Monday, November 30, 2009

Enjoying Vacation!

Doing a lot of Christmas decorating........

and sewing.
How about you???

Friday, November 27, 2009

Two Family Favorites

Check out some great recipes and ideas linked to Colleen's blog! Thanks for hosting this Colleen. This is the first time I've linked to something like this and I have enjoyed it. Next week I'll be posting a tutorial for a gift...stay tuned!

As I've said before, we like to eat!! Everyone has favorites that they will request, some more often than others, but the guys love my buttermilk brownie recipe.

Sorry the photo doesn't really do them justice! Looks like I didn't get my powdered sugar smooth enough. And what is that blip at the edge of the pan?? Oh, well, they tasted great! They are moist and delicious!

Buttermilk Brownies

2 c. sugar 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs 2 sticks melted oleo
1 t. vanilla 4 T. cocoa
2 cups flour 1 c. water
1 tsp. baking soda

Beat eggs, add sugar and vanilla then the flour, soda, and buttermilk. Bring to a boil, the oleo, cocoa, and water. Add to egg mixture. Put into greased 12 x 18 jelly roll pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Frost while warm.

1/2 c. oleo 1 lb. powdered sugar
4 T cocoa 1 t. vanilla
6 T buttermilk chopped nuts (optional)
Bring first oleo, cocoa, and buttermilk to a rapid boil, then add the remaining ingredients. Frost. (I usually use a mixer when I add the remaining ingredients. I often add a little more powdered sugar.)

Buttermilk Substitute--I never have buttermilk, so I use a cup of milk with a tablespoon of vinegar in it. Add the vinegar and let it set a minute or so. Stir, and wha-la, you have buttermilk.

I have no photos for the next recipe, although we had it for our Thanksgiving dinner. Some may think of this as more of a dessert. We call it a salad.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad

1 stick butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. crushed pretzels
Melt butter and add sugar and pretzels. Press into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 10 min.

In a bowl cream 8 oz. cream cheese then add a medium container of Cool Whip and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Pour over cooled crust.

Mix 1 3/4 c. boiling water
1 pkg. strawberries w/juice
Mix and pour over the 2nd layer.

Refrigerate until cool and serve.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! We are celebrating with dinner just for the two of us. It will be a quiet restful day. And then it will be Christmas decorating the rest of the weekend!

We got a peek of Christmas last weekend as Santa took a nap on our couch with our newest grandson, Chance.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey Time!

Friday evening three grandsons showed up to spend the night. Grandpa and Payton went to the Iowa game on Saturday while Cael, Nate, and I went to school so I could do some work while they watched a movie, then we played on the playground and came home. Next on the agenda was the making of these turkeys--

As with almost everything crafty that I do, it was not an original idea. I saw these at la T da. If you go check it out you will see that I changed mine somewhat. I couldn't find the same moon pies she used, so I had to substitute cream filled chocolate chip cookies. We also used mini M&M's for the jelly bean, and then used candy corn when they ran out. We made enough for both of the big boys to take them to school.

Both boys helped by sorting M&M's and/or sampling the Nutter Butters. Payton really thought they'd taste better dipped in a little chocolate! Is he MY grandson, or what!? I have to admit I was sick of them after doing 40.
Sunday we celebrated Payton's birthday,

Bud's birthday,
and Thanksgiving. All of the kids, in-laws, and grandsons were here. We had a great meal of BBQ ribs, ham, potatoes & gravy, baked beans, strawberry pretzel salad, buns, coconut cream pie, and pumpkin dessert. Everyone brought something which means I wasn't dead tired from cooking for days. We REALLY enjoy it when everyone is here. It looks like we will just have Tasha and Kyle here on Thanksgiving. Trilby will be home nursing two boys who had their tonsils out today, Trina will be in Minnesota at Tanner's parents' home, and Travis will be working.

And what are you doing for Thanksgiving???

Friday, November 20, 2009

Calico Beans and Some Fabric Fun!

I know I'm late posting today, but technically it is still Friday! Check out the great recipes linked to Colleen's blog.

One of my family's favorite dishes is Calico Beans. They are so easy to make and throw in the crock pot or bake in the oven. We eat them as a vegetable side dish and also as the main dish. We like eating them with a hot piece of cornbread. How simple, yet delicious on a cold evening!
Calico Beans

Brown 1 lb. hamburger with 1/2 onion.
Add: 1 can pork and beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can lima beans
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. catsup or bbq sauce

Combine and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or put into crockpot on low for 4 hours.

I had some fun with some black and white the other night.
I purchased a jelly roll and a few fat quarters of some black and white fabric. Add some rick rack and bead and I got two maybe three Christmas gifts! I can't wait to show you the finished products!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandson #1!

Hard to believe, but Payton turned 9 on Thursday. I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday! He is a little farmer. He started identifying different brands of tractors as soon as he could first talk. He loves football, soccer, and wrestling. Payton is VERY social. He loves people and he loves to talk. He is a great big brother and a wonderful grandson.

