Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WWW ~ Kids Clinic, Playdates & Thanksgiving!

Wowzer time is just flying by and you add in the holidays and it seems like it is harder and harder to fit everything in. Does the early nights with the sunset make anyone else feel like your day is passing you by??? Gosh I am sick AGAIN, I swear these little germ carriers I call kids keep making me sick and it stays FOREVER!! I've missed a few Wednesday Weekend Wrap ups so I merged them all together for a quick overview :). Yup I'm always thinking about you ... hehe yes I know my life is so not the do or die but it's still fun.
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We've had a few Lowe's Kids Clinics. Ok if you haven't done one get your butt up on every other Saturday, you go it's free and the kids have fun!! Here is a few we've done in the last few weeks!
We've had a few playdates and a fun Birthday party at a gymnastic place. The boys and I have been having some fun, staying in from the cold outside!
Second I had a baby shower to go to. Usually I make a huge diaper cake that takes me like 6+ hours I whipped up one real quick in about 4 1/2 hours. OK so I get there a girl takes the cake I warn her it is not stable. About 10 min later Cole comes running up and whispers in my ear mom they are putting your cake in a bag. OH no she didn't I go down to the gifts to find them shoving (YES shoving) my cake not even into a gift bag but a brown bag! I walk over and they are like oh it fell apart we're just putting it in a bag. YOU got to be kidding me 4 1/2 HOURS of work and you're not even going to come get me to fix it! They go oh do you want to fix it, I snap you THINK I only spent 5 hours on it (I gave myself a 1/2 hr ... lol). Finally someone did come help but say the least I was a unhappy camper! So sadly not my prettiest cake and a little worse for the ware but hey it was thought that counts I guess.
Thanksgiving brought us a dinner at church with all our friends there on Sunday. Tuesday brought us a snowstorm of no school for the week! And Thursday came for family coming over! Ok so I have a friend that I offered to come over she said she had no $ for dinner. Then it became her mom & son. THEN Thursday AM she called to say her brother was coming also?? Ok she kicked this person out for drugs. I'm sorry I feel like I'm being taken advantage of, also my family doesn't care for this person I initially invited so I was already sticking my neck out. So I told her sorry this isn't going to work. She was going to go with me BF shopping since I didn't have anyone to go with. She then says I have a $1000 & I'm going with my family. So she was going to bring the whole fam here for dinner and do a dine and dash! Yup the doormat is rolled in, no more welcomed! Then I was blessed my mom said she was surprising me & taking the boys over night!! This is the FIRST time both boys have spent the night, and Cole's like 6 time staying there. THEN Rick surprised me and said he was going to go with me!! He even had to work the next AM. YUP so all works out in the end. I learned a valuable lesson and actually had a good family dinner. Only a few comments when I wasn't in the room about Cole and being hyper and how another grandkid would NEVER be like that :). The favorites are always the favorite but no matter what Cole did a pretty good job!
Few that is the world we've been having, some highs and lows but over all so much fun and no matter what anyone says my boys I'll take you hyper with all the hugs and kisses and I love yous :).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Sweet Treats (Recipes)

Well I'm looking a little less stressed today :). I wanted to show the sweet side of our dinner. I do have a few left over turkey recipes that I can't wait to share (stay tune ... like how I suck you in to come back?)!

Today I have for you a yummy pie & a twist on a traditional dish that we usually have. I'm always looking to bring new recipes to ones that we have. Oh yes no way do I do the same thing each year (Yes again it does drive everyone nuts).

My first recipe is a yummy pie, I made the crust from the food network recipe but wasn't too impressed with it. Sorry Paula you let me down with that one! So I'm just sharing the pie recipe.
Pumpkin Ginger Pie

Ingredients:
Filling:
1 can (15 oz) pumpin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 t. grated fresh ginger
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t. salt

Crust:
1 frozen deep dish pie crust

Streusel:
1/2 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 9)
2 T. packed brown sugar
2 T. all purpose flour
2 T. butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place cookie sheet on oven rack. In large bowl, mix filling ingredients. Pour into pie crust.

Bake pie on cookie sheet 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees; bake 15 minutes longer. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix streusel ingredients. Sprinkle streusel over filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool completely on cooling rack, about 3 hours. Cover and referage any remaining pie. Enjoy!!

ALEXIS NOTES: I used FF evaporated milk and whole wheat flour. I did make the crust put it just wasn't up to snuff to share.

