Monday, January 31, 2011

More crackers

Tonight I made these...

 Cheddar Cheese Crackers

They are so good!  I have to stop eating them!   I used the pepper and used white cheddar.  Yum, yum, yum!  I will never eat goldfish crackers again!

I used all sorts of my mini cookie cutters.  I couldn't find my heart-shaped one though.  I hope I find it this week.  I want to make a whole bunch of heart cheese-shaped crackers!

{virtual} coffee

I thought I'd try something new this week.  I have been following Alli n Son and its become one of my favorite blogs!  She participates in virtual coffee each week and I love hearing what's going on in her life.  I thought I'd bite the bullet and try something new :-)

I'm making a pot of chai tea, would you like a cup?  If chai isn't your style, I have a whole cabinet of tea you can look through!

This week, I'll tell you how much my husband and I enjoyed a couple days away this past weekend in Calistoga!  We had a wonderful dinner, did some wine tasting and some shopping, we also did some shopping for wine!  It was so nice to have a couple days away from everything and be able to just hang out together and enjoy each other's company!

The other thing I would tell you is that I am so proud of my little man.  He's going to have his first communion on Sunday.  How can he be that big already? Wasn't it just yesterday that he was baptized?  He is growing up so fast!  He'll be doing first communion sans his 2 front teeth!  We are Episcopalian.  He is having his First Communion in the same church I did.  Its so touching to me that we're celebrating this day for him.  Many people who love him will be there to share the day!

The next few weeks are very busy for us.  I am looking forward to our family getaway to San Diego!  Less than 3 weeks! 

What's going on in your life?  Can't wait to hear!  What are you proud of?  What are you excited about?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gifts for Boys

A week or 2 ago, I posted pictures and instructions on homemade gifts for girls.  This week, I'm posting some gifts for boys I whipped up.

I used old crayons from my classroom.  My son and I peeled off all of the paper.  I purchased some foil muffin tins that I cut apart and created a make-shift double broiler.   

 Once the crayons were melted, I poured the wax into the molds.  Sine it was winter, I didn't have to put them into the fridge to harden.  If you're doing this in the summer, the fridge will be your best bet to get the wax to harden.
Here's the finished product!  I love how they have multiple colors.  There are so many options with these!

Weekly menu Plan 1/31


Last week was crazy!  One of my dearest friends had an unscheduled c-section, we were at the hospital almost every day last week.  Her son is perfect and gorgeous!  Mommy is recovering well.  My niece had her baby too, and I felt like I didn't stop all week.  It was so nice to take Friday off and head out with my husband for a much-needed get-away.  Today its raining and I'm hoping to get some chores done and then just relax and enjoy the company of my husband.  Maybe we'll go see a movie.  Other than heading over to help out my friend on Wednesday, I'm planning on a more mellow week.  I hope the universe cooperates!

Here's the plan for this week:

Sunday: Brisket
I'm feeling creative, so I may create a new recipe!

Monday:  Sausage, potato, and spinach skillet and homemade buttermilk cheddar and chive biskets

I'm making double to take to my friend's house on Weds.

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Broccoli and Chipotle chicken pockets

Friday: Sloppy Joes

Saturday: Pizza out with husband's family for neice's birthday

For more menu planning ideas, head over to
What's on your menu this week?

The Best Thing I ever Ate

This weekend, my wonderful husband and I got away together!  We headed up to Calistoga for a couple days and a night without kids, without pets, and without all the chores that stare us in the face on a daily basis.  It was wonderful!

On Friday, we went to Rutherford Grill for dinner.  Our waiter was wonderful and they have no corkage fee.  I ordered the halibut.  Often, halibut is chewy and dense when I order it in a restaurant.  This halibut was moist and delicate.  It was topped with crab.  Is your mouth watering yet?  It was served on top of mashed potatoes and served with delicately flavored rainbow carrots and snap peas.  I was in heaven!  This was an amazing meal.

 If you are ever in the Napa area, you must go there.

What is the best thing you ever ate?

Monday, January 24, 2011

You have to try this recipe!

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I try to do much of my cooking from scratch.  My family has decided that my homemade hamburger buns are better than ANY bought in the store and my pizza dough rocks!

Last week, I found a new one.  I think store-bought graham crackers are going the way of the Do-Do in our house!  I found this recipe a couple a couple months ago.  These homemade graham crackers are delicious!  Perfect with peanut butter or jam for an afternoon snack!  Go make them very soon.  It took about 30 minutes and makes a pretty big batch!

