Saturday, June 30, 2012

No More Naps

Today is Saturday and the boys went down for a nap like they usually do...unfortunately, they didn't last very long. Usually this is more stressful for me. But it's Saturday, so I have the Hubs to help out. Don't get me wrong, though, it's still slightly stressful. I really need a 'Time Out' of sorts from the boys. They are non-stop. All of them. I am so exhausted by the end of the day that I can barely function. And now that Bean is up and running, I too, am up and running. All. Day. Long. It just makes me want to scream! Why won't they nap?!?! Mommy needs a break! Turkey has started to phase out his naps and Bean, well, he just isn't a great napper. Just like my Angel, Bean will sleep for 20 minutes or so then wake up screaming and he won't go back to sleep until it's time for bed. Turkey usually sleeps for 3 hours...yep, that's right, 3 hours. It was blissful while it lasted. But, now...well, let's just say Mommy needs a drink much earlier than 5pm. Do you do that? Watch the clock so you can pour that glass of wine (or whatever adult beverage you are privy too)? I totally do. As soon as it says 5, if we have some wine, I will usually pour myself a glass while making dinner. It's my little vacation in a glass. I feel like if I do it before 5 then I'm creeping up on an alcoholic-esque behavior. Maybe that's just me. Well, since it's Saturday, we are going to go exploring. Hope your day is wonderful and full of well rested children...and that 5 o'clock comes soon for all of us! Peace Out!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

No Ricotta or Cottage Cheese Lasagna

I really like lasagna.  I don't make it very often though.  I find it tedious and kind of a pain to make.  My favorite lasagna is Rachael Ray's Mile High Lasagna.  If you've never made it, then you must!  It is not like any other lasagna you have eaten.  It's fantastic.  Unfortunately, it too, is tedious.  Subsequently, I don't make it very often either.  I think I've made it maybe 5 times in the past 5 years.  That being said, I really wanted lasagna tonight and I didn't have all the time in the world, because the boys are sickies right now.  So, I made up my own version of Mile High Lasagna.

Here's what I started out with, plus some shredded cheese.  I used monterey jack, because I didn't have mozzarella.

 red meat sauce

 bechamel sauce

 first layer of red meat sauce

 second layer of lasagna noodles

third layer of shredded cheese

fourth layer of bechamel sauce 

 fifth layer of noodles

 sixth layer of red meat sauce

 seventh layer of shredded cheese

 repeat steps and you should end up with the last two layers being red meat sauce and shredded cheese

 finished!

 half gone...

up close and personal...look at all of those cheesy saucy layers!!

Let's EAT!


RECIPE:
Lasagna noodles (I used 6)
shredded cheese

RED MEAT SAUCE:
1 package ground turkey
1TBL minced garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp parsley (approx)
1TBL Italian Seasoning (approx)
1/4 teaspoon paprika (approx)
salt/pepper to taste
1/2C red wine + a glass for the chef (I used pinot noir)

BECHAMEL SAUCE:
3TBL butter
3TBL flour
2C milk
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

Start by preheating your oven to 350.  Next, cook your noodles till they are mostly done.  They will finish cooking in the oven.  While that is boiling, in another pan, brown your turkey meat in olive oil.  Add garlic, cans of tomatoes and sauce, parsley, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, pepper and wine.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes or so until the flavors meld together.

While this is simmering, melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat, once melted, add flour and whisk together.  Cook for a minute or so to get rid of the raw flour taste.  Add milk, nutmeg and salt and whisk until it starts to thicken.  Once this has thickened, take off of heat.  Now it's time for assembly.

Get a bread pan and put a layer of red meat sauce first.  Next are the noodles.  Then a layer of cheese.  Next the bechamel sauce.  Then another layer of noodle.  Then red meat sauce.  Then cheese.  Repeat these steps until you get to the top.  End with the red sauce and shredded cheese.  

Bake at 350 for approx 30 minutes.  Take out and cool for a bit before cutting.  Otherwise your layers won't hold together.  I think I let mine cool down for about 25 minutes (we were waiting on the hubs to come home).  Slice and serve and ENJOY!






Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Father's Day Craft Project

Father's Day is this Sunday.  While I've already gotten the hubs some gifts, I thought it would be nice to make him something from the boys and myself.  A couple of years ago, before Bean was born, we made little handprints with clay.  It turned out really cute.  So, this year, I figured we needed one with Bean's handprint.  Except, this time it's not in clay, it's on paper.

blue scrapbook paper, thin sheet of balsa wood, ribbed brownish red paper
 I traced their hands onto the paper and cut them out
 This is how they are going to be placed on the base
 The base: cream colored & striped scrapbook paper
 Placement
What I used to attach the hands to the paper.  I like this because if I mess up with the initial placement, then I can peel it off and re-stick it.  It doesn't leave any sort of stain.
 Matted
Framed

This was a super easy, super cheap (FREE) project I did with the kids.  I had everything on hand and ready to go.  I love it when a plan comes together :)


Monday, June 11, 2012

National German Chocolate Day

Today is National German Chocolate Day.  I only know this because I follow Chocolate-Covered Katie's blog.  She has a recipe for some German Chocolate Fudge Bites.  Of course I had to try them.  Here's the recipe:

3/4 cup pitted dates
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/16 tsp salt (I didn't have salt, so I omitted it)
2T cocoa powder
2T shredded coconut (I used unsweetened coconut flakes)
1/3-1/2 cup raw almonds

Mix all together in a food processor then roll into balls.  They are really good.  And, they have the same base as the homemade Lara bar balls I made (which I just realized I never updated you with a good recipe or pics...I'll work on that this week).

