Monday, November 29, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday...snowmen!!!

Today is Muffin Tin Monday! There is no theme, but I just love snowmen and Christmas! I used red and green silicone cups to start the theme. Red and green goldfish (I picked them out of the box of colored goldfish), snowmen shaped cheddar cheese, snowmen marshmallows (picks from Dollar Tree), turkey sandwich cuts, and a couple slices of orange on a cute ornament pick (from Target)
 Click on the button below to see all the other fun Muffin Tin Monday meals!!!
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Christmas Advent Season to you!

In this post, I told you about an advent project I wanted to do for my family...something we could reuse every year to tell the story Jesus to our little's finished...or just begun. We will read a devotional every night from The Jesus Storybook Bible and each night we will put one ornament on the tree til December 25. I am going to make a birthday cake with my boys to celebrate Jesus' birthday. I hope you and your family have a special Christmas Advent too and remember why we celebrate this season!

Our advent tree (set of trees I already had) with a Nativity my mom gave me (it was hers she bought a long, long time ago at the Mexican Market in downtown San Antonio) The ornaments are in the basket ready for each night til Christmas!
Our thing I love about this old house is the wall to wall mantle. I have a collection of, things I found...even from when I was in's been growing for quite a few years! I love putting up the garland and lights and adorning it with all my snowmen and then watching my boys in amazement of Christmas time!
Our fresh cut Christmas tree all decked out! This mommy loves snowmen!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Tree Farm --- Pipe Creek, Texas

 We decided this year, we would try to be 'green' with our Christmas tree. We cut our own tree from a local farm instead of using our (very old) artificial tree or buying an import from Sam's. It was a good day to get out. A cold front blew in (finally!!!) Thanksgiving evening, but the sun was still out. Both boys napped on the way there, so everyone was in a happy mood when we arrived to find our tree!
Sweet little ornament!

trying to get 'baby Andrew' to laugh!
This one Daddy!!!

I want to go back on the green truck (aka hay ride!)

That's my tree!

Andrew wanted out of the stroller to see what all the fuss was about!
measuring our tree...7 1/2 feet tall (closer to 8 I think!)
Not sure if I'm fascinated or scared by the tree was LOUD!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving preparations

cookie place cards
I make this cranberry jello salad
My husband gave me these beautiful candle centerpiece set a couple years ago. I love the way the light hits it. I have a collection of clear goblets and red and amber to set the mood for a happy thanksgiving dinner!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...Muffin Tin Monday style

Happy Thanksgiving to all my blogging friends and family!!! Today I am thankful for my family and the traditions we have for the holidays. My mom always had homemade Chex mix and fudge in the house during the holidays. Adrian is enjoying a pumpkin and peanut butter pumpkin shaped sandwich, colby jack pumpkins and turkeys, apple sauce with sprinkles, bananas and craisans with a cute little pumpkin pick, and a few m&ms and fudge hidden in the pumpkin paper. The picture below shows the fudge better. I used my mini cookie cutters to make pumpkins and leaves.
A sweet little hand was tired of Mommy taking pictures!
Fantasy Fudge (best flavor I think...recipe is on the back on any marshmallow fluff jar!)

fun Thanksgiving place mat (it's laminated!) Adrian made at Kid's Day Out!
 If you want to participate in Muffin Tin Monday, click on the button below. She has some amazing ideas for lunches and fun activities for children!
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fun Finds this weekend!

World Market has all their baking tins, pans and silicone cups on half off !!! They have mini red and green circles, blue stars, orange, pink and green scalloped cups and large circles. They have jelly roll (cookie sheets) pans, mini 24 cup muffin tins, regular 12 cup muffin tins, bread pans, round and square cake pans and bundt cake pans. Happy Baking for the upcoming holiday season!
Their sale is only til Sunday, so I hope, if you need something, you can make it over there this weekend!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Foodie Friday!!!--Sugar cookies

I got a new set of pumpkin cutters from HL at 80% off and plan on making cookies for each place setting for Thanksgiving.
 These are by far the best sugar cookies I've ever made...they take icing well. They don't crumble and they have a delicate and addicting vanilla flavor. The recipe is from Paula Dean here
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and almond extract until combined.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until smooth. Wrap dough in heavy-duty plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with assorted snowflake cookie cutters and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Chill dough 15 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are very lightly browned. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

If you would like to participate in Foodie Fridays, link up a recipe here

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

fun lunch with home

Today, I made Big A lunch on his new Turkey plate! I thought these plates were cute last year and so glad I found a couple at PBK outlet. We have a roasted turkey and pesto jack on whole grain wheat 'turkey', goldfish crackers,  apple sauce mixed with pumpkin and colby jack cheese squares. Is pumpkin a veggie or a fruit? Getting veggies in my 3 year old is the hardest right now. 
Since it's  Thanksgiving season, I used these cute silicon pumpkin cups, a fall leaf pick, a turkey cookie cutter (set was 80% off at HL!) and my cute new turkey plate!
Happy Fall!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

it's only Wednesday???

