Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Snickerdoodles

I've been on a quest lately for perfect cookie recipes since bombing chocolate chip cookies a few times.  These Snickerdoodles are pretty darn good.

Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles
from Allrecipes.com
makes 4 dozen

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
sugar and cinnamon for coating

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400.  Cream together butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Blend in flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt.  Shape dough into balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for exactly 8 minutes.  Remove from cookie sheet to cool.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Soup 'O the Week: Easy Pasta e Fagioli

What's better than Italian food or soup?  Italian soup!

Easy Pasta e Fagioli
adapted from Annie's Eats (love this blog)
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1/2 lb hamburger or Italian sausage
1 (14.5oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken broth ( I only used 2 and it was thick )
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
4 oz. small dry pasta

Directions:
Brown hamburger or sausage in soup pot.  Add diced tomatoes and cook 10 minutes.  Add the beans, broth, tomato sauce, and all the seasonings to the pot.  Stir well, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes.  Top with parmesan and serve with bread.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Homeschool: T is for Thanksgiving

We skipped a couple of weeks.  Like, three.

T is for Thanksgiving...and Turkey.  This week we practiced writing the letter T, talked about Native Americans and turkeys, and ate some really yummy food.

Paper Plate Turkeys

1.  Cut feathers out of construction paper.
2.  Print out turkey template from DLTK in black and white or color.
3.  Have kids color turkey templates and cut out if they can...or just cut it out if you printed the color one.
4.  Fold or cut a paper plate in half (folding is easier).
5.  Have kids glue feathers along inside and outside rims and glue plate together.
6.  Have kids glue turkey shapes to plate.


What's on Your Plate?

1.  Cut pictures of thanksgiving food out of holiday magazines.
2.  Print off What's on Your Plate worksheet from education.com
3.  Glue pictures of food onto "plate"





Friday, November 18, 2011

Bartlesville

We had some errands to run in the big city of Bartlesville, Oklahoma today.  It's a bit of a drive so we decided to make a day of it.  We took Grandpa along.  We also had lunch at 2 Sisters Pub and Grille.  Highly recommended.


First up was the restored steam engine. 









They've recently added a caboose too but it's not restored yet.









Watching a video about the engine.


Next we headed over to Frank and Jane Phillips' mansion.  We were a bit disappointed that they were closed for lunch and we didn't have time to wait around.  We toured the grounds instead.  And found a cat.





The girls were pretending that this was their "house".


Since the mansion was closed we headed back up to the Phillips Petroleum Company museum.

A revolving door!



I didn't quite get this.  It's hard to read the signs when you have to watch and chase two 3 year olds.  Frank Phillips invented hula hoops?  No, that's not right.




 I don't think they were supposed to play on these...but they looked like a slide I guess.  I was too tired at this point to tell them to stop.


We had a fun day.  Bartlesville has lots of neat places like this.  We're planning to go back when we can tour the Phillips' mansion.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These are the bomb.

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Mix ingredients until well combined.  Roll into balls and flatten with tines of fork.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Serve with a big glass of milk.

We mix mini chocolate chips in ours.  Makes about 18 cookies.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicken Nachos

Great use of leftover chicken.

Chicken Nachos
Tortilla chips
Shredded chicken (I used leftover crockpot BBQ chicken...see below)
1 can Ranch beans
2 cups shredded cheddar
toppings of your choice...lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream

Heat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Spray with cooking spray.  Arrange chips on baking sheet.  Top with chicken and beans and cheese.  Bake for 15-20 min.  Top with toppings.

Crockpot BBQ chicken
Chicken + 1/2 bottle of BBQ of your choice + crockpot on high for 4 hours.  Shred chicken and return to crockpot for another 15 minutes with more BBQ sauce if you want.  Serve on buns...or chips.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Homeschool: H is for Halloween

This is a little late.  It's already November 11th!  Eek!

H is for Halloween!  Aside from our costume slumber party Halloween weekend, the girls also practiced writing the letter H, colored pictures of trick-or-treaters, and read books about Halloween from our local library.






