Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I made Sara a genie costume a few weeks ahead of time, so naturally she decided to go as a witch.

The boys got out of the door before I remembered to grab the camera. Aaron was dressed as one of his teachers - shirt, tie and name tag. Josh had smarties taped around his pants - Smarty Pants. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kitty Litter Cake and Monster fingers - with recipes

Last night we had a great time with the young men and women. The menu included vomit - a chowder, goblin ears - fried green tortellini, bat wings - chicken, gooey guts - green spaghetti, a jello brain in a punch bowl with apple juice, a 4 foot anaconda pizza roll, deviled egg eyes, a kitty litter cake and monster fingers. I was put in charge of the kitty litter cake and the monster fingers.I know! I had never made the cake so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was given a recipe but no picture. Of course we served it with a pooper scooper -new- and the recipe called for a new cat box, but I had a cake container with a lid that worked out really well. And get this...it tastes great! So here is the recipe, just in case you want to throw it together for your family for Halloween or even for April fools day...

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 box of white cake mix - The color didn't seem to make a difference, so you could use any cake
1 package of white sandwich cookies
1 large package instant vanilla pudding mix
A few drops of green food coloring - I think blue would have been better
12 small tootsie rolls or equivalent - I used two of the huge ones and cut them down

Prepare and bake the cake mixes, according to the directions in any size pan. Prepare the pudding and chill. Crumble the cookies in small batches in blender or food processor. Set aside 1/2 cup of cookie crumbs and mix in a few drops of green food coloring.

When the cakes are at room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with half of the remaining cookie crumbs and enough pudding to make the mixture moist but not soggy. Poor into your "litter box". Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the mixture, scattering the green crumbs over the top.

Heat the tootsie rolls for a few seconds in the microwave. Form them into cat poops :). You can do this while the cakes are baking and cooling. Add the formed tootsie rolls to your cake - bury some to be discovered later. Enjoy!

The monster fingers were a hit as well and they are no bake. Just use a peanut butter ball recipe, shape them into fingers, add sliced almonds for the finger nails, add a red hot in the other end, using a knife add a few lines for detail. Oh, and once I had gotten there, they other ladies told me that they had forgotten one detail...you can add a pretzel stick to the center of the finger so that they crunch like a bone when you bite into them.

So off you go...make up some fun treats for your kids!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Still Canning?

Things seem to be slowing down around me, maybe it's just me slowing down - either way, it has been nice. The babies from the last post have been given to their new mommies who were very happy to have them.

Today a friend and I finally got up the nerve to ask a near by neighbor if we could help her with all of her pears that were falling off of her trees. She told us that we could come in and take all of the fruit that we wanted. An hour later, we were there with our grubbies on, buckets in hand, ladders and some helpers. And...I only fell out of the tree once...actually the ladder fell and I hung on while Rozella grabbed the ladder for me.

Now, in addition to the bruised apples that my across the street neighbor dropped off, I have a bushel of pears waiting to be "put up". Speaking of apples - I made a batch, actually half a batch of applesauce. I'm still trying to figure out if it was worth the effort. By the time I had the apples peeled, cored and sliced using one of those cool hand cranks, and cut out the bad parts of the apples, I only had about 1/2 of the apple left at most. Following my cook book, I cooked them down, ran them trough the blender, cooked them again with some sugar this time and when all was said and done, I had enough applesauce to fill up the empty jar of applesauce that I had bought at the grocery store for under $2. Hmm. Maybe I should make apple butter or something a little less common to make it worth my while. I've got enough apple jelly, plum jelly and apricot jelly to last through the year...although can one really ever have enough apricot jelly?

The remainder of the good apples were supposed to be made into apple pie filling, but they seem to be disappearing - they are just so good to eat as is. The pears are not bruised, so they are going to just get sliced and put up in jars - but they will have to wait a day or two. Tomorrow's to do list includes peanut butter fingers and kitty litter cake. Apparently I will be softening tootsie rolls in the microwave, then molding them into cat turds. Oh don't worry, I will definitely be sharing pictures along with the recipe.

