Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Indian Appleous 500 winner!

Here's another recipe from the crazy gals who wrote, "Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry". I like this cookbook because it's not just recipes; it's also funny little stories, tid-bits, anecdotes and really bad jokes. They also, helpfully, tell you where in the grocery store to look for lesser-known ingredients. And, each recipe is accompanied by the per serving nutritional information so that you can feel even better about your dinner.

This weeks choice was a GREAT one: "Indian Appleous 500". Mmm-mmm, is all I have to say.


12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 kg)
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp grated ginger root
1 1/2 tsp each curry powder and chili powder
1/2 tsp each ground turmeric and ground cinnamon
1 can (398 ml) light coconut milk
1/4 cup mango chutney
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup peeled, cored, and chopped Golden Delicious apples
1/2 cup frozen green pees
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro


"You'll need a large, deep, non-stick skillet with a lid. Spray skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and cook until both sides are lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove chicken and keep warm.

Add onions, red pepper, and garlic to the same skillet. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add ginger root, curry powder, chili powder, turmeric, and cinnamon. Cook and stir for 1 more minute. Add coconut milk, mango chutney, lemon zest, and salt. Mix well. Still in chicken pieces and apples. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Add peas and cilantro. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 more minutes.

Serve hot. Tastes great on a bed of basmati rice."

Yes it does.

Oh, and do you know the easy microwave way of cooking basmati rice? Let me tell you - take 1 1/2 cups of rice and put in a microwavable glass dish (with a lid) and 3 cups of H20. Cook on high for 10 minutes, and medium power for 10 minutes. Done. Easy Peasy.


Great! Yummy, yummy. Everyone in the family loved it and I even ranked it (slightly) above the roasted chicken that's been the fav. so far. Definitely 9/10 and a keeper!! I love anything with curry and turmeric that involves basmati rice and this was no exception. You should try it!
More Great Recipe Ideas Can Always Be Found at The Fairy BlogMother's site -- the home of What's Cooking Wednesday!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Home Depot?

Well, let me just tell you how excited I am!! Dave just crossed number 2 off my list and it's not even my birthday yet! I'm going to be a busy girl scanning photos and making scrapbook pages tomorrow, I'll tell you. Tackle what Tuesday?! I'll be havin' fun!

In the meantime,

let me just record this cute little conversation I had with my little Jamie James this evening. We were getting ready to go for a quick walk because, despite it being time for her to go to bed, Jamie was still wide awake due to a surprise nap this afternoon. I asked her to clean off her face a bit before we headed out and I propped her up on the bathroom counter so she could look in the mirror.

She said, "Mom, who bought this mirror?"

And I said, "Mommy and Daddy did Sweetie...when we bought the house."

She squealed, "You bought the HOUSE?!?" And then she started giggling in delight.

(now I'm a bit confused)

"Yes, Honey, we bought the house."

"Holy CRIPE!" she says, "Did it come in a BIG box?!"

I love you, little kiddo.

Oh, and here is the impromptu nap she had today. I hope she doesn't hate me too much 15 years from now for taking this shot but it was just so darn cute (and funny).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Material Girl.

Here is a quick list of Things I Want (in case you were wondering):

1) An external hard-drive for my computer (I've been putting all my photos on discs, but I don't trust them and I am too afraid to erase the pics off my computer. Those, along with all these scrapbook pages I'm now making are really bogging down my computer).

2) A flat-bed scanner. I have lots of photos that I actually took ~before~ getting my digital camera including all of Maddie's baby photos. I can't even use them in a scrapbook page until I get a scanner. So, the way I see it...these two things are immediate necessities.

3) A good wide angle lens. The only decent lens I have right now is my 50mm 2.8 and while I just lurve this lens for taking portraits, it doesn't work so great for group photos. I should say, it's more than's really just isn't a wide angle.

4) High. Speed. Internet. Connectivity.

5) A nice new bike in some really pretty color. And, a helmet.

6) A new food processor.

7) A kitchen-aid Artisan mixer. I like pink.

8) A new truck - crew cab, please.

9) A new bed complete with new mattress, sheets (600 count min.), and down pillows. Oh, and make it a King Size. Ohhhhhh....this would be sweeeeeet.