Friday night Payton had some friends overnight. They all came down and had pizza, then we showed them a movie on the big screen at the high school. Bud pulled out the stadium seating and they thought they were in their own private theatre! The two younger boys did their best to keep up with the big boys.
I can't tell you what movie they watched as I was in front of the computer. You see, we bought Payton an MP3 player for his birthday. I wanted to download some music for him, so he could listen to it right away. The guy at the store said it was just drag and drop, but he was WRONG! First of all it wasn't compatible with my Mac. So, Tasha tried to download some and she couldn't get it. So while the boys watched the movie Trilby and I messed with it until we FINALLY got some music downloaded. Funny how something that can be so easy can take so long to figure out. I'm sure one of my fourth graders could have figured it out in a flash!

Next Sunday we will celebrate Payton and Grandpa Bud's birthdays along with Thanksgiving. Everyone will be here for dinner on Sunday.

Saturday we made a quick trip to Younkers for their big sale and then a quick trip to Joann's for supplies, then I spent the rest of the day and all day today sewing. Since I'm making Christmas gifts I can't show what I made. I will show you some fabric that I started with--two charm packs from Moda--Wiscasset and Portabello Market--and some fabric for the backing and binding from JoAnn's. With a little batting I completed two gifts with some charm squares left over! Now I need to figure out what I can do with those.
And here is sneak peak at a project. I used fat quarters from Joann's for this one.
I'll have to post all of the pictures once Christmas is over.

I also worked on a redo project, but for the life of me I couldn't find my rusty stars. Once I find them I can post a picture of that.

I have another busy week with conferences, tutoring, etc. Have a good one!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rice Pudding

Rice pudding has been a favorite of ours for a long time. In the years when the kids were young and money was tight it was an inexpensive and yummy after school treat. Recently Bud got a new recipe from his sister and he has made it several times. We like it warm or cold!

Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add 2 cups of instant rice and set aside.
In a large saucepan combine:

2 cups milk
1 cup half & half
3 egg yokes
3/4 cup sugar

Bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly.
2 T cornstarch mixed with a little milk until smooth
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond flavoring
Add cooked rice.
Stir until desired thickness.

You can also add meringue over the top and bake. I like cinnamon on top and others like a few raisins thrown in. Yummy!

Now go visit Colleen at And Baby Makes Five to find some other good recipes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

P/T Conferences

P/T conferences tonight, and Maxine says it all! After 21 years I shouldn't be surprised at the parents, but they continue to make me shake my head!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tasty Taco Soup & Such

I joined Colleen's Homemade Holidays Recipe Swap hosted on her blog, And Baby Makes Five. She hosted Back to School Recipes and I found some great recipes on it. Recipes should post on Fridays. (Yes, I know this is Saturday! I'll do better next time.) Go check out the other recipes.

Sometimes Bud finds the best recipes, and this is one of them. He had it at school and brought home the recipe. It has become one of our favorites. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Taco Soup

Brown 1lb. hamburger with onion and drain.
Add: 2 qts. tomato juice
1 can Mexican kidney beans
1 pint of corn
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 T (heaping) brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
I throw this in the crock pot for a few hours. Top with chopped onions, cheese, taco chips, & sour cream.

I've been busy with report cards this week. It's been pretty time intensive since it is a new computer program to learn! But, I have managed to do a little sewing. However, I have been working on some Christmas gifts, so I can't tell you what it is. Here's a
sneak peek. It is made with a ta
n print, green checked, black with a little white design, and maroon with gold stars.

My friend, Pat, and I had our mammograms last week. Have you had yours?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Decorating Dilemma--Help!

My friends, family, and followers have great ideas and suggestions so I'm turning to you for decorating help!!

I fell in love with this quilted wall hanging pattern when I saw it. The base looks like this:
Then throughout the year I will change out the panel in the middle to coordinate with the season. Right now I have this one made:

And I plan to make these:

My dilemma is where to hang it. Originally when I bought the pattern I thought I would hang it on my front door. The front door is covered by the porch roof so it wouldn't get wet, snowed on, etc. But, then I realized the damage the flies and other insects would have. So I vetoed that. We tried out some places in the house, but I can't decide. Please help!

We tried it here, between the windows and the french doors in the family room.
Or here, between the windows and the bookshelves in the family room.
Or it could possibly go in the dining room. (sorry about the flash--I'm not a photographer)
It could go on the inside front door, but the outside door usually has a wreath of some type on it, so you wouldn't see it from outside, and I do like the glass in the door.
Or I could move the photo (sticking out the sides) and put it here in the foyer.
I really think it belongs somewhere by the door, but I'm not sold on any of the places. Please leave me a comment and make your suggestion. If you know my house and you can think of a different spot, I'm open for suggestions!