Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Preparation



Thanksgiving week is here. Most of my creative Thanksgiving crafts were put on hold. Oh well. BUT I did whip out a new harvesty center piece. Here are a couple of tricks for cheap center pieces.

Plastic that looks like glass...way cheaper
Craft stores in the ghetto
Fake gourds
A couple yards of clearance fabric, folded and ironed...nope not even sewn (sewing machine still MIA)

Now it is time for list making, cleaning, prepping, decoration, and more cleaning. I can almost smell the turkey.



Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Could you rePITA that please?

Did you say you were hungry? You did...oh okay well here is an answer to your snack plea...Homemade pita chips.



My friend introduced me to these right after I had Case. I inhaled them in record time. I have been playing with the recipe ever since. Sometimes I change up the spices. Sometimes I cook them longer or shorter depending if I am in a crunchy or chewy mood. I have found my favorite spice combo, so that is what I will share today.

Take this recipe's basics and then experiment!!!

PS I LOVE these with homemade deli sandwiches. I feel so fancy.

Homemade Pita Chips

1 package of pitas
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp dried basil
pepper to taste ( I like a lot)

Preheat oven to 400. Cut pitas like you would a pizza, into triangular shapes. Mix oil, garlic salt, basil, and pepper in small bowl. Place pita pieces on a cooking sheet. Brush oil mixture over pitas ( you will probably have to keep mixing oil and spices together), reserve a little. Make sure to coat them well.

Put in oven. 6-7 minutes for chewier and 8-10 for crunchier. Flip chips over and brush reserve oil over the other side.

Delightful!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Heart...

Felt food. I have had it mind to whip up some of this stuff for quite awhile. Tons of people have linked me to tons of great sites all offering felt food "how-tos". I am in the works of making some stuff for the boys' Christmas presents that will go with a little man kitchen (no pink and white gingham here). Most of my ideas have evolved from a picture I see or from my own noggin. BUT I realized that I needed a little guidance or "research" on the how to make it. SO with a gleeful giggle I present what I heart right now...





SERIOUSLY! AH-mazing right??? I think so. When I was dreaming up my felt menu, eggs and a carton were on it, but I had no idea how to pull it off. Yay to find this pattern. Go to her etsy shop and drool over her creative genius (click on Bugga Bugs above).

Now you get to wait in anticipation for my recreation of these and then my original creations of some other items...super excited to get them done.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ahh the Memories

Every year for our birthday we got to choose what we wanted mom to make us...I almost always chose this...



Yep, yummers. Won Tons have become a family favorite in our house. I pretty much make sure I have a "birthday" every couple of months. As the years have gone on, I have adjusted it to fit what we had or what sounded good. We have also added Asian Spaghetti. This feast has become one of those recipes that I make by putting in a dash of that, a splash of this, a little more here...you get the point. So I am trying my best to give it to you in measurements. I am giving 2 different recipes for the won tons and then a recipe for the Asian spaghetti. ENJOY.

Beef Won Tons

1 lb ground hamburger, cooked
3-4 green onions sliced
1/4 cup grated carrot (not the thick cheese grater, the tiny grater)
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 egg
won ton wrappers
oil, for frying

*instructions following pork recipe

Pork Won Tons

1 lb ground pork, cooked
3-4 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup grated carrot
1 tsp ginger paste (or equivalent ground)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 egg
won ton wrappers
oil

Cook meat and drain. Stir in all other ingredients besides wrappers and oil. Place small spoonful of filling in center of wrapper. Fold burrito style. Seal final edge with water. Heat oil in deep sauce pan over med- med high heat.

Drop 3-4 won tons in oil at a time. Fry for about 20- 30 seconds, till golden. Remove and drain on napkin.

When all done, serve plain or with sweet and sour sauce...oh and a side of--

Asian Spaghetti

Spaghetti noodles, prepared per package OR Asian stir fry noodles, prepared per package
3-4 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 TBS sesame seeds
oil

The ingredients to this will vary depending on the amount of noodles you like. This is for about half a box of normal sized spaghetti or one package of noodles.

Cook noodles per package, set aside. Heat up oil, enough to cover bottom of a large sauce pan or a stir fry wok. Sprinkle in sesame seeds and cook until seeds start to turn golden, which will take several minutes. Once seeds are golden, dump in spaghetti/noodles, green onions and soy sauce. Stir until evenly coated. Add more soy sauce if needed.

Now eat up. This is a great dish for entertaining and quite the crowd pleaser.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's About Love



Most of you know my hubby is an adoption worker. He has been able to experience the joy that is adoption over the last four years through both adoptive couples and birth parents.

There have been several times over these past several years that I have been able to go to different Family Supporting Adoption activities/conferences with him. Every time my testimony and support of adoption grows even more. At the end of October, I was able to go to a regional FSA conference with him. Here families who have adopted, in the waiting part of adoption and/or are in the just starting phase of adoption gathered together for support and learning. The joy I saw in these families who were blessed through adoption still brings tears to my eyes. The longing that I saw in those families waiting brings even more tears.

One of my favorite parts of this conference was a birth grandparent (who I LOVE listening to...I have heard her story several times) talking about her family's experience with adoption and her love of adoption advocacy.

She shared the journey of her daughter deciding to place her baby for adoption. She openly shares the heartache that came with making a difficult decision to do what she knew was right. This decision was made because she LOVED her baby and wanted that baby to be raised in a home with a mom and dad. She knew there were things she alone could not provide. With complete and loving support from her parents, who also knew adoption was the best thing, their daughter was able to give her baby more. Heartache turned to joy, not only for the birth mom and her family, but also for a couple who had longed to add to their family. You can only imagine the testimony this birth family now has of adoption and the great adoption advocates they are.