10) A new wardrobe for the summer - lots of pretty colored t's and tanks, a few new pairs of jeans (I like the Gap), and a few new pairs of kickin' little sneakers.

You have 10 days until my birthday...
Oh (and just to spare you any embarrassment), here are some things that you may have been thinking about but, gratefully, I've already got these ones covered.
1) A really wonderful digital camera

2) An only slightly less wonderful digital camera, still pretty gosh darn good, that is small enough to throw into my purse and have at the ready for all those little Mommy Moments in life.

3) A fan-freakin-tastic coffee maker (I love my new Cuisinart Coffee Maker. Love it! Love it! Love it!)

4) A new dining room set.

5) A Newfoundland doggie.
Have fun and, I promise, I'll try to act surprised. ;-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I love cupcakes - especially really cute cupcakes. I've bought so many books about just cupcakes that it is really turning into a bit of an obsession. Unfortunately, I'm really not that talented a "cupcake artist" and I would find it really difficult to come up with all the cute ideas on my own but yesterday I gave it my best shot making these Panda Bear cupcakes from the book, "Hello Cupcake" (wow. How many times can a girl type "cupcake" in one paragraph?).

Now, my MIL has borrowed back her food processor (the nerve-Just Kidding) so I had nothing to sufficiently pulverize my Oreo cookies and had to use a fork and a potato masher instead. The crumbs are supposed to be pretty fine so that you can dip your cupcake into it and make the "fur" for the panda's tummies. And, I really started making these a bit too late in the day so I was feeling a bit rushed they are. Maddie drew the grass for them to sit on and she loved them. She was a little timid about eating off the Panda's face ("he's too cute", she said), but Jamie had no such problems and dove right in.

My lovely neighbour and her daughter popped by whilst I was making these so I just threw two together super, super, quick for her and I have to say, "I'm sorry they were kind of pathetic and I'm even sorrier there were only two!!!" Would Martha have handed out sad cupcakes - and not had enough? I don't think so. I don't think so. I'll do better next time. :)

In other news...

it was our dear Stella Bella's second birthday yesterday. No cupcakes for her but lots of hugs and pets and these two cards made by Maddie and Jamie. Happy Birthday, Stella!!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Creamy Bow-Ties with Chicken.

As you know, every once in awhile Maddie invites her best friend over to play and have dinner with us. But, her friend doesn't actually get much dinner! Poor little thing usually has three bites and she is done. I was determined to find something she would love and gobble up. I couldn't wait to tell her Mom, "She ate up her whole plate and asked for seconds!!" I know she likes chicken and pasta so I tried this recipe from my trusty "Great Food Fast" book - specifically because it contained both of those ingredients and it says in the description, "This attractive dish is perfect for entertaining, but it's so quick and easy you'll want to make it for the family. Kids love it!" Perfect!

Creamy Bow-Ties with Chicken, Spinach and Peppers

Ingredients List:

6 oz Bow-tie Pasta
12 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, but into strips
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup julienned red bell peppers
2 cups shredded fresh spinach
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup shredded old white Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.


1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until tender but firm; drain. Rinse under hot water; drain. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, spray a large skillet with vegetable spray. Add chicken strips and cook over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned and juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. Transfer to a plate.

3. In the same skillet, heat 1 tsp. of the oil over medium heat. Add peppers and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly softened. Stir in spinach and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until wilted. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

4. In the same pot used for cooking pasta, heat remaining oil over medium heat; blend in flour. Add garlic and milk; cook whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in salt, nutmeg and pepper. Remove from heat. Add Cheddar cheese and stir until blended. Add pasta, chicken and vegetables to sauce; stir until combined. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.


I found out that Maddie's friend does not like red peppers and she gave those a thumbs down. However, she said she loved the chicken and the pasta and gave those two thumbs up! But, still, she didn't eat very much at all. Maybe she's just too excited about playing to eat. I feel bad that I'm not filling her up better, though. We'll keep trying!

My girls both said they loved this recipe and Jamie ate it all. Maddie ate most of it but I think she, too, just wanted to get going to play.

Dave and I both really enjoyed it and we both gave it an 8 out of 10 which is a high enough rating to put this one into steady rotation. It makes great left-overs, too!

