Friday, September 30, 2011

Cheese Blintzes

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 TBSP melted butter
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp vanilla
A pinch of salt

3 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. (1 cup) ricotta cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar

Blend all the ingredients for the crepes in the blender until smooth. Cook crepes in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, flipping when the edges start to look dry.

Combine the filling ingredients until they are smooth. Place 1-2 TBSP of filling in the middle of a crepe and fold the sides over, then fold up the top and bottom. Place the filled crepe seam side down in a buttered 9" square pan. Repeat with the rest of the crepes, until the filling is used up.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min. You can top the blintzes with jam, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, whatever sounds good : )

These tasted really good, but the filling was a little thin, so next time I will probably add an egg to the filling and bake the blintzes for a little bit longer (maybe more like 20 min), to thicken the filling up.

This post is linked to: The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - September 26th

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday - Meatloaf cups and green beans

Tuesday - Sausage & potatoes & carrots

Wednesday - Shrimp fettucine & peas

Thursday - Broccoli cheddar soup & peasant bread

Friday - Creamy chicken taquitos & corn

This post is linked to: Plan it - don't panic at Keeper of the Home 

Friday, September 23, 2011

The best apple dip ever!

For this amazing apple dip all you do is mix 2 ingredients:
  • 8 oz. (1 block) softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
It tastes awesome, and it couldn't be simpler! 

Hope you are all having a great Friday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Clothespin bag tutorial

One thing I really enjoy about having a house of our own is that I am able to hang clothes out on a clothesline to dry! However, once I started hanging up clothes I realized this called for a new craft...a bag to store all the clothespins in. I have seen clothespin bags shaped like little dresses & I think they are just the cutest thing. There are some tutorials online, but the one I liked had a pattern that you had to enlarge 200% and print out. I have no idea how to enlarge things on the computer, so I just decided to make my own pattern. It is just a little dress, how hard can it be?

Turns out it is super easy, so I decided to share my methods with my readers (that sounds so people actually read my blog). Then you can make your own clothespin bag! And having a sweet little bag to hold clothespins makes the chore of hanging up clothes just a little bit more fun : )

  • Fabric for the main bag - at least 1/2 yard
  • Coordinating fabric for the apron - 1/4 yard should be plenty
  • 12" of coordinating ribbon
  • 2 yards of coordinating bias binding
  • 2 yards of coordinating rick-rack
  • A wooden hanger
  • Sewing machine 
  • Thread
To begin, you need to draft your pattern. You'll need a large piece of paper for this. I used an old poster, but you can also use wrapping paper or whatever you have around. Measure your wooden hanger & make
sure the length of the sleeves is at least 1" longer than that. My hanger is 18" long, so I made the sleeves 19". Fold your paper in half, so that each side will be the same. Then draw the shape below onto the paper. You can use the same dimensions I used, but if your hanger is longer you will need to adjust the sleeves accordingly. I made the sleeves 9 1/2" long, because once the paper is unfolded they will be 19" in length. I'm sorry I don't have a better series of pictures illustrating what I did. I am new at this photo tutorial thing.  Make sure you draw the pattern with the fold on the 18 1/2" side. The pattern is pretty straightforward, just straight lines and angles except for the bottom. To round the bottom out I just placed a pot lid on the bottom corner (not on the fold) and traced around it.

When the pattern is unfolded this is what it should look like.

Cut 2 of the main dress pieces out of your main fabric, as shown below:

Cut necklines. You'll have to freehand this, but you could trace around the neckline of an already made shirt if that is easier for you. The neckline of the back piece should be shallow, and the front piece should have a scooped neckline, so that you will be able to reach your hand in and grab clothespins. Again, fold the fabric in half before you cut out the neckline so it will be symmetrical.

Making the pattern for the apron is a lot easier ;) Just take a regular 8 1/2 x 11" piece of paper, fold it in half,  and use a mug to trace a curve on one corner.

Your pattern should look like this once it is unfolded:

Pin the pattern to your apron fabric & cut it out. It should look like this:

Apply bias binding to all the sides of the apron, except the top

Using a long basting stitch, run 2 lines of stitching along the top. Then pull gently on the top threads to gather the fabric until it looks right.

Center the apron on the ribbon and sew it to the ribbon (be sure to move the stitch length back to normal)

Here is what the back should look like:

Now back to the main dress part.  Use the bias binding to bind the necklines on both the front and back pieces of the dress.

Sew the rick-rack on next to the binding, as shown in the picture below.

Pin the apron onto the front dress piece (the one with the scooped neck) and sew in place. Leave the top of the apron unsewn so that it makes a handy pocket :)

Place the front & back dress pieces RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER and sew around all the raw edges. Clip the corners & curves, turn right side out, and press. You are done and your clothespin bag should look something like this:

Insert your hanger in the sleeves and you are ready to hang up your bag and fill it with clothespins!

Yay for beautiful little crafts that make life easier!

This post is linked to: It's sew stinkin' cute craft Thursday

Stinkin Cute Thursday Button

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Titus update

Titus is about 14 months old now, and he is growing into such a sweet little boy! He finally got his 8th tooth (4 months later) so now he has 4 on top and 4 on the bottom - nice and even!

