Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm a "sexy, sophisticated" Mom too!

Or at least my haircut is! I finally found a new hairstylist, someone that isn't an hour away, and got my hair done (Thanks Mom for watching the kids, and for finding the new stylist!) Here are the two best pics I took of myself and my new hair. Now....if I could just get used to it!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm a chicken running around with my head cut off too!

OK, it isn't quite that bad...but almost. It was a long, fun weekend and I didn't get a lot of things done except putting away Christmas, and hanging out with friends. (There was a LOT of hanging out with friends.) So I am playing catch up. I don't have a new recipe to share, but in honor of the cold weather AND of BUNCO tomorrow night I am just gonna give you a link to a post about the most awesome soup ever, and you'll have to deal with it. Broccoli Cheese Soup I am now off to sweep the kitchen floor and see if Colin wants to write Valentine's. UGH!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm a Mom telling you to listen to....

A Fine Frenzy. Just listen to "Lifesize" over on the right....check out or Groove Shark (thanks Shannon!) to hear some of their tunes. I like them (love the lead singer's hair) and I thought I would share them with you....although some of you might already know them (Nicole). AND.....last weeks "contest" didn't go so well.....only one person emailed me for the video I made (Katie) but she got it wrong on the first guess, then googled to listen to another song. One other person didn't ask for the video, found She & Him on the Internet, guessed who it was, didn't comment, then googled to make sure she was right! (Holly) So...what do I do, not give a prize? Send one to everyone that commented, even if they didn't leave an answer (Shannon)? Give me your thoughts...the ones about A Fine Frenzy AND about the prize from last week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I like to introduce foods in new ways to my kids.

Because all my kids usually eat are chicken nuggets, corn dogs, hot dogs, mac & cheese and pizza, I try at least once a week to have what my son calls "A Family Night" where we all sit down for dinner at the same time and have an actual meal. This is when I try to either introduce new foods to them, or introduce a new recipe I wanted to try. Last week not only did we try that Amazing Pork Tenderloin but we also ate Pioneer Woman's Mom's Califlower soup. Go ahead, take a look at the recipe, here. This soup was fairly easy to make, if you are OK with chopping. Since there was only 1 carrot, and 1 stalk of celery, it was simple for me. It took me a little longer to make it, but that usually happens when there are two kids underfoot. Next time will go smoother, since I will know what to do. We all ate it, Colin even had seconds! The addition of the cauliflower is different, but if you don't like it, I'm pretty sure you can use broccoli. I wanted to eat it with a loaf of crusty bread, but the bread was too crusty before I got the chance to make the recipe, but I think the soup would be wonderful with Pioneer Woman's Buttery Thyme Bread. (Isn't it cool how you can mix and match all of her meals? A Pioneer Woman Cooks themed party would be fun!) Try it out...if you try it with broccoli, let me know...I'd love a new broccoli soup recipe! (Sorry Janice, but I am not sure how to make this recipe gluten free...maybe use rice flour instead of regular in the white sauce? Although, you don't do dairy either do you? *UGH* OK just ignore this post....I'll try something different next week!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm a Mom wishing you a Happy Inauguration Day!

This is the first time I have spent the whole day (well, most of the day...there were a few breaks for driving) with the Presidential Inauguration on the TV. As soon as I turned the TV on this AM, I watched the inauguration hubbub all day (it's still on in the bedroom). Thanks to Holly, a bunch of us spent the morning sharing the historic moment with friends ready for change and ready for the challenges at hand (see I really DID listen to the President's speech). Hopefully I will have a few pics of us whooping it up soon. There are multiple things about this inauguration that I haven't noticed in the past....most of them steeped in tradition. The coffee/brunch (you all know there had to be a huge spread) President Bush and President-elect Obama (he hadn't been sworn in yet) had before the swearing in (Wow, really? I am sure that may have been a forced conversation). The note left in the oval office by the former President for the new President to read (I am wondering what was written in that note) and last but not least (this is the BEST part) how the now former President Bush and his wife left the White House and Presidency behind right after the swearing in ceremony was finished (whoo hoo! no lingering for the Bush's.) I think that no matter what happens in 4 years (please let President Obama be re-elected!) I will make it a point to spend the day watching the Presidential Inauguration festivities. The whole day has been full of history (both past and the making of) and tradition that makes our great nation what it is. I've really enjoyed being as much of a part of it as I can be from out here in Utah. Hope you were able to enjoy some of it too!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm starting to get into music again too.

Done with Christmas music, loving my new Killers CD, but still want to find some new music to listen to. My go to man for music (Seth) told me I needed to listen to a fairly new duo called "She & Him". My go to music web site ( didn't have any songs from them, but once I found the profile on them, I knew I had to have their CD "Volume One". I made a simple video with just the album art and one of their songs. I tried to upload it, but it didn't work, so if you want to watch the video and take a guess at who "She" is, let me know and I will email it to you (there might be a prize for the first correct un-Googled answer, please be honest!).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday's Wonderful Recipe