The best part of dinner, though...definitely had to be dessert.


For more great recipes check out What's Cooking Wednesday brought to you by the birthday girl...The Fairy BlogMother!

Monday, April 21, 2008

You Say It's Your Birthday, na-nah-na-na-nah...

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday Fairy BlogMotherrrrr

Happy Birthday to you!

(Hope it's a great one).


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Scrappy Weekend Everyone!

Here's my latest digital scrapbook page. Man, this is fun. I think I could make digital scrapbook pages all day long. I wish someone would pay me to do that - that would be cool. I just love shopping for all the supplies on-line. You don't even need to leave the house and you can shop any hour of the day! I am really, REALLY, wishing for high-speed internet access though. Can you believe I am on dial-up?! It's like I live in Timbuktu or something. You can get dishes for the internet and we looked into that, but when the man came he said that there were too many trees out back of our house and it wouldn't work for us. There is also some high speed available to this area from Rogers and we looked into that, too. Guess what -it doesn't work at our house. It doesn't work at our neighbours', either. The house next to our neighbours? Yep. They can get it. Just not us. We are almost, literally, on the cut-off line. Unbelievable. So, to get the little wings and hats to make Jamie into a Fairy and the cute little polka dot letters and the paper it took me all day to download it. Maybe that's for the best as I think I would do way too much "digi shopping" if the amount of time it took me to download this stuff was a little less completely ridiculous.

Oh, you probably can't read the writing on the page. It says:

At the age of 3
What do you dream of Jamie?
Going to school
Riding the school bus
Making a bunch of your own friends
and going to their birthday parties
(just like Maddie)
Having sleep-overs
Riding a big bike
Sleeping in a bunk-bed
Cooking, baking, lots of painting
Driving Daddy's truck
Wearing Mommy's shoes
Taking Stella for a walk
all by yourself
All that good stuff and more...
Dancing like a ballerina
Singing like a princess
Flying like a bird
The days are full of possibilities and, for you,
the sun can't rise soon enough.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

(MY) Baby's First Hair-Cut.

Jamie did it. She got her first ever hair-cut. Her hair is so long and fine and wavy that it gets tangled super easy and it was starting to look a little rough. So, I plopped both girls in the tub and got their hair all washed and detangled and took them over the the local hair salon to get a trim.

Maddie really wanted to go because her bestest little girlfriend in the whole wide world has her hair cut to about her shoulders and Maddie wants hers to be the same. But, I just loooovvve Maddie's long hair so I caved enough for 2 inches to come off only. Jamie didn't want to go at all. She was convinced that cutting her hair would hurt. I told her it doesn't hurt, but she wasn't buying it. Maddie tried to assure her that it really doesn't hurt, but she still wasn't convinced. Then she asked one of the little neighbourhood boys and he assured her it that it didn't hurt. Hmmm. She still wasn't listening to any of us. So, I told her she didn't have to get it done if she didn't want to and that Maddie would go first and then she could decide. The truth was, at this point, with her freshly washed, long, beautiful, wavy hair glistening in the sunlight - and no more babies in my house at the moment - I wasn't so sure it wasn't going to hurt, either. Only, now I was thinking more about me!

Wow. I'm finding it really hard to watch these girls grow up so fast. I mean, it's really fast. They were both born near the end of the year which means they will both be starting school at the age of 3. That's THREE. Three years I get my baby at home with me and that's it? I have to tell you, I would home school them if Dave would let me just so I didn't have to see them go so soon. But, he likes the whole socialization thing, blah, blah, blah. I say, "What about meeeee?"

Okay. I'll try to get a hold of myself.

My mother used to always tell me the story of when I started kindergarten. I was the last of her 4 kids to go off to school and as soon as I was out of the car and skipping off to class she burst into tears. My dad starting laughing at her. She was furious at him and, I believe, called him a few choice names, slammed the bedroom door when she got home, and laid on the bed crying. She said she had never been so upset before in her life: her baby was off to school.
Now I get it.


Jamie decided to get her hair done after all (sigh) and she did look completely adorable sitting up in the chair with those clips in her hair. And, when we got home Maddie's aforementioned buddy came over for a visit and brought these ADORABLE cupcakes she made with the help of her mommy The FairyBlogMother.