He is walking very well now and loves to climb stairs and try to get into places he isn't allowed to ;)  He still loves stroller rides, and he is able to do a lot more things when we go to the park now.

 One activity that Titus is mesmerized by is the garbage trucks! He loves to watch the garbage collectors pick up trash & dump it in the truck.

Titus' hair was getting so long, it was just out of control, so George gave him his first haircut. I miss the baby curls, but I think he still looks pretty cute, and he matches his daddy now!

Sorry for the blurry picture. I can't get Titus to stay still for a picture for anything! And my camera needs a second to focus before I take the picture. But at least you get an idea of what he looks like! Ok, I really have to go check on him now because I am hearing strange noises from upstairs :O

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - September 19th

Fall is here! Time for chili, one of my favorite foods : ) I love cooking in the fall. I have granola in the oven right now (it smells so good), and I am hoping to make apple chips this afternoon. Here is what we are eating for dinner this week. You can be sure we'll have lots of yummy fall snacks too!

Monday - Tuna noodle casserole (with peas)
Tuesday -Pulled pork sandwiches and salad
Wednesday -Enchiladas & corn
Thursday -Hawiian pizza & salad
Friday - Chili and honey whole wheat rolls

This post is linked to: Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie and  Plan it - Don't panic at Keeper of the Home

Friday, September 16, 2011

Potato Omelet

Ok, I think this is probably one of the least appetizing pictures I have ever posted, so you'll just have to make it yourself and see how yummy it looks in person :) This recipe just makes 1-2 servings, but you can double or triple it as long as you have a big enough pan.

2 eggs
1 potato
1/2 onion
1 TBSP Bacon grease (can also use butter, lard, or olive oil)
Salt & pepper to taste

Thinly slice the potato and onion & saute in the bacon grease (or whatever fat you choose) over medium-high heat until onions are translucent and potatoes start to brown. For me this took about 3 minutes on each side, be sure to turn the potato slices so they brown on both sides. In the meantime, wisk the eggs with the salt & pepper. When the potatoes are nice & brown & are starting to become soft, turn the heat down to low, add the beaten eggs, cover the skillet, and let the omelet cook for 3 minutes. Serve immediately!

This post is linked to: The Ultimate recipe swap at Life as Mom

Monday, September 12, 2011

Menu Plan - September 12th

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday - Roast beef, carrots, and mashed potatoes

Tuesday - Rice and beans

Wednesday - Grilled salmon & salad greens

Thursday - Chicken, broccoli, & rice casserole

Friday - Lasagna & salad

This post is linked to: Menu Plan Monday  at Organizing Junkie

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fearfully and wonderfully made

Here are some fun facts about the human body:
  • Nerve impulses travel as fast as 170 mph
  • One human hair can support 3.5 ounces (or the weight of 2 candy bars)
  • The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet
  • The acid in your stomach can dissolve razor blades
  • Scientists have counted over 500 different liver functions
  • Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents
  • Human thighbones are stronger than concrete
I love learning about the body, I think it is such a testimony to our creator!

Romans 1:20 says "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

We see God's hand in all of creation. For me, anytime I study the human body, I am amazed and humbled by the awesome design God put in place. For others, they may experience the same thing when looking at the beauty of the ocean, or pondering the vastness of the universe.  All creation testifies to an amazing design, which assumes an amazing designer.

That is why I have such a hard time understanding how people can swallow the theory of Evolution - and the idea that everything happened by chance. No one who listens to a beautiful symphony assumes that the notes must have randomly assembled themselves over millions of years... then played themselves. Credit is always given to the composer and the musicians. So why are people satisfied with the idea that everything we see today is due to chance and random activities? Instead, we should give glory to the composer of our lives!

"It is written: ' as surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God'." - Romans 14:11

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - September 5th

Here is our menu plan for the week:

Monday - Labor Day cookout - hamburgers, corn on the cob, & watermelon

Tuesday - Chicken Piccata, angel hair pasta, & broccoli

Wednesday - Hamburger and Macaroni & carrots

Thursday - Italian Chicken, Hasselback potatoes, & peas

Friday -Peking Shrimp

This post is linked to: Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Titus' first birthday cake!

Titus LOVES taking baths, so for his first birthday I decided to make him a bathtub cake! George and I aren't planning to do big parties for our kids every year, but I want to at least make special, fun looking cakes. We just had some family and close friends over this year for Titus' birthday. He got some awesome presents (including wooden blocks and musical instruments) and lots of hilarious fun ensued.

The cake was super easy to make. I baked a carrot cake, to provide some semblance of nutrition :) I frosted it with cream cheese icing, which I whipped in the mixer so there would be a lot of it. The cake wasn't too spectacular, it was kind of dry, but it stayed together nicely, which is what I wanted. I hollowed out the tub part of the cake, then I frosted the whole thing with white icing. I dyed the rest of the icing blue, and used that to fill in the hollowed out part (read: LOTS OF ICING). Then I made the handles by sticking 8 mini marshmallows to 2 large marshmallows. That didn't work super well because I think my marshmallows were a little stale, but it was ok. I then wrote the letters "H" and"C" on the "handles" with decorating gel. Finally, I added 2 little rubber duckies to complete the look. I think it turned out super cute! Here is one more picture in case you forgot what it looked like :)