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Second is a twist on the usual Sweet Potatoes I do. This recipe was fab and I'll do it again. I used Yams (which in some places people call them sweet potatoes). I threw them in the oven and it was so easy to peel the skin right off.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow & Pecan Topping

Sweet Potatoes:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Topping:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows

1. Bake sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes until tender.

2. Peel and mash the baked sweet potatoes. Add sugar, eggs, milk, salt, melted butter and maple syrup. Mix well and transfer into a greased 9×13-inch dish.

3. Mix the brown sugar, flour, melted butter and pecans in a separate bowl. Crumble mixture evenly over sweet potatoes in diagonal rows.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Add mini marshmallows to alternate rows and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the marshmallows are golden brown.

ALEXIS NOTES: I used yams, sugar substitute, wheat flour and they were out of the mini marshmallows so I took big ones and cut them up!


Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Manic Monday Meals ~ A Few Thanksgiving Meals

Thanksgiving is done, do I look stressed??? hehe it was fun I got up early and cooked my little heart out overall good comments and everyone seemed to enjoy the different parts. Always some drama but I promise to go into that later. Today I picked a few of my recipes I tried to share, tomorrow I share the others didn't want to over load you. Now some are thinking but thanksgiving is over, but believe me you can make these anytime! Enjoy!!!

Thanksgiving ala Alexis AKA MOM!

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 apples, cored and halved
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 (750 milliliter) bottle champagne
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Rinse turkey, and pat dry. Gently loosen turkey breast skin, and insert pieces of butter between the skin and breast. Place apples inside the turkey's cavity. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place turkey in a roasting bag, and pour champagne over the inside and outside of the bird. Close bag, and place turkey in a roasting pan.
    3. Bake turkey 3 to 3 1/2 hours in the preheated oven, or until the internal temperature is 180 degrees F (85 degrees C) when measured in the meatiest part of the thigh. Remove turkey from bag, and let stand for at least 20 minutes before carving.
ALEXIS NOTES: I used sparkling cider, 3 apples and margarine. This was the moistest (I know it's not a word) Justify Fullturkey I've EVER had. It had a GREAT apple taste and it was a hit with everyone at the table!
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Every year I try out a new stuffing mix (yes it drives everyone nuts). I just love to try new things, something about having a new recipe to keep things fresh :).

Ingredients

  • 16-ounce bag stuffing cubes
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan and topping
  • 1 pound fresh sage sausage, casing removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cooking apples, such as Gravenstein, Rome, or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 to 2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted (See Note)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Directions

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

    Put the stuffing cubes in a large bowl and set aside. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish.

    Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until it loses most of its pink color, but not so much that it's dry, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and pan drippings to the stuffing cubes. Melt the remaining butter in the pan. Add the onion, apple, celery, and salt. Cook until the vegetables get soft, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and parsley and bring to a boil.

    Pour the vegetable mixture over the stuffing cubes and toss until evenly moistened. Mix in the walnuts and eggs. Loosely pack thedressing in the prepared pan and cook uncovered until the top forms a crust, about 40 minutes. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of turkeypan drippings or melted butter over the top. Cook until the top iscrisp and golden, about 20 minutes more. Set immediately or warm.

ALEXIS NOTES: I think I would scale this down a bit the bag I bought was 12oz I think that would be enough. I used Jimmy Dean sausage they were out of the sage flavor. So when I cooked up the sausage I just added some sage. I toasted the walnuts in the microwave all the burners were busy on the stove :).
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Third on my list is always do a Mac & Cheese but you know me not the same old one :).


Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter, for greasing
  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • 2 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese, coarsely grated
  • 4 ounces aged Asiago cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 3 slices white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces
  • 3 strips bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart shallowcasserole dish. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain; transfer the pasta to the prepared casserole dish along with 1/4 cup of the cold milk. (This will cool the pasta and prevent it from becoming gummy.)

Meanwhile, mix the cheeses together in a small bowl. Beat the eggs with 1/4 cup of the milk in a medium bowl. Add the scallions, bread and half of the cheese to the egg mixture; set aside.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 2 tablespoonsdrippings from the pan. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until just brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon salt; cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk and 3/4 cup water to the skillet. Bring to a boil, whisking until thick. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk to cool slightly. Whisk in the remaining cheese. Add the sauce to the macaroni; stir to combine.

Crumble up the bacon and add it to the egg/bread mixture. Spread evenly over the pasta. Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven; let sit 5 minutes before serving.