Thanks, Shan. It was good timing. Cupcakes always do help to cheer a blubbery mommy up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Where's the Beef?

I have an oddly strong affection for cows- I admit it. I'm not exactly sure why but it may be because we had "pet" cows (bull calves, really) when I was in vet. tech. school. Also, I now live in an area that is surrounded by cows and I always have to slow down to look at them because I think they are just so cool looking (am I weird?). Thus, I don't eat beef (or pork - they're too cute too. Terrible, I know. That's just how my brain works). So, poor Davey never gets any red meat around here. And, he has ~no~ problem with eating a cow. "Mmmm. Good". Usually the only time he gets any beef is when we go out for dinner and he can order a steak or he throws a regular burger on the barbeque for him and something tofu-ey for me. So, in honour of his first full day back to work as Landscaper Extraordinaire I decided I would be a good wifey and try to cook him something with beef. Yes, it was completely gross to cook and smelled disgusting - but that's the price I was willing to pay for my man.

So, this weeks What's Cooking Wednesday is...
Hoisin Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry
brought to you by the Dietitans of Canada's "Great Food Fast"

Ingredients List:

2 tsp evoo
12 oz. inside round steak cut into 3- by 1/2 inch strips
1 tbsp chopped ginger root
1 tsp minced garlic
3 cups small broccoli florets
1/3 cups sliced water chestnuts
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cups orange juice
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
black pepper
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)


1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over med-high heat; add beef strips and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until browned. Add ginger, garlic, broccoli, and water chestnuts; stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes until broccoli is tender-crisp.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, orange juice, hoisin sauce and, if using, sesame oil. Add to skillet; cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened and heated through. Season to taste with pepper. Serve over rice. If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Dave didn't say anything as he started eating so I knew that it probably sucked. I had to probe him to get him to say, "Well, it's good- but the meat is over-cooked". Of course. I always over-cook meat...especially meat that is supposed to stay a bit pinkish because that pinkish is just too gross for me to handle. I would be a horrible chef! He said he'd give it a 7/10 but I think he was being generous just because I tried to make him something with beef and he was giving me bonus points. I think you may *really* need a wok to do this properly because I just used a big pan and while the tops of the broccoli got cooked (almost too mushy, really) the stalks were still too hard. The water chestnuts were also too hard and not sliced thinly enough. I bought them whole and they are really, really, hard to slice without cutting your fingers off. The girls both love rice and broccoli so they were okay with that part. Jamie said the meat was "not good" and Maddie ate some but didn't love it.

I don't think I'll be trying this again but, if you do, I'd suggest either using a wok or steaming the broccoli first and then just tossing it in to get it coated with sauce. I also added the optional sesame seeds which I toasted in the oven (trying to be fancy-smancy) and let me say - there is a difference of about 1 millisecond between not toasted and burnt. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Laundry's Done!

It's Tackle It Tuesday time again. Last week I said my project was going to be getting rid of the ghastly pile of clothes heaped up on the laundry room floor. I gave myself until this week, today, to get that accomplished. Well, I'm happy to say that I have done it! I can see my laundry room floor again. Pretty cool. Well, actually, it's just an ugly concrete slab so it's not that great to see it but, still, it's good to have the laundry done. Now I can allow guests access to the downstairs bathroom without living in fear they may open the laundry room door.

I would also like to just add that my project was made doubly hard due to the fact that hubby decided the best place to put our freshly painted kitchen cupboards to dry was on a huge table right in the middle of the laundry room. I, literally, had to stand on my tip toes and scooch around the wet cupboards to try to get at the laundry. It was not easy. So...bonus marks to me. Way to go me. Thanks me.

Since that project was so boring and sucky I decided to give myself a nice, fun, little project for today's Tackle It Tuesday (hmmm...I just realized that you really can't write that in short form). I decided to do my very first, official, digital scrapbook page! It was a challenge offered up over at Scrap Artist to do a page using some cool acrylic jumbo letters. Lots of fun. I love the digital scrap booking because it reminds me of some of the graphic design stuff I got to do as a journalism student another lifetime ago. Here she is...Maddie modeling a new outfit she got from her aunt.

