Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who's Birthday...

These pictures are out of order here but I took them after posting to my blog and I still have not found a way to add more pictures. We had a Unbirthday Party today with the Spidy Cake. You have only 1 Birthday but you have 364 Very Happy Unbirthdays! (Alice and Wonderland). The kids sang and blew out candles. They thought it was great!!

So one would wonder who's birthday is it now, but this is just a cake I made for the kids for snack tomorrow. Well really...I had out my cake decorating box for Alex's cupcakes over the weekend and thought why not play and see what I can do. I had Joe go to the library and check out a cake pan and Spidy is what he came home with. At first I looked at it and told him I could not do it and that I would go find a different one. But the more I looked, I thought why not give it a try, the kids won't care what it looks like in the end. I made homemade frosting and just went step by step. I think it was pretty good for my first real cake decorating art and I did it all by myself from start to finish. LOOK MOM I CAN DO IT :)

Not play time, there is work to be done...

Sunday Mom came and helped me make a LARGE amount of cookie dough...I like to have it formed into cookies and in the freezer so when we need a quick snack I can pop a few in the oven and have warm cookies. I was able to get 150 cookies in the freezer. And also baked 3 dozen cookies for the Cozad Bloodmobile at the Catholic Church Parish Hall today April 29th. Every minute of every day, someone needs blood. That blood comes from a volunteer donor and at this time only 3 out of every 100 people in America donate blood. So if you can-please take a little time and donate, if you cannot give blood remember there is always other things you can do to help with your local bloodmobile.

While I was madly working on getting cookies baked and in the freezer Joe helped me out by cleaning up the house. I am always so thankful for his help and for all he does...after he had got boys in bed and began to tackle what was once a livingroom. There was walls of pillows, battle fields and markers and paper everywhere....

Joe was cought doing a little playing himself! (he didn't want pictures but I made him:)

Monday, March 28, 2011


My father-in-law had called and asked if I would like to have two extra cabinet doors from their new house. He was just sure I could use them for some craft project. They have been laying in my craft room for months more in the way then anything.

But today I finally got busy and decided to make something out of one. This is what I came up with! I have liked the frames with different sayings made up from photos of objects that look like letters. I came up with JOY...I get so much joy from being creative. I love to craft-it could be wood, photography, scrapbooking, quilting, cooking any of these makes me happy and brings me so much JOY! I really like how this came out and am thinking it would be great for a Christmas decoration but for now it is going to just stay in my livingroom for me to enjoy!

(pictures are not so good, my good Canon decided to take a dive, this does not give me joy)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Party Time...

Thursday Night was Chandler's Spring Program.

Addie, Karissa, Alex, and Chandler
The Kindergarten Class did "A Barnyard 'Moo'sical"
Chandler was a Goat and had a little speaking part for the song "Gourmet Goat Cheese Pizza"
It was a super cute program!!!
I have had a blog marked for months that had the info on how to make these cute Rainbow Cupcakes. When helping Traci with Alex's Mario birthday party I knew that these would be perfect! I love how they turned out and they were not hard at all, I am sure we will be making these again soon.

I made the cupcake wrappers and Mario cupcake picks

I also made pipes to look like the ones on the Mario games, a large one that had suckers with
Thank You tags for each person that came to the party and a smaller one for wool felt
mustaches on picks for picture props.

I had a wonderful time making Alex's birthday invites, cupcakes, and Mario pipes. I enjoy doing these kind of things but Alex is such a loving and grateful boy and him being so excited and happy about every little detail made every bit of it worth it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jones Brothers Cupcakes...

I love to watch Cupcake Wars on the Food Network on Tuesdays nights and it was exciting to see Jones Brothers Cupcakes of Omaha competing. I had not known of them before the show but since, have wanted to go and enjoy one of their lovely cupcakes. I was hoping to have the time to stop last week while we were in Omaha to get one but when you have 5 girls it is hard to get every where you want (don't get me wrong we had ourselves some amazing desserts). The next time I am in Omaha and have a moment I will be stopping at Jones Brothers Cupcakes!!!