**I had gotten rid of our flax seed a couple weeks ago, so I just substituted 1/2 cup more whole wheat flour instead.  Also, because we LOVE cinnamon in my house, I added a little extra!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekly Menu Plan week of 1/24


This week, we'll be out a lot.  My husband said we could go try a burger place I've heard a lot about this evening, and Tuesday is fundraising night for our school at Aqui (a great organic, fresh Cal-Mex place in our area)  Friday my hubby and I are taking off for a much-needed night away up in Calistoga.  So, we're not around a lot this week!  On that note, here's the plan...

Sunday: Burgers out as a family

Monday: BBQ pineapple chicken quesadillas

Tuesday: Fundraising dinner for school, so we're having take-out

Wednesday: Cajun Pasta (with flank steak)

Thursday: sausage, and veggie skillet

Friday: Mini-break with my husband!

Saturday: We'll probably stop and get something on the way back home.

What do you have on your menu for the week?

For more menu planning, go to

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday


I hope you are enjoying your 3 day weekend.  I'm laying low today.  I have a few errands to run, but my plan is to get some more sewing done.

Monday: Taco wreath (family favorite)

Tuesday:  ravioli with homemade pesto and spinach salad

Wednesday: Chicken Fingers and twice baked potatoes

Thursday: Veggie quesadillas and spanish rice

Friday: homemade pizza

Saturday: Caesar salad wraps

I hope you have a great week!  What's on your menu?

For more menu planning ideas, go to

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Little girl gifts

I have 3 girlfriends who I've been friends with since high school.  Between them, they have 5 girls.  We always exchange gifts, but I wanted to do something special this year.  I decided to make the older girls rings.  We all love jewelry and little girls (7-10) do too!  At Michaels, I found ring backs.  I also found these adorable buttons.  So, the older girls got pretty button rings!  All I did was use my glue gun and layer the buttons on the ring.  Making all 3 took 5 minutes, and the girls were thrilled!

Weekly Menu Plan 1/9

Its cold!  I know that's relative because its much colder elsewhere, but I'm cold!  I spent the morning cleaning up my son's bedroom.  He collects so many little junky toys, and they clutter up everything!  I took 2 bags of junk out of his room.  Its not exactly how I want it, buts its a start!  I'm planning to do more cleaning while he has a friend over for a playdate.  We'll see how motivated I get!

On to the week's menu plan:

Sunday: Baked potato soup

Monday: Pasta with turkey bacon, plum tomatoes, and spinach (recipe coming)

Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Teriyaki Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Friday: sloppy joes and sweet potato fries

For more menu planning ideas, go to

Monday, January 3, 2011

Swedish Meatballs

This was a favorite when I was growing up. I remember my mom always cooked the meatballs in her electric frying pan.  Here's my recreation of my mom's recipe, as best as I can get it.   Its a great cold weather recipe!  You can use ground turkey too, I usually use what's in the freezer at the time.

For meatballs:
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1/2-2/3 c. milk
4 slices bread, broken into small pieces
pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 seeds cardamom, removed from pods and crushed
2 colves garlic, crushed and chopped

For sauce:
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream (I use 0% greek yogurt instead, all the flavor, none of the fat!)

16 oz package egg noodles

1/2 cup cheddar cheese for garnish

Mix all ingredients for meatballs into a large bowl.  Mix ingredients together with your hands.  Mixture should be soft, but not too wet.

Place meatballs in a large skillet, brown each side on medium-high.  Add chicken broth and cook on low until meatballs are cooked through.

Meanwhile, boil water for noodles.

Once meatballs are cooked, add sour cream and stir.  I prefer a thinner sauce, but if you prefer a thicker one, you can make a roux out of 2 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp flour.  Melt butter in sauce pan, add flour until mixed together and thick.  add to chicken broth before you put in the meatballs and cook.

Serve meatballs over noodles and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

I know the cheese makes them very NOT swedish meatballs!  When my mom made this, she used the noodle roni cheddar noodles from the box.  The cheddar cheese brings back that memory for me!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Menu plan Monday

Happy New Year! Hard to believe that vacation is almost over. I have a ton of pictures I have to upload to showmyou the gifts I made, but somehow it just hasn't happened. I'm not sure what I've done other than read and visit with friends, but I sure could use another week or 2 off! I did go into my classroom the other day and get everything ready for the week, so I'm ready to go. Today is cleaning and grocery shopping to get ready for next week.

How were your holidays? I hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends.

Here is our family's back to work and school menu.

Saturday (1/1/11: enchiladas (my wonderful husband, who never complains about working constantly told me he was craving Mexican food. He doesn't ask for much, so when he does, I try to indulge him!)

Sunday: ravioli with marinara sauce

Monday: Swedish meatballs

Tuesday: split pea soup in the crockpot

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: BLAT wraps (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato wraps)

Friday: grabbing something out since it's movie night at school!

Saturday: Homemade pizza

What's on you menu?
More menu planning at