It seems like it's already been a whole week. Monday night, we had a family friend over for dinner. While waiting for dinner to finish, my 1 year old bit it on our hard wood floors. I picked him up and there was bodily fluid I really don't like! So I called our pediatrician and got the gist on what to look for, worry for and not worry about. It ended up being just his broken teeth (thankfully!)...and he got over it quickly and the dinner went on. We had stuffed pork chops (I saw an episode of Diners, Drive ins, and Dives) but couldn't find the exact recipe, so I just did it from memory of the show..We also had sweet potatoes, salad and a crostata. I saw this food network special a couple years ago and after buying the 8 pack pie crust at Sam's, I needed to use some. I used Lingonberry jam and fresh pears in the crostata. It was yummy!
The night ended, we bathed and went to sleep only to be woken up by our SCREAMING alarm at 1:35am saying the interior back door had been was dead bolted and hook locked! The police came anyway, checked our laundry room (the 'door' goes to the laundry room and then leads to the back yard..) Apparently the wind or a critter moved the wires under our house causing it to think the door had opened...a little freaked out, we all went back to sleep...
I didn't take any pictures of Adrian's lunch yesterday, but I will take a picture today of the bento style cheese tray I'm taking to his Thanksgiving luncheon tomorrow. I found the cutest pumpkin picks at Joann's on clearance. They came with cupcake papers. 
Just to get away this weekend, we drove up to the outlets in San Marcos...only about a 45 minute drive. We had a coupon for a free pound of chocolates from River Mountain Chocolates (came with our AAA dad's early Christmas present after I got a flat on the highway with little A in the car and somehow locked my keys in the car with Big A strapped in his carseat and little A in my arms...) So I convinced my husband to go...for the chocolate and then I could go look at Crate and Barrel and the Pottery Barn Outlet which includes PBK and Williams-Sonoma. I found a couple cute melamine turkey plates for my boys and am going to use one of them as a platter for the cheese I'm supposed to bring on Thursday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Foodie Fridays!!! Apple sausage cornbread dressing

This is one of those recipes that I've seen done several different ways on Food Network or the internet, so I can't really give one site credit. My mom makes the best Oyster Dressing. (sadly the website does NOT give credit to LaRue Wilson for her amazing recipe. It was my great grandmother's recipe and she  had it published in Rachel Ray's magazine a couple years ago for a Thanksgiving contest.) I love her dressing, but I don't usually cook with oysters...and since I've had little boys in my house who can't eat shellfish til their 2 for allergy reasons, I just don't buy this is my take on Thanksgiving dressing. I love fall herbs...sage, thyme, parsley and that's one thing I can grow really well all year round, so I really love cooking with them. This recipe uses Mild Italian Sausage, apples, celery, and onion. The flavors just make me think of fall and Thanksgiving and family. I even made a rendition of it when I lived in Romania.

Apple Sausage Cornbread Dressing

1 pound Italian sausage (out of casings)
2-3 small apples chopped
1-2 celery stalks chopped
1 onion chopped
fresh herbs-sage, thyme, parsley
onion powder
salt & pepper
chicken stock
cooked cornbread (9 inch round pan)

In a large skillet, add butter and saute onion and celery. Add sausage and brown. Add apples. Cook a couple minutes til soft. Add herbs, salt and pepper. Break up the cooked cornbread and add to skillet. Add chicken stock...just enough to get it wet. Pour everything into a buttered baking dish. Add a couple pats of butter and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so til golden. You can add dried cranberries to the skillet to add another hint of Thanksgiving flavor. Enjoy! OK I finally figured this linky thing out...if you want to participate in Foodie Fridays, link up here!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Japanese bento

Choo choo train-wiches, apple slices in star silicone cups, star shaped cheddar on pepperoni, a side car of baked chips and a brownie bite in his little bear box.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Muffin Tin're a star...

There's not a theme this week, but I really wanted to try out this tin with my star cutters as well. He has pumpkin crumble with a giraffe fork, baked potato chips, an apple (from the orchard we went to last weekend), mozzarella and colby jack stars, peanut butter and pumpkin star-wiches and a handful of m&ms in a star silicone cup. If you want to participate in Muffin Tin Monday and take a look at all the wonderful lunch ideas out there, click on the button below! 

