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Monday, August 29, 2011

A Purple Tooth?

There is an air of expectancy around our house as we daily watch the loose upper two front teeth of my 7 year old son. Volunteers to help him remove them are not scarce around here either. So this morning when I hear his little feet padding up the stairs and that little boy voice calling "LOOK MOM" I fully expected this was the day! His older sister, grandmother and I look up to see him holding what looks like his tooth in his hand. "Mommy its purple!" Thinking it was just the "bottom of the tooth" that needs to be rinsed out... I start to encourage him, UNTIL...I look and see IT IS BRIGHT PURPLE. WHAT!!!!... it wasn't a tooth at all, but the little item below.
Do you recognize it??? After I realized it wasn't his tooth at all, I burst out laughing. Cat lovers will recognize this right away... Kitty Caps! His major concern was the cat had left it in his bed. Another funny moment in our crazy casa de Amore' .
A great way to start off our homeschooling day. That and a battle over some sour dough bread, given to us by a friend. It is inevitable that the battle over the last of the bread will ensue, it is THAT good. Good enough for me to think 3 times about resurrecting my starter. Can you imagine how much starter you have to keep on hand to feed an army of nine? Sourdough is wonderful stuff, with endless baking opportunities, Pizza crust, rolls, bread , danish and A HUGE....commitment, Okay that idea goes back on the shelf for a while again :).
While that idea was put back on the shelf (FOR NOW) I did manage to resurrect on of our family favorites....SO EASY, In fact that is their name Easy Granola Bars, renamed by youngest ..aka Chocolate Sweetness! The desire to make these outweighed the fact that my oven is quite cranky. So cranky it messed up one of my cake orders, that I ended up borrowing a dear friends kitchen so I would be able to fulfill the order. Anyway surprisingly this yummy treat made it through the unreliable baking process! I am not even sure where I got this recipe, which I assure you is probably nothing like the original...hahahahaha
The recipe? Sure I'll share ...the basics, remember that this one screams for creativity and variation
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Mix together in large bowl (yes you might even have to mix with your hands)
3 cups Quick oats (5 min Oatmeal)
1 cup coconut
1 cup nuts (tonight I used a mix of peanuts and macadamia since that is what I had)
1 generous cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1 can sweetened condensed milk (15oz)
4 Tablespoons melted butter
Press into a GREASED 9x 13 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes ...till lightly golden ... I find these are easier to removed out of the pan carefully while still warm!
Experiement and play with this one....ALWAYS use a little chocolate... I have used sunflower seeds, pecans, peanut butter chips, white chocolate....catch my drift, the options are ENDLESS and delish in any variation! See what I mean, oooo I bet dried blueberries and white chocolate would be good :). Okay well until we meet again! Cya soon!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Cutting board was where????

If you know me or when you get to know me, You will realize I love to laugh and smile. I somehow can see the humor in the little things. Okay except when it comes to attitudes...OH DEAR! Today there were several things that made my cheeks scrunch up into one of those grins. The buy two get three free sales at the store, The fact that there was a "little" grocery cart available and I got a text that probably wasn't really meant for me but it still made me smile anyway. Even yesterday as we were the recipient of shaking due to the earthquake in Virginia, I still managed to think the fish being shaken up were funny. The funniest mystery this week ended up being my missing cutting board. Not the big one that stays on the counter for the heavy duty chopping, but my little acrylic one for those "little thing" I want to dump into the pan. After several days of looking and questioning and questioning some more (you would have thought I was missing several chunks of gold...hahahaha) the disappearing board was found in the strangest place...Okay are you ready??? My parents bedroom on a shelf....BIG GRIN. Still no one claims to have put it there. Another unsolved mystery ! But still it is quite funny don't you think? I cannot even begin to imagine the circumstances that caused it to travel there! Hahahhahahaha

Monday, August 15, 2011

Off with their Heads!


See it! Isn't it beautiful? It is my basket full of assorted Sunflower heads. Why sunflowers you ask? I know! Well dear sweet "Ellie " our Yellow Crested Cockatu loves to eat sunflower seeds, so in an attempt to grow our noisy girl some treats I planted them (Well actually my daughter and her friend did ). I have to admit that normally I wouldn't plant such a tall flower, but these came in assorted sizes and colors, so I thought "why not?" I was rewarded with an abudant supply of sunflowers. All bright and yellow with their heads shining in the sun intermingled with some bunches of burgundy mini sunflowers. The effect was quite pretty.
Well last Wednesday I decided it was "time" ...So early in the morning, I hiked on out to the garden to tear our old rebellious tomato plants AND to decapitate the flowers so I could figure out the drying process... After a quite stressful week before I found myself enjoying the process, Wacking off each of the sunflower heads and pulling up the drying plants. I will let you know if it works, but for now I leave you saying....OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Not your Nachos and Noodles!