So when Traci was coming home Tuesday night from Minnesota she made a special stop in Omaha and brought me four of their beautiful cupcakes as a surprise. Today we got together after lunch and had one of our cupcakes together. It was so delicious in every way and it is always a bouns to have a reason to spend a little time with a friend!!
Sweet & Salty


Black & White


For the past year or so I have been enjoying making my own pretty cupcakes/cakes. They don't look or taste anything like these but it has been a lot of fun. I think the whole desire for me has been because of watching the Food Network or TLC's shows. For Christmas I got a huge cake decorating kit full of tips and bags and a large amount of different sizes and shapes of cake pans. My mom is amazing at cake decorating and I have always been in love with how she always made it look so easy. Even when she would do roses, she made it look so simple...I am not there yet by any means and problably never will have her talent but it is sure fun trying!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Best French Dip Yet...

So when I saw this recipe I wanted to try it just by the way they were describing how juicy and wonderful the meat taste. Lets just say I do not care for peperoncini pepers. When I was telling Joe about this he was like are you really going to mess with your good roast? I just wanted to make sure I was not missing out of something great...I AM SO GLAD I TRIED IT!!!
Peperoncini Roast Beef
1 jar of Peperoncini Pepper
1 roast
-put roast in crockpot and pour the whole jar with juice of peperoncini peppers in.
Cook on low for 8 hours (I used a frozen roast you may only need 6 hours if thawed)
-I chose to remove all the pepper. Then take a fork and shred cooked roast leave the juice in!
This was amazing, we LOVED it!!! I made French Dips with it, grilled buns, glazed onions,
swiss cheese and au jus. So so Yummy!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

St. Patricks Day Fun...

Thursday, March 17th I went on a great girls trip to Omaha

to see Lady Gaga...it really was a good time. Gaga is crazy

but I love her catchy music and she was an awsome performer.

On Saint Patrick's day the boys woke to Leperchauns that had caused much mischicf to our home, they dyed our milk green, wrote a note on the bathroom mirror Flipped pictures upside down and drew mustaches and tattoos on our family photos they even truned the T.V. in the kitchen upside down which made the picture green It was fun to see how excitied the boys were when they went throughout the house to find everything that was out of place! I made cute rainbow cupcakes with a pot of gold! The boys even got to enjoy their cupcake after they ate breakfast.

This is the crockpot chicken that started the whole obsession to my crockpot cooking!

Crockpot Lemon Chicken

4 to 5 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1/2 can of water

1 heaping Tbs. Lemon Pepper or (Lemon & Herb) Seasoning

1 cup flour

2 Tbs. olive oil

-Heat oil in skillet. Coat frozen chicken with flour and brown on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.

-Spray crockpot lightly with Pam place the chicken inside. Combine soup, water, and lemon seasoning. Mix well. Pour over chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Make brown rice before serving.

I also made Sweet and Sour Meatballs for my family while I was gone on Thur night. Take Make Ahead Metballs, place in crockpot.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

1-20 oz. can crushed pineapple

1/3 cup water

3Tbs. soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

3Tbs. corn starch

-put in sauce pan, stir over med. heat until thickened. Pour over meatballs in crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours.

Monday, March 14, 2011


For lunch I used the leftover Tex-Mex Chicken and made a crescent wrap.

Tonight I made...
Savory Split Pea Soup
8 oz smoked sausage cut into 1/2 pieces
(I used ham just because that is what I had on hand)
3 medium carrots, sliced
1-16 oz bag of dried split peas, rinsed
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
2 cans chicken broth
-brown sausage in skillet (I browned my ham) place everything in the crockpot
and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. Discard bay leaf.
-my soup was really thick I had to add one more can of chicken broth and 1 cup of water.

This soup was really full of flavor and so good. I was starting to worry but it went over so well at the dinner table. Joe and I love split pea soup but could only imagine the whining that would come from the boys. They are not pickey eaters but I was affraid that the words SPLIT PEA was going to make them not want to try. That was not the case, Chandler was shovling it in.
Everyone really did enjoy!!!
I also made cinnamon rolls to go with our yummy soup!

After seeing the pictures of all the food I ate just today I think I should be the one repenting...

This morning we woke up a hour late...so as we were running around trying to get out the door Chandler did not want to go to school twice he came and told me his tummy hurt. I knew he was not 100% truthful with me and that he was just dragging his feet. When Joe came home from taking the boys to school this is what had been said...
Chandler "Dad does it say in the bible that you must tell your parents when you repent"?
Joe "No, it does say you must tell those that you have wronged that you are sorry and promise not to make the wrong again, why"?
Chandler "I repented three times"
Joe "what did you do to need to repent"?
Chandler "I was naughty at school last week and I thought my punishment from Mrs. Lindstedt was big enough and did not want you and mom to punish me again,
is that the same as lying"?
Joe explained that hiding the truth from us is that same as lying, but we are proud of him for telling us and that he went to Heavenly Father and repented.