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Monday, April 14, 2008

Paws for Game Time.

Maddie, Jamie, and I just finished 3 rounds of Maddie's favourite game: "The Littlest Pet Shop Game". Maddie loves anything that has anything to do with Littlest Pet Shops and she is forming quite the collection. She probably has about 30-50 of the little guys by now as well as two carrying cases (one is actually Jamie's...but I don't know if Jamie realizes that), two "Get Better Centers" (ditto), and one big "Round and Round" play-park thing-y. Oh, that and a bunch of Littlest Pet Shop puzzles, too.

The game is for ages 4 and up but I think it would be good for younger ones, as well, because it would help them with number recognition (you spin a little wheel to tell you how many spaces to move: it's labelled with numbers 1-6) and counting (moving your chosen Littlest Pet Shop character around the board). The goal of the game is to get your pet all the way around the board, collecting certificates along the way for health, beauty, and dress-up, and then to the winner's circle in the Littlest Pet Shop Show. The first one to the winner's circle wins the blue ribbon.

Maddie and Jamie like the game because they get to pick out their little pet to play with, the game is pretty easy and straight forward, and hey it's quality time with mom and/or dad. The thing I like best about this game is that it is the characters who are actually trying to get to the winner's circle - not really the kids. So, when someone wins I make a big deal about having my little pet go over to their little pet and yell and cheer and congratulate them. It's a great way to model good sportsmanship and the kids have caught on to this pretty well. There are no fights after the game is over and everyone just ends up cheering and happy. Pretty good. We give it two paws up.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Photo Finish Friday

Maddie left this card beside my bed for me the other night when I was that I would find it when I came home. Isn't she just the sweetest? So cute. I just love it and HER. :)

In other news...


is turning into this...

As I Type!!

How exciting. I am just LOVING the new color of my cupboards (I really, really, hated the brown).

And this floor...

is being replaced by a nice dark, walnut, laminate flooring by my hunky husband and fabulous brother in law *this* weekend. :)

"It's getting there. It's getting there." (that's been our refrain around here for several weeks now).

We are almost "guest ready". I wonder if my new friend The Fairy BlogMother will still be willing to come over here for dinner after we caused her to cut her hand the other night, gave her daughter "the burps", and ate all her cake?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Great Chicken Roast.

You can't call yourself a grown-up and not know how to roast a chicken, right? So, I figured it was about time I figured out how to do it. I decided to learn from one of the best and got my instructions from Alice Waters' book, "The Art of Simple Food". It actually was very, very, simple and the results were spectacular. I've never before made something that took such little work and got so much praise from everyone in the family!

Here are the instructions:

Get yourself a 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken (preferably organic - but ours was regular) and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt mixed with a 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper both inside and outside the bird. You can also use fresh herbs and garlic at this point if you like (and we did). We stuffed fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs under the skin of the chicken on the breasts and the drumsticks along with slices of garlic. We also filled the whole cavity of the bird with the fresh herbs. We then just covered it and put it back in the fridge (ideally, you should put it back in the fridge like this for a day or two - we just let it sit for the day).

Take the bird out of the fridge an hour before cooking. It's important that it isn't cold when it goes into the oven. Cook in a preheated, 400 degree, oven for 20 minutes breast up. Then flip the bird and cook for 20 more minutes breast down. Then cook for about 20 more minutes breast up again (but check it after 10 mins. to see how it is doing). The chicken is done "when the legs and thighs are no longer pink and the breast is still juicy and tender. Don't be afraid to cut into it. The thighs are the last parts to finish cooking , so cut into the bird near the joint between the drumstick and the thigh. The meat should be hot and no longer red".

We also made use of our digital cooking thermometer and cooked the chicken until it was 180 degrees.

Let the chicken rest for a minimum of 10 -15 minutes after you take it out of the oven. This is so "the juices will settle, the internal temperature will stabilize, and the chicken will be much more succulent than if you carve it immediately".

I served the chicken with corn and some white and red baby potatoes that I roasted in the oven, whole, at the same time as the chicken. I just tossed them in a bit of evoo and seasoned them with salt and pepper and I threw some whole garlic gloves and a bunch of fresh herbs on top of them, too.