With the Holiday's being over, I have gotten back to trying out new recipes. Last time I went to the grocery store pork loin was on sale, so I got one that was about 6 lbs. I knew I was going to freeze some of it, but I had no idea what to do with the rest. I could have done Pioneer Woman's Spicy Shredded Pork with it, but that is the only recipe I have been using when I cook pork these days. So I searched my "go to" site All Recipes until I found a slow cooker recipe that I had all the ingredients for. The Amazing Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker was just that AMAZING! (take a look at the recipe'll only take you a minute) OK now that you are back here is my review: It only cooked for 5 hours (I had about 3lbs of roast so I upped the cooking time) and most kitchen's have all the ingredients for it. I am not very good at remembering to plan for a slow cooker meal so those were both huge pluses in my book. For those of you that might not have red wine on hand, substitute equal amounts of red wine vinegar and it should give you the same flavor. Truthfully, if you just make sure you have 2 cups of liquid (red wine, red wine vinegar, beef stock, water whatever) you'll be fine. I know it looks like a ton of garlic (it is) but obviously you can scrape it off the top of the roast before you eat it, if you'd like. For those of you looking to make it gluten-free, you are gonna have to make your own onion soup mix with gluten free beef bouillon (I found multiple recipes for it out there, so I know it exists) and dried minced onion. You might even be able to just use beef stock and minced onion. I don't know much about gluten free I'll try to do the best I can for my gluten-free readers (OK, so just one reader, Hi Janice!) I served my roast with mashed potatoes and gravy made from the liquid left in the crock pot, and some cornstarch to thicken it. I also had some canned green beans and it made a pretty decent Sunday dinner. The kids ate it...without the gravy, and Seth made a lunch or two out of the leftovers. Go ahead and try it...I think you'll like it! PS New feature..."What's For Dinner?" on the right hand side...I saw it somewhere on the interwebs (Katie's blog possibly??) and thought I might try it. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

well, you know I cook too...Wednesday's Wonderful Recipe

I found a recipe I wanted to make for New Year's Day, but we ended up at Seth's sisters for the day, so I didn't have a chance to make it. I ended up making it for dinner on Monday, and it was pretty good, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you!
The Broccoli Ham Ring (not to be confused with the Ham Ring Monica made for Joey on Friends) I made was an easy recipe, that could be altered to any one's taste. I found multiple recipes for it, each tweaked just a little bit, so I know you could put your own spin on it.
I found the one I made at All
1/4 pound cooked ham, coarsely chopped 1/4 pound fresh broccoli, chopped 1 bunch fresh green onions, chopped 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese 2 tablespoons Dijon-style prepared mustard 1 teaspoon lemon juice 2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, toss together ham, chopped broccoli, onion, parsley, and Swiss cheese. Stir in lemon juice and Dijon-style mustard. On a 13-inch stone or baking sheet, arrange crescent triangles in a circle with bases overlapping in center and points to the outside. There should be a 3-inch diameter circle in center. Spoon the filling evenly over the crescent rolls. Fold points of triangle over filling and tuck under base at center. Filling will not be completely covered. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Serve warm.
I don't know if I have said this before, but I like to make a recipe once before I tweak it to fit my family. I guessed on the amount of ham and broccoli, and I used frozen broccoli instead of fresh, since I had it on hand. But I think next time I make it I am going to use 3 tubes of crescent rolls, to make sure all of the filling is covered (I think it will look a bit fancier) and I might use a different kind of cheese. I am sure you could use turkey instead of ham (for you Kosher readers out there) and if you use the 2% cheddar cheese and the reduced fat crescent rolls, it would make it healthier. I was going to serve this with the Homemade Fries I told you about in this post, but ran out of time. It would also be a fun dish for a pot luck meal, so everyone can try just a little. Oh! And the kids ate it!!!
Since I got a new camera for Christmas, I took some pics...I am no photographer, nor am I Pioneer Woman, so take the pics as they are. Enjoy!

Ham Ring before it was covered (don't mind the chocolates in the left corner)

Ham Ring pre-baked

Baked Ham Ring

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm a woman that hopes to have some will power this year.

I know I was supposed to share my New Year's Goals with everyone a few days ago, but this year I have been really thinking hard about what I want my goals to be. A lot of people don't make goals just at the New Year, they are strong enough to make and keep goals all year long. I think with the start of a New Year, comes a cleanish slate and chance to work on things that will make the year a great one. And in 2009 I don't want to make the same resolutions I make and break every year, so I actually took my time.

Quite a few blogs I read have suggested we choose one word to focus on during the year. That word could be anything that will help us accomplish the goals we set throughout the year. Laurie at Tip Junkie and Cassie at Little Window Shoppe have both had great posts with ideas for setting goals. Read them here and here. Tip Junkie is even having a giveaway for our Word of the Year.
I have been having a hard time coming up with one that fits all my goals, but I decided on one word that I can use to remind me of the most important goals this year:
I will relax and slow down to keep my blood pressure down.
I will relax my mind by excersicing (3 times a week), and clearing my thoughts while I do so.
I will relax by reading more, without my kids and with my kids. More than one book a month.
I will relax by not taking on more than I am supposed to, and by not worrying about the responsibility of others.
I know these four goals won't be easy to accomplish. But I DO think stating them they way I have, sharing them with you, AND using one word to epitomize what I want to achieve is going to help me keep these goals.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I'm a friend wishing you a Happy New Year~!

Happy New Year! I hope your 2009 is better than your 2008 (even if 2008 was a great year, you all deserve an even greater year in 2009). I know it is a time for a fresh start, and a time to start making goals you want to meet and resolutions you want to keep throughout the next year. I have read quite a few blogs with unrealistic resolutions, and a few with tips on how to meet your goals or keep your resolutions. I'd like to hear how you keep the goals you make. Even if you don't make New Year's Resolutions, I am sure you make goals during different times of the year. How do you make sure you remember them? Do you print a huge copy of it then hang it on the fridge? Do you share your goal with other's that will be able to help you out? Do you blog about it then look back afterwards and realize you didn't even come close? Let me know how you keep your goals, and I might just do some research on tips for keeping your goals simple, or for remembering what those goals are. I may even share my goals for the upcoming year with you....just for a little moral support!