Oh, almost forgot...I was able to get in on the doll quilt swap 5. I'm far to lazy after picking all of those pears to attach the link now, but the button for doll quilt swap 4 is still up and it will take you to the same place. I've finished my quilt...now it's hanging on the wall in my family room and I've started a 2nd quilt for my partner. I couldn't help it - but that's a story for another day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Makin' Babies


Friends of ours are having a baby *yeah* and in addition to giving them a gift for the baby, we wanted to give them a little something for their two big sisters. I found this pattern on line and can't say enough about how stinkin' cute these little babies turned out. The are so cuddly and soft and they really do give you a hug when you hug them. I used flannel for their bodies and flannel scraps for the diapers - they're reversible. Sara just had to have one too, so I made her's out of a tea dyed flannel that I had - much cuter for skin tone. Now she wants 2 or 3 more diapers. Wouldn't these make great Christmas presents? Hmm...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Super Easy Caramel Popcorn Recipe


With the air so crisp outside, we've been finding ourselves huddled around the fire with warm socks on our feet and a good book in our hands...or a good movie... and some caramel popcorn.

So here is a super easy recipe for yummy, soft caramel popcorn.

2 sticks of butter (now you know it's got to be good with that much butter)
1 cup of Brown sugar
33 large marshmallows
2 bags of popped microwave popcorn - we used 3 because this recipe makes a lot of caramel topping.

Melt the butter, sugar and marshmallows and pour over the popcorn in a huge bowl. Just a tip, if you do use microwave popcorn rather than popping your own, make sure to scoop the popcorn out of the bag rather than pouring it out into the bowl. There were a lot of little kernels that got mixed in and once they were covered with caramel, they were hard to spot.

The girls at church put together this recipe book and let me tell you, I'm so enjoying trying out the new recipes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm Usually a Glass Half Full Kind of Girl


Just to balance out the universe, my last post of a good day, is followed by today's bad day.

It wasn't entirely bad really, just sort of screwy. The morning was going just fine, the boys were off to school and Sara and I were just about to leave to walk to school. We were having a "discussion" on whether or not she could wear her slippers to school. Which was a nice change from the You Can't Wear Sandals in the winter "discussion." After she made a good point about the stickers that were still in her feet - this girl never wears shoes - I relented and was going to let her wear them as long as she wore socks - like that's going to make any difference. Then it hit me - you can't wear slippers, you have a field trip today. Then it hit me harder - I'm supposed to go on the field trip with her. Keep in mind that when I walk her to school I'm in PJ bottoms, a hoodie thrown over a t-shirt and my sandals...with socks - maybe that's where she gets it. And this time, I was sporting a beanie to hide the bad short hair cut that I got this weekend and I swore I wouldn't go anywhere until it grew out.

So, I send her off to walk with friends rush inside and call the school thinking that maybe, just maybe the field trip would be in an hour. Nope, the bus was leaving in 15 minutes. I threw on clothes, wet down my man hair cut, brushed my teeth - I did brush my teeth, didn't I? and had Diego drop me off at the school. Once there, I realized that neither I nor Sara had a jacket. It was supposed to be in the 40's. I called Diego told him to bring jackets and met him in front of the school. He only brought one. He ran back home to get Sara's jacket while I went in to talk to the lunch lady to see if I could get a sack lunch. She said it was too late, and I went back out in front of the school in time to get the second jacket from Diego realizing that I hadn't had breakfast and wouldn't be getting lunch. When I went back in, the lunch lady hunted me down and said that she could have a lunch made up for me afterall. She had taken pitty on me...I think it was the hair.

Off we went with a bus full of screaming 3rd graders for an hour. We made it to the planitarium, and I successfully kept track of the 5 kids I was in charge of took them all for a potty break and made it in to the theater in time for the show. You know those theaters that have the rounded ceiling and they point out all of the stars. We were watching, it was quiet and warm and in true mom fashion, I fell asleep. Sadly, it wasn't my first time falling asleep in a planitarium. I dozed off and on realizing that I was doing so, but unable to stop myself. At least no one had noticed, right. Well just when the tone in the narrator's voice changed and I heard him say that the show was over, my lovely daughter blurts out, "great, now we have to wake up my mom!". You know those moments when everyone is talking and just when you say something the room goes silent - yep, one of those moments.

I was finally able to eat around 1:00. With a full belly and a nap under my belt, I finally got past that catching up feeling, and was able to laugh at the funny things the kids had said and the funny looks people had given my hair. Maybe it wasn't such a bad day after all.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Flower For You

Today was filled with many little tasks that needed to be done - laundry, cooking, cleaning - and just loving on my family. It was one of those average, ordinary days that make up a lifetime of precious memories. Now, the house is quiet, the kids are in bed and here I sit... tired, but very satisfied. It was a good day.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy October!

In amongst all of the beautiful nature, changing of seasons and harvest moon there's this funny little thing called Halloween. I love the costume planning and making. This year, Sara is going to be a genie and the costume is well underway. The boys will probably wait until the last minute to throw something together.

So come on, throw on a funny outfit and go door to door asking for hand outs. How many times a year do you really get to do that?