The verdict? This was the best meal ever according to everyone! The herbs just filled the chicken up with flavour and it was so moist and yummy! Dave said it was "way better than the chicken you get at the grocery store" and he was in a really, really, good mood for the rest of the night. Maddie gave it two thumbs way up and when I asked her what the best part of the dinner was she said, "Everything!" She ate every last bit of food on her plate and asked for more of the potatoes. She even wants us to send some leftovers in her lunch with her tomorrow.

Wow. A HUGE hit.

I'll be roasting chickens all the time now. I thought it was going to be hard to do, but it's actually really easy and there was so little work involved.

"Luuved it!" (you have to say that with a Simon Cowell accent).
And...that's What's Cooking Wednesday (around here)!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday.

Ok...this idea came from 5 Minutes for Mom and it is right up my alley. Janice writes :

This is raw, blogging vulnerability.
Some publish intimate details about their personal lives on the internet – but I am going to do something far more terrifying to me. I am going to photograph and publish the very corners, closets and piles of clutter and chaos in my house that I am most ashamed of – the very places I work so hard for no one to ever see.
Why? – Because I need some blogging incentive to get back in control of my house. And because I want to celebrate together the little steps of victory as other Tackle It Tuesday participants and I tackle each project, one by one

Remember this post I did a little while ago? Shan of Tales from the Fairy Blogmother said I was brave to share my mess (thanks Shan!)- so, here I go again. And, this time it's even worse. The Laundry Pile!!!

(I can't even believe I'm sharing this photo! If you came over to my house I probably wouldn't let you use the downstairs bathroom for fear you may peak in there and see it and now I'm posting a pic. of it on the internet!! Ahhh...half heart-attack inducing/half cathartic).

The problem with the laundry pile is that I am the only one who ever tries to make a dent in it, but there are 4 people in this house who contribute to it. And, two of those 4 people are little girls who just have to change their outfits about 10 times a day each and then, if I'm not watching them like a hawk, they will hide their old outfits under beds, under dressers, behind bins in the toy-room...anything but put them back in their dressers. By the time I find everything I can't tell what is clean and what is dirty anymore and I just get exasperated and throw it all in the laundry.

Then there is the problem of the "stuff left in the washer". This is a chronic condition over here for which I really have no one to blame but myself. I will get on a roll and do, say, 4 loads of laundry in a day...but by the end of the day I still have one load that needs to go in the dryer and I'll get tired, go to bed, and have forgotten all about it. The next day I'll be busy with something else and I will continue to forget all about it. Somewhere around day 3 (or 5 if this has occurred over the weekend and I'm at work) I'll remember the tangled mass of wet clothes that are turning into a rotten pile of stink in the old Kenmore and -OMG- what a nightmare that is! You can't just rewash the clothes: that will not get the stink out. I've discovered this after putting on many an icky, stale smelling, shirt that had to be tossed back into the hamper. What you have to do now is dry the whole mass of stinky clothes and then rewash them all. I know, I know. This is a complete and total waste of time, money, water, electricity. Just completely terrible in so many ways (I am really sorry and I will not let this happen again. I promise this right here. Right now).

So...this is my Tackle it Tuesday project: I'm going to get the upper hand on the laundry pile, the laundry situation, and the dreaded "washer full of stinky wet clothes". I am giving myself one week to get this accomplished and I will publish my results next Tuesday (along with my new project). Wish me luck...I'm gonna' need it.

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Monday, April 7, 2008

Family Fun Monday - Play Park.

Well, Spring is trying to make it's way's really trying. You can tell. Today we had a high of about 15 and you could see the sun shining. Of course, that high of 15 didn't factor in the wind chill (but, I'm a wimp and anything below about 27 is cold to me so I'll try to be happy with what we got. At least it wasn't snowing). So, for Family Fun Monday we made a trip out to "Play Park" with a picnic basket in hand. The girls had fun playing on the swings and slides, etc., we munched on some snacks, and I took lots of pictures. We had a blast. doesn't get much cheaper than that for some food, fresh air, exercise, and family fun. :)

If you are looking for some ideas of what to pack in your picnic basket check out this link from FamilyFun magazine: it's a cool little "sandwich on a stick".