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

pictures from older posts

Easy Pumpkin Crumble from Our Best's the recipe if you missed it!
my little helper guarding the oven!

cute pics for's a game from the dollar store nestled in my handy picks container from JoAnn's

bento and playdough at home

When we're at home, I usually still fix big A a bento style lunch. (he'll eat more of it, if it's cute!) So he had avocado with a dump truck pick, key lime yogurt with leaf sprinkles, peanut butter and pumpkin dinosaurs and colby jack bears!
I love these plates. I found them at HomeGoods in a pack of two which is great since I have two boys! The sections are big, so I can put a decent amount of good eats in each section for him!

new mini cutters from HL

Mommy's way of keeping big A busy while little A is toy
Play Dough at the Target Dollar Spot...and each lid has a little animal mold...we made ducks, elephants, horses, bears and puppies!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Another recipe or two

I made Easy Pumpkin Crumble tonight since I had all the ingredients on hand. It was really good...not too sweet. It would go really well with coffee...or a pumpkin latte! 
I'm trying to use what I have in my refrigerator, freezer or pantry before I say I have to go to the grocery store! I made mini pizzas using Italian Herb flat bread (in my refrigerator), monterrey jack cheese (in my refrigerator), canned tomatoes with garlic and olive oil (in my pantry), and pepperoni (in my freezer). My husband thought it was great. I finished the chicken and dumplings for lunch (we've eaten it for a few days)...another problem of mine is for 12 when it's usually eaten mostly by my husband and me...I'm working on it! 
A couple weeks ago, we had beef fajitas. I had bought a family size bag on sale and only used half, so I knew I had  meat I could use this weekend. As much as I love to cook, I completely forget to prepare things, like thawing meat in the morning so I can use it that night. I think my boys have made me absent minded. I completely blame them:)  I actually took the fajita meat out of the freezer when I was making the pizzas. I knew I wanted to make it overnight so we could eat it for lunch. I just put all this in the crock pot and hopefully tomorrow we'll be having some good eats!

one medium sized onion sliced,
salt,pepper, onion and garlic powder, parsley,
the rest of the canned tomatoes in garlic and olive oil, 
beef fajita meat (you could use skirt steak)
one can diced tomatoes,
one cup water,
I layered it in this order in the crock pot, covered it and turned it on low.  
I'll serve it in tortillas with avocado and salsa.

Foodie Fridays!!! Chicken and Dumplings

2-3 chicken breasts (cut in chunks or cut up after cooking)
2-3 stalks of celery chopped
1 onion chopped
2-3 carrots chopped
1 box frozen peas
1 carton of mushrooms (you can use canned)
1 cup frozen corn
fresh herbs...I used parsley, sage and thyme
Chicken stock (probably 2 boxes, but I used some home made and 1 box)
Flour and butter to make a roux (or leftover cream gravy)
salt and pepper
onion powder
garlic powder
1-2 cans of crescents or biscuits
I change out my vegetable all the time...this week, I used a bag of frozen cauliflower, 1/2 a bag of frozen green beans, a bag of frozen peas and carrots, and an onion.
In a large dutch oven, begin to saute onions, celery and carrots til very either olive oil or butter. Add chicken, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and oregano; stir to coat and cook til done. Add the mushrooms.
Add chicken stock and roux to the thickness you like...mine is somewhere between a soup and stew...not super thick. Bring to a boil and then lower the temperature just a bit and add biscuits or crescents (cut into smaller pieces). Let the dough cook and then turn the temperature down to a simmer.
Add leftover gravy or a little bit of white / country gravy mix to the pot. Add corn and peas and fresh herbs to the pot and simmer for 15 minutes or so before serving.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fun Find today

Since I have two little boys and I'm not sure I will have another child...I try to grab the 'boyish' stuff I see, when I see it!
Today, Target is putting their Christmas stuff out in the dollar spot section (even those these were $2.50 each). I found blue snowflake silicone muffin tins, green Christmas trees and red candy canes and gingerbread men(I think...I only bought the snowflakes!) They also had cute Christmas spatulas...if you're children are older than mine and participate more in the cooking. They had their Christmas sprinkles out...cute red and white candy canes, green and red dots, and green jimmies with white snowflakes...if I remembered them all correctly....for $1. The Fall / Harvest sprinkles were half off, so I got a handful for Thanksgiving and next year.
Hobby Lobby also had a lot on sale for Halloween and Thanksgiving baking. I found some leaf sprinkles...that I forgot to use in Monday's leaf themed Muffin Tin and some pumpkin silicone cups. My big A loved it in his bento...he said, "look Mommy, a pumpin!" 
I'll post pictures tomorrow when I take better light! 
Party City does not have their Christmas stuff out yet, but I'm hopeful! I too, love the acorn and fall leaf picks I found there!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Muffin tin Monday...trees, leaves, and harvest!!!

For today's theme (sorry, I took this picture this morning, and it was rather cloudy, so I just couldn't get the lighting right and my 3 year old was getting impatient for his snack...he wakes up at 6 usually, so he's hungry again at 9:30!!!) ok...we have grapes and leaves in a small green leaf baking dish, cheese trees (that look more like hay!) in the red leaf baking dish with acorn pics, in the pumpkin trio, we have a harvest moon sandwich adorned with more acorns, scarecrows resting in a strawberry field and forest animals sitting close by. If you would like to participate in Muffin Tin Monday, click on the button below!

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

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