Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What am I missing

I must be missing one key component in my kids diet because both of them love to eat snow.

I took them out tonight for a Snow Night, I find it so relaxing to be out in the dark playing in the snow. Maybe it the almost silence and the deserted feeling that I love. Or maybe its because the only thing getting destroyed is the snow and not even I have the OCD needed to keep that clean. Unless its on my driveway, front deck or garage - hmm, maybe I do have a problem!

We made super fancy Salt Dough Ornaments and repainted a couple of my rooms when I wasn't looking.

Santa has to go figure out her game plan for getting all this crap wrapped!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Did I miss something?

I made the brilliant remark about 2 weeks ago that I couldn't do real trees because I was positive the dogs would pee on them. Not long after those words left my lips one of the dogs pee'd on the ARTIFICIAL tree in the bonus room. I mean really who is dumb enough to mistake a fake plastic tree for a real one? And no I don't use any evergreen room fresheners. Then it happens again today, we are up to add another ornament to the tree and I notice a streak of yellow across the tree skirt and carpet.

The worst part is I can't figure out who did it. Milo lifts his leg so I would assume that mixed with the fact that most door knobs are smarter than him would make him the responsible party. Juno is young only 1 and was hard to potty train but she doesn't have accidents at all now but she squats to pee so that would make it easier to get the angle that I witnessed.

I suppose unless I catch someone in the act it may go unpunished!

Here's a but of background before we get into the next story - roughly 6 months ago I stopped doing husbands laundry. It started first with just not putting away the clean stuff and then moved to his dry cleaning and now I really don't touch any of it. The reason being the guy simply cannot pick up after himself so he takes off lovely dress shirts and dress pants and just rolls them into a ball and leaves them in various places around the house. NOT ACCEPTABLE!

Here's a pile that hasn't even made it to the huge walk in closet.

So we are waiting for husband so we can leave for the kids Christmas Program last night, I loaded everyone into the truck and we sat in the driveway watching for his truck. It took a solid hour to wash the kids up and get them slicked up and dressed. I actually showered, put on a nice black dress/boots, dried my hair and curled it so by many accounts I looked HOT! Husband arrives home and jumps in the car in jeans and a flannel looking shirt. My mouth fell to the ground, who goes to work in an office building dressed like a lumberjack? Who goes to their kids Christmas Program dressed like a lumberjack when their wife looks hot? Only my husband and only he thinks its hilarious that he has been wearing jeans to work everyday because his 6 week supply of dress shirts and pants is laying in a pile in our closet!

The kids did a great job at their one and only dual Christmas Program performance.

On a brighter note I made Oreo Truffles (or Santa Balls as I called them) this week. I just ate another one when I hit a piece of something that was unchewable. Upon further examination this piece was wood and its from my wooden spoon which I kept sticking into the blender while I attempted to get the mixture to blend. I'm out one wooden spoon and perhaps a bit of embarrassment if any of the truffles that the kids gifted their teachers with have any extra parts present. Here's the recipe and a pic of the creation (I did let the kids do the chocolate dipping)

Oreo Truffles

Prep Time:
30 min
Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
3-1/2 doz. or 42 servings, one truffle each
What You Need

1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
Make It

MIX 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls. Refrigerate for 1 hr.

DIP balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Remember, don't stick wooden spoons into an operating blender!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fire Alarms & Pizza

This project was originally to use my pizza dough recipe (usually made in the summer on the grill) to make breadsticks and calzones and test the pizza water inside in my oven.

2 fire alarms and a bunch of smoke later, which clouded my whole first floor. WE HAVE PIZZA! I made a few breadsticks, they are fine just like the grill ones. I made one calzone and feed it to GR so not sure how that worked out. I focused on my obsessions - THE PIZZA!

I made one for the kids at 500 in a convection oven (which is actually 525 in my oven) and it turned out fine if you like normal pizza. I like thin, crispy yet chewy pizza so I researched. My oven temp was right but I was seeing many people say they pre-cook the crust, so I gave that a whirl. You really have to watch for crust bubbles because it ain't folklore they happen and big time. It worked, I had a crisp yet chewy crust and perfect toppings just melted with a slight brown. Yes, I ate a piece before I took the picture, shoot me I was starving!

The downside is I feel like I have burnt cornmeal poisoning and the kids keep asking when the smoke will clear. I think its the high heat and cornmeal (which helps the pizza slide off the stone) that caused so much smoke. I actually used my fan (which I hate) and it scared poor Juno the husky all the way to the kids bathroom. I had to go drag her out and put her in the basement to watch football.

I just ventured to the basement to bring the kids more pizza and the calzone was gone so I'm assuming that is a good sign. While this appears to be a relatively cheap dinner it did take me a bottle of wine to get through preparation and serving.

man, I'm tired. You can find me on the couch now which is few and far between.

Summer Food Memories

I don't really miss summer because I prefer cool days and time spent bundled up in the house. I do miss the pizza we would make on the grill several times a week. In order to try and pull it off I'm having GR grill out today since it's a balmy -10 with windchill around -35 below.