This one's 3D...doesn't it look like the top ball is jumping out at you?  It's saying, "I know you want to eat me...let me just help you out by jumping into your mouth!"  hehehe...I know, I'm a dork.


My food processor is a mini Cuisinart.  It doesn't do a great job at grinding up all the nuts.  That's why my chocolate balls are a lot more  nutty looking than hers.  They still tasted great!  All the boys loved them.  In fact, we ate them right up!  Now I guess it's time to make the plain balls.  I can't think of anything cute to call these things.  Balls, albeit accurate, seems...wrong.  If you have any suggestions for me, let me know :)

Here's a bit of trivia for you....True or false: Did German chocolate cake originate in Germany? If you said false, you’re correct! This decadent cake is actually named after Sam German, who developed a baking chocolate in 1852 for Baker’s Chocolate Company and they named the chocolate "German's Sweet Chocolate" in his honor.

According to baking lore, a chocolate cake recipe using German's Sweet Chocolate was published in the Dallas Morning News in 1957 after being submitted by a Mrs. George Clay. Sales of German’s Sweet Chocolate rose dramatically after the company published said recipe across the nation, and the apostrophe was eventually dropped.

The cake is traditionally layered between a caramel-coconut-pecan filling, and is most often frosted. Regardless of its confusing namesake, it’s clearly old-fashioned deliciousness.

source

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sanding Sunday


Happy Sanding Sunday! Today's project is a headboard made from a door. A couple years ago, my awesome husband bought me a Cal-King mattress for my birthday. I was pregnant with my little bean and was freaking uncomfortable in our old queen sized bed. So we splurged a bit and got our ohhhh so comfortable, can fit all 5 of us, cal-king mattress. Well, since we splurged on a mattress, we didn't really have funds left over for a nice headboard/footboard. Also, I typically don't like paying full price for ANYTHING. If I can make, then I'd rather do that. Anyway, it's taken 2 years for me to find something I like AND something that was easy for me to do.

I found an old door on Craigslist for FREE!!!!  It is a nice solid single panel door from a  house that was built in the early 1900's.  It was PERFECT.  I called the guy up and had the hubs drive over there in the middle of the night...he's awesome that way...so that I could score this free door.   Well, it took a few months, mostly because of the weather, but once I finally got to working on it, it only took a few hours.

The hubs cut the door down to size and sanded it for me.  Then I painted it with a white primer.  That was it.  I was thinking I would like to spray a nice high gloss white on it one day.  But for now, I like the "distressed" look of it.

 the freebie
  the finished product


I still need to put my artwork back up above the bed.  I'm switching some things out, so I need to think about it for a bit first.  

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you...we hung the door on the wall using french cleats.  They are an awesome little invention.



here's a pic I found online

Hangman Professional French Cleat Picture Hanger, 200lbs
This is the brand we used, OOK French Cleats.  They hold up to 200 lbs each.  We bought 2 of them.  I don't think the door is going anywhere!

Friday, June 8, 2012

First Grade Comes to an End

Today my eldest child is finishing up the first grade!  Time sure does fly.  It's been a hectic year to say the least!  I'm so proud of him and I am excited about our time together this summer.  As a treat for the end of the year I made some goody bags for the class and also got his teacher a present for being awesome!  The treat bags were something I found on Pinterest by Anything but Perfect.  She offers cute free printables for any occasion.

These are the bags.  I filled them with Skittles and Starburst.  Normally, I would not give candy, but, hey, it's the last day of school!

This is my Angel, ready to walk out the door.


I got this idea from my friend Veronica, who got it off of Pinterest...don't you just love Pinterest?


Special breakfast at Subway.  Did you know that you can get a footlong morning flatbread with egg cheese and ham for only $5?  I'm sure you're singing the song right now...anyway, this fed all of us :)

The basket I did for his teacher....It's a couple bottles of bbq sauce with a packet of seasoning for burgers, plus some bbq tools.  Oh and a nice letter that Angel wrote to Mr. Pena.

I'm about to pick up my Angel and probably go and have some frozen yogurt :)  I can't believe he's in the 2nd grade!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Non-Dairy Ice Cream

I just made some crazy good non-dairy ice cream!  It had 3 ingredients...YES!  3 ingredients.  They are coconut milk, cocoa powder, agave nectar.  I'm telling you, this ice cream is so creamy and chocolatey I could probably eat the whole pint or so it made.  The recipe I used is as follows:

1 can of coconut milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup agave nectar (or to taste)

put in a bowl and wisk until combine or put it in a blender and blend then put it in your ice cream maker (I have a cuisinart) for around 15 minutes.  This will give you about a pint.  

You must make this...really...you must.


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