most people blog about their superbowl treats before the superbowl.  Not I.  Oh no.  Lucky that it is happening the day after.  Better than never? Or ... anyway....  (Personally, I'm still reeling from that game!)

The last few years, Superbowl has morphed into a day of a few favorite foods.  Veggie tray is a must.  I told Ken that he ruined my perfect swirl in the ranch dip with his cucumber and now I'll never be a food blogger.  Ha!

 Ken designed his chip plate with a little help from Peter.  Peter is really good at eating chips.
A family favorite is Fried Ravioli.  The recipe originally came from this one by Paula Deen.  Instead, we use bread crumbs to replace the pecans and LaRosa's pizza sauce for dipping.

Our next easy peasy treat is Skyline dip.  Spread a package of cream cheese on the bottom of a 9x13 pan, spread a can of Skyline chili next and then top with lots and lots of cheese.  Microwave for 4 minutes or bake in the oven until melted and bubbly.  Serve with tortilla chips.
New to us this year was Sarah's Krispie Brownies.  She posted a picture of these on Instagram and I knew we just had to have them!!  They were so yummy that I think they will make a comeback next year.

Since it was Caroline's actual birthday, she enjoyed one with two candles in it.  Yum!

I'd love to hear some other favorite superbowl treats to add to the lineup next year!  Share yours in the comments.  :)

February 1, 2015

A very happy birthday.

 Happy happy birthday to my sweet Caroline!  What a terrific two you are.  You bring such joy and life to everyone in our family.  We are just starting to see some of the two year old in you but luckily for you, we love two year olds!
Caroline had  a rubber ducky cake for her party because "Quack" is the one animal sound she will say.  And "Duck" is what she calls all birds.  She loved it!  She almost couldn't wait to have that cute, pink duck on the top and she happily showed everyone her duck cake.  She didn't eat any of it though--she's just not much of a sweets girl.  She'll have cheese curls over cake any day.

I wasn't sure at first if she even knew what the day was about.  Once she got the idea that those presents were hers there was no stopping her from opening them. 
By golly, once they were  opened she was going to keep every single one of them with her, too!  After a little while, she happily shared.  Which means that Peter commandeered the toy mixer for the rest of the night.   
Oh the joy when everyone started singing Happy Birthday!  I wish we'd thought to have the video camera going.  Poor seventh child!  Where have our brains gone? Lol.

This year, she blew out all of her own candles.  Very happily too.  It was a great day for her and a blessing to see her take such joy in her celebration!  It is so wonderful as well to see her surrounded by a family that loves and cherishes her and loves every little thing she does.  Blessings abounding!

Caroline with her godmother.