ALEXIS NOTES: I of course used turkey bacon the big hit in the house. I just cubed up some wheat bread (we never have white here). I did double this recipe which left me with way too many left overs. I also used whole wheat pasta from the bulk section. I found Asiago in a shredded package, the provolone was in a mix with mozzarella but it was great.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Ideas (Recipes)

Well here we are the 3rd week I'm preempting my Wednesday Weekend Wrap. I thought some more recipes for the Thanksgiving day holiday would help.

I made these cute little turkey's to take them for Cole's school Thanksgiving Day Party. Only bad thing is after I spent 2 hours making these suckers and a trip to the grocery story for a second time I find we have no school for this lovely snow!


Turkey Rice Crispy Treats
Found on The Finer Things in Life

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • package of marshmallows
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • chocolate sandwich cookies
  • chocolate frosting
  • candy corn
Melt the butter. Add marshmallows and stir. Heat until marshmallows are melted. Stir in cereal. Let cool for 10 minutes.
While the mixture is cooling, twist apart sandwich cookies. Remove white filling.
Butter your hands and shape the gooey cereal into 1 1/2 inch balls.
Frost the inside of the cookie halves. Press candy corn into the frosting in a fan shape (for 1/2 of the halves).
Press a cereal ball into the frosting below the candy corn.
Stick the remaining cookie half to the bottom of the cereal ball.
ALEXIS NOTES: I stuck a little extra frosting on the bottom to keep the bodies together.


I started on a few things for my Thanksgiving Dinner. I have 2 cold easy dishes you can do ahead of time.

by Kitchen Simplicity

  • 1 (250g/8oz) package spreadable cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  1. Cream together cream cheese and pie filling until smooth. Stir in cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and sour cream. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.
  2. Serve with graham crackers, ginger snaps, cinnamon cookies or fruit such as apples and pears.
ALEXIS NOTES: I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese and light sour cream.
And my second cold dish is for us humus lovers. Yes you can make it at home, just as yummy and a LOT cheaper!

by allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor combine garbanzo beans, garlic, cumin, salt and olive oil. Blend on low speed, gradually adding reserved bean liquid, until desired consistency is achieved.
ALEXIS NOTES: I used Chick Peas (which are garbanzo beans). I doubled the recipe :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

YUMMY Treats to tickle your belly!

OH goodness it has not stopped snowing here since yesterday, the kids are stuck in the house while I'm trying to work and I may pull all my hair out soon! So oh yes good times, on that note I'm making this a quick one just incase we loose power :(.
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by Rather Be Baking

Peanut streusel:

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Sandwiches:

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 eggs, beaten to blend
1/3 cup milk
12 slices firm white or egg bread
3 to 4 bananas, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Ground cinnamon
Maple syrup, optional

For streusel, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon. Add peanut butter. Work into mixture using 2 forks or your fingers, until blended and crumbly. Set aside.

Blend cream cheese, sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl. Beat together the eggs and milk in a large, flat dish.

Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons cream-cheese mixture on each bread slice. Top a slice of bread with sliced bananas. Place second slice of bread with cream cheese side down on bananas. Repeat for remaining bread slices.

Spray 2 (13-by-9-inch) glass baking dishes with nonstick cooking spray. Dip a sandwich in the egg mixture, turning to coat each side. Repeat. Place 3 sandwiches in each dish; sprinkle with cinnamon.

Have oven heating to 375 degrees.

Sprinkle about 2 1/2 tablespoons streusel topping over each sandwich, pressing lightly to make it adhere to the bread slice.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Slice in half, corner to corner, for each serving, and serve with maple syrup, if desired.

Makes 12 (half-sandwich) servings

ALEXIS NOTES: I used whole wheat bread, neufchatel cream cheese (1/3 of the fat), Whole wheat flour. I didn't have a lemon so skipped the peel.
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by Rather Be Baking

Caramel Apple Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies

1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/4 cup dulce de leche or melted caramels
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup diced Granny Smith apple (from 1 large apple)

Heat oven to 375°F. Mix margarine, caramel, sugars, egg, and vanilla thoroughly. Blend dry ingredients and stir in. Stir in apples.

Round teaspoonfuls of dough with your hands and place on an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 5 minutes and then flatten cookies slightly with the bottom of a glass. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes more (12 to 15 minutes total) or until set. Cool on the sheet for about 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and cooling completely.

ALEXIS NOTES: I used leche in a can, sugar substitute and I added white chocolate chips :). I also made them as a bar instead of cookies, I was being lazy.

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