I have to say I was rolling when Joe was telling me of the conversation, Chandler is a funny little boy, and when he is so serious it sometimes is even funnier!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The end of a great weekend...

Thursday night we went to Broken Bow to have dinner with Gran, we went to the movie Rango (two humbs DOWN) then a little hot tubing!! We had a wonderful family night out.

I got to spend Friday and Saturday sewing with my dear friends! I was able to finished my 30's block of the month for 2010, and worked on Joe's Hobo quilt.

For crockpot recipes this weekend we had
Slow Cook Lasagna
1 lb. Italian Sausage
1 med onion chopped
2 jars of favorite Italian sauce (I only used a jar and half)
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups mozzarrella shredded (save 1 cup for the top at the end)
1-15oz ricotta cheese (I use cottage cheese my boys won't eat ricotta)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese (save a little for the top)
10 to 15 uncooked lasagna noodles
-layer and cook on low for 4 hours (6 hours is way to long) About 10 minutes before you eat sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan on top and let melt.
We all thought this one was good!
Tonight I made!!!
Tex-Mex Chicken
1lb. boneless chicken cut into strips
2 Tbs taco seasoning
2 Tbs flour
1 small green peeper cut into strips
1 small red pepper cut into strips
1 cup frozen corn (I used canned corn from the freezer)
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded chedder cheese
-Toss chicken with seasoning and flour, place in bottom of crockpot and add all ingredients but cheese. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. 10 minutes before serving add the cup of cheese and let melt. You can eat this on a bed of rice or in a tortilla.

I made homemade tortillas tonight...I have been craving them all week.

Whatz better than a great Mexican dish with a Strawberry Daquiri? This may be the boys favorite part of supper...MAYBE

We finished with a piece of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Primary Parent Dinner...

Tonight was not a meal at home, so no crockpot cooking for me...BUT we did have a wonderful dinner. The primary kids had a parent dinner and we had great fun!

When planning for the year I told the kids about a parent dinner I served my parents when I was a child and how we gave them crazy utensils to eat with and trash bags to wear. The kids of course got a kick out of this idea and REALLY wanted to plan a parent dinner like it for their parents! Of course I was totally on board (how could I not be...I was the one giving them the idea and I was the leader so I didn't have on the trash bag ;)

They first served a garden salad, than spaghetti with meatballs, corn, garlic bread, and then a warm fruit struedel with ice cream. The kids really had a great time and I hope this activity is something they will remember doing with their parents like I. We did get some good laughs!!!
Riley "eating" with his Ice Cream Scoop and Daddy with his Melon Baller

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Beef Stroganoff..

Tonight I made beef stroganoff, I have been looking forward to it for days. As we say in the Books' Family "it is so good it makes me want to lick my eyebrows TWICE". Last night was Runza night for school so I had to wait one more night.

Sorry for the picture I forgot to take one for my blog till I was putting food away tonight so it does not look all that inviting but just trust me it is YUMMY!!!!
Beef Stroganoff
stew meat
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
-put in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours
-when about ready to eat stir in 8 oz. sour cream
-make egg noodles and serve with stroganoff

Today Maxx and I also made...
Make Ahead Meatballs
4 eggs
1/2 cup dry onions or chopped
2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 to 5 lbs. hamburger
-mix well and shape into balls, place onto cookie sheet and bake @ 400 for 15-20 minutes

I made these for two meals we have coming up this week and next...this little challenge of using the crockpot this month has really made me work at making and keeping a menu.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Read Across America Week...