I'm kidding on making him stand outside so instead I used my standard dough recipe and will try making breadsticks, mini pizzas and calzones in the oven using my pizza stone. If the mini pizzas turn out ok then sometime this week I will try our standard pizza.

I'm actually not kidding about him standing outside but A) He would never do anything I asked and B) I'm not sure the grill could even heat enough to cook a pizza anyway but C) it sure would do him good to suffer just a tad bit!

Here's my famous dough recipe, you simply can't go wrong with this one! I tend to not measure and just gauge things so you might have to work with it a bit your first time.

5 cups flour
1-2 T Active yeast
1-2 T Brown Sugar
2 Cups Hot water
dashes of salt

Mix your dry ingredients together and add the water, mix it all and the knead the dough around so you have all your parts incorporated. Cover and let rise for 1 hr. Punch down and let rise for an additional hour and then start cooking.

This dough is impacted by room temp and humidity so if you don't get a perfect rise don't worry. I will have pics of my creations later.

We took the kids ice skating today and both of them loved it (still). I had planned to get them out on the pond also but we had 14 warms hours (mid 30's) before this cold front hit so the pond was a bit slushy. I don't teach swimming lessons in the winter!

The kids just have school this week and then they are off for 2 solid weeks. I have a couple at home activities planned - Cookie Baking for Santa, Wine Drinking Contest for Mom, Ornament Making (salt dough) and our standard things like play doh, art time, Mom locked in the bathroom alone, and music practice. It should buy me about 37 minutes to try and get my work done!

I can't believe we are 10 days away, my shopping has been done since the summer so I just need to wrap but honestly I don't see that happening anytime soon. It's the 2 kids glued to me constantly that might prohibit. I really wonder if all the crap wasn't wrapped but rather tossed under the tree haphazardly if they would even care. I think that a few less sheets of paper in between the kid and the dream gift might be a good thing.

I will admit even with 1 less week between T-Day and Christmas I'm not sure I can handle anymore Christmas music, we literally have it on 24/7 and its making me a tad bit crazy! When I say crazy I mean I actually wanted a drink about 2 pm today, it's 3:30 and I'm still holding strong but I'm not sure how much longer I can last!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

O, Christmas Tree

Here's our trees for this year

Kids tree - A collection of their annual ornaments, ornaments they made or received

Man tree - Need I say more, its full of beer

My tree - Crystals and snowflakes and icicles

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Santa please bring me a chainsaw

Preston wanted to ask Santa for a chainsaw because he just bought his Secret Santa one and he fell hard for it. I helped him write his wish list and we put the chainsaw at number five behind the safer presents (blocks, books, video game and art supplies).

The visit to Santa was a huge success and although its down right chilly here the sleigh ride was fun.

For those of you that asked, her is my Citrus Peeler getting ready for action and here is the link so you can get your own!

Friday, December 5, 2008

So much to say

I have been severely lacking on the blogging time dept, must be the season.

Anyway its hard to follow up my previous post so I will start with the simply fact that it was not staged! That is truly Maren, I came around the corner one quite Monday afternoon and saw "it" so I quickly and quietly retreated to grab my camera and nabbed the shot. Although I was caught in the act, it was well worth it.

On another random note, I just used my Citrus Peeler from Pampered Chef (just bought it at a neighborhood home party a few moths ago) and I'm not sure what rocked more the amazing Satsumas from my CSA or the freaking Citrus Peeler!

Just a quick PSA on CSA's - if you don't know what one is or what is means or don't care - LEARN, FIGURE IT OUT & NEVER LOOK BACK. You get organic fruits and veggies for a very reasonable price and you help support local farming. Can you imagine being a farmer right now! Check it out!

QOTD: Is it a reasonable for a 4 yr old to buy is secret Santa 5 yr old neighbor a fake bosch chainsaw that seems pretty real. I let each of the kids pick out their gift for their secret Santa - Maren picks a paint your own cup/dish set which is very cute and very girly! Preston picks a Bosch (done by Target) chainsaw and the big problem is he thinks this is the best GIFT EVER. So much he hardly wants to give it away!

It's time here for 09/10 school year sign up which means I have to commit to what school we are sending Preston too and what schedule I want Maren on so I can get work done. I researched for an entire year and stumbled across the perfect Kindergarten to send P to, it has everything - full day, music, art, small class size, bus service etc etc but its in the next town over which is a BIG bus ride for me! I think it will do wonders for him and I'm so excited to see him turn 5, it feels like just this week he has come home and started talking storybooks about his life.

I'm waiting to hear from BFF Cousin about her "Philosophy" use, I started today with the gift set for my face and the Amazing Grace line and so far so good. I need something to make my barely showered, non makeup face look somewhat put together. Plus I need to smell good since showers are apparently optional for me, not my choice but simply by lack of time.

I leave you with my picture of the day. Can you guess the item? It should be easy as my good flash needs batteries and its pitch black in my house.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A quick thought

When life gives you lemons, give them right back! Take that lemons!