So, what have you and your family been doing for fun lately?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Easy Turkey Lasagna

Wednesday - The Double-Blogger Issue!

Well, I didn't have my Internet access last night so today I have two blog entries. First, about our little April Fool's jokes and, now, my entry into Shan's What's Cooking Wednesday. This is my recipe for Easy Turkey Lasagna that I actually wanted to write about awhile ago, but I couldn't find my pictures. The recipe was adapted from Michael Smith's "Speedy Lasagna" - modified to include ground turkey and turkey sausages instead of the beef. Here's the ingredients list:

Tomato Sauce:
3 tbsps of olive oil
2 x med. onions, peeled and chopped
10 x garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 lb ground beef (we used turkey)
4 x Italian sausages (we used turkey sausages
1 x 28 ox can tomatoes, crushed or pureed
1 x small can tomato paste
2 cups beef stock (we used chicken stock)
3 tbsps dried oregano
2 tbsps dried basil
3 x bay leaves
salt and pepper

Cheese Sauce
2 x eggs, beaten
1/2 cup 35% cream
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

1 box ready-to-bake lasagna noodles
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Tomato Sauce: Heat the oil in a large sauce pot and add the onions. Saute until they soften and turn golden brown (about 5 mins), then add the garlic. Saute a few moments more then add the ground meat. Chop up into small bits while cooking. Add the tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, stock, oregano, basil, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir well until the mixture is simmering and heated through.

Cheese Sauce: Whisk eggs and cream together, then stir in the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper

Assembly: Preheat oven to 375. Layer ingredients in a 9"x13"x3" baking pan. Follow this sequence - a cup or so of sauce, layer of noodles, half of the cheese sauce, one third of the grated Parmesan, noodle layer, meat sauce layer, noodle layer, remaining cheese sauce, one third of the grated Parmesan, noodle layer, remaining meat sauce, remaining Parmesan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hr. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of cooking (or, just last 5 minutes if you used chicken/turkey-so it doesn't get dried out) to allow top to get golden and crusty.

Results: Okay...that ~was~ a lot of typing and it may ~seem~ like a lot of work, but it really wasn't too bad and I thought it was really, really, good. As someone who doesn't eat beef I was missing out on lasagna (veggie lasagna is okay, but just not the same). With the turkey sausages and ground turkey this was really nice and filling (and I'm sure jam packed with saturated fat thanks to all that cheese), and a great treat for a change. Dave thought it was "a bit dry", but I think that's just because he is used to the beef which will add way more grease to the lasagna. This was really good! I ate it for three days following as leftovers. mmmm.

April Fools!

How was your April Fool's Day? Did anybody get you? Well, Bell telephone got us a little bit by pretending our phone line was down and wasn't going to be fixed until between "8am and 5pm the following day". I was without Internet access all afternoon and into the evening. It was a scary thing, but I think I'm okay now.

I got the kiddies a little by announcing in the morning, "Okay girls! Come get your breakfast! We're having bacon and eggs". Maddie came right in just because she is such an obedient little one and she really tries to please us all the time. Jamie on the other hand - she's her own little person, that's for sure. She ain't too worried about pleasing anybody, but it's actually really pretty cute. She's spunky. "I don't want bacon and eggs" she said. "Come on, Jamie. Come see". She was all mad at first. Then her eyes lit up when she realized the eggs were really just peach halves on top of vanilla yogurt and the bacon was strips of "Yo-Gos Rollers". Pretty realistic looking, huh? I think I got the idea from FamilyFun magazine (or their web-page). They have so many cool ideas.

Maddie and I also made up two little April Fool's gifts: one for her teacher and one for her best friend, Abby. Unfortunately, the surprises didn't make it into school and neither did Maddie. She was having some tummy troubles that, I swear, had nothing to do with the fake bacon and eggs. She seems to have an issue with milk in that if she drinks too much of it when she is away from home (i.e. more than, say, a small cup in a day) she won't be able to use the facilities for quite awhile after. We give her soy milk at home, which she and Jamie both prefer anyway (luckily).

So, sorry Abby! It was gonna' be really funny, too. Maddie made you a "rotten apple". It had a big, gross, worm in it and everything. YUCK! We'll have to come up with something else to get ya' next year.