Wednesday was "Go To Sleep With A Good Book"
(wear pajamas to school)

Today was "Plan Your Future With a Good Book"

(dress up for your career goal)

This is Read Across America Week to celebrate Dr. Suess' Birthday at school. Tuesday they got to wear their favorite hats and Friday it is "Go Big Read Day" and get to wear their favorite team apparel. We have always enjoyed this fun week each year but today was really hard for Riley, he just could not decied what he wanted to be for career day and everything I would suggest he would say "but that is not what I will be when I grow up" I tried to help him understand this was more for fun and it didn't matter if he would not become it down the road but he just was not having it...until it was time to walk out the door. Then he wanted to wear something. So daddy went out to his car and got his rail road stuff, Ry was okay with it but he did say on the way to school "I think being a rail roader is more my third choice for a career" the poor boy just had a hard time with this one :) Chandler knew he wanted to be a builder today but he told me... "I am going to be a paleontoligist for real"

Burrito Lasagna

2 lbs. browned ground beef

1 pkg. taco seasoning

8 oz. cheddar cheese

16 oz. refried beans (I made my own refried beans)

16 oz. sour cream

8 oz. salsa

5 flour tortillas

-layer beef, tortilla, refried beans, sour cream, chedder cheese in a deep dish or pan. Repeat. Pour salsa on top. Cover with tin foil and Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes, take foil off and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve hot with lettuce and tomatos on top. (I do not pour the salsa on before baking we wait till it comes out of the oven because the boys don't care for salsa)

Now for my Crockpot recipe for tonights meal...

Queso Dip

1 can of Rotel undrained

1-16 oz box of Velveeta Cheese cut into 1 inch cubes

-put in crock pot and put on low for 2 hours stirring frequently

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Parmesan...

Chicken Parmesan
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 egg
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1 jar of your favoite Marinara Sauce

-spread 1Tbs. olive oil into the bottom of the crockpot
(I just coated crockpot with ov oil spray)
-whip egg with fork on a plate
-mix bread crumbs w/ seasonings and parmesan cheese on another plate
-dip chicken into egg then coat w/ bread crumbs mixture
-place chicken in crockpot
-layer mozzarella cheese on top
-cover w/entire jar of marinara sauce
-I topped with the leftover breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese mixture
-cover & let cook on low 6 hours if chicken if frozen 4 hours if not
-serve w/ your favorite pasta

This was so easy and very tasty! We had a garden salad,
steamed snapped peas, and jello salad with it.

I might try this one in the oven next time,
the chicken was so tender that it fell apart
when I went to serve it...not that it was any less yummy!!
Only for presentation.

I also made my own Bread Crumbs...I did not realize
how pricey they are at the store.
After making them myself I will not ever buy them again.

Bread Crumbs
-1 bag of hamburger buns
or any bread you have at home you can use
white and wheat, even homemade
-toast in oven at 350 for 8 minutes turn over and toast another 8 minutes
-take toasted bread and put in the food processer tell they are crumbs

Yes that is it!!! Most recipes will call for the seasonings that needs to be added
so you don't have to worry about seasoning until you go to use them.

A New Love...

So I have only had one tried and true crockpot recipe (the best pot roast ever) I really have never had anything made in the crockpot that I could not make in the oven and always thought I liked it out of the oven better. Well, 2 weeks ago after reading a blog I follow that had a Lemon Chicken crockpot recipe that sounded good and really easy...I went straight into the kitchen and made it and got it in the crockpot. By supper time it was smelling so wonderful and then all I had to do was make rice and a salad. We had a YUMMY hot meal that took me 10 minutes. The boys LOVED it, Ry ate two huge helpings. So that made me want to find another crockpot recipe to try, I then went back to the internet and found a great blog that is 365 days of crockpot recipes. http://crockpot364.blogspot.com/ Last week I made 4 more new recipes and we loved the next just as much or more then the first.
I have decided I am going to challenge myself and use the crockpot each evening meal we eat at home this month...can I do it??? So this month I am going to blog about each.

Tonight...Whole Chicken

-Thawed whole chicken (if you are buying chicken from the store a whole chicken is the best for your buck, you pay big for someone to cut it up for you)
-Spray your crockpot with Olive oil or Pam
-Place whole chicken in crockpot
-pour in 2 cups of water
-1 Tbs. of McCormick 1 Step Chicken Seasoning or your favorite Chicken Seasoning
-Season with salt and pepper
-Cook on High for 4 hours then turn to Low for 4 hours

We had chicken on small egg noodles with Pesto Sauce, Corn and Garden Salad
Then with the leftover chicken I picked off the bone and made Chicken Salad for Sandwhiches &
Chicken and Stuffing
3 cups of cooked pulled chicken
8 oz. sour cream
1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup
-Mix all together and put in the bottom of a 8x8 baking dish
-Make a box of Stove Top Stuffing and spread over top of chicken mixture.
-Bake in oven at 350 for 30 minutes just till it is hot and bubbly

3 great meals with very little work on my part!!!!!