Next up...K and L and All About Me!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Photo Card

Gifted Tag Christmas
Visit Shutterfly.com for classic photo Christmas cards.
View the entire collection of cards.
Ordered our Christmas cards today!  Visit shutterfly.com to learn how you can save $10 on your next order!  Photo by my good friend Cindy @ Cindy Kay Photography.

Homemade Cereal Bars

My oldest daughter likes to take cereal bars in her lunch.  There could be worse things.

Cereal Bars
from Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40)  regular marshmallows
OR
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups cereal  (We used Fruity Pebbles this time)

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat. Add cereal. Stir until well coated.  Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Can be stored in airtight container for 2 days or freezer for 6 weeks.




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Soup 'O the Week: Lasagna Soup

It's Lasagna Soup, y'all! 


Lasagna Soup
adapted from Paula Deen's Tastes Like Lasagna Soup
serves 8


1 pound ground chuck
1 (32-ounce) box chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 cups broken lasagna noodles
1 (5-ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large pot, brown meat.  Drain.  Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender. Stir in Parmesan cheese.  Ladle in to bowls and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.  Serve with bread or salad.

If you look at Paula's original recipe you'll see that I simplified it A LOT!  It was still yummy.  And, I don't know about you but, I always have a few noodles left in the box after making lasagna.  This recipe is great for using those up.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An award and an update

I linked my diy 4x4 pumpkins (from You Craft Me Up)  to Three Mango Seeds for her Motivational Monday a few weeks ago and Clydia passed on the Versatile Blogger award to me!  Wow, thanks Clydia!  So, there are some rules on accepting the award.  #1 link back to the blogger that passed it on to you.  #2 list 7 things you may not know about me.  #3 pass the award on to another blogger.


7 Things You May Not Know...
1.  I was a major dork in high school.  I'm still a major dork.  I just don't care.
2.  I'm a horrible house keeper
3.  I have social anxiety...or I'm "shy"
4.  My hubby is my best friend (even though we get on each other's nerves a lot)
5.  I'm a middle child
6.  I look like my Grandma
7.  My dream is to be a farmer...chickens, garden, cows...the whole deal.

And I'm passing on the Versatile Blogger Award to...
Piper at The Barefoot Indian (a real farmer)
Gloria at The Real Housewife of Osage County (someone with crazier kids than mine)

And an update.  Remember how I told you I can't put real pumpkins on my porch?  Well, apparently I can't put fake ones or bales of hay either.  Our dog decided this is where he'll sleep from now on.

Happy Halloween!

Ok, I'm a few days late.  I was sick again at the beginning of the week.  Never.  Ending.  Anywho, we decided in light of recent events that we should just stay home this weekend and spend some stress-free time as a family.  Instead of the usual carnivals, trick-or-treating, and trunk-or-treating we had our first annual costume slumber party.

We had to keep with the fall carnival theme so for dinner we had Frito Chili Pie and Root Beer Floats.  And for dessert we had S'mores.  We even decorated the house a little with a home-made banner that I printed from education.com (I think).

The girls' got their own make-up from Target earlier that day and we let them go wild with it.  And it was pretty wild.  Then we had a costume fashion show while we watched Casper.  I think they changed costumes four or five times.  And they didn't once put on the costumes we had talked about prior to this weekend...princess, mommy, and a baby...it was all stuff we had at home.

We're thinking...as long as the girls don't protest...that we'll make this our halloween tradition from now on.  Oh, and don't worry....the girls got goodie bags full of candy and money from Grandma, Aunt Berta, and Mrs. Judy and we got them some Reese's pumpkins too.


 Frito Chili Pie and Root Beer Float.  We don't let our kids have pop so this was a real treat for them.  "Pop AND ice cream?!?!"

S'mores cooked in the oven.  Assemble, wrap in foil, cook under broiler for 4-5 minutes.

I thought I'd show a before and after of each girl.  A wouldn't let me touch her face.  Apparently, I'm not good at putting make-up on.  The before is mommy's make-up application.  The after is their own.

K before

K after

L before

L after

Our Halloween banner we colored


Costume #1: Belle, OU Cheerleader, Nurse

Costume #2: Barbie Musketeer, Tinker Bell, Snow White

Costume #3: Lowe's carpenter, OU Cheerleader, Police Officer