The class was also about being an advocate of adoption. There are so many ways to be an advocate of adoption. I think the most important thing is to change the perception of adoption and to let people see how much love and courage is truly involved in these birth moms placing their sweet babies for adoption.

I just wanted to take some blog space and do a tiny advocating for adoption today. I know it is a very sensitive and tender topic, and all I want is to share my testimony and feelings on its importance.

I have seen the joy that comes from adoption. I have seen the hand of God in the miracle of adoption. I know that these birth moms are selflessly making the hardest decision they will ever make in placing a baby for adoption. It is selfless because they feel all the love a mother feels for her baby and because of that love they want more for that baby. Even amidst wanting more and having the small comfort that it is the right decision, it is still painful. It is selfless because even in that pain, she still thinks about her sweet baby more than herself and gives her baby more than she can offer...she gives her baby a mom and a dad. Nothing says it better than this...

Adoption- It's About Love

Love of a birth mom to want and give more to her baby. Love of a couple waiting and wanting to add to their family. Love of a birth mother's parents to encourage and support her in this most loving decision even if it is hard for them, for that baby is a part of them too. Love. It is all about love.

I am grateful that through my hubby's work I have been able to gain a better understanding and testimony of adoption. I know this will be just the beginning of my role as an adoption advocate, for when you know something is good and right, it seems only fitting to share the love.

A site I encourage you to visit is http://www.itsaboutlove.org/ . November is National Adoption Month, do a little advocating yourself.

Share the LOVE.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Evening in Excellence and Other Stuff

Young Womens, Young Womens, Young Womens. Here is a post of some things we have done in the last couple of months.


Evening In Excellence


The theme for Evening in Excellence this year was Find A Treasure. It obviously centered around finding a treasure. We started the evening with a dessert bar of fondue and tons of yummy dip-ables. I wanted to start the evening with dessert so that we could end the night on a spiritual note. During dessert is also when everyone was able to walk around and see the girls' Personal Progress project displays.

At the end of the dessert portion, every girl opened up a treasure map that had been placed in a treasure chest on every table. The treasure map (which was just a simple download after googling treasure maps...I tried making my own but an hour later realized that was the least important thing to do right then) lead the girls to three different stops before the final treasure. Each stop was a room, marked with an image correlating with the clue. In the room was a leader who read a quote about their divine worth. The final room was marked with a giant red "X".

This room was decorated with tons of mirrors of all shapes and sizes. The purpose was to imply that the treasure was themselves. Once all the girls filed in, we had a guest speaker who centered her talk on the scripture Proverbs 31:10 combined with talking about their divine worth and recognizing that in a world that would have them forget it.

Each girl got to take home an individual mirror with a jeweled tag on the back that said, "Remember what a treasure you are".

The night truly was spectacular.

Another idea from our September activities--

The whole month of activities was geared toward learning about Joseph Smith and the time he lived
    
     learned to embroidery
learned about Emma Smith
     fact scavenger hunt
     the girls worked on individual projects to help them gain a testimony of him, which included learning a    hymn, drawing pictures, reading, embroidery

    the month ended with a program with guest speaker and musical number that was set perfectly to a section of the church produced film on the restoration

Some of the activities we have coming up:

making family trees and "remember when" books for each girls family
visiting a family history center
a progressive dinner at the leaders homes

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Not Your Everyday Brownie

I heart brownies. Chewy, chocolatey, not-all-the-way-done brownies. I can make a pan and then be indignant when half of it is missing...and then chagrined when I realize I am the one who ate that half a pan.

So when I browsed this recipe from Picky Palate (ps if you want a sinful dessert just browse her concoctions) I knew I had to make it. Enjoy all of it's caramely, chocolatey, nutty, appley, cream cheesy goodness.

Roasted Apples and Cream Caramel Topped Brownies




I linked to her recipe, well because it is hers, and I am being a little lazy today and don't want to re-type out the recipe.

I will give you some hints...

use foil like she says...it really does make them come out better
you can do it in a 9x13, just cook for less time
really do let them cool completely before pouring over caramel, it will stick better
I only used three apples

when you make them...make them for a function so they are not sitting on your counter daring you not to eat them...you will lose.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Na-Nu Na-Nu

This year's Halloween came from one lone inspiration--an episode of Blue's Clues where Steve dressed up like an Alien with an attached UFO. Saw it a year ago and pistons firing ever since. Cole would be the alien, Jack an astronaut, and baby to be (obviously didn't know what we were having last year) would be a shooting star.

Ironically enough, the only costume that didn't turn out great was the alien...too many construction problems for too novice a sewer. Still, my boys looked pretty cute and we had a great Halloween (even though here they do it two nights before and call it Beggars Night...LAME-O).
















Here is a little run down of Trick-or-Treating...

Spencer had to work
Hot gluing costumes minutes before leaving
Jack made it to one house then stayed in wagon rest of the time
Cole took off Alien head 5 houses in
I put it on
Cole took off Alien hands 6 houses in
I did not put them on
Cole now looks like a green hill beside a race track
Case had hacking cough
Case fell asleep in sling
Jack wanted a sucker
Jack lost his sucker
Jack wanted another one
I gave him another one
I asked Cole to ask for candy for Jack at every house
Cole got candy for Jack at almost every house
I found out at almost last house Cole was just asking for another piece of candy...not stating it was for his brother.
Whew we were done
Oh no...Case threw up all over the place.
Clean Case up
Go home
Go to sleep...
for 2 weeks.

if you are curious, yes I already have ideas for next year...hahaha
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