The last few weeks have been such a whirlwind in my home. I have just finished helping at my daughters Youth Summer Drama camp on top of trying to balance regular household duties, keep up with committees, church events, homeschool planning....well you catch my drift I am sure. Then to top off all the fun, I ended up getting the S word (okay behave, I mean SICK...blah!). Usually as you know my kitchen is a place that I love to be, but when I am overly stressed out or super super tired, the last place I want to visit is the room that requires me to put forth some effort. So this week two of our favorite super fast, super simple meals came in to play. Weds we made the above super easy Nachos...it literally takes 15 minutes to assemble and broil up enough for the army that lives here. I came across the recipe some years ago and of course have put my own EmBee spin on it ..hahaha... . So I will share with you, it DOES contain a few processed foods and is not skimpy on calories, I'm just saying. Cover a cookie sheet or baking pan with foil (option, but hey who wants to wash those dishes!) Spread out a layer of your favorite tortilla chip, Spread on Chili no beans and Refried beans (mixed together) Top off with Sharp Cheddar Cheese and broil till the cheese is melted and bubbly! Now some people would stop right there and you know that would be perfectly fine, but in my honest opinion, adding sour cream and fresh tomatoes and shredded lettuce helps make it complete meal. (We can't have any guilty feelings lingering because we didn't give the kids veggies...no no no) See what I mean SUPER FAST!
Now fast forward, past camp, past a VERY difficult weekend and onto the "sick" part. I stood in front of my cupboard staring...Hmmmm what can I make to feed this family out of Alfredo sauce, pickles and Cereal??? EWWWW...hahahaha. I did remember a few green peppers were in the fridge from my very rebellious garden and Kielbasa in the freezer...HEY now! Another super fast meal!!! I learned this one from my older cousin many years ago. Cabbage and noodles!!! What?? does it have an EmBee spin? ...Of COURSE! Stir fry Kielbasa (the added EmBee flair) and onion and pepper together ...added cabbage cut in long strips, steam till tender!!...meanwhile boil up a bag of egg noodles...toss all together with LOTS (let me stress this LOTS ) of butter and pepper!!
See, It does look tasty...Okay maybe not look tasty but, it is so good! (if you like cabbage) Now it is time to slow down, do a reality check and set a few things down for a while, so my family doesn't find me bouncing off walls or weeping uncontrollably over styrofoam peanuts in the living room (yes that has happened, just not today...hahahaa) I'll save that story for another blog someday, maybe even tonight.

Monday, August 1, 2011

>Crispy Cookie Heaven or Not??

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There are days you just HAVE to have something sweet. Well really that is everyday isn't it?? The day I made these beautiful looking cookies there were absolutely no (okay very few ) groceries in my house. Open cupboard...Look...Oatmeal, hmmmm. Butter?? yes I have a little of that...sugar, eggs and no flour. What can I make??? OOOOH I know, lets look in our handy dandy, OLD cookbook from the 50's . The one that gave us the awesome Rhubarb pie recipe a few weeks ago. They knew how to cook with very little back then, stretch the budget! Lifts the heavy textbook of cookbook off the shelf. Flips to the "dessert" section. Oatmeal Crisp cookies!!! Awesome and no flour necessary! Its a very simple recipe actually and so crispy and delicious!!! It all went so smoothly ... preheat oven, mix up ingredients in the trusty Kitchen aid, Grease the cookie sheets...Whaa??? Grease the cookie sheet should have been my first clue, hahahahaha. Well the first batch came out and half of them stuck to the pan despite my efforts to keep them intact. While these cookies are quite scrumtious they are very tricky ! It took me until halfway through before I remember that I was the proud owner of something called wax / parchment paper. From that point on everything went..OK? hahahahaha. Even with the parchment half the cookies still stuck...Well I ended up with a good tray full of cookies and a BIG dish of Ice cream topping !! Epic Fail? ...not really, but I will not tackle this one again unprepared....I will use the forbidden item....parchment paper and PAM!

Yes see....Several trays of this !! Needless to say, it all did disappear!

Crispy Cookie Heaven or Not??


There are days you just HAVE to have something sweet. Well really that is everyday isn't it?? The day I made these beautiful looking cookies there were absolutely no (okay very few ) groceries in my house. Open cupboard...Look...Oatmeal, hmmmm. Butter?? yes I have a little of that...sugar, eggs and no flour. What can I make??? OOOOH I know, lets look in our handy dandy, OLD cookbook from the 50's . The one that gave us the awesome Rhubarb pie recipe a few weeks ago. They knew how to cook with very little back then, stretch the budget! Lifts the heavy textbook of cookbook off the shelf. Flips to the "dessert" section. Oatmeal Crisp cookies!!! Awesome and no flour necessary! Its a very simple recipe actually and so crispy and delicious!!! It all went so smoothly ... preheat oven, mix up ingredients in the trusty Kitchen aid, Grease the cookie sheets...Whaa??? Grease the cookie sheet should have been my first clue, hahahahaha. Well the first batch came out and half of them stuck to the pan despite my efforts to keep them intact. While these cookies are quite scrumtious they are very tricky ! It took me until halfway through before I remember that I was the proud owner of something called wax / parchment paper. From that point on everything went..OK? hahahahaha. Even with the parchment half the cookies still stuck...Well I ended up with a good tray full of cookies and a BIG dish of Ice cream topping !! Epic Fail? ...not really, but I will not tackle this one again unprepared....I will use the forbidden item....parchment paper and PAM!

Yes see....Several trays of this !! Needless to say, it all did disappear!